Malachi O’Doherty podcasting

I’ve always found discussions on the validity of religious belief fascinating, and am drawn to those discussions, despite my own views on the basic argument being fairly polarized in relation to those I enjoy hearing. I had a coffee with Malachi O’Doherty last week, and towards the end of the conversation, it turned to religion. He outlined to me why he feels that the story of Adam and Eve is the antithesis of education and progression, and I, much less articulately, outlined to him why I felt he was taking the story a little too literally. An abridged version of one half of that conversation can be heard on Malachi’s latest podcast (Direct ITunes feed subscription here).

  • Dewi

    Good stuff – he is always interesting

  • NP

    All religion is fake. No Gods exist.

  • Dewi

    Malachi always good value

  • Brian Crowe

    Michael, I always get a sinking feeling when the Genesis creation account is discussed in a public forum – cue argument between disciples of Dawkins and advocates of ‘man and dinosaurs lived side-by-side 5000 years ago’.

    As an antidote to the secularist fundamentalists and the religious right, have a look at Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ article in today’s Times(http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article3684071.ece:

    “So Genesis 1 is not a proto-scientific account of the birth of the Universe and the Big Bang. Its purpose is clear. The Universe is good: hence world-denying nihilism is ruled out. It is the result of a single creative will, so myth is eliminated. The Universe is a place of structure and order, so the text is an invitation to science, by implying that the world is not irrational and ruled by capricious powers”.

    It is a model of thoughtful reflection on the meaning a text that has been foundational for an entire civilisation.

  • “All religion is fake. No Gods exist.”

    QFT

  • Brian Crowe

    So Genesis 1 is not a proto-scientific account of the birth of the Universe and the Big Bang. Its purpose is clear. The Universe is good: hence world-denying nihilism is ruled out. It is the result of a single creative will, so myth is eliminated. The Universe is a place of structure and order, so the text is an invitation to science, by implying that the world is not irrational and ruled by capricious powers

    Alternatively you could go for the simplest theory, as in Einstein’s view that the most simple theory will be best, that prophecy fulfilled is the proof that God exists. See my website (click on my name) and see the fulfilment of much of the Book of Revelation, including one that suggests that Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley are the two beasts of Revelation.

  • T.Ruth

    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.If we reflect on the order of the universe we can only conclude it was created by an intelligence beyond our understanding and an intelligence quite outside our natural experience. God is supernatural.
    How then did we get our concept of God. God gave it to us just as he has written his laws in our hearts so that we know that we ought to do the right thing in any situation.

    It is beyond the power of man to imagine a new colour for the rainbow and yet we know in our hearts that there is a God. there is a God.

    I feel sorry for those who have to live without a relationship with God and his son Jesus who died that mankind’s relationship with God can be fully restored. I would hate to live without the hope of eternal life in God’s presence in a place that Jesus tells us is reserved for us.
    T.Ruth

  • TAFKABO

    If we reflect on the order of the universe we can only conclude it was created by an intelligence beyond our understanding and an intelligence quite outside our natural experience.

    Since I arrive at no such conclusion, and I’m not alone in that, we can clearly see your initial premise is patently false.

    I would hate to live without the hope of eternal life in God’s presence in a place that Jesus tells us is reserved for us.

    And in that statement we can see how you arrived at the first conclusion.
    Your conclusions are based upon what you want to be true, which is your prerogative, but not scientific thinking.

  • Isn’t it strange how we arrive at our beliefs and how some feel the need to ‘enforce’ them on others? Has there always been a symbiotic relationship between religion and power?

  • percy

    I’m always been awe-struck by Rabbi Sacks;
    I recall him saying:
    “A God of everywhere can be reached by anyone anywhere.”

  • Jimmy

    All religion is fake. No Gods exist.

    Posted by NP on Apr 05, 2008 @ 11:32 PM

    How do you know? On balance the book Genesis is plagarism from earlier civilisations as is the whole bible, yet that doesnt mean Gods ‘dont’ exist in other ways and the ‘Message’ of Religion has no validity.
    The Nature of Space,Time and the Universe is so complex that all theories cannot be dismissed completely, In physics, Matter and anti matter cancel each other out, theoretically we shouldnt exist, yet we do.
    Science after all, is Theoretical there are facts only as far as we understand them, no absolutisms.

    As an agnostic I refuse to put my eggs in either basket, the Question is far too profund for that.

  • TAFKABO

    Jimmy, your argument only works as long as we understand that the probability of God existing is about the same as the probability for the tooth fairy existing.
    I can say that there is no tooth fairy without fear of being attacked for being absolutist and dogmatic, so why not the same for saying there is no God?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Maybe it depends on how you define ‘God’.

  • TAFKABO

    Any definition of God as a sentient being.

    Of course one could stretch the definition to the point where anything is God, but to my mind it then becomes irrelevant, it’s just a retreat into semantics for those who know they’ve lost the argument.

  • TAFKABO

    God is good. God has a plan to create heaven on earth and the fulfillment of the Book of Revelation is clear evidence that he means to see it through.

    Don’t worry about defining God as you cannot define infinity though you may try.

  • joeCanuck

    All religion is fake. No Gods exist

    Yes. Jesus wasn’t even a Christian. That religion called Christianity should more properly be called Paulianity since it was invented totally by the Tarsus man.
    As for being God, Jesus never claimed to be such a thing. That was an invention of Constantine and his fawning bishops. Can’t be Emperor’s horse or a religious leader in Rome unless you are a god.
    Humbug.

  • TAFKABO

    John, I have no more need or desire to define God than I have to define Allah, Buddah or any other Fairy tale character.

  • SHanna

    Here we go with another tiresome thread by the illiterate and illogical. We are again subjected to the hubris of those who boldly declare “your argument only works as long as we understand that the probability of God existing is about the same as the probability for the tooth fairy existing.”

    Duhhh!! Why has some of the greatest minds of science, philosophy and epistemology both in the past and today decided that you rabid fundamentalist atheists are bonkers? Why are we even discussing a question that man has debated for thousands of years if it has no ground to it? After all, the majority of people on this planet don’t hold to the flying sphagetti monster theology but almost all are theistic. The answer is simple – that intuitively we all know there is a Creator and all the incredible evidences for design, order, natural laws et al suggest to anyone that is wired properly that there is a Higher Being than us. No child is born an atheist – only a fool persuades himself that he is in control of his own destiny and created himself.

    Please leave the deluded atheists here alone in their morass of stupidity. Let the rest of us not surrender our critcal thinking skill so easily as those with limited rationale.

  • majordolittle

    No child is born an atheist ?????

    Of course they are, No child is born a protestant,Roman Catholic, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist etc. They are indoctrinated by their parents, which is why over 90% of believers in a creator follow the belief systems of their parents.

  • SHanna

    I have just posted Malachi the following on his website:

    What patronising dangerous drivel Malachi talks here. One wonders why he seeks to close off avenues of investigation and belief on the basis of his personal unproven and unproveable convictions about the monkey theory! Thank God, he was not in charge of education when men like Sir Isaac Newton was at Cambridge of Prof Norman Nevins of QUB was a graduate or we would be light years behind in our scientific development.

    Malachi – go and get a life you old eijit. Even if belief in Genesis turns out to be a fallacy – how does that in anyway impede science, progress. Have atheistic countries like Russia and China progressed beyong those who have a broadly theistic overview? You simply hate the concept of God as it offends your pride – ok, be honest instead of patronosing those of us who have enough sense to study microbiology and the laws of physics and realise that evolution is a joke theory to account for the breathtaking order, design, and wonder of this incredible universe.

    Mal, stick to your day job – a philosopher and scientist you aint!!

  • SHanna

    O”f course they are, No child is born a protestant,Roman Catholic, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist etc. They are indoctrinated by their parents, which is why over 90% of believers in a creator follow the belief systems of their parents.”

    All childrern are born with the intuitive understanding that there is a Creator and we are accountable for our actions and failures – they have to be brainwashed and rewired philosophically to believe in atheism. Studies have been done to demonstrate this in non-theistic countries like Japan. Please provide a single academic study that I am wrong.

  • TAFKABO

    Please leave the deluded atheists here alone in their morass of stupidity. Let the rest of us not surrender our critcal thinking skill so easily as those with limited rationale.

    Hey, if you want to go off into a corner and huddle together mumbling about how clever y’all are, be my guest.
    Meanwhile I’ll be exercising my right to state that there is no God, and I’ll be willing to support that with arguments if asked.
    (Who am I kidding, I wont be waiting until asked)

  • SHanna

    Even if belief in Genesis turns out to be a fallacy

    Genesis has symbolic significance and cannot therefore be disproved or proved to be a fallacy.

    Evidence exists for this in the fact that the Antichrist Gerry Adams’ name contains “Adam”, the name of the first man. The symbolism for this is that Adams was the sinner who brought death to man (as IRA leader) just as Adam did likewise by eating the forbidden fruit.

    There is a deeper significance in that the Christ is a feminised man, teaching a message that is ultimately about the female way of doing things. On the other hand the Antichrist is linked to the untamed man, confirming the the division between the Christ and Antichrist is the division between woman and man.

  • Dewi

    Please John you really need help – these things have an episodic self re-inforcing pattern. I think you might be in such a phase.

  • TAFKABO

    John is no more in need of help than any other person with religious belief.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    What about ‘homo silvestris’?

  • Not quite true TAFKABO. Plenty of people have religious beliefs without being so intent on preaching the nonsense to all and sundry.

  • pauljames

    Hi Sam

    Japan non theistic? Try translating the meaning of Shinto, but maybe you and dear Prof. Nevins will be to busy watching Blueprint tonight!

  • McGinster

    [i]See my website (click on my name) and see the fulfilment of much of the Book of Revelation, including one that suggests that Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley are the two beasts of Revelation.[/i]

    [i]Evidence exists for this in the fact that the Antichrist Gerry Adams’ name contains “Adam”, the name of the first man. The symbolism for this is that Adams was the sinner who brought death to man (as IRA leader) just as Adam did likewise by eating the forbidden fruit.[/i]

    Please tell me you’re not serious. I’m trying not to bite because half of me honestly wants to believe you’re on the wind-up. Or maybe our political leaders have been right all along and we really are the centre of the universe.

  • McGinster

    Please tell me you’re not serious. I’m trying not to bite because half of me honestly wants to believe you’re on the wind-up. Or maybe our political leaders have been right all along and we really are the centre of the universe.

    Click on my name to find out if I’m serious.

    We have been part of what will be the final conflict of its nature. The world will learn from us, hopefully. God in any case intends the world to learn from us.