12. It works (mostly!)

December 1st, 2019

This page in brief ….

In the previous eleven posts in this series, we have seen that many different aspects of life (the universe, human life, the history of Jesus and human experience) all seem to make more sense if there is a creator God, than if there is not.

In this final post, we look at the ultimate road test – how does belief in the christian God work out in life. Is it good for the believer, and the world, or is it bad?

While this may not prove that belief in God is true, we would certainly doubt belief was true if it led to bad outcomes.

The information on this page comes from research by secular psychologists and neuroscientists. Links to references are at the end.

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There is no Planet B

September 7th, 2016

Australians have had a polarised and sometimes ambivalent attitude to the threats to this planet, and to our comfortable Aussie way of life, from climate change. Most people, most of the time, want to make positive changes, but a sizeable minority follow the shock jocks and the Murdoch press in mocking climate change.

Governments have vacillated too, sometimes bravely moving forwards against the doom claims of some in the business lobby, sometimes doing the absolute minimum. As a result, Australia lags most developed countries, and quite a few less developed countries, in promoting renewable energy sources – all the more reprehensible since we have such a large land area and so many opportunities for solar, wind and tidal power generation.

But the battle goes on, and this week a new shot has been fired.

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Light at the end of the tunnel for some of the world’s poorest people

May 2nd, 2016

Bithi started work in a Bangladeshi clothing factory when she was 12. Abject poverty and a sick father forced Bithi’s family to send the two oldest daughters to the garment factories to sew designer clothes sold mainly in North America. It was either that, or watch the girls slowly starve.

Now 15, Bithi helps create a minimum of 480 pair of designer jeans every day, sewing 60 pockets an hour. For this, she earns about $1 US a day.

If that shocks you, makes you angry, or even makes you cry, that is an appropriate response. But at last there is a glimmer of hope for girls like Bithi.

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Christianity – the good and the bad?

July 10th, 2015

CATHEDRAL

The good and harm done by christianity is a topic of much discussion and argument, and I have written on it many times (e.g. Does religion poison everything? and Do religious believers have better health and wellbeing, like, really?).

Keith Parsons is a US philosopher and atheist who writes about the philosophy of religion, and actively engages with christian belief via The Internet Infidels website and the Secular Outpost blog. Keith has made his assessments of christianity in two posts on Secular Outpost, and they are worth checking out.

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No more! No more!

March 31st, 2015

U2 on the Rattle and Hum tour way back in 1987, sang their old song Sunday Bloody Sunday, in response to an IRA bombing.

It’s long been one of my favourite pieces of concert footage as Bono, outraged by the killing, emotes on stage, while the Edge, ever the steady rock around which the band moves, plays jagged, anguished chords.

Fortunately, the troubles are now mostly a thing of the past, but this video reminds us of what made this band great, and how we should all feel about the taking of human life (even if we can’t express it so well!).

Well worth a look, or another look. But if you’re sensitive, Bono does utter one (understandable) expletive.

Wealth, poverty and inequality

December 13th, 2013

Coins

Try this brief quiz:

  1. Which country is the richest in the world in terms of median wealth?
  2. Which countries come close?
  3. Which countries have the greatest and least disparity between the rich and the rest?
  4. In the richest country, what percentage of people live in poverty?

Have a guess, then check out the answers.

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How much did your T-shirt cost?

October 20th, 2013

T Shirt

Aussies wear T-shirts. We wear them at the beach, or around the house, or under a shirt when we go out. So we buy lots of them. And we like to pick up a bargain.

And we’re not alone – T-shirts seem to be popular all over the world.

So how much did your last T-shirt cost?

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Two films about Australia’s boat refugees

June 20th, 2013

Villawood detention centre

Persecution and death threats in their home countries lead many Afghanis, Sri Lankans and others to seek to enter Australia as refugees. Many attempt the often perilous journey to Australia by crowded boat. Many die in the attempt, but most are found to be genuine refugees.

We can assimilate these people without too much difficulty, though there must be practical limits. However the political situation in Australia, fanned by rabid right wing media, has often turned public opinion against these refugees.

But there is a human side to the story.

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