A review of yesterday’s FreeThought activitiesby Don Lacey on May. 14, 2012, under Atheism, AZ Politics, Christianity, Critical Thinking, Freethought Events, Freethougth Quotations, Reason, Religion, Responsible Government, Separation of Church & State
Happy Monday! Here is my second blog entry for today. This will be an unusual event as you won’t normally see more than one entry per day but this one is short and the subject matter is timely.
I want to introduce Jeffery G. Berry. I met him for the first time at the FreeThought Arizona lecture and he expressed an interest in helping out with the blog. As it happens, he is studying journalism. I’ll post his review of the lecture presented by Thomas J. Lindell, Ph.D. followed by a few words about the Phoenix Comedy Festival.
First from Jeffrey G Berry:
Firstly, I’d like to thank Thomas J. Lindell for having the courage to present his information to us all today at UMC. It isn’t an easy task standing up in front of a collection of strangers supporting a view that is not only expected to be in the minority, but a personal view as well.
Now, while Mr. Lindell seems almost to detest simple labels being pressed on his particular outlook on the convergence of theology and science, what I witnessed today was indeed a Christian scientist. I don’t want to sell him short by saying this; he had some good observations, and a good sense of humor about the whole thing.
What identified him as a Christian scientist were his transparent attempts to rationalize the concept of god with intellect. He goes about this by building a superb case against Christianity that would make one’s own grandmother blush, then reaches with favorably literal interpretations of words, phrases, and historical quotations to come to his solution. “God loved the universe into existence,” was said, and after being asked to explain this further his only response was that he didn’t have the language to express what he really meant. This seems to be a reoccurring theme with people defending the god concept. Firstly, if you are trying to prove the existence of god as a truth, one of the worst ways to go about it is to rationalize using adjectives that only express feeling. Secondly, in the Q&A follow-up – which I believe is also commendable – Mr. Lindell mentions that his own outlook has “Been useful to me.” I’m sure it has, but at what cost to all of the other people with the same attitude that have internalized more than just the crux of religion, and gone on to make important decisions for not only the state legislature, but society as a whole.
I think that using intellect in such a fashion is not only dangerous in validating the idea of god to some people, but it is an intentional undermining of the reason versus religion debate. “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up my childish ways.” Corinthians 13:11, International Standard Version.
Thank you, Jeffery! I’m looking forward to working with you in the future.
After the FreeThought Arizona lecture, my wife and I washed the Thunderbird and headed up the road to watch the Phoenix Comedy Festival. It was a benefit to support the construction and placement of the nation’s first monument to the Bill of Rights. The future monument will be placed near the capital. It will be composed of ten stones each with one of the amendments carved into its face. The entire project is the result of the hard work and good friends of Chris Bliss. You can find out more about the monument at the website: mybillofrights.org/arizona-project-programs/
The comedians that gave their performances for free to support Chris and the project included: Lewis Black, Bill Engvall, Bobcat Goldthwait, Dick Gregory, Kathleen Madigan, Tommy Smothers, Father Guido Sarducci, and Steven Wright. The “musical relief” was provided by Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett from the legendary band Little Feat. Somewhere in the middle, Chris Bliss told a few jokes and did his signature juggling routine.
We thoroughly enjoyed the festival and I doubt we’ll ever get a chance to see such a lineup of “top shelf” comics in one venue again. However, they ARE talking about doing the same thing next year…let’s hope. I promise to give the readers of this blog more warning next time.