2,260 reputation
1031
bio website timothy.green.name
location Offaly, Ireland
age
visits member for 2 years, 11 months
seen 12 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”).


Mar
14
comment What happens to people who have never heard about Jesus?
@SonicTheHedgehog. That may be what you meant, but it's definitely not what you said.
Mar
14
comment How would a Christian explain the “contradiction” of homosexuality?
Or, put another way, -1 for gross and ridiculous slander.
Mar
14
comment How would a Christian explain the “contradiction” of homosexuality?
Homosexuality is not about love, it's about sex. Riiiiiiiiight.
Mar
12
comment What happens to people who have never heard about Jesus?
@SonicTheHedgehog. What you're saying is "God is unfair but we're not allowed to call it unfair because Shut up that's why." This is not helpful. Redefining words to suit yourself is generally unhelpful.
Mar
9
comment Do Jehovah's Witnesses celebrate communion?
+1. Comprehensive and accurate.
Mar
9
comment Was the Cold War a “rumor of a war?”
"Like the Eskimos having many different words for snow with subtle differences in meaning." A well-know myth. Anyway, how many names for snow do we have? drift, blizzard, slush, sleet. Or how about rain? drizzle, downpour, storm, fine mist, etc.
Mar
7
comment How did Jesus reconcile his teachings with Judaism?
-1. You don't know much about actual real-life Judaism, do you? Hint: The Christian fantasy version of Judaism as "Christianity minus Christ" is grossly inaccurate. Further, some of the things said in this answer are borderline antisemitism.
Feb
28
comment Why do some traditions *not* celebrate Christmas or Easter in any official fashion?
There's also tradition. Christmas is spreading, but until relatively recent times it was a normal working day in Scotland.
Feb
27
comment Do Jehovah's Witnesses celebrate communion?
Witnesses would not recognise the word sacrement.
Feb
26
comment Why do biblical names vary in different languages?
Irish also has Eoin and Eoghan (both names pronounced the same as the Welsh name Owen, which is spelled more intuitively for English speakers) as forms of John.
Feb
25
comment Does my monk go to heaven?
Am I misreading you, or do you mean culpable rather than capable?
Feb
17
awarded  Tag Editor
Feb
14
awarded  Nice Answer
Feb
6
comment What non-Catholic Christian groups existed in Western Europe during the Middle Ages?
There were actually three Papal lines in the Western Schism.
Feb
4
comment Why is the Bible so short?
The Lord of the Rings is six books in three volumes, two books to a volume.
Feb
1
comment Was the Cold War a “rumor of a war?”
@MarcGravell. See Stephen Pinker on the decline of violence.
Jan
30
revised Do Paul and Jesus disagree on homosexuality?
Removed obvious absurdity.
Jan
28
comment Why are there so many translations of the Bible?
@James. That was a printing error, not a translation error.
Jan
22
comment Are people by nature good or are they inherently evil?
Criminals are generally bad at making cost-benefit analyses. That's why harsh penalties do little to drive down crime rates.
Jan
13
comment What is the theological background of the WWJD movement?
Is that bottom one in the gay pride colours?