Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The latest in the Torley-Loftus exchange

Here is the latest in the Torley-Loftus exchange. Or at least until Loftus replies.

153 comments:

Zach said...

Popcorn time, as they are both loons!

That post cries out for an Editor Needed sign. Reminds me of conversations you have with nutballs on the corner who don't know how to curb their free-associations. You start by talking about the weather, and they free associate until they end up telling you about government plots to poison our drinking water.

It's not hard to kill Loftus' silly post without discussing fine tuning arguments. Just....wow.

BeingItself said...

"Predation is not senseless, but a necessary fact of life"

Wha? Are all plants predatory?

Why could not God have created life such that it needed no nutrients at all? Do folks in heaven need to eat?

Papalinton said...

Pathetic, Victor.

This 'exchange' is the equivalent of 'one hand clapping'.
Garnering the mouth-froth from Torley, an IDiot whacko-job, does not an exchange make.

Sheesh!

Crude said...

It's no surprise Torley is spinning things back to ID arguments, given the fact that it's Uncommon Descent. Points 1 and 2 alone are enough to take Loftus' argument as it stands off the table. 3 is in the direction of something appropriate, but he goes in an odd direction with it. By 4, it's ID town, and if you don't like ID discussions, that's that.

I have to say, seeing Loftus interact with ID proponents will be nothing short of funny if this keeps up - since his latest mantra is all about probabilities, and oh man, does the ID crowd *love* to talk about probabilities.

BenYachov said...

Good grief!

Some foolish "Christian" once quipped that the reason the Tsunami hit Haiti was to punish the population for pagan Voodoo practices.

That was sickening and insensitive.
Not to mention presumptuous and a walking talking violation of the teachings of the Book of Job.

But then there is Loftus using the tragedy in Sandy Hook to promote his warmed over Argument from Evil. Which is also sickening and insensitive.

Yeh William Rowe at least had the decency to make up a plausible fictional natural tragedy involving an unlucky fawn to use as an example for his Atheist Argument from Evil rather then exploit real people's real pain & tragedy to make a point.

Oh & BTW Loftus argument presupposes a "god" who is a Moral Agent unequivocally compared to human moral agents.

Enough of the damn Theistic Personalist idols already!

BeingItself said...

"Some foolish "Christian" once quipped that the reason the Tsunami hit Haiti was to punish the population for pagan Voodoo practices."

How can you tell if someone is a real Christian?

William said...

Synopsis:

Loftus says that interpersonal evil is more to be expected under atheism. Huh?

Torly replies that a world containing interpersonal evil is more likely under intelligent design. Huh?

Pointless and very tasteless.

BenYachov said...

>How can you tell if someone is a real Christian?

They are baptized.

Duh!

BeingItself said...

"They are baptized."

Ah yes. Retreat to superstition.

BenYachov said...

>Ah yes. Retreat to superstition.

You asked I answered.

Q.How can you tell if someone is a real Jew?

A.They are born of a Jewish Woman & if male circumcised.

How can you tell if someone is a real Muslim?

They are born of a Muslim Father & they recite the Shahada in front of two witnesses.

It's not hard.

How can you tell if someone is a real Gnu Atheist?

The kneejerk hatred of religion.

Still not hard.

BeingItself said...

Hey, at least you admit you buy that superstitious nonsense. Many Christians these days view baptism as symbolic. So I guess there is something to be said for actually owning the the ridiculous baloney your church teaches. Congratulations.

Crude said...

BI, exactly how long do you plan on making a mockery of reason and carrying water for the Cult of Gnu? Don't you think it's time to give it a rest, renounce it, and finally make peace with theism and anti-naturalism?

Or do you just feel the need to cling to the community, even if it means swallowing what you know is complete bunk? ;)

BeingItself said...

Got evidence?

Crude said...

Got evidence?

Plenty of it, and you're aware of it. Going to keep ignoring it, then? Oh well, 2013's about to roll around - maybe another year with the Cult will work out better. What with their supreme rationality and evidence and love of science... ahahaha. ;)

Think it over, BI. There's a New Year coming - a great opportunity to say you're done with being the equivalent of Dawkins' Internet Altar Boy and changing your tune. But hey, if playing compatriot to freaking Linton is really all that enticing, I do understand.

Papalinton said...

"With baptism soap is a good thing." Robert Ingersoll

BenYachov said...

BI is a mindless Fundie like Paps only without Paps' sense of humor such as it is.

Crude said...

BI is a mindless Fundie like Paps only without Paps' sense of humor such as it is.

Linton's comedy is purely of the unintentional variety. The man can't even get a quote right. ;)

Seriously, right on cue. Maybe BI will actually admit what I'm talking about here. Not that I'll be holding my breath waiting.

BenYachov said...

>Hey, at least you admit you buy that superstitious nonsense. Many Christians these days view baptism as symbolic. So I guess there is something to be said for actually owning the the ridiculous baloney your church teaches.

What does the historic biblical belief taught by the Holy Church that Baptism transmits a supernatural character on the soul and the Grace of Justification have to do with anything?

I don't believe in the supernatural nature of Islam yet reciting the Shahada externally shows one is a Muslim.

Geez it's not hard.

Get an Education for Christ's or Science's or Dawkin's sake.



BenYachov said...

>Maybe BI will actually admit what I'm talking about here. Not that I'll be holding my breath waiting.

I would be content if the man just learned philosophy.

But always bet on stupidity.

That sadly will almost always grant a pay out.

BeingItself said...

If the arguments and evidence for theism were so persuasive, then why are the overwhelming majority of philosophers atheists?

Why are the overwhelming majority of members of the national academy of sciences atheists?

Why does high IQ correlate so strongly with atheism?

Crude said...

If the arguments and evidence for theism were so persuasive, then why are the overwhelming majority of philosophers atheists?

Pity they're a minority in the one field that actually deals with the arguments and evidence (philosophically, anyway), eh? Are you really going to play argumentum ad populum here?

Why are the overwhelming majority of members of the national academy of sciences atheists?

A self-selecting group of people in a given broad field that, despite it being broad, doesn't even really overlap with the particular question at hand?

Quick, tell me that most orinthologists are agnostics! Surely that will be impressive!

Why does high IQ correlate so strongly with atheism?

Not quite. And what, because IQ cashes out to 'immunity to cultural/subcultural trends'?

Wait, is this more of that science and reason stuff I always hear the Cult of Gnu going on about? Bad extrapolations from limited if not outright faulty data?

C'mon BI. This is your big defense?

New Year coming up. Great time to wash your hands of this shit. Wouldn't it be nice if you looked back on 2012 as the last year you carried water for Paul Zachary Myers and the rest?

Papalinton said...

It looks as though 2013 is shaping up to be a busy year here. What with the Royal Commission [the equivalent of a Federal Grand Jury] into the churches', particularly the Catholic Church's, child sexual abuse, about to start early in the new year. I am looking forward with keen interest as to how the clergy are going to explicate and reconcile the sin of pedophilia under Canon Law [by which kiddie-fiddler priests were given a slap on the wrist, instructed to do penance, and then transferred into another unsuspecting community] with the statute of child sexual abuse under Criminal Law [with some serious long time incarceration up for grabs]. I think a few bishops and cardinals here are about to head for jail.

And then to watch the trends of the societal surveys about religion that will ensue. I wonder if the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (UK) will engage the highly respected Ipsos MORI to carry out a poll during the investigation and following the Commission handing down its Report?

Something to look forward to.

Papalinton said...

Ben
"What does the historic biblical belief taught by the Holy Church that Baptism transmits a supernatural character on the soul and the Grace of Justification have to do with anything?"

At last! You understand. That's what we have been trying to tell you for decades. It has absolutely nothing to do with anything.

Crude said...

By the way, before anyone presses me on it, I will be the first to admit that in the case of sexual abuse, it's clear that - though a tiny minority - far too many priests approached the question of child sexual abuse with what can only be called an atheistic morality. ;)

Crude said...

By the way, when those jackass bishops were running defense for their friends? How much do you want to bet they said this sort of thing quite often:

"Look, what that priest did wasn't too serious. Mild sexual abuse, at most. No real harm done. Let's just let everyone forget about this."

But hey, keep right on defending Dawkins on this one. He's worth it, surely. ;)

Syllabus said...

If the arguments and evidence for theism were so persuasive, then why are the overwhelming majority of philosophers atheists?

Source(s)?

Why does high IQ correlate so strongly with atheism?

Source(s)?

Crude said...

Syllabus,

The source is going to be the Philpapers Poll. Of course, the same poll shows theists being an overwhelming presence in Philosophy of Religion.

Interesting numbers on naturalism too, even in the relevant fields. I suppose the responsible thing to do is be agnostic about naturalism (hey, it doesn't even get a majority in metaphysics), but theists (because it pulls a majority in PoR).

Excuses incoming in 5, 4, 3...

Syllabus said...

Of course, the same poll shows theists being an overwhelming presence in Philosophy of Religion.

Of course, how one interprets that data will depend upon one's prior assumptions, won't it.

B. Prokop said...

Back from my Christmas travels!

What Linton doesn't understand when he keeps bringing up the disgusting and indefensible child abuse scandals, is that they actually confirm the truth of the Catholic Faith. For without acceptance of the Church's teachings about morality and personal responsibility for one's actions, there is no reason whatsoever for anyone to condemn the criminals' actions. After all, they are merely randomly-put-together collections of atoms with no consciousness or free will. They only did what they were deterministically compelled to do. Why should we condemn them?

The scandals are disgusting and indefensible (and they indeed are) only in the context of an objective morality and the reality of free will. Poor Linton has built his argument on a foundation of sand.

As for Baptism, of course it is efficacious. Good grief, the atheists are forever yammering on about asking for some link between the supernatural and the natural, and when we give them one, they recoil in fear and yell "superstition!" Yet another example of "Heads I win; tails you lose."

By the way, I found Torley's arguments to be cogent and damn near unanswerable. I think he had Loftus for lunch!

And yes, I had a great Christmas. Hope you all did as well. Don't be horrified, Ben, but I attended a beautiful Protestant Christmas Eve service (my youngest daughter being an Anglican).

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

My reply to Torley is here.

B. Prokop said...

Jeffery,

You write (over at your link), "given that the universe exists, the fact it does not exist on a human scale is evidence which weakly favors naturalism over theism."

But the universe does very much exist on a human scale. The human body consists to a large degree of relatively heavy elements (what astronomers refer to as "metals"), such as carbon, iron, oxygen, calcium, etc. These elements did not exist in the primeval universe, but were subsequently created deep in the cores of supermassive stars that subsequently exploded, thus seeding the galaxy with atoms of "metals" for the next generation of stars. It required several stellar generations for the Milky Way to accumulate sufficient quantities of heavy elements for the Earth to form and life (as we know it) to be sustained. This is basic cosmology.

Therefore, the time that the universe has so far existed is consistent with a "human scale".

Likewise with its size. Were the stars any closer together, the shock waves from nearby supernovae (already shown to be required for life to form) would hopelessly prevent life from getting started anywhere in the universe.

I could go on, but these two examples should suffice.

The universe turns out to be exactly scaled to human existence, both in duration and in extent.

BenYachov said...

Paps

We all know you don't give a shit about children.

Where is your outrage here?

http://www.catholicleague.org/mark-thompson-gets-a-pass/

If Mark Thompson was a Bishop then Paps & Dawkins would care.

@Bob

>And yes, I had a great Christmas. Hope you all did as well. Don't be horrified, Ben, but I attended a beautiful Protestant Christmas Eve service (my youngest daughter being an Anglican).

Dude why would I be horrified? I went to an Episcopal private school from 6th grade to 12th.

Also with any luck I will be visiting a Messianic Temple this weekend.

I'm all about the Ecumenism dude when done right.

Cheers brother.

BeingItself said...

"The universe turns out to be exactly scaled to human existence, both in duration and in extent."

Please describe a universe with humans that for you would not be "scaled to human existence". I'm trying to get a handle on what this assertion, or its negation, could possibly mean. Thanks.

BenYachov said...

>"given that the universe exists, the fact it does not exist on a human scale is evidence which weakly favors naturalism over theism."

According to Hugh Ross in the 19th century when people believed the Universe to just consist of the Solar System Atheists used to complain "Well if God is Infinite couldn't He have made something more grand & near infinite in size then this small world?".

Of course they got their wish in the late 20's when Hubble found the Universe.

First it's God doesn't exist because if He did he would make a bigger near infinite Universe to show His Majesty.

Now it's God doesn't exist because He would only make a Universe on a human scale & our is too big and near infinite in scale.

Make up your mind Atheists.

This is so tedious.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

B Prokop: "But the universe does very much exist on a human scale."

My point about the scale of the universe is this:

1. Non-Privileged Temporal Position: Humans did not exist right from the start of the universe.

2. Non-Privileged Spatial Position: The earth is not the center of the universe.

I don't claim that, on the assumption God exists, these facts would probably be false. Rather, my point is that these two facts are slightly more probable on the assumption that God exists than on the assumption that naturalism is true. (For example, the probability of this evidence given naturalism might be only, say, .1, while the probability of this evidence given theism might be .11. *This* is what I mean when I say the evidence weakly favors naturalism over theism.) See here for details.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

B. Prokop:

But the universe does very much exist on a human scale. The human body consists to a large degree of relatively heavy elements (what astronomers refer to as "metals"), such as carbon, iron, oxygen, calcium, etc. These elements did not exist in the primeval universe, but were subsequently created deep in the cores of supermassive stars that subsequently exploded, thus seeding the galaxy with atoms of "metals" for the next generation of stars. It required several stellar generations for the Milky Way to accumulate sufficient quantities of heavy elements for the Earth to form and life (as we know it) to be sustained. This is basic cosmology. ...

Likewise with its size. Were the stars any closer together, the shock waves from nearby supernovae (already shown to be required for life to form) would hopelessly prevent life from getting started anywhere in the universe.


Given what we know about the laws of nature and the assumption that metaphysical naturalism is true, then the universe has to be as old as it is (and as massive as it is) in order to support life. On the assumption that theism is true, however, there exists an omnipotent being who could have designed the universe with a different set of natural laws than the ones we actually have. So far from undercutting the argument from scale, in one sense this objection actually provides an independent reason in support.

B. Prokop said...

Well, you've already heard my attitude toward these probabilistic arguments on a previous thread. To wit, my humble opinion is all this bayesian crap is precisely that - semantically null verbiage about nothing. Plug in whatever figures you want to get the desired result. It does nothing to advance the conversation.

B. Prokop said...

"On the assumption that theism is true, however, there exists an omnipotent being who could have designed the universe with a different set of natural laws than the ones we actually have."

Really? so you know the mind of God, now? I'll defer to the concluding chapters of Job here. I can't really improve on what's said there.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

B Prokop: "Well, you've already heard my attitude toward these probabilistic arguments on a previous thread. To wit, my humble opinion is all this bayesian crap is precisely that - semantically null verbiage about nothing. Plug in whatever figures you want to get the desired result. It does nothing to advance the conversation."

You didn't seem to complain about "Bayesian crap" when it was used by Turley to support theism. It's interesting that you are calling it "crap" now.

In my experience, the people who call it "crap" are the same people who don't understand it.

Really? so you know the mind of God, now? I'll defer to the concluding chapters of Job here. I can't really improve on what's said there.

Please READ what I actually wrote. I never claimed to know what God, if He exists, desires. I wrote about God's power. I wrote, "On the assumption that theism is true, however, there exists an omnipotent being who could have designed the universe with a different set of natural laws than the ones we actually have."

Zach said...

Bob you might consider that by bringing in fine-tuning arguments you have already invoked probabilistic arguments you cannot escape, and these are equivalent to Bayesian arguments (though I would agree that there is a weird tendency lately to act as if Bayes' Theorem is the only thing in probability theory we need to know: just the preening of amateurs trying to impress).

BenYachov perhaps go to the brain store and buy a clue before spouting off on what you don't understand. It's just embarassing. Show some respect, Jeffrey has come here with nothing but the same, please stop dragging the site down you combox cancer.

B. Prokop said...

"You didn't seem to complain about "Bayesian crap" when it was used by Turley to support theism. It's interesting that you are calling it "crap" now."

I gave a one-liner on my reactions to his piece, with no details. As for my attitude toward probabalistic arguments, I have a long e-trail on my disdain for them. There's no "now" to be interesting. My contempt for them is consistent.

BenYachov said...

@Jeffery

>Non-Privileged Spatial Position: The earth is not the center of the universe.

In Einstein's Universe nothing in the strictest sense is the center of the Universe. It's all relative to the viewpoint of the observer.

What if humans are the only intelligent life in the Universe?

Then given the A-centricism implied by Einstein that would still make us the center.

>Non-Privileged Temporal Position: Humans did not exist right from the start of the universe.

So what? A literal interpretation of Genesis One says the same thing. Even Augustine's doctrine of instantaneous creation via his interpretation of Genesis 2:4 still has man come after the start of the Cosmos.

These are just bad philosophical arguments.

B. Prokop said...

"In my experience, the people who call it "crap" are the same people who don't understand it."

Oh, I understand it well enough! I studied Bayesian probability in grad school, and appreciate its utility where appropriate (i.e., where you can actually plug in some meaningful figures). That's why I recognize it to be bullshit when discussing philosophy/theology/cosmology.

BenYachov said...

>BenYachov perhaps go to the brain store and buy a clue before spouting off on what you don't understand. It's just embarassing.

Your a troll Zack and you clearly have mental health problems.


>Show some respect, Jeffrey has come here with nothing but the same, please stop dragging the site down you combox cancer.

For example.
I haven't said anything bad to Jeff. I haven't insulted him. He is clearly attempting a rational argument which is more then Gnus like you, BI or Paps ever do.

Zack you just proved Crude right everything he said about you.

Grow up son.

BenYachov said...

>Given what we know about the laws of nature and the assumption that metaphysical naturalism is true.

Why do they go together? What are "Laws of Nature"? Are they Platonic entities that cause matter to behave in a certain way they might not have if they didn't exist? Or are they merely observed regularities in substances with essences? Might not some different reality have come into being with substances that have different regularities.

God could create a universe populated by very hot Blue Giants that each have an ice world orbiting at the distance of Mercury yet God miraculously in the Classic Sense actualizes the Ice to not melt.

But how would you know you where in such a universe as opposed to one where God creates an Ice like substance whose essence is that it must melt at higher temperatures? Also if these planets where inhabited by intelligent beings how would they know Ice is suppose to melt under those circumstances? Given their experience of the observed regularities of Ice not melting at 1000's of degrees Kelvin?

Or better yet you live in a metaphysical naturalistic universe where an Ice like substance by nature can only melt at 1,000's of degrees Kelvin?

God's existence is a philosophical argument not a scientific one.

BenYachov said...

@Jeffery

Before this discussion goes any further you do realize Bob, Crude and myself for the most part reject ID?

At best we might believe some Atheist polemics against ID(a viewpoint we already disbelieve in), certain Gnu Atheists in particular are not very good.

So if you debate anyone of us three you are defending the argument not the conclusion.

B. Prokop said...

I also reject ID as a scientific proposition. I have strong views on design as a philosophical one - i.e., I regard Creation as designed.

But "science" it ain't! And people who wish to teach it as such are quite misguided.

B. Prokop said...

I regard the following two statements as equally a-scientific:

"The Universe is designed."

"Jesus is Lord."

Neither one can be either proven or disproven using the scientific method. They are philosophical/theological statements, and need to be defended/rebutted on those grounds.

Zach said...

OK Ben, so when you wrote that it was tedious replying to him, that was very respectful.

Just respond to the arguments, and you will be OK: not everything has to be personal or emotional.

Crude knows I've got his number, he won't be saying anything to me again unless he is a glutton for logic fists to the brain and wants another knockout punch.

Barring that, back to the topic. Loftus' argument is weak (I already demolished it at my blog last week), and we are now talking about a side trail of a side trail on the original article, which is really not directly relevant to the Loftus piece.

Enjoy.

BenYachov said...

>OK Ben, so when you wrote that it was tedious replying to him, that was very respectful.

Big deal. Your grasping at straws here because you have no argument. BTW I was responding generically to Atheists. Anybody who reads English can see that. That of course excludes you chief.


>Just respond to the arguments, and you will be OK: not everything has to be personal or emotional.

Zack when I remember the unjust verbal abuse you poured on BDK as well as your other troll attacks on others your the last person to be appointing himself combox policeman.

>Crude knows I've got his number, he won't be saying anything to me again unless he is a glutton for logic fists to the brain and wants another knockout punch.

Zack you should just respond to the arguments, and you will be OK: not everything has to be personal or emotional.

>Barring that, back to the topic....

Good we are back to the topic because your childish trolling is even more tedious.

Papalinton said...

For those who imagine Torley has trumped Loftus, much is predicated on wishful thinking with crossed fingers behind one back.

The substance of Loftus' argument, remains robust, although Lowder has noted some weaknesses in his argument. But they are weakness of polish rather than of substance.

The explanatory power of methodological naturalism is orders of magnitude greater than 'methodological' supernaturalism. Indeed, methodological supernaturalism is .... christian theology.

Paul Henry Thiry, French philosopher and encyclopaederiste, noted:

"Theology is but the ignorance of natural causes reduced to a system."

BenYachov said...

Paps,

What I love about you most is how you seem cognitively incapable of believing that 1. Loftus could have made a bad argument, & 2. naturalism could still be true on other grounds.

Really would it kill you stone dead to learn any philosophy? Do you psychologically need to be a reductionist materialist to be an Atheist?

I give up.

Crude said...

Crude knows I've got his number, he won't be saying anything to me again unless he is a glutton for logic fists to the brain and wants another knockout punch.

Hahaha. Oh wow, the delusion is strong in this one.

Zach, you've been humiliated each and every time you've waddled up to me on this site - and frankly, you know it. The only thing you've ever done with your 'logic fists' is mentally masturbate.

No one, at this point, needs a demonstration of either your intellectual dishonesty or your fragility. So the following demonstration? It's purely for fun.

You said: It's not hard to kill Loftus' silly post without discussing fine tuning arguments. Just....wow.

Alright, Zach. You say you 'demolished' Loftus' argument on your blog. Well, gosh, let's go read it!

For one, this was not an act of God, so everything you write is moot. It was a twisted act of a human who has been corrupted. I could stop there, but enjoy pummeling you with my logic fists.

Great. Just one problem: Loftus didn't say that this was a case of God acting, but of God NOT acting. Loftus' argument was that God knew what Lanza would do, and yet did not intervene.

So, first swing of the logic fist and you've busted your lip.

Let's check out the next.

Two, such events are extremely rare, so even if you were right, you would be empirically contradicted. That such things are so rare is actually evidence (in your degenerate short-bus theory) that there is a God. So congratulations, if you believe what you say, then you have just shown there is a God!

Alright, Zach: please give us the formula for how much mass-murder God would allow for if He existed. You apparently are aware of how frequent it should be, after all.

Worse, you say that "Finally, my tertiary point is to grant for argument that John is right in claiming that if there were no God, these things would happen a lot."

Except... Loftus never said they would 'happen a lot' - at least if he did, he didn't say it in his post. He implied they would not happen at all if God existed, but would happen at least sometimes if God did not. He didn't get into frequencies, because he doesn't think he has to.

So, logic fists swing again, and Zach gives himself a black eye.

Against Loftus. A man whose internet atheism is so weak, he's a mere rung above 'regular Reddit commenter'. Why, it's almost as if you're TRYING to look bad.

By the way, for those of you who want to see it: here's Zach's blog.

Maybe we'll get some atheists here commenting on your brilliant knock-out punches, and my criticisms of them. Won't that be a hoot, Zach? ;)

BenYachov said...

Good job there Crude.

Zack wrote:
>BenYachov perhaps go to the brain store and buy a clue before spouting off on what you don't understand. It's just embarassing.

Speaks for itself doesn't it?

Papalinton said...

Bob
"The scandals are disgusting and indefensible (and they indeed are) only in the context of an objective morality and the reality of free will."

This is a very silly statement. It is not the scandals that are disgusting and indefensible, it is the acts of sexual violence perpetrated on little children by priests that are disgusting and indefensible. Even I, an atheist, can see through the smoke and mirrors of the catholic rhetoric, and that the acts of the pedophile priests and the bishops and cardinals who protected them and transferred them to other innocent unsuspecting parishes, or back to the Vatican for 'diplomatic' protection, are disgusting and indefensible. Period.

It is also a ridiculous claim to suggest these acts can only be considered disgusting and indefensible " ... in the context of an objective morality and the reality of free will."

No, objective morality and free will are catholic escape hatches for denying responsibility and shifting the blame. What is most disgusting and indefensible is the grand scale of injustice embodied in Canon Law under which violent child sexual abuse is determined a sin and not a criminal act. The church clearly signaled its intent, reflecting the pitiless and depraved indifference towards the children and parents that were abused, and its callous disregard of the law of the land under which child sexual abuse is a serious criminal offense [no matter which way you cut it], when it invoked Canon Law as a measure of suppressing the enormous international scale of catholic institutional child violence. There is little doubt that the organisation sought to obfuscate, to conceal, dissemble and suppress information, in its own selfish interest. And there is no doubt there is a prima facie case of an organizational conspiracy to cover up these abominable crimes. The Ryan Commission Report into child sexual abuse in Catholic institutions in Ireland makes no equivocation on this count.

It seems objective morality and free will were conveniently and completely subsumed by the edicts of Canon Law, the pope praying wishfully that they would get away with it. And they nearly did.

And until you acknowledge this, Bob, you are an enabler of this great injustice.

Papalinton said...

Ben
"Really would it kill you stone dead to learn any philosophy? Do you psychologically need to be a reductionist materialist to be an Atheist?"

Ben, there are two forms of philosophy, scientifically informed philosophy and scientifically uninformed philosophy.

The form of philosophy you subscribe to, scientifically uninformed philosophy, is just .... apologetics, or mythology.

WilliamM said...

"The earth is not the center of the universe."

Good news everyone!
http://bedejournal.blogspot.de/2009/04/galileo-affair-2-cosmic-promotion.html

Syllabus said...

Bit late, but...

I attended a beautiful Protestant Christmas Eve service (my youngest daughter being an Anglican).

My liturgy can beat up your liturgy!

Just kidding. Glad to hear you had a good one.

BenYachov said...

@Paps,
>This is a very silly statement. It is not the scandals that are disgusting and indefensible, it is the acts of sexual violence perpetrated on little children by priests that are disgusting and indefensible.

Of course if public school teachers(people in Paps' profession. Just saying. ) do it & are protected by their unions from dismissal and prosecution then it's ok.

Or if the BBC turns a blind eye to the well known antics of child rapist Jimmy Savile over decades.
That is OK too.

Also according to Dawkins a Priest molesting a child is not as terrible as teaching him about Hell. So hopefully molesting priest neglected their spiritual education so it's not as bad.

Seriously Paps! Would it cause your bowels to burst if you actually learned some philosophy so you can make intelligent polemics against Theism for once in your life?

Because these base cheat shots are so tedious.

Opps! I called your arguments tedious? According to Zack that is so very bad it's worst then me cursing you out!

I am so ashamed! Well not really.

Happy New Year thought.:-)

BenYachov said...

>Ben, there are two forms of philosophy, scientifically informed philosophy and scientifically uninformed philosophy.

Can you know that to be true Scientifically or do you know that from philosophy?

Do you know enough about either to even answer my question?

Also Dennett said there is no such thing as a philosophy free science. There is only science who philosophical baggage is taken on board without examination.

>The form of philosophy you subscribe to, scientifically uninformed philosophy, is just .... apologetics, or mythology.

Last I checked my philosophy (Aristotle and Plato) started science and paved the way for the Scientific method.

Really Paps would it kill you? You could be a better Atheist? Or are you just uncomfortable not mindlessly believing in Positivism and reductionist materialism as a given starting point that is assumed not proven?

I don't know what to do with you sometimes.

BenYachov said...

>What is most disgusting and indefensible is the grand scale of injustice embodied in Canon Law under which violent child sexual abuse is determined a sin and not a criminal act.

Of course Canon Law doesn't actually say this but Paps will make up any old nonsense like Pope St. Gregory burning Patriarchs at the stake.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

The explanatory power of methodological naturalism is orders of magnitude greater than 'methodological' supernaturalism. Indeed, methodological supernaturalism is .... christian theology.

Correction: methodological naturalism is not a hypothesis, so the concept of explanatory power doesn't apply to it. What you want to name here is metaphysical naturalism.

B. Prokop said...

Syllabus,

I don't know about your liturgy beating mine, but I will concede that your music certainly does. Anglican hymns rock!

B. Prokop said...

Ben,

Linton's faux outrage over clerical abuse scandals would be funny, were it not so transparently useful to him. He clings to it like Linus does his blanket. There's actually something a little more than creepy about his obsession with child abuse.

Syllabus said...

I don't know about your liturgy beating mine, but I will concede that your music certainly does. Anglican hymns rock!

Agreed on the last. Our choir here at St. Richard's - in which I'm a first tenor - totally rocked the bloody house at both Christmas Eve services. And in general.

Though, I have to say, the Eucharist Rite II which we usually do is, IMO, superior to the Catholic liturgies I've participated in... But your mileage may vary,, I suppose.

B. Prokop said...

My favorite Anglican liturgical rite is Evensong. I actually have a collection of more than a dozen Evensong CDs from various English choirs.

BenYachov said...

>I don't know about your liturgy beating mine, but I will concede that your music certainly does. Anglican hymns rock!

I went to an Anglican Use Mass once back in my experimenting with different liturgical rites within the Holy church phase it was pretty sweet.

Crude said...

So long as we're talking liturgical beauty, let me say that the eastern orthodox are a favorite of mine.

Syllabus said...

Yeah, the evening services are quite beautiful. I used to sing Compline at another church. We'd do the psalter, lessons and gloria Patri all in plain chant, and do medieval choral arrangements for the antiphon and anthem. 'Twas quite good.

B. Prokop said...

Amen, Crude! Why, oh why, is music in American Catholic churches so awful? It's embarrassing!

And it's not Catholicism at fault here - it's American Catholicism. When I attended Saint Gregory's Catholic Church in Cheltenham, England, while living there, the music was terrific and everyone sang.

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

JJL
"Correction: methodological naturalism is not a hypothesis, so the concept of explanatory power doesn't apply to it. What you want to name here is metaphysical naturalism."

Yes. Metaphysical naturalism, or if you will, philosophical naturalism, is the hypothesis.

Philosophising was not the intent of my comment. Rather, it was the application of a direct comparator between 'methodological naturalism' [that founded on the natural order, science and empirical investigation, testable and provable] and 'methodological supernaturalism' [that founded on teleology and agency], to bolt down the comparison and render it no wiggle room, opening it to apologetical caricature that theists are prone to do. I am not sure philosophical discourse will ever convince the superstitious supernaturalists that ghosts that bump in the night, and satans and angels with wings are simply figments of the creative mind.

Just as lightning and thunder were the inexplicable wrathful rumblings of gods in earlier times, so too, today, are the things, yet to be explained, attributed to the supernatural grab-bag by theists. Gods that don't inhabit space and time, the ineffable, omnimax properties of supernatural entities, the apparent knob tweaking of the cosmological constants, the 'creation' of the Goldilocks Zone for life, are all symptomatic of an overactive and ill-disciplined predilection for teleological intentionality and agency detection, both of which we pretty much now understand as products or functions of the survival mechanism of our evolved genetic make-up.

Notwithstanding your comment, the following is not a bad paper for consideration, HERE. As Forrest notes: ".... the reliability of knowledge depends on the method by which it is obtained, and as Schafersman says, "science, solely because of its method, is the most successful human endeavor in history. The others don't even come close." In reading through theist sites, it becomes instantly clear there is a great and abiding reluctance to hold their philosophizing against the light of what science is informing us. Indeed, so reluctant, that it is the supposed business of websites such as Francis Collins' BioLogos, and the Templeton Foundation, to inveigle theism into public discourse on the coat-tails of the sciences. At best, their approach might reach some form of accommodationism, but it will not advance by one jot religion and theism as bona fide sources of explanatory knowledge going forward. Theology in large part is mythology in action. What makes Catholicism or protestantism any different to Mormonism or Scientology, apart from differing traditions? Or hinduism, or Ancestor Worship or Animism for that matter? One common denominator: they are all cultural and regional products of teleological projection and agency detection.

HERE is a world map of the geographic distribution of religions. I tried to find a map of the geographic distribution of the various sciences, Islamic science, catholic science, and Scientology science, to see if there was a correlation. ;o)

BenYachov said...

>.... the reliability of knowledge depends on the method by which it is obtained, and as Schafersman says, "science, solely because of its method, is the most successful human endeavor in history. The others don't even come close." In reading through theist sites, it become s instantly clear there is a great reluctance to hold their philosophizing against the light of what science is informing us.

Alex Rosenberg gives a similar argument for Positivism in his book THE ATHEIST'S GUIDE TO REALITY. The problem with it as noted by Feser is this QUOTE"that sort of argument is no better than this one:

1. Metal detectors have had far greater success in finding coins and other metallic objects in more places than any other method has.

2. Therefore we have good reason to think that metal detectors can reveal to us everything that there is to be revealed.

In fact, of course, metal detectors are as successful as they are in finding coins, lost keys, etc. precisely because they focus only on those specific aspects of coins, keys, and the like which might be detected via their methods (i.e. the metallic nature of these objects) and ignore everything else (the shape, color, etc. of the objects). And the methods of post-Galilean, post-Cartesian, mechanistic science are as successful as they are in predicting and controlling natural phenomena precisely because they focus only on those aspects of nature susceptible of strict prediction and control (especially those aspects which might be modeled mathematically) and ignore everything else (e.g. any irreducibly qualitative or non-quantifiable features that might exist in nature, such as teleological features, the phenomenal feel of heat and cold, the phenomenal look of colors, and so forth). But just as metal detectors are inevitably going to fail to capture non-metallic phenomena, so too are the methods of post-Galilean, post-Cartesian, mechanistic science inevitably going to fail to capture any aspects of nature not susceptible of prediction and control, nor capable of being captured via the mathematical techniques that make prediction and control possible.

Of course, the naturalist might deny that there are any such aspects, but the point is that to appeal to science in order to support such a denial is utterly fallacious -- as fallacious as appealing to the success of metal detectors in order to support the claim that only metal exists. If there are any non-metallic aspects of nature, you should not expect to find them using metal detectors; and if there are any aspects of nature that elude strict prediction, control and mathematical modeling, you should not expect to find them using the methods of post-Galilean, post-Cartesian, mechanistic science."END QUOTE

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2012/10/nagel-and-his-critics-part-ii.html#more

Science alone sans philosophy is irrational. You might as well confess the world was made in six literal days and be done with it.

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

Ben
"Science alone sans philosophy is irrational. You might as well confess the world was made in six literal days and be done with it."

Buzzer: Bzzzz Answer: Wrong. No Ben, only theists, your side of the fence, ever subscribed to a six-day creation cycle of the universe. And we know that today because when you look around, the massively large numbers of christians that continue to hold to the literal 6-day myth is incontrovertible evidence of the nonsense of religion, despite science having thrown out that bunkum quite some time ago. And we also know that it was empirical science that confirmed the 13 billion year age of the universe, not philosophy, not christianity. Indeed for the better part of 2 millennia christians actually believed in the six-day creation mythos until such time as science informed otherwise. And even to this day, the majority of christians aver the six-day nonsense. Try and refrain from offering an apologetical airbrushed revised history, Ben.

As has been iterated on a number of occasions, there are two forms of philosophy, scientifically informed philosophy, that of Kurtz, Popper, Dennett, Rosenberg and Michael Ruse, and scientifically uninformed philosophy, that of Feser, Tillich, Plantinga, and Craig.

Scientifically uninformed philosophy is just .... bastardized theology, all predicated on an a priori reliance on misguided teleological intentionality and the imagined and unsubstantiated notion of agency.

No amount of wish-fulfilling will result in the natural order of the universe overturning the mythos of a three-day old putrescent carcass revivifying to perfect health, in this universe or any other universe.

Papalinton said...

Should read as follows with hypertext:

"Notwithstanding your comment, the following is not a bad paper for consideration, HERE. As Forrest notes: ".... the reliability of knowledge depends on the method by which it is obtained, and as Schafersman says, "science, solely because of its method, is the most successful human endeavor in history. The others don't even come close."

Edward T. Babinski said...

Antony Flew, though he was counted as pro-design at his death, also continued to argue that the problem of evil/pain remained valid, as well as problems related to claims of possessing written revelations from God.

The broad question is whether this cosmos of jury-rigged evolution, extinctions, and large brained mammals (cetacea, elephants, apes/humans), and the human brain's built in prejudices, fears and memory errors cries out for the necessity of a Being of infinite power, wisdom and compassion to "design" such things.

Is humanity that glorious? Is the cosmos that wonderful? Look at it. You tell me. I'd say it's glorious that having developed a spoken and written language we could build on knowledge gained by previous generations. But it's a slow build up for sure, and such knowledge could be lost if civilization deteriorates due to any number of possible natural reasons.

Is the cosmos fine-tuned? Then why the need for hundreds of billions of galaxies, including colliding galaxies? Why the need for other planets circling so many other stars? Why the need for such a lengthy evolution and the extinctions of countless cousin species and cousins of cousin species -- countless extinct species of lemurs, monkey, apes, apes with larger cranial capacities than living species of apes, and extinct species of humans?

For that matter our cosmos is "designed" to keep running should life on earth be blotted out by any number of probable disasters. A cosmos empty of life on earth, including human life, seems able to get along for billions of years without "us." At best this cosmos appears to be in equilibrium with both life and death.

Surely a Designer with infinite power, wisdom, and compassion might have made a cosmos more filled with life, and could have made it instantly, and without predation.

The I.D.ist argument that claims cosmological constants must have been fine-tuned proves nothing. In fact, based on the visible fact of so many empty planets and so many extinct cousin species, who knows how many cousin COSMOSES the Designer and/or Nature went through before ours arose?

What we are left with is the fact of living things, not an explanation. Such a fact could simply be "what is," just as theists argue that God simply "is."

We don't even know if it's possible to change just one cosmological constant without affecting the rest. They might fit together naturally, and that might be simply how things are. Or if one cosmological constant can vary another might change in a form of compensation, any maybe that's just how things are. Or, if only one constant can change, we don't know whether or not this is the only cosmos. Neither do we know that the human brain is the only intelligence that might arise in this cosmos or any others. There could be things more interesting than us. On our own planet there's as I said three large brained types of mammals, and possibly there are stranger more interesting forms of intelligence we know nothing about, either in this cosmos or in another cosmos with or without different parameters. The cosmos itself could be interconnected on a quantum level and naturally lead to the evolution of at least some intelligent life forms. That might be simply how things are.

I daresay, if there is a special "God" with one special "religion," and special "religious rites," who wants people to "love Jesus" above the beyond all other "loves," then He has certainly been lenient in letting so many religions and varieties of them, and holy books, and competing interpretations of each holy book, get out of hand, making it seem like this cosmos is but a web in which such a God catches souls for hell. There are also plenty of opportunities for disillusionment in this cosmos, even of natural pains that lead one toward doubt. Pains that can even crush a person's psychological well being and destroy souls rather than preserve or heal them.




BenYachov said...

@Paps
>Buzzer: Bzzzz Answer: Wrong. No Ben, only theists, your side of the fence, ever subscribed to a six-day creation cycle of the universe.

Well actually many based on a literal interpretation of Genesis 2:4 believed all things where created at once & the six days merely symbolic.

Others believed the 6 days where long time periods of a thousand years. Some did of course take it literally.

This is no uniform opinion among the Fathers. Some Rabbis held to the doctrine of instantaneous creation like Augustine. Others said the creation as described in Genesis One merely spoke of what took place in the Spiritual realm.

I'm afraid your fantasy of an ancient fundamentalist church is merely that a fantasy.

But as usual you miss the point. If it's irrational to believe in a 6 day creation you are in the same category of irrationality with your belief in science alone sans philosophy.

>As has been iterated on a number of occasions, there are two forms of philosophy, scientifically informed philosophy,

That is backwards. Science produces data but philosophy interprets the data. Philosophy is about meaning thus you can't coherently have a "scientifically informed philosophy". Not even Dennett agrees with you.

You may only have a philosophically informed science.

Now your philosophy may be Materialism, Empiricism, Idealism, Descartes, Eliminativism, Reductionism, Strong Realism, or Hylomorphism. It may be Atheistic or Theistic. But Philosophy informs science not the other way around.

So you are already making a category mistake even if we really do live in a godless universe.

But you would know all this if only you would actually learn teacher instead of being a good fundie and spouting Dawkins Gnu Catechism.

BenYachov said...

@Babinski


Pay attention and read the tread. None of the Theists who have posted here thus Far is an ID supporter.
We are all Classic Theists even Zack if I read his comments box posts over at his blog correctly.

(OTOH I suspect Zack is really a Gnu pretending to be a Theist but I can't prove it)

So you are wasting our time with the anti-ID polemics.

Paley's stupid "god" doesn't exist.

Even Flew was a Classic Theist at the End.

Papalinton said...

Ben
"Alex Rosenberg gives a similar argument for Positivism in his book THE ATHEIST'S GUIDE TO REALITY. The problem with it as noted by Feser is this QUOTE"that sort of argument is no better than this one:
1. Metal detectors have had far greater success in finding coins and other metallic objects in more places than any other method has.
2. Therefore we have good reason to think that metal detectors can reveal to us everything that there is to be revealed."


The fundamental flaw with Feser's analogy is that he restricts science's capacity to reveal fact and truth to one instrument, the metal detector. He has yet to join the 21st Century in acknowledging that science has an innumerable array of detectors [fMRI, CATscans, interferometers, particle colliders, mass spectrometers, gene sequencers, to name a very few]. Not one, not one moment of observation or investigation, with the aid of these instruments, has detected even a smell let alone raise the supernatural from a logical possibility to an evidential possibility. And we have yet not deigned to traverse the grounds of Probability yet.

Feser might think it a knock-down analogy, but his form of scientifically ignorant philosophy simply underscores the highly tenuous nature of his position. As Articlett over at Debunking Christianity notes:

"As far as I'm concerned, any epistemology that supports belief in any immaterial beings is flawed because there is no valid way to distinguish an immaterial being from an imaginary being (especially if they are said to be gods or demons that don't want to be tested!)"




B. Prokop said...

"No amount of wish-fulfilling will result in the natural order of the universe overturning the mythos of a three-day old putrescent carcass revivifying to perfect health, in this universe or any other universe."

Linton is 100% correct in stating this. Indeed, no conceivable amount of "wishful thinking" could have accomplished this. It took the power of God the Father and his infinite love for us to raise His Son from the dead. That's precisely why we call the Resurrection a Miracle. Left to ourselves and without God's aid, we humans would have been left to our natural fates.

Linton, we'll make a Christian out of you yet!

B. Prokop said...

By the way, Linton, my last posting was purposely made to demonstrate just how ineffective your own comment is to anyone outside of the gnu echo chamber - just as you were probably quite unimpressed by my response, worded in language I would routinely use when speaking to fellow Christians.

When you post such stuff, I get the feeling that you're attempting to reassure your own insecurities in your (non)belief. 'Cause you're certainly not doing so in an attempt to argue your case. How about trying to actually deal with the issues, instead of descending to the level of infantile schoolyard taunts?

Zach said...

Crude still trying to hit an F15 with spitballs, eh? How's that worked out for you before.

I have learned previously you don't understand basic syllogisms (e.g., what a logical disjunct is), but it is fun to use you as a punching bag for my logic fists.

So it is no surprise that you misunderstand my first, and conclusive, refutation of Loftus. His basic premise, that God would step in, is false, because if God stepped in to stop acts of evil that would effectively take away free will. Hence, his argument doesn't flow. You predictably missed the point.

Please try to keep up next time.

My second argument was entertaining but not sound, as it assumed that the short-bus logic of Loftus' argument is sound, which it is not. But at least you sort of got my point: how frequent is frequent? Congratulations you read to the level of a seventh grader.

See the combox where we discuss these things, with atheists trying to refute me but getting knocked unconscious.

Crude, the flailing Lennie Small who always misses his target. Have you learned what a disjunction is yet? lmao

Syllabus said...

No amount of wish-fulfilling will result in the natural order of the universe overturning the mythos of a three-day old putrescent carcass revivifying to perfect health, in this universe or any other universe.

Even for an attempted caricature, this is a radical misunderstanding of the nature of the Resurrection.

B. Prokop said...

Correct, Syllabus.

What Linton fails utterly to understand is what is meant by a New Creation. There was no "revivification" involved with the Resurrection. There was a complete renewal of Creation itself. It's why (this part is for CL's benefit) Christians celebrate the Lord's Day on Sunday, rather than the old Sabbath (Saturday). By doing so, we acknowledge the Eighth Day of Creation.

Linton also fails to understand how deeply imbedded the entire Incarnation/Death/Resurrection narrative is in the Doctrine of the Trinity (and why said doctrine is at the core of the Faith). It is hardwired into the DNA, so to speak, of reality itself.

Linton, the Resurrection is far more than a miracle (even the Grand Miracle) - it is why the Universe exists in the first place. To contemplate the Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity is to probe into the innermost profundities of what we as finite human beings can possibly know and understand about God.

The Resurrection does not violate the "Laws of Nature" - it is the source of those laws.

Crude said...

So it is no surprise that you misunderstand my first, and conclusive, refutation of Loftus. His basic premise, that God would step in, is false, because if God stepped in to stop acts of evil that would effectively take away free will. Hence, his argument doesn't flow. You predictably missed the point.

Oh gosh, it was a misunderstanding! The sort of misunderstanding that comes from you not mentioning 'free will' anywhere in your original post - that was something you spun off into in the comments section.

No, Zach. Your 'first reply' to Loftus was, again: "For one, this was not an act of God, so everything you write is moot. It was a twisted act of a human who has been corrupted. I could stop there, but enjoy pummeling you with my logic fists."

So, Zach status: exposed as utterly incompetent, and once again, intellectually dishonest. You really shouldn't lie about what's public record. ;)

My second argument was entertaining but not sound, as it assumed that the short-bus logic of Loftus' argument is sound, which it is not.

It was an utter fail in your reading comprehension of Loftus, and a stupid argument besides. Like I said: give us the formula for how many mass murders God would allow versus how many would come to pass if God didn't exist.

Oh wait, you can't. But at least you pointed out the error in Loftus' claim, right?

Oops, no you didn't, because Loftus wasn't making any frequency argument in his OP.

So, strike two on your attempted recovery. You ran at Loftus trying to molest him with your logic fists, tripped, and cracked your head on a rock. You beat yourself up, and Loftus didn't have to do anything at all. Hell, all I had to do was point an laugh.

Really, Zach - Christmas was days ago. You don't have to keep giving me these gifts. In fact, each time you give them to me, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing - grabbing your head and rubbing your nose in them. ;)

Crude said...

Syllabus, Bob,

Don't you think we're being a little silly here? How much time are we wasting, arguing with complete morons who seem to almost intentionally misunderstand what's being discussed, and are openly intellectually dishonest?

I don't know about you guys, but I'm considering a New Years resolution of 'not arguing on the internet with incompetent liars'.

B. Prokop said...

Crude,

It's snowing/raining outside, and I was bored.

Actually, that's not true. I'm deep into Sherlock Holmes right now. I was given a Collected Works as a Christmas present, and am enjoying the stories thoroughly. Somehow, I'd never gotten around to reading them before. I highly recommend them, by the way.

But my laptop is open across the table, and I can see whenever a new posting is made.

BenYachov said...

@Paps
>The fundamental flaw with Feser's analogy is that he restricts science's capacity to reveal fact and truth to one instrument, the metal detector.

The point which you seem to be going out of your way to miss is the success of Metal detectors is not an argument that only what is detected by metal detectors exists. Even if Positivism where somehow true you can't argue it is true with the "success" argument. You must accept it.

You can't prove Postivism/Scientism true using science either. That makes the whole philosophy self-refuting and incoherent.

>He has yet to join the 21st Century in acknowledging that science has an innumerable array of detectors [fMRI, CATscans, interferometers, particle colliders, mass spectrometers, gene sequencers, to name a very few]. Not one, not one moment of observation or investigation, with the aid of these instruments, has detected even a smell let alone raise the supernatural from a logical possibility to an evidential possibility.

Anything you would detect by definition would be a natural phenomena. You are making a category mistake because of your willed philosophical illiteracy. Your nonsense reads like the YEC citing the Second Law of Thermodynamics to "prove" evolution false and it sounds twice as stupid.

>Feser might think it a knock-down analogy, but his form of scientifically ignorant philosophy simply underscores the highly tenuous nature of his position. As Articlett over at Debunking Christianity notes:

Again you sound like the Christian Fundie with a 6th grader's understanding of biology and a handful of ICR tracts picking a fight with Richard Dawkins on Evolution using such "brilliant" arguments as "A Monkey gives birth to a monkey! What proof do you have a Monkey once gave birth to a human?".

Really Paps would it kill you to learn some philosophy if only to keep up?
If only to improve the quality of your atheist argument? Have you no pride in your intellect at all?

>"As far as I'm concerned, any epistemology that supports belief in any immaterial beings is flawed because there is no valid way to distinguish an immaterial being from an imaginary being (especially if they are said to be gods or demons that don't want to be tested!)"

This is a very interesting argument against Cartesian concepts of the immaterial but it is not coherent when one thinks in terms of Platonic Forms or Hylomorphism. Also it still assumes Positivism which is still incoherent and invalid.

I don't know what to do with you Linton. Such a lack of curiosity I've only seen in fanatical YEC's as I see in you & your rejection of philosophy.

Crude said...

I don't know what to do with you Linton. Such a lack of curiosity I've only seen in fanatical YEC's as I see in you & your rejection of philosophy.

Because this isn't about learning. He probably doesn't believe half the things he says, Ben. He demonstrably will attack things he knows nothing about, he'll lie about what he understands.

He's a sad old man who hates people and craves attention. And, of course, he gets it, because everyone loves to argue with atheist imbeciles.

Ah well.

B. Prokop said...

"Because this isn't about learning. [Linton] probably doesn't believe half the things he says, Ben. He demonstrably will attack things he knows nothing about, he'll lie about what he understands."

Sadly true, Crude. This has been shown time and again on this website. Note that Ben found it necessary to explain in his most recent posting: "Anything you would detect by definition would be a natural phenomena. You are making a category mistake". This has been pointed out to Linton multiple times in multiple threads. I myself have attempted to educate him on this very point on several instances. But all to no purpose. Linton remains obstinately mired in his ignorance, and has either failed to comprehend what he has been told or has chosen to consciously resist leaning anything new.

What to do, what to do? I fear we must despair of bringing light and air into the cramped, dank prison of Linton's mind. The best we can do is make sure that no unsuspecting websurfer might chance upon some lunatic assertion of his and not find right next to it a clearheaded refutation.

Crude said...

The best we can do is make sure that no unsuspecting websurfer might chance upon some lunatic assertion of his and not find right next to it a clearheaded refutation.

I humbly suggest that the average websurfer who wasn't a Cultist of Gnu and therefore going to defend him out of a sense of tribe would, unless they were incredibly stupid, just regard him as a sad man or an obvious fool. And if they're incredibly stupid, what are the odds they're going to identify a refutation when they see it? Zach thinks, or at least pretends to think, he refuted Loftus. Do you think getting him to realize that no, for as bad as Loftus' argument was he didn't scratch it, can be reasonably had through discussion?

Like I said: it's a waste of time. And all it does is feed the ego of a sad, lonely Australian man.

I agree with the desire to educate people. But I'd like to spend my time more wisely when it comes to that front. Maybe others see value in it, but c'mon. Of all the people to answer on the internet, we choose intellectually dishonest nobodies?

I'll see how I'll be approaching this come New Years.

Crude said...

Anyway, two more for our watchful host.

The Cult of Gnu pretends to love science. So when an actual Nobel-level scientist disses Dawkins, some heads will turn.

Oh, by the way? Higgs thinks religion and science are compatible:

In the El Mundo interview, Higgs argued that although he was not a believer, he thought science and religion were not incompatible. "The growth of our understanding of the world through science weakens some of the motivation which makes people believers. But that's not the same thing as saying they're incompatible. It's just that I think some of the traditional reasons for belief, going back thousands of years, are rather undermined.

"But that doesn't end the whole thing. Anybody who is a convinced but not a dogmatic believer can continue to hold his belief. It means I think you have to be rather more careful about the whole debate between science and religion than some people have been in the past."

He said a lot of scientists in his field were religious believers. "I don't happen to be one myself, but maybe that's just more a matter of my family background than that there's any fundamental difficulty about reconciling the two."


Countdown to being told that Higgs is a terrible scientist who doesn't understand science or religion or both in 5, 4...

Meanwhile, another atheist at Discover Magazine criticizes atheist fundamentalism.

I think that intolerance may also be considered an enemy of democracy. Fundamentalism, whatever its guise, is certainly the antithesis of science.

Of course, that's in a piece strongly implying that the Cult of Gnu are just another variety of fundamentalist. Which, then, would make them rather anti-science at that.

The Cult of Gnu: even atheists are ****ing sick of them.

B. Prokop said...

And meanwhile on the political front, George F. Will, who describes himself as a "none" (which I assume in his case means "agnostic"), just gave a speech at Princeton in which he maintained that religion is bedrock essential to a healthy society, and pointed to "post-Christian" Europe as an example of continental suicide in progress.

Just listened to the talk on C-SPAN.

Papalinton said...

Ben
"Anything you would detect by definition would be a natural phenomena. You are making a category mistake because of your willed philosophical illiteracy."

How do you detect an unnatural phenomenon, pray tell? The world is listening.

Chirp, chirp.

B. Prokop said...

"How do you detect a [super]natural phenomenon, pray tell? The world is listening."

Simple - you don't. It detects you. And yes, the world is very much listening. It's you who's plugged up his ears, lest he hear anything.

(Sorry, Crude. I couldn't resist such an easy target.)

Crude said...

(Sorry, Crude. I couldn't resist such an easy target.)

Haha, don't apologize. As if I'm a good example here. I ignore Linton easily, but I've given Zach and others more attention than they deserve.

Interesting regarding George Will. I'll have to check that out, see if there's value in the talk.

B. Prokop said...

You can find the George F. Will talk here:

http://www.c-span.org/Events/Conversation-with-George-Will-on-Religion-in-Politics/10737436348/

The location was Washington University, not Princeton. He talked so much about Princeton that it got stuck in my brain.

(Someday I'm going to have to learn how to make hyperlinks.)

Papalinton said...

Epistemically, how do you tell the difference between a god [immaterial or imagined] and a faery at the bottom of the garden [immaterial or imagined]?

Every dictionary and higher institution[Stanford, Routledge, Miriam-Webster, Britannica, Pantheon-Yale] defines epistemology as 'a branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge'.

The CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: defines Epistemology as 'that branch of philosophy which is concerned with the value of human knowledge.' [My bolding]
www.newadvent.org › Catholic Encyclopedia. See HERE

Contrast this with the Stanford [and universally acknowledged] definition. See HERE

So when epistemology is invoked, the catholics have their own very special and exclusive version or interpretation, wholly at odds with the rest of the world. And of course, value is in the eye of the beholder [One man's meat is another's poison]. So when catholics talk of epistemology they talk a strange and very different language [one might even characterise it as 'speaking in tongue'.] They mean 'value', not the truth or otherwise of human knowledge [And as we all know, there is even value in a placebo, a wholly-owned derivative of self-delusion]. Therefore, the epistemic value placed on biblical knowledge by the magisterium, to a catholic, is no different to the epistemic value a mythicist places on the Egyptian 'Book of the Dead', or the Sumerian story of the flood of Gilgamesh, regardless of the truth or otherwise of the knowledge contained therein. The droll stories of Grimm's Fairy Tales comes to mind when musing on the bible anthology. Both are epistemically equivalent, in terms of value; didactic, instructive, informative, pedagogic, and moralistic.


Papalinton said...

PapaL:
"How do you detect a [super/un]natural phenomenon, pray tell? The world is listening."

Bob:
"Simple - you don't. It detects you. And yes, the world is very much listening. It's you who's plugged up his ears, lest he hear anything."

PapaL: So, thrown in the towel. Give up. Just let it find you. "It detects you" - unhinged teleology gone rampant, agency detection gone feral.

As Paul Henri Thiry, French philosopher and encyclopaederiste, notes:

"Theology is but the ignorance of natural causes reduced to a system."

And this is becoming more and more evident as society moves forward.

Zach said...

Crude I'm glad that reading my comments at my blog helped you understand my argument. People with even rudimentary understanding of these debates know that God doesn't stop evil human acts because it curtails free will. Good thing you kept reading, so you hopefully learned something.

Keep posting questions you'll get it!

Hope that helps.

Zach said...

Papalinton you did not read beyond the first sentence of the entry at the Catholic Encyclopedia. I would appreciate if you admit this, so I can determine if you are even an honest man.

I know this because I am quite familiar with the manuscript, and the entry makes clear they focus not just on the value of human knowledge, but its nature, acquisition, and typology. It is a little bit dated (published in 1912), yes, but well above your antics.

If you must squat and excrete such low-quality shit, perhaps don't do it in these blog comments in front of everyone. It is embarrassing for you. Seriously. Do your homework, and then you are welcome to come back and talk with the adults.

BenYachov said...

>How do you detect an unnatural phenomenon, pray tell? The world is listening.

This still assumes Positivism.

How do you know Positivism itself is true using scientific detection?

Chirp, chirp.

Crude writes:
>Because this isn't about learning. He probably doesn't believe half the things he says, Ben. He demonstrably will attack things he knows nothing about, he'll lie about what he understands.

I believe that is what caused Feser to kick him out that and making some phoney attack on Ed's character that was obviously wrong.

Geez then people act surprised when I start cursing out Gnus.

Look what I have to work with.

>How do you detect an unnatural phenomenon, pray tell?

It's like challenging a Fundamentalist to show you where Sola Scriptura is taught in the Bible & having him respond by challenging you to show him where the Bible explicitly teaches the Immaculate Conception thus assuming a Sola Scriptura interpretation as a starting point.

Paps you have to prove Positivism true. Either do the impossible and show us how it can be proven scientifically or make a philosophical argument and sort out the incoherence.

You can't just assume it as a given and attack my position.

Of course if you learned philosophy you might be able to learn how to be an Atheist without Positivism.

But that requires a desire to learn over the desire to be a schmuck.

Oy Vey!

Crude said...

Crude I'm glad that reading my comments at my blog helped you understand my argument.

It helped me understand why you frantically avoid actually offering arguments when pressed: because when you do, you embarrass yourself. ;)

As usual, Zachary quivers and bitches when his inanity is shown.

People with even rudimentary understanding of these debates know that God doesn't stop evil human acts because it curtails free will.

It's a damn pity your post didn't mention free will once. You said 'Duh, God didn't do dat, ko-rup-tid humans did' and 'da-hurp, there'd be like a lot more mass shootings if naturalism were true!' Neither of which touched Loftus' OP.

Yes, Loftus' argument is inane. It IS easy to shoot down. But you didn't manage that at all. And hey, newsflash: saying after the fact "umm, err, uhh FREE WILL" doesn't save your OP, or make you look more competent.

You went up against Loftus, and smashed your face against his fist. I'd say knock it off, but really, either you're just an idiot wannabe-apologist who's immune from learning, or you're an atheist trying to make theists look bad by giving lousy arguments with confidence. Either way, the odds of you learning your lesson despite repeatedly being exposed as an idiot are low.

As I said: goddamn waste of time here.

Papalinton said...

Zach

Yes, Zach, This catholic definition is peppered with theistic claptrap that relegates theology to mere laughing stock, a goldmine for comedians and satirists. I would not have been able to appreciate the enormous influence on the catholic cult of primeval superstition and to alert the differences from the conventional academic and scholastic definition of the word, 'epistemology', had I not read the document.

This entry is no more than an apologetical exercise existentially focussed in attempting to shore up the ever increasing irrelevance of catholic hegemony in contemporary society: "The Fathers of the Church are occupied chiefly in defending Christian dogmas, ..." whether they be shitcakes to eat or the cannibalistic cracker and wine ritual.

Zach, you need to sit down with a cup of coffee and compare the two definitions, the catholic one and the Stanford one. It is as if there is a religiously-derived epistemology for god-woo-woo and an epistemology for everything else we call human knowledge.

Epistemology, as defined by the catholic dictionary, is anything, no matter what, so long as it perpetuates the Yahweh memeplex and values the house of cards it lives in.

B. Prokop said...

"So, thrown in the towel. Give up. Just let it find you."

Is it "throwing in the towel" if, when asked why water doesn't flow uphill, one responds, "Because of Gravity"?

I just gave you a succinct exposition of The Way Things Are, and you object to reality. To use your own expression, no amount of wishful thinking is going to change the relationship between God and His creation.

In an admittedly flawed analogy, we are like characters within a play, and the supernatural is the Playwright. Whatever we can detect within the play is part of the play - we cannot see the Playwright unless He decides to enter the play Himself (which, by the way, He actually did, 2000 years ago).

No towel throwing here, just telling it like it is.

B. Prokop said...

Crude, Ben, et.al.,

Since last summer I've been doing something I've always wanted to do, but never gotten around to, which is to read every word of the King James Bible in order, end to end. (My normally-used translation is the RSV/CE.) Well, I just got through Proverbs, and what should I read? The following:

"Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words."
(Proverbs 23:9)

It got me to thinking, in light of recent exchanges (see above). Perhaps it's time for a Paps Challenge, Part deux? I for one will make it one of my New Year's Resolutions.

Another will be Internet-free Sundays. I also resolve to maintain a relentlessly positive tone on this website. And I want you guys to call me out if/when ever I break this one. (Correcting or refuting error is not going negative, depending on how it's done.)

Papalinton said...

"Is it "throwing in the towel" if, when asked why water doesn't flow uphill, one responds, "Because of Gravity"?"

Sorry, Bob, this comment makes no sense at all. You and I both agree that gravity prevents water flowing uphill. In fact we can work together to test it, prove it, and repeat it with unerring consistency and accuracy that water indeed does not run uphill. What would be a miracle is if we didn't come up with the exact same results.

But this is not what your are attempting to pull off here. By any reasonable, logical and commonsensical understanding, a miracle is in fact akin to water running uphill, an act, process or condition defying gravity.

Here are some real-life, real-time contemporary miracles. Bob, tell me your catholic thoughts on the reality of these miracles, HERE. Was THIS the right call to action by the millions of catholics? And was EXILE a befitting response?

He has spurned an offer from a senior Indian Catholic bishop to apologise for the exposure of the "miracle".
"The Catholic archbishop of Bombay, Oswald, Cardinal Gracias, has said that if I apologise for the 'offence' I have caused he will see to it that the charges are dropped. This shows that he has influence in the situation but he will not use it unless I apologise, which I will not do as I have done nothing wrong," he said.
SEE here.

Catholic justice on show to the world. I just love catholic justice, don't you? Particularly as it seeks to protect a weeping jesust. When will all this bronze-age madness end? Enough already.

Bob, once you accept miracles as The Way things Are, you don't get the right to chose and personally select what is or what isn't a miracle. To do so opens up miracles as nothing more than personal proclivity.

To accept miracles is to relinquish rationality and reason to primitive superstition.
And that is a shame and a disappointment.

BenYachov said...

>It got me to thinking, in light of recent exchanges (see above). Perhaps it's time for a Paps Challenge, Part deux? I for one will make it one of my New Year's Resolutions.

Yeh that's good idea. He just repeats the same crap over and over.

He is not learning.

BenYachov said...

Just one last shot.

Paps as usual you are a hypocrite.

>Here are some real-life, real-time contemporary miracles. Bob, tell me your catholic thoughts on the reality of these miracles, HERE. Was THIS the right call to action by the millions of catholics? And was EXILE a befitting response?

Paps there is no religious liberty in India. Even Christians technically in some places can be arrested for trying to convert Hindus to Christianity. Also Hindu fanatics have tried to force Hindu converts to Christianity to change back to Hinduism.

Sanal Edamaruku it is my understanding didn't merely expose this phony miracle but used the opportunity to attack the truth of all religion and that offended the locals in the process. Further more there is no evidence the Vatican authenticated or approved this "miracle". Indeed there are whole sections of the Vatican Library documenting phony miracles the Holy Office exposed.

I see no difference between the way India treats this Atheist loud mouth vs the way Great Britain treats Christians who merely preach gay sex is a sin.

http://blog.speakupmovement.org/church/religious-freedom/video-surfaces-of-christian-preacher-being-arrested-for-saying-homosexual-behavior-is-a-sin/

If Sanal Edamaruku & his ilk ever get into power I could be sent to jail for merely suggesting having sex with someone who is the same gender is a sin.

Where is Richard Dawkins' outrage here? The man had no problem signing a petition calling for the outlawing of parents teaching religion to their minor children.

Granted when the content of the petition was brought to his attention he did an about face. But still it shows either he is either disingenuous or clueless.

Perhaps both.

Paps we all know you don't give a shit about sexual abuse of children unless a Priest does it. Public School teachers (your ilk) can do it with impunity. You support people who believe teaching children about Hell is worst than sex abuse.

Also what do you care about freedom of conscience? You support President Obama forcing Catholics to buy Birth Control for their employees and I have no doubt you would put any of us in jail for merely preaching the Gospel.

I am civilized unlike your average Gnu. I don't support any Blasphemy laws & I would not want Sanal Edamaruku thrown in jail for merely being an opportunistic dick. But I know he & his Gnu ilk don't extend me & my brethren the same courtesy.

Papalinton said...

"Further more there is no evidence the Vatican authenticated or approved this "miracle". Indeed there are whole sections of the Vatican Library documenting phony miracles the Holy Office exposed."

And the Vatican would know the difference? Phony miracles vs real miracles? What a joke. And we're into the 21stC and this utter claptrap persists.

"Theology is but the ignorance of natural causes reduced to a system." Paul Henry Thiry, French philosopher and encyclopaederiste. How apt Thiry's poignant statement.

[Expert panel on miracle in the Vatican. Chairman: "OK! Time to vote. Hands up those who believe this account to be a true miracle?" "Carried".]

Pull the other leg, Ben. It plays 'Jingle Bells'.




BenYachov said...

>And the Vatican would know the difference?

Naturally of course to expect you to know the difference and go beyond your fundamentalism & hypocrisy is too much to ask.

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

I know Christians love to think they are the victims of persecution, but your accusation about Sanal Edamaruku seems to have gotten things completely backwards. He was accused of blasphemy. I'm not aware of any statement he (or any atheist, except perhaps in China) has made in support of laws against Christians expressing their beliefs. The arrest of Mcalpine in Britain was for rabble-rousing with hate speech, not for expressing his religious beliefs.

You may imagine a world like the one envisioned by Larry Burkett, where the poor, innocent Christians are thrown into concentration camps, and the Gay Police roam the streets imposing their lifestyle on everyone. But that is more projection than reality.

If the day ever comes that Christians in the USA enjoy fewer rights and privileges than atheists then you might have a legitimate complaint. But we are a long way from anything like that, and I see no sign that we are headed in that direction, so I think you don't really have much to worry about.

B. Prokop said...

"If the day ever comes that Christians in the USA enjoy fewer rights and privileges than atheists"

Are you implying that atheists today have fewer rights and privileges than Christians? If so, in what way?

im-skeptical said...

Bob,

There are laws against atheists holding various public offices. There are numerous restrictions against atheists becoming members of various organizations, living in certain places, participating in certain activities. Discrimination against atheists is rampant - to the point that many of them choose to remain "in the closet". Atheists in the military services can suffer severe repercussions in their careers, etc.

Discrimination against atheists is real, unlike the fake problems cited by Ben.

B. Prokop said...

" various public offices ... various organizations ... certain places ... certain activities"

Awfully vague there. Could you give some examples?

im-skeptical said...

Here's a starter:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination_against_atheists

See the section labeled "United States".

Plenty of documented stuff you can find with Google.

Aside from these things, discrimination is a daily fact of life for many, if not most atheists. We are hesitant to openly proclaim what we believe because we never know what kind of reaction it will elicit. Social rejection? Loss of employment?

B. Prokop said...

Boy, if that's all you've got, then discrimination against atheists is pretty much non-existent in the USA. Provisions in 6 (southern) state constitutions which even the article points out haven't been enforced since the 19th Century, and which (since they are contradictory to the US constitution) wouldn't hold up to the tiniest legal challenge. I'd wager that the only reason they haven't been challenged is that you actually need a plaintiff to bring a case before the Supreme Court, and if no one has used these provisions, then there's no case!

As to people not wanting to vote for an atheist... well, it's the right of a voter to decide what criteria he wishes to use to make his choice. I know people who would never ever vote for a pro-choice candidate, due to their pro-life views. Does that mean they are being discriminatory against people who are pro-choice? By no means! I know others who would never vote for a candidate advocating stricter gun laws. Are they being discriminatory? Of course not! (I myself can't stand single issue voting, but there are a lot of people who think otherwise.)

Sorry if I'm not sympathetic, but I'm not. I see no legal discrimination here, and even the site you pointed me to shows none in the USA.

im-skeptical said...

"Discrimination against atheists in the United States occurs in legal, personal, social, and professional contexts." OK, If you think it's nothing, you just might be part of the problem. You sound just like those white guys who insist that racial discrimination is non-existent in today's American society. I say it's real, and it affects many people.

When a judge like James Deweese insists on displaying his religious beliefs in his courtroom, what kind of message is he sending to an atheist that may come before him in court? How many military careers have been snuffed because of religious discrimination (against atheists)? Why is an openly discriminatory organization like the Boy Scouts allowed to receive so much publicly funded support?

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skpetical,

When a judge like James Deweese insists on displaying his religious beliefs in his courtroom, what kind of message is he sending to an atheist that may come before him in court?

James Deweese's actions are covered under the First Amendment, you don't exactly loose the right to free speech just because you hold a public office. However, the right to pretend something you don't like exists or the right to ignore the fact that the majority of the people in this country rejects your beliefs and values are not touched upon in the Bill of Rights.

And judging by the evidence you have presented, I don't think you have a real good idea of what discrimination and persecution really are.

im-skeptical said...

Karl,

"And judging by the evidence you have presented, I don't think you have a real good idea of what discrimination and persecution really are."

OK. So Ben says: "If Sanal Edamaruku & his ilk ever get into power I could be sent to jail for merely suggesting having sex with someone who is the same gender is a sin." That's what he sees as persecution despite the fact that it is utterly unfounded, and you agree with him, I suppose?

But I point out that you can easily find articles like this:

http://atheism.about.com/od/attacksonatheism/p/AtheistBigotry.htm

and I'm the one who has failed to present any evidence. This discussion isn't about metaphysics, where you can make up anything you like and believe whatever you want. It's about facts.

BenYachov said...

>I know Christians love to think they are the victims of persecution, but your accusation about Sanal Edamaruku seems to have gotten things completely backwards. He was accused of blasphemy.

Yes because he also exposed some phony Hindu so called miracle and attacked the Hindu faith. Like I said freedom of religion doesn't exist in India. Also it doesn't exist in England either since I can be arrested there for blasphemy against homosexuality. I prefer freedom. Your PC lefty atheists friends are complicit.

>I'm not aware of any statement he (or any atheist, except perhaps in China) has made in support of laws against Christians expressing their beliefs.

Im-skeptical it has been documented here before the New Atheists believe it is child abuse to teach children about religion & the doctrine of Hell. Dawkins in particular. It is a fact among them there was circulated a petition to outlaw parents teaching their underage children religion. Dawkins signed it. Yeh when called on it he claims he didn't really know what it was about & said he wanted his name taken off but that just shows he like you are willing to stick your head in the sand in regards to the fascists among you or at worst he really believes that nonsense.


>You may imagine a world like the one envisioned by Larry Burkett, where the poor, innocent Christians are thrown into concentration camps, and the Gay Police roam the streets imposing their lifestyle on everyone. But that is more projection than reality.

Rather it seems to me you live in a fantasy world where the political New Atheist movement is all sweetness and light. I have long ago given up such delusions about my own Church. There are lunatic Radical Traditionalist "Catholics" who are anti-Semitic and believe the State should not tolerate Freedom of Religion and they dissent from Vatican II's clear teaching on the subject. They not only enforce YEC but even neo-geocentricism. They are nuts and they have infected legitimize Traditionalism and Catholic orthodoxy. I have fought them most of my adult life. Why? I love the Church and I know
human nature is fallen. I don't want them to harm a the cause I so dearly love with their nonsense. If you can't see there are lunatics in your own ranks and sometimes the leaders turn a blind eye to it then I can't help you. Clearly you don't love your Atheism as much as I love my church.


>If the day ever comes that Christians in the USA enjoy fewer rights and privileges than atheists then you might have a legitimate complaint. But we are a long way from anything like that, and I see no sign that we are headed in that direction, so I think you don't really have much to worry about.

That is comically blind. As a faithful Catholic I can't (unless the Supreme Court does the right thing) own a big business. If I did I must buy or provide birth control and abortifaciants for my employees. I can't do that and be a faithful Catholic so I can't own a big business. So I have plenty to worry about.

BenYachov said...

>The arrest of Mcalpine in Britain was for rabble-rousing with hate speech, not for expressing his religious beliefs.

Blacks who march in the South during the 50's and 60's for their rights where arrested for "rabble-rousing".

I saw the video and read the other links. There appears nothing about this man to suggest he is the British version of Fred Phelpes.

You are not making the case. I would vote for SE Cupp or Greg Gutfeld or John Stossel or any politically conservative Atheist like them any day of the week.

They would respect my right to be Catholic unlike the Gnus. I wouldn't vote for a "Pro-Choice" extremist theist nor would I ever vote for a Radtrad.

But I try to put reason above tribalism.

Your friend Paps whom I was answering doesn't get that since he sees Atheism as merely politics.

You would do well not to imitate him. It would make you more credible.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

That's what he sees as persecution despite the fact that it is utterly unfounded, and you agree with him, I suppose?

Is that supposed to trap me or something? In case you haven't been paying attention I don't exactly agree with Ben on a lot of things. I view that statement from Ben as being on the same level as what you are saying right now.

and I'm the one who has failed to present any evidence. This discussion isn't about metaphysics, where you can make up anything you like and believe whatever you want. It's about facts.

Then why are you citing articles that make things up. Like, to take one statement from the article you linked, No atheist is likely to be elected on any level anywhere in America and no politicians are likely to specifically appeal to atheists’ votes by defending their interests. Now if I were to point out that there are elected atheists politicians, like Pete Stark or Kyrsten Sinema, this statement would be shown to be a load of crap wouldn't it?

Also why is Atheists are Discriminated Against in Families on this list? Do you honestly think your parents or brothers or whatever disapproving of your beliefs and choices is a discrimination and persecution? If you went by that standard every kid, especially every teenager, is discriminated against and persecuted.

I am sorry, but I am not very convinced.

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

> That's what he sees as persecution despite the fact that it is utterly unfounded, and you agree with him, I suppose?

How do you know it's unfounded? Do you read Christian sites on persecution? Or if you do and they document some persecution here or abroad do you merely dismiss it as bias or "rabble-rousing" but not persecution per say?

>and I'm the one who has failed to present any evidence. This discussion isn't about metaphysics, where you can make up anything you like and believe whatever you want. It's about facts.


I read the CATHOLIC LEAGUE'S website everyday. Militant New Atheists have not be nice to Catholics or their rights.

I can cite websites too but you would merely dismiss them because they are Christian.

I OTOH don't dismiss what is being done to Sanal Edamaruku & that it is wrong. Yeh he comes off as a Jerk but he has a right to be one and Phony miracles don't help faith. I supported E Michael Jones opposition to Mejagorie(Till he turned into a Radtrad).

Im-skeptical if you can't be your name towards your own them what earthly good are you? Just saying.

Happy new year & Peace.

BenYachov said...

>Is that supposed to trap me or something? In case you haven't been paying attention I don't exactly agree with Ben on a lot of things. I view that statement from Ben as being on the same level as what you are saying right now.

All right then. Too be fair I have no direct evidence that Sanal Edamaruku himself would approve of arresting Pastors on the streets of England for telling people gay sex is a sin. Nor do I have any evidence he would support such laws other then some of the people who support him might think that way.

But my general point against Paps stands.

im-skeptical said...

"Now if I were to point out that there are elected atheists politicians, like Pete Stark or Kyrsten Sinema, this statement would be shown to be a load of crap wouldn't it?"

Actually, no. Despite the fact that only recently a very small number of atheists have been elected to office, the statement remains essentially true, albeit a bit dated. It is certainly not a load of crap, as you say. Polls have shown that atheists are generally reviled by voters.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism

But it appears that no matter what I show you, you will insist that it's all made-up crap. So there's not much point in it. I give up.

Ben,

"it seems to me you live in a fantasy world where the political New Atheist movement is all sweetness and light."

I don't consider myself to be a new atheist (or any other particular brand of atheist). I don't affiliate with any tribe, cult or group that you can name. But I never heard Sanal Edamaruku say anything to the effect that he would curtail anyone's rights, so why are you accusing him of that?

Of course you would bring up healthcare as an example of how you are being persecuted. Employers have to comply with standards in the healthcare they provide to employees. The fact that they can't impose their own religious beliefs on their employees does not constitute a curtailment of their or your rights. If that were the case, they should be allowed to deny vaccinations, or any kind of medical services at all, based on their personal religious bent. Sorry, this is not persecution.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

Despite the fact that only recently a very small number of atheists have been elected to office, the statement remains essentially true, albeit a bit dated.

So the existence of elected atheists officials on different levels of government does not damage the statement No atheist is likely to be elected on any level anywhere in America? I am starting to think you have a persecution complex. And of course the numbers of atheists being elected are small, atheists only make up a small portion of the US's population.

Polls have shown that atheists are generally reviled by voters.

Really? I can't imagine why considering your self-appointed public spokesman such PZ Meyers, the late Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins are such nice, compassionate and tolerant people who would never think of publicly and repeatedly insulting or belittling people who believe in something they don't.

You know, if a group you belong to is generally despised, maybe you should ask why that is and what could be done to correct it.

But it appears that no matter what I show you, you will insist that it's all made-up crap.

So because I don't automatically agree with your statements or find the evidence presented convincing I am close minded? For somebody with the handle I'm Skeptical, you don't exactly handle skepticism very well.

ingx24 said...

http://subversivethinking.blogspot.com/2013/01/richard-carrier-on-social-outcasting-of.html

Thought this might be relevant.

B. Prokop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
B. Prokop said...

"Polls have shown that atheists are generally reviled by voters."

Whether or not that statement is true is irrelevant to the fact that it is not persecution to do so. Voters have a constitutional right to hold whatever opinion they please about a candidate. Are you now going to join the ranks of the thought police, and demand that unless everyone thinks exactly as you do, then they are "persecuting" you?

You have no case here. You made the claim that atheists were not allowed to live in "certain places" - presumably in the USA. Kindly name one of these places.

And PLEASE don't bring up some foreign location. Absolutely everybody is genuinely persecuted somewhere on the globe, to include atheists, Christians, the Falun Gong, homosexuals, gum chewers, and the left handed. I won't argue with that.

BenYachov said...

>Of course you would bring up healthcare as an example of how you are being persecuted. Employers have to comply with standards in the healthcare they provide to employees. The fact that they can't impose their own religious beliefs on their employees does not constitute a curtailment of their or your rights. If that were the case, they should be allowed to deny vaccinations, or any kind of medical services at all, based on their personal religious bent. Sorry, this is not persecution.

Excuse me but it is your ilk who are forcing me to buy the birth control which you can easily afford to buy yourself. Therefore it is clearly you who are forcing your beliefs on me. I can morally deny any coverage I want. If you don't like it seek employment elsewhere. That is freedom which New Atheists & leftists like yourself clearly hate. I OTOH can't stop you from buying whatever insurance riders you want to add to the healthcare I provide with your own money. Which is how it should be in a free society not run by New Atheists & left wing fascists.

Indeed I can deny you all healthcare by just hiring you part time. So Catholics can't have full time employees or provide healthcare unless Gnus like yourself can force us to buy or provide birth control they can provide themselves.

Dude I could mortally sin against my church today & go down to the store and buy a condom and use it(not that I want too). I don't consider myself un-free if I can't force my more pius brother to buy it for me against his will.

Why do you advocate fascism? That's unAmerican.

>I don't consider myself to be a new atheist (or any other particular brand of atheist). I don't affiliate with any tribe, cult or group that you can name. But I never heard Sanal Edamaruku say anything to the effect that he would curtail anyone's rights, so why are you accusing him of that?

So you don't know anything about it yet you are busting my chops? That seems pretty tribal if you ask me.

B. Prokop said...

Ben,

I don't quite see the mandate thing the same way that you do. There are things in the federal budget that will offend everybody, but that doesn't excuse people from paying their taxes. I was 100% opposed to the war in Iraq, but I had no right to deduct my share of its financial support from my federal tax liability. On a state level, I was 100% opposed to using state revenues to build a new football stadium in Baltimore (which they did), but I was still obligated to pay my full share of state taxes.

This is why we have a representative democracy. You may not always like what's been decided, but the system is (theoretically) correctable.

That said, I applaud your championing of your opinion in the health care matter. If you get enough people to agree with you (and you manage to defeat the corporate interests who will bribe... er, excuse me... contribute to our representatives), then your view will prevail.

im-skeptical said...

Karl,

"So the existence of elected atheists officials on different levels of government does not damage the statement ..."

No. Atheists are still unlikely to be elected.

"You know, if a group you belong to is generally despised, maybe you should ask why that is and what could be done to correct it."

Not because of Meyers et al, who most people have never heard of. The real reason may not be well documented, but I suspect bigotry plays a significant role.

"For somebody with the handle I'm Skeptical, you don't exactly handle skepticism very well."

Skepticism is all about putting facts ahead of beliefs and biases. I show you facts, you don't buy it. What more can I do?

Bob,

I never said I was being persecuted. Persecution appears to be the complaint made by Christians. I pointed out that Christians still enjoy more rights and privileges than atheists in the USA. Of course, nobody here believes it, because they think they are the ones who are persecuted, despite any factual evidence.

ben,

"Excuse me but it is your ilk who are forcing me to buy the birth control which you can easily afford to buy yourself."

Tell me, Ben, how much are you paying for this birth control you claim that you are forced to buy?

"Why do you advocate fascism? That's unAmerican."

I advocate people having access to healthcare services that meet their needs and isn't subject to the whims and superstitions of their employers.

"So you don't know anything about it yet you are busting my chops?"

If Sanal Edamaruku has made such statements, please tell me about it. I was unsuccessful in finding them when I searched.

B. Prokop said...

I very much challenge the notion that the government is persecuting either atheists or Christians in the USA. There is mild governmental anti-Christian bias and pro-atheist bias in the UK, but it probably falls short of any reasonable definition of persecution.

However, persecution of Christians in other parts of the world is widespread and undeniable - churches being firebombed in Nigeria, clergy gunned down in Yemen, believers massacred in India, Pakistan, and throughout the Middle East. Converting to Christianity in most Muslim countries is a capital crime. Even foreign nationals cannot bring a Bible into Saudi Arabia for their personal use. And don't get me started on the wonderful climate of religious tolerance in atheist China or North Korea!

No, the most atheists have to complain about is that some people don't approve of their (non)beliefs. Boo hoo. Personally, I have zero toleration for any sort of discrimination, but that doesn't mean I have to approve of everyone's views. I regard Mormons, Muslims, Scientologists, and atheists as being equally mistaken in their beliefs/views/outlook/mindset whatever you want to call it.

im-skeptical said...

Bob,

I agree with your statement about persecution in the USA. The other places you describe are Muslim countries, where it is indeed dangerous to be a Christian, and equally so to be an atheist.

And I was not crying about the treatment of atheists in the USA. I was trying to point out to Ben (who apparently believes he is being persecuted as a Christian) that Christians generally have it better than atheists in this country. I believe that is true by any objective measure, even given the laws we have about employer-sponsored healthcare. So you may wish to offer your boo-hoos to him.

B. Prokop said...

Fair 'nuff.

Papalinton said...

Victor, will you be honest enough to publish Loftus's response to Torley as an OP on this site? In case you missed it, conveniently or otherwise, HERE it is.

Wouldn't want to think your intentions are somewhat skewed, would we?.

B. Prokop said...

Oh, Victor, please do! Everyone should read Loftus's unbelievably callous statement: "My view is that when the wound is fresh then is the time to apply the medicine, not later. ... What I wrote was medicinal." How unhumanly cold is this person! Here we have fellow human beings grieving in the worst possible circumstances imaginable, and Loftus can only think of using their pain as a springboard for converting them to his (dis)beliefs. Now I know why C.S. Lewis termed the Devil the "Unman".

Beyond amazing.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

No. Atheists are still unlikely to be elected.

I'm unlikely to be elected to public office, is that proof of discrimination against me? I don't think so and as Bob said, it's the right of a voter to decide what criteria he wishes to use to make his choice. And the fact that atheists can be, and have been, shows that there is no real discrimination here. Now, if you were to provide a recent example of an atheist trying to run for public office in the USA and getting a police truncheon smashed into his face for his troubles you might have something.

Not because of Meyers et al, who most people have never heard of. The real reason may not be well documented, but I suspect bigotry plays a significant role.

You suspect bigotry plays a significant role? Bigotry does play a role but bigotry doesn't just spring out of thin air either. And it's not just Meyers I listed, pretty much every public atheist spokesperson for the past two decades has held religious believers in contempt, publicly mocking and ridiculing them. Hell, for the longest time in America the public face of Atheism was Madalyn Murray O'Hair, who was a thoroughly unpleasant woman.

Or look at the internet, look at how the typical internet atheist acts. Look at this very site, a good third or more of the atheist commenters on this site, Paps and Being Itself immediately spring to mind, who come here just to insult people who believe in something they don't. You don't think any of this plays a role in public distrust and dislike of atheists? You don't think being constantly ridiculed and insulted by atheists might make some people a little bit bigoted towards atheists in general?

Skepticism is all about putting facts ahead of beliefs and biases. I show you facts, you don't buy it. What more can I do?

You showed me a few articles that are big on vague generalizations and sparse with concrete facts. Your little atheism.about.com didn't exactly have much in the way of professional references or links to scholarly works, to say nothing of newspaper articles, on the subject. Try again.

BenYachov said...

@Bob

>I don't quite see the mandate thing the same way that you do. There are things in the federal budget that will offend everybody, but that doesn't excuse people from paying their taxes. I was 100% opposed to the war in Iraq, but I had no right to deduct my share of its financial support from my federal tax liability.

Sorry no Bob you are wrong. We owe tax to the government the same way we owe wages to our workers. If I know for certain my worker is going to use the wage I pay him to let us say buy pornography well I can't morally refrain from paying him. Nor can I morally refrain from paying taxes even if the Government uses the money to buy abortions and birth control(exluding me as their middle man). Jesus & Paul wanted us to pay taxes too the Emperor even though the money went to support idolatrious Temple worship. But there is a moral difference between that vs being told we must offer Incense to worship the Emperor or participate in pagan worship. Likewise there is a moral difference between paying taxes vs being forced directly by the Government to participate in providing drugs that pervert the sex act or kill the unborn. If Obama gave you an abortifacian and ordered you to give it to a girl who wanted to kill her baby would you comply?

It is a mortal sin to use artifical contraception or to directly help someone to do so. It is a direct material participation in evil thus mortal sin.

I'm afraid you have no change to win this argument. Philosophy, Moral Theology and common sense are on my side. Thems the breaks buddy.

The bishops already said Catholic cannot obey this order. If it comes to it they will order us to defy the government. I will obey. The government has no right to throw away the 1st amendment like this.

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

You never answered my question. How much does it cost you?

B. Prokop said...

Well, Ben, it appears we've laid out our differing opinions rather clearly.

(By the way, I believe it's rather bad form to threaten the opposing side in a discussion with eternal damnation... just sayin'.)

BenYachov said...

@im-skeptical

>Tell me, Ben, how much are you paying for this birth control you claim that you are forced to buy?

What a silly question! I might as well ask "Are you running for office and who is refusing to vote for you"?

God says at the Last Judgement in the Bible "Whatever you do to the least of my brothers you also do unto me".

That is why a rational Atheist(or any human being) feels for that Indian Atheist dude and I feel for my brothers who are losing their right to do business in America.

>I advocate people having access to healthcare services that meet their needs and isn't subject to the whims and superstitions of their employers.

How are they being denied that? The money I save buying you birth control I can give you in salary and you can use it to buy a very cheap rider. Do your own mortal sinning. Leave me out of it. Geez are you going to say without me buying it for you that you can't get it yourself? Do you want me to wipe your back side after you go to the bathroom too?

Not going to happen.

>If Sanal Edamaruku has made such statements, please tell me about it. I was unsuccessful in finding them when I searched.

Read what I said to Karl you are not only beating a dead horse but the wrong dead horse.

>I was trying to point out to Ben (who apparently believes he is being persecuted as a Christian) that Christians generally have it better than atheists in this country.

You are equivocating between militant Gnus Atheists being disliked socially vs legal oppression. I love Gutfield and SE Cupp. Myers and Dawkins can suck it.

There are laws on the books punishing people who try to force you to pray. But I can be forced to buy birth control where as before they bought it themselves.

>I believe that is true by any objective measure, even given the laws we have about employer-sponsored healthcare.

Then make your scientific case based on a scientific model. I wasn't being scientific I was blowing off Paps. Matching his emotive argument witn one of my own.

im-skeptical said...

ingx24,

"Thought this might be relevant."

"1-Extreme arrogance and delusional, self-congratulatory and megalomanic perception of themselves: Atheists, in general, seem to have an almost delusional, unjustifiably high concept of themselves..."

Yes, we are all so much worse than the typical theist.

"2-The prima facie implausibility of atheism as a worldview: As David Hume himself argued:

The whole frame of nature bespeaks an intelligent author; and no rational enquierer can, after serious reflection, suspend his belief a moment with regard to the primary principles of genuine Theism and Religion..."

The secret is out. We all know that atheism is utterly unreasonable, but we hold that position just to piss you off.

"3-The impossibility of having solid grounds for objective moral values, moral responsability and moral accountability in atheism: I've provided sufficient irrefutable evidence for this conclusion in these posts, so I won't repeat the arguments here..."

Of course we have no morals at all. That's why we behave so much worse than you.

"4-The lack of respect for reason, logic, science and rational argumentation, despite of claiming themselves to be the champions of science and reason: Despite of atheists' claim to the contrary, for them, "science" and "reason" are only tools to justify their emotional rejection of the idea of God, an idea that they cannot accept regardless of the evidence..."

You have our number. Everything we believe is based strictly on whims and emotions. We refuse to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence of God that stares us in the face.

"5-Engaging in childish, immature behaviours and fantasies which are unworthy of serious, fully grown and sane adults: For example, you can see the "Members for the Center for Inquiry" ridiculing the figure of Jesus, making cartoons depicting a femenine Jesus painting his "nails"."

I only wish I had the intelligence, the insight, the strength of character, and the good sense to follow the example of the author of this page. Like most theists, he gets right to the truth. He takes an objective view. He examines the issues fairly from all perspectives.

So what do you say? Should I endeavor to be more like this good man?

BenYachov said...

@Bob

>(By the way, I believe it's rather bad form to threaten the opposing side in a discussion with eternal damnation... just sayin'.)

Where did I do that Bob? Near as I can tell is I called using birth control a mortal sin. Well how does that translate into saying someone will die in mortal sin?

Geez Bob calling something a sin is not threatening someone with Hell.

You know better.

ingx24 said...

For the record I'm not completely endorsing the approach taken in that blog post I linked. I linked it because I thought it might contribute to discussion. I personally am agnostic and don't really take a position regarding religion at this point (philosophy of mind is a different story).

B. Prokop said...

Jeez, Ben, can't you detect friendly banter when you see it?

Seriously, if I honestly thought another person's beliefs threatened his eternal soul, I'd be as quick as you to call him out on it.

But despite what most of the gnus on this site think, I don't believe their misguided views threaten their eternal destiny. However, in one or two cases (I won't name names here, due to my new year's resolution to not go negative), they do make them look rather stupid.

BenYachov said...

>Jeez, Ben, can't you detect friendly banter when you see it?

Then I humbly apologize to you my brother for my obtuse failure to recognize friendly banter.

Mary Pray for you & me.

Cheers brother Bob.:-)

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

No hard feelings, I hope. I have been chastised numerous times (including by you) for making flawed statements. I try to learn from these exchanges.

ingx24,

How much of that post's approach do you endorse? One nore thing about it: I was bothered by the Hume quote, because I don't think it represents what he believed. I haven't read the original source, and I'm not familiar with his works, but I believe he made his case in the form of dialogs, with both sides being presented. So if the quote was mined from such a dialog, that would be intellectually dishonest. Another quality that I should strive to emulate, I suppose.

BenYachov said...

>No hard feelings, I hope. I have been chastised numerous times (including by you) for making flawed statements. I try to learn from these exchanges.

Politically you put me off and your views on civil liberties need vast improvement.

But I've said of you in the past you at least try to understand philosophy and when you can you try to read up on it.

That puts you light years ahead of some people here who to this day refuse to read any philosophy.

So peace to you.

PS Bob is my brother in Christ yet he often puts me off politically. So there you have it.

B. Prokop said...

Ben,

That's why it's called the Catholic Church. We have the ultimate "Big Tent".