Dangers of Molecular Nanotechnology (MNT) Prt 5
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Uploaded on Jul 12, 2009
This is an excerpt of a recent address delivered at the Free Library of Philadelphia in America by eminent scientist Richard Dawkins speaking about his reasons for being, as you'll hear, a 'tooth fairy agnostic.' He gets this part pretty well right.
Christianity claims to be a monotheistic religion, but you have to wonder sometimes. Rivers of medieval ink, not to mention blood, have been squandered over the mystery of the Trinity and in suppressing deviations such as the Arian heresy. Arius of Alexandria in the 4th century AD, denied that Jesus was con-substantial, i.e. of the same substance or essence, with God. What on earth could that possibly mean? you're probably asking. Substance, what substance? What exactly do you mean by essence? Very little, seems the only reasonable reply. Yet the controversy split Christendom down the middle for a century and the Emperor Constantine ordered that all copies of Arius' book should be burned. Splitting Christendom by splitting hairs, such has ever been the way of theology.
Do we have one God in three parts, or three gods in one? The Catholic Encyclopaedia clears up the matter for us in a masterpiece of theological close reasoning. 'In the unity of the godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; these three persons being truly distinct, one from another. Thus in the words of the Athanasian Creed, the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three gods but one god.
As if that were not clear enough, the Encyclopaedia quotes the 3rd century theologian, St. Gregory, the Miracle Worker. 'There is therefore nothing created, nothing subject to another in the Trinity, nor is there anything that has been added as though it once had not existed, but had entered afterwards. Therefore the Father has never been without the Son, nor the Son without the Spirit, and this same Trinity is immutable and unalterable forever.'
Whatever miracles may have earned St. Gregory his nickname, they were not miracles of honest lucidity. His words convey the characteristically obscurantist flavour of theology, which unlike science, or most other branches of human scholarship, has not moved on in 18 centuries. Thomas Jefferson, as so often, got it right when he said, 'Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct, before reason can act upon them, and no man ever had a distinct idea of the Trinity. It is the mere abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.'
Jefferson heaped ridicule on the doctrine that, as he put it, 'there are three Gods' in his critique of Calvinism. But it is especially the Roman Catholic branch of Christianity that pushes its recurrent flirtation with polytheism towards runaway inflation. The Trinity, is joined by Mary, Queen of Heaven, a goddess in all but name, who surely runs God himself a close second as a target of prayers. The pantheon is further swollen by an army of saints, whose intercessory power makes them, if not demigods, well worth approaching on their own specialist subjects. The Catholic community forum hopefully lists 5,120 saints, together with their areas of expertise, which include abdominal pain, abuse victims, anorexia, arms dealers, blacksmiths, broken bones, bomb technicians and bowel disorders, to venture no further than the Bs.
Pope John Paul II created more saints than all his predecessors of the past several centuries put together. And he had a special affinity with the Virgin Mary. His polytheistic hankerings were dramatically demonstrated in 1981 when he suffered an assassination attempt in Rome, and attributed his survival to intervention by Our Lady of Fatima, a maternal hand guided the bullet. One cannot help wondering why she didn't guide it to miss him altogether. Others might think the team of surgeons who operated on him for six hours deserved at least a share of the credit. But perhaps their hands too were maternally guided. The relevant point is that it wasn't just Our Lady, who in the Pope's opinion guided the bullet, but specifically Our Lady of Fatima. Presumably Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Guadeloupe, Our Lady of Medjugorje, Our Lady of Akita, Our Lady of Zeitoun, Our Lady of Garabandal, and Our Lady of Knock, were busy on other errands at the time. . . Full story: abc.net.au
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