Tag Archive | Consistency

10 things Doctor Who taught me about religion

Doctor Who is a simply wonderful series. Much like religion, I grew up with it and now have an ongoing love/hate relationship with it, but it remains one of the best things on television. Even better, I recently realised just how much it had taught me about religious claims and ideas, at least after a fashion. I trust all the parallels are self-explanatory.

1. One person, many faces
Despite apparently being the same person, the Doctor can have entirely different appearances, approaches and even characters at different times – Marcionites take note. He can even occasionally meet himself, despite the apparent logical and chronological problems, in as many as five persons at once. Read More…


Majority belief or persecuted pariahs? Christians need to make up their minds

Mark it on your calendar – it appears that I’m in agreement with the Coalition for Marriage (C4M) about something. Specifically, that it’s very good news that Adrian Smith has won his case against Trafford Housing Trust after being demoted for expressing a personal view in a personal context. Whatever the rights and wrongs of his position (mostly wrongs, it has to be said), the McCarthyite approach of disciplining people for opinions is dangerous and illiberal.

Wedding RingsBut that’s where my agreement ends. Strangely, even as they celebrate this victory, they’re claiming it as proof of the dangers of changing the law. Smith won his case, and there’s widespread agreement on both sides that he should never have faced any action against him. But while acknowledging and even celebrating these facts, C4M somehow seem to believe that this demonstrates a genuine risk of persecution for their views. Read More…

The Curious Incident of the Herald in the Night-Time

“Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
“To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
“The dog did nothing in the night-time.”
“That was the curious incident,” remarked Sherlock Holmes.

Disc jockey, TV presenter, charity fundraiser, knight of the realm, and now alleged rapist and paedophile, it seems everybody has an opinion on Sir Jimmy Savile. Or as I suppose I should call him, devout Catholic Sir Jimmy Savile. Read More…

How can we change delusional beliefs?

That’s a fairly imposing title, isn’t it? I obviously don’t believe in making it easy for myself.

This all stems from my previous thoughts about how tenaciously we cling onto our existing beliefs, and a recent discussion about what that means for how we should go about convincing people to let go of beliefs that are clearly wrong and potentially damaging. This is meant to be about the process, not the beliefs, so to avoid discussion of the rights and wrongs of particular beliefs, let’s say you have a friend who belongs to a group called the Bargles, who believe that black is white, and (because sometimes we decide to let these things go for the sake of friendship) that for some reason it would be dangerous to just leave him to his beliefs. Read More…

Posthumous Honesty – Poll Results

It’s been a while since I last posted. I’ve had a lot going on in real life, which will probably make for interesting blog material before long, but for the time being, I really ought to deal with the poll I set up some time ago.

The scenario that I set up specified that you knew you would die tomorrow, and had the opportunity to leave messages for others, if you wanted, to tell them exactly what you dislike about them. My reason for setting the poll up was that when I considered the possibility of being able to do such a thing, I couldn’t work out how I felt about it. I didn’t think I’d do it, but I couldn’t say why, as there didn’t seem to be any good reason not to. I wondered if it might be that I thought it would reflect badly on me in some way, which was why I specified that you would suffer no negative consequences. Read More…

A chance to be honest

I’m currently away on holiday for a while, so if you can bear with me, I’d like to try out a little experiment.

A while back, I read a very interesting book called “Do You Think What You Think You Think?” which takes the reader through a number of questions and scenarios to discover whether your moral and philosophical beliefs are consistent and coherent. As it happens, mine pretty much are, barring a couple of minor points.

One exercise which rather caught my imagination revolved around what makes us who we are, and attempted to give some insight by asking the reader to choose between some rather Sci-Fi options. I like this idea, and I’d like to see if I can use a similar concept in the hope of discovering something interesting. Read More…

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