Friday, March 22, 2013

Rabbi ridiculed by adorable meat puppet

Larry Moran at Sandwalk touts the effectiveness of ridicule and mockery in atheist evangelism:

"From time to time we hear from religious people who are upset about the way we treat their faith. They claim that by making fun of their logic and their defense of god we are only making religious people more convinced that they are right. According to them, we'll never convince any religious person to abandon god(s) by using ridicule and mockery.


Perhaps that's right but I very much doubt it. Here's Sam Harris illustrating the power of ridicule to make a point."





Pretty funny.

Rabbi David Wolpe makes a series of eloquent intelligent observations about God and man, and Harris responds by comparing belief in God to belief that Elvis is still alive.

Harris believes that everything came from nothing, life crawled spontaneously out of the mud, 'stuff happens and survivors survive' explains life, biological structures like DNA and internal organs have no purpose, objective moral law doesn't exist, and human beings like himself are just meat puppets dancing to the vagaries of chemistry.

Let's parley in ridicule, meat puppets. 

61 comments:

  1. Actually, Sam Harris didn't come off as quite as obnoxious as Richard Dawkins.

    But still, he doesn't seem to understand that science and philosophy are two different things, that the rules we apply to the natural are not the same as those we apply to the supernatural.

    And then he comes out with this gem, which I think illustrates the militant atheist outlook in so many ways. He says that when people talk about Elvis being alive in a job interview or a first date,

    "He immediately pays a price. He pays a price in ill-concealed laughter. That is a good thing."

    I see. They also pay the price in no second date, and not getting the job. And that's really what he wants, isn't it? He wants people of faith to be shunned, ostracized, locked out of the job market. He wants us to pay a price. If my employer is an atheist and I'm not, should I be denied a job for which I am qualified?

    And on top of that, he still doesn't get it. Believing Elvis is a live is not an example of a metaphysical claim. It's still physical.

    Ben

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    1. Excellently put, Ben.
      You NAILED it.

      Delete
  2. Michael,

    Even if Sam Harris 'believes' your caricatures of reality, it doesn't make your preferred belief that 'God did something somewhere somewhen, by unknown mechanisms and for unknown reasons' or that 'survivors (if God blesses them with a novel function or structure, again for unknown reasons and by unknown mechanisms - to cope with future changed circumstances, not currently existing) survive (unless God doesn't favour them with teleological evolution, again for unknown reasons, in which case they go extinct - like 99.9% of previously existing species).

    Belief is faith that something is true, without evidence. You have a lot of belief.

    Sam Harris accepts something is true on the basis of evidence. And acceptance is provisional, until more evidence appears refuting what he accepts.

    Sam Harris, like all atheists, could be convinced that God exists, if adequate evidence appears. Is there any evidence that would convince you that God doesn't exist?

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    1. Bachfiend, everyone takes some things on faith. Don't pretend that you don't. I take on faith that you are an Australian, though I have no proof. I take on faith that Hoo is a professor though he might just be an unemployed weirdo who's trying to impress us. I'll bet you take the gay gene on faith though it's never been found. I'll bet you take a lot of scientific theories on the authority of credentialed scientists, which is really just taking it on faith that those who know better than you must know better.

      TRISH

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    2. There used to be an anonymous commenter who hung around here. It was sometimes hard to distinguish him from other anonymous commenters. He claimed to be a constitutional lawyer.

      I must say that at first, I was skeptical. I finally came to believe that he was a lawyer as he claimed, because he was a persnickety pain in the butt and an all-around know-it-all, so I thought he was most likely a lawyer.

      Yet he provided no proof. He seemed to rest most of his arguments on his credentials. In other words, he was right because he's a lawyer and I should just trust that he knows better than I do, a stay-at-home mom with a part time job. That one really rubbed me the wrong way. I don't surrender my faculties to authority figures. But I wanted, at very least, some proof that this guy really was a constitutional lawyer. Anybody can claim to be anyone on the internet. He provided none at all.

      I took it on faith. Do you blame me?

      TRISH

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    3. Trish,

      I can prove I'm an Australian. I live in Perth, and I'm currently listening to a live broadcast of the Essendon-Adelaide match (3rd quarter), the opening match of round 1 of the 2013 Australian Football League.

      I accept that there's a genetic basis to homosexuality, because homosexual behavior is common in other animals (including humans' closest living relative the bonobo) and because homosexuals report that they identified as being attracted to the same sex as soon as they became sexually aware. Which is a far cry from asserting that there's a single 'gay' gene.

      I accept a lot of science because the evidence is available to examine if I desire. Acceptance is provisional. I don't accept String Theory, despite it being a hot topic with a lot of very intelligent physicists and mathematicians. I don't understand it, it hasn't produced any testable predictions and just doesn't seem to be of any practical use. It might be true, but I'm waiting for some evidence.

      I don't accept something as being true because an authority states that it is true. I accept something as being true because it's true, provisionally.

      The demand for authorities, as Bart Ehrman has noted, occurs mainly in the religious with their faith. And I accept what Bart Ehrman writes because what he writes is (mostly) true, not because he's an authority.

      Delete
    4. "I live in Perth, and I'm currently listening to a live broadcast of the Essendon-Adelaide match (3rd quarter), the opening match of round 1 of the 2013 Australian Football League."

      Proves nothing. That's just an assertion. I'm sure you could find out about the Australian Football League through the internet.

      "I accept that there's a genetic basis to homosexuality, because homosexual behavior is common in other animals (including humans' closest living relative the bonobo) and because homosexuals report that they identified as being attracted to the same sex as soon as they became sexually aware."

      Proves nothing. There's a nature versus nurture debate. Not all homosexuals report being attracted to people of the same sex as soon as they were sexually aware, anyway. Some do, some don't. So that's not even a true statement, but even if it were, it would prove nothing.

      "I accept a lot of science because the evidence is available to examine if I desire."

      Are there disciplines of science that you haven't yet explored that you nonetheless defer to the experts on?

      "I don't accept something as being true because an authority states that it is true."

      Osame bin Laden?

      I don't know Bart Ehrman.

      TRISH

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    5. So Bachfiend, do you agree with Sam Harris that theists should face employment discrimination?

      Ben

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    6. Ben,

      No, I don't accept that theists should be subject to employment discrimination. In the same way that atheists shouldn't be subject to employment discrimination. In most jobs, it's irrelevant.

      Trish,

      Try googling Bart Ehrman. He's a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a New Testament scholar.

      Essendon is 18 points up in the 4th quarter with 6 minutes to go, so they'll probably win, damn.

      Delete
    7. He seemed to rest most of his arguments on his credentials. In other words, he was right because he's a lawyer and I should just trust that he knows better than I do, a stay-at-home mom with a part time job.

      No he didn't. He rested his argument non the fact that he had read the material in question, and by your own admission, you had not. And it seems that you still have not. You seem to think that your ignorance is just as good as anyone else's knowledge.

      Delete
    8. This is Aaron Anonymous, isn't it?

      Yes, he did use his credentials as a lawyer to attempt to win the debate. He also told us that if we hadn't read opinions in their entirety that musn't object to them. He was asked if he had read the Obamacare Bill or the Patriot Act in their entirety, and he said no, but he had already formed opinions.

      TRISH

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    9. And the point is...he never provided one shred of evidence that he was a lawyer and I believed him anyway!

      TRISH

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  3. Atheists don't believe that God exists because I can't fly up and take a sample of Him that they can analyze in a lab.

    Here's my explanation for why. God is intangible. I can no more provide proof of God than I can of any other intangible thing. I can't provide proof of love, or time, or beauty, though I'd bet nearly all atheists believe in those things.

    As I mentioned before, all human beings take certain things on faith. If you believe that Osama bin Laden is dead, you're taking it on the word of the US government. Some people don't take their word, by the way. They demand proof. How believable is the Bin Laden story, anyway? The government refused to provide even a single picture of his dead body. Those could have been faked anyway, but they didn't even provide that. And they supposedly slipped in under Pakistani radar using a supersecret helicopter that we aren't even sure exists. We're taking it on faith that the helicopter is real. Without the helicopter, the story begins to fall apart.

    So I guess you can either take the Bin Laden story on faith or not at all, but please don't demand proof.

    TRISH

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    1. Trish,

      One of the stealth helicopters crashed in the raid on the compound (it's been claimed that in the practice runs before the raid, the SEALs practiced using a fenced instead of a walled enclosure; the walled enclosure apparently negated uplift and the helicopter hovered like a brick).

      Part of the tail rotor assembly survived the efforts to destroy the wrecked helicopter, and the Chinese were very interested in being allowed to examine it to see if the paint had stealth properties, so there is evidence that the raid in which bin Laden was killed actually occurred.

      The US government could be lying about his death. And al Qaeda could also be complicit in the lie in their threats to take revenge for bin Laden's death (although it would be extremely embarrassing and damaging to America if bin Laden had made a public address after his purported death).

      I accept bin Laden is dead in the manner reported, not on faith but because it would be perverse to reject it, with the evidence available.

      Delete
    2. I can't provide proof of love

      Proof of love is easy. Love is just a chemical process. We can study it, measure it, and understand it. We have demonstrated that we can produce feelings of love by manipulating brain chemistry. It has been done, and it is currently being done. When theists say crap like "you can't prove love", it tells me that they just haven't been paying attention.

      Delete
    3. Bachfiend, I hope you understand that I'm playing the devil's advocate here. Yes, I know about the tail section. A tail section is not, however, a helicopter, and I have to take on faith the story about it being transferred to the Chinese.

      I believe that bin Laden is dead for essentially the same reason that you do; because if he weren't dead, he would probably have released a tape already, proving that he is alive and telling Americans that their government is lying to them. But that's a logical deduction. I'm using intuitive reasoning to explain why I don't need tangible proof. It's not tangible proof in and of itself.

      There are people who do not believe that bin Laden is dead. Some of them have posited that the al-Qaeda tapes that followed bin Laden's death were US government forgeries. They believe that the US government staged 9/11 and blamed it on this fictitious enemy called al-Qaeda. It's easy for them to make fake tapes supposedly emanating from this enemy that they created and then feed them to the media. They want PROOF, darn it! They take NOTHING on faith!

      While these people may be crazy, they do demonstrate that a skeptical mind can always find a reason not to believe. At some point we must take something on faith. We take on faith that bin Laden is dead, that the al-Qaeda tapes released after his death were genuine, etc. We take on faith that the helicopter existed, that a tail section remained intact.

      Anonymous, love is more than a chemical process. In any case, that's only one of three intangibles I mentioned. The other two are beauty and time. They are not chemicals in the brain.

      TRISH

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    4. Trish,

      There's a difference between being skeptical because one refuses to look at the evidence objectively and being skeptical because one has looked at the evidence and finds it inadequate.

      I'm currently reading Frans de Waal's book 'the Bonobo and the Atheist. In Search of Humanism Among the Primates', which you might find interesting (all of de Waal's books I've read I've found worth reading).

      He notes that scientists are humans, and prone to all the foibles of humans, acquiring pet ideas that they're extremely resistant to abandoning.

      He discusses the Garcia effect, which I hadn't heard of before. It was described in the '60s by John Garcia, who had a lot of trouble getting it published. Basically, if an animal eats a novel food and then develops nausea and vomiting several hours later, the animal will avoid eating that food from then on.

      Scientists, raised on the paradigm of classical conditioning, reckoned that that was impossible. The adverse results (vomiting) had to follow immediately after repeated challenges with the stimulus (the novel food).

      Garcia was right. And it explains Batesian mimicry (which had been known about since the 19th century) in which a tasty species evolves to have the coloration of a common but non-palatable or poisonous species living in the same area, and as a result avoids predation. Without the Garcia effect, a predator would have to eat a lot of prey, palatable and non-palatable alike, to learn to avoid the poisonous species and its mimic. Predators without the Garcia effect would probably have gone extinct.

      de Waal quotes the adage that science advances at the rate of one funeral at a time, as holders of incorrect ideas die off. But he does not that science is self correcting. If a scientist manages to get a controversial idea published (and it's often difficult), then it's almost certain that it will be attacked and disproved by scientists attempting to replicate the work, and if replication fails, then the idea is discarded. As has happened with cold fusion. But not with the Garcia effect. Or Barbara McClintock's 'jumping genes'.

      Science advances and progresses, with occasional detours down wrong blind alleys. Religion never changes, except in response to changes in society and scientific knowledge.

      Egnor uses the 'Big Bang' as evidence of God. He would have been excommunicated and burned at the stake if he'd posited the Big Bang in 1600s Italy.

      Delete
    5. [Egnor uses the 'Big Bang' as evidence of God. He would have been excommunicated and burned at the stake if he'd posited the Big Bang in 1600s Italy.]

      If I were a biologist and I invoked intelligent design in 2013, I'd be professionally excommunicated and fired. The attacks on ID scientists have been vicious.

      Some things never change. We have a very vindictive science priesthood in the 21st century.

      Delete
    6. Michael,

      Besides the fact that you haven't addressed my point, invoking Intelligent Design won't get you fired as a biologist. It might stop you getting tenure, but getting tenure is a tough proposition, since there's many more candidates than available positions.

      But once you've got tenure, ID wont cause your dismissal. Michael Behe hasn't been fired, just made uncomfortable with his entire faculty putting out a statement disowning them from his pseudoscience.

      Unpopular theories, whether because they're just false as with ID, or because they just disagree with accepted wisdom, will be criticized, along with their proponents.

      Just look at what has happened with EO Wilson and group selection. He's been attacked because group selection is regarded as being impossible biologically, and therefore false. I still think that group selection is a viable mechanism in pro-social species, such as humans. Despite what the 'authorities' claim, including Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne.

      Delete
  4. They'll murder us by the millions, next time they get the chance; just as they've done every other time they get their hands firmly on the levers of State power and compulsion.

    In retrospect, what's a little ridicule?

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    1. Atheists aren't the problem, it's anti-theists. They're nuts.

      TRISH

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  5. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyMarch 22, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    I thrive on the ridicule and I love giving it back. After all, for the meat people it's the only game in town.

    Arguing with meat about the existence of God basically boils down to this:

    _______
    Is!

    Is not!

    Is!

    Is not!

    You're old!

    You're stupid!

    Your momma's fat!

    Your ass is big!.
    _______

    So exciting. I tremble at the thought.

    No, as Ilion said above, the issue is not atheism and its nitwittery. Even quasi-educated, militant atheists like Dawkins come across as pathetic when they try to grasp the only ground that a debate about God can possibly take place: metaphysics. Just as Flatlanders cannot perceive a vertical dimension, a horizontal being like Sam Harris doesn't get that anything he says, if what he says were true, is about as relevant as "Koko want cookie". It's just fancier, more logorrheic monkey-talk, the Henry Higgins version of erudition, a threadbare, well-worn washerwoman's shift all gussied up with cheap lace and gaudy bows.

    Ilion got it exactly right... it's about power. Whenever these horizontal meat-beings get power, people start dying. That happens to be a theory backed up by hundreds of millions of data points. The herds, the "masses", must be culled. Paraphrasing Papa Joe, one datum is a tragedy; a million are just big data.

    And it's the power that must be denied.

    Screw the monkeys. Who cares what they think? Their venue is the Comedy Channel, late-night HBO, and the remainders table at Barnes and Noble. Perfect, eh?

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    1. 'is about as relevant as "Koko want cookie"."
      LMAO! Spot on, Adm.

      "And it's the power that must be denied."
      With all our vigour.





      Delete
  6. Atheists frequently compare belief in God to belief in unicorns. Here's the difference.

    God is intangible. Unicorns don't exist, to be sure, but people who believe in them believe that they are tangible. Even though we know that they are not real, nutty people who think they are real think that they are wondering through enchanted forests. They think they can be found. The same goes for Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, which is why people claim to have seen these things and sometimes provide a snippet of photographic evidence: a grainy photo, a strange blob in the background of a home video, etc.

    Elvis is the same thing. I don't believe that Elvis is still alive but people who do believe such nonsense don't believe that he's an intangible commodity. They think he's still alive and every bit as real as any other human being. They think they've seen him at the local gas station.

    Little John

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    1. "God is intangible. Unicorns don't exist, to be sure, but people who believe in them believe that they are tangible."

      What about the Invisible Pink Unicorn? She is intangible, not detectable by any means, and yet she exists. You may not comprehend how she could exist, but the fact that she can be invisible and pink at the same time proves that she is beyond human comprehension.

      I don't believe in the IPU, I doubt you do either, but how would you prove she doesn't exist? The only solution I have seen thus far is the one taken by WLC and claim that the IUC, or in his famous debate an invisible supercomputer outside of space and time, is just God by another name.

      Delete
    2. @Lying:

      [I don't believe in the IPU]

      But you do believe that everything came from nothing, in spontaneous generation, that DNA and organs have no purpose, and that there is nothing objectively wrong about raping and eating babies.

      If you did believe in the IPU, it would be the most rational of your beliefs.

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    3. Egnor: "But you do believe that everything came from nothing, in spontaneous generation, that DNA and organs have no purpose, and that there is nothing objectively wrong about raping and eating babies."

      If anyone needs proof of Egnor's untimely senility, this sentence works well. I am off to get me a few babies for lunch tomorrow. See you, guys and gals!

      Hoo

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    4. @Hoo:

      Is the wrongness of eating babies merely a matter of opinion, or is it wrong objectively, in a way that transcends opinion?

      Delete
    5. You got any babies in the freezer, doc? I'm hungry tonight. Mind if I drop by?

      Hoo

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  7. Are these atheistic fools *still* trying to liken God to an "invisible pink unicorn"? Are they so stupid that they are unable to reason? Or are they just intellectually dishonest?

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    1. "Egnor uses the 'Big Bang' as evidence of God. He would have been excommunicated and burned at the stake if he'd posited the Big Bang in 1600s Italy."

      Apparently, my question is answered -- they're dishonest.

      Delete
    2. Ilion,

      My answer to you is Giordano Bruno, who was burnt at the stake in 1600 partly for positing a plurality of worlds - a far less radical proposal than the Big Bang with its infinite dimension in space and extremely long duration in time (13.82 billion years in the last estimate according to the Planck telescope just announced).

      Egnor will of course protest noting that he was killed on the orders of the Roman Inquisition mainly for heresy. The Catholic Church does progress though. All of Bruno's writings were placed on the list of forbidden books by the Vatican. Darwin's 'On the Origin of Species' hasn't. It's not a threat to religion in general. It's a threat only to extremely primitive conceptions of religion, such as Egnor's (and CrusadeRex and Pepe).

      Have a look at Robert Asher's 'Evolution and Belief. Confessions of a Religious Paleontologist'.

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    3. I protest:

      Bruno was immolated by secular authorities (the Church had no capital punishment) for heresy. He was a pantheist.

      The Church has never taken a stand on existence of life elsewhere in the universe, let alone burned anyone for asserting it.

      Delete
    4. Protest all you want, doc, but Bruno was convicted and condemned to death by Roman Inquisition. That the inquisitors did not reasonably burn him at stake des not diminish the Church's role in this.

      Hoo

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    5. Personally, rather than reasonably.

      Hoo

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    6. Michael,

      'The Church has never taken a stand on existence of life elsewhere in the universe...'

      No, it did, when it adopted a geocentric cosmology as its own, as consistent with scripture. Without other worlds, there's no possibility of life elsewhere.

      The Catholic Church does make progress when it stopped adjudicating on the truth claims of science. Science can be abused, even when true. Pope Pius XII was quite right when he condemned the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as war crimes. He didn't deny that nuclear fission was impossible, he just criticized its (ab)use.

      Pseudoscience can be abused even more, such as eugenics and ID.

      Delete
    7. "Are these atheistic fools *still* trying to liken God to an "invisible pink unicorn"? Are they so stupid that they are unable to reason? Or are they just intellectually dishonest?"

      Since the only responses to the IPU argument provided by theists are either a combination of special pleading and ad hominem, as in your case, or acceptance of the IPU, as in the case of the WLC, there is no reason to stop using the analogy.

      Delete
    8. @Lying scumbag:

      IPU is an "argument"?

      Here's an argument: (http://egnorance.blogspot.com/2011/08/aquinas-first-way.html)

      What about Aquinas' First Way argument do you find unconvincing?

      Delete
    9. Scholastic arguments can be satisfying and at the same time entirely fruitless. In that regard they are a pure for of mental masturbation. Pleasurable and harmless. Intellectually vacuous.

      Hoo

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    10. For = form

      Hoo

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    11. "The Church has never taken a stand on existence of life elsewhere in the universe..."

      In a way they did, at least in regard to the Antipodes. Augustine claimed they could not exist, and at least one pope considered the idea heretical. In the end it was decided (depending on which sect of Christianity we are talking about) that Antipodes either did not exist, existed but had their own path to redemption, existed but were irredeemable, or existed but did not require redemption. The Age of Exploration made this discussion moot.

      This argument has now been brought back from the dustbin of history with the possibilty (however remote) that there exist intelligent extraterretrial beings.

      Delete
    12. @Lying:

      In other words, the Church has never taken a stand on life elsewhere in the universe.

      Delete
    13. @Hoo:

      "[Aquinas First Way is] a pure for of mental masturbation. Pleasurable and harmless. Intellectually vacuous."

      So Aristotle's and Augustine's and Aquinas' profound argument for the existence of God is "intellectually vacuous"?

      This, from a guy who takes the "Invisible Pink Unicorn" argument seriously.

      Delete
    14. Pure logic is not the best way of learning about the world. The success of science, and the relative failure of philosophy, indicate that one is better off coupling pure reasoning with experimenting. The modern concept of God is so abstract (exists outside of time and space) that no empirical verification of theological theorizing is possible even in principle. So it becomes pure theorizing, which can be satisfying but ultimately bears no fruit. Hence masturbation.

      Hoo

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    15. @Egnor

      "In other words, the Church has never taken a stand on life elsewhere in the universe."

      So the southern hemisphere isn't part of the universe?

      Delete
    16. The Church took and takes no position.

      Delete
    17. @Hoo:

      [Pure logic is not the best way of learning about the world.]

      The First Way isn't pure logic. It depends on the empirical observation of change in nature.

      [The success of science, and the relative failure of philosophy, indicate that one is better off coupling pure reasoning with experimenting.]

      Science is philosophy. Natural philosophy. The scientific method is philosophy. It's all philosophy.

      By "philosophy" you most likely mean "metaphysics". Metaphysics has been highly successful, and most of the way we view the world derives from Aristotle and Aquinas. It' just that you don't understand where your metaphysical assumptions come from. Your personal ignorance of metaphysics doesn't make it "masturbation".

      [The modern concept of God is so abstract (exists outside of time and space) that no empirical verification of theological theorizing is possible even in principle. So it becomes pure theorizing, which can be satisfying but ultimately bears no fruit. Hence masturbation.]

      Proofs of God's existence are mixtures of empiricism and abstraction. They tend to be logical conclusions drawn form observations of nature.

      The Christian experience of God is the opposite of an "abstraction". It is a personal relationship of great intensity. You would do well to acquire at least a minimal understanding of that which you despise.

      Delete
    18. You crack me up, doc. You really do.

      Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy. If all of philosophy is a failure then so are it's branches. It's that simple.

      Science is not philosophy. The former has its roots in the latter, but so what? Chemistry began as alchemy. We don't say that chemistry is alchemy.

      By philosophy I understand a very broad and entirely theoretical approach to understanding the world. One that does not rely on experimental verification. That was the way of Aristotle and later philosophers. This approach was tried for millennia and was found wanting. By philosophers themselves, e.g., Wittgenstein. These days philosophers are reduced to ruminations about the latest developments in science. They listen to scientists, but they have nothing to contribute in return. Philosophy has become irrelevant. Too bad.

      As to the personal relation with God, this is the stuff of laymen. Aquinas's approach was the exact opposite. His God is a product of his conscious mental manipulations. Some unfortunate people spend their entire lives reading and interpreting Aquinas. Thomas did masturbated. Thomists watch him jerk off. Some even get paid for watching! Whatever rocks your boat, doc!

      Hoo

      Delete
    19. Hoo:

      Your understanding of the history of science and philosophy is mythological.

      Modern science depends critically on the Western philosophical tradition, which includes pagan Greek philosophy and centuries of Christian theology. That is why modern science arose only in the West-- specifically only in the Christian West.

      It's sad to see half-educated luddites peddling the myth that Christianity is the enemy of modern science. In fact, Christianity and the Greek philosophy it expanded and baptized is the source of modern science.

      Atheism's mythology: "Everything came from nothing" and "there is no Mind that grounds nature" contributed nothing. The Christian expects the natural world to be rational and intelligible. The atheist has no reason to expect it, and can't explain it.

      Every new scientific discovery that affirms the rationality and intelligibility of nature is an affront to atheist metaphysics.

      Delete
    20. The Christian expects the natural world to be rational and intelligible. The atheist has no reason to expect it, and can't explain it.

      Nonsense. There is absolutely nothing about Christian doctrine that should lead one to believe that the natural world is rational and intelligible. On the contrary. If anything, the believe in miracles and "God's mysterious ways" make the world less intelligible.

      What uniquely Christian doctrines, as opposed to non-Christian doctrines, imply that the world should be rational and intelligible?

      Delete
    21. @troy:

      "And the Logos became Flesh, and dwelt among us."

      Do you really not understand what that means, troy?

      Delete
    22. Michael,

      'And the Logos became Flesh, and dwelt among us'.

      That means nothing or everything you care to make it mean.

      Anyway, the Catholic Church did at one time take a stand on the existence of life elsewhere in the Universe. One of the charges against Giordino Bruno was that he posited a plurality of worlds. Without other worlds, there's no possibility of life elsewhere in the Universe.

      The Catholic Church was laboring under the disadvantage of an incorrect cosmology, compatible with scripture. The Catholic Church has advanced since then, becoming more science friendly, including having a Vatican astronomical observatory and not proscribing Darwin's 'On the Origin of Species'.

      A book you might be interested in; Frans de Waal's 'the Bonobo and the Atheist' (available on Kindle). Not strident at all. One of the points that de Waal makes is that science is tough, developed only in the last few thousand years. Religion, on the other hand, is easy. Humans have had religion for tens of thousands of years, perhaps longer. Neanderthals probably had religion too.

      Morality is old too, present in the other great apes, elephants, whales and dogs. Religion was just an add-on, to justify and enforce morality. All human societies have religion and moral codes. But they vary greatly. Religion is useful for social cohesion and wellbeing. But it doesn't make it true.

      Delete
    23. It means whatever you want it to mean. I think 'John' was fascinated with stories he had heard about some god-sent preacher that promised eternal life if you follow him. Even the Romans couldn't kill that awesome guy! That sounded pretty good to John, so he wrote down what he had heard, making up lots of good stuff along the way, and he made a name for himself as a good storyteller. Other people liked what John had to say, and the movement grew bigger and bigger. Similar to more modern bullshitting by Joseph Smith and L. Ron Hubbard.

      But you were going to explain what unique properties of Christian doctrines made science possible. Don't let me interrupt you.

      Delete
    24. You are facile with social and evolutionary explanations for religion.

      What are your facile social and evolutionary explanations for atheism?

      It's amusing that you implicitly see religion as in need of explanation, but not atheism.

      Delete
    25. @troy:

      [It means whatever you want it to mean.]

      The question was: how did Christianity provide a basis for believing that the universe was governed by reason.

      The answer is: the explicit belief that the Logos was incarnate and to be worshiped.

      Logos is derived from the Greek belief that there is reason behind nature. Christianity identified that reason with Jesus, and worshipped Him.

      Christians worship Reason, incarnate. That is the theological basis for modern science in Christian culture.

      Atheism has no such basis, and no cause to invoke reason in nature.

      Delete
    26. Michael,

      The rationale for atheism is that there's no evidence for the actual existence of god(s). Because the god(s) humans worship or worshipped in the past have been so variable and malleable according to human needs, that it leads to the logical deduction that humans created god(s), not vice versa. Because without god(s) intervening capriciously in the world, actual events in reality have actual physical causes, not random unpredictable miracles.

      'God did something somewhere somewhen, for unknown reasons and by unknown mechanisms' isn't a basis for rational science.

      Even less your favored teleological evolution, which reduces to:

      Survivors (if God blesses them with the benefit of new functions or structures, to cope with future conditions, not already existing, by unknown mechanisms and for unknown reasons)

      survive (unless God, again for unknown reasons, decides not to thus bless them, in which case they go extinct, like 99.9% of previous species on Earth)

      is even less a basis for rational science.

      Delete
  8. Lying fools, an invisible pink anything is a contradiction is terms. You lying fools assert strawmen, and they whine because we ignore your lies.

    ReplyDelete
  9. bachfiend: "My answer to you is Giordano Bruno ..."

    Silly, pathetic, dishonest man, I knew which lie you were asserting about the Roman denomination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ilion,

      You haven't written anything sensible, so I'm justified in ignoring you till you do.

      Delete
  10. Ridicule is the only tool atheists have when the ability to mass murder is not at their disposal. In a contest of reason, they'll lose every time.

    ReplyDelete