‘The Spanish Inquisition’ is a term that rouses thoughts of torture and a fiery death. It is a term that sits uncomfortably with modern views of a God of Love and acceptance of everyone whatever their beliefs and life choices.
Whilst the ‘Inquisition’ is largely used to describe the events in medieval Spain, the Roman Catholic institution to root out heresy started in France in 1184 and officially continues to this day in the Catholic Church under a different name.
This presentation will look at the reasons for the Inquisition, its victims, and compare it with the civil law and processes current at the time.
Stephen White has had a career as a physicist and is now retired. He has been a very supportive member of the Reasonable Faith Adelaide committee for a number of years.
Sex makes the world go round! Sexual attraction and the resulting sexual activity are vital to almost all forms of animal life, from the simplest to the most complex.
Without sex, life on planet earth would cease to exist. The variation in sexual activity across the animal realm is simply astounding. What is natural for wildlife, such as the birds and the bees and mammals and reptiles and fish and insects and everything else, and what are the implications for human sexuality?
Technology is invading every facet of our lives including our sex lives and relationships; and the pace and breadth of technological change is staggering. We are adopting this technology into our lives and are often unaware and of the real “costs” to us, our societies and our relationships.
In this talk we will briefly survey the landscape of technology that affects our existence in the world as “sexual beings” and then look in detail at some of the darker and more damaging areas of this landscape. Examples are high speed internet pornography, the growing evil of child sexual exploitation and how technology is enabling “new” evils to be visited on the vulnerable.
We will look at this topic from a “largely secular” perspective. However, on many issues, such as the challenges and evils of child exploitation, there is good agreement between people of faith and secular minded people. Still there are significant and obvious implications here for the Church, which we will highlight.
Tom Daly is an IT professional, with over 30 years’ experience and is a graduate of the University of Adelaide. Tom has been asking tough questions of his Christian faith for many years now and is confident that the more scrutiny orthodox Christian faith is subjected to the more it provides a coherent (and breathtaking) worldview.
According to Wikipedia, the “God of the gaps” is a theological perspective in which gaps in scientific knowledge are cited as evidence or proof of God’s existence.
This would have been a particularly attractive position at a time when people knew almost nothing, and could thus ascribe everything to God, but now that we know more and more, is God is getting squeezed out? Failures in gap arguments in the past have been embarrassing and counter-productive.
Are we in the process of eliminating God, or do gaps we still point to God, or is this an entirely erroneous concept in the first place?
Brian Schroeder presents the issues, and argue for the standard Christian response to this question. His talk is available on YouTube.
From ancient times people have gazed at the sun, moon and stars observing their consistent daily and seasonal motion, and assumed that all of this was ordered by a maker. The Enlightenment dismissed this as fanciful imagination, but as our power of observation of both the atomic and stellar scale has grown, we see increasing signs of order that only needs the slightest variation to prohibit life supporting conditions. Is there any other reason that can explain this observed fine tuning in our physical environment?
Steve White presents an outline of Fine Tuning and the Multiverse. He presents evidence for the fine tuning of our universe from the sub-atomic to the stellar scale and then discusses whether Multiverse theory can explain it. Do we just happen to live in one lucky, life-supporting version, among many other universes?
Stephen White has had a career as a physicist and is now retired.