Stephen Fry has an Argument with God by Rocket Kirchner

Pearly gates

Image by erik shin via Flickr

by Rocket Kirchner
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rocket Kirchner (blog)
Rocket Kirchner (youtube channel)
August 22, 2016

Stephen Fry has an argument with God. In an interview he was asked what would he say to God as he approached the pearly gates. Fry’s response was, “Bone Cancer, children? How dare you?” Of course, he is referring to the vexing issue of Theodicy: If God is so good, if God is all powerful, how come there is so much evil in the world? He went ahead and clarified that if they were pagan gods who never claimed to be love, he would not complain, or at least not much.

Let me state that I am a huge fan of Stephen Fry. I have watched all his documentaries, his movies, his television stuff, and read his books. But I am also a very critical Christian thinker that never lets any shot go unfired and any accusation against God go unchallenged. If we embrace merely for the sake of discussion the Ex Hypothesi (aka – the existence of God) and we go even further and embrace the God to whom Fry is accusing, whom Christians claim is Love itself, then maybe we should hear this God’s defence.

God: So Stephen, since you have made this damning accusation against me, would it be fair for me to respond?

Fry: More than fair. As a matter of fact I was hoping you would say just that because I really do want an explanation.

God: Being a man of literature I am sure we don’t need to rehash the book of Job, so I will go at this from another angle.

Fry: Fine.

God: So let us talk children.

Fry: Please, let’s do.

God: You were given a great talent at birth and have become wealthy in the process. You gave in the course of your life to over 30 charities. To this you are to be commended.

Fry: Thank You.

God: But I noticed on the list only a few were given to children. Since your accusation to me has been over children only, then all of this begs the question, “Why did you not give to 30 children’s charities?” You had the means, you had the influence, there is no denial of that. And yet you did not. So in effect, could not one say that you also claim to be a loving and creative person as me and yet given the opportunity to give on a quantitative basis to more children you did not even give enough to the children of the world as I did. Is this not true?

Fry: I don’t have the scope and tally of all the children of the world at my disposal that you have to do the math on that one.

God: True. But you did have the money and fame at your disposal. When one of your charities Kids Company closed in August of 2015 because of lack of money, could you have done more to keep it open? Also, in 2016 you told child abuse victims to get over it and stop feeling sorry for themselves and to grow up. I could go on if you like.

Fry: No. But what is your point?

God: My point Stephen is that you are a hypocrite. You say, “How dare you?” Well, I say, “How dare you?” You had multiple chances to do so much more for children that you say I allowed to endure the horror of bone cancer. But you did not. The not doing is not hypocrisy. It is the not doing and then blaming others for not doing. Even your number one hero Oscar Wilde said, “The moment of repentance is the moment of initiation.”

Fry: I am not one to argue with Wilde, nor am I one that never said he had no hypocrisy in his life. It’s just that you are not who I was raised to think you were. In other words, you are not who I are thought you were. You have none of the all encompassing compassion of the Jesus of the gospels to allow this kind of needless suffering to go on.

God: You are not the person I thought you were either Stephen. For you have none of the all encompassing compassion of Bob Geldof to allow this needless suffering to go on. I suggest you accuse less and do more.

Stephen Fry on God | The Meaning Of Life | RTÉ One


from the archives:

Exclusive: Natural catastrophes and the love of God by Rocket Kirchner

Civilization and Relentless Volunteerism by Rocket Kirchner

Deliver Us From Virtue by Rocket Kirchner

The Self As The Ultimate Source Of All Tyranny by Rocket Kirchner

If God is God, Why do Bad Things Happen?

What Jesus Said About Suffering


53 thoughts on “Stephen Fry has an Argument with God by Rocket Kirchner

  1. Been some time since I visited this site; it is disheartening to see that certain people on this site appear to be suffering from schizophrenia; under-treated, possibly even undiagnosed schizophrenia at that. It is quite common for the severely psychotic to mistake the schizoid ramblings of others experiencing psychosis, as meaningful messages.
    Rocket Kirchner; I never once in my life have even considered divorcing truth from absurdity ! To be sure, I suspect there is little or no truth to divorce from the absurd, which is why the absurd is just that, absurd.

    • On the contrare. God does not pretend to be innocent like Fry does . God calls out Fry on his hypocrisy and also Fry’s blaming victims of child abuse …to simply just get over it .

      telling children who have been abused to just get over it IS bad form .

      • “God does not pretend to be innocent”
        “God calls out Fry”
        Rocket, could you substantiate these statements of god’s behavior? When did god do this? In what venue? In what form of communication did this take place? Did Fry respond? Were you an eye witness to this event?

        • Fry was given a hypothetical by Gay Bryne.

          Fry answered the hypothetical .

          I was responding to Fry’s hypothetical with another hypothetical . For as I said – for the sake of discussion – let us suppose the Ex Hypothesi – aka the existence of God . these are not literal conversations . They are hypothetical just like many of the songs I write .

          these for the sake of discussion hypothetical are in no way seek to prove or disprove anything , but rather to place on the table where people’s values lie .

          none of this can be proven or disproven . what can be ascertained is a discussion outside of faith or unbelief apologetics on both sides of an issue that tell us more about ourselves than we might not even know ourselves .

  2. …it is as if the advance of science has made mankind more doubtful of what they can’t see.
    Example: I always liked Star Trek, but in an interview “Gene Roddenberry’s Atheism: In his own words “, one sees the penultimate arrogance which derides religion and faith and holds up man alone

    Quote Gene Rodenberry:

    “My family was from the South. My mother was very religious. Every Sunday we went to church, Baptist church. I didn’t really take religion that seriously. It was obvious to me, almost from the first, that there were certain things that needed explaining and thinking on, but why bother about them? I was a child. Life was interesting and pleasant.

    I think the first time I really became aware of religion, other than the little things you do as a child because Mom says to do it (it was mostly Mom) was when I went to church. In my early teens I decided to listen to the sermon. I guess I was around 14 and emerging as a personality. I never really paid much attention to the sermon before. I was more interested in the deacon’s daughter and what we might be doing between services.

    I listened to the sermon, and I remember complete astonishment because what they were talking about were things that were just crazy. It was communion time, where you eat this wafer and are supposed to be eating the body of Christ and drinking his blood. My first impression was, “This is a bunch of cannibals they’ve put me down among!” For some time, I puzzled over this and puzzled over why they were saying these things, because the connection between what they were saying and reality was very tenuous. How the hell did Jesus become something to be eaten?

    I guess from that time it was clear to me that religion was largely nonsense, largely magical, superstitious things. In my own teen life, I just couldn’t see any point in adopting something based on magic, which was obviously phony and superstitious.”

  3. “Rather an unfair comparison as we don’t credit Stephen Fry when good things happen as many do God, but he can be held accountable when he doesn’t do enough! Seems under the circumstance a double standard?”

  4. Are you serious? Fry is a mere human being. If God exists and supposedly a powerful being then it is within his power to right things. If this dialogue took place then God is admitting he’s failed by saying Fry is doing the same things God did.

    • Matt – Welcome to the complexity of Theodocy . Fry is supposing God is all powerful while not taking responsibility for the more he could have done with children with what he has been given .

      • Matt – read my link below “Civilization and relentless volunteerism ” .

        the issue of Theodocy is not an intellectual one . It is one of action . Most people want to accuse some kind of God for what they themselves are NOT DOING .

  5. This does not address theodicy. It merely sets up an aversion to the question. The christian god and Stephen Fry aren’t similar enough to be analogous. Stephen is limited, the fantasy god is not. Fail. Petulance.

    • AHA ! Skeptnik leaves no shot unfired !! i love it . Welcome to the party pal . The comments and my responses so far have been pretty good .

      The case here is that Fry himself does not fully address Theodicy either. Why ? Because he presumes a Judeo/Christian view of God as creating ex nihilo in all powerful coming right out of the gate.

      He does not address any notion of Divinity as being NOT all powerful , as say in the Persian tradition laid out in Azura Mazda. The reason why he does not is because he would not have the edge in this chess match .He defers to the Greek gods , but even then Prometheus in literature from Hesiod’s Theogony is a foreshadowing of the concept of Christ crucified by stealing fire and bringing healing to men .

      If Fry were to say approach a god that is not all powerful , then he could not accuse in the manner that he does .How could he ? Is Fry’s motive to accuse or find a solution to the dilemma ? who knows .

      you may want to read what he has said ( in the link 2016) about blaming the victims -child abuse themselves. It is very heartless and leaves him no room to accuse any one -god or no god of being heartless . I am speaking as a big fan of Fry and this is no light matter what he said .

      i was very surprised frankly that he said it . And it saddens me . He just does not get it . and when someone just does not get it – ad hominums come out . Fry’s response to the pearly gate question is that ad hominum .

    • Are we discussing Fry or theodicy? Choose your topic.

      I guess then you are proposing a god that is limited in such a way that it can only create the fucked up world we live in. Such a god misses even the basics of decency.

      • Skeptnik – We are discussing Stephen Fry’s Argument with God . Fry’s Argument has contradiction in it that does not rise to the level of a decent and fair or even logical debate on Theodocy itself . The two go hand in hand .

        One cannot separate the discussion of Theodicy if ones life falls short of doing what one is accusing their concept of God to be . How can Fry can compartmentalize and rationalize why some charities he gives to like Elephants even come close to giving to children in the most dire situation ?

        Fry’s comments about blaming the victims of child abuse give him away . He has not the right to critique any concept of a higher power . The God character in the story brings this up to Fry . Why ? Hypocrisy , heartlessness , and the defence that Theodicy is not a mere intellectual finger pointing exercise but rather a life of action that has the right to truly critique the God that failed .

        Bob Geldof comes to mind as one who indeed has that right to accuse this God . Why ? because he has given everything for the argument . So one cannot separate questions of Theodicy from the life of the accuser .

        if the God in question has no credibility then quid pro qou – the accuser of that God who has not done all also has no credibility . anything less is abstractification . Fry is a man accusing God . His life does not measure up in the thing he accuses God of .

        • Furthermore , let us look at this Skeptnik -you might say ( might or might not) that it does not matter who critiques this notion of Divinity or who engages in questions of Theodicy, as long as they are engaged. If so – then i disagree . why ?

          I disagree because i do think that it matters who critiques. It matters because their case is weak and does not hold up or even pass the laugh test of being credible if they are living not up to snuff .

          one may say as you have that ”such a god misses even the basics of decency ”. Two problems with that assertion .

          1. Who determines what is decent or not in a world of relativity in a universe of chaos? what is the intrinsic value of the good? -to use Plato’s quest.

          2. If there is a standard found say for discussion sake that a person is decent enough to be a critic of the non decent divinity , then what about the indecent person who is a critic ? – example – does Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin have any credibility or moral compass to critique anything – much less this notion of God .

          Can Mobsters and Serial killers raise questions of Theodicy ? or – conversely – how good does a person have to be to raise such questions and be credible in raising them ? these are not rhetorical questions .

        • There is no connection between a human’s behavior and an argument he makes. I mentioned this somewhere else.

          Regarding decency, I can only use the human standard in my culture. It is all I have. You only pretend to have a superior standard. But would include the idea of empathy and reason. The god of orthodox christian doctrine does not meet that standard of decency, not even close.

    • Here is the conundrum: If the “fantasy God” made a perfect world in which everything unfolded according to his will, then there would be nothing to love, because his will would be all. Since love requires an object to exist, the creation of such a universe would be a form of self-annihilation.

      So we are granted the option to not heed the will of God – we are allowed our own free will. Unfortunately, many of us chose to play at being gods ourselves, and it is in imposing our will upon others that sin occurs.

      The Christian proposition is that if we learn to submit ourselves in service to one another, we obtain access to enormous amounts of power. I won’t bother you with how that manifests in the New Testament – you’d simply assert that science disproves the possibility of the events that transpired. But to the person of faith, the healing accomplished by Jesus and the Apostles indicate that many ills that we suffer are not of God’s will. In fact, if we surrendered ourselves to the dictates of love as Jesus did, those ills would be unable to obtain purchase upon us.

      So Rocket is right: we are misguided to refuse (or worse, misuse) the gift of love and then decry the consequences of its absence. And it is hypocrisy for Fry to say “God, you didn’t intervene to save the children!” when God created Fry and gave him wealth to so intervene. We were made in God’s image, which can be interpreted as “we are his intervention.”

      And, given the huge amount of charitable work and giving provided by people of faith, to challenge faith is also counter-productive. The faithful understand that the world is imperfect. We simply choose to keep on giving, in part because we feel our hope sustained by the endless love that arises in our hearts.

        • Rocket, putting faith propositions on the same level of verifiability as science propositions is itself a faith proposition. Because our scientific knowledge is not absolute does not mean we don’t know anything. This really ends the conversation. Science gives us information that works, it is a method of gathering reliable information about our environment and negotiating through it. Faith is not a method of gathering information. It is a choice to believe a story. They are not comparable. Anybody can believe a story, faith can say anything and is equal to any other faith because there is nothing to check against, science requires hard work and will always be incomplete and revisable conditioned on new or better information. There is no mexican standoff with science and faith nor science and morality. Morality is not a thing, it is a modifier of verbs, a descriptor of behavior according to a man-made subjective standard.

          Why am I not getting email notifications of new comments.

        • Hi Skeptnik, you should receive email notifications if you checked the little box to receive them when you comment. Another thing to do is check your Spam/Junk folder in case they were put there instead of your inbox.

      • Brian’s argument does not solve theodicy which involves a god that is unlimited in any way. This argument states that god is limited by the nature of love. So it sidesteps the issue by eliminating an attribute. But there are no facts in fiction, so who cares. You can believe anything and prove nothing regarding god.

        Rocket, an abstract hypothetical argument like theodicy carries no moral requirement of the participants in the argument. Who in the world would be able to set such a requirement. There is no connection between the behaviors of people. Horribly immoral people can tell the truth and follow logic and adhere in their arguments to the given definitions of words. Do you really want to dismiss the polemic rights of the prisoners you visit. I know you don’t. Again, this a diversion from the argument. It is the ad hominem fallacy.

        • Skeptnik , this is getting good . Straw man analogy with the prison visits . Why ? because they are not in the domain of the hypothetical . A faith proposition is . This is why I despise Christian apologetics.
          tonight at soup kitchen we fed 95 . This is verifiable . In the last 8 years no one that we know of has frozen on the streets of our town … because of homeless shelter vigilance and relentless volunteerism . this is also verifiable .

          The gospel of Christ in Byrne’s series ”The Meaning of Life ” is discussed in the hypothetical because it is not verifiable , weather he is talking to Geldof, Fry, Bono , etc… That is the only way it can be and should be discussed . There are no facts in fiction you say . well – lets look at that . there are truisms in fiction . That is what great literature is all about _ Shakespeare, Homer, Dante, Milton , Greek Tragedy , Dickens, Beckett , The Bible , etc…
          Mark Twain again – ”Truth is stranger than fiction … because fiction must make sense ”. Fiction must make sense.

          so the question arises – are truisms more important than actual facts ? I think so . you may disagree. So it is with any discussion of Theodicy . Its a ”what if ” … then comes the response . Many people differ on the question .
          So why do they differ? Not all Atheists are created equal . There are those who have stated that if there is such a God then it is time to indict. There are other Atheists that like e.m.cioran that think that Theodicy is a silly question that he holds in suspect stating his personal contempt for God and the Christ story as ”not even worth getting up early in the morning for ”.

          but even in cioran’s dismissal he does not buy into any idea of human morals, stating that it is a fantasy and has more danger in it than theology itself . THAT IS MY KIND OF ATHEIST. one who plays fair. Speaking of playing fair- i have also made it clear that if anyone has the right to point the finger at this concept of God it is Bob Geldof . i as a Christian concede that point . He gave all. So what we are talking about on these matters are truism about US = LITERATURE. But as you have said in the past – these days the classics dont stand a chance .

        • You accuse me of offering fiction. From my perspective, you are guilty of offering a straw man. Your straw man is not the God of mature Christian faith.

          As to which of us has the sounder set of axioms (which is really to critical issue in any intellectual dialog): well, that’s ultimately resolved by the degree to which our behaviors align with the forces that determine our survival. I am confident that my axioms are sound, and not at all fantastical. You have no means of disproving them – not least because I have a Ph.D. in particle physics, and am intimately familiar with the huge holes in its intellectual foundations.

        • Brian, I offered no straw man. If I had you would have pointed it out. The problem of theodicy always involves the unlimited nature of god. That is the essence of it. Your explanation clearly puts a limit on that god. Do you know the god of historic orthodox christianity? It is not limited by your definition of love.

          Do you seriously ask me to disprove a positive proposition? Now that is straw. Anything can be proposed to exist. Nothing can be proven not to exist. But, that does not mean it exists.

          Congratulations on your degree.

        • Skeptnik and Brian , i had no reply button below so i will respond to your latest thus : All questions of Theodicy must be asked in the presence of burning children . I contend as a faith proposition that God IS love. I also contend that This God is unlimited . This is indeed a predicament and the burden of the Christ follower is not to prove God’s existence , but rather to prove that this belief has any morality in it at all. ..or so it seems . i state without equivocation that there is no morality in true Christian faith .

          It seems that the non believer has all the marbles here when it comes to morality and THIS God , and that i have surrendered the white flag . I have confessed to something very despicable in most of the civilized world’s eyes. Yes i have . But i have done so with a caveat. this caveat makes all the difference . It goes thus — Oscar Wilde said ”Morality is something we invent to use on people we don’t like ”.

          My caveat is Wilde’s axiom . I am in complete agreement with Wilde. Morality is a fools game . It is a game by which finite minds play to use to point the finger at others . it does not exist. To be a Christian does not mean to be moral , but as Brian said – it is to be that intervention . And – the most helpless in suffering need that intervention . This is where the critics who traffic in the morality of Theodicy are walking on quicksand . Why ? because morality is fiction . it is man made. it is make believe. it is made up . unless someone can prove morality exists i will remain critical of it with a jaundice eye.

          Because it is made up , this is neither a debate of proving such a God or its antithesis of positing a negative . So , the debate ends in a Mexican standoff of verbiage with only two types of people in the world: Those who help those suffering , and those who just walk on by. The most i can hope and strive for is that all of us, no matter what we believe or not believe we will be those who don’t just walk on by .

        • It is not a mexican standoff. Christians say a god exists and cannot substantiate their claim. That is not a standoff that is a fail.
          If I cannot substantiate my claims, then I should be called out as speaking falsely. This is for the good of our social interactions and attempts to make this world a better place for all sentient beings.

          “So let us not talk falsely now
          The hour’s getting late” – Dylan

        • Skepnik – it is indeed a Mexican standoff because just as Christians cannot prove that God exists , non believers cannot prove that morality exists .

          ” What kind of a sign do you need when it all comes from within ” Dylan

        • Skeptnik – the new Athiesm parades Science around like it is an absolute .
          juxtapose that to the old Atheism that dealt with deeply human and existential questions .

          I prefer the old because it makes no claims toward absolutes ; biological imperatives , empiricism , and other dead end roads that lead to epistomological shakey ground .

        • “non believers cannot prove that morality exists” Not sure what this means. Morality is just a word descriptor of behavior. If you mean absolute or objective morality. We don’t think it does exist.

          Scientist don’t say anything is absolute. All of our understanding is partial and provisional. I personally think absolute is a fiction just like god. It has no meaning. That is a false charge against science which you are burdened with proving. Science deals in probabilities, conceptually pretty far from absolute.

        • Skeptnik – if morality does not exist and is unprovable then any attempt from anyone toward an Ethos is basically a faith proposition . i accept that my position is a faith proposition and is unprovable .but will the secular moralistic ethical crowd admit the same ?

          those who use Science that operate in probability ( approximates) in the New Atheism ( as opposed to the old existential Atheism ) …act ”as if” their probables make any more sense than the absolute statement of a faith proposition . They don’t . this is all on both sides intellectually whistling in the dark .

          This is why the game does not revolve around proof of any kind but has to remain in the rhetoric of hypotheticals. That is why there really is a Mexican standoff here. That leaves us with the only option of ”Love in action rather than love merely in dreams” as Doestevsky said . If one is honest about that – how then can there be falsehood ?

          There is only falsehood in what Antony Flew;’s ”Theology and Falsification ” that he aimed at Christian apolegetics. He was dead right . I don’t think that Rational Atheism today is any better than Flew’s critique. But see- from Ayer to Flew to Dawkins this is all British Empirical method.

          That is a far cry from Nietzsche , Camus, Sartre and Cioran’s Atheism on the Continent . Those cats were seeking to plumb the depths of what it means to be human and distrusted science as much as religion .

          Fry is British and puts more stock in Dawkins then he would in Nietzche .

        • Skeptnik:
          Your straw man is the straw man of escalatory monotheism (the only god worthy of our worship must be a perfect god, because otherwise his authority could be challenged), which is not my position (see my response to James of the Commons below).

          As for “verifiable” science: Do you have a superconducting super collider in your back yard? Conversely, each of us does have a soul, and when it is engaged, we have access to truth that no material method can deny us. The respectability shown to materialists that chose to ignore its existence, contradicting reports common to every human culture, is a fad of the last seventy years.

      • Brian / I did not know about your PHD in particle physics . and that you found holes in it .

        Since Science today is the last refuge for the new Atheism ( as opposed to the existential atheism of old ) , I would really be interested in you and Skeptnik facing off on this .

        Skeptnik is a good freind of mine and he can’t resist iron on iron collision of ideas . that’s just one of the reasons I like him so much .

        I personally sidestep the Epistomology of the A Postori method because it parades as an absolute when in fact it is just another approximation .

        • Rocket, what does “the last refuge for the new Atheism” mean in relation to science?

          Are you saying science parades as an absolute?

      • Brian; would it not have been possible for at least a portion of humanity to love a perfect creation, the perfect creator of the perfect creation, and the perfect will of that perfect creator ? I would argue that a perfect god would have in fact created a perfect world; a world in which every action ,reaction and phenomenom was in some sense of the word, perfect.
        You have stated that love requires an object in order to exist. If this is what you believe then I must assume that you are not a bible believer. The bible clearly states that god is love. From the bible we also learn that god existed before all else. Surely you do not claim to be a bible
        believer ?
        You have stated that sin occurs when we oppose our own will upon others. If this is the case, it seems then we are instructed by even the bible to sin. There is a certain bible verse that commands believers to not allow witches to live. Perhaps like the elite of socioeconomic realm, the self prescribed elite of the spirit realm,” the believers,” are not held to the same laws as everyone else ? I suppose I should not be asking you, because you after all, as I have already stated, most certainly not, a bible believer. Besides that point, I am fairly confident that you believe that there are times when one individual has a moral obligation to prevent another individual from acting upon their will. Indeed you would agree that it is good for a person to impose their will upon another, when say, the other intends to harm a child, or perhaps commit murder ?
        I agree, it is usually unproductive to challenge the faith of the faithful. I have found that the faithful are so insecure in their faith as to often become enraged when reminded of the absurdity of what it is they know deep down inside, is not true.
        Thanks for your well thought out comments Brian.

        • James , what i get from Brian is that if God created a perfect world then it would rob the opportunity for his creation to learn how to love.

          what words rings in my ears from Brian is that We the believers ARE the intervention into a world of suffering . this at least from my view in a hypothetical discussion of Theodicy at least partially disarms the protestation of the those who accuse a notion of this concept of God .

          Thomas Merton says that we are co participants in working out our own salvation and have the honor of as Blake points out ”To bear the beams of love for mans suffering ”. I think that those who protest this notion of God may want to consider that having humans in on the game to learn to love and carry those beams for others is an admirable pursuit.

        • James:
          I would agree that my interpretation of the Bible is not a common one. If you are interested in my perspective, I have a book available (The Soul Comes First – see the link on my side bar).

          The essential difference is that I don’t see love’s perfect manifestation in creation, but in healing. In my theology, the Almighty did not create everything in his realm, but – faced with division and pain in that realm – chose to design this reality in which selfishness could be subdued.

          In the book, I draw an analogy between the Allies treatment of Germany in the Treaty of Versailles, and the American investment of the Marshall Plan. The former, in treating all Germans as evil, made WW II inevitable.

          The sense in which I would assert that an imposition of will is sometimes necessary is with the goal of separating the predator from his prey (I think that responds adequately to your examples). But if you look at God’s conduct in Eden and Jesus’ conduct at Calvary, it is not necessarily a strategy of the divine (consider at Cain and Jesus’ “Father, forgive them”). The divine uses the law of natural consequences, because it sees the preconditions that drive people to deny themselves the fruits of loving relationships (read Cozolino’s The Neuroscience of Human Relationships). It is people, trapped in our linear view of time, that feel the need to impede the working out of that experience as an ill-conceived attempt to forego confrontation with the interior hungers that motivate predators.

          One of the most dramatic moments in the Bible, often overlooked by commentators, is the covenant with Noah in which God grants to Mankind the prosecution of justice. Thus the Mosaic Law, which so often contradicts the mercy shown by God in Genesis and the New Testament, should be seen as a human construct. During the process of its promulgation and implementation, the Hebrew people developed mental discipline. In the New Testament, Jesus clearly deprecates that Law, declaring in essence “You have learned to think. Now think about love.”

        • James, if you try and divorce truth from absurdity you will be staring down the powerful mind and wicked wit of Soren Kierkegaard and you WILL lose.

          Why? Because Kierkegaard understood that to those on the outside looking in -the truth of the gospel of Christ MUST be and absurd offense because it is not the Reason of the non believer who critiques the Paradox of the God – Man, but rather the Paradox that critiques Reason.

          also, the Reason is dependent on the Paradox to critique it therefore it is passive. The Paradox however is not passive. S.K.’ss “Philosophical Fragments” explains this in the chapter called “The Absolute Paradox”.

          on this blog you can hear a short synopsis of the lecture i gave to the Atheist group on the MU campus called “Kierkegaard Reconsidered”.

    • Also from Facebook Comment 3:

      “Yeah. Still. The argument is as if physical existence is the sole existence. For the argument to work you have to be an atheist. An agnostic cannot set up the straw man.”

      • yes. The argument from Physical existence as the sole existence should be held suspect because there is no ultimate evidence to that in the same way that there is no ultimate evidence of the existence of a supreme being .

        Fry says he prefers the Empirical method over rationality . The trouble with that Epistemology is that the method itself is shaky at best . Does he not know that Quantum has cast doubt on the method itself ?

        So he is proceeding from guesswork . The defence God is using against Fry is that Fry is as guilty as God in regards to doing everything he can do to quell the suffering or maybe eliminate it from children . Herein lies Fry’s hypocrisy .

  6. “Because the temporal world does not exist n the preternatural…the natural world is subject to decay and death…”

    • Because of preternatural knowledge and our temporal finite-ness and not seeing the big picture , we as humans are puffed up by our own arrogance and presume much with a tacit assumption that Protagorus fell into when he said ” Man is the measure of all things ”. If Man is … then how can God be the measure of all things. This the Sophists clung to and Socrates did not.

      Every thing and every word proceeds from there. Fry may be very sincere. I dont doubt that he is . But how can a finite creature be accurate when it comes to absolutes . All one is left with is an approximate almost . To treat that approximation as absolute is a capital mistake and a flaw in logic .

      • This is the times we live in…I have seen more than one friend give in to the belief that unless a being from another state of existence appear to them and show them heaven or hell, then they only believe in science or the material world.

        • That Chris is the tragedy of the Post-Enlightenment Epoch . Bob Dylan calls Modern thought the New Dark Ages .

        • Actually , i can speak for myself and in general for the history of mankind . Or as Mark Twain calls it ”The damned human race”. Twain called it like it was . History – secular and religious is replete with this and Twain called both groups out .

          Is it not true that We prefer arrogance to self examination and self interrogation ? Is it not the case that we presume much ? We may not even be aware our unconscious bias and dogmas . Being un aware makes them even more deadly . This is as old as the battle between the Sophists and Socrates that cuts across the Philosophical divide .

          Where is the humility in Fry’s statement ? it presumes much . it is full of Sophistry and judging others. ”Every time a man puts on a robe on and becomes a judge in a court of law , i scoff ” Pascal .

  7. “it is a human state and condition only … and … generally, we don’t want to take responsibility for that …. so … God is as good a scapegoat as any … i guess.”

    • so true . in fact … not just a good scapegoat ..but the perfect scapegoat . As perfect a scapegoat that died on the cross .

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