Do you believe in God

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AustinElliott
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by AustinElliott » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:29 pm

Simon Spivack wrote:A pernicious meme is that religions are the primary guardians of morality. Thus when an erstwhile government minister who wielded the "trusty sword of truth" was released from prison, I just knew he would catch religion, that being the fastest route to respectability.
See also the several of President Nixon's staffers who, having been jailed over their part in the Watergate cover-up, claimed to have been born again in prison. I can't remember how many of them said they had decided to study to become ministers of religion, but it was definitely more than one.

Of course, one must admit the possibility they were totally sincere, ditto the erstwhile Govt minister Simon mentions. This is what my friends who are Christians always say when I make Simon's point to them. But it happens so often that it does rather strain the credulity, to say the least.
Simon Spivack wrote:Man was born to woe as the sparks fly up.
Yes, definitely Job 5:7. I remember seeing this quote first in one of Charles Schultz's famous Peanuts cartoon strips about 40 yrs ago. Charlie Brown & co are losing a baseball game, as usual. Charlie Brown says something like:

"Nine-nil! Why does this stuff always happen to us?"

- and one of the other players quotes the line.

Robert Dale
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by Robert Dale » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:36 pm

Nick Thomas wrote:I got to thinking that maybe chess players might not be typical in this regard. Does anyone have a theory on whether chess players are predominantly deists/theists/atheists/other? Is it possible to do a secret poll?
Are we any closer to an answer to Nick's original question? I get the impression I am very much in the minority (as a believer) amongst forum contributors! Is that general across the chess world? According to one recent survey, 10% go to church weekly in the UK; is the percentage lower among chess players? Maybe the percentage is lower amongst serious chess players because they are all at tournaments? I've no axe to grind on this - I am deliberately not replying to all the various atheist posts, or I will be accused of "pushing religion" - I am just curious.

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Rob Thompson
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by Rob Thompson » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:43 pm

PeterTurland wrote:Nicely put, today women understand metaphor more than men, because they win more arguments with shapely bottoms and lipstick than men do.
All the advertisement punted at us in terms of how we are supposed to feel about life is that Tesco's is the nearest thing we have to 'G-d'.
Sorry, but what? How is any of that related at all to anything previously discussed in this thread? What relevance does it have to the original question?
True glory lies in doing what deserves to be written; in writing what deserves to be read.

PeterTurland
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by PeterTurland » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:48 pm

Robert Dale wrote:
Nick Thomas wrote:I got to thinking that maybe chess players might not be typical in this regard. Does anyone have a theory on whether chess players are predominantly deists/theists/atheists/other? Is it possible to do a secret poll?
Are we any closer to an answer to Nick's original question? I get the impression I am very much in the minority (as a believer) amongst forum contributors! Is that general across the chess world? According to one recent survey, 10% go to church weekly in the UK; is the percentage lower among chess players? Maybe the percentage is lower amongst serious chess players because they are all at tournaments? I've no axe to grind on this - I am deliberately not replying to all the various atheist posts, or I will be accused of "pushing religion" - I am just curious.
Well rest assured, as far as I can see you are amongst people who relentless promote pedantry, I ask you what is the difference between e4 and d4?

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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by PeterTurland » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:51 pm

Rob Thompson wrote:
PeterTurland wrote:Nicely put, today women understand metaphor more than men, because they win more arguments with shapely bottoms and lipstick than men do.
All the advertisement punted at us in terms of how we are supposed to feel about life is that Tesco's is the nearest thing we have to 'G-d'.
Sorry, but what? How is any of that related at all to anything previously discussed in this thread? What relevance does it have to the original question?
The people who run our culture run it with metaphors, not logic, if our species was run with logic we would not be despeciating our planet.

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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by Ian Kingston » Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:40 am

Neil Graham wrote:
Ian Kingston wrote: I know one Christian chess player. I have no idea what the religious beliefs of the rest are, and it doesn't matter to me. There is no such thing as a Christian/Jewish/Muslim/Hindu/... chess move.
You clearly know more than one as a member of the Notts U-140 team that played at Milton Keynes is a retired clergyman. Unfortunately his presence didn't seem to give us any divine guidance especially on Boards 8-16.
My English was inaccurate: I should have said 'I know of one...'. I'm sure there are several others. I vaguely recall someone once taking a half-point bye on a Sunday morning because of a church service. Nevertheless, I think the point is that chessplayers generally leave their religion outside the playing hall, so one tends not to be aware of their beliefs.

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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by Mick Norris » Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:00 am

Back to the question, Bury has 17 members of which 2 have been Church Treasurers and at least 2 others attend church every week - there are at least 2 others that attend at least occasionally and I have no idea about the others as it has never come up in conversation

I should add that despite this being in an area of relatively high catholic population none of the regulars are Catholic - we presumably had more when we had Polish members - currently our members were born in the UK apart from 1 each from Hungary and Pakistan
Last edited by Mick Norris on Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Simon Spivack
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by Simon Spivack » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:48 am

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:This is nice. I looked it up and it seems to be a more poetic version of a biblical quote ("man is born to trouble even as the sparks fly upwards" - Job 5:7). Was it on this forum that I saw someone lamenting how the King James Bible language was slowly being lost?
It is but a drop in the bucket of borrowings from the Bible.

Yes, the final line in my previous post was an attempt to imprison the meaning of the Hebrew original in an English pentameter.

Bishop Lowe of Oxford delivered a series of lectures at the University on the rhymes of the ancient Hebrews. They swept right across Europe, exciting important figures of the German enlightenment such as Lessing, Herder and Mendelssohn (incidentally, Mendelssohn would have been horrified to have been considered the father of Reform Judaism, just as he would have been upset to learn how many of his children would convert to Lutheranism. He did translate the Hebrew Bible into German, and was chastised by Dayan (a religious judge) Landau of Prague for doing so. The language, in Landau's view, was too lapidary!) It is not correct to suggest that Lowe was the first to notice the poetry in the original, although he was the first in the Enlightenment who did so. If one imagines the picture of the Bible being read aloud to an audience, not all of whom would have been literate, then the desire to add a musical element becomes understandable. A major device of the Bible had to be parataxis (think "anding" clauses together), owing to the limitations of the language of that time; the achievement of meaningful rhyme was considerable.
Austin Elliott wrote:
Simon Spivack wrote:A pernicious meme is that religions are the primary guardians of morality. Thus when an erstwhile government minister who wielded the "trusty sword of truth" was released from prison, I just knew he would catch religion, that being the fastest route to respectability.
See also the several of President Nixon's staffers who, having been jailed over their part in the Watergate cover-up, claimed to have been born again in prison. I can't remember how many of them said they had decided to study to become ministers of religion, but it was definitely more than one.

Of course, one must admit the possibility they were totally sincere, ditto the erstwhile Govt minister Simon mentions. This is what my friends who are Christians always say when I make Simon's point to them. But it happens so often that it does rather strain the credulity, to say the least.
My memory played me false, I should have written "simple sword of truth".

There was a revealing photograph of this individual published in a newspaper long before his holiday to Paris was in the public domain. For some reason he thought it would impress should some books be placed on his desk in front of him, perhaps to foster the impression of a man of letters. I don't know whether it was deliberate on the part of the photographer, for one could quite clearly see the gap in his bookcase from where the books had been removed, there was only the one hole. All too neat to be plausible.
Mick Norris wrote:Back to the question, Bury has 17 members of which 2 have been Church Treasurers and at least 2 others attend church every week - there are at least 2 others that attend at least occasionally and I have no idea about the others as it has never come up in conversation
Another thing to bear in mind is regional variation. Based on conversations when I was the secretary of Athenaeum in London, I'd say about ten per cent were religious. This includes those who would only turn up on High Holy Days and their equivalents. Of course this is hardly scientific, not everyone is forthcoming.

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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by Nick Thomas » Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:13 pm

Do you think that belief in god amongst chess players is correlated to playing strength (or lack of) :?:

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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by PeterTurland » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:35 pm

Nick Thomas wrote:Do you think that belief in god amongst chess players is correlated to playing strength (or lack of) :?:
That is a very clever question and as I have just got in from my daughter taking me to dinner on my 62nd birthday and me consuming a couple of pints of neck oil.

I will sleep on this question, but on first thought it is the balance between emotion, logic and genetics, where the answer lies.

Simon Spivack
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by Simon Spivack » Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:28 pm

Nick Thomas wrote:Do you think that belief in god amongst chess players is correlated to playing strength (or lack of) :?:
Nick returns, like an Assyrian before Jerusalem, he seeks to lay waste to the strong points of the believers. ;)

In my unrepresentative sample the playing strength of the devout varied from an ECF grade of around 110 to about 200 (he is a former British U21 champion, although no names please, in case any have guessed his identity). I don't see any correlation between religious faith and aptitude at chess, just as I don't recognise any pattern between being good at chess and abilities in other fields. But then I am not persuaded that a high IQ demonstrates anything other than a facility to perform well in a particular type of test.

Chess is played in a tolerant environment. One shouldn't ask anyone to sell their right to their beliefs for a mess of pottage, not unless those beliefs go beyond commonly accepted bounds of sanity. I don't know of any chess playing Moloch worshippers.

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Sebastian Stone
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by Sebastian Stone » Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:49 pm

Nick Thomas wrote:Do you think that belief in god amongst chess players is correlated to playing strength (or lack of) :?:
If belief in God would gain me 50 rating points I might consider it. :D
AKA Scott Stone

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That's Mr Stone to you, f**kface.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:26 pm

I recall Matthew Sadler's wearing a cross during the 1995 British, which presumably means he's a Christian and open about his faith.

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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by Jon D'Souza-Eva » Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:06 pm

I played a chap in the London League back in the late 80s who confided in me during the postmortum of our game that he was, in fact, the second coming of the Lord Jesus. I won that game but I wouldn't have fancied my chances against His dad (I'm no Steinitz).

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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by Simon Spivack » Sat Jun 04, 2011 6:14 pm

Jon D'Souza-Eva wrote:I played a chap in the London League back in the late 80s who confided in me during the postmortum of our game that he was, in fact, the second coming of the Lord Jesus. I won that game but I wouldn't have fancied my chances against His dad (I'm no Steinitz).
I didn't know that David Icke played chess!

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