My thoughts aimed at advocates of Singer


This article is a simple response to the advocates of Singer after having watched a YouTube presentation and reading around a little. This article is also heavily influenced by a debate between Posner and Singer linked to below.

I argue that Singer’s view of animal liberation is such that vegetarianism itself does not help his overall aims. I argue that Singer generally seems to accept this throughout his presentation in a way that the advocates of Singer rarely seem to. I then take this further and suggest that if advocates of Singer dropped their vegetarianism they would be more likely to succeed in improving the lives of animals around the world. I end with how this impacts me and my personal morality (which is at odds with Utilitarianism generally) and a few disclaimers.

Ways to be moral about animal welfare.

Singer is more in favour of animals having a good life than whether or not they are eaten.

A truly utilitarian viewpoint is to minimise evil as opposed to living according to a strict moral standard. With a Utilitarian view, morality is not binary and Singer demonstrates this by only weakly advocating full on vegetarianism/ veganism. I really liked his response to Roger Scruton’s view that instead of becoming vegetarians we should just aim to improve the lives of animals on farms. Singer was kind of like “yeah fair enough that would be better but I’d just prefer to go a bit further”. Even more consistent was when he basically advocated hunting when it was done by an expert marksman! Singer is very good at taking his philosophical principles to their extremes.

Vegetarians tend to adopt a more binary, judgemental “animal’s have the right to live” stance which is not really in Singer’s philosophy.

However, the reality is vegetarians who advocate Singer’s ideas rarely emphasise this point. When they talk about how they ‘don’t mind meat eaters’ what they will usually do is explain, ‘Don’t worry I’m not judgemental about it”. Unfortunately all this does is imply that they have a right to be judgemental about it but they add a patronising tone on top of that because they are choosing (for the listeners benefit) to not take that right! Very few vegetarians seem to understand that their vegetarianism could be morally abhorrent to others and that they might be on the receiving end of judgement!

What is cool about Singer is he is not taking a liberal moral high ground of saying, ‘Don’t worry I’m not judging you Roger Scruton’. He is instead saying, ‘Actually Roger you, a meat eater who is against the pain animals receive on farms, are morally superior alongside me. Not quite as superior as I am but so close that I’m basically happy if you got your way in society’. This view-point is very judgemental but in a positive direction!

Similarly Singer talks about people whose biology does need some sort of protein found in animal products (particularly when talking about vegans). Here, it is not that he withholds judgement against those people. Instead, alongside his philosophy, he is ok with that person eating animal products because of the pain it would cause them to avoid it. His issue with other people is that for a relatively small amount of pain for a human (not eating meat) you greatly reduce the pain for lots of animals… hence his utilitarianism.

Vegetarians however tend to adopt a more virtue based morality about animals having rights to life or rights over the products they create.

Singer adopts a clearly utilitarian view on animal liberation that says that in the same way we should minimise pain to humans, we should minimise pain to animals. This animal welfare part of the argument is very important as it is the thing that Singer focuses on the most. Whether an animal lives or dies is actually relatively less important compared to the pain they go through in life. A more “Animal Rights” approach could be taken where animals are given the same rights as humans such as the right to life. With this approach Vegetarianism becomes more important as it asserts the animals right to not be murdered. These two approaches to animal liberation are important due to the consequences of how an individual should act.

Ways these distinctions impacts how we treat the subject of animal welfare.

A campaign to minimise the suffering of animals on farms would be more likely to succeed generally and animal farm owners know this but…

Peter Singer’s arguments and examples would increase people’s demand of animal welfare. This is shown in Roger Scruton’s response and Richard Posner’s response. The main aspect of this talk that they appreciate is the graphic detail of what goes on in the farms. Posner particularly seemed thankful because he “likes animals”. This is a position that actually I think the vast majority of human beings share. It’s not that they think animals have intrinsic rights and therefore should also have rights comparable to humans, like the right to life. It’s just they don’t like the idea of animals going through lots of pain and suffering because “they like animals”.

Interestingly in Singer’s presentation he provides further evidence for this because he talks about how animals farms put lots of effort into preventing camera crews getting into the farm. It seems like most people have a morality where:

(A) They want to know the truth of what is happening in the world.
(B) They don’t want animals to go through their lives suffering horribly.

Now admittedly not everyone agrees with A and some might not agree with B. But I think enough people agree with both A and B that a campaign to end the suffering of animals through legal force would actually be possible. The fact that animal farms put so much effort into limiting our ability to film inside the farm suggests that most people agree with A and B and the farm owners know it.

Vegetarianism makes this campaign to reduce animal suffering less likely to succeed for a number of reasons.

The mere fact of vegetarianism can make people who disagree with it question whether animal welfare matters – Philisophical.
One person had a problem with free range eggs. He felt that he was being hypocritical because by advocating free range eggs he was saying the lives of chickens mattered but by eating chickens he was saying that they don’t. This better persuaded him to give up on free range eggs then it did convert him to vegetarianism. Singer’s, Scruton’s and Posner’s moralities all suggest this is a false dichotomy. It is possible to eat animals and care for their well-being in life in a way that is morally better than what is happening now.

All or nothing approach makes people want to do nothing – emotional.
This is similar to the above approach but less philosophical and more emotional. I’d suggest that most people agree with the moral statements of A and B above but feel that B can never be solved… animals will always suffer horribly and therefore A is the only option (to try to avoid thinking about it whilst you eat your chicken). I think Singer, Scruton and Posner present a moral way out of this. You can make yourself feel better about eating chickens by campaigning and succeeding at making their lives better. The other advantage is that you’ll probably have to do this through paying more for your food which actually makes the farmers happier too. Vegetarians by their very existence encourage the myth that either you have to stop enjoying meat or allow animals to suffer. The feeling they create is, ‘If vegetarians have reasons to do what they do then maybe I’ll become a vegetarian if I investigate animal welfare claims’. The reality is that an individual can care about the welfare of animals and still enjoy meat.

Vegetarianism is alienating to meat eaters – societal.
However amount they try to be non-judgemental it marks you off as different. When I went university I was going to try to be tee-total but my dad intervened. As a Christian I wanted to show that I lead life differently but by abstaining I couldn’t enjoy alcohol with the people in my community. Eating with other people is another very important social function which is negatively impacted by vegetarians. Meat eaters can’t easily share things they enjoy unless it’s on the vegetarian’s home ground. This concept is parodied in the Mitchell and Webb look and in Scot Pilgrim with the Vegan having super powers because he is “just better”. This makes meat eaters less likely to accept the moral imperative to improve the lives of animals because we are “just different from vegetarians”.

Vegetarianism does not give animal farms any economic incentive to listen – economic.
This is a problem with boycotting things in general. Merely not buying something from an organisation is not good enough to change an organisation, as they need to provide some method for the organisation to change their ways to end the boycott. As more people become vegetarians it merely makes the current animal farms less profitable meaning they are more likely to cut costs in ways that negatively impact animal welfare. However, if meat eaters chose to eat from ethically sourced suppliers, this would give farms a financial incentive to improve animal welfare. For example with free-ranged eggs verses battery chickens if all people who cared about animal welfare refused to eat all eggs then there would be no reason to produce free-ranged eggs.

By taking an all or nothing approach that animal right rhetoric tends to demand it can make people less likely to care about animal welfare for philosophical, emotional, societal and economic reasons. However, if people were to drop vegetarianism as a requirement for advocating Singer’s views then those same philosophical, emotional, societal and economic issues can be used to encourage people to care about animal welfare and implement real change.


Therefore if advocates of Singer want to push his views forward they are better off eating meat! And organising around an organisation similar to PETA but with meat-eating included as both acceptable and a done thing.

Now my views are hardly the same moral views everyone shares but from a Hedonistic point of view I care selfishly about my own pain and suffering. As a Hedonist I want to eat meat because I enjoy it and as a Hedonist, like Posner, I don’t want animals to suffer because I like animals. I am not a Utilitarian. I can’t stand a “Lesser of two evils approach”. There are so many aspects of Singer’s views that I find abhorrent. Yet despite this, I could be persuaded by arguments along the lines of Scruton and Posner and would possibly even join in helping that out.

If you can get support from people who don’t fully agree with you on everything that is powerful. Advocates have a genuine chance at changing the world for the better (in their view) but almost no chance of converting everyone to vegetarianism. Therefore they should eat meat and eat it in public.


  • Whilst I think advocates of singer ought to eat meat, Singer himself doesn’t necessarily need to. I think the advocates of Singer have more political power than Singer himself and so if most of the people I met who care about animal welfare and were organised to help animals, also ate meat. That would be enough. I think it is enough for Singer to simply publicly state that aspects of Scruton and Posner are acceptable without himself actually having to eat meat.
  • Upon further reflection it appears that Vegetarians are suffering from a conflict between applying Animal Rights in a similar way to Human Rights and Singer’s Utilitarianism. This problem is the same problem that John Stuart Mill faced with his On Liberty compared to his (and Bentham’s) Utilitarianism. Therefore after reading this article I found everything I had written was philosophically dull! It may or may not be interesting that the same issues about Animal Rights vs Animal Utility are the same issues as Humans Rights vs Human Utility but that’s it.
  • I’m still happy I published this article because whilst it is philosophically dull, as Posner points out, the philosophical angle on this whole presentation is the most dull part of it. What Singer does very well is tug on emotional heart-strings with new data on how animals are treated. This article is then suggesting what direction those tugs should be aimed at and the arguments of this article still stand.
  • I think I would possibly advocate some kind of ethically sourced supplier of food that is similar to Tradecraft and their Fair Trade brand but for animal welfare.
  • The motivation for writing this article is due to having an increasing number of close friends turning to vegetarianism. Biblically speaking there are verses specifically saying to essentially leave vegetarians alone! (Although for different reasons) and so I kind of take that attitude towards it. But personally there is something that makes me uncomfortable with vegetarianism in a similar way to being uncomfortable about most moral systems and so I thought I’d try and put some thought it to the subject. Here it is!

Why I’m excited by Drupal and the Church

This is another e-mail that I thought could become a blog post

Drupal and the Church in the UK

Looking at Drupal specifically many UK christian organisations are standardising around Drupal. HTB use it and employ Drupal developers, Spring Harvest use it, CCK (Church of Christ the King, big New Frontiers church in Brighton) are using Drupal more and more now. Meanwhile we’re working with New Wine and Soul Survivor (Disclaimer: whilst we are a Drupal shop, just because we’re working with them, it doesn’t mean they will use Drupal for everything . What Standardising on one technology enables churches to do is share their innovative ideas. Sharing ideas means that technology can become inter operable and achieve a greater reach and scale.

Sharing innovations on one platform

Trying to convince people to work on one platform is difficult. But that is already happening. Also everything we build we open source. Now we’re snowed under with our work on New Wine at the moment so I don’t know what the future holds for us. But hopefully when we’re less snowed under we can put effort into marketing the open source stuff we’ve done. This means the other organisations that are just using Drupal already could potentially just “slot it in” to their website.

For now we’re dealing with stuff that will probably only help larger organisations. We have a piece of work coming up to build a site that helps Sutton pray more (an area outside of London). It’s for a group that are working on increasing prayer in Sutton (linking lots of organisations and churches in that area) but the website will include a public prayer wall and a “adopt a street”. (like this

Now this stuff already exists but by using Drupal’s modular nature any other website that uses Drupal can just put it on their website with almost no hassle. Currently it requires a developer with a bit of Javascript and Google Maps API knowledge to do. This is exciting because by putting these tools in the hands of non-techy people they can do things we couldn’t imagine. Long term with Drupal 8 we can have better cross-site communication. So Churches could have their own “adopt a street” working alongside other church websites.

This is really small but lots of small things like this has a huge potential (methinks).

Prophecy, God and technology

The thing my boss is really excited about investigating as well is combining IT with the prophetic. We haven’t really figured out how to communicate this because its not something you can say, its more something you demonstrate. I mean, you can say it, but its so easy to say “I’m a christian company making money from christian organisations and I want God intimately involved in our work”. If you say that to christians and they believe you, you’ll make money out of it which instantly means saying it means less.

However, there is something exciting behind it. I’ve heard from both my dad and boss how they have had times when they have tried to solve a bug in their code. They had spent ages sorting through it but finally they decided to do a quick nehemiah style “arrow prayer” and after praying almost instantly found the answer.

Also technology is kinda like a language. A chunk of code is one way that ideas can be communicated between people and organisations. Prophets aren’t about control and telling people what to do because God said so. They just need to tell people and let the church choose whether it listens or not. Technology has something that is analogous.

For example we could tell a church “You should give away all your sermons for free”.

Or we could work with a bunch of churches that went to sell sermons. We could build resource and sermon libraries that you can use that allow you to categories  find and share all your resources. We can build it as a shop with a private area, subscriptions or pay per sermon and because its Drupal any church website already using Drupal can just use it.

But with the press of a button in configuration those churches can go from charging to using it all for free.

In the olden days where making more tapes or CDs cost money it was easy for churches to justify making a little bit of money on the side. When it costs them no extra to give away their talks to more people for free it changes the question from “Why do I have to give everything away for free” to “Why shouldn’t I give it all away for free?”

At no point are we dictating to churches how they should act. That church that wants to sell anything is welcomed to do so. If they use our software or pay us to do it, we would only be building the things they want. We wouldn’t use their time and money to make it easy to give things away from free. But because this is open source software we don’t have to. The functionality just has to exist out in the community (either built by us or someone else in their spare time or paid for by another church) for this to be true.

This means the things we choose to build and release could potentially impact the church. This means that every piece of code we write needs to be treated with utmost respect in terms of listening to what God wants us to do. Whether I’m running a prayer meeting for the city or writing a payment processing module for Drupal, they both have the ability to impact the church positively and both need God involved in it…


This is a work in progress. I’m guessing most of what I’ve said is complete rubbish and I’ll have to think about it a bit more and see where I’m wrong. Also I’m not trying to convince you of anything! But thought it might be a fun rant to read if you have a bit of a computer science background.(Disclaimer: I’m not very good with the prophetic stuff. I do what I can to listen to God but I couldn’t pin point what ideas in my head belong to me or belong to God or whether that distinction is even helpful for me. So this is another area where this rant might be wrong as I probably need to explore these ideas more)

The roots of Fresh Expressions

This is a reply to a text message about a church a friend is going to that is part of the fresh expressions that he felt is grassroots orientated. (He is right. It is, but there is an element where its not which I find more intresting). So this is the church: and this is my reply (feel free to correct me if things are factually incorrect)

One thing that is interesting about Fresh Expressions is how NOT grassroots it is! It was commissioned by Steven Croft, Graham Cray and Rowan Williams! I mean its about as top down as you can get (being something almost created by the arch bishop). Graham Cray is the guy who is Mike Pilavachi’s boss and also created Greenbelt. Graham Cray also heads up some really awesome sociological research like “making sense of generation Y” and has given quite a few talks about what a new church should look like (For example he talks a lot about how our culture doesn’t do corporate singing whilst churches that aim to be new and reaching our culture focus on mat redman style worship which is actually very counter-cultural). Stephen Croft I think was the other potential candidate for arch bishop alongside Justin Welby and he is the main person behind fresh expression. He is also Steve Wilcockson’s boss! (Steve is his number 2, an arch deacon that actually carries out his ideas in his area).

So although fresh expression churches feel all grassroots-ey its actually just the result of brilliant top-down research driven marketting!!! Which is fun because all the other “liberal” “grassroots-ey” things outside of the christian world are the same. The Pharmaceutical companies own all the health food alternative supplement brands. What is so impressive is every time I have disagreed with something the fresh expressions guys (specifically graham cray) has said I have always been wrong. Every assumption I have had about our culture (which is usually very in tune of mainstream church’s assumptions) that has been at odds with what graham cray found through his research, I have later found to be incorrect even with the people around me. I just never knew about it.

Most of his research is even better then anything in the secular world regarding generation Y. When people talk about this generation and the millenials they tend to get far too excited by the impact of the Internet and go on about that but actually there are plenty of people our age who don’t use facebook.

Fresh Expressions are really interesting. With New Wine I went to a seminar where bunches of them got together. Its really an extension of the Cell group movement that we were part of and the values behind it are really similar but Cell Groups had too much structure. The flip side is that fresh expressions haven’t quite worked out how to scale without looking more and more like traditional churches.

They are also unbelievably diverse. There is a fresh expression in Earl’s Court which is really just a bunch of people looking after homeless people using an old chapel as a base. They basically don’t do any “marketting” aimed at christians and don’t try and attract them. Another fresh expression was just on an allotement in a council estate where they did gardening and people could join them.

It goes hand and hand with the New Monastic movement which is also unbelievably cool. The new monks are so much cooler then the old monks.

So yeah, I think I’d like to come. But be warned. Its unlikely I’ll “like” it. I don’t really like churches anymore. I don’t really have oppinions apart from “How can I use technology to help this church” and “What is this particular community’s place in the global church and how can it use technology to increase its influence”

I’m sure there are some churches out there that are so bad they are nothing but toxic to the body of christ and should be completely expelled. But more often then not those churches don’t want to be part of the rest of the church anyway and become cults especially in a society where being christian doesn’t give you any real advantages. Most of the time a church that is “good” just have aspects that are good and aspects that are bad but due to your particular personality type you don’t care about the bad thigns as much and get a lot from the good things. From an overall objective point of view they are just a mixture and this fits with the way that paul pretty much lays into every one of the churches he was dealing with.

So I’ll probably both love and hate the church

A discussion about God, etc from Facebook

A while back a facebook discussion broke out on my wall in reply to a link I posted on my wall about new atheism and a church an atheist writer quite liked. The discussion got a bit out of hand which each reply getting larger and larger and then splitting up into multiple threads of conversation with replies spamming multiple comments. Facebook is just not a good platform for any kind of meaningful discussion as you really need the full width of your screen and some basic ability to format replies (headings, bullets, etc). So its continued here.

This is a reply I was going to send to Micheal Rush (who was our lecturer for metaphysics) but I spoke to Toby Searle about it and he pointed some issues with the way I worded things. Its such a long post I haven’t had the time to properly go through it and reword it correctly. The issue is something along the lines of originally I seemed to suggest I was saying it is impossible to have a coherent concept of “supernatural events” vs “natural events”. What I’m saying is really, If I were to assert that I am an orthodox christian and believe everything in the bible, but do not believe there are any special supernatural events. Is that coherent? It means when dealing with questions like “How did the ressurection happen?” I wouldn’t be able to give an answer but I could just state I don’t know I think it did happen and it happened naturally.

I’m not saying that this is a desirable state for a christian to be in. Just interested in what is wrong with that when people like the brights put a huge emphasis on the distinction between their naturalism and what they call “supers”. Anyway here is the e-mail exchange between me and toby and we can see if this goes anywhere!

It took me ages to write this. And then when you mentioned that there are perfectly coherent ways of dividing natural vs supernatural it means I’m going to have to change the wording of the whole thing in a complicated way.
Its something to do with a definition of “Natural Law” that forces a christian into a distinction (I’m ok with all events are natural, OR all events are supernatural,but not both happening) that I think is wrong. But we could just assume God is a first cause in random other events other then creation to have the distinction if we want….
So this changes what I was going to say to rush 😦
here it is:
Again this has taken a while! Unfortunately it is not a sign of a well thought through response so much as a sign of these answers gradually taking longer whilst doing this dissertation! This is getting pretty ridiculous for the comments section of a facebook link!
My comment is roughly divided into 3 sections:
– Stuff to do with Natural vs Supernatural
– Stuff to do with my sort of pseudo-falsification posed to attacks on christianity
– A final question about positive reasons for atheism.
So regarding the historicity of Jesus’ death and ressurection. I was asking if it would prove the existence of God if it were true. Do you think that it could Or do you think it wouldn’t even do that?
Regarding natural laws. This may due to my lack of understanding of what counts as a “natural law” and you’re welcomed to refer me to somewhere to read up on it. But I can’t understand a definition of natural law that would allow God to break them and this is why I would say he doesn’t break natural laws. I mean the “Natural Laws” can’t possibly simple mean “Our understanding of natural laws”. If it turns out we find something that breaks “The natural laws” we don’t say its supernatural, we instead change our understanding of what the natural laws are.
I suppose the divide could be “Natural laws dictate what humans can do” and “Supernatural events are only possibly achieved by God”. But then there are biblical accounts of miracles where God enables a human to do the miracle, eg healing through their own touch. I suppose you could then have a divide that miracles are events that can only be achieved through God’s power (I can’t heal anyone through touch whenever I want, but can if God allows me to). But then I have the view that God sustains everything all the time anyway so I wouldn’t be able to accept a divide like this because I’d say even Newton’s Laws happen because of God.
I can’t understand what could possibly be a good definition of “natural order” that would allow a God to break it in the ways outlined in the bible.
Regarding “Would God be worthy of worship if he existed?”. I dunno why that makes his existence a more important claim? Why can’t it just be an “if” that is left there? I don’t know if this is a silly point but isn’t the existence of other minds still debated? Do humans really answer the question “Does my wife really exist” before they ask “Does she love me?”. Ought they?
I mean if there was a good reason to believe my wife or God did not exist, I think that is different. But if there is still an argument raging on both arguments to that question, why not just leave it to one side and deal with more important questions that can be more easily answered for a human?
Regarding falisificationism, I’m definitely not trying to apply pure falsificationism to the existence of God and try and suggest that any of this is science. But I feel that there is an underlying principle that may be applied both ways.
Basically if you say “Extraordinary exidence” is required for “extraordinary claims” without giving an example of what would be a satisfactory set of extraordinary evidence, I feel like this raises similar alarm bells to what Popper felt about psycoanalysis. For example, I have found the historical evidence suggesting Jesus’ death and ressurection to be satisfactory to me. However, most of the good criticisms I have seen levied at the historical evidence seem to attack historical evidence as a whole as not being sufficient for the extraordinary claims of death and ressurection of Jesus. Now this is something I actually accept, I do not feel that historical evidence as a whole is good enough for other people to accept these claims. But I think that as far as any historical evidence could support a claim like this, the evidence for the ressurection is good. I have yet to have seen good attacks on the historical claims that fit within the framework that is consistent.
An example of this is that some people claim that the fact that there are 4 gospels gives us good reason to believe that the ressurection was true as the claims are corroborated. However, some people attack the four gospels citing that there are inconsistencies with the facts between the accounts and therefore we can’t trust any of them. Whereas some people attack the gospels for being TOO similar and therefore they must be copying each other or there must be a 5th Gospel “Q” that is actually the source of all the gospels and so there are not 4 independent accounts but more like 1 or 2. Here the inconsistencies can be used to either support the claims of the gospels or be used to attack them.
So I’d ask, a kind of null hypothesis attitude, what kind of historical evidence ought we see if the claims were true? And do they match up to what we do see?
Does this make sense? (I’ve never managed to communicate the point I’m trying to make with full success)
I’m going to leave the point about the rabbit. I’ve read lots of threads of people discussing whether a precambrian rabbit counts as a true falsifier and all I can do is summarise those discussions, but I don’t actually know what I think. I think your stuff about not being able to go back in time and see the ressurection happen is a good criticism of historical evidence as a whole being problematic, but I have the same issue with that as above.
“Don’t all Christians have to accept that there is an  unquestionable authority?”
The point I’m making is that the answer to this question is the same as the answer to the question “Don’t all scientists have to accept that there is an unquestionable authority?” And the answer is the same for the same reasons. The scientist’s final authority is the external world itself. A Scientist can believe in something with as much consesus as they like, but if the statement is not true of the external world then it is not true. Similarly a theologian can have as many thoughts as they like but ultimately statements about God, if he exists, are either true or false.
However there is a sense where you could simply just say no to both those questions. I also kind of think you don’t need to argue “no” any further for both those questions then simply stating this answer. (Now I do accept that some Catholics think differently, some catholics would see the Pope’s authority as unquestionable. But they are wrong).
I could go into Paul’s arguments that I like, although I do not think that these are neccesarily argument that would convince other people. Certainly they are not about the existence of God and most of them assume some tenets of Jewish law as being true. I think many of Paul’s arguments regarding the inability of the “Law” to fully justify anyone apply to other moral systems though, so I could go into that. However, for fun, I could write up some of the arguments I’ve read recently that I liked?
I’m guessing that your paragraph about God asking you to commit genocide is a kind of attack on “divine command theory” which I’ve only just heard about. This is a whole new area of discussion but I do not think the bible provides a moral code. (I mean, it definitely does, but thats not what is important about it). I think the message of christianity is the “Good news” which is God’s solution to morality as a whole. I think that morality, (be it God’s laws, or utilitarianism, or kantian ethics) do nothing more then reveal guilt. The purpose of the Cross is to free us from moral constraints and allow us to do what it is that we really want. For that reason anyone who accepts any moral code would have, I think, a good reason to hate all christians in theory, even if in practise they wouldn’t need to…
Again… this is a massive tangent, whilst there is plenty of theological support for my position, I’m still having discussions with my atheists philosophy friends about whether its at all consistent.
The final point, that is kind of a deviation. Say I’m someone who already accepts the position that God exists (and that roughly all the tenets of christianity are true). What are the positive reasons that are should move away from this position? I say “positive reasons” so as to exclude answers like “There is not enough evidence”. Instead I’m looking for answers in the form of “Because there is not enough evidence, someone who accepts the position that God exists should reject that position for reasons, X, Y Z). Where X, Y and Z are the positive reasons?

From what I can tell, Occam’s Razor is sort of the main reason?

From Toby:

Hi jamie,

Sitting in my lunch break and had a chance to have a brief look though. Looks pretty good.

As you say, I definitely think you ought to say more about natural laws! I think they can be defined through physical cause and effect relations.

Also, not sure if I can explain this right, but I am a little uncomfortable with the bit drawing similarities between the resurrection and pschoanalysis. It seems to me that if they are similar in the sense that niether counts as popperian science, but I think you are trying to say something different and I don’t quite get it!

Thanks for a cool lunchbreak though.


Why I care about the Calvinism verses Arminianism debate

I ask lots of people their stance on this issue. When I talk about it I usually ask how much they know about Incompatibalism vs Compatibalism (ie a disagreement about whether determinism (usually a more scientific version) and free will are compatible). It seems that there are lots of people in the philosophical world that have moved the discussion forward regarding free will but people in the theological world haven’t caugt up. Usually they would be opposed to the idea of “catching up” as well. So when I talk lots of people ask me the question “Why do you care?”

Here is what I think is my response:

Regarding why I care. I think its a mixture. I do find the CvA debate interesting from an intellectual stand point just because it seems so clear that something is dodgey. Every Calvinist or Arminian I’ve met or read seems to assume incompatibalism without any argument or realisation that they are doing so. So I think this is significant but don’t really exactly know how. It might turn out that that they actually agree with each other for example.

From a more personal level I think there is a “middle ground” that shows a much clearer gospel message to our generation. Whilst I’m more sympathetic to arminianism, I find their solution to the problem of pain (pain is caused by our free will) problematic. 1) There is plenty of suffering that isn’t caused by individuals (tsunamis) and then you end up with a wierd view that our sin causes earthquakes. and 2) many of the pain and suffering that people caused is usually part of a chain of events. In relationships with some of the nastiest guys I know, you can usually see a particular girl that messed them up, and then see someone before that, that messed her up. Rather then “Free Will” I tend to see the world as a series of broken people that can do nothing but break other people, because out of brokenness comes more brokenness.

Telling broken people they need to fix themselves, I think is like telling a depressed person they “just need to be happy”. Instead they need to be “rescued” out of their brokenness. So this leads me to a much more calvinistic way of explaining the gospel.

Alternatively you might argue that 1) isn’t wierd and 2) just means you need to chase back the first cause. Well if you go down this road you’ll probably have to chase it back to the fall. (Whilst I find it wierd that me stealing something now, could cause an earthquake in Japan, I don’t think its wierd to suggest that when sin first entered the world, the whole world was changed in some almost supernatural way). In this case you end up with original sin and you basically have calvinism. You could still possibly argue about whether eve had free will but I think that moves the argument into the very theoretical. For all intents and purposes the people I encounter arn’t free.

And yet… I still think calvinism is wrong. I still think the smug manner in which calvinists say free will is just an illusion is wrong. I think we do have a very real free will that is able to choose Jesus… I don’t think that very real free will is a complete naive libertarian free will but neither do I think the whole “We have free will, but God dictates our will and we then act freely on that” is satisfactory.

The Pangaea Prayer and Meditative Space – First thoughts

Last week on the 29th of January our University of Manchester Student’s Union put on a huge end of exams party. The tickets sold out 2 weeks in advance as across 18 different rooms throughout the SU including the Academies over 4000 students partied to an eclectic mix of rooms and genres until 4 in the morning. This is a time of worship, it’s a place where people worship hedonism, academic success, sex, alchohol and companionship. The event has such an awesome atmosphere and this year some Christians alongside the Christian Union worshipped with the rest of our colleagues.

In the Foyer of the student union we create the Pangaea Prayer and Meditative Space. It had to be neutral and open to people of all backgrounds and so we built activities that Christians could use for their own prayer and meditation, stuff you might get in a 24/7 prayer room but the activities could be used by anyone however they wanted. We had 6 fantastic Christian DJs playing sets of meditative and euphoric chill out electronic music. We had an artist decorate the room with posters and a painter in the front whilst people could join in painting with poster paints. On the walls we had a Prayer and Reflection wall where people could jot things down and a map of the world with events that could be prayed into. Finally at the corner we had an absolutely beautifully set up prayer room with a variety of activities for people to sit down and pray.

The night went down really well. Some people were originally hostile to the idea of it at a very secular event but so far the reception has been good. The music was great and the atmosphere was chilled out and relaxed, helped out by the cushions, doughnuts and free tea. However, what was interesting was that by far the most successful aspect of the prayer room was the one thing that was much less secular. We gave out tokens for people to receive prayer, dream interpretation, healing and future telling (prophecy). The people involved with this regularly do things like this at events such as Glastonbury or the mind/body/soul convention in Manchester however these events, though secular, are much more “spiritual”. I didn’t know how the students of Manchester who are just on a night out would take this. But we saw for about 4 or 5 hours a constant stream of students being prayed for. They seemed to love it and many people were bringing their friends.

We’re hoping to have a debrief in the future including some pictures of the event and some of the stories of how the praying went. The room certainly encouraged lots of interesting conversations throughout the night and there are a few stories from the prayers. We hope to be back in Pangaea for the summer which is even longer lasting from 8 until 6 in the morning. Winter Pangaea saw a great reception from non-christians but the prayer room section itself was mainly used by the people helping to organise the room. For this summer I’d really like to push to get more Christians involved, I have a goal to find at least 40 christians who are not organising this event using the prayer room for at least 15 minutes.

One thing I’ve loved most about clubbing in Manchester is how awesome it is to worship God outside of the church. In a club you can raise your hand, shout out praises to God or even speak in tongues and you’re just part of it all. In a club the inspiration to praise God surrounded by what happens in clubs is huge. Finally many Christians find the world of non-Christians terrifying. They think that most people are against them, I’d like to see Christians coming to this prayer room and realising that actually that as long as they approach non-Christians with love they can quite easily express their faith out in the open. With a larger group of christians I’d really like to see prayer spill out into the other rooms.

When the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples during Pentecost the first thing they did was pour out and worship God in the Streets. We’re keeping that going!

Connecting people to people

This was posted here:

A friend of mine linked me to this article:
where the website is

One thing that is interesting there, is that on the second page near the top of the second column, 39 percent of people said that the feature they wanted most from their church website (which I’m assuming they don’t already have) is “connect with other members”. Personally this is one of my pet peeves about church websites. They all seem to be “online brochures”. Either boring understated brochures such as church in the UK or really big flashy brochures as they tend to be in the US but brochures non-the less*. I’ve seen lots of good use of advanced web technologies to connect people with the paster/leader/vicar such as sermons, blogs etc. But very little for new comers to a site to connect with actual people in the church.

The article talked about people requesting the ability to pray online. When I set up a youth website the online prayer board became the most successful aspect of our site. We had a fairly large group of 14-18s (about 90 ish) and at that age it was invaluable having an ability to post anonymous prayers (though moderated) at any point in the week, exactly when you needed it. Around exam time there were plenty of posts at early hours of the morning! (though perhaps advice on the uselessness of late night-day-before-exam revision was needed :S). This fits with a feature that actually connects people with other people in the church (rather then just the pastor, or just a brochure).

We’re planning on creating a drupal church distribution / work with install profiles (yes I know, another one! I’ve heard of plenty of other attempts). We’d be aiming it at the UK market which I feel will need to be less flashy then then the idea outlined by Geeks and God. Currently working with a couple of churches including one church that wants to find novel ways of connecting a congregation with its overseas mission partners.

However one worry I have despite this research is that of control. The Church is famously lead by people who like control over stuff generally. It’s also famously very involved with its own image. Many times I’ve watched American comedy programs where they show a clichéd Christian anti-abortionist teenage that might also be head of an abstinence society in their school. They then show this person having sex to point out some kind of hypocrisy. Whilst this is sometimes similar to the Pharisee and teachers of the law Jesus attacked, the reality is that this shouldn’t be shocking. Christians are Christians because they KNOW they are sinners! So it shouldn’t be shocking when Christians are found sinning as that is what they are. If anything those that feel they don’t need Jesus ought to be morally superior to us admitted sinners! (I realise this is an over simplification 😛 CS Lewis’ Mere Christianity deals with this topic better then me.

However, the reality is if a church leader allows new comers and people outside the church to connect with the human beings inside the church. Not only will they have less control, they are allowing people to connect with a sea of sinners. Will this be a problem? Will it be embarrassing to come across a church prayer wall and find the inevitable prayers of those addicted to internet pornography and trying to over come it?

So there are a couple of questions. Will people find it difficult allowing the lack of control that comes from connecting people to other real people?

If people do find this difficult is this something that we’d want to fight (As in fight for people to connect to real people despite the problems of control)?

I post it here because if there is ever a piece of software that will successfully connect humans with humans on a smaller scale, I feel like Drupal is the only way, much more then bespoke systems (even if they are open-source)

*I’m British and I don’t mean that as an attack. I quite like boring understated stuff. I heard an interested documentary about the American view of the famous British show Countdown. They couldn’t understand why we’d have a actual personal Carol Volderman literally picking the numbers on some card rather then computerising everything.

Consider the source

So here is my take on a classic apologetic. I’m answering the emotional question, “Are christians horrible for thinking I will go to hell?”

So there is a fantastic film called the Devil’s Advocate. In this film Keanu Reeves is courted by a succesful Law firm owner played by Al Pacino. Now if you haven’t watched this film I suggest you skip to the next paragraph because I will spoil the film a little here (the rest is safe). However it turns out that Al Pacino is the devil and has been using Keanu Reeves to create the antichrist and finally defeat God. In one of the final scenes, Keanu Reeves challenges the devil with “You know that you are going to lose right?” to which Al blows it off as “Enemy propaganda! Have you considered the source?”

This is my issue with the question of heaven and hell. Everyone seems to think that Heaven is a place filled with “Good” stuff and that Hell is a place filled with “Bad” stuff. Now good things should happen to good people and bad things to bad people so therefore heaven should happen to “Good” people, I’m a generally good person so I should go to heaven. But this is the thing that confuses me, people very rarely consider the source of this information. Why does everyone think that the Christian heaven is a good place? The Christian God thinks that his heaven is good? But what if you reject the Christian God? Surely you’d reject his heaven too?

Philosophically this can seem like a difficult thing to picture. Heaven is understood as a good place because its kind of philosophically defined as just a “place of eternal goodness”. However, one example I quite enjoy is regarding sex. In the Book of Matthew, Jesus essentially says that there will be no sex in heaven. Now many people struggle with the idea that Christianity says you should wait until marriage until sex and that you should have sex with only this one person. I’ve heard people tell me that Christianity should modernise. Now if you can’t handle sex with only one person (where there is evidence and reasons that suggest that could actually give you better earthly sex anyway so you aren’t missing out on much). How on earth would you be able to cope with a sexless eternity in heaven?!?

Now I can tell you why I do it. Whilst I think there are good reasons to suggest that Sex with one person who you love for ever on earth that gets better and better as you understand each other better, are powerful. They are by no means conclusive. The reality is that I believe that the God who created sex will be able to give me good advice on how to deal with it. In essence, I trust him. Some people big this up as “faith” which they see as some crazy metaphysical religious thing which I have or don’t. It’s just a case where it makes sense, given what I know of God, to trust him. Then at the same time my experiences tend to confirm that actually his advice was good advice anyway. Similarly when I think about heaven and its lack of sex. I might think about all the awesomeness of sex on earth (its possible to appreciate to some degree the awesomeness of sex without experiencing it directly, women are awesome). This fills me with more hope, the God who made THAT has said there is something coming without it that is going to be BETTER! See for a Christian, the reality is that we don’t have concrete things in heaven to enjoy. We’re not going there for sex or riches. We only have one promise, that it will be with Jesus. A fantastic quote by Dinesh D’Souza; “People get confused that they think that the Gift from God is salvation but actually Christians believe that the Gift of God is salvation”. The thing christians “get” in heaven is God. Its Jesus himself that we long for.

But what if you don’t trust God? What if you don’t think Jesus is worthy. Well then all my “evidence” that God’s way of doing sex is best could probably be explained in other ways. Or maybe they are pipe dreams (you might say “Jamie, its unreasonable to expect the first will be ‘the one'”). The reality is if you don’t trust God you probably won’t trust what he says and won’t want to do what he says. (This is the converse of Jesus saying that those who love God will do what he says). The reality is that you’ll only think Hell is bad if you trust him in the first place. So we have a wierd situation here.

If you are angry that God is sending you to hell. Then you think Hell is a bad place. You can only think Hell is a bad place if you trust God. If you trust God you won’t go to hell (pretty much*) so you won’t have a reason to be angry. So you are no longer angry that God is sending you to hell. (Cause he isn’t).


You are angry that God is sending you to hell. He’s sending you to hell because you don’t trust him. Because you don’t trust him, you don’t trust that Hell is a bad place. So he isn’t sending you to a bad place. So there is no reason to be angry with him.

In my understanding the issue has been answered. However there are a couple of niggling questions.

Do you as a Christian really think Hell is Good?

Well obviously not. I think that Hell is a very bad place indeed and Heaven will be awesome. I think everyone really wants to be in heaven. But the reason why I think this is because everyone else is actually wrong. God exists, his name is Jesus and Jesus is worthy. Because God is actually good and what everyone needs him, heaven is actually good because its with him. Conversely Hell is a place of extreme suffering by virtue of God not really being there. So I think Heaven is good, I think Hell is bad and I think you’re heading there. The point I’m making is that there is no good reason to be angry at me. Either I’m wrong, in which case I’m wrong anyway and maybe you should feel sorry for me, or I’m right in which case it appears you agree with me so you’re not heading to Hell after all.

But you just said?

Right. This is confusing. Why would anyone in their right mind go for something that is bad? Well the way I like to think of it, is a kind of extreme anorexia. You imagine a person who is very skinny, they are starving to the point that their hair is falling out. You go up to them and present them good food. In this thought-experiment the food is exactly the right kind of food. Its not going to make them throw up even though they are hungry, its going to nourish them and it looks awesome. Most people who are sane would eat it. However, it is possible to imagine someone who will still not eat this food. They are anorexic. They are refusing food even though rationally they ought to eat it, they want to eat it and it would end their suffering. Now to a normal person anorexic people seem totally crazy, there seems to be literally no reason why they wouldn’t eat. In reality there are doctors and counsellors who can usually get to the bottom of the problem. These people will find reasons that have brought the anorexia on (they hate themselves, they think they look fat, etc). However, in this picture we have someone where all the best doctors have tried to find the reasons and they can’t. Literally everything has been done but they still won’t eat.

Now, the debate in the philosophy of religion and to a lesser extent in theology is whether this person could exist. I think it is possible for most people to imagine because most people aren’t doctors and can imagine someone who is this crazy. BUT there might be some niggling faith that eventually with enough doctors and time this person will come to eat. This is what philosophers argue. There are some who think that people will eventually know God is good and still for some reason reject him (more traditional christianity) and there are some people who believe that eventually all humans beings will eventually realise that God is good and then they will be in heaven (universalist christians).

So what does Jamie think?

Well, I tend towards the traditional Christian. The issue I have with the universalist approach is twofold. Firstly it is incredibly arrogant. When Christopher Hitchens writes a book entitled “God is not Great” and emphasises again and again that not only does he not believe God exists but believes it would be bad if he did. This universalist Christians has to say that not only is Hitchenswrong about facts (He does exist) but you’re making no sense about your feelings towards him, that Hitchens actually does want to grovel before a higher being, he’s just lying to himself. Now I have no problem with this arrogance, except that in my experience the kind of person who is a universalist tends to be the kind of person who scorns arrogance in favour of being “accepting”. Their apparantly accepting view is actually much more strongly arrogant. However the issue I have is that it seems like blind faith to believe that eventually everyone will be solved even in my anorexic example. I don’t think it’s impossible to think of a person where no one can find the reason to the point where there isn’t any. I think in order for me to have the faith that everyone will eventually think like that, the philosophical arguments aren’t convincing, I think there would have to be an external source of certainty such as a pretty good biblical argument that I have yet to have seen.

What about all the pitch forks, fire and brimstone

I suppose I should mention that I’m putting forward a particular view on the theology of hell. I don’t think its a place of literal fire, I don’t think there will be demons with pitch forks. I don’t think Dante’s Inferno is an accurate picture of the afterlife. I think these are medieval stories to scare people into conformity. Probably this view needs to be justified (there were loads of good talks about it at New Wine!). However I’m not going to do that here.

*Pretty Much? and I’m still angry

Yeah, it doesn’t seem that just trusting God’s attitude towards heaven and hell is correct is another to warrant salvation. So there is a little more to it, however if you trust God’s attitude towards these things but there is some other issue in the way. Well the purpose of apologetics is really to go from questions to more questions! So feel free to comment!

Opening up the church

I’ve talked previously about how we are trying to do for churches what facebook is trying to do for the world. One idea I want to investigate into is how we can open up the church in the same way. The important words that I want to investigate into here is that I want to dilute the control of the church whilst maintain authority. Like everything else, we want to do this through experimentation and case studies so that this view is encouraged and not forced.

Here is an example of how the church can possibly benefit from this using technology and a fairly controversial example – Homosexuality.

The story

I attended a church that was more conservative on the issue of homosexuality. They believe that the biblical text suggests that homosexuality is a sinful act that ought not be practised. Regardless of your personal opinion on the matter I think this is a clear example of where authority is important. The pulpit is not supposed to be a place for random arbitrary opinions, it is not like the comments section of a newspaper. Authority is not about control but it is about trust. If someone is in a position of authority in the church they can be challenged in the same way that the Apostle Peter was challenged by Paul over the issue of eating with gentiles. However, someone in authority is trusted to treat their position with respect and know that people trust them. So in this conservative church, whenever someone in authority preached about homosexuality and the bible, it tended to be negative. I think this is right. I think you can disagree with that whole church and suggest reasons why homosexuality is o.k. But for the church that has made its stance it makes sense for the preachers to “tow the party line”.

However, one person from the church told me that they were proud that they had never let a gay person in their house. Now this person wasn’t particularly horrible and with all the controversy and media attention I personally think it understandable how this person reached their position. Unfortunately, this is not the position the church would want to encourage (this is important, what is interesting here is not that I agree or disagree, or really what you the reader thinks, it is interesting because even this church would not agree with their attitude). But isn’t this to be expected if homosexuality is talked about in a negative light all the time? Even saying “They are sinners but we should love them” isn’t a positive attitude to have to an actual person (It can be but isn’t inherently in that sentence).

Also at this church was someone who worked in the fashion industry. Many of this guy’s colleagues were gay. In a conservative church environment it was interesting hearing this guy’s opinion on the topic of homosexuality. It was essentially that he quite liked his gay colleagues and specifically it was much easier being a Christian in this work environment compared to say a London banking job heavily involved with alcohol and macho-ism. What is interesting here is by speaking to this friend I could get an insight into his attitude towards a bunch of people. His statements were neither agreeing nor disagreeing with all the controversial issues of homosexuality. They weren’t statements of doctrine on gay bishops nor attitudes towards policy regarding gay marriages. They were simply one human being’s attitude towards another and I think these attitudes are invaluable. (Both of them, the more homophobic christian brother and the more accepting, they are both part of the church here).

Now, if you disagree with the authority in this case. (The doctrine of homosexuality this church excepts) then this story won’t go far.  You would still have to go through the normal channels of arguing about doctrine, campaigning in church communities, writing articles, etc. However, this story highlights something I think is important. The reality is that you can leave authority exactly where it is. Good Doctrine will help but it will not ultimately change your attitude. Understanding that Racism is wrong and that all people are created in God’s eyes will not fully stop you crossing the road when you see a hooded black teenager. The reality is you need to interact with people, you need to spend time with gay people or black people to truly influence your attitude to them.

Authority can stay where it is. We need something more, we need something from the Christians who aren’t necessarily in authority. This is what impacts the church today anyway and will continue to. We need to encourage this and help people connect with it and in doing so we will open up control. If I am able to connect with more people in the church on an issue such as racism or homosexuality, then the person in the pulpit will still have authority, but now less control over exactly what I think. Fortunately for us the church already has a method of this, anglicans like to call it “the peace”.

On-line testimonies – blogs

Now the important thing about this company is that we are not creating new churches. We are merely facilitating and encouraging the good things that are already there. In the church life we already have something that moves complete control from the leaders of the church but allows the leader authority – that is testimony. If at a baptism someone stands up and explains their testimony and they tell you something scripture told them, it is normal in the church to enjoy this whilst not believing this person to be an authority on the subject. Similarly when Christian books are read about people’s lives they are read in a different manner to a book of theology or doctrine. In fact one way of wording “testimonies” is just “getting to know the impact of God on the lives of Christians around you” and probably the church would have benefited from the two people in my story just sitting down and chatting about their lives. This is great.

However, how do you personally meet up and get to know about the lives of everyone? Even if your church only has 50-100 people let alone 900 it gets difficult. Some churches have tried having “testimony” sections in the service for maybe 10 minutes where christians in the church just tell stories about what God has done in their lives that week. This is quite cool but is also daunting and sometimes there are particular stories you just don’t care about.

So a simple way to do this is to use blogs! If we could get a church of say 100 people and manage to get every person to blog maybe once a year. That is 100 awesome testimonies about their lives and God that I would have access to. Secondly, I had a friend who wanted to go into fashion design and another who wanted to become a model. How cool would it have been if they had known there was an old, experienced Christian working in that industry in their own church they could have spoken to? So here are some conclusions from this:

  • Fellowship. We can all read blogs of well-written Christians online and using! The tribes on-line is about connecting the thoughts and eventually the people within the church to each other.
  • Accesibility We need to develop ways to make it incredibly easy for anyone to blog. We could try a bunch of things, intergrating blogs with e-mail, automatically giving blogs to everyone who signs up, have pieces of paper that people can write out and submit like they might do anyway if they were going to give their testimony during a service.  We don’t need an army of regular bloggers, but we want as many individual people blogging. Its not the number of articles but the number of people that provide diversity.
  • Relevance – We then need to develop clever methods of making it really easy to connect people. does this tremendously well. Depending on my categories and tags I can sometimes get total strangers reading this, we need to find out how to do this within the church. Maybe my fashion friend would have tagged his post? Then maybe other modelling friends would have tagged their profile with being interested in fashion and things would have popped up?
  • Importance – We need to test and investigate this with case studies. We need to find real life solutions to real life problems and examples of them rather then the more theoretical post I’ve written today. Once we have these stories of how the web actually did connect the fashion designers to those in the industry and how that went, then we will be able to show the church why blogging just once or twice in your life time is worthwhile.
  • Same Authority – diluted control – These blogs will never be the authoritative opinion of the leadership in the church. This does not dilute authority. But the blogs will remove some control. The leader of the church will have less control over the total image of the church because the blogs will represent the genuine thoughts of the individuals that make up that church. Some will be scared of this. Well with our software if you’re scared you just turn off “multiple blogs” and it is fine! But hopefully once our wiki gets going we will have a lot of stories of why it is worth the risk.

Why is philosophy important?

So recently at a event on personal identity some philosophers essentially told us in answer to the question “Did I exist yesturday?” and more generally “Who am I”, that I am Me and that is is unanalysable any further (definitely oversimplifying things here!). Also in my tutorials for Metaphysics people (including me!) have certainly felt some of the contemporary questions of metaphysics are so pointless they are not worth asking let alone answering. However I don’t think this is true, I think philosophy is important and so I will rant:

  • It’s important because the world has the potential to be destroyed through climate change and a lack of bees and no one really has any idea how to evaluate or deal with this
  • Its important because we don’t have any Nuclear power plants
  • Its important because the government is ignoring scientists on drugs and speed cameras whilst listening to pop psycologists on lilly allen and no one know who why or what to listen to
  • The media is building fear and conspiracy theory to a large degree and we need to know how to combat that
  • Its important because of Richard Dawkins!
  • Its important because Richard Dawkins is building an army of scientifically minded philosophically engaged politically active young people and they are going to be important. (What next?)
  • Its important because philosophy has failed to bring about the world peace we were promised and murder is still wrong.
  • Its important because religion is growing in importance in our world, rather then dying out and people are still stuck arguing Hume’s argument and attacking the Onological argument
  • Its important because China, its philosophy and its influence is growing and the west still have no idea of how to embrace it.

So I believe these are all important aspects of our world and include philosophy.Why?

Because everyone does philosophy!

Every single one of those points has people somewhere sitting around and thinking, they are then going on and writing and sometimes their writing is in newspapers, sometimes it is in academic journals, sometimes it is behind closed doors or within organisations. But the thoughts and writing continue and as long as that is happening philosophy is happening even if people don’t like calling it that. Because it is definitely happening and impacting us anyway, we need to know what it is, we need to talk about it.

And it starts in metaphysics, it starts in epistemology. Talking about Tibs and Tibbles, about universals, about how we know things, about protocal sentences leads into the philosophy of science. Which leads into why people dislike evolution and climate change, it leads into Nuclear power and its implications, it leads into morality and how to deal with china. It tells us that murder is wrong and lets atheists and theists talk about thing. And it turns the Richard Dawkins people from an angry rabble into a well-informed powerful people.

Category: Christian Thought -> Cause it is!