Thursday, November 12, 2015

What the courtier really said

The boy has said the emperor is naked, has he? Of course, to the scientifically untrained eye, the emperor no doubt looks naked. But those of us who know a few things about the science of vision know better. The perceptual skills of someone his age are clearly not sufficiently developed to allow him to assert this with any certainty. Those of us who have studied perception know how unreliable eyewitness testimony is. We know how often our eyes deceive us when we want to see something that isn’t there. This young man has not studied the science of perception and illusion, if he did, he would certainly not assert so vociferously that his perception of the emperor’s nudity was veridical.

76 comments:

Cal Metzger said...

This reads like a satire that doesn't really understand the thing it is trying to satirize. Unless it's not a satire; in which case I'm not sure what it's trying to express.

Victor Reppert said...

Well, we might have a look at the Emperor's New Clothes story to see what the problem is. In the Emperor story, I take it that it is stated that the garment makers are charlatans. They tell people that only people who are smart can see the garments, so people won't actually say that the king is naked for fear that they will appear stupid. In the emperor story, no one needs to explain how there could be a Mawkscribbler, a Count Roderigo, or a Bellini who really, sincerely believe the emperor to be clothed. And in the emperor story, we are asked to choose between believing our senses, which tell us that the king is naked, or an elaborate theory presented by the garment-makers that one's perceptual ability depends upon one's intelligence. And, as I was pointing out in my satire, the garment-makers could appeal to "science" to raise doubts about our perceptions of a naked emperor.

New atheists maintain that atheism isn't just true, it's obviously true, and in response to a number of things that look to believers as if they were signs of God, they ask us to defer to the authorities in the scientific community. (It looks as if it had to have been designed, but trust me, Darwin and company have been over this, so we know it isn't). In at least on sense, they, not the theologians, resemble the courtiers.

B. Prokop said...

Perhaps it's a matter of what appears intuitively obvious to one person is nothing of the sort to another. For example, to me the idea that the world "just is" is absurd on the face of it. Same for the idea that self-awareness is material. Yet to my perpetual mystification, there exist others who seem quite happy to believe such things. How they manage to do so, I honestly and truly cannot comprehend.

And the mirror image of this is the atheist's failure to understand how so many great men and women of science have also been totally comfortable with their Faith and see all Truth as one, regardless of the means by which we learn of it. The atheist (erroneously) imagines all sorts of psychological explanations for this.

The Emperor's New Clothes is a charming story, but I seriously doubt there has ever been a real world parallel to it. People may publicly acquiesce in something they know to be untrue, but I doubt it's ever for the motivation as shown in the story (fear of seeming stupid). It's far more likely to be just plain fear - fear of reprisal, bullying, or worse. We see this happening all over college campuses today, where political correctness and the "intolerantly tolerant" are waging a Reign of Terror against anyone daring to express, or even to think, an unauthorized thought.

Jezu ufam tobie!

Cal Metzger said...

Reppert: "Well, we might have a look at the Emperor's New Clothes story to see what the problem is. In the Emperor story, I take it that it is stated that the garment makers are charlatans. They tell people that only people who are smart can see the garments, so people won't actually say that the king is naked for fear that they will appear stupid. In the emperor story, no one needs to explain how there could be a Mawkscribbler, a Count Roderigo, or a Bellini who really, sincerely believe the emperor to be clothed. And in the emperor story, we are asked to choose between believing our senses, which tell us that the king is naked, or an elaborate theory presented by the garment-makers that one's perceptual ability depends upon one's intelligence. "

Okay.

Reppert: "And, as I was pointing out in my satire, the garment-makers could appeal to "science" to raise doubts about our perceptions of a naked emperor."

And your satire would serve the purpose of the garment makers, which is to deny our senses AND intersubjectivity (everyone sees the same thing) and embrace a shared delusion. That's quite some satire.

Reppert: "New atheists maintain that atheism isn't just true, it's obviously true, and in response to a number of things that look to believers as if they were signs of God, they ask us to defer to the authorities in the scientific community."

This is why you seem so dishonest to me. You want to pretend that (what you disparagingly call) the new atheists ask us to defer to their authority. They do not. They ask us to defer to reality.

Please try and accept that. The new atheists, the old atheists, the skeptics, the doubters, the iconoclasts, the contrarians, the whatever you want to call us, we all ask you to defer to reality. It's really that simple.

Reppert: "In at least on sense, they, not the theologians, resemble the courtiers."

No. The new atheists in this scenario are indeed the child, who points out that reality and facts are stubborn things. And you, as an apologist philosopher, a proponent of an obscure and unpersuasive argument for emperor finery (the argument from reason), should know that you are clearly a garment maker. And it is sad that rather than admit what is real, you would choose to double down by impugning the rest of us for making the honest observation of the child in Andersen's classic story -- that despite all the supposed sophistication of apologetics, there is nothing actually there.




Cal Metzger said...

Prokop: "The Emperor's New Clothes is a charming story, but I seriously doubt there has ever been a real world parallel to it."

Um, it's a classic story. The definition of a classic story is that it resonates with successive generations. Your statement is the opposite of true.

Prokop: "People may publicly acquiesce in something they know to be untrue, but I doubt it's ever for the motivation as shown in the story (fear of seeming stupid)."

It's a story where people are cowed by the supposed authority of others. You can imagine whatever motivations you want -- fear of seeming stupid, desire to curry favor or a wish to appear sophisticated and belong, etc. The parallels to religious belief are obvious and compelling. I don't think there's really any other way to spin this one.

Prokop: "We see this happening all over college campuses today, where political correctness and the "intolerantly tolerant" are waging a Reign of Terror against anyone daring to express, or even to think, an unauthorized thought.

I pretty much agree with this. I would even go one step further and suggest that the political correctness and SJW (Social Justice Warrior) culture seen on college campuses (and trumpeted in formats like Twitter) is a more virulent strain of what we see in more mundane, traditional religious cultures. In that sentiment I think that old-fashioned skeptics and contrarians like myself, and philosophical apologists like some of those on this blog, have common ground.





Legion of Logic said...

New Atheists, who have demonstrated zero propensity for being able to evaluate evidence and perceive reality, are asking us to perceive reality. That's hilarious.

News flash: the reason we aren't new atheists is because we already do perceive reality, which excludes new atheism as anything resembling truth. VR must love abuse to out up with such blatant drivel over and over.

Cal Metzger said...

Legion: "New Atheists, who have demonstrated zero propensity for being able to evaluate evidence and perceive reality, are asking us to perceive reality."

Example?

Logic: "News flash: the reason we aren't new atheists is because we already do perceive reality, which excludes new atheism as anything resembling truth."

Histrionic much?

Legion: "VR must love abuse to out up with such blatant drivel over and over."

I know; you've been going on and on for some time now. The man is like a saint.

B. Prokop said...

Cal,

You really ought to read THIS. Although the author of this piece is way too political for my taste, he is nevertheless spot on here.

Cal Metzger said...

Prokop: "You really ought to read THIS. Although the author of this piece is way too political for my taste, he is nevertheless spot on here."

Spot on about what?

Also, didn't you say earlier that when you find yourself agreeing with someone you start to question that position?

B. Prokop said...

Don't recall writing that, but there was undoubtedly some specific context to it. Can you link me to the comment?

Cal Metzger said...

It would probably take me awhile to track down. It was about how as a Christian you expected to be in the minority, and that whenever you found yourself agreeing too much with the world you would re-assess your position, etc.

Also, what did you think the article was spot on about?

B. Prokop said...

He was spot on about the progressive disintegration of atheistic reasoning over time. I have yet to meet an atheist (either in person or online) whose thought, whether he admits it or not, is not riddled with contradictions and logical fallacies. And this extends to practically everything - from the non-explanations of why there is something rather than nothing, of human self awareness, of morality and ethics, of meaning and purpose... not to mention the jaw-dropping a-historicity of their take on the New Testament.

It's like they're trying to not get it. (Ilion would agree here.) That's why, despite my dislike of psychological explanations for people's beliefs, I so often suspect that the real reason people are atheists is because something bad happened to them somewhere along the way, rather than from any reasoned argument (because I fail to see the reasoning behind their arguments).

Jezu ufam tobie!

Cal Metzger said...

Prokop: "I have yet to meet an atheist (either in person or online) whose thought, whether he admits it or not, is not riddled with contradictions and logical fallacies."

You have met me online. Name the best, most obvious case of my contradicting myself or of my employing a logical fallacy.

B. Prokop said...

"and that whenever you found yourself agreeing too much with the world you would re-assess your position"

Ahh... Now I remember. No need to look it up. Note that the key phrase in that remark was whenever I find myself too much in agreement with the World (i.e., with the non-Christian culture), I worry about my own position. I go back to see whether I have unthinkingly adopted some fashionable belief by osmosis. (We all do at times. Except for Ilion, who is perfect.)


Jezu ufam tobie!

Ilíon said...

B.ye.perfect.even.as.God.is.perfect: "Note that the key phrase in that remark was whenever I find myself too much in agreement with the World (i.e., with the non-Christian culture), I worry about my own position. I go back to see whether I have unthinkingly adopted some fashionable belief by osmosis. (We all do at times. Except for Ilion, who is perfect.)"

Isn' it odd? Ilíon -- who has never once claimed to be perfect -- is constantly being "accused" of being perfect. One begins to wonder, is this "accusation" yet another example of a person having "unthinkingly adopted some fashionable belief by osmosis", or might it be an accurate and even astute grasp of reality?

B. Prokop said...

"Name the best, most obvious case"

Perhaps not the "best", but the most easily accessible is your first comment to me on this very thread.

Um, it's a classic story. The definition of a classic story is that it resonates with successive generations. Your statement is the opposite of true.

The fact that it resonates does not mean, or even imply, that there are real world counterparts to the story. So my statement can still be true. For it to be "the opposite of true", you'd have to supply a real world example of its applicability, not just call it a classic.

The parallels to religious belief are obvious and compelling.

Really? They're not obvious to me, and certainly not compelling. In fact, I not only see no parallel, I can demonstrate how the opposite is true. The Apostles and martyrs were in no way "cowed by authority", else why did they resist unto death? Recall Peter telling the authorities, "We must obey God rather than men." As for a fear of seeming stupid or not sophisticated, how do you explain Paul writing "the folly of what we preach" or "God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise" or "not many of you [believers] were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful."

I don't think there's really any other way to spin this one.

The fact that I have already "spun" the story differently, regardless of whether or not you agree with my take on it, all by itself disproves your final sentence.

You have met me online.

Sorry, but if your postings on this site are an example of the best that atheism has to offer, I can just declare victory here and now, and retire to the library for brandy and cigars.

Don't expect any more replies until this evening at the earliest. I am out for the day and logging off... now.

Jezu ufam tobie!

Cal Metzger said...

Me: "Name the best, most obvious case of my contradicting myself or of my employing a logical fallacy."

Bob: "The fact that it resonates does not mean, or even imply, that there are real world counterparts to the story. So my statement can still be true. For it to be "the opposite of true", you'd have to supply a real world example of its applicability, not just call it a classic."

Where did I contradict myself?

Where did I employ a fallacy?

Take your time. This is your opportunity to use the best case you can find of me contradicting myself and/or employing a fallacy, as you say every atheist commenter always does.

jdhuey said...

Gnu: Okay, garment-maker, let's accept, for the sake of argument, that our visual perceptions are inadequate and do deceive us. Give us a sample of this cloth so that we can run tests on it. We can test to see if it catches fire, if it insulates, if it blocks the wind, we can test if the weave is smooth or coarse, we can unravel the weave and test the strength of the thread. In short, we can test if it has any of the properties of ordinary cloth.

Garment-maker: It would be silly to try to test the Emperor's clothes this way because if the Emperor isn't wearing the clothes then the clothes lose their grounding for being. They are no longer the Emperor's clothes and, as such, don't behave at all like regular clothes.

Gnu: Sounds like special pleading to me. Okay, we can run tests on the clothes while the Emperor is wearing the clothes.

Garment-maker: No. The Emperor has decreed that he will not be tested. If he says he is wearing clothes then we have to accept it. Besides, we already have plenty of evidence that he is wearing clothes. We have the Pantalogical Argument, we have the Coatalogical Argument and the Argument from Shoes. (Although the later doesn't prove that the clothes are real, only that the idea that the Emperor is naked is a self-refuting position.)

Gnu: None of those arguments are sound. Just because you have many arguments they don't add up to evidence if they are all unsound.

Garment-maker: You don't know what you are talking about. You might know about testing normal cloth but you don't understand sophisticated garmentalogy. Besides you are being strident and insulting. And history has shown that people who deny the existence of the Clothes (may peace be upon them) commit genocide and don't bathe enough

Gnu: Now, you have resorted to ad hominen arguments. Your position is completely indefensible and simply does not deserve any respect.

Garment-maker: You gnus are so arrogant and strident. You are garment haters and garment deniers. You are only doing this so you can sell your anti-garment books and gather anti-garment followers. Obviously we have to worry that you are going to do violence to peaceful garment-makers - after all if the Emperor's clothes don't exist then what is to stop you from killing and skinning us all?

Gnu: Now, you have just gone of the deep end.

Garment-maker: See, you want to put in mental wards - really, just concentration camps.

Gnu: This is ridiculous. I think, I'm just going to leave.

Garment-maker: See, the gnus are obviously wrong they can't even properly address the classic garment evidence.

Hugo Pelland said...

Cal is spot on; Theists have everything backward because you guys see your position as the default. We all live in reality and some of us don't believe the claims that Theists make about the nature of reality. They say they believe in more stuff than what reality actually demonstrates, and then ask us, non-believers, why we believe the opposite. But we don't! We just don't believe YOU and YOUR positions. Every single theist writing here dodges the same questions...
. Why is there matter/energy? I don't know, do you?
. Could the natural world have always existed? I don't know, do you?
. How can you prove you exist independently of the material world? I don't know, do you?
But Theists who engage in such discussions, and blame the Atheists for being incoherent, actually do pretend that they know enough to believe some answers. And somehow, saying we 'don't know' then becomes a strong irrational position...

So please do show where my actual beliefs are incoherent, irrational, unsupported, etc... because I would love to know. But obviously, this won't happen, because the best you can do is call me names for not accepting your beliefs...

Hugo Pelland said...

Regarding the issues with SJW though, it seems that most of us here are on the same side though. The excessive pro-PC crowd is supported by neither pro-theism or pro-atheism alone. Personally, I learned most of this issue from far right wing Christians initially, and only more recently from some liberal secular sources.

Joe Hinman said...

Atheists use that story to create analogy with apologists when we say "you don't understand theology." They are trying to say it's just obscure BS. It's very tiresome. They want to see them elves as intellectual but they wont stand up to the logic. When they try to they run up against their own ignorance then mock theology.

jdhuey said...

What exactly is there to understand about theology? What exactly is there to understand about the fashion statement made by the clothes on a naked man?

B. Prokop said...

Cal,

Atheism is in and of itself a contradiction in terms.

The atheist has no explanation for his own existence, and yet here he is.

He can point to no source or foundation for objective morality (or like im-skeptical will deny its very existence), yet in the very next breath will cheerfully label a Christian a bigot or a hater for insisting on said morality. (How can anyone be a "hater" without objective morality? And what cause does an atheist have to complain about anyone's behavior, regardless of what it is, without an appeal to objective morality?)

The atheist has no rationale for ever changing another's opinion, yet will spill oceans of ink or zillions of ones and zeros in the effort to do so.

The atheist will, without the least embarrassment, accuse Christians of hypocrisy for one thing or another, all the while going to great pains and employing every logical fallacy in the book to avoid owning up to the far greater atrocities committed by atheists.

He will insist that the universe is meaningless and purposeless ("piteously indifferent" is, I believe, one of the favored phrases), yet will, blissfully unaware of the irony, declare how important his family is, or how righteous this or that cause is.

He will cry foul if anyone dares to characterize or define atheism, yet is not shy about insisting that Christians are obligated to interpret Scripture in some particular fashion (usually a variant of wooden literalism), and refuse to admit there is any other way of doing so.

The atheist will claim that all believers are culturally biased (see: the OTF™), yet (with rare exception) refuse to admit to any such bias on his own part.

The atheist will say that the existence of more than one religion means they are all false, yet see nothing wrong with both Vladimir Lenin and Ayn Rand being atheists.

He will hype the phony, non-existent "War between Science and Religion", while ignoring the thousands upon thousands of great Christian men and women of science throughout the centuries.

The atheist will claim that the Christian has invented the history of the New Testament, yet has himself embraced a multitude of demonstrably false historical myths (Constantine imposed the Biblical Canon, the Crusades were unjustified aggression against peace-loving Muslims, people used to believe the Earth was flat, the Catholic Church forbade people from reading The Bible, they used to burn atheists at the stake, etc., etc.)

The atheist will have heard a Christian tell him countless times that a miracle is by definition an exception to the normally applicable laws of nature, but will nevertheless a moment later insist that miracles are impossible because they violate the laws of nature. (pause for a groan and an eye roll)

Now these are all generally observed traits of atheists as a group. If you think any of the above do not apply to you specifically, then kindly tell us which ones.

Jezu ufam tobie!

Cal Metzger said...

Prokop: "Atheism is in and of itself a contradiction in terms."

I don't believe there are any gods. You claim this is a contradiction. I don't think you understand the term contradiction.

If you're going to try and say that one can't think without believing there is a god, then you will be employing circular reasoning, which is a fallacy.

So, you seem to not know what the term contradiction means, and the only way I can imagine your first statement making sense is if it you employed the fallacy of circular reasoning.

That's your best shot?

Legion of Logic said...

Jdhuey, it is self evident if a monarch is wearing clothes or not. It is not self evident that God does not exist. It may not have been you who made this point but if theism makes a ton of sense and has a lot of explanatory power, and atheism makes no sense and has zero explanatory power (which is the case based on current knowledge) then I hold theism as my default position. A logical case must actually be made for the intellectual merits of any position, and I have yet to see it made for atheism after over a decade of online interactions with them. Seems the atheist position is comprised almost entirely of bluster and fallacy, but then maybe that's primarily because I don't encounter serious thinkers within the antitheistic movement. I'd like to think the more rational atheists are embarrassed by the new atheist movement.

B. Prokop said...

"If you're going to try and say that one can't think without believing there is a god"

No, you can definitely still think. You just can't do so rationally or honestly. Sorry to be so blunt, but there it is. The atheist will inevitably, sooner or later (and most often sooner) run up against one or more (or all) of the logical incoherencies I listed above.

The only way a person can be an atheist and retain the least shred of intellectual integrity is by denying there is any meaning or purpose to life, that love, beauty, honor, and truth itself are all illusions, that he himself does not really exist as a identifiable entity, that there is no objective morality and therefore no one has any call to criticize anyone else no matter what that person does, and that nothing matters in the long run anyway, because one microsecond after a person's death, everything - himself, whatever he ever thought, felt, or did, the universe itself - might as well never have existed.

You cannot be a logically consistent atheist without embracing all of the above. And it is only by the Grace of the God you do not acknowledge that you have avoided such a sorry state of affairs.

Jezu ufam tobie!

jdhuey said...

LoL, you seem to have made a number of typos in your post. I've corrected them below. Your welcome.


JDHuey, it is self evident if a monarch is wearing clothes or not. It is not self evident that God exists. It may not have been you who made this point but if atheism makes a ton of sense and has a lot of explanatory power, and theism makes no sense and has zero explanatory power (which is the case based on current knowledge) then I hold atheism as my default position. A logical case must actually be made for the intellectual merits of any position, and I have yet to see it made for theism after over a decades of online interactions with them. Seems the theist position is comprised almost entirely of wish fulfillment and fallacy, but then maybe that's primarily because I don't encounter serious thinkers within the theistic movement. I'd like to think the more rational theists are embarrassed by their own beliefs.

planks length said...

Your welcome.

Ahem. Speaking of typos, I believe you meant to type "You're welcome" perhaps?

jdhuey said...

You are correct Plank. Typing is not my strong suit.

But more important, I think, is that even with the corrected (you're welcome)typos that corrects a paragraph written in Bizarro world, there are still things in it I don't entirely agree with. I don't think that atheism has any explanatory powers, neither does theism. Naturalism on the other hand does have explanatory powers but supernaturalism does not.

planks length said...

supernaturalism does not [have explanatory powers]

Really? It can explain the existence of consciousness, good and evil, meaning and purpose, beauty and ugliness, truth and falsehood, existence itself.

Now, you may not agree with the explanations, but you cannot deny the explanations are there. Ergo, supernaturalism has explanatory powers.

Hugo Pelland said...

Really? If it can explain these things; how does it work?

jdhuey said...

P.L.,

What I would say is that Supernaturalism provides humans with the abillity to concoct emotionally satisfying stories. These stories (myths) can have a powerful resonance but only within our mental lives. What they lack is a basis in reality. When Jon Edwards talks with dead people or the tarot card reader spins a yarn, or an astrological reading explains why you lost your job, there are all storytelling divorced from reality. Stories from the Book of the Dead, or from the Vedas, or from the Bible or any other religious source are also divorced from reality. So, yes, I do just disagree with the explanations. I do recognize the emotional appeal of these stories and enjoy them at that level but that is different than seeing these stories as good explanations of reality.

planks length said...

What they lack is a basis in reality.

Sez hoo?

as good explanations

Ohhh... now you're hedging your bets! Before, you were happy to say there were no explanations. So now we've got you as far as admitting there are explanations - they're just not your (a.k.a., "good") explanations.

OK, I got that.

Cal Metzger said...

Prokop: "I have yet to meet an atheist (either in person or online) whose thought, whether he admits it or not, is not riddled with contradictions and logical fallacies."
Me: "Name the best, most obvious case of my contradicting myself or of my employing a logical fallacy."
Prokop (explaining himself?): "You just can't [think] so rationally or honestly [without believing there is a god]. Sorry to be so blunt, but there it is. "

And that's Bob Prokop's argument. To be clear, it is:
a) falsely accuse others of what you employ (e.g., fallacies)
b) use that which you accuse others (fallacious reasoning) to try and support your claim
c) apparently not realize how poorly your reasoning reflects on you and others who share your beliefs.



Hugo Pelland said...

@B. Prokop; back to you...

Yes, you can definitely still think. You just can't do so rationally or honestly. Sorry to be so blunt, but there it is. You inevitably, sooner or later (and most often sooner) run up against one or more logical incoherencies in your worldview and have to fall back to your emotions, faith and gut feelings to get away without thinking too much. Because thinking is hard, and you are too lazy to actually do it.

The only way a person can be your kind of theist (not all theists are delusional like you) and retain the least shred of intellectual integrity is by denying there is any meaning or purpose to life, love, beauty, honor, and truth itself, without a god. You place everything as contingent on your imaginary god in order to justify why you think that god really do exist. In reality, you cannot even justify that you, yourself, really exist as an identifiable non-material entity, yet pretend that non-material existence is a given, that your god is non-material and created everything, out of nothing, without explaining how that could possibly work. There is no objective morality and therefore no one has any call to criticize anyone else no matter what that person does, and that nothing matters in the long run anyway, because one microsecond after a person's death, everything - himself, whatever he ever thought, felt, or did, the universe itself - might as well never have existed; because the only thing that really matters is what the god thinks, decided, and does with your non-material soul after death.

No one can ever be a logically consistent theist, period. But some are more delusional then others, and it is only because you have other people who believe the same irrational ideas and act in the same unreasonable way that you can avoid realizing how sorry the state of your beliefs is, with respect to reality.

B. Prokop said...

Eye of the beholder, Cal, eye of the beholder. Like I said in my first comment on this thread. You are incapable of seeing the brilliance of my postings, and I am unable to see any point to yours.

By the way, I stand by my statement. The atheist cannot avoid the violations of logic and reason that I listed without being intellectually dishonest™. (apologies to Ilion)

So what is your response to the following? (re-posted and corrected)

The only way a person can be an atheist and retain the least shred of intellectual integrity is by denying there is any meaning or purpose to life, by declaring that love, beauty, honor, and truth itself are all illusions, that he himself does not really exist as a identifiable entity, that there is no objective morality and therefore no one has any call to criticize anyone else no matter what that person does, and that nothing matters in the long run anyway, because one microsecond after a person's death, everything - himself, whatever he ever thought, felt, or did, the universe itself - might as well never have existed. You cannot be a logically consistent atheist without embracing all of the above.

Jezu ufam tobie!

jdhuey said...

Plank,

Not 'hedging my bets', just clarifying my postion.

Chris said...

Are Hugo and Cal channelling Skeppy and Paps?

B. Prokop said...

Hugo,

(I had to correct a few typos in your posting.)

The only way a person can be [a Christian] and retain the least shred of intellectual integrity is by denying there [could be] any meaning or purpose to life, love, beauty, honor, and truth itself, without [G]od.

Yes, I agree with that unconditionally.

[E]verything [is] contingent on [G]od [which explains why you] really do exist.

Correct.

In reality, you can .. justify that you, yourself, really exist as an identifiable [composite non-material/material entity

Yup.

[G]od is non-material and created everything, out of nothing

I do affirm that.

without explaining how that could possibly work.

St. Thomas Aquinas did that for me. No need to reinvent the wheel. Read The Summa.

There is [definitely an] objective morality and therefore [every right thinking person] has [the duty to criticize others when they behave in an objectively evil manner]

Yes, that is the case.

[Everything] matters in the long run, because one microsecond after a person's death, everything [a person] ever thought, felt, or did [will be subject to the Judgement of Almighty God, and] the only thing that really matters is what [G]od thinks, decide[s], and does with your non-material soul [and your resurrected material body] after death.

I'd say that about sums things up.

Jezu ufam tobie!

B. Prokop said...

"Are Hugo and Cal channelling Skeppy and Paps?"

I'm beginning to believe that.

"Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again." (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring)

Hugo Pelland said...

Chris, thanks for proving the point that there is nothing but ridicule to be offered apparently. I have asked at least 3 times to discuss serious, yet simple, questions such as 'Has matter/energy always existed?' with no answer, but if I write a ridicule piece like I just did, using word-by-word what Bob wrote with some purposeful changes... well of course THAT gets some feedback within MINUTES.

Hugo Pelland said...

Bob, thanks to you too for the same reason. But you went further than just 'nothing' by offering actual bullshit, such as:

"The only way a person can be [a Christian] and retain the least shred of intellectual integrity is by denying there [could be] any meaning or purpose to life, love, beauty, honor, and truth itself, without [G]od.
Yes, I agree with that unconditionally.
"
Ok, so are you a crazy fundamentalist that think that nothing, at all, has any meaning; or you are actually sane and understand that life is not just about God, and will concede that what you just agreed to is ridiculous? Which is it?
To be clear, let me make it simpler for you: there is a red cup on my desk right now. Is that true only if God exists?

"In reality, you can .. justify that you, yourself, really exist as an identifiable [composite non-material/material entity
Yup.
"
No, you cannot. What happens in your head stays in your head, no matter how hard you try. You cannot justify your own existence without using the material world. That's a fact. And that's precisely where Crude checked out of that long conversation I had with him because it's absurd to pretend otherwise.

" [G]od is non-material and created everything, out of nothing
I do affirm that.
without explaining how that could possibly work.
St. Thomas Aquinas did that for me. No need to reinvent the wheel. Read The Summa.
"
A book written almost 1,000 years ago will explain to me how the universe was created via supernatural means?
Again, are you crazy and proud of it, or are you just pulling my leg?

" the only thing that really matters is what [G]od thinks, decide[s "
Hence, it's not objective.

Victor Reppert said...

OK, has matter and energy always existed?

In this lecture, I would like to discuss whether time itself has a beginning, and whether it will have an end. All the evidence seems to indicate, that the universe has not existed forever, but that it had a beginning, about 15 billion years ago. This is probably the most remarkable discovery of modern cosmology. Yet it is now taken for granted. We are not yet certain whether the universe will have an end. When I gave a lecture in Japan, I was asked not to mention the possible re-collapse of the universe, because it might affect the stock market. However, I can re-assure anyone who is nervous about their investments that it is a bit early to sell: even if the universe does come to an end, it won't be for at least twenty billion years. By that time, maybe the GATT trade agreement will have come into effect. ---Stephen Hawking.

Before Big Bang theory developed, the only people who would have agreed with that statement were theists. Now, atheists have adjusted their position to accept this, much the way, we are told, Christians have "adjusted" to accept evolutionary biology.

Legion of Logic said...

Jdhuey, it wasn't nice of you to pretend to quote me and put a bunch of inaccuracies in my post. Shame on you.

Hugo Pelland said...

Right, except Christians, in the USA especially, have not adapted at all to the knowledge provided by Evolutionary Biology, and Hawkins certainly doesn't believe in supernatural creation, nor in what you would like his words to mean regarding the universe having a beginning. It's only 'our' visible universe that he's talking about, and you probably know that, so were you lying on purpose?

B. Prokop said...

[T]here is a red cup on my desk right now. Is that true only if God exists?

Correct. That is only true if God exists. As The Book of Common Prayer says, "We thank thee for our creation and our preservation" (my emphasis)

You cannot justify your own existence without using the material world.

That is 100% true, and also 100% Christian Orthodoxy. Human beings are a composite body/soul entity.

A book written almost 1,000 years ago will explain to me how the universe was created via supernatural means?"

Yup. It's more like 750 years ago, however. Is that a problem?

Hence, it's not objective.

The very definition of "objective" is how things are perceived by God, whose name is "I am who am". God does not "exist" - He is existence.

Jezu ufam tobie!

Victor Reppert said...

No, I thought I was answering the question of whether the universe had a beginning. Of course it's our visible universe, what other universe can science talk about?

There is a considerable project concerning exactly what the real content of evolutionary theory is, exactly what is established be evidence and what is being presupposed (although we are sometimes told that it has to be presupposed). When I was growing up it was enough to be an evolutionist to believe in an ancient earth, gradual speciation, and common ancestry. Michael Behe accepts all three, but he's still called an IDiot. There's a lot of confusion, also, as to whether evolution requires the exclusion of design from the theory or the denial of design.

jdhuey said...

LoL,

I thought it was clear that I had taken your post and had "corrected your typos" to convert your position to something nearly rational. The changes I made to the meaning of your text are so blatant, it is obvious that there was no attempt at deception. So, the only shame that I feel is for my mistake that Plank's Length pointed out.

Hugo Pelland said...

Science cannot currently prove/disprove other universes, or any kind of natural causes, that would account for the existence of the natural world. That's the point. Yet, to believe in a creating god other than 'purely on faith' implies a rejection of what science says and an unjustified claim that 'no known natural cause' implies 'a supernatural cause.'

Victor Reppert said...

Why? Science doesn't deny anything outside its domain. It just doesn't talk about it. And this assumes that we have a clear idea of what "supernatural" means. Unless you give me a definition of "natural" that is clear, then while I know what I believe in, I don't know whether what I believe in can be fitted in to an "ideally completed science" or not. Science posits new elements all the time.

Hugo Pelland said...

It's those who believe in 'what science doesn't talk about' who need to explain what they believe in and why; it's those who believe in the supernatural who need to explain why both natural and supernatural things exist, and how we can define the latter.

Victor Reppert said...

But I haven't conceded that science can't talk about these things. All I require is that science doesn't make sense except in a universe in which mentalistic explanations are basic. Otherwise you have a "material" world that underdetermines anyone's mental states. But if our mental states are indeterminate, then rational inference is impossible.

Hugo Pelland said...

I know that's what you think; that's the Primacy of Consciousness. The only thing you can fathom when it comes to existence.

Victor Reppert said...

I can imagine discovering that mind does exist and matter does not really exist. But if I decide that matter exists but that it never gave rise to mind, then it I couldn't say that without implying that I have the very mental states whose existence I was denying.

Cal Metzger said...

Prokop: "Eye of the beholder, Cal, eye of the beholder."

No. A fallacy is a fallacy -- there's really nothing subjective about it. That you would retreat further into calling logic a matter of subjective interpretation just reveals how afraid you truly are of questioning your beliefs. You are who you reveal yourself to be.

Prokop: "So what is your response to the following? (re-posted and corrected) / The only way a person can be an atheist and retain the least shred of intellectual integrity is by denying there is any meaning or purpose to life, by declaring that love, beauty, honor, and truth itself are all illusions, that he himself does not really exist as a identifiable entity, that there is no objective morality and therefore no one has any call to criticize anyone else no matter what that person does, and that nothing matters in the long run anyway, because one microsecond after a person's death, everything - himself, whatever he ever thought, felt, or did, the universe itself - might as well never have existed. You cannot be a logically consistent atheist without embracing all of the above."

My response is that you reveal a fairly monstrous set of misrepresentations about what atheism means. I think that you are deeply, deeply afraid of having led an irrelevant life, and of death, and that these fears drive you away from a reasonable understanding of your fellow human beings.

Your bigoted opinions offend me. No one needs to believe in a god to find your opinions offensive, and I suppose that only belief in a god could make your dehumanizing characterizations seem acceptable.

And that's why religious belief like yours can be pernicious; it offers people like you an imagined respectability for dehumanizing others, because, god! So, you should realize this -- every time you talk more about what your god means to you, you really just reveal more about yourself. And as we see above, that's not always very pretty.



Cal Metzger said...

Reppert: "Before Big Bang theory developed, the only people who would have agreed with that statement were theists. Now, atheists have adjusted their position to accept this, much the way, we are told, Christians have "adjusted" to accept evolutionary biology."

Except that big bang theory doesn't posit that the universe came from nothing, only that the universe as we know it came into existence at a specific time. So, strike one on your understanding of modern cosmology.

And that theists like the Hindus, Buddhists, and even the ancient Greeks seem to have guessed better at what modern cosmology looks like today. So, strike two against your understanding of any privileged position for your version of creationism.

Also, what with a creator god existing outside the universe, any claim to existence having come into being with the creation of the universe runs into a problem of WTF are you even talking about.

Also, atheists don't have an entailed belief regarding existence. Atheists have a position on gods (that the existence of gods is incompatible with everything that's revealed about reality).

And lastly, you still haven't answered the question that you asked Hugo Pelland. You asked, "So, why do matter and energy exist?"

Hugo responded, "I don't know, do you."

Are you ever going to get around to answering that question?


B. Prokop said...

"I think that you are deeply, deeply afraid of having led an irrelevant life"

That comment just shows how dangerous (and ludicrous) internet psychoanalysis can be. I can assure you, nothing could be further from the truth. Ask Victor, who's known me well for more than 40 years.

"and [afraid] of death"

Again, I am serenely ready for it. I expect it to be (relatively) soon.

"misrepresentations about what atheism means"

What I wrote is a straightforward taking the implications of atheism to their logical conclusions. Every time I hear or read a professed atheist attempt to deny any of its particulars, they either

a) abandon all pretense of believing in objective truth, and say that things are "meaningful for them" and leave it at that, or

b) do what you just did and not even respond, trying to turn the tables and make it all about me. How are my opinions "bigoted"? You haven't refuted them, so there's no grounds to label them as such. You're offended? Well, suffice it to say that some people are offended by the truth.

Dehumanizing? Yes, atheism is extremely, indeed maximally, dehumanizing. But that's not my fault. It is inherent to atheism. All you are doing is shooting the messenger.

Jezu ufam tobie!

Cal Metzger said...

Prokop: "Dehumanizing? Yes, atheism is extremely, indeed maximally, dehumanizing."

No. Atheism is extremely de-godifying. Once we look at our lives without an imagined god, we can focus on finding our own meaning in relation to everything around us. With or without a god we all enjoy that same opportunity.

Prokop: "But that's not my fault. It is inherent to atheism."

No it's not inherent to atheism. I do believe that the view you hold is inherent to you, but that's about all I can concede on that one.

Prokop: "What I wrote is a straightforward taking the implications of atheism to their logical conclusions."

Meaning has nothing whatsoever to do with a god existing or not existing. As I showed earlier though, logic and reason are clearly not your strong suits.

Prokop: "How are my opinions "bigoted"?"

You deny the enjoyment of human attributes to those who don't share your views. See the definition of bigotry.

You are, by standard definition, a bigot. Just as you are, by definition (and as demonstrated here upthread), a fallacious thinker. Please note that these are not my opinions, this is not something that can be disputed by reasonable people who share a common understanding of definitions, etc. And these are things that you appear to choose to be. Because of your apparent need for religion.

Last thing -- please note that I am not blaming your religion, here. I am blaming you. You are a fellow human, and you are responsible for your choices. I don't blame the bible, or a non-existent god, for those characteristics you reveal about yourself. But I do shine a light on them, because I resent the way you use religion to disguise or justify what is pretty shoddy behavior.



B. Prokop said...

"Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad ... for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you."

So I will thank you for your comments against me. I must be doing something right.

Hugo Pelland said...

Yep, you're doing that right because it's one of the most basic self-defense mechanisms that religions evolved over time. If people agree with you, clearly you are on the right track; but if people think you are wrong, you are on the right track too! Must be Satan who sent Cal to tempt you, so you are perfectly right to be a bigot who denies others' humanity since their lives are worthless without a god. But God is love, right? So he must have a plan for these evil people should they choose the right God in the end; as long as it's Bob's God.

B. Prokop said...

Hugo,

I would have worded it a bit differently, but yeah... that's about right.

Hugo Pelland said...

I appreciate your candor; at least you're consistent.

Cal Metzger said...

@Hugo, normally I like to carefully draw out what theists tell me in order to make very clear to readers the contradictions, special pleading, inconsistency, etc. in those theists' beliefs.

With Bob, I find that I seldom need to point out or draw attention to those things, as his comments usually make the same point I would, without much need for explication or exposition on my part. So in some ways, it's almost refreshing. Horrifying, and refreshing all at once. :)

Hugo Pelland said...

"So in some ways, it's almost refreshing. Horrifying, and refreshing all at once. :)"

Agreed!

grodrigues said...

@Hugo Pelland:

'"St. Thomas Aquinas did that for me. No need to reinvent the wheel. Read The Summa."

A book written almost 1,000 years ago will explain to me how the universe was created via supernatural means? Again, are you crazy and proud of it, or are you just pulling my leg?'

It is these type of comments that demonstrate to everyone's satisfaction that you haven't got the faintest clue of what you are talking about.

Cal Metzger said...

grodrigues: "It is these type of comments that demonstrate to everyone's satisfaction that you haven't got the faintest clue of what you are talking about."

It is these type of comments that demonstrate to everyone's satisfaction that the emperor's clothes are indeed embroidered with the finest silks and tassels.

grodrigues said...

@Carl Metzger:

"It is these type of comments that demonstrate to everyone's satisfaction that the emperor's clothes are indeed embroidered with the finest silks and tassels."

How cute. A troll that thinks he has a clue. Grunt a little more, please, if only to amuse me.

Cal Metzger said...

grodrigues: "How cute. A troll that thinks he has a clue. Grunt a little more, please, if only to amuse me."

Courtier much?

Hugo Pelland said...

grodrigues said...
" It is these type of comments that demonstrate to everyone's satisfaction that you haven't got the faintest clue of what you are talking about."
Yep, same feeling towards you from my side here... except that I am actually TALKING about stuff, while you are just throwing short useless blurb to show your support to "everyone", which are of course really just the people who agree with you... In this specific case, you were replying to a question as to HOW the universe came to be the way it is, something that nobody knows, absolute no one, yet Bob says that this old book explains it... ridiculous comment on your part.

grodrigues said...

"Courtier much?"

And right on cue, the troll grunted.

@Hugo Pelland:

"Yep, same feeling towards you from my side here... except that I am actually TALKING about stuff, while you are just throwing short useless blurb to show your support to "everyone", which are of course really just the people who agree with you... "

Oh yes, your actually TALKING about stuff consisted in hurling such brilliant gems of thought as "A book written almost 1,000 years ago will explain to me how the universe was created via supernatural means? Again, are you crazy and proud of it, or are you just pulling my leg?'", a demonstration of chronological snobbery, of elementary mathematical inability as the Summa is not even 800 years old and is certainly far more relevant than your opinions, that while not even 800 hours old, are as stale as a dead rat, and a complete inability to grasp what Aquinas is doing (hint: no, he is not trying to explain "how the universe was created via supernatural means"). The brilliance of it is blindingly dazzling. Actually TALKING about stuff...

Hugo Pelland said...

Well, you did much better on the other thread on "A summary of James Ross's Immaterial Aspects of Thought", so you should stick to that instead of spouting more non-sense that does nothing to answer the original sentence: "...your god is non-material and created everything, out of nothing, without explaining how that could possibly work..." and which Aquinas did not explain as you said. So fine, thanks for confirming. And yes, I know it's not even 800, I was rounding up on purpose, AFTER looking up the exact date. Pardon my sloppy estimate... as if it made a difference.

grodrigues said...

@Hugo Pelland:

"Well, you did much better on the other thread on "A summary of James Ross's Immaterial Aspects of Thought", so you should stick to that instead of spouting more non-sense that does nothing to answer the original sentence"

But I did not address your original sentence, did I? What I addressed and responded was what I quoted. It can hardly be faulted of being "nonsense" for not responding a question, when it was not written in response to said question. Do you even bother to read? Can you even read? Are you a badly programmed MGonz clone?

Hugo Pelland said...

Ok, if you weren't replying to my orignal sentence, then your comment on Aquinas' Summa is irrelevant in the context. I was not dishing old texts in general just because they are old. No need to question my ability to read; such pointless childish personal attack...

grodrigues said...

@Hugo Pelland:

"Ok, if you weren't replying to my orignal sentence, then your comment on Aquinas' Summa is irrelevant in the context."

What is relevant to my answer is what my answer was trying to, well, answer, not what, in a pathetic attempt to save face, you imagine it is relevant.

"I was not dishing old texts in general just because they are old."

That was exactly what you did. What you said was and I quote: "A book written almost 1,000 years ago will explain to me how the universe was created via supernatural means? Again, are you crazy and proud of it, or are you just pulling my leg?" Since you *demonstrably* do not have the foggiest idea of what Aquinas is getting at, your complaint reduces to that it was written 1000 years ago. And the point of inserting that irrelevant tidbit is precisely "dishing old texts" "just because they are old".

"No need to question my ability to read; such pointless childish personal attack..."

But demonstrably you cannot read. About the personal attacks, the immediate cause of my answer was the quoted portion, which contains an impingment on B. Prokop's intellectual seriousness ("Again, are you crazy and proud of it, or are you just pulling my leg?") so you can take your complaints elsewhere, to someone that actually cares. This is typical of Gnus; have no qualms dishing it out, but when hit back, start whining like a mama's boy.

Ilíon said...

"This is typical of Gnus; have no qualms dishing it out, but when hit back, start whining like a mama's boy."

I'm thinking that even a mama's boy has more manly self-respect.

Cal Metzger said...

grodrigues: "Since you *demonstrably* do not have the foggiest idea of what Aquinas is getting at, your complaint reduces to that it was written 1000 years ago. And the point of inserting that irrelevant tidbit is precisely "dishing old texts" "just because they are old"."

Since you demonstrably do not have the foggiest idea of what the Emperor's tailors were striving to adorn, your complaint reduces to that the silkens had acquired a certain musty moldiness. And the point of inserting that irrelevant tidbit that the Emperor must be feeling chilled is precisely "dishing nakedness" just because there are no adornments under which it can reside.

Just when I thought the courtliness couldn't get any higher.