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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

The intellectual atheist

One of the more interesting atheist arguments is that there cannot be a God because smart and educated people are more likely to be convinced that He does not exist.  Setting aside that this is a logically fallacious appeal to intelligence and education, there are other reasons to find it dubious:
A math professor at Michigan State University allegedly stripped naked, ran naked through his classroom and screamed "There is no f*cking God!" before police apprehended him, according to several reports.... "He was screaming profanities and things you really couldn't understand, and something about religion," David Grabowski, an MSU senior, told MLive.com.
That being said, I do find the professor's unique argument to be rather more convincing than most of the public testimonies presented by various Pharyngulans.  The sad thing is that running around naked and screaming like a lunatic is more coherent than most of their irrationalizations.

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74 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous October 02, 2012 6:52 PM  

Ya, sure vox, because no crazy person has every run around shouting that there is a God.

Anonymous Idle Spectator October 02, 2012 6:53 PM  

There is no God, and naked math man is his prophet.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza October 02, 2012 6:54 PM  

How mature and entertaining!! What a demonstration of attention seeking/absurd emotionalism or possible break from reality. One thing is clear; God exists and streaking isn't an effective manner of convincing people there is no God. However, the math prof is probably the most rational of his circle.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza October 02, 2012 6:55 PM  

Wait!! It is a new religion; the mathematical atheist nudity cat!!

Anonymous Porky? October 02, 2012 6:55 PM  

Tenure is a beautiful thing.

Anonymous Beau October 02, 2012 7:02 PM  

I wonder if someone spiked his coffee with LSD.

Blogger The Bechtloff October 02, 2012 7:04 PM  

I've never understood how anyone could be an atheist. Even if one accepts all the naturalistic theories, they only attempt to explain how things came to be in their present state, not how they came to be. You still ultimately need some sort of creator.

Anonymous Toby Temple October 02, 2012 7:18 PM  

There is no God, and naked math man is his prophet.

Nice one Idle! hahaha

Anonymous WaterBoy October 02, 2012 7:20 PM  

Atheist?

I dunno, man. His involvement with Scouting and participation in Scout Sunday at his troop's sponsoring church may cast some doubt on that....

Anonymous WaterBoy October 02, 2012 7:31 PM  

From his Children's Message at an earlier Scout Sunday:

Prayer: Dear God, We thank you for what the Boy Scouts are learning to do. Help us to do our best for You, Lord, and our country and the people we know. Amen.

Mental breakdown ≠ atheist?

Anonymous daddynichol October 02, 2012 7:40 PM  

I guess that as a math instructor, it just didn't add up. *rimshot*

Thank you everyone. Tip your waitress. I'll be here all week!

Anonymous zen0 October 02, 2012 7:45 PM  

Beau October 02, 2012 7:02 PM

I wonder if someone spiked his coffee with LSD.


The LSD story I remember was during an early LSD experiment with some academic types. Some were given a placebo and they were all being observed. Two of them met in the washroom to take a leak and they were saying stuff like "I think I feel something" and " yah, its difficult to tell but something is different."

A third man entered, went to the window and yelled. "I see God!"

Maybe atheists could use some LSD.

Anonymous Sojourner October 02, 2012 7:47 PM  

Demons don't care how smart you are...

Anonymous zen0 October 02, 2012 7:50 PM  

Ya, sure vox, because no crazy person has every run around shouting that there is a God.

No wonder you want to be Anon, you completely missed the point. Vox was commending his debating skills.

Anonymous Aeoli October 02, 2012 7:55 PM  

When has a demon-possessed person claimed there isn't a God? In all Biblical instances they recognized God's existence and authority.

Induction, I know.

And it's not a mental breakdown. Those don't usually involve nudity. This is clearly chemical.

Anonymous Aeoli October 02, 2012 8:00 PM  

I should add that the chemicals could have been produced by his brain, but even then we shouldn't confuse mania or schizophrenia with stress-induced types of insanity.

Anyway, he's a math professor. So we already knew at least one thing is wrong with him.

Anonymous Stickwick October 02, 2012 8:02 PM  

“As someone who is also in this class, I can confirm his eccentricity. He wore the same set of clothes every single day up until today and his mind never seemed to be stable. Everyone in the class could probably have seen this coming from day one, it was just a matter of time until it happened. He made the weirdest analogies, the most notable being about beating his wife.”

Math professors seem especially susceptible to strange behavior and mental breakdowns. As an undergrad, I witnessed a math professor lose it (and subsequently her job), though it wasn't as spectacular as this. At least the dude didn't murder his colleagues like that creepy biology professor in Alabama.

Tenure is a beautiful thing.

Tenure allows you to get away with a lot, but it isn't a license to act like a complete nut. Unless this guy's freakout is due to something that can be dealt with therapeutically (unlikely from what I've read), he's toast, tenure or not.

Anonymous WaterBoy October 02, 2012 8:05 PM  

Aeoli: "And it's not a mental breakdown."

Bad choice of word on my part, because of the specific connotation of that particular phrase.

"Mental meltdown" would have been better, and would encompass the possibility of chemically-induced causes.

Anonymous Stickwick October 02, 2012 8:08 PM  

That being said, I do find the professor's unique argument to be rather more convincing than most of the public testimonies presented by various Pharyngulans.

Heh heh. Also, the prof's raging hostility somehow seems more honest than the dank sort of hostility one tends to encounter at Pharyngula.

Anonymous jm October 02, 2012 8:18 PM  

"Imagination does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom."

This came to mind as I read the article. Perhaps Chesterton was on to something.

Blogger Nate October 02, 2012 8:18 PM  

I certainly hope this particular professor is... not... like PZ.... physically I mean.

Anonymous Kickass October 02, 2012 8:21 PM  

Aeoli, this is where reading comprehension is important friend. Details count. Demons recognized Jesus The Christ in His human form and could not keep from crying out who He was.
However, we are counseled to test the spirits to discern who is of Him and who isnt. The test is whether they claim Jesus was and did who He said He was and did.
Apparently they also recogonize Him in us, which is why those seven brothers got their asses handed to them..
Now I am going with possession here. Same with the zombies. Several times when people were possesed in the Bible they ran around naked AND acted like this. Anyone noticing the increasing frequency here?

Anonymous Idle Spectator October 02, 2012 8:33 PM  

As someone who is also in this class, I can confirm his eccentricity. He wore the same set of clothes every single day up until today and his mind never seemed to be stable.

This is nothing eccentric or out of the ordinary for mathematicians.


At least the dude didn't murder his colleagues like that creepy biology professor in Alabama.

That was Dr. Amy Bishop, what a bitch. Big Obamanut too. Notice how that was never reported?


Math professors seem especially susceptible to strange behavior and mental breakdowns. As an undergrad, I witnessed a math professor lose it (and subsequently her job), though it wasn't as spectacular as this.

Yes. They seem to come down with OCD, and schizophrenia at high rates. Also autism is skyhigh. A lot of famous mathematicians seem to have strong connections to either theology, or have professional theologians in their families. I don't know why. I have just seen that pattern.

You do not see that connection in the other sciences. Except for the closely related Physics, but to a much smaller degree.


Sometimes, too much math can be dangerous for your health.

Blogger rcocean October 02, 2012 8:39 PM  

I always love how nerds think that because you can do super good at calculus, discovered that E=mc2, or can win 10 games of chess - blindfolded - you know the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

When it comes to Theology, Philosophy, and life in general, your Math SAT score is irrelevant.

Anonymous scoobius dubious October 02, 2012 8:42 PM  

I think we should establish a sort of toll-booth system: any Western intellectual who wishes to blather on in public at a loud volume about atheism and how there is no God, and especially [it seems] no Christian God, should first be forced to deliver a series of public declarations on atheism at Al-Azhar Islamic Theological University in Cairo.

Of course they won't, and you knew it in advance, but my personal theory is that the cringing boot-licking cowardice of Western atheists before Islam is not so much to do with their (correct) concern for bodily safety, as I don't believe they'd publicly defame say Buddhists or Hindus or Jews or Shintoists or Jains or Zoroastrians in the same manner either, despite a lack of threats from all these faiths. (It's interesting the amount of public vitriol that is hurled at creationist Christians for thinking the world is only a few thousand years old, and yet the same public is full of benevolent regard every year for Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year, which openly proclaims that the world dates from its creation circa 5700-odd years ago, with no ridicule whatsoever.) Western atheist intellectuals will happily lick any pair of feet whatsoever, so long as they're brown.

I think rather that Western aggressive atheism is a form of societal auto-immune disorder, where members of the white Christian European West are somehow triggered or encouraged to attack, undermine and destroy their own societies and traditions, and only their own societies and traditions, while somehow upholding the utmost respect for any and every esoteric ridiculous belief held by foreign brown shit-monkeys.

Diagnostically I think this disorder has two origins: one is a deep-seated issue with its weird roots at the heart of Western Civ itself, which bears further Nietzschean exploration; the other is simply caused by a century-long series of malicious Jewish mind-viruses, a kind of far-reaching societal Stuxnet, consciously implanted, nurtured and disseminated by generations of traitorous enemy Jews, as part of their never-ending project to undermine, betray and destroy the Christian West out of sheer venom, hatred, and spite.

Anonymous Whtbread October 02, 2012 8:51 PM  

"I certainly hope this particular professor is... not... like PZ.... physically I mean."

From the photo it appears that he is Nate.

Blogger James Dixon October 02, 2012 9:23 PM  

Scoobious, you're overlooking one obvious potential reason for this hatred of Christianity: If Christianity is true, Christians have an implacable enemy who hates them with an undying passion. And he's not only willing, but able to meddle in the affairs of men.

Anonymous Porky? October 02, 2012 9:26 PM  

Tenure allows you to get away with a lot, but it isn't a license to act like a complete nut.

It was research for his upcoming book, Math Krazy!!.

Anonymous rycamor October 02, 2012 9:26 PM  

Whtbread October 02, 2012 8:51 PM

"I certainly hope this particular professor is... not... like PZ.... physically I mean."

From the photo it appears that he is Nate.


That's quite a potbelly there. Of course, this is purely normal for the modern middle-aged American.

Anonymous rycamor October 02, 2012 9:29 PM  

Idle Spectator October 02, 2012 8:33 PM

As someone who is also in this class, I can confirm his eccentricity. He wore the same set of clothes every single day up until today and his mind never seemed to be stable.

This is nothing eccentric or out of the ordinary for mathematicians.


At least the dude didn't murder his colleagues like that creepy biology professor in Alabama.

That was Dr. Amy Bishop, what a bitch. Big Obamanut too. Notice how that was never reported?


Math professors seem especially susceptible to strange behavior and mental breakdowns. As an undergrad, I witnessed a math professor lose it (and subsequently her job), though it wasn't as spectacular as this.

Yes. They seem to come down with OCD, and schizophrenia at high rates. Also autism is skyhigh. A lot of famous mathematicians seem to have strong connections to either theology, or have professional theologians in their families. I don't know why. I have just seen that pattern.

You do not see that connection in the other sciences. Except for the closely related Physics, but to a much smaller degree.


Sometimes, too much math can be dangerous for your health.


I think serious mathematicians are more likely to believe in God than most other types of intellectuals. Anyone who spends even a dabbling amount of time studying mathematics starts to develop a profound sense of awe at the universe.

Anonymous Wendy October 02, 2012 9:30 PM  

Meh, our taxpayers dollars have been spent for worse than this.

Anonymous Outlaw X October 02, 2012 9:42 PM  

I had a math professor in axiomatic theory who walked with a limp. It was clump clump down the hall. He was both smart and stupid in many ways. He failed the test.

Anonymous zen0 October 02, 2012 10:06 PM  

Diagnostically I think this disorder has two origins: one is a deep-seated issue with its weird roots at the heart of Western Civ itself, which bears further Nietzschean exploration; the other is simply caused by a century-long series of malicious Jewish mind-viruses, a kind of far-reaching societal Stuxnet, consciously implanted, nurtured and disseminated by generations of traitorous enemy Jews, as part of their never-ending project to undermine, betray and destroy the Christian West out of sheer venom, hatred, and spite. scoobius dubious


Would it be redundant to ask if you are smoking tonight?

Anonymous zen0 October 02, 2012 10:19 PM  

(It's interesting the amount of public vitriol that is hurled at creationist Christians for thinking the world is only a few thousand years old, and yet the same public is full of benevolent regard every year for Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year, which openly proclaims that the world dates from its creation circa 5700-odd years ago, with no ridicule whatsoever.)

scoobius dubious

This is very good. It is so obvious, and yet, I have never seen it exploited.

If you reject some Christian world views, you are an anti-semite. Brilliant.

Anonymous scoobius dubious October 02, 2012 10:29 PM  

zen0 -- not quite sure what sort of point you're trying to make, except maybe you think I am a poopy-head?

If you care to make a coherent argument, I'll try to address it in good faith.

Anonymous zen0 October 02, 2012 10:46 PM  

If you care to make a coherent argument, I'll try to address it in good faith.

I am not arguing with you. I am merely providing a review of your commentary.

Previously, I just thought you were very wordy, but this last comment of yours revealed a certain flow that I had not been aware of before.

I gave you a rave review for instance on your exposition about the Jewish calendar ab ratio to anti-semitic Christian bashing. I felt it was inspired.

Anonymous Anonymous October 02, 2012 11:03 PM  

Wonder how many girls in that class were 17.

Anonymous Godfrey October 02, 2012 11:08 PM  

This sums up what is truly at the heart of what drives most atheists. Most of them are sexually repressed losers who want to run around like zoo animals. I wonder if this guy ever kissed a girl.

Anonymous cherub's revenge October 02, 2012 11:13 PM  

He was screaming profanities and things you really couldn't understand, and something about religion


With hepatitis eyelids
I went tripping down the street
The local Catholic mission
Offered rest for weary feet

The Priest heard my confession
While his breath smelled just like wine
He gave me the impression
I was wasting sacred time

He talked to me about someone he called The Son of Man
He told me things I wasn't quite prepared to understand

Anonymous cherub's revenge October 02, 2012 11:19 PM  

Scoobious, you're overlooking one obvious potential reason for this hatred of Christianity: If Christianity is true, Christians have an implacable enemy who hates them with an undying passion. And he's not only willing, but able to meddle in the affairs of men.

I think this was all pretty well covered in Rev. 2:9.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera October 02, 2012 11:27 PM  

Kickass,

I concede your point that this is possibly a spiritual phenomenon. And you were correct in pointing out that this is a reading comprehension issue: I couldn't remember the scripture you were citing (1 John 4) and I had to look it up. Similarly, the whole nakedness thing syncs with demonic possessive behavior.

However, I still do not believe this is probably a spiritual phenomenon. I'll stick with the chemical interpretation as the more likely one.

(I would also be remiss in pointing out that this is not a precise reading of 1 John 4. The litmus test is whether the spirit denies Jesus' incarnation in the meat, rather than denying the existence of God. But it would be fallacious to dismiss your point over this small, albeit relevant, difference.)

Anonymous Aeoli Pera October 02, 2012 11:29 PM  

WaterBoy,

No worries. All communication is approximate by nature, and it seems we have the same idea in mind.

Anonymous Azimus October 03, 2012 12:27 AM  

Maybe he resolved the paradox of Gabriel's Horn? I mean, it blows my f#cking mind...

Anonymous Daniel October 03, 2012 2:04 AM  

He was ranting about computers, Steve Jobs (pronounced Jobes), and how everything is just an act. He ran into the hallway and pressed his face up against the windows to the room and said something about him not yelling. Then he ran back in and started crying and pulled a dollar out of his wallet for some reason. At this point, we all knew he had completely lost it.

Okay - so obviously the Illuminati (the dollar) got to him, and his merging of Steve Jobs with a cloned army from the original biblical Job is epic, and of course computers are ushering in the transhuman age.

But everyone's complaining about the response time of the cops.

I'm not sure whose crazier: the naked conspiracist, or the people who sat around ogling his buddha belly while they waited in terror for superman to arrive.

I was in a situation like this before once years ago. Three guys (younger than 20, so youth was no excuse) took the loon down about a half hour before the cops arrived. We just sat on him. Even if the police never arrived, we probably would have just hamstrung him or something with his knife and called an ambulance. It really wasn't that big of a deal.

What fascinates me is the mass paralysis in the face of an unarmed, out of shape naked school teacher with no deity to call upon.

Anonymous Greatheart October 03, 2012 5:25 AM  

rcocean October 02, 2012 8:39 PM: "I always love how nerds think that because you can do super good at calculus, discovered that E=mc2, or can win 10 games of chess - blindfolded - you know the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

When it comes to Theology, Philosophy, and life in general, your Math SAT score is irrelevant."

This video comes to mind. Why, I don't know, I just thought it was funny.

Anonymous Kickass October 03, 2012 8:10 AM  

Aeoli, I was not citing one verse I was speaking in general of all the recorded cases of demonic posrssion in the Bible. In many, the tormented person was at some point at least inappropriately dressed if not nude. As for your assertion of the probability of chemical imbalance, I would remind you that even that could be symptom and not cause. The Bible lists a wide range of physical ailments and attributes them to spiritual bondage. However in all the cases where someone was out of their mind, so to speak (like this example, not with grief for instance) it was either posession or they were in this condition for doing things we are command ed not to. Maddness or a debassed mind was also a punishment. Without the correct diagnosis, there is no hope for a cure. Pointing to hope offered by men never works for long.
Just an aside, across centuries, those who would pretend madness or posession would go nude. Works great as a military tactic as well.

Anonymous Papapete October 03, 2012 9:17 AM  

"Yes. They seem to come down with OCD, and schizophrenia at high rates."

I recently saw the greatest t-shirt in the world. It said


I have CDO
It's like OCD, but the letters are in alphabetical order.

As they should be.

Anonymous scoobius dubious October 03, 2012 9:27 AM  

"I have CDO
It's like OCD, but the letters are in alphabetical order."

That's pretty funny, but to my mind it doesn't cut to the heart of the matter.

It should read,
"I have OCD -- I washed this T-shirt 35 times. And then I turned off the washing machine 27 times, and then I disconnected the water valves, just to be sure. And then I hooked them back up again and then disconnected them again, just to make certain they were _really_ disconnected. And then, just to make sure the washing machine was really, really, REALLY off, I called the power company and the water company and told them to cancel my accounts."

Anonymous 43rd Virginia Calalry October 03, 2012 9:36 AM  

Why doesn't the smoking hot 20 year old Atheist chics ever strip naked and run around yelling stuff ? Oh wait, nevermind.

Blogger IM2L844 October 03, 2012 10:16 AM  

I always love how nerds think that because you can do super good at calculus, discovered that E=mc2, or can win 10 games of chess - blindfolded - you know the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

Don't try and read between the lines here, but this predilection isn't limited to any particular field. It is clearly observable from anyone who has received too many pats on the back. I never get tired of watching nominally famous people propounding their solutions to various social ills that couldn't be further outside their areas of expertise. From actors, musicians and athletes to academics, media personalities, youtubers and authors. If they have achieved even a slightly above average degree of success and garnered even a modest following and some version of what they might perceive as a bully pulpit, many people will fall into this pattern of behavior. It's so common that their must be an established name for it, but I can't think of what it is.

I just wish this guy had been a chemist so I could make a subtle reference to The Nutty Professor.

Anonymous MendoScot October 03, 2012 10:54 AM  

"I certainly hope this particular professor is... not... like PZ.... physically I mean."

From the photo it appears that he is Nate.


Would you care to parse that for us, Whtbread?

Blogger njartist October 03, 2012 11:07 AM  

Of course "intellectual" atheists believe God does not exist: that would be competition.

Anonymous Jaz October 03, 2012 11:24 AM  

Lawrence Auster discusses Richard Lynn's paper arguing that higher IQ people are atheists: http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/010822.html

Anonymous Eduardo October 03, 2012 11:31 AM  

Apparentl waterboy is right, the guy was... Some kind of christian maybe... So technically, vox is saying that a nutzor theist can argue better than a pharingulan.. Wow now that is fucking hardcore hahahahha

Anonymous Aeoli Pera October 03, 2012 11:57 AM  

Aeoli, I was not citing one verse I was speaking in general of all the recorded cases of demonic posrssion in the Bible.

1 John 4

You're too busy debating to see that I'm mostly agreeing with you.

As for your assertion of the probability of chemical imbalance, I would remind you that even that could be symptom and not cause.

Of course. But arguing from ignorance is vanity.

However in all the cases where someone was out of their mind, so to speak (like this example, not with grief for instance) it was either posession or they were in this condition for doing things we are command ed not to. Maddness or a debassed mind was also a punishment. Without the correct diagnosis, there is no hope for a cure. Pointing to hope offered by men never works for long.

I'll ignore the factual error and get right to the a priori belief system: Do bad things happen to good people?

And I don't mean bad things as in struggles that turn out miraculously build character in the long run. I mean bad things that happen for no reason, and hurt people, and do not build them up.

For my part, I believe that every day bad things happen to good people for no reason.

Blogger Ilíon October 03, 2012 1:02 PM  

I think his argument was -- "I have a dinky ****, therefore there is no God"

Anonymous WaterBoy October 03, 2012 1:33 PM  

Godfrey: "I wonder if this guy ever kissed a girl."

Well, he has a wife and at least one son, so I'm betting yes.

And probably more.

Blogger Desert Cat October 03, 2012 1:33 PM  

It was his chronic use of mathampetimines that made him lose it.

Anonymous WaterBoy October 03, 2012 1:48 PM  

mathampetimines

Ouch. Off to the dungeon with you!

Anonymous rienzi October 03, 2012 3:50 PM  

Well, to paraphrase Sigmund Freud, "Sometimes a lunatic is just a lunatic."

I have seen a guy, who was merely drunk, strip off his uniform, crap all over the fantail, and jump over the side of a destroyer into Narragansett Bay in January. It was with great regret that we rescued him.

I wouldn't read much more into the idiot math professor's actions than it's just a lunatic being a lunatic. Some people just seem to be destined for that padded room where they can't hurt themselves or anyone else.

Anonymous Noah B. October 03, 2012 4:25 PM  

It's interesting when people snap. Something a little bit like that happened when I was in the 6th grade, minus the undressing. A teacher just randomly lost it when he saw a friend of mine drawing a Viking, started cursing and screaming that my friend Thomas was being controlled by Satan, and the teacher finally stormed out of the classroom. Amazingly the school kept the teacher on staff, but they forced him to take a leave of absence for a couple of weeks.

Something a lot like that happened to my mom when she was in 7th or 8th grade. She had a math teacher (why is it always the math teachers?), and one day there was a much younger girl playing outside their classroom window, and she was pushing a kitten around in a stroller. The teacher suddenly yelled out, "My God, she's going to hang that cat!" and ran out of the classroom. They had a new math teacher after that.

Anonymous Daniel October 03, 2012 5:34 PM  

I have seen a guy, who was merely drunk, strip off his uniform, crap all over the fantail, and jump over the side of a destroyer into Narragansett Bay in January. It was with great regret that we rescued him.

Holy smoke. What did you say? I'm guessing, "Admiral Villeneve, this is no time to re-enact Trafalgar!"

Anonymous Kickass October 03, 2012 8:00 PM  

You're too busy debating to see that I'm mostly agreeing with you.

No, you mentioned one instance and I was just pointing out that there are several instances of posession. I further noted th concept of the verse you included because posession is only one end of the spectrum.

Of course. But arguing from ignorance is vanity.

Suposition and deduction has its place. As does discernment, no?

As for my factual error, please point it out.

And no, we disagree again. I believe the Bible when it says ALL things work together for the good of those that love the Lord. Again,the thoughts and plans of man are nothing compared to the word of God.

Anonymous George October 04, 2012 10:23 AM  

Njartist wrote:

"Of course "intellectual" atheists believe God does not exist: that would be competition."

Not so much "competition" as distraction from reality.

Anonymous George October 04, 2012 10:32 AM  

Scoubius wrote:

"It's interesting the amount of public vitriol that is hurled at creationist Christians for thinking the world is only a few thousand years old, and yet the same public is full of benevolent regard every year for Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year, which openly proclaims that the world dates from its creation circa 5700-odd years ago, with no ridicule whatsoever."

The reason for this is that you just don't see too many jews who actually believe this. Rather, the vast majority of Jews that take account of the Jewish New Year do so through the process of Teshuva in which they think deeply about the error of their ways and how they might make amends. What they don't do is form institutes, publish books and work through political means to try to get schools to teach that man walked with dinos.

This is why there is so little ridicule of Rosh Hashannah.

Anonymous Athor Pel October 04, 2012 11:52 AM  

"Aeoli Pera October 02, 2012 11:27 PM
...
However, I still do not believe this is probably a spiritual phenomenon. I'll stick with the chemical interpretation as the more likely one.
..."



All human behavior has a spiritual component. There are three voices in our heads, our own, God's, and satan's. We listen to all of them at one point or another for shorter or longer periods of time.

Discernment is so clouded for the average person that they have no idea who they are listening to from moment to moment. What spirit you listen to lines up with who you worship. The one you listen to willfully is who you serve. The more you follow a particular spirit the more your behavior conforms itself to that spirit.

If you give it a place in your life and it is evil it will take a larger place and larger place as time passes if you let it. If you let it go too far then it can turn into full possession.

Choosing to use brain altering chemicals is the same type of choice as deciding to perform a pagan ceremony calling up a pagan god. They both open you up to spiritual influence not in your best interest.


Anonymous Aeoli Pera October 04, 2012 11:30 PM  

Kickass,

(I'd like to call a truce and let this thread die, so this will be my penultimate comment. If you respond, please list the final questions you need me to answer for your satisfaction.)

As for my factual error, please point it out.

Very well. In context:

However in all the cases where someone was out of their mind, so to speak (like this example, not with grief for instance) it was either posession or they were in this condition for doing things we are command ed not to. Maddness or a debassed mind was also a punishment. Without the correct diagnosis, there is no hope for a cure. Pointing to hope offered by men never works for long.

The latter sentence is factually incorrect. This is because at least one hope offered by men does work in the long run (note that this is precisely the logical negation of your statement).

One form of madness, schizophrenia, was once thought to be possession by demons. (Though naive, there is some intuitive, uncritical justification to this belief. Which is why many people still believe it today.) But men have since put their hopes in Thorazine, which has worked well in the long run.

You can try to rationalize away the fact that Thorazine has permanently changed schizophrenics' lives, but there are enough counterexamples of human ingenuity that we could spin our wheels here forever.

And no, we disagree again. I believe the Bible when it says ALL things work together for the good of those that love the Lord.

Assuming that Paul was divinely inspired when he said this, that still leaves out four categories of people who do not love the Lord: The good people who get what they deserve, the bad people who get what they deserve, the good people who don't get what they deserve, and the bad people who don't get what they deserve. (To avoid moving the goalposts, I'll point out that we aren't including extratemporal divine judgment.)

Even arguing that there is no one righteous (Biblically), which I believe quite fervently, it is still logically impossible to conclude that everyone gets what they deserve in this lifetime.

In summary, good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. Or in the words of Mal Reynolds, "Deservin's got nothing to do with it."

Anonymous Aeoli Pera October 04, 2012 11:48 PM  

Athor Pel,

All human behavior has a spiritual component.

I disagree. If you can write a sufficiently compelling or entertaining argument that there is a spiritual component to pooping, I will recant whether I'm actually convinced or not.

And then I will hire you as a salesman.

If you give it a place in your life and it is evil it will take a larger place and larger place as time passes if you let it. If you let it go too far then it can turn into full possession.

No argument here. But we are also quite capable of ruining our lives without spiritual help.

Anonymous Athor Pel October 05, 2012 12:08 PM  

" Aeoli Pera October 04, 2012 11:48 PM

Athor Pel,

All human behavior has a spiritual component.

I disagree. If you can write a sufficiently compelling or entertaining argument that there is a spiritual component to pooping, I will recant whether I'm actually convinced or not.

And then I will hire you as a salesman.
...
"





Hmmm, spiritual component of taking a poop. Ok, I'll take a swing at that.

I think I need to get more specific. I did say, spiritual component, a component being some part of some thing. To be more specific, I see it concerning how, when and why we do a thing rather than that we do a thing. There being a proper time, place and motivation for most everything we do as humans on planet earth.

So taking a poop at the proper time, in the proper place for the proper reasons is certainly something guided by a benevolent spirit.


Anonymous Kickass October 06, 2012 8:10 AM  

Aeoli, you cant say I am factually wrong, thorazine is no cure. In the words of Homer Simpson....Duh!
As for a truce, if you scream Uncle I will let go.

Anonymous kh123 October 07, 2012 3:39 AM  

"What they don't do is form institutes, publish books and work through political means to try to get schools to teach that man walked with dinos."

Boilerplate, meet rehash.

So I guess the only question left is: What happens to Jews - or anybody really - when they do start insisting that their timeline isn't just unquestioned cultural baggage, but rather reality. How do Uniformitarians deal with anything that bucks the holy writ from their High Scottish Lawyer in the sky?

Anonymous Joe Winpisinger October 07, 2012 12:59 PM  

I think PZ Myers is a hack. But trading ad-hom attacks with him is not going to get to the truth...

Anonymous Aeoli Pera October 08, 2012 3:22 PM  

Athor Pel,

Hmm, you did a bait and switch on the definition of spirit. I admit that it was a good attempt, given the difficulty of the exercise.

Anyway, I don't have any money to hire salesmen. It was all a shameful facade :-(.

Kickass,

You could at least google Homer Simpson's actual catchphrase. I'm inclined to think, at this point, that you were just trolling me the whole time.

If so...I guess I'm glad it turned out so well?

Blogger astrohopper October 11, 2012 6:03 AM  

At some point in history the intellectual elite was overwhelmingly Christian. The plebes were also Christians. It was career-suicide to declare yourself an atheist.

Now press ffw on our time machine, and what do we see ?!

An intellectual elite that is overwhelmingly atheist. The plebes are also atheists.
It is career-suicide to declare yourself a theist.

CONCLUSION : dumb people are theists ; smart people are atheists.

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