Monday, May 14, 2012

The Latest Bet

One day not so very long ago, Satan came unto God with a proposal.  A bet.

Satan's bet consisted of God allowing him to whisper into the ears of the clergy of the earth, from the local pastors up to the highest offices in organized Christendom, a message based in Pride and not in Love.   God will allow him, for the purposes of the bet,  to corrupt the hearts of these men (those which could be so corrupted, those weak with Pride) with thoughts of power and fame, and of course, sex and money.  Oh, and guilt and greed.  All of this will God allow Satan do to, in order to test the faith and character of the whole of His believers on Earth, in order to see if the faithful masses huddling in their churches will notice the often drastic changes in the Message, and rightly recognize that their own House has been corrupted by the very Father of Lies.  To determine whether the faithful will temper their love of God and belief in him, with the Divine Gifts of intelligence and perception; whether they love him with not only their hearts, but with their minds as well.

To see whether the strength of their Love for God is coupled with understanding of what that Love means. 

So of course, God allowed this Great Deception of Satan's to occur on Earth, confident in His belief (since He had to suspend His omniscience temporarily in order for Satan to bet with him; Satan is not stupid) that the faithful would fast perceive that the truth of God's love for His children had been perverted even unto the point where it was in actuality reversed and twisted to reflect Satanic and not Divine ideals.

Even unto the point where Hatred was portrayed as Love.   

God was very confident in His children. After all, it was a very blatant and obvious Test.  They'd passed worse ones before. God was very confident.  Even Jesus wanted in. 

***********

So my children, this is the reason that today, sadness reigns in Heaven, and both God and Jesus are weeping...  it being the first such bet God has ever lost. 

(Damned gambling habit!)

Now God has to wear a pink tutu in public.  Sad. 

But not as sad as what's left here on earth.

Satan's winnings.

Too bad God bet the House.

209 comments:

  1. Doggoneit Brian! You scooped me again!

    I was in the process of finishing a short story along similar lines called "Helen Meager vs the State of Creation - the case of this and every other century"

    Now, what's the point...

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  2. I was attempting to do that Pliny. I was on salvia and I raided your store rooms.

    (If I scooped you, I'm sure it is a dim comparison, and you should still do *your* version)

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  3. Sorry I did not get back with you guys sooner, but had a, would you believe, a scientific experiment to do. It blew up, literally, so much for that. Will try to answered quotes this evening.

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  4. Now that sounds like an interesting story. a scientific experiment? How Bruce Banner of you! :-)

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  5. I imagine that Jerry meant that thoughts, in patterns, otherwise called beliefs or belief systems, are often mistaken for reality, and obeyed unthinkingly out of habit as if the person thinking them had no choice.

    Of course, it would have been better if he'd said that...

    Am I close here, Jerry?

    You are close, but it goes further. Let us think of facts that have different ways of seeing what the fact means. The reason I say this is because of your ideas concern beliefs and facts. Either will do as far as the thought result goes. Using a benign example. Your daughter is 16, and is going for her first drive in the car by her self. Now it is a fact that all kinds of bad things can happen to her in this endeavor, but it is a fact that everything will go just fine, and her experience will be somewhat liberating for her. It is your choice what you think in the passing time until she returns. Those thoughts are your choice, and the result of not worrying, or getting all up tight over the worry of what might happen. Now you can say this is in the realm of belief to think of what might happen, not what has been proven to happen, however we run into this type of decision every day multiple times, and what I am saying this is the way we have some control over our lives. We do have a great deal of freedom to think what we will, and our lives is a direct result of our choice. Lets take pboy for an example, over the last few years he has shown a desire to rain on anyone's parade. In fact that is all he does, now what kind of space do you suppose he lives in? No matter what is posted he has a negative response, do you really think he can be that negative unless that is home base? He has a choice to get off his arrogance and try to understand others, but he would much rather tell them how very wrong they are. That is the essence of what I mean by our thought's are our servants.

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  6. I see pboy's tendencies to 'rain on anybody's parade' as a reaction to how all over the world there are theists and believers all trying to get everyone to believe as they do, and from where he sits, he sees that they're all equally ineffective, and often they lie about it too. He has a distinct dislike for all 'woo.' Anything not provable, anything that smacks of a spiritual realm or deities or even ghosts and so forth. The more said person insists that pboy should try to see it their way, the more he will resist anything like that. And I can't say that he's being illogical... unless you think all of us should have such an open mind as to believe in that which we cannot prove, and I don't. I happen to at least give credence to the supernatural.... I have curiosity, and I still wish to explore even that option, no matter how unlikely others tell me that it may be... but that's me... not pboy.

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  7. Is this a quote or did you pull this straight out of your own ass?

    Yes,out of my ass will work just fine for me.

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  8. But even if you were right about pboy's motivations, do you really think that your best way to communicate with him, is to return his derision and even exceed it? I mean, that's also my frequent mistake, but as you may recall I did learn by thinking about why I tend to take Pliny seriously that it's best to retain as much humility as possible in these matters and not succumb to the temptation of returning fire with a nuclear strike or whatever...

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  9. Now you can say this is in the realm of belief to think of what might happen, not what has been proven to happen, however we run into this type of decision every day multiple times, and what I am saying this is the way we have some control over our lives. We do have a great deal of freedom to think what we will, and our lives is a direct result of our choice.
    --------------
    Well, to me that seems to be a mixture of two issues, the issue of understanding the meanings of terms due to context and so forth, learning to understand the many meanings and subtleties of terms, and the issue of weighing several issues and coming up with the best overall (holistic) solution that is statistically safe and yet bears enough risk to experience life... or whatever the context. I wouldn't call either one 'belief.' Now if you're talking about say, how some of us hear 'abortion' and think 'medical procedure' and others think 'baby murder,' then that's belief-based. It is thus incumbent upon each and every one of us to be able to recognize when our individual beliefs are not universal, do not necessarily apply to all others or all other situations.

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  10. Oh, and as I'm sure you know Jerry, the deal with beliefs is that you can see everybody else's, but never your own. So that last part's the tricky part.

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  11. An even better example of a belief-based thought that creates a lot of harm due to it not being understood the same way by all people, is the "gay."
    A lot of beliefs attached to that term.

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  12. You are letting him off light saying tendencies. Closer to 100% will do it. His life is spinning everything negative he does not agree with. He does not ask for explanation to try and understand, no he already knows who ever is full of illusions, and it is he that requires a concrete post to cling to. No excuse for him, he is old enough to grow up.

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  13. I disagree with the idea that one cannot know their own ideas or beliefs to a great deal.

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  14. But even if you were right about pboy's motivations, do you really think that your best way to communicate with him, is to return his derision and even exceed it?

    I reached out to pboy at least 4 different time and the result was, basically stick it.

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  15. Watching Bashir on MSNBC this afternoon he had a sanctimonious, self-righteous prick on telling us that the government has no business helping the poor, the old and the sick, since that was the purview of the local religious establishment. He is basically trying to dispense with the social safetynet entirely, emphasizing that the local religious community would cater to the poor, the old and the sicks' spiritual needs.

    This is the kind of hateful asshole that I detest, who, in the name of his religion, is willing to overturn the progress that Western governments have made, allowing people the personal freedom to worship his god, if they so desire and only if they so desire.

    Of course it wouldn't stop there, he'd no doubt get rid of the secular public school system since it isn't catering to the kids spiritual needs either.

    Back to the good old days for him, where people were forced to accept charity from the church, all donations from the rich bosses of course, if they will at least pretend to believe.

    I'm not sure how a bunch of people pretending to be godly would make him a better person for forcing this issue, or how the people pretending are better off are, or how he could imagine that God might be pleased with either.

    Instead of money being collected in taxes and redistributed to the needy, it'd be collected in donations, a very hit and miss affair, very unregulated, very easy to skim off the top.

    Sure they can force the needy to pretend to be religious in exchange for food, clothing and perhaps some prayers in lieu of medical assistance, but it is my opinion that his position is as bankrupt as he likely thinks atheism is.

    Oh, yea, Jerry, if you don't want to answer my question, that is fine by me. Just don't tell us that you did answer my question, no. You, at best, responded to my comment and at worst, ducked the question.

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  16. pboy,
    About answering your question. I would be glad to answer your question if it were legitimate. By that I mean if you were really interested in the subject, and wanted to understand more. However I have read you rants for a few years now and over and over I see ask only trying to find a way to tell whom ever how wrong they and how right you are. With your track record of doing nothing but bitching and tell others how right you are and how wrong they are I am not about to go to the trouble of giving an explanation only to hear, that's just woo.

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  17. Jerry, I haven't seen you trying to understand his atheism better, either. What, you feel that you don't need to? That you get it well enough already? Well, I bet that's just how he feels about your spirituality. And mine, for that matter.

    I dunno Jerry... Play amongst yourselves then.

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  18. I disagree with the idea that one cannot know their own ideas or beliefs to a great deal.
    -----------
    Jerry, this one even annoys *me.* What does the above sentence even mean?
    I mean, who said one cannot know their own thoughts or beliefs? One certainly can... with beliefs though, one has to get past the ego first. Are you maintaining that such is not the case? You'd be wrong. Due to precisely what I'm talking about here.

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  19. What makes you think do not understand his atheism?

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  20. Jerry, neither one of us likes to hear their favorite ideas made light of. We *react.*

    But surely you can see, that is purest egotism on our parts? I mean, I know it... still hard to stop it, but I know it.

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  21. What makes you think do not understand his atheism?
    ---------------
    Because you keep letting it bother you.

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  22. Saint Brian the GodlessMay 15, 2012 12:50 AM

    Oh, and as I'm sure you know Jerry, the deal with beliefs is that you can see everybody else's, but never your own. So that last part's the tricky part.

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  23. I reached out to pboy at least 4 different time and the result was, basically stick it.
    ------------
    ...and you could do it a hundred times with the same results, if all you're doing when you 'reach out' is to try to get him to see that you are right.
    As could I, with my ideas about consciousness.
    So, lately, do you see me doing any of that? No. Why? because I realized that I value him as an online friend more than I want to alienate him by insisting that he sees things my way as well as his way. It just ain't gonna happen, no, not evah.....

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  24. Oh, and as I'm sure you know Jerry, the deal with beliefs is that you can see everybody else's, but never your own. So that last part's the tricky part.
    ------
    You pasted this into the last post there with no comment.
    If you're saying that I can't see my own, I agree. That literally terrifies me. What is it that I am blind to? I know there are no doubt a lot of things... because everybody's blind to something it seems.... I try to be as conscious of it as I can be, but still, how can I know when I'm doing it?

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  25. That's why I like the dynamics here... whenever I venture off into an area where I might be blinding myself through my egotism, people here tend to react to it. Since I can't see me, I must rely on others that can. And I like to think that some others might feel the same about me.

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  26. Atheism does not bother me. As a general statement I would rather talk to an atheist as I think they are better informed in an over all sense than most . It seems that you find it necessary to defend him for some reason.

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  27. ...and you could do it a hundred times with the same results, if all you're doing when you 'reach out' is to try to get him to see that you are right.

    When I say reach out it has nothing to do with my being right. You seem to think I feel a need to defend my thoughts. I do not, if they cannot stand on their own I have no use for them.

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    1. But Jerry, you are into spiritual thought, and that is not defensible to rational atheists. So your thoughts cannot stand on their own, with such a person. That's all I'm trying to say. You may think they do, but you'd be wrong in that. Sorry.
      And you get upset when your views are challenged. You can't deny that. And that is attachment to your beliefs. Hey, I'm attached to mine, too, so don't feel like I'm just slurring you here.
      The only problem with being attached to your beliefs, is that if they happen to be wrong, you'll never see it. And that bothers me a lot. So I try not to be so attached to mine, or at least I have lately.

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  28. We were suddenly the owners of a budgie in it's cage about 9 months ago. Emma, myself and our cockatiel all kind of wondered for a while, apart from keeping his cage clean, adding some seed and water, what to do with the budgie? Strangely the budgie has his own 'thing'. he chirps and grumbles and flaps at somewhat less than humming-bird speed, for his own little reasons.

    So I left his cage door open and 'encouraged' him to go look around the house a bit but in the end we felt that I was being a bit of a bully, scaring him out of his cage and that he was stubbornly going to ignore us and be happy on his own, in his cage.

    Of course I read up on 'budgie' and that, 'nothing' really, they adopt a mirror with a bell as their flock and if you're not that, you're not 'the flock'.

    Anyways, Spazzie, named that for his tendency to make 'giving you shit' noises while flapping vigorously.

    (contd.)

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  29. As an aside, really, of course Prettyboy Floyd the 'tiel has had many adventures around the budgie cage, 'tiels being 'tiels, and Spazz the budgie is very territorial, budgies are like that so they say.

    Spazzmo got angry a bit more than usual when we gave up on him and I just left his cage door open, it was up to himself. Surprisingly he did start coming out and going up to a picture frame or on top of the kitchen cupboards to hang out, then he'd go home.

    Not realy 'great success', I think he realised that he had a choice, then that choice was cut off, then he was given it back, and he started using it, is all.

    Anyway, I had a little 'AHA!' moment and started very carefully and deliberately putting my hand in his cage and ringing his bell. the one on the mirror which is his 'flock'.

    Didn't take long for Spazzmodic to, I dunno, accept the hand as part of the flock, it's just here to ding the bell, that's all.

    Who knows where this might lead?

    Why am I telling you guys this? Well, Jerry, I'm just dinging YOUR bell, hoping for a positive response.

    Try reading my comments addressed to you without the 'angry' voice, or the 'disdainful voice', if that's how you tend to read them.

    I can't make you understand where I'm coming from, but this little story has been my attempt at that.

    Ting-ting. Ting-ting.

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  30. Yes, Jerry, what pboy just said makes sense to me.
    It does appear that you read his comments with an angry or disdainful voice, and tend to respond in kind. However, I don't see him being disdainful nor angry, just insistent on what he sees as right and true.
    But hey, I'm not really a saint, so what do I know, eh?

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  31. It seems that you find it necessary to defend him for some reason.
    --------------
    Well, the reason is, that from where I sit, you don't seem to be the one that is in the right. Sorry.
    Hey, could he be nicer? Sure. Sometimes he's pretty blunt. He and I have had huge fights.

    I'll step back now, though, and let the two of you decide how to interact on your own. It would seem that you do not want any help.

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  32. My Conversation With the Dalai Lama: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality (Part 2) (VIDEO)

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  33. Yeah, Ariana Huffington's a turncoat. She's showing her republican roots lately.

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  34. Yea Brian, it's 'funny' how the media pundits can be so 'soft-socialist', even consider themselves Dems., as if, if they consider themselves such, they can move everything to the right.

    Huffington is by no means one of the heartless Christian, social-darwinistic, disenfranchise everyone, the poor, the old, the sick and even women(of course not pro-life, rib of Adam, type women).

    I don't know which part of war-mongering, tax cutting, deficit eliminating and deregulation, 'drill-baby-drill' CANNOT possibly work for the benefit of the people. Unless by 'the people' you mean a few extremely wealthy people?

    One of their mantras is that we cannot allow this debt to be 'passed on to our children'. Pfft. Rather disenfranchise 99% of the children? Unless by 'the children' you mean a few children of extremely wealthy people?

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  35. Guess the point is that these right-wingers didn't run the debt up so high during Bush, just to have that crisis disappear under Obama.

    I'm not sure how they can get away with saying, "It's all Obama's fault because he'd likely have been more to the left if we had not filibustered everything! Look how the government isn't working and it's all Obama's fault because he refuses to be a Republican President!"

    Sounds to me like the same old Republican shite, which the public fall for. Look how good the budget was under Clinton, what was it, $250 billion in the black!

    But that just wasn't good enough for you guys, was it? Fuck no!

    I don't blame the conspiracy theorists at all, since it was the Supreme Court who 'voted' Bush in, 9/11 seemed to be a distraction from the economy and a 'hidden' reason why the budget was rocketting down, since it was not even being counted by the Bush Administration at the time.

    The Teabaggers came out right on time to confuse the issues and complain about 'broken government', right when the Reps. were getting set to chuck a spanner in the works.

    Nobody seems to recognise that even if the Dems. have a supermajority in the Senate, several of those are DINOS, who would never back Obama.

    Martin Bashir explains that it is odd how Mitt Romney, who claims to be a specialist on matters of economy, seems to want to double down of 'the Decider's' policies.

    Your government is broken, since the Reps can spend their time making the Dems look bad when the right is not in power, blocking everything, then when they get back in power, it's down to the business of really fucking things up again!

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  36. I think you've about covered it, yes. It's very sad. Even sadder when you live here.

    It looks like they're really going for renaming the place 'Dumbfuckistan' like in that '08 joke.

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  37. Yeah, Ariana Huffington's a turncoat. She's showing her republican roots lately.

    Did you read that article? I do not understand that statement in connection with the article.

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  38. Ting-ting. Ting-ting.

    A message from the chained to the concrete post crowd of one.

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  39. Ting-ting. Ting-ting.

    Hey, you chained to that concrete post, cat got your tongue ?

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  40. Sorry, are you the chained? Are you saying I'm talking to myself? Are you on some kind of medication? I'm on B.P. pills so it might be me!

    Help me out here, can anyone glean the slightest bit of meaning out of this?

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  41. Sorry. pboy you will have to be more coherent to be understood. Maybe it is the medication you are taking that makes you not understandable. Try Brian he seems to understand your gibberish.

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  42. Come on pboy, Brian seems bored and your failure to get it on shows your light weight status. Where is your tight ass answer?

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  44. It honestly never occurred to me that you're just not worth talking to, 'til now Jerry. You're not worth even trying to talk to.

    You put up your Dalia Lama stuff, which I could only answer 'ting-ting, ting-ting', since I have nothing to offer in response, and I'm assuming that you considered even that some kind of 'slight'.

    I feel kind of foolish for even trying, since your insight, your depth of understanding of your own worldview, what it is that you imagine you are defending against some imagined 'onslaught', is just not worth consideration.

    Ting-ting, ting-ting, shit-fer-brains.

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  45. That wont get it done light weight. You post is a crying out as a person without an idea how to deal with reality. So your are going to duck out with the idea that I am the person without anything when it is you that is running on empty. Watch you ego here or it will keep you up all night, sucker.

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  46. You put up your Dalia Lama stuff, which I could only answer 'ting-ting, ting-ting', since I have nothing to offer in response, and I'm assuming that you considered even that some kind of 'slight'.

    You are right you have nothing to offer because of your extreme ignorance. Of course your ego will never let you admit that so you answer with I am spaced out and do not understand plain English. You just answer with gibberish because you do not know any better and you are a game player so everyone is playing a game so here is my BS. Sounds about right for you.

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  47. It honestly never occurred to me that you're just not worth talking to, 'til now Jerry. You're not worth even trying to talk to.

    I can see your point there. I am not willing to lay down to your brand of BS is why would a person that cares only to put people down be interested in talking to me. I will not let you run over me regardless or your BS ideas so what good am I to your ego?

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  48. Come on pboy can't you keep your with your own game? You start something that you have not mastered? Maybe you had thought you had mastered this BS game. Sucker.

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  49. Looks like pboy is trying the women's game, silent treatment. Maybe he is a pussy at heart, one of those closet jobs.
    He can bad mouth some one like Observant or MI but now where is he hiding that some one has called him on his BS? No where to be found,

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  50. You're not worth even trying to talk to, as far as I'm concerned, Jerry. It's obvious from your hate-filled screeds that you imagine what you say 'bothers' me.

    Why you might imagine this is beyond my ken, since, obviously, if you're not worth trying to talk to, you're not worth listening to.

    Just reading far enough to realise that you are addressing me is enough to warn me that some kind of pitiful, childish put-down is forthcoming.


    Pretty much any time that you feel something like your usual response to me coming on, just say to yourself, "Do I really want to come across aa this petulant child?"

    Ooooo, 'the chained' and 'the concrete post crowd of one'. Can I have the time it took to process that drivel back?

    What a maroon. LMFAO.

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  51. I hear you lying now, that what I am saying it does not bother you. What a light weight you are, not even willing to face a minor truth. All you can bring is I am not worth talking to. What a cope out. . The truth really hurts doesn't it pboy, especially when you spend so much time ducking it.

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  52. Why don't you bring something that has some meat to it rather that cheep shots like" you are not worth talking to". What a light weight cheap shot that reeks of no think. Of course I have come to understand that is all you have.

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  53. How you liking it pboy? This is the kind of cheap shit you come with every day running your fellow man down. Not so neat when you are on the receiving end? Most every day I listen to you running down people that could well be doing their very best to aid their fellow man, and their selves in the overall. By what you say you could care less, better satisfied you ego and it's satisfactions, and run them down, rather than take thought of what effect your words would have on others. Empathy, better leave that in the dictionary. What a real dick you are.

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  54. I look, I see 'Jerry', scan down, "How am I liking it pboy?"

    Keep ranting, you brainless twat, I, for one, could not care less.

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  55. I have your number and you know it. sucker.

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  56. You are to easy pboy. Can't you at least give me a contest?

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  58. The easiest way to go through life is running others down, you are a master at that, congratulations. At the end of life you will be able to claim as one the ten best at running others down, even though it is just a cheap shot at life itself to claim this award, none the less it is yours pboy.

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  59. After running your ass down you might wonder why I am not in the top ten, I came in 11th, aced you ass again.

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  60. The only thing I wonder, lately, isn't anything to do with some fantasy placing on a scale you made up, no. What I do wonder is what could possibly be going on in your mind while you are typing out your nonsense. Well, as noted above, that was then and this is now.

    How does one respond to a person who envisions you(that would be me) tied with imaginary chains to an imaginary post? And this, this in response to something like, "What do you MEAN by 'spiritual'?", as if myself imagining that I'm free at last from those imaginary chains and concrete post would explain anything, anything at all, to me.

    This squalking that you're doing, it seems to me, is your defense of your indefensible worldview. You overgeneralize, blaming me for putting EVERYBODY down, which neatly avoids you having to think about whatever it is I ask about your latest vague comment.

    "(insert Jerry's 'spiritual baloney' here)"

    "What the Hell do you actually mean by that, Jerry?"

    "ARRGH! You are a putdown artist, you're horrible, I hate you!"

    "Oh. Um. Good point? That sure cleared up your latest vague spiritual baloney, didn't it."

    (Jerry zips off on his Pegasus waving his spiritual flaming sword, into the spiritual blue leaving pboy spiritually chained to his spiritual, yet concrete, post. Uh oh, here's Jerry back to strike another blow for Jerry's worldview! His weapons are the tongues of crying rage!)

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  61. Jerry:

    What the hell is wrong with you? Did you snap? You're being an incredible dickwad. If this is how you master your thoughts, don't bother even trying, you're not capable of it.

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  62. Pretty much any time that you feel something like your usual response to me coming on, just say to yourself, "Do I really want to come across as this petulant child?"
    -pboy to jerry
    -----------
    This sentence here is your clue Jerry... if you're perceptive enough to see it. Because as much as you might hate it, the above sentence is correct. You need to think about how you're coming across here, because believe me, it's not pretty.

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  63. Makes me think of a pastor, pushing his 'spirituality, godliness and goodness' on his flock, looking out at the faces, seeing that they just don't 'get it', he cannot explain it to himself so he is realising that there is no way to explain it to anyone else.

    What to do to animate this? "The atheists are to blame, it's all their fault! Without them we'd be on an Earthly paradise and Jesus would be here, at least spiritually, in all of us. What a wonderful
    world it would be if only our total spiritual domination of the World wasn't being stymied by those Atheists and their bankrupt worldview!"

    No need to scan the crowd, they are motivated, they are in the 'two minutes hate' mode, they belong to him now.

    "Get your pitchforks and your torches and let us go and burn down the Atheist dwelling that they may be banished from among us!"

    Seems a bit harsh to you? But spirituality itself is under siege here!

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  64. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-MuNY1Zkz0

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  65. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/16/paul-cameron-anti-gay-pundit-obama-gay-confession_n_1522548.html

    Right wing anti-gay pundit who accused Obama of being gay, admits attraction to men!

    Again, no surprises here folks!

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  66. This is precious:

    John Boehner:
    "The only ones who are talking about drama or brinksmanship are my Democratic colleagues across the aisle," Boehner said. "We can use the debt limit debate to force Washington to act, to cut spending and enact some of the real reforms that will help put America on a path to prosperity."

    Did you see it? How he just did that? He LITERALLY said, The other side is lying about us forcing this debt standoff again, we're not forcing this, it's them not us... anyhow, what we're going to do is to force this debt standoff again! (So, it's not like we're forcing it when we force it!)

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  67. LMAO Brian!

    Boehner is kind of like a rapist who says, "You're faking this outrage, you like it, don't you?", and really believes it.

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  68. What the hell is wrong with you? Did you snap? You're being an incredible dickwad. If this is how you master your thoughts, don't bother even trying, you're not capable of it.

    I am fully aware that I am being a dickwad or whatever toward pboy, no one else. I think you will admit that I have treated everyone on this blog with respect. And that included pboy for way to long.

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  69. Jerry, I like you. We've had good conversations.

    So I have to ask you, is it worth it to feel a bit of cheap gratification while you're 'letting pboy have it,' when to others who are witnessing it, such as say me, you're coming across as highly unreasonable and easily angered? Hey, I didn't even know you were capable of this kind of vitriol... I thought that was *my* area!
    See, maybe because this is the precise kind of thing that Pliny has made me aware of, my losing my cool, my not being truly humble and calm and thus *losing all credibility as a peaceful and spiritual person,* I'm sensitive to this, to seeing you doing what I used to do.
    I'm on your side. Calm down. It's not worth it.

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  70. The diction reminds me more of Hugh from MandM than the Jerry we know and love. I could be wrong, obviously.

    OT - WTF does an omnipotent god need angels for? Eric?

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  71. Brian, you are misreading me a lot. I am not angry at pboy. I know from what I said it probably sounds like I am very upset. This is what happened. Several days ago you said to me that I seem to be hostile with him. I thought that over for quite a while, and recognized some truth in your view point. I take responsibility for my head space so I thought what is my thinking that is causing me to feel this way. With out going into detail I decided to change my thoughts toward pboy, and did so. He is playing a game, a game that sucks but it is a game that I can kick his little ass around the block anytime he applies it to me. That is what I did and it is just a game so the anger is not there, it is a game. He, in my opinion may not even be that aware of the game he plays. He probably learned it as a child from dear old dad. If so he is no more than a programmed automaton or robot. He has stated he has no free choice, and cannot change his mind. In other words he is stuck in a head space, a head space that sucks as far as I am concerned. Now what others think of me or my post, I like to be liked and approved of which I consider very normal, but it is not a big deal if others reject me for what ever reason. I really like Ryan, and he has not spoke to me for several months. I think he is a good thinker and I respect him, if he does not want to speak to me for whatever reason its ok, no problem so do not expect others opinion of me to have much, if any, effect on the way I deal with some jerk like pboy. On the other hand I would really like it if pboy would grow up a little and get off his BS so I could change my mind again and feel respect for him, I will not hold my breath.

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  72. Yea Ryan, Hugh(of M&M) and Jerry are 'of a piece' when it comes to their 'my way or the highway' attitude towards their worldview.

    ".. the way I deal with some jerk like pboy."

    You mean, of course coming across as an mean, ignorant bully, that thing?

    Your 'game', is totally one-sided there shit-fer-brains. Having some magical words and sayings to back your magical beliefs is entirely your game.

    If I ask what you mean by something you deign to put in a comment here and your reaction is, "This guy is 'playing me', everyone knows what I mean, Ima fuck with him now, see how he likes it!"

    Well, I won't ask you what you mean anymore. I'll simply comment on how meaningless your drivel really is, if I think it's worth the bother.

    So you think tossing insults around is a game that you're 'winning'? I don't have to insult you at all Jerry to offend you, I just have to point out how meaningless your comment-du-jour is.

    When you start seething, I'll know that, once again, you've completely missed my point, which is not to offend or insult you, but to consider if your comment means anything.

    So I won't be wording my comments as questions to you, simply as observations that vague notions expressed by vague words don't make concise points.

    Maybe that counts as being a jerk to you, I don't give a shit.

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  73. http://www.slate.com/articles/life/drink/2012/05/pliny_the_younger_can_there_really_be_a_best_beer_.html

    The best beer in the world? Well Pliny, I didn't know your younger brother was a brewmaster!

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  74. I could use a nice beer right about now.

    Hey, the Fox nutters are mad at Romney for 'repudiating' that Rev. Wright controls Obama ad.

    Maybe they'll stop supporting him now! LOL

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  75. .. and the idea that Romney has at some point taken both sides of every single issue, but 'stands by his previously stated position, whatever that was', is hilarious!

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  76. I know!!! I loved that! When someone first quoted it I thought they were making it up, that even Mittens wasn't that stupid....

    Wow.. was I wrong!
    I stand by my previous position, *whatever it was.* Wow. WOW.

    You can't make this shit up.

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  77. Hundreds of millions of Americans were struck speechless when that facebook guy decided he'd rather have the money than be a taxed American citizen, over the last couple of days!

    Running through their minds, "But what about his freedoms?", and, "But he'll never be able to talk down to someone as if he has the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal in his back pocket, anymore!", and, "Does this make him some kind of Atheist now?", and, "I wasn't aware that we weren't taxing everyone, everywhere, why aren't we taxing everyone, everywhere?"

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  78. Ruining the country's credit is financial terrorism. Throw Boehner in prison, indefinitely!

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  79. Al Quaida couldn't find agents to do what the republican party is doing to us.... they must love those guys.

    They sure hate Obama... Bin Ladin hated his ass totally because he wasn't a stupid white asshole that just reacted to things like a dumb animal.

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  80. Love that Arizona guy who can stop Obama from being on their ballot. Jim Crow, isn't that his name? Motherfuckers.

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  81. Time keeps flowing like a river.

    I was watching that series, Beyond the Cosmos(or whatever, I hate that guy simply 'cos he reminds me of Sarah Palin in that his inflection and body language are so in agreement with what he is saying to us, even tho' it's just some guy's physical model, and not some 'truthy truth', grates on me), and he is talking about time.

    Here is where I disagree with him and what he is saying. First he describes the model everyone uses to imagine time, it's flowing like a river from the past into the future. Then he imposes that model onto physical(as in astro-physics, quantum physics) models.

    I felt like screaming at the television set, "But now that's a model of another completely different model!!!"

    Time isn't flowing like a fucking river to the sea, that's a metaphor! And we cannot say, "Since time is flowing like a river blah blah blah.", since time is not "REALLY" flowing like a bloody river, it's just convenient to imagine time like that.

    Once you start extrapolating physical facts from a fucking metaphor, that's when I want to punch you on the nose.(Especially if you happen to be doing it with all the accompanying intonation, body language etc. of a person trying to convince you of the truthiness of it)

    How can one say, time is like 'this', just to turn round and say time isn't like 'this'???

    Gives me a bloody headache, no wonder I have high B.P.

    "Time is like 'this'(knowingly), but surprisingly(looking surprised) NOT like 'this'(knowingly)."

    WTF?

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  82. Here's the deal from my perspective. What happens next is 'the future', there is no 'direction'. Physicists are constrained to put 'now' at 'zero' and all the 'nexts' on up the scale, that's just common sense.

    But to say that there's 'nothing in physics' to say that the 'direction' is fixed, is fucking insane. You're not going to 'find yourself' going from the previous to the next mor previous noticing that time isn't doing it's normal 'thing', no.

    Even if that were possible, which is just stupid, you couln't possibly notice it, since every thought you had would be winding back TOO!

    Sure we need a better common sense model to 'grow into' Einstein's model, but you're just fucking with me when you're talking 'tachyon' and the physical uncertainty of time going in the 'right' direction, it turns to total bullshit since time is always 'what happens next', and not, 'what happens in an imaginary reversal of 'next'.

    The smashed wine glass example, for example. BULLSHIT! If all the forces were reversed, the glass would join together with the wine in it for a split second, then, all the pieces would fall apart again, even 'backwards' in time, since the glass has no way of magically joining itself together.

    IOW a glass isn't just a future bunch of broken pieces magically sticking together 'cos time is going 'forward'.

    Right?

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  83. You know what wrong with pop? It's gassy, it's sugery and it's got some kind of flavoring. What I want to do is buy plain tap water in a bottle. I'll even pay the same price as I pay for pop.

    (later)

    I kind of like water, but you know, it's kind of tasteless, I heard they have little bottles of flavoring that you can add to water! :o)

    What if I buy some packs of sugar substitute, or maybe add some sugar myself, that'd pep it up.

    Still something missing, maybe if I bought soda water and added the tasty stuff and the sugar?

    What do you mean I'm back to 'pop'? Meh, you're just stupid.

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  84. Took a peek at M&M blog. Maddy is crying about taking someone to court since she feels she was badly dissed.

    Someone suggested to do the Christian thing, turn the other cheek, forgive.

    But no, Matt has already covered how 'turn the other cheek' simply means 'don't sweat the small stuff' on a 2009 post.

    His 'reasoning' really ought to be enough to make a true believer, a follower of M&M's(in that they agree with Matt and Maddy), think that they are losing their marbles! Gave me a headache.

    Seems to me that given enough steps, Matt could explain how black was really white. 'eye for eye' vs. 'turn the other cheek' is trivial to Matt.

    1)Contrast 'eye for eye' with 'turn the other cheek'.
    2) point out that Jesus also fully backs the O.T.
    3)interpret less contradictory Jesus' sayings showing how they don't contradict. (Example. "Don't be an adulterer."(O.T.) becomes, "Don't even think about being an adulterer."(N.T.)
    4)Now that Matt has given us point 2 and point 3 we can see how point 1 just means, 'Don't sweat the small stuff.'

    Basically, Matt is saying that truth cannot contradict truth, so no matter how contradictory two Biblical commands may seem, they cannot actually BE contradictory. Apparently the Son of God came down to fuck with our minds by seeming to contradict the O.T., that's just how HE rolled!

    If you 'interpret' Jesus as telling us to be forgiving 'til it hurts in that periscope(self-contained story), then more fool you, since you are going to leave yourself wide open to be taken advantage of by more sophisticated Christians like Matt.

    Ah, the Godly vs. the good. The good vs. the moral. Morality vs. the law. The law vs. the Godly.

    "Bust a deal, face the wheel." - Aunty

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  85. From my perspective, and modified with the addition of findings of quantum physics, time is all there. As in, my past, present, and future, is there NOW. What happens is that my *consciousness* can't perceive it all so it only is capable of perceiving one moment at a time. Thus (i feel) it is my perception that travels toward the future, wherein lies my eventual death in one form or another. Now it's possible, even likely, that the future isn't fixed, in that there are more than one possible universe, so that my consciousness actualluy chooses the outcome, out of many possible outcomes.

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  86. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/18/john-fiala-ex-priest-guilty-of-plotting-to-kill-abuse-accuser_n_1527843.html?ref=crime

    Unfuckingbelievable! This is unreal!!!

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  87. An ex-priest who abused boys plotted to have his accuser KILLED.

    The ethos of the Roman Catholic Church is a never-ending font of purest, blackest evil. It is based in egotism.

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  88. He likely wasn't 'really' trying to kill the kid, no. He was likely really hoping that the neighbour's brother went ahead and killed the kid. It all gets a bit confusing what with the giant list of characters and let's not forget that if this priest(ex-priest) is a philosophical type, he could likely convince himself in a flash that there was nothing unusual going on at the time.

    This poor guy has obviously been led, by his church teachings, to believe he could talk himself out of any difficulty.

    I hope he rots for his crimes.

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  89. I wish theistic philosophers would quit being so disingenuous. Look at how pathetic Eric is, an admitted 'Thomist', as if we are all constrained to accept 13th. Century ideas in spite of the following 800 years.

    To say that our minds are separate from our bodies is like saying your head is separate from your body! It is to say that energy is separate from matter. It is simply an appeal to the ignorant.

    To suggest that some old philosopher or others' musings on the mind being 'matterless' and the body being 'matter' is ludicrous.

    My mind physically reaches out to the tips of my fingers and toes enabling me to feel pressure and temperature differences in my immediate environment. It physically reaches out to my organs, monitoring their behaviour and modifying said behaviour.

    To picture the mind as a separate entity, like some puppet-master controlling the brain, then the brain controlling the body through the nervous system and timely release of chemicals in the glands, is to ignore the simple effect of a cup of coffee or a shot of whiskey.

    To weasel out of this by denying that one drinks coffee or booze for an expected change in mood, since one cannot be you who drank the stuff AND you who didn't drink the stuff at the same instant, is being completely dishonest, as completely dishonest as claiming ignorance of my point by not being a coffee drinker or a whiskey drinker.

    If you put a pencil between your teeth you start to feel happier since it makes you 'smile', demonstrating that a simple reversal of the mind being happy and the body smiling works just fine. IOW there is only an imaginary 'barrier', an imaginary 'separation' of mind and body.

    And to picture the mind being non-material in the sense of 'no wheels or anything of that kind are turning or whatnot' is as disingenuous as claiming evolution is wrong since 'there are no alligators with ducks wings and that sort of thing'.

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  90. I'm afraid that I'm becoming more inclined to agree with you.

    Of course, matter/energy may still be a kind of thought. But if it makes no difference, it makes no difference.

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  91. I'm afraid that I'm becoming more inclined to agree with you.

    ---------

    Reading this and in my mind's eye I'm hearing Handel... ;)

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  92. LOL... Not the Messiah, I trust....

    Hey, in my case, I entered the salvia experience with a lot of skepticism. So the very experiences that might well have convinced others that it was real, did not have that effect upon me, perhaps because of my friends here like you and pboy. Instead I've gotten to the point where I can think clearly enough even in the midst of incredible phenomena to ask myself 'can this possibly be all in my mind' and always the answer comes back 'yes.' I strive to find anything in my experiences that influences or alters or interacts in any way with my outside reality, and I can not. So I'm leaning more to the idea that reality is as described my science, with the possible exception that the base of all reality is still more like a mind than a place, but that such makes no discernible difference. At least, none that I can see.
    I still have the coincidences to ponder... so I'm not decided as yet. But still, I've come a long way from the beginning where I was convinced.

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  93. http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/05/18/former-navy-chaplain-insists-gay-demons-can-infect-animals/

    Gay demons infecting animals and turning them gay? I guess this is the right wing answer to the fact that even animals can be gay, which to a sane mind indicates that being gay is natural.

    Is it too drastic to suggest that these people should be put down like rabid skunks? I mean, there's no other way....

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  94. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/21/north-carolina-pastor-gay-rant-starvation_n_1533463.html

    It seems to me religion is just an exercise in peer pressure.

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  95. Religion is a mass psychosis, imposed intentionally, and designed in such a way that it multiplies like a virus, and is no less deleterious to the organisms that it infests.
    It is a plague of egotism liberated and empowered by the ultimate excuse, God.

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  96. My question for christians:

    Is Jesus Christ good enough to hide the evil in a man? Can an evil man find a way to hide behind it?

    Can they say 'no' I wonder? Anything's possible with them...

    Of course an evil man can hide behind Christ.

    So then, who to even listen to about religion? Eric? He could be 'in hiding' for all we know, amused that he's professing positive morality while hiding a cesspool underneath...

    We can't ever be sure. Evil egotists are drawn to Christ like lepidoptera to a source of nocturnal illumination. Not to be cured though... to be accepted AS THEY ARE. For that's the deal-io with Jesus; he just forgives you... doesn't seem to insist that you change though.

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  97. Anyone heard from Harry lately?

    I miss being judged...

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  98. Nope, haven't heard a peep out of him on fb either.

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  99. I'm asking because I noticed that his facebook account has been deleted.

    :o(

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  100. The new REP. superpack commercial.

    Young woman with kids playing in the yard, they're 10(?)-13(?)-15(?).

    As she is talking about how Obama is ruining everything, time is rolling forward, she's aging, she is in her 50s maybe?

    The kids come in, she's telling us how they've moved back home because of Obama's ruinous policies. The 'kids' are looking pretty fresh, since according to her, if it's Obama's fault, only 3 1/2 years have come and gone.

    Giving the kid's long enough to graduate, perhaps go to college, get carreers and lose them forcing them to come home, this might take up to 20 years, the young versions being 10~ at the start of the ad and youngish 30s~ at the end.

    This can drop to 10 years, perhaps down to 5 if the 'young' version of the kids were a couple of years from graduating highschool, them being very undernourished or very late-bloomers when we first see them.

    But don't forget, only 3 1/2 years have gone by where Obama 'ruined everything'.

    But all Obama has been able to to is start 'Obamacare' in motion, end the war in Iraq, kill Bin Laden, scrap DADT and stop the country from sliding into the depths of depression not seen since the 1930s with the right blocking and kicking and screaming and protesting every step of the way!

    My convo with "Wayne" on War Commander went like this.

    "So where you from in the USA, Wayne?"

    "Oklahoma"

    "Oooo would you be a Republican then?"

    "No, I think one side is as bad as the other, I'm just for smaller government, less spending, that kind of thing."

    "Oh, i.c. a Republican then?


    What a joke they are pretending that they, of course aren't Republican, they simply have a Republican ideology and agree 100% with Republican policy is all.

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  101. Oh, WTF Ed. That seems ominous. Why would he do that?

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  102. The look of a poet. Or perhaps an avante-garde professor in some trendy university.

    The very look I cultivate!

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  103. Just watched Idiocracy. I think 500 years is way too generous. A couple of generations of Republican majorities ought to do it.

    About the pic, yea.. I'm looking 'old', I know, I know.

    Bush imagines that history will be kind to him as if his gong show of a presidency won't be on video somehow. Wonder how Obama's presidency will be remembered?

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  104. pboy,
    I have been very busy with the 99% or I would have got back sooner. I also had some thinking to do. I offer you my apology for the rant I went on the other day. I could offer an explanation but seeing as how you do not understand me I do not think it would be of value. Regardless of what I think of your thoughts, I do sincerely hope the best for you.

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  105. Jerry, I accept your apology.

    What can I say, the 99%, very commendable, very commendable.

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  106. A science question. Using an air pump in an aquarium adds air to water. Does the air permeate the water or stay in a small portion of the water? I am interested in a cloning tank, and those available use spray 24/7 on the plant stem. Would it work to put stems in water, and add air pump to get oxygen to plant stem?

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  107. The air permeates the water. It dissolves in the water much like carbon dioxide is dissolved in a glass of soda. (The soda's under pressure and has a lot more CO2 in it)

    Plants respire. During the day they take in carbon dioxide AND a smaller amount of oxygen, but also release more oxygen. During the night they do not take in CO2, and do not release oxygen... they take in oxygen much like an animal does.

    I don't see that oxygenating the water for the roots would help in the least. The plants get their gasses through the leaves and stems.

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  108. The reason why plants put into just water cannot get enough oxygen to grow roots well (some plans do ok in just water but do very much better in a situation that sprays water on the stems 24/7. I do not see how it would make much difference in receiving oxygen through water if one had an air pump. The reason I ask is the cost of having a higher priced pump to spray as opposed to an air pump. They make cheap submersible pumps but they do not have enough push to spray, it takes a higher priced unit.

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  109. "Look at how pathetic Eric is, an admitted 'Thomist', as if we are all constrained to accept 13th. Century ideas in spite of the following 800 years.
    To say that our minds are separate from our bodies is like saying your head is separate from your body! It is to say that energy is separate from matter. It is simply an appeal to the ignorant."

    I see that Floyd hasn't changed: all he got right above is that I'm an admitted Thomist (and perhaps the part about my being pathetic). Other than that, he's demonstrably wrong on each and every count.

    Ryan, god doesn't need angels. Simple, right?

    "Is Jesus Christ good enough to hide the evil in a man? Can an evil man find a way to hide behind it?
    Can they say 'no' I wonder? Anything's possible with them...
    Of course an evil man can hide behind Christ.
    So then, who to even listen to about religion? Eric? He could be 'in hiding' for all we know, amused that he's professing positive morality while hiding a cesspool underneath..."

    Well, Christians know that we're all screwed up, so anyone who attempts to 'hide' his evil 'behind' Christ doesn't understand Christianity very well at all. Read the saints -- any of them. What's one of the first things you notice? Why, that they all profess to be among the worst of all human beings. As the saying goes, saints know that they are sinners, while too many sinners think that they are saints.

    Eric

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  110. BTW, I probably won't be able to follow up with many (any?) comments. Alas, I've found that I've let most of my Greek and Latin slip away from desuetude, so I've been devoting almost all my spare time to getting them back in shape. Ryan, a Latinist, will understand.

    Eric

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  111. Well, Christians know that we're all screwed up, so anyone who attempts to 'hide' his evil 'behind' Christ doesn't understand Christianity very well at all.
    ------------------
    The ones like that are okay. I'm talking about the man that doesn't know that he's evil. People like you refer to, are at least somewhat self-aware. Most really harmfully "evil" people, honestly believe they're good people. Seriously, you don't think Hitler looked in the mirror in the morning and told himself 'Adolph, my, what a wonderfully perfectly evil person you've become, satan will be proud' or anything like that. He said to himself 'my plans are for the Greater Good, and you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet."
    You see what I mean? If you were evil, you'd likely believe that you weren't, and you'd believe that you weren't. That is how evil works.

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  112. And besides, who other than *you* understand christianity very well?
    What I mean is, of course they're not understanding it, but they believe they are.
    Incidentally, I don't think many christians do understand christianity, because it's intentionally incomprehensible. So you take what you like from it. For instance, Jesus obviously loved the poor and disenfranchised best of all, and yet today's christians avoid even thinking about them, or worse, demonize them. So do *they* understand christianity? Well, you can find parts of the bible that support just about any heinous thing, so maybe they are, who the hell knows.
    I prefer to think of Jesus as nice to others, empathetic, caring, loving, and 'The Prince of Peace.' That makes sense to me. But not to many 'christians' who really believe that Jesus was about FIGHTING and not taking any shit and even amassing riches... and they also conflate Jesus with their beliefs in Ayn Rand.

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  113. Many see Jesus as the Golden Ticket.

    All you have to do, is truly believe in Him and you're saved.

    So they can be as evil as they like, and they're still saved!

    This is a real phenomena, so don't try to just explain it away with rhetoric and parsing definitions.

    Oh yeah, you're not going to answer. Latin and Greek. Oh well... it takes time and effort to be able to properly carry off 'pretentious.'

    ;-) Ego te absolvo.

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  114. "And besides, who other than *you* understand christianity very well?"

    About Christianity in general (esoteric philosophical/theological issues that I don't expect everyone to understand aside), I'd hope that most of my fellow parishioners understand it as well as (or better than) I do, for it's preached to the entire congregation from the pulpit daily by our wonderful priests.

    "Latin and Greek. Oh well... it takes time and effort to be able to properly carry off 'pretentious.'
    ;-) Ego te absolvo."

    That's one advantage, to be sure. ;) But, as you know, serious scholarship requires one to research in the original languages, not in translations. I still need, in addition to my flagging Latin and Greek, to pick up German from scratch, to pray for a revivification of my French, and to translate my hard won Latin into a quick and easy grasp of Italian. Oh, that in addition to all the hard philosophical work. Anyway, take care, and I'll post as I can.

    Eric

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  115. Beyond the Cosmos.

    He's talking about what happens to a wallet if it falls into a black hole.

    He explains about the theory that the information is not lost but remains on the event horizon of the black hole.

    Then he has us envision TWO wallets, two 'versions' of the wallet. One completely destroyed and the other, well that is just information on the 'skin' of the black hole.

    Of course this may well be poorly worded, but for the life of me I cannot imagine a version of a wallet(or anything really) that has been completely destroyed.

    " Other than that, he's demonstrably wrong on each and every count."

    Count 1) To say that our minds are separate from our bodies is like saying your head is separate from your body!

    Your mind is not a thing, it is a bunch of processes. A body is a body with or without a head. Similarly a body is still a body with or without a 'mind'.

    Count 2) It is to say that energy is separate from matter.

    Energy and matter are equivalent. Matter is a form of energy and energy is a form of matter.

    Count 3) It is simply an appeal to the ignorant. Bioelectrical processes are well understood*(how the eye works, for example) and have non-living equivalents in electronics.

    *very well understood compared to the understanding of Thomas the Aquinaut.



    It is to say that energy is separate from matter. It is simply an appeal to the ignorant."

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  116. It's all becoming clear now, Mitt Romney's dream team. Starring, as president, himself of course, he's got no policies at all, he just borrows wichever one's he thinks he needs to get elected.

    As vice-president, Dick Cheney! I don' know how this would work 'legally', but we all know that if the right would go for it, and Romney is looking good, fuck it, who cares, they ARE the law!

    Secretary of State, Sarah Palin of course. Her job would be to piss off whoever Cheney told her to.

    Attorney General, Michele Bachmann! "Crimes against humanity, you say? Well we cannot comment on that while it is under investigation." (smiling broadly with those glazed, nay, hypnotized eyes)

    Speaker of the House, Dennis Miller! "Hey, I don't want to even imagine that some towel-head is plotting to be unAmerican, where's the Congress' checkbook? 'To the military...", gozillian is that with one zee or two?"

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  117. I'd hope that most of my fellow parishioners understand it as well as (or better than) I do, for it's preached to the entire congregation from the pulpit daily by our wonderful priests.
    -----------
    Are those the same wonderful priests that didn't tell people anything about the religion except 'believe or go to hell' because of Vatican II? Yes, they're the ones. Also the ones that, one out of ten of them at any rate, like to touch little boys and can't understand what's wrong with that... heck, one of them recently tried to hire someone to kill his accuser!

    Your guys then. Yeees, I'm sure every parishioner has a very deep understanding of the religion.... Especially all the molested children. They REALLY understand it.

    Do stop by when you can.

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  118. it's preached to the entire congregation from the pulpit daily by our wonderful priests.
    ------------------------

    Is that before of after the abuse denials and the political endorsements?

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  119. "Is that before of after the abuse denials and the political endorsements?"

    That's completely irrelevant, of course. The issue is whether what is preached is consistent with Christianity as I understand it. But then, that's a logical point, and we all know your rather sad history with subtle (and, as is the case here, not so subtle) logical points...

    Eric

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  120. It is hardly irrelevant to any but an blindered apologist. I know that you try to control the tenor of the discussion to focus on some detail and avoid the real hard issues, but your church has no basis for assuming any moral high ground until it atones for its own sins. For many of us we won't care about the words from the pulpit until the abuses of the past and present are addressed. It's sad tat you can't see that. Absolution requires contrition. It's an easy cop out to speak of imperfection and then repeat the same mistakes. Being a sinner with the 'get out of jail free card' of absolution is a nice trick. It prevents one from ever actually having to change. That's not contrition in any language.

    Yes, I do have a sad history of not being convinced by your unsound arguments no matter how logically presented. Maybe someday in all your studies you will come to realize that logic is not the same as fact. Then again, probably not. One of the joys of philosophy is that it provides refuge from the facts. I doubt that your unfounded arrogance in combination with your enveloping perceptions of the Holy Spirit will ever make that possible.

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  121. The issue is whether what is preached is consistent with Christianity as I understand it.
    -------------
    So why the irrelevant answer back from you then? Answer it. Vatican II. You told me, almost sadly, that Vat II is the reason the general population doesn't know the fine details of your religion. Backtracking, or will you admit that many or most of the common folk don't have a clue. My mom has never heard of Thomas Aquinas in all her 86 years, nor has my elderly aunt or my uncles or anyone in my family or anyone that I grew up with, and they were all (in name at any rate) roman catholics. So who's to blame for that? And how can you maintain that they're so well educated by the priests, who, RELEVANTLY, spend a lot of time molesting people, one out of ten of them.... and never seem to tell people anything more than 'believe or go to hell.'

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  122. but your church has no basis for assuming any moral high ground until it atones for its own sins.-Pliny
    ----------------
    Exactly what I was thinking! This is IMPORTANT Eric. You've lost your moral authority but don't seem to realize it yet. Atonement has not been made. In fact, the opposite, evasion and relocation of offenders and excuses, has occurred. So you have no moral standing to say anything relating to morality at all. It's gone, and you don't seem to GET IT.

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  123. our wonderful priests
    ---------------------
    Wonderful priests. Hmm... That was a bit gay... hmm...

    Eric...

    Did you get abused by a priest as a boy? No need to answer, wouldn't want to embarrass.... But it all makes more sense now that I think of it... your blindness, abject devotion to an overt evil.... Your own evil wherein you cannot tell the truth, cannot bear to.. you've been 'gotten to' haven't you? Seriously, I believe that many of the abused, instead of reporting it, wind up joining the very system that abused them... it's like stockholm syndrome... You being one of them, well, it just makes a lot of sense, knowing you...

    If that's the case, you realize that you need help, right? You can't do it alone... find someone, please! It's not normal to have to live with those memories, dude.

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  124. Hey you shithead Eric! I just looked up Vatican II and it was in 1962! So how the FUCK did that cause all of my family, all of them up in the eighties now, to be totally ignorant about their faith? You lied to me.

    No big deal of course. I'm used to it.

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  125. I think that I am starting to believe that the church, indeed the whole christian religion, doesn't understand the idea of atonement.

    When you think about it, why should they?

    They believe you sin, then you are sorry to god. Then god absolves you, and it's just like you've never sinned.

    Where's the atonement?

    It's not there. It's just not.

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  126. we all know your rather sad history with subtle (and, as is the case here, not so subtle) logical points...
    -------------
    You saying this to of all people Pliny, why.. that's precious.

    Couldn't you have picked someone not demonstrably waaay smarter than you are? I mean, it's kind of funny.

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  127. Eric how do you feel about William Donahue?

    Or as I like to call him, Mister Apoplexy.

    Why do you have to have such stupid, angry people representing you all the time?

    I mean, GRRRRR! GRRRRRR! (Vein pops at temple) GRRRRRRR!
    He needs a shot in the mouth more than almost anyone I know.

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  128. The Church trying to retain moral authority in spite of the IN YOUR FACE nature of the HUGE scandal, is even worse than if John Edwards, after getting caught with a mistress, and lying about so many things, and the donor money for the cover-up, went ahead with his presidential campaign as if nothing had happened, and furthermore, focused his message on how we need to adhere to our MORALS......

    Can you grasp how silly the church looks still trying to preach morality while not being able to atone for it's own sins?

    Nope you can't. Because you do not want to.

    Still love you Eric... nice to have you drop by...

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  129. They should make a baby William Donahue doll that screams, pounds it's fists, and bleeds from the temples when you press it's tummy.
    Oh, and the diaper goes on it's head.

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  130. See, the church lost it's high moral standing with the child molestation abuses.... which are everywhere... but they compounded that by denial and dissembling... and they then further compounded it by actually having the sheer EGOTISM to try to pretend that they still had it as if nothing had happened! Amazing, really amazing... No 'we're sorry' or nothing... it's never their fault, not ever.... business as usual, nothing to see here Johnny, so limp home....

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  131. Why is it that the church seems to almost relish the fact that it's being incredibly hypocritical?
    Is hypocrisy like irony, invisible to christians?

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  132. He's talking about what happens to a wallet if it falls into a black hole.

    He explains about the theory that the information is not lost but remains on the event horizon of the black hole.
    -----------------------
    I think the problem is that the word 'information' is not as we tend to understand it. I doubt it means the credit cards are there on the surface of the singularity. More like the information that used to define the actual structure of the credit cards is still there. Or at least, that's how I take it.

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  133. Here's something even harder to intuitively grasp:

    If say, we see a small planet or something, anything, a rock, a spaceship, falling into a black hole, it will slow down as it nears the event horizon, and never, ever get there, not ever, never. And yet, there are things inside black holes that fell into them, thereby increasing their mass... so it doesn't make sense.

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  134. This is pretty good:

    http://www.godisimaginary.com/

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  135. So Emma fancied getting a puppy and saw a Shih Tzu for sale. Got the little monster about an hour and a half ago.

    Smart little dogs or what? We've gone through philosophy from Plato to Sartre and he's hinting that he is disgusted with the limited progress we've had with solar.

    I looked up 'when to feed your puppy, even added 'Shih Tzu' and 'Madre de Dios', can't get a straight answer.

    "Feed your puppy at the same time with the same stuff that the seller did."

    "Cook up some pork and chicken, barley and wheat..." WTF?

    Hey, I just wanna know.. morning or night, morning and night, before exercise/after exercise, not 'til he's done his homework/the dishes? What?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Best to feed a premium DRY food such as Iams or Science Diet or ask one of the people at a pet food store. In a supermarket, Purina One is a good choice. Wet foods if served at all, are more TREATS so serve smaller portions, along with the dry food. Feed twice a day. You can add in table scraps as treats, but a lot of the time it spoils the dog's palate for the dog food. Always have water on hand of course. Small dog, fee a cup or so of dry at a time. You can add in a SMALL can of premium wet food.
      Dogs are sensitive to some human foods... might want to google it, but for instance, avocado can kill them and chocolate is bad, onions and garlic not good, avoid all citrus fruit... This is just off the top of my head... .Oh, avoid sugar-free items because some artificial sweeteners will kill a dog.

      Delete
  136. "It is hardly irrelevant to any but an blindered apologist. I know that you try to control the tenor of the discussion to focus on some detail and avoid the real hard issues, but your church has no basis for assuming any moral high ground until it atones for its own sins."

    Notice how Pliny frames the issue here:

    "your church has no basis for assuming any moral high ground until it atones for its own sins."

    Notice also that his initial response, which I said was irrelevant, was directed at *my* post, in which I said (in response to Brian's question about who, besides me, understands Christianity):

    "About Christianity in general (esoteric philosophical/theological issues that I don't expect everyone to understand aside), I'd hope that most of my fellow parishioners understand it as well as (or better than) I do, for it's preached to the entire congregation from the pulpit daily by our wonderful priests."

    N.B. did I say *a word* about "moral high ground"? Nope. Did anything I say imply anything about the "moral high ground"? Nope. All I did was reference the priests at my church, all of whom are amazingly learned, humble and holy men. So it appears that Pliny's logical problems have remain untreated thus far...

    "Yes, I do have a sad history of not being convinced by your unsound arguments no matter how logically presented. Maybe someday in all your studies you will come to realize that logic is not the same as fact. Then again, probably not. One of the joys of philosophy is that it provides refuge from the facts."

    What rubbish. When have you ever bothered to attempt to do the hard work of trying to demonstrate that any argument I've presented is 'unsound'? Never, as far as I can remember. When have I ever confused logical validity with soundness/cogency? Don't confuse your inability to follow a line of reasoning, and my subsequently drawing attention to this fact, for my inability to distinguish validity from soundness.

    "Exactly what I was thinking! This is IMPORTANT Eric."

    Yes, Brian, it is important, which is why I've addressed the issue in the past, but it's not relevant to the current discussion. The economic problems in Greece today are important too, but they don't have anything to do with this discussion.

    "Hey you shithead Eric! I just looked up Vatican II and it was in 1962! So how the FUCK did that cause all of my family, all of them up in the eighties now, to be totally ignorant about their faith? You lied to me.
    No big deal of course. I'm used to it."

    See, this is the sort of nonsense I've come to expect from you guys. We discussed (some time ago) the issues concerning the poor understanding of Catholicism many Catholics today evince, and I referenced the confusion that followed V2 (note, I never said that I had any issues with V2 itself, but that many people poorly understood just what it was all about). Now think about this, Brian: I have no idea how old you are or how old your parents are. You never told me anything of the sort. We were discussing the issue generally, and so I pointed to a generally recognized proximate cause of today's ills. Now if your parents are from the pre-V2 generation of Catholics, then I find it hard to believe that they weren't required to memorize the Baltimore catechism, which is a wonderfully pellucid text on fundamental Catholic teachings. So, I have no idea what the specific problem is in their case. Anyway, next time try asking a specific question, with specific information, if you want a specific answer.

    Eric

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  137. "Wonderful priests. Hmm... That was a bit gay... hmm...
    Eric...
    Did you get abused by a priest as a boy?"

    "Gay"? Is that an insult to you, Brian? Why, I never took you for a homophobe!

    Further, I notice how easily you slid from 'gay' to asking 'were you abused by priests.' Do you take the Church abuse issue to be a 'gay' issue? I almost wish I had time to continue this conversation! *You* sound much more like Donahue here than I ever have!

    Eric

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  138. "What rubbish. When have you ever bothered to attempt to do the hard work of trying to demonstrate that any argument I've presented is 'unsound'? Never, as far as I can remember."
    -------------------

    I'm sure that is how you see it. Your arguments, or I should say your simple parroting of the arguments of people like Craig, are demolished daily and have been for years. I've certainly never seen anything particularly novel in any of your lectures that offers a fresh take on anything. If you want to spend your days creating ever more convoluted explanations for mythology, and mistake that for deep insight, whatever. You posted some of Craig's wisdom here several months back and that answered any questions I had about your purpose:

    “Of course, anyone (or, at least any sort of theist) can claim to have a self-authenticating witness of God to the truth of his religion. But the reason you argue with them is because they really don't: either they've just had some emotional experience or else they've misinterpreted their religious experience. So you present arguments and evidence in favor of Christian theism and objections against their worldview in the hope that their false confidence will crack under the weight of the argument and they will come to know the truth.” Craig

    I for one am surprised that every irony meter on the planet didn't explode when he first uttered that.

    The points we keep making about Christianity and Catholicism give you an opportunity to demonstrate whether you can actually be critically objective about these issues rather than operating from some canned apologetic script. No evidence that you can. You see Eric, I for one consider true intellectual sophistication to be the ability to deal with complex issues without compartmentalization. If you want to talk about the wondrous spiritual advise that your priests allegedly provide, you also have to address the dark side of this influence and power. Anybody can cherry pick arguments.

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  139. "Your arguments, or I should say your simple parroting of the arguments of people like Craig, are demolished daily and have been for years. I've certainly never seen anything particularly novel in any of your lectures that offers a fresh take on anything."

    As I've made clear many times, I'm not a big Craig fan. I think he's demonstrably *far* better then uninformed atheists like you seem to think, but that doesn't mean I'm personally persuaded by his arguments. I've only (1) defended Craig's arguments from gross misunderstandings atheists like you are guilty of all the time (I sincerely doubt you are well informed enough to offer one substantive criticism of any of Craig's more popular arguments; rather, like the Youtube community, you mistakenly *think* you've refuted what you've simply failed to understand); (2) used Craig's arguments as illustrations of the fact that even some of the moderately strong theistic arguments are often *much* more solid than the arguments we adduce to defend our moral and political positions (a novel move, on my part -- at least I've never seen anyone make this connection before); or (3) used Craig's arguments as a way into theistic discussions, since they're easy to present clearly (which leaves me consistently bemused when atheists consistently misunderstand them!).

    "You see Eric, I for one consider true intellectual sophistication to be the ability to deal with complex issues without compartmentalization."

    Sure, but when you consistently conflate evidently discrete issues (is Christian doctrine being clearly taught/are Christians living consistently with that doctrine), it's a sign of a lack of intellectual sophistication, is it not?

    "If you want to talk about the wondrous spiritual advise that your priests allegedly provide, you also have to address the dark side of this influence and power. Anybody can cherry pick arguments."

    See, this is what I'm talking about: I said nothing about spiritual advice; rather, Brian and I were talking about Christian doctrine and how well it's understood. Now, I have discussed, many times, the 'dark side' of Christianity'/Catholicism, but it's a sure sign that one is more than a little desperate when he raises this issue no matter what is being discussed (imagine someone who talks about how science has provided us with the means to kill people more effectively and efficiently than ever before *whatever* scientific issue is being discussed, and you get the idea; try to keep you eye on the ball, Pliny).

    Eric

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  140. Honestly Eric, I'd like you to point to a post where you pointed to the dark side of Catholicism, other than in defense.

    As for your arguments, you have never once provided a shred of proof. I'm not talking about logic exercises based upon questionable assumptions. Proof, hard evidence. Insult nonbelievers all you want, it doesn't improve your arguments. If it makes you feel all self-important, think what you like. A lot of us are tired of all the time and energy that is wasted in arguing about myths and deist claptrap.

    But Let's take a whirl at this and give you a stage. See if you can actually make a convincing case. I'll agree to hold the discussions about the reality of Catholicism in practice in this country, if you'll agree to actually answer some direct questions about Christianity. Let's start with the easy ones. The complex doctrines would be irrelevant if the basic assumptions can't be proven. I'm curious as to how you actually view these questions. See if you can be a good educator.

    What is the proof of the divinity of Jesus?

    Is the Bible to be taken literally or not?

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  141. "What is the proof of the divinity of Jesus?"

    His resurrection.

    "Is the Bible to be taken literally or not?"

    Some of the time, a question is poorly phrased, and so has to be worked on before it's answered. The Bible isn't 'a book,' but a collection of books that comprise a host of genres. It's like asking if a table full of books in the library is to be taken literally when it includes history, poetry, philosophy, parables, etc.. The answer, obviously, is 'no' -- you read a text in accord with the norms of its genre. Do you read Wordsworth and Aeschylus and Rumi 'literally'? I hope not, but this doesn't mean that they don't communicate very profound and important truths.

    Now let me ask you a question: What do you take to be the strongest criticism of Craig's Kalam cosmological argument? Why, precisely, does it fail? Is there a logical problem or a factual problem (or both) with it? Explain clearly what you take the problem(s) to be.

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  142. "Wonderful priests. Hmm... That was a bit gay... hmm...
    Eric...
    Did you get abused by a priest as a boy?"
    -------------
    You sounded gay in the description, as in flowery. Effeminate. And I've nothing in the world against gays at all. Only against closeted gays in denial, them I can't stand, because they hate what they are and take it out on others.

    "Gay"? Is that an insult to you, Brian? Why, I never took you for a homophobe!
    --------------
    A homoindenialwhohatesothersaphobe.


    Further, I notice how easily you slid from 'gay' to asking 'were you abused by priests.' Do you take the Church abuse issue to be a 'gay' issue? I almost wish I had time to continue this conversation! *You* sound much more like Donahue here than I ever have!
    -----------------
    So you were? Because you didn't say no.....

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  143. The gay issue as related to the church sex scandal:

    I think many of the offenders started out gay and would possibly have led normal gay lives if not for the stifling effect of the church and it's attendant societal 'norms.' However when stamped down further and further, when denied to themselves for years and years, and what with the fact that these men LOATHED themselves for even having a gay thought, eventually a pathology was established and they transferred their (to them evil) desires to another, more available and vulnerable subject close at hand. To many christians, being gay and being a pederast are equally evil, you know. So when you're already evil (in your view) it becomes easier to perpetrate another (this time really) evil act. That's how I see the connection.

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  144. No diversions for a bit Eric, let's pursue this first set and keep our focus. Thank you for (mostly) straight forward responses.

    To take it further: What is the proof of Jesus' resurrection?
    ---------

    "Do you read Wordsworth and Aeschylus and Rumi 'literally'? I hope not, but this doesn't mean that they don't communicate very profound and important truths."
    --------
    Many great works illustrate important points about humanity and the world. Even a wretch such as I understands that there are a lot of interesting human insights in portions of the Bible. The issue of course is that most books, collections or anthologies don't get used as the basis for canon. I'm interested in what you think the purpose of the Bible is.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    "you read a text in accord with the norms of its genre. "

    This is an interesting response. I assume here you mean things like historical fiction, nonfiction, westerns, textbooks, etc. You read it in that context and don't expect more from it.

    What would you say is the genre of the Bible?

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  145. Gays in denial are attracted to the church for obvious reasons, so with a large number of such people, all ticking time bombs, it's totally understandable that many of them wind up actual, real perverts, since that is how they see themselves anyhow.

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  146. Of course I mean christian gays in denial there.

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  147. Eric, are you aware that most christian men who hate gays themselves harbor gay thoughts?
    Are you aware that, to them, as long as they do not commit the act, they're not GAY?
    Are you aware what a recipe for mental illness that is?

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  148. Eric, you can try for the rest of your life and you still will not equate "hatred for others," with "hatred of people who hate others." The latter is my position. The former the position of your church and indeed most christian dogma. You're like the Borg... if you can't assimilate them, you are taught that they're less than you, and a fit subject for disdain, demonization, and yes, raw hatred.

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  149. What would you say is the genre of the Bible?
    -----------
    Semi-Historical Fiction, but you knew that.

    What do YOU think it is? A revelation from God? Strange, you've never spoken of it as if you accord it that respect, since that would mean taking it literally as it instructs us to take it. After all, if it's from God and He tells us to take it literally, who are you or anyone else to gainsay Him?

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  150. What do you take to be the strongest criticism of Craig's Kalam cosmological argument? Why, precisely, does it fail? Is there a logical problem or a factual problem (or both) with it? Explain clearly what you take the problem(s) to be.
    ---------------------------------

    I'll be happy to do that though it will require a formal post on my own blog in the near future. I cannot do proper justice here to that topic and the (at least) 5 areas I have a problem with: 1) the basic logical assumptions of the argument as presented by Craig; 2) Factual issues pertaining to any prime mover or first cause type entity; 3) the problem of cognition outside of spacetime; 4) the connection of Aquinas' ontological arguments to the Kalam; 5) the fallacy of extrapolating what is at most, a deist argument to explain specific theist belief systems.

    It is issue number 5 that moves me to table this discussion until we address the specific belief system questions that I posed earlier.

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  151. The problem with the Kalam is that there is only one thing that 'began to exist' in the sense of something popping in out of nothing, and that is the universe itself.

    Everything else that 'begins to exist' does so in another sense, within the universe.

    When does a chair 'begin to exist'? When the tree sprouts? What about when the anscestor of that tree sprouted?

    Even though the tree is living, growing, material is being added, the material is 'there' to be added, that CO2 isn't popping in out of the Supernatural Realm.

    No-one, except perhaps some retarded philosophers, imagines that a carpenter imagines a chair, then some wood supernaturally appears for him to create it.

    Even if the Big Bang as 'the universe began to exist' is granted, it's the only thing that 'began to exist' in that sense.

    There are two categories of 'things beginning to exist'.

    1)Things which supernaturally 'began to exist', arguably 'the universe'.

    2)EVERY FUCKING SINGLE THING IN THE UNIVERSE WHICH IS MADE OF STUFF THAT WAS ALREADY AROUND!

    This makes the Kalam 'electron spin' circular, since we can imagine perhaps millions, billions of things 'beginning to exist' which are formed out of other things that are there, in the universe, but this is not equivalent in any way to the universe 'beginning to exist'.

    Write that down Eric.

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  152. Now perhaps if this was the 13th. Century, we might take the writer of the Book of Job's God seriously and imagine angels shoveling snow out of big warehouses, thereby 'creating' all those snowflakes.

    Now you might say that no-one in the 21st. Century who has had a basic education could possibly imagine that Job is anything more than a poem.

    I call bullshit Eric. (quote) The tide comes in and the tide goes out and no-one knows why!(unquote)- Bill O'Reilly

    Yes THAT Bill O'Reilly, said that in the 21st. Century he did, in defense of Christianity!

    As far as I know, he has millions of viewers who feel exactly like him and did not see this as unreasonable in any way.

    Of course there ARE millions of people who know this is horseshit, and don't bother saying anything since BillO is a moron anyway.

    Seems to me Eric that you're willing to ignore a giant herd of absolute morons, when it comes to their 'amateur Christian apology' childish, childlike 'insights' like Bill O'Reilly's abound, just to tell us that atheists are unsophisticated.

    This is disingenuous and intellectually dishonest of you. You call Dawkins et al 'unsophisticated' in the face of these millions upon millions of, I don't think it would be being too unkind to call them, FUCKING IDJITS!

    Yet they're only mostly 'FUCKING IDJITS' concerning this one subject. Scientists, businessmen, inventors, pushing back the frontiers of knowledge, some of them, but when it comes to their 'theology', might as well be talking to a kid about Santa.

    Tell us that isn't true, and you're a fucking liar!

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  153. Y'see Eric, when you, with your usual barely concealed snobbery, lightly sprinkled with a disingenuous air of civility, continue to assert that atheistic arguments are unsophisticated, you seem to be implying that Christian argumentation, or even theistic argumentation in general, somehow outclasses non-theistic argument.

    In this exact same manner you lay out a challenge to Pliny to try to refute the KCA, but if he does a good enough job of it, you're just going to take a little step back and claim that you don't really like the KCA that much yourself.

    But who cares if Pliny can do a good job or no on the KCA? Maybe he can't, what if he can't, would that make the KCA a good argument against Pliny's POV? Would you start liking it better if every argument Pliny put forward was easily dismantled or deconstructed by you?

    This is like Joshua the Catholic apologist trying to get me to argue against Hume, even though he himself disagreed with Hume. Best I can come up with for a reason for this kind of nonsense is an 'intellectual dick-measuring contest'. Kind of I know 'Hume' and you don't, therefore I win.

    This invitation to fight with a dead philospher, 'Why don't you and him fight', is just complete, utter assholiness, don't you think?

    The KCA is dead. Craig dropped it like hot shit and it's only coming back as one of these, 'Why don't you and him fight?' type distractions from pompous bastards such as yourself!

    And just because some liked it and emulated it, Aquinas e.g., doesn't mean it went 'some ways to demonstrating God', 'close' is for horse-shoes and hand-grenades.

    I'm actually waiting for you to come back that the really sophisticated philosopher Shitass McBumblefly noted in the 15th. Century that he didn't how why the tides come in and the tides go out, proving how unsophisticated I am.

    Unsophisticated(most of them) Christians use horrible arguments in their case for God, I think we can agree there, but also some very sophisticated Christians ALSO made some horrible, yet tricky, arguments for the same end.

    Isn't that right?

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  154. In short, the Kalam is sophisticated, in the sense that it is hardly obvious that it is total bullshit.

    I'm fed up hearing you pushing that 'sophistication' button. You're wearing it out.

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  155. 1) Everything that begins to exist comes from stuff that is around.
    2)The universe began to exist therefore there must have been stuff around
    3)But the universe is defined as, 'all the stuff that is and everwas around'.
    4)Therefore, you must be talking about some other kind of 'beginning to exist' than the 'Everything' in (1)

    Now one may try to get sophisticated and sneak in a 3rd. category of 'thing', an idea, a thought a word.

    Fergibbleshnabble, the word, began to exist just now! It is expanding from the nothingness it was into your mind, Brian's mind, everyone who reads this comment. Fergibbleshnabble is like the universe in that it popped in from nothing and it's only fault, a very slight one in my estimation, is that it doesn't refer to anything of any substance at all.

    Everything that begins to exist has a cause, describes the process that IS the universe itself.

    The universe began to exist. NO. The universe is always beginning to exist, it is a process, it is the 'everything that begins to exist' itself.

    Therefore, since you haven't said to different things, you've only said one thing differently, you don't have a 'therefore'.

    The syllogism fails due to premiss 1 and premiss 2 containing the same information worded differently, making a conclusion impossible.

    Kalam and all 'lookalikes' are dead.

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  156. Hey,guys----what's your take on the occupiers and the anarchists as it relates to this question: Are they for or against Obama declaring Martial Law (ie- as In before Nov elections 2012 ?

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  157. "I'll be happy to do that though it will require a formal post on my own blog in the near future. I cannot do proper justice here to that topic and the (at least) 5 areas I have a problem with: 1) the basic logical assumptions of the argument as presented by Craig; 2) Factual issues pertaining to any prime mover or first cause type entity; 3) the problem of cognition outside of spacetime; 4) the connection of Aquinas' ontological arguments to the Kalam; 5) the fallacy of extrapolating what is at most, a deist argument to explain specific theist belief systems."

    Before you write that post, (1) to (3) may (depending on the content of course) raise legitimate issues, but (4) and (5) decidedly don't. With respect to (5) -- an issue I see raised all the time -- it's akin to evolution deniers raising concerns about abiogenesis in discussions about contemporary evolutionary theory, i.e. the criticism misses the point completely because it fails to understand the scope of the argument. Just as abiogenesis and evolution are distinct topics, so the KCA and the truth of Christianity as such are distinct topics. Craig has never claimed -- in fact, he's said quite explicitly, though atheists never seem to be able to comprehend him -- that the KC doesn't get you all the way to Christianity, and was never intended to. It's one ancillary argument in an overall cumulative case for the truth of Christianity. So (5) is a complete waste of time.

    So is (4), for Aquinas rather famously *rejected* ontological arguments; hence, one is hard pressed to understand what possible connection there could be between his nonexistent ontological argument and the KCA. (I suspect you've just looked at a source that raised (one of) Kant's objection to cosmological style arguments and didn't properly understand it, but I'll have to wait to see your more fully developed post on the issue).

    Eric

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  158. "But who cares if Pliny can do a good job or no on the KCA? Maybe he can't, what if he can't, would that make the KCA a good argument against Pliny's POV?"

    Floyd, this is why I (usually) don't waste my time responding to you. Pliny explcitly said:

    "Your arguments, or I should say your simple parroting of the arguments of people like Craig, are demolished daily and have been for years."

    I'm just calling Pliny's bluff. It's amazing how simple this stuff can be understood when you take the time to *read* it *before* responding!

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  159. "God" help us! Hydra has tired of this rather interesting discussion, is uncomfortable because Eric (her hero) is taking some potential fire, and wants another topic to divert us back to resonding to her. Please let's not take the bait!

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  160. I am actually somewhat excited to see the possibility of discussions of specific philosophical/theistic issues without ongoing sniping/character assassinations on all sides.

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  161. Eric; yes, too simple, far too simple.   I think we all know what angels really are from a historical/literary perspective, but assuming an “in-myth” perspective, why use something you don’t need to use?   Or are you denying that your tribal god uses angels to do his bidding in the OT (and the New for that matter).  Can your god not modulate his (his?) voice?  Seems that would be a limitation and rule out omnipotence…
     
    I know you’ll punt to “but he (he?) chooses to…” in all cases, which is fine, but surely you see what you are doing there?
     
    PS: Latin’s never been my problem, perhaps because I learned to write/read it rather than to speak it, different parts of the brain maybe, speaking vs. writing/reading?  I don’t know.  But my German, which I originally learned by speaking, decays quicker than a Palestinian in a fictional tomb unless I make an effort to use it.   It also strikes me as odd in that German is more closely related to English than Latin is.
     
    I’ll review the rest of your comments later, but I see the KCA came up again, did someone thaw you from a cryogenic stasis?  I really had to do a double take and make sure I didn’t accidently go to a much older post since it’s the same old crap.  Haunting.
     
    Obviously, the KCA is solid, except for the premises (and some of the definitions of terms), which is a major problem and we’ve been over ad nauseam.   The thing that bugs me, is this argument should be foundational and yet  you spring board from it as if it’s settled science. 
     
    It’s like I said, it’s like you have no direct evidence, only arguments, with questionable premises, that automobiles exist.  Yet you adore the 1975 El Camino Classic with the 454 V8.   It’s simply not reasonable to get to that level of specificity given the foundational argument.
     
     

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  162. But this, " It's amazing how simple this stuff can be understood when you take the time to *read* it *before* responding!",

    doesn't answer this,

    ".. would that make the KCA a good argument against Pliny's POV?"

    Rephrased, 'How does any of Pliny's possible responses benefit your POV?'

    You answered, 'Pliny said he wants to respond."

    Is that just ducking my question? My, eric, are you sure you're not studying to be a politician?

    ..........................

    Here, "There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself;..", is a translation of one of the premisses of Aquinas 'non-existent'(as far as eric is concerned) cosmological argument.

    " for Aquinas rather famously *rejected* ontological arguments; hence, one is hard pressed to understand what possible connection there could be between his nonexistent ontological argument and the KCA.."

    What kind of sophistry is required for the above to be true? Everyone seems to agree that Aquinas' first three ways are cosmological arguments.

    "Craig distinguishes three types of cosmological arguments. The first, advocated by Aquinas, is based on the impossibility of an essentially ordered infinite regress.." - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

    Eric must be splitting hairs about the 'types of cosmological arguments'.

    You should write a book on how to abuse sophistry, Eric. It'd kind of be letting the cat out of the bag, but a good laugh would be had by all.

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  163. You 'do' realise that my comments concerning the ex nihilo 'beginning to exist' versus the transformative 'beginning to exist' is why William Lane Craig dropped the KCA from his 'show', right?

    This must be one of your debating tactics, just ignore a point and steam-roller past it as if it isn't 'out there', hopefully it'll get lost in the shuffle or it'll be presumed to be 'unsophisticated' by you and not worth responding to.

    Giant balls, eric, you have bigger balls than Craig himself!

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  164. I'm not sure, Ryan, in what 'sense' the Kalam can be considered 'solid'.

    The first two premisses are equivalent, since 'everything' and 'the universe' are equivalent, if we're 'talking' ex-nihilo, and simply changing 'begins to' with 'began to'(changing the tense) and the plural to the singular(begins, began), asserting that many things began and begin to exist ex-nihilo, doesn't 'sophistocalise away the equivalence'.

    To imagine everything and include 'the universe' as just another of many things which are 'every thing', is to imagine that the universe too went through a transformative(out of already existing other stuff) 'beginning'. If the stuff was 'there', the universe was 'there' in some form or other.

    But this ex-nihilo 'beginning to exist' and transformative 'beginning to exist' are two entirely different notions being deliberately confused with each other, which makes the conclusion illogical.

    Might as well say:-

    1)Everything that begins to exist has a physical cause.

    2)Hey, I'm beginning to have an idea, it's coming into existence.

    3)My idea has a physical cause.

    Sure I'm mixing categories of 'things', tables, chairs, a nice piece of gorgonzola cheese, and non-physical things, thoughts and, I suppose gods(shrug), so what?

    The KCA is mixing categories of causes.

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  165. So (5) is a complete waste of time.

    So is (4), for Aquinas rather famously *rejected* ontological arguments; hence, one is hard pressed to understand what possible connection there could be between his nonexistent ontological argument and the KCA. (I suspect you've just looked at a source that raised (one of) Kant's objection to cosmological style arguments and didn't properly understand it, but I'll have to wait to see your more fully developed post on the issue)."
    ----------------------------------------

    Perhaps you should follow your own advise to pboy and wait to actually read what I post. The history of the relationship of the ontological argument and the various iterations of the cosmological argument is an important are to explore as part of any discussion of the topic. In the broader sense many people on your side of the fence tend to overstep the actual implications of kalam, so although it might not be necessary for one such as yourself to be reminded, it is important nonetheless. A deist universe is far from a Christian one as you would have to agree if you are as logical as you claim.

    Calling my bluff? Oh, I had hoped that for once you were actually trying to engage in an actual discussion. My mistake. I realize that depending on his audience Craig goes back and forth on the significance of his take on the kalam. Taking us the rest of the way is why I started the earlier set of questions to you. After about 10 -34 seconds the distinction between a natural and a deist universe arguably becomes indistinguishable, so let's stick for now to the more practical issues.
    ------------------------------------------

    You appear to have gotten distracted, a complaint you often accuse us of, so let me return to them:

    What is the proof of the resurrection of Christ,
    and please elaborate on this notion of the genre of the Bible as you see it.

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  166. In fact the very notion that the universe could possibly be created ex-nihilo is ridiculous unless you're saying that God, or 'the gods' are, in fact, 'nothing'.

    I absolutely, 100% agree that God and the gods ARE nothing, but I have a sneaking suspicion, and a not very sophisticate one, I'm sure, of that, that Craig, Eric and Bill O'Reilly don't.

    Seems to me that every theist can imagine 'nothing', then the universe. But how can they sneak 'God' into 'nothing'. Is God apart from 'nothing' in one's mind as they picture the 'nothing'?

    So what they're saying amounts to, "Picture nothing(except God, dummy!), how could the universe come from nothing(except God, of course, dummy)? I feel like such a dummy not realizing, right away, that of course God created the universe out of nothing!"

    "Lessee, there was 'nothing'(except for God, of course, you moron!), and we systematically and sophisticatedly eliminated all possible causes of the universe to conclude that it was 'God , of course, you moron!'"

    Everything is logical AND not logical. Out of nothing came forth something. How? The something that was 'there' which we 'assumed' and need to pretend that we're not 'assuming'.

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  167. I don't even understand how or why god himself is exempt from having to have a beginning. If you can exempt god, why not just eliminate him and say the universe is the thing that is exempt? A full-fledged personality like god isn't just 'there' with no beginning, that MAKES NO SENSE... but a series of processes like the universe might have been there forever or ongoing in some way or cycle forever. At least it's more believable. See, we likely aren't aware yet of the subtle way in which the universe came into being, if it even did, but to say that there's this personality that is ETERNAL, is on the surface of it all, idiotic.

    What is more likely to be a billion years old?
    A rock or a bunny?
    Christians prefer the 'bunny' answer. It's cuter.

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  168. The only reason to believe that god is eternal and not the universe, in spite of the fact that it's illogical to just have an eternal mind out there forever, an eternal being with memories and intellect and processing power beyond imagination, all just there for ever, nobody made it, he was never born...
    The only reason the believe in that, is because you can't stand to believe otherwise no matter what. In other words, you have a child's mind.

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  169. Well, that's the 'sophisticated' part, isn't it? If we can move from primitive capricious weather gods, philosophize them to put them beyond logic, "Is good good 'cos god says it's good? IOW is good the same thing as Godly?"

    Hard to say yea and explain, so that's where the sophistication comes in. Better, "There are many arguments and explanations, some of which I like more than others, way too complicated for a simpleton such as yourself.", and just expect the pidgeon to accept that.

    We'll be back and forthing the KCA 'til every single theist can admit that ex-nihilo creation is different thing altogether from transformation creation, which, will of course be never.

    Hey we can't fault some guy who believes we cannot understand the tides, but this distinction should have been staring those Kalam muchachos in the face, and you'd imagine that the Holy Spirit would be guiding Christian interpreters/philosophers to spot that horrendous category error, especially since they ARE training themselves to spot category errors and such.

    Like a painter somehow not recognising that he's painted half the ceiling with water based paint and the other half with oil based paint and stubbornly insisting that egg-shell white paint is egg-shell white paint, after all it says so on both tins, and Gosh-darn-it, he's a professional and it's his job and his job alone to point out differences like that.

    Placing God as the hidden something in the nothing that one imagines before concluding God-did-it, tells me that guys of eric's ilk(and by that I mean 'some ponce willing to call the 'lack of sophistication' card just gratingly too often), tells me that eric is more a sales-man than a truth seeker.

    Does the Catholic church really give a stinky fart how sophisticated an argument is when they're dealing with their base(born Catholics)? Fuck no. I'm quite sure that eric doesn't either.

    Much better to humour them with his silence, let them think that he agrees.

    "Well done Eric for implicitly agreeing with my childish nonsense about tides(or whatnot) and putting atheists 'in their place'(uppity nigger syndrome?) with your self-proclaimed level of sophistication. Keep shining your own rocket eric!"

    Intellectually honest answer, "I totally disagree with your latest Christian/Republican blogger talking point, what's not made up is simply what reasonable people say to you spat back at them!"

    Eric's answer, "..." (Stunning silence) ((how sophisticated of you, eric))

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  170. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2aIhBkpOZI

    God? Ooh, you kidder.

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  171. A Campaign Pitch Rekindles the Question: Just What Is Liberation Theology?

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  172. "The Vatican criticized certain strains of liberation theology for focusing on institutionalized or systemic sin, apparently to the exclusion of individual offenders/offences; and for allegedly misidentifying Catholic Church hierarchy in S. America as members of same privileged class that had long been oppressing indigenous populations since the arrival of Pizarro onward."

    There's no 'misidentification' here. The Catholic church's hierarchy identifies itself, it's hierarchy with the social classes where the priests are peons/middle class, the bishops are upper middle class and so on.

    'Course this is simply my opinion, I'm confident that eric disagrees, fuck, if saw myself on that ladder I can see why I'd disagree with 'myself'.

    I have never heard of Liberation Theology before, I sincerely hope that Sarah Palin doesn't imagine that she is some kind of 'champion' of it, what a perversion of it that would be.

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  173. This caught my eye, as an improvement over most of Christianity

    “Hispanic women’s experience and our struggle for survival, not the Bible, are the source of our theology and the starting point for how we should interpret, appropriate, and use the Bible,” Ms. Isasi-Diaz wrote in “Mujerista Theology,” published in 1996. .

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  174. Reading a bit about Arianism and how the Catholic church declared him a heretic, then said he wasn't then he was again.

    I blame the Catholics and their trinitrotoluene doctrine, explosionism.

    This is just too silly to go on.

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  175. "...women’s experience and our struggle for survival, not the Bible, are the source of our theology.."

    Guess the old boy's club is just overjoyed with that notion. LOL

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  176. I'm thinking that the Resurrection is a mix of transformational creation mixed with the notion that we are 'animated' by this 'spirit' or 'ghost'. It's beautiful in it's vagueness and I'm quite sure that some theologians have chewed on that bone their entire lives.

    Imagine a 'transporter' of the Star Trek variety, it's brand new, tested on amimals only, they seem fine, then the big day comes, a human volunteer is going 'through'.

    "Yes we had noticed that every single test dog had forgotten his training, but they seemed to pick things up after awhile, of course we assumed some kind of minor shock to the system. but we never expected this."

    So the story ends up that the human has lost something intangible, maybe his soul, left behind at the entrypoint as every single molecule and state was faithfully transfered.

    Oh, wait, maybe the first guy goes through, comes out seemingly fine, then, soulless, 'heartless as it were', goes on to become EVIL, a ruthless investment banker! LOL Topical.

    "This stuff writes itself.", he said, knowing that he had ran out of ideas.

    Or, he becomes a man of God, treating everyone with the kindness, courtesy and respect which everyone deserves, but of course the twist was that he was maintaining the element of surprise. (Hardly a surprise to a jaded reader/movie goer, but maybe worth telling.

    Did the Simpsons do it? LOL

    Could be told from the first person perspective, "I was the human test subject for the Matter transmitter blah blah blah", maybe a bit too Jeff Goldblummey? Might look like a cheap, no physical, ugly monster version of 'The Fly!'

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  177. "No diversions for a bit Eric, let's pursue this first set and keep our focus. Thank you for (mostly) straight forward responses.
    To take it further: What is the proof of Jesus' resurrection?"

    Pliny, I get the sense you haven't thought very carefully about the nature of this question.

    What, after all, is 'the Resurrection'?

    Is it simply the notion that a man who had died came back to life, or some variation on that theme? No, it isn't.

    The Resurrection hypothesis is, to put it as plainly as possible, that God raised Jesus from the dead. Hence, there is no such thing as some 'proof' of the resurrection that's completely distinct from questions about the existence of god.

    That's why I insist that you can't adequately deal with the resurrection until you've adequately dealt with questions of god's existence. For even if you could 'prove' that Jesus was crucified, died, and three days later lived again, you wouldn't have 'proven' *the* Resurrection, for that rests on the supposition that Jesus was raised by God. (I think that there are good grounds for concluding that Jesus was seen alive after he had been killed by crucifixion, but that, strictly speaking, doesn't entail 'the Resurrection.')

    "This is an interesting response. I assume here you mean things like historical fiction, nonfiction, westerns, textbooks, etc. You read it in that context and don't expect more from it.
    What would you say is the genre of the Bible?"

    Again, there is no more one genre into which the Bible fits than there is one genre into which the books in the library fit. You can find poetry, history, philosophy, theology, memoir, and biography, inter alia, throughout the scriptures (indeed, you can often find many in the same book!). I don't know why people who are otherwise very careful and alert readers of other texts insist on approaching the Bible in such a ham handed way. I mean, look at Homer: you'll find history, epic, poetry, philosophy, proverbs, mythology, etc. throughout the texts, and the careful reader will distinguish among these genres while he reads -- as best he can, of course.

    Now of course your next question is, "well how do we know when we're reading history as opposed to poetry etc.?" In most cases, the answer is, "it's more or less obvious." In other cases, there are a number of possible interpretations. As a Catholic, I have some guidance on how to read the Bible (though the Church has dogmatically defined the content of only very few verses of scripture), and I believe in the teaching authority of the Church (and no, there's no circularity to the argument when it's laid out), so the problem you'd be raising here (supposing that that would be your follow up question) is a Protestant one, and not so much one for me.

    Eric

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  178. "Eric; yes, too simple, far too simple. I think we all know what angels really are from a historical/literary perspective, but assuming an “in-myth” perspective, why use something you don’t need to use?"

    Ryan, think about it: the issue you're raising can be put much more bluntly. Why did God 'need' to create anything at all? Well, he didn't; all of creation -- angels included -- is, as they say, utterly gratuitous. Once you get that, you better understand what Christians mean by 'God,' and your angel question reduces to perhaps interesting, but ultimately irrelevant, trivia. For if all of creation is conceded at the outset to be gratuitous, then nothing of consequence whatever follows from any response to the angel question that's consistent with that supposition. It reminds me of Loftus's "Why didn't god give us wings?" Well, that may be interesting in a trivial 'college-bull-session' sense to contemplate, but nothing of consequence at all follows from it.

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  179. "No diversions for a bit Eric, let's pursue this first set and keep our focus. Thank you for (mostly) straight forward responses.
    To take it further: What is the proof of Jesus' resurrection?"

    Pliny, I get the sense you haven't thought very carefully about the nature of this question.

    What, after all, is 'the Resurrection'?

    Is it simply the notion that a man who had died came back to life, or some variation on that theme? No, it isn't.

    The Resurrection hypothesis is, to put it as plainly as possible, that God raised Jesus from the dead. Hence, there is no such thing as some 'proof' of the resurrection that's completely distinct from questions about the existence of god.
    ----------------------
    There's no proof of god. So you say that the proof of the resurrection rests on god. But no proof for god. So you're saying... you're saying...
    There is no semantic content to what you've said. None at all. You haven't answered the question in any way that can satisfy anybody NOT ALREADY IN THRALL TO YOUR RELIGION.

    How can you, even you, believe that you know what you're talking about? You've got nothing, zero, heck, less than zero.

    Dismissed. Come back when you have acquired the faculty of reason.

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  180. Furthermore Eric, and remember that in spite of our differences, I actually have come to *like* you, I have to say that coming back at pliny with the answer that you did, was insulting to his and our intelligences. Stop insulting us, please. It's not nice.

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  181. "Eric; yes, too simple, far too simple. I think we all know what angels really are from a historical/literary perspective, but assuming an “in-myth” perspective, why use something you don’t need to use?"

    Ryan, think about it: the issue you're raising can be put much more bluntly. Why did God 'need' to create anything at all? Well, he didn't; all of creation -- angels included -- is, as they say, utterly gratuitous.
    -------------
    More insults.

    You were asked why god created angels. Ang-el means 'worker of god.' Why did god need workers if he is omnipotent, was the question. Your answer was 'he created them gratuitously... what, he created angels as a gift to angels? He created helpers that he did not need, gratuitously.

    An answer that is no answer. You need to be in the real world FIRST before you try to answer real questions, you know...

    (no, you don't, do you?)

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  182. "You haven't answered the question in any way that can satisfy anybody NOT ALREADY IN THRALL TO YOUR RELIGION."

    Right, but I didn't claim to have 'answered' the question. Rather, I *clarified* the question by providing a lacuna that too many atheists tend to leave out when considering the issue. What I've said is that the "I don't want to talk about God's existence, I want to talk about the Resurrection of Jesus" notion is misconceived. Now Pliny didn't come out and say this, but I sensed that it was at the back of his question. If I'm wrong about that, Pliny can certainly correct me.

    So I wasn't insulting anyone's intelligence, Brian, unless you view clarifications as insults.

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  183. What I've said is that the "I don't want to talk about God's existence, I want to talk about the Resurrection of Jesus" notion is misconceived.
    -----------------
    All is up for debate. You cannot decide that something is off limits. You haven't ever come close to proving anything about your god, so when we ask about the resurrection and you tell us that we can't ask about it until we understand more about god, that is a comment free of semantic content. It's telling us "you know that thing that I can't prove to you and seems to you to be impossible? Well, this thing that I can't prove to you and seems impossible is contingent on this other thing that I can't prove to you and seems impossible. There. Get it now?"

    If I were you, I'd look in the mirror, and punch myself straight in the mouth for that.

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  184. "You were asked why god created angels. Ang-el means 'worker of god.'"

    The word 'angel' comes from the Greek 'angellos,' and it means 'messenger.' What I pointed out is that if *everything* that god created is conceded at the outset to be gratuitous, then nothing interesting at all turns on the answer to Ryan's question.

    Now as to the 'reason' for the existence of angels, a traditional response concerns what's sometimes called the 'chain of being,' from the simplest bit of inanimate matter to god himself. If you move from inanimate matter to human beings and then to god, there's an obvious gap there, one that angels nicely fill: human beings are created, finite beings that are composites (however conceived) of matter and spirit, while god is unconditioned being itself; angels, as created beings of pure spirit, 'fit' well here. Now of god is understood as creating gratuitously, and if he's conceived as creating out of love, then the notion of the chain of being makes some intuitive sense. This isn't a proof for the existence of angels, of course; it's just an explanation of why one who believes in the existence of a certain kind of god, one who created everything gratuitously, would have no problem with a god who creates and uses angels. So, as I said, nothing interesting follows from Ryan's question, for god no more needs me or a planet or a hydrogen atom than he needs angels, yet he created them still. (A further answer is given in god's sharing, in some sense, the work he does, out of love; for if there is a god, then doing his work is the greatest possible joy, the most perfect end, for a created being.)

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  185. When clarifications are obviously merely a means to further obscure the point, they become insults.

    In fact, every time I've ever 'lost it' with you, every time I've gone off on you and even called you names, was in reaction to the insulting nature of your arguments. I was the first party insulted, and I reacted against that. Now you may not even have been aware how insulting your argumentation can be when directed against people that have eyes to see instead of the usual crowd of divine suck-ups, so you might want to meditate on that a bit.

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  186. Messenger of god, worker of god, same thing in this case, since why god would need messengers is just as salient as why he'd need workers, plus as you know those messengers also did works for god. Like as in the angel of death for instance.

    This is somewhat tiresome, talking about fairy tales as if they were real just to humor you in order to better understand your psychosis. Catch you later...

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  187. "Now you may not even have been aware how insulting your argumentation can be when directed against people that have eyes to see instead of the usual crowd of divine suck-ups, so you might want to meditate on that a bit."

    Right, I've dealt with so many divine suck-ups at Harvard! Even the Divinity school (so the joke goes) is full of atheists!

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