Monday, January 16, 2012

Tim McGrew's reply to Drange's Argument from Confusion

A redated post. 

Tim McGrew put a couple of responses up to Drange's two arguments against Christian theism, the argument from confusion and the argument from biblical defects. Since they seem to be buried in the previous post, I thought I would put them front and center here. This is the first one

There are multiple problems with AC. To start with, the plausibility of A2 is inversely proportional to the level of detail packed into “G-beliefs.” If the beliefs about the nature of God are to include the metaphysics of a Chalcedonian formulation of the doctrine of the Trinity, then A2 is obviously false. And something similar goes for the details of the fate of the wicked in the afterlife, for discursive knowledge of the requirements for salvation (as what is important is, presumably, that one meets them, not that one be able to discourse about them), for the precise details of the metaphysics of the eucharist or the mode of baptism (since again, clearly, what is important on the human end is that one in fact be obedient and take the eucharist and be baptized, by whatever mode), and for the details of one’s theory of inspiration, belief in which is nowhere in scripture made a requirement for one’s having a relationship with God—for the good and sufficient reason that the first Christians at Pentecost predate the writing of the New Testament.

In each of these cases, one can back up to a far more minimal conception of what is required. But then it is very difficult to go anywhere with the argument in its subsequent steps. If B can be accepted only in a fairly minimal sense, then it is not at all obvious that D is true. Conversely, in the sense in which D is obviously true, A2 and B are just as obviously false. So the argument gains no traction.

To say this is not to say that it would not be desirable for Christians to have better, fuller knowledge on some of these points; nor is it to say that such knowledge is not available. But the hinge of the argument is the claim in A2 that Christians would need a set of G-beliefs in order to have a personal relationship with God. And Drange gives no good reason to think that this claim is both (a) true and (b) substantive enough to support his subsequent chain of reasoning.

 

212 comments:

1 – 200 of 212   Newer›   Newest»
Cole said...

I think it should tell us something that there are all these different beliefs within Christianity. Not to mention all the different world religions. Native Americans lived and died way before they even heard of Christ. According to traditional Christianity they are going to be tormented forever. Likewise all the religions that came before Christ. You honestly see no force in those types of arguments? I do.

Victor Reppert said...

As arguments against soteriological exclusivism, sure.

Cole said...

I see it as a cumulative case against traditional Christianity. The fact that there are all these other beliefs along with the fact that not everyone has heard of Christ. The problem of suffering. Eternal suffering. The fact that Penal Substitution makes no sense. Death and suffering before man arrives on the scene. The evidence seems to be against traditional Christianity.

Steve Lovell said...

Cole,

You're raising a lot of separate issues there, and obviously it would be silly to try to address them all. However one of the points you make is specially relevant here, the one about Penal Substitution.

You say it makes no sense. I find the idea difficult myself, but not literally nonsensical. However, I take comfort in the fact that being a Christian doesn't commit me to the Penal Substitution theory of the Atonement. It only commits me to the Atonement itself and not to any particular model of how it works. If I understand the OP, that is very much McGrew's point.

As if it needed pointing out here, this is hardly new: it's all there in Lewis's Mere Christianity.

Cole said...

Hey Steve,

What view of atonement makes sense? Even the Christus Victor model doesn't make any sense. Part of what the Christus Victor model of atonement says is that on the cross God in Christ took on our sin. That means He at once bore the weight of the harm that we have done, and also bore the pain of the victims. This was not the Father punishing Jesus but the Christ was revealing the compassionate heart of God to us. On the cross we see Christ suffering with those who suffer. God carries the pain of every victim of rape, incest, torture, etc. On the cross Christ took on our suffering and took on our hatefulness. He was broken for us. He that was without sin became sin for us. Jesus experienced the terrible abandonment by the Father. Yet right there at that point of loss and abandonment and deep suffering we see the truest picture of God's love. As we look on the horror and ugliness of the cross we see there the saving power and glory and beauty of God. The cross reveals to us the compassion and love of God. God in His love suffers with us under the weight of our sin. But did Christ really suffer with the whole world? Can it really be said that Christ suffered as much as the whole world (past, present, and future)? I don't see how. Did He really suffer with every human being who has ever been tortured? His suffering came nowhere near the suffering that humanity has experienced throughout the ages.

Crude said...

What view of atonement makes sense? Even the Christus Victor model doesn't make any sense.

I don't see where you've given any reason to doubt that the model makes sense. Expressing exasperation at trying to quantify pain and suffering to determine whether God 'suffered enough' to be equal or greater than the suffering the collective world has experienced is one thing, but it makes sense enough.

Not to mention, I'm not aware that the Christus Victor model even requires that kind of quantification, where we say "Alright, well, the sum total of pain experienced in the world is X. So Christ's pain must have been equal to or greater than X. Solve for X." What's central is Christ becoming human, being human, suffering and dying, and ultimately being victorious over the death and torment of the world - and in turn allowing and showing how the rest of humanity can do the same.

I'd agree with Steve regarding penal substitution as well. Being ill at ease with it or even not believing it isn't sufficient to even suggest that it doesn't make sense.

Cole said...

Hey Crude,

Well, the God of the Bible requires blood in order to forgive. I see no need for that. Moreover, He's barbaric and His punishments are cruel and unusual and therfore unjust. I mean, if the God of the OT was all good then we shouldn't expect to find Him approving stoning people to death for: adultery, cursing a parent, or working on the Sabbath day.I also have a new rule I go by. Given all the miracles in these other holy books I think we should be as skeptical of talking donkeys as Christians are of these other miracles in these other religions. Also, about the Penal Substitutionary view of the atonement. This view states that God's holiness demands that sin be punished. God cannot remain just and forgive sin without punishing it. That is, when we sin. it is against God. Because God is holy and just He cannot let these crimes go unpunished. So, the Father and Jesus get together and Christ freely chooses to be punished in our place. But is it just to punish an innocent person for someone elses crime? I don't see how. The willingness of Christ suffering is not a satisfactory explanation by itself. The reason is obvious. If an innocent person suffers the punishment for a crime for which he bears no guilt, then it makes no difference whether or not he does so willingly. It is a miscarriage of justice, pure and simple. The Bible condemns such a thing when it comes to human courts, and it would seem strange if Christ did not adhere to the same standard Himself. Many evangelicals realize this so they have come up with what is called the doctrine of imputation. Our sins are imputed to Christ in such a way that our sins become His and His righteousness becomes ours. But what is being said here? If our sins become Christ's and His righteousness becomes ours then we are no longer sinful and Christ is no longer righteous. This can't be what is meant. But if our sins are imputed to Christ in such a way that He remains righteous the the Father is punishing an innocent person for someone else's crimes. And this we have seen is a travesty of justice. To punish an innocent person contradicts the very definition of the word punish as it is used in a judicial sense.
Moreover, if God's holiness demands that He punish sin and God is three persons then it follows that all three persons must be appeased. For when we sin it's not only against the Father but also against the Son and the Holy Spirit as well. It seems that the whole Trinity would need to be appeased for being sinned against. But this isn't what was happening on the cross. Were the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit punishing each other on the cross? It doesn't make any sense. Also, why punish yourself all over again after you have been sinned against? The way to repair the damage is to beat yourself up all over again? I think not. It makes no sense at all.

Crude said...

Cole,

Well, the God of the Bible requires blood in order to forgive. I see no need for that. Moreover, He's barbaric and His punishments are cruel and unusual and therfore unjust.

Even assuming this is a fair depiction of God's standards, which I question - really, there's nothing here but namecalling. Cruel and unusual according to what standard? Yours? Why should I care about your standard?

But is it just to punish an innocent person for someone elses crime? I don't see how.

If the innocent person elects to do so and it satisfies the demands of law, then yes, it is just.

Really, I can admire the passion you're putting into this, but twenty "I don't like this and I say it makes no sense"s is as persuasive as one - not at all. Now, maybe you can detail a theory of justice and morality (I suppose, utterly apart from God), compare God's acts and standards to it, and make an argument. But then your theory is fair game for criticism, and we'll see if it holds up.

Cole said...

Well, do you think stoning someone to death for adultery is just? I don't. It's cruel and unusual punishment according to justice. My view is that there is one true God with two Spirits that emanate from Him. It's a co-mingling of good and evil or love and abuse. The Spirit of love is what I try to follow. Not a God that demands a torturous blood bath from a sacrifice in order to forgive. I just ask for forgiveness and my Higher Power forgives me. He's not abusive like the God revealed in the Bible.

Crude said...

Well, do you think stoning someone to death for adultery is just? I don't. It's cruel and unusual punishment according to justice.

According to justice? What?

No. According to your view of justice, maybe - but you haven't provided an argument for why this is wrong. I keep saying, just expressing supreme displeasure, even passionately, isn't an argument. Saying "That makes no sense!" doesn't show that something makes no sense.

My view is that there is one true God with two Spirits that emanate from Him. It's a co-mingling of good and evil or love and abuse. The Spirit of love is what I try to follow.

So your God is both good and evil, but you try to follow the good part?

Cole said...

Hey Crude,

If you can't see that stoning people to death for adultery or getting drunk is cruel and unusual punishment then I'm not sure what else to say. It's abuse plain and simple. I sure hope you wouldn't stone your kids to death for cursing you. Again, my view is this. My view is that there is one true God with two Spirits that emanate from Him. It's a co-mingling of good and evil or love and abuse. The Spirit of love is what I try to follow. Not a God that demands a torturous blood bath from a sacrifice in order to forgive. I just ask for forgiveness and my Higher Power forgives me. He's not abusive like the God revealed in the Bible. It sounds like you follow the abusive Spirit that's into blood and torturing.

Crude said...

It sounds like you follow the abusive Spirit that's into blood and torturing.

Not "into" at all. On the other hand, I'm seeing no arguments out of you, just statements. So I'll just leave things with the bare statement that my God is, at least if my understandings are correct, wholly good. Your God, by your own description, is not - it's a God who brings forth evil (on your own view) and good alike. You try to follow the good. Well, reflect on that and do what you will.

Cole said...

What kind of argument do you want to see? Do I really need to convince you that beating someone to a bloody pulp and hanging them on a cross with nails before you can forgive someone is insane? Do you beat your kids for picking up sticks on the Sabbath?

Crude said...

What kind of argument do you want to see?

Any? But I'm not going to see it - you're stuck on 'it's just wrong, look!' That's not going to be persuasive to someone who doesn't agree with you from the start.

It's like arguing with a typical vegan. They confuse passion and anger with having an argument.

Cole said...

Do you even believe that there is such a thing as abuse? I have to formulate an abstract argument before you can recognize insane and abusive behavior?

B. Prokop said...

Cole,

I suggest you read He Came Down From Heaven and The Forgiveness of Sins by Charles Williams, one of the best explanations of the Atonement I've ever come across. I dare to say most of your confusions will be cleared up by the time you've finished it.

BenYachov said...

>Do you even believe that there is such a thing as abuse? I have to formulate an abstract argument before you can recognize insane and abusive behavior?

You are making base appeals to emotion not rational argument. I can do that for Theism.

1. If God does not exist Hitler and Mother Theresa had the same end.

2. Hitler caused horrible pain and escaped Justice by dying a quick death.

3. Mother Theresa helped thousands & got no ultimate reward for her efforts.

Now even thought I am a Thomist I don't buy either of these arguments. They are base appeals to emotion.

Just like your "arguments".

If you can't give a rational response to Crude then maybe it's time to think of why you believe/disbelieve what you believe/disbelieve?

It's time you base your beliefs or lack there of on reason instead of emotion.

Zach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BenYachov said...

"So people are nonplussed by a complete lack of justice in an Atheistic Universe? Wonder how you would react if you knew being good didn't matter?"

Still a bad argument & can't be made otherwise.

Why is it so hard for a group of people who claim to value reason over superstition to offer a rational response to Crude?

Zach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BenYachov said...

Zack

If you don't have the slightest idea of how to form a rational philosophical argument for a moral system then simply say so.

>Put it this way, would you ask him to justify the claim that baby raping is bad?

No, I am not challenging anything he believes. He is issuing the challenge that stoning is morally wrong even if God orders it.

Thus burden of proof is with him. Trying to shift the burden of proof is not convincing.

BenYachov said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BenYachov said...

BTW FYI Sekila(i.e. stoning)was defined by Jewish Tradition as throwing a condemned person off a two story height. If the fall did not kill them then they clobbered him with a stone large enough to require two men to lift it.

Sounds like a quick death to me.

So Muslim stoning has nothing to do with it.

People need to learn history & stop relying on Hollywood.

BenYachov said...

The Rabbis also taught anyone executed by stoning may be drugged to reduce pain.

B. Prokop said...

Ben,

I'm sorry, but I can't go along with your interpretation of biblical stoning. If that were true, then Jesus's words "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her" make no sense. Who cares who throws the first stone, if she's already been flung off of a two story building? Also, are you implying that Stephen, the first martyr, was thrown off of a building while Saul watched over the cloaks? That doesn't match what we read in Acts.

I'm just not buying it.

And before anyone goes off the deep end about stoning in scripture, may I just make the following observation? We're not living under the Mosaic Law! Whatever it says about stoning in the Old Testament is irrelevant to a Christian.

BenYachov said...

>Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her" make no sense.

Makes perfect sense. The Mob wasn't following the Torah correctly. After all where was the woman's confederate in her crimes? The Pharasees should have intervened to see the Law applied correctly but chose instead to use the situation to try to trap Jesus.

James the Less was thrown from a building & Stephen wasn't lawfully executed via Torah but attacked by a Mob.

It's not hard Bob when you look at the NT threw Jewish eyes.

BenYachov said...

>We're not living under the Mosaic Law!

If we where it would have been better. Jewish Tradition tells us a Sanhedrin that executes more than one person in 7 years(or 70 years) is murderous.

It only in Christian times when we merge Jewish Law with Roman Law do we get into trouble.

Romans have a lower standard of guilt than Jews.

Cole said...

I guess we have different moral intuitions. If I wrong my father and he and my brother get together and come to an agreement to allow my father beat him to a bloody pulp and hang him on a cross with nails before he can forgive me then I see little reason to rejoice. I also see no reason for blood to be used to forgive someone for their wrong doing. How does a blood bath cleanse me of my sins anyway?

BenYachov said...

So you are still not going to give us an argument Cole?

Then have a nice day.

Cole said...

There are no arguments for our moral views. There's no agreement on such things. If you want to believe that blugeoning an innocent for blood before you can forgive is okay go right ahead.

Crude said...

Zach,

So people are nonplussed by stoning. Wonder how you would react if it were being done to someone by a bunch of Muslims.

I'd have the same reaction, because being nonplussed has nothing to do with it. Nor does whether or not muslims do it.

Put it this way, would you ask him to justify the claim that baby raping is bad?

If he was using that as a premise in an argument, I absolutely would ask what grounds his moral claims, yes. Even if I agreed with him - and I do. Why wouldn't I ask him for this? And if I were making the claim that baby raping is bad and someone asked me for an argument, I'd do something Cole seems incapable of - I'd have arguments at the ready.

Cole rolled in here saying that Christ's sacrifice 'makes no sense', and when asked why he argues that, his response was to just repeat that it makes no sense. He replied that it's completely obvious that no God would ever view stoning as a just punishment. I asked why, and he just repeated that no God would do that.

I can appreciate that Cole feels strongly about this. But as I keep saying, extremely strong feeling is not an argument. If that's all he has, then he's got nothing unless people already agree with him. And you know what? Even -that- is fine. But please don't ask me to pretend he's offering anything compelling. If I told you infanticide is wrong and you (say you had Singerian sympathies) asked me to justify that, and I just became really animated in response - you could say a few things about me. But 'he had an argument' wouldn't be one of them.

Cole said...

Crude,

It makes no sense TO ME is what I should have said. If you think it's justice to blugeon an innocent person for his blood before there can be forgiveness for another person's sin go right ahead. I think it's cruel and weird. There is no agreement on what justifies our moral intuitions. I just find it to be insane behavior to beat your only Son to death so that you can forgive. My Higher Power doesn't require blood before He can forgive. He's not into torturing people.

Papalinton said...

"BTW FYI Sekila(i.e. stoning)was defined by Jewish Tradition as throwing a condemned person off a two story height. If the fall did not kill them then they clobbered him with a stone large enough to require two men to lift it.

Sounds like a quick death to me.

So Muslim stoning has nothing to do with it.

People need to learn history & stop relying on Hollywood."

Oh Dear! Christian revisionism in action. Who needs facts?

And Bob, "And before anyone goes off the deep end about stoning in scripture, may I just make the following observation? We're not living under the Mosaic Law! ", a voice of reason in a christian wilderness. I'm with you on that one. I'm not buying it either.

Crude said...

It makes no sense TO ME is what I should have said.

Then there you go.

If you think it's justice to blugeon an innocent person for his blood before there can be forgiveness for another person's sin go right ahead.

'For his blood'? As if the bloodiness, rather than the sacrifice itself, was central? That's just wrongheaded. But yes, I have no - zero - problem with the idea of God using a sacrifice, particularly a sacrifice like the one in question. I also think it makes zero sense to consider the crucifixion and leave out the resurrection. But, do what you will.

We've established that you're not offering arguments. You've also offered up that your God is equal parts good and evil - you just like to focus on the good. Well, okay then.

Cole said...

Crude,

What was the blood for? Didn't they use to sprinkle animal blood on the mercy seat in the O.T.? It's insane to me that a God would require blood to forgive. Since you have no problem with it, here's a video for you. Enjoy:

http://youtu.be/BNUEhLavV2k

Crude said...

It's insane to me that a God would require blood to forgive.

Wonderful. All that and a Slayer video, how risque.

No argument seems forthcoming here, and you've already made your psychology clear, so that seems to wrap things up.

Cole said...

Crude,

Why do I need an argument? It's a properly basic belief for me?

Crude said...

Why do I need an argument? It's a properly basic belief for me?

I never said you needed an argument to believe it. Believe what you wish - heck, be a solipsist. But as far as convincing me or others go? You'd need more than a blank statement and an appeal to a basic belief. Even defenders of BBs don't think they persuade others.

Cole said...

Right. Why would I try to force you to believe that the bloody torture and murder of Christ was abuse? I see what you're saying. Good discussion!

BenYachov said...

>Oh Dear! Christian revisionism in action. Who needs facts?


Christian revisionism? It's in the Talmud & Mishna.

You are an uneducated idiot as always Paps.

B. Prokop said...

This has been the stupidest discussion I've ever seen on this site. "Cole" tells us he feels a certain way about something, and then gets indignant because everyone else doesn't fall in line with his own thinking, but somehow feels it's beneath him to argue his case, because it's a "basic belief"???

Gimme a break! The whole point of this website is for people to have a forum to present arguments for what they believe - not just to insist that everyone believe as you do, and like a child to keep repeating "just because!"

If you can't argue your case, stay on the porch!

Cole said...

No, I stand corrected. I'm agreeing with you. I can't convince you that the bloody murder of the innocent Christ was abuse. I have no argument for that. You're right.

Crude said...

Hey look. Prokop, myself, and Ben, all in agreement. Nice to see that.

B. Prokop said...

It is 2012, after all, so such things may just happen!

BenYachov said...

>Hey look. Prokop, myself, and Ben, all in agreement. Nice to see that

>It is 2012, after all, so such things may just happen!

Amen Boychiks! Amen!

Cole said...

Okay guys. Here we go.

It's wrong to abuse people.
The God of the Bible ripped Jesus flesh, bruised Him, crushed Him until He bled, nailed nails through His hands and feet.
The God of the Bible is abusive.
The God of the Bible should be locked up.

If the miracle working God of the Bible wanted to put people to death then clearly He could go about it in a more humane way. We do it all the time with our justice system. But He doesn't. He's barbaric.

Crude said...

The God of the Bible ripped Jesus flesh, bruised Him, crushed Him until He bled, nailed nails through His hands and feet.

I'm pretty sure the Romans and pharisees had some involvement in that. And Christians believe that 'The God of the Bible' and 'Jesus' are one and the same.

But this is telling: If the miracle working God of the Bible wanted to put people to death then clearly He could go about it in a more humane way.

So, it's not the killing part that's problematic for you. It's the suffering part. Christ being wrongly condemned by humans, apathetically sentenced by humans, then rising in glory to save us, as well as show that through God even death and injustice are ultimately conquered... it all would have been okay if the Romans used lethal injection.

Yeah, somehow I don't see this line of thinking as very compelling. It makes no sense to consider the crucifixion without the resurrection.

Cole said...

Sure. It's cruel and unusual punishment. God batters Him to death just to raise Him back up again? If it was only death God was after He could have done so without all that torture and blood. Why does God need innocent blood in order to forgive someone?

So what if they had something to do with it. The Bible says in Acts that they did whatever God's hand had predestined to take place. It pleased the Lord to bruise Him. Christ was a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Don McIntosh said...

Hello Cole,

On this comment:

>>It's wrong to abuse people.<<

The way I see it, Christ's willing sacrifice for our sins is "abuse" in roughly the same way that giving to charity is extortion.

But in light of the severity of Christ's sufferings, I take it that you would at least repudiate those critics who argue that Christ never "really" sacrificed at all because he rose from the dead three days later... Right?

Cole said...

Hey Don,

So what if He chose to do it? It is a miscarage of justice to punish an innocent man for someone elses crimes.

God is suppose to be God. He has access to putting people to death in a humane way just like we do. Instead He brutalizes Christ. When I see Christ getting beaten, whipped with chains, flesh ripped off His body, and nails driven through His hands and feet, something tells me it just isn't right. Why does God need blood to forgive?

Right. I wouldn't go along with those critics.

Crude said...

So what if He chose to do it? It is a miscarage of justice to punish an innocent man for someone elses crimes.

Miscarriage. And the innocent man is God's willing self-sacrifice for the redemption and the salvation of humanity. You're not even objecting to the sacrifice - you're objecting because it was too graphic for you. Back to 'the Romans should have had lethal injection'.

Cole said...

Crude,

Why does God need blood to forgive?

B. Prokop said...

Cole,

I think I see where you're missing the point here. God isn't doing this "to" Christ. Christ is God. God is "brutalizing" (to use your terminology, not a word I would use) Himself. Huge difference.

I say this in all charity. You are woefully ignorant on this topic. You need to study and meditate (and even pray) a bit, and then come back to Dangerous Idea. Right now all you are putting out is incoherent aversion to innocent suffering - in itself not a bad thing - but totally out of place in this context.

Cole said...

Prokop,

The willingness of Christ suffering is not a satisfactory explanation by itself. The reason is obvious. If an innocent person suffers the punishment for a crime for which he bears no guilt, then it makes no difference whether or not he does so willingly. It is a miscarriage of justice, pure and simple. The Bible condemns such a thing when it comes to human courts, and it would seem strange if Christ did not adhere to the same standard Himself.

Crude said...

Why does God need blood to forgive?

Give me an argument for why God would not accept sacrifice, even pain, to forgive. Lacking that, you're still at square one - frantically telling us you object as a basic belief. We get it, really. It's not persuasive.

As Bob says, you should probably read up on this rather than just keep emoting the same thing over and over.

Crude said...

The Bible condemns such a thing when it comes to human courts, and it would seem strange if Christ did not adhere to the same standard Himself.

Not strange at all, considering the same Bible stresses that judging God by standards set for man is invalid. And even if you take the bible away, it's still not obvious that 'You shouldn't try an innocent man in your court' translates to 'God cannot sacrifice Himself for the salvation of humanity'. In fact, if anything yours is a damn tough case to make.

I'd say I expect you to make it, but you already said you don't need to and it's a basic belief. But apparently you're going to just keep refreshing the screen so you can say it, again, in response to anyone here who points out you're not making any argument.

Cole said...

Crude,

Are you going to answer my question or just keep asking me the same thing over and over again?
I have read up on this. Now, why does God require blood in order to forgive?

Crude said...

Are you going to answer my question or just keep asking me the same thing over and over again?

Heh. You're pretty much the last guy in the thread who can make complaints about repetition.

Yes, I'm going to ask you for an argument, again and again. And I'm going to point out, again and again, that you have no argument. By your own admission.

As for your question - that's a question about what justice itself demands. You seem to think that all gods are like the god you have in mind, where there's this standard called "good" and you judge them based on whether or not they adhere to that standard. Here the question is whether justice can demand a sacrifice, and whether an innocent's sacrifice can fulfill the demands of justice. Clearly yes.

You say no. I ask why - but your reply is going to require an argument.

Cole said...

Crude,

You are telling me that justice requires the ripping off of an innocent persons flesh for blood so that someone else can have their sins washed away? It's getting a little freaky arround here.

Crude said...

You are telling me that justice requires the ripping off of an innocent persons flesh for blood so that someone else can have their sins washed away?

Not 'requires'. There can be more than one way to have justice served. God chose to sacrifice Himself. You have no problem at all with that - you're just screeching that it was so bloody so that can't be right. Me? I find nothing odd about the idea that God would use suffering in a sacrifice - particularly when that very same suffering and death is made into forgiveness and life.

And again, you have no argument. You won't even argue for an alternative standard of justice - it's just a 'basic belief' of yours, and point out that you worship a God who is both good and evil, but you only worship the good part. Alright, we get it. Say it one more time.

Also, what is the name of your religion? I'd love to learn more about it.

Cole said...

Crude,

The One True God is the standard for good and evil. I don't follow the abusive part. I try to follow the way of love, truth, beauty, and justice. Not the kind of justice that you must rip your innocent Son's flesh apart for blood so that you can forgive. Again, my justification for a standard of good and evil is The One True God. I worship The Spirit Of Love And Light. Not Darkness.

Papalinton said...

Bob
"Cole,

I think I see where you're missing the point here. God isn't doing this "to" Christ. Christ is God. God is "brutalizing" (to use your terminology, not a word I would use) Himself. Huge difference."

I don't follow your logic. If god did it to himself, then when he died, he didn't really die, because can't die, isn't that right? So if christ is god, as you unequivocally state, and he allowed himself be killed, he really didn't suffer death as mortals would suffer death as we know it then, did he?

I cannot but attempt to place this discussion on a logical base, and what better than:

"Upon seeing Jesus for the first time, John the Baptist is rumored to have said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). For most Christians, this bizarre opinion still stands, and it remains the core of their faith. Christianity is more or less synonymous with the proposition that the crucifixion of Jesus represents a final, sufficient offering of blood to a God who absolutely requires it (Hebrews 9:22-28). Christianity amounts to the claim that we must love and be loved by a God who approves of the scapegoating, torture, and murder of one man—his son, incidentally—in compensation for the misbehavior and thought-crimes of all others.
Let the good news go forth: we live in a cosmos, the vastness of which we can scarcely even indicate in our thoughts, on a planet teeming with creatures we have only begun to understand, but the whole project was actually brought to a glorious fulfillment over twenty centuries ago, after one species of primate (our own) climbed down out of the trees, invented agriculture and iron tools, glimpsed (as through a glass, darkly) the possibility of keeping its excrement out of its food, and then singled out one among its number to be viciously flogged and nailed to a cross.
Add to this abject mythology surrounding one man’s death by torture—Christ’s passion—the symbolic cannibalism of the Eucharist. Did I say “symbolic”? Sorry, according to the Vatican it is most assuredly not symbolic. In fact, the judgment of the Council of Trent remains in effect:
I likewise profess that in the Mass a true, proper and propitiatory sacrifice is offered to God on behalf of the living and the dead, and that the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ is truly, really, and substantially present in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist, and that there is a change of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and of the whole substance of the wine into blood; and this change the Catholic Church calls transubstantiation. I also profess that the whole and entire Christ and a true sacrament is received under each separate species.

Of course, Catholics have done some very strenuous and unconvincing theology in this area, in an effort to make sense of how they can really eat the body of Jesus, not mere crackers enrobed in metaphor, and really drink his blood without, in fact, being a cult of crazy cannibals. Suffice it to say, however, that a world view in which “propitiatory sacrifices on behalf of the living and the dead” figure prominently is rather difficult to defend in the year 2007. But this has not stopped otherwise intelligent and well-intentioned people from defending it.

[Afterword to 'A Letter to a Christian Nation' Dr Sam Harris.]

Don McIntosh said...

>>So what if He chose to do it? It is a miscarage of justice to punish an innocent man for someone elses crimes.<<

More precisely, it's the combination of mercy and justice in one act. Both mercy and justice would be preferable to only one or the other, correct? An innocent man thus willingly endures punishment in order to extend mercy. But I honestly don't understand why you would complain about injustice on Christ's behalf. He is seated at the right hand of God and doing just fine. The same justice that led to his substitutionary sacrifice sprung him from the grave. This was all part of the plan, of course...

>>God is suppose to be God. He has access to putting people to death in a humane way just like we do. Instead He brutalizes Christ.<<

Keep in mind that the respective purposes of the Father and Son in the Trinitarian plan of atonement are much more unified than what you depict here. Like Bob said, "Christ *is* God" – as is the Father. Apart from the emotional struggle at Gethsemane in committing to the pain of the cross, then, Jesus was clearly given to identifying wholly with the will of the Father.

>>Why does God need blood to forgive?<<

For one thing, blood signifies the seriousness of sin. The moral law of God is qualitatively different from the provisions of an earthly legal code. Violating a higher law, the absolute holiness of God, exacts stricter reprisals (think the "wrath of God" here).

For another, blood signifies the depth of Christ's identification with the sufferings of humanity. He has profound compassion for us because he knows our suffering firsthand.

Also blood signifies life. To enjoy the life of God, specifically eternal life in the kingdom of heaven, one cannot sin. The problem is that we have all sinned... Hence without a Savior the sinner must pay the price with his blood so that eternal life cannot be had. But in love for humanity, Christ shed his own blood instead. So we can have eternal life after all.

...or something like that. :-)

>>Right. I wouldn't go along with those critics.<<

Good. But you begin to can see why, if the Father was going to pour out his wrath against humanity on Christ and raise him from the dead in glory three days later, Christ might have to endure the full brunt of human suffering rather than something more along the lines of a lethal injection.

Crude said...

The One True God is the standard for good and evil. I don't follow the abusive part.

Alright. So, your God is good and evil. But you only worship the good part.

So it's a little like worshiping Dr Jekyll, but having absolutely nothing to do with Mister Hyde. Do I have this right?

I again ask for a link to this religion to read more about it.

Cole said...

Crude,

I don't have a link. It's something that I have concluded based on the evidence. Your Bible contradicts the scientific evidence.

Crude said...

I don't have a link. It's something that I have concluded based on the evidence.

That's fascinating! So it's a religion of one. Okay.

Please tell me how did you conclude it. Based on what evidence? What arguments? What books can I read that will convince me of the position you have? Keep in mind I'm sympathetic to every religion from Neo-Platonism to Mormonism to otherwise, even if I hold the Catholic Church to be correct. I like to find common ground.

Speaking of which: So, your god has kind of a Jekyll/Hyde thing going on, right? Did I get that much correct? You did say he's the source of good and evil, but you kind of ignore the evil part.

Cole said...

Crude,

It's a form of Zoroastianism but not exactly the same. I don't think worshipping the Spirit of love, truth, and beauty is a one man religion.

Crude said...

It's a form of Zoroastianism but not exactly the same. I don't think worshipping the Spirit of love, truth, and beauty is a one man religion.

Great! Zoroastrianism. I hear there's a (alas, diminishing) middle-eastern following.

Still waiting on the Jekyll/Hyde response. I wouldn't want to misrepresent this, but honest to God, when you tell me your God is both good and evil, or creates both good and evil, it seems we've got a bit of an issue to deal with.

Cole said...

What sort of an issue? Like I said, I don't follow darkness but rather love, truth, beauty, and justice.

Crude said...

What sort of an issue? Like I said, I don't follow darkness but rather love, truth, beauty, and justice.

Right, in the way that someone really likes Dr Jekyll. But Hyde is a complete jackass. You don't see that as a problem?

Cole said...

I agree that Hyde is a jackass. That's why I don't follow Him. He does things like abuse animals, people. He's also into hate and appeasing His wrath with blood.

BenYachov said...

@Paps
>I don't follow your logic.

It's largely willful on your part Paps.

>If god did it to himself, then when he died, he didn't really die, because can't die, isn't that right?

Paps are you trying to smuggle in your materialist belief human beings cease to exist when they die?

Because given belief in an Afterlife then even when you die you don't really die(according too your unstated but assumed materialist view of Death).

>So if christ is god, as you unequivocally state, and he allowed himself be killed,

He allowed his human nature to be damaged to the point of causing the cessation of biological life. Of course his Divine Nature without mixing or confusion is still united to even his human nature in death.

His human soul(Which is also united to his Divine nature) departs for Shoal, then there is the Harrowing of Hell, the resurrection & other fun stuff etc).

>he really didn't suffer death as mortals would suffer death as we know it then, did he?

What you really mean Gnu Boy is He didn't cease to exist according to your materialist view of the finality of dead. A view you assume but have not proven.

Oh Paps you never had a sophisticated view of religion even when you believed. Your unbelief is equally unsophisticated.

How does that make you feel?

B. Prokop said...

Papalinton,

I'm glad you're weighing in on this one. You write: "So if Christ is God, as you unequivocally state, and He allowed Himself be killed, He really didn't suffer death as mortals would suffer death as we know it then, did he?"

Exactly right. He did not suffer death as we mortals know it. For Him it was far more profound. It is indeed the Mystery of Mysteries, and goes to the heart of the doctrine of the Trinity itself.

After all, when we die, there is Someone (Christ) on the other side to greet us (even you, Papalinton!). But when God died (and yes, He most certainly did do so, on Good Friday in 33 AD), He had... who, what? No one? to welcome Him on the other side. It was the ultimate act of humility. My mind reels at the thought. Here we almost certainly come to the very purpose of Creation itself. There is something fundamental about the very Nature of God as Trinity... the Son in eternal giving of Himself to the Father, the unfathomable descent into our nature (the Incarnation), and then a further descent into Hell (His Passion and Death)...

Damn! I wish I could continue in this thread, now that it's gotten interesting. But I'm off on a plane in a few hours, and won't be back to my computer until next Monday. I leave this discussion to better hands than my own, and see you all next week!

BenYachov said...

I think Cole's religious beliefs are based largely on his feelings.

There are many Christians who fall into that category and many Atheists as well(**Cough!**, **Cough!**, **Cough!**, PAPS! **Cough!**).

But some of us do philosophy so a burning in your bossum for some Neo-Arhura Mazda, or Sam Harris Buddism Atheism isn't really gonna cut it with some people.

Myself included.

Cole feelings regarding Christ's atonement aren't going to move me either.

It's a waste of time.

Crude said...

I agree that Hyde is a jackass. That's why I don't follow Him.

Do you realize the point of using Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde here? I mean, do you realize who Jekyll and Hyde are?

Cole said...

Crude,

Yep. My Higher Power is one of love. Not abuse like yours.

Crude said...

Yep. My Higher Power is one of love.

I'll ask again. I've been using the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde example.

Do you just not get that? Do you not know who Jekyll and Hyde are?

Cole said...

Yep.

It talks about them in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous in describing a certain type of alcoholic.

Cole said...

Science tells us that God created the universe this way. There was no fall. So that leads me to conclude that the One True God has two comingling Spirits that emanate from Him. Light and Darkness.

Steve Lovell said...

Hi there,

Returning to this thread, it appears to have become rather long! I've tried to read most of it ...

Cole,

I've got a lot of sympathy with your basic objection here. I can honestly say that I don't understand the atonement. Certainly not in a way that I could state in numbered propositions that would all be clearly morally coherent. But at the same time, it's difficult to make a case that it's not morally coherent.

Going back to the arguments, such as they are, early on you accused God of injustice in inflicting on Jesus, the punishment due to us. I think it is here that Crude and others are saying that this may not be right by "your standard" of justice, but that your standard isn't God's. The defenders of the atonement here are not saying this would be acceptable behaviour were we to do something similar. There is something special about God's position that (which together with the "closeness" of the Father and Son, and the willingness of the latter) prevents it being wrong. At the same time, I think most Christians would agree that humanly speaking it was a huge injustice for Christ to have been killed. Were it not for the resurrection, the story of Christ's Passion would be a moral tragedy.

But all that said, suppose we accept your label and call it an "injustice". Many "injustices" occur. Perhaps this one did. Would you really reject the offer of forgiveness because it was "unjust" in that sense? You are the beneficiary of that "injustice" ... an "injustice" which is really the flipside of God's grace and mercy.

Papalinton said...

"Oh Paps you never had a sophisticated view of religion even when you believed. "

What's so sophisticated about a belief in an imaginary faery tale?

And indeed, the idea of Ganesh, the elephant god of hinduism is by far a greater creative image than the banal blood-lust cannibalism of the christian eucharist as its central motif.

What holds up the world? An elephant which in turn stands on the back of a turtle. Now that is creative genius.

BenYachov said...

>What's so sophisticated about a belief in an imaginary faery tale?

Well that statement proves me right.

For you Paps God was an imaginary anthropomorphic invisible faery like Wizard. A child's view of God. Except when you grew up you forgot to put away childish things.

The Wizard doesn't exist Paps. I don't believe in the Wizard & neither do your grown up Christian opponents.

Add to that you replacing Sola Scriptura with Scientism & kneejerk rejecting philosophy(which as we have already shown is an irrational & Illogical mess). In the end you are still a fundie. Except without Wizard belief.

Pathetic & low brow.

Papalinton said...

"For you Paps God was an imaginary anthropomorphic invisible faery like Wizard."

Absolutely correct. God is an imaginary anthropomorphic invisible faery. But I do not know of the Wizard character. I have no knowledge of the Wizard. But gleaning from your comment that there are strong correlations between god and Wizard then I can only take your word for it that God is an imaginary anthropomorphic invisible faery like Wizard. Both are clearly immature and prematurely truncated conceptions of the human condition despite two millennia of dabbling in mysticism.

I mean, do you "really eat the raw flesh of the body of Jesus, not merely a cracker enrobed in metaphor, and really swallow his blood"? What does his meat taste like? Chicken? Fish?

Tell me about the evidence for and the mechanics of real physical and actual transubstantiation? I understand the catholic intelligentsia have proven without doubt that transubstantiation actually occurs and is real fact. and not just metaphysical. I would be interested in reviewing their findings. Or do I have to put my 'jesus glasses' on to either physically witness this transubstantiation or read the findings in a certain light?

Your referral to 'scientism' is simply a pejorative attack at the capacity of science to supersede the explanatory power of christian theism; nothing more. If one were to make a comparison between 'scientism' and 'theism':

"Religion once offered answers to many questions that have now been ceded to the care of science. This process of scientific conquest and religious forfeiture has been relentless, one directional, and utterly predictable. As it turns out, real knowledge, being both valid and verifiable across cultures, is the only remedy for religious discord. Muslims and Christians cannot disagree about the causes of cholera, for instance, because whatever their traditions might say about infectious disease, a genuine understanding of cholera has arrived from another quarter. Epidemiology trumps religious superstition (eventually), especially when people are watching their children die. This is where our hope for a truly nonsectarian future lies: when things matter, people tend to want to understand what is actually going on in the world. Science delivers this understanding in torrents; it also offers an honest appraisal of its current limitations. Religion fails on both counts."
[Afterword to 'A Letter to a Christian Nation' Dr Sam Harris]

Cole said...

Steve,

It has nothing to do with my standard of justice but my Higher Power's standard of justice. You see, my Higher Power doesn't punish innocent people by tearing their flesh to shreds for their blood just so He can forgive someone. That's not forgiveness. Nether is it justice according to my Higher Power.

BenYachov said...

>Absolutely correct. God is an imaginary anthropomorphic invisible faery.

Which is why no argument of yours has any meaning or force. It's just brain dead stupidity.

I don't for a second believe in Pantheism but I know what it is. I know what I disbelieve in. You OTOH can't get past the "anthropomorphic invisible faery".

Thus all you will be able to ever offer is low brow ridicule not intelligent critique of religion.

Like I said a fundie without anthropomorphic invisible faery" belief.wingulgh

BenYachov said...

>Your referral to 'scientism' is simply a pejorative attack at the capacity of science to supersede the explanatory power of christian theism;

No Scientism is the view that all real knowledge is scientific knowledge—that there is no rational, objective form of inquiry that is not a branch of science.

It's either trivially true if we include Philosophy as a Science or it is self-contradictory if we exclude it since the proposition itself can't be verified by it's own standard.

>Tell me about the evidence for and the mechanics of real physical and actual transubstantiation?

As exampled above.

You are like the Protestant who challenges me to show him where the word "Transubstantiation" is in the Bible.

Very tedious.

Paps you have been here how long & you still haven't learned anything.

Crude said...

No Scientism is the view that all real knowledge is scientific knowledge—that there is no rational, objective form of inquiry that is not a branch of science.

Man, it's not even that. Scientism, first and foremost, is about abusing science. The various nitwits to whom scientism is often attributed have one schtick uniting them: pretending to give a scientific argument or demonstration when they, as a matter of fact, have not. These people mangle science on a regular basis, and very often they either know they're doing so, or know next to nothing about science and have little care to learn.

BenYachov said...

Not to mention their ignorance of Philosophy.

That includes Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Nature, & Metaphysics(i.e. Philosophy of Being).

I respect Atheist philosophers even bad ones are a step above the average Gnu.

But I have as much contempt for the anti-philospohy Gnu crowd as Richard Dawkins has for Young Earth Creationism.

The anti-philosophy Scientism fundies are the YEC's of un-belief.

Cole said...

It appears that you are the one's who are ignorant of the scientific facts. Through the years science has come to show that all the worlds great creation stories are myths. This includes the Bible. What I want to do is take a look at Genesis One and compare it with the known scientific facts of our day. I will assume that the days of Genesis are long epochs of time rather than 24 hr. days.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

With this statement we see God creating the entire universe. The earth is without life and is formless before God sets out to prepare it for mankind. There is no light or lights in the sky yet. For they will come later on day four after the earth and plant life. This contradicts what science tells us about the age of the sun. The sun is around 4.6 billion years old. It would have had to come into existence at about the same time as the earth.

Day 1 - Let there be light....And there was light

Here we have light for the first time from some unknown source in the universe without the sun, moon, and stars.

Day 2 - Let there be an expanse between the waters....God seperated the waters above from the waters below and made the expanse.

Here we see God seperating the waters and forming clouds as He makes the sky. What we have here is God seting up a stable water cycle.

Day 3 - Let the dry ground appear....Let the land produce seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed inside the fruit.

On day 3 we have the dry continents pushing up through the waters that covered them. The land then produces vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed inside the fruit before God creates the fish and other animals in the sea along with the birds. Again, this contradicts the scientific facts. The Cambrian explosion happened arround 545 million years ago. This is when the advanced sea creatures first appeared. The Mesozoic era (which came after the Cambrian) is composed of three time periods. The early Mesozoic is called the Triassic, the mid-Mesozoic is the Jurassic and the late Mesozoic, when flowering and fruiting plants began to establish themselves, is the Cretaceous. Prior to the Cretaceous era plants were gymnosperms, they did not reproduce using seeds. Later, these gymnosperms faded back while our modern fruiting and flowering trees, the angiosperms became more dominant.

Day 4 - Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens....So God made the two great lights. And also the stars.

Here we have the sun, moon, and stars appearing for the first time. The text is clear that they were made on the fourth day after the earth, sky, seas, and plants contradicting the scientific age of the sun at about 4.6 billion years ago.

Day 5 - Let the waters swarm with living creatures and let winged creatures fly above the earth.

Here God populates the seas and oceans with living creatures as He creates the flying creatures after He makes seed-bearing plants and fruit trees.

Day 6 - Let the land produce living creatures....Let us make man in our own image.

Day six has land animals being created for the first time after the fruit-trees and seed bearing plants. Again, the Bible has it wrong. The evidence shows that soft-bodied arthropods and slug-like animals visited the land as far back as 510 million years ago, in the Cambrian era. Around 365 million years ago, some fish (so-called “fishapods”) developed limbs and climbed onto the land.

Crude said...

It appears that you are the one's who are ignorant of the scientific facts. Through the years science has come to show that all the worlds great creation stories are myths.

No, they haven't - and taking aim at a hyper-literalistic reading of Genesis won't impress either myself, Ben, or any of the regulars in this thread thus far. You're pretty much talking to a group of theistic evolutionists, even if we differ on some issues individually.

Further, that's some pretty sorry exegesis even for someone going with an OEC model. Really, arguing that the 'seed-bearing plants' of Genesis strictly, literally and exclusively meant what we classify as angiosperms is freaking hilarious.

It backs up what I said: the sort of people who yammer on about science demonstrably have no freaking idea what science is, or when they're no longer talking about it.

Cole said...

The word for seed is talking about things such as corn, grain, wheat etc. Moreover, it still contradicts science to say that fruit trees appeared before the fish and land animals. Your Bible is myth.

Crude said...

The word for seed is talking about things such as corn, grain, wheat etc.

But not 'angiosperm'. Thanks for the admission of mistake. There'd be a lot more to offer in your post.

Moreover, it still contradicts science to say that fruit trees appeared before the fish and land animals.

Again, do you even realize the audience you're talking to here? Do you realize just how bad your exegesis is, even from a OEC perspective?

Your Bible is myth.

That's nice. By the way, which of your god's dual personalities commands you to run around lying about, misrepresenting and attacking religions other than your own? The Jekyll side? Or the Hyde side?

Cole said...

The God of love wants me to show love to everybody. This includes helping out those who are being abused by people like you who try to instill fear into them with your doctrines of abuse and demons.

Moreover, even if it does includes angiosperms the fossil record still contradicts the Bible. They came after the Cambrian not before.

Crude said...

The God of love wants me to show love to everybody.

Well, he's the God of hate too, remember? Are you sure you're not getting your wires crossed here? There's a live chance that the God of evil is trying to get you to do something in the name of the God of love. That'd be just like Mr Hyde!

Moreover, even if it does includes angiosperms the fossil record still contradicts the Bible. They came after the Cambrian not before.

Nope. If anything is contradicted, it's your nutty, strained, pseudo-'scientific' interpretation of the bible. Likewise, I wasn't arguing that it 'includes angiosperms'. I was commenting on how ridiculous it was to try and suggest that Genesis was making reference to modern scientific biological categories, even from an OEC perspective.

I'd suggest pausing and reflecting. You're serving that rascally, angry Mister Hyde here. Doctor Jekyll is probably ashamed of what he's seeing in you.

Cole said...

It sounds like you don't know how to read the Bible. Neither do you know science very well. I'm following the Spirit of love. Your God is abusive and so are you and your friends here. You are abusive to me and to the people you try to instill fear into with your doctrines of abuse and evil.

Crude said...

I'm following the Spirit of love.

Or so the Spirit of Hate wants you to think! He's tricking you, Cole - he's responsible for your abysmal grasp of science, your terrible exegesis, your anger. Why, he may even be...

Oh no! Behind you, Cole! Look ooooouuuuuuuuttttt....!!

Cole said...

I'm not angry. I'm as calm as I can be. Just because your God is abusive and dysfunctional doesn't mean I'm angry. You are the one that sounds a little thrown off. Are you scared? It sounds like you can see that what I'm saying is true.

Crude said...

I'm not angry. I'm as calm as I can be.

Sure you are, Cole. Sure you are. ;)

Papalinton said...

So I take it you do taste chicken when you chomp into a bit of jesus's hamstring.

You say, "You are like the Protestant who challenges me to show him where the word "Transubstantiation" is in the Bible."
Not at all. I simply want you explain, as a catholic, how transubstantiation physically operates, just as the minds of the catholic learned tells us it does?
Do you know what? I reckon you know and also consider the physical transubstantiation claim is a whole lot of hogwash, a whole lot of metaphoric hooey, but in your decency and good naturedness cannot bring yourself to question it, and simply go along with the nonsense you know it to be.

Hey! What's the difference between an Aztec human sacrifice and a christian human sacrifice? ....... only the setting.

C'mon Ben, own up to it. Your belief in a Thomist christian faery is no different to any other faery-ist. You know full well that a belief in supernatural entities is a primitive carryover of the human condition embedded in all of us, that we, as a species, is slowly but inexorably realizing is but a figment of our imaginative teleologically-constructed thought processes.

Your silence on the explosive nature of the explanatory power of the sciences clearly signals that theism has no comparable capacity for competing with the understanding of reality in the marketplace of ideas. To assign unfathomable mystery, supernatural inexplicability and miracles to things not understood is an abject admission of defeat, a circumstance that perpetuates the cyclic nature of christian theism. To attribute something to 'god's mysterious ways' is a clear concession that christian theism has failed to provide the level of explanatory power required, nay demanded, by contemporary society. It may have been OK as an explanation in preceding centuries; today it is a testament to the paucity of substance on which the christian edifice is founded. Indeed a comparative review of the various religious traditions tells us it is but only one of many cultural artifacts developed by humans.

To round off, you might wish to have a look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnbXlkNavwo

:)

Crude said...

I simply want you explain, as a catholic, how transubstantiation physically operates, just as the minds of the catholic learned tells us it does?

The 'catholic learned' don't say or even imply that transubstantiation is a 'physical operation'. But hey, you're an ex-teacher - pretty much the lowest point on the totem pole when it comes to talking about that which you understand. ;)

Your silence on the explosive nature of the explanatory power of the sciences

Silence? From Ben? Science is not 'in competition' with belief in God, or religion generally - it's entirely compatible with it. And insofar as the sciences reveal an intelligible world, they serve as a boon to theism generally, and a strike against primitive monkey-atheism. But understanding this would require having some basic knowledge of the sciences (note: quoting people who are praising science doesn't count as scientific knowledge), not to mention some even more basic understanding of theism. Alas, that would require learning. Those who can, do. And those who can't, teach.

As for atheism, its worldwide decline must really bug you. You're an aussie, right? Nothing quite like being smack dab near Asia with a shrinking population, while muslim, Christian and other populations are on the rise all around you via conversion and birthrate alike. Much as you may try to stop it.

Papalinton said...

"The 'catholic learned' don't say or even imply that transubstantiation is a 'physical operation'."

From the Catholic Encyclopedia: "Transubstantiation is the change or conversion of one substance into another. Its usage is confined to the Eucharistic rite, where it signifies the change of the entire substance or basic reality of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus Christ, while the outward appearances (species, accidents) of the bread and wine are unaffected.

Although the term is neither Biblical nor patristic, the idea it expresses is as old as Christian revelation. The scriptural evidence (Mt 26.26–28; Mk 14.22–24; Lk 22.19–20; Jn 6.50–67; 1 Cor 11.23–25) requires that the bread cease to exist and that Christ's body be made present. The cessation of the bread is connected with the presence of Christ's body; that is, by divine omnipotence, the bread has been changed into Christ's body. On the other hand, no modification of the visible phenomena of the bread and wine took place before the eyes of the Apostles. Hence Christ's words express the conversion of the substances of bread and wine into Christ's body and blood, although in outward appearance no alteration whatever occurs.

Patristic Period. Much theological reflection was needed before the doctrine became explicit. In the 2nd century, Ignatius of Antioch (d. c. 117) simply points out that the Eucharist is the Savior's flesh [Epist. ad Smyrnaeos 7.1; J. Quasten, ed. Monumenta eucharista et liturgica vetustissima (Bonn 1935–37) 336]. Justin (d. c. 165) remarks that Christians regard the Eucharist not as ordinary food but as Christ's flesh and blood (Apologia 1.66; ibid., 18). "

"The Roman Catholic Church teaches that when the priest utters the words of consecration, the bread and wine are changed into the literal [my italics] body and blood of Christ. He is then offered to God on the altar as a propitiatory sacrifice for sin. The Council of Trent explicitly states that ‘in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the mass, that same Christ is contained and immolated in an unbloody manner who once offered himself in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross’. There are thus two aspects of the Roman doctrine: transubstantiation, which guarantees the ‘real presence’ of Christ; and the mass, in which Christ, thus present bodily [my italics], is re-offered to God as a sacrifice."

How does this change happen without changing the cracker?
Please define 'literal' as catholics define it.
Cognitive dissonance anyone?

"And insofar as the sciences reveal an intelligible world ..."
No it doesn't. Science exposes regularity or order in the world, much as there is order in crystalline quartz but on a bigger scale, and certainly not 'intelligible'. That is a purely theological derivative of teleology and theism's preponderance to detect and envision agency everywhere. Christian anthropomorphism is such a banal avocation.

However, I do understand your constant disparagement and denigration of me personally and my career as a teacher. There is little recourse for a christian to do anything other, when it becomes apparent how impotent, powerless and ineffectual christian theism is in providing a viable and efficacious model of society without its once handy recourse to the various persuasive institutional activities of religious violence.

Crude said...

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

Congratulations, Paps. You learned how to google.

Notice that nowhere - not a single place in that entire entry - does the Catholic Encyclopedia say this is a 'physical operation'. I know it's hard for you to actually think for yourself, much less bother to study up on anything related to those eeeeeevil Christians, but the fact that neither the bread nor wine takes on the appearance of blood and flesh is not news. This is not something we needed modern science to notice: it was quite apparent 2000 years ago.

But you can't even grok that much. You talk about a "physical operation" and "catholic learned"... but don't seem to understand that the "catholic learned" don't think it's a physical operation.

No it doesn't. Science exposes regularity or order in the world, much as there is order in crystalline quartz but on a bigger scale, and certainly not 'intelligible'.

Bwahahaha!

There we have it, folks. Papalinton does not think the universe is intelligible. So, either he doesn't understand what the word "intelligible" means in this context (no surprise), or the prospect of science describing an intelligible universe is so frightening to him that he finds himself forced to deny that science reveals an intelligible universe.

In fact, he even claims that the idea that the universe is intelligible is some kind of theological, teleological, and therefore wrong thing. From the horse's freaking mouth: do you find the universe intelligible? Do you think a mind can well and truly comprehend the universe? Well, there goes your atheism according to Papalinton. You're some kind of religious person if you believe science can be successful in principle.

However, I do understand your constant disparagement and denigration of me personally and my career as a teacher.

Do you really? Do you understand that bringing that up as a badge of intellect was a mistake, particularly given your tendency to run at the mouth over things you know nothing about? To do what so many inept teachers and wannabe intellectuals do - quote and parrot in lieu of understanding, much less thinking? Except this isn't a classroom and you have no authority - which is why, on site after site, no one takes you seriously.

Those who can, do, Papalinton. Those who can't, teach.

I'd ask if you've learned anything here today, Papalinton. But alas, the prospect of something in the universe being intelligible is freaking frightening to you - best to deny it. ;)

Papalinton said...

Some seven or eight paragraphs to express asininity. i guess theology represents a good training ground in the arcane and recondite weasel-wording of christian apologetics.

But then don't kid yourself that christians read the bible for their beliefs. Not for one moment. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, most if not all christians rely principally on Apologetics to form their guileless belief system.

Consistently, survey after survey, it has been reported few christians read the bible. More's the point, atheists know a deal more from and about the bible than believers do. Again, consistently, survey over survey over survey has confirmed this.

The bible is largely meaningless garble when it comes to mapping a worldview or searching for a reasonable grounding in morality. It provides neither. It is a cherry-picker's delight. Indeed it is a useless text in even a basic understanding of the human condition. That is why the bible cannot exist without its ubiquitous crutch, Apologetics. Christian theology is the only field of human activity that, out of necessity, requires a separate and distinct branch of study to explain itself. Apologetics is the 'active' referent from which christians build their worldview; not from the 'god-breathed' words of the bible, but through the interpretation, re-interpretation, and the 'meta-interpretation' of the interpretation of the jejune musings of strictly earth-bound mortals.

How can one not but heap scorn on such a contrived, convoluted and inward-looking perspective as the christian worldview, a perspective so constrained within its own self-imposed and self-proscribed boundaries of human experience, that it is for the most part, in complete denial of everything else humans do and understand outside their christian compound? Christian theism is antithetical and anti-ecumenical in progressing our understanding of the human condition. It is, to put it bluntly anti-human, through which people are expected to compliantly hand over every effort, every striving, every struggle that has been undertaken, capitulating every reason for our existence and grovelingly acquiescing all that it is to be human to an undeserved, unwarranted and utterly gratuitous figment.

If this form of abject self-abasement is the transcendent pinnacle of the christian ideal, then I say stick it right up your arse. No disrespect intended.

Crude said...

Some seven or eight paragraphs to express asininity.

Learn to count, Papalinton. Your latest only had six. Though I love that numbers up to 8 are kind of confusing for you so you can't be sure you counted right. ;)

But then don't kid yourself that christians read the bible for their beliefs.

Mmmm, gotta love that topic change. You completely, utterly flubbed talk of science, you mangled Catholic teaching on the eucharist, so quick! Do what you're used to doing in a situation like this: bluff. Talk about something else.

Newsflash, Paps: your gimmick doesn't work, and never does. The difference is that here, it's being pointed out instead of people politely nodding their heads and just waiting for you to quiet up.

Intelligible enough for you? Quick, count the paragraphs I used in reply. You're probably going to need a calculator for this one. ;)

Papalinton said...

Claude Helvetius, French philosopher:

On the eucharist wafer: "A man who believes that he eats his God we do not call mad; a man who says he is Jesus Christ, we call mad."

Papalinton said...

" To me, the offer of certainty, the offer of complete security, the offer of an impermeable faith that can't give way, is an offer of something not worth having. I want to live my life taking the risk all the time knowing that I don't know anything like enough yet, that I haven't understood enough, that I can't know enough, that I'm always, hungrily, operating on the margins of a potentially great harvest of future knowledge and wisdom. I wouldn't have it any other way. And I'd urge you to look at those of you who tell you, those people who tell you, at your age, that you're dead till you believe as they do. [What a terrible thing to be telling to children. And that you can only live by accepting an absolute authority.] Don't think of it as a gift, think of it as a poison chalice. Push it aside however tempting it is. Take the risk of thinking for yourself. Much more happiness, truth, beauty and wisdom will come to you that way."
Christopher Hitchens. 1949-2011

And yet I understand the irony of offering this quote and taking "the risk of thinking for yourself".

Christian theism is such a drab comparison.

Steve Lovell said...

Cole,

I'm not sure I understand your latest response to me.

Remember in this thread the overall dialetic is that you are defending Drange who is arguing against Christianity, so the burden of proof is on you. We don't have to argue for the justice of God in the atonement, you are arguing against it, and our duty is to either abandon our beliefs or show that your arguments shouldn't persuade.

With this in mind, the talk of "My higher power" vs "Your God" has become somewhat unhelpful. When you predicate a property of something you are affirming that that thing exists. So if you call "my" God unjust, you affirm his existence. It would be tediious to find circumlocutions to avoid this, so I don't blame you for talking this way.

However, when we get to a sitution where the discussion seems to be of the form "Your God is F, but my Higher Power is not-F", it would be nice to know exactly what you mean. If we put circumloculations into "your God" we can equally put them into "my Higher Power" ... and when we do it'll become clearer exactly what you are assuming and in particular whether you are assuming that your Higher Power exists. To assume that is to assume the falsehood of Christianity, which is then to argue in a circle.

Jake Elwood XVI said...

"I think it true to say that for many years I was more or less ashamed of confessing to any religious faith at all, except when I felt safe to do so. It is a strange and welcome side effect of the growing attack on Christianity in British society that I have now overcome this.

Being Christian is one thing. Fighting for a cause is another, and much easier to acknowledge - for in recent times it has grown clear that the Christian religion is threatened with a dangerous defeat by secular forces which have never been so confident.

Why is there such a fury against religion now? Because religion is the one reliable force that stands in the way of the power of the strong over the weak. The one reliable force that forms the foundation of the concept of the rule of law.

The one reliable force that restrains the hand of the man of power. In an age of power-worship, the Christian religion has become the principal obstacle to the desire of earthly utopians for absolute power.

While I was making my gradual, hesitant way back to the altar-rail, my brother Christopher's passion against God grew more virulent and confident.

As he has become more certain about the non-existence of God, I have become more convinced we cannot know such a thing in the way we know anything else, and so must choose whether to believe or not. I think it better by far to believe.

Christopher and I are separate people who, like many siblings, have lived entirely different lives since our childhood.

But since it is obvious much of what I say arises out of my attempt to debate religion with him, it would be absurd to pretend that much of what I say here is not intended to counter or undermine arguments he presented in his book, God Is Not Great, published in 2007.

I do not loathe atheists, as Christopher claims to loathe believers. I am not angered by their failure to see what appears obvious to me. I understand that they see differently. I do think that they have reasons for their belief, as I have reasons for mine, which are the real foundations of this argument.
It is my belief that passions as strong as his are more likely to be countered by the unexpected force of poetry, which can ambush the human heart at any time.

It is also my view that, as with all atheists, he is his own chief opponent. As long as he can convince himself, nobody else will persuade him. His arguments are to some extent internally coherent and are a sort of explanation - if not the best explanation - of the world and the universe.

He often assumes that moral truths are self-evident, attributing purpose to the universe and swerving dangerously round the problem of conscience - which surely cannot be conscience if he is right since the idea of conscience depends on it being implanted by God. If there is no God then your moral qualms might just as easily be the result of indigestion.

Yet Christopher is astonishingly unable to grasp that these assumptions are problems for his argument. This inability closes his mind to a great part of the debate, and so makes his atheist faith insuperable for as long as he himself chooses to accept it."

Peter Hitchens. 1951-

And yet I understand the irony of offering this quote and is that you have already "close[ed your] mind to a great part of the debate."

Atheism is such a forlorn comparison.

Papalinton said...

"A belief in religion is to believe indiscriminately." Me

Jake Elwood XVI said...

"To believe that religious belief is indiscriminate believing is to merely reflect ones' own indiscriminate beliefs and undiscerning mind." Me

Cole said...

Steve,

What I'm saying is that ripping an innocent person's flesh to shreds for blood just so you can forgive someone else's crimes isn't just. What happened to Christ wasn't good. Every act of treachery and brutality against Jesus was unjust and evil. But, according to the Bible, God was the cause of it. The Bible says, Jusus was delivered up to death according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God. The ripping of His flesh and the bruises on His body were all the result of evil and designed by God. It tells us this explicitly:

Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, did whatever your hand and your plan predestined to take place. (Acts 4:27-28)

Assuming Christ was the innocent Son of God. What act of evil could be worse than to do to Him what was done to Him? Yet, you and the Bible want to tell me that it was God's design? God was taking His wrath out on the innocent Christ? This makes your God evil and brutal.

Steve Lovell said...

Hi Cole,

As this others have said, this seems to indicate that you aren't judging Christianity by it's own standards but by another standard, whether that be "yours" or that of "your Higher Power".

If you think that standard is right (as you evidently do) you need to defend it (and not merely assert it) for the argument to stack up. Along with other Christians commenting in this thread, I agree that Jesus' death has much in common with things which we'd ordinarily think were injustices, but that there are also some crucial (pun intended) differences, which mean that it wasn't an injustice for God to bring it about. That isn't a wildly different standard of justice than the one you adopt since it agrees that this is something of an exceptional case. If you want to convince us we're wrong you'll need to show, starting from things we are likely to agree with, that such an exceptional case is not possible or that the things we say make this case exceptional are either irrelevant or simply false. I don't think you've done anything of the sort ... at least not yet.

But let's try another tack. (Not that another tack is required and if the following were overturned, I wouldn't be worried by that.) Take the following argument:

(1) God is responsible for Jesus' death [from scripture]
(2) Jesus' death was unjust [premise agreed only for the sake of argument at this point]
(3) Therefore, God is responsible for an injustice

I'm not entirely sure this is a valid argument. It depends a little of the logic of "responsible". Compare

(1') I am responsible for my child's birth
(2') My child's birth inflicted pain on my wife
(3') Therefore, I am responsible for inflicting pain on my wife

I think it is fairly clear that (3') doesn't follow. Is (3) different? Don't you need to assume that God is responsible for all the particulars of Jesus' death which constitute the injustice and not just for the death? Is that an assumption that a Christian should accept? It's not obvious to me that Christian's should accept that, though it probably depends more than a little on one's views on God's sovereignty / pre-destination.

Papalinton said...

The funny thing about all this Jake, is that when I noted: "And yet I understand the irony of offering this quote [from Christopher Hitchens] and taking "the risk of thinking for yourself", that irony was directed at myself. All your following comments are simply understandable reactionary responses, so emblematic of those that daily socialize with [putatively] live entities across the supernatural brane, when the fundamentals of their imaginary belief system are rigorously challenged and shown to be fictive.

And as Paula Kirby asks: "If you have ever claimed that your life would have no meaning if it weren’t for your faith in God, do you really believe your family and friends have no worth in their own right? Can you really not see the point in striving to protect and nurture your children, even if there is no eternal life? Really?
If you do, then it is you, not atheists, who debase humanity, and it is Christianity, not atheism, that diminishes the real value and meaning of life. We atheists find purpose in the world as it is, and in our real lives; we see living beings as valuable in their own right, deserving of our concern and compassion simply because they share our capacity for pain and pleasure. It is hard to imagine a position less moral, less conducive to empathy, than this inherently warped and uncharitable view of humanity proposed by Christianity."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/post/how-do-atheist-find-meaning-in-life/2012/01/18/gIQAbiFP8P_blog.html

Cole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cole said...

It's wrong to murder or even allow the murder of an innocent person when you have the power to stop it

God had the power to stop the murder of the innocent Christ

God didn't stop the murder of Christ

This makes God an accessory to murder.

BenYachov said...

Paps your Atheism is low-brow.

It can never be made otherwise.

Would it kill ya to read at least one Atheist philosopher instead of the Gnutoids who are merely popular?

Just one?

No? I guess once a fundamentalist always a fundamentalist.

Cole said...

I've redone it. Enjoy:

Ripping an innocent person's flesh to shreds for blood just so you can forgive someone else's crimes isn't just. According to the Bible, what happened to Christ wasn't good. Every act of treachery and brutality against Jesus was unjust and evil. Yet, according to the Bible, God was the cause of it. The Bible says, Jusus was delivered up to death according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God. The ripping of His flesh and the bruises on His body were all the result of evil and designed by God. It tells us this explicitly:

Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, did whatever your hand and your plan predestined to take place. (Acts 4:27-28)

Assuming Christ was the innocent Son of God. What act of evil could be worse than to do to Him what was done to Him? Yet, the Bible tells us that it was God's design. God was taking His wrath out on the innocent Christ. This makes God evil and brutal. Why must the Father have innocent blood in order to forgive?

Allowing the murder of the innocent when you have the power to stop it makes you an accessory to murder

The God of the Bible allowed the murder of His innocent Son

The God of the Bible had the power to stop the murder of His innocent Son

The God of the Bible is an accessory to murder

Zach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BenYachov said...

>What is your great contribution to society, Crude?

Why are you dissing Crude? I support his posts here.

Mike Darus said...

I think Cole is doing well towards understanding atonement.
2 Corinthians 5:21
"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

Zach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BenYachov said...

>Crude mocking the career is 7th grade mine is bigger than yours BS.

It works for me since I went to an Episcopalian Parochial school where I got a good education. I tend to look down on public school education.

Paps claims to be a teacher yet his critiques of religion are substandard BS.

He gets what he deserves. I have no sympathy for him & his willful stupidity. I am all for making fun of his career.

BenYachov said...

>Cole has a good point.

Not really. It's like saying a young earth creationist has a "good point" when he whines about how "Dogs give birth to dogs! Cats give birth to Cats. Apes give birth to Apes! How can an Ape give birth to a human? Evolution is evil!".

It's just ignorant pablum from a person who wants to argue emotion not reason.

BenYachov said...

>Though Ben is an interesting case where I think we actually have many affinities, as he sees the weakness of the "God as a person, just bigger" view, which is refreshing.

The weakness is actually in the proposition "God is unequivocally a person like a human is a person".

I believe God is "personal" in the analogous sense. God has Intellect and Will ergo God is "Personal". It's just His Intellect and Will can't unequivocally be compared to a human intellect and will.

Knowledge of Aquinas' doctrine of analogy is essential.

Jake Elwood XVI said...

The funny thing about all this Papa, is that when I noted: "And yet I understand the irony of offering this quote [from Peter Hitchens] and is that you have already "close[ed your] mind to a great part of the debate."" that irony was directed at myself. All your following comments are simply understandable reactionary responses, so emblematic of those that daily socialise with their [putatively] decent, conscientious, and altogether effulgently clever men and women who know better then to take religious ideas seriously, when the fundamentals of their imagined confident speech are shown to merely pompous and bombastic.

And as David Bentley Hart invites: "I would, therefore, advise all of those whom Daniel Dennett likes to refer to as "brights"- that is, all of those decent, conscientious, and altogether effulgently clever men and women who know better then to take religious ideas seriously-not to be too terribly dismayed if their politely humanitarian ethos proves ultimately less durable than they might have imagined. To use Richard Dawkin's justly famous metaphor (which, unfortunately he does not quite grasp is a metaphor), "meme" like "human rights" and "human dignity" may not indefinitely continue replicating themselves once the Christian "infinite value of every life" meme has died out. It is true that it is an example of the so-called genetic fallacy to assume that an idea's value or meaning is always limited to the context in which it arose; just because certain moral premises have their ground in the Christian past does not mean they must cease to carry authority for those who no longer believe. But it is also true that ideas are related to one another not only genetically but structurally. If the beliefs or stories or logical principles that give an idea life are no longer present, then that idea loses its organic environment and will, unless some other ideological organism can successfully absorb it, perish. If there is a God of infinite love and goodness, of who every person is an image, then certain moral conclusions must be drawn; if there is not, those conlusions have no meaning. Many cultures, after all have thrived quite swell without ever adopting our "humanistic" prejudices; there is no reason we should not come more to resemble them tan they us. As I suggested above, Nietzsche was a prophetic figure precisely because he, almost alone among Christianity's enemies, understood the implications of Christianity's withdrawal from the culture it had haunted for so many centuries. He understood that the effort to cast of Christian faith while retaining the best and most beloved elements of Christian morality was doomed to defeat, and that even our cherished "Enlightenment" virtues may in the end prove to have been only parasitic upon inherited, but fading, cultural predilections, and so prove also to be destined for oblivion.

Or perhaps not. There is really little point in extravagant and doom-fraught prognostication. the shape of the future may be legible in certain lineaments of the present, but the movement of culture's evolution invariably escapes the reach of our foresight when we attempt to follow it very far beyond the present. It is enough for me to me, as I draw my argument to a close, to declare scepticism, not only in regard to our modern habits of magical thinking, but also in regards to a great many of modernity's larger claims for its moral, political and rational character. The highest ideals animating the secular project are borrowed ideals, even if they have occasionally been profoundly altered by their new uses; taken by itself, they modern post-Christian order has too long proved a bizarre amalgamation of the banal and the murderous to be granted very much credence"

http://goo.gl/P6Zvh

Cole said...

Let's take another example to get the flavor of what it is I'm trying to say here. There are children that we don't see. Children that are missing. Children that have disappeared and we can only hope that nothing bad has happened to them. Lets say that Tom saw a child being abducted but has decided not to get involved. Is Tom culpable of being an accessory to the Crime? Is there any obligation in principle for Tom to report this Crime? Tom is an accessory to the Crime. There is at least a legal principle for him to report the crime. Now lets change one word in our scenario and see what happens.

Lets say that God saw a child being abducted but has decided not to get involved. Is God culpable of being an Accessory to the Crime? Is there any obligation in principle for God to report this Crime? God is an accessory to the Crime. There is at least a legal principle for him to report the crime. In some jurisdictions, an accessory is distinguished from an accomplice, who normally is present at the crime and participates in some way. An accessory must generally have knowledge that a crime is being, or will be committed. A person with such knowledge may become an accessory by helping or encouraging the criminal in some way, or simply by failing to report the crime to proper authority. The assistance to the criminal may be of any type, including emotional or financial assistance as well as physical assistance or concealment.

When children go missing, God is there in his omniscience, omnipotence, omni-benevolence and his "perfect" Justice. Christians can lay down piles of Rhetoric about God valuing Freewill so much that the he won't interfere with the criminals act, but since this is the case, then he values the criminals freewill more and the subsequent act of the criminal more than the freewill of the victim or the safety of the victim, whom in the context of this article are children.

God Violates the very sound principle of reporting a crime when one has knowledge of it. God is Guilty as accessory to crimes associated with missing children.

Steve Lovell said...

Cole,

Let's take it point by point.

Firstly, you haven't responded to my comparison of (1)->(3) and (1')->(3'). Calling God "the cause" of Jesus' death implies that you think God's action was the only factor in bringing about this injustice. But that would be false. You'll need to reformulate the argument more carefully to avoid that implication.

Second, you write as though you are unaware of the good things which Christians believe come from this "injustice". Now I'm no consequentialist, but consequentialism isn't stupid and in some cases it's very difficult to say that the consequences don't justify the thing which, in the absence of those consequences, would have been evil. Perhaps this is one such case.

Third, when you write "God was taking His wrath out on the innocent Christ" this is a caricature. Now some models of the atonement might have this consequence, but I don't think it's a necessary component.

The above notwithstanding, I do think you raise some good questions. In particular "Does God's forgiveness require innocent blood? If so why, and if not then why is there so much of it in this connection?" I've not read much that helps me with those questions. Though the chapter "The Perfect Penitent" in Lewis's Mere Christianity isn't bad, and if you read it you'll see Lewis was sympathetic to those queries too.

Steve Lovell said...

Cole,

Sorry. Your last post must have appeared while I was composing mine. Here I'll just note that your latest is just the problem of evil. It's not an easy problem to deal with, and any Christian who doesn't struggle with it is clearly not thinking very much.

But it's not the same problem as the atonement. Or if it is, we can forget about the atonement and just talk about the problem of evil.

BenYachov said...

>"God was taking His wrath out on the innocent Christ"

"God was taking His wrath out on the innocent 'God Incarnate' rather then direct that wrath towards us who earned it with sin".

So for Cole this is a bad thing?

That's like me owing Donald Trump 100 hours of slave labor for some grievous offense I did to him & having the Don forgive me by doing the 100 hours himself.

I should complain why again?

Cole said...

Steve,

It is the same problem only worse.
The Bible explicitly tells us that evil men killed Christ. This is murder. Yet it was designed and planned by God:

Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, did whatever your hand and your plan predestined to take place. (Acts 4:27-28)

this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. (Acts 2:23-24)

Assuming Christ was the innocent Son of God. What act of evil could be worse than to do to Him what was done to Him? Yet, the Bible tells us that it was God's plan and design. This makes God evil and brutal.

Allowing and planing the murder of the innocent when you have the power to stop it makes you an accessory to murder

The God of the Bible allowed and planned the murder of His innocent Son.

The God of the Bible had the power to stop the murder of His innocent Son

The God of the Bible is an accessory to murder

Don McIntosh said...

>>The God of love wants me to show love to everybody. This includes helping out those who are being abused by people like you who try to instill fear into them with your doctrines of abuse and demons.<<

With all the love I can muster: It seems to me that the above comments are incoherent. You're claiming to help out the good and innocent people (victims of abuse) and resist the evil people (abusers), all in the name of an unconditional and universal love that is blind to the harsh demands of justice. But a love that is blind to justice should be willing to help out evil people right along with everyone else.

Don McIntosh said...

At least two streams of thought seem to have emerged here from my critical friends:

1. The Christian gospel is too earthly. It is primitive, brutal and stark.

2. The Christian gospel is too fantastic. It is the stuff of wishful thinking and fairy tales.

Once again the critics have us cornered. ;-)

Cole said...

I am trying to help. But you cannot help an evil eternal abusing Spirit.

Crude said...

This disparagement of teaching, and general focus on someone's career here, is a major douche move. What is your great contribution to society, Crude?

First, Linton's entire gimmick is douche moves. He rants, he insults, but when someone responds in kind, he panics and whines.

Second, he's the one who's brought up his teaching 'expertise' in the past as a reason he can be considered an authority on various, utterly unrelated topics. He's never retracted that. How do you think it's even known he's a teacher, considering he writes under a pseudonym?

Third, it's not a 'general focus'. Linton's inane screeds were loaded with errors that I pointed out.

Crude mocking the career is 7th grade mine is bigger than yours BS. Confront him in person he'd be pissing his pants saying it was just a persona.

Ahahaha. I love the contrast of "it's a 7th grade move" to "let's see how tough you are offline, big guy!" Tell everyone how you and Linton are blackbelts next, Zach. ;)

Crude said...

That people here that act like it is of no concern shows either that they are liars, or their sensibilities have been blunted by their allegiance to dogma.

We do take it seriously. What's been asked, repeatedly, is for Cole to actually make an argument, rather than just say 'I find this wrong, it IS wrong, you all are worshiping an EVIL GOD'. He claims to know this because the good side of the both good & evil god(dess) he believes in, and which he claims is vaguely similar to Zoroastrianism but is basically entirely his own discovery, is commanding him to go online and yell at people for being Christian and insist that their God is evil.

Now, here's the twist. If he's the same Cole as mentioned here, this comes roughly 2 years after his conversion to atheism, after years of preaching in favor of, apparently, the God of Evil for a good chunk of his life.

Any of us here could appreciate honest grappling with these questions. The problem is, Cole is not grappling. He's not even inquiring, much less conversing. This isn't about thinking things through for him - it's pretty much about ranting and raving, and if you disagree well then you're clearly in the service of an Evil God. If any of us were acting like this around atheists, you'd be appalled.

And if this really is the same Cole, there's something to note. He's gone from Christian to atheist to whatever he is now - and he's apparently been dead certain he was 100% right, across the board, on all issues of note, each and every time. That he has a long, long track record of getting things brutally wrong, by his own standards, doesn't give him pause.

Why, it's almost as if the actual issues aren't what matters to him. What matters is the ability to denounce people who disagree with him and insist he's right.

tl;dr version - the questions Cole's asking are very serious and worth being treated as much. Cole himself? Not so much. Not until he changes.

Cole said...

After having these conversations with Christian's and seeing just how abusive you are to people who disagree with you and studying this issue some more I'm going to have to reject all Gods. I am willing to agree with the Theist that there are objective moral facts. What I'm not sure about is whether we need God to ground them. The Euthyphro Dilemma shows the problems with trying to ground morality in God. The objection can be stated this way:

1. Either God commands certain types of actions because they are morally right, or certain types of actions are morally right because God commands them.
2. If God commands certain types of actions because they are morally right, then moral standards are independent of God.
3. If certain types of actions are morally right because God commands them, then moral standards are arbitrary, and thus provide no justification for obeying them.
4. Therefore, either moral standards are independent of God, or moral standards are arbitrary, and thus provide no justification for obeying them.

The response is to say that moral goodness is rooted in or identical to God's nature. Thus, actions are right because a God with a morally good nature commands them. In this way, there is no moral standard higher than or indpendent of God. Also, God's commands, and thus moral standards, are not arbitrary, since they are in accordance with what is morally good.

In his paper, Wes Morriston shows that this standard response only pushes the problem back further. He expresses this with what we can call 'The New Euthyphro Dilemma', it can be put this way:

1. Either God is good because God has the properties that constitute moral goodness, or the properties are good because God has them.
2. If God is good because God has the properties that constitute moral goodness, then the moral properties are the standard of goodness -- not God.
3. If the properties are good because God has them, then goodness is arbitrary.
4. Therefore, either moral properties are the standard of goodness (and not God), or goodness is arbitrary.

Here we see that God cannot be the foundation for such properties. Rather, the properties are eternal and just exist. They require no further foundation. Let me explain. There are various obtaining states of affairs concerning such things like say, justice. And that when individual people have the property of being just, it is in part in virtue of the obtaining of some of some of these states of affairs. For instance, it is just to give people what they deserve; thus, anyone who gives others what they deserve thereby instantiates the property of justice. The state of affairs that it is just to give people what they deserve obtains whether or not any people actually exist, just as various states of affairs about dinosaurs obtain even though there are no longer any dinosaurs. This approach cashes out the idea of justice "just existing" in terms of facts about justice. The same goes with other moral properties.

Crude said...

After having these conversations with Christian's and seeing just how abusive you are to people who disagree with you and studying this issue some more I'm going to have to reject all Gods.

Man, I could not have asked for a better example of exactly what I was talking about.

In the span of, what - an hour? Perhaps two or three? Cole goes from being a frantic devotee to the spirit of love and goodness, aka Dr. Jekyll, to rejecting all gods. Also, he's now certain no gods exist nor could God ever ground morality because A) he thinks someone was mean to him on the internet, and B) he googled and found an argument.

Speaking of googling and arguments... notice that what Cole just posted, utterly unattributed, is strangely similar to this entry on a blog site. Oh sure, there's a few choice words here and there changed - "The standard response is to go between the horns of the dilemma by saying that moral goodness is rooted in or identical to God's nature." becomes "The response is to say that moral goodness is rooted in or identical to God's nature." And "in the paper linked to above" becomes "in his paper".

But man, does that ever seem like 99% copy and paste job. Which Cole did not bother to read, much less comprehend, beyond apparently asking himself 'Huh, what can I change to not make it completely and totally obvious that I just googled this up and copied/pasted it?'

Of course, crap like this only makes me wonder - was the whole 'I worship some obscure take on Zoroaster' bit all a front? A little bit of "I'll attack Christianity as a theist, so replies regarding the atheism difficulties in grounding objective morality are avoided"? An internet sockpuppet situation? Temporary insanity, perhaps?

Who knows? Who cares? But it drives the point home: the questions are worth considering and discussing. But the questioner isn't exactly acting or behaving in a way that merits taking seriously.

Steve Lovell said...

Cole,

I'm somewhat confused by your change of tack. Originally, you said you had problems with the atonement. This has moved to the problem of evil and now also the Euthyphro dilemma. I'd rather take one issue at a time ... and since the original complaint about atonement had some connection with the OP that seems like the appropriate one to be discussed here. As tempting as it is, I'm not going to be dragged into discussion about the other things here.

All this, especially in combination with Don's comment above, reminds me of the following from Chesterton:

"This began to be alarming. It looked not so much as if Christianity was bad enough to include [m]any vices, but rather as if any stick was good enough to beat Christianity with. What again could this astonishing thing be like which people were so anxious to contradict, that in doing so they did not mind contradicting themselves?" GKC Orthodoxy Ch.6, The Paradoxes of Christianity.

Not that I think Cole's multiple arguments are necessarily in contradiction with one another ... it's just wrong to have the quote without that part and it mirrors Don's comment nicely.

BenYachov said...

So basically Cole you are a liar!

You denied being an Atheist & claimed some sort of Theistic Dualism as your belief. Now you are back to denying "gods"!

And you are not rejecting Theistic Dualism for philosophical or logical reason but because Christians are "mean" to you! Which is stupid considering Christians reject Theistic Dualism.

It's like me rejecting Catholicism because a bunch of Jews or Hindus where "mean" to me.

So you are either a liar or a nut job.

What's the point of you?

BenYachov said...

BTW

>Either God is good because God has the properties that constitute moral goodness,

God has no properties in the Classic Sense so it's a non-starter..

Zach said...

OK Cole seems to just be trolling. I lose.

Still don't like Crude dissing teachers, though. Even if Papa does drone on a bit and post long rambling semi-relevant posts.

Ben God has properties under any view in which God exists. If you mean He doesn't have the properties as depicted in personalistic views, then that's one thing.

BenYachov said...

The Euthyphro Dilemma is a non-starter for Thomists.

Wes' challenge is answered here.

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/10/god-obligation-and-euthyphro-dilemma.html

BenYachov said...

Ben God has properties under any view in which God exists.

According to whom?

See my link to Feser.

BenYachov said...

Wes doesn't seem to assume God's essence is identical with His existence.

God doesn't have attributes he is his attributes.

Divine Simplicity and all that.

Zach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BenYachov said...

God doesn't have the property of goodness He is Goodness itself.

That is what I meant. God doesn't have properties in the sense he is a composite thing with distinct properties. That is how Morrison is using the concept.

Stop splitting hairs & equivocating.

BenYachov said...

>It is not what Feser wrote. Indeed, God is simple. That is a property. That post from Feser is full of descriptions of properties of God (e.g., He follows reason).

Where in that Post does Feser define "Property" or even use the term "property"?

He doesn't.

Stop splitting hairs & stop trying to start a fight between me an Crude.

He & I have never been enemies.

BenYachov said...

The Term "Properties" has more then one definition.

If defined as "A special capability or power; a virtue" that can only be applied to God in an analogous sense when compared to the properties of things.

If defined as "A characteristic attribute possessed by all members of a class." then it can't be applied at all since God is not a thing along side other things. God is not in a class.

Zach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BenYachov said...

>God is simple. You have predicated something of God. But despite this, you want to say God has no properties, such as simplicity. Or that He does, but not in sense X, Y, or Z.

If you don't understand what I mean then ask. I just explained what I meant. Instead you decided to conclude what I wrote was "insane." without asking what I meant.

In case you haven't figured it out. I assume the truth of Thomism.
Tryi starting there then maybe you won't be so confused about what I write.

>Who is splitting hairs? lmao

It's still you.

Zach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BenYachov said...

>lol you are on the JV squad Ben.

>I understand Thomism, better than you apparently. We don't quibble about the word 'property'. I am effectively a neoThomist.

What you are is a troll since from post one you have been playing a game of "Let's get Crude & BenYachov to fight".

Now you have dropped the mask & revealed your true nature.

Zach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BenYachov said...

>Aquinas suckups or Feser-sycophant cultural conservative wanks.

Zack you are troll who is here to pick a political fight not discuss philosophy.

Stop boring me with your disingenuous ball busting.

Zach said...

I haven't said anything political, mr exegesis.

BenYachov said...

Zack said
>I haven't said anything political, mr exegesis.

Zack said earlier
>Feser-sycophant cultural conservative wanks.

Anyway,

At the risk of being called a conservative Feser sycophant according to Dr. Feser (see AQUINAS pages 25-26) “Property” has a different connotation in Aristotelian Metaphysics then it does in contemporary philosophy who use it synonymously with what Aquinas calls an “accident” or “attribute”.

Property in the sense of Aristotle would be a feature something has if it lost it it’s essence would be unchanged. Socrates would still be Socrates in essence if he lost his “property” of being able to speak.

Obviously Zack was equivocating.
Thought I doubt he was doing it consciously.

But if he would have asked we could have settled the matter.

But there you go.

BenYachov said...

Thus given the Aristotelian understanding of what a "property" is it is incoherent to apply the term to a being who is immutable and impassible with a simple substance.

BenYachov said...

Sorry I got that wrong. A Property is those features that deprive from an essence in the Aristotelian sense.

Zach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BenYachov said...

>He used the term property in a general sense like everyone else that transmutes to modern usage,

You mean from your reading of an English translation?

>and he uses a narrow technical sense for which he uses a different latin term that usually translates as 'essential property' or 'essence.'

So why make the broad ambiguous claims like "God has properties under any view in which God exists"?

Which definition are you using?

>You have no idea who I am do you. :O

J perhaps?

BenYachov said...

Anyway the "Properties" of God if we are speaking of "essential Property"
there can be no demonstration propter quid of God's properties.
At least not in the unequivocal sense because Godwith His essence is incomprehensible.

So it is meaningless to talk about God having a "property of moral goodness".

Papalinton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Papalinton said...

"At the risk of being called a conservative Feser sycophant according to Dr. Feser (see AQUINAS pages 25-26) “Property” has a different connotation in Aristotelian Metaphysics then it does in contemporary philosophy who use it synonymously with what Aquinas calls an “accident” or “attribute”."

Why are you unable to climb out of the swamp of Dark Ages thinking and social patterns? C'mon, Ben. Surely even you can appreciate that the world has moved on somewhat in the last 1,000 years or so. I can understand why it is that christian theism tries so hard to inveigle 10thC thinking into contemporary society to fill the intellectual and developmental void since the glory days of Aquinas. But surely enough is enough. There comes a point when christianity has to move on and ditch the underlying premise of the five ways etc. and not endlessly circle the wagons around tired transfixed abstractions, formed at a time when fact and evidence was of necessity substituted by theology.

BenYachov said...

Paps

>Why are you unable to climb out of the swamp of Dark Ages thinking and social patterns?

Why can't you recognize the fallacy of equivocation? If you are not familiar with terminology or the thought of that with which you militantly oppose you can't intelligently critique it. All that you can do & have done is mindlessly ridicule.

It's getting old.

>The brilliance of the man suggests today he would have been a scientist.

No he would still have been a philosopher. Your belief in Scientism is irrational. I would not & could not believe in it even if I deny God tomorrow. It's still self-contradictory and irrational.

Philosophy and Science are the means by which we obtain natural knowledge.

Not science alone. If I reject God I would still believe what I believe about philosophy. I would be an Atheist Philosopher & I would look down my nose at Scientism crow the way I do religious fundamentalists.

Your brand of "Atheism" is not for the Thinking man Paps.

Live with it.

Cole said...

Well, I talked to my ethics teacher and all this talk about providing an argument that something is objectively wrong is nonsense. There are no arguments for objective morals. Despite this there is still a way to discover some goods. This would include love. This seems to be found in our experience. So, with this good we can develope this moral principle: Persons should always do good and avoid and prevent what is bad. Ripping your innocent Son's flesh to shreds and bruising him and hanging Him on a cross isn't good. We may say that our sins were imputed to Christ in such a way that the punishment was just. But if our sins become His and His righteousness becomes ours then we are no longer sinful and He is no longer righteous. But if this is not what is meant then God was punishing an innocent person. This isn't justice. For justice is giving somebody what they deserve.

Cole said...

Okay, I was wrong. You can have an argument for some objective moral truths. Here's one:

1.If torturing infants just for fun would be morally wrong regardless of what people believed about it being morally wrong, then there is at least one objective moral truth.

2.Torturing infants just for fun would be morally wrong regardless of what people believed about it being morally wrong.

3.Therefore, there is at least one objective moral truth.

BenYachov said...

>Ripping your innocent Son's flesh to shreds and bruising him and hanging Him on a cross isn't good.

Cole you see thinks Jesus is to The Father what Heracles is to Zeus.

He doesn't know Chalcedonian Christology from Theistic Anthropomorphism from a hole in his Head. Nor does he know what a Hypostasis is either vs the Divine Nature.

God the Son is a distinct Hyposatsis from God the Father but they are both One in Being and possess the same single Divine Nature. They share the same Divine Mind & same single Divine Will.

So his whole asinine argument is ignorant emotionally weird bullcrap based 100% on faulty premises.

BTW Cole you are still a liar! You where never a Theistic Dualist.

BenYachov said...

>There are no arguments for objective morals.

Then how can you call anything "objectively wrong"? You can't actually.

Papalinton said...

Ben
The glory days of the god hypothesis has passed.

There has been an explosion in the ways ways humanity can describe, investigate and explain the world we live in and our place in the universe, that Aquinas could never even have hoped to imagine. He worked with the only material available in his time in a society in which theology was at the centre of everyday life, and it was the only viable methodological approach of scholarship available to him.

Since his time science has utterly trumped theology as the principal framework through which to view the world. Indeed in Aquinas's time science was but a rump, a side-show in the minor league in comparison to theology. It is appropriate we visit the facts once again:

"Religion once offered answers to many questions that have now been ceded to the care of science. This process of scientific conquest and religious forfeiture has been relentless, one directional, and utterly predictable. As it turns out, real knowledge, being both valid and verifiable across cultures, is the only remedy for religious discord. Muslims and Christians cannot disagree about the causes of cholera, for instance, because whatever their traditions might say about infectious disease, a genuine understanding of cholera has arrived from another quarter. Epidemiology trumps religious superstition (eventually), especially when people are watching their children die. This is where our hope for a truly nonsectarian future lies: when things matter, people tend to want to understand what is actually going on in the world. Science delivers this understanding in torrents; it also offers an honest appraisal of its current limitations. Religion fails on both counts. [Afterword to 'A Letter to a Christian Nation Dr Sam Harris]

Religion has played its part. It now must give over to newer fresher perspectives that are more universally acknowledged and accepted, perspectives that reach right to each and every person on this planet. The competing religions cannot do that. Religion is by its very fundamental nature a group identifier emphasizing separateness, whereas the universality of science has the capacity and the explanatory power to take on that unifying role, because knowledge through science is universal, its efficacy and verifiability transcending across cultural, social and religious divides. Religion, out of necessity must retire gracefully, if it does not want to go down the road as have every other religion since the dawn of time. The religions of Mesopotamia broached some 3-4,000 years and the Egyptian religion spanned some 3,000 years before their final demise. Old gods don't die. They get forgotten. History shows there is indeed an actuarial lifespan for religions which ultimately result in their demise. Once Africa and China have had their fill of the christian experiment, there will be no more continents left for christianity to expand. And in its wake christian theism will eventually wane in those two continents and pretty much replicate what has happened in Europe, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, and as the USA is experiencing currently. But science just trundles on, quietly filling in the gaps.

Now about 'scientism'. I really do embrace the idea of science forming part of my worldview. Science gives humanity that many more new fresh and exciting opportunities and options for personal, social and physical growth that simply outstrips the interpretation and reinterpretation and the meta-interpretation of the previous interpretations of an 'immutable' iron-age fable chiseled in stone. Chiseling in stone went out with the Dark Ages. Chiseling in stone is good for archeologists; not much good for today's architects.

Cole said...

Okay, I've developed an argument here. Your help would be appreciated:

1. Some objective moral truths exist

2. Since they are objective our finite human minds do not make the truths up, but we appeal to them as something which are outside of us and before us.

3. The moral truths being objective and not created by man, require a Source.

4. God provides the perfect Source for the moral truths. The truths are absolute and objective because they come from One Personal Moral Being.

Some moral truths exist and are objective. That is to say, they are true reguardless of what anybody thinks. Things such as rape and torturing infants for fun would fall into this category. It is wrong to do such things reguardless of our personal preferences. We can state the argument this way:

1. If torturing infants just for fun and raping someone would be morally wrong regardless of what people believed about it being morally wrong, then there are at least some objective moral truths.

2. Torturing infants just for fun and raping someone would be morally wrong regardless of what people believed about it being morally wrong.

3. Therefore, there are at least some objective moral truths.


Because some objective moral truths exist and are therefore eternal then they were around at the Big Bang. But this just seems a bit odd to me that they could exist all by themselves without a Person. Before anything existed, it's not like the moral truths were sitting around going: "It is wrong to torture babies for fun". Without a Person the laws become meaningless. Some moral truths are eternal and objective in that they reflect who God is and God is an eternal Personal Being. The laws are what they are because they reflect who God is. They are an extension of His being.

BenYachov said...

Cole you where caught lying by Crude in claiming you where not an Atheist.

How is that ethical or moral?

BTW your whole argument might have some force if Jesus was a totally separate being from God as in let us say heretical Arian Christology.

So save this argument for the Jehovah's Witnesses who come to your door. Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Chalcedonian Protestants will not be impressed.

But God who becomes Incarnate suffering God's own wraith on our behalf. That is some pretty awesome mercy to us.

>For justice is giving somebody what they deserve.

Unless the offended party grants mercy. In this case an aspect of the offended party takes the brunt of the punishment for that party.

Cole you don't understand Theology, Trinitarian doctrine, Christology or even moral theory.

Don't you think you should keep your nonsense to yourself till you do some real learning?

Who are you going to convince?

Cole said...

Ben,

Read the argument right above your post and tell me what you think. I think it's a good argument for a God.

BenYachov said...

Paps

>Now about 'scientism'. I really do embrace the idea of science forming part of my worldview.

As even Dennett once said that just makes you a slave to an unconscious and unexamined philosophical point of view.

Your "Atheism" like I said is too low brow for me.

Science and Philosophy. You need both not Sola Science.

BenYachov said...

>Read the argument right above your post and tell me what you think. I think it's a good argument for a God.

So now your back to pretending you believe in Theism?

Give me a break!

I don't for a second believe your question is serious. So I won't waste my time.

My reading List if you are ever tempted to learn is the following.

THE LAST SUPERSTITION by Edward Feser

THE REALITY OF GOD AND THE PROBLEM OF EVIL by Brian Davies.

INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION also by Brian Davies.

Thomas Aquinas on God and Evil by Davies.

THEOLOGY AND SANITY by Frank Sheed.

Now go peddle your nonsense to a board of Gnus or fundies.

Crude said...

Ben,

Cole you where caught lying by Crude in claiming you where not an Atheist.

I don't know whether or not Cole is or isn't an atheist. But between the very obvious google scholar antics, the apparent track record, the general behavior and attitude, he's just not worth taking seriously. Remember, he was apparently a wannabe Christian preacher 2-years ago, deconverted with the help of atheism's crappiest internet preacher, and then became a quasi-zoroastrian who deconverted *in this very thread* after a google search and saying people were mean to him, and now he's back with, apparently, yet another approach. How many other transformations has he had in 2 years? Because he apparently runs through them at quite a clip. And that's if we do the uncharitable thing and assume he's being honest. (Zach calls him a troll, but a troll would be a compliment at this point.)

The sad thing is, that thread I linked to has Cole saying that he was tired of looking stupid. He seems to think that the way to avoid that is to keep switching his beliefs and positions and find out which one will let him yell, denounce people, and pretend to be an expert that will make him look smart. It's not working for him, and apparently never has.

If Cole really doesn't want to look stupid anymore, there's just one solution: he should be quiet.

BenYachov said...

Crude,

Cheers man.

BTW who is this Zack person anyway?

Do you know?

Unrelated news. A new series for RED DWARF is being made as we speak.

In space nobody can hear you smeg!

Cheers.

Crude said...

Zach,

OK Cole seems to just be trolling. I lose.

Well, nice of you to say that much, but I don't think he's a troll. I think he's just pretty out of it and kind of nuts. He comes across as someone who wants to be taken seriously because being taken seriously (in a freaking comments section of a casual philosophy blog - someone's aiming low here) feels good.

Still don't like Crude dissing teachers, though. Even if Papa does drone on a bit and post long rambling semi-relevant posts.

I don't diss teachers wholesale. I diss people who think their having been teachers think their (ex-)employment grants their views some kind of authority or value above and beyond others', particularly on topics that have little to nothing to do with their job. Linton's tooted that horn in the past, and I have no respect for it.

He doesn't just drone on with semi-relevancies. He's insulting despite being thin skinned, he's clearly pretty inept, and he loves to pretend he's an authority on things he knows nothing about. He's an atheist version of Peggy freaking Hill, just in a different timezone.

And yeah, this thread went to hell fast. You think that's particular to this site? Show me any blog that touches on controversial topics and has regulars that can go 20+ replies and stay on topic. There's only one way to do it - obnoxiously technical, cryptic language.

Crude said...

Ben,

No clue.

Red Dwarf fan, eh? I saw the series, but heard much about it. As far as BBC goes, I like comedy - Mitchell & Webb, Armstrong & Miller.

And in honor of this thread being completely scuttled, all you need to know about archaeology.

BenYachov said...

>He's[Paps] an atheist version of Peggy freaking Hill, just in a different timezone.

Just shot some milk out of my nose!

Painful for me but too funny! Worth it!

BenYachov said...

Crude,

The link is very funny. But somewhat anti-climatic after the Peggy hill crack.

BenYachov said...

Red Dwarf is one of the things that got me seriously considering that we may be all alone in the Universe.

I believe in God but I am not sure there are really any Aliens anywhere.

Funny thing is if you say the later at parties people react much the same way they reacted once upon a time if you told them you don't believe in God.

OTOH I do enjoy mundane Sci Fi that has no aliens.

I think it's a new neach some writers should explore.

BenYachov said...

Cheers mate. I'm off to play Fallout New Vegas.

Papalinton said...

C'mon Ben. You know that I know that you know that as the sciences continue to mature and develop there is a direct and inverse relationship in the performance and capacity of christian theology to deliver the range and level of information and explanation necessary for an emerging global community to deal with all manner of issues commonly ascribed under the rubric of 'the human condition'. From improved health, improved medicine, improved technology, improved investigative techniques, improved living conditions, improved life expectancy, all developed and promulgated by specialisms outside theology. Theology is largely becoming a somewhat redundant aspect of most western societies. Oh sure, there will always be a rump of the community that will continue to dabble in christian theistic superstition just as there are New Agers and other spirit channelers. But in terms of major public policy decision making, religion is becoming crucially less significant, just as it should do, being gradually but inexorably replaced with a more neutral, balanced, secular, inclusive and constructive perspective that seeks to serve the whole community rather than the plethora of sectarian interests.

"As even Dennett once said that just makes you a slave to an unconscious and unexamined philosophical point of view."
Another apologetical lie perpetrated. And if you are referring to science, there is nothing unconscious about science, it certainly cannot be characterized as 'unexamined', and it is most definitely not a philosophical point of view, although the corollary of philosophy of science is perhaps the most important of all the philosophical disciplines. It certainly trumps religious philosophy going forward. It was Karl Popper who posited that the central question in the philosophy of science was distinguishing science from non-science. And in the main it does that very well. Theology is definitely non-science, even though over centuries it made many factual claims- about man, about society, about the universe, even about god[s]. History tells us that such claims have been utterly refuted by science, just as the most recent debate, and legal battle confirmed, regarding evolution and creationism. It was categorically resolved that creationism does not meet the criteria of science, as it does not meet the falsifiability criterion and cannot be treated on equal footing as evolution.

Walter said...

If this is the same Cole that posts on Loftus' blog, then the man has a medical condition that is contributing to his rapid swings in belief. He is not a troll.

BenYachov said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BenYachov said...

>regarding evolution and creationism.

So you have forgotten I believe Evolution is compatible with Theism & you are trolling out your low-brow anti-YEC polemics?

My friend I learned anti-YEC polemics from reading Catholic sources.

What's the point of you then?

Also you are still equating philosophy with Theology there Paps.

>Another apologetical lie perpetrated.

QUOTE"There is no such thing as philosophy-free science; there is only science whose philosophical baggage is taken on board without examination.—Daniel Dennett, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, 1995.

Go look it up for yourself.

Philosophy and Science are the key to natural knowledge. Not science alone since that concept can't be verified by science thus it can't be known to be true.

AG Flew at the height of his Atheism abandoned it. Your still clinging too it like a YEC clings to discredited 19th century Global Flood "science". It's quite pathetic.

Your Peggy Hill Atheism is of little interest to me. I prefer something more sophisticated.

BenYachov said...

>If this is the same Cole that posts on Loftus' blog, then the man has a medical condition that is contributing to his rapid swings in belief.

Then from now on we must ignore him for his own good.

Thanks Walter.

Cole said...

Oh really. Is that what Jesus would do? Last time I checked Jesus said He came for the sick. He hung out with them so that He could try to help them. You sound like a religious, holier than thou, Pharisee. You're full of hatred and abuse. Mostly against those who suffer.

Crude said...

Then from now on we must ignore him for his own good.

Thanks Walter.


Yeah, seconding this. This didn't seem like troll behavior to me. And though it was a minor flag at best, the response I saw for 'Do you know who Jekyll and Hyde are?' struck me as odd. Either way, I doubt Walter would say this lightly, or that he'd be kidding.

I'm done with this one.

Papalinton said...

"So you have forgotten I believe Evolution is compatible with Theism & you are trolling out your low-brow anti-YEC polemics?"

But you still an EC, evolutionary creationist.

Papalinton said...

Yachov: "As even Dennett once said that just makes you a slave to an unconscious and unexamined philosophical point of view."

Yachov: QUOTE"There is no such thing as philosophy-free science; there is only science whose philosophical baggage is taken on board without examination.—Daniel Dennett, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, 1995."

Misconstrual at best, lying for jesus at worst, no question of it. Where are the correlative 'slave' and 'unconscious' elements in Dennett's statement? And where Dennett notes "there is only science whose philosophical baggage is taken on board without examination", this is a clear reference to theists who seek to mire science through the strawman tactic of theo-philosophical argument. Are you forgetting Dennett is a philosopher?

Let's be clear about this Ben. There is only science; science is not a product of philosophy. Any philosophical addendum to science is construed as simply baggage, because the governing parameters of philosophy, good or bad cannot be verified or substantiated through empirical activity. The rules of engagement of philosophy are far looser than those that guide science. It is unfortunate that philosophy, and theology for that matter, is unable to discern truth and fact, its logic is always contingent upon the posited premise, regardless of the veracity or otherwise of that initial premise. Even William Lane Craig utilizes the ambiguity of the philosophical framework to morally justify godly perpetrated genocide when we all know deep in our hearts and in our guts, both atheists and reasoning christians alike, that genocide can never be morally justified. Good people do good things, Bad people do bad things. For good people to do bad things, that takes religion.

From the Dictionary:
theology |θēˈäləjē| noun ( pl. -gies)
the study of the nature of God and religious belief.

We know the first element is bunkum as to how one can know the nature of something that is unknowable as christians are ever touting their god to be. But the unknowable and the non-existent are indistinguishable. The second element, the study of religious belief, is the study of a purely earth-bond and natural phenomenon, and inextricably linked to the investigation of cultural mores.

From THE PROBLEM WITH PHILOSOPHY:

"Basically what we find, quite generally, is the threat of magic or elimination in the face of the theoretical obduracy of the phenomenon that invites philosophical attention. The phenomenon presents initial problems of possibility, which we try to dissolve with a domesticating theory, but there is always the danger that the failure of this undertaking will leave us facing magic or elimination or unwanted inexplicabilities. Free will, for instance, looks upon early inspection to be impossible, so we try to find some conception of it that permits its existence, but this conception always turns out to be dubiously reductive and distorting, leaving us with the unpalatable options of magic, elimination or quietism.(14) And so we hop unhappily from one unsatisfactory option to the next; or dig our heels (squintingly) into a position that seems the least intellectually unconscionable of the bunch."

You might wish to read the rest of Professor Colin McGinn's review of the fundamental problems with philosophy at
http://www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/philo/courses/consciousness97/papers/ProblemOfPhilosophy.html


Cont.

Papalinton said...

[cont]

You say, "Philosophy and Science are the key to natural knowledge. Not science alone since that concept can't be verified by science thus it can't be known to be true."

How is this garble even meaningful? If philosophy and Science are the key[sic] to natural knowledge, then christian theology must be the key to unnatural knowledge. In the matter of, "Not science alone since that concept can't be verified by science thus it can't be known to be true" is simply wrong. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Science has delivered radical improvements in the human condition in spades, a self-standing, unsupported testimony that is verified, replicated, substantiated every single day. Science has delivered. People lead healthier, longer lives than ever before, with improved living conditions, improved personal mobility and increasingly becoming aware of our great responsibility in caring for this planet, not because of religion but in spite of religion. By contrast, religion continues to be a blight to science.

You might wish to read these two articles:

http://www.lifeway.com/Article/Research-Poll-Pastors-oppose-evolution-split-on-earths-age

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/news-flash-american-protestant-ministers-overwhelmingly-reject-evolution-are-split-on-earths-age/

BenYachov said...

Paps

>Yachov: "As even Dennett once said that just makes you a slave to an unconscious and unexamined philosophical point of view."

>Yachov: QUOTE"There is no such thing as philosophy-free science; there is only science whose philosophical baggage is taken on board without examination.—Daniel Dennett, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, 1995."

>Misconstrual at best, lying for jesus at worst.

Actually I said in Post January 20, 2012 8:42 PM

QUOTE"As even Dennett once said that just makes you a slave to an unconscious and unexamined philosophical point of view."

I never said I was directly quoting Dennett I was paraphrasing. How is my paraphrase contrary to what he literally said?

It isn't.

Pathetic Peggy Hill.


>THE PROBLEM WITH PHILOSOPHY:

An argument that is itself a philosophical argument. So how can I trust it? It's doubtful by it's own standards.

>There is only science; science is not a product of philosophy.

That is a historically incorrect statement.

At this point Paps you are like the YEC for Atheism.

The Facts are against you and you make up facts to suit your world view.

Wither it was a deathless & inept defense of OTF in face of an Atheist philosopher or your inability to read.

Paps your Atheism is too low brow for me even if I deny God tomorrow.

Live with it.

BenYachov said...

>And where Dennett notes "there is only science whose philosophical baggage is taken on board without examination", this is a clear reference to theists who seek to mire science through the strawman tactic of theo-philosophical argument.

Really? All that Isogesis from one self evidence simple text?

Yes Paps Dennett is philosophically a materialist reductionist not a semi-Platonist like Penrose or an idealist or an Aristotelian. But he clearly uses philosophy with science not science alone.

Not every non-Catholic Christian believes in Sola Scriptura/Bible Alone. Traditional Anglicans believe in Scripture, Tradition and Reason. But I would never claim by tradition they mean from a strictly Roman Catholic view.

Indeed one can be a Christian Materialist (i.e. everything except God is material). Or Atheistic followers of Ayn Rand value Aristotle as the world's greatest genius.

Your poo poohing of classic learning because it might have theistic cooties is a fundamentalist move. Not unlike YEC hysterical reactions to Evolution.

>Are you forgetting Dennett is a philosopher?

That is why I cited him. He is virtually the only Gnu who is a philosopher.

Again your Atheism Paps is too low brow.

BenYachov said...

>How is this garble even meaningful? If philosophy and Science are the key[sic] to natural knowledge, then christian theology must be the key to unnatural knowledge.

Nice dodge Paps but I don't have to believe in the second weird proposition to believe the first and the first doesn't lead to the second.

Also you are equivocating between something being unnatural (i.e. acting contrary to it's nature) with the Supernatural(i.e. that being beyond nature).

Like I said Low brow.

>In the matter of, "Not science alone since that concept can't be verified by science thus it can't be known to be true" is simply wrong.

Paps arguing the success of Science as Science gets you nowhere. I can argue the success of metal detectors to detect metal coins but the brute fact they still can't detect wooden coins doesn't rule out the existence of wooden coins.

Microscopes still can't observe galaxies. Their success in observing micro objects doesn't rule out the existence of the macro.

The brute fact of scientific Data is undeniable. But the interpretation and meaning of that data especially how it relates to existence and being is the providence of philosophy.

Without philosophy there is no knowledge.

You can't even use science Paps without the philosophical presuppositions of science.

Philosophy without science is just as asinine but your low brow Scientism Atheism can never be more than that.

BenYachov said...

Anyway we have went threw all this before Paps.

You just repeat the same shit. It' boring.

Papalinton said...

Ben, you have been caught out lying, misconstruing and egregiously reinterpreting Dennett's position, and others, simply to prop your fragile metaphysical grip on reality. Once again your arguments are manacled to thought patterns posited 1,000 years ago or greater, coupled with three modern theologians masquerading as philosophers, Feser, Feser and Feser. I am not all that enamoured with Dennett myself but on balance he is streets ahead of Feser in the philosophical game. Feser continues to use Aquinas's five ways as the fundamental premise on which to base all his recent philosophical musings, and that is not good. All that does is propagate the falsity and not introduce new thinking based on new evidence. Feser's arguments are old arguments dressed in new clothes; the emperor's 'new' clothes.
Dennett grapples with contemporary issues and insights of the human condition. Feser attempts to squeeze contemporary issues and insights into Aquinas's thinking, a wholly retrograde perspective, not unlike the interpretation of the reinterpretation of the meta-interpretation of the previous interpretations of 'scholarly' Apologetics.

If that is low brow, then I can't imagine where your thinking patterns would fall on the continuum, when you seem to be perpetually hovering around the time between Aristotle [350BCE] and Aquinas [1250CE]. I am a product of my age. You seem extraordinarily uncomfortable with contemporary life and wish to revisit the golden age of Aquinas on today's society.

I am not prepared to accept that there is any merit in traveling in reverse as the principal mode of transportation.
I am not interested in going 'back to basics'. I am excited about going 'forward to fundamentals'.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 212   Newer› Newest»