Marginalia

Odd scraps, bits and pieces, notes from other blogs and other stuff.


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prominent atheists display an almost aggressive lack of curiosity when it comes to the facts about belief. In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins expertly demolishes what he calls ‘the God hypothesis’, but devotes only a few sketchy anecdotes to establishing that this God hypothesis is the one that has defined religious belief through history, or defines it around the world today. AC Grayling insists that atheists are excused the bother of actually reading theology – where they might catch up on debates among believers about what they believe – because atheism “rejects the premise” of theology. And when The Atlantic ran a piece last year entitled Study theology, even if you don’t believe in God, Jerry Coyne, the atheist blogosphere’s Victor Meld The one theology book all atheists really should read | News | theguardian.com
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Reblogged from jakwith0utthec
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I originally went to university to study geology but in my first year of university, given the choice of doing some outside courses, I did one in theology. The ability to question and challenge was a huge breath of fresh air after studying all science A-levels. It gave the opportunity to argue and think for myself. Like beekeeping, religious education is best when it’s controversial | Education | Guardian Professional
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‘Wherever Christ went’, said a bishop once, ‘they threw rocks. Wherever I go, they serve tea’.

Wherever Christ preached, the eyes of murderers, harlots, and con men streamed with tears. ‘Wherever I preach’, says a vicar, ‘bankers and stock brokers yawn’.

‘Ha!’ says an Orthodox priest. ‘I’ve solved that problem. I don’t preach!’
- from a sermon Fr. Alexander Tefft

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We have political freedom and rights, but the poverty of the majority endures and worsens. This might not be due to the settlement alone, but its structure played a major role in that regard. And if no dramatic action is taken, that settlement might unravel under the tension induced by poverty existing side by side with opulence. Mandela: A real man of the people, even in prison | Opinion | Comment and Analysis | Mail & Guardian
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Tobacco giant Philip Morris is suing Australia for billions of dollars in lost profits because the government took action to reduce teenage smoking. Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly is suing Canada for $500 million, just because Canada has laws to keep essential drugs affordable. Worst of all, these cases are happening in secret international courts to which only corporations have access. Now, details are leaking of two global trade pacts (called the TPP and TTIP) that would massively expand the power of corporations to sue our governments. Countries from the US to Australia and from the EU to Canada are negotiating right now — and some could be just days from signing up. Thousands of corporate lobbyists are helping to write these secret pacts — but the public isn’t allowed to see them. Global governments know that the public won’t like these corporate power grabs, so they’re hoping to keep them under the radar until it’s too late to stop them. Stop the TPP and TTIP | SumOfUs