I have been quite outspoken in recent times about what I believe to be a necessary and inescapable connection between Islam, as properly understood (yes, that notion is wrought with issue) and violence (and intolerance). I have even debated this publicly and given a public talk on the topic (at the University of Exeter).
Life has value, we would intuitively claim. But what is it about life which gives it its value? Does life have value in and of itself, or is the value derived by things which life can give us, that we can do with it? The first is intrinsic value, that life is inherently meaningful and valuable in and of itself. The second is extrinsic value, where the value is derived from other things which life facilitates.
I am reposting this in response to the terror attacks in France last night, resulting in the deaths of over one hundred people. As ever, the internet is awash with right-wing shouts to “kill all Muslims” and refugees, to the left-wing shouts that it is the Imperial West to blame and not Islam or Muslims. Neither of these positions are correct. It is obviously thoroughly complex, indeed involving international politics. However, to deny the Qu’ran, Muhammad and the Hadith causal responsibility in these atrocities is to deny the self-determination of those very terrorists who claim that they are doing these actions in the name of Islam and their god.
This is a little argument from a friend of mine, Julian. Let me know what you think:
I have previously talked about Divine Command Theory (DCT) in detail a couple of times before (here and here). I have been reading a paper called “Can God’s Goodness Save The Divine Command Theory From Euthyphro?” by Jeremy Koons. It’s a cracking paper and worth reading. The abstract reads:
Hitting the news today was research using data from around the word which showed that children from non-religious families were more altruistic and empathetic than their religious counterparts. This is interesting because it fits into a wider picture as to how religion works in tandem with identity, psychology and religion.
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Gender differences/outcomes ≠ gender inequality (of opportunity, rights and respect)
Let me explain.
For those of you outside of the UK or not following some current news in the UK, some rabid argumentation has erupted concerning the Labour MP Jess Phillips concerning a Tory MP’s demands for an International Men’s Day to discuss men’s matters. Apparently, the feminism is pretty evil (from what I have been reading) and men are discriminated against to the point that they need their own International Day
I know this has done the rounds. I often refer back to similar experiments which have show that TMS can alter moral judgements, as this BBC article shows:
Scientists have shown they can change people’s moral judgements by disrupting a specific area of the brain with magnetic pulses.
‘Trick Slattery is a great resource for infographics and good introductory book on free will and determinism. Check out his…
Nabeel Qureshi is great; he is a great resource for critiquing Islam, Muhammad, the Qu’ran and the Hadith. He is an ex-Muslim who converted to Christianity and now runs and MA course at Biola and runs his own ministry. His knowledge of Islam is super and his videos have certainly helped me in my exegesis and talks on Islam.
Apologist Matthew Flannagan has criticised my points made on the recent post “Inter-Testamental Moral Relativism” which can also be expressed as “Covenantal Moral Relativism” as Justin Schieber has stated it. In this post I declared that the moral obligations being different between the Old Testament (OT) and the New Testament (NT) amounted to moral relativism (MR). Here is what Flannagan had to say:
Further to my post yesterday on Inter-Testamental Moral Relativism, I would like to make a few more points (which I have mentioned before here) on morality concerning God. Divine Command Theory (DCT) is the Christian/theistic ethical system whereby whatever God commands is rendered morally good and right on account of God commanding it. As Franz Kiekeben states in The Truth About God (pp. 133-134):
Theists hate moral relativism. They often accuse atheists and secularists of having it. For them, only the pseudo-moral absolutism of…
Welsh Government wishes to replace ‘Religious Education’ subject in schools with ‘Religion, Philosophy and Ethics’
This news comes from the British Humanist Association:
Taking questions in the Senedd, the Welsh Minister for Education and Skills, Huw Lewis, has announced that he wants to see a transformation of the way in which Religious Education is taught in Wales. Under the new proposals, and in a significant break from the current system, the subject would be renamed and incorporated into a new ‘Religion, Philosophy and Ethics’ syllabus
Everyone knows about it. I needn’t really explain the story, but I will.
Dentist from Minnesota pays loads of money to go shoot a lion with a bow in Zimbabwe, after it is lured illegally outside of the national park with bait. Lion gets hit, wonders around in pain, life ebbing, for 40 hours until dentist finds it again, and shoots it in the head with a gun. Lion dies. Man thinks it’s all legal, apparently. The lion was left skinned and beheaded after the hunters trying to destroy the tagged collar Cecil the lion had. Man also faced prison in 2008 after lying to a federal agent about killing a bear.
I was recently having a private conversation about humanity and whether we are uniquely different from all other creatures in such a way that naturalistic evolution could not explain the step change from primates to us. As a naturalist who has read a fair bit on evolution and evolutionary psychology, I obviously disagree with such a claim.
An occasional commenter here, Ron Murphy (ronmurp), linked to one of his pieces in another thread. It’s a really good piece, with some thought-provoking stuff on the is/ought issue in moral philosophy. See what you think and comment as usual below:
Yet another moral philosopher (another religious one) makes a hash of morality. So I wanted to get this down as a summary of my position on how morality is nothing more than opinion elevated to nobility; a common man made special by simply calling him a lord or a bishop.
The classical theistic components of God, his characteristics of being all-loving, all-powerful and all-knowing don’t work very well together. This has been something which I have sought to elucidate over the years, so I thought I would compile a synopsis of where we are at with the idea of OmniGod, and what he has created. These are good arguments, I believe, and I would love to see my readers interact with them, and I would love to see theists of all natures take them to task to see if they stand up. Bookmark this page and return to it, if you will – there’s quite a lot here! I would like to see this as a growing compendium.
Profiling is often seen as highly controversial by many. This is the act of looking into the common properties of a particular type of person (criminal, terrorist) and using that knowledge to direct resources into particular areas or people in order to get a maximum return on your investment (cost of stop-checks, border controls, airport security etc).
This is something I wrote four years ago on my previous blog, but thought it was interesting to bring up again. I thought about it in response to a comment over on fellow writer Rebecca Bradley’s Lateral Truth piece, “Social Justice: A Millenarian Movement”:
Recently, the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) has been toying with the idea of employing the Rooney Rule when shortlisting and interviewing candidates for managerial positions in football clubs in England. The rule demands that clubs must interview at least one black person for manager when recruiting.