Tuesday, August 31, 2010

On the skeptics

It has been just over twenty one years since I made my decision to follow Jesus, which I did just before I turned fifteen.

So, much of my time has been spent reflecting on what this means for me today.

For one thing, my faith in God is not just something that I believe just because as a small child, adults in my life told me about.

To keep examining why I believe in God is important. I was reminded of this after reading an interview with Tony Kelly, the head of The Skeptics, who in addition, describes himself as a lapsed Catholic.

Among Kelly’s comments in the interview are that “....science and faith are contradictory.” I know of many who could present convincing cases as to why they aren’t.

Kelly was asked;

“Why are people in the 21st century so keen to believe in mumbo jumbo?”

Terry Kelly is skeptical about the paranormal, the existence of Unidentified Flying Objects, and religion/ the existence of God. It is assumed that he sees God as ‘mumbo jumbo’ along with all else that he is skeptical about.

I do not believe in UFOs, or anything to do with the paranormal.

Answering the question, Kelly puts it down to ‘emotional immaturity.’ Kelly states that as a small child, people will believe what they are told without questioning it. He then goes on to comment, that some people will carry that with them right through life, because they have not been taught properly to think for themselves.

It sounds like he is parroting the same viewpoint peddled by others like Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion.

Kelly adds that “the church specifically encourages people not to use their brains. They (I assume he means church leaders like priests, or ministers) keep emphasising that ‘faith’ is the most important thing, that it overrides common sense.”

This does not sound like my experience of church. When have I ever heard someone say at church; “Remove your brain”? Never.

Again, like Dawkins, Kelly’s comments come across as rather patronising, and seem to be based on broad over generalisations.


  1. What about people who become Christians as adults? Also, the Baptist church encourages independent thinking. You're allowed to look into things for yourself, and not just accept what's said from the pulpit without question. Any responsible Christian leader would say the same thing, wouldn't they?

  2. Good points there, and well said.

    I recall everything I had impressed upon me during my final years of high school and at university of avoiding over-generalizations when expressing an opinion.