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Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Mailvox: atheist theology or the ignorance therein

The self-aware  Trimegistus seems to share my incredulity:
I 'm an unbeliever (I stopped using the term "atheist" when it became a synonym for "self-righteous asshole") and the staggering ignorance of other unbelievers always shocks me. I know I'm not an expert on theology; I know history, I've read Lewis and Sayers and St. Augustine but that's about it -- and yet I'm like the frickin' Vatican Curia compared to the general run of atheists.
One thing I've noticed about many atheists of the general run variety is that they cannot follow simple if/then statements. Consider these facepalm-inspiring tweets inspired by this morning's post:
Milo Yiannopoulos ‏@Nero
Perhaps the neatest skewering of @stephenfry ever, from @voxday

#OttawaStrong ‏@Canadastani
Summary: God is real because the bible says god is real! LALALALLALAKALALALALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!! #bacon

Vox Day ‏@voxday
Your summary is false. I merely pointed out the God-concept he is attacking is not the Christian God.

Dan Sereduick ‏@Globalizer360
Your summary of the Christian god is one that exists in advanced theology, not in ordinary religion.

Vox Day ‏@voxday
The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings are NOT advanced Christian theology.

#OttawaStrong ‏@Canadastani
Your imagination is not a real place either, but that doesn't stop your imaginary friend Yahweh.

Vox Day ‏@voxday now
Look, you can't criticize fiction for things that are not there. Sauron is not in Narnia.
It's not that hard. My critique of Fry holds whether God exists or not. Christian theology is very well-defined. It is explained on multiple levels, from Tertullian and Thomas Aquinas all the way down to children's novels like the Chronicles of Narnia. And yet, Stephen Fry quite clearly doesn't know ANY of it.

You don't have to believe in something to know what it is. I don't believe in the Labor Theory of Value, but I can explain it to you. I don't believe in Keynesian Economics, but I can explain multiple variants of it to you. I am skeptical of the Theorum of Evolution by (probably) Natural Selection, Biased Mutation, Genetic Drift, and Gene Flow, but I can explain how it is supposed to work.

The Cross and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ are the core of the Christian faith. And that core is absolutely and utterly predicated on the EVIL OF A FALLEN WORLD. So for Fry to claim that the observable existence of evil somehow condemns the Creator God requires either a) perverted quasi-Calvinism or b) stupendous ignorance.

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250 Comments:

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Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 12:05 PM  

perverted quasi-Calvinism

ding ding ding ding

Anonymous MrGreenMan February 03, 2015 12:07 PM  

Even the drunken horseman of the Bukkakalypse could get it right. I remember watching a hilarious video where Christopher Hitchens had to explain original sin, the death, and the resurrection to some woman "pastrix".

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus February 03, 2015 12:12 PM  

"And yet, Stephen Fry quite clearly doesn't know ANY of it."

He is at least equally ignorant of the paganism he (relatively) approves of.

Anonymous Porky February 03, 2015 12:13 PM  

perverted quasi-Calvinism

Leave off the quasi.

And the Calvinism.

Blogger Raggededge February 03, 2015 12:14 PM  

I am skeptical of the Theorum of Evolution by (probably) Natural Selection, Biased Mutation, Genetic Drift, and Gene Flow, but I can explain how it is supposed to work.

Yes, but you don't hate any of those theories like Fry and his ilk hate Christianity.

Blogger JartStar February 03, 2015 12:16 PM  

This also proves true for Calvinism which is typically a whipping boy on VP. Want to read just one book on it, and willing to spend a whopping $4 in the process? Here you go. Michael Horton is one of the best, most articulate, and humble defenders of Refomed soteriology alive today. He's friends with and has a great deal of respect for Roger E. Olson, a classical Arminian who wrote the counterpoint to Horton's book.

Anonymous Porky February 03, 2015 12:19 PM  

Fry's logic is unassailable.

A) I like sodomy.
B) God doesn't like sodomy.
C) Ergo, I hate God.

Quod erat demonstrandum.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 12:22 PM  

What percentage of atheists are sexually deviant?

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus February 03, 2015 12:25 PM  

JartStar, thanks for the links.

Anonymous Nathanael February 03, 2015 12:28 PM  

Considering the fact that total depravity necessitating God is foundational to Calvinist theology, I'd love to hear how evil disproving God is in any way Calvinist.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus February 03, 2015 12:32 PM  

Porky: "Fry's logic is unassailable."

But what of the Pope's counter-argument: "who am I to judge?"

Anonymous Stickwick February 03, 2015 12:33 PM  

#OttawaStrong ‏@Canadastani
Your imagination is not a real place either, but that doesn't stop your imaginary friend Yahweh.


Yeesh. Normally atheists are entertainingly irritating, but I'm just embarrassed for this yahoo.

Anonymous jamsco February 03, 2015 12:34 PM  

"perverted quasi-Calvinism"

I appreciate the double qualifier.

Anonymous Jack Amok February 03, 2015 12:37 PM  

Someone else didn't fix things for me... whaaaaa.

Anonymous Rolf February 03, 2015 12:42 PM  

I note that (a) and (b) are not mutually exclusive.

I look forward to the comments I get on the passage in Insanity's Children where Brother Libra explains something of the Order of St Possenti. Any highly theological Ilk out there want to read it through in advance and offer a critique of the ideas presented, make sure I didn't mangle anything to egregiously?

Anonymous Porky February 03, 2015 12:44 PM  

But what of the Pope's counter-argument: "who am I to judge?"

It's right up there with Lady Gaga's counter-argument: "I was born this way."

Anonymous MrGreenMan February 03, 2015 12:45 PM  

The idea of being able to correctly characterize your opponent's arguments is one of the arguments against the validity of the Koran and its Isa. This argument is usually presented by people who do not agree with Islam, and yet, they must argue from what is or is not in it. Is the flabby atheist brain so incapable of thinking? The public schools have done their job.

http://quran.com/5/72-75
http://quran.com/5/116

'And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah ?'"'

Blogger John Wright February 03, 2015 12:58 PM  

Now, in all fairness, Mr Fry may have been attempting to posit the argument from Evil, which purports to show that since evil exists in the world, God therefore lacks the power to halt it (in which case, not omnipotent hence not God) the wisdom (in which case, not omniscient hence not God) or the will (in which case, not benevolent hence not God).

The Argument from Evil is a serious theological argument which I believe can be answered, but it cannot be dismissed as being mere ignorance of Christian teaching.

Thomas Aquinas addresses this question in Article Three, Question Two, Part One of his magnificent Summa Theologica. So it is serous enough to merit an answer.

Myself, I would say it is so profound a question that only the blood shed at Calvary can truly answer it.

If on the other hand Mr Fry was just saying God is evil because evil exists in a fallen world, well, yeah, you are right, he is an ignoramus.

Blogger CarpeOro February 03, 2015 12:59 PM  

Always bet on b as the answer. Ignorance is rampant these days.

Anonymous Triskele February 03, 2015 12:59 PM  

So, because of god's choice to allow free will, we have eye burrowing worms and said god can't (or won't) do anything about it.

Fair 'nough..,

Blogger Res Ipsa February 03, 2015 1:08 PM  

So for Fry to claim that the observable existence of evil...

In my experience the rabid atheist has created god in their own image. They cannot tell you much about traditional theology because the god-concept they are responding to is one of their own making. Straw men usually are.

This doesn't always hold true if the person was once an avid believer who turned away from their faith.

Anonymous Alexander February 03, 2015 1:20 PM  

You forgot option c) The knowledge that one is lying in order to forward the attack against that which is Good.

Anonymous manichean February 03, 2015 1:20 PM  

good question, why does fry hate his opponents? because his god orders him so:

All of which is to say that the Holy Sinner completes the wholeness of God by sinning -- that is, since God is both Good and Evil, the presence of one without the other violates His unity and omnipotence:

"I do not mean that Yahweh is imperfect or evil like a Gnostic demiurge. He is everything in its totality; therefore, among other things, he is total justice [i.e., 'goodness'] and also its total opposite [i.e., 'sin']." (C.G. Jung, Answer to Job, par. 574)

Anonymous Daniel February 03, 2015 1:25 PM  

No, John. Fry dismissed the God that he does not believe in as a selfish maniac.

"The God who created this universe, if he created this universe, is quite clearly a maniac, an utter maniac, totally selfish."

He's not wrestling with the problem of evil.

He's advocating on its behalf.

Anonymous God is dead February 03, 2015 1:25 PM  

At this point Evangelical Christianity is just another American quackery on par with the Tony Robbins cult and obsessive jogging. The real point these atheists are illustrating is, if even these morons can see the utter implausibility of this ridiculous religion the more we learn about the utterly impersonal, mechanistic operation of the world, what kind of twisted desperation and willful ignorance is keeping you idiots from admitting the plain truth. Like a great man once said, God is dead and we have killed him. There's no going back, you silly little children.

Blogger Franz Lionheart February 03, 2015 1:34 PM  

You don't have to believe in something to know what it is.

Spot on. This is an astounding lack of cultural knowledge, especially in England about, well, English culture and history. I mean, your bloody flag is a cross (of St. George the dragon slayer).

Many evil atheists purposely hide behind the Mohammedans in their urge to persecute and eradicate Christianity.

There are also other examples, honestly innocently ignorant atheists which, on occasion, are even honestly ashamed how little they know of their own cultural heritage. I had many a pub discussion in London with those, and whilst none of them chose to believe, they were honestly grateful that now at least they knew. They simply never had the exposure to this key element of European and in particular English culture and history.

The second group is owed to the first, but there is no gratitude within the second to the first, quite on the contrary.

Blogger Corvinus February 03, 2015 1:47 PM  

But what of the Pope's counter-argument: "who am I to judge?"

@Titus Didius Tacitus

"Pope" Francis recently said "there is no answer" to the problem of evil and suffering.

And we're still supposed to seriously believe this guy is the Catholic Pope rather than an SJW entryist?

Blogger Gunnar von Cowtown February 03, 2015 1:51 PM  

"Dan Sereduick ‏@Globalizer360
Your summary of the Christian god is one that exists in advanced theology, not in ordinary religion.

Vox Day ‏@voxday
The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings are NOT advanced Christian theology."


I LOLed. Seriously.

Anonymous gk February 03, 2015 1:59 PM  

"Look, you can't criticize fiction for things that are not there. Sauron is not in Narnia."

This brings to mind Chesterton's chapter "The Ethics of Elfland" in Orthodoxy:

"There are certain sequences or developments (cases of one thing following another), which are, in the true sense of the word, reasonable. They are, in the true sense of the word, necessary. Such are mathematical and merely logical sequences. We in fairyland (who are the most reasonable of all creatures) admit that reason and that necessity. For instance, if the Ugly Sisters are older than Cinderella, it is (in an iron and awful sense) NECESSARY that Cinderella is younger than the Ugly Sisters. There is no getting out of it. Haeckel may talk as much fatalism about that fact as he pleases: it really must be. If Jack is the son of a miller, a miller is the father of Jack. Cold reason decrees it from her awful throne: and we in fairyland submit. If the three brothers all ride horses, there are six animals and eighteen legs involved: that is true rationalism, and fairyland is full of it. But as I put my head over the hedge of the elves and began to take notice of the natural world, I observed an extraordinary thing. I observed that learned men in spectacles were talking of the actual things that happened—dawn and death and so on—as if THEY were rational and inevitable. They talked as if the fact that trees bear fruit were just as NECESSARY as the fact that two and one trees make three. But it is not. There is an enormous difference by the test of fairyland; which is the test of the imagination. You cannot IMAGINE two and one not making three. But you can easily imagine trees not growing fruit; you can imagine them growing golden candlesticks or tigers hanging on by the tail. These men in spectacles spoke much of a man named Newton, who was hit by an apple, and who discovered a law. But they could not be got to see the distinction between a true law, a law of reason, and the mere fact of apples falling. If the apple hit Newton’s nose, Newton’s nose hit the apple. That is a true necessity: because we cannot conceive the one occurring without the other. But we can quite well conceive the apple not falling on his nose; we can fancy it flying ardently through the air to hit some other nose, of which it had a more definite dislike. We have always in our fairy tales kept this sharp distinction between the science of mental relations, in which there really are laws, and the science of physical facts, in which there are no laws, but only weird repetitions. We believe in bodily miracles, but not in mental impossibilities. We believe that a Bean-stalk climbed up to Heaven; but that does not at all confuse our convictions on the philosophical question of how many beans make five."

Blogger JartStar February 03, 2015 2:03 PM  

Triskele,

Assuming your statement is put forth in good faith there is an answer to “eye burrowing worms”, which is the cross. The cross is how we know that God is good because the non-believer’s complaints are at least partially valid about the confusing evidence put forth about God being good or bad strictly from nature. There’s no consolation for anyone about evil from a deistic God who is unaware or a divine tyrant who pushes around every atom at leisure.

The cross shows us that God suffered as we suffer and died. He is not transcendent and impersonal; He’s not completely imminent like an idol in a temple. God is love because He came to us as a fully man and fully God, died on our behalf, taking the full weight of God’s just judgment for us. He then rose and defeated death so death is not the final victor, but life.

This life is full of suffering and loss and we all die. Without the cross there'd be no hope, no evidence of a loving God, just loss and a hope for a painless death. With the cross we have everything which is why in a Christian’s darkest hour they cling to it and weep with eyes fixed upon the One who was once on it and awaits us in His Father’s House.

Anonymous dh February 03, 2015 2:07 PM  

The second group is owed to the first, but there is no gratitude within the second to the first, quite on the contrary.

This is a honestly a huge issue on the left. There is a culture of sophistication, but really, many of them don't know anything at all about the thing which they are against. It is all dressed up in intellectual rigor, but it more often resembles uneducated sloth.

A very good slice of this is fear - it is very difficult to learn really deeply about something old and broad and then come away from it with no sense of at least respect, if not understanding, about it. It is quite rare to find a person who has studied, academically, Christian theological history, and who has an un-nuanced new-age aspie-atheist view point of view on it.

Worse, is if you imply that they should simply learn about it, and then make a judgement, they just rely on "I don't need to learn about your sky fairy to know it's false". Which is fine so far as anyone is asking anyone to declare something true or false, but otherwise, when trying to say things that are substantive, usually ends up with a silly self-directed beclowning. See Stephen Fry.

It reminds me of the polar explorers who suffered terribly - and often died - from Vitamin C deficiency. They erroneously thought that they had been getting sick from contamination, and so they doubled down and re-doubled down on sealed products, hauling in enormous quantities of food that lacked essentially vitamins they needed. The doctors of the age had convinced the men that scurvy was the result of acid in the blood from bacteria from certain foods. This was in 1911. Hundreds of years earlier, sailors and military men knew that scurvy was the result of a lack of lemon juice. In 1790, the British navy required fresh citrus to be added to daily rations, and within a few years, incidents of scurvy had been reduced 99.9%. Yet this knowledge was lost to misinformation guided by scientists and doctors who knew better and discounted the sailors medical advice as myths.

The point being, the atheists and scientists will discount thousands of years of collective human knowledge and experience, and happily lead followers like lemmings to death, all the while claiming to be the sophisticated, scientific ones and those opposed as the supporters of myth and legend and fairy tales. They may be all those things, but that doesn't make them harmful or even wrong.

Anonymous Mudz February 03, 2015 2:11 PM  

Stephen Fry is revered not for his brilliance of thought, but the profundity of his accent. It's like they harbor a secret desire to abase themselves before an aristocracy.

#OttawaStrong ‏@Canadastani
Summary: God is real because the bible says god is real! LALALALLALAKALALALALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!! #bacon


Well, I'm surprised at this response. Are you surprised?

I guess it's ceased to be amusing at this point, but it is whimsical that atheists always seem to have this on some kind of auto-play function. There's always one dunce who'll say almost this exact thing, while a Christian is explaining something that makes them uncomfortable.

I think these guys might literally be specialised lunatics. Not for their rabidity, but for their sustained inability to parse the discussion correctly even on its existential merits; substituting their own preferred narrative as the reality. They often can't even admit what the nature of the argument is, or that it takes the form of a substantive case.

Because then our religion, or belief in God, wouldn't be silly like it's supposed to be. And that's the foundation of their belief; it's what allows them to ignore the challenge to their worldview. Their entire position is predicated on the notion that there is nothing, again, nothing to support our beliefs. And so even the most modest of positive arguments is a fundamental threat. To engage with us intellectually is to lose.

So if you argue for God with philosophy and science, and some idiot will pull hard to port with some completely irrelevant nonsense like the 'Bible Sez, Therefore Bible' thing, and pretend that's what you're saying, because by definition, your argument has to be a silly one; so if you won't give a silly argument, then by damn, they'll do it for you.

And they devote so much of their energies just to maintain that fiction.

JCW: The Argument from Evil is a serious theological argument

I've never really thought it was. I know it's considered such by not a few - and perhaps it's a Catholic doctrine about God's attributes that I'm insensible of - but the notion has frankly always baffled me, because my understanding has always been precisely the opposite.

Our concept of evil, comes from the Bible.

It was something that was not only clear to me since a child, but fundamental to my world-view. It's the premise of the entirety of the human condition.

The idea that the existence of evil is an argument against God is so backwards, I had never even heard of the concept till I was an adult, and waved it off as fruity atheism.

Notice it's not the Christians arguing that there's no such thing as good and evil.

Blogger bob k. mando February 03, 2015 2:11 PM  

John Wright February 03, 2015 12:58 PM
Now, in all fairness, Mr Fry may have been attempting to posit the argument from Evil



indubitably.

the problem being that the argument from Evil fails as a prerequisite of Judeo-Christian founding principles.

it may be an argument against 'a' god. it is not an argument against the Christian God.



John Wright February 03, 2015 12:58 PM
So it is serous enough to merit an answer.



all Lies merit an answer. for the edification of observers, if for no other reason.



John Wright February 03, 2015 12:58 PM
God therefore lacks ... the wisdom (in which case, not omniscient hence not God)



point of order, omniscience == all knowing:
wisdom /= knowledge



Corvinus February 03, 2015 1:47 PM
And we're still supposed to seriously believe this guy is the Catholic Pope rather than an SJW entryist?



he is not an Entryist; he is the fully realized fruit of the College of Cardinals.

Anonymous Mudz February 03, 2015 2:13 PM  

So, because of god's choice to allow free will, we have eye burrowing worms and said god can't (or won't) do anything about it.

Fair 'nough..,


If God goes along and saves everyone from everything that falls outside His perfect desire, then free will is a farce and there was no point in God creating anyone at all, because we're just mindless puppets going through a choreography. Is that what you want?

He gave us a choice, and now we have to live with the consequences for anything to have meaning, and be grateful that those consequences include hope.

The way God has it set up now is literally the best of both worlds. We have free will. And those who freely choose to do so, can make it into a perfect world.

said god can't (or won't) do anything about it.

His own son died to redeem our sins.
He promised a paradise, eternal life without suffering and war.
He offered us a way to get there. Earn your citizenship.

He owes you nothing, and offers you everything.

You have nothing to complain about, you whiny bastards.

Anonymous Rolf February 03, 2015 2:21 PM  

Arguing with some folks is like arguing with Otto in A fish called Wanda.
Reading Philosophy

Anonymous Quartermain February 03, 2015 2:23 PM  

Vox, here is an article you may find interesting:

http://www.religiousfreedomcoalition.org/2011/04/05/the-madalyn-murray-ohair-murder/

Anonymous Stilicho February 03, 2015 2:30 PM  

he is not an Entryist; he is the fully realized fruit of the College of Cardinals.

So... sort of a SJW Kwisatz Haderach?

Blogger Corvinus February 03, 2015 2:35 PM  

he is not an Entryist; he is the fully realized fruit of the College of Cardinals.

Given how many entryists there were in the Church just before and during Vatican II, we can be pretty sure that the College of Cardinals is pretty much entirely pinkshirt by now.

Anonymous GreyS February 03, 2015 2:37 PM  

And we're still supposed to seriously believe this guy is the Catholic Pope rather than an SJW entryist?

(chuckle) Because the real Pope is the guy living with his mom in the middle of Iowa or whatever?

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 2:38 PM  

Isn't sedevacantism just the reformation, but five hundred years later?

Anonymous Mudz February 03, 2015 2:38 PM  

JCW:If on the other hand Mr Fry was just saying God is evil because evil exists in a fallen world, well, yeah, you [VD] are right, he is an ignoramus.

Ah, I'm sorry. I see I was concentrating on the wrong thing.

'Why does God allow it' is more advanced then 'why is there Evil in the first place'?

But I wouldn't consider that a Problem, either. Just not necessarily as obvious.

Anonymous GreyS February 03, 2015 2:45 PM  

Isn't sedevacantism just the reformation, but five hundred years later?

The Reformation was more about license, whereas sedevacantism is more like gnosis-- special knowledge granted to that special pure few.

Anonymous Stingray February 03, 2015 2:48 PM  

I just read this quote from Fulton Sheen regarding atheists (the whole story is quite good) and I thought it apt.

Atheism is not a doctrine, it is a cry of wrath.There are two kinds of atheists. There are simple persons who have read a smattering of science and concede, probably, there is no God; but the other type of atheist is militant, such as the communist. They really do not deny the existence of God, they challenge God. It is the reality of God that saves them from insanity. It is the reality of God that gives them a real object against which they may vent their hate.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza February 03, 2015 2:49 PM  

Good grief, Again, Vox is the only thinking adult among the twitter thread.

Blogger wrf3 February 03, 2015 2:52 PM  

Vox wrote: perverted quasi-Calvinism

I'm having trouble finding this in my list of heresies. As one of the resident Calvinists, I suppose I ought to be familiar with it but, alas, I'm not. Which one does this happen to be?

Blogger Krul February 03, 2015 2:55 PM  

Re: Stingray,

Reminds me of this passage from Murray Rothbard about Karl Marx:

All this reveals a spirit that often seems to animate militant atheism. In contrast to the nonmilitant variety, which expresses a simple disbelief in God’s existence, militant atheism seems to believe implicitly in God’s existence, but to hate him and to wage war for his destruction. Such a spirit was all too clearly revealed in the retort of the militant atheist Bakunin to the famous pro-theist remark of the deist Voltaire: "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to create Him.” To which the demented Bakunin retorted, "If God did exist, it would be necessary to destroy Him.” It was this hatred of God as a creator greater than himself that apparently inspired Karl Marx.

Marx's Path to Communism

Blogger John Wright February 03, 2015 2:57 PM  

"point of order, omniscience == all knowing: wisdom /= knowledge"

Pettifoggery. Christians both believe in the knowledge and wisdom of God, and use the word to refer to both, thank you.

Blogger Corvinus February 03, 2015 2:59 PM  

The Reformation was more about license, whereas sedevacantism is more like gnosis-- special knowledge granted to that special pure few.

@GreyS
Bullsh!t. "Gnosis" is weird esoteric beliefs that other people cannot see. Instead, what we have here is that other people won't see.

And I suppose you are certain that the mainstream cannot be complete idiots, like the emerging majority who approves of gay marriage. Or the 96% of self-described American Catholics who, according to Pew Research, approve of Francis.

Blogger Corvinus February 03, 2015 3:01 PM  

@Krul

Exactly. Militant atheists do believe in God, but hate Him for whatever reason. And they don't want anybody else to worship Him, and so therefore they'll enforce atheism and/or ban Christianity.

Anonymous Mudz February 03, 2015 3:03 PM  

As one of the resident Calvinists, I suppose I ought to be familiar with it but, alas, I'm not.

You're not a Calvinist either, so you'll just have to suck it up.

Blogger John Wright February 03, 2015 3:05 PM  

"And we're still supposed to seriously believe this guy is the Catholic Pope rather than an SJW entryist?"

Actually, what the Holy Father said was "“The nucleus of your question … almost doesn’t have a reply.”

Almost. The answer is Christ.

Listen, anything you read in the press that makes the Pope sound like he is not Catholic is a rank lie, okay? How often does it have to happen before you catch on? This is like the twentieth time the mass media has negligently or deliberately miscast what he said.

The article contains a short list: http://www.aleteia.org/en/religion/article/2014-the-year-in-pope-francis-misunderstandings-how-the-media-got-it-wrong-constantly-5887755473125376

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 3:07 PM  

Almost. The answer is Christ.

Amen.

The whole of theology is summed up as "Jesus saves."

Blogger wrf3 February 03, 2015 3:15 PM  

Mudz wrote: You're not a Calvinist either...

Really? Why is that?

Anonymous Atheist February 03, 2015 3:15 PM  

"Christ are the core of the Christian faith. And that core is absolutely and utterly predicated on the EVIL OF A FALLEN WORLD."

The problem is that the evil of a fallen world isn't the concept that is key to those that are unbelievers. That evil is predicated on the idea of an objective morality defined by an unseeable, unknowable, notoriously shy deity who ha elf and his interaction with mortals is famously similar to other deities that this God's followers insist are false and fictions. The evil of a fallen world thing is just window dressing.

Anonymous Salt February 03, 2015 3:15 PM  

The eye worm. Atheists do want to concentrate on the here. To them that's all there is, so pointing to God, as if challenging His existence, is a back-handed self-reinforcing proof because... eye worm.

Anonymous GreyS February 03, 2015 3:18 PM  

Bullsh!t. "Gnosis" is weird esoteric beliefs that other people cannot see. Instead, what we have here is that other people won't see.

I wrote "more like gnosis". "Special knowledge" which others do not possess. Others cannot or will not see that truth that only a handful of especially insightful ones possess.

And I suppose you are certain that the mainstream cannot be complete idiots, like the emerging majority who approves of gay marriage. Or the 96% of self-described American Catholics who, according to Pew Research, approve of Francis.

Actually, I am certain that most people can be complete idiots at any given time. Sedevacantists certainly aren't immune to the human condition, though they often think they are the only ones inoculated, Not sure what current or future American public opinion has to do with this. Also not sure what any particular Pope's American approval rating has to do with this.


Blogger Krul February 03, 2015 3:20 PM  

Atheist - The problem is that the evil of a fallen world isn't the concept that is key to those that are unbelievers.

Unless they're named "Stephen Fry".

Blogger IM2L844 February 03, 2015 3:20 PM  

This short article, which I was kind of surprised to find in the Huffington Post, is pretty good and relevant to a lot of the comments: Why There Is No Such Thing as a Good Atheist

Anonymous Mudz February 03, 2015 3:24 PM  

wrf3: Really? Why is that?

How the heck would I know? I didn't raise you, grasshopper. What a stupid question.


Anonymous Stilicho February 03, 2015 3:25 PM  

Isn't sedevacantism just the reformation, but five hundred years later?

Sort of. It's a branch of the reformation that holds that failures of the RCC can be attributed to the fact that the right people aren't in charge.

Anonymous Atheist February 03, 2015 3:27 PM  

"Unless they're named "Stephen Fry".

Maybe. Maybe he was lazy. The point is that the unbeliever first realizes the problem with the real premise before moving on to the funny details of believers.

Blogger wrf3 February 03, 2015 3:29 PM  

Mudz wrote: How the heck would I know?

You made the claim that I wasn't a Calvinist. Are you saying that you don't know why you made that claim?

I didn't raise you, grasshopper. What a stupid question.

And yet you're the one who said that I am not what I claim to be. Why is that?

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 3:45 PM  

Yeah, wrf3's one of the leaders of Team Calvin.

Anonymous Mudz February 03, 2015 3:51 PM  

You made the claim that I wasn't a Calvinist. Are you saying that you don't know why you made that claim?

I'm saying I don't know why you're not a Calvinist. Sheesh, one sentence was enough to lose you.

And yet you're the one who said that I am not what I claim to be. Why is that?

Because you were lying? How is this difficult to follow?

So, short version.

You reject, openly and implicitly, basic doctrines of Calvinism, you claim to be a materialist and argue that all things are natural and particles, thus no spirits and thus no Spirit; and your "Calvinistic" scriptural quotations don't even make sense in context of your arguments when you try to give them, so I suspect you google on the spot, or just don't understand them at all.

When you get pressured on a contradiction, you try to emotionally black-mail but implying the argument would make you give up belief in God, before surrendering some silly position.

So you're not a Calvinist. You only picked it because you noticed same as I did, that people on VP seem to have a bug about Calvinism.

Fact is, you're not a Christian at all, but that didn't roll off the keyboard as nicely.

I normally ignore it, because it hardly matters. But I felt like getting an excuse to put out a service announcement, because I understand that not everyone's has argued with you enough to remember things like that. Aren't you glad you committed to your bluff?

Anonymous Mudz February 03, 2015 3:54 PM  

That evil is predicated on the idea of an objective morality defined by an unseeable, unknowable, notoriously shy deity who ha elf and his interaction with mortals is famously similar to other deities that this God's followers insist are false and fictions.

So it's not on the 'lack of proof of God's existence', it's not that the 'religions contradict', it's because you think the religions agree too much, that you've got an issue with that. That's kind of unique. I mean, I diagree with it of course, but it's still strange from an external angle.

If you're want to let us define your beliefs, then you're doing it wrong.

And despite your vagueness, you're still wrong.

- Deities of other religions are often assumed to be false or demons, or imperfect tradition.
- Our religion is based on direct witnesses of God. He exploded onto Mt. Sinai with enough visibility to be remembered for millenia. He's not shy, as you arbitrarily characterise him without reason or relevance. You're just short-lived.

"Notoriously" and "famously". Apparently enough so that I have no idea what you're talking about. This isn't going to be some kind of 'Osiris died! Just like Jesus!' is it? Generic sauce is the worst kind.

But if you had something in mind feel free to share.

The evil of a fallen world thing is just window dressing.

It's just silly, is what it is.

Blogger wrf3 February 03, 2015 3:54 PM  

Josh wrote: Yeah, wrf3's one of the leaders of Team Calvin.

Maybe I'm a fake Calvinist, like Francis is a fake Pope. It isn't enough to self-identify as a member of a group, proclaim agreement with the tenets of the group, and be acknowledged by others as members of that group, but I have to pass a secret test administered by an out-group proctor.

Or, maybe Mudz is just off his meds.

Or this play is just a farce.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 3:56 PM  

So you're telling me Markku almost got burned at the stake by someone who might not have even been a Calvinist?

Big, if true...

Anonymous Mudz February 03, 2015 4:07 PM  

It isn't enough to self-identify as a member of a group, proclaim agreement with the tenets of the group, and be acknowledged by others as members of that group, but I have to pass a secret test administered by an out-group proctor.

No it's not enough to proclaim agreement. You actually have to agree. You have to be a Calvinist to be a Calvinist. It's not rocket science.

Calvinists acknowledge God as a Spirit.

You're a materialist.

Boom.

We both knew I caught you at this trivial deceit ages ago. Just nobody really noticed or cared enough to make an inquisition of it.

Everyone else who doesn't know what I'm referencing can be happily agnostic, but at least they can throw some skepticism on it now.

And you should know by now emotional tricks don't work on me. Vegas or bust, baby.

Blogger Corvinus February 03, 2015 4:07 PM  

@Mr. Wright

Yes, the media is most certainly a problem. But even if they are, Francis is not at all guiltless. I don't think his telling people like atheist Eugenio Scalfari and pastor Tony Palmer that they should not convert to Catholicism (and Palmer was actually interested) is so easily excusable. Or his constant promotion of liberals like Kasper, Maradiaga, Cupich, etc.

And besides, Modernists constantly try to straddle the fence between orthodoxy and heresy, as described by Pius VI in Auctorem Fidei. So, he first said "there is no answer" and then "your question almost has no reply", throwing in an "almost" like a band-aid almost as an afterthought. I mean... for crying out loud.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 4:09 PM  

Just nobody really noticed or cared enough to make an inquisition of it.

No one ever expects the Calvinist inquisition...

Anonymous Mudz February 03, 2015 4:09 PM  

So you're telling me Markku almost got burned at the stake by someone who might not have even been a Calvinist?

Big, if true...


I have the dreadful feeling that this story isn't nearly as interesting as you made it sound. :(

Blogger wrf3 February 03, 2015 4:10 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger IM2L844 February 03, 2015 4:13 PM  

Yeah, wrf3's one of the leaders of Team Calvin.

No. He's one of the leaders of team Materialistic Determinism. He claims to believe in God, but I suspect he has more faith in Kurzweil's singularity. It's hard to say though because he'll never really spell out the details of what he believes and prefers to pose questions about hair splitting metrics.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 4:14 PM  

I propose we submit the matter to America's Calvinist pope, Tim Keller.

Blogger wrf3 February 03, 2015 4:15 PM  

Mudz wrote: You reject, openly and implicitly, basic doctrines of Calvinism

Really? On Monday's, Wednesday's, and Friday's I'm a 5-pointer. On Tuesday's, Thursday's, and Saturday's I'm a 4-pointer. On Sunday I'll explain why Limited Atonement has to be logically true, but emotionally unsatisfying.

you claim to be a materialist and argue that all things are natural and particles,
Except I'm not a materialist. What I claim is that I think I know how logic and matter are so intertwined that we cannot possible decide which, if any, is prior -- except by revelation. We certainly can't do it by reason. I also think that more things can be explained "naturally" than most Christians do but, since both Scripture and Nature have the same author, those explanations are coherent and consistent with each other.

or just don't understand them at all

It can't possibly occur to you that you're the one who doesn't understand things, can it?

Fact is, you're not a Christian at all

So, Jesus is my Lord, is co-eternal and co-existent with the Father, through whom was created all things, who emptied Himself and was found in likeness of humanity, who died on Calvary for my sins, rose bodily on the third day, ascended to Heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father, and I'm not a Christian?

That's astonishing. Did you tell Jesus this? Ask Him to erase me from His book of life, because He made a hideous mistake? Or is there some secret test of yours I have to pass?

Blogger Nate February 03, 2015 4:18 PM  

wrf3 isn't calvinst... and I am not an austrian hyper-inflationist...

Blogger wrf3 February 03, 2015 4:19 PM  

Josh wrote: I propose we submit the matter to America's Calvinist pope, Tim Keller.

What, no love for R. C. Sproul?

Anonymous Blume February 03, 2015 4:19 PM  

Josh February 03, 2015 3:45 PM

Yeah, wrf3's one of the leaders of Team Calvin.


Then I feel sorry for team Calvin.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 4:21 PM  

What, no love for R. C. Sproul?

Keller is the new hottness. Thus he holds the chair.

Anonymous Stilicho February 03, 2015 4:21 PM  

Actually, what the Holy Father said was "“The nucleus of your question … almost doesn’t have a reply.”

Well, that's only part of it. First he said it was a question for which there is no answer:

“She is the only one who has put a question for which there is no answer and she wasn’t even able to express it in words but in tears,” he told the crowd. “The nucleus of your question … almost doesn’t have a reply.”

Now, while Francis' response may be worthy of a Jesuit, I don't think it was worthy of the girl asking the question. Good Lord, the man had a near-perfect opportunity to deliver a direct, straightforward answer to a child... and he deliberately avoided doing so in favor of obscurities and platitudes.

Almost. The answer is Christ.

Yep, but that isn't the answer Francis gave. Here's a fuller text from Breitbart:


Today I have heard the only question that has no answer,” the Pope said, switching to his native Spanish. “At the core of your question there is no answer: only when we are able to weep over the things you said can we get closer to finding the answer to that question.”

“This is a big question,” Francis said. “Why do children suffer so much? Why do children suffer? Only when the heart is crying can we respond. A worldly compassion is of no use here, moving us at most to give something out of our wallet.”

“If Christ had that kind of compassion, he would have just passed by, greeted a few people, given them something and moved on,” he said.

“Dear young friends, in today’s world there is an inability to cry,” he said. “Certain necessities of life can only be seen through eyes filled with tears.”

“I invite each of you to ask yourself: Have I learned to cry? When I see a child cast out, on drugs, abandoned, abused, used as a slave? First of all we need to learn to cry, as she taught has taught us today.”

The Pope also put forth the example of Jesus in feeling compassion. “In the Gospel Jesus wept for his dead friend,” Francis said. “He wept inside for the family that had lost a daughter; he wept when he saw the poor widow burying her son; he was moved to tears when he saw the multitude without a shepherd.”

“If you do not learn to cry, you’re not good Christians.”

The presence of Glyzelle, the only girl among the four children to address the Pope, moved Francis to emphasize the value of women in society. At the beginning of his speech, the Pope had complained about the under-representation of girls in the testimonies of the young.

“Women have much to say in today’s society. Sometimes we act macho and we do not allow women to express themselves. Women are able to see things with special eyes. Women are able to ask questions that men are not even capable of understanding. Look at what happened today. The little girl asked the question with her tears.”

“The next time a pope comes to Manila, please, let there be more women present!”


Now, maybe there's a more complete or more accurate translation of his response, but this just reads like a politician, instead of answering the question posed, saying "That's a good question. Let me tell you how my five-year plan is going to advance my agenda."

What am I missing here?

Anonymous Porky February 03, 2015 4:22 PM  

I have to poop but I don't want to miss this.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 4:27 PM  

Porky wins the thread

Blogger wrf3 February 03, 2015 4:27 PM  

Josh wrote: Keller is the new hottness. Thus he holds the chair.

I thought the Superb Owl sharks at the half time show were the new hotness. Put some lasers on their heads and they'd be perfect for my inquisition.

Blogger Krul February 03, 2015 4:28 PM  

Josh - Porky wins the thread

He can barely contain himself.

Blogger Nate February 03, 2015 4:33 PM  

porky... you can read on your phone in the crapper.

Tiny Tim does it all the time.

Blogger bob k. mando February 03, 2015 4:38 PM  

John Wright February 03, 2015 2:57 PM
Pettifoggery.



heeeee. this is why i like reading John Wright.

your game is slipping a bit though John, i didn't have to look that up.



John Wright February 03, 2015 2:57 PM
Christians both believe in the knowledge and wisdom of God,



didn't understand that i was disputing that God had knowledge and wisdom.

it might amuse you to learn that Vox doesn't believe in Omniscience.


John Wright February 03, 2015 2:57 PM
and use the word to refer to both



and yet, the Bible regularly draws the distinction between the two. i wonder why that is?

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Chronicles+1%3A10-12&version=KJV

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+31:3&version=KJV





“She is the only one who has put a question for which there is no answer and she wasn’t even able to express it in words but in tears,” he told the crowd. “The nucleus of your question … almost doesn’t have a reply.”



“(There are) certain realities in life, we only see through eyes that are cleansed with our tears,” the pope said. He urged [the people gathered] “to think, to feel and to do,” asking them to repeat these words in a chorus.




John Wright February 03, 2015 3:05 PM
Almost. The answer is Christ.



a - the answer is, the world is of Sin and ruled by the Prince of the Power of the Air
b - this whole thread is a about the Christian answer to the child's question ... and we have here provided an answer far better for the child to hear than Francis did
c - IF the answer is Christ
THEN why couldn't the Pope be bothered to mention that?

a tree is known by it's fruit. if the 'Vicar of Christ' can't actually, you know, witness for Christ ...


as an aside, i was a groomsman at an RCC service last month.

woooooooh, boy howdy.

during the homily i learned that the purpose of marriage is to "force" others to recognize the validity of the relationship . yes, that was exactly the term the priest used, not really a surprise since they were cohabitating for over a year prior to the marriage.

and i also learned that John Wayne, in The Shootist, dying of cancer and sitting on his bed trembling in weakness had valuable things to teach us about marriage.

*puke*

now, a single priest out in podunk, cow lovin hoosierland doesn't impeach the entirety of the Catholic Church.

cuz man, you can get some doozy Prot preachers ( Jim Jones? ) too.

but you're not exactly filling me with confidence.

OpenID peppermintfrosted February 03, 2015 4:42 PM  

That's "theory of evolution". I suppose what you are sceptical of is the entirety of modern biology, which does have things to be sceptical of.

A theorem is a mathematical statement that can be proven from some axioms. The mathematical theorem that imperfect reproduction with some selective process leads to evolution is simply true, and is used today to design things.

Anonymous Mudz February 03, 2015 5:04 PM  

Really? On Monday's, Wednesday's, and Friday's I'm a 5-pointer. On Tuesday's, Thursday's, and Saturday's I'm a 4-pointer. On Sunday I'll explain why Limited Atonement has to be logically true, but emotionally unsatisfying.

I honestly don't even know why you try. Maybe you really do believe that I can be fazed if you just rattle off enough arbitrary Calvinisms. That paragraph is worth about 2 minutes of Wiki.

Except I'm not a materialist. What I claim is that I think I know how logic and matter are so intertwined that we cannot possible decide which, if any, is prior -- except by revelation. We certainly can't do it by reason. I also think that more things can be explained "naturally" than most Christians do but, since both Scripture and Nature have the same author, those explanations are coherent and consistent with each other.

How do you characterise God? Not a spirit?

You believe in logic as partaking of a nature distinct from matter? As in, something immaterial?
Sharing a relationship that connects them in some undefined way?

I'd enjoy seeing what your distinctions are.

It can't possibly occur to you that you're the one who doesn't understand things, can it?

It occurs to me, but then I check the scripture, and it turns out I'm a genius. Although, really, it was simply the grammar that you had screwed up.

So, Jesus is my Lord, is co-eternal and co-existent with the Father, through whom was created all things, who emptied Himself and was found in likeness of humanity, who died on Calvary for my sins, rose bodily on the third day, ascended to Heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father, and I'm not a Christian?

He did that for everyone. So no, openly confessing him is not enough if you don't actually believe it, and if you fail to support the other tenets of Christianity.

Blogger Nate February 03, 2015 5:17 PM  

"
and i also learned that John Wayne, in The Shootist, dying of cancer and sitting on his bed trembling in weakness had valuable things to teach us about marriage."

Hold on one damned minute....


Did you just disparage the Duke?

Blogger Chris Ritchie February 03, 2015 5:18 PM  

This is a good post to reiterate Augustine's argument on Evil. Everyone thinks that evil exists as some separate entity. It doesn't. That thought follows from false assumptions; namely, 1. God created everything. 2. Evil is a thing 3. God created Evil.

2. does not follow from 1. That's false. What Augustine then figured out is that if he could 'prove' God's goodness from facts about the creation, an entirely different set of assumptions emerge: 1. Everything God created is 'good.' 2. Evil is not 'good.' 3. God did not create Evil.

What evidence do we have that God is 'good?' Jesus Christ. The natural balance of life. The hope of eternity. The anthropic principle of life on Earth. Etc.

So then if God did not create Evil, what is it? 1. God created Everything. 2. God did not create Evil. 3. Evil is not a 'thing.'

So what is it? Austine goes on to say that evil as we know it, is the absence of 'good.' And this links directly back to our understanding of free will. Anytime man chooses something other than the perfect will of God, evil is the result. And we see the varying scales of that.

For me, that's the best defense of God's character because we can't impugn God for our poor choices. Well, maybe the Calvinists can, but that's another argument. No, it puts the responsibility for the bad consequences squarely on our own shoulders. So what to do?

What if the Atheists cry that no one can possibly 'choose' to do God's perfect will all the time. Of course not. And that is where we point people back to Jesus Christ. He came to not only save us, but to REDEEM us. We don't have to be perfect. When Jesus lives inside of you, you then at least have the possibility of choosing rightly, of choosing God's way instead of your own. And that's the whole point. We need God and the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf. Anything else is useless wrangling.

Blogger Nate February 03, 2015 5:19 PM  

"I honestly don't even know why you try. Maybe you really do believe that I can be fazed if you just rattle off enough arbitrary Calvinisms. That paragraph is worth about 2 minutes of Wiki."

Maybe he's just amused that you think yourself so brilliant you can divine a total stranger's heart by some words on the internet.

Blogger Nate February 03, 2015 5:20 PM  

"This is a good post to reiterate Augustine's argument on Evil. Everyone thinks that evil exists as some separate entity. It doesn't. That thought follows from false assumptions; namely, 1. God created everything. 2. Evil is a thing 3. God created Evil. "

Augustine was a piece of shit.

Blogger Chris Ritchie February 03, 2015 5:24 PM  

Augustine was a piece of shit.

Please explain.

Blogger John Wright February 03, 2015 5:28 PM  

"IF the answer is Christ THEN why couldn't the Pope be bothered to mention that?"

You are deceived if you believe the Press reported the conversation accurately. Every previous case where I heard the Pope say something outrageous or uncatholic, I looked into it, and found out it was false, and after a while a stopped looking into it.

Now, you are doing the opposite. You are not looking into it, and assuming the worst. You believe known liars who have a strong reason for lying about this man.

Anonymous Mudz February 03, 2015 5:29 PM  

Maybe he's just amused that you think yourself so brilliant you can divine a total stranger's heart by some words on the internet.

I like a win-win scenario.

Blogger Nate February 03, 2015 5:30 PM  

"Please explain."

You already did.

Augustine laid all cruelty and evil in the world at the feet of God. He blamed God for all torture... the vilest of human and demonic cruelties... he described as acts of God... and claimed that they are parts of a giant tapestry.. and even if ugly from our view.. if we could just see the larger picture... we'd see how that evil and cruelty adds to the beauty overall.

It is a morally repugnant claim. Utterly devoid of scriptural foundation. It is Blasphemous in the extreme.

It is precisely this kind of idiocy that drives people away from Christ by the thousands... if not millions.

Austustine's blasphemy is the very real strawman that idiot atheists attack.

And you can't get to John Calvin without first going through Augustine of Hippo.

Bah.

A pox on him.

Evil is not a thing. No more than cold is a thing or darkness is a thing. These are the absence of a thing. Cold is the absence of heat. Dark is the absence life. Evil is the absence of God.

God did not create Evil anymore than you create darkness by turning off a light.

Blogger wrf3 February 03, 2015 5:31 PM  

Chris Ritchie wrote: 1. Everything God created is 'good.' 2. Evil is not 'good.' 3. God did not create Evil.

What Augustine failed to realize is that God's creation of evil was in itself good. Evil is not the "absence" of good any more than "west" is the "absence" of "north". Good and evil can be likened to vectors, pointing in different directions (they're actually steps in a search tree in state space).

Blogger John Wright February 03, 2015 5:33 PM  

"didn't understand that i was disputing that God had knowledge and wisdom"

I understood that. That is why I was pointing out what you were disputing was pettyfoggery, nit-picking, nonsense. Using a more precise technical terminology in that spot, 'omnisophism' would be counterproductive.

And you accept correction badly, by snarking and reiterating and even less credible mistake. You point out that knowledge and wisdom CAN be distinguished in other contexts, but in the argument under consideration, no such distinction is needed.

You are trying to show off your wit and only showing half: /argumenti gratia argumentum/

Blogger Nate February 03, 2015 5:34 PM  

"Now, you are doing the opposite. You are not looking into it, and assuming the worst. You believe known liars who have a strong reason for lying about this man. "

The fact that people lied about Benedict doesn't mean they lie about this half-wit. They likely have no reason to lie about him. He does their work for them.

Blogger Nate February 03, 2015 5:35 PM  

" Evil is not the "absence" of good any more than "west" is the "absence" of "north". Good and evil can be likened to vectors, pointing in different directions (they're actually steps in a search tree in state space)."

Bollocks.

Evil is the absence of God. Just as there are no degrees of sin... there are no degrees of absence. God is either present or He is not. If He is not... there is evil.

Thus your vector analogy fails.

Blogger Chris Ritchie February 03, 2015 5:38 PM  

Evil is not a thing. No more than cold is a thing or darkness is a thing. These are the absence of a thing. Cold is the absence of heat. Dark is the absence life. Evil is the absence of God.

So you admit his conclusions, even if you don't like the man. My argument is that most people don't ever conceive that evil isn't a thing. We have a generation of movies that have taught the dumbed down masses that evil exists as an entity.

I think we first have to tear down that assumption before continuing into a discussion of the character of God.

You're right about Augustine being the foundation of Calvinism, but I don't see how the argument just laid out lays it all at the feet of God. It puts it back at the feet of Man. WE are the ones allowing the evil to proliferate. I guess you might say it is God's fault because he doesn't step in and suborn our free will, but then we are back to square one: Without free will and the attendant consequences, we are just automatons and God's playthings.

Blogger Nate February 03, 2015 5:41 PM  

"So you admit his conclusions, even if you don't like the man. "

Absolutely not.

God did not create evil. Evil did not need to be created.

God did not create murder or rape or torture. These are not things created. They are byproducts of the absence of God... and God does not tolerate them for some nebulous greater good.

Blogger IM2L844 February 03, 2015 5:42 PM  

Maybe he's just amused that you think yourself so brilliant you can divine a total stranger's heart by some words on the internet.

Hmmm. It would be interesting to learn wrf3's concept of what souls are and why they will be held accountable for our brain's transgressions since he's previously stated that there is no such thing a truly evil intention and every intention that aims toward achieving any particular goal is always good. It could change my whole understanding of the situation.

Blogger Nate February 03, 2015 5:43 PM  

"but I don't see how the argument just laid out lays it all at the feet of God. It puts it back at the feet of Man"

then you don't understand Calvinism.

Blogger Chris Ritchie February 03, 2015 5:44 PM  

"
God did not create evil. Evil did not need to be created.

God did not create murder or rape or torture. These are not things created. They are byproducts of the absence of God... and God does not tolerate them for some nebulous greater good."

That's exactly what I said. We are in agreement. God did not create Evil. Evil is not a thing. Evil is the absence of good.

Blogger Chris Ritchie February 03, 2015 5:45 PM  

"then you don't understand Calvinism."

I shouldn't. I was reared in an Arminian denomination - Nazarene, founded by a former Methodist preacher.

Blogger wrf3 February 03, 2015 5:47 PM  

Mudz wrote: Maybe you really do believe that I can be fazed if you just rattle off enough arbitrary Calvinisms.

It isn't about fazing you. You claimed that I am not a Calvinist. Calvinism is summarized by the 5 statements known as "TULIP". They aren't arbitrary -- they are the core of Calvinism. I was simply saying that on some days I adhere to all 5 points, on some days just 4, and am quite happy to explain why I believe what I do.

I can also recite the Boy Scout oath, pledge, and motto. I can even do it while jumping on one leg. If you want to choose to believe that I'm not an Eagle Scout, or that I'm not a Christian, then I don't know what else to do, because words are all I have when engaging a dimwit on the internet.

How do you characterise God? Not a spirit?

Don't be stupid. "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth."

You believe in logic as partaking of a nature distinct from matter? As in, something immaterial?

I'm saying that if it is distinct from matter then we can't prove it via reason.

Sharing a relationship that connects them in some undefined way?
It's really trivial. You know, or should know, that quarks combine to form protons and neutrons, and that protons, neutrons, and electrons form atoms, and that atoms form people, and oranges, and bears, and apples, and trees.

Now, suppose you have a y-shaped tube with two openings on one end and one opening on the other. Two things go in the two openings and only one thing comes out the other end. Suppose you put an orange in the top opening and an apple in the bottom opening and you get an orange out. And if you put an apple in the top opening and an orange in the bottom opening and get an orange out. But if you put two apples in, or two oranges in, you get an apple out.

Once you have billions of those little devices then you have everything you need for thought. Arrange them the right way and they can recognize and describe themselves. But they form a loop. Break the loop and the ability to recognize what they do goes away.

It's not rocket surgery.

Blogger Nate February 03, 2015 5:48 PM  

"That's exactly what I said."

yes. But that's not what Augustine said.

Blogger wrf3 February 03, 2015 5:53 PM  

Nate wrote: Evil is the absence of God. Just as there are no degrees of sin... there are no degrees of absence. God is either present or He is not. If He is not... there is evil.

There is no place where God is absent. He is omnipresent.

Thus your vector analogy fails

Consider a tic-tac-toe board with an X in the upper left and lower right corners and an O in the middle. It's O's turn. Is putting an O in the upper right corner a good or a bad move? If you think it's a bad move, is God absent from the game?

Anonymous Mudz February 03, 2015 5:56 PM  

Don't be stupid. "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth."

So God's thoughts aren't made out of matter?

Blogger Chris Ritchie February 03, 2015 5:58 PM  

I think you're missing the point entirely. We're talking about the nature of a thing and you're talking about vectors and tic-tac-toe. I'll defer to Nate.

Anonymous Stilicho February 03, 2015 5:59 PM  

after a while a stopped looking into it

Understandable.

Now, you are doing the opposite. You are not looking into it, and assuming the worst. You believe known liars who have a strong reason for lying about this man.

Well, I quoted both the Japan Press and Breitbart (quoting Francis). If you have another source that you consider more reliable, I'm happy to take a look at it. The National Catholic Reporter has the same quote. The Catholic News, the same. Globalnation.inquirer.net the same and adds this "When they posed this question to us, why children suffer, why this or that tragedy occurs in life – our response must be either silence or a word that is born of our tears. Be courageous, don’t be afraid to cry."

What does the official Vatican account say? Only this: "He then proceeded to the sports field, able to hold thirty thousand people, where he gave an off-the-cuff address in Spanish, answering various questions such as “Why do children suffer?”, “How does one live true love?”, “How can one contribute professionally to compassion and mercy without falling prey to materialism?”. No text of his off-the-cuff address is provided. Instead, the Vatican published the speech he planned to give.

Again, I ask, what am I missing?

Blogger wrf3 February 03, 2015 5:59 PM  

IM2L844 wrote: It would be interesting to learn wrf3's concept of what souls are

Our "souls" are how God thinks about us ("for in Him we live and move and have our being") but what that ultimately is, is quite beyond me. I don't really know.

and why they will be held accountable for our brain's transgressions

We are accountable by Divine edict.

since he's previously stated that there is no such thing a truly evil intention and every intention that aims toward achieving any particular goal is always good.

I'd really like to see where I said that. I suspect you inferred it from my statement that "God creating evil is good", but that assumes that there is one standard that applies to both God and man. That's not how it works. We are not God.

Anonymous PTR February 03, 2015 6:00 PM  

Nate February 03, 2015 5:48 PM
"That's exactly what I said."

yes. But that's not what Augustine said.

Nate, evil being the privation of the good is one of the things Augustine is noted for.

The privation of good (Latin: privatio boni) is a theological doctrine that evil, unlike good, is insubstantial, so that thinking of it as an entity is misleading. Instead, evil is rather the absence or lack ("privation") of good.[1][2][3] It is typically attributed to St. Augustine of Hippo, who wrote:

From Wikipedia:

"And in the universe, even that which is called evil, when it is regulated and put in its own place, only enhances our admiration of the good; for we enjoy and value the good more when we compare it with the evil. For the Almighty God, who, as even the heathen acknowledge, has supreme power over all things, being Himself supremely good, would never permit the existence of anything evil among His works, if He were not so omnipotent and good that He can bring good even out of evil. For what is that which we call evil but the absence of good? In the bodies of animals, disease and wounds mean nothing but the absence of health; for when a cure is effected, that does not mean that the evils which were present—namely, the diseases and wounds—go away from the body and dwell elsewhere: they altogether cease to exist; for the wound or disease is not a substance, but a defect in the fleshly substance,—the flesh itself being a substance, and therefore something good, of which those evils—that is, privations of the good which we call health—are accidents. Just in the same way, what are called vices in the soul are nothing but privations of natural good. And when they are cured, they are not transferred elsewhere: when they cease to exist in the healthy soul, they cannot exist anywhere else.[4]"

Now I know you Greeks like to blame Augustine for nearly everything but .....

Blogger wrf3 February 03, 2015 6:01 PM  

Mudz asked: So God's thoughts aren't made out of matter?

Of course not. But I can't prove it via reason. No one can (and that no one can do it can, in fact, be proven). It has to be taken on faith.

Blogger wrf3 February 03, 2015 6:04 PM  

Chris Ritchie wrote: We're talking about the nature of a thing and you're talking about vectors and tic-tac-toe.

Because that demonstrates the true nature of the thing. Augustine blew it big time with his "good is the absence of evil" notion. It's completely wrong.


Blogger Chris Ritchie February 03, 2015 6:05 PM  

Completely wrong? So what is evil?

Anonymous Mudz February 03, 2015 6:08 PM  

Of course not.

Okay!

You believe in the existence of the immaterial as distinct from the material. Whether or not you can prove it doesn't bother me.

This conversation wasn't actually what I expected at the beginning, but I'm sure it'll be useful.

So do you then reject this previous statement you made? "Thoughts are matter in motion in certain patterns."

Blogger Corvinus February 03, 2015 6:12 PM  

Now, you are doing the opposite. You are not looking into it, and assuming the worst. You believe known liars who have a strong reason for lying about this man.

@Mr. Wright
I'll just say that the motive for misrepresenting what he says (as well as nonstop talking about sexual abuse scandals) is to make people lose the Catholic Faith.

What doesn't help matters is that Francis seems to also be trying to get people to lose (or never get in the first place) the Catholic Faith. And along with the fact that he repeatedly does SJW things such as visiting illegal Africans in Lampedusa or, most recently, suggesting a show of solidarity with illegals on the southwest U.S. border (source) and visiting with a trannie (source), has certainly convinced me that Francis is SJW entryist and not Catholic.

And naturally, of course he says apparently orthodox things from time to time. He has to, to keep the ruse going and real Catholics asleep. Many pre-Vatican II papal encyclicals, in fact, described this ruse to a T.

Blogger Nate February 03, 2015 6:13 PM  


"And in the universe, even that which is called evil, when it is regulated and put in its own place, only enhances our admiration of the good; for we enjoy and value the good more when we compare it with the evil."

Partially. Augustine embraces the concept but misses the point entirely. And by doing so.. laid the foundation that the heretic John Calvin employed to spread his blasphemy.

Blogger Nate February 03, 2015 6:14 PM  

"Consider a tic-tac-toe board with an X in the upper left and lower right corners and an O in the middle. It's O's turn. Is putting an O in the upper right corner a good or a bad move? If you think it's a bad move, is God absent from the game?"

I think you just demonstrated that you have no idea what Good and Evil actually mean.

Blogger wrf3 February 03, 2015 6:18 PM  

Chris Ritchie wrote: Completely wrong? So what is evil?

A path in state space that leads away from a goal. For humans, the ultimate goal is life and the ultimate anti-goal is death (because life is the prerequisite for us to make choices, and death is where choices cease). For God, everything He does is good because He is His own "goal".

Blogger wrf3 February 03, 2015 6:20 PM  

Mudz asked: So do you then reject this previous statement you made? "Thoughts are matter in motion in certain patterns."

Of course I don't reject it. It's how brains work. It's why we discuss philosophy and dogs don't. They don't have the same wiring we do.

Blogger wrf3 February 03, 2015 6:21 PM  

Nate wote: I think you just demonstrated that you have no idea what Good and Evil actually mean.

Of course you didn't actually answer the question, because if you did you'd have to give up your silly ideas.

Blogger Chris Ritchie February 03, 2015 6:23 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Chris Ritchie February 03, 2015 6:25 PM  

For God, everything He does is good because He is His own "goal".
I have to agree with Nate. This is the kind of Calvinist talk that puts people out of the Christian faith altogether. I heard John MacArthur exclaim one time that the ultimate goal of all of our souls is to be a gift that God the Father gives the Son, Jesus. As if we were a bunch of beenie babies bought off Ebay. That doesn't sound like the free moral agents that God could converse with and call His friends in the way Adam was a friend of God. Jesus valued us as individuals, not as a "love feast" (to hear MacArthur describe it) between the Trinity.

Blogger Chris Ritchie February 03, 2015 6:26 PM  

I stopped listening to MacArthur after that.

Anonymous Mudz February 03, 2015 6:27 PM  

So then you hold two contradictory positions. I'm not even surprised. Also a very weird non sequitur, but we'll overlook that.

"Thoughts are matter."
"God's thoughts are not matter."

Either thoughts are immaterial, or God is not a Spirit. You gotta lose one of 'em buddy.

I think that'll do for me today. I'll check back tomorrow.

Blogger Nate February 03, 2015 6:33 PM  

'A path in state space that leads away from a goal."

Mate... you can try to sell your repackaged eastern mysticism... but you won't find many buyers.

Evil is not a path.

Neither is darkness a path.

There is no path were a single nano-second's choice and faith can reverse a lifetime of progress.

Of course.. you're a calvinist... and therefore blashmously retarded. So its not really productive to bother with you.

Anonymous GreyS February 03, 2015 6:36 PM  

...has certainly convinced me that Francis is SJW entryist and not Catholic.

And naturally, of course he says apparently orthodox things from time to time. He has to, to keep the ruse going and real Catholics asleep. Many pre-Vatican II papal encyclicals, in fact, described this ruse to a T


As I said-- you think you have special knowledge and insight which others do not possess. Lucky for the world you happen to be able to tell us exactly who is a "real Catholic" and who is not, and who is or is not a "real Pope".

Simple question: How did you come to the conclusion that being an "SJW entryist" is grounds for disqualification for being "the real Pope"?

Blogger Corvinus February 03, 2015 6:42 PM  

Simple question: How did you come to the conclusion that being an "SJW entryist" is grounds for disqualification for being "the real Pope"?

That's not what I was saying. I'm saying he's disqualified because he spouts heresies such as stating that people don't have to, or even shouldn't, convert to Catholicism. The SJW entryism thing is just a big fat cherry on top which makes it clear where his real loyalties lie.

Anonymous GreyS February 03, 2015 6:50 PM  

I'm saying he's disqualified because he spouts heresies such as stating that people don't have to, or even shouldn't, convert to Catholicism

You hold this position because you saw a journalist's report? You heard him say this yourself?

I've never heard him say this-- but even if he did--> How did you come to the conclusion that he is not a "real Pope" if he said 'x,y or z'?

Blogger automatthew February 03, 2015 6:56 PM  

The real pope is whoever the most people think the real pope is, right?

Blogger Corvinus February 03, 2015 6:57 PM  

You hold this position because you saw a journalist's report? You heard him say this yourself?

No. There are many other factors, but I do not have the patience to go over them with you, especially given your repeated sneering contempt. Besides, it'd be OT. Go take a hike.

Blogger automatthew February 03, 2015 6:57 PM  

People, cardinals, gay cardinals, whatever.

Blogger wrf3 February 03, 2015 7:09 PM  

Mudz wrote: Either thoughts are immaterial, or God is not a Spirit. You gotta lose one of 'em buddy.

No, I don't. You don't understand the difference between what can be proved and what must be believed. You're asking for proof to decide between Plato and Aristotle. You can't do it. Consider Escher's drawing "Hands". You can't have one hand without the other. Remove one and the other goes away. Matter in motion is what allows you to think that something is immaterial. Stop that motion, or change the pattern, and you can't think those things anymore.

Anonymous GreyS February 03, 2015 7:23 PM  

No. There are many other factors, but I do not have the patience to go over them with you, especially given your repeated sneering contempt. Besides, it'd be OT. Go take a hike.

(cackle) When you are questioned and asked for specificity you cry "sneering contempt!" but you provide nothing but sneering contempt for the Pope. And the "I'd answer but it is OT" thing is hypocritical when you are the one who started it.

I haven't treated you poorly whatsoever outside of a little humorous mocking of your weak position. You'll forgive me at this point if I conclude that you ain't got no "real" Catholic chili.

Blogger Corvinus February 03, 2015 7:33 PM  

(cackle) When you are questioned and asked for specificity you cry "sneering contempt!"

Either you don't realize that your very use of "cackle" right now at this very moment is sneering contempt, or you're just being disingenuous.

but you provide nothing but sneering contempt for the Pope.

Trust me, he fully deserves it.

And the "I'd answer but it is OT" thing is hypocritical when you are the one who started it.

Bullsh!t. It was related to the problem of evil. What's so hard to understand about that?

I haven't treated you poorly whatsoever outside of a little humorous mocking of your weak position. You'll forgive me at this point if I conclude that you ain't got no "real" Catholic chili.

No, it's because you wouldn't listen to anything I say.

Here, peruse this site. Even if you close your eyes, turn up your nose, and dismiss it entirely, hopefully a lurker or three here won't.

Anonymous GreyS February 03, 2015 7:56 PM  

Nah, I have nowhere near contempt for you. I'm more amused than anything else. I think you are a hypocritical faker who hasn't actually given the subject much thought-- and the mere link to someone else's words and positions strengthens that opinion.

Anonymous paradox February 03, 2015 9:00 PM  

Josh, wrf3 is also the founding member of Team Pacifist, the suicide cult.

Blogger IM2L844 February 03, 2015 9:09 PM  

Our "souls" are how God thinks about us ("for in Him we live and move and have our being") but what that ultimately is, is quite beyond me. I don't really know.

We are accountable by Divine edict.


I wasn't asking how. I was asking why. It only makes sense if our souls have consciousness and not only remember our lives and the choices we made, but were actively participating and are equally culpable. If it's simply how God thinks of us, there is no logical basis for holding souls accountable for our brain's activities during our corporeal lives.

"since he's previously stated that there is no such thing a truly evil intention and every intention that aims toward achieving any particular goal is always good."

I'd really like to see where I said that. I suspect you inferred it from my statement that "God creating evil is good", but that assumes that there is one standard that applies to both God and man. That's not how it works. We are not God.

Yeah, I probably should have plugged "implicitly" in there somewhere since it's been months ago and I can't remember word for word what you said. I do, however, remember the context and the gist of your arguments. It more or less revolved around the same discussions we're having here.

Blogger bob k. mando February 03, 2015 9:25 PM  

Nate February 03, 2015 5:17 PM
Hold on one damned minute....

Did you just disparage the Duke?




hold on one damned minute, ya freak

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ms0VIKlp0CU

i'm relating to you what the priest said. i'm not even sure i've seen the movie.

IF the Duke was disparaged
THEN it was either the RCC priest and / or the movie ( which the Duke agreed to do ) that did so.

verily, thou shalt have no other Duke before John Wayne.



John Wright February 03, 2015 5:28 PM
Now, you are doing the opposite. You are not looking into it, and assuming the worst.


to the contrary, i went looking for, and found, an extensive quote. a quote that hasn't been refuted anywhere that i've seen.

which makes your assertion about me ... uncharitable, at best.

i pulled it from a sedevacantist website, so they're hardly one of your allies but they still profess to be Catholic.

http://www.novusordowatch.org/wire/francis-stumped-suffering.htm

the CNA covers little of what Francis actually said ... but fails to contradict the quotes already given.

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/what-pope-francis-learned-from-homeless-girl-cry-with-the-suffering-19592/

enlighten me. i will gladly acknowledge that the news media is filled with lies.


John Wright February 03, 2015 5:33 PM
I understood that. That is why I was pointing out what you were disputing was ... nit-picking


i was not 'disputing', i was clarifying. and, yes, fun-ing you a bit at the same time.

do you likewise find my explanation of Marx's aphorism "was pettyfoggery, nit-picking, nonsense"?

Blogger Doom February 03, 2015 9:45 PM  

My problem with your arguments isn't that you make them, or that they are rational and generally correct enough. It is with whom you choose to argue. I honestly don't see much difference between low church and high church atheist arguments, to be absolutely honest. One group just serves their drivel up in books, the other doesn't bother to collect or write them. It's simply a matter of volume. Actually, the low churchians are better, in that they don't even try to defend the indefensible. They just do what they do, avoiding any claim to poor reasoning or any such fallacy. The low churchians are the true adherents of chaos. Don't know, don't care, and it suits them.

Trying to tell them that Sauron is not in Narnia, or that the God being attacked is not the Christian God is like telling an addict that drugs are bad for him... while he is shooting up. At least let them come off their high before wasting your time.

Blogger wrf3 February 03, 2015 9:48 PM  

IM2L844 wrote: I wasn't asking how. I was asking why. It only makes sense if our souls have consciousness and not only remember our lives and the choices we made, but were actively participating and are equally culpable. If it's simply how God thinks of us, there is no logical basis for holding souls accountable for our brain's activities during our corporeal lives.

It isn't supposed to make sense -- it's supposed to back you into a corner where one ends up saying to God "that's not fair!". Because the moment you do that, you're saying that God is wrong. And that's one thing you cannot logically do.

"So then he has mercy on whomever he chooses, and he hardens the heart of whomever he chooses. You will say to me then, “Why then does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who indeed are you, a human being, to argue with God?"

Blogger wrf3 February 03, 2015 9:53 PM  

paradox wrote: Josh, wrf3 is also the founding member of Team Pacifist, the suicide cult.

Founding member? Hardly. Let's see, there's Stephen, James (son of Zebedee), James (the Just), Peter, Paul, Mark (the Evangelist), the apostles Philip, Jude, Andrew, Bartholomew, and Thomas, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Origin, Ignatius of Antioch, Hus, Thomas More, Tyndale, Latimer, Ridley, Cranmer, Bonhoeffer, Elliot, ...

Shall I go on?

Blogger bob k. mando February 03, 2015 10:03 PM  

further research on the Pope's comments, from the Catholic News Service:
https://cnsblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/18/pope-respond-to-suffering-with-eyes-cleansed-by-tears/
Pay attention,” the pope told the young people. Palomar was “the only one who posed a question for which there is no answer. And she wasn’t able to express it in words but tears“Sometimes we’re too ‘machista’ and don’t allow room for the woman,” he said. “But the woman is able to see things with a different eye than men. Women are able to pose questions that we men are not able to understand.

so, AS REPORTED BY A CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE, you have a Pope who is asserting a lie.

"the only one who posed a question for which there is no answer"

Job was written to address this very subject. there IS an answer, and Francis refused to state it, preferring instead to go the full Bill Clinton route and Feel Her Pain.

i note also that Francis has gone the full Female Supremacy route as well, asserting that the girl can bring forth, not merely a different point of view ( true ), but a POV *beyond the comprehension of all the men present*.


even ol Crazy Eyes herself, Ann Barnhardt knows better than this.

http://www.barnhardt.biz/2015/01/23/ive-been-through-the-innerwebz-on-a-post-with-no-name/
"But now somewhere in the Philippines there is a little girl who thinks that God is an indifferent “divine watchmaker” and that the Church has no answer to her question, when in fact it is a children’s Penny Catechism 101 topic.

This is why I pray for God to remove Pope Francis from office."

Blogger wrf3 February 03, 2015 10:18 PM  

bob k. mando wrote: Job was written to address this very subject. there IS an answer...

Really? What answer did God give Job?

Blogger IM2L844 February 03, 2015 10:55 PM  

It isn't supposed to make sense -- it's supposed to back you into a corner where one ends up saying to God "that's not fair!". Because the moment you do that, you're saying that God is wrong. And that's one thing you cannot logically do.

That's a screwed up way of looking at it. Romans 9 doesn't apply here. We're talking about the fundamental essence of what souls are, how they interface with our wetware and if you believe they actually exist at all; not the process of their redemption. The tangential conflation dance maneuvers aren't constructive.

Blogger Myles February 03, 2015 11:09 PM  

An interesting bit of theological ju-jitsu, the existence of evil proves God exists:

1) If evil exists, objective values and duties exist.
2) Evil exists.
3) Therefore objective values and duties exist.
4) God is the source of objective morals and duties.
5) Therefore God exists.

(I found that one on the web but cant remember who wrote it. I also recall the argument as originally formatted having only 4 parts.)

Rejecting the existence of God on moral grounds is rather like constructing a syllogism to prove that formal logic inherently wrong.

Anonymous Please February 04, 2015 2:09 AM  

Wow this argument is so incredibly retarded. Take it to the youtube comment section, kids.

Anonymous Toby Temple February 04, 2015 2:58 AM  

'A path in state space that leads away from a goal."

So now we have wrf3's definition of evil.

Nate is right. You are blaphemously retarded.

No wonder you think that it is good to defend the innocent using arms/weapons but evil to defend yourself with arms/weapons.

Anonymous Mudz February 04, 2015 3:45 AM  

"Mudz wrote: Either thoughts are immaterial, or God is not a Spirit. You gotta lose one of 'em buddy."

No, I don't. You don't understand the difference between what can be proved and what must be believed. You're asking for proof to decide between Plato and Aristotle. You can't do it. Consider Escher's drawing "Hands". You can't have one hand without the other. Remove one and the other goes away. Matter in motion is what allows you to think that something is immaterial. Stop that motion, or change the pattern, and you can't think those things anymore.

What the fluffy duck was that?! What a disastrous bit of nonsense. None of that made any sense or had any relevance or support. It fails on so many levels it's almost transcendent.

It has nothing to do with 'what can be proved and must be believed', Plato, Aristotle, artwork, or any other random analogy you pulled out. It's nothing to do with limits of knowledge, or hypothesis vs proof. 'Thoughts are immaterial and thoughts are material' is not some kind of 'one hand washes the other'.

It just makes no freaking sense.

Your very assertions are self-contradictory, and you cannot have both. By simple definition one of them is wrong.

This makes you either a liar, or some kind of monstrous anti-intelligence. But either way, your position is worthless, and you should feel bad about yourself.

Anonymous kh123 February 04, 2015 4:54 AM  

" Consider Escher's drawing "Hands". You can't have one hand without the other. Remove one and the other goes away."

Well sure, if the artist is way too caught up hedging the entirety of his work within a singular concept rather than creativity, clarity, and execution.

Anonymous FrankNorman February 04, 2015 7:44 AM  

Mudz February 04, 2015 3:45 AM

This makes you either a liar, or some kind of monstrous anti-intelligence. But either way, your position is worthless, and you should feel bad about yourself.


LOL!!!

Anonymous FrankNorman February 04, 2015 7:47 AM  

If I understand what a certain paragraph of emotionally-manipulative waffle was about, it seemed to boil down too...

Little girl: "Why does God allow children to suffer?"
Old man in funny hat: "To make you cry!"

Blogger Myles February 04, 2015 8:06 AM  

@wrf3,

"Really? What answer did God give Job?"

"Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding." Job 38:4

Anonymous zen0 February 04, 2015 8:19 AM  

@ wrf3

Really? What answer did God give Job?

At first, that he was not qualified to even ask the question.

Anonymous bw February 04, 2015 8:32 AM  

There is no bigger "imaginary friend" than this clown's "Strong Ottowa".
The State and Collectivism is her god, complete with religious authorities, texts, rituals; and talk about no evidence for benevolence....
The CorpState IS LoVE!

Blogger B.J. February 04, 2015 10:12 AM  

Vox's arguments here sound an awful lot like feminists who, when confronted with the atrocious nature of their beliefs, counter with the claim, "But that's not TRUE feminism!" Not saying that christianity is atrocious, but the concept is similar. LIke it or not, Fry's conception of Christianity is the one seen in popular, mainstream culture. Ask the typical religious person if God created everything good and bad in the world, and they will say yes.

Essentially, Vox and others miss the point. You're quibbling because Fry attributes the creation of evil to the incorrect supernatural force, but you're still attributing real-world phenomena to supernatural forces. By getting rankled because Fry claims to prefer God B to God A, you're again falling into the trap of arguing over gods which Atheists consider nonsensical in their entirety.

It's like if I said, "I don't like apples" and you responded by saying, "Oh, that's Braeburn apples, you need to try Red Delicious, those are REAL apples." Don't care, doesn't matter, I still don't like apples.

Blogger wrf3 February 04, 2015 10:30 AM  

Myles wrote: Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding."

Zen0 wrote: At first, that he was not qualified to even ask the question.

Both of which are non-answers, which is exactly what Francis said. And Francis responded with empathy, which is something Job's three "advisors" did not do -- and were reprimanded for it.


Blogger wrf3 February 04, 2015 10:36 AM  

Mudz wrote: It just makes no freaking sense.

Then you haven't been paying attention. Did you actually stop to think about what that little "Y device" is doing? Put two apples in, or two oranges in, and get an apple out; put an orange and an apple in, or an apple and an orange, and get an orange out. Do you understand what this accomplishes? All of what you call the "laws of logic" are in this little device. In fact, the laws of logic are nothing more than the description of what this little device does. A network of these little devices enables you to come up with the description of what the device does.

Now, show me where the "immateriality" is in this device, or in a network of these devices.

Blogger wrf3 February 04, 2015 10:41 AM  

IM2L844 wrote: That's a screwed up way of looking at it. Romans 9 doesn't apply here.

I was responding to your: If it's simply how God thinks of us, there is no logical basis for holding souls accountable for our brain's activities during our corporeal lives.

We're talking about the fundamental essence of what souls are

I already answered that. I said, "I don't know", mainly because I don't know what the fundamental essence of God is. Even C. S. Lewis had trouble with this. I'd look up the relevant passage in "The Great Divorce", but that's more effort than I want to expend at the moment.

Blogger IM2L844 February 04, 2015 11:05 AM  

I already answered that. I said, "I don't know", mainly because I don't know what the fundamental essence of God is. Even C. S. Lewis had trouble with this. I'd look up the relevant passage in "The Great Divorce", but that's more effort than I want to expend at the moment.

wrf3, I'm trying to be obstinate and snarky. I'm really not interested in engaging in any kind of worldview pissing contest. I truly want you to clarify your position so I can understand it. I don't think that it is still unclear due to my inability to comprehend, but rather your inability to articulate a coherent comprehensive explication of your personally reconciled worldview with regard to your consciousness and your soul. It seems contradictory to me so far. If it's too abstract, subtle and nuanced to be easily understood, take your time and compose a short essay if you need to. I'll wait, check back and give it a fair review.

Blogger IM2L844 February 04, 2015 11:07 AM  

^Not trying to be obstinate and snarky^

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus February 04, 2015 11:35 AM  

B.J.: "LIke it or not, Fry's conception of Christianity is the one seen in popular, mainstream culture."

That "popular, mainstream culture" is not Christian, rather it is defined largely by the entertainment mass media and the news mass media, which are dominated by Jews and fellow-travelers rather than Christians, and which are ferociously, dishonestly, and often ignorantly anti-Christians.

Knowing nothing but shallow anti-Christian propaganda tropes does not make Stephen Fry wise, or give him arguments worth answering.

B.J.: "You're quibbling because Fry attributes the creation of evil to the incorrect supernatural force, but you're still attributing real-world phenomena to supernatural forces."

I certainly am.

B.J.: "By getting rankled because Fry claims to prefer God B to God A, you're again falling into the trap of arguing over gods which Atheists consider nonsensical in their entirety."

That's not a trap. Atheists disapprove of theism, and theists don't care. That's water off a duck's back.

Also, the issue is not that Fry supports Zeus whereas he ought to be supporting Jesus. He's a horrible ignoramus, and his approval is as bad as his disapproval, or more distasteful.

Fry attacks Christianity for things that aren't a problem within Christianity. He also approves classical paganism for an "anything goes" attitude to vice that it doesn't possess.

Christians think they have the grace of Jesus to look forward to. Key word: grace.

Pagans have things like wyrd to ponder, or the Egyptian weighing of the human heart against Ma'at: perfect and incorruptible goddess of truth, justice and harmony. Neither picture has any place for pity or slack; the truth will be what it is, and that will be all there is to it.

If you like your eternal justice in the form of the pitiless and objective operation of a pair of scales, contemplate the golden scales of Zeus and the destruction of Troy. The misbehavior of the gods is a non-problem in classical paganism, or let's say no bigger than the problem of naughty popes in Catholicism, but the scales are the objective final word on justice: not what Zeus wants, not what Hera wants, but above all desires: what should be.

Consider the awful fate of Troy. Would that be justice? If not, what would justice be? If that is, however awful, justice, at least within the classical framework, is that something you can live with as the objective truth? (And not just as a silly or funny "just so" story about how this or that thing came to be.)

Stephen Fry gives no indication of having had the first thought on any of this. He attacks Christianity from angles that make no sense if you think there is anything good in classical paganism. He is not heartened or helped by any of the good things in paganism. He doesn't display any typical virtues. He doesn't show any of the typical vices and problems either. (For three examples: the tendency to superstition, against which the classical sages so often felt the need to speak; the problem of the self-interested interpretation of omens; and the problem of sacrifices.) There is nothing about him, good or bad, that would make me smile and say: "you may be cracked in the head, but I know you; you're a familiar type."

For all I know, Fry's religion really is LaVeyan Satanism, as Steve suggests. (I have done my best to avoid Satanists, so I can't claim to have a feeling for when someone is one or not.)

What he is not is entitled to talk about Christianity or classical paganism as though he had any kind of real engagement with either.

In practical politics, there is a Christianity-bashing mass media machine, and he is content to be part of it, and to let that and his vices define him.

Anonymous paradox February 04, 2015 11:51 AM  

They took on the mantel of martyrdom. You take on dishonor, suicide... and are worse than an infidel ( I Timothy 5:8) because you will not defend your family from an aggressor.

Anonymous Mudz February 04, 2015 12:11 PM  

Then you haven't been paying attention.

Sure I have. You were just been trying quite unsuccessfully to distract me from the idiocy of your main argument with the idiocy of your other arguments. Don't be upset. I've got mad focus.

But now that the main case has been solved to my satisfaction, let's take a swing at it.

Now, suppose you have a y-shaped tube with two openings on one end and one opening on the other. Two things go in the two openings and only one thing comes out the other end. Suppose you put an orange in the top opening and an apple in the bottom opening and you get an orange out. And if you put an apple in the top opening and an orange in the bottom opening and get an orange out. But if you put two apples in, or two oranges in, you get an apple out.

Once you have billions of those little devices then you have everything you need for thought. Arrange them the right way and they can recognize and describe themselves. But they form a loop. Break the loop and the ability to recognize what they do goes away.

...
Did you actually stop to think about what that little "Y device" is doing? Put two apples in, or two oranges in, and get an apple out; put an orange and an apple in, or an apple and an orange, and get an orange out. Do you understand what this accomplishes? All of what you call the "laws of logic" are in this little device. In fact, the laws of logic are nothing more than the description of what this little device does. A network of these little devices enables you to come up with the description of what the device does.

I ignored all this because it's meaningless.You're just making words and acting like this all has relevance to each other and the argument at hand. It's an incoherent mess of bullshit that doesn't amount to anything other than a bare assertion that you can make a mind out of a fruit sorter.

Do you understand what this accomplishes?

An orange! My goodness! If only that was exciting! Or interesting. Or relevant. or meaningful. :O

Magical fruit machines can logic? What? Then some more magic? What the hell, man?

Your whole line of reasoning is wrong. It's definitionally wrong, which is why you'll always be wrong, and your arguments remain insular, meaningless and detached from the question.

Devices obey laws of logic, simply because they exist in reality. Laws of logic and consistency are what allows devices like this to work. You can use these devices to simulate relationships and logic-to-real-world equivalences according to the judgment of an observer. But the laws of logic encompass a heck of a lot more than the functionality of your magic fruit machine, or any computer. I don't know what you were trying to pull out of that one.

Your whole example was a trivial little bit of navel sniffing that means absolutely nothing except what you randomly assert without justification or narrative cohesion.

Anonymous Mudz February 04, 2015 12:12 PM  

Now, show me where the "immateriality" is in this device, or in a network of these devices.

Why? I mean, sure, I can easily indicate gravity/space-time, energy/heat, velocity, colour, taste, etc, which I think fall into the category of immaterial, but you're just talking about a material, unthinking object, and there's really no onus on me here in the context of this argument. None of those things are thoughts, just the recognition of those things in the human observer.

Is this your dumb way of trying to flip the whole identifying the location of immaterial things like 'checkmate' in a computer? You couldn't do it, so you're trying to make me do it for you? Again? You are one lazy dude. Stop trying to be clever. You've been trying it for ages, and it never works, it just backfires on you. Just accept that you lack the wit even to pull off trivial tricks like these.

Though, your Achilles Heel is really just the fact that you're wrong.

By definition, a mind is immaterial, so the only choices are:
- You can make a mind using material elements because those elements contain or attract immaterial elements.
OR
- You can't make a mind with material elements.

And guess what? After all of that, you're still a putz caught in a ludicrous logical contradiction about the immaterialism of thought that evacuates any credentials you have as an intellectual. You gained nothing, and I got to make some more fun of you.

Blogger wrf3 February 04, 2015 1:01 PM  

Mudz wrote: I mean, sure, I can easily indicate gravity/space-time, energy/heat, velocity, colour, taste, etc, which I think fall into the category of immaterial,...

If that's what you mean by "immateriality" then just... go away. Those are created things. They aren't the same kind of "immateriality" as the uncreated God.

By definition, a mind is immaterial...

The problem is that you can't support that definition, except by handwaving.

Blogger wrf3 February 04, 2015 1:04 PM  

Mudz wrote: Devices obey laws of logic, simply because they exist in reality.

The "laws of logic" are the description of the operation of these devices. And without those devices (i.e. the neurons in your brain) you wouldn't know about either the devices or their description.

Blogger wrf3 February 04, 2015 1:08 PM  

IML8244 wrote: ^Not trying to be obstinate and snarky^

Too bad. Obstinate and snarky can be entertaining.

In any case, can I provide a link to The Physical Nature of Thought? That would save me the time of copying and pasting here.

Anonymous FrankNorman February 04, 2015 1:23 PM  

B.J. February 04, 2015 10:12 AM

It's like if I said, "I don't like apples" and you responded by saying, "Oh, that's Braeburn apples, you need to try Red Delicious, those are REAL apples." Don't care, doesn't matter, I still don't like apples.


Maybe if you tried the Red Delicious kind, you would like those?

Blogger GoldRush Apple February 04, 2015 2:00 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger SirHamster February 04, 2015 2:01 PM  

some kind of monstrous anti-intelligence

Thank you. That description clarifies so well.

Blogger GoldRush Apple February 04, 2015 2:04 PM  

Fry is an entertainment social elite. By that fact alone the chances of him knowing anything accurate of what he opposes is highly unlikely. The narratives for such people is that they are highly intelligent, talented and creative -- most likely they are nowhere near as grand as their PR, agents and fans believe them to be.

Anonymous Mudz February 04, 2015 2:06 PM  

The problem is that you can't support that definition, except by handwaving.

It's a definition, genius. It doesn't need to be "supported", it's just communicating a concept. You can disagree with whether immaterial minds exist, but to argue that minds are material is incoherent.

If that's what you mean by "immateriality" then just... go away. Those are created things. They aren't the same kind of "immateriality" as the uncreated God.

That's irrelevant and you know it. You didn't ask for uncreated. You asked for immaterial. Don't whine because I gave you what you asked for. Accept it with at least some modicum of grace.

The "laws of logic" are the description of the operation of these devices.

No, they're not. Laws of logic are just laws of logic. There is no inherent connection to the operation of some item or other, except to the extent that reality needs to be logical for them to operate, cause and effect, etc. Laws of logic don't describe computers. Describing computers logically isn't the same thing. Laws of logic are general and computers are specific.

You seem to be confusing laws with contingency.

And without those devices (i.e. the neurons in your brain) you wouldn't know about either the devices or their description.

That's confusing grammar. If you mean specifically our brain, sure, for the sake of argument I'll say we, as humans (and leaving out the after-life, and angels, etc, etc,), pretty much need those to think (therefore know) with. If you mean we can't know about things that don't exist, that's true within a certain definition.

And without immaterial things like thoughts and God we wouldn't know about them either. Or if I had no sensory perceptions. Or if time didn't exist. Or if reality was a fruitcake.

Pretty pointless thing to say, really.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus February 04, 2015 2:41 PM  

GoldRush Apple February 04, 2015 2:04 PM, unfortunately that's true.

Blogger IM2L844 February 04, 2015 2:51 PM  

In any case, can I provide a link to The Physical Nature of Thought? That would save me the time of copying and pasting here.

Read it. Waste of time.

Blogger wrf3 February 04, 2015 5:09 PM  

Mudz wrote: You can disagree with whether immaterial minds exist, but to argue that minds are material is incoherent.

Is it incoherent only because I don't accept your definition, or for some other reason? If it's for some other reason, please elaborate.

You didn't ask for uncreated. You asked for immaterial.
Right. But materialist philosophers include things like gravity, space-time, heat, ... as material things (because they are a part of nature). So, either your "immaterial" God is as much a part of nature as gravity, space-time, ... or you hold to two different kinds of immateriality, or your definitions are incoherent. Which is it?

No, they're not. Laws of logic are just laws of logic.

You can demonstrate for yourself that there's more to it than this. Go back to the "y device". There are actually 16 of them, because there are 16 different groups for how two different objects can be combined. The laws of logic are just the descriptions of how these "y devices" combine things.

If you mean specifically our brain, sure, for the sake of argument I'll say we, as humans ... pretty much need those to think

And the reason for this is that brains are extensive networks of connected "y devices".

And without immaterial things like thoughts...

What, exactly, is immaterial about a "y device"? Please be specific.

Anonymous FrankNorman February 04, 2015 5:23 PM  

A direct question for Wrf3: Do you believe in personal existence after death? Yes or no please.

Blogger wrf3 February 04, 2015 5:50 PM  

FrankNorman asked: A direct question for Wrf3: Do you believe in personal existence after death? Yes or no please.

Yes. What part of "in Him we live and move and have our being" did I not make clear?

Blogger IM2L844 February 04, 2015 7:37 PM  

Yes. What part of "in Him we live and move and have our being" did I not make clear?

The part about whether or not you believe you will retain your personal identity and self awareness once your physical brain is dead.

Blogger wrf3 February 04, 2015 8:01 PM  

IM2L844 wrote: The part about whether or not you believe you will retain your personal identity and self awareness once your physical brain is dead.

Scripture says I will. I have no idea how that will come about.

Blogger IM2L844 February 04, 2015 9:40 PM  

Scripture says I will. I have no idea how that will come about.

Is that an admission that, since we don't know and can't prove how that works, it's not unreasonable to posit that there may be some overlap (interface) between your physical consciousness and some form of personal incorporeal (metaphysical) consciousness that is not currently dependent on or limited to your brain's neural networks, but may nevertheless affect some influence on them right now? If so, I think we might be making some progress.

Blogger wrf3 February 04, 2015 10:22 PM  

IM2L844 wrote: Is that an admission that ...

Is it reasonable? Possibly. There are lots of ways to fill in blanks. The problem comes in knowing which of the various solutions are provable -- either from revelation (Scripture) or reason (Nature). If by "some form of personal incorporeal consciousness that is not currently dependent on or limited to your brain's neural networks, but may nevertheless affect some influence on them right now" you mean the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, then yes. That happens to be the way I think it works. If by "some form of personal incorporeal consciousness ..." you mean an ethereal version of me that's somehow in control of physical me then, no, that's not how I think it works.

It's that pesky "I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me." How to draw the line between "I" and "yet not I" is something I don't think we can figure out.

Anonymous zen0 February 04, 2015 11:18 PM  

@ wfr3

It's that pesky "I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me." How to draw the line between "I" and "yet not I" is something I don't think we can figure out.

But later, Job deduces that an intermediary is required.
Unlike an earthly court, the immediacy of contact with God requires an intermediary that is interwoven into the very being of the petitioner, because judgement in the presence of God is instantaneous.

The Sin of Nadab and Abihu
1Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. 2And fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.…


Now I don't claim authority here, but given the elements, that is my current analysis.

Blogger IM2L844 February 04, 2015 11:24 PM  

you mean an ethereal version of me that's somehow in control of physical me then, no, that's not how I think it works.

Not necessarily in control of the physical you. More like a parallel cache with alternate inputs/outputs..

Anonymous Mudz February 05, 2015 12:36 AM  

Is it incoherent only because I don't accept your definition, or for some other reason? If it's for some other reason, please elaborate.

It's incoherent because it's self-contradictory according to the definition.

It's like saying 'non-divine God' or 'wetness of fire'. It's insensible. Rejecting the definition is just be wasting people's time (except for the entertainment of you tying yourself in knots), because you'd be speaking a different language.

It's not the definition you need to focus on. Your problem is arguing the existence of a particular immaterial thing, the mind. That you keep missing this point is what's letting you down, and why your arguments don't go anywhere.

"If you mean specifically our brain, sure, for the sake of argument I'll say we, as humans ... pretty much need those to think"

And the reason for this is that brains are extensive networks of connected "y devices".

A) No. Our brains aren't fruit-sorters. That would make a terrible cognitive processor. I could accept 'y device' or whatever you like, as a short hand for any kind of physical processor like a brain, or a computer, or what-not, but your example was horrendous, and would be useless for any sort of mental facility.

B) Even if that were true, it's beside the point. I don't care what term you apply to a brain, it's not what we're talking about. We're talking about the mind. I need eggs to make a cake. But eggs aren't cake.

What, exactly, is immaterial about a "y device"? Please be specific.

I already listed the immaterial qualities inherent to such a device.

But other than that, nothing. That's the point.

Other than the examples I gave, which are necessary and inherent to the device, the 'device' is the material element, it has none of the immaterial qualities inherent to the mind. Thus the device is distinct from the mind.

Anonymous Mudz February 05, 2015 12:36 AM  

Right. But materialist philosophers include things like gravity, space-time, heat, ... as material things (because they are a part of nature). So, either your "immaterial" God is as much a part of nature as gravity, space-time, ... or you hold to two different kinds of immateriality, or your definitions are incoherent. Which is it?

Sure, but only because material philosophers are idiots. 'Because they are a part of nature' is a dumb combo begging-the-question non-sequitur. Those specific things (with the possible exception of gravity, if you go for the graviton theory) are physical, not material. They, so far as we know, are not made out of matter. Heat specifically is the activity of matter. Existing in nature has nothing to do with whether it's material or not, as it should be quite obvious.

That's the whole point. They are, to best of scientific knowledge, immaterial elements of nature. It's always possible that they're secretly material things which we will determine in the future, but as it stands now, they meet the criteria.

Why would "my immaterial God" be as much a part of nature? He's just as immaterial as those things, assuming they are, but that has nothing to do with being a part of nature or not. And maybe He is. His spirit sustaining the universe. It's not some kind of un-rare theory. It was, in fact, what Newton thought.

And I'm sorry, but how would 'two different kinds of immateriality' even be an issue? Protons and electrons are two different kinds of materiality. I would assume that the immaterial has differentiation.

If you're trying to suggest that there are two definitions of immateriality at work here, then no. The point is that it's the same definition; and that definition applies to more than one thing, just the same as 'material' does. That's what makes it a category.

Things like colour and taste are only different from space-time and heat, because they're abstractions involved with perception, and it is therefore plausible to argue that they don't exist in actual fact. Which is why I use space-time etc, as an example, because they observably do, which makes it an easy refutation of materialism.

If you've already accepted that space-time, etc, are immaterial, then you've conceded the argument. Immateriality exists in nature.

Anonymous Mudz February 05, 2015 12:45 AM  

Hah! Just noticed you cut out the with after the 'think'. What a drip.

Anonymous Mudz February 05, 2015 12:57 AM  

*rare, not 'un-rare'. I must have combo'd it with 'unheard'.

Blogger IM2L844 February 05, 2015 8:22 AM  

It's that pesky "I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me." How to draw the line between "I" and "yet not I" is something I don't think we can figure out.

Why is it so difficult for you to stay on track. This is a separate issue. Even atheists have souls.

As for provability, there are different standards for different circumstances. Consider the difference between proof by a preponderance of the evidence and proof beyond a shadow of a doubt. there are also all sorts of evidences, including anecdotal hearsay, that are valid and acceptable for consideration as well as all sorts of valid and acceptable knowledge sources beyond science. Proof that satisfies an individual's own personal 'more likely than not, by a preponderance of the evidence' is all that is required here.

Blogger wrf3 February 05, 2015 11:00 AM  

IM2L844 wrote: More like a parallel cache with alternate inputs/outputs..

But if this is truly "immaterial" stuff (in the sense of "non-physical", not in the non-standard sense Mudz is using), then how does one differentiate things? If "type A" stuff is immaterial, and "type B" stuff is immaterial, then how does one tell them apart?

Blogger wrf3 February 05, 2015 11:05 AM  

IM2L844 wrote: Proof that satisfies an individual's own personal 'more likely than not, by a preponderance of the evidence' is all that is required here.

In a court, one gets to challenge the evidence. One also gets to challenge whether or not the line drawn between the points of evidence is right, or not. In mathematical terms, I think you've overfit what data we have. In lay terms, I think you've drawn the wrong conclusion from scanty evidence.

YMMV.

Blogger IM2L844 February 05, 2015 1:38 PM  

But if this is truly "immaterial" stuff (in the sense of "non-physical", not in the non-standard sense Mudz is using), then how does one differentiate things? If "type A" stuff is immaterial, and "type B" stuff is immaterial, then how does one tell them apart?

I don't know exactly what you mean, but there are no perfect analogies and I've found the more elaborate you try to make them, the less clear they become. The important thing is that one can't axiomatically exclude immaterial explanations for our experiences and perceptions any more than we can axiomatically attribute all our experiences and perceptions to immaterial explanations and vice versa.

I think you've overfit what data we have. In lay terms, I think you've drawn the wrong conclusion from scanty evidence.

What I've presented doesn't come close to a compendium of the evidence I've been investigating for more than 40 years now. Even If it were possible to present all of it, it still couldn't adequately convey my personal perceptions and experiences with various phenomena. Also, besides being a horrible person, a card carrying curmudgeon and an aspiring misanthrope, I'm really, really bad at explaining things and I hate writing. On the other hand, I think this is a fascinating topic and I enjoy pondering it when those pesky neighborhood kids aren't busy irritating me and my dogs by playing catch in my front yard just outside of my bay window like they are fond of doing.

Anyway, I wouldn't call the evidence I've used to come to the conclusions that I have "scanty" at all.

Blogger IM2L844 February 05, 2015 1:48 PM  

I'm Sorry. I shouldn't have called them "pesky neighborhood kids". I meant little bastards.

Blogger wrf3 February 05, 2015 1:57 PM  

IML8244 wrote: The important thing is that one can't axiomatically exclude immaterial explanations for our experiences...

That's not what I'm doing. The "y device" is sufficient to explain how brains work. I don't need an "immaterial" explanation. And given the way I used to think that minds worked, that's shocking.

Anyway, I wouldn't call the evidence I've used to come to the conclusions that I have "scanty" at all.

All I can do is comment on the portion that I've seen.

Hug your dogs for me.

Blogger IM2L844 February 05, 2015 2:53 PM  

The "y device" is sufficient to explain how brains work.

So what? Why are you still talking about how brains work? You think you've solved the mind-body problem that such great minds such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, Huxley, Whitehead, Popper, Searle and Poteat couldn't solve, but just manufactured various ways to skirt it? You haven't scratched the surface.

Anonymous Mudz February 06, 2015 8:25 AM  

But if this is truly "immaterial" stuff (in the sense of "non-physical", not in the non-standard sense Mudz is using)

What? My definition was purely standard. Not to mention, actually accurate. That's why 'material' and 'physical' are two different words, you weaselly dunce. Physics doesn't just talk about particles.

I notice you have a habit of just slinking away rather than just conceding the argument as honesty should compel you.

Anonymous Mudz February 06, 2015 8:31 AM  

The distinction you really wanted was "natural" vs "supernatural".

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