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Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Atheism and the problem of ignorance

Although I've seen more than a few episodes of QI, I've never considered Stephen Fry to be either very well informed or very intelligent. He strikes me as a considerably messed-up actor who plays the role of an educated and intelligent man for the masses, as opposed to actually being such a creature. Of course, it's a lot harder to sound intelligent when you're not being fed lines through your earpiece, which explains how Fry managed to betray an astonishing ignorance of nearly 2,000 years of Christian theology and abandoning one primary atheist line of defense in the process:
Fry was being interviewed for an Irish television show called The Meaning of Life when he launched into an impassioned tirade about God’s existence. Asked if he thought he would get to heaven, he replied: "No, but I wouldn't want to. I wouldn’t want to get in on his terms. They’re wrong.

He added: "The God who created this universe, if he created this universe, is quite clearly a maniac, an utter maniac, totally selfish. We have to spend our lives on our knees thanking him. What kind of God would do that?"

"Yes, the world is very splendid, but it also has in it insects whose whole life cycle is to burrow into the eyes of children and make them blind. Why? Why did you do that to us? It is simply not acceptable. Atheism is not just about not believing there's a god. On the assumption there is one, what kind of God is he? It’s perfectly apparent that was monstrous, utterly monstrous, and deserves no respect.”
Now, for those whose knowledge of theology does not rise to the level of the Narnia novels, let me point out that basic Christian theology points out that while God's Creation was initially perfect, it was His choice to give both Man and Angel free will that permitted Lucifer's initial fall from Heaven, and Man's subsequent fall from Grace. From these two failures entered in every form of sin, death, and evil.

Furthermore, Jesus Christ himself made it very clear that it is not the Creator God who rules the Earth. Hence his command to Christians to be IN the world rather than OF it. He specifically refers to Satan as both the prince and the ruler of the world, as one translation has John 12:31: The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out.

Fry is clearly blaming the wrong party. The utter maniac, the totally selfish and utterly monstrous being he castigates is not the Creator God. It is the usurper who rules the world, whose name is devil, Satan, Lucifer. And what makes his rant so ridiculously stupid is that all of this information is not only in the Bible, but in Milton, in Lewis, in Tolkien, and indeed, in many of the greatest works of the Western artistic canon. God is not "utterly evil". God is good, and loving, and thank God, merciful. It is the ruler of this world, the prince of the powers of the air, who is utterly and irredeemably evil.

Ironically enough, Fry commits the same sin as that utter evil, in demanding the right of the clay to judge the potter.

Notice that Fry also insists that, contra both linguistic etymology and practically every petty Internet atheist ever, "atheism is not just about not believing there's a god". In other words, he is conflating atheism and secular humanism, something other atheists have tried very hard to distinguish, and for good reason, because doing so simply transforms atheism into a pallid religion that has no ability to compete intellectually or spiritually with Christianity, Islam, or paganism.

And then he descended into utter self-parody when he claimed to prefer Greek paganism: "Fry said he preferred the religion of the ancient Greeks whose Gods did not present themselves as being “all-seeing, all-wise, all-kind, all beneficent”." This is rather amusing, as the Greek gods were a collection of rapists, adulterers, and murderers who were descended of a parricide and never hesitated to shed vast quantities of human blood in pursuit of their selfish objectives.

In just one interview, it can be seen that Stephen Fry is a fraud. He is not a brilliant man, but rather, an obtuse and ignorant charlatan.

UPDATE: No wonder he gets away with it. Consider his fans:
Milo Yiannopoulos ‏@Nero
Perhaps the neatest skewering of @stephenfry ever, from @voxday

Steve Skipper ‏@SteveSkipper
@Nero @stephenfry hardly a skewering, @voxday is using elements of a fictional myth to explain a fictional myth

Vox Day ‏@voxday
You're missing the point. To intelligently criticize a myth, you must criticize THE ACTUAL MYTH.

Steve Skipper ‏@SteveSkipper
@voxday @Nero @stephenfry whatever

Labels: ,

138 Comments:

Anonymous Tigris Hippos February 03, 2015 5:19 AM  

What repulsively antisemitic and homophobic claims to make about one of the towering intellectual titans and moral paragons of our age! Similarly antisemitic and homophobic is whoever described dear Stephen as a "stupid person's idea of what an intelligent person is like". I hardly know who blesses the "English" more: Stephen, David Aaronovitch or the Rev. Giles Fraser.

Anonymous Josh February 03, 2015 5:29 AM  

Touched a nerve did he? You didn't refute any of his points concerning Fry's theological ignorance or conflicting claims. And homophobic? What?

Anonymous Freddy February 03, 2015 5:31 AM  

Of course Tigris, nothing new from your utter stupidity. Brilliant analysis. But you hate truth so you have been judicially darkened in your understanding

Blogger Derek February 03, 2015 5:36 AM  

Methinks Tigris is yanking your chains, boys.

Anonymous tdm February 03, 2015 5:44 AM  

I, for one, applaud his honesty.

Anonymous kh123 February 03, 2015 5:46 AM  

"Fry said he preferred the religion of the ancient Greeks..."

Contra its greatest statesman and his teacher, apparently. Does Fry also flip out every time there's a solar or lunar eclipse, or does he indulge in dragging way too much out of an ambiguous inscription or oracle?

Fish on dry ground indeed.

Anonymous RedBane February 03, 2015 5:48 AM  

Yes, Tigris is not being entirely serious guys.

Anonymous Giuseppe February 03, 2015 5:50 AM  

I always found Fry to be a complete and utter fraud. He is the pompous sort of homosexual, who hides his deviancy under a veneer of superior intellectual refinement, as if cock-gobbling was reserved for the finer palates of the aristocracy or something. I have always found his pompous arrogance to be as badly informed as you have just highlighted in this post.

Anonymous Dikaios Rik February 03, 2015 5:51 AM  

I've never really understood why anyone could ever think Fry an intellectual. Do they truly not know the difference between being a smart man and playing one on the TV?

Anonymous Bz February 03, 2015 5:52 AM  

The sole moral argument of the atheist apparently is the charge of hypocrisy.

Anonymous Difster February 03, 2015 6:05 AM  

It's so much fun when the intellectually and morally bankrupt go off script and show their true colors.

Blogger The Original Hermit February 03, 2015 6:06 AM  

"I've never really understood why anyone could ever think Fry an intellectual."

It's that sexy English accent. Girls swoon for French accents, pseudo-intellectuals swoon for English accents.

Anonymous Discard February 03, 2015 6:15 AM  

He was great as Jeeves, but even that role lost some of its charm when I found that he was an ardent anti-Christian, as is Bertie. A shame.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus February 03, 2015 6:18 AM  

One of the curses that stains modern paganism is a flow of people who are fleeing Christianity because they think it has standards, especially sexual standards, which they do not want, and identifying themselves with paganism because, believing Christian propaganda, they think it is just wallowing in squalid self-indulgence, practical materialism, corruption, and sensuality without any standards, which is what they want.

There is nothing better to do with these miasmatic, disruptive and socially corrupting people than to tell them, "on your bike."

On your bike, Stephen Fry.

Blogger Doom February 03, 2015 6:20 AM  

Don't worry, this twit, like most I know, wouldn't see your point. BECAUSE!

Dude, life is supposed to be about free stuff, easy sex, and food... and drugs, right? Seriously. The next time your mind steps into something like that, don't bring it "home". Scrape it off and move along.

Blogger Cataline Sergius February 03, 2015 6:26 AM  

Yeah but Fry did a great job as Melchett. I can forgive a lot for that.

Honestly, I've know too many actors to be surprised by the pomposity of one aging gay.

Fry's reputation as an intellectual stems from the English (not British) love of their own English stereotypes. Years ago Fry cast himself in the public eye as the stereotypical Oxford Don. That's how he presents himself, so that's how the English treat him.

Though lately some cracks have appeared in the facade. "Marrying" a twenty-two year old man, when he himself is fifty seven makes him look, less like an Oxford professor and more like a foolish, desperate old stage queen.

Which if you have ever met one, is incredibly sad. I'm afraid Fry is going to become quite the suicide risk, the closer he get's to seventy.

Anonymous Steve February 03, 2015 6:29 AM  

Tigris - top kek

I've got nothing against Stephen Fry, but the truth is that beneath his brittle veneer of erudition he is a bit thick.

The Original Hermit - it's his posh English accent - nobody thinks Ozzy Ozbourne is a genius - plus Fry's a good speaker. When you talk with confidence and wit, people tend to assume you're smart. Most folks pay attention to how you say things, rather than notice that you're talking shite.

Anonymous Steve February 03, 2015 6:33 AM  

Cataline Sergius - "Marrying" a twenty-two year old man, when he himself is fifty seven makes him look, less like an Oxford professor and more like a foolish, desperate old stage queen.

"Would you like some sweeties, little boy? BAAAAAAAHH!"

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler February 03, 2015 6:51 AM  

In St. John's Gospel, the apostle clearly states that everything was created thru Jesus Christ, the Logos. The Cosmos was created thru Christ. St. Paul repeats that. The Natural Law comes from Christ, the Logos.

I believe that what Christ is talking about is "the world of men" not the "world of nature". We use the term word "world" with many contexts, i.e. like the world of scientists, or the world of seamanship. I believe that Christ is condemning the world of men, and He certainly wouldn't be condemning the world of Nature that rests on the Logos. Nature is the First revelation of God. St. John is referring to that with his terming of Christ as "The Logos".

Anonymous Dikaios Rik February 03, 2015 6:51 AM  

The Original Hermit - "It's that sexy English accent. Girls swoon for French accents, pseudo-intellectuals swoon for English accents."

I was thinking along those lines myself, and Steve makes a good point in that it's the supposed "poshness" of his RP accent that both allows him to pretend to be intellectual and his fans to adore him as one. I've noticed this about other celebrities such as Rowan Atkinson (who's rather uncontroversial anyway) and Emma Watson (who's definitely not as bright as her film roles).

This only serves to highlight the love of the Left for flash and style rather than substance.

Anonymous MPC February 03, 2015 6:53 AM  

What surprises me more than anything is that the atheists responding so far haven't had any anime or My Little Pony avatars for their Twitter accounts.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 6:57 AM  

"Whatever"

That was a quicker retreat than normal for ye olde internet atheist.

Blogger Myles February 03, 2015 6:58 AM  

@Lindsay,

Quite right. Also in 1 John 3:20, we read "If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything." The Doctrine of Omniscience is very well established, to deny it is simply heretical.

Blogger deadman February 03, 2015 7:18 AM  

All Fry would have to do is read the book of Job to see how narrow minded he is.

Job 38:31
Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?
Job 38:32
Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?

Etc.

- deadman

Blogger mmaier2112 February 03, 2015 7:22 AM  

This garbage is exactly why I think most atheists are total liars when they say "I know the Bible inside out, it was shoved down my throat".

Either their reading retention is utter shite or they are lying about what they think is in there.

Though MPAI, so it's probably about 50/50.

Anonymous VD February 03, 2015 7:22 AM  

Also in 1 John 3:20, we read "If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything." The Doctrine of Omniscience is very well established, to deny it is simply heretical.

That is the only Biblical claim that God knows everything, versus scores of statements that He does not. And the context of the verse makes it clear that God knows everything about the human heart. As I pointed out in TIA, when Hercule Poirot gathers everyone together in the library and tells them "I know everything", he is speaking specifically about who committed the murder. He's not making a claim to know the number of atoms in the room's furniture.

The so-called "Doctrine of Omniscience" is explicitly and observably contra-Biblical.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 7:29 AM  

The Doctrine of Omniscience is very well established, to deny it is simply heretical.

Funny how the Nicene creed doesn't mention omniscience at all...

Anonymous Giuseppe February 03, 2015 7:34 AM  

VD,
(possibly OT)
What's your position on prayer as a means to receive help/aid/instruction. Obviously it can't hurt, but do you have a view as to its efficacy and if that requires a specific intent/technique/method to be more likely to be practically effective?

Blogger Ron February 03, 2015 7:35 AM  

Steve Skipper ‏@SteveSkipper
@voxday @Nero @stephenfry whatever


Awwwww, he's sulking! That's so cute!

Anonymous hygate February 03, 2015 7:41 AM  

This is a typical specimen of atheist "argument."

Atheist asserts that since suffering exists there is no god because a good, all-knowing, all-powerful god would not allow the innocent to suffer.

A believer points out that Christian theology accounts for suffering.

Atheist response. "Whatever."

Blogger JDC February 03, 2015 7:42 AM  

I think the lengthy discussion we had regarding voliscience years ago was one of my favorite posts. Great stuff.

Blogger Bogey February 03, 2015 7:52 AM  

That is the only Biblical claim that God knows everything, versus scores of statements that He does not. And the context of the verse makes it clear that God knows everything about the human heart.

Interesting, I assume part of the reason we go through this world is to see who we will choose, God or Satan. If God knew we would not need to go through this mess.

One could also look at it this way, God could know but he chooses not to.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler February 03, 2015 7:52 AM  

It is a paradox to our minds, But Christ was the vehicle in which the Cosmos was created and the mediator of the Gospel. Christ is the beginning, the middle and the end.

God put us in the Garden of Eden, not in Nature where "Life is War". Adam failed at obeying limits, obeying God, and obeying proportion so God threw man out in Nature where Life is War, so he would learn to obey limits, obey God and obey proportion. If everything was easy in the Garden of Eden, where is the use of wisdom and prudence. If Adam was manly, he would have corrected Eve and disciplined her and he would have obeyed God. The State of Nature makes man acquire wisdom and use prudence.

The problem of atheists is that without God, their morality descends into empathy. The Good is not empathy. Telly Savalas, in one of the episodes of Kojak, says that "Sometimes cruelty is an act of love". (Only a Greek would know that and understand.) That is not understood by atheists. The Good, which the Law proclaims, is hard and is based on Wisdom, and proportion, on the Natural Law, not on Empathy.

God was extremely good by throwing man out of the Garden of Eden. The atheist has it totally backwards. It was our medicine that God threw us out and gave us hard manual labor to correct our deficiencies. In the State of Nature, which God created, we learn Wisdom and Use Prudence; we limit ourselves and then become god-like and god-fearing. That is the purpose of Life.

Blogger Nate February 03, 2015 7:56 AM  

This is like claiming to be an authority on ancient literature... then claiming beowulf is a terrible poem because... who want to read about a monster ripping a hero's arm off an beating him with it?

Blogger Bogey February 03, 2015 8:03 AM  

Asked if he thought he would get to heaven, he replied: "No, but I wouldn't want to. I wouldn’t want to get in on his terms. They’re wrong.

Not too surprising, there were literally those who rejected God for Satan in God's presence.

Blogger Markku February 03, 2015 8:10 AM  

There was a good troll there from Vox, and the fish didn't bite. Namely, accepting the word "myth".

There are two possibilities: The antagonist knew that technically the word myth can apply to truth also, despite the immediate gut feeling that it implies falsehood.

Or, he was too stupid to even realize that it was his cue to bite.

Anonymous Steve February 03, 2015 8:12 AM  

Nate - who want to read about a monster ripping a hero's arm off an beating him with it?

And shouting "Why are you hitting yourself? Why are you hitting yourself?"

OpenID cailcorishev February 03, 2015 8:38 AM  

Do they truly not know the difference between being a smart man and playing one on the TV?

No, they don't.

Anonymous Athor Pel February 03, 2015 8:43 AM  

" Giuseppe February 03, 2015 7:34 AM
VD,
(possibly OT)
What's your position on prayer as a means to receive help/aid/instruction. Obviously it can't hurt, but do you have a view as to its efficacy and if that requires a specific intent/technique/method to be more likely to be practically effective?"




I've been reading John and these verses, all direct quotes from Jesus, jumped out at me last night. I suggest reading the whole context even though these single verses are quite emphatic.


John 14:13
Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

John 15:7
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

John 15:16
You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

Blogger Markku February 03, 2015 8:49 AM  

Also relevant:

Jas 4:2 You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war. You do not have, because you do not ask.
3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

Blogger Chris Mallory February 03, 2015 8:52 AM  

"The so-called "Doctrine of Omniscience" is explicitly and observably contra-Biblical."

Psalms 139 and Matthew 19:29-31 both support the doctrine. Then we have Hebrews 4:13 and Matthew 6:8 also supporting it. There are many verses where God knows a man's heart and thoughts.

OpenID cailcorishev February 03, 2015 8:53 AM  

Though lately some cracks have appeared in the facade. "Marrying" a twenty-two year old man, when he himself is fifty seven makes him look, less like an Oxford professor and more like a foolish, desperate old stage queen.

I'm not sure who Fry is or what he looks like, but I'm going to take a wild guess that his boyfriend looks like a younger version of him.

What do I win?

Anonymous Giuseppe February 03, 2015 9:03 AM  

Athor Pel and Markku,
Thank you both. That is actually very helpful. It had a pretty intense and immediate effect on me.
Markku...it is a bit hard to know how to interpret "passions" correctly, but I get in general terms: I.e. Not in accordance with Godliness.

Blogger Markku February 03, 2015 9:09 AM  

Also, this is the wrong way to read the John -passage:

"Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son;"

YES PLEASE.

Wait, who's "you"....?

"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father."

Weeeelll, I'm a Christian, so I suppose I believe in him.

"He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him ... He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me."

Gee, this is starting to sound awfully difficult. You know what, I think I'll just take verse 13, and leave all the rest of that stuff for later.

Blogger njartist February 03, 2015 9:10 AM  

@Markku February 03, 2015 8:10 AM
Or, he was too stupid to even realize that it was his cue to bite.
Here, here, Markku, no one calls a fish stupid because it refuses the fisherman's lure. The atheist may be a fool; but he still possesses animal cunning.

Blogger Markku February 03, 2015 9:11 AM  

Giuseppe, "passions", or "lusts" in KJV, is hēdonē in the original.

I think that particular Koine Greek word is pretty self-explanatory....

Blogger Rabbi B February 03, 2015 9:14 AM  

"Atheism and the problem of ignorance . . .which explains how Fry managed to betray an astonishing ignorance . . . He is not a brilliant man, but rather, an obtuse and ignorant charlatan."

This is no doubt true, but to leave it here is, at least to me, a bit magnanimous. Mr. Fry is condemned by his own words, words which reveal more than just ignorance:

"We have to spend our lives on our knees thanking him. What kind of God would do that?" . . . what kind of God is he . . . utterly monstrous, and deserves no respect."

By our words we will be justified and by our words we will be condemned. Often as not, it comes down to a simple question of gratitude and a willful suppression of the truth. The Scriptures seem to indicate that it is a given that all men know G-d but refuse to honor Him:

"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools . . who exchanged the truth of God for the lie . . ." (cf. Romans 1) [It is also interesting to note that a description of being given over to vile passions is only a natural progression.]

I know ignorance is cited in the Scripture as a condition for unbelief, the Greek sense of the term can be futility or vanity [mataiotes: ' what is devoid of truth and appropriateness; perverseness, depravity] or [agnoia: 'lack of knowledge, ignorance, especially of divine things; of moral blindness], which is how I read 'ignorance' in the original post.

Either way, the oldness of the error does not excuse those who err, but it commends and sets forth the patience of G-d, who nonetheless will be a just judge to those ingrates who insist on justifying their ways to the G-d they reject and condemn.

Blogger Shibes Meadow February 03, 2015 9:26 AM  

Besides, the Bible is not the entire deposit of faith left to us by The Lord and passed down to us via the Church. Sacred Tradition is equally the Word of God, and sacred tradition (supported by natural reason) has always held that omniscience is an attribute of the Deity:

That God is omniscient or possesses the most perfect knowledge of all things, follows from His infinite perfection. In the first place He knows and comprehends Himself fully and adequately, and in the next place He knows all created objects and comprehends their finite and contingent mode of being. Hence He knows them individually or singularly in their finite multiplicity, knows everything possible as well as actual; knows what is bad as well as what is good. Everything, in a word, which to our finite minds signifies perfection and completeness of knowledge may be predicated of Divine omniscience, and it is further to be observed that it is on Himself alone that God depends for His knowledge. To make Him in any way dependent on creatures for knowledge of created objects would destroy His infinite perfection and supremacy. Hence it is in His eternal, unchangeable, comprehensive knowledge of Himself or of His own infinite being that God knows creatures and their acts, whether there is question of what is actual or merely possible.

cite

In other words: since God is by nature infinite and perfect in all His attributes, His knowledge must therefore be infinite and perfect as well.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents February 03, 2015 9:27 AM  

Free to ignore words and historical facts that are not convenient?

Perhaps this is not completely OT: Inside Edition hires tranny reporter.

Anonymous darrenl February 03, 2015 9:27 AM  

"The so-called "Doctrine of Omniscience" is explicitly and observably contra-Biblical."

Who says a Doctrine needs to be Biblical? More specifically, where in the Bible does it say that a Doctrine needs to be Biblical?

Anonymous FrankNorman February 03, 2015 9:28 AM  

Vox, there's lots of statements about Divine omniscience in the Bible. I'm not sure how claiming He doesn't know literally everything is going to make an angry atheist type any less outraged.
"Waaah, your God saw me step on a banana peel and did nothing to stop it!"
"Actually, He's not watching everything all the time like you think."
"So you mean He doesn't only leave banana peels lying around, but He doesn't even care?"

Biblically, God is watching everything. But He's not going to offer any special protection for people who reject any relationship with Him. If you want to go your own way, you're on your own, in terms of what you might encounter.

But nothing we say is going to move the heart of someone who isn't being honest with us (or likely himself either) about his real reason for rejecting Christianity.

Blogger vandelay February 03, 2015 9:29 AM  

"To intelligently criticize a myth, you must criticize THE ACTUAL MYTH."

Courtier's Reply! Courtier's Reply!
Nailed it.

Anonymous Crude February 03, 2015 9:31 AM  

Diverging from Vox's argument somewhat, let me give my own reply here.

I think Stephen Fry is full of shit.

Right off the bat, Fry contradicts himself. If he argues from the facts of the world that God is 'monstrous, utterly monstrous, and deserves no respect', then he can't turn around and talk about the OTHER gods he finds just peachy. The facts of the world didn't change between one statement and the other - it's just that Fry happens to approve of the Greek gods, so he gives them a thumbs up. And that means the argument Fry gives is a sham - it's not what's driving his view, and he shows as much.

But more than that? Let's face this fact: the world may have evil, but it also has good. Enough good that an aging old englishman can enjoy one hell of a nice life, plenty of nice moments, and reason enough to keep on living in spite of his supposed view of the world. He's far from fucking alone on that front. Yes, I know, there is some absolutely, positively monstrous shit in this world - and there is also some absolutely, positively beautiful shit in it as well.

Hence that saying, "In spite of the high cost of living, it's still popular."

I'm tired of so many Christians dealing with handjobs bringing up the Fry-style version of the problem of evil and acting as if it's some justified, understandable rant, other than what it is: goddamn childishness and unreason, the mark of a brat who can't even cop to what is so obviously due. Whatever complaints someone may have of God, odds are they personally are also going to have very much to say 'thank you' for. Until they start doing that, they're completely fucking dishonest and can be set aside in the debate.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 9:31 AM  

Sacred Tradition is equally the Word of God,

No.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 9:34 AM  

Who says a Doctrine needs to be Biblical? More specifically, where in the Bible does it say that a Doctrine needs to be Biblical?

"Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so."

Anonymous darrenl February 03, 2015 9:37 AM  

"Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so."

...and?

You didn't answer the question. How does that somehow say that "Doctrine NEEDS to be biblical"? It does not follow that simply receiving the word with "eagerness" and "examining Scriptures daily" means that Doctrine NEEDS do be Biblical.

Anonymous FrankNorman February 03, 2015 9:39 AM  

Let's not get into another Protestant-vs-Papist fight here, folks.

Anonymous Giuseppe February 03, 2015 9:41 AM  

Markku,
It is. Thank you.

Blogger Markku February 03, 2015 9:43 AM  

Yeah, I would recommend getting out of the way from the coming moderation and not touch the Catholic thing, lest the hammer make a scratch on yourself too.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 9:43 AM  

You didn't answer the question. How does that somehow say that "Doctrine NEEDS to be biblical"? It does not follow that simply receiving the word with "eagerness" and "examining Scriptures daily" means that Doctrine NEEDS do be Biblical.

Why were they reading the scriptures? In order to see if the word they received aligned with scripture.

That's obvious from the text.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 9:44 AM  

Yeah, I would recommend getting out of the way from the coming moderation and not touch the Catholic thing, lest the hammer make a scratch on yourself too.

Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Anonymous darrenl February 03, 2015 9:51 AM  

"Why were they reading the scriptures? In order to see if the word they received aligned with scripture.

That's obvious from the text."

Says you. Why is your interpretation here infallible in this case? In other words, why should I take your interpretation as true?

btw: it doesn't translate well in text, but I'm quite curious of the Protestant view on this. I simply don't see how it logically follows that simply because someone is eagerly doing/examining X, therefore they NEED Y.

Blogger Vox February 03, 2015 9:54 AM  

Who says a Doctrine needs to be Biblical?

To be considered Christian doctrine, it needs, at the very least, to not be explicitly and observably contra-Biblical.

Blogger Vox February 03, 2015 9:56 AM  

Says you. Why is your interpretation here infallible in this case? In other words, why should I take your interpretation as true?

Drop it, Darrenl. You've gone off-topic. We're not going to get into some ludicrous Foucaultian debate about how A = Not A here.

Blogger JartStar February 03, 2015 9:57 AM  

A God of divine determinism, or deism is arguably a maniac without the cross.

Anonymous darrenl February 03, 2015 9:57 AM  

Thanks Vox. One last question, then I need to get back to work.

"To be considered Christian doctrine, it needs, at the very least, to not be explicitly and observably contra-Biblical."

Were is that doctrine stated in the Bible?

Anonymous darrenl February 03, 2015 9:58 AM  

"Drop it, Darrenl. You've gone off-topic. We're not going to get into some ludicrous Foucaultian debate about how A = Not A here."

Sure thing. Simply curious. Have a good day.

Anonymous Porky February 03, 2015 10:13 AM  

His logic is impenetrable.

A) Scary things exist.
B) If I were God I would not allow scary things to exist.
C) Ergo, God does not exist.

Quod erat demonstrandum.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents February 03, 2015 10:26 AM  

Porky
His logic is impenetrable.

Yes, if he was 14 this would be a super duper heavy argument. It might even be dorm-room bull session quality.

I guess that's what qualifies as a "serious" argument to atheists.

Blogger CM February 03, 2015 10:33 AM  

That Twitter guy doesn't know philosophy.

Blogger JP February 03, 2015 10:37 AM  

Stephen Fry just likes greek theology because the ancient greeks were butt-pirates.

Blogger IM2L844 February 03, 2015 10:38 AM  

The Original Hermit: "It's that sexy English accent. Girls swoon for French accents, pseudo-intellectuals swoon for English accents."

Yep. Some of them even take Russell Brand seriously. Russell freakin' Brand, for cryin' out loud. I mean, come on, ...

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 10:39 AM  

Yep. Some of them even take Russell Brand seriously. Russell freakin' Brand, for cryin' out loud. I mean, come on, ...

I'm going to need you to hide this heroin in your rectum...

Anonymous darrenl February 03, 2015 10:40 AM  

Is it just me, or does Fry simply throw down in front of God and say "Non Serviam"?

It's quite typical of the current Atheist movement to rail against the problem of evil when it really is up to them to come up with reasons why God wouldn't allow bugs to burrow in some kids eyes and make them blind (...seriously!! There is a bug that does that!!??...). The Atheist would have to show that there are no possible goods that can flow from evil acts...ever. In essence, the atheist would have to show that he is God.

Anonymous Jill February 03, 2015 10:42 AM  

I find Stephen Fry to be at his funniest when working w/ Hugh Laurie. I didn't know he was considered a towering intellectual. He comes across as more of a moody artist.

Anonymous Giuseppe February 03, 2015 10:43 AM  

Porky,
"Yes, if he was 14"
He is not, but I dare guess he might like people who do look 14. Like his...err..."fiance"...

http://img.spokeo.com/public/900-600/stephen_fry_2010_04_28.jpg

Anonymous Donn February 03, 2015 10:51 AM  

He's homosexual and homosexuals are the only category of sinner that revels in their sin. Utterly unrepentant and angry about being told they have consequences to their rebellion.

Anonymous Stickwick February 03, 2015 10:53 AM  

Crude: The facts of the world didn't change between one statement and the other - it's just that Fry happens to approve of the Greek gods, so he gives them a thumbs up.

Same thing with the Earth-goddess worshippers. God's a jerk, because he lets people die in earthquakes and floods and wildfires. Mother Earth, on the other hand, is just letting people know who's boss when she kills people in earthquakes and floods and wildfires; it's just desserts for abusing her so much. (Extra bonus irony points for people in the third world getting the brunt of Mama Earth's wrath for all the eco-sins committed in the first world.)

Blogger B.J. February 03, 2015 10:55 AM  

Fry may not be reading the scripture accurately, but he is offering a critique of how the scripture is publicly understood and promoted. Few have a more atrocious comprehension of dogma than the faithful.

How about instead of trying to educate atheists, who don't care and never will, you start with teaching religious people what their bible actually says?

Blogger GK Chesterton February 03, 2015 10:58 AM  

I think there is a confusion here over his intelligence vs. his mental illness. I think Fry is definitely intelligent. He is generally well read and speaks well on a variety of subjects. He also seems to be, in a worldly way, "good". He seems to for example generally care for people. I should also note, for the southerns here, he had a very negative opening impression of the Southern States on the show where he toured America and ended up loving them more than the North with the exception of the very NOT South Florida.

He is however grossly mentally ill. He is very open about his being bi-polar and (I believe) his multiple suicide attempts. He is not, even in the slightest, right in the head. And that I believe is why he isn't so much Atheist in the true sense but anti-Christian. He's broken and he knows it and he's angry at God for being broken. What you are seeing in that quote isn't him speaking as an intelligent man but as an angry one. Anger does not make you think very clearly.

In fact I find Jill's summary to be a good one. He is smart but not a towering intellectual and as a bi-polar homosexual is very firmly in the moody artist camp.

Anonymous Crude February 03, 2015 10:59 AM  

Fry may not be reading the scripture accurately, but he is offering a critique of how the scripture is publicly understood and promoted.

No, he's not. He's offering a critique of the infantile distortion of God that most Cult of Gnu style atheists offer up, huffing angrily the entire time. His critique isn't even consistent, since he goes from 'The world is the sort of thing that only an absolute monster could make! Evil I say! EVIL! But Zeus is cool.'

How about instead of trying to educate atheists, who don't care and never will,

Christ almighty, for a bunch of people who don't care about theology and God, they sure can't shut the fuck up about it.

Blogger Cataline Sergius February 03, 2015 11:01 AM  

@ cailcorishev

If you are actually curious. Click on the link Steve provided. I have to grant that Fry usually looks smarter than that.

Blogger GK Chesterton February 03, 2015 11:01 AM  

Crude says, "The facts of the world didn't change between one statement and the other - it's just that Fry happens to approve of the Greek gods, so he gives them a thumbs up."

No he is trying to point out that on a surface level they are more logically consistent. He's wrong, for the reasons our Heretical Host quite rightly points out (but you are our FAVORITE heretic!). It is an argument based on ignorance of Christian, and for that matter pagan doctrine, but one that an angry man with little deep knowledge of the subject would resort to.

Anonymous Daniel February 03, 2015 11:05 AM  

I thought atheists were supposed to have an average IQ of 106. From the sample today, I'd have to say that's high by about 16 points.

Blogger GK Chesterton February 03, 2015 11:06 AM  

@Cataline,

Yeah that pseudogamy picture is awful. What's sad, and has come off in me watching Fry, is I think he ended up gay by being terrified of women. Which is sad since he's massive and with a little bit of exercise would be able to fit into the "rugged" category quite well.

Anonymous Trimegistus February 03, 2015 11:13 AM  

I'm an unbeliever (I stopped using the term "atheist" when it became a synonym for "self-righteous asshole") and the staggering ignorance of other unbelievers always shocks me.

I know I'm not an expert on theology; I know history, I've read Lewis and Sayers and St. Augustine but that's about it -- and yet I'm like the frickin' Vatican Curia compared to the general run of atheists. They come up with these idiot "refutations" of Christianity (or religion in general) which a nineteen-year-old Sunday School volunteer could refute without picking up a reference book.

And when they stray into subjects I do know about, the stupidity on display makes my hair hurt. They know nothing about the history of Christianity but what they've heard from Bill Maher and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. They think Hitler was a devout Christian, they think the Crusades were a war of conquest against peace-loving Muslims, and they confuse the made-up hokum of modern Wiccans and neopagans with real ancient religions.

They are ignorant fools who consider themselves smart and well-educated; they are conformists who believe they are brave rebels.

THEY ARE DOING ATHEISM WRONG.

Anonymous Crude February 03, 2015 11:15 AM  

Stickwick,

Same thing with the Earth-goddess worshippers.

I've noticed the same. God's a terrible wicked sort if he created the earth, but the earth itself is grand, glorious and we should protect Her. My sympathies are Aristotilean, so I can get behind 'natural purposes' and even natural wisdom, but someone who conceives of the universe and earth as a wicked hostile place of things trying to kill us and, if it were created, is crafted by a monster? They should be speaking in the language of subjugating the earth.

GK,

No he is trying to point out that on a surface level they are more logically consistent.

It's not an issue of logical consistency, here. The omnipotent would have more credit due Him even if we took Fry's stock of things - and if that God fails, so would the gods of the greeks.

Anonymous Giuseppe February 03, 2015 11:17 AM  

Mr. BJ,
I am not religious and I read the Bible just fine. What are you actually talking about?

The Christian position is clear enough a child can understand it.

God created the angels and man with free will. A third of these angels followed Lucifer onto Earth and made it their dominion, absent God's love because they were filled with pride and what we might call selfish ego and envy.

They make the Earth a kind of Hell. Humanity was originally placed in heaven, but disobeying the rules for similar reasons to Lucifer cast themselves out of it and onto Earth. Where the ruler remains Lucifer.

God in his infinite mercy, instead of letting us rot here and carrying on with the rest of creation has given humanity a way out. By accepting Christianity, via Jesus, who, in accordance with the blood-rules of this principality, was sacrificed in our stead.

By accepting God and trying our best to follow his rules (essentially be a loving soul and act accordingly) we are given a chance to avoid eternal separation from.God and his perfect love, bliss, etc.

So, blaming God for the evil found here demonstrates an ignorance of Christian theology bordering on the pathological.

Now, you might *Reject* Christianity as a whole, but if you are going to criticise it, criticise it on the facts of its stated premises.

Otherwise, it has the same weight and validity as someone rejecting your entire philosophy because today is Tuesday.

Blogger Dewave February 03, 2015 11:27 AM  

"Sacred Tradition is equally the Word of God"

No it is not, and saying so is heretical

Blogger Krul February 03, 2015 11:29 AM  

Steve Skipper ‏@SteveSkipper
@Nero @stephenfry hardly a skewering, @voxday is using elements of a fictional myth to explain a fictional myth


Begging the question.

Obvious, I know, but it was bugging me.

Blogger Dewave February 03, 2015 11:29 AM  

"Psalms 139 and Matthew 19:29-31 both support the doctrine. Then we have Hebrews 4:13 and Matthew 6:8 also supporting it. There are many verses where God knows a man's heart and thoughts."

That is not the definition of omniscience.

Anonymous BluntForceTrauma February 03, 2015 11:35 AM  

Stephen Fry has a self-confessed mental health problem. Not bothering to find out what it is. But, here again, is one of our mentally ill atheist friends.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 11:37 AM  

Wait, a gay atheist has mental problems?

Blogger Dewave February 03, 2015 11:42 AM  

There is one model where God knows and sees everything that is happening at all times and everything bad that happens on earth is at his express desire. There is another model where the current ruler of the earth is Satan and his will is currently holding sway. Anyone who has read Lewis is aware of this view. Many Bible verses support it. The Lords Prayer outright states it "may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven", which will hsppen after Christs second coming and the last battle.

As this latter view has rich biblical support, and ALSO neatly defangs many of the atheists most plausible sounding arguments, I am not sure it serves Christians well to attack this view, except perhaps out of a prideful desire to prove ones own interpretation correct.

We are guaranteed to be unable to fully understand God this side of heaven, so arguing bitterly over just what exactly an eternal unchanging being knows, seems to me to be rather pointless. Creatures locked in time cannot possibly hope to accurately assess a creator outside of it.

Anonymous Giuseppe February 03, 2015 11:52 AM  

Josh,
Exactly. And I think GCK nailed the cause of his homosexuality.

Anonymous Carlotta February 03, 2015 11:53 AM  

Question for an Atheist. How can a God both not exist and also be monstrous?

Blogger bob k. mando February 03, 2015 12:02 PM  

Chris Mallory February 03, 2015 8:52 AM
There are many verses where God knows a man's heart and thoughts.



category error. knowing a man's heart and thoughts is not even remotely close to know everything about every fact and action / reaction throughout all of time.


once again, read 'Flatland'. then, consider the concept of a God of manifold dimensions.




darrenl February 03, 2015 9:57 AM
Were is that doctrine stated in the Bible?



*facepalm*

this is what comes of more than a thousand years of telling your adherents that they shouldn't read the Bible.



B.J. February 03, 2015 10:55 AM
Fry may not be reading the scripture accurately, but he is offering a critique of how the scripture is publicly understood



true.


B.J. February 03, 2015 10:55 AM
and promoted.



to promote anti-Biblical non-Christianity is, by definition, non-Christian.

to put it in terms you might understand, just because Anita Dunn might accuse someone insufficiently Left of being a member of the Socialist Workers Party ( Nazi ), doesn't actually make Pat Buchanan a Socialist Workers Party advocate.

and when, +2000 years ago, the HEBREWS understood and explained the problem of the fallen nature of the world and pain and suffering ( see Genesis and Job ), it is idiotic ludicrousness to accuse Christianity of not accounting for it.

there are innumerable Lies. there is only one Truth.

too demand that Christianity respond all the time, to every single Lie told about it, while at the same time demanding that Christians sit down and shut up is ... disingenuous at best.



Trimegistus February 03, 2015 11:13 AM
THEY ARE DOING ATHEISM WRONG.



*slow clap*

one might almost say, " How about instead of trying to educate religious people, you start with teaching atheists what their doctrine actually says? "


Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 12:03 PM  

Question for an Atheist. How can a God both not exist and also be monstrous?

It's like that if you were a dinosaur, my love story.

Anonymous Rusty February 03, 2015 12:06 PM  

"And then he descended into utter self-parody when he claimed to prefer Greek paganism: "Fry said he preferred the religion of the ancient Greeks whose Gods did not present themselves as being “all-seeing, all-wise, all-kind, all beneficent”." This is rather amusing, as the Greek gods were a collection of rapists, adulterers, and murderers who were descended of a parricide and never hesitated to shed vast quantities of human blood in pursuit of their selfish objectives."

If Fry was familiar with Augustine's City of God, he would have been aware of this, too. Now Augustine dealt primarily with the Roman gods, which could have confused him, but still.

Blogger bob k. mando February 03, 2015 12:09 PM  

Krul February 03, 2015 11:29 AM
Obvious, I know, but it was bugging me.



they find it useful to pretend not to grasp the difference between "Intrinsically coherent but Extrinsically incoherent" and being simultaneously coherent.

IF Christianity makes sense *on it's own terms*
THEN you have to go outside of Christianity in order to critique it

but that would presuppose an actual knowledge and study of Christianity ...

so much easier to just cast aspersions.

Blogger The Remnant February 03, 2015 12:12 PM  

Fry's commentary confirms something I've long suspected, namely that there are no true atheists and that anyone claiming to be one is most likely a neo-pagan.

Blogger Student in Blue February 03, 2015 12:19 PM  

@VD
The so-called "Doctrine of Omniscience" is explicitly and observably contra-Biblical.

I can see an argument that the "Doctrine of Omniscience" is extra-Biblical, but I'm afraid I do not intrinsically understand your position that it is contra-Biblical.

Could you please explain?

Blogger Hd Hammer February 03, 2015 12:29 PM  

@Chris Mallory

I also believed God was omniscient until I read Vox's post/s on the issue, and I understood Vox's reasoning even better after having read The Irrational Atheist. Vox's argument with reference to a "game designer" God cleared much of the confusion I had. Once you understand the "game designer" argument you will see that none of the verses that you quoted above contradicts what Vox says about Omniscience.

Anonymous VanDerMerwe February 03, 2015 12:39 PM  

Stickwick: "Same thing with the Earth-goddess worshippers. God's a jerk, because he lets people die in earthquakes and floods and wildfires."

Playing Devil's Advocate here.
Can't Fry claim that because God is perfectly good, powerful and so on, unlike the Greek and pagan gods who are more like people - flawed and elements of the created order - that it's fair to lay such a criticism against our conception of God?

Blogger bob k. mando February 03, 2015 1:03 PM  

VanDerMerwe February 03, 2015 12:39 PM
unlike the Greek and pagan gods who are more like people - that it's fair to lay such a criticism against our conception of God?



so ...
a nominally all powerful God who values free will PERMITTING both men and Satan to do what they will is 'worse' than the Greco-Roman gods who regularly commit acts of rape and murder against their own worshippers?

removing 'omni-' powers doesn't change the problem that the Greco-Roman pantheon enjoys fucking with their worshippers ( Oedipus, anyone? ) just for the sake of fucking with them.

Blogger Roger Cook February 03, 2015 1:04 PM  

"In the beginning, God created Man in His own image. And Man, being a gentleman, returned the favor." -- Rousseau

Which explains a whole bunch about the Greek and other pantheons.

Anonymous p-dawg February 03, 2015 1:08 PM  

@Myles: "And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;

21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know."

That is clearly not omniscience. An omniscient being would not need to hear cries to learn of something, and would not need to go verify for Himself whether those cries were true or not. He would already know it all before the cries even came to Him. So either the Creator described in the Hebrew Scripture is a liar, or you are. I know where my money is.

Anonymous Best February 03, 2015 1:16 PM  

I am surprised nobody mentioned the possibility that universe created was the 'best of all possible worlds' (Leibniz).

Why Fry has not researched "The Problem of Evil and Suffering" is because he is not serious, and only wants to be able to wave aside theism as he continues on his way, exerting his will.

Here William Lane Craig addresses 'the problem of evil and suffering' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtx5GyP7i7w

Anonymous VD February 03, 2015 1:21 PM  

Could you please explain?

I have devoted an entire chapter to it in TIA. Please look it up.

Anonymous TroperA February 03, 2015 1:25 PM  

I suspected Stephen Fry might be a man of ignorance when the question was put to him "What would you do if you met God?" and the answer wasn't, "The question is nonsense, since there would be no way to tell if a powerful being standing before me was the Creator God, or just a really powerful alien pretending to be God. (I could also never trust my own senses and actions around this being, since I could never be sure if they weren't being messed with.) Since I cannot stand outside of creation, or occupy any reference point by which I could confirm the identity of the being claiming to be God, I would have to assume that he could be a pretender. I would then have to take it on faith that the Being is God. But then why would God bother to show Himself to me, when I would have to take Him on faith whether He had physically revealed Himself to me or not?"

Blogger JDC February 03, 2015 1:31 PM  

One can cast lots into one’s lap, but the decision comes from Adonai. (Proverbs 16:33)

An omniscient being would not need to hear cries to learn of something, and would not need to go verify for Himself whether those cries were true or not.

IMO, omniscience arguments become so heated because the pro-omniscience side seems to think the anti-omniscience side is limiting God's power, thus they react badly. I consider myself a Molinist, in that God possesses a counterfactual knowledge, that preserves both his natural and free knowledges.

So in our example above, God could choose not to know something, if He chose.

Blogger Corvinus February 03, 2015 1:36 PM  

I find Stephen Fry to be at his funniest when working w/ Hugh Laurie. I didn't know he was considered a towering intellectual.

@Jill Yeah, just because he played Jeeves means that people tend to assume wrongly that he actually has Jeeves' IQ.

Wait, a gay atheist has mental problems?
@Josh Oh no. Gay atheists are the paragons of our societies and should be treated as the ultimate voices of reason. Haven't SJWs taught you anything?

Anonymous Best February 03, 2015 1:39 PM  

I think that a work written by men for men, however inspired or guided, will contain some amount of symbolism and anthropomorphism as to get the point across succinctly and within a language designed and used by man with a syntax and construct for describing man's world through his eyes and understanding.

Blogger James Dixon February 03, 2015 1:50 PM  

> To intelligently criticize a myth, you must criticize THE ACTUAL MYTH.

I tried to point this out to ESR one time. I don't think he accepted it. Maybe you'll have better luck.

> Interesting, I assume part of the reason we go through this world is to see who we will choose, God or Satan. If God knew we would not need to go through this mess. ... One could also look at it this way, God could know but he chooses not to.

That does not follow. The fact that he might know what we'll decide does not mean he doesn't have to allow us to make the decision.

Blogger Student in Blue February 03, 2015 1:54 PM  

@VD
I have devoted an entire chapter to it in TIA. Please look it up.

I really should have finished reading TIA a while ago anyway. I'll be reading up today and (maybe) tomorrow.

Blogger L. Beau February 03, 2015 2:23 PM  

Steve wrote, "[N]obody thinks Ozzy Ozbourne is a genius -"
That may be, but at least Ozzy knew who "The lord of this world" was:

"You made me master of the world where you exist/
The soul I took from you was not even missed, yeah

Lord of this world
Evil possessor
Lord of this world
He's your confessor now!"
- Black Sabbath, The Lord of This World, 1971

Blogger Ray Mota February 03, 2015 2:42 PM  

So, uh, God got junk - EH?

ONLY your select literature is officially correct -EH ?

5 minutes to 12 and a madman's at the wheel - EH ?

Blogger ajw308 February 03, 2015 3:34 PM  

When you talk with confidence and wit, people tend to assume you're smart.
Smart? People will vote for you if you do it well enough, no matter how incompetent you are.

Blogger SirHamster February 03, 2015 4:21 PM  

That is clearly not omniscience. An omniscient being would not need to hear cries to learn of something, and would not need to go verify for Himself whether those cries were true or not.

Assuming that God actually needed to do that in order to know what was going on. But did he? Does he need to talk to any of us in person to find out what we think or to see what we do? Yet Scripture says he knows our hearts and minds completely!

Anonymous p-dawg February 03, 2015 5:35 PM  

@SirHamster:

There's a difference between knowing someone well, and knowing what they will do. I'm sure most parents know their children well, but the children may still act in a manner contrary to their normal manner, etc. Also, I believe that He did need to do those things, because He said that He did, and I believe that He tells the truth, which is why I don't believe He is omniscient. For one thing, a test is not very useful when the outcome is already known. For another, if the outcome is already known, then we don't truly have free will, because we're acting out a clockwork-like script, a la Calvin. If that's the case, then we're just a puppet show for the amusement of a lying Creator and nothing we do matters anyway. If we don't truly have the ability to choose not to follow the commandments of the Creator, then He is forcing us to disobey them when we disobey them, and He is a liar. My experience does not gel with that interpretation. But you are welcome to believe either what you want, or what you're forced to, whichever it is. Also, don't confuse the lack of omniscience with a lack of power. Intimate knowledge of the universe, while not omniscience, is still knowledge at a level far beyond our own. Just because the Creator doesn't claim to know everything doesn't mean that He doesn't know anything.

Blogger Student in Blue February 03, 2015 5:40 PM  

Ah. The chapter where Vox's argument is formulated (Chapter XV, "Master Of Puppets or Game Designer?") is not available in the free version, the version that's available on the side bar.

Vox, could you rehash a summary for me, or do I need to pay money?

Blogger SirHamster February 03, 2015 6:01 PM  

Also, I believe that He did need to do those things, because He said that He did, and I believe that He tells the truth, which is why I don't believe He is omniscient.

It doesn't say that he needed to hear cries to know of Sodom's sins. What hearing cries tells us is that there are victims of Sodom's sin - just as the blood of Abel cried to God, demanding justice for Cain's sin.

The situation described seems to more reflect a formality in words and judgement than ignorance in God.

Me, I know no limits to God's knowledge. Whether we call God's level of knowledge "omniscience" or not is of little concern to me.

Blogger ray February 03, 2015 8:23 PM  

"Interesting, I assume part of the reason we go through this world is to see who we will choose, God or Satan. If God knew we would not need to go through this mess."


He knows his own. From the beginning.

Incarnation isn't to edify God, but as proof to heaven and fellow humans of who you are. Otherwise there'd by eternal whining about how It Wasn't Fair, Not My Fault, God Never Game Me a Chance, etc.

So, it's satan's world, for now.

Anonymous Ravi Zachar... er, Shankar February 03, 2015 8:46 PM  

Question for an Atheist. How can a God both not exist and also be monstrous?

It's questions like this that makes the religious seem like morons.

(hey, if Vox cherry picks and applies to the whole, why can't atheists?)

Blogger Polemarkhos February 03, 2015 9:16 PM  

Sometimes, just sometimes, what Muslims do to atheists make sense. They're like cockroaches, rats, and other vermin.

Blogger J Thomas February 03, 2015 10:14 PM  

Actually, we know now that, when children are subjected to severe abuse and neglect in their childhood, it actually does incredible violence to their brain development. There is no controversy about this anymore.

I'm not at all condoning homosexuality, but Fry is hinting at the main point (which he doesn't actually get to), which is that a good God wouldn't allow small innocent children to be abused/raped/neglected etc, especially in light of what we know now (I can show scans that demonstrate damage to the brain to anyone who is interested).

Although Fry is no doubt a theological ignoramus, the fundamental point (which he doesn't really address) still remains: A good God wouldn't allow small children to be raped (and thereby impare their brain processes for the rest of their life).

If such an abused child did not believe in God later in life, I wouldn't blame him, even if he was wrong, for his decisions are the result of trauma. God has inflicted the world with complex PTSD by kicking us out of Eden.

God is beautiful indeed. But he is also a beautiful asshole, a total dick, and he needs to apologize to humans immediately, and come down from heaven and cure the brain damage that he has caused us (especially leftists).

Stupid bullshit that people have complete "free will" after they suffer such prolonged trauma in childhood just simply doesn't stand anymore.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus February 03, 2015 11:18 PM  

Roger Cook: "In the beginning, God created Man in His own image. And Man, being a gentleman, returned the favor." -- Rousseau

Which explains a whole bunch about the Greek and other pantheons.


And thus we learn a lot of surprising things about the physiognomy of ancient Egyptians?

People recite this trite explanation of the appearances and natures of the gods as though it was very clever even though it doesn't fit the facts.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus February 03, 2015 11:38 PM  

The Remnant: "Fry's commentary confirms something I've long suspected, namely that there are no true atheists and that anyone claiming to be one is most likely a neo-pagan."

No; there are atheists of various sorts (very different from each other), and they are much more different from (for example) Asatruars and Wiccans than they are from each other, which is saying a lot.

Blogger Stan Hai February 03, 2015 11:49 PM  

"Sacred Tradition is equally the Word of God"

"No it is not, and saying so is heretical."

'Sacred Tradition' is simply oral teaching which has been passed down over time. As long as it is inspired by the Holy Spirit and agrees with the rest of the Word of God, how can you consider it heresy?

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus February 04, 2015 12:03 AM  

JP: "Stephen Fry just likes greek theology because the ancient greeks were butt-pirates."

Or he imagines they were. Ancient greek writings on love, which do not fit modern categories, have been larded up with modern homosexual desires and fantasies, like a lot of other things that gays want to be gay.

Anonymous Steve February 04, 2015 2:47 AM  

The Remnant: "Fry's commentary confirms something I've long suspected, namely that there are no true atheists and that anyone claiming to be one is most likely a neo-pagan."

"TDT-No; there are atheists of various sorts (very different from each other), and they are much more different from (for example) Asatruars and Wiccans than they are from each other, which is saying a lot."

Titus is very much right. Fry is not a pagan or a neo-pagan. As per Vox:"Notice that Fry also insists that, contra both linguistic etymology and practically every petty Internet atheist ever, "atheism is not just about not believing there's a god". In other words, he is conflating atheism and secular humanism..."

The name for that religion is LaVeyan Satanism. Fry is not an atheist, he is a Satanist.

Anonymous Job February 04, 2015 7:40 AM  

..the problem of ignorance

heh.

Anonymous Carlotta February 04, 2015 9:36 AM  

So answer it and educate me.

Blogger Dewave February 04, 2015 2:35 PM  

"'Sacred Tradition' is simply oral teaching which has been passed down over time. As long as it is inspired by the Holy Spirit and agrees with the rest of the Word of God, how can you consider it heresy?"

You are either attempting to shift the goalposts, or unable to parse sentences.

Saying random oral teachings are "equally the word of God" is what is heretical. The content of the teachings may or may not be heretical.

For example, CS Lewis is not a heretic, and his writings are not heretical. But saying that his writings are Gods Divine Word would be heretical.

Blogger CM February 04, 2015 2:43 PM  

That is clearly not omniscience. An omniscient being would not need to hear cries to learn of something, and would not need to go verify for Himself whether those cries were true or not.

It's called "relationship". I have a friend who did something I knew about without her telling me. By her coming to me and confiding in me, she was vulnerable and trusting, building relationship.

Does it change that I knew? My knowing wasn't important here. Her choosing to confide in me was.

If God seeks relationship with us, than part of that is making ourselves vulnerable, trusting him, and confiding in him. It doesn't matter if he already knows. What he desires is communion with us. Our prayers and petitions are part of that relational building.

Blogger TheCitadel February 11, 2015 10:00 PM  

Fry is an extremely ignorant sodomite supremacist who has had numerous mental breakdowns almost resulting in his own suicide.

Obviously his knowledge of philosophy and theology is awful. What do you expect? The man is an entertainer, not so different from Jimmy Saville.

Whenever idiot atheists like Fry state that God has done 'evil' they betray their ignorance.

If atheism is true, then no acts are evil, whether fictional or non-fictional

If atheism is not true, God doing any moral evil is illogical, like a square circle

Unfortunately, your average moronic Brit who spends his Sunday giggling at gutter humor on the couch in the lavish council house is as ignorant as this obese nincompoop, and likely thinks Fry spoke some sagely wisdom about 'eye worms'. All you can do is laugh and wonder if the man will be doing the world a favor any time soon.

Blogger TheCitadel February 11, 2015 10:03 PM  

Trimegistus - I admire your honesty and clear-eyed view of these people. Fry in particular really is a lowlife. And yet he's a 'national treasure'. lol

Anonymous Anonymous May 20, 2016 5:52 PM  

Atheists in action: Pretending to be intellectually superior by making up lies about Christianity and verbally abusing everyone who's not an atheist.

It just goes to show how atheism makes people smug a--holes. (I really don't understand why they're so smug. Atheism, the big bang and evolution are all myths. They remind me of the kids I knew when I was little who would tell me I was stupid because I didn't believe in Santa Claus: delusional, ignorant, arrogant and bigoted towards anyone who doesn't agree with their childish delusions.)

See, I don't hate atheists, but when they pull s--t like this...

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