Crossing and ticking life

Today in year 7 Science we were discussing the ethics of stem cell research and other life and death issues. Working at a faith based school, I had to provide (as information) the party line on the issue. I have a class that learns well, but they need significant support to do so, so I drew the graphic above. The idea was rather simple: which question marks would you replace with ticks and which would you replace with crosses. The trick was that I did not reveal the right hand quarter of the diagram until they had all made up their own minds. I did this to show them that it is not a straight forward issue.

The problem for me is I am constantly wavering on where I stand on this issue. I probably should do more research on it, but my diagram helps ….. I think ……

What do you think? Where do you put ticks and crosses? Why there and not somewhere else? Is this a useful image?

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Faith in irrationality

I was told by a student the other day that:

faith is irrational – because it is believing in something without evidence.”

Because I am a bit slow on the uptake I didn’t really reply … also because we have an exam in a few weeks and I needed to get on with the content!

I could have questioned his definition of faith, but instead what I should have asked him was “Do you really believe that?” and when he said yes, I should have simply asked him for the evidence to support his belief.

If such evidence does exists, (my limited intellect cannot locate it) I doubt very much that he would have considered it, weighed it up, etc …..

Faith may well be irrational, but that of course for most that is a matter of faith.

If God made man, then who made God?

Two posts ago I mentioned “school boy atheism”. This week I found myself as a teacher of science (I find myself teaching science quite by accident) being asked the very same question of my own youth.

If God made man, then who made God?”

The problem with the question is not that I cannot answer it, but that I do not need to answer it and that the average 14 year old boy doesn’t really want to understand my non-answer. You see for them, it is about point scoring. So instead I talk about apples.

Most kindergarten students will correctly calculate that if we have a bowl with ten apples in it and we eat one then we will have nine left. They instinctively know that if we keep eating apples without replacing them, then eventually the apples will be all gone.

But what if I had a bowl containing infinite apples? If I have infinite apples and I eat one, how many do I have left? The answer is simple: infinity! If fact if I could go on eating billions upon billions of apples and I would still have an infinite number of apples left. Nobody could make any difference to my bowl of infinite apples. Furthermore, there could not be a bowl, because my crop of infinite apples will take up infinite space, leaving no room for a bowl. One could not even be present to perceive the infinite crop of apples, because ones mere presence would negate the infinite nature of the crop. The infinite is both unfathomable and unbound-able.

The God I believe in is infinite. He is eternal. He is not bound by time.

 I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev 1:8)

The school boy’s question speaks of a different god. A bounded god. A god who was not at some point. It is a question that I do not feel compelled to answer as it does not pertain to my God.