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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Of faith and fairy tales

John C. Wright considers the charge that Christianity is nothing more than a fairy tale:
There are those who call Christian faith a fairy tale. I assume such scoffers are not old and wise enough to believe in fairies.

To them, I give the answer of that most excellent marshwiggle and insightful theologian, Puddleglum: Suppose my account is a fairy tale. Your account is not even that.

Let us contrast and compare the Christian fairy tale with the tale told by witches both white and green, both modern and ancient.

One modern account of the world consists of little more than saying “Life is a bitch, and then you die, and in the end nobody lives happily ever after. Entropy triumphs over all, a nightfall of endless darkness and infinite cold.”

Well, says I, if you actually believed your account, the wise thing to do is to swallow cold poison and jump into the sea: so the fact that you are still here hints that at some level you know your account is unsatisfactory: a poorly constructed story, pointless, plotless, and with a weak ending. It is not a tale at all, but a complaint.

Another account, this one with considerably more pedigree, says, “We are all just naked apes or meat machines: our souls are made of atoms blown together by the twelve winds with no more purpose and meaning than the shape of the sand dune: we are helpless and without free will, victims of blind evolutionary forces and blind historical forces. Atop the Holy Mountain no gods dance, and no burning bushes speak. Death is dreamless sleep and soft oblivion. Therefore let us eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. Entropy triumphs over all, a nightfall of endless darkness and infinite cold.”

This is a poor story: a tale of despair, a myth to justify hedonism.

A nobler version of this same account says, “Man is a rational animal, capable of moral reasoning, creativity, productiveness, love. Man is heroic. Therefore let us live rationally working with mind and heart and soul to produce such works of art and science as befits so dignified a creature: let each man to live for himself alone, a paragon of self-reliance  each man in the solitary but invulnerable tower of his self-made soul, never demanding nor making any selfess sacrifice. Nor hopes nor fears of after-lives or nether-worlds need detain us: Therefore let us think, and work, and triumph, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. Entropy triumphs over all, a nightfall of endless darkness and infinite cold.”

This is a poor story: vanity, vainglory, and blindness to the pain and misery of life. The pretense that bad things never happen for no reason to good people is a very thin pretense: since the days of Job, we have all known better. This is a tale of vainglory.
He is correct, though, to conclude that there is no better answer than the marshwiggle's. We choose the fairy tale regardless. And there is nothing in your moralities, nothing in your philosophies, nothing in your sciences that can provide one single legitimate reason to criticize that choice.

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125 Comments:

Blogger GFR September 14, 2016 2:47 AM  

life on earth appeared 3.8 billion years ago, but the universe is 14 billion years old.
.
Are we supposed to believe that nothing happened during the first 10.2 billion years that the universe existed? Or that life never appeared anywhere else apart from earth? Or that evolution throughout the universe simply stopped when it produced a creature just exactly as complicated as human beings and no more?
.
All these possibilities seem unlikely.
.
What seems more likely is that in a universe containing an infinite number of planets, and over the course of ten billion years, evolution would have had ample opportunity to produce an entity functionally equivalent to God.
.
And that such an entity MIGHT have produced us.

Anonymous Res Ipsa September 14, 2016 2:51 AM  

I get a kick out of the intelligent alien crowd. They presuppose an extra dimensional race of beings who create life in our time space.

Kinda like god but without the big "G".

Blogger synp September 14, 2016 2:54 AM  

One modern account of the world consists of little more than saying “Life is a bitch, and then you die, and in the end nobody lives happily ever after. Entropy triumphs over all, a nightfall of endless darkness and infinite cold.”

See? If Mr Wright expanded that into a novel he would get the Hugo, because this is pretty much the plot of The Fifth Season.

Blogger rho September 14, 2016 3:02 AM  

And there is nothing in your moralities, nothing in your philosophies, nothing in your sciences that can provide one single legitimate reason to criticize that choice.

What if the sciences provide life to a child.

Anonymous Takin' a Look September 14, 2016 3:06 AM  

Christianity isn't hard to figure out, God the Father and Order, God the (Word/Holy Ghost/Sophia/Chaos)
And the Son/Child, melding of the two.

Blogger Scott C September 14, 2016 3:11 AM  

John C Wright's response sidesteps the issue. The issue is whether Christianity is a fairy tale. An atheist could agree with everything he says.

Just because the story of atheism is worse than Christianity's doesn't mean Christianity is true. Can John C Wright defend the truth-claims of Christianity?

Blogger Arthur Isaac September 14, 2016 3:11 AM  

Are we supposed to believe that nothing happened during the first 10.2 billion years that the universe existed?

Yes. Because the math indicates that to believe otherwise is ridiculous. See Hugh Ross.

Anonymous Ahmad ibn Fadhlan September 14, 2016 3:25 AM  

I'm seriously considering a conversion to Kek, who is clearly displaying signs and wonders in these days. Based on the hieroglyphs, I already have the altar...

But:
"Are we supposed to believe that nothing happened during the first 10.2 billion years that the universe existed?"

Consider star density and groupings (vulnerability to gamma bursts), time for supernovas to create and propagate progressively heavier materials, etc. We don't know that nothing happened. Something may have. But we now know that the odds were a lot poorer than we first thought.

If we really are among the First Ones, Kek is insufficient and the universe had better have a merciful God at the helm.

Blogger yoghi.llama September 14, 2016 3:37 AM  

I don't mind Christianity being a fairy tale. It's a good one.

I just object to Christians claiming that their fairy tale is objective history.

Blogger Matt September 14, 2016 3:48 AM  

No. The point is no side has any claim on truth, this side of death.

Post modernism, etc.

Blogger Phillip George September 14, 2016 3:49 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Johann Pearce September 14, 2016 3:49 AM  

yoghi.llama wrote:I don't mind Christianity being a fairy tale. It's a good one.

I just object to Christians claiming that their fairy tale is objective history.


History is not a stumbling-stone for Christians. Many if not most of the historical events that occur in the Bible are accepted as real history, backed up with evidence, by even secular historians. No evidence has yet arisen that contradicts any of the any of the events in the Bible. And as for the events that have yet to be substantiated, such as the Exodus, I am confident that in time more evidence will arise to support them. After all, it was once thought that the Hittites and the Assyrians were fiction, simply because they were only found in the Bible. And yet look where we are now...

Blogger Phillip George September 14, 2016 3:56 AM  

Run the experiment. Watch a language create itself without a designer.

Blogger Phillip George September 14, 2016 4:01 AM  

Johanne, the case for Exodus is water tight pardon the pun. Look at "patterns of evidence"
http://store.patternsofevidence.com/?gclid=Cj0KEQjw6uO-BRDbzujwtuzAzfkBEiQAAnhJ0JBMA5xI6BaFs9g4IoD8zfkeXI_Wko46_9DKsE4lfNQaAsWO8P8HAQ
it is substantial, well thought out.

Anonymous SciVo September 14, 2016 4:12 AM  

Phillip George wrote:Self referential irreducibly complex systems don't fall out of philosophical materialism.

Well, they do with emergent complexity. And energy gradients don't contradict entropy, because #5 is alive but generating heat death for the universe.

Blogger John Wright September 14, 2016 4:26 AM  

@6
"Just because the story of atheism is worse than Christianity's doesn't mean Christianity is true."

Well, of course not. This is not an argument presented to show that Christianity is true.

It is important to understand what an argument is meant to prove before criticizing it. Otherwise you look a great fool for saying an argument does not prove what the argument never set out to prove.

These accounts are each meant to answer a longing that springs from our deepest and most fundamental human nature.

The argument compares how satisfactory the accounts are, and then asks why, in this one case out of all cases, the truth is less satisfactory than a fable, if indeed it is a fable?

The conclusion that any Green Witch are atheist is forced by his logic to reach is that the deep and fundamental nature of man is addicted to falsehood.

But why? If we are the by product of a mindless natural process, or arose somehow from chaos, why would our human nature be so unsuited to nature?

There are a number of answers a clever and agile atheist might give, but then he is already in the dark and grim posture of a man whose deepest nature rebels against the grim truths of life, talking to men whose deepest natures are likewise in rebellion.

A simpler way of posing the argument is in the original CS Lewis yarn: if the sunless underworld is all that there is, why do tales of the sun seem nobler, better, and more important? There is no surface world; where does nostalgia for the surface world come?

And if this attraction to solar tales and sunlight gardens is just madness or self-deception, it behooves the Green Witch to explain, if her model of the universe is correct, why such madness is so noble, good, and productive?

I hope you can see the difference between that line of argument and what you said the argument was about.

Blogger Unknown September 14, 2016 4:27 AM  

Why is it that the vast majority of New Atheists are/were white? Dawkins, Dennett and Co must be ninety-percenters at least. Indeed, why is it that most of the world's worst ideologies have come out of Europe?

Blogger John Wright September 14, 2016 4:28 AM  

@9
"I just object to Christians claiming that their fairy tale is objective history."

Show me the bones of the unresurrected Christ, O child of evidence and reason, and I will trample the cross tomorrow, and become a Deist.

But if you cannot, do not pretend your fairy tales have any greater grip on evidence than mine, thank you.

Blogger Scott C September 14, 2016 4:42 AM  

John, thank you for replying, but you're still not answering the skeptic's question.

The left yearns for an egalitarian utopia, which seems nobler to them than a hierarchical society ruled by traditional morality. Does that mean there is an object of their desire that could be realized (or if not fully realized, approximated) through a collective act of will?

Christianity may be consistent with this yearning in a way that atheistic materialism is not. That does not mean Christianity is true, because other religions are consistent with the aspirations for an afterlife, spiritual succor, etc, that is embodied in the great artworks inspired by Christianity. You could also say that the minarets and arches of ancient Islamic mosques are reaching for the same thing.

Blogger Johann Pearce September 14, 2016 4:53 AM  

@Phillip George

Looks interesting. I'll definitely check it out! Thanks.

Blogger GFR September 14, 2016 5:04 AM  

@8. What does it matter if the odds are "poor" if the universe is infinite?

Blogger doofus September 14, 2016 5:11 AM  

John Wright said:

Show me the bones of the unresurrected Christ, O child of evidence and reason, and I will trample the cross tomorrow, and become a Deist.

There is a rather amusing story about Christians in Japan that I came across while doing research for our current WIP. After the Shimabara Rebellion in 1635, the Tokugawa Shogunate started requiring every person in Japan to trample on a sacred icon to prove that the weren't Christian (read: Catholic). Anyone who wouldn't was considered a Christian and treated accordingly. In other words, the BEST result was that they would be executed. This posed quite a problem for the Christians. However, they came up with a uniquely Japanese answer to the problem. The Christians would go out and trample the icon and then would immediately go and confess their sin of trampling and get shriven. It kept them alive and foiled the efforts of the authorities to destroy them.

Blogger Johann Pearce September 14, 2016 5:13 AM  

GFR wrote:@8. What does it matter if the odds are "poor" if the universe is infinite?

Is it infinite?

Blogger Lovekraft September 14, 2016 5:41 AM  

A wise expression I heard: even if at the end there is no God, if you lived your life believing in one, then you still are better off than if you didn't.

Blogger Lovekraft September 14, 2016 5:42 AM  

Following Jesus Christ as the one true path is the 'following God' I refer to. Other objective religions (excepting the bandit Mohammed and his thugs of course).

Blogger Roger Hill September 14, 2016 6:24 AM  

I detect some influences by way of G.K. Chesterton in Wright, which is very nice.

Anonymous Oye September 14, 2016 6:26 AM  

@16 “Well, of course not. This is not an argument presented to show that Christianity is true.”
No one is concerned with truth? You don’t say. You just need it as a prop.

@22 “However, they came up with a uniquely Japanese answer to the problem. The Christians would go out and trample the icon and then would immediately go and confess their sin of trampling and get shriven. It kept them alive and foiled the efforts of the authorities to destroy them.”
Taqiyya kept Islam alive in Spain until the early nineteenth century. It couldn’t hold out any longer and after that it completely disappeared. Even unto the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth … generation?

Blogger Roger Hill September 14, 2016 6:35 AM  

I once had a discussion with a reason worshiper whose whole objection to Christianity amounted to nothing more than a denial of miracles. He went so far as to say that miracles were a violation of the laws of logic. When asked to give me a miracle and the specific law of logic it violated, he thought for a bit and then asked me to give him a day.

It's been about two years now. I'm still waiting.

Blogger Phillip George September 14, 2016 6:35 AM  

No. 5 was designed SciVo. And chaos theory isn't useful for "self referencing".
ie. How do define "word" without referencing words? - there is the problem.

Blogger Skylark Thibedeau September 14, 2016 6:45 AM  

If the universe is ten billion years old, shouldn't we be able to see the void eleven billion light years away?

Anonymous Down and Out in... September 14, 2016 6:52 AM  

"The left yearns for an egalitarian utopia,"

Well, they say that, but I don't think it's really true. I don't think the left genuinely yearns for anything specific, especially not anything good or true, I think they simply yearn to keep on being contrarian pains in the ass who don't actually work on a farm or in a factory. Marxism's main appeal, and the reason it's outlasted other socialist schools of thought like Fabianism, is that it posits the need for an "intellectual vanguard" to guide the "masses" of the "workers", who conveniently, will be somebody else. "Hey, you mean I can be on the righteous side of crusading for the masses and the workers, but I don't have to actually be one of those smelly retards? I can sit around all day in a café or a university debating fine points of ideological gibberish, and still be one of the heroes? Sign me up!"

The left's true philosophy is just Johnny Rotten's: "get pissed, destroy."

Anonymous Down and Out in... September 14, 2016 7:01 AM  

Just out of curiosity, since this post centers on Mr. JCW...

The major influences on your work and your thought are sort of clear, but from little subliminal cues here and there, I get the sense that you were influenced in your youth by the story "David and the Phoenix". Is that an accurate guess, or barking up the wrong tree?

Blogger Ponce Du Lion September 14, 2016 7:03 AM  

And who might have produced such entity?. You are only moving the problem back in time.

Blogger Aeoli Pera September 14, 2016 7:06 AM  

Oye wrote:@16 “Well, of course not. This is not an argument presented to show that Christianity is true.”

No one is concerned with truth? You don’t say. You just need it as a prop.


We're talking about another phenomenon here which you're unfamiliar with. Truth is great, I'm a fan, truth loves me...but we just aren't talking about that right now.

The modern mind doesn't have a category for yearnings that can't be explained materially. It's okay to be out of your element

Blogger Earl September 14, 2016 7:12 AM  

To discover our creator is much more than moving the problem back.

Blogger Earl September 14, 2016 7:14 AM  

To discover our creator is much more than moving the problem back.

Anonymous dagwood September 14, 2016 7:18 AM  

"a uniquely Japanese answer to the problem. The Christians would go out and trample the icon and then would immediately go and confess their sin of trampling"

Well, first off, I don't know that "trampling an icon" is an actual sin. Ikons in Christianity are simply depictions of holy concepts, they are not holy things in themselves, at least they aren't supposed to be. Respected things, one gathers, but not holy in and of themselves. I suppose the sin in question might be declining to bear witness, but I'll let the theologians here take the lead on that.

I prefer the solution offered by St. Francis of Assisi (whose venerable name is now being trampled by that fool in the Vatican). During the umpteenth crusade or whenever, St. Francis went on a diplomatic mission to the Muslim leader of Egypt, to try and put an end to the violence. The sultan's muslim religious advisors caused a carpet woven with crosses to be spread in the meeting hall, so that in order to approach the sultan, Francis would have to trample the cross, which he happily did. When they reproached him as committing heresy by trampling the cross, Francis shrugged and said, "Well those are obviously just the crosses of the two thieves who died alongside Our Savior."

Blogger Earl September 14, 2016 7:21 AM  

Once you are brave and honest enough to admit that the atheist view is absurd and there is no such thing as reason, you will see clearly that you have only 2 choices:
1. suicide/madness, or
2. select the least absurd fairy tale to live on while maintaining your sanity/rationality.

Atheists not brave and honest enough to admit the absurdity of the cosmos tell themselves fairy tales about "human reason and values"

Blogger Lazarus September 14, 2016 7:21 AM  

Ponce Du Lion wrote:And who might have produced such entity?. You are only moving the problem back in time.



I guess you are referring to God? I AM is self-created outside of time. If you ponder this on a visceral level it is truly terrifying.

Blogger Ponce Du Lion September 14, 2016 7:21 AM  

What a emotional statement. To discover our creator is much less than move back to the Ultimate Creator

Blogger Earl September 14, 2016 7:24 AM  

Philip you're not as poetic and inspiring as you think you are. Sorry.

Anonymous bub September 14, 2016 7:26 AM  

1. The question "Is there a Creator?" is absurd - asked and answered, by the slowest child, and over-abundance of evidence

2. The next question is, Who is the Creator?

3. Given that Yehoweh has demonstrated his bonafides, the next question is "What is His nature?"

4. Finally, "What then must we do?"

Anonymous hardscrabble farmer September 14, 2016 7:30 AM  

While I firmly believe in a Creator and find the story of Christ to be an emotionally compelling one, it would be vainglory in the extreme to state unequivocally that this is the absolute Truth.

The only Truth is that we do not know the Truth.

And to say the only logical conclusion to holding such an opinion is suicide or hedonism is beyond absurd. I have no idea why you thought the argument was in any way compelling.

Blogger Lazarus September 14, 2016 7:50 AM  

Ponce Du Lion wrote:What a emotional statement. To discover our creator is much less than move back to the Ultimate Creator

You have failed to ponder viscerally, as I suggested. Maybe it is beyond your capabilities.

OpenID malcolmthecynic September 14, 2016 7:55 AM  

The Japanese "answer" to the problem isn't an answer, it's just a sin compounded by the sin of presumption, committed by people who lack the faith to be martyrs.

I mean, I'm not judging, but that's what it is.

Blogger SouthRon September 14, 2016 8:07 AM  

@43 If not God, then which god? If an unknown god, I give you the answer of Paul to the Athenians.

Also as John said, his was not an argument for truth. Yet you seem to be asking for knowable, provable truth which is not the point of this particular post at all.

I could point out that Christianity requires faith. Faith in what was. Faith that God still is. Faith that his promises are true. Our faith engenders hope, not hopelessness. It engenders trust. It allays fear.

In this respect, faith, the tale of Christianity is superior to other tales which are told.

Blogger yoghi.llama September 14, 2016 8:13 AM  

Never said I was a child of evidence and reason … prajñā is the mother and upāya is the father.

Sorry, can't show you the bones of a fictional character.

do not pretend your fairy tales have any greater grip on evidence than mine, thank you

This is my point too. If I think Guru Rinpoche and Mandarava were historical, or Odin and Thor are real gods, why can't those fairy tales save my soul?

Blogger dc.sunsets September 14, 2016 8:18 AM  

How about the fable that he who dies amidst the most love and respect wins?

If happiness is a goal (I aver it's a modern invention) and we are social animals then we need others. Happiness Path is thus traveled with company, and logic dictates we must balance our narrow desires against our broader responsibilities to those who constitute our life's partners (especially our spouses, kids, other relatives and our neighbors.)

I recognize that this fable doesn’t exist in a vacuum; it may rest on the values unique to Christendom. For this reason I support Christianity rather than atheism. My own preferred fable now appears inaccessible to the Masses of Mankind and bears this parallel to the libertarianism I once embraced.

Blogger yoghi.llama September 14, 2016 8:21 AM  

Never said I was a child of evidence and reason … prajñā is the mother and upāya is the father.

Sorry, can't show you the bones of a fictional character.

do not pretend your fairy tales have any greater grip on evidence than mine, thank you

This is my point too. If I think Guru Rinpoche and Mandarava were historical, or Odin and Thor are real gods, why can't those fairy tales save my soul?

Anonymous johnc September 14, 2016 8:22 AM  

@17

Satan is no drooling idiot. He knows from whence to launch an attack.

This is why we must be on guard ourselves.

Blogger JaimeInTexas September 14, 2016 8:34 AM  

"These accounts are each meant to answer a longing that springs from our deepest and most fundamental human nature."

Hmmm mmm.

The evoltionist cannot even admit to the longing. Unless ...
it leads to procreation ...
somehow.

Blogger JaimeInTexas September 14, 2016 8:36 AM  

Plenty of other historical documents that show Jesus was a real person.

Blogger dc.sunsets September 14, 2016 8:37 AM  

Criticizing the choice (attacking Christianity) is part of today's Equals Temple dogma. After all, Christianity is a competitor, the dominant one, and a foundation of Western Civilization---which is the goose that lays the golden eggs everyone wants, but no one else can produce.

It pisses them off royally. So they attack that which they covet, even as they indulge in the cornucopia of wonder it produces. (Look at Islamists who spend years living in hedonistic modernity only to get Sudden Jihadi Syndrome and go Full Retard Suicide Bomber.)

I don't get invested in questions I can't answer. The answers are beyond the intellect of Man, and the Mind of God by definition is as unknowable as is the mind of Man from the viewpoint of an ant.

The benefit of Christianity is, to me, utilitarian. Man is OF nature, not above it. Man exhibits brain structure parallels (in morphology and effect) with herding animals. Men herd (women herd even more.) Man must have faith in something, so pick that which is best.

The Equals Temple cult believes in lies. Give me Christianity any day of the week because its belief, even if it's in a fable, beats the stuffing out of believing in open lies. As an organizing set of principles, Christianity produced the Civilization of the West, and the Equals Temple Cult dogma is tearing it down with the efficiency of mechanization.

Anonymous Down and Out in... September 14, 2016 8:41 AM  

"Sorry, can't show you the bones of a fictional character.

do not pretend your fairy tales have any greater grip on evidence than mine, thank you

This is my point too. If I think Guru Rinpoche and Mandarava were historical, or Odin and Thor are real gods,"

This is getting sillier and sillier.

Did Julius Caesar exist, or was he a fictional character? Vercingetorix would be very interested to learn your opinion. How about Confucius? Other people said they knew him, and some people even took the trouble to make a great deal of fun of him. How many people directly said they personally knew Odin, or Krishna, had chatted with them, studied with them, had dinner with them? How many people were willing to die for having said that they knew them personally, and then did so?

You don't have to believe in "Christianity" (I strongly suggest that you do, but obviously I can't impose it on you), but claiming that Jesus was a fictional character is about as intellectually bankrupt as claiming Benjamin Franklin was.

Blogger Phillip George September 14, 2016 8:43 AM  

John Wright...

One of the most well-documented cases of children raised by wild animals is that of Kamala and Amala, better known as the "wolf children." Discovered in 1920 in the jungles of Godamuri, India, the girls, aged 3 and about 8, had been living with a she-wolf and her pack. It's not known if the girls were from the same family, but the man who found the girls, Reverend J.A.L. Singh, took them back to his orphanage, where he tried to get them accustomed to their human surroundings. While the girls made some progress over the years, both eventually came down with fatal illnesses, leaving the reverend to wonder "if the right thing to do would have been to leave these children in the wild where I found them."

these cases are very very rare. What makes us human is also what exists without any reasonable explanation. Language. A complete self referential logic system subject to Godel's and Fitch's. I think this tack might be the closet thing to the air tight case. When there is no reasonable explanation of/ for reach for the perfectly unreasonable explanation.

It's not fairytale/ belief system Vs ?them/ bad guys. the "without excuse" implies a corollary that leaves everyone perfectly "without excuse".

so how much language is there beneath the ice of Europa? a blog?

Blogger dc.sunsets September 14, 2016 8:44 AM  

BTW, white or (((white))) intellectuals, too, covet the wondrous product of Western Civ, and like Marx, they hate the producers (the innovators, the engineers, the grubby bourgeoisie who actually makes the world livable) and resent that in a just world wealth flows to those who create, not to those who whine, bitch, complain, hurl invective and author complex systems to hide the systematic robbery of the producers in favor of the intellectuals and the rabble.

Funny. Christianity holds covetousness as a sin, the one that animates its staunchest critics every moment of their lives, awake or dreaming. This isn't irony.

Covetousness is the core of what drives the Equals Temple Cultists.

Blogger JDC September 14, 2016 8:57 AM  

A wise expression I heard: even if at the end there is no God, if you lived your life believing in one, then you still are better off than if you didn't.

“One word, Ma'am," he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. "One word. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one more thing to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things-trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's a small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say.” (Puddleglum, Silver Chair)

Anonymous LES September 14, 2016 9:01 AM  

I hope that Christianity is true. Others hope that it is not.

Blogger JaimeInTexas September 14, 2016 9:02 AM  

Stepping on icons, for example, are no tests.
The only test is the one that says "renounce the Jesus born of the virgin, crucified, resurrected and ascended
.. or die."

Blogger JaimeInTexas September 14, 2016 9:05 AM  

The context on the book is that Aslan is real.

Do not buy into the the idea that it is good to believe in something even if it is not true.
A similar line of thought ruined the "Second Hand Lion" movie for me.

Blogger tz September 14, 2016 9:17 AM  

No one is concerned with truth? You don’t say. You just need it as a prop.
Spin the prop and the airplane ascends heavenward.
@37 The feast of the exultation pd the cross is this week.

One of the things I most enjoy about Molyneux is his struggle to remain Atheist. One reason seems to be the Puddleglum problem after the libels against the church are removed. For 2000 years, Christendom has been changing the world for the better, because they see heaven through the veil. The others just see nothing or just more suffering.

Christ's body is often bruised and infected with sins but still is the best thing going.

And then the question comes up if they are doing so much good and are right about so much, are they wrong about God and Christ?

Anonymous mature craig September 14, 2016 9:21 AM  

Sadly that allegation demonstrates a lack of knowledge of Jesus Christ. May they seek Him and find Him and know Him before its too late

Blogger tz September 14, 2016 9:24 AM  

@43. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. To know him is to know truth.

@47 The pagans also pointed to Christ's coming. The problem is not Thor but Loki. The Aztecs believed and sacrificed 1 in 4 children as the post-moderns do.



Anonymous Gecko September 14, 2016 9:37 AM  

JaimeInTexas wrote:A similar line of thought ruined the "Second Hand Lion" movie for me.

I have to ask: isn't the context of the movie that the stories are true? It's been a while...

Blogger John Regan September 14, 2016 9:46 AM  

Well, ultimately the answer is not that even if Christianity is a fairy tale, it's the better fairy tale. The problem being posed is whether Christianity is true.

And on the level of reason - that is, leaving faith out of it - the only answer one can give to that is....maybe. That is, there are reasons, good reasons for believing Christianity to be true but they are not conclusive on the point and so there is a good deal of uncertainty.

From there, it is good to point out that any other account for "what is", including any account offered by so-called science, suffers from significant uncertainty as well. There are no certainties on the question.

But this is like many other things in life that we act on not having complete assurance as to whether our reasons for so acting are correct. You start a business having done all of your due diligence and projecting success; the business can still fail.

Which brings up another important point: all kinds of human action proceeds despite uncertainty about the outcome, and to that extent those actions are performed based on faith. Faith is not just about religion or a belief in God; it is an important driving force behind all endeavors undertaken without certainty about the result.

In short, the answer to the charge that Christianity is a fairy tale is that it is an unjust and ignorant charge.

Blogger slarrow September 14, 2016 10:01 AM  

@64, the charge that Christianity is a "fairy tale" is a rhetorical charge, and John Wright answered it with rhetoric himself, as is proper. The effective response is "our fairy tale is more beautiful and more meaningful", not "it's not a fairy tale." That's a dialectical response to a rhetoric attack, and we've all seen just how effective those are.

But anyone who thinks that answering rhetoric with rhetoric means that John can't defend the truth of Christianity is a moron. Have they actually read his writing before?

Blogger Chent September 14, 2016 10:09 AM  

This thread proves the arrogance of the modern world and its inability to consider complex arguments when it comes to religion and philosophy.

First, John C. Wright did not mean to prove that Christianity is true. This is something impossible to do in a blog post. Like relativistic physics or cellular biology, the assessment of the evidence for theism and Christianity is a complex subject. The interested reader can choose one of several hundred Christian apologetic books that you can find on Amazon.

Second, John C. Wright wanted to make some comments about Christianity being considered a "fairy tale" and the practical contradictions of modern materialist atheism (that is, the atheism of the last 300 years or so). The fact that this kind of atheism is inherently contradictory (and hence false) can be found in books like "The absurdity of unbelief", by Jeffrew D. Johnson, which I recommend.

Third, the arrogance of the modern man is astounding. People saying nonsense like "Jesus is a fictional figure". The historical existence of Jesus is very well established by modern scholarship.

Our ancestors thought that "better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt" (Abraham Lincoln). They understood that, before speaking about a subject, you should learn about this subject, lest you make a fool of yourself.

The modern man wants nothing of that. The first stupidity that appears in his brain goes directly to his mouth because he thinks he is a superman that knows everything without learning. This is called the Dunning-Kruger effect (look it up).

Blogger VD September 14, 2016 10:09 AM  

the charge that Christianity is a "fairy tale" is a rhetorical charge, and John Wright answered it with rhetoric himself, as is proper. The effective response is "our fairy tale is more beautiful and more meaningful", not "it's not a fairy tale." That's a dialectical response to a rhetoric attack, and we've all seen just how effective those are.

Exactly. And notice how when the rhetorical attack is effectively blown out with better rhetoric, there is an immediate switch to dialectic. But why didn't they begin with dialectic in the first place? Because rhetoric is more persuasive.

It's an inherently dishonest response.

Anonymous Sheiko29 September 14, 2016 10:15 AM  

A little shocked to see skepticism regarding the historicity of Christ here. I'm an agnostic, but come on. Indeed, we have evidence of the divinity of Christ. Of course, we also have evidence of the revelations of Paul, Muhammad, Joseph Smith, etc.

Blogger Austin Ballast September 14, 2016 10:16 AM  

[2Pe 1:16 KJV] 16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

OpenID malcolmthecynic September 14, 2016 10:17 AM  

Almost all of you are missing it completely, which is fair, as I did as well until he corrected me.

Puddleglum is giving a specific response to a specific argument. It's not a Pascal's Wager, nor is it "Christianity is true because Christianity is beautiful."

The Lady of the Green Kirtle is selling a story: Sunlight? Aslan? What are those? You must have made them up. They don't exist. Only darkness does."

Puddleglum responds, "If they're imaginary, that's weird, because they seem much more real than this hell you're promising us. Given the choice between what seems false and what seems real, I shall look for the real."

Mr. Wright is not answering the wrong question. He is answering the question asked by the Lady of the Green Kirtle.

Blogger John Regan September 14, 2016 10:22 AM  

@65, I didn't mean to suggest that John Wright can't defend the truth of Christianity.

@67, I think whether rhetoric is more persuasive depends to some extent on the audience, but I see your point.

Anonymous mature craig September 14, 2016 10:44 AM  

Revelation 22:6 (NKJV) "...These words are faithful and true..."

Blogger slarrow September 14, 2016 10:50 AM  

@71, Oh, I know. You weren't one of the morons I was referring to.

Anonymous BGKB September 14, 2016 10:52 AM  

"The left yearns for an egalitarian utopia,"

The left yearns for no one being better than them. Neighbors goat to must die.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer September 14, 2016 10:53 AM  

There is a video on youtube where Penn Gillette, of Penn and Teller, starts out proclaiming his conversion to Christianity and after a few seconds laughs and says he was just kidding. And then he goes on to rhetorically ask how much money he could make if he abandoned his morals, at which point I stopped watching the video.

Now matter how intelligent an atheist is they can't seem to grasp how intellectually incoherent it is to believe in rights, duties, and morals and simultaneously proclaim that our moral sense consists of social conditioning and inborn instincts that allow humans, as a group, to out compete other species.

Of course this is not a new issue. CK Chesterton remarked that HG Wells and other well known atheists of his era proclaimed they did not believe in God, but didn't act as if they didn't since they were constantly coming up with schemes to "improve" society.

Blogger JaimeInTexas September 14, 2016 10:58 AM  

IIRC, I do not think so. But, good point. I will have watch it again.

Anonymous mature craig September 14, 2016 11:00 AM  

Sounds like you have done a serious search...which of the three was crucified and rose from the dead as prophesized thousands of years before and offers eternal life?

Blogger JaimeInTexas September 14, 2016 11:03 AM  

Yeah. Somehow Wells still was able to write some good books. Wells managed to be a realist socialist. And people do not believe in miracles?

Blogger Arthur Isaac September 14, 2016 11:17 AM  

If the universe is ten billion years old, shouldn't we be able to see the void eleven billion light years away?

When we "look" far enough out we detect the heat from the creation event. Uniformly, in all directions.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer September 14, 2016 11:22 AM  

Wasn't it on this very blog where an atheist got bent out of shape because someone made stated the obvious fact that there were theological implications to the universe having a beginning?

And anyone who believes Jesus was not a historical figure probably believes that if it wasn't for Christianity stopping scientific progress humanity would have colonized the stars by now.

Blogger praetorian September 14, 2016 11:27 AM  

Currently reading E. Michael Jones' "The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit":

https://www.amazon.com/Jewish-Revolutionary-Spirit-Impact-History/dp/0929891074

I was surprised to learn that, during Julian The Apostate's rule, in order to disprove Christianity he allowed the jews to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. It is apparently undisputed that this project was halted and ultimately prevented by fireballs literally emerging from the earth.

I mean, kek is great and all, don't get me wrong, but... what?

And... why is this the first I've heard of this astounding fact?

Blogger praetorian September 14, 2016 11:29 AM  

What seems more likely is that in a universe containing an infinite number of planets, and over the course of ten billion years, evolution would have had ample opportunity to produce an entity functionally equivalent to God.

Category error, the comment.

Anonymous BGKB September 14, 2016 11:31 AM  

even if at the end there is no God, if you lived your life believing in one, then you still are better off than if you didn't

How would Graham Spanier & Sandusky have lived differently if they didn't go to the same (((temple)))?

Blogger praetorian September 14, 2016 11:33 AM  

Why is it that the vast majority of New Atheists are/were white? Dawkins, Dennett and Co must be ninety-percenters at least. Indeed, why is it that most of the world's worst ideologies have come out of Europe?

Mix autistic goys and perfidious jews and you're gonna have a bad time, fam.

Blogger Sheila4g September 14, 2016 11:37 AM  

While I became a Christian via an epiphany, it was my (at long last) willingness to truly consider, as honestly as I could, what evidence was available for believers that led me to even consider the possibility that the "fairy tale" was truth. Given what I know of human nature and my experience thus far with this world, I just could not square that so many people, over so many centuries, would have willingly died in such horrible physical torment for a mere myth. My fairy tales aren't dark and scary and don't inspire me to submit to torture and death. And given what I know of conspiracies or human ability to keep things confidential, neither could I accept that there really was a body hidden away somewhere and somehow no one broke down and admitted their great scam.

While I'm no scientist, I read a lengthy but well argued (at least to my not-a-scientist mind) post by Fred Reed debunking evolution and making the case for intelligent design, to which I already ascribed - Darwin Unhinged

@19 Scott C.: "You could also say that the minarets and arches of ancient Islamic mosques are reaching for the same thing."

Before my baptism, but when I was actively considering things, I was struck by and compared the beauty of the mosque at Edirne with the cathedrals I had seen in Europe. However, I interpreted this as man's yearning for beauty and truth and God's existence, not evidence that Mohammedism itself is true. Similar, I suppose, to my father, who used to listen to symphonies with tears streaming down his face, yet somehow could not accept that what inspired such beauty and creativity was real, not a fairy tale.

Accepting that the yearning is real is the first step in the process, but most atheists won't even admit that yearning exists.

Anonymous Rollo53 September 14, 2016 11:46 AM  

"These accounts are..."

...Strawmen...At least the accounts of atheism are. But then, what's a silly argument without a good strawman or two. Nicely done Mr. Wright.

Blogger Reno Chris September 14, 2016 11:48 AM  

Just because the story of atheism is worse than Christianity's doesn't mean Christianity is true. Can John C Wright defend the truth-claims of Christianity? (comment 6)

Yes. The fingerprints of God all all over his creation. One only needs to open one's eyes to see it.

As the Apostle Paul put it: "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made"

Or as Werner Heisenberg, a great scientist of the last century put it:
“The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.”

Most of the IFLS crowd want to take one sip, feel self superior and be done, reaching the conclusion they want to hear - an excuse to Hedonism, Epicurianism or whatever they choose to do as their own little god of their life. In the higher halls of science and learning there are specific efforts to obfuscate, obscure and ignore these fingerprints of God, but the evidence is there if you will open your eyes.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents September 14, 2016 11:50 AM  

Before my baptism, but when I was actively considering things, I was struck by and compared the beauty of the mosque at Edirne with the cathedrals I had seen in Europe. However, I interpreted this as man's yearning for beauty and truth and God's existence, not evidence that Mohammedism itself is true. Similar, I suppose, to my father, who used to listen to symphonies with tears streaming down his face, yet somehow could not accept that what inspired such beauty and creativity was real, not a fairy tale.

That's General Revelation. Like the rainbow, or the sunrise, it's just "there" in the world and resonates in the heart. It's available to all but not everyone has eyes to see or ears to hear.

Blogger Amy September 14, 2016 1:24 PM  

[redacted] or VFM, definitely Castalia Saving SF

Blogger Ray Mota September 14, 2016 2:11 PM  

Read "The Light of Egypt" by Massey and "Jesus in Egypt" by Achara.

They will provide the background and insight.

Anonymous Res Ipsa September 14, 2016 2:13 PM  

I just object to Christians claiming that their fairy tale is objective history.

Given the historical, archaeological and collaborating testimony of non-Christian sources verifying the authenticity of the bible, only an ignoramus would make such a statement.

Blogger szopen September 14, 2016 2:13 PM  

"the fact that you are still here hints that at some level you know your account is unsatisfactory:"

I am still here because I have no free will; the evolution shaped me in matter to want to live and I am unable NOT to want to live.

Blogger szopen September 14, 2016 2:16 PM  

Ron Winkleheimer wrote:
Now matter how intelligent an atheist is they can't seem to grasp how intellectually incoherent it is to believe in rights, duties, and morals and simultaneously proclaim that our moral sense consists of social conditioning and inborn instincts that allow humans, as a group, to out compete other species.


You are wrong. I am atheist and on purely intellectual level I know there is no morality. But it does not matter, because we have no free will (in absolute philosophical sense), that is: I am unable to not to abide by my hardwired morality.

I was discussing with someone here about that quite recently, in fact.

Blogger szopen September 14, 2016 2:20 PM  

John Wright wrote:@6

The conclusion that any Green Witch are atheist is forced by his logic to reach is that the deep and fundamental nature of man is addicted to falsehood.

But why? If we are the by product of a mindless natural process, or arose somehow from chaos, why would our human nature be so unsuited to nature?


The answer is that those creatures which were not addicted to falsehoods were more likely to die and have children, and therefore we inherited the fatal propensity to believe in falsehood. moreover, in fact our nature is well suited to the environments in which our ancestors lived, though it does not mean it is well-suited to modern environment.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash September 14, 2016 3:38 PM  

szopen wrote:that is: I am unable to not to abide by my hardwired morality.



It's not hardwired. It's leftover Christianity. You are descended from ancestors who were far more cruel, rapacious, murderous and vindictive than you are, and that (in evolutionary terms) quite recently.

There is not, and never has been a hardwired genetic morality.
Read your history.

Blogger mary September 14, 2016 3:59 PM  

This is Pascal's wager.

Blogger MB September 14, 2016 4:14 PM  

I think, therefore I am. I am, therefore a Creator exists. The potter is greater than the pot. The Creator is greater than the creature. The slave is not greater than the master. The creature is not greater than the Creator.

Blogger yoghi.llama September 14, 2016 4:52 PM  

History is not a stumbling-stone for Christians.

Except when it is. How do you reconcile Mark 2:24 with 1 Samuel 21:1–6?

If the only begotten son of the creator of the universe can't get the little details of history right, how can I trust any of his followers?

What about Matthew 27:51–53? Multiple revenants marching through the streets of a major city, but no one else on the planet thought to write that one down?

Blogger yoghi.llama September 14, 2016 5:07 PM  

Did Julius Caesar exist, or was he a fictional character?

Caesar existed. He wrote. A lot.

http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/exist.html

The only thing the Cosmic Jewish Zombie Magician ever wrote was the letter to Abgar, which Eusebius believed to be genuine.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01042c.htm

That was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. I now have faith it's all perfect codswallop, alpha to omega.

Blogger yoghi.llama September 14, 2016 5:16 PM  

Of course, we also have evidence of the revelations of Paul, Muhammad

Don't bet a significant amount of money on Muhammad.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/1610171330

Blogger Snidely Whiplash September 14, 2016 5:16 PM  

yoghi.llama wrote:That was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. I now have faith it's all perfect codswallop, alpha to omega.

I now have faith you're a parody of the idiot Dunning-Kreuger atheist, shrieking his defiance at his father for telling him he's an idiot.

Not a bad troll, though. I'd give 8 of 10, pretty believable, would outrage again.

Anonymous My Take September 14, 2016 5:26 PM  

@ 66 The observation you attribute to Lincoln, was first written by Solomon. Proverbs 17:28 “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” KJV

Blogger Joe Keenan September 14, 2016 5:31 PM  

@97 The earliest extant manuscipts of The Gallic Wars are from the 9th century; approx 900 years after his death.

Blogger Joe Keenan September 14, 2016 5:33 PM  

http://www.timmitchell.fr/blog/2012/04/12/gallic-war/

Blogger Phillip George September 14, 2016 5:33 PM  

96. yoghi.llama

Nehemia Gordon's semi recent book the "Hebrew Yeshua versus the Greek Jesus" more than deals with this

you are without excuse.



Anonymous A.B. Prosper September 14, 2016 5:33 PM  

Res Ipsa wrote:I just object to Christians claiming that their fairy tale is objective history.

Given the historical, archaeological and collaborating testimony of non-Christian sources verifying the authenticity of the bible, only an ignoramus would make such a statement.


We've also found quite a few true things from the Norse Saga's and the Greeks as well. Doesn't mean the Universe was licked from a primeval cow.

In any case, the question being posed was "Is there a God or Gods which is unanswerable but its highly probable. "

The more advanced question theological is "Is Christianity True?" that is much up in the air.

An even more advanced question "Does the Secular West need Christianity even if they don't believe it?"

That too me is the important question right now.

If the West decides it doesn't, than how do we have a West? We won't have a Western Christian Civilization as Vox and the folk here want but that does not mean we can't have a civilization that still works.

Blogger yoghi.llama September 14, 2016 5:39 PM  

Hello Snidely

So Eusebius of Caesarea, the father of church history, thought Jebus himself wrote a letter in Syriac to King Abgar. And now nobody thinks so.

Either (1) Eusebius wasn't very good at his job, and couldn't tell the difference between real and fake documents, or, (2) Eusebius was quite good at his job … which was to vouch for fake documents.

Which option is worse?

Like I said, it's not a wholly unpleasant fairy tale, and Xianity has some moral redeeming features, but in the field of objective history it's all a load of soggy bog roll.

Blogger Thucydides September 14, 2016 5:40 PM  

I'll take Ayn Rand's fairy tale as ennobling, but yes, it is still lacking.

I also wish she was able to get to the point a lot more quickly.

Blogger Joe Keenan September 14, 2016 5:55 PM  

@105 Fallacy of the Excluded Middle. A fallacious argument. The E man was simply wrong. Galileo argued the mood did not affect the tides, according to your line of reasoning we should throw out all his other observations because he was wrong regarding tides.

Blogger Mark Butterworth September 14, 2016 6:02 PM  

The major problem today for Christianity is not that it is a fairy tale to non-believers, but that Christians don’t realize that it is a great Truth dressed in a great many fairy tales they are credulous about.

Rather than insisting that Jesus is a Person anyone may meet if they seek to do so, that is, experience directly for themselves the resurrected Man/God, they use Tradition and texts that may or may not be valid to try and persuade and prove their theology and doctrines.

Many Christians prefer fairy tales that God writes books, Adam and Eve were real people who caused sin and death to come into being, that Noah, patriarchs, Solomon etc were all real people and did thus and such; or that Jesus’ mother was a virgin impregnated by God, Jesus was a sacrificial lamb (or scapegoat).

Someone referred to the “days of Job” for example. Except there never were any such days. Only the days of the writer who invented the character of Job (and latterly Tobit, Solomon, and who knows how many others).

No one needs to “prove” Jesus existed or was real or that his bones vanished in a flash of light when the real test is simply asking to meet him now, today, in some significant way as He chooses. The “catch” is the petitioner must be sincere. No BS nonsense like, “if there is a God, may he strike me dead this instant with a lightning bolt . . . No lightning. See, I just proved He’s not real.”

Nothing that happened, testified to, or was written 2000 years ago is as meaningful or important as a simple willingness to meet God on his terms today.

Blogger Phillip George September 14, 2016 6:05 PM  

105. yoghi.llama

have you DNA tested your mother or did you take her word for it?

did you trust what people told you? Do you really look all that similar to your siblings?

Blogger Joe Keenan September 14, 2016 6:08 PM  

moon...not mood

Anonymous Godfrey September 14, 2016 6:52 PM  

The hope that love conquers death may indeed be a silly quaint notion, but it is the only one worth having.

Blogger Phillip George September 14, 2016 7:12 PM  

on forensic and documentary evidence.

When the history of the 21st century is written there will be people who discover a body of documentary evidence in the belief system that 19 cave dwelling Arabs were responsible for 911.

So it goes historians. So it goes. Then somewhere people will read the other alternative histories to the same event. Some events are without question. Eg. A bit of the Pentagon collapsed and was on fire for some time. Interpretations as to what led up to those events vary wildly.

One History certainly excludes another. Some people here are very very wrong.

Does anyone think an events that took place just 15 years ago is easier to historically revise than one that took place only 2000 years ago?

keep asking cui bono

Blogger JaimeInTexas September 14, 2016 9:22 PM  

Michiu Kaku is in your corner
https://youtu.be/DMNZQVyabiM

Blogger JaimeInTexas September 14, 2016 9:24 PM  

Cut her a little slack
.. she was Russian.

Was that objectivist?

Blogger JaimeInTexas September 14, 2016 9:27 PM  

Tides affect mood, though. No tidal movement, no fishies active much, not in mood for fishing.

Blogger Groot September 15, 2016 1:05 AM  

@John C. Wright: "Entropy triumphs over all, a nightfall of endless darkness and infinite cold.”

John, I would quibble that all that is interesting in the secular world (and forgive my arboreal ignorance of mammalian religiosity) is anti-entropy: life, culture, science, the human capital that forms the tempered mettle of real progress. The arrow of time allows increasing complexity even where perfect efficiency cannot exist (the definition of entropy).

Though your muse is Calliope (who presides over eloquence and epic poetry), I would gaze above the canopy of lugubrious pessimism you ascribe to laic thought and grasp its inherent optimistic recipe of growth, development and apotheosis via singularity (which you so fluently detail in your works).

There will be no Hillary-esque syncope to human advance, despite leftist misanthropy. Entropy does not rule these lands.

Merely consider this an RSVP to your clerical invitation to debate. Party on.

Blogger szopen September 15, 2016 4:09 AM  

Snidely Whiplash wrote:szopen wrote:that is: I am unable to not to abide by my hardwired morality.



It's not hardwired. It's leftover Christianity. You are descended from ancestors who were far more cruel, rapacious, murderous and vindictive than you are, and that (in evolutionary terms) quite recently.

The fact that mu ancestors were shorter than me does not mean the height has no hereditary basis.

Blogger Unknown September 16, 2016 6:45 PM  

There are absolutely no documents from the the time of 0-100 A.D that mention anyone named "jesus" nor even a "yeshua/christ". Not a single one. I dare anyone here to find a fragment of a mention alluding to the existence of the god they so desperately worship from the time he supposedly lived.
Also, the title "chrestus" meaning 'useful/good' do not count.

Blogger John Wright September 17, 2016 12:01 AM  

@116
"life, culture, science, the human capital that forms the tempered mettle of real progress"

This has nothing to do with entropy. Antientropy would only exist under the condition that those things you list are closed systems (no outside energy coming in) which leave the total system with less waste heat at the end of the process than at the beginning.

Your statement is merely a poetic metaphor that confuses metaphor with reality. All organisms produce more order WITHING THEMSELVES by taking in outside energy and increasing the disorder in the universe around them in the form of unrecoverable energy, waste heat, and so on.

Blogger John Wright September 17, 2016 12:03 AM  

"There are absolutely no documents from the the time of 0-100 A.D that mention anyone named "jesus" nor even a "yeshua/christ". Not a single one."

Except the Epistles and the Book of the Apocalypse. Except for those, of course.

Absent of sense is not evidence of absence, my dear.

Blogger John Wright September 17, 2016 12:08 AM  

@92
"The answer is that those creatures which were not addicted to falsehoods were more likely to die and have children, and therefore we inherited the fatal propensity to believe in falsehood. "

I am willing to take you at your word. You have a genetic defect that requires you to believe a falsehood.

How do I know the sentence you wrote here is not that falsehood?

Your faith that endless hellfire does not confront you must be very comforting to any man too weak to face the awful truth.

Believing everyone but you has a genetic brain defect is a very comforting belief. It excludes the need for civil conversation as well as rational thought at one go!

Blogger szopen September 17, 2016 5:26 PM  

John Wright wrote:@92
I am willing to take you at your word. You have a genetic defect that requires you to believe a falsehood.

Most of us have - some set of particular falsehoods, not just any falsehood.


How do I know the sentence you wrote here is not that falsehood?

NO idea. I think, however, you are intellectually lazy if you are thinking you can play this kind of argument. In fact, human brain have many built-in intellectual biases and defects; but this does not mean we are unable to pursue the truth.


Your faith that endless hellfire does not confront you must be very comforting to any man too weak to face the awful truth.

My children are catholics. Initially I agreed to not disturb their religious education because that was a condition to get a religious marriage, which my wife wanted, and I treat seriously my word. Right now, however, I decided that I do not want them to get to the same dark epiphanies I had.

Being atheist sucks. I would prefer to be a believer. But I can't. But note this is not an intellectual argument against atheism. If my doctor would notify me that I have one month of life left, that would really suck; but I do not think that I could say "well, because believing doctor is right makes me feel awful, I choose to believe he is wrong." Now imagine my wife tells me "I had a dream you will live twenty years more, so don't worry". Can I say that "if doctor's story is true, why it is that wife's version is more satisfying?"

Believing everyone but you has a genetic brain defect is a very comforting belief. It excludes the need for civil conversation as well as rational thought at one go!
? Where did you get that idea? As we say in Polish "do not push the child into my belly". My intention was not to offend you or prevent a discussion. I was not suggesting I am atheist because "my brain is not defected". On the contrary, I believe EVERYONE, including me, has the similar or the same hardware. I believe we all have similar built-in confirmation biases, for example, but yet we can try to overcome them.

I merely answered your argument (how it's possible that human nature is not well-suited to the nature):
(1) the fact that something does not seem to be well suited to the current environment is not argument, because we are always best suited to the PAST environments
(2) human nature is not shaped to detect the truth, but to be good enough to survive, procreate and so on.

For example, we are very prone to interpret any movement of the branches in the dark of the night as dangerous, interpret accidental shadows as creatures and so on - in current environment this tendency will cause 99% of false alarms, yet in the past it seems it helped our ancestors to survive - because the goal was not to detect the truth, but to avoid possible dangers, where cost of false positives was low, but cost of false negative was very high.

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