Friday, September 2, 2011

Christian Morality Comes From God


Christian Morality Comes From God.

God being the very worst father archetype there is.

So in the Christian home is reflected how God speaks and acts in the Bible.

Hence, we have:

"Because I said so!"

"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out!"

"Children should be seen and not heard"

"Spare the rod, and spoil the child"

"How DARE you question me?!"

...and so on...

In the home, as in the bible, the 'God' or 'Gods' of the house in righteous indignation demand strict obedience or else dispense immediate harsh punishment or at least threats of such. Even threats of 'going to hell.' Even accusations of 'being evil.' Be good, or else face the harsh consequences. The child is thus taught that 'might makes right.' Such 'ultimatum parenting' teaches what I like to call 'coercive morality' to children. Morality based not in love, but in fear of consequences. Morality, which isn't.

Comparing this 'coercive morality' to actual morality is a lot like comparing the more modern methods of dog training, involving reward and praise, to the old-school method of just beating the dog when it does something bad. The former produces a happy and loving dog that wants to please, whereas the latter produces a cringing man-hater that snaps at the least provocation.

The parent, like God, demands respect while acting in a manner that is not respectable, demands love while acting in an unloving manner, demands devotion while showing no devotion in return.

In many cases the child is even told some variation of 'you must love God even more than you do Mommy and Daddy.' And if the child quite logically then asks 'Does that meant that you love God more then you do me?' the answer will invariably be 'yes, of course!' Shattering. The self-image of the child is reduced over and over again, by the punishments, the manipulation through guilt, the lack of perceivable love and kindness and tolerance, and even by just reading or being read the Bible where it clearly tells us of how incredibly inferior we all are, no matter how we may strive to overcome it.

The child is taught to be proud of being a Christian, and just for being a Christian, by telling them of the inferiority and even 'evil' of everyone else and how automatically good they are just for believing in God and Jesus. That just by believing in them with 'all their heart and soul' and by loving them, they are good people, excellent people, and God loves them and so will find them acceptable rather than throwing them into a fiery pit for all time like He will do to all those evil 'others.' You're special and chosen, just for believing. Nothing more required, really. Doing good works in the world, good actions, are superfluous to the goal of eventual salvation; it's blind belief alone, re-labeled and re-packaged as 'Faith,' that provides the keys to the Gates of Heaven. Faith. Not good action nor loving kindness nor helping others nor 'loving thy brother.' Faith.

Unadulterated Purina Ego Chow. What a crock of shit.

The child sees in the home that conflict resolution is best done with either violent rage or guilt. Or lies. Because after all, the parents see in the Bible that God often gets Wrathful or Jealous and does quite a lot of Smiting, so why can't they? He's 'Our Father Who Art In Heaven' and so it's not much of a leap to suggest that the parents take their examples of proper parenting from Him. Of course they do. The proof is in the pudding.

Plus Santa (Jesus Lite) was a years-long lie we all lived through. Our very first lie. Our introduction to the behavior pattern. A fantastic way to teach kids the acceptability, even the desirability, of not telling the truth. The parent, like Christianity itself, is not afraid to lie to the child as long as it causes the desired behavior or belief, and eventually, the child notices this. It will affect him or her for the rest of their life.

The child learns to not dare to ask questions. The child learns to be obedient rather than an independent thinker, looking outside themselves to authority for direction rather than looking within themselves for inspiration.

The overall logic of the parents' actions in general is often weak to nonexistent, and yet the parents will brook no questioning as to their reasoning, so the child is never taught that logical thought can avail them anything but punishment. So the child, logical by nature, soon learns to discard logic in favor of blind belief. Blind belief in the parents is stressed in the home as blind belief in god is stressed in the bible. The child is taught that blind belief trumps logic and reason and even science, and is the very best, most desirable thing in the world to aspire to.

In the home, it is demonstrated to the child time and again, that someone that loves you can also commit hateful and even harmful actions against you, and this is because they love you. You know... like God does.

Maybe I should call it 'mindfuck morality.'

And most people in the country come from Christian homes. Think about that for a minute.

So I ask you, is there any fucking wonder that this country has left morality and empathy and love in the dust in favor of selfishness and greed? We're practically ALL victims of child abuse! The only reason we don't think we are, is because it was a part of the abuse to convince us that it wasn't abuse at all. In fact, it was a part of the abuse to convince us that this system is the very best moral system that exists or could possibly exist, the only True Morality in the whole world, and a direct Gift from God. Something to be proud of.

We've been sold a turd as a diamond.

***

Mystery of why the country is such a moral sewer: SOLVED.

2,718 comments:

  1. "..he no longer is in touch with the real Donald."

    I'm still trying to get in touch with my real Donald too. LOL

    Just got back from the hospital with Emma. She had her ovaries removed, good thing she doesn't use them anymore! She's feeling normal, which is a huge relief for both of us, 'cos she was expecting to be in a lot of pain. The laproscopy thang worked great and no stitches these days, I think they use superglue!

    The docs were expecting her to be frail, but she is tough. I could go on and on about how glad I am to be home with Emma feeling fine, YAY!

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  2. Oh pboy, I'm so happy for you and Emma. That's great!

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  3. That's the first time I've ever seen atheists advertising.

    About time.

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  4. There are only a certain number of ways that the story of one's life might unfold when it comes to religion and I hardly see the circumstances of this being anything to do with free choice.

    You could be the offspring of a deeply religious family who see great benefit from their religiousity, in which case that strong religious background is going to affect your position on the issue.

    Whole bunch of stuff in between, down to, it might turn out that you are the offspring of an extremely irreligious family which is obviously, ultimately, going to affect your view.

    Now I think that there are so many variations on this theme, everyone's circumstance is categorisable to a point, but each is unique.

    It may be that most grew up in fairly religious circumstances, recognizing the power of the Church only as a background feature of society, until one meets that wonderful Christian girl that you'd do 'anything' for, do 'anything' with.

    If one of the girl's criteria for a mate is strong religious belief, and you are smitten with her, well, I don't think that you, you poor sap, have any choice at all there, you can see that, right?

    But that's a broad outline and there may be many ins and outs affecting the outcome, none of which has anything to do with choice.

    W.L.Craig gives the whole process away in his book 'On Guard', the whole process from his personal perspective that is. If you've been following Evangelical Realism, you'll know, you'll see how he has no choice but to feel how he feels, what the outcomes may be, and how it is driven by his need to fit into society and ultimately deposit his sperm in a socially acceptable location.

    Yes, yes, it's a tapistry, and there are choices to be made, and the Bible is full of examples of the 'wrong' choice, from a Christian perspective, being made, and so on, but if you think back to your youth, were there 'free' choices?

    No. Everything comes with some kind of cost attached to it, hardly free.

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  5. Pboy, is that the way christians see 'free choice?' I take it differently, but I may be the one in error. To me free choice means to a christian that we are free to choose any of the options available to us in each circumstance, even knowing that some of those choices carry costs and penalties. So while you might maintain that a destitute person has no free choice in say, deciding to rob a bank because there are costs to that, severe ones to boot, whereas I think the christians see that as still a valid choice because you're not PREVENTED from choosing it, you can still CHOOSE a choice that will send you to jail or even kill you. You can still choose to DO it; it's just that you'll pay later.

    I have a free choice open to me at all times, to end my own life. That choice is 'out there.' I do not choose to do so however, because I do not like the consequences of that action, i.e., being dead. But nothing's stopping me from actually choosing that option should I decide that I do not care anymore about the consequences. So it's my free choice to not kill myself. If I did choose to, that would be also my free choice, with consequences accepted.

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  6. In other words, I think you're seeing the word 'free' differently from christians. It's not 'free' as in, carrying no costs. It's 'free' because we're free to choose it. We're free to choose a choice that is not 'free' (carrying costs) to us. We can still choose it, so we're still free to choose it, costs be damned.

    Am I making sense?

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  7. If one of the girl's criteria for a mate is strong religious belief, and you are smitten with her, well, I don't think that you, you poor sap, have any choice at all there, you can see that, right?
    ----------------
    But pboy, in that situation, if you were to put a hundred men in it, not all of the hundred would choose to be with her. Some of them, like say me for instance, would find religiosity in my 'dream woman' a deciding factor against choosing her, regardless of how the rest of her stacked up. So, many or at least some of them would, I think, choose to not be with her rather than become religious themselves. I couldn't become religious for any woman in the world. So I would choose 'no.'
    But even if I chose 'yes' I would be doing so in knowledge of the consequences.

    The point is, there is nothing preventing me from choosing yes, or from choosing no. Both options are open regardless of whether I choose them or not. It's not like, if I chose to not be with her, god would appear to me and say 'I won't let you do that, brian.' So it's still my free choice, either way. I make the decision, and nobody else.

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  8. Let's say a time traveler from the future were to talk to me about a choice in my future. He's been there already so he knows which way I will choose. Is my choice still free? Now what if he TELLS ME what I will choose? Can I then choose not to choose it? It would seem so, but then I'm changing the future as my time-traveling friend knows it, aren't I? He might not be able to get back to it anymore. It won't be the future that he came from anymore.
    Because this is kinda like the god argument about free choice.

    (This is one reason that I believe that time travel is and always will be impossible, by the way)

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  9. Well, yea, the meaning of 'free' is vague.

    I was covering the one meaning, that every choice is a 'free choice', by pointing out that there was no choice at all in which circumstances we grew up in.

    Under the circumstance that one's parents and grandparents took their religion as a given, and a great benefit to the family, I can't see how it's fair to say that, in that circumstance, we'd be being offered a choice of belief or non-belief, more of a choice of being a good Christian or not.

    I don't imagine Christian parents asking their child,"Is it that you just don't see how there could be a God?", no. They're going to couch their idea of what their child's choice is in religious terms, "Are you angry with God for some reason?", "Why are you rejecting God, turning your back on God?"

    Now a child of atheist parents is in a completely different position where they've likely shared their view on the topic, and are in the opposite position, if the child gets involved with a fundamentlist group. They'd likely be more in a position of defending themselves, explaining why it is that they don't 'hate' God, why it is that they don't feel somehow 'broken' or having gone through some trauma which made them 'reject God'.

    What else? I deliberately added that there are lots of ins and outs, that 'it's a tapistry', everyone's life is unique, but by your response, I feel that I did not stress that enough, since a general scenario, where decisions are hormone driven, at that time in one's life when things tend to be hormone driven, is 'answered' by the specific example of Brian, and how Brian would react.

    The fact that situations are unique, if generally categorisable, that there are many ins and outs in everyone's upbringing, all overruled, simply because you can say, "Hey, I wouldn't do that, sorry, what you said, discounting the above caveats, is just wrong, my unique example proves this generally correct sounding idea of how hormones affect one's will."

    Yes, there are two kinds of meanings for 'free', and if I make some point about the 'free' in free choice or free will, we can dismiss anything I say, simply by imagining that I'm always using the one that you're not thinking of when you read what I write.

    Heads you win, tails I lose.

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  10. Time travel ideas are just silly.

    We have to imagine that time is like a river which we can step out of, travel back up the river to step back in at an 'earlier' stage.

    This works great for movie/book plots, storylines but little else.

    There is no reason to assume that the present we live in isn't gone forever once it becomes the past. There's no reason to assume that time is like an endless river in which we could remove ourselves from, then intervene at any point making it our 'new' present if we had some kind of machine.

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  11. So you're saying that at each choice, say between two options as is often the case, we may be free to choose either but if we had been heavily influenced by our past to prefer one of them, that choice is because of that, not free?

    I think we're dancing between words and meanings now. Your points are all valid, but so are mine that you still had two options and there was no actual barrier to choosing one or the other other than your previous programming, which people sometimes do violate due to circumstances you know.

    I think we pretty much understand each other now, and I don't really see much of a disagreement.

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  12. "..at each choice, say between two options as is often the case, we may be free to choose either but if we had been heavily influenced by our past to prefer one of them, that choice is because of that, not free?"

    Exactly. At what point did you choose to not become a Muslim, Brian?

    How old were you when you chose not to become an Aztec?

    Yes, I know that's not fair, is it? Because obviously you didn't choose Muslim parents or Aztec parents.

    A lot of your life is based on options that clearly you didn't choose to make.

    You might dismiss that and go with the, "So what, I can still pick the M&Ms or the Mars Bar!", "I can still imagine some guy showing up from the future!", and more generally, "I can still picture a clear choice in my mind, oversimplified, totally disregarding my past and all the influence which bears down on my decisions, 'cos, Gosh darn it, I feel the choiciness in me, intuitively, where I'm 51% accurate!"

    And no Brian, you're not a sociopath who, for no reason chooses not to kill people at random. It's just 'not you', is it?

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  13. Exactly. At what point did you choose to not become a Muslim, Brian?
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    RIGHT NOW I have the OPTION to convert to Islam... So it's still my choice. But if you mean, at what point did a muslim that is born into a muslim family decides to become one, then the answer is he doesn't of course.

    Free choice would not apply if the option is not open to you. I can't choose freely to levitate. Now, that muslim kid can later choose freely to become an atheist or whatever. I couldn't choose to be a catholic because I was born one, but it was my free choice to not remain one.

    There can only be free choice, where there are choices, of course. It only applies to choices that are within our power to choose. That doesn't invalidate it. Not that I believe in the christian argument, but I do think that's how they see 'free choice.'

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  14. Gosh darn it, I feel the choiciness in me, intuitively, where I'm 51% accurate!"
    --------------
    You do have a certain sneer to the sound of your communication. It is why jerry gets so pissed off at you.

    Dude, this is not even my fight. I don't caaaaaare about this issue! I was only trying to tell you how I was brought up to see free choice when I was a catholic boy. This is how they think of it.

    And hey, YOU'RE the one trying to say it meant free as in *no cost.* That right there is word-shuffling on YOUR part, sir peeb. NO christian thinks of it in that way.

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  15. And no Brian, you're not a sociopath who, for no reason chooses not to kill people at random. It's just 'not you', is it?
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    I never do it for no reason.

    I eat my kills.

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  16. It's like you're saying that all the possible choices in the world are in one's power to make. One can only choose when there is a choice possible. I can't choose to be born a catholic or not to be born one, but I can later on choose to become or not become one. The first choice, wasn't mine to make, it was my parents free choice to raise me as they had been raised. To say that because I couldn't choose to be born an atheist or a catholic or a muslim, to say that it invalidates all free choice because they were not available choices for my choosing, is not a valid argument.

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  17. I get where you're coming from, but that's not how christians see 'free choice.'

    They see it not as every choice being between equally desirable options. They see even a choice between a million dollars and eating a turd sandwich, as a free choice. They see a choice between living and dying, as a free choice. The relative merits of the options aren't considered. And a choice between one possible option and one that is not possible, doesn't count because that wasn't a choice at all. Free choice, only talks about choices we can make. That we are physically capable of making. The christian idea behind free will is that god isn't forcing us, one way or the other. That god isn't compelling us in one way or another. Not that REALITY and/or CIRCUMSTANCES don't sometimes do just that.

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  18. Christian free choice doesn't mean that all choices are free for us to make. It means that all choices are not forced by god. It's the god involvement that they're talking about. God isn't forcing me to choose to not kill myself. I am doing that because I do not wish to be dead. If I someday do wish to be dead, god will not stop me then, either.

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  19. That thing with the 'intuitiveness' was what I like to call a 'joke'. Sorry if that offended you, 'cos I wasn't meaning to offend you.

    "And hey, YOU'RE the one trying to say it meant free as in *no cost.* That right there is word-shuffling on YOUR part, sir peeb. NO christian thinks of it in that way."

    What you seem to be saying about Christians' definition of 'free choice', that seems to drivel down to just 'choice', just having a couple of options, whether it's to kill/not kill, or M&Ms versus Mars Bar, or, and this is totally insane, "God exists.", "No, don't believe, "God exists.", for a second."

    Free will/free choice as just having the ability to do something is a strange definition since we are much more likely to do something when we're drunk than if we're sober, does drinking give you more free will? I don't think so. But according to your Christian definition it does, it's only that you might think less about the consequences if your tanked.

    The candy bar choice is trivial, hey, I'll take both! LOL

    Christians and Muslims aren't indoctrinating their children because they don't think it affects them, right?

    And no Brian, I don't think that you do have the choice to become a Muslim NOW, I really don't.

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  20. Say, Brian, did you ever mention your wife's name to us?

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  21. No offense taken.

    And...


    And no Brian, I don't think that you do have the choice to become a Muslim NOW, I really don't.

    -Oh, I assure you that I do. In that, if I were to do such a crazy thing, god would not prevent me from doing it. And if my dislike of all religion prevents me from doing it, that's not god, that's me. So it still counts as free, as in, uninfluenced by god. That's the salient point here. It's all about god's involvement. That he's not dictating the choice. And yes, that's basically meaning that free choice is identical with just plain old choice, because just plain old choice is not forced by god. That would seem odd to you only if you aren't familiar with how christians think of free choice. It does seem obvious that we can always 8physically* choose whichever choice is possible, of course we can. Christians claim that the reason that we can, is that god allowed it to be that way. I disagree of course. But that is, nevertheless, how they see it. Ask one.

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  22. Say, Brian, did you ever mention your wife's name to us?
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    Probably. It's Mary.

    Once when we were together only about a year I happened to say in a conversation 'Jesus, Mary!' and suddenly realized that the epithet cried out for one more name, so I added "and Joseph!" with hardly a lag, and she cracked up, to my surprise. She'd never heard that before. Seemed kinda obvious to me.

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  23. Free will/free choice as just having the ability to do something is a strange definition since we are much more likely to do something when we're drunk than if we're sober, does drinking give you more free will? I don't think so
    ------------------
    Making more of the choices doesn't matter. They're still free, as was the choice to get drunk. And if, because you're drunk, you make a bad choice that you would have never made sober, well, that's still you, since god had no involvement in any of your choices.

    Since they're ALWAYS free, it might be hard to see that the christians believe that they wouldn't be if god didn't decree it that way. But see, that way they can tell the sheep that 'If it weren't for God being so nice, we wouldn't even have freedom of choice!' They had to concoct all this to explain the omniscience thingy so that it didn't appear that we in reality have no free choice because of god's knowledge of us. See, once you're told that god knows absolutely everything, why just about the first thing you'll think is'hey, if he already knows what I will choose in every situation for the rest of my life, then I'm not really free to do as I please!' so they made it so that god gave it to us as a gift. Which still makes no sense, unless they mean that god, as a part of that gift, refuses to LOOK at our futures so they'll truly be free, and therefore doesn't KNOW them... but they don't claim that. Instead they box themselves in a corner and pretend that they aren't boxed in. Goddidit answers all things. We have free choice, but god knows what we'll choose, but somehow (a miracle?) it's still free choice.

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  24. Of course, logically we wouldn't have free choice even if god 'didn't peek' at our futures. If they're even KNOWABLE, that means they're set in stone. And since nobody would claim that god COULDN'T see them if he wanted to, that still invalidates true freedom of choice.

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  25. Floyd, you're basically a compatibilist (from what I can gather -- either that, or you're leaning in the direction of compatibilism). Check it out.

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  26. It looks to me like there's actually three different versions of "free will" that are being bandied about in these last two threads:

    1. Peeb's main objection isn't so much about cost as it is about unavoidable a priori influences; we discussed this once a long time ago where I referenced a choice I was presented in which I chose one girl over another, and peeb pointed out that there were events leading up to my choice that essentially made my choice for me.

    2. The Christians' version, in which, as Brian says, God is not controlling one's choices. WLC's "Middle Knowledge" concept is a dodge to get around the omniscience problem, because without it, Christians have painted themselves into a corner with their fables and Anselmian definition of God.

    3. Brian's version, in which choices can be made regardless of prior influence or downstream cost, because there is a possible choice.

    Personally, I think the answer is somewhere between Peeb and Brian. The "Middle Knowledge" thing is completely absurd, and has no utility to an atheist in any case.

    We all weigh the merits of our choices before we make them, if we have the time to assess them, so there ARE a priori considerations in the mix; that folks often resist their better judgement and make poor choices anyway is a nod to Brian's version.

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  27. Choices are neither unconstrained nor without some 'cost'. That is a consequence of the nature of time.

    But one cannot do *nothing* unless one is dead.

    "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice..."

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  28. "..compatibilism is sometimes expressed in terms of a compatibility between moral responsibility and determinism."

    I'm wondering if the term 'moral responsibility' is jargon?

    For example, a couple of teenagers in love(lust) do the 'deed', each, let's say more or less willingly.

    We're not clear as to what either of them's motivation is, perhaps they are not clear themselves.

    Perhaps the boy is thinking, "Finally, I'm gonna get LAID!"(and this, we understand, from his perspective, is a GOOD thing!"

    He might be thinking, "This is going to get me one hump closer to winning the 'who can seduce the most women in a month' competition!"(A bit more calculated and sinister)

    She may have some motivation too. Anything from, "I love this boy, we WILL get married, who waits these days anyway?", to, "I want to trap this man, or at least nudge him into marrying me!"*

    Now being young, they may be under the delusion that she can't get pregnant 'the first time'.

    What we do know is the possible outcome.

    I think this brings up a few 'free will/free choice' issues.

    Is someone making a 'free choice' if they choose from a position of ignorance?

    These kids are putting themselves in the position of a gambler but unlike any gambler they stand to break even or lose, while an actual gambler's motivation is presumably to win!

    *The girl may 'win' by snagging the boy,(her win/win scenario, now he 'owes' her, now he must support the child) a decision she still may live to regret.

    In the cold hard light of the morning after(our perspective), all the inner turmoil, fear of pregnancy, fear of rejection, wild and crazy hormones, perhaps a little booze making the entire operation more of a 'Discovery Channel' event than any reasoned out question of free will, what would any of it have to do with moral responsibility?

    If we frame sex between the unmarried as a sort of a crime, we can have the attitude, "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.", I suppose.

    If 'moral responsibility' covers 'freely chosen' morally irresponsible actions, why bother using the term?

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  29. Is someone making a 'free choice' if they choose from a position of ignorance?

    What is your conclusion on this?

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  30. Well, I think it's reasonable to include how well one's choices are explained, or how self-evident they are.

    For example, if you buy a product and judge it's performance by how it shows the product performing on the box, did you freely choose to buy an imaginary product?

    If you buy a box with two products in it, say a graphics tablet and some painting software. Would it be unfair for you to expect the two to work together? Is it your freedom of choice that has been compromised?

    If you vote for the candidate who declares himself a champion of jobs growth, and he goes down on record as dealing with nothing except socially conservative issues, budget control and lowering taxes for corporations and the very wealthy, did you 'freely' vote for the wrong guy? Were you coerced into voting for a devious guy? You freely voted, but you have shit for brains?

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  31. If that is an answer to my question, I do not understand your answer.

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  32. Brian your take on the Christian morality from God here is far from the truth.
    Your version sounds like it came from a study done by some disconnected Christian hater, Oh ,I guess it did! I know unbelievers who have raised their children with the same discipline except for the religious part of course.

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  33. GearHeadEd, It does not matter what kind of a spin you put on it, the fact still remains a person has the option to make his/her choice regardless of the consequences. That is what freewill is about…. Ones right to choose

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  34. I wasn't "spinning" anything Mike.

    Learn to read.

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  35. So, free will is just some trivial, 'whatever the laws of physics will allow' at any given time, according to Mike.

    If all Christians are told by their pastors that it's time to go 'zombie' on the rest of us, well, we can expect to be guarding our brainz!

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  36. It would seem to me that all people have some free will, while nobody has absolute free will. Not a black or white issue.

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  37. So, free will is just some trivial, 'whatever the laws of physics will allow' at any given time, according to Mike.
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    I told you so.

    You seem surprised.

    This is how they see it. That was my ENTIRE point. Now eloquently demonstrated by mike.

    As to MY ideas of free choice, well, I don't have any, because I don't see the issue as REAL. As I had stated, I was only trying to correct your ideas of what christians think about it. All choices are influenced by SOMETHING... so you can call them free or not, and it doesn't matter to me in the least.

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  38. Brian your take on the Christian morality from God here is far from the truth.
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    Um no it is not, but have no fear, because my version also explains why there is no way on earth that a christian could ever SEE that such is their morality, due to their conditioning that it is the very best, even the only, system of morality in existence and it comes straigt from god as a gift.

    So your denying it, is to be expected. Thank you for the demonstration.

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  39. Now mike, tell me more about how chrisitian morality is just what I said it was.
    Hell, you demonstrate my point at every occasion. Your moral system produced YOU. And you are a living, breathing cautionary tale about your so-called morality's extreme inferiority.

    It's an evil system followed by good people believing that they're doing good, when it's really the opposite. You're caught in it, Mike, and so you're doomed to BE it, but never SEE it.

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  40. Your version sounds like it came from a study done by some disconnected Christian hater
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    Close. I am disconnected, so I can see it all clearly, unlike yourself who is immersed in it and therefore blinded to it. And since I hate all things that are evil and hurt people, all things that deceive people into doing evil things while thinking them good things, then of course I also hate your religion because I am disconnected enough from it, to see it. Any good person, seeing the truth about your faith, will hate it for the evil it does and for the evil it is. That's just a fact. Jesus Christ himself, would hate your religion, what you've done to his words in the name of selfishness and egotism. It's fucking sad.

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  41. People just don't start hating christianity because it's good and they're evil, you know. It's not that simple. People hate it when they are developed enough and free-minded enough to see it for what it really is. Which is the EXACT, PRECISE opposite of what it claims to be!

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  42. 1. Peeb's main objection isn't so much about cost as it is about unavoidable a priori influences; we discussed this once a long time ago where I referenced a choice I was presented in which I chose one girl over another, and peeb pointed out that there were events leading up to my choice that essentially made my choice for me.

    2. The Christians' version, in which, as Brian says, God is not controlling one's choices. WLC's "Middle Knowledge" concept is a dodge to get around the omniscience problem, because without it, Christians have painted themselves into a corner with their fables and Anselmian definition of God.

    3. Brian's version, in which choices can be made regardless of prior influence or downstream cost, because there is a possible choice.
    --------------
    Um, gear...

    'My version' was not my view. It was me describing the christian version. I don't have a version, because I don't care about the issue in the least. Read back... read my descriptions. They're identical to the christian position that mike is espousing. Identical to what you list as 'the christian's version' above right here in this response. That's because, that is what I was attempting to convey to pboy. He seemed to not be able to believe or see that ALL CHOICES we make are 'free choices' to a christian since god is not involved n the decision, and god is not coercing the choice or forcing it.

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  43. So now we should see mike denying it all the more, deny deny deny, because he believes so strongly that christian morality is the wonderful beautiful thing that nobody else has, just as he's been conditioned for all his life to believe. And he also believes that he must argue the case and never back down no matter how much proof he may be offered that he is incorrect about it. So there is NOTHING that mike can say that is not his conditioning speaking for him, and NOTHING any of us can say that even scratches the diamond-hard surface of his programming. We're not even really talking to mike; we're talking to the baptist christian dogma embodied in a person, using his brain and mouth to speak to us. And the christian dogma won't admit it's wrong because being right isn't even what it's concerned with. It's only concerned with keeping the flock in line. And mike, is in line. G'boy, mike! Wanna treat? Cookie? Cookie?

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  44. Eric, want to know why pboy isn't a determinalist and neither am I? Because determinalism is a word concocted by christians to explain people that don't conform the what they think is right. It's like a disorder to them.

    And we sir, do not give a fuck about how delusional schizophrenics categorize us. So kindly blow it out your collective asses.

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  45. Eric, Mike:

    What do you think of that pastor in the news that said that he just doesn't see why atheists aren't forced to be registered on a list, like child molesters are?

    Just curious.

    Funny thing, I'd say that christians should be registered like child molesters, but hey, most of them are christians anyhow, so no need for the redundancy I guess.

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  46. Is someone making a 'free choice' if they choose from a position of ignorance?
    ------------------
    We're playing around with the definition of 'free' here again.

    So, *according to christianity's definition,' yes, that's still a free choice, since god didn't make us choose it, our own ignorance did. Still us, not him. It was an uninformed choice, but we made it without adequate information, so that's our fault, isn't it? Or if it wasn't, then someone deceived us into making it, and that's still us letting ourselves be deceived. No god involved.
    Free choice. Free from god's influence. And that's all they mean when they call it that.

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  47. Here's how to tell if something is a free choice according to how christians mean it.

    If you chose the other way, other than the way you chose, would god have personally stepped in and stopped you from choosing it?

    If the answers's no, then it was a free choice. Period. It's really just that simple.

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  48. I mean, christianity has ALWAYS claimed that ALL of our choices are free choices. They just attribute the ability to make them to god and not to you and me. If god hadn't allowed us the freedom to make our own mistakes, then he would have no basis to judge us as good or evil. So our choices must be our own. As they all are.
    Even if a man has a gun to my head and tells me to choose something, I am still free, as far as god is concerned, to choose the other choice and let the guy kill me. That wouldn't be god's decision, it would be mine. So it's a free choice. (Christian definition only!)

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  49. I mean, you guys see that if my choices are not free choices, if they're like 'written down' somewhere in some 'great book of all things' then I'm predestined to be good, or evil, or whatever. So why bother to try to be good if I feel like I want to be evil? If I go evil, that's what I was *created* to be. I had no choice. If I have no choice in my destiny, then I'll just live for the moment and never strive for shit. Most importantly, I won't *follow the rules* and conformity is necessary in the army of drones called the faithful, now isn't it? and how can god blame me for whatever evil (rule-breaking) I do in my life at my judgement when I can just say 'gee god, then why'd you make me that way' and god would have no answer that made sense even to the bronze-age morons that wrote and first read this shit. So they figured god could answer 'I made you with free will, free choice to be either evil or good' and that's a killer right there.... base covered! BUt then people started saying that, hey, even if you already KNOW what I'll do and I don't, that means it's not mutable, and I can't change it no matter what I do, so I can still break the rules!' and so more apologetics were necessary to deal with those people, and then aquinas came and here we all are talking in nice tight circles.

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  50. Hey Brian, I think that you've put a lot more thought into the 'free will' thing since we were last discussing it some months ago, it seems to me anyways.

    As I understand what you're saying, it's not that there's free will or no free will, it's that the whole 'free will or no' thing is bullshit.

    This is kind of at the heart of what I was trying to say to Jerry, about coming to a common definition and deciding if that definition holds any water or not.

    As for the totally religious aspect of it, well, there are no gods to start with so, it's meaningless for me to ponder if God gifted us free will.

    Starting from basics, we're here, about 10% of us are queer, (heh), and about 30% of us are bigotted assholes who make 90% of the noise, and so on.

    How the HELL can Mike decide he even HAS free will if he has to be told what it is that he believes it is?

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  51. Brian,

    You spoke of a paradigm shift you had in the past. Would you say that your sense of free choice changed when that happened? The reason I ask is when I had an awakening experience mine changed so much it was almost like coming out from under the ether, and I wonder about your experience.

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  52. As I understand what you're saying, it's not that there's free will or no free will, it's that the whole 'free will or no' thing is bullshit.
    ---------------
    Why yes, it's a concocted issue, by the church. It's only important to them because of the claims they have about their god being omniscient etc. I've been trying to explain their definition of it, but as I've said it's not *my* definition because I don't seem to have one nor care. I *feel* free in my decision making, and I don't believe in god. The christians see that as god's gift to me. Stupid.

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  53. Brian,

    You spoke of a paradigm shift you had in the past. Would you say that your sense of free choice changed when that happened? The reason I ask is when I had an awakening experience mine changed so much it was almost like coming out from under the ether, and I wonder about your experience.
    -------------------
    My sense of free choice? No, it didn't change. Because I never think about it. It's not an issue to me. I have choice uninfluenced by any god, so it's as free as it can be, but that's not because god gave it to me as a gift, that's because there is no god, and I knew that already.
    What changed was how I viewed the universe, as matter and energy, space and time.... now I give credence to it being based in thought; when I think that way, it makes more sense to me now. Before I would have thought that silly and not considered it. I *feel* that that is correct somehow. But feelings are not evidence. So I'm still thinking about it all.

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  54. How the HELL can Mike decide he even HAS free will if he has to be told what it is that he believes it is?
    -------------------------
    Brian, Ian, do you have free will?
    Do human beings have the right to choose for themselves what they believe to be true or false based upon information that is available to them?
    Is mankind forced by some power other than self to receive or reject any or all concepts?
    Freewill is the right of any and all persons to reject God and His mercy…. This is what freewill is actually about, but you use it everyday in life as it pertains to your goals or purpose.

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  55. See? Mike knows. Free will to a christian means every decision you make is free, in the one and only sense that god is not forcing you to make it one way or the other.
    Thanks, Mike.

    So basically, they're claiming that the simple ability that all of us have to make decisions without god forcing us, is because god was nice enough to not force us. The fact that we're not stopped by god, means they're free. To a christian. It's like they're trying to sell you your own shoes. Or more like, your own feet. "If god wasn't in a very good mood that day, we'd all be footless!"

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  56. So see, we have this free will thingy because that way we have the right to reject god and get fried for eternity! Now THAT'S a free choice!

    So if you're an atheist, you see, it's not that you don't BELIEVE in god, oh no. That, is patently impossible for some reason. So if you're an atheist, it means that of your own free will, you have rejected god, and made him sad. So sad in fact, that because he loves you as he loves all people as his children, he's going to sadly send you to hell for all time. But don't worry... he'll feel terrible when he does it. It won't be easy for him. But after all, it's for your own good.

    The original TOUGH LOVE.

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  57. See, this god kind of love is different from say, the love for a father for his son. I mean, I'd forgive my kid just about anything... but if we make a mistake, god, loving us so much more than the love I feel for my son, sends us to hell forever, to brn in searing flames and lakes of boiling blood, for all time, till the stars go out.... now THAT'S LOVE!

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  58. Mike, why did god create hell?

    It's not for punishment, like a jail, because they don't ever let anyone out. It's forever. So it's not about teaching anyone anything.

    It's the stick. Along with the jesus love carrot. That's it's only possible purpose. A goad, to force us in the desired direction. The ultimate cattle prod. The ultimate fear, eternal torture. The worst boogeyman ever.
    Wonderful religion you got there. Not.

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  59. So like, god thought of creating us *without* free will, but then we'd be robots, so he decided that he'd give it to us?

    Mike, did it ever occur to you that if an organism has a brain that works and can reason and has eyes to see and ears to hear, and must compete for survival, that not having free will, would be impossible? I mean, you see something and you have to deal with it. A saber tooth attacking you for instance. What would that look like WITHOUT free will, free choice?
    It would be a masturbatory action on god's part to make us as puppets that automatically just did what he thought we should do. Why bother?

    Mike, would you say that reality, this world, is some kind of test that god is putting us through? I mean, of course it is. Right? And the winners get to go to heaven, the losers eternal agony and a version of the home game.

    So he creates these beings with free will and puts them here and makes sure there's no proof around that he's even real and gives us minds that can ask questions of themselves and use logic to come to conclusions, and then punishes us when those minds come to the logical conclusion, that there is no god? Wow. Some love he's got. More like the kid with the magnifying glass on the anthill...

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  60. One more reason out of thousands NOT to believe in your god, mike:

    Any being that had his own choice on how the universe would turn out, any being that consciously and on purpose, created this world so that everything suffers and dies, is eaten, is tortured, innocent animals dying constantly, innocent babies with cancer dying a slow death, people starving to death, all the horror and unfairness and agony and not knowing when it's your turn...
    Any being that could have made ANYTHING but chose to make it THIS WAY IN PARTICULAR, is one sick fuck that needs help. If this reality is created, then the creator was deranged and sadistic, and a shallow person to boot, what with all the jealousy and wrath and smiting and all. So sue me if I believe that if there was a god, it would have to be a hell of a lot smarter and a hell of a lot nicer than yours is. Yours is the kind that would impress a bunch of primitive bronze-age tribesmen with his mighty wrath and all that bullshit. Not the god of modern people, because we've already EXCEEDED his level of sophistication and decency. There are men that are nicer and more loving than your god is, by his own words in the bible. So god, at elast your version, fails to satisfy the requirements of our creator. He needs to be better than we are, not worse. He needs to exemplify our 'better angels' with his actions, and not act more like a demon, destroying cities and people left and right, just to awe us into submission.

    No real god would be as shallow as yours is, is the point. Shallow, unsophisticated, and sadistic, does not our creator make.

    Oh, and if the bible were really written by god, there'd be at least ONE SINGLE THING in it that was more advanced than the day it was written. He might have mentioned germs, and to wash our hands and boil water before drinking it, for instance. So what is there? Nothing. Not one damned thing in that whole book that was more advanced than the PEOPLE were at that time. When you really think about just that one thing, that alone pretty much invalidates the book, because if it were written by god and he wanted us to believe that it was, he'd have put something in it more advanced than the times and maybe, just maybe, help us poor humans out one tiny jot while he was at it.

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  61. If you're good you go to heaven, if you're bad you get eternal agony.

    Why, that's incredibly sadistic. We humans have already gone beyond that kind of primitive thought. Think about how we train dogs. Nowadays, they never strike the dog or even yell at it, but they sure used to. We outgrew our primitive thinking on the subject. We realized that dogs could be harmed by such treatment and it doesn't produce a good pet or a good friend in the animal, it produces a grovelling cur.

    Your god loves grovelling curs, Mike, and that's why he can't be real.

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  62. I mean Mike, c'mon man... if your god were real and here as a human on earth he'd so be in prison it's not even funny. Yahweh, I mean. Child abuse for starters.... murder, genocide, accessory to rape, and a slew of other horrible offenses. But you worship him.

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  63. It would seem that god has created a reality wherein those who are most able to ignore their god-given senses, are the ones that reap the reward. The poor sots that trust their own eyes and ears go to hell.

    That's not a test; it's a trap!

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  64. "A. If atheism is true, the universe has no explanation of its existence."

    Here's a 'gotcha' from the 'great' philosopher William Lane Craig that likely has Christians of all stripes and colours nodding like bobble-heads.

    But the fact is that, if atheism is true, then God is not the explanation of the universe.

    Or, if atheism is true then God cannot be the explanation of the universe.

    This is such bullshit. What makes W.L.Craig a great philosopher if he's willing to lead us into false dichotomies like this?

    Not only a false dichotomy, but saying, "Goddidit!", isn't a real explanation at all, we could say that about anything if we don't understand the process involved, and of course they do, don't they?

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  65. "A. If atheism is true, the universe has no explanation of its existence."
    ----------------
    What a crock of shit.

    If god is true, then the universe doesn't make any sense. Because last time I checked, it was contraindicating his existence at each and every turn.

    I hate it when morons excel. The cream rising to the top... of the bucket of spoiled milk.

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  66. Here's something that I grasp intuitively:

    Statistically speaking, if this universe were created by the christian god or any god or gods, then as we continue to look closer and closer at the details of it, we should see more and more evidence pointing at least roughly, to god. To a creator. Hints' at least.
    Not less and less. Not less and less evidence pointing even roughly toward a creator deity. The 'gaps' should increase in number, not decrease as we continue to dig deeper. We should be finding more gaps, not filling in the existing ones more and more. Statistically speaking, the trend is opposite to 'deity' and pointing directly at 'no deity.' Strongly. Like a neon sign.

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  67. Obviously it never did matter. If they say, "God did it!", because they see no process for it, then it becomes apparent that there is a non-supernatural process involved, for example rainfall, or the tides coming in and going out, no matter what BillO the clown says, they just move it a step back.

    The God made the process!

    This is what I.D. is all about. Sure there is some 'adaptation', changes in genes reflected in features more adapted to the local environment BUT it's NOT evolution by natural selection because that is science and science is bad 'cos it excludes God as a reason!(even if it doesn't really)

    I.D.ers are part of the radical religionists who want God to get credit for every, single, little thing, but only when it suits them.

    E.g. They'll give God credit for an earthquake, for a hurricane, but strangely not for a religious skyjacker's strike.

    The enemy of your enemy is not necessarilly your friend.

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  68. I think a lot of people believe in free will to make moral choices, but hardly any believe in live and let live.

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  69. When christians read in the bible 'judge not lest ye be judged' they go 'yeah, those damned evil sons-of-bitches judging us, who do they think they are???'

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  70. A christian's answer to 'live and let live...'

    "What? I'm letting them live! I'm just trying to punish them for their evil!"

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  71. Dammmmmmit. My computer is effing up. It's in safe mode right now but if I start it in normal mode the monitor goes black and it crashes.

    The problem seems to be something to do with the nvidia graphics driver, display driver nvlddmkm which, at the very least will stop and start screwing up my internet connection and at most quitting altogether and crashing.

    It's the same graphics card I've had all the time with the same drivers and such, I'm wondering if it's overheating or some other hardware problem.

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  72. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/06/ernest-willis-new-hampshi_n_950332.html?ncid=webmail1

    Wanna get pissed off?

    Fifteen year old girl gets raped by fellow parishioner who goes to her baptist church, gets pregnant from it, and the pastor forces her to apologize to the congregation for it!

    Way to illustrate my point about christian morality.

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  73. "A. If atheism is true, the universe has no explanation of its existence."
    Here's a 'gotcha' from the 'great' philosopher William Lane Craig that likely has Christians of all stripes and colours nodding like bobble-heads.
    But the fact is that, if atheism is true, then God is not the explanation of the universe.
    Or, if atheism is true then God cannot be the explanation of the universe.
    This is such bullshit. What makes W.L.Craig a great philosopher if he's willing to lead us into false dichotomies like this?"

    Hmm, this is a premise that many atheists would accept.

    Indeed, I'm certain that I've read something like the following by many of you in the past:

    "If explanations must stop somewhere, why not stop with the universe? Why can't the universe be the ultimate brute fact? We know that the universe exists, after all, so why bother positing an unnecessary, unevidenced god at the back of it all? Take out Ockham's razor, shave away the superfluous god talk, and just start with the universe as the ground of all explanation."

    Not only have I read that here -- I've heard many atheists say it. As I said, it's a rather common position. So, what in the world is wrong with constructing an argument that follows with relentless logical rigour the implications of such a premise?

    I think that many of you guys are often so confused about how arguments work that you're predisposed to seeing philosophical chicanery where it simply does not exist.

    Take Craig's premise above: If you want to reject the conclusion Craig derives from it (and its supporting premises), then feel free to reject the premise. Or, feel free to show that there's some logical problem with the argument. Go ahead, I'm sure his feelings won't be hurt. He does regularly deal, both in academic journals and in debates, with leading philosophers, scientists, historians etc. so I'm confident he can handle your criticism. Heck, write it out and send it in to his website -- maybe he'll respond to it in a future question of the week.

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  74. "A. If atheism is true, the universe has no explanation of its existence."

    It's not a gotcha and it's not problem. Either there is a god, or a dead god, or a multiverse, or an eternal universe, or something primates living on an infinitesimally small speck haven't thought of yet.

    Stop being dishonest with yourself Eric. Or go practice some blood magick. Either way...

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  75. Ah, I see now that was not WLC, but Ian. Good for Ian. I also see that Eric didn't address in the least it being a false dichotomy. Go figure...

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  76. "It's not a gotcha and it's not problem."

    Right, you can always reject the premise. But if you do, then you have to *defend* that move, and that's not as easy as it sounds. Take some of your alternatives:

    (1) a dead god

    That's a contradiction in terms.

    (2) or a multiverse

    Craig would argue that his premise applies to the multiverse as well.

    (3) or an eternal universe

    That's much less likely, given our current data, than a temporally finite universe.

    (4) or something primates living on an infinitesimally small speck haven't thought of yet.

    Yep, could be, but that by itself is an appeal to ignorance, and wouldn't get you anywhere without the addition of a defeater (undercutting or rebutting) for Craig's premise (in which case the initial appeal to ignorance is superfluous).

    "Stop being dishonest with yourself Eric."

    Not sure what that means, but that's an all to common experience for me when I read your posts, Ryan. ;)

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  77. Actually Eric, this is a conclusion:-

    ""A. If atheism is true, the universe has no explanation of its existence."

    Premisses lead to conclusions of syllogisms, this is just an 'if this then that' conclusion, and as I pointed out, it is wrong.

    I don't care if you can get 1000 atheists to swear on a stack of various holy books that the universe has no explanation, it's not a necessary conclusion for atheism.

    Same as when I might say, "Most of you blithering idiots give credit to God for earthquakes and hurricanes, and you're such dumbfucks that you can't understand Evolution."

    While that is true, you'd point out that you, not being a dumbfuck do understand Evolution and Christians don't necessarilly think that God gives us hints on HIS mood via the weather!"

    So are Christians rubber and atheists glue here?

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  78. "I also see that Eric didn't address in the least it being a false dichotomy. Go figure...."

    I said that Floyd is free to reject the premise, but to do so *just would be* to show that it's a false dichotomy. So far, all I've seen is an assertion that it's a false dichotomy. The person who claims that a premise is false, or that an argument is fallacious has the onus to defend that claim, so until I see some defense of the claim, there's nothing for me to respond to.

    "Actually Eric, this is a conclusion"

    Sure, every premise (that's not properly basic) is also a conclusion, but Craig uses it as a premise in his Leibnizian cosmological argument. To be more precise, he points out that it's logically equivalent to a premise he uses in that argument, but that's not particularly relevant. Anyway, Craig's use of it is as a premise in one of his main arguments, which is all I meant.

    "Premisses lead to conclusions of syllogisms, this is just an 'if this then that' conclusion, and as I pointed out, it is wrong."

    Well, you've claimed that it's false, but you haven't defended that claim.

    "I don't care if you can get 1000 atheists to swear on a stack of various holy books that the universe has no explanation, it's not a necessary conclusion for atheism."

    I didn't say atheism entails the conclusion, but it does, I think, more plausibly than not imply it.

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  79. (1) a dead god- that's a contradiction in terms.

    So you say...

    (2) or a multiverse -- Craig would argue that his premise applies to the multiverse as well.

    Craig's not qualified to argue that.

    (3) or an eternal universe - That's much less likely

    Someone wins the lottery every couple week. Come on Eric, seriously???

    (4) or something primates living on an infinitesimally small speck haven't thought of yet - Yep, could be...

    And you're done...

    Not sure what that means, but that's an all to common experience for me when I read your posts, Ryan. ;)

    I hope you get it eventually.

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  80. No, you didn't say atheism entails the conclusion, but W.L.Craig does. It's what he says, isn't it?

    "..I think, more plausibly than not imply it."

    But you're just debating the points here, same as him, there's no philosophizing going on, just a cheap shot at atheism.

    I noticed that you're avoiding the part where I mentioned that God is no explanation at all really, an explanation adds something meaningful, it EXPLAINS something.

    God, explains everything and anything and nothing.

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  81. "So you say..."

    No, it has nothing to do with what I say, but the fact that you think this is a reasonable response shows that you don't even have a clear idea of what the term 'god' means.

    "Craig's not qualified to argue that."

    You're not qualified to determine what Craig is or isn't qualified to argue. You have a thing for self refuting positions, I've noticed. Does it appeal to the inner Whitman in you?

    "Someone wins the lottery every couple week. Come on Eric, seriously???"

    Yeah, I see you're merely parroting insipid internet atheist talking points now. Every hand of cards is as unlikely as any other, right? Well, would you accept the response, "Hey, someone wins the lottery every week, Ryan...Are you serious?" from me if, when we're playing cards, I get a winning hand every time I deal? If not, then your argument falls apart; if so, the I want to schedule a card game with you asap...

    "And you're done..."

    Well, I sincerely doubt that I've finished pointing out your many factual and logical errors, but perhaps you'll prove me wrong this time...

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  82. Ahh, the charlatan returneth.

    HI Eric, good to see you're still in shape for your incredible spinning... you're a regular dervish.

    Always fun to see how good a lie can look.

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  83. No, it has nothing to do with what I say, but the fact that you think this is a reasonable response shows that you don't even have a clear idea of what the term 'god' means.

    Eric, douche of my douche, when you define god to mean something that sustains something that doesn't necessarily require sustenance (um, entropy?), of course "god" is required, but that's just your definition. You should probably focus on the whole "something primates living on an infinitesimally small speck haven't thought of yet" aspects and try a beer and go mma fight with your man friends.

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  84. "No, you didn't say atheism entails the conclusion, but W.L.Craig does. It's what he says, isn't it?"

    No. Craig uses it as a premise in his Leibnizian cosmological argument, and, as I've explained ad nauseum, *all* Craig says about his premises is that he thinks that they're more plausibly true than their negations.

    "But you're just debating the points here, same as him, there's no philosophizing going on, just a cheap shot at atheism."

    Again, no. In fact, you couldn't be more wrong, for being extremely careful about the strength of the claim you're making is crucial in philosophy (indeed, in all areas). So, by making a claim he thinks he can support, Craig is showing that he's a very careful philosopher. Claims about logical entailment are *very* strong, and hence very few.

    "I noticed that you're avoiding the part where I mentioned that God is no explanation at all really, an explanation adds something meaningful, it EXPLAINS something.
    God, explains everything and anything and nothing."

    All you did is mention it, which is why I didn't address it. And all you're doing here is reasserting it, but I'll address it briefly anyway.

    Why doesn't god as a necessary being explain the existence of contingent beings? That certainly adds something, it solves a logical regress problem, and it explains the existence of contingent things.

    Why doesn't god as the ground of moral facts explain anything? If there are moral facts, then god explains them, he solves the queerness problem thinkers like Mackie have raised, and certainly adds something meaningful to the discussion. (Note, this is true *even if* you think that there are no moral facts. The issue is, *if there were*, would god be a good explanation of them?)

    I could go on with each of the standard arguments for god's existence.

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  85. Yeah, I see you're merely parroting insipid internet atheist talking points now.
    --------
    What an egomaniac.

    Insipid internet atheist talking points? Oh, you mean facts and empirical data. Gotcha.

    So the universe can't be eternal, but your god can be. Got it.

    You're a fool. A fool for jesus. And jesus, last I checked, doesn't need any more fools.

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  86. Yeah, I see you're merely parroting insipid internet atheist talking points now.
    --------
    What an egomaniac.


    Yes Brian, I've not actually read that anywhere. So in short, he's a douche. Greatest of all douches. Lord of all Douches.

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  87. Eric, you're a waste of a fine mind. You're like if Einstein became a flower-arranger.

    You've just pissed it all away on fairy tales. Fucking sad.

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  88. "Eric, douche of my douche, when you define god to mean something that sustains something that doesn't necessarily require sustenance (um, entropy?), of course "god" is required, but that's just your definition."

    Ryan, a dead god would be a god that had existed but that now doesn't, which is to say it would be a contingent being. But if something is contingent, then whatever is it, it isn't god. And this isn't to define god into existence, as is often stupidly said, for it just might be the case that everything is contingent, in which case the term 'god' had no referent. But if god can't be a contingent being, he must be a necessary being. (Again, this isn't to define god into existence, since there might be no necessary beings, and hence no god.) And if god is a necessary being, then the concept of a dead god is, as I said, a contradiction in terms (in the way the notion of a nonexistent god is not). Well, that's all for now, which is your cue to butcher the argument.

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  89. He's like a douche superhero.

    Big 'D' on his chest and all.

    "Look up in the sky!"

    Internet atheist talking points... isn't it odd how they always accuse us of their own shiftiness? As if we needed talking points. That's their technique, their practice. Parroting the 'talking point of the day' all over the place.

    I think Eric fits well here in my blog on false morality. A nice illustration.

    They really are a lot like Peewee Herman. "I know you are but what am I?"

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  90. Eric; you are a primates living on an infinitesimally small speck of dust in an cosmos you know next to nothing about. Stop. Have a beer.

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  91. in which case the term 'god' had no referent.

    There you go.

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  92. Eric, a contingent being, can die. So what if they're un-caused? That doesn't in any way preclude its possible mortality. There's nothing in 'contingent' that implies 'immortal.' A being that had no cause is still a being, and being uncaused in no way means that said being is immortal.

    Of course, this is all silliness, mental masturbation, catholic style.

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  93. "A. If atheism is true, the universe has no explanation of its existence."

    This is not 'sort of true' for anyone at all. Premise or conclusion, he is making a false statement, an obviously false statement.

    A true statement would be, "If atheism is true, there cannot be an explanation for anything at all called 'God'."

    Eric, you know that every cause is necessary for it's effect*, it itself may be contingent on something, but so what?

    *Unless you're invoking magic, creation by mere thought.

    "Shazzam!" lol

    Oh, wait, you are invoking magic as an 'explanation', aren't you?

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  94. "Eric; you are a primates living on an infinitesimally small speck of dust in an cosmos you know next to nothing about. Stop. Have a beer."

    And yet you think you know enough to determine what we can and cannot know!

    The philosopher Robert Kane once described claims like yours this way: You're chiding me for claiming to be in a 'high' enough position to look down and judge what is true and what is false. No one can attain that height -- we're just "primates living on an infinitesimally small speck of dust in a cosmos [we] know next to nothing about." But to determine that, *you* must be in a position that's at least as 'high' as mine. As Kane asks, "How the heck did *you* get up there?"

    You're like a consistent top 40 artist when it comes to self refutation.

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  95. Eric, I have a warning for you.

    Something you might no have considered.

    You may be talking to jesus on this blog.

    Ryan Anderson:

    Ryan (etymology) = little king, younger king.

    Anderson (etymology) = Son of Man

    So watch your fucking step.

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  96. . No one can attain that height -- we're just "primates living on an infinitesimally small speck of dust in a cosmos [we] know next to nothing about." But to determine that, *you* must be in a position that's at least as 'high' as mine. As Kane asks, "How the heck did *you* get up there?
    ----------
    "He" did not have to 'get up there' in order to see that there is a 'there' there. It is not necessary for a speck of dust to know all the secrets of the universe in order to realize that it is but a speck of dust, and therefore can't know them.

    In all your thoughts and words and deeds... there is deception. You literally and actually make my head hurt and my stomach ache. See, I really can't stand liars and those who live to deceive.

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  97. ""He" did not have to 'get up there' in order to see that there is a 'there' there."

    To determine that we don't know what we think we do, he must be able to see *not only* that my position is false, but that *every* position is false. And to do that, he must at least be seeing things from the epistemic heights I am. (Actually, he must be much higher up then I am, but that's not important --as long as he must minimally be where I am, his position, as usual, self destructs.)

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  98. So to you, humility, is not an option. The knowledge that we have barely scratched the surface, is no deterrent. Instead of waiting for the gaps to be filled in, you sir have already decided what they are filled with... your own pet deity.

    That is so pathetic, I pity you. It's identical to how the church saw Galileo... through the myopic lens of their faith at the time. So they had to adjust or look like the fools that they are, and even that took hundreds of years... You're on the cutting edge of idiocy.

    All your words are together worth less than a small piece of dung. A very small one.

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  99. And to do that, he must at least be seeing things from the epistemic heights I am.
    -------
    Not a difficult thing, actually. All one has to do is give up the infantile notion of a sky-daddy.

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  100. Eric, I posted this a while back:

    "Statistically speaking, if this universe were created by the christian god or any god or gods, then as we continue to look closer and closer at the details of it, we should see more and more evidence pointing at least roughly, to god. To a creator. Hints' at least.
    Not less and less. Not less and less evidence pointing even roughly toward a creator deity. The 'gaps' should increase in number, not decrease as we continue to dig deeper. We should be finding more gaps, not filling in the existing ones more and more. Statistically speaking, the trend is opposite to 'deity' and pointing directly at 'no deity.' Strongly. Like a neon sign."

    *****

    What's your explanation of that phenomenon? Why are the gaps going away, and not increasing in number?

    (Ooh, I can't *wait* for your response!)

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  101. To determine that we don't know what we think we do, he must be able to see.......
    ----------------
    All he must be able to see is that your side lacks humility and falls into that trap every time. You insist on god. You insist, with no hard data, that you KNOW the ANSWER. Then (historically) when proven wrong, you re-trench to another position where you again, insist on god.
    Face it; some people can see that your side is full of shit no matter how much you cover it with daisies. It doesn't take a genius you know... just a free mind attached to a working pair of eyes.

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  102. Just occurred to me...

    Eric, I cannot believe in a god, not one anything like yours at any rate...

    But knowing you, has brought me a lot closer to accepting the existence of the devil.

    Good enough?

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  103. Throughout the rise of science, at every turn, religion has been proven wrong. So much so that now, it's only refuge is in the first act of creation. Before it was all god; now it was god that gave it that first push and got the ball rolling. Science, again and again, has pushed back religion, not by intending to, but by finding the truth.
    So, I'm content to wait till it has pushed religion 'back' to nonexistence. In the mean time I get to be entertained by apologists who are long on words and short on sense.

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  104. I'm still awake and bored, so...

    This:

    "The philosopher Robert Kane once described claims like yours this way: You're chiding me for claiming to be in a 'high' enough position to look down and judge what is true and what is false. No one can attain that height"

    It contains it's own negation. Here:
    "No one can attain that height"

    How do YOU know if YOU YOURSELF aren't at that height or higher?

    You yourself demonstrate that all it is necessary to know, is that no-one can attain that height... and your side pretends to have.

    What you're saying is like saying that in order to know that one doesn't understand calculus, one must know calculus.

    Poppydick. Or cock. Whatever.

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  105. Yes pboy, 'if atheism is true' carries with it the assumption that there is an explanation for the existence of the universe, because if atheism is true then there is no god to provide such explanation.
    Of course, the whole thing is apologetic BS.

    That guy eric's quoting now, is more of an obvious idiot than most of his sources.

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  106. See, the thing is, if atheism is true, there's no explanation for the existence of the universe *NOW.* We are forced to admit here that we're not 'there' yet, but we're definitely making progress.

    So leave it to the religious mouthbreathers to jump on the gap and fill it with god. As per usual.

    It's getting boring.

    Hey, if theism is true, there's no RATIONAL explanation for the existence of the universe. So I'll wait, thanks very much.

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  107. Cookie value still null?

    Not if you can read this.

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  108. Whatever the explanation of this universe, it's beyond us at the moment...

    I'm so tired of religious people thinking that's proof of something. Other than the fact that we're not that smart yet.

    The gaps are getting smaller, and since god is 'god of the gaps' I guess he's getting smaller, too.

    Hope he disappears real soon. He's ruining the neighborhood.

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  109. "Why doesn't god as a necessary being explain the existence of contingent beings? That certainly adds something, it solves a logical regress problem, and it explains the existence of contingent things."

    We know that the universe exists, what the 'necessary/contingent' argument does is justify the idea of a magical 'necessary cause'.

    It didn't work for rain, it didn't work for the tides, it didn't work for the Sun, the stars, the Moon and the planets and it's not working for life because the simplest life forms are organic processes, no 'spirit' necessary.

    Justifying a magical/supernatural cause then reversing that notion as an 'explanation' of the natural is no explanation at all.

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  110. And yet you think you know enough to determine what we can and cannot know!

    I know enough to determine that primates living 2000-3000 years ago on an infinitesimally small speck of dust in a cosmos they knew know next to nothing about had a slightly more limited view of the universe than we do.

    And I am in a position at least as high as you because you are honest enough to not claim "personal experience" as evidence for god.

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  111. To determine that we don't know what we think we do, he must be able to see *not only* that my position is false...

    Yes, we cannot know everything, so let's trust that Eric and a bunch of dead guys who equally cannot know everything somehow got it right because they were born in the west. That makes sense...

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  112. All of this "logical (in the Boolean sense)" explanation is of importance to Eric (and all other Christian Apologists) because without it, their need for a deity who can fit somehow with their choice of Scripture du jour cannot be supported by anything but blind faith. "If you cannot blind others with your brilliance, baffle them with your Bull Shit."

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  113. It amazes me that an intelligent person like eric can look around at this reality, this world in all it's natural wonder, all of biological complexity, all the wonders of science and nature on display, all the stars in the sky, some billions of light-years away, all of *that,* and say to himself, "Yup, this all fits with my pretty words about an old god created and worshiped thousands of years ago in judea by tribespeople and shepherds..." People with no science. A bunch of lice-infested dirt-eaters got it all right, on the very first try.

    NO evidence points to a deity of any kind. None. It all points away from any such thing. However the power of wishful thinking makes it all seem to make sense to him. He forces it all into his tiny, narrow little box. What a travesty.

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  114. I guess I shouldn't wonder. When a person believes, has 'faith,' then intellect doesn't even matter. Even a very smart person falls for it. I guess it's because whatever intellect the person has, is devoted to the cause of convincing himself that their god is real, so he's always just smart enough to do it, regardless of intellect. The smarter he is, the more efficiently he can talk himself into it. So intelligence doesn't even matter; it's more the ability to question one's self honestly that seems to make the difference between a believer and an atheist. The courage to go against the grain. The need to, even. Wanting the bare naked truth no matter how disheartening, rather than a pretty story that makes us feel good but is patently false.

    Amazing what belief can do to a man... make him into a silly child. Even a smart man. Amazing, really.

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  115. Maybe eric comes here to convince himself that his god is real... by arguing with us and believing that he 'wins' every time, his god is once again 'proven' true to him.

    He really does seem to believe that he wins every time. I mean, that much is obvious. He can't lose. He's found a way of argumentation whereby he can never really lose, not in his own head at any rate. He loses track of reality in all the fancy words, so once he doesn't have to worry about *that* anymore, it becomes a lot easier to 'win.'

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  116. I guess one of my problems is that the catholic christian view is so synthetic. It's so obviously cobbled together to fit reality as best they could in their day. Plus more recent people like aquinas have tried to update it by providing pseudological foundations for the faith. So it looks very silly and man-made. Full of errors and flaws that the faithful have to learn to ignore or explain away with complex verbal traps for themselves to fall into so they can't see how silly it all is. It's like someone trying to come up with a factory owner's manual for an elm tree. It's man imposing man-values on nature. And it shows.

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  117. I imagine that the fear of death and the unknown is a big factor in people keeping the faith. Atheists don't have a crutch. Some people need crutches.

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  118. "In fact, you couldn't be more wrong.."

    Not true.

    ".. for being extremely careful about the strength of the claim you're making is crucial in philosophy (indeed, in all areas)."

    This claim is sophisticated in the sense that it's tricky.

    Consider Eric, if there were no people who called themselves atheists, the idea would not be 'beyond one's ken'. But the idea doesn't necessarilly negate all theistic ideas. We have to be considerate and careful of this.

    If atheists do not believe there is a God, then atheists cannot hate God, for that would be hating 'nothing'.

    This makes W.L.Craig's statement inconsiderate and careless.

    Craig may have even stated that idea instead of the one he chose, the way he deliberately chose to put it.

    "If atheism is true, it cannot be 100% negation of all theist notions, since that would be contradictory, because truth isn't contradictory."

    Now THAT is a 'careful' and 'considerate' beginning, if 'pondering' the truth of atheism.

    " So, by making a claim he thinks he can support, Craig is showing that he's a very careful philosopher."

    That isn't true.

    " Claims about logical entailment are *very* strong, and hence very few."

    This, again is a 'sophisticated' claim itself, in the sense of 'tricky', because the claim W.L.Craig is making isn't about logical entailment at all, in fact, I was originally pointing out that claim isn't logical.

    It does NOT follow that if atheism is true that the universe has no explanation, what DOES follow is that if atheism is true, then God cannot be the explanation for anything at all.

    Will you stop nodding like a bobble-head at Craig's sophistry now?

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  119. The craig claim, is well, rather retarded. Theistic pride trumping fact. Or attempting to. I'm so sick of know-it-all theists who know nothing but believe they know everything.

    However,

    "Will you stop nodding like a bobble-head at Craig's sophistry now?"

    ...ain't gonna happen anytime soon.

    Hard to believe, but he'll come back and double down on the drivel. Nothing is too stupid, for a theist to believe it.

    If I were a pastor, I bet I could convince my flock that horseflies are actually demons and suck out a tiny bit of our soul every time they bite us...

    And I would, too. Just for the sheer joy of it.

    I think I'll go to divinity school and start having fun with this for a change.

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  120. It does NOT follow that if atheism is true that the universe has no explanation
    ---------------
    The thing that I'm actually having trouble believing, is that there are people that are so stupid that they look at that claim and nod their heads knowingly...

    Apparently, as long as it moves the ball toward 'god exists' it doesn't matter how stupid the claims are, they're just accepted.

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  121. I think that atheism is the notion that all supernatural claims are false.

    Theists may claim that some atheists don't think this through and might be 'on the fence' about supernaturalism generally and specific about there not being a God or gods involved, but that is simply 'debating', that is simply the 'war of words' where the object is to 'win' by fair means or foul.

    Surely considerate and careful philosophers aren't out to claim that atheism is false because 'some' or even 'many' atheists deny the theist claim that God is the only possible explanation for the existence of the universe.

    Eric, I can't even convince you that if existence and causality are inextricably intertwined then proposing an uncaused cause is equivalent to proposing a nonexistent being as an explanation.

    You seem to be explaining to us that philosophy is the art of stepping carefully through an argument, making careful claims, to carefully avoid comnon sense.

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  122. Ooh, I get it now!

    "A. If atheism is true, the universe has no explanation of its existence."

    No explanation that an irrational person can accept as rational. That's what he means. To the irrational, the rational is irrational and the irrational rational.

    So it's just another fancier way of saying 'NO, I DON'T BELIEVE IT!' to reason. Perhaps if we insist he'll hold his breath till he turns blue.

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  123. Yeah, it boils down to 'you atheists are wrong!'

    That's the informational content of that statement.

    Boo hoo. I'm hurt.

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  124. You seem to be explaining to us that philosophy is the art of stepping carefully through an argument, making careful claims, to carefully avoid common sense.
    --------------
    I would say that that is in actuality the very purpose of christian philosophy. Don't you think?

    It's not real philosophy, not 'wisdom-loving.' It starts with a preconceived conclusion; then it provides rationalizations so as to get there. It is the opposite of seeking wisdom. It is seeking justification for that which cannot be justified. That is why it is always convoluted. It can't tell that big a lie without resort to complexity.

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  125. Christians just can't 'get' atheists.

    It's too much for their little heads to comprehend. NOT believing in god? Oh, so you hate god... What's the matter with you? If you're not on god's team, then you must be on satan's....

    Um, it's all unicorns and pixies to us, dude. You're just not GETTING that. Not getting that to us, you're arguing for elves and trolls. Or leprechauns. Your god is just another one of those, to us. Nonexistent. A story. Nothing there. We're no more against god than we are against pixies. There's nothing there to be against.

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  126. You know, when I was a kid, I wanted to take theology. I was interested in world religions, and assumed that something called 'theology' would cover all the religions, comparing them, studying their history, etc.

    Imagine when I found out that theology has the implied 'christian' in front of it. Wha? Huh? But.... if biology is the study of all life and geology is the study of all the earth, then....
    But no. Of course not.

    Typical. Those people assume ownership of everything. They think they're the only game on earth. Sooo full of pride..... it's very ugly.

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  127. I remember doing a piece on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's definition of the word existence.

    It was an unsigned piece with included the question of 'beginning to exist' in terms of a seer predicting the birth of 'Tom' and when 'Tom' began to exist.

    It was a simple trick to bring together 'existence' and Biblical woo, the 'art' of forseeing future events, in this case the birth(the coming into existence) of a being named 'Tom'.

    But careful consideration of this scenario, that if someone purporting to be a Godly seer is claiming a baby will be born, it's hardly a supernatural claim, and if a mother and father are believers they'd be inclined to name the kid 'Tom' for the sake of 'fulfilling the prophecy'.

    In fact there may be more to the 'prophecy' and a bunch of 'Toms', who by a process of elimination either 'can' or 'can't' be THE predicted Tom.

    We have to wonder, at this point, how far in bed with Christianity, Western Philosophy is, and at what point do we raise our hands in dispair at the sophistry, the mental gymnastics, involved in incorporating woo into 'existence' at any and every level it is possible to incorporate woo?

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  128. Seems to me that so-called philosophers who propose the existence of God are nothing more than politicians for their ideology.

    They've had the situation where it was illegal to not believe their ideology and that turned out very badly for 'morality' which can be twisted politically to mean 'it's immoral to not believe in God in the exact same manner as I believe'.

    This is so similar to the modern Christian 'morality' where abusing democracy is the norm. In fact, 'rule by the rich for the rich' while claiming 'rule by the people, for the people' seems like such a quasi-religious ideal.

    Because of crony-capitalism the system is 'broken', but even worse crony-capitalism isn't going to 'fix' it.

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  129. As long as people are intellectually lazy, easily scared, and emotionally needy, religion will exist.

    That's because it is for those very reasons that it came into being in the first place. Of course, right after that, it became a tool.

    I see religion, specifically the abrahamic ones, as the closest thing to real metaphysical evil extant on this earth. My computer virus for brains analogy is quite apt, I think. And like all viruses, it 'lives' to infect. That's it's only purpose. It's only use. It's only method of propagation. It kills the mind like a virus kills the cell, or a computer virus destroys a hard drive. It feeds on death. In the case of religion, the death of the mind. It perverts the whole person into a mindless vector.

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  130. They've had the situation where it was illegal to not believe their ideology
    -------------
    Yes, and they're going for that one again. That's how they want it. To them, the world just isn't right if they're not in charge of it.

    So it's 'bring on those good ole' dark ages again!'

    Maybe they'll even de-invent the light bulb so they'll really be dark. They're all about regress as versus progress. Burn all the science books and make bibles mandatory. Get life expectancy back down to a nice, manageable 35 or so...

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  131. Pboy, how bad does it have to get before 'the people' in general see that religion is not necessarily always a good thing?

    I'm all about freedom... which is why religion needs to become illegal. By its nature, it always separates people from their freedom. It's incredibly divisive. And it subverts our laws and our politics.

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  132. We have to wonder, at this point, how far in bed with Christianity, Western Philosophy is, and at what point do we raise our hands in dispair at the sophistry, the mental gymnastics, involved in incorporating woo into 'existence' at any and every level it is possible to incorporate woo?


    ---
    Spot on Ian!

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  133. I guess I don't mean make religion illegal. Just make it illegal to mix it with politics.

    As if that could ever happen...

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  134. Some of the comments here are pretty funny. Edward Feser, who I believe Eric has a crush on, is doing the dance...

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  135. Oh what a tangled web he(Feser) weaves.

    Yea, y'see, so, as is typical, I'm going to hide behind an old philosopher so you can't be blaming me.

    Original sin can't be true if Evolution is true you say? Well, let me explain, Thomists know what Aquinas mean by 'human' and it's a metaphysical thang. So fuck you!

    So a Thomist student, in the sense that he believes Aquinas is right because he has studied his writing, a Thomist student agrees with Aquinas!

    Well, pull down my pants and call me Bare-bum, but I'd have never figured that possible!

    Who woulda thunk that was likely at all?

    After that I got fed up reading Feser's crap, I'm sure he gets fed up writing it.

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  136. Here's a thought on infinite regress.

    Suppose that space is eternal and there are always particles popping into it and they accumulate by their mutual attraction into a singularity which is so enormous that it becomes a big bomb over and over and over ad infinitum.

    We have a problem imagining infinite regress because from here and now, we can't imagine now getting here from an infinite time ago.

    But this is a problem not with infinite regress, but with our imagination, because it's ALWAYS now.

    See, now it's now, and when I said, "It's ALWAYS now, well, that was what we call 'then', but believe me when I tell you, it WAS now then.

    In five minutes from now, it will be now, but it's not now yet, and the now now will be then.

    How far does the 'thens' that were 'nows' go back?

    Well if you believe in God, then you believe 'NOW'(a Godly now) is eternal, infinite.

    Can a Christian believe that there is no infinite regress and still believe that there is an infinite eternal future? Likely Aquinas had some words to bend over this, but so what, who cares really?

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  137. It seems to me that Eric, and Edward Feser are quasi philosophers. I sometimes wonder of Eric knows there is a real life outside of his head.

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  138. For some reason this Twain passage from (I believe) 'Eve's Autobiography' seems appropriate:
    ------------------------------
    "Another discovery. One day I noticed that William McKinley was not looking well. He is the original first lion, and has been a pet of mine from the beginning. I examined him, to see what was the matter with him, and found that a cabbage which he had not chewed, had stuck in his throat. I was unable to pull it out, so I took the broomstick and rammed it home. This relieved him. In the course of my labors I had made him spread his jaws, so that I could look in, and noticed there was something peculiar about his teeth. I now subjected the teeth to careful and scientific examination, and the result was a consuming surprise: the lion is not a vegetarian, he is carniverous, a flesh eater! Intended for one, anyway.

    I ran to Adam and told him, but of course he scoffed, saying-

    "Where would he find flesh?"

    I had to grant that I did not know.

    "Very well, then, you see, yourself, that the idea is apocryphal. Flesh was not intended to be eaten, or it would have been provided. No flesh having been provided, it follows, of a necessity, that no carnivora have intruded into the scheme of things. Is this a logical deduction, or isn't it?"

    "It is."

    "Is there a weak place in it anywhere?"

    "No."

    "Very well, then, what have you to say?"

    "That there is something better than logic."

    "Indeed? What is it?"

    "Fact."
    -----------

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  139. From Fesner on fitting the huge round peg of Adam and Eve into the tiny square hole affored by science:

    "The implications of all of this should be obvious. There is nothing at all contrary to what Pius says in Humani Generis in the view that 10,000 (or for that matter 10,000,000) creatures genetically and physiologically like us arose via purely evolutionary processes. For such creatures -- even if there had been only two of them -- would not be “human” in the metaphysical sense in the first place. They would be human in the metaphysical sense (and thus in the theologically relevant sense) only if the matter that made up their bodies were informed by a human soul -- that is, by a subsistent form imparting intellectual and volitional powers as well as the lower animal powers that a Planet of the Apes-style “human” would have. And only direct divine action can make that happen, just as (for A-T) direct divine action has to make it happen whenever one of us contemporary human beings comes into existence.

    Supposing, then, that the smallest human-like population of animals evolution could have initially produced numbered around 10,000, we have a scenario that is fully compatible with Catholic doctrine if we suppose that only two of these creatures had human souls infused into them by God at their conception, and that He infused further human souls only into those creatures who were descended from this initial pair. And there is no evidence against this supposition."
    ------
    This is the guy who attacks the philosophical education of scientists?

    -------
    And there is no evidence against this supposition.
    -------
    Really? News to me since there is no evidence that souls actually exist in the first place.

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  140. But, but, but Pliny, just because Evolution is a fact and Adam and Eve is the story of the Original Sin, I guess it's still a fact that theists need to reconcile the basis of their religion with the facts.

    That's where Aquinas comes in to declare that, sure humans are animals, but we're animals plus! He gleans this 'fact' straight out of his ass, there's something 'extra' to us, which is immaterial, the power of reason, you see?

    Me neither, but Eric can see it. He obviously can take "God" as a given and is puzzled that everyone can't just do that.

    Once you take "God" as a given, the 'debate' becomes 'pretend', it becomes about 'arguments for' that Eric kind of likes, he only has to kind of like for it to be worth throwing out there.

    It becomes a line he's willing to walk between what we can agree on and a metaphysical version which he wants to include, which we see no reason to include.

    Then it's simply his 'job', as he sees it to explain how hilariously unphilosophical we are for not realising that there's this metaphysical element, a 'fact' in his mind, that we're not taking into account. This 'metaphysical element' boils down to 'God is a given'.

    Eric sees all our comments as stupidly not taking into account that 'God is a given'.

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  141. Scientists are at a disadvantage, Ian. Scientists must not only be logical, they must also be factual.

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  142. The idea of a soul has baffled me most if not all my life since I heard the word. The best explanation I have heard to this point is; Our basic nature is animal without choice, but to follow our basic instincts, and conditioning. Supposedly we have a fragment of god in our minds that give us a spiritual thought to go along with the basic animal thought, and we are to choose which to embrace. If we go with the higher thought (higher???) the result is the making of the soul. The more we embrace the higher thoughts the greater the soul becomes. I am not saying I buy this idea, just saying it is the best I have heard.

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  143. My dog has free choice, I hate to tell you. Seriously. When he goes for a walk he often stops at intersections and I say nothing, just watch him. He looks one way, then the other, then straight ahead, and picks one of them. His choice. It's very cute, actually. Or I can give him two different treats and he picks his favorite, which can vary from day to day. It's obvious that he thinks about his choices. You can see him doing it. Picking whatever plush toy is his favorite that day from a pile... he chooses carefully, sometimes changing his mind, picking first one, then another, then stopping and going back to the first one and taking that one out....

    How does my dog having free choice fit into things, I wonder? Because there's no doubt that he does.

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  144. e if we suppose that only two of these creatures had human souls infused into them by God at their conception, and that He infused further human souls only into those creatures who were descended from this initial pair.
    ---------------------
    ...and today's christians are descendents of the other 9,998 people without souls!
    Now it finally makes sense!

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  145. 'Soul' to me is another word like 'faith.' A word made up to sound better than what it really is. Both are fictions. Nobody's ever seen a soul, and you can't feel one inside you. All you feel is your own consciousness. Christianity needed there to be an immortal soul to have something to punish forever. And for the PRIZE of heaven, after you die of course, so you can't come back and bother anybody by complaining that it wasn't there when you got there.

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  146. Whoever said that about the original ten thousand or so humans, and god picking two of them and dropping souls into them... does he also think he's napoleon?

    These people must have huge asses, to be able to pull so many things out of them all the time.

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  147. Jerry, that idea of the soul is unnecessary, isn't it? I mean, we were evolving toward higher brain functions, and we got there. With these higher brain functions we had the ability to have those 'higher thoughts.' Empathy chief among them. So the 'higher thoughts' were the necessary result of our brain's evolution, not an add-on or an add-in. No piece of god inside us needed. So why insert it?

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  148. Y'ever think of how incredibly pathological the belief in hell is?

    It took real creativity to find The Most Terrible Thing Imaginable. But they did it. Makes plain old death by torture seem like getting cotton candy stuck in your teeth by comparison. So they managed to produce the darkest, most terrible concept imaginable to terrify the people into obedience with. Sick motherfuckers. And this terrible fear of hell has pervaded our imaginations for centuries. How many people lost their minds over that issue over the years I wonder. So much pathology in our culture. So much sickness. So dark. So evil.

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  149. It kills me how christianity mixes love with terror and hatred and death. What a mindfuck.

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  150. Indeed Thomists 'forms' and 'souls' and metaphysical humans are 'beyond' science.

    Eric supposes that that is a good thing.

    I suppose that they are totally imaginary.

    Eric's friends would all gloat that we're just passe positivist progressive gnutards.

    What's a fact anyway to these guys, but something which they may manipulate, very carefully, in their favour.

    The 'infinite regress problem', for example, may be a 'problem', but is it a fact? If there is no problem there's no need to dream up an uncaused cause in the first place.

    Plus, the fact is, it's just a trade-off, one 'outside time' scenario which they don't accept to 'prove' another 'outside time scenario' which they were aiming at all along.

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  151. Anyone ever read Larry Niven's 'Inferno?'

    A modern, humorous take on Dante. An author dies by accident and wakes up in the vestibule of hell... and it goes on from there. Demons, lake of boiling blood, Vlad Tepes, Hitler, Satan... the works. I highly recommend it for sheer fun.

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  152. Oooo... what's a gnutard?


    Is it like a remedial wildebeest? The one that tries to drink from the stream right in front of the croc?

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  153. I have read Inferno. It's a good read. I also like the one way it differs from the Christian view of hell.

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  154. There's a teabagger on telly just now blowing smoke up Ezra Klein's ass about 'government growth'.

    If Bush hadn't cut the taxes in the first place there wouldn't be all this 'government growth' he's on about.

    Why won't they admit that their tax cuts causing huge deficits is the problem and more cutting taxes will cause even more 'government growth', which is just 'teabagger speak' for 'cost of government' which they seem to refuse to accept includes the damned debt and interest payments on that debt.

    They put the country in debt by lowering taxes, it's up to Obama to get the country out of debt by increasing the fucking taxes.

    How simple is that? Apparently too damn simple for about half the voting population of America, the United States of.

    Now I believe that they, the G.O.P. are quite happy to lower taxes on the wealthy and are quite happy to say, "Cut spending.", and are also quite happy to increase taxes/cut services on/to the less than wealthy.

    The bastards are causing the economic slump we're in to make extremely rich people even richer.

    It's a fucking disgrace, and an even bigger disgrace that Obama is willing to dither around with tax breaks for the middle class that amount to 2 or 3 dollars a day.

    How many people is he fooling yet? They wouldn't need extended unemployment if they hadn't lost their bloody jobs in the first place.

    I think that Obama is a DINO, I think he's a compassionate conservative, couldn't get elected on a GOP ticket, so either compassionate conservatism is the 'new progressive' and that's all we can expect from the majority of Dems now, or Obama is just a klutz who keeps dropping the ball in a crowd of other klutzes(the (D)senators and congresspeeps) who keep dropping the ball.

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  155. How about this. My bird will come to share any food I have, with me.

    I used to just put up with him doing his poop on my shoulder, I figured like this:- he has a tiny brain, he has no choice but to evacuate his inside, prompted by the fact that he is eating right now.

    Finally, I decided to give him a choice, he can come and help me eat, but only AFTER he has pooped. So I'll say 'poop' before he jumps on me, and I'll 'demonstrate' the 'ducking' that he does as he poops.

    If he is too excited at seeing the food he will pretend to poop, he'll duck his bum with no resulting poop.

    But if I insist, he'll let go a poop, and get this, he'll poop into a waste basket then hop right over after the food he wants to share with me.

    Now, it is clear to me that he is reasoning, which seems to me to be the Catholic philosphizer's definition of free will, and which also leads them to the conclusion that we have a soul! The ability to reason indicates to them the presence of a soul.

    I'm sure that Aquinas has covered this and has bent many a word in explanation though, so we're likely back to 'talking to a Thomist' exactly equaling, 'talking to a brick wall'.

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  156. "How does my dog having free choice fit into things, I wonder? Because there's no doubt that he does."

    Mostly I think it means that other mammals exhibit similar cognitive behaviors to our own, if we take the time to study them. Human cognition is more a matter of degree than a separate phenomenon.

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  157. Human cognition is more a matter of degree than a separate phenomenon.
    ----------
    Yeah, it was a leading question because I already knew that. It's interesting how christians have come up with this idea of an immortal soul based basically on our reasoning ability, when animals exhibit it as well.
    Do they have ONE SINGLE ISSUE where they're right? I mean, EVERYTHING they say is logical swiss cheese. I can't think of an issue where they are right. Not one.

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  158. It's like you'd think they'd have to TRY to get so much so wrong. A real STRIVING for inaccuracy. That's how it appears. They can't seem to tell their ass from their elbow but they believe that they are like, anointed to lead the world or something. That they can just say whatever they pull out of their butts and it's automatically correct or something like that. Like every thought they have has god's imprimatur on it.

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  159. So you have this religion that to me looks like a fumbling bunch of idiots, but then you have the apologists that take the joke, the farce, the fairy tale that is christianity, and dress it up until it *appears* to be coherent and make sense. All that frenetic energy to justify the joke. All that effort.

    Too bad they don't put that intellect and effort into something positive, like studying science. They're not stupid people. Incredibly misguided, but not stupid.

    They take the 1973 AMC Gremlin that is their religion and sell it as a Ferrari.

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  160. It goes beyond putting lipstick on a pig... Mascara on a warthog perhaps?

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  161. That's it, it's a matter of degree. But a Thomist is simply going to deny this and claim it's a matter of opinion.

    Why ruin a perfectly decent metaphysical 'explanation' from the 14th. Century? Thomists love Aquinas explanation, it's a Godly explanation, it's a spiritual explanation, and gosh darn it, it's a philosophical explanation.

    Statements don't have to be fact, they just have to be logically defensible.

    But if you read Eric's responses carefully, that only works one way. Notice how what Craig says isn't necessarilly supposed to be a fact, no, it's a premise that he is using to defend Liebniz' bullshit.

    Liebniz is saying that, "If there is an explanation for the universe, that explanation is God."

    Now Craig reverses this, "If atheism is true, then the universe has no explanation."

    See how philosophical that is? If you're a bit leery about Liebniz claim, just read Craig's 'reversal'!

    Every good Christian will agree, thems the ones that just about spit on the ground before and after saying 'atheism'!

    There being 'an explanation' or not for the universe if atheism is true, has enough truthiness to it to satisfy Eric, and obvious Craig, who wrote it, and it'll satisfy all good Christians!

    It will not, on the other hand satisfy any (spit) Atheists(spit). Sorree-eee.

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  162. Lipstick on a pig.... heh heh...

    That makes Eric a porcine esthetician.

    Sooooooey!

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  163. "We have a problem imagining infinite regress because from here and now, we can't imagine now getting here from an infinite time ago."

    Floyd, the issue isn't whether we can imagine something, but whether we can coherently conceive it.

    To take a stock example, I can't imagine a chiliagon, but I can conceive it. That is, the concept of a chiliagon is coherent, so there's no problem with it. Now if what you were saying were true, I'd have to reject the notion of chiliagons as incoherent as well, but I don't.

    So, the question is, is the concept coherent?

    But again, it's a bit more complicated than this.

    In some cases infinite regresses are unproblematic, and in some cases they are. Generally speaking, cases in which they are problematic involve one or more of the following:

    (1) some X that's transferred infinitely prior to some set point (e.g. you ask to borrow a dollar from me, and I say yes, but first I have to borrow it from Ed, who has to borrow it from Ryan -- fat chance that! But I digress -- who has to borrow it from Brian, who has to borrow it from etc. ad infinitum. Will you ever get the dollar? Nope. If you understand why not, then you understand the problem with regresses of this sort).

    (2) positing some actually infinite collection of discrete objects or events (e.g. if you write a book with an actually infinite number of equally long chapters in it, and your editor asks you to shorten the book by half by removing all the odd numbered chapters, what would be the result? Well, you'd still have a book with an infinite number of chapters and hence wouldn't have shortened it at all. Similarly, if the editor asked you to lengthen the book by half by increasing each chapter by half, would you end up with a longer book? No, it would still be the same size as before. But then the infinite book (IB) - the odd numbered chapters = IB + 1.5(all chapters). And that's incoherent *with regard to the existence of such a book in the actual world*).

    (3) positing an actually infinite series of *instrumental* dependencies (e.g. The earth is supported in space by a turtle, which is itself supported by another turtle beneath it, and so on ad infinitum).

    So, the question becomes, what about the regresses that arguments for god's existence involve? Do they exhibit the characteristics of (1) (2) or (3)?

    Take the sorts of arguments Aquinas develops (e.g. the First way) -- they clearly involve regresses of the first and third kind.

    Take kalam style arguments of the sort Craig developed -- they clearly involve regresses of the second sort.

    So, the arguments show that reflection on certain undeniable natural phenomena lead to regresses of the first, second or third sort; and that such regresses are impossible; and hence that something must terminate the regress; and that such a terminus must have certain features; and finally that those features match precisely the features we all attribute to any being deserving of the name 'god.'

    Now, let me emphasize yet again, I take these to be *good arguments* for the existence of god. That is to say, I take them to provide good grounds for rationally concluding that god exists. They do not prove with mathematical certainty that god exists, but then *no* substantive philosophical. scientific, historical etc. argument concludes with that degree of certainty. Hence, *yes*, you *can* find reasons to reject the conclusions these arguments reach. I grant that, and always have. All I'm looking for is for any of you to concede that they also provide rational grounds for belief in such a being. (And no, Ryan, I'm not saying, "the first cause of the kalam argument, hence Jesus and all of Catholicism!" or "the unchanged changer of Aquinas's first way, hence every word of the catechism of the Catholic church is true!")

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  164. There are other posts I'd like to address, but I don't have the time at the moment.

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  165. "Floyd, the issue isn't whether we can imagine something, but whether we can coherently conceive it."

    Yea, that's what I said, imagine it.

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  166. "I can't imagine a chiliagon.."

    Sure you can Eric, sure you can.

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  167. "..if you write a book with an actually infinite number of.."

    Infinity is not a number and what you're saying there is a figure of speech.

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  168. I can't imagine eric making sense to me or to anyone with a fully functional brain.

    The universe can't have infinite regression, but god can.

    Get bent. Have you any idea how IDIOTIC that sounds to the un-brainwashed mind? It takes a brainwashing to even be so bold as to say such a stupid, stupid thing.

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  169. And time is not like a concrete thing, like a book with a number of pages.

    Porcine esthetician.

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  170. "So, the arguments show that reflection on certain undeniable natural phenomena lead to regresses of the first, second or third sort; and that such regresses are impossible;"

    Once again, we cannot count to infinity therefore infinity is not a number.

    " and hence that something must terminate the regress; and that such a terminus must have certain features; and finally that those features match precisely the features we all attribute to any being deserving of the name 'god.'"

    See above.. wrong.

    The slope of a vertical line is infinite. If we start measuring increasing slopes and measure for eternity, we will never 'measure out' a vertical line, because infinity is not(that's NOT) a number.

    And you didn't even touch on the fact that it's always NOW, we can imagine yesterday, last week, last year, and so on. We can imagine time continuing back forever and continuing forward forever because it is ALWAYS NOW!

    Time doesn't 'get to' 'have to' catch up with us, it's always NOW.

    Hey, in fairness, it used to be 'then', so what?

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  171. What's more likely, more believable to someone without belief biases? To a logical mind? That the universe, an unconscious group of physical objects in space permeated by various kinds of energy, is eternal?

    Or that god, a single continuous conscious being, was never born and will never die? That a *being* is the one, eternal thing?

    An organized consciousness cannot just BE. It had to come from somewhere. However, a universe can certainly just 'be' forever, in constant flux but never beginning and never ending. Especially when considering the limitations of our science at this point in time. There are *likely* factors in play here that are unknown and unaccounted for. So it is totally possible that the universe, and not some conscious being, is the One Eternal Thing.

    Without religious biases, this is plain.

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  172. Ah, I see that Brian commented on professor Feser's blog, was rather quickly shot down, and didn't comment further.

    You should comment over there, Brian. There are some very smart regulars, like the OFloinn, Brandon, Crude, Vincent Torley and James Chastek, and professor Feser himself will engage with you too from time to time. But warning: If you go into a place with minds like that with your simplistic, insulting nonsense, you will get blasted, and rather severely. If you're a smart and sincere atheist, like Dguller (a regular atheist commenter over there), you'll be treated with the utmost respect, but if you're a jerk, they will show no mercy -- especially professor Feser, who does not suffer fools gladly. But I recommend you comment over there regularly. Give it a shot but watch yourself.

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  173. "I take these to be *good arguments* for the existence of god. That is to say, I take them to provide good grounds for rationally concluding that god exists. They do not prove with mathematical certainty that god exists, but then *no* substantive philosophical. scientific, historical etc. argument concludes with that degree of certainty. Hence, *yes*, you *can* find reasons to reject the conclusions these arguments reach. I grant that, and always have."

    Yikes! You forgot to mention psychological and psychic argumentation there!

    Your little list of variations on the 'infinite' diversion may fool a lot of people, a lot of people who do not understand that infinity is NOT a number.

    "If time stretches back from now for infinity and forward for infinity that adds up to two infinities!"

    Not at all, infinity is not a number.

    "If time already stretches back for infinity, next year it'll stretch back for infinity plus one year?"

    Not at all, infinity is not a number.

    Are you taking notes Eric? Diddling with infinity doesn't help you unless you're just trying to fool everyone including yourself.

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  174. Ah, I see that Brian commented on professor Feser's blog, was rather quickly shot down, and didn't comment further.
    -------------
    There's a reason for that. I never checked back. And I couldn't care less if I was later 'shot down' by silly believers in magic and fantasy. I gave my opinion, and that's it. I certainly didn't expect those idiots to listen to me anyhow. If talking to you for literally *years* has produced no change in your ass-smoke-blowing, then I am certain that they are equally entrenched in their silliness.

    I have enough trouble listening to *one* of you, Eric. A whole roomful would give me explosive diarrhea.

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  175. And I am incapable of not insulting those silly idiots. They beg for it. People that think that their shit doesn't stink, always deserve it.

    Being the 'thoughtful, nice atheist' is useless when dealing with programmed idiots. So I insult them, not for them, but for me.

    Bunch of self-righteous lying assholes.

    See? I can't help myself! I just did it again!

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  176. "If you're a smart and sincere atheist, like Dguller (a regular atheist commenter over there), you'll be treated with the utmost respect, but if you're a jerk, they will show no mercy -- especially professor Feser, who does not suffer fools gladly."

    Too much competition?(for foolishness)

    Feser puts everything in terms of Aquinas as if no one can dismiss Aquinas' bullshit.

    Sure he's all logical and stuff, but where's his facts.

    Eric, how many times do I have to tell you, do I have to explain to you, that infinity is not a number?

    You just come back with the same old 'an actually infinite number' which must impress you 'infinitely', but doesn't impress me at all.

    What's next? "You don't know, 'cos we're talking philosophy, fuck you!"

    Hey maybe it's a metaphysical infinity, would that make any difference?

    Lessee.. one .. two.. three.. four.. (I'll keep counting, you get the point)

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  177. you will get blasted, and rather severely.
    ------------
    Oooooooo.... fearsome theists! God's pit bulls... dogs of god... domini canis. Damned dominicans.

    I'm so askairt.

    Blasted... lol. too fucking funny. You really think I'd care? They're the ones that would have to ban me. They'd be the ones 'blasted' and you know it. They aren't going to take what I'd say to them. Too close to the bone. Which is why I wouldn't bother. So I'm not.

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  178. The new theology seems pretty much like a modern version of the 'The Emperor's New Clothes'. If you fail to see its profound depth, you must be an idiot or unschooled. Or maybe the reason we don't get it is that beyond all the high and mighty rhetoric, there's not a wisp of substance.

    I suppose some types of individuals might insist on reading every scrap of the stuff, but most people with a reasonable head on their shoulders can read a sample of it and induce that the rest is pretty similar and not bother.

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  179. The Mitochondrial Eve and the Y-Chromosome Adam, what a laugh!

    Compare to the metaphysical Adam and Eve.

    Now compare to the Biblical Adam and Eve.

    What about Eve's 2000 extra genes that make her a woman?

    Why that's metaphysically unimportant! We know how God works, by which I mean we don't know how God works, and by that I mean we can make up stuff which is consistent with some vague notion of how God might work taking into consideration that it might not be that way, we don't know.

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  180. More evidence in favor of evolution.

    The money quote:

    "This is what evolutionary theory would predict, this mixture of Australopithecene and Homo," DeRuiter said. "It's strong confirmation of evolutionary theory."

    While this is definitely a transitional form, Christians will spin their wheels claiming that there's still gaps between this set of fossils and later genus Homo fossils...

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  181. Brian, you'd probably get blasted at a Tea Party rally as well, though I doubt you'd care about that either...

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  182. Oh sweet mother, I about had an aneurysm trying to explain mitochondrial eve to a fundy.

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  183. who has to borrow it from Ryan -- fat chance that!

    Show's how much you know, I'm worse than BoA relative to bad loans...

    But seriously... And there is no evidence against this supposition.

    Does Feser not see the enormous flaw in this statement. Does Eric? I can't imagine they don't, and that would make them liars, but since I'm feeling generous, I'll just assume they are epistomological hypocrites.

    Or is this an example of presuppositionalism, in which case, you literally can't argue with them. "Bibles right, sorry about your luck"

    I'm reminded (AGAIN!!!) of this family guy episode...

    A Mule: No sorry, Kevin Bacon wasn't in Footloose.
    Guy: What!?, of course he was.
    A Mule: No he wasn't, you lose.
    Guy: Of course he was, he was the star.
    A Mule: Nope, you're wrong. Look it up.
    Guy: I don't have to look it up, it's common knowledge
    A Mule: Nope..
    Guy: he was on the cover
    A Mule: Nope
    Guy: of People Magazine
    A Mule: Nope..
    Guy: when the movie
    A Mule: No
    Guy: Everyone knows...
    A Mule: No
    Guy: that.
    A Mule: No!..
    Guy: Kevin Bacon..
    A Mule: NO!
    Guy: was the star
    A Mule: NO!
    Guy: in Footloose..
    A Mule: NO!
    Guy: It was a huge movie,
    A Mule: NO!
    Guy: he was the lead.
    A Mule: NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! HeeHaw! HeeHaw! HeeHaw!

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  184. Oh dear, oh dear, Ryan, he's likely thinking that you, personally, are Satan, now.

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  185. Australopithecus Sediba Bones: South Africa Discovery Offers Evolution 'Game-Changer'

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  186. Human hands, apelike feet.

    Ironic. We were just talking about the missing link, and here it is apparently.

    Those darned gaps keep getting filled up. Where's god gonna go? The projects?

    And yeah, everybody told me when I said eric was a liar that I was wrong, that he believed what he said. Sure he does.

    It's that he's such a GOOD liar, that he doesn't look like one.

    I remember our first conversations. Not the specific content, but I remember how they went. I couldn't understand why he couldn't see the flaw in his reasoning that I kept seeing. He kept finding different complicated ways in which to explain to me that it wasn't a flaw at all... and I thought it was my fault, me not being able to adequately communicate to him where he was wrong.

    Nope.

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  187. I recall that he sounded so logical, that it was hard for me to believe that I couldn't make him see what my point was. I remember feelings of intense frustration. How strange it was, my first conversation with an apologist. I had *no idea* what they were like, what they were all about.

    Now I do.

    It's all about the art of the lie. And they're frigging Caravaggios about it. How to lie without appearing to do so, is a commodity in great demand in the religious community. There's money to be made and fame to be had.

    Amazing. I had no idea, the depth of the duplicity. I was so naive. I could understand at the time how the unintelligent were fooled by religion, but I had little experience, none really, with those who find their niche pandering to those morons by using their not-inconsiderable intellects creating pseudo-coherent argumentation in favor of god.

    Now I see it. There's a demand. And where there's a demand....

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  188. I actually think that Aquinas knew in his heart that he was just bullshitting. His motive wasn't to prove god to humanity, it was to help the church, of which he was a part, by seeming to prove god. To perpetuate the religion. He was a part of the church, so it was in his interests professionally to do this.

    He was in P.R. And boy, was he good. A salesman, not a philosopher in the sense of the etymology of the word, not a 'lover of wisdom.' He had an agenda, and a profit motive.

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  189. Brian, you'd probably get blasted at a Tea Party rally as well, though I doubt you'd care about that either...
    ------
    I'm sure the 'blasting' at the tea party rally would be even more entertaining than at feser's blog. Those people aren't even housebroken!

    At least on the blog I might learn a new word or something. At the TP rally all I might learn is a new slur or racial epithet.

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  190. If I didn't know anything else about christianity I still wouldn't be a christian, just from the appearance of those who are the most faithful. A more ridiculous bunch of illiterate scumbags would be difficult to assemble. Who'd want to be associated with those bottom-feeders?

    Eric's audience... I guess I shouldn't insult them.

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  191. Scientists are terrible at P.R.

    When asked if the new australopithecus fossils are the 'missing link' scientists said that they didn't use that term because it's not scientific.

    So no?

    Um, it is precisely what the christians think of as a missing link. So say 'yes,' doofus.

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  192. Okay, here's a real example of why there are no moral facts.

    Up to a few short years ago it was a moral fact that people ought not to be tortured.

    While it is true that torture goes on, anyone caught torturing a person would have been incarcerated and await a trial, and it is likely that, depending on the force of the evidence the perpetrators life would hang in the balance.

    Waterboarding has been considered torture and people have been put to death for it, 'cos it's torture.

    This is a moral fact, isn't it?

    Well, no, it can't be, because former President and Vice President G.W.Bush and R.Cheney together with their Attorney General colluded to change the law, to redefine torture to only mean anything if someone actually dies.

    Waterboarding in particular was redefined by them as an 'Enhanced Interrogation Technique'.

    There is only one clear choice here, either the Bush Administration pre-excused themselves for criminal activity, OR, there are no moral facts, there can't be because facts are either facts or they are not facts.

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  193. I meditated last night, using salvia.

    That stuff is amazing. It causes one to become aware of their own body to an astonishing level. I could move my finger on the right hand, then the one on the left hand, then my toe, and *feel* *different* parts of my brain firing for each one. Literally feel it. I am aware of my body on a visual level, 'seeing' it as a black umbra, so I can see fingers raised on my hands, visually see and count them, while the hands were behind my back and my eyes closed. I can see my entire body, a black shadow with reddish tinges.

    Then also (jerry, you might know about this) I had what I have to assume was a minor kundalini experience. Felt/saw white energy/light originating at the base of my spine and travel up to my throat and head.... Felt great, and I still have excess energy from it today.

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  194. Also one is conscious, very conscious, of one's gestalt nature. At least I am. I can 'feel' the input from all of my parts, all of my cells, to my consciousness. I can feel that my consciousness is the result of the participation of discrete parts forming a whole. Directly, like one feels their fingers.

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  195. There is only one clear choice here, either the Bush Administration pre-excused themselves for criminal activity, OR, there are no moral facts,
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    The former. While morality itself is a construct of the mind if you will and so is not technically 'real,' one can say that there are moral facts, in the sense that anything that hurts others is immoral, regardless of how the laws are written. If it became legal to beat dogs to death, and it became popular (again) that would not make it moral. Even if legal. Even if it became the national sport.

    It wouldn't mean that the morality of it has changed; it would mean that we have lost our moral senses.

    What bush and cheney did, deserves the death penalty. For them, I'd be for it. And I'm normally not. This country NEEDED to SEE them get arrested. It would have saved us morally, and made up for the ford/nixon pardon. But no, instead Obama actually built on that pardon, effectively making it legal for politicians to do whatever the fuck they want to with no fear of recrimination.

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  196. Back to the meditation....

    I said that I could feel my brain firing for each physical action, moving a finger, etc., I want to be more specific. I could feel/see(?) patterns in my brain for each action, and the patterns differed. I can see how in infant development we associate the 'feel' of the pattern with the body part that is moved or touched, and learn to associate it with that body part till we just feel the part and no longer think of it as a brain-pattern. By differing patterns in the brain we can know which part we are affecting. This sense of patterns in my mind/brain was very clear, and I think, real. And each pattern was different.
    When I say patterns, I mean the feeling, even visual sense, both really, of several parts of my brain 'lighting up' if you will, so it's a three-dimensional pattern of 'lighted-up' 'brain-parts.'

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  197. I think I'll call it 'salvia-induced hyperkinesthesia.'

    Never before in my life have I felt the mind-body connection so incredibly clearly. I mean, by comparison, I was blind to it and now can see.

    Pboy, my meditations aren't producing any 'woo.' Almost disappointingly, they seem to indicate to me that it's all in the brain, as in, physical. Because I can fucking feel it as physical. Nothing so far that supports (or disproves for that matter) my speculations that 'all is mind.'
    Even my sense of 'I AM,' my very consciousness and sense of identity, feels like a composite when examined under salvia. Like just what the recent research indicates, that the mind, is a consensus of parts of the brain, like a town meeting, and the 'winner' gets to make the decision. I can sense that directly, like you sense your left toe.

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