2,151 reputation
828
bio website timothy.green.name
location Offaly, Ireland
age
visits member for 2 years, 8 months
seen 5 hours ago

I'm Irish, of English parents. I was brought up as one of Jehovah's Witnesses, but am now an atheist. I remain fascinated by religion, both those similar to the one I left, and those very different, though I am more interested by the cultural context and the way people approach their beliefs than I am in the actual theology. (From this angle, Liberal Christianity and Liberal Islam are quite similar, and Conservative Christianity and Conservative Islam are quite similar.) Because I am interested in the social context and the interaction of religion and society, I often see religion at its worst, when it is trying to impose its rules on others, being intolerant and sometimes frankly bigoted. As an antidote, to remind myself that religious people are not necessarily evil, I hang around slacktivist (whose writings often attempt to answer the question, Why does the religious right tell lies all the time?) and The Slacktiverse (where people of many religious backgrounds have very civilised arguments, often about literature).

I might describe my own views as empirical materialist (see Tim Minchin: "Storm"), and my philosophy is probably secular humanist (see Tim Minchin: "White Wine in the Sun").


Jan
2
comment Did God ever really help the Hebrews in battle?
It's the iron chariots, isn't it? God can't cope with iron chariots.
Jan
1
revised Why does Moses have compassion that God lacks?
Improved formatting.
Jan
1
comment Why do some traditions *not* celebrate Christmas or Easter in any official fashion?
@Flimzy. Easter doesn't move around. At all. It just follows a lunar calendar rather than a solar one.
Jan
1
comment Why do Jehovah's Witnesses exclude pagan influences from their doctrine?
For reference, upper-case you is the NWT's way to indicate plurality.
Jan
1
comment Are Jehovah's Witnesses allowed to marry outside the faith?
Much of the discussion in these comments is completely off the original topic, but might perhaps make a good question of its own (not one that I'd have any intention of asking, though). The "Update" is completely off topic too.
Jan
1
comment Inconsistency in Biblical interpreatation (Genesis & Judges)
@Richard. "Why is homosexuality condemned but not heterosexuality?" is not the question I was asking. I was asking very specifically about these two passages. And the idea that anti-gay Christians don't take the Sodom story as evidence is new to me. I'm not entirely sure I believe it.
Dec
31
comment What evidence exists for post-Biblical miracles?
"A preacher's wife wrote about an experience that she had one time." Have you even heard of the concept of "evidence"? Because this post isn't it.
Dec
22
accepted What is the Alpha Course?
Dec
17
comment Is Christianity functionally polytheistic?
@Shredder. I don't think so, though I'd find it difficult to articulate precisely what I'd mean by that.
Dec
15
comment Is Christianity functionally polytheistic?
Well, I certainly have seen Christians describing the hate-filled vengeful God of the Left Behind books as "not the God I worship".
Dec
15
comment Is Christianity functionally polytheistic?
@rpeg. I'm not convinced that that's a meaningful question. But then, I'm not convinced that "Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?" is a meaningful question. This is just the same basic question on a smaller scale. Are there many versions of the Christian God? Yes. Yes there are. Does that lead anywhere interesting? No, not really.
Dec
15
comment Unfulfilled prophecies?
@MasonWheeler. The 2 Timothy passage is a perfect snapshot of every day. As prophecy, it's fairly useless.
Dec
15
comment Does the diversity in doctrines among Christian traditions indicate that there are multiple “truths”?
As to, "only one is correct", I wouldn't assume even that. At most one is correct. Of course, some differences matter more than others, but you'd be hard pressed to find agreement even on which differences are the most important.
Dec
15
comment Is Christianity functionally polytheistic?
If you could find one person who was a member of many denominations which held mutually contradictory beliefs ... I still wouldn't necessarily call this person a polytheist, but at least your question would make sense. As stated, the question does not make sense. At all.
Dec
5
revised How do Creationist Christians respond to the evidence for Evolution?
Title fix
Dec
2
comment Inconsistency in Biblical interpreatation (Genesis & Judges)
@Richard. I am asking about those two passages. The Sodom story is constantly referenced in unhinged diatribes on homosexuality; so what's the difference between that and the variant myth in Judges?
Nov
29
accepted Inconsistency in Biblical interpreatation (Genesis & Judges)
Nov
29
accepted Do Jehovah's Witnesses use different language for theological reasons?
Nov
25
comment Inconsistency in Biblical interpreatation (Genesis & Judges)
@Caleb. Would it help if I found and added to the original question examples of prominent Christians (not just random people on messageboards) making a connection between the Sodom story and homosexuality? People do say this, and I would like to understand it.
Nov
25
comment Inconsistency in Biblical interpreatation (Genesis & Judges)
@Caleb. Yes ... but. Maybe I'm asking more of a sociological question than a theological one. But the belief I'm talking about is hardly uncommon, and is certainly part of Christianity as defined on this site.