Friday, May 05, 2017

Owen Gingerich on science and religion

People in the scientific community think that the discoveries of science support their religious beliefs, but many are hesitant to make these claims of science itself, because they think that science, per se, can't talk about God. But based on that rule, per se science is by definition religiously neutral. Unless some configuration of evidence would, if we had it, support the claim that God does exist, then no configuration of evidence could possibly support the claim that God does not exist.

An example of a scientist of this sort would be Owen Gingerich. See also the discussion of his book here. 

155 comments:

Stardusty Psyche said...

"per se science is by definition religiously neutral. Unless some configuration of evidence would, if we had it, support the claim that God does exist, then no configuration of evidence could possibly support the claim that God does not exist."

Certain formulations of god are purported to strongly interact with our observable universe. Therefore such a god is, in principle, scientifically detectable and thus a fit subject of scientific investigation.

God must be made of something, else god is no thing, nothing, literally not anything. Since god is made of something that god material is at least potentially scientifically discoverable.

The soul is said to inhabit the human body, interact with at least the brain, and depart from the human body upon death. Since the purported soul is said to interact with a physical object, the brain, the soul is, in principle, scientifically detectable and thus a fit subject of scientific investigation.

Various traits such as free will and omnipotence are attributed to some formulations of god. Since free will and omnipotence are logically incompatible that sort of god can be shown to be logically false.

God is sometimes said to be the only possible source of morality. If other sources of morality can be scientifically identified then that formulation of god can be shown to be scientifically unnecessary.

And on and on and on.

Stephen J Gould was a wonderful writer in some respects, but he was wrong about his notion of separate magisteria. Science has a very great deal to say about god and thus far the verdict is in the negative.

Joe Hinman said...



All the aspects of religious belief you are railing against are veritable. The Bible seems to say the soul is a symbol of life and spirit is mind. No need for ghost in machine.


you statement about Gould is nothing more than scinetism. It's not scoiemnce it;moving beyond the valid boarders of science to hegemony against other fields and forms of knowledge,
see my blog piece abut just published today.

Scientismn is As Scientism
does
on Metacrock's blog

grodrigues said...

"Science has a very great deal to say about god and thus far the verdict is in the negative."

Complete and utter ignorant nonsense. There are exactly zero peer-reviewed papers in the physics literature (or chemistry or...) about the existence of God.

Mortal said...

grodrigues,

This is one of those times I wish we could "like" someone's comment, because I would certainly give yours an up-arrow!

(Besides, real scientists, such as Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Gregor Mendel, Pasteur, Georges Lemaitre, et.al., actually have "said a great deal" about God - all of it positive.)

bmiller said...

Agreed.
I don't care who you are. That's funny.

Mortal said...

bmiller,

Who are you agreeing with?

bmiller said...

@Mortal,

You of course.

Stardusty Psyche said...

grodrigues said...

"Science has a very great deal to say about god and thus far the verdict is in the negative."

" Complete and utter ignorant nonsense. There are exactly zero peer-reviewed papers in the physics literature (or chemistry or...) about the existence of God."
Which god? The Christian god? Almost uncountable scientific papers refute the fairy tales of the Christian bible.


May 08, 2017 5:54 PM

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

"Almost uncountable scientific papers refute the fairy tales of the Christian bible."

Not only does Stardusty Psyche change the subject after he has been thoroughly and soundly refuted (from the "existence of God" to "the fairy tales of the Christian bible"), but there are exactly zero peer-reviewed papers in the physics literature (or chemistry or...) refuting or even so much discussing the "fairy tales of the Christian bible". One can search, and will search in vain, for any discussion of the resurrection say, in the Physics literature. And for obvious reasons -- obvious, unless one is a moron and a delusional crank like the psycho Stardusty.

Stardusty Psyche said...

grodrigues said...

" but there are exactly zero peer-reviewed papers in the physics literature (or chemistry or...) refuting or even so much discussing the "fairy tales of the Christian bible". "
Ha Ha Ha.

The creation story and flood are scientifically false. The whole of physics, astronomy, cosmology, geology, paleontology, and biology scientifically prove this obvious fact.


May 09, 2017 3:51 AM

grodrigues said...

"Ha Ha Ha."

One would think that even a moron would understand that if one is going to laugh at 'there are exactly zero peer-reviewed papers in the physics literature (or chemistry or...) refuting or even so much discussing the "fairy tales of the Christian bible"', one would at least be able present examples of 'peer-reviewed papers in the physics literature (or chemistry or...) refuting or even so much discussing the "fairy tales of the Christian bible"'.

But that is a moron for you, laughing at his own stupid ignorance.

Once again, it is a fact that there are no such papers. And again, a little bit of thinking quickly reveals the reason why there are, and there can be, no such papers, but that is what psycho over there is incapable of doing.

Joe Hinman said...

Which god? The Christian god? Almost uncountable scientific papers refute the fairy tales of the Christian bible.

bull shit, there is no scientific evidence against God. distinguished between
god and Christian god is true mark of ignorance. If you said that based upon evolution that is not endemic to Christianity; if you say because of miracles there can be no scientific evidence that miracles don't ever happen. that is especially true with descriptive laws of physics,

Joe Hinman said...

The creation story and flood are scientifically false. The whole of physics, astronomy, cosmology, geology, paleontology, and biology scientifically prove this obvious fact.

Christianity is not predicated upon literal misinterpretation of those ideas. Catholics have oked evolution a long time ago. You are confusing all of Christina with fundamentalism,

Mortal said...

Atheists love to do battle with literalist fundamentalists, because they know damn well that their clocks will be cleaned whenever they come up against orthodox Christianity.

Their stubborn confusing fundamentalism with Christianity is on a par with believers who think all atheists are child molesters or communists (or both).

They're like a person who searches for his car keys under a lamppost, despite the fact he dropped them 50 feet away from it, because "the light's better here."

Hugo Pelland said...

Ya I dont think Stardusty Psyche is addressing the topic of the post here.

But he does raise points that, based on scientific observations, make Theism less likely ti be true, given its historical failure at explaining anything correctly.

The fact that you have to detach yourselves from fundamentalism is not helping arguments supporting the belief in God; it does the opposite. But it does make you, as individuals, sound more rational, so it's a good thing and we should all embrace that instead of calling each other morons...

Mortal said...

Detach ourselves from fundamentalism? What does that even mean? Orthodox Christianity never embraced fundamentalism, so there's nothing to detach ourselves from. It's like saying the United States has to detach itself from Australia.

Fundamentalism as a mass movement is an historically quite recent phenomenon, almost exclusively restricted to specific sects of Evangelical Protestantism. The percentage of Mainline Protestants who read The Bible literally is in the single digits. Amongst Catholics and the Orthodox Churches, the number is too small to measure. The very idea of reading the scriptures literally was either never addressed or rejected outright by all the Early Church Fathers. Augustine went as far as to openly ridicule literalism, saying explicitly that it amounted to "talking nonsense". Even Saint Paul approached the stories in what we now call the Old Testament (Paul would have just called it "the scriptures") as allegory.

Hugo Pelland said...

What does that mean!? It means I agree with what you just said!

Don't you know the % of Americans who believe the Earth is young because of Christian influence? I am saying that, thankfully, you are 'not' like these people. You are more sophisticated. You accept the facts of the actual world we live in.

Joe Hinman said...

But he does raise points that, based on scientific observations, make Theism less likely ti be true, given its historical failure at explaining anything correctly.


It is scientism that has decided the purpose of religion is to explanation the kind of things science explains,you cannot give me an example of anything religion fails to explain except thing it does not preport to explain.

The fact that you have to detach yourselves from fundamentalism is not helping arguments supporting the belief in God; it does the opposite. But it does make you, as individuals, sound more rational, so it's a good thing and we should all embrace that instead of calling each other morons...

please read some church history, if you are going to put your yourself out as the big thinker man who is so brilliant you destroy Christianity you need to at least understand what you ate talking about.Clearly you are assuring that fundieism is the true faith and all else is departure from the original, that is a load crap..

Liberal scholarship and theology began to emerge in the Renaissance with 'Erasmus. Chicago statment style fundamentalkism began in itls rootsim 1830s with J.N.Darby,

Joe Hinman said...

Don't you know the % of Americans who believe the Earth is young because of Christian influence? I am saying that, thankfully, you are 'not' like these people. You are more sophisticated. You accept the facts of the actual world we live in.

don't you know that Christianity is not up for a vote? we are not having an election god does not run for reelection. It would not matter if I was the last one,Truth woudl\still be true

Joe Hinman said...

besides about 15 years ago Bqarna did a bunch of research that showed only about 20% still accept fundamentalist views. pew religiosity landscape showed 25%.

bmiller said...

I believe you can find 20% of people believe any idea.

Hugo Pelland said...

Joe Hinman said...
"It is scientism that has decided the purpose of religion is to explanation the kind of things science explains,you cannot give me an example of anything religion fails to explain except thing it does not preport to explain."
'In the beginning, God created...' that used to be a literal explanation, we now understand this to be poetic. Pretty much all religions, as far as I know, have some form of origins story. This is something that science addresses directly. Thankfully, you're smart enough to let the scientific fact take over, when available, but religions did, and still do, try to explain the origin of pretty much everything, yet have failed consistently to present anything useful. So that's one example...

"please read some church history, if you are going to put your yourself out as the big thinker man who is so brilliant you destroy Christianity..."
That's your interpretation of my words!? AFTER I just said that you guys commenting here (except one I shall not name) are rational people who thankfully do not adhere to literal interpretations of religious text? That's what I mean by fundamentalism, but it seems you disagree:

"...you need to at least understand what you ate talking about.Clearly you are assuring that fundieism is the true faith and all else is departure from the original, that is a load crap.."
I don't think there is any 'true' faith obviously, as I don't believe in any kind, be it the most literal ones or the least literal. But how can you claim that today's Christianity is 'not' departure from the original? People really did believe that the Earth was the center of everything a few centuries/millennia ago, they did literally believe there was a giant flood that covered the Earth, they did literal believe that Sita survived a trial by fire, they did literally believe that Mohamad flew on a magical white horse, etc... Modern Theists are clearly departing from some of the original ideas, and that's a good thing!

So why are you arguing against that? I don't even get what you think I am getting wrong... can you explain?

Hugo Pelland said...

bmiller said...
" I believe you can find 20% of people believe any idea."
I have this homemade 1%-theory: anything that is disgusting to most of us will be loved by 1%, anything we think is absurd will be believed by 1%, etc... I think 20 might be too generous but that's the same principle ;) And I am sure I am not the only one to advance this semi-serious theory...

Mortal said...

'In the beginning, God created...' that used to be a literal explanation, we now understand this to be poetic.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by that. I most certainly take the idea that God created the universe very much literally. The details in Genesis are of course "poetic" - even the ancient Hebrews who wrote those words took them that way. Why else would they have basically plagiarized from the surrounding cultures when they set their own account down?

but religions did, and still do, try to explain the origin of pretty much everything

There's no "pretty much" involved. As the Creed says, "Creator of all things visible and invisible."

yet have failed consistently to present anything useful.

I guess that depends on what you regard as useful. "Scientific" cosmology can also be accused of producing nothing useful. Name one "useful" thing that has come from the Big Bang theory.

People really did believe that the Earth was the center of everything a few centuries/millennia ago, they did literally believe there was a giant flood that covered the Earth

Yes they did, but those were not religious beliefs - they were scientific ones. The Ptolemaic System was leading edge science in its day, the result of unbelievably patient and precise observation and astonishing mathematical calculation (just try to read The Almagest). The flood narratives were from historical records (most likely the embellishment of a super-catastrophic flood of the Tigris/Euphrates valley (see: Gilgamesh). The two ideas were of course given a religious interpretation, but their origins were not with any religion.

Hugo Pelland said...

Mortal said...
"I'm not sure I understand what you mean by that. I most certainly take the idea that God created the universe very much literally. The details in Genesis are of course "poetic" - even the ancient Hebrews who wrote those words took them that way. Why else would they have basically plagiarized from the surrounding cultures when they set their own account down?"

Right, that was not clear, but I do think they took it more literally than you do, when it comes to the details. The 7-day creation really was 7 days for them, and for many today, shockingly. It's interesting you call that plagiarize because I would think it was simply a recollection of what they believed to be literally true, word for word. For instance, the flood story did not seem to be just poetic for the longest time, no?

"I guess that depends on what you regard as useful. "Scientific" cosmology can also be accused of producing nothing useful. Name one "useful" thing that has come from the Big Bang theory."

Useful in the sense that we can use the scientific method to test the findings, create new hypothesis, discard the falsified ones, reinforce the good ones, and continue the process. The Big Bang Theory is a collection of these failed/successful hypothesis and previous theories and is used to explain, as much as possible, what we observe and to help steer the direction in which we should continue the studies. I find that useful!

"Yes they did, but those were not religious beliefs - they were scientific ones. The Ptolemaic System was leading edge science in its day, the result of unbelievably patient and precise observation and astonishing mathematical calculation (just try to read The Almagest). The flood narratives were from historical records (most likely the embellishment of a super-catastrophic flood of the Tigris/Euphrates valley (see: Gilgamesh). The two ideas were of course given a religious interpretation, but their origins were not with any religion."

But then you just agreed with my point... it's the scientific observations that were useful. The religious interpretation are just stories people told each other and are not producing anything useful moving forward. There is no hypothesis that start with something like 'because of religious interpretation X, we should study Y'.

Mortal said...

For instance, the flood story did not seem to be just poetic for the longest time, no?

But it's not "just poetic". There really was a flood - a really big one (but certainly not a global one). There are too many parallel stories from too many disparate cultures to discount it as "just poetic". I could imagine that if we were a purely oral culture today, that Hurricane Katrina could easily evolve into a tale of a world-engulfing storm of unequaled destruction within a few centuries. At this point in history (barring some unanticipated archaeological discovery) there's probably no way of pinning down the specific event that at the bottom of all these flood stories.

I find that useful!

Only to a very restricted slice of humanity. How about we swap out the word useful for practical?

But then you just agreed with my point... it's the scientific observations that were useful. The religious interpretation are just stories people told each other and are not producing anything useful moving forward.

Ah, but I don't agree with you at all - at least not here. It was precisely the religious overlay that was (and is) the genuinely practical side to those ideas. (Read C.S. Lewis's wonderful book The Discarded Image to see how much practical value it had.) To 99.99 percent of humanity, it makes no difference whatsoever whether the Sun goes round the Earth or the Earth goes round the Sun. But the idea that we are God's handiwork, fashioned in His image, with inherent dignity and the awesome responsibility of Free Will - now that's useful. Whether or not the details of Noah's flood are historically accurate will never affect anyone's life. But the ideas embedded within the story, that we are required to look after and care for the world around us and its inhabitants, that the actions of our society have a real impact on the Earth, and that God cares for his creation - now those are are surely more than "just stories".

Mortal said...

Sherlock Holmes on the Solar System

Hugo Pelland said...

Mortal said...
"But it's not "just poetic". There really was a flood [...]"

That's a really good point, and I like the parallel with hurricane Katrina. Here's the problem though: the religious aspect of it did not have much to do with the historical nature of the event, which was exaggerated as to make it completely non-scientific. Isn't the Christian version about wicked people getting wiped out so that humanity can have a fresh start? Wasn't there only 1 family surviving and 1, or 6, couple of each/most animals?

And such details, at least with today's technology, do get reflected in the pieces of evidence we can find. So when you say that "there's probably no way of pinning down the specific event that at the bottom of all these flood stories;" this seems a bit odd to me as we do have ways to understand what is possible, or not, and narrow down the scenarios. Once we have done so, we find that the premise of the religious version was false. We can still use it as some sort of teaching tool, sure, but then the teachings are based on wrong information, which brings me to the value of scientific knowledge:

"...it makes no difference whatsoever whether the Sun goes round the Earth or the Earth goes round the Sun..."

Correct, for that very specific example, and you are correct that we disagree completely here. It may not matter how the Earth moves, but it's part of a greater whole, it's part of the common knowledge that humanity has accumulated over millennia. And before we actually have the knowledge, nobody can tell what is actually going to be useful or not.

My favorite example is the work done at CERN, in the field of particle physics. Without it, we may never have had the internet. Yet, on its own, who cares what happens when you smashed protons together at super high speed?

"But the idea that we are God's handiwork, fashioned in His image, with inherent dignity and the awesome responsibility of Free Will - now that's useful."

Again, you are correct, we completely disagree on that. I don't see anything valuable in that view. Literally nothing useful. We are who we are, regardless of God's existence. I just finished a course on ethics and God never came up, obviously, yet we discussed many philosophers and their different approaches, our common values as humans and how we should go about to live by them, and so on. God is a superfluous concept here. Not that it's wrong to believe there is one, but it means nothing, objectively. For instance, you continued with:

"But the ideas embedded within the story, that we are required to look after and care for the world around us and its inhabitants, that the actions of our society have a real impact on the Earth, and that God cares for his creation [...]"

But we don't need the concept of God to discuss any of this. And among people who believe in God, you will never be able to find any consensus on any of these topics, just like you will never find consensus among people who don't believe.

On the other hand, if we learn about the world we live in, base our opinions on facts and evidence as much as possible, we get to a much more robust understanding of how things, and people, work. It may be the case that this is influenced, or even fully dependent, on the existence of God, but postulating God to start with adds literally nothing to the objective truths we are all seeking to find out.

Mortal said...

but postulating God to start with adds literally nothing to the objective truths we are all seeking to find out

And yet you'll never get to that objective truth without Him. What exactly are these "objective truths" you seem to think we "all" are seeking? What is the 15th moon of Neptune? How big is an electron? What lies at the center of the Earth? All fun stuff for sure, but I'm far more interested in "Who is my neighbor?" or (Jesus speaking) "Who do you say that I am? (the most important question ever asked in all of human history) For the Christian (actually for everyone, but not everyone realizes it), truth is a Person.

By the way, I don't "postulate" God, and find the phrase to be rather meaningless. As the Protestant theologian Emil Brunner quite wisely said, "God is not a conclusion to be arrived at [or, for that matter, a postulate to start with], but a Person to be encountered."

Hugo Pelland said...

Mortal said...
"And yet you'll never get to that objective truth without Him."
I don't see how I need Him to get objective truth?
And given what comes next, it's clear that you will not even try to answer that question, right?

"What exactly are these "objective truths" you seem to think we "all" are seeking?"
Objective truths that do not depend on anybody's opinion.
It is objectively true that the Sun is fusing hydrogen atoms into helium.
It is subjectively true, in my opinion, that it's fascinating and essential to know that about the Sun.

"What is the 15th moon of Neptune? How big is an electron? What lies at the center of the Earth?"
Among other things, yes.

"All fun stuff for sure, but I'm far more interested in "Who is my neighbor?""
That's also interesting, yes. Not sure why it's 'more' interesting though?
I guess it may be your opinion that you care more about knowing people than things? That's not a problem, but again, just your opinion.

I like to learn about both "what" and "who", but with a clear preference for things over people; I subscribe to NewScientist magazine for instance, and read/watch a lot of scientific oriented stuff, but read only a couple of blogs by Theists. I used to do more of the latter but I am starting to be more and more bored.

You know, in general, or on average I could say, men are more like that than women; that's why PHDs in social sciences have more women while PHDs in natural sciences have more men. One is not better than the other, and they both study objective facts of our civilization/universe. So I am wondering whether that's what you are referring to? Or whether you are trying to insist that learning about people is necessarily far more interesting? This really intrigues me honestly; i.e. that's not boring!

"or (Jesus speaking) "Who do you say that I am? (the most important question ever asked in all of human history) For the Christian (actually for everyone, but not everyone realizes it), truth is a Person."
I am not sure I fully understand what that means... but saying that truth is a Person, with a big P especially, sounds like just a way to claim that God is Truth, because Truth depends on God. Again, meaningless to me, I don't believe your God exists.

"By the way, I don't "postulate" God, and find the phrase to be rather meaningless. As the Protestant theologian Emil Brunner quite wisely said, "God is not a conclusion to be arrived at [or, for that matter, a postulate to start with], but a Person to be encountered.""
I did hear that one before; same thing, it means nothing to me. It's not telling me 'who' you are, to use the previous quote's example, it's not telling me 'what' is around us. It's not explaining 'how' anything works. It cannot predict anything, it cannot teach anything.

It's just some opinion regarding what/who God is, a sounds a lot like nothing but a convenient way to avoid explaining why that God exists in the first place, as noted at the start of my current comment!

Joe Hinman said...


A dialogue with a friend atheist demonstrates the way the subject.object dichotomy can be used to masque subjective biases behind objective premises and data. Now know I'm doing it too but I think being aware of that puts me one up on someone who thinks his own "objective" scientific data and outlook are fail safes against bias. I think this is relevant to any discussion of science and religion.


The Illusion of Technique

Hugo Pelland said...

Well yes, obviously, I am aware of my biases. That's why I am here, on a blog from an author that disagrees with me, with people with sophisticated views on the topics at hand. You are doing your PHD in this, right? So I think it's interesting to take your take on it. You are a great resources. It doesn't make you right though.

Joe, the thing is, you don't get that I am actually trying to figure out what I might be getting wrong. But I don't get anything remotely close to that. It always goes back to having to prove, for some reason, that this God you believe in does not exist.

But why should I care about that? I don't get what you think I don't get because I don't get your God. What is it? Name just one topic that I have completely wrong in my life, because of not thinking about God, but as a philosophical hobby?

...I'll start by reading your article tomorrow...

Joe Hinman said...

Hugo Pelland said...
Joe Hinman said...
"It is scientism that has decided the purpose of religion is to explanation the kind of things science explains,you cannot give me an example of anything religion fails to explain except thing it does not preport to explain."


'In the beginning, God created...' that used to be a literal explanation, we now understand this to be poetic. Pretty much all religions, as far as I know, have some form of origins story. This is something that science addresses directly. Thankfully, you're smart enough to let the scientific fact take over, when available, but religions did, and still do, try to explain the origin of pretty much everything, yet have failed consistently to present anything useful. So that's one example...

Theology offers an ultimate explanation for the nature of being and our place in it that science cannot touch, That is the reason to believe i God not the more immediate empirical kind of answers that science can give us. So why does thunder make a big noise? science has it all over religion in answering that. Why am I here? what is the meaning of my existence science cannot touch and this is the kind of thing that gives reason to belief



"please read some church history, if you are going to put your yourself out as the big thinker man who is so brilliant you destroy Christianity..."


That's your interpretation of my words!? AFTER I just said that you guys commenting here (except one I shall not name) are rational people who thankfully do not adhere to literal interpretations of religious text? That's what I mean by fundamentalism, but it seems you disagree:

Your statement clearly assumed that most Christians have literal and that those who don't are the departure from the original,,

"...you need to at least understand what you ate talking about.Clearly you are assuring that fundieism is the true faith and all else is departure from the original, that is a load crap.."

I don't think there is any 'true' faith obviously, as I don't believe in any kind, be it the most literal ones or the least literal. But how can you claim that today's Christianity is 'not' departure from the original?

what the hell is "today's christianity?" the church is still as diverse as it ever was.
Christianity is very different from Indian Orthodox in Calcutta as for southern Baptists in Alabama.


People really did believe that the Earth was the center of everything a few centuries/millennia ago, they did literally believe there was a giant flood that covered the Earth, they did literal believe that Sita survived a trial by fire, they did literally believe that Mohamad flew on a magical white horse, etc... Modern Theists are clearly departing from some of the original ideas, and that's a good thing!

you are mixing up extraneous issues that theology was used to sort out before science existed. there is a truth to the faith, so there's a distinction between true faith topics and extrusions issues that are not theological in nature. We used used to look to the church for both because we did not have science,now we can focus on theology.

So why are you arguing against that? I don't even get what you think I am getting wrong... can you explain?


try read in what I said, the other stuff that is properly in science domain are not the center of the faith, regardless of weather or not religious people gave quasi theological answers to them,

Joe Hinman said...

Well yes, obviously, I am aware of my biases. That's why I am here, on a blog from an author that disagrees with me, with people with sophisticated views on the topics at hand.

I'm sure that came automatically when you obtained satori,

You are doing your PHD in this, right? So I think it's interesting to take your take on it. You are a great resources. It doesn't make you right though.

My doctoral work was in history of ideas.I did four years on Derrida and postmodernism,then switched to history of science and worked on Newton and Boyle.


Joe, the thing is, you don't get that I am actually trying to figure out what I might be getting wrong. But I don't get anything remotely close to that. It always goes back to having to prove, for some reason, that this God you believe in does not exist.


[pounding er as if trying to get water out of my head] did you just say you are trying to figure out what you have wrong but you can't find anything that you are wrongaout? allow me to make a few suggestions,

But why should I care about that? I don't get what you think I don't get because I don't get your God. What is it? Name just one topic that I have completely wrong in my life, because of not thinking about God, but as a philosophical hobby?

...I'll start by reading your article tomorrow...


the meaning of Christianity

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

SP Which god? The Christian god? Almost uncountable scientific papers refute the fairy tales of the Christian bible.

" bull shit,"
Ah yes, your usual depth of analysis on display.

" there is no scientific evidence against God."
The Christian god, try to keep it straight, ok?

" distinguished between
god and Christian god is true mark of ignorance"
Christian god, as opposed to Greek god, or Hindu god, or tribal gods, or all the rest of the silly ideas of god people have concocted.

The Christian god is incoherent. For example, free will and omniscience are mutually exclusive.

The fairy tales of the bible are scientifically false.

Try to think things through more carefully before you just sputter and blurt our expletives, ok?

Stardusty Psyche said...

Hugo Pelland said...

" Ya I dont think Stardusty Psyche is addressing the topic of the post here."
You think wrong.

Go to the top of this thread. The very first words are my quote of the OP.

I then go on to list a number of very specific ways the OP is mistaken. If the folks here are not able to read for accuracy the specific words I wrote that is their problem.


May 09, 2017 11:19 AM

Joe Hinman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Hinman said...

Joe Hinman said...

SP Which god? The Christian god? Almost uncountable scientific papers refute the fairy tales of the Christian bible.

I'm sorry that is a totally false assumption, There are no papers that specifically say "this disprove Christian God," that is beyond the domain of science most peer review journals would not publish such a paper, I notice you don;'t cite one.



" there is no scientific evidence against God."

The Christian god, try to keep it straight, ok?

you are assuming that creationism and the universal flood are part of of the basic Christian belief. Thus evolution and geology you take to be refutations of Christianity, this is totally wrongheaded really betrays a complete lack of sophistication in your understanding of Christianity,

" distinguished between
god and Christian god is true mark of ignorance"
Christian god, as opposed to Greek god, or Hindu god, or tribal gods, or all the rest of the silly ideas of god people have concocted.

Really a false distinction.big man on the throne or big man in the sky is merely a place holder not the real Christian concept of God.


The Christian god is incoherent. For example, free will and omniscience are mutually exclusive.

Sorry I see no evidence that you have read any theological works or that you have real knowledge of Christianity bend the most rudimentary level,

The fairy tales of the bible are scientifically false.



Try to think things through more carefully before you just sputter and blurt our expletives, ok?


your knowledge of Christianity is on about a third grade level. it's really sad that you think you know so much about it about it but apparently all of your so called knowledge is from the god hater club, the atheist echo chamber

Joe Hinman said...

Dusty says Christian God is incoherent, but I think he fails to distinguish between unbelievable and incoherent. Also partially understood and incoherent. He thinks free will and omniscience are contradictions that is really indicative of real conventional,fallacious thinking. Here is my essay on that:

On religious a proiori

Hugo Pelland said...

Joe Hinman said...

" [pounding er as if trying to get water out of my head] "
Was that necessary?

"did you just say you are trying to figure out what you have wrong but you can't find anything that you are wrongaout? "
Yes, that's exactly what I said, because it's impossible for me, or anyone, to be right about everything. Hence, I am trying to figure out what I get wrong. You should give it a try...

"the meaning of Christianity"
I don't care about that; that's what I just told you but in a broader sense. What I am asking you is different. I would like to know 'why' you think I should care about the meaning of Christianity, or the existence of God, or something else related to these beliefs that you hold.

Again, I don't get what you think I don't get because I don't get your God. What is it? Name just one topic that I have completely wrong in my life, because of not thinking about God, but as a philosophical hobby?

Let me try to re-phrase and give some examples: what is it that I am doing differently/wrong because I never start with the idea that there is a God? Is there something like, because God exists, you should not work in software, or, because God exists, you should not mary that person, or because God exists, you should/shouldn't study these topics, etc... what is so special about your religion that I should care about it? And how does it influence anything else?

Hugo Pelland said...

Oh and I should add something, to explain further what I am trying to get to. I have a really good friend who did her PHD in film studies and then did yet another degree, an MFA in writing. She is wrapping up a book that leverage a lot of her years of research and previous papers.

The way I see it, the type of studies you did Joe, is exactly the same. No more no less useful or impactful. Studying, pretty much any topic, is (almost) always useful in my opinion. There is so much to explore and so much to discover, interpret, re-hash different, and we just cannot tell ahead of time what will be truly making a difference in the end.

Therefore, theology and film studies are just as useful. But the difference is that my friend would never try to argue that the films she studied, or the book she is writing, is some sort of rational worldview that disproves someone else's. It is not meant to influence how one acts in life, nor act as some sort of authoritative figure, even though we can get some life lessons and meaning from any work of art. So, why should it be different with your religion? It means something to you, and I don't see a problem with researching more and more of it, but what are non-Christians getting wrong because they don't dive into it like you do?

Joe Hinman said...

Hugo Pelland said...
Joe Hinman said...

" [pounding er as if trying to get water out of my head] "
Was that necessary?

"did you just say you are trying to figure out what you have wrong but you can't find anything that you are wrongaout? "
Yes, that's exactly what I said, because it's impossible for me, or anyone, to be right about everything. Hence, I am trying to figure out what I get wrong. You should give it a try...

"the meaning of Christianity"
I don't care about that; that's what I just told you but in a broader sense. What I am asking you is different. I would like to know 'why' you think I should care about the meaning of Christianity, or the existence of God, or something else related to these beliefs that you hold.

It's the reason for which we exist and we are happier when we Lucille our reason for existing,

Again, I don't get what you think I don't get because I don't get your God. What is it? Name just one topic that I have completely wrong in my life, because of not thinking about God, but as a philosophical hobby?

Let me try to re-phrase and give some examples: what is it that I am doing differently/wrong because I never start with the idea that there is a God? Is there something like, because God exists, you should not work in software, or, because God exists, you should not mary that person, or because God exists, you should/shouldn't study these topics, etc... what is so special about your religion that I should care about it? And how does it influence anything else?

we were created to know God in a personal interment sense and through that communion to bring God's love to others. The first step in that process is belief,To believe one must be open to the possibility and then the realityof God.

Hugo Pelland said...

Joe, of course, thinking of the reasons for our existence is fascinating. It's a never ending quest I believe. However, just like I thought, you have nothing to offer but your personal opinions and feelings. Fine, if it makes you happy, it's alright, but I see no reason to share your views, and no reason to believe what you believe.

Joe Hinman said...

Oh and I should add something, to explain further what I am trying to get to. I have a really good friend who did her PHD in film studies and then did yet another degree, an MFA in writing. She is wrapping up a book that leverage a lot of her years of research and previous papers.

The way I see it, the type of studies you did Joe, is exactly the same. No more no less useful or impactful. Studying, pretty much any topic, is (almost) always useful in my opinion. There is so much to explore and so much to discover, interpret, re-hash different, and we just cannot tell ahead of time what will be truly making a difference in the end.

you don't know anything about my work

Therefore, theology and film studies are just as useful. But the difference is that my friend would never try to argue that the films she studied, or the book she is writing, is some sort of rational worldview that disproves someone else's. It is not meant to influence how one acts in life, nor act as some sort of authoritative figure, even though we can get some life lessons and meaning from any work of art. So, why should it be different with your religion? It means something to you, and I don't see a problem with researching more and more of it, but what are non-Christians getting wrong because they don't dive into it like you do?

You do not enjoy the tantalizing aspects of the meta-narrative. I love film. I'm a film buff. I'm into European and Japanese art films of the 1950s=60s. Seventh seal the seven Samari. But it'd not religion. Art is an expression of the imago dei so it is related to a sense of the divine but it's not grass roots.The totalizing aspects don[t have to evoke force or oppression or totalitarian in that sense. It's contrary to the gospel, Yet it is more asoic andmoreimportanteven then art.

Hugo Pelland said...

Joe Hinman said...
"you don't know anything about my work"
Not much, that's true, but you just listed what the topics of your work was, you have a link to your book on your profile, you have tons of blog post that discuss either directly or indirectly what you work on. So what's the problem here?

"You do not enjoy the tantalizing aspects of the meta-narrative. "
How can you tell someone what they enjoy or not?

What I can try to ask you, again, is whether you will ever have 1 example of a topic, just 1, that I necessarily get wrong because I don't believe in your God?

For instance, when you say:
"sense of the divine but it's not grass roots.The totalizing aspects don[t have to evoke force or oppression or totalitarian in that sense. It's contrary to the gospel, Yet it is more asoic andmoreimportanteven then art."

This is again just stating what you believe, what you feel, on a personal level, is important and true and meaningful. To you. What is objective here and required to understand anything else about life, our origins, our place, meaning, purpose, or how we should go about and live our lives, how we should interact, what carreer we should pick, I don't know, what is it useful for?

p.s. at that point, I should probably reply on your own posts, as this is Victor's blog after all...

Mortal said...

What I can try to ask you, again, is whether you will ever have 1 example of a topic, just 1, that I necessarily get wrong because I don't believe in your God?

To go with Emil Brunner's language, imagine yourself going through life, satisfied with what you are doing. Then you meet a woman (assuming you are male), fall desperately in love with her, and quite literally everything changes thereafter. You may be at the same job, not much in the specifics of your daily routine changes, but now you are doing it all for her. No matter how much remains the same, you have nevertheless re-centered your life.

The same thing applies to an encounter with God, only magnified to the nth power. You desire God above all things. As the psalmist says, "My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?" (Psalm 42:2)

So it's not simply a matter of "what am I doing wrong?" but of everything that you are doing acquiring a new dimension, a more brilliant color, a deeper meaning, a greater joy, a more fulfilling satisfaction.

Legion of Logic said...

Both the atheist and the Christian will claim that reason and evidence are on their side, but what objective differences are there that neither can really deny?

With atheism, there is no true purpose in life and no true value to life. Any purpose and value with an atheist are entirely subjective to that person. If that atheist became a Christian, suddenly his value would be objective, and there would be objective purpose. All the things the person as an atheist found to be beautiful and awe-inspiring would not only remain that way, but would become more so. Life would not be a accident, but a gift.

I can't imagine an atheist feeling like they have an advantage here.

Another difference would be with what Christians would call sinful behavior. An atheist fornicating, say, and a Christian doing the same are committing the same act, but for the atheist, it's nothing but the relieving of a biological urge, not really different than eating or sleeping. For the Christian, it is a violation of God's will, and if he is even remotely aware or in tune with the Spirit, then there will be guilt associated with the act.

Of course, the vast majority of atheists also feel guilt over things that hurt other people, so the only sins they are "free" from feeling is sexual acts or other acts against their own body.

I can see why an atheist would feel superior here. Basically, the only "advantage" to being an atheist would be living without guilt in their sex life. I can't imagine any other advantage, but then I've never been an atheist.

Mortal said...

To illustrate what Legion of Logic wrote, evangelical atheist John Loftus put it this way:

"Today I am pretty much guilt free. That is, I have no guilt in regards to the Christian duties mentioned above. I am free of the need to do most of the things I felt I had to do [...] I love life. I’m living life to the hilt, pretty much guilt free, primarily because my ethical standards aren’t as high. [...] I’d like every person who reads this book to experience the freedom I have found. It is to you that I dedicate this book." (emphasis added)

bmiller said...

@Hugo Pelland,

Let me try to re-phrase and give some examples: what is it that I am doing differently/wrong because I never start with the idea that there is a God? Is there something like, because God exists, you should not work in software, or, because God exists, you should not mary that person, or because God exists, you should/shouldn't study these topics, etc... what is so special about your religion that I should care about it? And how does it influence anything else?

Are you asking "what good is God if he can't set me up in a good job and wife?"

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...


" I'm sorry that is a totally false assumption, There are no papers that specifically say "this disprove Christian God," "
How stupid, of course scientific papers are not targeted at specific mythologies.


" there is no scientific evidence against God."

The Christian god, try to keep it straight, ok?

" you are assuming that creationism and the universal flood are part of of the basic Christian belief."
Nope. See post number 1. When you learn to read the specific words to understand the specific points you will grow as an individual.




SP The Christian god is incoherent. For example, free will and omniscience are mutually exclusive.

" Sorry I see no evidence that you have read any theological works or that you have real knowledge of Christianity bend the most rudimentary level,"
Nonresponsive to the specific incoherence cited.



May 10, 2017 9:08 AM

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

" Dusty says Christian God is incoherent, but I think he fails to distinguish between unbelievable and incoherent."
Nope, free will and omniscience are mutually exclusive. Try reading the actual words on your screen, ok?

The dyslexia excuse doesn't cut it. Your responses are those of a mere lazy crank.


May 10, 2017 9:31 AM

Joe Hinman said...

Joe Hinman said...


" I'm sorry that is a totally false assumption, There are no papers that specifically say "this disprove Christian God," "


How stupid, of course scientific papers are not targeted at specific mythologies.

name calling is not proof, what would be proof would be is if you cited an article,why don't you? It's because you really don't have one you are assuming that any scientific article automatically beats religion aren't you? as though religion and science are juxtaposed, they are not. You can't explain how major scientists of recent eras such as Polkinghorn and Sandage were Christians.


" there is no scientific evidence against God."

The Christian god, try to keep it straight, ok?

" you are assuming that creationism and the universal flood are part of of the basic Christian belief."

Nope. See post number 1. When you learn to read the specific words to understand the specific points you will grow as an individual.

then your argument is stupider than I thought!

show me a study, cite the study, that's the only way you are going to pull off that argumnent,

Joe Hinman said...

Joe Hinman said...

" Dusty says Christian God is incoherent, but I think he fails to distinguish between unbelievable and incoherent."

Nope, free will and omniscience are mutually exclusive. Try reading the actual words on your screen, ok?

The dyslexia excuse doesn't cut it. Your responses are those of a mere lazy crank.

is that your attempt at subtly suggesting I'm stupid because I'm dyslexic?

You must missed the link I put down to my essay on why it;s fallacious to think free will and perniciousness contradict. SoOOOOooooo I guess you are LYSDEXIC too





Hugo Pelland said...

@Mortal
@ Legion of Logic

Thank you for these comments, great answers at the question I repeated, regarding what I get wrong as a consequence of being an Atheists. However, you mostly described what you think I think, instead of what I actually think. There are 2 main themes that came up:
1) Lack of passion/love/awe for God, lack of deeper life meaning or purpose
2) Different sources of morality

The second one can be taken out of the way right away, because I agree completely. I believe that, on average, the more religious someone is, the less likely they are to commit unethical acts. Atheists, as a group, necessarily include more amoral people. But that's not proving me wrong on anything, as far as I can tell, or am I missing something with that one?

Now, the first one is interesting because it simply shows a lack of awareness. You did mention that you cannot imagine how Atheists feel, nor can think of advantages other than guilt-free sex. So how could you conclude that Atheists are missing something, some form of sense of awe and wonder that only an encounter with God can provide? You say you don't know, but make a judgement as if you knew.

Moreover, we know that there are cases of religious people never experiencing any kind of special awe, or sense of connection with God, while there are non-believers who either felt that sense of awe before they became Atheists, or have these strong spiritual experience as non-believers. Sam Harris is again my favorite reference on the subject, given that he wrote an entire book on Spirituality as an Atheist.

But, more importantly, since I am trying to fix my own mistakes, I cannot see anything here that is missing. I do have an incredible sense of awe and wonder for the universe. I experience strong spiritual moments on occasions. I have laughed, got tears in my eyes by, felt incredible joy, something as powerful as the examples you give; it is in fact the same kind of experience. That's why I have no problem understanding yours, and I just think you are mistaken about its origin, while you think that if someone is an Atheist, they cannot possibly have such experiences.

Well, I would push it even further, I think there is indeed a kind of awe you cannot experience. It's the power of knowledge, of feeling connected to the universe like never before, because of a deep understanding of how we are part of the universe, but also made of the universe. Everything is connected in a way that we can explain with amazing precision. We are living at a time when our understanding is so incredibly vast, in so many different ways. Just 3 minutes:
The Most Astounding Fact - Neil deGrasse Tyson

Such knowledge can then lead to incredible realizations. It creates experiences that are beyond words. Watch now the first 5 minute of Science Saved My Soul.

Hopefully you had time for at least the first clip, as this was the inspiration for a tattoo, which a friend inked as a wedding present. It shows the crab nebula, as shown in that video, and represents the knowledge that the atoms that are in my body came from stars, which exploded. The carbon in my arms, the calcium in my teeth, the iron in my blood. These atoms all came from stars that exploded. We know that! This is just so incredibly fantastic that we can trace our atoms to the cosmos!

Finally, the symptoms I listed were inspired by this video, from the same YouTuber as the previous one. These videos are a bit old but the message is something I relate to completely. When you have the time, this is a bit longer: Why Didn't Anybody Tell Me?

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

Joe Hinman said...

" Dusty says Christian God is incoherent, but I think he fails to distinguish between unbelievable and incoherent."

SP Nope, free will and omniscience are mutually exclusive. Try reading the actual words on your screen, ok?

SP The dyslexia excuse doesn't cut it. Your responses are those of a mere lazy crank.

" is that your attempt at subtly suggesting I'm stupid because I'm dyslexic?"
I am suggesting you use it as an excuse for sloppy argumentation and shallow reading. Does the visual disassociation have a correlation with your palpable logically disjointed writing? Dunno, I am not your neurologist, maybe you are just a grumpy crank who does not read carefully and does not respond to the specific points made.


" You must missed the link I put down to my essay"
I am not going to wade through another one or your meandering screeds. Make your points accurately and succinctly and on topic right here or it is apparent you are incapable of doing so.

" on why it;s fallacious to think free will and perniciousness contradict. "
How absurd, you didn't even use the correct word. Free will and omniscience are mutually exclusive, I never said anything about perniciousness.

"SoOOOOooooo I guess you are LYSDEXIC too"
No, I'm not, and I am not going to go to another one of your links. You troll around trying to divert traffic to your own site and when I take the bait the essay is invariably a meandering, disjointed, diatribe full of absurd argumentation that goes nowhere.

Free will and omniscience are mutually exclusive. If you don't understand that you don't understand the fundamentals of logical argumentation.



bmiller said...

@Hugo Pelland,

Are you asking "what good is God if he can't set me up in a good job and wife?"

I hope you didn't think this was an idle question. I based it on what your response to Joe and it probably makes perfect sense to a lot of people. Christianity is appealing to a lot of people because it offers salvation, but if one doesn't feel the need to be saved from anything what's the point right? If 'Jesus saves' doesn't mean you get a 10% discount at Walmart what could it possibly mean?

Both Christianity and Buddhism work from the premise that things are screwed up in the world. Buddhism claims that we suffer because we have wrong attachments, so it offers salvation by eliminating suffering by way of detachment. Christianity sees suffering as due to sin and so it offers salvation by way of detachment to sin. Both offer their own paths to salvation.

But if one thinks things are just fine, what would they seek salvation from? Fine foods, riches, luxury vacations?
So perhaps at this time in your life you it doesn't make sense to you. If you are very successful, then maybe it never will.

Hugo Pelland said...

@bmiller
The answer to your original question is 'no', and I don't see the relevance of the follow-up, sorry.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Legion of Logic said...
" what objective differences are there that neither can really deny?"

" If that atheist became a Christian, suddenly his value would be objective, and there would be objective purpose. "
--Objective purpose is an illusion. You have the illusion of objective purpose. I do not share in your self deception.


" I can't imagine an atheist feeling like they have an advantage here."
--I believe you.
The lack of imagination of the theist is frequently palpable.

"An atheist fornicating, say, and a Christian doing the same are committing the same act, but for the atheist, it's nothing but the relieving of a biological urge, not really different than eating or sleeping. "
--Ok so far...

"For the Christian, it is a violation of God's will, and if he is even remotely aware or in tune with the Spirit, then there will be guilt associated with the act."
--Bingo, you have identified a distinct advantage of being an atheist, the shedding of self loathing, the self flagellation of the poor creatures who consider themselves born sick for having sex, and to blame for this imagined sickness, as opposed to the omnipotent god who you think created you sick, he is somehow blameless for the defects of his creation.

" Of course, the vast majority of atheists also feel guilt over things that hurt other people,"
--That's called empathy, an evolved mechanism to drive social behavior in a social species.

" so the only sins they are "free" from feeling is sexual acts or other acts against their own body."
--You think sex is somehow against your own body. You poor brainwashed individual. My empathy for your suffering leads me to urge you to rid yourself of this guilt ridden brainwashing, free your mind, reject the fairy tale of Christianity.


" I can see why an atheist would feel superior here. Basically, the only "advantage" to being an atheist would be living without guilt in their sex life."
--No, but that's a good start!

" I can't imagine any other advantage, but then I've never been an atheist."
--How unfortunate for you. Becoming an atheist is like sobering up from a bad hangover and beginning to think clearly. It is a refreshing improvement in one's mental faculties as opposed to the severe deleterious effects upon the intellect that inevitably accompany Christianity, or any theistic religion.


May 10, 2017 7:07 PM

bmiller said...

@Hugo Pelland,

The answer to your original question is 'no', and I don't see the relevance of the follow-up, sorry.

Here was your question that I was responding to:

what is so special about your religion that I should care about it?

This implies that you *do not* see a reason to care. The reasons you listed that you consider 'reasons to care' are related to how it will help you succeed in life. You did not mention anything about relief from guilt, existential emptiness etc.

Since Christianity claims to provide a remedy for problems you aren't concerned about, I am offering that as a reason you don't see a need for it.

This is all I can assess from what you've provided and I don't want to guess.

Mortal said...

I cannot see anything here that is missing. I do have an incredible sense of awe and wonder for the universe. I experience strong spiritual moments on occasions. I have laughed, got tears in my eyes by, felt incredible joy, something as powerful as the examples you give; it is in fact the same kind of experience.

Hugo, I believe we kind of talked past each other here. No one denies (well, at least I don't) that atheists experience awe and wonder and love, etc. That wasn't the point of my girlfriend analogy. I was speaking of a refocusing of one's life. (Again, all analogies ultimately fail, but nevertheless...) Perhaps another analogy could be going on a diet. In both the "before" and "after" cases, you enjoy food, get nourishment, and appreciate good cooking. But on a healthy diet, your experience of food is both better for you and ultimately more enjoyable.

Legion of Logic said...

"How unfortunate for you. Becoming an atheist is like sobering up from a bad hangover and beginning to think clearly. It is a refreshing improvement in one's mental faculties as opposed to the severe deleterious effects upon the intellect that inevitably accompany Christianity, or any theistic religion."

Yes, in becoming an atheist, I would go from believing I was right to believing I was right, except I would also believe that life was a meaningless mess. How sobering indeed.

Mortal said...

Legion,

Do not attempt to "reason" with Stardusty. C.S. Lewis described such as him perfectly in The Great Divorce when he talked about piles of ashes under which no flame has survived. All you get by blowing on the pile is dust in your eyes.

There are certainly contributors to this site who are deserving of engagement. Stardusty is not one of them.

Hugo Pelland said...

Stardusty Psyche said...
"...the poor creatures who...
... You poor brainwashed individual...
... severe deleterious effects upon the intellect that inevitably accompany Christianity, or any theistic religion...
"
If only you could comment without these colorful additions...

Hugo Pelland said...

bmiller said...
"This implies that you *do not* see a reason to care. The reasons you listed that you consider 'reasons to care' are related to how it will help you succeed in life. You did not mention anything about relief from guilt, existential emptiness etc.

Since Christianity claims to provide a remedy for problems you aren't concerned about, I am offering that as a reason you don't see a need for it.

This is all I can assess from what you've provided and I don't want to guess.
"

Right, I see what you mean, I think. It is indeed the right question you are addressing, but not in the sense that I am asking it, for 2 reasons.

1) If Christianity addresses problems that Christianity creates, then of course I am not concerned by them, and thus don't care about that. It's basically the same as saying that because I don't believe, then I don't believe.

2) I am looking for logical follow-up to, or actions taken because of, a belief in God. So the examples related to being successful at work, marriage, or life in general are correct only in their format, but I already know they are not what follows from a belief God because people who believe in God and not are alike successful, or not, in each of these areas, regardless of their beliefs in God.

I am asking about things not restricted within Christianity that I might be getting wrong because I don't believe in God. Perhaps things that fall under 1) are all there is, and that's fine. It's just not convincing to me but I understand that they are meaningful for believers.

Hugo Pelland said...

Mortal said...
" Hugo, I believe we kind of talked past each other here. No one denies (well, at least I don't) that atheists experience awe and wonder and love, etc. That wasn't the point of my girlfriend analogy. I was speaking of a refocusing of one's life. (Again, all analogies ultimately fail, but nevertheless...) Perhaps another analogy could be going on a diet. "

I don't think we talked past each other because I do get what you meant; we just disagree. That new example of the diet analogy shows just that. This is exactly the type of transformation I am talking about. Even if you say that you recognize that atheists experience awe and wonder and love, etc., you still think that there's something 'lesser' under atheism. My point is that it is certainly 'different' under atheism but it not 'lesser' in any way; I am definitely talking about that kind of refocusing of one's life you mention.

To use your diet analogy, I think that both atheists and theists alike can experience food better after their life changing experiences; and it's only the content of the plate that was different. The people under the different diets do experience the same kind of transformation. You probably did not watch the 'Why didn't anybody tell me?' video... that's exactly what the narrator is explaining.

Hugo Pelland said...

Legion of Logic said...
" Yes, in becoming an atheist, I would go from believing I was right to believing I was right, except I would also believe that life was a meaningless mess"
Certain Atheists certainly believe that, but that's a personal interpretations. I think the exact opposite. I see life as having more meaning without God, because of 2 reasons: lack of afterlife and lack of oversight.

The lack of afterlife makes this life more meaningful. A simple math calculation can prove the point. If this life is 100% of the life I will be living, it is more meaningful than if I have, say 1% of my time here and 99% in some afterlife, which could actually be infinite, I don't know...

The lack of oversight means that, without the notion of a God, we are all responsible for each other, we are in control of literally everything that happens among humans, except natural phenomena we cannot control, but anticipate as well as possible.

Note that I don't think these are strong arguments, they are just my opinions, and I certainly would never suggest that Atheists have more meaningful lives than Theists. It only serves to explain why the reverse claims that Theists see life as meaningful, while Atheists should necessarily see life as meaningless, do not stand on solid ground.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Legion of Logic said...

" Yes, in becoming an atheist, I would go from believing I was right to believing I was right, "
That's OK, no reasonable person believes they hold wrong opinions. A reasonable person holds opinions they believe to be correct opinions. If an opinion is shown to be incorrect a reasonable person discards the incorrect opinion and adopts a new opinion, believed to be correct.

"except I would also believe that life was a meaningless mess."
Is life a mess? I find a great deal of order in my life, also elements of chaos. Perhaps the most meaningful things for me are the excitements of discovery, and my connections with others and indeed the universe itself.


" How sobering indeed."
I would make a Matrix metaphor but I really do not know the difference between a red pill and a blue pill! But, is it better to know reality, or live in the illusion? Sober or intoxicated, which is better?


May 11, 2017 3:33 PM

Stardusty Psyche said...

Hugo Pelland said...

Stardusty Psyche said...
"...the poor creatures who...
... You poor brainwashed individual...
... severe deleterious effects upon the intellect that inevitably accompany Christianity, or any theistic religion..."

" If only you could comment without these colorful additions..."

Life is full of color, perhaps Legion will sense the vibrancy of the atheistic perspective thereby.


May 11, 2017 5:02 PM

Stardusty Psyche said...

Mortal said...

"... piles of ashes... under which no flame has survived... dust in your eyes."
Dang, well, at least you did not call me the Antichrist!


" There are certainly contributors to this site who are deserving of engagement. Stardusty is not one of them."
Tut tut, we are all sinners, we do not achieve the rewards by works, rather, by grace. You clearly have none for me, graceless mortal.


May 11, 2017 4:29 PM

bmiller said...

@Hugo Pelland,


Right, I see what you mean, I think. It is indeed the right question you are addressing, but not in the sense that I am asking it, for 2 reasons.

1) If Christianity addresses problems that Christianity creates, then of course I am not concerned by them, and thus don't care about that. It's basically the same as saying that because I don't believe, then I don't believe.


Well yes sort of, although Christianity did not create death and suffering. Did you really mean that Christianity creates these problems? My assessment of your questions and comments are that you are challenging theists to convince you they are right and you are wrong by comparing certain advantages under both systems. My suggestion is that you are approaching the topic by asking the wrong questions. That is, if you care to exchange ideas with theists in the forum and understand their beliefs rather than just picking a fight.

Talon said...

http://www.angelfire.com/linux/vjtorley/whybelieve1.html#god-omniscience

The so-called paradox of free will and omniscience is overrated, philosophy of religion has discussed and answered it a few different ways. One of the most common is Boethius' view that God knows human choices from an atemporal perspective, His knowing does not participate in a temporal chain of events "causing" anything to happen.

Seriously Stardusty, educate yourself about Christian theology. It isn't as if you or modern atheists are the first ones to ask these sorts of questions or notice supposed paradoxes. Before you repeat such claims at least see if anyone has bothered to address them and then try and refute the answers, with arguments rather than sneers. By refusing to read Joe's posts and taking a petty swipe at his dyslexia instead, you demonstrate how weak your position is. You simply can't rely on every Christian being as ignorant of Christian philosophy and apologetics as you appear to be.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Talon said...

" The so-called paradox of free will and omniscience
.. philosophy of religion has discussed and answered it a few different ways."
Not soundly.

" One of the most common is Boethius' view that God knows human choices from an atemporal perspective,"
Atemporal knowing is just word salad.

" His knowing does not participate in a temporal chain of events "causing" anything to happen."
Cause is irrelevant. The fact that any being anywhere would have perfect foreknowledge means that there is only 1 thing that can happen, the thing the being has foreseen. That being need not cause the future to happen, but if that being exists there can only be 1 possible future, rendering free will an illusion.

" Seriously Stardusty, educate yourself about Christian theology."
Theology is a system of defective thinking. Astrology is also, as well as the kooky stuff of tabloids.

" It isn't as if you or modern atheists are the first ones to ask these sorts of questions or notice supposed paradoxes."
True, theology has been failing a very long time.

" Before you repeat such claims at least see if anyone has bothered to address them and then try and refute the answers, with arguments rather than sneers. "
Been there, done that.

"By refusing to read Joe's posts"
Been there, done that too. I've been to his site many times. I stopped going after I read so much drivel it was an obvious waste of time. He shows up all over the place on lots of blogs trying to divert traffic to his site with links to his site posted on other people's blogs.

" and taking a petty swipe at his dyslexia instead,"
I don't care if he is dyslexic or not, his drivel is still drivel.

" you demonstrate how weak your position is."
Really, where? What position? Say there Talon, you are the one telling me to refute with actual arguments, yet I see none coming from you, just empty vague accusations that my "position is weak".

What position on what, and how is it supposedly weak?

" You simply can't rely on every Christian being as ignorant of Christian philosophy and apologetics as you appear to be."
Christian philosophy and apologetics in all their forms are bankrupt. Name some that are not.


May 12, 2017 12:27 AM

Joe Hinman said...

Stardusty Psyche said...
Joe Hinman said...

Joe Hinman said...

" Dusty says Christian God is incoherent, but I think he fails to distinguish between unbelievable and incoherent."

SP Nope, free will and omniscience are mutually exclusive. Try reading the actual words on your screen, ok?

SP The dyslexia excuse doesn't cut it. Your responses are those of a mere lazy crank.

stupid, everyone on this bewared knows that I went through your flimsily little studio arguments like a hot knife through butter. I talk about dyslexia to explain my bad typing not my understanding, everyone here knows I clean your clock every time we argue. youae andiot,you have no understanidng you arrogant and ignaofnt gbadliy read and you are a hild cojpared to me,yourunderstnqaidnids undgraduate,

" is that your attempt at subtly suggesting I'm stupid because I'm dyslexic?"
I am suggesting you use it as an excuse for sloppy argumentation and shallow reading. Does the visual disassociation have a correlation with your palpable logically disjointed writing? Dunno, I am not your neurologist, maybe you are just a grumpy crank who does not read carefully and does not respond to the specific points made.


" You must missed the link I put down to my essay"
I am not going to wade through another one or your meandering screeds. Make your points accurately and succinctly and on topic right here or it is apparent you are incapable of doing so.

" on why it;s fallacious to think free will and perniciousness contradict. "
How absurd, you didn't even use the correct word. Free will and omniscience are mutually exclusive, I never said anything about perniciousness.

"SoOOOOooooo I guess you are LYSDEXIC too"
No, I'm not, and I am not going to go to another one of your links. You troll around trying to divert traffic to your own site and when I take the bait the essay is invariably a meandering, disjointed, diatribe full of absurd argumentation that goes nowhere.

Free will and omniscience are mutually exclusive. If you don't understand that you don't understand the fundamentals of logical argumentation.



you are a coward,a liar and a moron, you have afraid to argue because you know I WILL BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF YOU,as I always do. your views are stupid, you are arroant and ignorance and foolish,

the little 'god hater club tells you omniscience and free contradicts they must, you accept it as gospel because you are brain washed and you are too stupid to think for yourself,you know I;ll beat the crap out of you on it,

yes I want people to come to my site, It's one of the est Christian apologetic sites on the web and no one looks at it, because its a blog. It's not trolling that;s not even the definition of tolling trying to get traffic to a site that is not trolling but when the subject matter is a perfect fit there's nothing wrong with it,

Joe Hinman said...

For years my debates on the matter were marked by silly repetition. I would constantly argue that just knowing that someone does something is not controlling it. But atheists were always cock sure that it was. I used the follow analogy: I know how the Alamo turned out. Travis and the men stepped over the line and chose to stay and die. I know they did that, does my knowledge of it mean that I made them do it? Of course the atheist say "O of course not, but you are not in the past, you are knowing this by a look back in history to see what they already did." Of course, but God doesn't know about events before they have happened in time, he knows about them because he's beyond time and he sees everything in time as a accomplished fact. From our perspective in time God's knowledge is "foreknowledge" becasue it is for us. But it's not foreknowledge for God, he doesn't know before it happens, he knows about events because form an eternal perspective its a done deal. Just as my knowing what the men at the Alamo already did does not give me control over their choices, so God's knowledge of facts we have already accomplish does not give God control over our choices.

Of course, predictably, the atheists dismiss this idea as "nonsense" and go right on asserting that to know of an action is to control, but they can't tell me why. They can tell me a theoretical reason but they can't tell me why if my knowing about the Alamo ex post facto does not control those actions why would God's knowledge of a past even already done control the past event? Why are these not analogous if God is outside time and sees all things in time as accomplished facts? They can't tell me but they are certain the idea is nonsense. The reason they give initially is this. Say that God knows today that I will go to the store tomorrow. That means that i can't tomorrow morning decide "I don't want to go tot he store, I hate the walk." I can't decide that and follow it because God already knows I went so I have to go. But the problem is they are not following a modern concept of God knowing becuase he's outside of time. They are still stuck in the pre Christian framework which has clung to modern Western Philosophy lo these many centuries. That frame work can be clearly seen in Boethius because that's what he was arguing against. The fame work is the Greek Gods were controlled by the fates, but they also had foreknowledge, so they were trumping the fates, to whom they were really subject. That creates an issue. Moreover, foreknowledge was about things that had not yet taken place, thus that is a contradiction; it hasn't taken place, how can it be known what one will do, to know it is to set in stone and thus not free will. But that only holds in the case of god in time not outside of time. It doesn't apply to the idea of God transcendent of time and thus that's why they can't answer me, but because they know the philosophers they read still assert the old Greek idea they must cling to it.

read more


that's just the intro, There;s a whole paper behind it,this pretentious loud mouth shoots his mouth off and says /god is incoherent then refuses to answer the refutation,


I say that puts it into perspective, He;s a pretentious lying fraud,

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

"you are a coward,a liar and a moron, you have afraid to argue because you know I WILL BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF YOU,as I always do. your views are stupid, you are arroant and ignorance and foolish,"
--Oh my my, how very Christian of you indeed...


"I would constantly argue that just knowing that someone does something is not controlling it. "
--Then you are constantly arguing an irrelevancy. Control doesn't matter. If our future is perfectly known by any being anywhere then our future is rigidly predetermined.

The predetermination of our future rules out free will. Now I have educated you in regards to your "constant" error. You're welcome.


May 12, 2017 8:04 AM

Joe Hinman said...


" His knowing does not participate in a temporal chain of events "causing" anything to happen."
Cause is irrelevant.

causes are what make things Copenhagen if there's no cause there's no determinism,


The fact that any being anywhere would have perfect foreknowledge means that there is only 1 thing that can happen, the thing the being has foreseen. That being need not cause the future to happen, but if that being exists there can only be 1 possible future, rendering free will an illusion.


The answer you just gave applies only to chowing it as a future event that has not happened yet,so it;s not assuming God is outside time,we do assume that,that is the modern theological assumption. For God those actions are past events. So he;s not controlling them, There were other events possible when they maned the decisions they chose those events that resulted in what happened,


If you had read the article you would know there's answer to this but you are so arrogant you think you know it all. the God hater club says it's not true so why think about it? But the answer is the model you are using is obsolete. that not the way theology thinks about it anymjore,


" Seriously Stardusty, educate yourself about Christian theology."
Theology is a system of defective thinking. Astrology is also, as well as the kooky stuff of tabloids.

you have no idea what theology is, you are taking your cues from ignorant twits in the God hater club who themselves have no idea. I bet can't name a real theologian,



"By refusing to read Joe's posts"

Been there, done that too. I've been to his site many times. I stopped going after I read so much drivel it was an obvious waste of time. He shows up all over the place on lots of blogs trying to divert traffic to his site with links to his site posted on other people's blogs.

He decided it right after diked his ass from one end to the other on the ontological argument,


Dusty you owe mean apologist for mocking and ridiculing a handicap that traumatize allm my life, teachers in childhood mocked and ridiculed my brother and I in font of the class, how dare you mock my pain you lying mountebank.that's no different than modkimng a person who can't walk.

I have no need to make excuses for my ideas creatin. I appeal to Dyslexia to expansible m y bad writingnot my thinking,stupid,

Mortal said...

Oh my my, how very Christian of you indeed...

I am always amused by atheists who perpetually engage in all sorts of name calling (as pointed out above by Hugo) will cry like a baby when they are presented with a taste of their own medicine.

For the record, I think Joe's comments are way over the line, and I do hope I have never sunk so low.

I can see the furious fingers googling right now to find an instance of my having done so. The only instance I can recall is when I wondered whether Ilion was nuts - an overstep I now deeply regret, and abjectly apologize for. In any case, I reserve my opprobrium for my fellow believers, and not for those on the outside.

But that does not change the fact that atheists wailing that criticism of their conduct is somehow "unChristian" is laughable.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

"if there's no cause there's no determinism,"
--Right, but identification of that cause is unnecessary if one asserts a being that knows our future. For the being to know our future our future must be determined, by what ever cause, god, a clockwork universe, or whatever, it doesn't matter.

The existence of a being that knows our future requires that there is in fact some sort of deterministic cause.


" it;s not assuming God is outside time,"
--The term "outside time" is word salad, but go ahead...

" For God those actions are past events."
--On that assertion our future is a "past event", and thus determined.

" So he;s not controlling them, "
--Irrelevant. Pay attention, ok?

"There were other events possible"
--How? Our future is a past event you say. How can a past event change?

If our future turns out to be different than what god knows then god has incorrect knowledge and is therefore not omniscient.


" If you had read the article you would know there's answer to this"
--You are speaking nonsense just in these few words. Your articles are invariably long screeds of drivel.

" the God hater club "
--Atheist god hater, funny.


May 12, 2017 8:42 AM

Stardusty Psyche said...

Mortal said...

" The only instance I can recall is when I wondered whether Ilion was nuts - an overstep I now deeply regret, and abjectly apologize for."
--That's because you have at least an intent to follow the message of love Christ so clearly preached. Perhaps you overstep from time to time, alas you are only human, but you have enough absorption of the Christian doctrine of love to sincerely apologize for it and seek to avoid further human missteps.

Joe is not like that. He behaves like a grumpy cursing crank for god. His argumentation is disjointed, scattered, irrational, angry, and insulting.


" But that does not change the fact that atheists wailing that criticism of their conduct is somehow "unChristian" is laughable."
--Indeed. I am not sure you realized the feigned shock in my words "Oh my my". I've had so many insults and names thrown at me by so-called Christians that I just laugh at their palpable rejection of their self identified teacher.


May 12, 2017 9:17 AM

Joe Hinman said...

Stardusty Psyche said...
Mortal said...

" The only instance I can recall is when I wondered whether Ilion was nuts - an overstep I now deeply regret, and abjectly apologize for."



--That's because you have at least an intent to follow the message of love Christ so clearly preached. Perhaps you overstep from time to time, alas you are only human, but you have enough absorption of the Christian doctrine of love to sincerely apologize for it and seek to avoid further human missteps.

Joe is not like that. He behaves like a grumpy cursing crank for god. His argumentation is disjointed, scattered, irrational, angry, and insulting.


bull shit, you are so dishonest, just admit the truth your ideology says you must be smarter than any Christian but you got your ass kicked in argument by me,so you hate me.
you must be smarter than any Christian but clealry you are not.


" But that does not change the fact that atheists wailing that criticism of their conduct is somehow "unChristian" is laughable."
--Indeed. I am not sure you realized the feigned shock in my words "Oh my my". I've had so many insults and names thrown at me by so-called Christians that I just laugh at their palpable rejection of their self identified teacher.

your attitude is typical f bullies and abusive people,you are always the victim the people you bully are to blame, anyone who stands up to you is evil, you are slays wronged,

atheist hate group is noting but a pack of bullies, you need to be fed your own medicine, I don't want to say these things,I don't want a name calling war, I want to be nice and have good talks with friendly people, But I'm not going to put up with this atheist bullying any longer.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

" bull shit, you are so dishonest, just admit the truth your ideology says you must be smarter than any Christian but you got your ass kicked in argument by me,so you hate me.
you must be smarter than any Christian but clealry you are not.
your attitude is typical f bullies and abusive people,you are always the victim the people you bully are to blame, anyone who stands up to you is evil, you are slays wronged,
atheist hate group is noting but a pack of bullies, you need to be fed your own medicine, I don't want to say these things,I don't want a name calling war, I want to be nice and have good talks with friendly people, But I'm not going to put up with this atheist bullying any longer."


--You have issues, Joe.
Irrespective, none of the above constitutes a rational refutation of the logical fact that free will and the existence of an omniscient being are mutually exclusive.

If you ever calm down perhaps you can use logic and sound rational argumentation against my points in
May 12, 2017 9:30 AM


May 12, 2017 1:49 PM

Mortal said...

Stardusty,

Perhaps you do not understand what the word omniscience means? If we say God is omnipotent, we mean that He can do all things that are capable of being done. That is, He does not have to be capable of irrational acts (such as creating a rock that He cannot lift, or making a square circle, or a four sided triangle, etc.).

Likewise, when we say that God is omniscient, we mean that He knows all things that are capable of being known. He cannot know the geography of Atlantis, because Atlantis does not exist and never has existed. There's nothing to know about it. Likewise, until an event has actually occurred, perhaps it also does not exist, so there is nothing to be known about it. In such a case, God can be omniscient and still not know what decision a person will make, because there is nothing to be known (yet).

So there is no contradiction between free will and God's omniscience (unless you insist that God has to be able to make a rock that He Himself cannot lift).

Stardusty Psyche said...


Blogger Mortal said...

" If we say God is omnipotent, we mean that He can do all things that are capable of being done. That is, He does not have to be capable of irrational acts (such as creating a rock that He cannot lift, or making a square circle, or a four sided triangle, etc.)."
--So god is not the source of all aspects of existence. God is not able to violate certain rules. There are rules god did not create and god cannot violate.


" Likewise, until an event has actually occurred, perhaps it also does not exist, so there is nothing to be known about it. "
Ok, so god does not know our futures? That is indeed an odd restriction on an omniscient god. If you want to speculate such a god, go ahead, one idle speculation is about as good as another, but yours is a rather unusual one.


"In such a case, God can be omniscient and still not know what decision a person will make, because there is nothing to be known (yet)."
--Ok, if you define omniscience such that god does not know our futures then that is not logically incompatible with free will. You are certainly free to define god however your imagination prefers, but not many people agree with you that I know of.

Thus, in general conversation, omniscience is taken to include knowledge of our future. Your definition is at odds with the common one.


Joe Hinman said...

Blogger Stardusty Psyche said...
Joe Hinman said...

" bull shit, you are so dishonest, just admit the truth your ideology says you must be smarter than any Christian but you got your ass kicked in argument by me,so you hate me.
you must be smarter than any Christian but clealry you are not.
your attitude is typical f bullies and abusive people,you are always the victim the people you bully are to blame, anyone who stands up to you is evil, you are slays wronged,
atheist hate group is noting but a pack of bullies, you need to be fed your own medicine, I don't want to say these things,I don't want a name calling war, I want to be nice and have good talks with friendly people, But I'm not going to put up with this atheist bullying any longer."


--You have issues, Joe.

dh! says the guy who mocks and ridicules dyslexia--I already told you I have issues, they caused by people mock and ridicule,


Irrespective, none of the above constitutes a rational refutation of the logical fact that free will and the existence of an omniscient being are mutually exclusive.

Of course the dyslexia bit doesn't but obviously the argument about being outside time does. You haven't answered it now it appears you don't even understand it, you are trying to lecturer on a theological issue you don't even understand.


If you ever calm down perhaps you can use logic and sound rational argumentation against my points in
May 12, 2017 9:30 AM

says the guy who can';t figure out what being outside of time has to do with God knowing or future actions,

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

" He decided it right after diked his ass from one end to the other on the ontological argument,"
--The ontological argument suffers it's critical failure owing to the non-sequitur of a physical necessity due to a logical necessity.

The definition of "maximally great" is also dubious, but even ignoring that aspect a physical necessity does not follow from a logical necessity.

The non-sequitur defect of the ontological argument can be illustrated with mathematics, an extension or derivative of logic. The mathematics of established physical science is a subset of all mathematics. Further, applied math is known to only be an approximate model of physical reality.

Thus, the mere writing of a mathematical expression does not necessitate its physical realization. For example, a mathematical expression for n dimensional space can be written, but that in no way necessitates n dimensional space as a physical reality.

The ontological argument merely ad hoc defines a particular sort of god as "maximally great" and then uses logic to show a logical necessity for the very thing that was merely ad hoc defined. Even if that were a valid exercise in a closed system of logic it in no way necessitates a physical realization of that asserted logical necessity.


May 12, 2017 8:42 AM

Joe Hinman said...

Mortal if you don't mind my saying so your understanding of the omniscience thing is excellent,

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

SP --You have issues, Joe.

" I already told you I have issues, they caused by people mock and ridicule,"
--When you gain wisdom you will learn that the source of your anger is yourself. We all must come to grips with this or be forever in pain at the perceived slights of others, and paralyzed into ingracious behavior never realizing that the key to your serenity comes from within yourself.


" You haven't answered it "
See May 12, 2017 9:30 AM


" says the guy who can';t figure out what being outside of time has to do with God knowing or future actions,"
See May 12, 2017 9:30 AM


May 12, 2017 4:26 PM

bmiller said...

@Joe,

Yes, seek your inner peace as the wise master has suggested. Maybe one day you too can be a perfect example of logic, politeness and empathy as he is. :-)

Stardusty Psyche said...

bmiller said...

" @Joe, Yes, seek your inner peace as the wise master has suggested. Maybe one day you too can be a perfect example of logic, politeness and empathy as he is. :-)"
--Indeed, as I displayed here
May 12, 2017 9:30 AM
and here
May 12, 2017 4:27 PM

Perhaps somebody here will summon the logic, politeness, and empathy to respond to those posts in kind.


May 12, 2017 7:37 PM

Joe Hinman said...

-When you gain wisdom you will learn that the source of your anger is yourself. We all must come to grips with this or be forever in pain at the perceived slights of others, and paralyzed into ingracious behavior never realizing that the key to your serenity comes from within yourself.

>>>Dusty when you grow up you will learn that blaming the victim is what;s wrong with the world, you tried to be a little bully boy and i fed it back to you,

maybe you should get some dyslexia mot of us with that have higher iqs

Joe Hinman said...

Blogger bmiller said...
@Joe,

Yes, seek your inner peace as the wise master has suggested. Maybe one day you too can be a perfect example of logic, politeness and empathy as he is. :-)

May 12, 2017 7:37 PM

LOL ;-)

Joe Hinman said...

Perhaps somebody here will summon the logic, politeness, and empathy to respond to those posts in kind.


so Dusty you still have not answered the argumet, If God sees all time as a done deal than all events are ast events he;s not really knowing undone future events, so where;s the contradiction?

bmiller said...


--The term "outside time" is word salad, but go ahead...

--Irrelevant. Pay attention, ok?

--You are speaking nonsense just in these few words. Your articles are invariably long screeds of drivel.

May 12, 2017 9:30 AM


Here you can find the examples of logic, politeness an empathy you can expect to achieve if only you follow the master as he demonstrates it.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

" so Dusty you still have not answered the argumet, "
See May 12, 2017 9:30 AM

"If God sees all time as a done deal than all events are ast events he;s not really knowing undone future events, so where;s the contradiction?"
Today's date is 12 May 2017. If god knows, by any means, right now, today, that I will do X on 22 May 2017 then I can only do X on 22 May 2017.

Since I can only do X on 22 May 2017 free will is an illusion.

Remember the bible story about Jesus and Peter? He told Peter he would deny him in the future. Peter did deny Jesus, it is the only thing that could have happened because Jesus used his powers of divine foreknowledge to predict Peter's actions.

It doesn't matter if you dream up some bouncing around time idea to get that knowledge. If god knows my future in my now time then I can only do what what god knows now I will do in my future.


May 12, 2017 9:51 PM

Joe Hinman said...


Blogger bmiller said...

--The term "outside time" is word salad, but go ahead...

not at all, it has a very definite meaning and it relates clearly to scientific theory,If you read Brief history of time you know that they really do speak of beyond time,

--Irrelevant. Pay attention, ok?

that's a meaningless comment,I explained with it was irrelevant by not dealing with my analysis you show me you don't understand it.

--You are speaking nonsense just in these few words. Your articles are invariably long screeds of drivel.

eat shit stupid,,

May 12, 2017 9:30 AM

Here you can find the examples of logic, politeness an empathy you can expect to achieve if only you follow the master as he demonstrates it.

I get it I bet yu you are aTrumpie right?

Joe Hinman said...

Blogger Stardusty Psyche said...
Joe Hinman said...

" so Dusty you still have not answered the argumet, "
See May 12, 2017 9:30 AM

"If God sees all time as a done deal than all events are past events he;s not really knowing undone future events, so where;s the contradiction?"

Today's date is 12 May 2017. If god knows, by any means, right now, today, that I will do X on 22 May 2017 then I can only do X on 22 May 2017.

you are not confined to doming it because God knows you will do it and you have not done it yet,, he doesn't know because he knows things that are not done yet,he knows because he's looking from the future* where you did it it's already been done. Your limitation on changing your mind is not because is removing your free will it's because you already used your free will. it's accomplished fact.

Since I can only do X on 22 May 2017 free will is an illusion.


wrong when you did those things you chose to do them, just because you can't go back and undo them does not mean it wasn't your free will that motivated you,

Remember the bible story about Jesus and Peter? He told Peter he would deny him in the future. Peter did deny Jesus, it is the only thing that could have happened because Jesus used his powers of divine foreknowledge to predict Peter's actions.

Jesus was hooked to the mind of God via his place in Trinity so he could tap into his eternal knowledge from beyond time,

It doesn't matter if you dream up some bouncing around time idea to get that knowledge. If god knows my future in my now time then I can only do what what god knows now I will do in my future.

so in other words even if I have a logical answer it doesn't count because the God hater club says so.

Open your eyes and looks who really is the naked emperor,.It's the atheist who can't handle logic and who denies the basis of analogical argument with truth by stipulation when he;s boxed in a corner,



*beyond time really but by effect from future

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

" eat shit stupid,,
I get it I bet yu you are aTrumpie right?"

--You have issues, Joe.


May 13, 2017 12:25 AM

bmiller said...

@Joe,

It's obvious that I didn't communicate well that I was mocking Strawdusty's post where he pointed to what he considered his best examples of polite discourse. He pointed to 2 of his posts and I posted selections from one of them (his May 12, 2017 9:30 AM) to show what he considers his best efforts. I should have put the smiley at the end of the later post as I did in the other post, but I assumed that you understood what I was doing since you responded with a LOL.

Now if someone I didn't know claimed that obviously insulting sentences were actually polite sentences I would have asked them if they were joking or whether I simply misunderstood them. But that's just me.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

" you are not confined to doming it because God knows you will do it and you have not done it yet,, he doesn't know because he knows things that are not done yet,he knows because he's looking from the future* where you did it it's already been done. "
So, in your fantasy of god, this magical being is a time traveler who can go to the future, see my future as an accomplished fact, then travel back to my time and tell me what I will do in the future.

God is capable of telling human beings in their present time what they will do in their future, correct?

God has the power to whisper in my ear "Alice is going to eat vanilla ice cream for desert" and being the perfect god he is, Alice will indeed eat vanilla ice cream for desert, correct?




SP Remember the bible story about Jesus and Peter? He told Peter he would deny him in the future. Peter did deny Jesus, it is the only thing that could have happened because Jesus used his powers of divine foreknowledge to predict Peter's actions.

" Jesus was hooked to the mind of God via his place in Trinity so he could tap into his eternal knowledge from beyond time,"
--Exactly!!!

Jesus had a method in Peter's present time to determine what Peter would do in Peter's future time. Peter necessarily did what Jesus foretold because Jesus used the mind of god to tell Peter in Peter's present what Peter would do in Peter's future.

Thus, the actions of Peter were determined. Peter could only do 1 thing, the thing Jesus had foretold, and thus Peter had no free will.


May 13, 2017 12:41 AM

Legion of Logic said...

Stardusty,

Say you're faced with a choice to turn left or right. For argument's sake, I am omniscient and I know that you are going to turn left. You choose to turn left, as I knew you would.

Now the question would be, did you have no choice to turn right since I knew you would turn left, or was my foreknowledge based upon knowing you would choose to turn left?

I don't see that the latter can't be the case.

Joe Hinman said...

Stardusty Psyche said...
Joe Hinman said...

" you are not confined to doming it because God knows you will do it and you have not done it yet,, he doesn't know because he knows things that are not done yet,he knows because he's looking from the future* where you did it it's already been done. "

So, in your fantasy of god, this magical being is a time traveler who can go to the future, see my future as an accomplished fact, then travel back to my time and tell me what I will do in the future.

Oooo it sounds wirdo hu? Like the Munsters, of course anyone who has actually done much reading of cosmology knows these are commonplace ideas now. The four coordinate stem of big bang theory allows us to understand time in terms of a special coordinate so we can speak of being beyond space/time.



Stardusty Psyche said...

Legion of Logic said...
" Say you're faced with a choice to turn left or right. For argument's sake, I am omniscient and I know that you are going to turn left. You choose to turn left, as I knew you would."
--But was that a *free* choice?

" Now the question would be, did you have no choice to turn right since I knew you would turn left,"
--I had a mechanistic choice, a deterministic choice, the choice of a robot, the choice of an algorithmic if/then execution. Thus, not a *free* choice.

" or was my foreknowledge based upon knowing you would choose to turn left?"
--Your foreknowledge was not itself the proximate mechanism of the deterministic choice. The existence of your foreknowledge requires that there must be some sort of deterministic mechanism making your choice *not free*, rather, merely algorithmic and mechanistic.

" I don't see that the latter can't be the case."
--Free will is an illusion on an omniscient being. You might have a sensation of freedom, but on an omniscient being your are in fact a robot.


May 13, 2017 9:15 AM

Joe Hinman said...

So, in your fantasy of god, this magical being is a time traveler who can go to the future, see my future as an accomplished fact, then travel back to my time and tell me what I will do in the future.

Time is a function of space/time. If we think of the 4 coordinate set as a each ball then we can think of the multiverse as a bunch of beach balls.
in that analogy God is not part of one beach ball because he created them all so he is beyond them all. If God communicates( the assumption of the Bile) then he must able to communicate with any being on the surface of any ball.


God is capable of telling human beings in their present time what they will do in their future, correct?

that's the assumption of the Bile

God has the power to whisper in my ear "Alice is going to eat vanilla ice cream for desert" and being the perfect god he is, Alice will indeed eat vanilla ice cream for desert, correct?

why should we assume that he does it in that manner?


SP Remember the bible story about Jesus and Peter? He told Peter he would deny him in the future. Peter did deny Jesus, it is the only thing that could have happened because Jesus used his powers of divine foreknowledge to predict Peter's actions.

wrong theree are severalo possiioites:
1 maybe he didn't say it
2 could have been a poetic image for effect so he didn't mean literally a cock will actually crow this morning.
3 he could know from his general omniscience that Peter did actually betray him
4 he could have calculated it by probability since he would be super intelligent, but probability still leaves open a minuscule possibility of being wrong.


" Jesus was hooked to the mind of God via his place in Trinity so he could tap into his eternal knowledge from beyond time,"
--Exactly!!!

it's only knowing future from our point of view, past knowledge for God. i do not control the Alamo. I know the outcome but they could have changed their minds.

Jesus had a method in Peter's present time to determine what Peter would do in Peter's future time. Peter necessarily did what Jesus foretold because Jesus used the mind of god to tell Peter in Peter's present what Peter would do in Peter's future.

I just told you that get with the program. you are just ceased with wonderment about ideas yon never thought of before.see how out of it your God hater club is? they steered you wrong.

Thus, the actions of Peter were determined. Peter could only do 1 thing, the thing Jesus had foretold, and thus Peter had no free will.

I already showed you 4 different possibilities none of which include determinism, grow up learn to think.

Joe Hinman said...

@Joe,

It's obvious that I didn't communicate well that I was mocking Strawdusty's post where he pointed to what he considered his best examples of polite discourse. He pointed to 2 of his posts and I posted selections from one of them (his May 12, 2017 9:30 AM) to show what he considers his best efforts. I should have put the smiley at the end of the later post as I did in the other post, but I assumed that you understood what I was doing since you responded with a LOL.

Now if someone I didn't know claimed that obviously insulting sentences were actually polite sentences I would have asked them if they were joking or whether I simply misunderstood them. But that's just me.

wow I did not get that,I must be in super defensive mode,sorry man,I apologize.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...
" it's only knowing future from our point of view, past knowledge for God. i do not control the Alamo. I know the outcome but they could have changed their minds."
So god knew about the Alamo outcome prior to it occurring. Thus the only possible outcome was the outcome god already knew.

" God hater club "
--Atheist god hater, funny.

" I already showed you 4 different possibilities none of which include determinism, "
--Disjointed crackpottery
1 maybe he didn't say it
--Then the bible is wrong and Jesus did not know the future, thus not omniscient.
2 could have been a poetic image for effect so he didn't mean literally a cock will actually crow this morning.
--Again, Jesus/god not omniscient in this case.
3 he could know from his general omniscience that Peter did actually betray him
--"General omniscience"? Right, if "generally omniscient" then Jesus predicted the future so that is the only possible future so free will is an illusion.
4 he could have calculated it by probability since he would be super intelligent, but probability still leaves open a minuscule possibility of being wrong.
--Jesus could have been wrong!!!

Uhm, if Jesus could be wrong he is not omniscient, now is he?


May 13, 2017 11:17 AM

Hugo Pelland said...

bmiller said...
"Well yes sort of, although Christianity did not create death and suffering. Did you really mean that Christianity creates these problems? My assessment of your questions and comments are that you are challenging theists to convince you they are right and you are wrong by comparing certain advantages under both systems. My suggestion is that you are approaching the topic by asking the wrong questions. That is, if you care to exchange ideas with theists in the forum and understand their beliefs rather than just picking a fight."

Almost missed that among all the noise...

It looks like I am not making myself clear at all. Perhaps it's because I am in fact asking the wrong questions, or that the questions are wrong to you because we care about different things.

But I did not mean that Christianity creates problems nor that there are advantages to compare under different systems.

First of all, I don't see Christianity, or lack of belief in Christianity, as systems per se. I am pretty sure we'll disagree on that, but that's the difference between believers and non-believers, most of the time. I see way too much differences among Christians to call it a system, even if there are some common beliefs among all. In other words, the differences are too big and dwarf the similarities. And it's the same with other religions too.

That's when the differences of views my wife and I have become relevant, for instance. She believes in God, though not as strongly/literally after being with me for 7 years, but we see things very similarly otherwise. So our differences of opinion regarding God is not influencing the 'system' we live by; our worldviews, preferences, opinions, moral views, ambitions, priorities, etc... are very similar. And when we do disagree, it's never because of our differences when it comes to God.

Moreover, I must repeat: I am not interested in picking a fight, it's so pointless. I am trying to understand what I get wrong, outside of Christianity itself, because I reject Christianity. Again, it could be that there is no answer, should people like you bmiller, or the others who were kind enough to engage, have nothing that really spins off of Christianity. It could be that everything is self-contained, or that it's not relevant for Christians like you. So, I will try re-phrase what I am looking for...

Hugo Pelland said...

Do you think religious beliefs, or more specifically the belief in God, is relevant when it comes to our individual contribution to the society/civilization we live in?

My answer is 'no' and that's why I think we should live by secular principles; not to be confused with Atheism, as most secular in the Western world are actually Christians. To be even clearer, one of these principles is that one should be free to exercise a religion, should they choose to, so a secular society is not pro-Atheism, it is merely not using religion as a basis, or collective, set of principles or ideas to come up with other principles that make our society work.

If your answer would also be 'no', I am wondering which issues, decisions, opinions, etc... are different, because of the Christian beliefs you hold. What do you think I get 'wrong' under such secular situations because of the lack of belief in God?

If your answer is 'yes', then we have to agree to disagree, as it means that you want to live in a society that values one religion over another. It means that decisions that affect not only yourself, but others, should follow your religion's principles, regardless of the religion, or lack thereof, or other people. It means that we see the entire social fabric of our society in a different way. It means that you might want to bring up God during a business meeting, or a political debate, or a townhall conversation on local issues... situations where I think we should not care whether one believes in God or not. And I wonder why you think we should care in such situations. But given the answer was 'yes', I know we'll never agree, and I will understand why in this case, which is interesting to know.

Hugo Pelland said...

Finally, there was a quick parallel I thought of that might explain what I am trying to out my finger on, and it will vary from person to person so it would be great if I could find that out about some of you here, and figure out whether you agree among yourselves.

During a long discussion with Stan from the Atheism Analyzed blog, actually over many years of reading and occasionally commenting, I have realized why he does not believe in the theory of evolution. It boils down to really just 1 simple thing: he thinks that cellular reproduction is a perfect process. When mutations occur, they are necessarily bad and the organism either die as a result, or the mutations gets overwhelmed by non-mutated genes over time. Hence, populations don't change, new species cannot happen naturally, and well, everything flows from there.

This is literally the 1 thing Stan and I disagree on, regarding Biology, but it makes our understanding of the Theory of Evolution completely different. Everything is just-so stories to him, everything is just made-up ideas based on that belief that mutations do occur, are neutral to start with, and can turn positive, or negative, or remain neutral.

So, just like any analogy, this isn't perfect, but my question about what I get wrong because of the belief in God is the equivalent of that mutation thing. Because Stan gets that part of Biology wrong, he gets speciation, common descent wrong, and pretty much anything else related to evolution, wrong.

Given that I don't believe in God, what else flows logically from there?

I know several examples were given already and we disagree on whether they do come from that or not, and that's fine, but if there is more, let me know.

Mortal said...

Do you think religious beliefs, or more specifically the belief in God, is relevant when it comes to our individual contribution to the society/civilization we live in?

And I think the the answer is "Yes." If you have a faith-based conviction that a pre-born child is a human being whose life deserves to be respected, then religion is indeed relevant. If you believe that homosexuality is intrinsically disordered and contrary to divine will, then religion is again quite relevant. If you believe that all persons are equal before God (as in St. Paul), then you are more likely to engage in social activities that favor individual freedom and be opposed to tyranny. If you believe that we are commanded by God to care for "the least amongst you", then you are more likely to support charities, sponsor universities and hospitals, contribute to disaster relief, and seek peace among nations and peoples. Belief in God and recognition of our wish to praise Him leads to an increased interest in and support of the arts, to include music, dance, drama, literature, painting, sculpture, and architecture. Recognition of nature as divine creation leads to a respect for and care of our environment. Scientists have for the past 2000 years been inspired by the words, "Ever since the creation of the world God's invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made." (Romans 1:20) That is why it is hard to find a single branch of modern science, from astronomy to genetics to geology to optics to spectroscopy to medicine to, well, to all of them) that does not have a devout Christian (and usually a Catholic) as its founder.

So not only is religious belief "relevant" to how we contribute to society - it is decisively relevant, and in a good way.

Hugo Pelland said...

Mortal, fair enough. Thanks for the examples. I disagree with every single thing you write, and I see no relevant example to learn from, but I understand why, so there's not much to add. Thanks!

Joe Hinman said...

Stardusty Psyche said...
Joe Hinman said...
" it's only knowing future from our point of view, past knowledge for God. i do not control the Alamo. I know the outcome but they could have changed their minds."

So god knew about the Alamo outcome prior to it occurring. Thus the only possible outcome was the outcome god already knew.

not before it happened if you are outside of time, everything in time would appear as past event.

" God hater club "
--Atheist god hater, funny.

not really

" I already showed you 4 different possibilities none of which include determinism, "

--Disjointed crackpottery
name calling is not disproof

1 maybe he didn't say it

--Then the bible is wrong and Jesus did not know the future, thus not omniscient.

If some passage is wrong that does not make Jesus wrong, It just means he;s reported wrong.

2 could have been a poetic image for effect so he didn't mean literally a cock will actually crow this morning.

--Again, Jesus/god not omniscient in this case.

does not follow. Poetic images and metaphors are not wrong,they are bad guesses they are not mistakes, they have meaning.

3 he could know from his general omniscience that Peter did actually betray him
--"General omniscience"? Right, if "generally omniscient" then Jesus predicted the future so that is the only possible future so free will is an illusion.

No that means tapping into the beyond time perception of God

4 he could have calculated it by probability since he would be super intelligent, but probability still leaves open a minuscule possibility of being wrong.

--Jesus could have been wrong!!!

you don't understand probability do you?

Uhm, if Jesus could be wrong he is not omniscient, now is he?

that's another option he could choose not to be omission in this life so as Jesus the logos leaves behind omniscience.

none of those examples include him being wrong,I don't think you really understand the issues involved in this stuff.

Joe Hinman said...

Hugo Pelland said...
Mortal, fair enough. Thanks for the examples. I disagree with every single thing you write, and I see no relevant example to learn from, but I understand why, so there's not much to add. Thanks!

the problem is there's too much involved in that question, it makes a different in everything. Not trivial things like how you take your coffee but in every walk of life.

Christianity is a pretext to love. it's a pretext to love unlovable people and people who hurt you. Most people don't even agree they should do that. with God the motivation for revenge with no chance of forgiving is pretty strong,
i agree there could be atheists who will for give and there probably are. There are probably atheists who love people as a general unalterable and who hold it as a primary value, but they don't have to. Only with Christianity is it a goal, an ideal, a value, and mandatory.

Joe Hinman said...

If your answer is 'yes', then we have to agree to disagree, as it means that you want to live in a society that values one religion over another.


wrong, not true I don't value religions I don't value the christian lesion above others.Jesus is not a religion. The religion is an outgrowth of a tool that bonged to the mission of Jesus as Messiah. But the tool has taken on a life of it's own and has betrayed the mission. The supporting of Trump meant the mission is betrayed the meaning of Jesus is altered at this point as to become meaningless.

Religions reflect cultural constructs because they have to filter through them for meaning, so that's why they are different. But Jesus is a historical reality and thus not merely a cultural or religious construct,



It means that decisions that affect not only yourself, but others, should follow your religion's principles, regardless of the religion, or lack thereof, or other people.

that is a fallacious assumption. Jesus gives us the example of the guys eating grain from the field on Sabbath and says the Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath. He is saying that grace means flexibility according to the circumstances.


It means that we see the entire social fabric of our society in a different way. It means that you might want to bring up God during a business meeting, or a political debate, or a townhall conversation on local issues... situations where I think we should not care whether one believes in God or not.

so what? I might to bring up Marx riding those occasiosn too, or Marcuse.

And I wonder why you think we should care in such situations. But given the answer was 'yes', I know we'll never agree, and I will understand why in this case, which is interesting to know.

straw man, wait until we are in the situation,

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

@Hugo Pelland,

My answer is 'no' and that's why I think we should live by secular principles; not to be confused with Atheism, as most secular in the Western world are actually Christians. To be even clearer, one of these principles is that one should be free to exercise a religion, should they choose to, so a secular society is not pro-Atheism, it is merely not using religion as a basis, or collective, set of principles or ideas to come up with other principles that make our society work.

I like to start from the beginning. Why do you consider a secular society a good thing? Why do you think we should live by secular principles? Most societies throughout history have not been secular.

Hugo Pelland said...

@bmiller
Why consider a secular society a good thing?
In all honesty, if you cannot answer that yourself, I have nothing further to discuss with you.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

" 4 he could have calculated it by probability since he would be super intelligent, but probability still leaves open a minuscule possibility of being wrong."

SP --Jesus could have been wrong!!!

" you don't understand probability do you?"
--Probability is a calculation that can lead to an incorrect answer, thus Jesus could have been incorrect when he told Peter what would happen.

That makes Jesus potentially wrong and therefore not omniscient.


May 13, 2017 9:16 PM

Legion of Logic said...

I've never considered "secular" to be useful in determining whether something is praiseworthy or not. Freedom, happiness, sustainability, etc are much better metrics to gauge a society.

Hugo Pelland said...

Legion,
What you just describe is a secular approach...

Joe Hinman said...

Stardusty Psyche said...
Joe Hinman said...

" 4 he could have calculated it by probability since he would be super intelligent, but probability still leaves open a minuscule possibility of being wrong."

SP --Jesus could have been wrong!!!


Jesus was right he did betray him so he was not wrong. The most you have is the possibility that he could have been wrong but turned out not to be.

" you don't understand probability do you?"
--Probability is a calculation that can lead to an incorrect answer, thus Jesus could have been incorrect when he told Peter what would happen.

that's crap. if you say there are 9 chances in 10 that X will happen and then X doesn't happen that doesn't mean you were wrong it means the most likely thing did not occur. we are only talking about one possible solution but even so Peter did betray him so he was not wrong however it worked.

you are only harping on this because you don't know probability means and you are desperate to to be right about something.


That makes Jesus potentially wrong and therefore not omniscient.

so what? you don;t even have a theoretical reason why that's Bad. IF HE CHOSE TO BE LIMITED IN OMNISCIENCE IT'S NOT EVEN A PROBLEM IF HE'S WRONG, BUT HE WASN'T WRONG.

Joe Hinman said...

Hugo Pelland said...
@bmiller
Why consider a secular society a good thing?
In all honesty, if you cannot answer that yourself, I have nothing further to discuss with you.

I do consider a secular society good thing and I have theological reasons for doing so.I take them from Theologian Harvey Cox in his book The Secular City

The religious wars of Europe were unstoppable because there was no neutral space and no neutral oratorio. Secularization is good, secularism is not. Secularism is anti religious while secularization is the natural process of public space where no one view rules.The predominating view is impartial on matters of religion.

Legion of Logic said...

Hugo,

How are freedom, happiness, and sustainability purely secular thoughts? There have been extremely oppressive secular societies. There have been happy and prosperous religious societies. I'd rather live in a happy, prosperous country with a religious government that upheld freedom, than an oppressive secular society.

bmiller said...

@Hugo Pelland,

In all honesty, if you cannot answer that yourself, I have nothing further to discuss with you.

I do have my answer to the question. I asked you for your answer.
This is the blog of a professional philosopher. These are the types of questions philosophers ask.
Why does my asking your opinion related to a topic you brought up offend you?

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

SP --Jesus could have been wrong!!!

" he could have been wrong "
--Exactly, Jesus could have been wrong by your own words, meaning he was not omniscient.


May 14, 2017 12:39 AM

Mortal said...

Stardusty,

Please learn some basic Christology before commenting any further. Read about the Ecumenical Councils of Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus, Chalcedon, 2nd Constantinople, 3rd Constantinople, and 2nd Nicaea. These are fundamental to an understanding just exactly who Christ is, and His nature.

You'll learn that Christ has two natures, divine and human, as well as two wills (also human and divine). It is not only possible but necessary that Jesus as a human being was not omniscient, whilst as the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, He is.

See also Mark 5:25-34.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Mortal said...

" Stardusty, Please learn some basic Christology before commenting any further. Read about the Ecumenical Councils of Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus, Chalcedon, 2nd Constantinople, 3rd Constantinople, and 2nd Nicaea. These are fundamental to an understanding just exactly who Christ is, and His nature."
--"Go read a book" is a particularly weak argument.

" You'll learn that Christ has two natures, divine and human, as well as two wills (also human and divine). It is not only possible but necessary that Jesus as a human being was not omniscient, whilst as the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, He is."
--So Jesus is allowed to violate the principle of non-contradiction in that case. Any argument that requires a violation of this fundamental principle is by definition logically invalid.


May 14, 2017 9:12 AM

Joe Hinman said...

Stardusty Psyche said...
Joe Hinman said...

SP --Jesus could have been wrong!!!

" he could have been wrong "
--Exactly, Jesus could have been wrong by your own words, meaning he was not omniscient.

taking it out of context and you know it, what was the context? It was no 4 in 4 separate choices each one merely hypothetical wasn't it? So we don't even know if it's the answer, Even if we accept it Jesus was not wrong.So it;s academic. you need to wimn an issue and you understand the issues so badly you chose one of the wettest for you could defend.

Joe Hinman said...

ere are the four again


1 maybe he didn't say it



2 could have been a poetic image for effect so he didn't mean literally a cock will actually crow this morning.



3 he could know from his general omniscience that Peter did actually betray him
--"General omniscience"?



4 he could have calculated it by probability since he would be super intelligent, but probability still leaves open a minuscule possibility of being wrong.



Joe Hinman said...

Stardusty Psyche said...
Mortal said...

" Stardusty, Please learn some basic Christology before commenting any further. Read about the Ecumenical Councils of Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus, Chalcedon, 2nd Constantinople, 3rd Constantinople, and 2nd Nicaea. These are fundamental to an understanding just exactly who Christ is, and His nature."


--"Go read a book" is a particularly weak argument.

that's not his argument it's just incidental to it, He's saying you don't know enough about the things you are running down,

" You'll learn that Christ has two natures, divine and human, as well as two wills (also human and divine). It is not only possible but necessary that Jesus as a human being was not omniscient, whilst as the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, He is."


--So Jesus is allowed to violate the principle of non-contradiction in that case. Any argument that requires a violation of this fundamental principle is by definition logically invalid.

that's is not a violation of non-contradiction. He can have access to the knowledge of omniscience in a limited fashion or on demand. He doesn't have to have it all in his head at once.

Stardusty Psyche said...


Joe Hinman said...
" 4 separate choices each one merely hypothetical wasn't it?"
--All 4 fail.

"So we don't even know if it's the answer,"
--If it's the answer then Jesus is not omniscient. If it's not the answer then your point is irrelevant.

God knows our future in our present. You can speculate about the eternal now, or god existing in the future and looking back or whatever spooky fantasy you prefer.

It doesn't matter how your imaginary friend goes flitting about.

God knows our future in our present and that makes our future determined.

The bible contains many prophesies. God comes to a human present and tells humans in their present what will happen in their future. Therefore, their future is determined. The future can only be what god knows it will be when god tells humans in the human present what will happen in the human future.


May 14, 2017 11:26 AM

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...
". He can have access to the knowledge of omniscience in a limited fashion"
--"Limited omniscience" is oxymoronic.


May 14, 2017 11:34 AM

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

ere are the four again
1 maybe he didn't say it
--In this case the bible just makes stuff up out of whole cloth. Really?


2 could have been a poetic image for effect so he didn't mean literally a cock will actually crow this morning.
--More biblical falsehoods. How odd you argue for god by claiming the bible might be false.


3 he could know from his general omniscience that Peter did actually betray him
--"General omniscience"? How is general omniscience different from plain old regular omniscience?


4 he could have calculated it by probability since he would be super intelligent, but probability still leaves open a minuscule possibility of being wrong
--Since Jesus could have been wrong in this case he is not omniscient.


May 14, 2017 11:28 AM

Mortal said...

Joe, I will make the same recommendation to you that I made to Stardusty - read up on the Ecumenical Councils. Jesus does not have "limited omniscience". His human nature does not have omniscience, and His divine nature does. No contradiction, but also no bleed-over from one of His natures to the other. They are distinct.

Hugo Pelland said...

Legion of Logic said...
"How are freedom, happiness, and sustainability purely secular thoughts?"

I did not say that they are purely securely; I am not even sure what that means actually...

I said that your approach was secular: "Freedom, happiness, sustainability, etc are much better metrics to gauge a society." And I agree. These things are great examples of what we should live by, and how we should judge a society, among other things. It implies that it's not the religious aspect of the government that matters. As co-inhabitant of a society, we can discuss these topics without mentioning our religion, or lack thereof, and that's what a secular society is about.

"There have been extremely oppressive secular societies. There have been happy and prosperous religious societies. I'd rather live in a happy, prosperous country with a religious government that upheld freedom, than an oppressive secular society."

This is still in line with what I just wrote; if you prefer a religious government that upheld freedom, including freedom of religion, it means that this government is actually secular, in practice, as they do not force a religion onto their citizens. It's actually an oxymoron; I would not call such government religious. Or, if they are, in fact, religious and impose their religion, then this is a horribly wrong practice and still has nothing to do with any other freedom they might offer. And these other aspects, not related to religion, are independent on whether the government is secular.

So, in short, a secular government is always better, for the 1 thing that 'secular' is referring to: no state religion. A government that happens to be secular and worse than another government that happens to be religious is still better on that 1 aspect of their policies.

bmiller said...
"I do have my answer to the question. I asked you for your answer.
This is the blog of a professional philosopher. These are the types of questions philosophers ask.
Why does my asking your opinion related to a topic you brought up offend you?
"

Offended? That's funny... I am not offended at all, I just thought your question was really silly, and lost interest in discussing with you. Victor might be a professional but I am not, this is just a hobby, and given that there are thousands of people we can chat online with, I am free to move on to someone else when I find a specific conversation to be devoid of value. Your comment tilted the balance for me. That's all.

In any case, I did end up replying to your question though, as Legion asked more or less the same thing, in a more precise way. And I still can't believe it was necessary to explain why a secular government is necessarily better, both for religious and non-religious people!

But I am still looking forward to see whether you guys have other interesting things to discuss, but if not, don't worry, it's not because I am offended, it's just that I don't care... I don't know about you but I have plenty of others things to do...

Stardusty Psyche said...

Mortal said...

" read up on the Ecumenical Councils."
--Why? There were many of them spanning centuries that covered a wide range of subjects. How incredibly tedious and nauseating it would be to slog through all that.

" Jesus does not have "limited omniscience"."
--At least you did not fall for that bit of oxymoronic Joe-ism.

" His human nature does not have omniscience, and His divine nature does."
--Darn, just when I thought you might avoid self contradiction...

" No contradiction,"
--Slapping the label "no contradiction" on a self contradictory assertion is not helpful.

" but also no bleed-over from one of His natures to the other. They are distinct."
--Ok, so Jesus has distinct natures simultaneously that do not bleed-over and are mutually exclusive. He is divine and human at the same time, but "no contradiction". I suppose if you read a blizzard of vague assertions enough times you can convince yourself that makes sense.


May 14, 2017 1:18 PM

Legion of Logic said...

Hugo: "So, in short, a secular government is always better, for the 1 thing that 'secular' is referring to: no state religion. A government that happens to be secular and worse than another government that happens to be religious is still better on that 1 aspect of their policies"

I think this is absolutely wrong, but thanks for sharing your answer.

Mortal said...

Whether or not a government is "secular" is pretty much irrelevant to its being "better" than another. The Islamic State of Iran is pretty much an awful system under which to live. But so is the decidedly secular state of North Korea. Israel has a state religion, but is far preferable to Belarus which has none.

In my opinion, the United States prior to the 1960s had probably the best system of government ever devised on this planet. In recent decades, unfortunately, we have gone off the deep end toward favoritism to atheism. I would love to see the pendulum swing back in the other direction.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Mortal said...

" In my opinion, the United States prior to the 1960s had probably the best system of government ever devised on this planet."
--I doubt very much that you are black, or female, or homosexual.

Prior to the 1960s overt discrimination was legal.

" In recent decades, unfortunately, we have gone off the deep end toward favoritism to atheism. I would love to see the pendulum swing back in the other direction."
--The trend is toward atheism because we keep learning more and more, making god irrelevant.


May 14, 2017 6:57 PM

bmiller said...

@Hugo,

I am free to move on to someone else when I find a specific conversation to be devoid of value. Your comment tilted the balance for me. That's all.

Suit yourself. This is for others who are interested in the discussion, not you.

I think that the idea of religious liberty and freedom of conscious is a basic human right. I also think America allows the greatest range of religious liberty anywhere in the world. But why should religious liberty and freedom of conscious be a right, and what actually is a right? A secular state defined merely as separation of government and religion cannot guarantee that individual or religious rights will remain protected by the government.

Christians would and did say that we are endowed by our creator with rights that no government can take away and as such we have the freedom to follow our conscious since we have the dignity associated with being created in the image of God. These are facts of history and these ideas developed in western civilization and by that I mean Christian culture. Perhaps the only way that State and Church can be separated in practice is when the culture is based in Christianity.

What do you think could happen if we redefine rights as what government decides to grant individuals?

Joe Hinman said...

Joe, I will make the same recommendation to you that I made to Stardusty - read up on the Ecumenical Councils. Jesus does not have "limited omniscience". His human nature does not have omniscience, and His divine nature does. No contradiction, but also no bleed-over from one of His natures to the other. They are distinct.

you read up on the columnist, they never asked the question in what way was Christ omniscient when in flesh. Yes the Logos shares omniscience with the other two persona, Jesus is the incorporate logos, but that does not mean he couldn't choose (choose mind you) to shield his all Wong nature, after all it says he considered equality with God not a thing to grasp but emptied himself, took on the form of a servant, He chose not to be infinite, he chose to be confide to flesh localized existence,why could he not choose to have the mindset that goes with being human?

IT is is not some wild idea that some a liberal theologian came with it was argued by C.S Lewis and maybe based upon Oigin.

Joe Hinman said...

Joe Hinman said...
" 4 separate choices each one merely hypothetical wasn't it?"
--All 4 fail.

"So we don't even know if it's the answer,"
--If it's the answer then Jesus is not omniscient. If it's not the answer then your point is irrelevant.

The Bile says he divested himself of the glory of God to take the fporm of a servant,so it's a voluntary forgetting it;ls not delimiting,

God knows our future in our present. You can speculate about the eternal now, or god existing in the future and looking back or whatever spooky fantasy you prefer.

It doesn't matter how your imaginary friend goes flitting about.

Keoirdkegaard said"he who mocks others mocks himslef."

God knows our future in our present and that makes our future determined.

no it does not chicken pie.He's looking back on past events that already Benedictine y us, he's looking at the result of our decisions that we made. Its not determined. That has been true evey time I've explained it to you and it always will be, I knew you would repeat it,does that mean I made you repeat it?


The bible contains many prophesies. God comes to a human present and tells humans in their present what will happen in their future. Therefore, their future is determined. The future can only be what god knows it will be when god tells humans in the human present what will happen in the human future.

I've ready explained it every time, If you can't understand it you don't need to be doing this,

Joe Hinman said...

Mortal said...

" read up on the Ecumenical Councils."

--Why? There were many of them spanning centuries that covered a wide range of subjects. How incredibly tedious and nauseating it would be to slog through all that.

no little Einstein there are seven ecumenical councils that set the official doctrine of the church. That fines Christianity

" Jesus does not have "limited omniscience"."

--At least you did not fall for that bit of oxymoronic Joe-ism.

as opposed to your regular moron answers, there is no discussion in the councils about what kind of omniscience Jesus had. I did not make up the concept C.S.Lewis supported it.

" His human nature does not have omniscience, and His divine nature does."
--Darn, just when I thought you might avoid self contradiction...

since the argument is for voluntary limitation we don't know that they didn;tdiscuss that.

bmiller said...

@Joe,

no it does not chicken pie.

Gotta ask. Is that a Texas thing?

Joe Hinman said...

In my opinion, the United States prior to the 1960s had probably the best system of government ever devised on this planet. In recent decades, unfortunately, we have gone off the deep end toward favoritism to atheism. I would love to see the pendulum swing back in the other direction.

like the the civil rights act hu?

Joe Hinman said...

If Jesus did not have limited omniscience how is it that Jesus says non one knows th day or thy hour of his return, except the father not even he knows it. That is limited,



Catholic world Rport, march 18,2016

The Church Fathers

quote>>>
It may surprise some modern readers, but the Church Fathers’ opinion on this question was mixed.

This is revealed by their comments on Mark 13:32, where toward the end of his prophetic discourse, Jesus says, “But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

Some Church Fathers took this as a straightforward indication that the Son did not know the day or hour in his human knowledge.

Thus St. Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 140-c. 202), combatting Gnostics who claimed to know all divine mysteries, wrote, “even the Lord, the very Son of God, allowed that the Father alone knows the very day and hour of judgment” and that “the Son was not ashamed to ascribe the knowledge of that day to the Father only” (Against Heresies 2:28:6).

Combatting Arians, St. Athanasius (c. 295-373) wrote that, as the Word, Christ knew all things but, as man, did not know the time of the end:

"He knows also the hour of the end of all things, as the Word, though as man he is ignorant of it, for ignorance is proper to man, and especially ignorance of these things. Moreover this is proper to the Savior’s love of man; for since he was made man, he is not ashamed, because of the flesh which is ignorant, to say “I know not,” that he may show that knowing as God, he is but ignorant according to the flesh. (Discourses Against the Arians 3:43)"

St. Gregory of Nazianz (c. 330-c. 389), similarly wrote that “everyone must see that he knows as God, and knows not as man” and that “we are to understand the ignorance in the most reverent sense, by attributing it to the manhood, and not to the Godhead” (Orations 30:15).

It is worth noting that Athanasius and Gregory of Nazianz are not only Fathers but also Doctors of the Church.

Others, however, disagreed. Fathers—and Doctors!—such as Ambrose, Augustine, and Gregory the Great were on the other side of the question, and their view came to dominate the Middle Ages.

Mortal said...

Remember that St. Paul wrote that Jesus was "a man like us in all things except sin."

"All things" would include His knowledge of things. Jesus had to learn how to walk, just like us. He wasn't born knowing Aramaic - he lad to learn how to talk, and learn the meaning of words. If you asked him how many galaxies were there in the universe, He'd probably respond "What's a galaxy?"

When Jesus asked "Who touched my clothes?" (Mark 5:30), He was asking because He didn't know.

bmiller said...

Joe, Mortal,

It looks to me that you both have the same or almost the same idea.

Joe Hinman said...

I noticed

Mortal said...

bmiller,

I haven't had any ideas here at all. At least, none ascribable to me (other than my sheer speculation about knowledge of the future, posted at May 12, 2:39 PM).

You can find everything I wrote concerning Christ's human and divine natures in The Catechism of the Catholic Church (plus a whole lot more).

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

" it's a voluntary forgetting "
--Jesus voluntarily forgot to be omniscient, except when he decided to remember to be omniscient. How much Christian propaganda does one need to read before that kind of absurdity starts to make sense to you?

" Keoirdkegaard said"he who mocks others mocks himslef.""
--You have an imaginary friend who can flit about from past, present, and future, forget to be omniscient, then remember to be omniscient... Pointing out your absurdities is a positive, not negative, reflection on me.

"He's looking back on past events that already Benedictine y us, he's looking at the result of our decisions that we made."
--He knows our future in our present. It doesn't matter if he has some time travel magical powers to get that information. When he comes to our present he knows our future so we can have only 1 future, the future god knows in our present. Thus free will is an illusion.

SP The bible contains many prophesies. God comes to a human present and tells humans in their present what will happen in their future. Therefore, their future is determined. The future can only be what god knows it will be when god tells humans in the human present what will happen in the human future.

" I've ready explained it every time, "
--Nope, you have not explained how prophesies can be anything other than foretelling our future in our present. Maybe your magic man goes flitting about through time be when he whispers in the ear of a prophet he is acting in th human present to inform a human being what that human future will be. Therefore only one thing can happen in the human future, the thing god told the prophet and the prophet wrote down in his present. Therefore the prophet's future is predetermined and free will is an illusion.


May 14, 2017 9:17 PM

Mortal said...

Here, by the way, is an excellent piece that thoroughly refutes Stardusty's accusation of my contradicting myself, when I wrote that the human nature of Christ is not omniscient, while His divine nature is. (Not my words, by the way, but those of the "tedious and nauseating" Ecumenical Councils.)

bmiller said...

@Mortal,

Right. It just looked like you and Joe were arguing while actually being in agreement.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Mortal said...

" Here, by the way, is an excellent piece that thoroughly refutes Stardusty's accusation of my contradicting myself, when I wrote that the human nature of Christ is not omniscient, while His divine nature is. "

From the link
*This is simply not a contradiction because it is one person having two natures, one of which is finite and the other infinite."
--Irrational. If part of me is finite and part of me is infinite I simply am infinite.

If part of the whole numbers are finite and part of the whole numbers are infinite then the whole numbers simply are infinite.

We can work within a finite subset of an infinite set but if the infinite set is within an individual then the individual is at all times infinite.

*the Two Natures of Christ are very difficult to comprehend and conceptualize, we freely grant. But that doesn’t make them impossible to rationally accept (with the aid of faith)*
--Indeed, the added ingredient of faith is required to convince oneself that this irrationality is somehow rational.

*They are mysteries. Of course, there are mysteries in Islam, also, concerning the nature of Allah that are not fully comprehensible by human minds (if at all). That doesn’t mean they are unable to be accepted and believed.*
--Again the author admits the mysteriousness and incomprehensibility of the dual nature assertion, exhorting the Christian to simply accept and believe.

(the first paragraphs below is not from the author)
'He must be fully divine. This is impossible because to be fully divine means one has to be free of human limitations.'

*Not if He chooses to become incarnate without yielding up His inherent divine qualities. That’s not impossible at all. To claim that is to limit God’s omnipotence, *
--Here the author argues that god must be able to transform himself into a limited human while remaining an unlimited god or else we would be denying the omnipotence of god.

So, god can create a rock that is too heavy for god to lift, else we deny the omnipotence of god.

God can do the things that are impossible for god to do else we deny the omnipotence of god.

(various attempts are made to use analogies of a square and a circle. This is a typical quote with the notion of being side by side)
'For instance, a more valid example would have been to take a square and attach it to a circle. In other words, you would have a square and a circle united to each other, coexisting side by side.'
--So, in this view Jesus has a sort of split personality, a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Jesus had a sort of multiple personality disorder.

Real people do have real split personalities. Each personality is finite. Nobody has 1 finite personality and 1 infinite personality. That is where the "side by side" notion breaks down. You can't be side by side with infinity because infinity is all encompassing.

So, god split himself into sections that also remained as one. The Jesus section in turn split into 2 parts, one all knowing the other with limited knowledge. Yet, the part that was all knowing must have known about the part with limited knowledge, and the part with limited knowledge was still a part of the whole.

From time to time the part with the limited knowledge could tap into the part that was all knowing and predict the future for people in their present, yet those people were somehow free even though they could only do the thing Jesus predicted.

This is a particularly glaring example of the pernicious nature of religious faith.

*But Mr. Ally claims that the Two Natures is contradictory, and therefore unable to be believed by anyone. The only problem is that one could not believe in Allah, on the same grounds*
--Here the author says to Muslims "hey, you say our doctrine is contradictory but your doctrine is just as contradictory ". To a Christian this is apparently a good argument.


May 15, 2017 8:56 AM

Joe Hinman said...

pull down all the responses from above that he did not answer and apply where needed.