Monthly Archives: September 2010
It is not surprising that Atheists and Agnostics scored the highest, in a recent survey of religious knowledge, carried out by the Pew Forum in the United States. Atheists and Agnostics usually adopt these titles after a thorough examination of various religions. It is not easy to reject ideas that, in most cases, have been instilled since an early age. I was a little surprised that 53% of Protestants could not identify Martin Luther as the inspiration for the Protestant Reformation. He even featured in an episode of the Simpsons. 43% of Jews did not recognise that Maimonides was Jewish and 45% of Catholics did not know that their church teaches that the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ during a mass (transubstantiation), rather than being a symbolic representation. It’s good to know that Apathism is alive and well in the major organised religions.
Some other scary findings revealed that 40% of those asked believe that people and animals have existed in their present form since the start of time and 4% believe that Stephen King wrote Moby Dick.
For more detail see the Pew Forum website http://pewforum.org/Other-Beliefs-and-Practices/U-S-Religious-Knowledge-Survey.aspx
So what is the big religious news item today, the pope visiting the UK? No, the really important news item is that the Church of Apathy has launched services in Facebook. Now not only can you send your prayers directly to God via our hotline, you can now use our Facebook Prayer Wall, to share your prayers with your friends. Yesterday the prayer wall was used to ask God for an Arsenal victory and lo and behold a 6 – nil victory last night. Mere co-incidence? You be the judge. Checkout the Church of Apathy Services on Facebook at http://apps.facebook.com/apathy_services/
Note: These services have been discontinued. March 2014.
As Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan, they find themselves under attack. Besides the over-hyped threat by a small congregation to burn copies of the Qur’an and the growing opposition to a mosque near ground zero, a Vatican official warns of a Muslim majority in Europe. Father Piero Gheddo in Italy, warns that the declining birth-rate in Europe, combined with mass immigration of Muslims could lead to a Muslim majority in a few generations. He has stated that Islam will “sooner rather than later conquer the majority in Europe.”
“If we consider ourselves a Christian country, we should return to the practice of Christian life, which would also solve the problem of empty cradles”, he added, which presumably refers to the catholic ban on contraception.
This follows a number of warnings from senior church figures on the spread of Islam. Earlier this year, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, of Prague, warned us that Islam was filling a void as Europeans empty the Christian content of their lives. Cardinal Jose Policarpo of Lisbon, last year warned Catholic women against marrying Muslim men.
The thought of living in a country dominated by a single religion is scary. Ireland, for example, is still recovering from the domination of the Catholic Church. It therefore falls on all Apathists to do their duty and procreate with a view to raising some future freethinking Apathists. If you are not ready to start a family just yet, you can have a lot of fun practicing.
“Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist”
“It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”
These statements do not appear revolutionary. Before we discovered that the universe is expanding at an increasing rate, the theory that gravity would force everything to collapse and cause cyclical big bangs was quite popular. More interesting than the explanation of M Theory in the book perhaps, is the reaction the excerpts have ignited in the religious community, spurred on by the media.
“Has Stephen Hawking ended the God Debate?” telegraph.co.uk
“Stephen Hawking is wrong, you can’t explain the universe without God” dailymail.co.uk
“Hawking Spurns God” news.cnet.com
“Belief in God is not about plugging a gap in explaining how one thing relates to another within the Universe” Archbishop of Canterbury
Richard Dawkins and similar thinkers would argue that a belief in God evolved precisely for the reason of plugging gaps in our knowledge. The book cannot answer the philosophical questions, but it does claim that the need for philosophers is diminishing as we learn more about physics. Hawking believes the way the universe began, was determined by a law of science.
“If you like, you can call the laws of science ‘God’, but it wouldn’t be a personal God that you could meet, and ask questions.” Hawking.
The reviews on Amazon are encouraging and all the hype should guarantee good sales for the book.