Sunday, November 05, 2017

Faith and reason inseparable

It amuses me how both Christians and atheists regard one-another as unreasonable.  Atheists regard Christians as unreasonable for believing in an invisible being and Christians regard atheists as unreasonable for denying that there was a  creator.  Knowing that juxtaposition helps make me very tolerant of Christians even though I am a thoroughgoing atheist -- JR

By Peter Kurti (Peter is an ordained minister in the Anglican Church of Australia)

Myths persist about the unreasonableness of religious belief — especially Christianity. Fashionable intellectuals pitch religion against science, saying rationality is the highest principle of the universe.

Overlooked is Christianity’s vital synthesis of the Greek philosophical tradition that gave rise precisely to the form of reason from which the intellectuals have attempted to divorce faith.

Far from being the enemy of reason, faith — as Greg Sheridan wrote last week — is the basis of reason. “Science tells us a great deal about how,” he said, “but nothing about why.”

For the discovery of truth to be more than a series of non-rational, subjective assumptions, we need to remember that religious faith needs to be a part of reasonable discourse.

Not only does Christian theology entail formal reasoning about God; the discipline of theology, as a form of reasoned enquiry, is foundational component of what we refer to as ‘the West’.

And emphasis on our minds’ ability to apprehend reality — including philosophical and religious truths — is woven into the very fabric of the West, says scholar of religion Samuel Gregg.

The concept of reason is broader than the limits of the empirically falsifiable, something emphasised by Pope Benedict XIV in his 2006 lecture delivered at Regensburg:

“The world’s profoundly religious cultures see this exclusion of the divine from the universality of reason as an attack on their more profound convictions,” Benedict said.

By the application of reason, human beings exercise the capacity both to comprehend and to shape their social reality, to exercise moral judgement, and to make reasonable choices.

In this way, human beings grow as reasonable people and so are able to build human communities which defend human dignity from the subversion of character and courage.


The angry Left

A picture is worth .... 

It's  Australian writer, Marxist and author, Helen Razer below.  You can read some of her angry words here. Not recommended.  She admits to having had "many psychiatrists".  I like her plaits, though

Turnbull extols relationship with Israel as nations strengthen security ties

The relationship between Australia and Israel has never been more profound than now, Malcolm Turnbull has said.

The prime minister hailed the nations’ deep ties and shared values after meeting his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, in Jerusalem on Monday night.

But the leaders still don’t see eye-to-eye on Iran despite lengthy discussion, with Turnbull reiterating Australia’s view to stick with the nuclear agreement, which the Israelis want to end.

The pair embraced warmly during a ceremonial welcome alongside their spouses, before holding one-on-one and bilateral meetings.

Turnbull said collaboration between Australia and Israel had deepened over the century and was now at its height. But their shared values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law were being tested by “militant Islamist terrorism” – both in the Middle East and the Philippines.

“It is a threat to Israel, it is a threat to Australia, it is a threat to all who value and cherish freedom,” Turnbull said.

Officials signed a memorandum of understanding to allow for more cooperation between the two nations’ defence industries, including potential export opportunities.

The leaders also pledged greater cooperation on cyber security.

“We have a vital interest in working more closely and intensely together to keep our people safe from terrorism and from the use of the internet,” Turnbull said.

Iran was discussed at length, after the US president, Donald Trump, refused to certify Iran’s compliance with the deal – a move Israel supports.

“We absolutely understand Israel’s very real concerns and anxiety about Iran moving to a nuclear weapons capability,” Turnbull said. “But we are not dissuaded that moving away from the agreement would be beneficial in terms of preventing that type of proliferation.”

Netanyahu and Turnbull, who later dined together privately with their wives Sara and Lucy, both acknowledged the centenary of the Battle of Beersheba – which will be commemorated with a series of events on Tuesday.

Turnbull described it as a pivotal moment in history, led by Australian horseman who helped liberate Palestine from the Ottoman empire.

“It was a great victory – the last successful calvary charge in military history and certainly one that rings through the ages,” he said.

Netanyahu labelled it the “gateway to the rebirth of the Jewish people”. “[It] would not have been possible without the heroism and sacrifice of Australian troops who liberated this land from 400 years of Ottoman rule with tremendous courage,” he said.


New poll suggests One Nation could be kingmaker in Queensland election

ONE Nation leader Pauline Hanson could be on the brink of her biggest political breakthrough yet with polls suggesting she is on course to be the kingmaker in Queensland’s state elections and decide who becomes premier.

On October 29, current premier Annastacia Palaszczuk called a snap November 25 election sending voters to the ballot box two months early.

She’ll be fighting for the top spot with Liberal National Party (LNP) leader Tim Nicholls.

Last week, Ms Hanson accused Ms Palaszczuk of being “cowardly” for calling the election while she was away on a parliamentary trip to India, meaning the One Nation leader would miss the first week of campaigning.

But the overseas absence doesn’t appear to have hurt the party.

While Labor leads the LNP 52 per cent to 48 per cent on a two party preferred basis, the Galaxy Poll for the Courier Mail states One Nation could pick up a whopping 18 per cent of the state’s votes.

With all parties taken into account, Labor’s vote reduces to 35 per cent and the LNP’s to 32 per cent. That would mean Ms Hanson’s support will be vital in getting either party over the line.

One Nation is actually polling below their 1998 high of almost 23 per cent.

However pollsters have said a strategy of focusing on fewer, more competitive electorates could see them win seats.

While Mr Nicholls has said there will be no formal coalition with One Nation, he hasn’t ruled out a looser agreement that could see the LNP create a minority government with Ms Hanson’s backing.

The poll of almost 900 Queenslanders, published on Saturday, also shows the Greens vote has increased to nine per cent, possibly due to ructions over the controversial Adani coal mine proposals.

What’s certain is both major parties have much to worry about.

The LNP will be concerned the new poll showed its numbers were sinking with a four per cent drop in support while Labor held its ground.

In addition, far fewer Queenslanders prefer Mr Nicholls as premier than Ms Palaszczuk.

But it’s not plain sailing for Labor either. Ms Palaszczuk has been forced to deny a conflict of interest over a federal loan assessment to Adani after it emerged her partner worked on the mining giant’s application for the cash.

On Friday, Ms Palaszczuk pledged to veto the $1 billion federal loan for the controversial Carmichael coal mine, saying her government would play no future role in its assessment.

Ms Palaszczuk revealed her husband Shaun Drabsch, in his capacity as infrastructure advisory director for PwC, worked on Adani’s application for the loan under the Commonwealth’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF).

However, Ms Palaszczuk accused LNP senators in Canberra of a “smear campaign” and “circulating rumours” about Mr Drabsch.

“I am told they planned to use this during the election campaign to impugn my character and suggest something untoward,” the premier told reporters.

Ms Palaszczuk insisted there had been nothing untoward and she had not known about her partner’s involvement as part of PwC’s work to secure a loan from the NAIF.

To veto the loan, Ms Palaszczuk will need Mr Nicholls’ endorsement, as the government is currently in caretaker mode.

But he doesn’t seem keen to play ball. “If, as the premier claims, all necessary conflict of interest measures are correct and above board, why has she put thousands of jobs at risk with this extraordinary backflip?”

There was better news for Ms Palaszczuk in the preferred premier stakes with 43 per cent of Queenslanders choosing her over Mr Nicholls. But 28 per cent said they were uncommitted to either.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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