Friday, June 26, 2009

The Re-unleashing Begins?

I know, I'm a bad, bad blogger.

But I've been thinking. Specifically, I've done a semester's worth of thinking, reading, philosophising, learning, and generally pondering to interesting effect.

I've still got SO MUCH TO GO. So much to learn. The world is so big and life is so enormously complex and rich. Awesome.

I really should get back to regularly posting here. I've remained busy and silent for long enough. My essays for semester 1 are pretty much complete (one remains), and I have a two or so weeks until next semester. I should try to pen my thoughts down as I learn next semester.

To be honest, I've been hiding. Hiding and hibernating. Just to wet your appetite and ignite your curiousity, here are some of the ideas that I have been contemplating with fervour...

By Topic:

Philosophy, theology, Christianity, atheism, cognitive science, psychology, "neurotheology," biology, evolution & the origin of life, morality & meta-ethics, physical cosmology (origins of the universe, origin and nature of time, the big bang, inflation, and the origins of symmetry/asymmetry), quantum physics, biblical archeology, origins of our existing biblical manuscripts, historicity of and evidence for the events of the New Testament (such as extra-biblical information about the life of Jesus), and, more recently, information on pre-nicene religious texts and beliefs.

Lots of stuff goin' on up in my head.

I have also seen a collection of debates starring Alister McGrath, opposition including but not limited to Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Peter Atkins. They inspired me to start to compile questions that I would like answers to based on McGraths major points of argument. I may possibly get around to discussing them here on the blog. I have simply sorted them into groups, some questions are similar because they come up in multiple debates.

List of questions:

Morality and Meaning:
Does Christianity add and fulfill our longing for what is right/good & correct us when necessary, or does it go too far and add anything positively immoral?
Is there a link between belief in god and violence?
What does research tell us about the empirical effect that religion has on people? (Why would this matter? Does this prove anything?)
Is the damage done by religion typical or fringe? Who are the normal people and who are the fanatics?
Do all worldviews have the same capacity to animate people in morally reprehensible ways? Is there something about human nature that explains this?
Can one have a viable moral system without a transcendent basis?
Is an evolutionary account of morality adequate to do the job?
Does an ‘enlightenment worldview’ lead to intolerance, conflict and violence?
Is postmodernity good?
Can christianity survive postmodernity?

Good Reasons vs Scientific Proofs:
Proving God vs. giving reasons for God. Are ‘reasons’ enough?
Is it wrong to say that the simplest explanation is the best one?
How do we know what God is like?
Can the results of the scientific examinations in the natural sciences be interpreted either to support religion or to support atheism, depending on agenda?
Is it true that, “science, by its legitimate methods, cannot adjudicate the God question”? Does nature in itself and of itself force us to either Christian, agnostic or atheist?
Does science remove the conceptual space for god?
Does science put us in a position where atheism is the best explanation?

Faith and Belief:
Is atheism a faith?
The origins of faith: Can they be explained? Meme theory? Otherwise?
What is belief? Can you choose what you believe?
Is Christianity wish-fulfillment? Is Atheism wish-fulfillment?

Biblical stuff:
Are the scriptures inerrant? Does biblical inerrancy matter?
Does archeology support the OT stories?
Is there proof of Jesus outside scripture?
What historical proof do we have of the resurrection?

If you have any particularly burning interest from any of the above then just leave me a comment and shall proffer my opinion once I think of something clever to say about it.