Saturday, March 17, 2012

R D Miksa's blog on taking over the outsider test for faith

Here is the blog. Miksa argues that the OTF, properly interpreted, supports theism, supernaturalism, and intelligent design.

The central issue surrounding the OTF is whether Loftus is justified in putting nonbelief in a special, default category, or whether it is just one more position on the intellectual map, as it were. That's what the Outsider Perspective is supposed to be about. Otherwise I can go outside of Christianity by taking an Islamic perspective, or outside of Buddhism by taking a Christian perspective. Or I get get outside the atheist perspective by taking a Christian point of view.  But there is no question of getting completely outside, in other words, off the intellectual map entirely. You can go outside of here by going there, but you are still going to be somewhere. Wherever you go, there you are.

On the other hand, Loftus isn't just talking about getting outside of where you are to start from somewhere else to see what happens as a thought experiment. Rather, he thinks that the modern scientistic nonbeliever's position just is the Outsider Perspective, and as such it deserves a default status. Unless a religious view can justify itself to someone who adopts that perspective, then it ought not to be believed. But there is no corresponding evidential requirement that falls upon the atheist. One is only justified in getting inside a religious position unless you can justify yourself to The Outsider (with or without the hat).

My criticisms amount to the claim that it's a fudge to put the nonbeliever in that kind of privileged position.

75 comments:

articulett said...

The atheist is not the one making claims about invisible/divine beings nor claiming to know what you are supposed to "believe in" to be saved.

You are attempting to put atheism on par with another "belief" instead of recognizing it as being more akin to your own disbelief in other religions' supernatural claims or assertions of divine knowledge. All those outside your faith are outsiders to your faith-- it's just that with believers in other religions you can assure yourself that your supernatural beliefs are so much more sensible than theirs so you are right to dismiss them-- you can't do that with an atheist's lack of belief.

Show us how you'd apply the OTF to your lack-of-belief-in-Scientology. Or show us how an ex-Scientologist ought to go about it. It doesn't make sense. That's because the OTF applies to faith-- not those that are outside of it. Most atheists were outsiders to atheism before they became atheists. Often, some version of the OTF is what set them on the path towards freethought. So now you think they should nonsensically apply the OTF to their lack of faith? Should everyone who has left a cult be doing so? Or aren't they doing it all along as they are letting go?

It's your supernatural beliefs that are "epistemelogically flawed". You believe in a god that demands that you believe in him just like the Muslims-- but he's left no clear message about what exactly it is you are supposed to believe-- though he's threatened eternal damnation to those who don't.

So your stuck with making up reasons as to why the OTF is flawed and not your faith.

Bilbo said...

Apparently I must be willing and able to read all 22,000 words or so of Miksa's essay/blog, before I can answer articulett's question as to how I would apply the OTF to Scientology or any other faith.

I pass.

Victor Reppert said...

Can we cut the "what you have to believe in to be saved" part out? I don't know how many times I have to point out that I'm not a soteriological exclusivist. I've help pretty much a Vatican II-type position on the salvation of people in other religions since I was a junior in college. Nor do I believe all atheists are automatically going to hell. I am not a full-blown universalist like Pratt or Talbott, but I do believe that that position has to be taken very seriously. You should know this. If you don't, you haven't been paying attention.

Well, I guess if you want to then call me a heretic, that's another matter.

If you take Muslims, for example, you will find that I agree with their theism, I agree that God has spoken through many of the same prophets. Further, I have no problem thinking that God may speak to Muslims; maybe even through the Qu'ran. I do not happen to believe that the Angel Gabriel dictated the Qu'ran to Muhammad in Arabic. But my disbelieve in Islamic supernatural claims seems to me to be quite different from that of an atheist.

As for Scientology, I reject their claims because the whole thing looks like a deliberate fraud. I disbelieve their claims for much the same reason that I disbelieve the claims of your typical diet pill manufacturer, even though those manufacturers don't invoke the supernatural at all.

Is it your position, not that there IS not evidence for any supernatural claim, but that there CANNOT be any evidence for any supernatural claim? Because the evidence for Christianity does look better than other religions. This would be incorrect, of course, if it were logically impossible to have any evidence for any supernatural claim.

RD Miksa said...

Dear Dr. V. Reppert:

Thank you very much for linking to my blog; it is greatly appreciated.

And just to amplify the point from your post, the funny thing is, and as I demonstrate in my paper/blog, even if we grant Loftus his points, and then use his criteria in our own argument, it is still possible to show that deism is a better default position for the OTF than agnosticism/atheism is. So, in my opinion, Loftus’ attempts to make agnosticism the default position for the OTF are unsuccessful if we apply his own OTF criteria to try to determine what the best default position should be. Thus, Loftus’ attempt to place the unbeliever in a privileged position is invalid if we are to take the rest of his OTF points seriously. And so the OTF proponent is placed in a dilemma: either he admits that the non-believer’s position should not be the default position for the OTF, or he admits that he does not take the rest of the OTF’s main points seriously.

Sincerely,

RD Miksa

Victor Reppert said...

I believe in many invisible entities which no one supposes are supernatural. An example would be electrons, which cannot be directly observed. A positivism that would rule out possible evidence for God would have to rule out evidence for electrons. Of course, you can go van Fraassen and say that our theories about unobservables are aimed at empirical adequacy as opposed to truth. But I don't see a lot of people following van Fraassen on this.

RD Miksa said...

Dear articulett:

You said:

“You are attempting to put atheism on par with another "belief…"

That is because atheism is a belief. For atheism, as actually defined, means:

1) Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: ‘Atheism’ means the negation of theism, the denial of the existence of God.

2) Dictionary.com: Atheism: 1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God; 2. disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.

3) Oxford Dictionary: Atheism: disbelief in the existence of a god or gods.

4) Collins Dictionary: Atheism: belief that there is no god.

So the reason that I put atheism on par with others belief is because it is one. And this is not even mentioning the fact that in the Western world, atheism is nearly synonymous with naturalism, which is most definitely a belief / set of beliefs.


You said:

“…instead of recognizing it as being more akin to your own disbelief in other religions' supernatural claims or assertions of divine knowledge.”

But it is not akin to my disbelief in other religions’ supernatural claims, for my disbelief in atheism is total (ie – it is wholly false), whereas my disbelief in other religions’ supernatural claims is only partial, and/or is, at times, a disbelief in the interpretation of the supernatural claim, not a disbelief in whether the supernatural event actually occurred or not.


You said:

“…it's just that with believers in other religions you can assure yourself that your supernatural beliefs are so much more sensible than theirs so you are right to dismiss them…”

But I do not, as I mentioned above, necessarily dismiss them, so why are you falsely claiming that I do or would.


You said:

“That's because the OTF applies to faith-- not those that are outside of it.”

Actually, as Loftus—who is the actual creator of this particular version of the OTF—admits, the OTF does not just apply to “faith” (whatever that means), but to religions, philosophical beliefs, ethical ideas, worldviews, etc. And thus, as atheism (and naturalism) is a belief, then the OTF applies to it. Furthermore, the goal of the OTF is to help us overcome the psychological, sociological, and cultural biases that cloud our rationality, and which thus obstruct our ability to rationally assess our own beliefs. Yet since, as I demonstrate in my paper/blog, atheists are as subject to psychological, sociological, and cultural biases that anyone else is, then the OTF is eminently applicable to them.


You said:

“Most atheists were outsiders to atheism before they became atheists.”

This is an assertion, and one
which I dispute.


You said:

“So now you think they [athiests] should nonsensically apply the OTF to their lack of faith?”

Obviously, because as is easily demonstrable, many atheists have adopted their position of non-belief for the same non-rational psychological, sociological, and cultural reasons that they so often blame believers of using.


You said:

“So your stuck with making up reasons as to why the OTF is flawed and not your faith.”
The funny thing, at least in my case, is that I do not believe that the OTF is, in principle, flawed. I simply point out that if it is honestly applied, then the OTF supports supernaturalism over naturalism, and Intelligent Design over its rival.

Sincerely,

RD Miksa

John W. Loftus said...

If non-believers are to take the OTF then Christians need to tell us what would be an outsider perspective for us? Is it the perspective of Catholicism or Protestant Fundamentalism? Is it the perspective of snake handlers, holy rollers or the obnoxious and racist KKK? Is it that of a Satanist, a Scientologist, a Shintoist, or a Sikh? What about that of a Mormon, a militant Muslim, or a Moonie? How about Judaism, Jainism, or Jehovah’s Witnesses? The problem is that there just isn’t a worthy religious contender from out of the myriad number of religions that can be considered an outsider perspective for non-believers. This is not a fault with the OTF. It’s the fault of religion.

Actually, another analogy to the outsider is Plato's allegory of the cave.

Victor Reppert said...

Why does there have to be one authoritative Outsider Perspective? An outsider perspective is just a perspective outside of your belief system. People who try to think things through adopt perspectives outside of their own and ask if the evidence on which they accept what they do accept would be sufficient if they did not begin by believing what they do. There are an infinite number of outsider perspectives, and therefore an infinite number of outsider tests. Take your pick.

John W. Loftus said...

Vic, because the outsider perspective is the position of doubt not faith, based on reason and science. Link

Papalinton said...

Victor
"I believe in many invisible entities which no one supposes are supernatural. An example would be electrons, which cannot be directly observed. A positivism that would rule out possible evidence for God would have to rule out evidence for electrons."

This is gobbledegook as you well know. We know electrons exist. There are innumerable methods for testing the existence/presence of electrons. No one, no one, is in doubt an electron is present when tested for. And when tested for, its presence cannot, cannot be mistakenly attributed to some other inexplicable entity, visible or not. The jury has brought a verdict down on this one; electrons exist.

To suggest that which rules out god[s] would also rule out electrons, is contemptible, cowardly and very shabby scholarship; a despicable ploy playing directly to the general ignorance of most believers in matters philosophical and scientific. To conflate the non-visibility of electrons to the non-visibility of god[s] is an egregious trick appealing to the apparent reasonableness of your claim.

What are the testable, repeatable and verifiable evidence for the existence of god[s] that no one, no one would dispute? What are the methods for establishing the existence of god[s] that does not resort to the utterly false and unsupported claptrap of emotional 'attribution' solely? A glorious sunset, a frozen waterfall does not constitute hard-assed evidence for the existence of god[s]. Not seeing god[s] is not the same as not seeing electrons.

Papalinton said...

R D Miksa
There is very little in your response to Articulett that has challenged her excellent post.

Most if not all atheists do indeed come to that position from religion in one form or another. As atheism is universally acknowledged as non-belief in any of the plenitude of theisms out there, it is highly unlikely to be 'just another belief'. An atheist in Saudi Arabia and an atheist in Europe together with an atheist from the US are universally in agreement of the possibility of non-existence of god[s]. They don't subscribe to different forms of non-belief in god[s]. It is indeed an unbelief, or correctly, a position from which there is lack of any credible evidence of any substantive kind that either, 1. indicates the possibility of [putatively] live supernatural entities that can volitionally socially engage in the natural world, or 2. that there is anything akin to the philosophical ideation of an uncaused cause. Indeed science has not reached at any time a cul-de-sac in research that could not, up to this point conclude, "[Sire,] je n'avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là." Translation: "I did not need to make such an assumption." There have been no circumstances, not one, that has pointed to an interventionist deity as the progenitor of the universe, the world, or anything for that matter.

The OTF is just as Articulett notes, there is no comparator between between atheism as a faith and religion as a faith. All religions are 'faiths', there survival depends on faith and faith alone. No self-respecting person could subscribe to christian theism without denial of reason and logic. There are far too many unbelievable claims made in every religion that could ever be universally acknowledged, far too many competing cultural accretions and baggage from which to rescue any semblance of unity of purpose. By contrast atheism is a recognition of the parochial and provincial impediments that secludes groups of humans from other groups of humans. The OTF is fundamentally, a position of doubt, arrived at in the absence of any substantial character or footprint that can corroborate religion as anything other than a social and cultural activity.

You say to Articulett, "Obviously, because as is easily demonstrable, many atheists have adopted their position of non-belief for the same non-rational psychological, sociological, and cultural reasons that they so often blame believers of using."
You had better dish up the evidence for this declarative statement, Miksa. Not to cite studies for this claim is to resort to the ignominy of christian Apologetics, a thoroughly discredited non-academic specialism.

Eric said...
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Eric said...
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Eric said...

"Vic, because the outsider perspective is the position of doubt not faith, based on reason and science."

Here's a question you've never considered, John, but it's derived from a conclusion I've reached in my analysis of the OTF: Could someone who takes an instrumentalist, as opposed to a realist, view of science take the OTF? Think about that one. The OTF, as you've formulated it, clarified it, and set forth its aims, presupposes scientific realism -- a philosophical position. An instrumentalist like Hawking could not take the OTF, for he would deny this presupposition. But there's no scientific test for the presupposition, and no way to assess the probability of realism vis-a-vis instrumentalism about science. So, the OTF, *as you've formulated it*, presupposes a commitment to certain philosophical positions (there are others that my analysis will point out) that remain outside the purview of scientific analyses. Now I agree with Victor: some formulations of the OTF are fine, but you've chosen to formulate it in such a way that the deck is stacked against the theist; unfortunately, you've stacked the deck on grounds the premises of the OTF deny can be defended.

RD Miksa said...

Dear John:

You said:

“If non-believers are to take the OTF then Christians need to tell us what would be an outsider perspective for us?”

As I argued in my paper/blog, the outsider perspective for the non-believer should be deism; it should in fact, be the default position for the OTF.


You said:

“Vic, because the outsider perspective is the position of doubt not faith, based on reason and science.”

Well, deism fits this description, as even admitted by many atheists, such as Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss.

Sincerely,

RD Miksa

John W. Loftus said...

Eric, debates between instrumentalism and realism are scientific ones with the use of evidence or the lack thereof for said views. The OTF does not reject philosophy, since it's needed, only a scientifically uniformed one.

I am writing a book length treatment of the OTF so I'd appreciate your analysis when you get to it.

John W. Loftus said...

RD Miksa, if you email me your real name and credentials then when I write my book I'll be sure to include your name in it. Eric, I think I know yours but just the same I would need to be sure.

RD, that deism might result from the OTF depends on the weight you place on the evidence. I'll argue such a view falls short of being probable.

Possibilities don't count.

RD Miksa said...

Dear Papalinton:

You said:

“Most if not all atheists do indeed come to that position from religion in one form or another. As atheism is universally acknowledged as non-belief in any of the plenitude of theisms out there, it is highly unlikely to be 'just another belief'.”

Yet, since we are discussing the OTF particularly, then your point is generally irrelevant, for even if, for the sake of argument, atheists come to atheism from one religion or another, that does not mean that they did not transition to atheism for non-rational psychological, sociological, and cultural reasons, which is precisely what the OTF is concerned with.

I note further—and not without a bit of joyful irony—that it is a common atheist taking point that “We are all born atheists.” But if this is the case, then by definition, all people have come to religion from atheism, and thus all people have passed the OTF. But you obviously would not grant this point to me—and I state it not because I endorse it, but only to prove a point—because you would rightly claim that young children have psychological, sociological, and cultural pressures that influence them into religion, and thus they still need to apply the OTF. I agree, but simply point out that the same can be said of atheists, and so it would be a double standard to claim that believers must apply the OTF and non-believers do not have to do so.


You said:

“All religions are 'faiths', there survival depends on faith and faith alone.”

First off, we need to define the term ‘faith,’ and I am a confident that your definition would not match the actual dictionary definition of the term, thus meaning that your definition is very likely objectively false. But regardless, when the actual term ‘faith’—as properly and objectively defined—is used, it is clear that all worldviews ultimately depend for their survival on faith alone, for all worldviews—atheism and naturalism included—rest themselves on top of first principles which are themselves ultimately matters of faith, for they cannot be demonstrated by reason alone. Indeed, radical skepticism is a bitch, and this is a point that any Philosophy 101 Student would understand. So atheism and naturalism get no special treatment here.

Con't...

Eric said...

"I am writing a book length treatment of the OTF so I'd appreciate your analysis when you get to it."

No problem. I have about a dozen pages of notes so far, and a couple of particularly thorny issues to work out. As I said, I don't pretend to be working on the definitive analysis of the OTF, but to be providing a jumping off point for serious analyses.

"Eric, debates between instrumentalism and realism are scientific ones with the use of evidence or the lack thereof for said views. The OTF does not reject philosophy, since it's needed, only a scientifically uniformed one."

But the point is that there can be no such thing as a scientifically informed decision about instrumentalism/realism about science *in the sense* that science can ever *in principle* decide the issue (though, of course, we should expect realists and anti-realists to be scientifically informed). I mean, science cannot even decide among competing versions of realism (e.g. Penrose's Platonism versus Dawkins's physicalism). So this is not, as you said above, a scientific debate ("debates between instrumentalism and realism are scientific ones with the use of evidence or the lack thereof for said views"), but a philosophical debate about how we're to understand science.

RD Miksa said...

Dear John Loftus:


You said:

"RD Miksa, if you email me your real name and credentials..."

RD Miksa is my real name, and it is the name that I use for all my professionally published works (the few that there are..haha).

Concerning my academic credentials, I consider them quite unimpressive. I have a BA with a Major in Military Strategic Studies and a Minor in Military Psychology from the Royal Military College of Canada. I am currently working towards a Masters of Arts in Philosophy degree as well as a second Master of Arts in Work, Leadership, and Organization.

However, my real experience comes from my work, for the majority of my adult career has been spent as an Intelligence Officer and now a Police Officer. So most of my adult life has been spent making evidentiary assessments with extremely serious real-life consequences, unlike many people who have never had their evidentiary assessments actually matter.

Sincerely,

RD Miksa

RD Miksa said...

Dear Papalinton:

Con’t…

You said:

“No self-respecting person could subscribe to christian theism without denial of reason and logic.”

This singular statement is filled with an amazing amount of fallacious and demonstrably false foolishness and irrelevancy. First, the statement is just an assertion, and thus holds no merit with me or any other thinking person. Second, since “self-respect” is ultimately a piece of subjective knowledge, and thus only the individual person can truly know if he respects himself or not, then your statement is demonstrably false, for I (and likely Dr. Reppert and others) respect myself, and I subscribe to Christian theism based on reason and logic. And thus my own example serves to disprove your statement. If however, you actually meant to write “In my opinion, no self-respecting…” then your statement would become irrelevant, for no one really cares or puts any weigh on your personal opinion. Or, if you actually meant to write, “Most self-respecting people…” then at least this would be more defensible, but the fact that you did not write it appears to demonstrate your loose thinking and shoddy writing. Third, history disproves this contention, as numerous people have existed who have accepted Christian theism on the basis of reason and logic, as they themselves attest; if you dispute their personal claims, then you will have to provide some reason for doing so. Until then, you are just spouting nonsense. Fourth, if you are basing your above assertion on an inductive extrapolation from some specific cases that you have witnessed to a general case for all Christian theists, then your extrapolation is weak, for seeing that there exist over two billion Christian theists, I doubt that you have even dealt with a tiny fraction of them. Furthermore, the fact that you then categorically claim that all Christian theists must be irrational or illogic shows your own lack of rationality and logic, for how can you rationally and logically make such a claim given that you would have to be aware of all Christian theists—past, present, and future—to be able to state that no Christian theist can ever be rational or logical. You have thus extended your reasoning far beyond where it can legitimately or reasonably go, and have thus shown yourself to be illogical and sloppy in thinking.

Con't...

RD Miksa said...

Con't...

You said:

“There are far too many unbelievable claims made in every religion that could ever be universally acknowledged, far too many competing cultural accretions and baggage from which to rescue any semblance of unity of purpose.”

Assertion! Not to mention that atheism/naturalism has far more extraordinary claims than a basic form of supernaturalism does. And unlike you, I actually argue for this in my paper, I do not simply assert it.


You said:

“By contrast atheism is a recognition of the parochial and provincial impediments that secludes groups of humans from other groups of humans.”

Actually, atheism is simply what it is objectively defined as: the belief that God (or gods) does not exist. Your additions to its definition are subjective, personal, and unimportant, thus making them irrelevant to the discussion at hand.


You said:

“You had better dish up the evidence for this declarative statement, Miksa. Not to cite studies for this claim…”

That would be why I wrote a 22,000 word paper about the subject.


You said:

“…is to resort to the ignominy of christian Apologetics, a thoroughly discredited non-academic specialism.”

Based on the number of assertions and demonstrably false claims that you have made in just this one comment, I would suggest that the first person who needs to dish up evidence for his declarative statements is you. And please, for future reference, do not project your own intellectual inadequacies onto me. Thank you.

Sincerely,

RD Miksa

RD Miksa said...

Dear John Loftus:


You said:

"RD, that deism might result from the OTF depends on the weight you place on the evidence. I'll argue such a view falls short of being probable."

But I do not argue that deism falls out of the OTF, but rather that deism should be the default position of the OTF.

What I do, however, argue falls out of the OTF--and using your own criteria, I should point out--is supernaturalism over naturalism, and Intelligent Design over Blind-Watchmaker Darwinism. But if the OTF does support these positions, as I argue, then the OTF does indeed provide greater support to religious-type beliefs than it does to unbelief.

Sincerely,

RD Miksa

Papalinton said...

R D Miksa
Thank you for your extended reply. It must have felt good to get your ‘teeth’ into something of substance. It is unfortunate that much you have written does not constitute a robust evidential rebuttal, rather an impotent swipe, a tilting of Don Quixote’s lance at windmills.
You say, ...“ [even if] atheists come to atheism from one religion or another, that does not mean that they did not transition to atheism for non-rational psychological, sociological, and cultural reasons, which is precisely what the OTF is concerned with.”
You know of course this is nonsense. It is an example of the same fallacious order as: “"Islam is based on faith, Christianity is based on faith, so isn't Islam a form of Christianity?"
The two aspects of the statement are jejunely conflated and is a non sequitur. Atheism results from ‘rational’ psychological, sociological and cultural reasons. This is its strongest point. Most if not all atheists arrive at atheism precisely because it is understood that there is nothing more to theism than it being a cultural artifice, a wholly-owned derivative of social habits, practices and mores, borne out of and fully subsumed within the cultural milieu from which it was conceived. The long lessons of history clearly demonstrate that religions wax and wane just as cultures do, inextricably bound as they are to their cultures. One is mindful of the myriad of old gods in the Americas. But old gods don’t die, they are forgotten. The ancient gods of the Egyptians and the Mesopotamians were as strong and as powerful in their day as the god of christianity was in the earlier decades of the 20thC. Just as were the polygods of the Greeks and the Romans in their time. In the first three centuries of the first millennium CE, the greatest threat to the christian mythos, apart from the myriad of internecine squabbles during the period the christian religion was being fabricated, was Mithraism. But, as history tells us, there is nothing more powerful than the imprimatur of government to promulgate a mythos, any mythos, as christianity was to delightfully discover in 325CE, and as Mithraists found to their demise.

Cont.

Papalinton said...

cont.

In respect of the OTF, you are correct that the Test is primarily concerned with psychological, sociological and cultural reasons. In fact it is fundamentally the result of the disciplines of Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology, all very recent and modern specialist fields of investigation, that uncovered and explained the memeplex of religion as a solely cultural artifice. No causal link between the supernatural and any other world or universe, or outside the universe, seen or unseen, was found. This fact is no less supported, unequivocally, through the hard sciences of physics, biology, astronomy, cosmology, the neurosciences etc etc. From their distinct and different perspectives they all converge to confirming the narrative of the likelihood of a supernatural domain, [with two ‘worlds’, heaven and hell, there is no clear sense of their meaning even from sophisticated theology, in which humans are able to socially engage and communicate with putatively live entities replete with all the feelings, emotions, characteristics, wants and dislikes of mortal humans across that natural/supernatural divide], being probabilistically infinitesimally small.
The OTF is a significant blow to theists and they largely know it and appreciate it for what it is. Their somewhat frenzied reaction to the OTF is emblematic of the level of concern of another front of reasoned debate that has opened up that places the onus squarely on woo believers to substantiate their claim. Long gone are the days of deferential acquiescence to religious knowledge. It must earn its keep in a competitive market of ideas just as all other cultural mores must, as demanded by community.
Yes, it is true, ‘faith’ must be defined. And when and until christian theology agrees to a definition of faith that specifically and best defines what it’s theistic meaning entails, atheists are free, indeed obliged, to use it in any way so selected in the absence of a such a definition. As VR notes christians must ‘disambiguate’ faith. This is a fair call.
cont.

Papalinton said...

Cont.

You critiqued my statement: “No self-respecting person could subscribe to christian theism without denial of reason and logic.” However your response seems privately engaged in posing various interpretations of my statement, none of which respond to the substance of the claim. You claim your theism is a result of reason and logic. While I do not question your use of reason and logic, as we are all want to do, it is the basis of your premise, the existence of god[s], that is unarguably contested, not only from atheists but also theists of many different stripes. The existence of a christian interpretation of a god is uniquely, unadulterated assertion. Not one skerrick of evidence or proof. So while you may conveniently avail yourself of reason and logic, your premise by far and away has never been settled. Equally, your claim to logic does not a factual premise make as the “logical validity of an argument is a function of its internal consistency, not the truth value of its premises.” [Wiki]
As BDK, a regular commenter on DI noted, “There’s so much to science [he said, ‘evolutionary biology’] than one book. The same cannot be said for Christianity.”
Apart from a very tenuous and sullied association with philosophy, theology [christian theism particularly] does not appear to emerge as a factor, or the substance of its claims verified, from any, not one, of the countless sources of human investigative activity, bar the bible. Surely that must tell you something of the extremely limited nature of christian theism as an explanatory tool.
The paucity of evidence in support of your denial of the many unbelievable claims that I say is made in religion, is palpable. Not one believer outside christian theism would subscribe to any of the claims of christian apologists. No matter how ecumenical they are. So, in terms of unbelievable claims, I guess you're okay with the fact that "Islam rejects the Christian view that Jesus was God incarnate or the son of God, that he was ever crucified or resurrected, or that he ever atoned for the sins of mankind.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_view_of_Jesus

Papalinton said...
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Papalinton said...
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Papalinton said...

Cont.

The unbelievable claims of the christian mythos are not accepted as central and universal, by either the Jews or muslims, and yet these variations of the religious mythos derive from the same primogenitor. The fundamental tenets of christianity, as exampled by the filioque, are even not agreed within christianity itself.
Will your 22,000 words be of any value, relevance or worth in advancing society into the future? Or was it simply an exercise of personal interest?
An no, deism can never be considered the default position of the OTF, because once again, deism has not proven its efficacy as a viable premise independent of appealing to ‘teleological intentionality’, that is to improperly assign an untested hypothesis of ‘design with a purpose’ to the premise.
Look beyond the church, Miksa. The religious component of many, if not most western cultures, is atrophying, or more generously, righsizing, from the extreme positions it once commanded as a tool for social regulation and control. There are far more efficient, amenable, fairer and just means, through the tenets of secularism and humanism that recognize and acknowledge all people in a community regardless of their preferred proclivity for theism or otherwise. Their rights and integrity are better served outside the limiting and prescriptive focus of religious praxis.
Your dabbling in the OTF has no relevance nor impact on the application of the OTF in the community. Whether it be implicit, inadvertent or otherwise, the OTF is nevertheless being applied. Survey after survey informs us the US is following the trend established in Europe, and followed in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, for religion to generally exert a much smaller second or third order level of influence in contemporary societies going forward.

The evidence is already out there.

RD Miksa said...

Dear Papalinton:

You said:

“It is unfortunate that much you have written does not constitute a robust evidential rebuttal, rather an impotent swipe, a tilting of Don Quixote’s lance at windmills.”

Why don’t we let others be the judge of that.


You said:

“The two aspects of the statement are jejunely conflated and is a non sequitur. Atheism results from ‘rational’ psychological, sociological and cultural reasons. This is its strongest point.”

Utter chicken-feed! In fact, a solid portion of my argument shows that your claim is demonstrably false. So please, address the specific points that I make rather than making unsubstantiated declarations.


You said:

“Most if not all atheists arrive at atheism precisely because it is understood that there is nothing more to theism than it being a cultural artifice, a wholly-owned derivative of social habits, practices and mores, borne out of and fully subsumed within the cultural milieu from which it was conceived.”

Again, utter hog-wash; and simply asserted hog-wash to boot. The words of modern atheists themselves belie this fact. History belies this fact (Cult of Reason or Communistic atheism, anyone?). And atheistic societies belie this fact. And finally, even J. Loftus, the very creator of the OTF, disagrees with this fact (see Point 12 of my blog in the Maximally Objective Outsider Section).


You said:

“The OTF is a significant blow to theists and they largely know it and appreciate it for what it is. Their somewhat frenzied reaction to the OTF is emblematic of the level of concern of another front of reasoned debate that has opened up that places the onus squarely on woo believers to substantiate their claim.”

Strange, I thought I just created an argument that demonstrated that the OTF supports theism, supernaturalism, and ID. And since you have not really addressed a single point of my actual argument, I will stand by my original assessment.

Con't...

RD Miksa said...

Con't...

You said:

“Yes, it is true, ‘faith’ must be defined. And when and until christian theology agrees to a definition of faith that specifically and best defines what it’s theistic meaning entails, atheists are free, indeed obliged, to use it in any way so selected in the absence of a such a definition.“

Actually, dictionaries tend to define terms, and ‘faith’ has been defined by these dictionaries long ago. So your intellectual deflection here, meant to grant you the license to define ‘faith’ as you see fit and to your advantage, is both spurious and disingenuous.


You said:

“The paucity of evidence in support of your denial of the many unbelievable claims that I say is made in religion, is palpable. Not one believer outside christian theism would subscribe to any of the claims of christian apologists.”

Except, that Christianity is an evangelical religion, and thus the millions of converts throughout history to Christian theism from other cultures, religions, and ideologies means, by definition, that some people outside of Christian theism have subscribed to the claims of Christian apologists; so once again, your statement is false, and demonstrably so.


You said:

“Will your 22,000 words be of any value, relevance or worth in advancing society into the future? Or was it simply an exercise of personal interest?”

Who cares! The question is whether the argument is true or not.


You said:

“An no, deism can never be considered the default position of the OTF, because once again, deism has not proven its efficacy as a viable premise independent of appealing to ‘teleological intentionality’, that is to improperly assign an untested hypothesis of ‘design with a purpose’ to the premise.”

This statement makes it reasonable to claim that you really do not understand the OTF. The goal of the objective default position of the OTF is to be the position that is the least subject to psychological, sociological, and cultural biases, regardless of if there are other intellectual additions to the default position. Since, as I argue, deism is the position least subject to psychological, sociological, and cultural biases, then it should be the default position for the OTF. So please address the issue within the context of the goals, aims, and criteria of the OTF itself, not just in a general sense. It is the intellectually honest thing to do.

Sincerely,

RD Miksa

Mr. Fosi said...

It's nice, in a way, to see linton being refuted here.

It's not nice in another way, since I wish that serious thinkers didn't have to waste their time on him.

His comments here and on Triablogue (before he was banned) demonstrate him to be a living caricature of the New Atheist.

Crude said...

Fosi,

It's nice, in a way, to see linton being refuted here.

It's not nice in another way, since I wish that serious thinkers didn't have to waste their time on him.


Serious thinkers wouldn't. Caricature doesn't really do his track record justice. But frankly, given the NA track record, I'd say less "caricature" and more "great example".

Papalinton said...

RD Miksa
1. "Why don’t we let others be the judge of that."

Yes, let's. and we'll temper the argument with the best of continuing social and community investigations.

2. In relation to my comment: "Atheism results from ‘rational’ psychological, sociological and cultural reasons. This is its strongest point.”
Your follow up response: "Utter chicken-feed! In fact, a solid portion of my argument shows that your claim is demonstrably false. So please, address the specific points that I make rather than making unsubstantiated declarations."

Returning to your earlier comment, I note that the sum total of your specific psychological, sociological and cultural reasons comprised:
"Yet, since we are discussing the OTF particularly, then your point is generally irrelevant, for even if, for the sake of argument, atheists come to atheism from one religion or another, that does not mean that they did not transition to atheism for non-rational psychological, sociological, and cultural reasons, which is precisely what the OTF is concerned with. "

So, what are the specific psychological, sociological and cultural points you make? Just asking.

3. In relation to religion being a cultural artifice you say, "Again, utter hog-wash; and simply asserted hog-wash to boot."
- Then who are the modern atheists themselves that belie this fact. Evidence please. Names.
- 'History belies this fact (Cult of Reason or Communistic atheism, anyone?'). Citations please.
- 'And atheistic societies belie this fact'. What and which atheistic societies?l
- 'And finally, even J. Loftus, the very creator of the OTF, disagrees with this fact (see Point 12 of my blog in the Maximally Objective Outsider Section)'. It would appear Loftus has been verballed here, misconstruing his perspective.
Miksa, it seems you have never read any of the great anthropologists, the likes of Marshall Sahlins, Bronislaw Malinowski, EE Evans Pritchard, Clifford Geertz, Ruth Benedict, Margaret Mead, Louis Dumont, R.G. Lienhardt, and David Eller. Such scholars have made it their life's work to discover and understand the significance of how the religion element of culture functions as an expression of social identity. But then again, ignorance is artful bliss and to narrow one readings is a way of limiting the pressure on one's particular flavour of theism.

4. Definition of faith?
World English Dictionary
faith  (feɪθ) 
 — n
1. strong or unshakeable belief in something, esp without proof or evidence
2. a specific system of religious beliefs: the Jewish faith
3. Christianity  trust in God and in his actions and promises
4. a conviction of the truth of certain doctrines of religion, esp when this is not based on reason
5. complete confidence or trust in a person, remedy, etc
6. any set of firmly held principles or beliefs
7. allegiance or loyalty, as to a person or cause (esp in the phrases keep faith , break faith )
8. bad faith  insincerity or dishonesty
9. good faith  honesty or sincerity, as of intention in business (esp in the phrase in good faith )
 — interj
10. archaic  indeed; really (also in the phrases by my faith , in faith )
 
[C12: from Anglo-French feid , from Latin fidēs  trust, confidence]

Pick you definition, Miksa. My disambiguated definition of 'faith' is #1 [and occasionally #3].

Cont.

Papalinton said...

Cont.

5. "Who cares! [re 22,000 words] The question is whether the argument is true or not."
Exactly. Who cares? And no, your argument is wide of the truth, appealing only to those who also know their first premise is false, or at best, unfalsifiable, rendering the truth value of your first premise unremarkable. As a comparator to your millions of christian converts [due to the aggressively and malignant proselytizing nature of christianity], there are a billion Hindus out there that prepared to put their life on the for their god Shiva, father of Ganesha, the deity of the broken-tusked elephant, the remover of obstacles and patron of learning. I understand christians believe their god is omniscient. Hindus tell me Shiva is too, as indeed is Ganesha. I hear from christians that their god sits on a throne. Shiva too, sits on a pedestal in contemplative pose. Question - Do they sit next to each other?

6. You say: "The goal of the objective default position of the OTF is to be the position that is the least subject to psychological, sociological, and cultural biases, regardless of if there are other intellectual additions to the default position. Since, as I argue, deism is the position least subject to psychological, sociological, and cultural biases, then it should be the default position for the OTF."

Says you. There is one whopping oversight to this perspective. The acceptance of deism as fact. Unproven, unwarranted and unsophisticated. The form of an impersonal god, a deist god, was first propounded by Aquinas around a 1,000 years ago. There has not been one advance in 'sophisticated theology' of any stripe towards substantiating the claim, not in the 9 centuries since it was first promulgated. The deist god never emerged from between the pages of philosophy as a prospective hypothesis worthy of continued investigation, not any configuration of testable hypothesis. The never-ending circular treadmill of Apologetical interpretation equally, has been singularly unsuccessful in resurrecting Aquinas's deist relics buried under a mountain of theological Apologetical wordology.

The intellectually honest thing to do is to set aside the old tribal tales of a bygone era. Remember, from an OTF perspective, when one spends a little time and really bores deep down into the christian mythos, heresy is only dissension from the majority opinion.

Eric said...

"The form of an impersonal god, a deist god, was first propounded by Aquinas around a 1,000 years ago."

Pap, let me get this straight: The god that Aquinas believed we could know to exist through reason -- ipsum esse susbsistens -- is a 'deist' god? Um, the god that Aquinas's arguments get us to is intimately involved with the universe at each moment, since he sustains each and every thing that exists at each moment! Further, he has infused the world with teleology in the form of final causes. How, pray tell, is this a deist god? Now sure, it's not the Trinity, or the god of Abraham, but the arguments don't purport to establish any such thing. But if anything is clear, it's that this is no impersonal deistic creator who, after bringing the world into existence, has nothing at all to do with it. Aquinas's god is intimately involved with the each and every thing in the world at each and every moment.

Crude said...

Eric,

Pap, let me get this straight: The god that Aquinas believed we could know to exist through reason -- ipsum esse susbsistens -- is a 'deist' god?

Not only that, but Aquinas' ideas on God were influenced by Aristotle's. Apparently, Linton doesn't even realize this, or what it means for his claim.

There's a reason why he was caught plagiarizing in comments: he's a freaking ignoramus who doesn't understand, or care to understand, the vast majority of what he blathers about. But blathering is too important to him, and he doesn't have the intelligence or discipline to learn, so he just fakes it and hopes no one notices.

Papalinton said...

Mr Fosi
I'm happy for your being pleased that I have someone feisty like Miksa to debate. Refute? Not by a long chalk. Why? Because Miksa's access to information is proscribed by the very boundaries that christian theism itself built to keep out the myriad of normal day-to-day ongoing influences and pressures that shape and mould society. That boundary is a religious construct, a solely religious concept, distinguishing the sacred from the profane. I, by comparison, draw on every available aspect of human investigative activity, be it biology, sociology, anthropology, physics, astronomy, history, archeology, cosmology, the neurosciences; including theology and apologetics. The point I make, is to bring a fully holistic perspective to religion that garners the evidence from all areas of research, in synergy. To coddle religion as a separate species of human endeavor is to accord it unwarranted and undeserved status for special pleading. This is anathema and antithetical to social advancement. As Prof David Eller, anthropologist, notes: "The task of scientists, is precisely to discover the truth and to separate correct conclusions from erroneous ones. Religion may have also come to that truth or not. Guessing may also come to that truth or not. That is not the point. The point is that science conducts its affairs with utter and complete disregard and indifference to religion; if religion agree or disagrees, it is absolutely irrelevant to science. Indifference is not hostility; in a way, it is the very absence of hostility. Nevertheless, indifference is hostile, because it means crossing boundaries carelessly and asking questions that appear and are disrespectful [not intentionally disrespectful, but void of respect, which is the same thing]. It means peeking up gods' togas and pawing idols to see for oneself. It means probing sacred cows - and finding no gods, only guts. To a system like religion that depends for its existence on respect, that is quite hostile."

He goes on, "So when science finds facts that refute religious claims - about man, about society, about the universe, or about god[s] - it comes as a tear of the skin that no religion welcomes or can withstand."

In the matter of Triablogue; Yes, it is a pity their neanderthal perspective of Applied Calvinism is so thin-skinned. Their blogsite was alive with commentary prior to my banning, for heretical religious reasons. Nowadays, a quiet look over the site shows it as dead as a maggot; one comment here, five comments there, no comment at most OPs. And most commenters are also largely the OP contributers to the site, feeding their own insecurities, gloomily viewing the world and quoting copiously from the bible to justify their existence. Truly a sad rabble of navel-gazing, fluff-picking clique.

Cheers

RD Miksa said...

Dear Papalinton:

You said:

“So, what are the specific psychological, sociological and cultural points you make? Just asking.”

Well, why don’t you ask me after you have read my argument, which is precisely the place in which I provide all the details for this claim. And seeing that that course of action would appear to be the obvious course of action to any thinking person intent on critiquing an argument, I really have to wonder why you have not done it yet.


You said:

“Then who are the modern atheists themselves that belie this fact. Evidence please. Names.”

Again, why don’t you read my argument. But here is a starter: Thomas Nagel and Richard Lewontin. And according to Quentin Smith, a naturalist himself, most naturalists today hold to naturalism for unjustified reasons (again, see my argument for the quote).


You said:

“History belies this fact (Cult of Reason or Communistic atheism, anyone?'). Citations please.”

Again, why don’t you read my argument. And did the examples not make my point clear? Or do you really not know that in Communist countries, for example, atheism was not argued for, but was rammed down the throats of children and citizens through the most ingenious of psychological, sociological, and cultural means (and as I am Polish, I personally know of what I speak). Do you really think those people held to atheism for rational reasons, rather than being encultured into it? Seriously?


You said:

“And atheistic societies belie this fact'. What and which atheistic societies?”

Are you seriously denying that in a country like Britain (or others like Sweden or Norway, for example), where it is estimated that approx. 50% of the population is agnostic or atheist, there are not non-rational psychological, sociological, and cultural biases towards atheism? Or that children are not being indoctrinated into atheism in such countries by their atheist parents? Obviously this is the case.

Con't...

RD Miksa said...

Con't...

You said:

“And finally, even J. Loftus, the very creator of the OTF, disagrees with this fact (see Point 12 of my blog in the Maximally Objective Outsider Section)'. It would appear Loftus has been verballed here, misconstruing his perspective.”

No offence, but you really need to learn how to read critically, for you originally claimed this:

“Most if not all atheists arrive at atheism precisely because it is understood that there is nothing more to theism than it being a cultural artifice, a wholly-owned derivative of social habits, practices and mores, borne out of and fully subsumed within the cultural milieu from which it was conceived.”

Thus, you essentially argued that nearly all atheists leave theism because they realize that it is a cultural construct, thereby implying that becoming atheist means achieving freedom from the surrounding cultural construct. My point was that in many modern societies, it is atheism that is the cultural construct, and thus atheists are as subject to the OTF as anyone else. I further claimed that J. Loftus supported the view that atheism can be a cultural construct and thus that atheists from a society where atheism is the dominant cultural construct would need to apply the OTF. This latter aspect is the portion that is under dispute between. So now, for Loftus’ own words (taken, once again, directly from the argument I wrote and which you demonstrably have not read):

“Indeed, in a blog post titled “Should Atheists Take the Outsider Test for Faith?” (http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2010/06/should-atheists-take-outsider-test-for.html), Loftus states the following:

What about people raised as atheists in Sweden? Were they enculturalted? Probably so. Should these atheists test what they were taught by being objective, fair and open-minded? Sure, yes.

So Loftus agrees with many of the points that have been made above, and also admits that atheists and agnostics should apply the OTF to themselves.”


And so, the demonstrable pattern between us continues. You assert that I am mistaken, and do so without having read my argument, which addresses the exact assertion you are making. I then provide actual evidence for my claims to show you that you are incorrect. Then, you make another assertion, and so it goes in a circle.

More refutation to follow as soon as time permits.

Sincerely,

RD Miksa

Papalinton said...

Eric
"Um, the god that Aquinas's arguments get us to is intimately involved with the universe at each moment, since he sustains each and every thing that exists at each moment! Further, he has infused the world with teleology in the form of final causes. How, pray tell, is this a deist god? Now sure, it's not the Trinity, or the god of Abraham, but the arguments don't purport to establish any such thing."

Uh Oh! You're in trouble now. I hope you are not a catholic. It's clear you have yet to engage with Ben Yachov, the self-proclaimed expert on Aquinas's impersonal god of of 'Classical Theism'. Anyone that believes in a personal god is a heretic.
Eat him alive, Benny.

.." ..he sustains each and every thing that exists at each moment! Further, he has infused the world with teleology in the form of final causes ...". You claim this to be a universal truth. So, out of interest, which part of Buddhist doctrine concurs with this, or from which chapters of the Vedas [Hindu bible]?

Come on, Eric. Surely you don't subscribe to the 'one and only truth' mantra that countless others clearly don't think, care for, or are even mindful of your nonsense claim. Do you? This is embarrassingly parochial.

RD Miksa said...

Dear Papalinton:

You said:

“Miksa, it seems you have never read any of the great anthropologists, the likes of Marshall Sahlins, Bronislaw Malinowski, EE Evans Pritchard, Clifford Geertz, Ruth Benedict, Margaret Mead, Louis Dumont, R.G. Lienhardt, and David Eller. Such scholars have made it their life's work to discover and understand the significance of how the religion element of culture functions as an expression of social identity. But then again, ignorance is artful bliss and to narrow one readings is a way of limiting the pressure on one's particular flavour of theism.”

Well, seeing as scholars have also argued that in societies controlled by atheist ideologues, atheist-type worldviews (such as naturalism/materialism) were used to replace religions and thus also served as an expression of social identity, then your point has no real force against religious societies, for it is equally applicable, in principle, to atheistic societies as well (where beliefs such as naturalism have served as a means of social cohesion and identity).

But (to use your own words), ignorance is artful bliss and to narrow one’s readings is a way of limiting the pressure on one’s particular flavour of naturalism.


You said:

“As a comparator to your millions of christian converts [due to the aggressively and malignant proselytizing nature of christianity], there are a billion Hindus out there that prepared to put their life on the for their god Shiva…”

All I can do here is shake my head. Your point is utterly irrelevant to the earlier point that I made. Previously, you said that: “Not one believer outside christian theism would subscribe to any of the claims of christian apologists.” All I was doing was responding to this specific claim and demonstrating, via the evidence of multiple conversions, that your claim was obviously and demonstrably false. Everything else you wrote is irrelevant to that point and even appears to be a possible intellectual deflection from the fact that you were so obviously wrong with your assertion.


You said:

“Says you.”

Actually no, I do not “say” it, I “argued” for it—a methodology which I find is often absent from your commentary.


You said:

“There is one whopping oversight to this perspective. The acceptance of deism as fact.”

Strange, I never argued that we accept deism as a fact, but rather that it is the maximally objective outsider position which can be adopted provisionally and/or “for the sake of argument”, so to speak, while doing the OTF. Thus, my claim and your claim are two different things, which thus means that your criticism is irrelevant. And you would have realized this had you actually read my argument.

Sincerely,

RD Miksa

Papalinton said...

Miksa
"Or do you really not know that in Communist countries, ...."

I win. You have invoked the Spamer Corollary of Godwin's Law; "As the probability of Godwin's Law being invoked approaches one the probability that 'Commie' will replace 'Nazi' also tend towards one."

Godwin's Law: " "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."

There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress. Godwin's Law thus practically guarantees the existence of an upper bound on thread length in those groups.

Mr. Fosi said...

Geeze.

linton really plays the moron well.

I'm still not sure if he's a troll.

I'm reading through the paper that's the subject of this post and I'd say it isn't worth engaging linton until he demonstrates his ability to address the points already made. He just manufacturing things to talk about here because he either can't understand, doesn't want to understand, or is afraid of understanding the arguments.

He's got plenty of piss and vinegar but that's about it.

RD Miksa said...

Dear Papalinton:

You said:

“4. Definition of faith? World English Dictionary, faith (feɪθ) , — n

1. strong or unshakeable belief in something, esp without proof or evidence
3. Christianity trust in God and in his actions and promises

Pick you definition, Miksa. My disambiguated definition of 'faith' is #1 [and occasionally #3].”


First, and obviously, all the different aspects of the definition of “faith” are applicable depending on the circumstances, not just the ones that you picked out from the bunch. But I did note that from the www.dicitonary.com site from which you took your definition, you picked the one set that served your purposes the best.

After all, from that same site, the Word Origin & History Section states: faith - mid-13c., "duty of fulfilling one's trust," from O.Fr. feid, from L. fides "trust, belief," from root of fidere "to trust." And the initial first definition of faith that you see on that site is: “confidence or trust in a person or thing.” The Encyclopedia Britannica defines faith as an “inner attitude, conviction, or trust relating man to a supreme God or ultimate salvation. And finally, the Bible Dictionary definition from that site defines faith as: “Faith is in general the persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true. Its primary idea is trust. A thing is true, and therefore worthy of trust. It admits of many degrees up to the full assurance of faith, in accordance with the evidence on which it rests. Faith is the result of teaching (Rom. 10:14-17). Knowledge is an essential element in all faith, and is sometimes spoken of as an equivalent to faith.”

So perhaps the primary definition of faith is trust, which the cumulative amount of evidence would seem to indicate.

Sincerely,

RD Miksa

RD Miksa said...

Dear Papalinton:

I know that you are joking (or at least I hope that you are), but we are trying to have the semblance of a serious discussion here--or I am, at least.

Sincerely,

RD Miksa

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

Victor
Have you actually read this little contribution from R D Miksa?

Apart from your, "My criticisms amount to the claim that it's a fudge to put the nonbeliever in that kind of privileged position", do you truly subscribe to this piece of apologetics and consider it an example of quality scholarship?

From your perspective as a doctoral scholar, I would appreciate your take on it, with a couple of substantive reasons, please, before making a decision deeming its worthiness or otherwise, of a detailed response. Would you, as a mentor or thesis supervisor, consider this work at a level commensurate with tertiary scholarship in the US? In Australia, it would require a substantial rewrite.

I have read Miksa's short version.

Cole said...

Any "test" that leads someone to believe in visions, demons, principalities and powers, invisible mind controling forces, talking animals, is strange. It's my understanding that the OTF tells us to be skeptical of such beliefs and for good reason. Anyone who believed in the above things or experienced them with a strong degree of certainty usually has a mental disorder like mine (schizo-affective). My delusions always center around religious type things. Let me tell you about a "Supernatural Experience" I had. One time I decided that all these psychiatrists were wrong and I was going to just go by the Bible alone. Well, one thing led to another and I started getting paranoid. I started trying to figure it all out. I thought I had it all figured out. Pretty soon the muslims were going to come looking for me. I was up all night. I put 2 & 2 together and I started thinking that we had been ushered into the new heavens and new earth. This is why I couldn't sleep. I had crossed over into the eternal. I was in the Spirit realm. I was outside picking leaves off the trees to see if they were still mortal. I started realizing that I was getting crazy so I went to the hospital. While I was there I told them I was in the Spirit realm. They were asking me all these questions. I couldn't make any sense. They gave me my medicine and I went home. While I was at home I had a vision. I had all this knowledge in my head. It's like there was a diamond on top of my head and all the colors shined out before me. The different colors represented different pathways in my life that I could go down. They all led to an early grave except one. I had to start taking better care of myself. I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror and saw my big beard that I had at the time. I looked like Jesus. I started thinking that Christ was about to return but He was going to do it through me. He was incarnating Himself through me like the stigmata. I started thinking I was going to start performing all these miracles and heal people with just a few words. I came to and started thinking I can't be Jesus. I must be the anti-christ. For awhile I lost my identity but the medicine started kicking in and I got tired and went to bed. The next day I felt this intense peace. It's like there was love all around me. I was singing "I got joy like a river down in my soul". Obviously the effects hadn't completely wore off. Well, I can't remember when exactly I took my medicine again but I did and I went back to bed. When I woke up I was back to normal. You see, the stronger I believed something the more real it became to me. I wouldn't be suprised if the Bible writers suffered from some sort of mental disorder like mine. The point of the OTF is to be skeptical of these types of beliefs. But Miksa would have one believe that we are led to embrace them because the OTF tells us to.

Mr. Fosi said...

Rambling posts by people who can't be bothered to actually read the paper.

The tar baby circa 2012.

Eric said...

"Uh Oh! You're in trouble now. I hope you are not a catholic. It's clear you have yet to engage with Ben Yachov, the self-proclaimed expert on Aquinas's impersonal god of of 'Classical Theism'. Anyone that believes in a personal god is a heretic.
Eat him alive, Benny."

Pap, I suspect you're confusing 'theistic personalism' with the notion of a personal god. Anyway, I sincerely doubt that Ben would disagree with anything I said.

"Come on, Eric. Surely you don't subscribe to the 'one and only truth' mantra that countless others clearly don't think, care for, or are even mindful of your nonsense claim. Do you? This is embarrassingly parochial."

Is there an argument anywhere in there? Nope. A clarification? Nope. An explanation? Nope. A correction on a matter of fact or logic? Nope. So, um, just what was that, Pap, and why did you waste your (and my) time with it?

RD Miksa said...

Dear Papalinton:


You said:

"...do you truly...consider it an example of quality scholarship?"

What is quite hilarious about your comment is that even I--the actual author of the argument--do not consider it to be an example of quality scholarship. That might have been why, in the Disclaimer Section of my blog, I clearly state that this is an informal paper that is still a work-in-progress, thereby obviously meaning that I would not, at this point in time, consider it quality scholarship. In addition, the very fact that I clearly admit that both grammatical and spelling errors are sure to be found within the document should have given you a clue that it is, self-admittedly, not quality scholarship at this time. And I never claimed it to be such. You would have understood that if you had actually read the paper, but naturally, you have not read what you critique.


You said:

"I have read Miksa's short version."

That's funny...I do not remember writing a short version.

Sincerely,

RD Miksa

Cole said...

Maybe I misunderstand. I use the OTF for all my delusional beliefs. My delusions are always centered around religion. In the "metaphysical" realm you can believe all kinds of strange things. In my experiences, the stronger I believe in something metaphysical the more real it becomes. If I'm not taking my meds I can really get lost in a murky morass of things. I've also done the cognitive behavioral therapy stuff. It's probably why the medicine works so well for me. Anyway, I see the OTF as simply looking at your religious and other magical beliefs from the perspective of doubt. When I consider the large amounts of people who have lived their entire lives not knowing of or hearing about the Bible it becomes hard for me to believe that the God of the Bible even exists. If He wanted people to know about Him He could have easily revealed Himself. What we have instead is conflicting religious beliefs spread out all around the world. If there is a God He seems to have everybody confused about who He is and what He wants from them. In the O.T. for instance God commands the stoning to death of someone for picking up sticks on the Sabbath. Not to mention Him giving justice to people for sacrificing children by causing them to eat their own children. What kind of justice is it to cause people to eat their innocent children for sacrificing children anyway? When Jesus comes along He does away with stoning people to death and tells us that the kingdom belongs to little children. At least that's what some would say. But many of these same people believe that Jesus talked of the eternal suffering of people who reject Him. This makes Hitler look like the easter bunny. It's all quite confusing and just reinforces the idea that this God isn't there. How many different religions are there anyway that speak of miraculous events? Christians want to mock, make fun of, and be skeptical about all these miraculous claims but when it comes to talking donky's and walking on water they are firm believers. Christians need to take a look in the mirror and see that their beliefs are just as rediculous sounding to other rational people as these other religions are to them.

Mr. Fosi said...

And still no actual interaction with the paper's contents.

Staggering.

Cole said...

Mr Fosi,

I have interacted with the papers contents. It's staggering how someone can believe in a blood-freak after it is shown that the arguments for I.D. don't have to lead to God or an Intelligent Designer. Even William Dembski has admitted this in his publications and on his blog. It's my belief that you have to first show the weaknesses of the arguments for Theism and the Bible before you use the OTF. After all, if there is good evidence for Biblical Theism then we must accept it. But in no way does I.D. force one to an Intelligent Designer. I would even say that when we consider the TOTAL evidence we are led away from the Bible. I take the fine-tuning and design of the universe to be real. But again, as William Dembski has pointed out, this doesn't mean that one is forced to say that God did it though. He would be insane to have designed such a machine because of the huge amount of animal and human suffering in it. This is one of the reasons why I hold to the position that some immanent principle or law within the universe gives rise to it's fine-tuning and design. The other reason is that the design argument for God assumes the Cosmological Argument. In other words if the Cosmological Argument goes then so does the design argument. As I stated in another post at DC, the best canidate is William Lane Craig's Kalam Cosmological Argument. The main reason I reject the Kalam Cosmological Argument of William Lane Craig is because the first premise is just an intuition of how things are within space and time. That is, there is a principle that seems to be intuitively obvious about causality:

X - Within our experience causes always have a temporal relation to their effects. They are either temporally prior to or perhaps simultaneous with their effects.

In other words causality is a temporal concept. This principle is constantly confirmed and never falsified by emperical observation. So, we are justified in accepting it. If there is no space-time there is no causality. Since space and time came into existence at the Big Bang then there couldn't have been a First Cause. God didn't create the universe.That is, the objects that we are familiar with that begin to exist are within space-time, with causes that are within space-time. We have no experience or examples of timeless causation. The idea of a non-temporal person making choices requires a sequence of events which requires time showing that a timeless personal being is incoherent. Moreover, since space-time came into existence at the Big Bang then there couldn't have been a Personal First Cause.

Now would be a good time for you to take the OTF and see that donkys don't talk and that requiring blood to forgive is insane. One of the craziest doctrines to come out of Christianity is that of Penal Substitution. One of the things it teaches is that God the Father was sacrificing His only Son on the cross for His blood so that He could cover our sins and forgive them. It is said that the O.T. sacrifices were types and shadows of this bloody sacrifice, in particular when God told Abraham to sacrifice His only son. The only difference is that there was no one there to stop Father God from sacrificing Christ. I just don't understand why God requires blood to cover our sins in order to forgive. If it was only death God was after then He could have killed the innocent Christ without all that torture and blood. Nope, it was both death and blood that God the Father wanted. What in the hell does innocent blood have to do with forgiving someone for their sins? Only a madman would require such a thing.

Mr. Fosi said...

In other words, no one cares about fine tuning.

No one cares about your perception of the OTF unless it somehow intersects with RD's arguments.

No one cares about your meds or whether you're on them or not.

Just more rambling nonsense = waste of time.

Cole said...

Mr. Fosi,

The OTF doesn't lead to Theism. I believe in I.D. So, if it leads to that then great. But going there to God is a mistake. And then going from there to a blood-freak barbarian, demons, mind-controlling forces, and talking animals is for the mentally ill. As I hope to have shown. You want to try to keep people in bondage with delusional beliefs such as these. Religion is for those who are insecure about themselves and death. As someone who suffers from schizo-affective disorder I sometimes wonder if the Bible writers also suffered from some sort of mental disorder like mine. It can be triggered by stress. It's simply my conviction at this point that people create a God helper out of insecurity. Instead of embracing death and loving themselves and others some people become obssessed with religion because they are insecure about themselves and death. One of the things that has helped me is accepting the fact that I have only so much time to live and that life involves pain and separation. By embracing this I embrace life itself and accept everything about it. Depending on a belief in an afterlife or drowning myself in the moment to avoid pain is to despise reality, which is to despise life itself. I'm choosing to affirm life by confronting my mortality. What matters to me now is to live my days well and as fully as possible. I am converting the terrified, denial-type relationship to death into something active and positive as I am released from anxieties and fearful, timid responses by embracing death and not repressing it. It's not until I started believing in myself and loving myself that I started to get confidence. Taking this love to others from a position of power instead of isecurity only reinforces my self-esteem. It's a humble self-confidence. The Bible tries to get people to doubt themselves and lower their self-esteem so that they turn their life over to God and let Him manage it for them. In such a position of insecurity people become emotionally crippled and never grow up. I believe that one must learn to take control of their life so that they can grow up. For some like me this involves taking your medicine and doing other things that are not self destructive. Maybe one day you will care about growing up and not indoctinating people with delusional beliefs.

Bilbo said...

RD Miksa,

I looked over the first page of your paper. It looks very good. I'll read more when I have time.

Papalinton said...

Cole
I note Mr Fosi's response to you: "No one cares about your meds or whether you're on them or not. Just more rambling nonsense = waste of time."

Cole, no clearer example illustrates the utter bareness and vacuousness of the fundamental tenets of the christian mythos. This is a christian, Cole, telling you really what they think and feel. All those decades of church services, bible readings, praying, sunday school, all those lessons from jesus, and Mr Fosi still, even after all that christian do-goodism, can trot out, "No one cares about your meds or whether you're on them or not. Just more rambling nonsense = waste of time."

It substantiates your and my claim that following and living by the christian code, is not worth a cracker in generally changing peoples' lives and prejudices, [nor their bigotry, bias, partisanship, partiality, intolerance, discrimination, unfairness and inequality]. If christianity has been unable to stop evil all these millennia, [and don't forget the American population has over 80% christians] then what good is it? If years of christian education, training and practice is unable to be reflected in Mr Fosi's attitude to you, and me, it is a testament to the failure of christian learning. Christian love, goodness to your fellow man, compassion, kindness is all just lies, is all a facade of prodigious proportion. If absolute morality and ethics was synonymous with a god, shouldn't there be a discernible and unmistakable causal link between religious praxis and improved communities and society in general? Survey after survey tells us there are no statistically significant markers.
Survey after survey tells us that atheists are more moral and ethical than the religious. Survey after survey tells us that atheists know more about the bible and religion generally than adherents. Survey after survey tells us that the per capita proportion of atheists in gaol compared to the number of religious people in goal is far lower than the proportional distribution within the community.

2001, American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS), NY City Univ: 14.1% identified as "non-religious" [atheist, agnostic or not willing to divulge]
1997, Federal Bureau of Prisons, 0.21% of inmates were atheist
Just on these figures alone, christians are 70 times [70x] more likely to be in gaol than atheists. Catholics had the highest proportion by far.

Read this most interesting site: http://freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Percentage_of_atheists#Miscellaneous_penal_religion_statistics
It provides a wide range of surveys and statistics, not only from penal institutions, but from wider sources.

RD Miksa said...

Dear Bilbo:

Outstanding! It will be great to hear your impressions, comments, and criticisms.

May I also suggest--if you have the inclination--that you review the various Comments' sections. Many commentators have left some excellent points that will definitely make me rework and rephrase the argument whenever I re-write it. So they are well worth the read.

Take care.

Sincerely,

RD Miksa

Papalinton said...

Eric
"Pap, I suspect you're confusing 'theistic personalism' with the notion of a personal god. "

This is pretty much the apologetical obscurantism and obfuscation that derails debate with believers. Theism is a miasmal morass of definitional imperatives that must be endlessly negotiated, a farrago of confused and ambiguous meaning, contorted imagery, that renders discourse incapable of and indistinguishable from the cryptic and obtuse. All weasel words.

True, I know nothing about the christian god that would enable anyone of reasonable and lucid faculty to distinguish that particular beast from any of the myriad of known mythical 'saviour-hero' archetypes conceived by human imagination since language became a genetic determinant. And from your responses, neither do you. Eric, you haven't a clue of how to distinguish this phantasm from any of the countless figments that constitute humanity's long indiscriminate fetish with idolising chimeras.

Cole said...

Thanks Papalinton. Yeah, I noticed that cold remark. That's the way most Christians deal with people like me. The others just ignore me as if they are afraid to engage me because I take medicine. I suppose they think I have an invisible demon or somthing. Oh well. It's just more brainwashed beliefs from the Holy Book that instils fear into people.

RD Miksa said...

Dear Cole:

Not that my word here means much (especially across the cold distances of cyber-space), but I just wanted to let you know--seeing as you have posted both here and at my blog--that the reason that I, ultimately, am not engaging you is because you tend to bring up multiple diverging issues in each comment that you write. And each of these issues covers such a large topic that they would likely deserve their own post to be adequately tackled. And thus, I, personally, just do not have the time to devote to that endeavour at this present moment.

I just wanted to let you know.

Take care.

Sincerely,

RD Miksa

Cole said...

Hey Miksa,

I think that the issues I bring up are important. I don't think the OTF even comes into play until after we look at the evidence. As I have already stated numerous times the evidence doesn't lead one to God's existence. If we go by the evidence and arguments alone then I don't see how one can come to Theism. As William Dembski has stated. There simply could be an immanent principle or law within our universe that gives it it's fine-tuning. Moreover, given the principle of causality and it's temporality then there simply couldn't have been a First Cause because space-time came into existence at the Big Bang. But suppose I deny all that and look at this thing from an outsider even though the evidence says otherwise. Okay, God created and designed this universe. When I hear of babies being slowly burned alive, animals eating each other while they are still alive, people getting chewed to death by bugs while they are still alive, the list could go on, it makes this God-Creator the most insane Being I can imagine. When I do the OTF and say God did it, I come face to face with a Being who is at least half evil and perhaps half good.

Eric said...

"This is pretty much the apologetical obscurantism and obfuscation that derails debate with believers. Theism is a miasmal morass of definitional imperatives that must be endlessly negotiated, a farrago of confused and ambiguous meaning, contorted imagery, that renders discourse incapable of and indistinguishable from the cryptic and obtuse. All weasel words.

True, I know nothing about the christian god that would enable anyone of reasonable and lucid faculty to distinguish that particular beast from any of the myriad of known mythical 'saviour-hero' archetypes conceived by human imagination since language became a genetic determinant. And from your responses, neither do you. Eric, you haven't a clue of how to distinguish this phantasm from any of the countless figments that constitute humanity's long indiscriminate fetish with idolising chimeras."

I was able to derive one point from this mass of wasted words, and it's easily refuted: Pap, can you distinguish a Hobbit from an Elf, or did you find the Lord of the Rings too confusing to watch? Could you distinguish Hamlet from Horatio? A unicorn from a griffin? If you were taking a test on classical mythology, could you distinguish Zeus from Dionysus? Think, Pap, before you post: *even if* god does not exist, it simply isn't true that one couldn't distinguish the Christian god from "any of the countless figments that constitute humanity's long indiscriminate fetish with idolising chimeras."

Papalinton said...

Eric
"I was able to derive one point from this mass of wasted words, and it's easily refuted: Pap, can you distinguish a Hobbit from an Elf, or did you find the Lord of the Rings too confusing to watch? Could you distinguish Hamlet from Horatio? A unicorn from a griffin? If you were taking a test on classical mythology, could you distinguish Zeus from Dionysus? Think, Pap, before you post: *even if* god does not exist, it simply isn't true that one couldn't distinguish the Christian god from "any of the countless figments that constitute humanity's long indiscriminate fetish with idolising chimeras."'

And still you haven't identified or provided any information that would distinguish the christian phantasm from any other spectral numen. No one is any the wiser following your comment, Eric.

I am told that your christian god is omniscient, omnibenevolent and omnipotent. But I am also informed by history that Mithra, Zoroaster, and Vishnu are also omniscient, omnibenevolent and omnipotent. Indeed there are a whole bunch of gods that have been omnimax in their time. I hear Brahma is and and Isis was also supreme beings: omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. So these characteristics are utterly useless in distinguishing the christian god from all the others.

No. You must provide a much better and sufficiently more credible substantiation of your claim than regurgitated hyperbole espoused by the bible crazies.

Eric said...

"And still you haven't identified or provided any information that would distinguish the christian phantasm from any other spectral numen. No one is any the wiser following your comment, Eric."

So the Trinity, the Incarnation, etc. don't help you distinguish *conceptually* the Christian god from other gods or "spectral numen?" Are you serious?

"I am told that your christian god is omniscient, omnibenevolent and omnipotent. But I am also informed by history that Mithra, Zoroaster, and Vishnu are also omniscient, omnibenevolent and omnipotent. Indeed there are a whole bunch of gods that have been omnimax in their time. I hear Brahma is and and Isis was also supreme beings: omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. So these characteristics are utterly useless in distinguishing the christian god from all the others."

First, you're wrong about Zoroaster.

Second, sure, those characteristics don't distinguish the Christian god from *all* others, but they do distinguish Him from other gods (e.g. Thor, Dionysus, etc.). Let's not ridiculously complain that a hammer is useless simpliciter because it cannot do the job of a scalpel.

So, the question is, *are there other properties that could distinguish the Christian god from other gods*? Well, let me ask you, Pap, can you distinguish Vishnu from Allah? If so, how? Please, think about that one for a moment before you respond.

"You must provide a much better and sufficiently more credible substantiation of your claim than regurgitated hyperbole espoused by the bible crazies."

Where have I even once referenced the Bible here? Are you even reading my posts, or are you conversing with yourself?

Papalinton said...

Eric
"So the Trinity, the Incarnation, etc. don't help you distinguish *conceptually* the Christian god from other gods or "spectral numen?" Are you serious?"

Th writer of this site has done a wide-ranging search on the question of the christian trinity:

"THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY IS NOT FOUND IN THE BIBLE
The Illustrated Bible Dictionary records: "The word Trinity is not found in the Bible. . . It did not find a place formally in the theology of the church till the 4th century."

The New Catholic Encyclopedia admits that the Trinity "is not. . . directly and immediately the word of God."

The Encyclopedia of Religion And Ethics records: At first the Christian Faith was not Trinitarian. . . It was not so in the apostolic and sub-apostolic ages, as reflected in the New Testament and other early Christian writings."

L. L. Paine, professor of Ecclesiastical History acknowledged: "The Old Testament is strictly monotheistic. God is a single personal being. The idea that a trinity is to be found there . . . is utterly without foundation."

The Encyclopedia of Religion admits: "Theologians today are in agreement that the Hebrew Bible does not contain a doctrine of the Trinity."

The New Catholic Encyclopedia also admits: "The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is not taught in the Old Testament."

Jesuit Edmund Fortman wrote in his book, The Triune God: ". . . There is no evidence that any sacred writer even suspected the existence of a Trinity within the Godhead. . . Even to see in the Old Testament suggestions or foreshadowings or 'veiled signs' of the trinity of persons, is to go beyond the words and intent of the sacred writers." 

The Encyclopedia of Religion says: "Theologians agree that the New Testament also does not contain an explicit doctrine of the Trinity."

The New Encyclopedia Britannica reports: "Neither the word Trinity nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament."

The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology confirms: "The New Testament does not contain the developed doctrine of the Trinity."
Jesuit Fortman similarly states: "The New Testament writers. . . give us no formal or formulated doctrine of the Trinity, no explicit teaching that in one God there are three co-equal divine persons. . . Nowhere do we find any trinitarian doctrine of three distinct subjects of divine life and activity in the same Godhead." 

Yale University professor E. Washburn Hopkins affirms in the Origin and Evolution of Religion: "To Jesus and Paul the doctrine of the trinity was apparently unknown; . . .they say nothing about it."

Historian Arthur Weigall records in The Paganism in Our Christianity: "Jesus Christ never mentioned such a phenomenon, and nowhere in the New Testament does the word 'Trinity' appear. The idea was only adopted by the Church three hundred years after the death of our Lord."

Cont.

Papalinton said...

Eric

Cont.

CHRISTIANS OF THE FIRST THREE CENTURIES HAD NO EXPLICIT TRINITARIAN DOCTRINE
The New Catholic Encyclopedia notes: "The formulation 'one god in three Persons' was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4th century. . . Among the Apostolic Fathers, there had been nothing even remotely approaching such a mentality or perspective."

The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology states: "Primitive Christianity did not have an explicit doctrine of the Trinity such as was subsequently elaborated in the creeds."

The Encyclopedia Americana plainly reports: "Fourth Century Trinitarianism did not reflect accurately early Christian teaching regarding the nature of God; it was, on the contrary, a deviation from this teaching."

The Ethnic Trinities by L. L. Paine, page 219, states that the development of the trinity was an evolutionary process. "
The Christian dogma did not start from a polytheistic or pantheistic ground, but from Jewish monotheism; but the development from one God to a trinity was just as completely a historical evolution as any other.""

http://www.truegospelofjesus.org/articles/trinity.html

The site also outlines from where the christian concept of the trinity was borrowed. And it was a 4thC development.

Jake Elwood XVI said...

Papa
I often wonder when I am reading something that agrees with my opinions or at least supports a wider conclusion if I am being to trusting. I wonder Papa if that is what your are doing here. I find it helpful if I look at sources being quoted. Sometimes quotes are taken out of context. Have you even looked at the quotes in their original sources?

I find the quote from the New Catholic Encyclopaedia interesting. I would that an catholic would suggest that the confusion here for those you think this supports anti-triniatian views of early Christianity in regards to what is dogma and doctrine in a formal sense. It is the Doctrine of the Trinity as according to its credal forms that I would contemplate is being spoken of here.

If it is clear on the one side that the dogma of the Trinity in the stricter sense of the word was a late arrival, product of three centuries' reflection and debate, it is just as clear on the opposite side that confession of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - and hence an elemental Trinitarianism as expressed by St Paul- went back to the period of Christian origins.

If we look at the ante-nicence fathers then we could and should be able to see if it was a 4thC development. I wonder if you have done that.

The Britannica quote also seems interesting. Though I wonder again if you have read it in its wider context. The full quote is
"Neither the word Trinity nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament, nor did Jesus and his followers intend to contradict the Shema in the Hebrew Scriptures: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:4). The earliest Christians, however, had to cope with the implications of the coming of Jesus Christ and of the presumed presence and power of God among them—i.e., the Holy Spirit, whose coming was connected with the celebration of the Pentecost. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were associated in such New Testament passages as the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19); and in the apostolic benediction: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14). Thus, the New Testament established the basis for the doctrine of the Trinity."

This now appears to contradict the writer of the site you quote from.

Now While I don't think we are to far apart. However the view that the trinity is evolved with no foundation seem plain wrong. It is the no foundation part that always confound me. Once again I suggest, you look at the ante-nicence fathers.

It seems we need to look at the origins and development of “devotion to Jesus” in earliest Christianity. This would be helpful to see if the trinity possibly in both a formal credal sense and a elemental sense is a 4th Century development.

Papa may I praise you for venturing out on to blogs of those you have differing views to your self. It hopefully shows a desire to engage with others. To test strength of your views. Even though it does seem at times that this interaction is often disingenuous on your part.

Regards
JEXVI

Papalinton said...

Matthew 28:19 was a later interpolation. Wiki goes on, "..., the trinity did not become church doctrine until the third century, and even fourth century citations of this verse by Eusebius of Caesarea mention only baptizing in the name of Jesus, as do similar biblical passages (e.g. Acts 19:5)."

And so is the verse 2 Corinthians 13:14 now universally recognized as being a later "insertion" of the Church.

Building an untruth on an untruth does not a proof make.

Jake Elwood XVI said...

"Building an untruth on an untruth does not a proof make."

Papa, what do you think of the website you quoted from taking quotes out of context? Such as Britannica and New Catholic quote? Do you find the quotes are taken out of context.

Okay you question what the encyclopedia Britannica is saying. Initially I was pointing out that the reading you were getting from that website was misleading.

I find what you say about the passages that the encyclopedia Britannica quoted interesting and I I am researching them myself. However like with the quotes presented from Britannica and New Catholic encyclopedias, I obviously struggle to take your opinion with much confidence.

I guess I would continue to argue, in regards to the idea of the trinity as predating the the 4th century for the need to look at the ante-nicene church fathers. It would be great if you could challenge your views in this swell. May I suggest you a website that agrees with you and then look at the quotes in context and also search for quotes of the fathers that may appear to talk about the trinity.

Regards

JEXVI

P.S. Papa, which wiki, did you get your last quote from?

Papalinton said...

Jake
"P.S. Papa, which wiki, did you get your last quote from?"

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Bible_interpolation

Cheers

Jake Elwood XVI said...

Papa

There are no references on that wiki? Can you find scholarly articles/books that make the same claim?

Also when you say "And so is the verse 2 Corinthians 13:14 now universally recognized as being a later "insertion" of the Church." What references do you have for 'universally recognised'?

Can I have an answer to my question?

"Papa, what do you think of the website you quoted from taking quotes out of context? Such as Britannica and New Catholic quote? Do you find the quotes are taken out of context[?]"

Papa, once again I encourage you to challenge your views by challenging the sources you use. Especially if they are not adequately referenced. You need to look at the quotes in their context.

Regards

JEXVI
PS attempted edit to somewhat improve grammar.
PPS Papa what was your area of teaching?