Thursday, December 01, 2011

A Youtube Attack on my AFR

At least Richard Carrier read my book. I'm not sure this guy has.

For example, he makes the simplistic "argument from computers", which I responded to in my book, and numerous times subsequently, including here

I am not saying that there aren't more sophisticated ways of using computer science to critique the AFR, but this is not one of them.

61 comments:

Tony Hoffman said...

This would be a more interesting post if you quoted the criticism you found invalid, and cited yourself in a way that supported your contention.

Karl Grant said...

Well, Youtube posters launching attacks on books they haven't read or movies and TV shows they haven't seen isn't exactly uncommon.

Victor Reppert said...

I have offered an example above.

Tony Hoffman said...

Your example seems like an assertion. I'm sympathetic to the fact that some replies to criticism are necessarily complex, but in those cases I think it's still good practice to at least reference those prior replies. Of course, criticisms like this are also an opportunity to explore new ways of presenting your argument; what exactly does your critic not understand?

Victor Reppert said...

Well, look at how One Brow, who is very much on the other side in this debate, says

Some people think it is easy to refute any argument from reason just by appealing to the existence of computers.

Those would be remarkably foolish people, I should think. Do you know of any such people?

He then goes on to say

I don’t know of anyone who says the computers we have today can reason.



If you respond in terms of the computer argument you have to expect to face with something along the lines of the original intentionality-derived intentionality distinction. The youtube commentator just presents the computer argument as if it were game, set, and match.

He acts as if I never argue for the claim that physical states cannot produce mental states, when I have a detailed argument that says that no set of physical facts can entail any determinate mental states. You may think the argument is no good, but to suggest that there is no such argument suggests to me that he just hasn't read what I have written.

Anonymous said...

Well, that is par for the course on YouTube, a place wherein people imagine that their verbal scuffles are akin to the great debates of the Lyceum, when in fact they're just part of the effusive rabble of the village square.

Anonymous said...

It's a shitty youtube argument, as anyone who has read Vic's argument would know. End of discussion. It's not very interesting, but neither is the youtube link.

Steven Carr said...

'I don’t know of anyone who says the computers we have today can reason.'

Why can't your god make a computer that can reason?

Is a computer that can reason logically impossible?

'Some people think it is easy to refute any argument from reason just by appealing to the existence of computers.'

Well, it is. Just as the argument from vitalism was refuted by the mere existence of organic chemicals that were not created by life.

Steven Carr said...

But as the argument from reason is incoherent, it is hard to refute.

You can't refute something which isn't even wrong.

Jake Elwood XVI said...

Steven I find your statements bewildering bad. Do you really think these are strong comments? Maybe a paraphrase with commentary might help you to see my perspective.

"Well it is easy to refute your argument. I offer something else that is easy to refute too and hence your argument is also refuted."

However, you do seem to realise that this line of arguing might possiblely just be missing something; I would suggest a crowd of dazed onlookers, you go on to offer your final air swing.

"Well even if my initial refutation was a not a knockout blow, as your argument is incoherent and hard to knock down, hence it does not matter."

I finally hear the 'brilliant in it' guy saying "awful in it".

B. Prokop said...

Although this particular video is spectacularly lame on so many fronts, it did make me wonder...

Imagine a debate-oriented website like Dangerous Idea where all the participants were required to post their comments by video with their faces visible. I would imagine that most of the more trollish posters would decline from spewing their bile if they had to do it with people watching them. It would also eliminate all the the multiple anonymouses (had to look that word up).

Karl Grant said...

Steven Carr,

Is a computer that can reason logically impossible?

Maybe, I majored in computer science and in computer programming and many people in the field think that Strong AI (that is the correct term for a self-aware computer that is capable of reason) is impossible. There numerous barriers that need to be overcome before such software can be created (not the least of which is the Halting Problem).
There is also John Searle's Chinese Room problem which states that computers engage only in symbol manipulation and that they do not possess intelligence (Searle is an atheist by the way).

And as this essay states:

Secondly, from the outset strong AI assumes that conscious experience is a process, however when you look around the room conscious experience is a set of things laid out in space at an instant; conscious experience is a geometrical form or state, not a process. It is the acquisition of the data within conscious experience that is a process, not the experience itself. A geometrical state such as conscious experience is lost if it is encoded as a stream of bits in an information system, the stream of bits will no longer have the geometrical form that is conscious experience


And I can just imagine that the hardware requirements for such a machine would be immense, probably even requiring a quantum computer (which is also something we haven't been able to make yet).

Tony Hoffman said...

VR: "He acts as if I never argue for the claim that physical states cannot produce mental states, when I have a detailed argument that says that no set of physical facts can entail any determinate mental states. You may think the argument is no good, but to suggest that there is no such argument suggests to me that he just hasn't read what I have written."

Okay, thanks -- I can understand your criticism now.

To be fair, I think that often we shorthand express "there is no compelling argument" with "there is no argument." And that may be what the YouTube guy was trying to say.

I would be more interested in a synopsis of your AFR, and a reference to what your detailed argument (above) is concerning the impossibility of physical facts entailing determinate mental states. This from someone who has found the few descriptions of the AFR to be largely (at least to me) incoherent.

B. Prokop said...

Karl,

Wow! Thank you for quoting from that essay about consciousness not being a process. Very astute observation.

B. Prokop said...

Karl,

As for computing capacity required, I recall a speaker on NPR's "Science Friday" stating that the calculations required to execute a successful pass in a pro football game, which the quarterback processes in an instant (all the while having to fend off the defensive team), would exceed the massed computing power of all the world's existing computers combined. That's almost certainly poetic overstatement, but it nevertheless illustrates the unbridgeable chasm between any conceivable machine and our own consciousness.

BenYachov said...

>Why can't your god make a computer that can reason?

How would it be a "computer" then?

B. Prokop said...

Ben,

You might find this interesting. Last evening I was out with my astronomy club, and between observations we were having a discussion on digital processing. One of my fellow stargazers, whose day job is software design, came out with a passionate defense of the universe having been created by an all-powerful computer (he was dead serious!). I countered with something like, "You mean God, don't you?", and he snorted his vehement denial of believing in any such thing. Hilarious!

BenYachov said...

Bob,

You would think these people would come up with something original.

It been done before.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCUE10dY3Rc

Craig vs Lewis Wolpert

Ilíon said...

"This would be a more interesting post if you quoted the criticism you found invalid, and cited yourself in a way that supported your contention."

Yeah, VR! 'Cause, as everyone knows, you have the moral and rational responsibility to pretend you have never before shown that there is no there there in a such empty "refutations" of the AfR.

Karl Grant said...

Bob,

Thanks for the compliments.

would exceed the massed computing power of all the world's existing computers combined.

It is an exaggeration but not much of one (I think one of my professors talked about a supercomputer the size of Russia). Now back in the 1970s, researchers into AI figured out things like natural language (a key component of Strong AI) required a huge amount of information. To put it simply the program needs to have some idea of what it might be looking at or what it is talking about for it to begin to take the first steps toward self-awarness. Which in turn means that the program would have to know most of the same things about the world that the average 5 year old child does. And that is a truly vast amount of information, so unless you want to turn the entire industrial and electronic infastructure of the USA into one big hard-drive we won't be seeing strong AIs anytime soon.

Now Ray Kurzweil thinks we will develop computers capable of handling this amount of data by 2029 but I wouldn't hold my breath.

parbouj said...

Wow he needs to talk faster, that's for sure. Zero charisma.

Content, he brings up the fallacy of composition is good, as so many dualists employ it. Strange that Victor doesn't refer to this criticism.

The computer argument is a bit weak, I agree.

Bilbo said...

Bob Prokop: :"anonymouses"

Don't you think "anonymice" would be better

B. Prokop said...

Bilbo,

I wondered myself. I had to look the word up, and there was no consensus as to what the plural should be. the problem is that "anonymous" is an adjective, not a noun, so it really doesn't have a plural.

Anonymous said...

How about 'anonymi'?

Anonymous said...

How about 'spawn of Prokop'?

Ilíon said...

'anonymice' or 'anonymoi' depending on context.

Papalinton said...

Don't be so pessimistic.

Comparing today's computer architecture and projecting it into the future as a measure of comparison to the brain is somewhat of a category error. Simply because a brain exists demonstrates that such computational power is possible. And as humanity, through the sciences and technology, increases its knowledge and understanding of the hows, whys and whats of brain architecture and electrical/neural processes, it is without doubt we will develop conscious machines. In fact we will become conscious machines. After all we already tick most if not all boxes of what constitutes a conscious machine. And a further after all, isn't that why medicine and surgery and psychiatry, and technology and sociology and history all seem to work for us and have interconnection, meaning and relevance to us?

We have two options into the distant future. Either we remain wholly terrestrial and fry when Andromeda meets the Milky Way, or we mechanize our bodies which become the repositories of our consciousness, or perhaps our collective human consciousness, and move out into the universe. Our earthly bodies simply will not do the trick in deep space. As humanity seems to be developing in its current trajectory, Individual consciousness may not necessarily be as critical or as important as the collective consciousness of humanity, as could be crudely characterized by the current World Wide web/Internet. But I can vision a humanity that will not be restricted by its vulnerable shell in exploring the universe in one shape or form.

All so speculative, but isn't it exciting? Unless of course you are a christian looking forward to realization of John's revelation that will surely come with Andromeda.

Discussion of AFR and subsequent refutations etc etc all seems so ...... closed focussed, so .... mundane, so ...... droll

:o)

Karl Grant said...

Oh look, Papalinton is talking about Transhumanism and the Singularity and using such religiously themed language that it doesn't leave any doubt why it is called the 'Rapture of the Nerds.' But considering how all other Utopia projects in history have turned out......well, keep the faith Pap, keep the faith.

Payton said...

I like C. S. Lewis' treatment of transhumanism in "That Hideous Strength". Papalinton's comment sounds almost exactly like Filostrato's little speech, and story about the moon.

Have you read it, Victor? (C. S. Lewis fan that you are)

parbouj said...

Papa said:
"In fact we will become conscious machines."

For the materialist, aren't we already conscious machines?

Victor Reppert said...

Oh yes, I have. I am a big fan of THS!

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

Parbouj
"Papa said:
"In fact we will become conscious machines."

Parbouj: "For the materialist, aren't we already conscious machines?"

PapaL: Yes, true enough. But I just wanted to break it gently to our superstitious brethren as they may be startled and somewhat shocked by the 'revelation'. ;o)

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

Karl Grant

"... well, keep the faith Pap, keep the faith."

:o) We all have visions to aspire to. At least mine looks forward with excitement and anticipation.

The christian vision is a rear-view mirror. :o( Unless of course your vision is that of John's Apocalypse and if you think you're going to escape that little Armageddon and slip into heaven, you better close your eyes tightly, cross all fingers on both hands behind your back and tightly pucker up that sphincter of yours and pray like your life depends on it, because it's going to be one hell of a ride so I'm told.

You see, Karl, I don't make any pious pretense about where I'm going under your nonsensical worldview [sic]. Besides, every decent person in the know, knows heaven is for the scenery, and hell is for the company. ;o)

Interestingly, and ironically Karl, the idea of transhumanism has not been lost on the military, and I have little doubt from the gleanings of information one happens upon, that much research and development is being undertaken to 'produce' the definitive soldier; intelligent, superb athlete, psychologically monolithic, highly efficient, and aided with various implants and prosthetics. The technology is already available.

Karl, here is a very interesting paper produced by Stephen Goldberg, a Professor of Law at Georgetown University:

http://scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1109&context=fwps_papers&sei-redir=1&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com.au%2Furl%3Fsa%3Dt%26rct%3Dj%26q%3Dtranshumanism%2520in%2520the%2520u%2520s%2520military%26source%3Dweb%26cd%3D10%26ved%3D0CGsQFjAJ%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fscholarship.law.georgetown.edu%252Fcgi%252Fviewcontent.cgi%253Farticle%253D1109%2526context%253Dfwps_papers%26ei%3DZezZTtCOKaSaiAeyqqzlDQ%26usg%3DAFQjCNGAKDpCaGouyrDeZe6X_ZeczzVkvA%26sig2%3DGgBy1is0cViZc86tqE0gNg#search=%22transhumanism%20u%20s%20military%22

While I note the Templeton Foundation has its grubby imprimatur all over it, it is nonetheless an interesting paper.

Here is another very interesting note: re The Transhuman US Navy of 2030 at:

http://www.humanpl.us/2010/01/the-transhuman-u-s-navy-of-2030/ , or here for the expanded Navy Times article:

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2010/01/navy_2030_010110w/

Cheers :o)

Karl Grant said...

Hey Pap,

We all have visions to aspire to. At least mine looks forward with excitement and anticipation.

And Christians don't look forward to their vision of the future with excitement and anticipation?

if you think you're going to escape that little Armageddon and slip into heaven

And pray tell, what is your statements like we mechanize our bodies which become the repositories of our consciousness? Is that not your personal wish of escaping the end of the Earth or every man's fate, death? Pot, Kettle, Black and all that. (Though personally I like the idea of you living inside a computer, because as a programmer I can think of quite a few ways to screw with you there.)

the idea of transhumanism has not been lost on the military

If you were actually smart that sentence alone would make you stop and think about looking at these developments with excitement and anticipation. History has repeatedly shown that periods of rapid technological development usually coincide with major wars and large scale social upheavals. For example, the 20th Century was a period of rapid technological development and it also saw two world wars, the Holocaust, the Russian and Chinese Purges, the development of technology that could allow the human race to exterminate itself (some progress there), and a whole bunch of other nasty crap.

And considering how the development costs with this new technology are going to be immense, odds are good only the rich will be able to afford it. So unless you have a few million stashed away I suggest that your odds of looking down some Terminator's gun barrel or watching some new doomsday weapon detonating over Sydney or wherever it is you live down under are greater than you living in some idyllic little Matrix imitation in this vision of the future.

01010101 said...

the AFR may suggest..consciousness, and the uniqueness of human thinking (ie intention), and the possible limits of materialism. It in no way suffices as a theological proof.

Anonymous said...

"Grant/Prokop/Hoffman".


the LDS stalker talking, or rather j-o with itself. No argument, nothing of substance, mere name dropping...wow Searle . How the masons work

B. Prokop said...

Karl,

I actually know quite a number of people who are practically salivating over the prospect of the coming "singularity" (when machines or cyborgs will replace humanity as the dominant intelligence on the planet). I am forever mystified by their eager anticipation of said event, because whenever I hear it described, it sound more like Hell than Heaven to me.

In an interesting case of "Life imitates Art", their words in praise of this coming "Rapture of the Nerds" (love that term - thank you!) often seem to be lifted straight from the character Weston in Lewis's Out of the Silent Planet.

Anonymous said...

Does Hell exist, Reppert?

Yll most likely be going there for this blog, and the masonic/mafia frauds who post here

Ilíon said...

"We all have visions to aspire to. At least mine looks forward with excitement and anticipation."

1) I'd never have seen this silly statement except that Karl Grant gave the only logically proper reasonse; to paraphrase: "And? you have a point?"


2) more importantly --

This a but a variation on the "At least I ask questions" criticism, so belovéd of foolish atheists. In case the reader hasn't encountered it, I'll give a synopsis:

Ye Olde Village Atheist With An Ethernet Cable issues a blistering condemnation of Christians based on the alleged fact that we think we (already) have all the answers, and his condemnation generally includes the proposition that it is impossible to know any truth. He triumphantly concludes, and simultaneously demonstrates the superiority of (his mind and of) atheism, by proclaiming: "At least I ask questions!"

That is, to his post-modernly infected brain (that word is intentional), "asking questions" trumps "having answers" any day of the week; to put it another way, refusing to have the answers one doesn't wish to have makes one superior to those who do have those answers.

Yet, isn't the point of asking question to get answers?

Ilíon said...

VR quoting One Brow: "I don’t know of anyone who says the computers we have today can reason."

One Brow needs to get out more; and for that matter, his qualifier ("we have today") shows that he doesn't understand (or doesn't want to admit) the truth of the matter, which is that no computer will ever reason, no computer will ever be a self, a mind, and agent.

S.Carr: "Why can't your god make a computer that can reason?

Is a computer that can reason logically impossible?
"

As for Mr Carr? He's a joke; he's not interested in truth. Surely, everyone who frequents DI understand this about the man.

But yes, God cannot make a computer that can reason because "a computer that can reason" is logically impossible; it's a category error and a contradiction in terms -- Mr Carr is demanding that God create an entity incapable of reasoning which nonetheless reasons.

K.Grant: "Maybe, I majored in computer science and in computer programming and many people in the field think that Strong AI (that is the correct term for a self-aware computer that is capable of reason) is impossible. There numerous barriers that need to be overcome before such software can be created ... And I can just imagine that the hardware requirements for such a machine would be immense, probably even requiring a quantum computer (which is also something we haven't been able to make yet)."

There will *never* be a computer that can reason; there will *never* be a computer that is a mind or self; there will *never* be a computer that is an agent. This impossibility isn't because some in the field understand the impossibility (while others refuse to understand it), but because of the nature of what computers are and what minds are -- categories errors don't vanish just because lots of people really, really, really want reality to be other than it is.

No computer will ever be a mind, no computer will ever reason, because there is more to minds and more to reason than mere computation -- and for than matter, computers can't even compute; rather, the machines we call 'computers' are but symbol manipulating machines which simulate computation. Computers are motorized abacusses: just as an abacus does not compute, but rather the person using it does, so too, a computer does not compute, but rather the person(s) who designed it and the person(s) programming it do.

And computation itself? That's counting, nothing more: all four arithmetic operations are simply counting. Abacusses don't count; minds count. Moving beads (whether real or virtual) from here to there may be used as an aid in counting, but such action is not itself counting.

To assert that someday a computer will be built that can reason is to assert that computation is the entirety of reasoning. But, computation is not the entirety of reasoning ... and, worse (from the point of view of silly materialists), computers don't even *actually* compute, and never will be able to. It's rather a chicken-and-egg thing: to be able to compute, an entity must *already* be able to think/reason.

Anonymous said...

Idion, blogland's own dyslexic Roody Giuliani, returns

Yeah the "Grant" troll's a joke and an impious fraud. You're a joke and a pious fraud

Karl Grant said...

Bob,

I am forever mystified by their eager anticipation of said event,

Me too. I know enough about history to know that technology changes but man's basic nature doesn't. The same things that happened 100, 500 or a 1000 years ago keep happening today. Technology has merely changed the details; horse thievery has become grand theft auto which isn't exactly my idea of progress. Why should the future be any different?

And personally, I am bit perplexed by Pap talking about this glorious transhuman future while quoting papers that talk about the military applications of these technological developments. To my mind, the fact that defense contractors Lockheed Martin, agencies like DARPA, the US Navy, the Chinese People's Liberation Army etc.... are very interested this technology should be ringing alarm bells to people practically salivating over the prospect of the coming singularity.

Perezoso said...

Talking to yrself again Byro Schizonius? (note no writing/blogs with these phonies, any real christians, or citizens for that matter) "Programmer". Heh . You mean ..t-shirt salesperson, leftist blog reg, and queer poet (this is the freak, Id. Trace it to Sac, and yll see)

You probably don't want AZ people finding out about you, do you perp.
Some nasty bidness with Babs

Anonymous said...

So Perezoso is a believer in
"I blog, therefore I am."

Karl Grant said...

Perezoso,

note no writing/blogs with these phonies

That's kind of funny coming from an anonymous internet dumbass who doesn't provide any links to blogs or writings of his own.

Perezoso said...

Anonymous internet bozo aka Byro Schizonius--you're the dumbass here, not having figured out what the AFR or Searle's little analogy implies.
Maybe get that chiropractor cert youve been working on for 20 years, Brighamski . And stay off philosophy blogs--you don't know a syllogism from yr crack stash.

Karl Grant said...

Perezoso,

I have no idea who Byro Schizonius or Brighamski is. But if anybody has a crack stash here it is you for confusing me with him. Now I did do a little research on you, for example, you are one of only two people Dr. Reppert has ever banned from this blog (and considering Dr. Reppert's very lax comments policy that is saying something). Yet you keep coming back, always insulting, always acting superior, always trying to play the victim.

So you know what I think of that? I think you live a very pathetic and meaningless life. That coming on this blog, and others like, and demeaning other people is the only way that you can establish some small facsimile of self-worth, the only way that you can get other people to notice you. It is only in the internet you can act like this because in the real world you are nothing.

And from what I have seen of your posts you are very much nothing here on the net also. Just another dime-a-dozen anonymous internet dumbass who imagines himself sophisticated but whose mental facilities would be hard pressed to organize a kegger in brewery.

Now, do you have anything you are actually going to contribute to the discussion or are you just going to continue to be an insulting attention whore?

Anonymous said...

Any fans of the singularity, or who think that minds can and will be simulated (along with worlds) will have to own up to what they are.

Intelligent design proponents.

Among other things.

Papalinton said...

Karl Grant
"History has repeatedly shown that periods of rapid technological development usually coincide with major wars and large scale social upheavals. For example, the 20th Century was a period of rapid technological development and it also saw two world wars, the Holocaust, the Russian and Chinese Purges, the development of technology that could allow the human race to exterminate itself (some progress there), and a whole bunch of other nasty crap."

And utterly lost on Karl is the fact christianity was the overwhelmingly dominant religion in these regions, other than China and Japan. The overwhelmingly dominant percentage of the populations where these conflicts occurred were followers of jesus, you know, christians. And yet, like sheep, and when it came to the crunch, their moral lessons from the church and their deeply embedded ethics proved utterly useless in preventing any of it. To talk of the power of jesus at a time of crisis is to talk mythological bunkum. There is no AFR for christianity. Every christian on this site will conveniently have a memory loss of the context of my argument as they attempt to externalize the problem and the responsibility to other factors. That in itself, is an admission of the gossamer nature of christian morality, and its non-existent impact as a redeeming social force. It proved useless in 1912-13 and it proved useless in 1938-39, it proved useless in Russia.

Religion does not prevent wars, it aids and abets them, just as the scriptures say it. History tells us that religion is a catalyst for wars.

Karl Grant said...

Pap,

And utterly lost on Karl is the fact christianity was the overwhelmingly dominant religion in these regions, other than China and

And the fact utterly lost on Pap is that the governments responsible for these actions were overwhelmingly secular and in the case of the Soviet Union espoused national atheism. So if the dominant religion in these areas shares some blame for these events so does the form of government.

their moral lessons from the church and their deeply embedded ethics proved utterly useless in preventing any of it.

Really? Well, this is just another example of you not knowing history as you would have heard of things like the Confessing Church. And even if I grant you this it still doesn't change the fact that mainstream science aided, abetted and, in some cases, instigated those atrocities (eugenics springs to mind). And obviously you are not willing to forsake science for that. So why should I forsake my religious beliefs for similar things?

History tells us that religion is a catalyst for wars.

No doubt, but old Comrade Mao marched his armies against Tibet's people and culture under the slogan 'Religion is Poison' so history also tells us that atheism has been a catalyst for war. So again I fail to see where you are offering any improvement in your belief system.

Ilíon said...

"Any fans of the singularity, or who think that minds can and will be simulated (along with worlds) will have to own up to what they are.

Intelligent design proponents.
"

The correct term is 'emulated'; but yes, that's exactly what they are.

Papalinton said...

Karl Grant
"And the fact utterly lost on Pap is that the governments responsible for these actions were overwhelmingly secular and in the case of the Soviet Union espoused national atheism."

Not reliigion's fault - karl talking as if governments are conscious entities in their own right [it's all the government's fault]- forgets governments are made of people who were in the vast majority christians guided by their christian morality when making those government decisions - externalizing the responsibility - I rest my case. Childlike, unsophisticated, unmellowed.

Religion is increasingly becoming a lame duck. Not only had it proven itself to be utterly incapable of invoking practical morality to stem the tide of 'unchristian' acts and sentiment prior to the great wars, it was complicit right up to its neck. Not only has the teachings of jesus been so bereft in guiding any action in mitigating if not avoiding these events, it has also been abstracted out of existence by indiscriminate and uncritical apologist interpretation and interpretation over the centuries, so neutered in fact, as to render it a meaningless and useless model of social reform, maintenance and well-being. Religion is generally trending towards dinosaur status and will eventually evolve into it's [the dinosaur's] closest relative extant, a chicken.

People in the Western world are now beginning to vote with their feet. Pious wool can no longer be pulled over eyes. Secularism and humanism are the significant drivers into humanity's growth and well-being into the future, comprehensively underpinned by scientific understanding and investigation.

Papalinton said...

Karl grant
I'm unclear why it is you refer the 'Confessing Church' Wiki site. All that is written there simply consolidates my argument of the uselessness of christian thought and morality, as if by some self-evident truth and providence, that it is some kind of force for good in the world.

Hardly.

B. Prokop said...

"Religion is increasingly becoming a lame duck."

What planet are you living on, Papalinton? Religion is increasing its influence daily. Catholicism is exploding in Africa and Asia. (In my lifetime, barring an untimely death, we will see more Christians in China than in North America.) Islam is certainly no "lame duck" in large swaths of the Earth. Hinduism is more practiced in India today than at any previous time in history. The vectors everywhere are up, up, up. Some lame duck!

But forget the global scene. come to my church: St. Paul's in Ellicott City, Maryland. There you will find jam-packed services, dozens of activities weekly for every age, more outreach programs than I can count, a homeless shelter, a Feed the Hungry program, partnerships with less well off parishes (to include New Orleans reconstruction work) and many, many other efforts to bring physical and emotional relief to people who desperately need it. You'll see Real Christianity in action!

Karl Grant said...

Hey Pap,

forgets governments are made of people who were in the vast majority christians guided by their christian morality

Oh, that hardly was the case in the Soviet Union and you know it. Also, sometimes a minority controls the government, such as in Syria were the ruling Alawite sect (which only makes up 10% of the population) has held the reigns of power for the last forty years.

Religion is increasingly becoming a lame duck...secularism and humanism are the significant drivers into humanity's growth and well-being into the future

Than, why-oh-why, do atheists still only make up 2.3% of the world's population, according to Encyclopedia Britannica, and Christianity makes up close to a third of the world's population? In fact, why does most demographic information show the percentage of the world's population that is atheist not having increased to any degree in the last few decades? As this article in the American Spectator states that 80,000 new Christians every day, 79,000 new Muslims every day, and 300 fewer atheists every day. All this, you know, despite atheists proclaiming continuously that the death of religion is just around the corner for the better part of the last two centuries?

Not only had it proven itself to be utterly incapable of invoking practical morality to stem the tide

And this poses what challenge to a Christian? A central part of Christian theology is that Jesus came to this Earth and did what He did is because ordinary humans are incapable of doing that.

People in the Western world are now beginning to vote with their feet.

Key word West. Take a look at South America, Africa and Asia and you are going to see a very different picture.

that it is some kind of force for good in the world.

Oh, you don't consider resistance to Hitler and trying to save Jewish lives a force of good? That's good to know.

Karl Grant said...

Oh, this is too good. Hey Perezoso, if you are still watching you will notice that me and Bob posted responses to Papalinton at roughly the exact same time. Now even assuming we are the same person and typed out our responses on Word in advance it would have still taken more than a minute to copy-paste one response to the comment box, submit it, log out of one account, log into another account, copy-paste the second response and submit it. Ergo, we are two separate people working on two separate computers. So why don't you chew on that for a few seconds?

parbouj said...

Karl if you give a shit he's already won.

Karl Grant said...

Parbouj,

I don't give a shit, it's just that it's been a slow weekend and I have a habit of feeding trolls when I grow bored.