Global Round-Up - March 2008

  (09 March 08)

With some assistance from Brian Wilder of the Bondi group we have four items worthy of your attention this month. The first two are comparatively short, the Pinker article an hours’ read but the last a much bigger reading task. The executive summary is manageable but the rest needs to be addressed over time. 

What is an agnostic?

John Wilkins is a philosopher of biology at UQ in Brisbane with his own blog “Evolving Thoughts”. Several years ago he posted an interesting analysis of “What is an agnostic” that is quite insightful. John will be one of our speakers at the SOFIA Conference in Melbourne in September.


Exam time!

Wayne Crich of the Bondi group has his own website “Finding My Heart” – – which we recommend as a visit some time, but which has an interesting set of questions that suggest:  EXAM TIME! Have a look.



What makes us want to be good?

This is Steven Pinker’s piece in the New York Times magazine of 13 January in which he asks the question: what makes us want to be good and provides some answers for us to think about .



Why won’t God heal amputees?

This is a confronting but comprehensive investigation of the limitations of God, leading many to the conclusion that there is no personal God. Atheists will find it confirming while theists will be confronted but unlikely to be convinced. Click here to open up to a large website:  Why won’t God heal amputees?




Re: John Wilkins’ article, “What is an agnostic?”

If we were asked “Does Mickey Mouse exist?” I suspect that most of us would answer, “No.”
However, if we were asked, “Does the fictional character ‘Mickey Mouse’ exist?”, then the answer may well be, “Yes, Mickey Mouse exists as a fictional character.”

Am I making a ‘domain’ mistake by comparing Mickey Mouse with God? In my defense I would point out that there may have been hundreds of thousands of gods believed in throughout history and pre-history. I would be insinuating that the gods, and Mickey Mouse, are all fictional characters belonging to the same ‘domain’.

Doubtless, John Wilkins would say that I am making a ‘prior assumption’.

Posted by David Miller

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