Friday, July 22, 2016

On the Existence of Gods in audio

A #1 bestseller in the Atheism category, On the Existence of Gods is a response to a public challenge posed by a militant atheist who claimed to have never encountered any good arguments for the existence of gods. It is a competitive discourse between a Christian and an atheist, each of whom argue for their position on the subject, after which the arguments are adjudicated by a team of three judges - a Christian, an agnostic, and an atheist - before additional arguments are presented.

The format is compelling and the results are at times surprising, as the discussion takes unexpected twists and turns, while the judges exhibit ruthless impartiality as they criticize the arguments without mercy or favor. Vox Day, the author of The Irrational Atheist, presents the Christian perspective, while Dominic Saltarelli argues for the atheist position. The debate is wide-ranging and intelligent, but remains civil throughout, even as the momentum swings in favor of one side, and then the other.

Narrated by Jon Mollison, On the Existence of Gods is three hours and 22 minutes long. Click on the links or the cover image to listen to a sample.

There is a vast quantity of extant documentary and testimonial evidence providing indications that gods exist. This evidence dates from the earliest written records to current testimonials from living individuals. While it is true that the quality of this evidence varies considerably, it cannot simply be dismissed out of hand anymore than one can conclude Gaius Julius Caesar did not exist because one cannot see him on television today. Each and every case demands its own careful examination before it can be dismissed, and such examination has never been done in the overwhelming majority of cases.

For example, there are many documented cases of confirmed fraud in published scientific papers. If we apply the same reasoning to published scientific papers that some wish to apply to documentary evidence of gods, we have no choice but to conclude that all science is fraudulent. But this is absurd, as we know that at least some science is not fraudulent. Therefore, if one is willing to accept the validity of published scientific papers that one has not been able to verify are not fraudulent, one must similarly accept the validity of documentary evidence for the existence of gods that one has not examined and determined to merit dismissal for one reason or another.

Because it is intrinsically testimonial in nature, the documentary evidence for gods has been impugned on the basis of studies concerning the unreliability of eyewitness testimony for various reasons. However, this critical analogy actually demonstrates the precise opposite of what it purports to show. Since eyewitness testimony has been variously determined to be somewhere between 12 percent and 50 percent inaccurate, this means that between 50 percent and 88 percent of the testimonial evidence for gods should be assumed accurate, at least concerning the correctly reported details of the divine encounter. The correct interpretations of the specific details, of course, are a different matter.

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Anonymous EH July 22, 2016 12:35 PM  

I remember what a friend told me
one silent, dark hour,
Of his forbidden nighttime vigil
Alone on the Acropolis
Hidden in a space like a tomb
Under the temple of Athena -
A temple old when her Parthenon
was only being planned.
Her moonlit vision seen - unsleeping
Standing at the threshold...

Anonymous VFM #6306 July 22, 2016 1:40 PM  

Aaron you idiot. The error is with you. Fundamentally.

Blogger S1AL July 22, 2016 1:44 PM  

That particular troll takes a slapping and keeps on yapping.

Blogger Servant July 22, 2016 2:08 PM  

All sin is equal in the eyes of the Lord.

Your cheery demeanor is disconcerting friend. Like a man who smiles before he kills you.

Anonymous VFM #6306 July 22, 2016 2:15 PM  

Aaron, put the bodies back in the crawlspace and check your math. You have made the error.

Anonymous EH July 22, 2016 2:50 PM  

You can read Aaron's mildly concussed comment by going to "view page source".

Anonymous Michael Maier July 22, 2016 3:22 PM  

Aaron July 22, 2016 2:02 PM
Guys, control your anger - I'm trying to help.

Don't double down - because we know who doubles down, don't we - and let's help a book defending religion not look stupid.

Don't be any dumber than you must.

Vox' book is NOT a book defending religion.

Anonymous Elipe July 22, 2016 3:41 PM  

Aaron's post smelled like a concern troll at first... I wasn't disappointed. But I'll humor you, because I'm bored.

I don't see the problem with Vox's logic there. Even if you argue - in order to dispute Vox's point - that a man forcing himself on a supermodel wouldn't like it if a frumpy, ugly crack whore did the same to him, you'd still be the one using bad logic.

The logic is that under the Golden Rule, one can say that it is moral for a person who is more attractive than another person to forcibly have sex with that other person.

So atheists, you'd better start working on the Ministry of Sexual Market Values.

Anonymous I stand correcred July 22, 2016 3:51 PM  

The error is so basic and obvious that Vox must have been tired when he wrote it. Thats OK, but it needs to be correcred.

Nate? That you?

Anonymous Ken7- July 22, 2016 10:29 PM  

The existence of God, the "God of this World", Angels and Demons, the Holy Ghost spirit, Apostles who stand outside of time, and the places of Hell, outer darkness, and the Bottomless Pit are revealed in part to each one of us in a very personal and individual way. Some atheists or agnostics, such as I, require literal proof in the form of personal visitations, Sights, sounds and smells.

You could have probably never convinced the old agnostic me of God's existence using logic or reasoning alone. I had to See and experience so much of it for myself. Even then, it took years for me to finally connect the dots and to stop making excuses that it was all potentially fantasy made up by my mind. Although that last part wasn't broken until I witnessed the dark side of the ledger breaking through into the meatspace world in ways that affected not only me, but came with blatantly recognizable signs spread onto multiple people.

I'll reach out to agnostics by telling them to keep their eyes open and to keep the possibility open. For the hardheaded militant mid-wit atheists (the description of such which covers about 99 percent of them), fuck 'em. Their prideful ignorance can send them straight into the embrace of that crooked smiling "God of this World". They've earned his company with their pride.

Anonymous EH July 24, 2016 12:24 PM  

Here's my argument for the existence of God and gods, which probably ought to mention Christopher Langan's Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe and the free will theorem of John Conway and Simon Kochen, but this it isn't a scholarly paper, rather it's most of a letter I wrote to a friend who I had first gotten to know with a barroom conversation on astrophysics, who 20 years later became a Calvinist and young-Earth Creationist

Imagine Indra's net, filling all space and time with a web whose intersections are jewels, each reflecting all of the others. The jewels may also be seen through other schemata – Leibnizian monads, vertexes in Feynman diagrams, atomic perceptions/ perceivers of varied potentialities and probabilities. What seem from the physical point of view as particles (interactions) are seen from another point of view as perceptions whose collective patterns are thoughts. God is immanent in the totality of the net, these atomic perceptions are collectively a basis (in the mathematical sense) for the power set of all their possible permutations. This power set can be viewed in turn as the total mindspace, which has all possible perceptions and thoughts implicit in it. Parts of it are human thoughts (all the possible human thoughts), thoughts of particular groups, individuals, etc. Most of it is outside the region of human thought. Most of it is far less than God, the totality of the mindspace (plus parts of which we cannot speak) – yet also far more than human. A given jewel/interaction may be parts of beings at all levels: God, gods, angels, humans, animals, plants and cells. Because mindspace is not like physical space, these entities which are categorizations of sets and power sets of jewels may overlap like Venn diagrams.

Viewing the net as Feynman diagrams expressing physical reality, in particular thermodynamics/information theory (which are the same thing), a direction of time emerges from the tendency of information (entropy) to accumulate in the form of heat (2nd law). Viewed as a process in time the net expands from a low entropy state to fill more and more of the implicit unfilled space of possibilities. It never contracts again, it can only expand. It seems in physics that information cannot be destroyed, only scrambled, turned into heat and diffused across the universe, but any event which has had even a microscopic effect is on the permanent record of the universe. This heat/information diffusion is mathematically the same as Schrodinger's equation, but with ordinary time replaced by imaginary time. (turning t into it is called Wick rotation). The equivalence works both ways. By rotating our view of the imaginary time of the universe considered as heat diffusion into the ordinary time of the wave equation, the scrambled record of the universe, including all the people who have ever lived, is translated back into ordinary time. This is the basis for the reality of the afterlife. The permanence of information in the heat diffusion/ imaginary time view is eternity.

Anonymous EH July 24, 2016 12:25 PM  


Morality does not enter on a particle level but in the aggregates. Morality, ethics, emotions, thoughts and so forth exist in the mindspace schema, not the physical schema, in the same way that my words exist in the application layer of the OSI model; on the physical layer there are only patterns of charges and spins suitable for interpretation by the higher layers. The difference is that in the physical view of the net, interactions/particles are not only atomic perceptions but equally atomic acts of will. The universe is alive down to the lowest level, not only alive but perceptive and willful. From these more complicated and subtle patterns are composed which are the thoughts and wills of more complicated and subtle beings. Their perceptions and intentions are of varying likeness to other, more general regions of human mindspace which we label imperfectly as “good”, “evil”, etc. These regions of mindspace itself are not changed by our labels on our maps of it, they exist objectively, yet our perceptions of them are necessarily subjective. Our perceptions of them are not the things themselves, though the “things” are ultimately made of atomic perceptions. Other levels of being have their own accordingly larger or smaller regions of mindspace that they perceive as good or evil. There are other categories beyond the basic two, and higher beings are more able to discern them as well.

God, I suspect, finds these limited regions of mindspace that humans regard as good and evil as being not particularly more interesting than the rest of Himself, and scarcely a drop in the bucket of his All. On the other hand, God the absolute can have no experience in the way we do; being All, with nothing outside himself, there can be no separation of subject and object. To have such experiences, he must limit his point of view, and to that extent he becomes less than absolute. The full range of experiences demands all possible types of splits between self/selves and other(s). Thus all our and others' views of the net and each other are a consequence of God's need to limit himself so that he can be not only everything but each thing. No matter what we do or don't do as our limited selves, for God nothing is undone, all is complete.

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