Beatify Matthew Parris

A bit off topic (just a bit), but probably worth repeating:

You are living, dear reader, at a watershed in human history. This is the century during which, after 2,000 years of what has been a pretty bloody marriage, faith and reason must agree to part, citing irreconcilable differences. So block your ears to the cooing voices on Thought for the Day, and choose your side.

“But how can you be sure?” Oh boy, am I sure. Oh great quivering mountains of pious mumbo-jumbo, am I sure. Oh fathomless oceans of sanctified babble, am I sure. Words cannot express my confidence in the answer to the question whether God cured a nun because she wrote a Pope’s name down. He didn’t. Mere language does no justice to my certainty about whether God might be waiting for the return to their Biblical lands of the Israelites, before arranging the Second Coming. He isn’t.

Shout it from the rooftops. Write it on walls. Carve it into rock. He didn’t. He isn’t. He won’t.

Read it all.

5 Responses to “Beatify Matthew Parris”

  1. Marc says:

    Reason is a modern idea in relative terms regarding these things. Still, he’ll be reviled for saying it – even if he is, most certainly, quite correct.

  2. Andy A says:

    Of course, as you would expect, there are the usual suspects commenting on that article (I left one, but don’t know whether it’s made it yet). One, Benedict Carter, says,

    The problem lies with Mr Parris to disprove that miracles occur.

    No, no, no! The onus is on those who make these ridiculous claims to prove that miracles exist. Exposed to scientific reason, these putative miracles would fall, flat, dead, unproven and unprovable. By the same token, Mr Carter, the onus is on believers in gods to prove that those gods exist (or that God exists). Of course, I cannot prove that such entities do not exist, because you cannot prove a negative. I cannot prove that fairies don’t exist at the bottom of my garden either. But show me the evidence. Reason the argument. Even Anselm’s attempt at the ontological argument is ridiculous. As for the argument from design …!

    We have billions of years of evolution to show us how things happened and grew complex. Sorry, Mr Carter, you prove your stance. Don’t expect Parris, me and other more rational people to prove the absence of entities that are borne out of rather silly claims.

  3. Duncan says:

    How ardently do you think I need to believe that JP II caused the cold I had last week for it to be a publicly acceptable ‘faith based’ proposition that he did? Then again; I did get better. Was the cold caused by John Paul and the recovery nature or the other way around? Maybe the nun is mistaken – her writing down John Paul’s name in fact triggered an instance of backwards causation and in fact was the trigger for the onset of the illness in the past.

    There seems equal evidence for either claim methinks.

  4. Duncan says:

    “The problem lies with Mr Parris to disprove that miracles occur.”

    What can you do when someone asks you to prove that the impossible does not happen apart from presenting them with a dictionary. Either an event is impossible in which case it did not occur, or it is possible and unexplained in which case it is proof of nothing until it is explained, which requires publicly acceptable standards of proof which – I think we can satisfy ourselves – is what science attempts to deal in, or it is possible and explained in which case… it’s pretty uninteresting.

  5. Mark Hudson says:

    As if more proof be needed, this article demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt that Matthew Parris is a god among men. His article last year (also in the Times: ) in which he said we should fart in the general direction of religion (I paraphrase, please forgive me) raised him up to ironic sainthood in my eyes, but this article takes him well and truly into the realms of my other heroes: Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Douglas Adams. Thank god (chortle) for his being able to write this article.

    I had a conversation with someone last year in which she said, in response to finding out about my atheism, “You don’t believe in God? Then how do you explain where the world came from?” It was at that point I realised that no rational discussion can be had with people whose minds work in that fashion. Similarly with the father-of-my-girlfriend’s-friend who recently blamed Christopher Reeve’s fall from a horse – and consequent paralysis and death – on his being a womaniser. Yes yes, god isn’t saving those children shitting themselves to death in Africa, and didn’t save all the pious in New Orleans, but he REALLY wants to push people off horses. Probably just before nipping off to check people’s eating habits and clothing.