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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Mailvox: atheists always bait-and-switch

Mr. Rational demonstrates why no one trusts atheists, including their fellow atheists:
You're playing semantic games here by deliberately selecting a nonsensical phrase, Vox.  "The Significance of Human Existence" makes perfect sense, and yes, random events in human history are perfectly understandable in that context.

This is another example of your need to have a First Cause for everything.  It's just a more advanced version of the animism of savages.  You can't not see intent and agency in everything because it makes you insecure, and like the left's search for racism in society what you need to find will be found... somehow.

E.O. Wilson is one of the greatest minds of our age, and you reduce yourself to paraphrasing his book title in a silly fashion.  Talk about ankle-biting.
This is simply embarrassing for Mr. Rational. It would appear that the sight of "one of the greatest minds of our age" being caught out has triggered him. Badly. That "silly fashion" of which he complains is the most generous interpretation of Wilson's title possible; the alternative is that Wilson is every bit as dishonest as the Richard Dawkins and Sam Harrises of the world.

I am not playing a semantic game. I am observing that there is ABSOLUTELY NO DEFINITION of the term "meaning" that allows E.O. Wilson to be considered simultaneously a) philosophically competent and  b) intellectually honest. As another commenter has already noted, Wilson's book was not titled The Significance of Human Existence, but rather, The Meaning of Human Existence. A second bait-and-switch is not going to justify the first.

Also notice how the triggered little gamma male immediately leaps to making the philosophy personal. He cannot accept that "one of the greatest minds of our age" is either incorrect or lying, and that fact that I am the one who caught him out only makes his acceptance of that easily observably fact all the more difficult. Unlike both Wilson and Mr. Rational, I am perfectly willing to contemplate the possibility that there is neither intent nor agency in human existence, it is only that unlike them, I am sufficiently competent to understand and accept the logical consequences of that lack of meaning.

You're too short for this ride, Mr. Rational. I will not again be rescuing your very stupid, very dishonest comments from the spam where they clearly belong, and will henceforth spam them. Since there is neither meaning nor significance in that decision, he really has no grounds for complaint. And even if he did, well, what could that possibly matter?

Groggy thinks I made a mistake.
Vox, carefully parsing the dictionary definitions above which you provided, "what actually is" is not a valid definition to extract.

what is intended to be, or actually is, expressed or indicated; signification; import

It does NOT say that meaning can be "what actually is".

It says that meaning can be:
  1. what is intended to be expressed or indicated
  2. what actually is expressed or indicated
I actually share Groggy's interpretation, but as I mentioned above, I felt that it was best to be generous and give Mr. Wilson's defenders the maximum amount of rope with which to hang the man. Rather than being able to quibble over the parsing of the definition, his defenders are forced to either admit to his error, admit to his dishonesty, or commit their own intellectual sins.

Labels: ,

146 Comments:

Blogger SciVo November 26, 2017 5:13 AM  

I was just pondering today, there's a reason why atheists are the least-trusted group. When the only possible foundation of your ethics is extrapolation from self-regard, there is nothing you can't justify.

Blogger John Locke November 26, 2017 5:18 AM  

Here's a good compilation of the poor moral reasoning atheists are prone to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NigdhJ0MWI&t=17s

Blogger Azure Amaranthine November 26, 2017 5:29 AM  

"When the only possible foundation of your ethics is extrapolation from self-regard, there is nothing you can't justify."

We've been saying this since well before I was born for sure. The origin was probably millennia ago though if I were to trace it all the way back.

Anonymous Heteropaternal Superfecundation November 26, 2017 5:59 AM  

If there's a first cause is there also a final effect?

Blogger Groggy November 26, 2017 6:05 AM  

I agree that you offered the most charitable interpretation possible.

Blogger Koanic November 26, 2017 6:05 AM  

An atheist who thinks his three pounds of pink chimp jello is rational?

Mr. Rational becomes Mr. Spam - accurately described at last! You will note the objective correspondences of taste, texture, consistency, and value.

(I didn't actually dislike the guy, but that's funny.)

Anonymous Bill Daytona November 26, 2017 6:06 AM  

Definitely, a gamma set off by something ... sheesh. Calm down, Mr. Atheist.

Let me take a crack at understanding Wilson. I tripped on the original Wilson quote. As an editor myself, I usually try to see first if the issue is the idea is inelegantly expressed. What is he trying to say?

Remember: In these paragraphs, Wilson is in a descriptive mode ... the underlying ideas don't have to make sense or be void of contradictions. They only need to exist, and be described correctly.

I would take issue with the idea that the worldview of science takes meaning from the accidents of history. I would say science is a method for discovering facts. It is an epistemology that creates stuff for the ontological swim lane.

"Meaning", in order usage, is neither in the epistemological nor ontological swim lane, in my humble opinion. Issues of significance, value, meaning are about Judgment, and Judgment is a different swim lane. It implies a Judge. In the domain of science, you epistemologically create facts that are an ontology, and then you head over to your axiological swim lane to judge.

I would agree with Wilson that some people use science to "judge" (as in confer) meaning on the accidents of history. This is a correct description of an aspect of human behavior, and people do it. Life is what you make of it, and all that. But it's not really a scientific thing, it's a Judgment used after scientific inquiry.

I would vote for inelegantly expressed and intellectually sloppy, because it omits the crucial issue of who is judging meaning. I would say that needs to be in the paragraph to express it better.

And I would read more to see if he adds this later.

My two cents.

Blogger Groggy November 26, 2017 6:08 AM  

Naturally - it widely acknowledged that the Supreme Dark Lord is nothing if not generous and boundlessly charitable.

Blogger VD November 26, 2017 6:29 AM  

I would vote for inelegantly expressed and intellectually sloppy, because it omits the crucial issue of who is judging meaning. I would say that needs to be in the paragraph to express it better.

We will see. I simply noted that this was a bad start. We will see if he salvages his starry reputation or not as the book proceeds. But I am not optimistic.

Blogger Phillip George November 26, 2017 6:36 AM  

language, all of it, is circular reasoning.

It takes the entire set of the English Lexicon to define the word "word" and the word "dictionary".

If you can read this don't thank a teacher, acknowledge God.

You cannot have the above without text, context, pretext, intention/ volition, sender and receiver. Syntax, semantics and medium.

It's proof of God. Reading is immaterial. And in so much as it is immaterial it proves "you" aren't alone.

Blogger Phillip George November 26, 2017 6:43 AM  

If the truth hurts, start agreeing with it.

http://yournewswire.com/9th-las-vegas-witness-dead/

the statistical improbability of deep state not existing is something approximating zero

ode to Roy

Blogger Zarathustra's Bastard November 26, 2017 6:57 AM  

"When the only possible foundation of your ethics is extrapolation from self-regard, there is nothing you can't justify"

You can get about as far as tribal bonds. I don't think you can have nations without gods, in the long run.

Blogger SciVo November 26, 2017 7:07 AM  

Azure Amaranthine wrote:"When the only possible foundation of your ethics is extrapolation from self-regard, there is nothing you can't justify."

We've been saying this since well before I was born for sure. The origin was probably millennia ago though if I were to trace it all the way back.


Well I've read St. Thomas Aquinas, so I thought it was possible I was unconsciously quoting him, and I looked but I can't find it. It's still possible that I was unconsciously quoting someone more recent, or maybe just didn't find the relevant Aquinas quote.

Blogger tublecane November 26, 2017 7:24 AM  

@9"language, all of it, is circular reasoning"

Language isn't reasoning. It's just a tool for communication and clarifying thoughts. It's not thought itself.

"It takes the entire set of the English Lexicon to define the word 'word' and the word 'dictionary'"

If you demand strict semantic absolutism, maybe. You look up "word," and you get is a bunch of words. All of which must be themselves defined. You look them up and still more words. Soon, you realize you have nothing but words to define words, and there's nothing outside the word-system to help you.

Or there is if you're a deconstivist, but they're only pretending. No one actually thinks like that. We don't look upon language as linguistic absolutists. No one looks up every word they encounter, including all the words used to describe words they already looked up, and get lost in a spiral of infinite regress in the dictionary.

That's not how we do it, except in postmodernist parodies. Most people are quite content knowing that should they want to learn the One, True meaning of "word," they'd have to resort to outside authorities like God.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine November 26, 2017 7:30 AM  

"It's still possible that I was unconsciously quoting someone more recent"

The concept that there is no moral framework for the atheist beyond what benefits themselves -- which I usually refer to as "hedonism" when I point out that Atheists can logically be nothing other than nihilistic(logical only) or hedonistic(solipsistic/selfish, effectively).

When referring to it possibly being millennia old, I was referring to a Biblical reference or possibly even a pre New-Testament reference from otherwise more secular sources. I'm not sure that there is one, but I would tend to heavily suspect that there is, given how simple and obvious the logic is for it. I wouldn't be surprised if an older reference comes at it from a slightly different and less easily recognized angle. I'll spend some time looking today.

Anonymous Mayonnaise November 26, 2017 7:38 AM  

"You can't not see intent and agency in everything ..."

When I come across double negatives like "can't not," I know I'm dealing with someone whose mind is hogtied by irrelevant complexities.

Either that or he's just showing off.

Blogger Daniel Paul Grech Pereira November 26, 2017 7:40 AM  

Atheism is a crutch for degenerate midwits.

Blogger SciVo November 26, 2017 7:41 AM  

Azure Amaranthine wrote:When referring to it possibly being millennia old, I was referring to a Biblical reference or possibly even a pre New-Testament reference from otherwise more secular sources. I'm not sure that there is one, but I would tend to heavily suspect that there is, given how simple and obvious the logic is for it. I wouldn't be surprised if an older reference comes at it from a slightly different and less easily recognized angle. I'll spend some time looking today.

Thank you. On further thought, I recall it as being a thing in college a couple decades ago that atheists resented as being hard to refute, but I don't recall where it came from precisely. Ideas float around.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine November 26, 2017 7:47 AM  

@tublecane, that's because people learn language from other people by observing objects and actions and sensations. Language isn't math, and even math is circular and/or based on tautologies -- which can be observed in operation in the real world.

Obviously a subset cannot define a superset. Language is not analytically complete because its foundation is reality and it is meaningless without it. Similarly, language does not define reality. Instead, reality defines language. Language only describes reality by comparison to other parts of reality.

Going further, because language describes reality and Atheists are in disagreement with everyone else about the most fundamental aspects of reality, language cannot -- at the most fundamental level -- get these concepts across to Atheists. They'll simply say that whatever you attempt to convey is not real in one aspect or another. Only things of God can change hearts, and the heart provides the contextual basis for the mind.

It's a megacosm of the microcosm of those Atheists who say that miracles do not happen because anything that has happened is not a miracle.

Blogger SciVo November 26, 2017 7:58 AM  

Phillip George wrote:If the truth hurts, start agreeing with it.

http://yournewswire.com/9th-las-vegas-witness-dead/

the statistical improbability of deep state not existing is something approximating zero

ode to Roy


The Derp State is arrogant, ignorant and incompetent. They can't even disprove that statement, because that would require pulling out records about how they violated the ethics and morals of the nation that they supposedly purported to represent.

The Derp State is doomed, because it has neither respect nor affection. It has contempt and hatred for Heritage America, which is returned in kind and with interest. It hates us, and we hate it back and then some.

Blogger SciVo November 26, 2017 8:24 AM  

(Pretty sure that wasn't in Aquinas.)

Blogger Robert What? November 26, 2017 8:35 AM  

I'm not sure which is worse. If there is no God, ie, there is neither intent nor agency in human existence then this plane is grim, gray and meaningless. If God does exist I have no doubt that I'll be spending eternity in Hell.

Blogger Rick November 26, 2017 8:35 AM  

The problem lies in the misuse of the word “accident”. There are no accidents. Every event or motion has a cause. Nothing is random (another misuse). It is how we assign value to the cause (meaning) whether it is simply physics or some agency of a living being or beings which caused the event or motion; when the cause is practically meaningless or unknown we simply call it an accident or random. But that is nonetheless incorrect.

Anonymous basementhomebrewer November 26, 2017 8:49 AM  

This is another example of your need to have a First Cause for everything.  It's just a more advanced version of the animism of savages.  You can't not see intent and agency in everything because it makes you insecure, and like the left's search for racism in society what you need to find will be found... somehow.

Can people just stop projecting for once? Mr. Rational suffers from the very thing he accuses Vox of suffering. He HAS to find a statement refuting the existence of God in the works of those he respects.Then he HAS to defend it with every ounce of his being.

Jesus himself could decend from heaven and tell Mr Rational that he is Christ and that Mr Rational should repent and tell other of his experience. Mr Rational would tell everyone that Jesus was really a space alien and this proves that God doesn't exist.

Anonymous CitizenOutkast November 26, 2017 8:52 AM  

I'm not sure which is worse. If there is no God, ie, there is neither intent nor agency in human existence then this plane is grim, gray and meaningless. If God does exist I have no doubt that I'll be spending eternity in Hell.

The latter. Definitely the latter.

Blogger wreckage November 26, 2017 8:56 AM  

Mr Rational has to hurry home anyway. Edward Feser is pleasuring Rational's wife even as we speak.

Blogger Robert What? November 26, 2017 8:57 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger SciVo November 26, 2017 9:03 AM  

Robert What? wrote:I think I agree with you, because even though I'll be in Hell, many will be saved. So that is good.

It isn't hard to accept Jesus's sacrifice for our sins. Except for the humility part, where we're so bad that it takes not just a goat, but Yahweh's only Son on the Cross to make up for it.

Anonymous Andy November 26, 2017 9:07 AM  

"Also notice how the triggered little gamma male immediately leaps to making the philosophy personal."

"You're too short for this ride, Mr. Rational. I will not again be rescuing your very stupid, very dishonest comments from the spam where they clearly belong"

Yeah.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan November 26, 2017 9:11 AM  

I'm a midwit, so my reading of Wilson's intro is that reading further would be a waste of time, that second paragraph you lifted out of his book is just word glop.

Wilson's time would have been better spent if when he had the chance by asking Gould and people just like Gould why they have fear and loathing of Galton.

IMO this just proves that the atheist gentiles are step-n-fetchit chumps.

Blogger Howard Stone November 26, 2017 9:11 AM  

So is there any guilt in determinism? If the Big Bang for instance was the cause of all causes and effects, and everything that has happened since then had been precisely determined, then how can we hold anyone accountable for anything. Unless the ideas or assumptions of guilt and accountability themselves are just part of the system, but still that would render them meaningless all the same.

Blogger Rick November 26, 2017 9:15 AM  

Azure — no, I do not mean deterministic. I believe there was/is a First Cause.
What I do not believe is that things happen by themselves, randomly, or by accident; one domino moved another, and so forth or a living being with free will or simply agency caused it to move.
Things happening by themselves, spontaneously, randomly, without cause is magical thinking.

Anonymous Ryan G November 26, 2017 9:17 AM  

@22 - I don't understand what you're arguing. This is definition of the word "accident":

"any event that happens unexpectedly, without a deliberate plan or cause."

Notice the key words "unexpectedly" and "deliberate".

Blogger Groggy November 26, 2017 9:18 AM  

"If God does exist I have no doubt that I'll be spending eternity in Hell."

It's not for us to make the final judgement, that is for God alone.

What we can do is to discern right from wrong, and identify sin. And clearly you are identifying yourself that way so you need to start dealing with that.

Check out Jesse Lee Peterson church service from last Sunday on this topic.
On Cheating, Guilt, Judgment, and Sin (Church, Nov 19)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gk21GHk2qV8

I found out about Jesse through Vox and Stefan Molyneux and he provides great online resources for Alt Right type people to get into Christianity (he's an Alt Right pastor essentially). This is his interview with Vox:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDv5DbrfS3Q

Blogger Azure Amaranthine November 26, 2017 9:20 AM  

"Azure — no, I do not mean deterministic. I believe there was/is a First Cause."

No worries. I've been up way too much recently. Occasionally that makes me pretend to talk to other people while I'm actually just talking to myself. Please ignore, haha.

Anonymous Ryan G November 26, 2017 9:23 AM  

@31 Never mind, you answered it while I was posting.

Blogger SciVo November 26, 2017 9:25 AM  

Howard Stone wrote:So is there any guilt in determinism? If the Big Bang for instance was the cause of all causes and effects, and everything that has happened since then had been precisely determined, then how can we hold anyone accountable for anything. Unless the ideas or assumptions of guilt and accountability themselves are just part of the system, but still that would render them meaningless all the same.

Interestingly, a dynamic complex system allows for free will, because you just don't know which way the ball is going fall on the peaked roof until it does. And that's a super simple example.

So not all materialism is deterministic, but it's still all masturbatory because it posits no other reason. There can be no meaning but what you assign.

So there is no guilt except what you assign. And that's why no one trusts atheists.

Blogger Koanic November 26, 2017 9:32 AM  

> So is there any guilt in determinism?

No. (And "No, FFS" to those who argue otherwise.) There is no free will in determinism, BY DEFINITION. It is all just Clockwork Orange sadism by a demonic creator god, who decided he wanted to watch children get sodomized to death because reasons.

Just because your free will is not powerful enough to mind over matter a .38 caliber slug to the temple doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Blogger Howard Stone November 26, 2017 9:39 AM  

In a univere without a God who is not confined by that same universe but exists outside of it and can be separate from it can there be true consciousness and free will? I might add here that I have a very limited definition of freedom. As insignificant as we are in this vast universe, people do have free will but it is very limited. We are presented with circumstances mostly beyond our control and ultimately our decisions are limited by those circumstances. Really the only free will we have would only exist in a universe created by a God, and that freewill would only allow us basically one choice to make freely, to choose to make God’s will our own, or to spend our lives as pawns unknowingly in most cases of the devil, in the Christian tradition of course.

So free will is really only the freedom to conform to God’s will. Thy will be done. And this is perhaps the most significant or meaningful conscious decision we can make in our lives.

But as I was saying, a universe without God is truly a universe without consciousness or freewill. What we believe are consciousness and freewill are merely effects of ancient uncaring, unthinking, ancient causes and so on
Even the belief that we have conciousness and free will is only an effect of many these many ancient causes. The idea of life is also problematic, because basically we are all just atoms or neutrons that just happen to have been arranged together in a certain pattern, and all of this was determined by ancient causes which whet determined ultimately by the Big Bang. We would essentially be zombies.

It goes back to the famous analogy of an exploding grenade, if you video taped it, and rewound it and played it back in slow motion, from your vantage point you would believe that the final resting place of every price of shrapnel was determined by the first cause of the initial explosion. But we forget that there was a person who with purpose and intent pulled the pin and aimed and threw the grenade. But this view of the universe is ultimately void of life, love, compassion etc.. because all those things are just more effects of causes and thus not what we believe them to be at all, and this way of thinking ultimately leads down a very dark path towards despair and insanity in my honest opinion.

Anonymous Forrest Bishop November 26, 2017 9:40 AM  

I'll guess that he was kept around so long for purposes of demonstration- don't be that guy.

Here he is expressing a desire to burn one of those awful electric-current deniers at the stake-
http://voxday.blogspot.com/2017/11/book-review-sapiens-by-yuval-harari.html#c1043091416487462902
...an aggressively idiotic crank who can't even be bothered to test his assumptions with basic, well-known scientific facts he should long since have learned. I'd love to tie him to a stake, surround it with kindling and set it ablaze just for the ability to say "The stupid, he burns."

A couple days later-
http://voxday.blogspot.com/2017/11/two-american-badasses.html#c7528758920785728225
You can't tell a Christian from an ex-Christian atheist by looking at them. That seems to be the only thing that stops some of the folks here from going on murder sprees.

Blogger Phunctor November 26, 2017 9:40 AM  

We exercise free will from Eternity, a POV "beside" Being. It's like editing a movie reel from the side, with perfect continuity.

(Jump cuts are cheap tricks. St Anselm's God doesn't do cheap tricks.)

When we *decide* we call into Being the historic and necessary "causes" of our decision. The books balance, and always will had.

Blogger Robert What? November 26, 2017 9:40 AM  

I'm saying I have no doubt I'm going to Hell because I'm not one of the Elect. Not for anything specific. God has granted me the knowledge but not the Grace. If that makes sense.

Blogger SciVo November 26, 2017 9:49 AM  

@41: Oh you silly goose, all you have to do is ask for the Grace. And all it takes for that is the humility to accept the sacrifice that you don't deserve.

Blogger Howard Stone November 26, 2017 9:51 AM  

Amen.

Anonymous ZhukovG November 26, 2017 10:02 AM  

Mr. Rational demonstrates that atheists are as religious as the rest of us. Leaping, at times irrationally, to the defense of favored Rabbis.

This is also why atheists, unfettered by transcendental concerns, produce societies so oppressive and murderous as to shock a Wahhabist Imam.

Blogger Brad Matthews November 26, 2017 10:14 AM  

#2

Blogger Brad Matthews November 26, 2017 10:18 AM  

Close to the second coming, although he won't be preaching repentence. The nation's turn to fight the alien invaders.

Blogger tz November 26, 2017 10:23 AM  

There seems to be a tendency of gammas and SJWs to personalize.
They attack the person.
We attack the argument, ideas, errors.
They take it as an attack on the person.
Even smart people make mistakes or write bad prose.

Blogger Brad Matthews November 26, 2017 10:25 AM  

BS. Grace is on the table,you just won't accept it. Result is the same though. Going to write a blog post soon on a possible concept for hell, you will not be amused.

Blogger artensoll November 26, 2017 10:43 AM  

5. Koanic "An atheist who thinks his three pounds of pink chimp jello is rational?

Mr. Rational becomes Mr. Spam - accurately described at last! You will note the objective correspondences of taste, texture, consistency, and value."

I love your work, Koanic but that just made me throw up a little bit in my mouth.

#triggered

Blogger Arthur Isaac November 26, 2017 10:51 AM  

The jab at the significance of commenting is ironic. Mr. Rational, proponent of chaotic neutral.

Embrace the chaos for maximal intellectual honesty and eat your own tail in the process. This is of course a losing proposition so instead we get posing.

Anonymous Jack Amok November 26, 2017 11:03 AM  

Wilson is one of the patron saints of environmentalism. Not sure if he's a warmingmonger or not, but I guess our resident AGW enthusiast couldn't stand for the dismissal.

Blogger Dire Badger November 26, 2017 11:12 AM  

Man, I have gotten into more arguments with that dork here....Nasty arguments, not polite disagreements.

Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

Blogger Dave November 26, 2017 11:13 AM  

I often wonder how much editorial input happens in cases such as this. Who at Liveright Publishing Corporation would question this author? Imean, the cover of the book even reminds us that Mr. Wilson is the Winner of a Pulitzer Prize.

Blogger VFM #7634 November 26, 2017 11:16 AM  

I'm saying I have no doubt I'm going to Hell because I'm not one of the Elect. Not for anything specific. God has granted me the knowledge but not the Grace. If that makes sense.

@41 Robert What?
St. Francis de Sales thought that way for a long time too. Maybe you should ask him for guidance.

Blogger Robert What? November 26, 2017 11:16 AM  

You won't be telling me anything I don't already know. Only the Elect are saved and I am not one of them.

Blogger Dire Badger November 26, 2017 11:17 AM  

Brad Matthews wrote:BS. Grace is on the table,you just won't accept it. Result is the same though. Going to write a blog post soon on a possible concept for hell, you will not be amused.

I thought Hell was fairly simple.

Being outside of the presence of God.

As to whether that is because you are denied for being a rotten person, or whether your own pride keeps you from repenting, That is an exercise for Theologians.

Blogger Dave November 26, 2017 11:20 AM  

I'm unclear as to whether this only concerns comments that already happen to be spammed by Google such as was occurring yesterday, or is the commentor now banned and spammed? I'm inclined to think it is the former.

Anonymous BBGKB November 26, 2017 11:24 AM  

OT:
“If you go through history, almost everyone is guilty of sleeping with minors. Why not throw everyone in jail right away?”-Morrissey

Also championed veganism and compared eating meat to the Holocaust.
http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-42050512

OTT: NYT reporter prefers 10yo boys in makeup to women.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/22/style/his-eye-makeup-is-way-better-than-yours.html

Blogger Dire Badger November 26, 2017 11:27 AM  

@#38 Howard Stone-

Darned well put. Free will can exist only in ignorance of outcomes, which begs the question- Does God, with perfect knowledge, even possess free will? Maybe our ignorance is his greatest possible gift to us, his children... Kinda like your pop wants you to have every benefit HE didn't grow up with, even if that means your life is harder than his.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine November 26, 2017 11:28 AM  

"It is all just Clockwork Orange sadism by a demonic creator god"

Yeah, something like that. Of course, we wouldn't have the latitude to criticize that either really if it were the case. He'd still be in the right. Still doesn't sit right with me, obviously.

#Predestination_can't_matter.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine November 26, 2017 11:34 AM  

"Does God, with perfect knowledge, even possess free will?"

Free will and the concept of choices only have meaning (to us) within the context of time, something I am convinced God is external to.

"the same yesterday, today, and forever".

Outside of time? We've no possible context to even understand how that works, except to say that things that depend on the passage of time to function can't exist the way we understand them.

There's really no use thinking about it. It's a subset of trying to mentally grasp infinity. Mortal humans can't possibly do it in and of themselves.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine November 26, 2017 11:41 AM  

To put it another way, our only way to think about "outside of time" from within time is to imagine "no time passing". This is precisely the opposite of how it would actually work.

Yeah, no. My brain doesn't work that way no matter how many times I read the Chronicles of Narnia.

Blogger Dire Badger November 26, 2017 11:44 AM  

@Azure-
Sometimes people need comforting too. Thinking of God as a Father figure that wants you to do well has vastly more relevance and approachability than considering him an alien, incomprehesible, extradimensional entity.
If we are made in God's image, isn't it logical to assume that some of the personality traits that affect us affect him as well? We all wish to be understood, why wouldn't he?

I don't think questioning God's mind is sacrilege, only claiming to 'Know' it is.

Blogger Howard Stone November 26, 2017 11:51 AM  

@Dire Badger, Is God free or can God be free of his own will? Is that the right question? Perhaps it could be answered no, but he understood in the way that God and God’s will are inseparable, God’s will is a part of what defines God an attribute of God that makes God, God, going back to John’s gospel, In the beginning was the word, the word was with God and the word was God. God’s will is expressed through his word and his word or the expression of his will is also God. It is said that God’s will is perfect and therefore God is perfect, it seems God and His will are interdependent.

Anonymous krymneth November 26, 2017 12:00 PM  

Robert What? wrote:You won't be telling me anything I don't already know. Only the Elect are saved and I am not one of them.

I hear the lies of the Adversary in your words. This is what the Lord says (a phrase I use very, very carefully): Romans 10:9-13, If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

I've linked the entire chapter. I strongly recommend spending some time with it. If you are being told something contrary to the Word of God by another source, it is not of the Lord.

Blogger Nakota Publishing November 26, 2017 12:01 PM  

Does the word "meaning" have meaning or is "meaning", like life, ultimately meaningless?

Anonymous LurkingPuppy November 26, 2017 12:07 PM  

Mr. Rational, if you're still reading the comments here, I'm in your area and I would like to get in contact with you. I can't set up a dummy e-mail address to post here right now, but Vox or Matthew might be willing to forward an e-mail to me.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine November 26, 2017 12:09 PM  

"Thinking of God as a Father figure that wants you to do well has vastly more relevance and approachability than considering him an alien, incomprehesible, extradimensional entity."

This is exactly why I said there's no point trying to think about the reality of the thing -- because you can't. He says He cares about us, so we just have to take Him at His word.

"We all wish to be understood, why wouldn't he?"

I can't argue either for or against the "lonely God" hypothesis. Sure, why not? As long as we don't start making decisions or proclamations based on ascribing Him human attributes there's no harm in it.

"It is said that God’s will is perfect and therefore God is perfect"

God's will is manifest.

That being said, a lot of people think that there's only one perfect choice or one perfect aspect/etc. This is in my mind a mistake based on seeing so many sins (errors) that we could easily fall into compared to only being able to humanly focus on one part of perfection at a time. How can we say that there are not multiple aspects and multiple modes of perfection? Multiple "correct" choices? Someone put a boot in my face if I'm being stupid here.

It is said at one point in Revelation that there are at least seven Spirits of God that go throughout the Earth. Whether these are best understood as aspects or manifest emanations of a supernal entity or "faces" or even just different motivations or what, I have no idea. That's a question for better theologians than me if it's even answerable.

OpenID markstoval November 26, 2017 12:10 PM  

They taught me in science class that everything has a cause. So, I have trouble believing that the universe just popped into existence.

I don't know what caused the existence of whatever came first; I just call that God and let my faith tell me what God might be like. I don't necessarily think the Christian God is like most people conceive of --- but that is my personal belief and I feel no need to defend it. Believe what you will.

I have never met many real atheists. I have met many agnostics who don't know what to believe but can't rule out God. I hope they find their faith in the end.

Blogger Beau November 26, 2017 12:43 PM  

Only the Elect are saved and I am not one of them.

How do you KNOW this? You can know you are at this very moment separated from God by your sin, but you are given no warrant about tomorrow; just like everyone else you can choose to believe and call on his name for salvation. If you don't - that's your choice. If you do choose, it is revealed on Earth you are part of the Elect, even if you thought that impossible before making that decision. You sound like an alcoholic making excuses about not getting sober.

Blogger OGRE November 26, 2017 12:53 PM  

And thus is the insidiousness of the Calvinist doctrine--convincing those who do believe that they are lost.

Blogger Metric November 26, 2017 1:01 PM  

Thanks to Bill Daytona:

>I would agree with Wilson that some people use science to "judge" (as in confer) meaning on the accidents of history. This is a correct description of an aspect of human behavior, and people do it. Life is what you make of it, and all that. But it's not really a scientific thing, it's a Judgment used after scientific inquiry.

This is far and away the best description of what Wilson was doing in the quoted paragraph. E.g. "the chicxulub impact at the end of the Cretaceous was a meaningful event in the history of life on the earth." People do it all the time, as more-or-less a synonym for significance, as suggested by Mr. Rational. Perhaps Wilson wants to push this much farther, which the context would help to clarify. The multiple blog posts, cheap insinuations and arguments, etc. are revealing -- this is a simple thing.

Anonymous Gen. Kong November 26, 2017 1:06 PM  

Phillip George wrote:

If the truth hurts, start agreeing with it.

9th Witness to Las Vegas Shooting Dead

the statistical improbability of deep state not existing is something approximating zero

ode to Roy


The sad irony is that mentioning things like this to most of the clueless idiots who are glued to the jujubox or busy finding themselves on Faceberg gets you instantly labeled as a "conspiracy crackpot". Don't be the first to stop applauding, tovarishch.

Blogger Howard Stone November 26, 2017 1:13 PM  

@Metric, aren’t judgements synonymous with assumptions though?

Blogger Howard Stone November 26, 2017 1:29 PM  

The 144,000 elect refer to members of the twelve tribes of Israel and the role they play in end times. It doesn’t mean that only the elect get into heaven and escape hell. Read all of Rev. Chapter 7, right after the 144,000 are discussed, we read about ,

9 ...a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

These were people in heaven with God, a great number of people that could not be counted as opposed to the 144,000 who could be counted. Both groups are together in Heaven with God.

Anonymous JAG November 26, 2017 1:30 PM  

markstoval wrote:They taught me in science class that everything has a cause. So, I have trouble believing that the universe just popped into existence.

I don't know what caused the existence of whatever came first; I just call that God and let my faith tell me what God might be like. I don't necessarily think the Christian God is like most people conceive of --- but that is my personal belief and I feel no need to defend it. Believe what you will.

I have never met many real atheists. I have met many agnostics who don't know what to believe but can't rule out God. I hope they find their faith in the end.



There are two types of atheist.

1) The gamma who uses it to attempt to look superior to others (i.e. Secret King). They choose atheism for nothing more than the belief that it makes them intellectually superior, or somehow more brave.

2) The Satanist who is trying to convince the world he doesn't exist.

Anonymous Gen. Kong November 26, 2017 1:31 PM  

Dave wrote:

I often wonder how much editorial input happens in cases such as this. Who at Liveright Publishing Corporation would question this author? Imean, the cover of the book even reminds us that Mr. Wilson is the Winner of a Pulitzer Prize.

Just like Walter Duranty.

Anonymous JAG November 26, 2017 1:37 PM  

Dire Badger wrote:@Azure-

Sometimes people need comforting too. Thinking of God as a Father figure that wants you to do well has vastly more relevance and approachability than considering him an alien, incomprehesible, extradimensional entity.

If we are made in God's image, isn't it logical to assume that some of the personality traits that affect us affect him as well? We all wish to be understood, why wouldn't he?

I don't think questioning God's mind is sacrilege, only claiming to 'Know' it is.


A better understanding of God is to know that the human mind cannot place limits on God because it is incapable of doing so. Attempting to put God in a box, or define attributes is to chase red herrings.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab November 26, 2017 1:45 PM  

@76 Jag you've forgotten the, 'mad at daddy, it's not fair crowd.' I've only known a few atheists all but one were just mad at daddy. It's not fair because I want to commit, 'X' sin (usually some sexual perversion).

They would throw in what kind of loving God, blah, blah, blah. But it boiled down to sin. The other guy was genuinely sad there was no God. He was always subtly depressed.

The depressed guy was the most honest atheist I met.

Blogger Metric November 26, 2017 1:52 PM  

@Howard Stone

>@Metric, aren’t judgements synonymous with assumptions though?

A judgement is the output of a process that contains assumptions. But a judgement could also be used as the input assumptions of some further analysis.

As a related example, someone (Carl Sagan?) did this with the "cosmic calendar," and the particular events chosen were judged "meaningful" enough for inclusion, in Wilson's use of the word. The current state of the background science is the set of input assumptions, and the process of judging (conferring meaning) is done by whoever was putting together the cosmic calendar. But perhaps someone else could use the cosmic calendar itself as an input assumption to make some further judgement.

Anonymous AB.Prosper November 26, 2017 1:55 PM  

Azure Amaranthine wrote:"When the only possible foundation of your ethics is extrapolation from self-regard, there is nothing you can't justify."

We've been saying this since well before I was born for sure. The origin was probably millennia ago though if I were to trace it all the way back.


Just to note I'm not an not an Atheist in case anyone thinks so. Atheism using the definition I was taught, a certitude there is no God might as well be a religion and while most of that lot are secular humanists, *spit* many have no moral code of any kind, Even the Church of Satan or Wicca have more teachings on morality than that.

Not trusting atheists is probably sound though its a function of a more religious high trust Western civilization. Otherwise you don't trust anyone and what God or Gods they believe in matters little.

Self justification too is a human thing and while religions with well codified ethical systems are resistant to it, the ability to rationalize nearly anything is not unique to Atheists either.

What religion does is provide a stereotype of behavior that people can extrapolate from and Christianity in particular as its practiced increases trust levels quite a bit. Its a very positive religion. I am pretty sure its the only one that does other than Heathenry or maybe Buddhism , maybe

That said while I would not have been so abrasive on someone else's blog, it is true that lack of knowledge of a First Cause does not mandate a first mover or any kind of religion . Human cognitive and sensory capacity is very limited as is our knowledge base

Atheism on its face though is absurd, A "rational" person can be a hard agnostic , i.e the evidence is against Gods but it can't be proven but never an Atheist

Oh and one last thing. I do hope you'll un-spam Mr Rational at some point. I enjoyed his commentary when he has enough sense to show a bit of respect on someone else's blog.

Anonymous JAG November 26, 2017 1:59 PM  

Brick Hardslab wrote:@76 Jag you've forgotten the, 'mad at daddy, it's not fair crowd.' I've only known a few atheists all but one were just mad at daddy. It's not fair because I want to commit, 'X' sin (usually some sexual perversion).

They would throw in what kind of loving God, blah, blah, blah. But it boiled down to sin. The other guy was genuinely sad there was no God. He was always subtly depressed.

The depressed guy was the most honest atheist I met.


I'd argue that the sad guy was more of a pessimistic agnostic. I've been there, and done that. It falls under the "it figures" type of pessimism. Under depression, you reason that there must not be a god, because that is the worst possible outcome. Deep down, they are merely unsure, and thus, not a true atheist.

Blogger Arthur Isaac November 26, 2017 2:11 PM  

The 144,000 elect refer to members of the twelve tribes of Israel and the role they play in end times.

What 12 tribes? If you are using OT (Ezra) definitions there AREN'T 12 tribes. Maybe Jesus meant something else?

Anonymous Gen. Kong November 26, 2017 2:23 PM  

OT, but a good read for those interested in the whole 'right/left' question, which might be a good topic for some future 'Voxiversity' project.

Blogger Metric November 26, 2017 2:27 PM  

@AB.Prosper

>Atheism using the definition I was taught, a certitude there is no God might as well be a religion...

I was also taught that definition, but I don't think it's actually standard usage, unless you're in church. Atheist is shorthand for "not a theist," and is not a truth claim on reality. Of course there are plenty of atheists who will make a truth claim that there are exactly zero gods, but also plenty who will not. It is inclusive of agnostics.

It would be most convenient if everyone would subscribe to a specific "truth claim" label (in analogy with theist), and a seperate "I'm not one of these other guys" label, but we're not so lucky. Certain people have a clear interest in keeping the waters muddy.

Anonymous Rum November 26, 2017 2:44 PM  

My take on this is simple: People like Wilson realize, on some level, that stone cold nihilism leads quickly to many extremely dark places. And that this often leads a genuine thinking-feeling person to understand that no one can really live in that kind of darkness and that the only available choices come down to embracing faith or ceasing to live.
Since Wilson et al fear the consequences of people in general embracing faith, they do whatever they can to blur the issue.
In other words, they realize that the only way to de-legitimize faith is to hide the consequences of the nihilism that they imagine is necessary to fully legitimize their scientism.
Exactly why they are so strongly motivated to do this is another question.

Anonymous Gen. Kong November 26, 2017 2:58 PM  

OGRE wrote:
And thus is the insidiousness of the Calvinist doctrine--convincing those who do believe that they are lost.

Yes, Team Calvin tends to get like that - along with endless 'angels on the head of a pin' type arguments over topics like double pre-destination. Most Calvinists are cucked by now anyway. Judeo-Christ, the Godess Kalergi and other die-ver-city gods are increasingly found enshrined there. That said, I cannot think of a single denomination or non-denomination which does not have the same problem with convergence. Some are more de-centralized so there are individual churches which might not be converged.

Anonymous Name November 26, 2017 3:01 PM  

"OT, but a good read for those interested in the whole 'right/left' question, which might be a good topic for some future 'Voxiversity' project."

Has Vox seen some of those articles? They specifically mention him in other articles commenting on his debate with Anglin. I am surprised Vox hasn't attacked by now.


Blogger Snidely Whiplash November 26, 2017 3:04 PM  

tublecane wrote:Most people are quite content knowing that should they want to learn the One, True meaning of "word," they'd have to resort to outside authorities like God.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. --St. John
Of course you can't define "word".

Rick wrote:There are no accidents. Every event or motion has a cause. Nothing is random (another misuse).
Dr. Heisenberg would like a word with you. Neutron decay is specifically and provably random.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash November 26, 2017 3:05 PM  

Robert What? wrote:If God does exist I have no doubt that I'll be spending eternity in Hell.
Nobody likes a braggart.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine November 26, 2017 3:05 PM  

@Metric:

#1: "Life is what you make of it, and all that. But it's not really a scientific thing, it's a Judgment used after scientific inquiry."

Life is only what you make of it if you can justify to yourself that there is no God, otherwise, God defines it. In addition, it's not a judgement used after scientific inquiry. That would heavily imply that it were the logical or rational conclusion, both of which are untrue. It's a judgement applied prior to scientific inquiry because its results are thought to be convenient.

#2: "This is far and away the best description of what Wilson was doing in the quoted paragraph."

No, it's bull. What he's doing in the quoted paragraph is trying to inaccurately redefine the word "meaning" to fit whatever his a-priori context may be (likely Atheistic).

"People do it all the time, as more-or-less a synonym for significance"

Not really. Typically they would say "meaningful" if they intended to use it that way. Either way it doesn't matter. Both significance and meaning are contextual. In the absence of any objective mandate/denominator there is no meaning. In the absence of meaning nothing has ultimately objective significance.

"The multiple blog posts, cheap insinuations and arguments, etc. are revealing -- this is a simple thing."

Simple indeed. It's plain and simple wormtonguery. The cheap insinuation and false argument are on the part of the author you're attempting to defend. It's like claiming that good and evil can be defined objectively by an Atheist -- they simply can't. It will always, ALWAYS boil down to "what the Atheist feels/thinks is good for him". Anything apparently else is simple accession to social pressures in the service of convenience/safety/camouflage/habit of the Atheist.

#3: Atheist means "without God" rather literally. Most people who are unsure will classify themselves as agnostic "without knowledge". However, there are a fair number actual Atheists who like to try to play the bandwagon fallacy while simultaneously lying and claiming that self-professed agnostics are Atheists. There are actually some dictionaries they've managed to twist to that end.

Anecdotally, I've never met a person who out and out said they were Atheist also said they didn't know if there were a God... every single one said that God was absurd or a fairy-tale or a crutch. On the other hand, I've seen multiple surveys with no agnostic option, especially on college campuses. I'm sure that happens completely by accident.

Blogger Rashadjin November 26, 2017 3:13 PM  

He cannot accept that "one of the greatest minds of our age" is either incorrect or lying

This is a quibble, somewhat.

There is a third option that is incredibly difficult for intellectuals to learn and accept, speaking from experience. Bill Daytona's 'axiological swim lane' is the hint.

Most of what this sort of thing boils down to is someone trying to square the circle of faith. They'll deny the faith part, but it's logic arising from baseline axiomatic assumptions that undergird their mental construction of the world. It's not a lie, and it's not exactly incorrect. It's 'this is as close as I can get to answering this question' based on what they believe. Post-hoc rationalization of the faith assumptions. That this 'most correct' rationalization requires some silliness is a mark against the faith axioms rather than the person, because faith trumps logic in the human mind. Faith creates its own sort of logic in the human mind. And basically no one is aware of it when they're doing it to themselves.

Do not be angry or with contempt, for they know not what they do.

Anonymous Rum November 26, 2017 3:16 PM  

Snidely
Not being able to see the cause is not the same as true randomness.
Besides, these kind of issues can never resolve the nihilism vs not nihilism question.

Anonymous JAG November 26, 2017 3:19 PM  

Snidely Whiplash wrote:

Dr. Heisenberg would like a word with you. Neutron decay is specifically and provably random.


A random number generator can be programmed on a computer. The output is random, but the system had a cause. The random number would not exist without cause (the programmer).

Blogger Azure Amaranthine November 26, 2017 3:22 PM  

"Dr. Heisenberg would like a word with you. Neutron decay is specifically and provably random."

Perceptibly/functionally random is not quite the same as actually provably random. That's an infinitely high hurdle to jump to prove it.

"It's 'this is as close as I can get to answering this question' based on what they believe."

It's entirely possible to think and reason from a perspective not your own. He didn't even try. He just went ahead and stated his perspective as if it were truth, even though within his own framework he knows (or really ought to) that he can't actually prove it.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash November 26, 2017 3:24 PM  

Metric wrote:Perhaps Wilson wants to push this much farther, which the context would help to clarify. The multiple blog posts, cheap insinuations and arguments, etc. are revealing -- this is a simple thing.
Wilson was doing a cheap bait-and-switch, with paragraph after paragraph of bafflegab in a lame attempt to distract the reader.
The essence of his argument was "All of this meaninglessness adds up to meaning. An endless contatenation of zeros equals one."

Anonymous Gen. Kong November 26, 2017 3:26 PM  

Name wrote:
"OT, but a good read for those interested in the whole 'right/left' question, which might be a good topic for some future 'Voxiversity' project."

Has Vox seen some of those articles? They specifically mention him in other articles commenting on his debate with Anglin. I am surprised Vox hasn't attacked by now.


I have no idea of who Vox visits except for his references to Sailer and some other folks at Unz, which is a very eclectic place (there are leftists there too, though often of the unconventional type). The article referenced is from Colin Liddell's site - he took the name (Alternative Right) originally held by Spencer. I've not seen any real attacks on VD at Liddell's place though you can see criticisms at Sepncer's site (Alt-Right.com), Hunter Wallace (Occidental Dissent), Z-Man and elsewhere. BTW at Spencer's present site, they have an article which covers a Happy Thanksgiving message from a Nobel-prize winner (((economist))) VD has referenced in the past, who writes for the Carlos Slime blog. The dissident blogosphere is quite widespread and I'm not even mentioning longstanding places like V-Dare, AmRen, etc.

Blogger Howard Stone November 26, 2017 3:36 PM  

@Arthur Isaac, Read Rev 7 all twelve tribes are named. 12,000 elect come from each tribe to equal 144,000.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener November 26, 2017 3:42 PM  

Smartest guy in the room. At Harvard.

Blogger Metric November 26, 2017 3:53 PM  

@Azure

>Simple indeed. It's plain and simple wormtonguery. The cheap insinuation and false argument are on the part of the author you're attempting to defend.

Huh? The quoted paragraph made no insinuation and wasn't even an argument, but a simple description of a shade of "meaning" that scientists sometimes make. It might be useful or not, or perhaps go nowhere -- I don't know. But that's not what people are saying.

>#3: Atheist means "without God" rather literally. Most people who are unsure will classify themselves as agnostic "without knowledge". However, there are a fair number actual Atheists who like to try to play the bandwagon fallacy while simultaneously lying and claiming that self-professed agnostics are Atheists. There are actually some dictionaries they've managed to twist to that end.

"without god" is still not a truth claim on reality, but is an apt description of someone with a general lack of theistic truth claims.

You could be right about agnostic as the most common descriptor for generalized non-belief, but I don't think so. I used to call myself agnostic for that reason, but then I talked to a bunch of people and changed my terminology because such expectations turned out to be wrong.

In your experience, who tends to want to use a generic descriptor for lack of theistic belief as a label for absurdly specific truth-claims on reality? Is it those people who also happen to make absurdly specific truth-claims on reality? From where I'm sitting, it sure is, and the reason is transparent.

Anonymous Causal Lurker November 26, 2017 3:56 PM  

Snidely, Dr. Pauli wishes a word first about unintended experimental effects caused by unexplained interactions with the observer. The other exclusion principle was "keep Wolfgang away from this, it's critical."

Observing true randomness requires infinite time and infinite space. Who has infinite time and infinite survey of all space?

Anonymous Alice De Goon November 26, 2017 4:02 PM  

@76
There are two types of atheist.

1) The gamma who uses it to attempt to look superior to others (i.e. Secret King). They choose atheism for nothing more than the belief that it makes them intellectually superior, or somehow more brave.

2) The Satanist who is trying to convince the world he doesn't exist.

I would add:

3) The midwit liberal who rejects God because He is a meaniehead who won't let her gay theater friends marry. This third type of atheist is perfectly happy to live in a community with Christian values and has absolutely no intellectual curiosity about the philosophical implications behind their atheism. Point out to this type of atheist that a purely material world produces enough physical and mental differences between the races to call into question the nonmaterialist belief that they are equal in all things, and they'll call you a racist.

Blogger Lazarus November 26, 2017 4:04 PM  

Snidely Whiplash wrote:The essence of his argument was "All of this meaninglessness adds up to meaning. An endless contatenation of zeros equals one."

Sounds like the Russian collusion investigation.

Anonymous Stickwick November 26, 2017 4:07 PM  

Rick: There are no accidents. Every event or motion has a cause. Nothing is random (another misuse).

Snidely Whiplash: Dr. Heisenberg would like a word with you. Neutron decay is specifically and provably random.

Take care to distinguish between random in the meaningless sense and random in the physics sense. Random in the physics sense means not precisely predictable, but it doesn’t necessarily mean causeless.

It’s true that we can’t predict precisely when an individual neutron will decay, but we know that beta decay occurs when certain conditions are met (an overabundance of a certain type of nucleon) and by a certain mechanism (the weak interaction). If an event requires specific conditions and a mechanism in order to happen, it has a cause. The same goes for the production of virtual particles, another phenomenon that superficially seems causeless but isn't.

It’s important to understand this, because atheists frequently try to confuse Christians by misusing quantum concepts like spontaneous decay and the production of virtual particles as proof that not everything needs a cause. That's a common but bogus way to undermine the argument that God is necessary to explain the universe.

Blogger Rashadjin November 26, 2017 4:34 PM  

It's entirely possible to think and reason from a perspective not your own. He didn't even try. He just went ahead and stated his perspective as if it were truth, even though within his own framework he knows (or really ought to) that he can't actually prove it.

True, but from their perspective, their perspective is truth. Going ahead and stating it as a universal truth is what people do when dancing to the tune of relativism after all ('my truth' when you out argue me and 'truth' when you can't). And providing a proof for the unprovable is how children of the Enlightenment comfort themselves at night.

I have no idea what's being taught at Harvard, but the cultural milieu these people swim in suggests that a lot of 'ought's have been downgraded to 'when convenient', mostly as a matter of skewering other people that prove annoying to their high-minded sensibilities.

Anonymous Marvin Boggs November 26, 2017 4:52 PM  

@21: God does exist. Hell exists as the default eternal state for every last one of us. But God, in his mercy, has provided every last one of us with an alternative eternity. Get yourself a Bible and read the Gospel of John.

There is no reason to spend eternity anywhere but Heaven.

Anonymous Marvin Boggs November 26, 2017 4:58 PM  

@59: For your consideration, Psalm 115:3 (NIV) "Our God is in heaven; He does whatever pleases Him."

Sounds like free will to me.

Blogger Arthur Isaac November 26, 2017 7:20 PM  

@Hoeard Stone, do you have any idea where they might be coming from? They were annihilated by the Assyrians as promised by God.

@Howard Stone. Where is the tribe of Dan? When you read the book of Revelation literally (even more than the rest of the Bible) you end up looking like a moron. Also, the city of Jerusalem is identified as the Great Harlot, and Sodom and Egypt in the book of Revelation. What do you do with these parts?

Dispensationalism is stupid and is a core tenant of Churchianity.

Anonymous Avalanche November 26, 2017 7:55 PM  

@70 "If you do choose, it is revealed on Earth you are part of the Elect, even if you thought that impossible before making that decision. You sound like an alcoholic making excuses about not getting sober."

Reading his comment, I had more of a sense of a dog being left "at the farm" watching his family drive away. Confused, rejected, baffled, sad. "Left behind" for ... "God"? ... only knows what reason?

I have a dear friend who is 'of the Elect' and he teases our Catholic friend (one who believes Pio Nono should be declared the patron saint of nukes) about not being such. (I just watch: I'm baffled by them both.)

Blogger SirHamster November 26, 2017 8:00 PM  

Mr. Rational doubles down. Who didn't see that coming?

Those of you who think of him as a truth seeker are perceiving something that I don't. But hope there is still.

Blogger VD November 26, 2017 8:11 PM  

Mr. Rational doubles down. Who didn't see that coming?

Every single time applies to gammas too. They never grasp that it isn't an insult, it is a label that applies to observed behavior.

"I'm not triggered, YOU'RE triggered! YOU'RE the ankle-biter! YOU'RE insecure! YOU'RE the one who fantasizes about Justin Bieber massaging your back!"

They expose their naked psyches without ever realizing how they're doing it.

Blogger Howard Stone November 26, 2017 8:14 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Scott November 26, 2017 8:24 PM  

Mr Rational wrote:

"You are more than bright enough to have written "What Human Existence Actually Is", but you're playing to your normie-level readers who eat up the outgroup-and-ridicule just like leftards do their point-and-shriek. It's the same psychology at work."

You still don't get it. Whether it is 'The Actual Is of Human Existence' or 'What Human Existence Actually Is' makes no difference. They read the same. This doesn't make your case. You're clearly caught up on the word substitution instead of the explanation.

Like all of your examples, meaning is what a mind gives them. The item or event itself has no meaning. To claim that all the events that have happened up to this point are collectively the 'meaning of human existence' is either stupid or deceptive. You choose.

"Somehow I don't think he'd take it that way, if he ever deigned to notice you."

And anyone cares what you think he thinks? Are all your comments about things you can't clearly know?

"There's only one reason for you to post on the subject, which you claim to despise. Ankle-biting."

Love the clear logic here. Oh right, there is no actual argument for this.

"I honestly meant every word I wrote. Perhaps I'm wrong, but you're not making a convincing case. I can make a better case that you're the one triggered here."

Then make either case. You failed one and didn't attempt the other.

"Thus creating a "safe space". How ironic. How hypocritical."

Is this your first post here? You're just whining because you aren't even man enough to admit you are wrong. Sack up.

"I doubt I will bother reading any of the comments."

You will because you think you're smarter than everyone here. You can't help yourself.

Anonymous Avalanche November 26, 2017 8:25 PM  

@79 "you've forgotten the, 'mad at daddy, it's not fair crowd.' I've only known a few atheists all but one were just mad at daddy. It's not fair because I want to commit, 'X' sin (usually some sexual perversion).
They would throw in what kind of loving God, blah, blah, blah. But it boiled down to sin."

Is there not a third group you have not listed? The "mad at daddy because He ALLOWS some of His children to be raped to death" (or "some of His children to rape OTHER of His children to death"?? "It's not fair" because I want (and expect?) a loving father to PROTECT his children! 'What kind of loving god, indeed!' And that may BE solipsistic or 'calling God to account' or some other horribleterriblebad thing for a respectful "child" to do. It's just one of many difficult things I struggle with about how this-or-that God acts towards humans.

On a sort-of geology website, they were discussing, in essence, the damaging asteroids that occasionally hit the earth and cause much death and damage; and it was described by one fellow as it is SO often described by, it seems every doggoned group of humans ever, the people of that land became arrogant (or sinful) of some other bad trait, and so God sent the asteroid to punish them and return them to godly ways blah blah blah -- tale seems to exist across the globe.

And I objected that it seemed WAY less likely that God was shooting pool with asteroids, and chose to 'sink one in the Earth pocket,' than that some random force had sent it on its way in. Deciding / declaring that it was 'in punishment' for something humans did (ALSO a tale in every group across the planet) seemed more like a human 'explanation' (along the lines of thunder being the gods playing pins...).

It's like SO many parents, before hitting a kid saying, "this whipping is your OWN fault, you brought this upon yourself!" The moderator wrote back, yes, because the humans (in this case, Clovis humans in NAmer 11,900 years ago) had somehow "brought it on themselves."

Me: Really? Really? What about all those folks across the Atlantic getting smashed to bits by the resultant tsunami -- how had THEY deserved it? Collateral damage: too bad, so sad? Or is it collective punishment -- kill them all and let God sort them out?


I so often see the answer that: God is a "loving Father" who periodically? randomly? smites his children without warning' and those children -- as ALL children who are battered do -- look for the fault in themselves. Somehow THEY caused caused God /Dad to lose his temper and hurt them.

(No, I don't expect turning a blind eye to mistakes or evil; I ALSO don't expect letting a 12-yr-old girl be raped to death by a damned illegal! Was she evil,somehow? For what was she punished?)

Blogger Arthur Isaac November 26, 2017 8:55 PM  

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Blogger Arthur Isaac November 26, 2017 8:58 PM  

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OpenID leukosfash November 26, 2017 9:03 PM  

OGRE, you don't know anything about Calvinism beyond how to spell it. You're simple-minded image of Reformed theology is pure shibboleth. Borrowing your mother's straw man is not the same thing as researching an unfamiliar theological system. Some of the greatest theologians in the history of Protestantism were Calvinists; there might just be more to it than you think.

Anonymous AB.Prosper November 26, 2017 9:10 PM  

Koanic wrote:> So is there any guilt in determinism?

No. (And "No, FFS" to those who argue otherwise.) There is no free will in determinism, BY DEFINITION. It is all just Clockwork Orange sadism by a demonic creator god, who decided he wanted to watch children get sodomized to death because reasons.

Just because your free will is not powerful enough to mind over matter a .38 caliber slug to the temple doesn't mean it doesn't exist.


I get where you are coming from here Koanic but it doesn't do to apply human logic to Gods. I'll caveat that for Christianity but a being that creates flesh eating bacteria, parasitic wasps and nebulae may have a very different outlook on things than the humans he created.

Also free will is our ability to control ourselves. Willpower though is a muscle and how much free will we have varies between persons and ebbs and flows with use. Its not either or. Again not a Christian prospective here but some people, psychopaths especially have no capacity for moral reasoning and no moral agency

Similarly some Atheists have no capacity to even understand the religious experience

We could also in theory give some one (h/t House) 10cc of agnosticism or 10cc of religiosity as a vaccine or fix psychopaths and homosexuals or regular folks to be psychopathic homosexuals for that matter

This easily discernible brain developmental difference works against a great many of the core religious concepts in Christianity IMO especially free will as its usually described

Blogger VD November 26, 2017 9:10 PM  

Is there not a third group you have not listed? The "mad at daddy because He ALLOWS some of His children to be raped to death" (or "some of His children to rape OTHER of His children to death"?? "It's not fair" because I want (and expect?) a loving father to PROTECT his children! 'What kind of loving god, indeed!' And that may BE solipsistic or 'calling God to account' or some other horribleterriblebad thing for a respectful "child" to do. It's just one of many difficult things I struggle with about how this-or-that God acts towards humans.

What if death doesn't matter, Avalanche? What if this is merely a short-term, temporary state for immortal beings? Why would you expect a human dying to be any more significant to God than a character in a video game dying is to a game developer in the first place?

How could the feelings of the video game character possibly have any significance whatsoever to the EXISTENCE of the game developer? Do you not understand that your opinion doesn't actually matter?

Blogger VD November 26, 2017 9:12 PM  

Again not a Christian prospective here but some people, psychopaths especially have no capacity for moral reasoning and no moral agency.

Of course they do, if you define morality correctly. The fact that they have no EMPATHY does not mean they have no moral agency, because morality does not depend upon empathy.

Anonymous Nimgaladh November 26, 2017 9:26 PM  

The universe may or may not be deterministic at a deep level. If the alternative to a clockwork world is a random one, then flip a coin to see if you are going to heaven. Free will is something different in kind. Yes, we have programmed tendencies, and our environment constrains our choices, but human agency, the expression of free will, is meaningful. Agency is as real as temptation. The struggle to choose good over evil, or to decide between two good things, is meaningful. I believe that struggle is the purpose of our mortality, to see if we will choose good things, by faith, in a dark and fallen world.

Adam was made in the image of God, and given choices, for which he was held responsible. Jesus is the express image of the invisible God, and he chose to die for the salvation of the world. God so loved the world that he gave his Son to die. If that was a meaningful choice, then God also has free will, and he uses it to express love for us. The Koran describes God as different from any other thing, as alien; but the Bible reveals a God familiar to us, as a loving (blessing and chastising) Father. I take no comfort in a Calvinist view of a resolute God creating a few human robots to praise him and "love" him, while endlessly torturing billions of less "worthy" human robots. We are in a meaningful relationship with God. We love him because he first loved us.

Blogger Rashadjin November 26, 2017 10:16 PM  

I'll caveat that for Christianity but a being that creates flesh eating bacteria, parasitic wasps and nebulae may have a very different outlook on things than the humans he created.

Since people are talking Calvanism and skirting around The Problem of Evil, there's an idea I'd like to add, particularly for the non-Christian types.

The Bible strongly suggests that creation was fundamentally changed after mankind sinned (Romans 8:20-21). The best explanation I've come across is so that humanity would be able to understand our fallen nature, to see in creation what we do to ourselves and each other. Some humans are flesh eating bacteria while others are parasitic wasps, and we'd have a much harder time understanding that if nature didn't model it out for us.

Creation now reflects the human soul so humanity might have a mirror to gaze into and understand.

Among other things.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash November 26, 2017 10:28 PM  

Some of the greatest theologians in the history of Protestantism were Calvinists; there might just be more to it than you think.
Some of the greatest systematisers of systematised error were Calvinists? Who knew?
And yes, the pathetic person above has been convinced, thanks to Calvinist theology, that he is damned, without consciousness of any particular guilt. You may claim it is not inherent to Calvinism, and yet this is not the first time I've seen predestination understood in this way, not to mention it's use to excuse greivous sin on the part of people who consider themselves Elect.

Blogger Retrenched November 26, 2017 10:35 PM  

Since there is neither meaning nor significance in that decision, he really has no grounds for complaint. And even if he did, well, what could that possibly matter?

Haha I see what you did there. Nice.

Blogger OGRE November 26, 2017 11:28 PM  

Almost every time I come here to write something I see that someone else has already said what I intended to say, and probably said it better than i would have anyways...

Thanks for the assistance Mr. Whiplash, sir.

@leukosfash

"Some of the greatest theologians in the history of Protestantism were Calvinists; there might just be more to it than you think."

I note that you did not name these great theologians, or what their thoughts were that made them great. Nor did you even attempt to explain how my simple statement was incorrect. I'd suggest that if you would like us to believe other than we do regarding Calvinism then you should try to educate us, rather than offering nothing but insults and No-it-isn'ts.

And as Snidely indicated, it doesn't matter what the actual doctrine may or may not be as its actual effect on people is as we described. We have among us a believer, yet he believes he has been predestined to be eternally damned and is therefore beyond any hope of salvation. And this is due to his understanding of Calvinist doctrine. Most of us here--in our limited knowledge of theology--would agree that his belief is consistent with Calvinism but not with most other Christian doctrines. Whether we are wrong or right regarding the actual doctrine is not important, as it is our perception of the doctrine that gives rise to our understanding. So if we are in fact mistaken as to Calvinism the fault lies with those who have spread the Calvinist doctrine; consider it a massive failure in branding. If you wish to correct us please do so.

And it is of the utmost importance that you please explain to our misguided soul here why he is not predestined to damnation. His eternal soul may very well rest in your ability to explain Calvinist doctrine. And that is a burden you are not permitted to abdicate.

Blogger Arthur Isaac November 27, 2017 1:26 AM  

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Anonymous AB.Prosper November 27, 2017 1:30 AM  

VD wrote:Again not a Christian prospective here but some people, psychopaths especially have no capacity for moral reasoning and no moral agency.

Of course they do, if you define morality correctly. The fact that they have no EMPATHY does not mean they have no moral agency, because morality does not depend upon empathy.


I think understand what you are saying but I simply cannot grok the idea fully as I cannot see morality as objective.

Thanks though.

Anonymous AB.Prosper November 27, 2017 1:34 AM  

Rashadjin wrote:I'll caveat that for Christianity but a being that creates flesh eating bacteria, parasitic wasps and nebulae may have a very different outlook on things than the humans he created.

Since people are talking Calvanism and skirting around The Problem of Evil, there's an idea I'd like to add, particularly for the non-Christian types.

The Bible strongly suggests that creation was fundamentally changed after mankind sinned (Romans 8:20-21). The best explanation I've come across is so that humanity would be able to understand our fallen nature, to see in creation what we do to ourselves and each other. Some humans are flesh eating bacteria while others are parasitic wasps, and we'd have a much harder time understanding that if nature didn't model it out for us.

Creation now reflects the human soul so humanity might have a mirror to gaze into and understand.

Among other things.


I'm not sure that is what Romans 8:20 means but that was an interesting theological assertion.

Blogger Rashadjin November 27, 2017 1:41 AM  

Hate to pile on when Snidely Whiplash and OGRE are on a roll, but...

Whatever else Calvinism is, it's the formalized belief that absolute power and sovereignty must involve absolute control. To mine eye, that's little more than mankind formulating a god after their fear of uncertainty, their impotence in the face of the great events and tragedies of life, their will to control others, and their cowardice in failure. History is littered with gods that stand testament to man's vices. Calvinism is no different.

That the Calvinistic view of God's sovereignty and omnipotence can be discounted by simply saying "A god who can choose what he controls is more capable than a god who cannot" is a bit beside the point.

Those who cling to the idea that God dictates space for their failures and arbitrarily decrees their destiny do so for deep rooted beliefs about the nature of God, power and themselves.

That these beliefs diverge sharply from the plain text of scripture is similarly irrelevant.

Anonymous brentg November 27, 2017 2:01 AM  

Great reading in this post...

Father above, we pray for "Robert What?" that you will break though and clearly show your mercy, grace and personal Love for him. And that you will bring him to the clear decision point of accepting or rejecting your work on the cross. Amen

Blogger Rashadjin November 27, 2017 2:06 AM  

@129

Hmmm, point. The crux was Romans 8:22 and I got sloppy picking out the verses from a remembered phrase. Anywho, the slightly expanded version, although I'd have to dig up the sermon proper that introduced this line of thinking to me to see if there's more to it.

Blogger VFM #7634 November 27, 2017 2:09 AM  

Again not a Christian prospective here but some people, psychopaths especially have no capacity for moral reasoning and no moral agency.

@119 AB.Prosper
I'm a psychopath, and only gain understanding of other humans' emotions by trial-and-error and observation, like a scientist observing an alien species or something.

But I'm also a practicing traditional Catholic. I do very much have moral agency. If I think something is wrong, I don't do it, so long as I resist the temptation to do it. Empathy is not required.

In fact, with all my experience interacting with nominal Catholics who are totally on board with the Vatican II BS, I'd say empathy is likely more of a liability than an asset.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine November 27, 2017 2:17 AM  

"I cannot see morality as objective."

That's called being logical. In the absence of deity morality would be subjective. Your lack of faith in a deity is inextricably logically interlinked with your stated inability to perceive objective morality.

Blogger Resident Moron™ November 27, 2017 3:08 AM  

My reading of scripture strongly implies that God considers morality as objective, i.e. distinct from Himself, as a matter of logic.

Now I take the earlier point about "extrapolation from self-regard" to be quite strong, and perhaps the people who make this point think it's not such a powerful objection when the self being referenced is God, but that's not what I mean.

Did God create morality? Or is He morality incarnate? (as it were, not assuming or implying he's carnal) Has He fully explored it's every implication and does He conform fully to its parameters? Sure.

Did He create mathematics, for example?

I am not convinced that these things are created so much as they are second order derivatives of creation. IOW, once stuff is created, mathematics describes the various relations between things.

(We don't invent or re-create mathematics, we discover it.)

Once moral agents are created, morality describes the proper relations between them. Choice being essential to moral agency, these same agents have the choice to "create" improper relations between themselves and others ... and here we all are.

Blogger Koanic November 27, 2017 3:24 AM  

> I get where you are coming from here Koanic but it doesn't do to apply human logic to Gods.

There is only one kind of logic.

> a being that creates flesh eating bacteria, parasitic wasps and nebulae

You're either in the Garden or you're out.

> Its not either or.

No everthing is binary. Always assume that's my argument. Beep boop. There is no bleep.

> Similarly some Atheists have no capacity to even understand the religious experience

Yep Doubting Thomas got damned to Hell. Well known story. Allah is merciful and just!

A Mighty Savior Is Our God, For Even Spergs Can Fiiiind Him.

OpenID aew51183 November 27, 2017 5:09 AM  

>"This is another example of your need to have a First Cause for everything. It's just a more advanced version of the animism of savages."

"Mr. Rational" is apparently asking us to stop exploring how and why things came to be... in other words, to abandon scientific pursuit because it's "a more advanced version of the animism of savages".

No, "Mr. Rational". I will not consider science to be "complete" until we have a unified theory which allows us to freely convert between energy and matter, and to produce at will any of the fundamental forces of the universe, thus allowing us to harness it.

If you don't believe in this, perhaps you should join a cult of mystics.

Blogger wreckage November 27, 2017 5:13 AM  

@133 empathy is necessary to morality, exactly correct. The idea that it is, is a relic of a mid-20th century attempt to explain evil via pathology.


The problem is, that if empathy is soul is humanity is not-evil, then sociopaths, autists, children and those who are physically asleep, are all the embodiment of maximal human evil, while those who make every moral decision based entirely on passions of sympathetic feeling... ie SJWs of the most demented sort, and who do by far the most damage to everyone including themselves, embody maximal human good.

As for predestination, Azure is closest to correct: those he foreknew, he also foreordained; because God is entirely immune to time and his perceptions are not ordered based on the entropic decay of the universe, for you to ever believe is the same as for you to ever believe.

Predestination means you cannot know you were not of the elect; for the moment you doubt that, it becomes false, and always was.

OpenID leukosfash November 27, 2017 5:32 AM  

@OGRE

"[I]t doesn't matter what the actual doctrine may or may not be as its actual effect on people is as we described. ...Whether we are wrong or right regarding the actual doctrine is not important, as it is our perception of the doctrine that gives rise to our understanding. "

That's ridiculous, of course the actual doctrine matters, it's the only way to gauge whether a negative effect ascribed to that doctrine is in fact a result of the doctrine or not. In this case, it clearly isn't, because Robert What? misunderstands the doctrine of Election. Calvinism teaches that belief in God is only given to the Elect, that genuine faith is evidence of election. So, if RW? genuinely believes that Jesus is God and that he was the Messiah prophesied in the OT, then he is one of the Elect and is not damned.

"So if we are in fact mistaken as to Calvinism the fault lies with those who have spread the Calvinist doctrine; consider it a massive failure in branding."

That's also ridiculous. Your misunderstanding of Calvinism is more likely the fault of whoever misrepresented Calvinism to you, not those who taught actual Calvinism. It could be that you were not paying attention, I suppose, but then that would be your fault, not Calvinists.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine November 27, 2017 8:22 AM  

"There is only one kind of logic."

And it is limited by the capacity of the human mind attempting to utilize it. The human can't even understand its own mind -- how do you expect it to understand a superset of it at the very least?

@leukosfash the problem with the concept of "election", even in your depiction, is that it is using imprecise terminology to make an assertion that cannot be disproved except in that it utterly violates free will. Granted, RW doesn't know what he's talking about, but he shouldn't have even had to think about it in the first place.

Here's the trick. The concept of Election is at best a nifty heuristic for the Christian to avoid wasting time if they are not fit to reach certain individuals. "It can't be done, let's just move on to the next one(s)." The error comes in that it ascribes human failure to either God or his creation. It's a trap because it is, at its most fundamental level, inaccurate and therefore incompatible with the Bible.

It's right there in the word "elect". It means that the "elect" individual has not had the control of his elect status -- an external entity has selected him.

Granted, it's best to understand that God works in people. On the other hand, to forget that people also work with God is exactly how this type of thinking gets started. The thought is "does man control his salvation or God?" It's a binary-loaded question. God already freely grants salvation to all who choose to receive it. Both are necessary for it, but God has already permitted it, so the remainder is upon man.

Where would RW even get the concept that he is not among the elect? Either someone told him that, or he's manic-depressive and consequently suffering from a rather extreme analogue of hypochondria.

Anonymous europeasant November 27, 2017 3:09 PM  

Go ahead, pray to your GOD. Pray that He stops the hoards of Africans and Moslems from decending upon your lands. Oh I forgot His spokesperson in the Vatican the "Infallible One" is the one orchestrating this invasion. Sorry.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash November 27, 2017 3:15 PM  

Your misunderstanding of Calvinism is more likely the fault of whoever misrepresented Calvinism to you, not those who taught actual Calvinism.
A rather interesting variation of the No True Scotsman fallacy. Theology which leads to despair is not true Calvinism. Only those whose faith is confirmed or strengthened by the doctrine of Predestination have the true Calvinism.
Does Calvinism teach that some are predestined to hell, regardless of their actions or belief?
Does Calvinism teach that the Elect can be confident of their Election?
All else, including the despair of RobertWhat? follows logically.

Blogger Howard Stone November 27, 2017 4:40 PM  

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Blogger Rashadjin November 27, 2017 8:51 PM  

@123 - I'm going to have to walk this back slightly as I cross a few more i's and dot a few more t's.

To the suggestion that Creation was either changed by sin or conformed to the reality of sin, sin being a bound aspect of human nature after the fall -

Gen 3:17 - "Cursed is the ground because of you;"

What some have extracted from Romans 8:22 is the idea that all of creation groans for the redemptive work that God is doing in mankind, to likewise be "liberated from its bondage to decay" (Romans 8:21, referencing mankind there). Whether you want to believe Paul is being poetic there or not is up to you, but even so, he may be onto something.

There's a few other references to toil, thorn and thistle, and the decay of the land being connected to mankind's fallen nature in the Bible.

Which gives the sense that creation or Earth itself is bound by sin and not God's ideal.

What I'm walking back is the slice of the idea that suggests creation has a fallen nature to specifically be a mirror for mankind. It more appears that the fallen nature of creation, or at least our experience of it, is so as to be congruent with the fallen nature of the human soul. That this easily creates a reflective property is the upside of the package deal, so the idea that a fallen creation reflects a fallen humanity is a pragmatic, post-hoc truth. Or poetic sort of truth if you're feeling generous.

Among other things - which is where all this gets interesting.

The Bible also says that there's a lot of other forces besides man and God that have dominion on the Earth. Gregory Boyd has done a lot of work on a Spiritual Warfare view of theology. He's had the sense that viruses are a particularly malevolent creation of particularly malevolent beings. And extending out his Spiritual Warfare theology all the way, there's a fair bit to say that God created mankind to subdue and have dominion over the Earth as a metaphysical act of war.

The relevant note is that, in this view, the Earth was in a state that God was very not happy with at the time He created mankind.

Which is all to say, the idea that our experience of creation with all its ugliness is God's manifest will, that is, a reflection of God's character, is more a reaction to paper-thin Churchian beliefs than anything one would construe from a decent understanding of Christian doctrine proper.

Anonymous Cassie November 28, 2017 11:44 PM  

"Does Calvinism teach that some are predestined to hell, regardless of their actions or belief?"

No. I have spent decades in Calvinist churches, and that is NOT what is taught. It isn't a Scotsman, it's a scarecrow in a kilt.

No one knows with certainty their status as elect or not during their life. NO ONE. God knows his own, but whether the most ardent unbeliever, who slays Christians, might one day become a devoted servant of God, no human can say. And whether those who claim the name of Christ outwardly are truly his is also not an absolute certainty to anyone living, since the Bible teaches that there will be those who appeared to have the power of God, and were deluded workers of evil who did not know God, even though they thought they did.

The certain knowledge is God's, not man's. Therefore even Calvinists work out their salvation with fear and trembling.

RobertWhat, you have received good counsel already. As a Calvinist myself, I tell you plainly that you cannot know that you are damned, and any revelation otherwise is from a lying spirit. I am sure the saints here gathered pray that you will be free of Satan's lie and come to Christ as a penitent sinner - none of whom are ever turned away.

As an aside, the accusation that Calvinist doctrine mis-applied is used as an excuse to keep on sinning is hardly a unique black mark, considering that presuming on the grace of God dates back to the earliest days of Christianity and gets mentioned in the Bible itself. There are plenty of people who simply say "I'll repent later... like on my death bed! Hey, it worked for the thief on the cross!" Unrepentant rationalizing sinners will latch onto anything.

Blogger Koanic November 29, 2017 12:08 AM  

Judas was the ultimate bitter gamma male. Rebuked for his objection to Mary Magdalene's use of expensive ointment on Jesus' feet, he sought opportunity for betrayal, running to the amenable authority for revenge, seeking by other means to sate his original lust.

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