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Ray’s Views Online

Let’s get ‘Real’

Assuming we’re not hostile to Science for religious or other reasons, we really ought to take on board some of its newest findings, however strange or disturbing some of them might seem to be, especially if we’re at all interested in being ‘real’. Imagine you’re sitting at a table. It has a flat top, and […]

What a Tangled Web …

Around the year 30, in a provincial backwater in the Roman Empire called Judea, on the banks of the Jordan, a young man appeared. He came under the spell of the fiery preaching of John the Baptiser, threw in his lot with him, and was immersed in the river. It wasn’t long before he became […]

Don’t Take Offence

A man, protesting because a cinema screened a film he objected to on religious grounds, claimed, “I have a right not to be offended”. On every possible ground, that’s a piece of egregious nonsense.  From a legal standpoint, in the UK, no such right exists. This was made clear in 1979 when protestors against the […]

Seven Deadly Sins

The above Facebook post from “Sad Jesus” made me think about the Bible, a book that’s had a considerable influence in shaping Western culture. It’s often claimed in the Bible’s favour that, by and large, it has provided the moral foundation on which this culture rests. Unquestionably, chapters and verses can be quoted in which […]

The Search for Meaning (ii)

As a follow-on from the previous post, let’s consider how our universe began with a bang to end all bangs, a cataclysmic origin that might suggest that any resulting universe should be extremely disorderly, if not completely chaotic. Surprise, surprise! Ours is developing in accordance with ‘laws’ which we can mathematically formulate and experimentally verify. […]

The Search for Meaning (i)

Does human life have a meaning? Paradoxically, perhaps, Richard Dawkins seems to suggest the only possible meaning of life is, it’s meaningless! Here’s a typical quote – “Nature is not cruel, only pitilessly indifferent. This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor […]

The Stories of Jesus

The Gospels contain “stories of Jesus”. How did these stories originate, and how did they eventually find their way into the four scrolls, now books, in what ultimately became the New Testament? After his crucifixion, some of Jesus’ followers believed they’d seen him alive again. That, in my view, can reasonably be regarded as fact. […]

The Bible – Window or Mirror?

In the early verses of Genesis, the story goes that God said, “let’s create humans in our own image”. “Our” is taken to refer to God plus his divine council of supernatural underlings. It’s a bit like a prime minister and his cabinet (no, not the drinks one!) A great deal of ink can be […]

Mahler and Life and Death

I haven’t blogged for a good few days because I’ve been too ‘re-absorbed’ in the music of one of my three favourite composers, Gustav Mahler, and now I’d like to write something about Mahler and death. I hope you haven’t fled away from that last word, because it’ll catch up with you regardless so, if […]

Somewhere over the Rainbow …

In Genesis, after the all-encompassing waters of the Flood have at last abated, a memorable image makes its appearance in the clearing skies. “God said .. I will place my rainbow in the clouds .. whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears .. I will remember my promise that never again […]

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