Monday, March 18, 2013

Morality without God?


           If God laid down the correct morals, and part of the morality he laid down involves giving him proper  
           worship, then atheists are going to be lacking in at least some moral categories, almost by definition.


70 comments:

im-skeptical said...

If God laid down correct morals, how would we know it?

Dr. Evangelicus said...

A. Divine revelation.

im-skeptical said...

A divine revelation such as one we've never had yet. (Note that our 'objective morality' is not really so objective, given that people can't agree what it is. So either there is no objective morality, or the revelation of it leaves something to be desired.)

BeingItself said...

Well don't stop there. There are many of Yahweh's moral "categories" where this atheist is lacking.

For example, I don't stone to death those folks that Yahweh commands that I do. I also think genocide is wrong.

Victor Reppert said...

Has God commanded me to stone someone to death? I must have missed that one.

Last time I checked, I didn't meet the moral qualifications to stone people. Sadly enough, I am not without sin.

Papalinton said...

Victor
"Has God commanded me to stone someone to death? I must have missed that one."

Now you're being a little disingenuous and somewhat obtuse with that response. You know full well what BeingItself was meaning.

Leviticus 24:13-16
New International Version (NIV)
13 Then the Lord said to Moses: 14 “Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. 15 Say to the Israelites: ‘Anyone who curses their God will be held responsible; 16 anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them. Whether foreigner or native-born, when they blaspheme the Name they are to be put to death.

And a couple other of God's explicit commands for stoning:

""If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, entices you secretly, saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods ... You shall stone him to death with stones, because he sought to draw you away from The Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." (Deuteronomy 13:6,10 RSV)

"While the people of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day ... And The Lord said to Moses, "The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp." (Numbers 15:32,35 RSV)


Whether you imagine yourself free of any obligation to obey this most heinous and odious of God's commands, you remain an enabler, albeit a tacit one, of some of the most detestable crimes against humanity one could possibly command.

How could one ever possibly reconcile stoning those that pray to a different God while concurrently deeming it a 'correct' moral action simply on the basis of Divine Command? This mindframe is unimaginably perverse and manifestly morally compromised.

BeingItself said...

Has not Jesus commanded to obey The Law? Every jot and tittle?

Surely you could find some Sun or Moon worshipers where you live. Find them now. And kill them. With rocks.

Your god commands it.

BeingItself said...

Also, The Pericope Adulterae was not in the original John. So, you are not off the hook.

Start gathering those rocks. You have a long night of killing ahead of you.

Victor Reppert said...

Lead-footed literalism is something atheists and fundamentalists have in common.

BeingItself said...

Oh I get it. When God says to stone people to death, it's only a metaphor.

...

Victor, you are not a stupid man. Isn't it obvious that you do not get your morality from the Bible? You cherry pick the bits you like, and discard the nastiness.

You have your own standard of morality by which you judge the Bible. And thank God for that.

Papalinton said...

"Lead-footed literalism is something atheists and fundamentalists have in common."

Yes this is the easy way to a softly-softly 'interpretation' for some pretty ghastly acts commanded by god, which apologists inform the actual words do not mean what they mean, and cannot be read today as they were originally written, to convey precisely the intended message in the words. Let's not forget blasphemers and heretics were literally stoned to death for what are essentially victimless crimes.

The trouble with this form of contemporary christian apologetics [the 'lead-footed literalism' analogue], is it characteristically exposes the lamentable and obsequious nature of self-indulgent denial of the historicity of the original intent and reason for such commands.

To characterize the original intentionality of scripture as some form of latter-day 'lead-footed literalism' is intellectually and philosophically lazy. It is at best an appeal to an underlying emotional dimension that labours extraordinarily hard in mitigating the cognitive dissonance that Christians must live with, with their frequent backpedalling from the harder interpretations that were once conventional wisdom not so very long ago. And most egregiously, it is the refusal to acknowledge or accept any responsibility for the continued telling of these hideous commands that should not be tolerated today in a modern contemporary setting. There is no moral lesson to be gleaned from God's record of atrocious and chilling behaviour.

BenYachov said...

Ah BI the brain dead fundie has returned.

>Also, The Pericope Adulterae was not in the original John. So, you are not off the hook.

Actually it was according to tradition part of the appendix of the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew. It's been found in manuscripts of the Gospel of Luke till finally it was placed in the Gospel of John because of a tradition the story originated with John. Second century Church Fathers are familiar with the story itself and reference it even if not in one of the Gospels. The Council of Trent has declared it Scripture and it has always been accepted by the Church.

>Oh I get it. When God says to stone people to death, it's only a metaphor.

Actually according to Jewish Tradition (Sola Scriptura & perspicuity are 16th century Protestant creations. The Bible tells us to follow Tradition 2 Thes 2:15, 3:6) stoning involved putting a person on a second story ledge, you bound him & pushed him/her off backwards so they would break their necks & die quickly. Should they survive the fall two men stood by with a huge rock to clobber the person & put them out of their misery. We know this was the case in terms of Jesus being threatened with stoning when he preached in the Synagogue & as the text says they "tried to throw him off a cliff". Tradition also said you could drug the condemned so they would not feel pain. But that is true of any condemned person.

Of course Gnus like to move the goal posts. Are we arguing the humaness of the method of execution or wither or not there should be a death penalty?

OF course Gnus without exception are all pro-choice* & they support such modern savageries such as partial birth abortion where a baby is partially delivered, stabbed in the back of the neck & has his/her brains sucked out. This really happens. Richard Dawkins bitches about the slaughters in the OT yet from an Atheist perspective that makes about as much sense as being outraged over Grand Morf Tarkin blowing up the Planet Alderaan? Yet Dawkin's friend Peter Singer advocates killing real babies who happen to be born handicapped.

Curious Gnus are only upset over fictional or hypothetical deaths that might have occurred in a now defunct Religious Commonwealth which has passed away and may never be re-established but ignore the real deaths their own kind support today.

*Of course Pro-life Atheist are by definition not Gnus since they are far too intelligent.

BenYachov said...

Some more of BI's mistakes.

>Has not Jesus commanded to obey The Law? Every jot and tittle?

No he hasn't.

Matt 5:18 "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled."

Of course the Law would include Oral Tradition as well.

>Surely you could find some Sun or Moon worshipers where you live. Find them now. And kill them. With rocks.

You would need a Beth Din of 23 judges via the Torah & Tradition. One would have to determine wither the sun worshippers where Israelites, Noahcides or Ger Tovehs.

Also for gentile pagan aliens mere belief in their gods is not a capital offense only practicing forbidden heath worship like child sacrifice or Temple protestation or making Idols merited death.

Of course if you where hell bent on that you could always leave the country.

>Your god commands it.

No he doesn't.

You are such a fundie.

BenYachov said...

BTW as for the Jewish Method of Stoning James the Just was thrown from the roof of the Temple when they stoned him. Nuff said.

Of course he didn't go quietly so it wasn't painless for him but he was a Martyr.

The Rabbis taught that being hurled toward the stones is the same as stones being thrown at the condemned.

As too the Pericope Adulterae the women is brought without her paramour. Now this is either a signal that the law wasn't being followed since it was a mob a rabble that brought her 7 the Law would mandate her lover suffer the same fate as her.

Or she might have been a Priest's daughter in witch case the penalty is burning and the enemies of Jesus where trying to catch him violating the law.

Of course burning in Jewish tradition involved pouring hot wick down someone's throw to sufficate them. Later is was hot tin to burn their organs and choke them for a quicker death.

Of course the later has no records of ever being carried out. The only Jewish record of a woman being burned the case was condemned by the Rabbis as having been carried out by a heretical Saducee court who literally burned her with reeds.

Of course Saduees rejected Tradition.

BenYachov said...

Of course as I remember my reading of the Talmud and the Mishna & various Jewish books on the Law to impose an OT death penalty one needs two or three Jewish Males to witness the crime in progress and they must at the first stage issue a warning to the potential perpetrator. If the warning is ignored and the crime is committed then the person merits death. But if the warning is not given or it is argued at the Bet Din it wasn't clear enough then the judges must vote to acquit the person

At a Bet Din you needed a a plus two majority to convict but anything less then that is an aquitial. A judge who votes guilty may before the trial ends change his vote but one who votes not guilty may never change it.

The way the Law was literally set up it was almost impossible to convict anyone of a capital crime.
(I'm not even including the Rabbis opposition to the death penalty)

For example two gay dudes performing sodomy would have to do it in public in front of at least 4 to 6 men and ignore the warning to be stoned to death(i.e pushed off a roof). If they stopped then they couldn't be killed.

Murder was a problem because you had to actually have two or more people see the perp kill the victim & they still need to warn the perp not to do it before he kills.

As such is was near impossible to get a conviction or too have any kind of law and order. Still Jewish tradition taught the Israelite King can make up his own laws & set up his own courts with a lower standard of evidence for conviction so Israel wouldn't descend into lawlessness.

Thus the odds are anybody put to death in Ancient Israel likely died for offending the Kings laws not the Law of Moses.

BeingItself said...

Ben,

You miss the point.

Is killing people who worship gods other than Yahweh right or wrong?

Is killing adulterers right or wrong?

Is killing gay folks right or wrong?

Dan Gillson said...

I can't imagine that the proper worship of God consists of the yawpish, sappy, guitar-strumming services of contemporary Christianity, much less the soulless, stodgy services of more traditional Christianity. So according to you, I may lack certain moral categories (honest question: what are moral categories?), but according to me, most Christians aren't any better off.

im-skeptical said...

My point still stands - Christians believe they get their morality from God. How is is revealed to them? (Surely not from the bible.) Why doesn't everybody have the same understanding of what these (supposedly objective) moral values are?

BeingItself said...

im-skeptical,

Don't hold your breath waiting for an answer from these creduloids.

Of course your question exposes the absurdity of all claims to revelation. Until religious folks get their epistemological house in order, fruitful conversation is impossible.

When I was 7 or 8, and first learned that there were other religions of the world that contradicted my own, the scales fell from my eyes. Since the teachings of my religion also contradicted my lived experience of the world, this bit of information was just the last straw.

I continue to be amazed the tenacity of religious delusion.

BenYachov said...

@BI

>You miss the point.

YOU HAVE A POINT? Since when?

>Is killing people who worship gods other than Yahweh right or wrong?

There is no civil penalty in the Bible for subjectively believing in a false god or no god. There are penalties for infant sacrifice, temple prostitution and making idols.etc....

>Is killing adulterers right or wrong?

Rather given that God is not a being who exists alongside other beings but only more uber. Given that God is Being Itself, Ipsum Esse Subsistens, Existence Itself and thus Goodness Itself and Life Itself thus how can rebelling against Life Itself/Reality Itself not result in Death or merit death?

It's like complaining wither or not fire burning is right or wrong. God is Life Itself any willful rebellion against this Reality merits death by nature. Eating a piece of fruit or sleeping with someone else's wife there is no difference. Accept Ultimate Reality in Ultimate Mercy gives you a way out of your just fate.


>Is killing gay folks right or wrong?

Obviously it's wrong but then again there is no penalty in the OT for being gay. There is a death penalty for two guys having anal sex in public in front of witnessess and not stopping when warned. In fact they would be given more consideration then a straight couple who did the same. Since according to Jewish Tradition if a Jewish Man preforms sodomy on a gentile woman in public he can be summery executed by Zealots without a trial on the spot.

At least the two dudes would get a trial.

BI you don't know enough about the issues to comment and you have learned nothing since you began trolling over at Feser's and like Paps you are repeating the same mindless fundie crap.

What is the point of any of you?

Dan Gillson said...

Funny that a credulous amateur of philosophy and science like BeingItself calls others "creduloids." The tenacity with which rather average people cling to their delusions of intellectual superiority never ceases to amaze me ...

BeingItself said...

">Is killing gay folks right or wrong?

Obviously it's wrong"

How do you know?

BenYachov said...


Some links that will answer im-skeptical's question that experience shows he will not bother to read.


http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/07/does-morality-depend-on-god.html#more


http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2009/11/sartre-on-theism-and-morality.html

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/03/scholastics-bookshelf-part-iii.html

Enjoy!

BenYachov said...

>How do you know?

Read the links.

Moving the goal posts again. BI goes from trying to generate moral outrage over the Bible (& that falls flat) to shifting the burden of proof.

BI your version of atheism is for brain dead nards!

I followed the link to Gillson's page at least he has a spelled out philosophical position.

Dan Gillson said...

Ben, I sort of have a philosophical position, if you count anti-philosophy as a philosophical position. ;-)

BenYachov said...

>Ben, I sort of have a philosophical position, if you count anti-philosophy as a philosophical position. ;-)

The problem with "anti-philosophy" is it is still a philosophy.
The logical incoherence is obvious and off course Philosophy in general is inevitable.

But quietism(not the religious heresy mind you) & your other stated views are objectively clearly stated positions. One might argue against or at least be aware of them when arguing with you.

That is very refreshing. It's better then the gnus here who are like non-denominational Christians with whom you have to waste time guessing what their doctrinal content is because in the end they have one if even unconcously.

Cheers.

BeingItself said...

Ben,

Sorry, I forgot what a dolt you were.

I was not trying to generate moral outrage.

Rather, I was showing that although Christians claim they get their morality from the Bible, the don't. That was the point of my question to you.

BenYachov said...

>I was not trying to generate moral outrage.

Really?

"There are many of Yahweh's moral "categories" where this atheist is lacking. For example, I don't stone to death those folks that Yahweh commands that I do. I also think genocide is wrong."

"Surely you could find some Sun or Moon worshipers where you live. Find them now. And kill them. With rocks. Your god commands it."

Like most Gnus you don't say what you mean or mean what you say & you will reverse it at the drop of a hat & pretend you where talking about something else.

>Rather, I was showing that although Christians claim they get their morality from the Bible, the don't. That was the point of my question to you.

Which Christians? Catholic Christians get their morality from Natural Law(which is known threw natural philosophy) as well as divine revelation.

Of course you would have known that
if you read the material I linked too.

Also you now claim "this is your point". We both know you will pretend it's something else the moment you are cornered.

BI you are a fundie and you are not suited to polemic anything more sophisticated then that.

im-skeptical said...

Dan,

May I ask, do you believe that some things can't be known - through philosophy - or through empirical science - or both?

While I don't claim to be well grounded in philosophy, I try to pick up bits here and there. So far, I have begun to formulate a position that philosophy cannot be the source of discovery of new information (since it always relies on acceptance of some axiomatic basis, from which the conclusions are inevitable). However, having accepted some basis for what you believe, you can then use logic and reason to examine the coherence of those beliefs.

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

Feser sounds rather like Sam Harris until you set to the part about essentialism and divine revelation. So once again, what is divinely revealed, and how do you know it?

BenYachov said...

@im-skeptical

>Feser sounds rather like Sam Harris

To date have refused to read Feser or address something he has specifically said. So what you say means nothing & is nothing more than ambiguous nonsense.

>So once again, what is divinely revealed, and how do you know it?

That is not my area of expertise. I deal in natural theology and natural philosophy which you refuse to learn and that must be addressed first to lay the foundation for trying to discern what is revelation.

Your the idiot who wants to skip over Algebra & Trig and go straight to Calculus.

>I have begun to formulate a position that philosophy cannot be the source of discovery of new information.

It's called Positivism what I have been trying to warn you against but you obviously insist for matters of personal preference.

im-skeptical said...

"To date have refused to read Feser or address something he has specifically said."

I figured that comment would get your goat. Let me ask you, have you read Harris - The Moral Landscape?

Dan Gillson said...

im-skeptical,

Sure, I guess. I believe that the world preserves some memory of us when we die. I believe that because I like the way it colors my understanding of biography and of history and of philosophy. I'd even go so far as to argue that I can hear the voices of the past, just like I can hear a song in my head. However, I would stop well short of calling my belief a fact, because that isn't the point of it. I believe it for its aesthetic--for the way it allows me to receive certain things--for the way it connects me to people and events and ideas--not because I think it is a firm metaphysical truth discoverable by philosophy or science.

Personally, I would say that I know all this, but I'd also say it can't be known through philosophy or science or logic or reason. I know it because I see it--because I can describe it--because I'm telling you about the way the world is, and not just to me, because you can see the world this way too.

BenYachov said...

>Let me ask you, have you read Harris - The Moral Landscape?

No I haven't.

Now let me ask you, have you read any of the links I posted too you?

im-skeptical said...

Dan,

Is there more I can read on your perspective? Is it something that Wittgenstein has written about, for example?

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

Yes, I did read them. That's why I mentioned Harris. It appears they share some common ground.

BenYachov said...

>Yes, I did read them.

I simply don't believe you.

>That's why I mentioned Harris. It appears they share some common ground.

I won't hold my breath waiting for you to give me something specific or a specific example I can look up which is why I don't believe you.

BenYachov said...

Also the fact they might share common ground what good is saying that if you can't or won't identify what that ground happens to be.

Feser and Brian Davies share common ground as they are both Thomists & both believe God is not a moral agent except Davies has Fregian views Feser rejects.

Feser shares common ground with Kenny as students of Thomism except Kenny is an Agnostic who prays & hopes someone is listening Feser is a convinced believer.

im-skeptical said...

"Also the fact they might share common ground what good is saying that if you can't or won't identify what that ground happens to be."

Well, Ben. How many times have I asked a question only to be told by you that I should do some reading? In fact I have read much of the material you pointed to, although not everything. (That doesn't imply that I believe it.) But I wonder if you ever read anything but A-T stuff. Much has changed in the past 800 years. You would do well to investigate some of it.

BenYachov said...

>Well, Ben. How many times have I asked a question only to be told by you that I should do some reading?

But you don't do the reading. You show no evidence you have done any of the reading. You never make a specific reference to any point made by the reading & you keep repeating the same old questions that presuppose some sort of positivism.

> In fact I have read much of the material you pointed to, although not everything.

Which can mean you skimmed it but didn't real examine it or read it closely. Which seems the likely scenario. After you asked me if I read that book by Harris I skimmed a copy of LETTER TO A CHRISTIAN NATION. But I can't claim to have really read him now can I?

But then again if I was going to question or challenge his views directly you can be sure I would do my homework first.

>(That doesn't imply that I believe it.) But I wonder if you ever read anything but A-T stuff. Much has changed in the past 800 years. You would do well to investigate some of it.
How would you know that since by your own admission you haven't read much philosophy either?

Plus it is evident you can't tell the difference between knowledge vs information. Mere information may contain tangent facts about the mechanisms of the physical world (like the fact physical movement involves Inertia) but that is only one type of knowledge the metaphysicals are another.

If you bothered to read Feser's two essays attacking scientism you would have seen that the rejection of metaphysics is itself a metaphysical view.

The question of philosophy is wither you will do it well or badly.

But it seems like Paps or BI you have no desire to learn. So good day.

Dan Gillson said...

im-skeptical,

I can give you a list of books that were formative for me, if that helps. Otherwise, I don't know of anything that more or less directly represents my perspective.

Papalinton said...

Ben
"Rather given that God is not a being who exists alongside other beings but only more uber. Given that God is Being Itself, Ipsum Esse Subsistens, ...."

So when God says, taken directly from the Bible:

"And The Lord said to Moses, "The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp." (Numbers 15:32,35 RSV) and

"13 Then the Lord said to Moses: 14 “Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. ..." (Leviticus 24:13-16 (NIV),

from your perspective this is really just a bit of imaginary hogwash written by the early authors particularly the OT writers, not much more than a folkloric phantasy, because as you say "God is not a being that exists alongside other beings" ... , and is indeed, 'being itself'?

So how did God converse with Moses? Through the inner witness of the 'Holey Spirit'? i.e through the voices in Moses's head? If the the early authors of the OT knew and understood that God was 'being itself' or 'not a being that exists alongside other beings', then why did they anthropomorphise him? If they knew him as 'being itself' why did they go to all the trouble of painting him as a man? What was the reason the original authors could only imagine God being manlike? Is it perhaps because they could only imagine him being a human-like man due completely to the level of ignorance, stupidity, unenlightenment, illiteracy and foolishness, way back then.

And it wasn't until Aquinas came along, a thousand years later, to re conceptualize that god as "not a being that exists alongside other beings" ... , and is indeed, 'being itself', that humans finally understood what God was like, an amorphous, non-personal, impersonal, ineffable no-thing, an Ipsum Esse Subsistens.

I think you're pulling the wrong leg, Ben. It doesn't play 'Jingle Bells'.
The irony of all this nonsense about 'being itself', about Ipsum Esse Subsistens, [and if that really is the case] why the need for supplication, for prayer, worship, for all the social claptrap that goes on? All this ritual and chanting and white smoke seems utterly redundant to the concept of Ipsum Esse Subsistens.

Further irony is theists don't go to church to worship an Ipsum Esse Subsistens. They go to church to worship an anthropomorphized entity.

Praying to an Ipsum Esse Subsistens just seems one of the most bizarre and ludicrous activities on which one wastes so much time. And the old adage could never be truer; prayer is what you do when you can't do anything useful.

The only time people should put their hands together is when they clap achievement.








Papalinton said...

Erratum
Should read 'Holy Spirit'.

Papalinton said...

"The irony of all this nonsense about 'being itself', about Ipsum Esse Subsistens, [and if that really is the case] why the need for supplication, for prayer, worship, for all the social claptrap that goes on? All this ritual and chanting and white smoke seems utterly redundant to the concept of Ipsum Esse Subsistens."

Funnily enough, we DO have right in our midst, right now, the ineffable, :o) , the indomitable, BeingItself'.

I supplicate myself mercilessly before you, BeingItself. Our goal is to convince theists on this site that you are indeed, BeingItself, the quintessential Ipsum Esse Subsistens, the real Ipsum Esse Subsistens, not the silly Aquinean version.

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

"If you bothered to read Feser's two essays attacking scientism you would have seen that the rejection of metaphysics is itself a metaphysical view."

Not only that, but I read the book he quoted from.

im-skeptical said...

Dan,

I wouldn't mind checking out some of them.

BenYachov said...

>Not only that, but I read the book he quoted from.

I am literally skeptical of this claim.

BenYachov said...

Normally I ignore you Paps since you are an idiot universally recognized as such by both Atheists and Theists alike. But I couldn't resist.

>So when God says, taken directly from the Bible:

You quote an English translation and assume it's clear? Hysterical!

">And The Lord said to Moses, "The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp." (Numbers 15:32,35 RSV) and

Means they all get togather to throw him off a ledge onto the stones they gathered from outside the camp.
Why is that a problem? Go read the Talmud and or the Mishna yourself.

>"13 Then the Lord said to Moses: 14 “Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. ..." (Leviticus 24:13-16 (NIV),

>from your perspective this is really just a bit of imaginary hogwash written by the early authors particularly the OT writers, not much more than a folkloric phantasy, because as you say "God is not a being that exists alongside other beings" ... , and is indeed, 'being itself'?……..And it wasn't until Aquinas came along, a thousand years later, to re conceptualize that god as "not a being that exists alongside other beings" ... , and is indeed, 'being itself', that humans finally understood what God was like, an amorphous, non-personal, impersonal, ineffable no-thing, an Ipsum Esse Subsistens.

Actually Philo of Alexandra taught the transcendence of God and said he was not understood to be anthropomorphic before the birth of Christ. The Rabbis taught the transcendence of God as well that was one of the reasons they reacted negatively to Christianity because God Becoming man seemed impossible to them.

Paps your crap still reads like the rantings of a YEC with a 5th grader's understanding of biology trying to tell Richard Dawkins evolution is bogus because he has seen a monkey in a zoo give birth to another monkey not a human baby.

Give it a rest. Your Atheism is unsophisticated & for the underachiever. Don't get ideas above your station.

im-skeptical said...

"I am literally skeptical of this claim."

Well, here's a clue: mentions Plato and Aristotle rather briefly, but nothing about Thomism. But you haven't read it, have you?

Moon Shine said...

"Your Atheism is unsophisticated & for the underachiever. Don't get ideas above your station."

The most pathetic way to insult an atheist. You are a moron for capitalizing "A"theism.

Papalinton said...

Ben
"Actually Philo of Alexandra taught the transcendence of God and said he was not understood to be anthropomorphic before the birth of Christ."

And then, BAM!!!! suddenly he becomes anthropomorphic.

'The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit'.
Two out three ain't too bad for clear evidence of the anthropomorphizing of an apparent entity that is supposed to be all one and the same, Ipsum Esse Subsistens.

"The Rabbis taught the transcendence of God as well that was one of the reasons they reacted negatively to Christianity because God Becoming man seemed impossible to them."

Therein lies the monumental irony of christian apologetics. From the very get-go the Jews were never sucked in by the anthropomorphic nonsense that jesus was a God. From the very get-go Jews eschewed all the hyperbole that constituted the cult of christianity. Their skepticism from the very outset simply puts a lie to any evidence that jesus was a god. They didn't buy it then. And they sure as hell don't buy it now.

The whole sorry saga of christianity seems a ludicrous contrivance by which even God failed to convince the Jews that jesus was, The Man! And boy do they get pissed when Christians try to tell them how to read their own sacred book, the Jewish Scriptures, the pejoratively called Old Testament. As far as Judaism is concerned, the New Testament is just superstitious malarkey, not unlike the Book of mormon, or L Ron Hubbard's "Dianetics".

Now that the flush of christianity is over, history and facts now come to the fore once again, to place christianity in its appropriate historical context, an ultimately failed social experiment that advanced and sophisticated cultures and societies no longer rely on or regard as central to promoting social good within the public square. It has reached its 'use-by' date.

BenYachov said...

>Well, here's a clue: mentions Plato and Aristotle rather briefly, but nothing about Thomism. But you haven't read it, have you?

Yet you make no reference to the content of the arguments presented in the links I give you.

So I am still skeptical you actually read them vs skim them. When you actually argue against the specific points made my skepticism will end.

Till then it remains.

BenYachov said...


>And then, BAM!!!! suddenly he becomes anthropomorphic.

No Paps Philo was a Jew & was born before Christianity and he taught a transcendent God. BTW Philo is also the earliest known interpreter of Genesis One which he takes allegorically.

>From the very get-go the Jews were never sucked in by the anthropomorphic nonsense that jesus was a God.

Moving the goalpost again eh? Like that is not a predictable move on your part.

Make up your mind Paps. Either the Jews believed in an anthropomorphic God who was a being alongside other beings or they didn't.

First you are one way then another.

Yes I get it you aren't interesting in serious intelligent argument. You are an Atheist Apologist not an Atheist Philosopher. You are only concerned with picking up the next ball of mud to throw too see what sticks.

Trouble is even those Theists here who might (by my standards at least) be seen as "fundamentalists" are way too sophisticated for your Dawkinistic crap.

Your a D-lister. You must accept it & the tragedy of you is not so much that you deny gods but that you refuse to learn or use your intelligence.

Tragically there is a lot of that going around these days.

Moon Shine said...

>benyachov: "Philo was a Jew & was born before Christianity and he taught a transcendent God"
========

Why did god get this thing going
with the Jews?
Why didn't he create Christians right from the get-go
instead of a bunch of red sea pedestrians"

BenYachov said...

"Life is a comedy and like all good comedy has a tragedy beneath it."
QUEEN OF THE SWORDS by Michael Moorcock.

Dan Gillson said...

im-skeptical,

Here are some books that have stayed with me:
The Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther (not only is this still the best book around on the topic of free will, but Luther is also uproariously funny.)
The Claim of Reason: Wittgenstein, Skepticism, Morality, and Tragedy by Stanley Cavell
Philosophical Investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein
Mind and World by John McDowell (if you read McDowell, be prepared to hunker through it ver-r-r-ry slowly; McDowell is an incredibly cryptic writer.)
A Secular Age by Charles Taylor
Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat by Bill Watterson

How about you? What are the books that have stayed with you?

Moon Shine said...

Why don't read like: "Life is a tragedy and like all good tragedy has a comedy beneath it"

God is a big universal clown that cries like an idiot... see theists and apologists.

im-skeptical said...

Dan,

Thank you. I'll have a look.

As you have probably noticed, my own knowledge of philosophy is still very basic. I became interested in it only within the past year. Since I'm still employed full time, the number of books I've read has been limited. The majority of my reading has been articles and essays, just trying to learn about topics as I encounter them. All this is a long way of saying I don't really have a list of formative books at this point. But maybe in a few years I'll have a better answer for that.

By the way, the one I referred to earlier in this thread - E. A. Burtt-The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science - just happens to be one of the few that I have read. It describes how metaphysical understanding evolved with renaissance thinkers such as Copernicus, Galileo, Descartes, Hobbes, Newton. Very readable.

Papalinton said...

Ben
"Make up your mind Paps. Either the Jews believed in an anthropomorphic God who was a being alongside other beings or they didn't."

You seem to have great difficulty following a cogent line of argument, Ben. Of course Jews believed in an anthropomorphized God.
You seem to be shamelessly obscurantist, Ben, when it comes to understanding the transition of the Jewish God which is the very same Christian God:

Yahweh was the original Jewish Warrior God or God of War:

"Prof. Mark S. Smith notes on p.144 of The Origins of Biblical Monotheism that Yahweh was introduced to the Israelites as a “divine warrior [god] from the south.” Indeed, “Yahweh and Baal co-existed and later competed as warrior-gods” (Ibid., p.33). This motif continued in the Israelite tradition: the tribal warrior-god Yahweh went to war against competing gods and nations on behalf of Israel.
Although Yahweh, the God the Israelites adopted, would one day become the supreme God of the land and eliminate his competition, initially he was just one of many competing “war and storm-gods;” as Prof. Erhard S. Gerstenberger writes on p.151 of Theologies of the Old Testament (emphasis added):
Yahweh was not always God in Israel and at every social level. Rather, initially he belongs only to the storm and war gods like Baal, Anath, Hadad, Resheph and Chemosh…His original homeland was the southern regions of present-day Palestine and Jordan. Thus the regional and functional, cultural and social limitations of Yahweh should be beyond all doubt. The elaboration of ideas about Yahweh, e.g. as a guarantor of fertility, personal good fortune, head of a pantheon, creator of the world, judge of the world, etc. is gradual and only fully unfolds in the exilic/post-exilic age, always in connection with social and historical changes."


See HERE at the aptly titled 'Loonwatch' site which reviews and places the Judaic-Christian God into its correct historical perspective and context. The Judaic-Christian god is a cultural artefact through-and-through, an anthropological contrivance that has acted as a place-marker in the absence of knowledge, the level of ignorance, and the rampant supernaturalist superstition of earlier peoples of the bronze-iron age period. That level of superstition and shamanic practices continues to this very day, not because of its reality or fact, but because of the indoctrinating parental child-rearing practices that perpetuate the continuation of this stagnant mythos. No amount of hard praying, squeezing the eyes closed, hand wringing and a plenitude of inner witnesses of the holy spirit [let alone a goodly dose of Southern Comfort or Jim Bean] is going to make an imagined entity any the truer or real.

Those that believe in these supernatural entities subscribe to nothing less than shambolic nonsense, and it is increasingly embarrassing and rather cringeworthy to observe supposedly mature adults puerilely supplicating to an ethereal no-thing.


BenYachov said...

>You seem to have great difficulty following a cogent line of argument, Ben. Of course Jews believed in an anthropomorphized God.]

Of course your so coherent Peggy Hill.

So now you are back to that? By the next post if you think you can make a shallow argument against the incarnation with the ancient Jewish view of a Transcendent God you will.

Paps you have no intelligent coherent arguments & you never will because you reject learning & you reject philosophy.

>Yahweh was the original Jewish Warrior God or God of War:“Yahweh and Baal co-existed and later competed as warrior-gods”.

Well actually there was a Canaanite deity named Yahu(i.e.YH) who some scholars identified as a precursor to YHWH but that is about it. It is all speculation without any hard evidence & it is entirely possible if one takes a purely naturalist view of the Bible YHWH was an original creation by the authors of the OT.

This is complicated by the fact the Canaanites had a chief deity named EL who in the Northern Kingdom of Israel was sometimes identified with YHWH during periods of religious syncretism condemned by the later Prophets.

But that is unremarkable when Antiochas Epiphaneus tried to conqueror Israel during the time of the Maccabees he tried to make an association between Zeus & YHWH. The Israelites of course didn't buy it.

You have amused me enough Paps with your freaky tin-foiled hat contradictory paranoia of religion being an evil force in a godless universe with no purpose or intentionality.

In Space nobody can hear you Smeg.

Moon Shine said...

Papalinton,

You are very articulate in your arguments.

Don't mind the ad hominems from a guy whose "godful" universe purpose and intentionality is the mind of ben yachov.

The fact that ben yachov punctuates every sentence with an ad hominem, shows how infantile his views are.

Don't waste you time on this blog if ben continues with his inane attacks. You'd better go back and post on Debunking Christianity.

im-skeptical said...

"Don't waste you time on this blog if ben continues with his inane attacks. You'd better go back and post on Debunking Christianity."

I agree with your sentiments in general, but if skeptics limits their comments to Debunking Christianity, people like Ben would never have an opportunity to hear any opposing viewpoint, and the same would apply to the skeptics there. This forum would simply be an echo chamber. I, for one, am appreciative of Ben and other folks here, but I wish he'd be more willing to talk about things and drop the angry attitude.

BenYachov said...

@Moon shine

Since you have been begging for my attention like a lapping puppy. I shall condescend to address you.

you wrote:
>The fact that ben yachov punctuates every sentence with an ad hominem, shows how infantile his views are.

But earlier you wrote:

>The most pathetic way to insult an atheist. You are a moron for capitalizing "A"theism.

>God is a big universal clown that cries like an idiot... see theists and apologists.

Hypocrite much?

What was your sole question to me?

>Why did god get this thing going
with the Jews?
Why didn't he create Christians right from the get-go
instead of a bunch of red sea pedestrians"

This is a child's question. Can't you ask something intelligent?

It's not hard?

@im-skeptical

I wish you would actually show evidence of having read the essays you claim to have read by addressing their arguments instead of repeating the same tedious Positivist objections one finds among mere Gnus.

I had such hope you could be another dguller. Instead you are a more polite Paps.

Moon Shine said...

No ben, I did not want any attention from your half brain concocted insults.

I just read your about your inane defense of your religious "base" and I wanted to puke.

Sorry for calling you moron for capitalizing "atheist" word. You're just ignorant, you just don't know what is an atheist, but you think that the first letter should be capitalized.

What exactly offends you when I say that god is a big universal clown that cries like an idiot, and you can see that in the theists and apologist writings?

I can say something intelligent, but everything intelligent is offensive to you.

Papalinton said...

Fellas, there is precious little else left in Ben's handy grab-bag of woomeisterism, resulting in many ad homs and personal sleights to fill in the wide blanks of his runny verbiage. His last line of defense comprise Aquinas and Feser. It is a testament to the moribund stasis of religion as humanity ventures into the 21st Century and beyond. Religion is a terrestrially-bound and endemic disorder of the mind, one that is slowly responding to remediation as our knowledge base and understanding increases.

The myriad of perfectly natural events that were once unimaginably inexplicable, and subsequently attributed to God, becomes not only less and less frequent as our understanding of natural phenomena grows, but so too does the need for religious superstition and claims of supernaturalism as an explanatory tool diminish.

So too will God's apparent laws and today's litany of religious sins, homosexuality, selective discrimination on the basis of religious belief, same-sex marriage, condom use and contraception, pro-choice, will finally all go the way of thunder and lightning once explained as God's wrath, or the Plague as God's punishment for disobedience, etc etc. It simply seems so ludicrous, and embarrassing that apparently intelligent, mature adults still subscribe to primitive superstition and antiquated shamanic practices in the modern era; such as the central tenet of drinking human blood and eating human flesh in some arcane cannibalistic ritual is supposed to infuse one with the strength and wisdom of the eaten warrior [for those of you practitioners who find it difficult to understand and identify this primitive practice within a contemporary setting, I will spell it out. It is commonly called the Eucharist]

The pathology of this unquestioning acquiescence to our most primeval and unsophisticated base instincts is a clear indicator that we, as a species, have yet a way to go to slough off the skin of barbarism and superstition.

But I am confident naturalist, realist enlightenment will emerge from the dark labyrinthine cloisters of religious thought.

BenYachov said...

@Moon

>You're just ignorant, you just don't know what is an atheist,

Wow someone whose grammar & syntax is worse then mine. Marvelous!

An Atheist literally means "not a Theist". In the Classic Sense used by the Greek and Roman Pagans an Atheist was anybody who denied the existence of any specific god. Thus Jews and Christians where "Atheists" for denying the existence of the pagan divinities. OTOH philosophical Atheists(my favorite kind) are persons who postulate there are no gods or God they are related to Positive Atheists persons like oh Harlan Elison who state positively "I am not some wishy washy Agnostic I say there is no God!"
Plus they know some philosophy which by definition makes them cool.

Then there are Practical Atheists persons who live their lives without reference to God. They are related to the so called Negative Atheists or persons "lack god belief". Russell would have merely called them Agnostics who are afraid to own the name.

This later type is nothing more then a gutless venture into sophistry. Largely by intellectually lazy and philosophically inept Gnu Atheist types. Who take this view so as to not have to defend any positive belief but shift the burden entirely on a Theistic opponent. I could pull the same rabbit out of the hat by arbitrarily Ad Hoc defining "Theism" negatively as simply "lacking no god belief" then challenge my opponent to prove there is no god(s).
It's silly.

Sadly this later type is nothing more then a fundamentalist who happens to "lack god-belief" and about as tedious as his religious counter part.


> but you think that the first letter should be capitalized.

If you wish to give me advice on grammar you should at least have a better command of it them moi. My grammar and spekking suck & I make no pretense to be good at it or improving.

You wrote:

"I just read your about your inane defense of your religious "base" and I wanted to puke."

Wow that was worthy of me.

OH FYI that is not a good thing. OTOH you lost credibility pronouncing Paps intelligent.

Of course and JP Holding is pleasant tempered.

Go do some reading then come back & talk to me & maybe I will grace you with my attention for something more then mere amusement.

BenYachov said...

@Paps

Your left-wing politics bore me to tears. First of all one can be a right wing Atheist or a left wing liberal Theist (like my good friend Bob).

Again would it kill ya to learn just some philosophy?

Just a little?

>But I am confident naturalist, realist enlightenment will emerge from the dark labyrinthine cloisters of religious thought.

Since when where proponents of the enlightenment realists? Conceptionalists & or nominalists of course but realists.

Sorry only Platonists or Aristotelians are realists. But if you would have studied philosophy you would no that Peggy Hill.

im-skeptical said...

"Plus they know some philosophy which by definition makes them cool."

"OTOH you lost credibility pronouncing Paps intelligent."

"I wish you would actually show evidence of having read the essays you claim to have read by addressing their arguments instead of repeating the same tedious Positivist objections one finds among mere Gnus."

Ben, do you recall a few months ago when a commenter here was berated by you in your usual manner, called a Gnu among other things - and then Victor mentioned that he knew some philosophy? Your whole attitude toward him immediately changed, and you started treating him with respect. So, it's not a matter of how intelligent people really are or what they say. It doesn't even matter if a person is a philosopher. It only matters if you think they are a philosopher, and apparently you will think that if they express Thomist ideas, or if someone tells you.

BenYachov said...

@Im-skepticl
>Ben, do you recall a few months ago when a commenter here was berated by you in your usual manner, called a Gnu among other things - and then Victor mentioned that he knew some philosophy? Your whole attitude toward him immediately changed, and you started treating him with respect0

Your memory is terrible.

Angra Mangru(named after the Zoroastrian Devil) was his name & I didn't believe Victor till AM pounded me with superior argument & showed I had wronged him personally. He brought the pain. So confronted with the fact I was acting like a common Gnu (except with God Belief) I could do nothing but apologize and eat crow. He was very gracious about it. Some of usual Gnus suspects twisted the knife of course but what do you expect from gnus?

> So, it's not a matter of how intelligent people really are or what they say. It doesn't even matter if a person is a philosopher.

It matters if they are going to deal straight with you & argue in good faith. If they are not going to do so then they can smog off. Or they can bring the pain. I wasn't in the end impressed with Angra's attempts to show what parts of the Bible where literal or not but I respect his good will & I am sorry I doubted it.

You OTOH have been slipping big time. I've been watching your discussions with grod & his has grown impatient with your anti-intellectualism. So I have lost trust in you. You have to argue or your atheism doesn't interest me.

>It only matters if you think they are a philosopher, and apparently you will think that if they express Thomist ideas, or if someone tells you.

I respect rational argument over base appeals too emotion. AM defended himself rationally and dealt with my overzealous misguided stupid attacks on his character with the deftness of Crude, grod or TheOflynn or Atheist Philosopher Jesse Parish when dealing with chuckleheads like Paps.

Accept in that case I was the chucklehead.

um-skeptical unless you give me rational argument we have little to talk about & you are not going to persuade me to be civil to known Gnus or gnu wannabes. At best I will be more careful not to mistake an Angra Manu for a Gnu. But that is it.

BenYachov said...

@im-skepticl

Don't bore the crap out of me with your Positivism.

ie "How do I prove threw empirical science Actuality, Potency, Form and Matter..etc"

You remind me of Protestant Evangelicals I've debated who believe doctrine is based on Scripture Alone(not Scripture, Tradition and Church like we Catholics believe).

Yeh I get it 99% of their objections to Catholic doctrine begin with the words "That is not in the Bible". But I have always pounded back "Where does Scripture teach it alone is the sole rule of faith?".

Comedy insures as they avoid answering that question(the answer is it doesn't) & repeat their nonsense.

Well guess what even if I deny God tomorrow I still reject Positivism & no objection based on it will ever get off the ground with me. (If you really read the links I gave you then you would know why)

So in the future come up with something original.