Here is a message from him (followed by my reply and one other Christian's reply so far) - please evaluate.
I suggested the group try these 50 Questions. Jacky Lam, kindly and courteously, replied to me, inter alia, that they were 'not new'. Well sorry Jacky (and your friends) since you persist in airing your views on FB you can have no objecton this bull having finally lost patience with the red rag you keep waving in his face!
Of course my objections are not ‘new’ Jacky, to my certain knowledge, I have been arguing them since before you were born (yes I am that old). I think you’ll find that intelligent people have been arguing against the mind numbing stupidity of all religious ‘belief’ at least since the time of Lucretius. Oh yes, and then there is the little matter of The Enlightenment for you to deal with and, in no particular order, Hobbes, Spinoza, David Hume, Marx, John Stuart-Mill, George Elliot, Percy Bysshe Shelly, Mark Twain, Joseph Conrad, Thomas Hardy, George Orwell, Philip Larkin, Freud, Bertrand Russell, Carl Sagan, John Updike, A.J Ayre, Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan … not to mention Darwin and Einstein, before you even begin to take on Stephen Hawking, astro-physics and the origin of the universe (and our obscure insignificant de-centred place in it) string theory, qantum mechanics, and then Richard Dawkins and the origin of DNA, just for starters!
I think my main objection to all religious ‘believers’ is that they just will not leave people alone. If you want to ‘believe’ and put your ‘faith’ (as you clearly do) in fairy stories that have no basis in historical fact, never mind operating outside every single scientific one, that is your, and in my view, sad destiny. It is the need to proselatise such dangerous clap-trap on FB and elsewhere, particularly to children in HK schools, that I seriously and vehemently object to. (See your blog 'Easter Club'. Children 4 -11. 5 'talks' 9 Bibles! There is no such thing as a 'Christian child' Jacky, only Children who are indoctrinated by adults, however well meaning. If it was political or economic theory or Nazism or Communism in China, you would say it was tantamount to child abuse. Why is Christian 'doctine' any different when instilled into a 'captive' 4-year old?)
It is bad enough in European culture, where there is at least a semblance of a chance that the history of the Christian Church (that is, to all intents and purposes, the Catholic Church and its ‘Orthadox’ and Protestant schisms and off-shoots over the past 2000 years) might be ‘recognized’ and taught as history. In HK many of the local ‘innocents’ are so utterly devoid of any Judeao-Christian, historical anchoring, that they constantly say things to me like ‘No I am not a Catholic I’m a Christian’. Sometimes I want to pat them on the head other times I want to slap some sense into them, depending on my mood. Western missionaries have a lot to answer for in replacing an historically Chinese belief in the supernatural with and equally nonsensical Western one. In the case of the many protestant 'sects' here in HK they ones which are historically, often falsely and dishonestly portrayed, in terms of their origins in Catholic teaching.
Perhaps it is no co-incidence that the Abrahamic ‘God’ of the Judeao-Christian-Isalmic religions are based on ‘revelations’ to semi-stupefied peasants in desert regions ‘long, long ago’. Of course, not everyone is taken in by ‘spiritual experiences’ ‘ghost stories’ and ‘babblings from beyond’. I have met many intelligent ‘believers’ (and one time believers, one of my best friends is a Greek & Roman scholar and former Precentor of Canterbury Cathedral … now an atheist public school Latin teacher) but there is not one in human history remotely qualified to say that they ‘understood’ the mind of God. Yet that is precisely what you (as you describe yourself, a 'fundamentalist Christian bible-basher) and those that profess to be mono-theistic Christians, Jews or Muslims must claim. So however modestly and humbly you think you express your views (and you always do) I can have no respect for them.
I would never, personally, describe myself as an atheist because this puts me on the back-foot in having to give too much away to ‘believers’. As Sam Harris has argued, I do not feel the need to describe myself as an ‘anti-racist’ why would I even begin to feel the need to describe myself as an anti-theist? The idea itself is just too stupid in the first place, tout court. The existence of a deity cannot ever be dis-proved but at least an intelligent theist can opt to be a mere deist (i.e. that the sheer magnificence of the known universe and everything in it strongly implies an ‘ordering force’) as much as I regard that idea with equal contempt. By contrast, those besotted by religion, have to go one further and say, as Christopher Hitchens has pointed out, ‘that this creative force is also an intervening one: one that cares for our human affairs and is interested in what we eat and with whom we have sexual relations, as well as the outcomes of battles and wars’. For you and others to even begin to assert such nonsense is quite simply to assert more than any human being can or will ever know, and why it makes me so cross when you attempt to do so, particularly to the young and the ignorant, the vulnerable and the infinitely gullible.
Homo-sapiens have been on earth for at least 150,000 years and if you want to ‘believe’ in one of the tens of thousands of shamans offering ‘miracles’ that just happens to have become (through violence, bloodshed, corruption and the naked armed power of Catholic Popes) a popular fairy story for the past 2000 of those 150,000 years, that is your choice. If, despite your expensive education, you feel the need to persist in a belief in the ‘virgin birth', and people rising from the dead, I suppose you are only deluding yourself. But even if you could ‘prove’ it categorically, this still would not come close to ‘proving’ Jesus was the ‘son of god’, would say absolutely nothing about truth and morality let alone an afterlife (ha ha), or ‘last judgement’. It is just proof of the stubbornness with which otherwise intelligent people can cling to opinions without a shred of evidence to support them.
Again, to quote Hitchens directly, my simple position on all religion (and on the rule of law for that matter) is this: ‘ … the original form of tyranny of man over man, and of man over the mind of man (sometimes called totalitarianism) was certainly theocratic, and no overcoming of the absolutist or of the arbitrary is complete unless it includes a clear-eyed rejection of any dictator whose rule is founded on the supernatural … who [in their right mind except fundamentalist religious epigones like you and your PCLL Christian group, apparently!] wishes that there was a permanent, unalterable, celestial despotism that subjected us to continual surveillance and could convict us of thought-crime, and who regarded us as its private property even after we died? How happy we ought to be that there is not a shred of respectable evidence to support such a horrible hypothesis. And how grateful we should be to those of our predecessors who repudiated this utter negation of human freedom'.
He goes on … 'If anything proves that religion is not just man-made but masculine made, it is the incessant repetition of rules and taboos governing the sexual life. The disease is pervasive, from the weird obsession with virginity and the one-way birth canal through which prophets are ‘delivered’ through the horror of menstrual blood all the way to the fascinated disgust with homosexuality [where do you stand on this Jacky? Do you support the legal right for 16-year-olds to bugger each other in private in HK?] and the pretend concern with children (who suffer worse at the hands of the faithful than any other group) [Cathoic Priests in the US, we know the vile suffering you inflicted on thousands of children]. Male and Female genital mutilation; the terrifying of infants with hideous fictions about guilt and hell; the wild prohibition of masturbation [I won’t ask you where you stand on this, though personally I am in favour!]: religion will never be able to live down the shame with which it has stained itself for generations in this regard, any more than it can purge its own guilt for the ruining of formative periods of precious life’ (‘The Portable Atheist’, Christopher Hitchens, 2007).
Given the word limit, forgive me for doing it comment after comment after comment... for I have some things to say just in response to this note (and to make sure that people are aware of what I think as well)...
Firstly, your concerns are something which I do consider everytime I speak the gospel to someone. When you lay yourself up for a discussion on the generic topic of God, before moving on to Christianity (to which you often used the historical/academic term 'Judeo-Christian'), I tend more than often to grab such opportunities to share my faith in God. Why? Not because I am a self-righteous despotic person trying to spread my self-righteousness onto others.. (and I think you can see that :) ) rather, I am telling people about this object of faith which - frankly - is pretty amazing in my eyes.