Sunday, July 1, 2012

And still more...

Just a continuation of the previous discussion....

Have at it!

200 comments:

  1. So, what'd we learn from Eric about the KCA?

    Well, Craig puts it out there as if it were straight-forward, then, when he is challenged, he scoffs at rebuttals which miss his point.

    His point is that the 'causes' are 'efficient causes', but there's a problem with that too.

    Eric, when not being shy about explaining, or just basically calling our intelligence and education into question, leaks enough information which in his mind allows Craig to justify his claim that the KCA is fine.

    Turns out that Craig has explained somewhere else that it's 'metaphysical cause', which is related to questions such as, "What is the ultimate reason for the existence of the Universe? Does the cosmos have a purpose?"

    The simple KCA, purportedly demonstrating an uncaused cause, can be shown to not do that with the simple question, "Where'd the stuff come from?"

    Craig moves goalposts and uses Aristotle's 'efficient cause', the process involved, with a simple explanation, "Michelangelo being the efficient cause of his statue."

    Again, can still be shown that the stuff is 'there' for the examples and 'not there' for the conclusion.

    Eric says, that Craig has explained that when he says cause, he is speaking in a metaphysical sense, where just saying that it's 'metaphysical' makes it all better.

    I can add 'efficient' to the syllogism easily enough, but I"m not sure what the 'metaphysical cause' of the statue of David(as per example) is supposed to be unless premiss one is simply saying that every single cause and effect is demonstrating the purpose and reason.

    Yet it's vague enough for Eric to argue that we're not arguing intelligent designer, especially in the first premiss.

    I think we are though. I think that replacing 'efficient cause' with 'metaphysical cause' does that.

    So, bait and switch! Eric calls 'nonsense' because, well, yet another bait and switch.

    It's a shell game Eric.

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  2. And the flaw in Eric and Craig's argument as explained, because the 'causes' are 'metaphysical', is that it's circular.

    It's a cosmological argument to start with, so how can we use 'metaphysical(cosmological) causes' to demonstrate anything about the cause of the cosmos. The causes in premiss one don't have anything to do with 'causes of universes', and no, they don't support the conclusion at all and the thing has no explanatory power at all.

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  3. It's no wonder that Eric spends most of his effort dissing our ablility to understand and/or lack of education, it's to spread it out, to muddy the waters.

    "God is such a shit, in the OT."

    "Nonsense, you fools don't know anything!"

    (many examples of God being 'such a shit')

    "You imbeciles!"(wonder if I could send them on a paper trail?)

    (some more examples)

    "ARGH! why must you be soo stupid!"

    "Well what is it that you think?"

    "God gets a pass on everything and anything, our very lives are a gift from HIM and HE owes us nothing."

    "So, basically you're saying that we ought to be Catholic, since if we were we'd know this answer to, "God is such a shit!", and blurting it out wouldn't be effective, hence the derision."

    Wonder if all Eric's responses boil down to, "You just think that 'cos you're not Catholic!"

    Well duh.

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  4. Tried to reply to your post Pliny, couldn't get past the 'prove you're a person' thing. Hah, guess I'm a machine. LOL

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  5. Is it like the eve of the eve of your holiday(festival)?

    Don't get too drunk.

    Don't blow any of your extremities off, you might need them later.

    No, they won't grow back.

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  6. I have a friend at work who's fairly right leaning, so I always tell him I celebrate Bastille Day instead of the 4th.

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  7. But if you do blow off any of your extremities, make sure that you're too drunk....

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  8. So here's how petty and venal being a modern republican makes you: Apparently the right wing justices, the four of them not including Roberts of course, or at least one of them, is leaking information about the 'secret' deliberations, something that "just isn't ever done" in an attempt to show how Roberts was a coward and bent to media and public pressure rather than be a robot like they were assuming he would be. So now it appears that Roberts was on their side but changed his mind...
    Maybe they offended him by insisting that he comply? I mean, he has an ego, that man.... Maybe he realized that the legitimacy of the court and by extension his own legitimacy were threatened with this ruling.... Hmmmm....

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  9. Tried to reply to your post Pliny, couldn't get past the 'prove you're a person' thing. Hah, guess I'm a machine. LOL

    I fuckin' knew it!

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  10. He is not the droid you're looking for.......

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  11. Here's an example of how words are absorbed into our vocabulary. I saw the word 'pericope' a short while ago, and it was explained that it was a self-contained story within the main story.

    Somewhere my mind reasoned that this makes sense. Imagine a submarine, not knowing what's happening above the water, "Up periscope!", and they get a snapshot of what is going on in that particular area, a story within the greater story.

    Who knows, perhaps that is where the name originated and how it was used before the advent of submarines and their need to get a glimps of the action.

    Having thought that through and seen it used a few times, as 'periscope', I was fairly confident that I had the word and it's usage down pat! Even to the point of using it and parenthetically explaining what it meant!

    Turns out that there is no 's' in the word pericope and it is mostly turned to periscope by spellcheckers!

    So.. :o(

    Now I'm stuck with a new word I don't like and a misspelling that I DO like!

    As for 'aseity', this is as bogus a word as describing God as 'existing' outside of time/space-matter/energy. 'Causing oneself' just doesn't convey anything at all to me.

    It just seems to me that this is a mind/word game where you create a word which we can use to lock into our mind the concept 'God'.

    Atheist:- "Well who created God? We can't know if, if there is a being called God, that HE isn't just one member of a class of beings whose only function is to create a universe, and that they don't owe their existence to a creator of Gods, we cannot know that."

    Catholic:- "You FOOL! One word, 'aseity'! Argument totally torpedoed!"

    I'm sure this goes for the term 'properly basic belief' too. I recall using that term, saying something about my 'properly basic beliefs' to a Catholic, and I'm pretty sure he was saying that I couldn't seriously be thinking that I could use that term, since it was about 'divine knowledge'(that kind of thing), locking in his Holy beliefs, and of course locking out my ungodly beliefs too.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the Catholic, with his understanding of words, uses words as tools to lock our opinions out. The word 'tradition' recently came up and 'boy', Eric would have laughed if I had mentioned 'firstfooting'(being the first visitor after midnight, the beginning of the New Year). He'd be thinking, "What does that have to do with 'tradition'?"

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  12. On the meaning of words.

    Protestants:- To test one's love of God, one must be willing to stand on an ant hill for a prescribed period of time, hence Pro-test(sub)ants.

    Catholics:- What would you be willing to do to show your love for God? How about licking a cat's ass?

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  13. "It's a cosmological argument to start with, so how can we use 'metaphysical(cosmological) causes' to demonstrate anything about the cause of the cosmos."

    *sigh* (At some point, you have to conclude that you've reached the 'pearls before swine' point and simply move on...)

    Atheist:- "Well who created God? We can't know if, if there is a being called God, that HE isn't just one member of a class of beings whose only function is to create a universe, and that they don't owe their existence to a creator of Gods, we cannot know that."

    Floyd's strawman Catholic:- "You FOOL! One word, 'aseity'! Argument totally torpedoed!"

    Informed Catholic: Well, the standard arguments for the existence of god that we find in the works of thinkers like Aquinas, but also in Plato, Aristotle, Avicenna, Anselm, Maimonides, Plotinus, etc. lead us to a being that is pure act, which is to say he lacks any potentiality. Now all change requires a move from what a thing potentially is to what it actually becomes, and coming into existence is surely a change; hence 'beginning to exist' or 'being created' must involve a reduction of potentiality to actuality. But if we come to know, through these arguments, that god has no potentialities, it follows that he cannot have come into existence. Hence, god must have the property of aseity. I know that this is complex, but I can recommend a few sources that you can take a look at that will help you understand these arguments.

    Atheist (and not at all a strawman -- just look at the threads on this site!): Stupid theist! I already know that god doesn't exist, and that all your words are just that -- made up words that sound pretty. So I don't have to look at your stupid arguments! Oh, and by the way, who created god? You can't answer that question, eh? Is that why you keep ducking it.

    Catholic: Man, and we're supposed to be the stupid, deluded ones!

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  14. *sigh* (At some point, you have to conclude that you've reached the 'pearls before swine' point and simply move on...)

    If you find yourself saying something like this over and over to the same people, it's probably reasonable to conclude the problem may not be with them.

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  15. ...which is to say he lacks any potentiality.

    Although it can be argued that he (it?) vaguely describes himself (itself?) like this, this description is not fitting of the god of the old testament in the least.

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  16. "...this description is not fitting of the god of the old testament in the least."

    Ryan, on the face of it, I agree. But there are passages that point to the god of classical theism as well (e.g. God's response to Moses concerning his name, which is essentially 'to be', and that's more or less what's meant by pure actuality). Remember, the classical theists in the Christian tradition (and in the Jewish tradition) were *intimately* familiar with the OT (we have numerous commentaries on biblical books by Aquinas, who is said to have memorized the Bible when he was being held by his brothers, who disapproved of his decision to become a Dominican).

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  17. You must understand Ryan, Eric is an informed Catholic.

    (as if there were such a thing!)

    Oh well, I suppose that if one is 'in-formed' with reams of ridiculously bad information, the appellation can still apply.

    He's in-formed with a pattern of data that is a logico-linguistic mental virus. Typhoid Eric.

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  18. Eric I thrive on your condescension. It titillates me. Almost as if you had real tits.

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  19. (e.g. God's response to Moses concerning his name, which is essentially 'to be', and that's more or less what's meant by pure actuality)

    That's the verse I was referring to where one could argue he (IT????) vaguely describes himself in terms of classical theism. You have to admit though, it really could mean anything and you're just fitting a square peg in a round hole.

    You're grasping at a straw while comparing us to ignorant fundamentalist when we point out any and all of the counter examples.

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  20. When Eric can't sway us he must necessarily make less of us. We evade his semantic traps and all he has left is his superiority complex.
    Still love you, Eric!

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  21. My bio is a translation of Eheieh, the word the Lord spake from the burning bush. I am. Or perhaps "I always am" or "I am that which I am." The tetragrammaton, the YHVH, (yahweh, but you're not supposed to ever *say* it!) is also a form of the verb 'to be.'

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  22. The full translation is I believe "I am who I am so shut the fuck up about it already!"

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  23. Confucius say, "Philosopher who grasp at straw often find his penis by accident..."

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  24. "..arguments for the existence of god that we find in the works of thinkers like Aquinas, but also in Plato, Aristotle, Avicenna, Anselm, Maimonides, Plotinus, etc. lead us to a being that is pure act."

    Oh, well then, why didn't you tell us this before? These guys are assholes. How big a list of assholes that believe God is pure act, do you need to make it real for you?

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  25. Funny.

    He does like to make his 'arguments from authority' though, doesn't he?

    Thinkers... lol.... not all of them.... some of them were just believers....

    Wasn't Aquinas famous for sitting on a park bench with snot running down his nose? Greasy fingers and shabby clothes? No? Different guy?

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  26. Yes Eric, in a world where we've learned like 90% of everything about the universe that we've ever known in the last hundred years, leave it to the regressive christians to cite the authorities of that past world where we knew less than the ten percent.... Nothing like mining the dung heaps of history for whatever extinct important-sounding opinions might support your ridiculous notions...

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  27. This (dialogue with Eric) would be fun if believers weren't ruining the world by mistaking it for their pet fantasies.

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  28. Aristotle Quotes:

    Prayers and sacrifices are of no avail.
    -- Aristotle, from Ira D Cardiff, What Great Men Think of Religion, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

    Men create gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form but with regard to their mode of life.
    -- Aristotle, from Rufus K Noyes, Views of Religion, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

    A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side.
    -- Aristotle, Politics, from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

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  29. Why is it that the more I know about philosophy it seems to me that there are actual philosophers seeking some sort of truth in sheer logic and reason, and then there are the christian so-called philosophers that are really a lot more like lawyers? Seeking loopholes, probing weaknesses, trying to change the debate, shift terms, throwing out false equivalencies and red herrings and all other sorts of obfuscation tactics, all in obvious pursuit of a predetermined, set, unchanging goal of proving that god exists? They're not examining nature and science and logic and reason and trying to draw conclusions from their observations, no, instead they seek to prove that which they already believe to be true. That which they think that they know to be true, perhaps, but still...
    There is no honor in that. It's worse than a lawyer, really... more like a used car salesman. Or perhaps as they might put if if struck with a sudden bout of honesty, "A vendor of lubrication derived from the more sinuous variety of herpetological forest denizens...."

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  30. lead us to a being that is pure act.
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    If it is pure act, then what room is left for any 'being?'

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  31. lead us to a being that is pure act
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    Is that more like Kether, or Ain, or Ain Soph, or perhaps Ain Soph Aur?

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  32. It seems to me that the more mind-numbing, intricate, unfathomable, and perplexing properties that christians can ascribe to their god, the more 'mysteriously real' he seems to them, when to an outside observer the real reason for all those attributes being so strange is that underlying the whole idea, is absolutely nothing whatsoever. It's obvious, in fact. Amusing, even. Too bad it's so damned serious a societal problem.

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  33. It changes the arguments to 'well, you obviously don't understand 'aseity' or 'immanence' or 'supercalifragilisticexpealidocious' so you're not yet knowledgeable enough to even be having this discussion...'

    I'll tell you what I *do* understand. Hypocrisy. The bible is full of it, and so are it's believers. It's inherent in the belief system... hypocrisy and psychosis... a total moral morass.....

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  34. "..a being that is pure act.", is just a mindfuck. And of course they can assign aseity to this being that is pure act, why not?

    But little Plato and little Ari and so on grew up just like us getting their ideas from whoever brought them up and their peers and no amount of reasoning about what's unknowable let's one actually know about the unknowable.

    I believe that there is a quite mundane reason why Eric comes by here to tell us how dumb we are. Guess he's got nothing better to do.

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  35. "..a being that is pure act.", is just a mindfuck. And of course they can assign aseity to this being that is pure act, why not?"

    Wrong again, Floyd.

    You and I and everything in the universe is a combination of actuality and potentiality. For example, you now now weigh a certain amount, but you potentially weigh a certain number of pounds more or less (though not any number of pounds more or less; that is, your potentialities are limited, and they're limited by your nature). You now have grayish hair, but you potentially have white hair, or no hair at all. You get the point.

    Now as I said, you are not potentially anything -- you're not potentially Saturn or Henry VIII or the number 14. What you potentially are is limited by your nature, and, since you have a nature, there are things that we can say that there are things about you that are actual. So, you have actuality (act) and potentiality (potency). Everything in the universe that can be described in terms of matter/energy or space/time is like this. (Can you think of a single exception? More importantly, can you tell me how a single exception is even *conceivable*? Note, the argument isn't from ignorance -- we haven't seen it, hence it isn't there -- but from incoherence -- once you understand what matter/energy and space/time involve, and what actuality and potentiality involve, you see that anything in the former category must have both potency and act; that is, it's similar to the claim that once you understand what Floyd is and what a prime number is, you see that it's incoherent to suggest that Floyd is a prime number.)

    Now Aquinas's arguments for the existence of god move from beings like us that are combinations of potentiality and actuality (see above) to the conclusion that given our existence (the empirical data: things exist that are combinations of potency and act), there *must* exist something that is all actuality with no potentialities (this is what is meant by 'pure act' or 'the ground of all being' or 'being itself'). Further, this something that is pure act is the ultimate source of everything that exists that is a combination of actuality and potentiality (I haven't laid the argument out here, but there's a very detailed argument for this conclusion). Finally, when we analyze what a purely actual something is like, we find that there can be only one (since to posit two would run afoul the the logical principle of the identity of indiscernibles), that it is omnipotent (since it's pure actuality, it can bring about any real potentiality), that it sustains everything that exists in being at each moment (and hence is not a deistic first cause that retreats after getting the ball rolling), that it's all good (since an analysis of good and evil leads to the privation view of evil), that it's immaterial (since matter is the principle of potentiality, and this being has no potentialities), that it's eternal (since pure act is immaterial, it's not in space or time), that it's plausibly personal (since it not only sustains everything that exists in being -- the universe -- from moment to moment, but sustains a universe that much more probably than not had a beginning), that it must have the property of aseity (since it has no potentialities, and hence cannot have come into being as a result of an external cause) and that its metaphysically simple (since pure actuality, being immaterial and so on, cannot be composed of parts).

    (con't)

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  36. So, we have *one* immaterial, eternal, self explaining, omnipotent, all good, metaphysically simple, sustaining cause of a universe that it brought into being a finite time ago. Sounds like some kind of theistic god to me.

    Now you may think that this line of reasoning (which I've only sketched) is horrible, and that's fine (though, of course, you won't be able to point to any specific problems, but hey). But what you cannot do is say ignorant things like, "..a being that is pure act.", is just a mindfuck. And of course they can assign aseity to this being that is pure act, why not?" No, No, No. This is all grounded in very rigorous, sophisticated and rational argumentation (not 'mere' argumentation either, Ryan -- each argument begins with obvious empirical data and applies rather obvious metaphysical principles). You can conclude that the arguments are horrible (though, again, I doubt you'll be able to say specifically why they're horrible; you'll only be able to say that you disagree with the conclusion), but you cannot say that it's nothing more than wordplay, or semantics, or the arbitrary assignment of convenient words to beliefs that we merely wish to hold.

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  37. You and I and everything in the universe is a combination of actuality and potentiality.

    Is this actually true? I mean I know it is true in our heads, I can conceive of something becoming something else, but is Ian's hair, right now, at this moment, possessed of a quality of "potentially white"? Except for the genetic component (so maybe a more honest example would be something non-biological) Ian's hair is not anything right now besides "grayish".

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  38. "You and I and everything in the universe is a combination of actuality and potentiality."

    Bullshit.

    " For example, you now now weigh a certain amount.."

    No, no I don't. I never weigh the same amount from moment to moment.
    I'm sloughing off skin cells , I'm burning carbon and losing heat, I might drink a coffee or have a pee. I'm breathing out water vapour and CO2.

    ".. but you potentially weigh a certain number of pounds more or less (though not any number of pounds more or less; that is, your potentialities are limited, and they're limited by your nature).""

    That I change from micro-second to micro-second is what is me, any few kilos of water, even if you were to extract it from my body as a demonstration isn't(wasn't) 'me'. The 'I' that both you and I are talking about here is 'the act of being me', not, 'the state of being me'. Furthermore if an instantaneous freeze descended on the planet and we were all frozen solid, the correct description of 'me' if someone were to find me and identify 'me' would be, "This was Ian Taylor".

    The 'me' that we're talking about is the very act of being me, you know taking into account only efficient causes(wink), therefore I am a being of pure act, and so are you.

    So suck on that one for a bit and see if you can rephrase your model or dispute what I am saying.

    I'm saying that living beings act(are actual), which is not to say that we are in one 'state' moving to different possible 'states'(potentialities), but we are actual living beings BECAUSE we are acting, because we are in the process called 'living'.

    " You now have grayish hair, but you potentially have white hair, or no hair at all. You get the point."

    Now you can give a brief description of me 'being actual' and it may well resemble me now, you might give an extended description of me and it is less likely to resemble me now, if you give a complete description of me it will never resemble me now, and this is simply because describing me is a process and 'I' am a process, right?

    These supposed 'actualities' vs. 'potentialities' are such bullshit since they do not model reality. I'm not just saying that they don't model 'my reality' or even 'our reality', just reality.

    You cannot step into the same river twice. You cannot talk to the same me twice, using your model, because the actuality of me changes and it's the change that is me.

    You're always talking to me, when you talk to me, right?(write that down as a syllogism Eric)

    But if I = me(Ian), A = actual, M = me, and T = Time, you'd say that as you are talking you are talking to I AM(Tsub1), I AM(Tsub2), I AM(Tsub3), I AM(Tsub4).... I AM(Tsubn)...

    But time is a given, it's passing for us all and it's all a process, we understand this, so this breaking down of a process to a series of momentary actualities potentially going here or there is an artifice you use to make your pointless point.

    Pull the other one Eric, it's got bells on, as my mother used to say.

    Then she'd say, "Variety is the spice of life!", every day she'd say, "Variety is the spice of life!" Every. fucking. single. day. She'd say, "Variety is the spice of life!", 'til one day my mind cracked, and I could 'see' God, fairies, wizards, ESP, aliens trying to get in through the crack, but it was a very thin crack, arguably with the potential to become bigger but I reasoned that it was HER who was batshit, and the crack closed.(This was not necessarilly a factual statement).

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  39. Eric said,

    Everything in the universe that can be described in terms of matter/energy or space/time is like this. (Can you think of a single exception? More importantly, can you tell me how a single exception is even *conceivable*?

    The universe IS everything, and I cannot conceive of God as it is an exception to the universe.

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  40. cont'd...

    Now Aquinas's arguments for the existence of god move from beings like us that are combinations of potentiality and actuality (see above) to the conclusion that given our existence (the empirical data: things exist that are combinations of potency and act), there *must* exist something that is all actuality with no potentialities (this is what is meant by 'pure act' or 'the ground of all being' or 'being itself').

    I don't see the logical necessity of postulating a being of pure actuality beyond medieval conceptions of a 'divine hierarchy' that exists only in the imaginations of religious folks from the middlle ages and before.

    So without referring me to a library full of Aristotle and Aquinas, can YOU put it in plain English why I should entertain this idea?

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  41. "I don't see the logical necessity of postulating a being of pure actuality beyond medieval conceptions of a 'divine hierarchy' that exists only in the imaginations of religious folks from the middlle ages and before.
    So without referring me to a library full of Aristotle and Aquinas, can YOU put it in plain English why I should entertain this idea?"

    Well it has nothing whatsoever to do with 'divine hierarchies,' but...

    Here's a short version (I'm going to be leaving for a cookout soon):

    (1) At least some things change.

    (2) Change involves actualizing a potentiality.

    (3) Potentialities can only be actualized by something that is itself actual.

    (4) If what actualizes a potentiality is itself a combination of actuality and potentiality, it too must have been actualizes by something actual.

    (5) This process of actualizing potentialities cannot be extended indefinitely (note, this is *not* a temporal process, but one that occurs at each moment; that is, we're talking about essentially ordered series, which is something we discussed before), for the fact that a potentiality is being actualized *now* *logically entails* that those previous potentialities have been actualized (if they hadn't, then this potentiality *could not* now be actualized), and those previous potentialities could not have been actualized if the series extended indefinitely (note, again, this isn't a series that extends back in time, but that extends ontologically 'downward' at each moment).

    (6) If the series cannot be indefinite, there must be a first mover/cause (note -- not a temporal first cause! This has nothing to do with the beginning of the universe!), and that first cause must be actual (since, as we said, potentialities can only be actualized by something that's actual).

    (7) But the first cause cannot be, as everything else is, a combination of actuality and potentiality, or it would not terminate the series (note, the series isn't temporal!).

    (8) Hence, since we observe potentialities being actualized in at least some things *now*, there must be, at the back of it, a purely actual first cause (note, not a temporal first cause! Keep your mind off the beginning of the universe!), which is to say a first cause that's actual (since it's a cause) but that has no potentialities (and hence is pure actuality).

    (9) And, once we reach pure act, we deduce from it (as I sketched in my previous post) all the attributes that enable us to identify this cause with a theistic god (though not yet with the Christian god; remember, this is natural theology, not theology proper).

    (Note, the numbered points above are provided for easy reference; as I said, that's a sketch of the line of argument I'm referring to, and not a carefully constructed set of premises and conclusions.)

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  42. "Is this actually true? I mean I know it is true in our heads, I can conceive of something becoming something else, but is Ian's hair, right now, at this moment, possessed of a quality of "potentially white"?"

    Ryan, this is an excellent point. (You may get on my nerves much of the time, but you're the only one on this site who raises good points with any consistency.)

    Sure, one kind of potentiality is what we might call a 'power,' i.e. the potentiality that something has immanently and is brought about (more or less) through its own operations, and another kind of potentiality is what we might call a 'disposition,' or a potentiality that is brought about through the operation of an external cause. (This is a somewhat sloppy generalization, since the metaphysics here is incredibly complex, and in fact distinguishes powers, dispositions, capacities, abilities, etc.; I'm simplifying in the interest of clarity, but at the expense of rigor, so don't jump all over the categories I've laid out without expecting me to introduce many further complexities. However, let me say to avoid any future confusion that even powers, as I've described them above, ultimately rely on dispositions, and hence on external factors farther down the ontological/causal chain).

    So, Floyd's hair may not possess, as you suggested, the 'power' to be white, but it does possess the disposition (since he could always color it, etc.). Note that dispositions are determined by the nature of a thing as much as powers are, so Floyd's hair is potentially white, but a quark isn't (neither in terms of powers nor in terms of dispositions, since it's smaller than the wavelength of visible light).


    "No, no I don't. I never weigh the same amount from moment to moment."

    Er, which proves my point. Learn to read, Floyd. At any one point in time, you're one weight, but you're potentially a bit more or a bit less. You concede the change, so you concede the point, unless you want to be in the nonsensical position of saying that you become a weight you never potentially were.

    "...therefore I am a being of pure act, and so are you."

    Since being 'pure act' just means being actual without any potentialities, and since you've established that your weight changes from moment to moment, and hence that you have the potentiality to weigh more or less, you can't be pure act. QED.

    "The universe IS everything, and I cannot conceive of God as it is an exception to the universe."

    No, you may not be able to 'imagine' it, or to 'picture' it, but you can 'conceive' it. Don't confuse these categories.

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  43. Aww, verbal diarrhea all over my nice clean blog..... yuck......

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  44. Wrong again, Floyd.
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    He's right in the real world; he's only wrong in your fantasy world.
    You are persistently ridiculous....

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  45. And DAMN you for killing my aspirations! I wanted to be Henry the VIII, and maybe later saturn!

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  46. Brian, I regularly think it's most interesting that you are precisely what you accuse me of being -- that is, you're eloquent, and that's all she wrote. There's no 'there' there. Nothing but pretty words. But I concede that you can write, far better than any of your compatriots. You have the gift of an ear for rhythmically interesting language, but, alas, little more to offer when it comes to these discussions. (Well, you're not all that bad at mudslinging, which distorts and misdirects your gift with the language.)

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  47. "Pure act" is an impossibility that you assign to your god to make him more of a mystery and less easily understood as the giant farce that it is. Pure act, pure being, all inscrutable nonsense.

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  48. Doing something, changes the 'do-er.' You can't have a being that is pure act and never changes. A being that never changes, is static and cannot act.

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  49. ""Pure act" is an impossibility that you assign to your god to make him more of a mystery and less easily understood as the giant farce that it is."

    No, it's not "assigned", it's the *conclusion* of an argument (see above).

    I know that you have a lot emotionally invested in the notion that there is no god, but at least try to understand the arguments before you reject them.

    (And 'pure act' is no more mysterious than many of the things that modern particle physics tells us about the universe, e.g. quarks that must rotate *more* than one full time to reach the same point, particles that change positions without traversing the distance between them, particles that behave as both waves and particles, etc. In each of these cases, we're given very difficult and confusing concepts from empirical data and *mathematical* arguments, while in the case I've sketched we're given very difficult and confusing concepts from empirical data and metaphysical arguments.)

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  50. Those phenomena have explanations. Understandable ones. You're trying to liken one 'mystery' to other 'mysteries' that are not mysterious anymore.

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  51. "Doing something, changes the 'do-er.' You can't have a being that is pure act and never changes. A being that never changes, is static and cannot act."

    False. Suppose that the universe is eternal, and that there is in it a chair supporting a ball. The chair has always been there, and the ball has always been there. Now the chair supports the ball without changing -- that is, it 'acts' without itself changing (for supporting the ball is doing something).

    Or take the notion of a Cambridge change, where something changes by virtue of its relationships with other things, and not by moving itself.

    It's simply false that something *must* change to bring anything about. That's only the case with potentialities that are actualized, but that's not what we're talking about here.

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  52. A conclusion of an argument that is of the same kind as 'how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.'

    You are just funny to me in your desperation to prove that your utter silliness has value, and always will be, unless you someday decide to stop the bullshitting and be a real person. Which is never going to happen.

    How can you live with yourself as you are? I'd want to die if I were like you.

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  53. "Those phenomena have explanations. Understandable ones."

    They do? Please, inform the physicists. They tell me that the mathematics is clear and understandable, but that the images and concepts we use to describe the mathematics are neither clear nor understandable.

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  54. Suppose that the universe is eternal, and that there is in it a chair supporting a ball. The chair has always been there, and the ball has always been there. Now the chair supports the ball without changing -- that is, it 'acts' without itself changing (for supporting the ball is doing something).
    ----------------
    Suppose that flying pigs just came out of your ass. Nothing is eternal like your model chair and ball there. A meteor in interstellar space changes over time, given enough time. Nothing in this universe remains changeless. It's a false model.


    Or take the notion of a Cambridge change, where something changes by virtue of its relationships with other things, and not by moving itself.
    ---------------------
    No, even that thing, has changed in the mean time, if it is a THING. All things change, all things.

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  55. The bullshit is strong in you, young Skywalker.

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  56. "A conclusion of an argument that is of the same kind as 'how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.'"

    Riiiggghhhhtt.

    Well, no science implicitly supposes the existence of angels, but all science supposes actuality and potentiality -- it's a precondition of all science. Or perhaps you could explain to me *one* case in which some properly scientific conclusion could be understood by refusing to acknowledge implicitly the distinction between act and potency? I'll be looking for that one example -- all I'm asking for is one example in the whole realm of scientific discourse -- when I get back, though I don't suspect I'll find anything.

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  57. You attempt to speak 'act without changing' into being with argumentation, insisting that it is possible, because YOU HAVE TO.
    It's a pathetic argument, but you have no other.
    I feel sorry for you, arguing the childish superstition side with transparent attempts at pedantic sophistication to overcome the sheer silliness factor. Your words do not a god make, nor do your wishes and dreams. Your god is born out of your desire for him to be real and nothing more; you're quite willing to ignore all logic and reason in that endeavor.

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  58. "Since being 'pure act' just means being actual without any potentialities, and since you've established that your weight changes from moment to moment, and hence that you have the potentiality to weigh more or less, you can't be pure act. QED."

    Since I define acting as a process, an ongoing process, and I believe you disingenuously skipped that part in your smugness here you're fitting parts of what I said together to come to the conclusion that suits you.

    You're my new hero Eric, I see the light now. I swear, if I don't look back and read what I said, I could swear that since you've taken parts of what I've said and put them together to make it seem as if I'm agreeing with you, it must be TRUTH!

    Where do I sign up to be a CATHOLIC??

    Pfft.

    Everything is changing from moment to moment all the time, so, simply postulating this actuality/potentiality duality with a begining actuality sans potentiality doesn't get you to a being of pure act.

    Give me an example of something which is not changing, which is unchanging. Yes, I understand that you've split beings into actuality and potentiality and that your answer if 'THE being of pure ACT', but where's the stuff, Eric?

    The only thing we know for sure about this universe is that it is ALWAYS changing, this goes for everything in it too, right? Now if there is ever a condition where this stops, well, we've reached that point where the universe has become a 'being of pure act'(by your own meaning of 'act') without GOD, haven't we?

    But this won't be good enough, will it? You're just going to say that God drives the universe through this continual change and if it stops, it's 'cos God did it, right?

    It's always God did it with you guys.

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  59. Or perhaps you could explain to me *one* case in which some properly scientific conclusion could be understood by refusing to acknowledge implicitly the distinction between act and potency?
    ------------
    Why do I have to bear burden of proof when it's your extraordinary claim, Eric?
    I do not have to, I'm not claiming that an 'act' can happen in the absence of any changes to 'that which is acting.'
    You're quite a card, but I can deal with you.

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  60. "Since I define acting as a process..."

    Floyd, you can't tell me that my argument fails because you're going to choose to use the key term differently from the way I'm using it! Please! Come on now, this is one of the most patently absurd things I've seen on this site.

    "Give me an example of something which is not changing, which is unchanging."

    Floyd, what is meant by the term 'change'? It must involve going from *one thing/state* to *something else*, right? It doesn't matter if the change occurs constantly at the smallest time interval possible, if we're to meaningfully speak about change, we're speaking about a change *from one thing of some definite sort* to *some different thing of some definite sort*. You're no where near saying anything against my point, Floyd; indeed, you're affirming it with your every attempt to reject it!

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  61. Eric reminds me of Vessini, in "The Princess Bride" when he's talking to Dread Pirate Roberts explaining how he's outwitted him on every front, saying 'You've given EVERYTHING away!' and then he drinks from his cup and dies.

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  62. And Eric's god reminds me of Iocaine powder. Odorless, colorless, tasteless... that's how you can be SURE that it's Iocaine powder!

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  63. "The only thing we know for sure about this universe is that it is ALWAYS changing, this goes for everything in it too, right? Now if there is ever a condition where this stops, well, we've reached that point where the universe has become a 'being of pure act'(by your own meaning of 'act') without GOD, haven't we?"

    Of course not. I have all sorts of potentialities that I'll never actualize. A glass window that's never broken in fact still can be said to have the potential to break. Similarly, even if the universe were to stop changing, it would still have the potential to change, and so could never be 'pure act.'

    "Why do I have to bear burden of proof when it's your extraordinary claim, Eric?"

    Um, there's nothing extraordinary at all about claiming that if scientists are to do science, they must suppose that there are things that are actually something, and potentially something else. You're the one who claims that this is BS. To show that it's BS, all you'd have to do is provide one counterexample; to show that it's not, I'd have to defend each and every case. Clearly the onus is on you to provide that one counterexample, and not on me to lay out the details of every scientific conclusion in the history of scientific inquiry.

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  64. So okay, I'll bite. How can 'acting' not be a process, Eric?

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  65. "Why do I have to bear burden of proof when it's your extraordinary claim, Eric?"

    Um, there's nothing extraordinary at all about claiming that if scientists are to do science, they must suppose that...
    --------------------------
    IT'S YOUR CLAIM, DICKWAD! You're the one denying science here. You're the one claiming that an act is possible without any change. THAT is your position here. Not mine. You're the one standing outside of science and logic, looking in!

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  66. Shifting terms again... you're incorrigible!

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  67. This is what talking to Satan would be like.

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  68. "IT'S YOUR CLAIM, DICKWAD! You're the one denying science here. You're the one claiming that an act is possible without any change. THAT is your position here. Not mine. You're the one standing outside of science and logic, looking in!"

    No, no, no, you're confused here.

    'Act' here means, as I said, 'being' -- actuality. Things that we observe that are actual can potentially change. I never said that science supposes pure actuality (or being without no potentiality), but that it supposes the basic distinction between actuality and potentiality (which, when combined with observation and worked out logically, leads us to the conclusion that there must be something that's purely actual).

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  69. This changeless act, there's only one in all of existence, when god created it all, right? (unless you also postulate that he's sustaining it all with constant, changeless acts, which makes no difference in this context...) That's the one changeless act that you're attempting to argue into existence here. One totally unproveable changeless act that left no evidence. And that's the same as just saying 'god is real because I say so.' You've really got nothing more than that.

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  70. If god is changeless, he never THINKS.
    Does god think?
    If not, why bother with creation in the first place? How would he DECIDE to do it?

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  71. Oh, and if it bothers you that I seem to refuse to use your words in your way, think nothing of it. It's my own problem; my logic circuits fail to recognize your alternate usages.

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  72. After all, you (your lying religion) only use common words in uncommon ways to confuse the issue. So why do I need to bother with them? Can't see a reason, nope... And if you're incapable of argumentation using common terms in their common meanings, incapable of proving anything to us using plain language, then it only adds to the mountain of evidence against you. I mean, OF COUUUUURRRRSSSSE you can't! You're trying to make 'nothing' into a real thing, and so you must avoid plain language, because that is not possible to bend to your will.

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  73. Take away your ostentatious verbiage and all that's left is a little boy trying to insist that his imaginary friend is real.

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  74. "One totally unproveable changeless act that left no evidence. And that's the same as just saying 'god is real because I say so.' You've really got nothing more than that."

    Brian, the evidence is *every* change from potentiality to actuality! The argument just is that this would be impossible without a being that's pure act. The evidence is literally everything around you, Brian. (And notice how this fits so well with scripture, where we're told that the world proclaims the existence of god, or with the notion of grace, which has us acting and god acting through us; the theology, the revelation and the philosophy all cohere together very well when you take the time to understand it.)

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  75. ".. but all science supposes actuality and potentiality -- it's a precondition of all science.", plus, ".. I'll be looking for that one example -- all I'm asking for is one example in the whole realm of scientific discourse .."

    But this is a malformed question. You can define 'act' and 'potency' anyway you like to suit your own conclusions, flit from actuals/potentials in the real world and out of reality(temporality) to suit your sophistry.

    Sure science recognises things as being in a certain 'state', it's a model, a mental model that we can all agree on.

    Something being in a certain 'state' is shorthand for something changing so slowly that the rate of change is negligible for the experiment to be demonstrated.

    Nevertheless, it is understood implicitly that even the most unchanging of situations set up by scientists for the purpose of being unchanging, will change.

    Splitting beings up into their 'actuality' and 'potentiality' isn't real, obviously, since if I explain that 'actuality' is changing all the time, you reply, "Why that is what I said.", which is frustrating.

    If I said, "Well, how much do you weigh exactly, right now, Eric?"

    You happen to have a scale that goes down to micrograms, and you jump on.

    Okaydokey then, but you didn't tell me, when I asked you, did you? Technically you could answer if we set it up so you were on the scale and had agreed that 'now' would be when you read out the numbers.

    A pound of cheese is a pound of cheese, for now. Given a week or two, we'd notice that, even wrapped in plastic, it's weight would be different. Actuality is something that 'really isn't', because we're just describing how it was, even ever so slightly ago.

    Again, if at 10 A.M. precisely we measure the weight of something, while we're congratulating ourselves that we measured an aspect of the actuality of it, it's changed.

    Seems to me the only things that stop changing are things which have ceased to be, since change is an integral part of existence.

    Now to be clear, potentiality describes the possiblility of change, so I'm not 'making your point' when I say things are changing all the time, from moment to moment, now am I?

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  76. "And if you're incapable of argumentation using common terms in their common meanings, incapable of proving anything to us using plain language, then it only adds to the mountain of evidence against you."

    Sure, and if the quantum physicists can't argue with common terms instead of mathematics so complicated that less than one percent of the world's population even has the capacity to understand it, then it counts against them too, right? Of course not, for you don't have anything emotionally against them, from parent issues to childhood issues to morality issues.

    Now if talking about particles in the universe is so complicated that it requires the use of a language that next to no one in the world is even capable of understanding, even if they devoted their lives to it, then why expect the god of the universe to be so simple to understand? God is like particle physics in this way, though: difficult to understand, but easy to experience. I don't need to understand physics to use this computer, and you don't need to understand theology/philosophy to attain salvation.

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  77. "Now to be clear, potentiality describes the possiblility of change, so I'm not 'making your point' when I say things are changing all the time, from moment to moment, now am I?"

    Um, yeah, you are, for if things couldn't be "changing all the time, from moment to moment" if they lacked the possibility of change! Again, a change is a change from *something* to *something*; that's the actuality part. But it's a *change* from something *to* something; that's the potentiality part. To say about X, "it changed," you must know both what it was and how it differs, Floyd, so your "everything is always changing, so no thing is every any thing" is literally nonsense. If no thing were ever any thing, we couldn't meaningfully say that there's change! Get it? (OK, now I really do have to go. Happy 4th, even though I know that you all hate the U.S.A ;) Joking, honestly, just joking there.)

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  78. You metaphysicians piss me off with your, 'let's forget about material cause for now, ooo, looks like we found God!'

    'Hey, let's forget about time when we feel like it, Man, finding God get's easier and easier!'

    Now I am not a trained philosopher, but according to some guy named Eric, who purports to know a lot about this kind of thing, a large percentage of philosophers seem to disagree with the idea that there is a god.

    Fuck actualities and potentialities and this kind of bullshit, which after all mean nothing unless you agree and understand all the 'complexities' too.

    Who, in their right mind, would imagine that you could conjure God into existence with this sophistry?

    Fuck, Eric, we don't even agree what 'existence' means. You even argued that I was wrong to call out the philosopher who used a 'seer' in an example to show how 'queer' 'existence' was.

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  79. I put this, " Floyd, so your "everything is always changing, so no thing is every any thing" is literally nonsense.", specifically the 'so no thing is every any thing', into 'Find on this page'.

    Seems it cannot find me saying thia.

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  80. Or was it a paraphrase which was 'close enough' in your estimation to credit me with saying exactly that?

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  81. So, Floyd's hair may not possess, as you suggested, the 'power' to be white, but it does possess the disposition (since he could always color it, etc.).

    It doesn't actually possess that property either does it, Ian's hair is simply Grayish homo sapiens filamentous biomaterial existing in this moment in time (sorry Ian, we could talk about my "thinnish" hair if you like). A bottle of "Just for Men" sitting on his bathroom counter doesn't actually convey any properties to his filamentous biomaterial existing in this moment in time.

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  82. Also I'd add that if Eric were to step not onto a microgram scale but one far more sensitive than that, one could see his weight vary from second to second, with his respiration and skin cells sloughing off and other micro-factors. Also within him there are atomic particles popping into existence and out of it, and other quantum factors occurring which affect both mass and elementary makeup. Also, at the very tiny level of the planck length Eric is a seething mass of chaos with some particles even going backwards in time, particles appearing and disappearing and doing things they shouldn't do...

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  83. At that level, even space itself is not 'flat' but is totally chaotic.

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  84. With that knowledge, that everything at the smallest levels is a seething mass of chaotic activity, what *hubris* it takes to even speak of an unchanging thing!

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  85. Eric likens his pseudopedagogical verbosity to a working knowledge of quantum physics mathematics. Thus, God!

    Um, no. The math is hard evidence that those things are happening, even if it's not a perfect picture yet. The experiments that grew out of that math are repeatable and have been repeated over and over again. Your words prove nothing except your own gullibility in even thinking they are comparable.

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  86. Also, I've read Brian Greene and he seems totally capable of explaining the math and the results in plain-ish language with a minimum of excess baggage. I have no problem following him. Even some of the math, I can visualize well enough. And I'm hardly expert in it. But he's that good. He's that SMART. Smart enough to be able to communicate with someone not on his level. Me. So you maintain that I'm not on your level in philosophy, but unlike Mr. Greene, you are unable to bridge that gap in any meaningful way whatsoever. I'm capable of understanding many things, even better than average I'd reckon, and yet, all I see is obvious obfuscation in your words... what's wrong with YOU?

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  87. Carroll's From Eternity to Here is good as well.

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  88. I also had zero problems with 'A Brief History of Time' by Hawking. Easily understood.

    So I can be taught. But only by a real teacher.

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  89. If I can get a decent 'sense' of a six-dimensional calabi-yau manifold, I think I can grasp whatever REAL theory Eric has in his bag of tricks. The problem is, well, you get the picture...

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  90. Ryan, I just downloaded that book and am in the first chapter. You caught me between books so I figured I was in the mood for some more amazing but true shit.

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  91. Eric, what I can conclude from your arguments is that IF your god is real, he's real in a new and unique sense of the word 'real' and his 'reality' cannot be likened to that 'reality' of actual 'things.'
    Am I right so far? Hope so, because that's the only sense I can derive from your words.
    So then, your god is easily and readily (and rightly) dismissed by anybody that does not already have a REASON to insist that he is real.
    (or should I have said "real?")

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  92. With you it's not 'here is my argument that concludes that god is real or at least possible' no, it's 'here is my argument that, regardless of lack of all evidence, must be true in order for my god to be real.'
    Big difference.

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  93. Again, a change is

    a change from *something* to *something*

    ; that's the actuality part. But it's

    a *change* from something *to* something;

    that's the potentiality part.

    I see. You're nuts.

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    Replies
    1. Yay- Obamacare ensures that your tax $$ go towards a higher salary for my spouse!
      Now that it's a govt job--- he can take long breaks, see fewer patients ( ie: no more busting ass for meeting pt daily quotas and no malpractice either)--- just work a chill day and bring home a bigger paycheck---- guess a salaried govt position (where you can't be fired!! ---- screw patient input! Lol!---). Isn't such a bad thing after all........

      Delete
  94. Yay--Obamacare ensures your tax $$ give my husband a decent salary- and-- he no longer has to bust his ass--- it's a gov't job---and ---- he can never get sued for malpractice. He no longer has to see a quota of patients: just chill out, have a nice lunch break and see a few patients and bring home a bigger paycheck......

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    Replies
    1. Sorry for extra post--- oh well ......




      ;-)

      Delete
    2. There's always that Delete button to get rid of the extra one. DUH!

      Delete
  95. MI is right dammit. WTF are we thinking about trying to treat doctors as if they are human beings who deserve our respect and admiration for bothering to put in all those years learning how to diagnose and treat us?

    Fuck no! We should burden doctors with massive student debt. forcing them to live like robots benefitting only insurance companies, medical equipment and drug companies!

    Seriously MI, you must have been one hot bitch as a trophy wife for your doctor hubby, 'cos you gots no brains at all.

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  96. MI should be happy if that were true... sounds like she wants her husband to work like a slave and get sued for malpractice more.

    (Isn't it the reps that are trying to limit malpractice suits? yeah...)

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  97. MI, they did pass Obamacare and the Supreme Court did declare it constitutional... which leaves you with all your hate to bottle up inside of yourself again.
    Maybe you can adopt a kitten and dismember it or something?

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  98. She's supposed to be a pharmacist and have a doctor hubby but I have trouble imagining a pharmacist with shit for brains like her OR any doctor being interested in her for any reason. Doctors can get decent looking women, no need to adopt a stray gack cat.

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  99. I don't picture them letting MI count out pills. Pledging the pews, then later passing on 'hateful atheist gets his comeuppance' and 'Christian gets big surprise when indisputable miracle happens' stories.

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  100. Thing that's scary about her isn't the abysmal ignorance, but the bipolar disorder. Both, actually....

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  101. What a phoney S.E.Cupp is. She wouldn't vote for a presidential candidate who was atheist, since it would make her feel uncomfortable knowing that he/she isn't speaking to 'someone' greater than him/herself.

    Really, after reasoning like that, she can't say she's an atheist can she? A deist maybe?

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  102. She claims to be an atheist and yet rails against 'militant atheists' and 'radical atheists' and so forth.... spews venom just like the real christians she says she envies. She says she wishes she believed... but to hear her tell her story, she actually DOES BELIEVE but doesn't want to admit it to herself for some reason... or perhaps doesn't want to admit it to US???

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  103. Believers with no consciences seem to gravitate toward niches that are small ponds they can be the big fishes in... so I wouldn't put it past her that she might be a christian as she seems, but pretends to be that *rare atheist* that likes to argue for the christian side instead of for the atheist side... kinda like apologists only different.... Being just another believer isn't that interesting, but being the atheist that is on the believer's side, is VERY interesting.... at least to the many believers out there.... so she creates her own market.
    Like Eric never arguing against a protestant, but instead accepting the mantle of their Red Cross Knight against the Unbelieving Hoardes.... good marketing that pays well in the long run, if you haven't got any principles that is... if your soul is for sale, there are no lack of buyers, is what I'm saying.

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  104. Did you hear her explain how in any religion you necessarily have to be prejudiced against those not of your faith, because hey, they're not of your faith, to a guy who wrote a book on tolerance? Unreal.
    They can't see their own petty hatreds.

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  105. She basically said that it's good to tolerate others but you don't have to like them... lol...

    So 'tolerate' to her means 'not kill?'

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  106. She out and out lies that she's an atheist, pure and simple. It's the only thing that makes sense. She's the total textbook profile of a right-wingnut including her fighting for religion, but she's an atheist? Not likely.
    Whatever she is, she's hard to take.

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  107. According to Eric it is clear that an acutuality/potentiality metaphysical problem leads us to recognise that there must a being of pure act.

    According to the SEP, "It is not easy to say what metaphysics is." But there are two senses to this statement.

    1)Sure we could go into all the intricacies, it just cannot be encapsulated in a sentence or two.

    2)After all this time it isn't clear what the concerns of metaphysics are, some philosophers include this and that, others disagree.

    Again, the Stanford EP, "Ancient and Medieval philosophers might have said that metaphysics was, like chemistry or astrology, to be defined by its subject matter: metaphysics was the “science” that studied “being as such” or “the first causes of things” or “things that do not change.”"

    Now if we would only agree with the ancient philosophers and Eric that they've talked God into existence many moons ago, if we take Eric's word that the Euthyphro dilemma, ""Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?"", has been solved to everyone's satisfaction, or 'better',".. these are not the paradoxes you're looking for..."

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  108. "From Eternity to Here" is good so far... a couple of chapters into it... I've seen most of this before, but it helps for additional understanding of the relationship between entropy and the arrow of time. (Which is hard to grasp intuitively)

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  109. ""Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?""
    ---------------
    No being can create a moral basis for it's actions as it goes along.
    It's reminiscent of Richard Nixon's "When the President does it, it is legal."
    All one has to do is to find one, single "moral" edict in the bible that is morally flawed, and most of them are, and it's disproven.
    Who are we to judge? Well, we are the suffering ants under god's magnifying glass, so we have something to say about it.

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  110. How does the morality of god in the bible relate to or even acknowledge human suffering?
    God himself behaves immorally all the time.

    What is the good of 'morality' if it doesn't relate to the lessening of human (and even animal) suffering?

    It's useless.

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  111. Think about this:
    Entropy flows from low to high. A low state of entropy is 'less balanced' and so it tends always to change to higher, more 'stable' states of entropy.
    This is the arrow of time. Pure and simple, time is just the 'flow' of entropy as regulated by the nature of our bodies. Our sense of time passing is us sensing entropy flowing from low to high. Entropy never flows in reverse, from higher states to lower. So time never can be *perceived* in reverse. It's a one-way arrow. Also, if our bodies allowed a faster 'flow' of entropy within it's processes, why, we would simply perceive time to be flowing faster. And the reverse is also true.

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  112. And why does entropy always flow from lower states to higher ones?
    Statistics. Probability.
    There are many states that a broken egg can be in, but only one where it's a whole egg. And so on.

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  113. Anyhow, I never quite 'got' that before. Close, but no cigar. Now it's a lot clearer in my head.

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  114. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/05/toxoplasma-gondii-brain-parasite-suicide-cats_n_1651523.html

    Parasite affects human brains, 1/3 of all people are infected; Republicanism explained!

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  115. This really bothers me. It's amazing how religious people can intentionally flaunt the rules, and then claim persecution when called on it.

    "...cracking down on religious activities and religious use"

    Idiot.

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  116. It's like he wanted to get raided. Which he did, I think. Or at least, he felt immune in the sense that if he were raided he'd be a 'martyr' to the 'cause' and get even more of the brainless knuckledraggers to follow him.

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  117. Yea, he looks dumb enough to be trolling for a ruling but my guess is that he's starting his fledgling church, of which there'd be, what, a couple of hundred?, thousand?, in Phoenix?

    In my opinion, it's the dry desert air, followed by a bit of alcoholism and finally major dehydration leading to hallucinations.

    Plus, I'm thinking that I'd be praying over Arizona tap water before I'd drink it too!!

    No, this guy is a frickin' Hank Hill, he just doesn't 'get it' that he and his neighbours aren't the centre of the universe, is all.

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  118. I was reading an article about Reince Priebus and saw this bit of brilliance:

    Reince Priebus = RNC PR BS

    (Just remove the vowels!)

    Amazing but true!

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  119. So, I’ve heard you all mention S.E. Cupp, but I just discovered her for myself.  WTF???
     
    Atheist my foot.  “I don’t believe in god, but I’d love to someday”???  Yeah, you’re not an atheist.  Not sure what to call you…
     
    Maybe that’s how Eric was when he was an atheist, and she’s just more honest?
     
    No idea, baffling… WTF???

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  120. Maybe that’s how Eric was when he was an atheist, and she’s just more honest?
    -----
    I bet you're dead-on there.

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  121. Guess she's going for the, "Oh, finally an honest Atheist who admits she just hasn't found God yet!", crowd.

    In Mighty Moe news, he's doing good now, really nippy given the slightest bit of encouragement. New toy:- empty 2L. bottle. I think he truly believes he is mighty, carrying around a plastic bottle almost as big as himself, and a bonus, it'll roll away from him giving him extra opportunities to pounce.

    I tried taking a porkchop bone away from him ala Cesar Milan and his pack psychology, but Moe just ran away when I got too close. Turns out that the 'pack theory' is bullshit. It obviously can produce some kind of results but they tell you right at the start of the show, don't try this at home folks.(you might just get bit for your trouble)

    Still, it's not all that bad, some of his stuff definitely works, like teaching the dog what you want for door ettiquettiquette(as is my understanding)

    Moe seems to be 'getting it' that I don't want him bolting through the door just 'cos it's open. But that's not really dominance/pack stuff, it's just him learning to get along with the grumpy old man that feeds him.

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  122. I honestly, after repeated attempts, cannot watch her show on MSNBC there... whatever it's called... I like the other hosts but she's almost as bad as Sarah Palin.
    I wikied her... did you all know that she was a classical ballet star, for real? It fits the 'princess' aura that she gives off...

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  123. Even when she's not commenting, every fucking time someone says the truth or something logical or sensible she wrinkles up her little nose and makes a face that cries out for a backhand...
    It's too irritating... Too distracting... and every time she opens her mouth she pisses me off so much that I want to destroy my flatscreen...

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  124. Ya know what I really hate? Smug, smarmy conservatives that, while in a debate and it's not their turn to speak and the other person is making a good point, laugh and smile and almost giggle as if the other person's point is such a great fucking funny joke they can't contain themselves. Self-satisfied assholes... and they're totally fucking clueless as newborn rats.

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  125. Guess she's going for the, "Oh, finally an honest Atheist who admits she just hasn't found God yet!", crowd.
    -------------
    That's it precisely of course. These kind of people look for a niche where they can be the big fish in the small pond, and she found a good spot where she can irritate real atheists a LOT and also work toward the religious agenda.
    What a piece of work.

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  126. I mean, didn't we all think of that 'debating tactic' when we were like, thirteen or so? I know I did... seemed so damned witty at the time... while they're telling their side, act like you think they're trying to be funny even though you know they're not! How very WITTY!!!

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  127. Rachel Maddow, Bradlee Dean Lawsuit: Christian Rocker Ordered To Pay MSNBC Host's Legal Bills

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/09/bradlee-dean-rachel-maddow-legal-bills_n_1659693.html?utm_hp_ref=media

    This will cheer you up!

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  128. The right loves S.E. a lot... she's their pet atheist.
    Soul-less witch.

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  129. Why MSNBC saw fit to have her on there... I don't know...

    It *might* have the effect of getting some Fox News viewers to watch, and thereby they might learn something...
    What am I even saying? Learn something?
    So it's just a great way to ruin a show then. I can think of many other conservatives out there that would have been at least watchable... instead we get this woman that is so abrasive that she ruins chairs...

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  130. AHAHAH! You are right, it did. It's the You Can Run but You Can't Hide guys... I hope this breaks them and sends a signal. They're terrible.

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  131. "Dean, for example, describes former President George W. Bush as a "punk, lyin' stinkin' kid," while maintaining former Vice-President Dick Cheney is a "straight-up liar" who "will be in Hell pretty soon."

    So, Bradlee Dean isn't all bad. lol

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  132. When'd he say that? I bet you anything it was 2008 or after... That was one thing that disgusted me about the right wing commentators was how they turned against Bush as a RINO once there wasn't any harm in it.

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  133. Take on Rachael, lose 25K... Fantastic.

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  134. WTF is wrong with Andrea Mitchell? She invites Jabba the Sununu on and he totally rolls over her laughing at her obviously feeble comebacks.

    Obama, apparently gave billions to Denmark and other countries which created jobs there. I don't know anything about this, only that it cannot be true more than 'technically', since of course Romney and his crowd would be hollering this from the rooftops if it was the case.

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  135. I've never understood why everybody says she's such a great reporter. I haven't seen any evidence of it. When does she ask any penetrating follow-ups? Um, never.

    Am I naive to hope that we get better reporters in the next crop? Ones that don't get influenced by the artificial zeitgeist in reporting that asking too many obvious questions is somehow rude and 'politically incorrect?'

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  136. This reality we live in, doesn't even seem likely to me. Like it's not real. A bad dream or something. I mean, it's just not a plausible plot line to have so many Americans be so ignorant and blinded that they aren't hurling up their suppers yet at what the republicans are doing, much less even consider voting for more of it. I mean, it's like there's a choice between a decent intelligent human being with a good record as POTUS, versus a pit bull with rabies. What do they need to SEE? Romney in a dress covered in blood eating christian babies or something? Is that the limit of their perception of evil? Anything subtler than that is invisible? Really?

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  137. I'll tell you one thing... if I die and realize that this was all my fantasy and in reality I'm the one and only consciousness in the universe, I'll be very pissed off at my lack of creativity.

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  138. Harrumph! I thought it was fairly creative of you to think up me!

    Then again, I'm a bit biased.

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  139. Oh, you make sense. I needed a 'foil.' Someone to irritate me to the point of sanity.

    ;-)

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  140. And I put Eric here to teach me about duplicity. Or I'm a masochistic god.

    See, the solipsism thing doesn't make a lot of sense.

    Good thing.

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  141. If you are indeed the author of this simulated universe, is there a process by which the rest of us Sims can submit requests for deleting errant toads?

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  142. Hell, I've been trying to do that meself for a few years now...

    Apparently I have a virus. A self-created one of course. Boy, am I a complex god.... in that I have complexes....

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  143. Moe is incredibly cute. I bet he's a very loving little pooch... a good friend...

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  144. I think, therefore you are.

    Has a nice ring to it, but it's ultimately a very lonely deal.

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  145. Hotter than Satan's balls out there! I even turned the A/C on when I needed to do some car stuff, and considering that I'm a Scotsman, that means it is H.O.T.

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  146. Watching S.E. Cupp again on 'The Cycle.'

    My stomach is in knots.

    Watched her eyes when she asked a guest a question and his answer not only negated her question but made points for Obama instead of against him, which is what she was trying for... About 'The Obama Doctrine.'
    Her eyes... she looks around in a jerky manner, expressing astonishment and feigned hilarity, as if to say 'are you INSANE?!...'
    When he's right, of course.
    So hard not to yell at the screen... so hard...
    What a little princess... in all the worst ways...
    She's utterly insane herself, and it's because of that that she sees sane people as so ridiculous... their worldview is so skewed from her worldview of a world that exists only in her sick mind. What's wrong with THEM?

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  147. She is DEFINITELY the kind of 'atheist' that Eric was.

    A kind I was unaware existed.

    An atheist of convenience. Everything about her serves her ego. Her beliefs, are for sale.

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  148. Her eyes, her mannerisms, when confronted with a rational and fact-based negation of her points, are that of an utter narcissist who is in disbelief that anyone dare challenge her, and also disbelief in the facts presented... amused dismissal of them and the points made.. as if she's expecting a live audience to laugh with her or something, at the sheer ridiculousness of the (quite correct) arguments her opponents present.

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  149. This is what I'm getting about Romney and his crew vis-a-vis his situation and their anti-Obama bullshit.

    He was the Decider for his company, 100% owned by him, taking a 100 grand plus per annum AS CEo of said company, and he is complaining that he wasn't actually 'in charge' at the time they appeared to be doing underhanded things.

    Fine, fine, he was the Decider who appointed ANOTHER Decider, therefore he is 'rubber'.

    Now as far as Obama is concerned, since HE is the Prez, he is responsible for all that's been done and all that has NOT BEEN DONE in the face of filibusters-a-go-go by the Senate and a totally opposed-to-anything-Obama-says Congress.

    So Romney gets off with what his company does by claiming he simply decided who the Deciders were and Obama has to take the blame for a do nothing Congress and filibustering Senators?

    But they're saying that it's Obama who isn't being 'fair' to Romney as if Obama is supposed to be 'rooting for' Romney, as in, "But how could Obama try to smear Mitt, it's Mitt's job to smear Obama, and not the other way, never the other way!!?"

    Oh well, the 'lefty media' will be fair and balanced as usual and no-one will notice.

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  150. Guess it's a 'fun fact' that Romney can claim to 'own' anything 'good' that Bain did, after all he was CEO and owner, anything 'bad' that might have happened though, not him, just some stranger who he appointed to run the company.

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  151. ROFLMAO, now Condy Rice is on the 'short list' as VP! Wow! That's not a diversion at all, is it?

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  152. St. Brian is addicted to Angry Birds :)

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  153. There is wailing and gnashing of teeth. Hee hee....

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  154. Who does the witch look like?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH9a7FYRDWE&feature=g-vrec

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  155. No moving pictures of the Cheney/Romneyfest? Someone ought to put up a 'funny' vid of Romney giving Cheney a B.J. or vice versa, no?

    Oh yea, Reps. don't know what sex is even when they get caught!

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  156. They could title it, "Who is the 'real' Decider?", or, "Who Dicode?"

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  157. Utah, the Mormon state, with all those tea-totalers, is also the number one consumer of paid pornography subscriptions.

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  158. Utah, the Mormon state, with all those tea-totalers, is also the number one consumer of paid pornography subscriptions.
    ----------------------------------------
    Is that per capita or overall total? If it's total that would be quite an accomplishment!

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  159. Pliny and Pboy, I've had an experience that is a blow to your influence upon me.

    Meditating last night, of course with S and M.... lol... salvia and MJ...

    My wife was in the bed with me... half asleep... I was trying to 'get through' to her with just my mind, unbeknownst to her... I've attempted it before of course, never told her because that would spoil the conditions... because to do so would be a much higher order of 'proof' than anything I might think I did in my own head...

    I reached out to her.... as I've done before with no results... and had no results again.. but then I did the opposite... in a way I 'reached IN to her' because instead of imagining her outside of me, I imagined her in my mind, not outside my mind, but in it.... I reached out (in?) to her again, just trying to 'get through' to her, while she was half asleep... I 'pushed' it, made the mental effort to contact her, "felt" it work... and got an immediate instantaneous VERBAL reaction from her, 'Huh?' From her, half asleep.... she had 'heard' me say 'something!' She RESPONDED. Aloud.


    To her, she'd thought I'd said something... And indeed, I had.

    So, where to now? More trials on other nights of course.... but still, a palpable result.

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  160. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705288350/Utah-No-1-in-online-porn-subscriptions-report-says.html?pg=all

    Per capita.

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  161. Back to last night...
    She answered me precisely as if I had said out loud 'Mary?' or 'Hon?'
    No time delay. And on my part, I 'felt' a connection, a distinct feeling of having 'gotten through.'
    She was laying down, almost asleep, and woke herself up to answer me. But I hadn't said anything. Just imagined that I had. I was quite aware of myself and I did not open my mouth or make any noise... remember, this was an experiment to me, and I was controlling it as best I could.

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  162. Ian; there is not nearly enough flute in contemporary rock.

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  163. Nor enough dulcimer and harpsichord... It's outrageous!

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  164. Wait, now salvia is allowing you to communicate telepathically with your wife?

    Well, I for one am speechless, but if salvia is anything like you imagine, it's likely I don't need to verbalize what it is I'm thinking about that.

    :o/

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  165. And I don't have to be psychic to know, either.

    Hey, just reporting what happened. Make of it what you will!

    It was what it was. And it was pretty amazing.

    Now, if you think I take this one instance as PROOF, you'd be dead wrong.

    But it's a positive data point, to be sure. And I will be working on this more.

    Enough said... now back to our regular programming....

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  166. One more thing, though. It happened as I described it; I made nothing up. I wasn't even looking at her... just focusing on 'reaching' her with my mind alone.

    It either worked, or coincidentally she had an auditory hallucination at the same time I was trying to contact her. Which is possible. Hence me saying that it doesn't prove anything....

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  167. Anyone noticing the Romney campaign is having a litter of puppies over the Bain Capital attacks?
    They have no answer.... Romney's name is on Bain documents years after he swore (to the SEC!) that he was no longer involved.... he even invested heavily in a Chinese company whose entire business plan was to profit from United States outsourcing. And that was before 1998, the time he said he was no longer with Bain so there's no squirming out of that one... so today he does damage control and tries to put out a fire with a cigarette lighter.... Basically tells us "tough shit, I'm still only releasing two years of my taxes!" This isn't going away anytime soon...

    I was worried Romney might win in November... Now I'm worried that he'll be so damaged by the convention that they will refuse to even nominate him!

    (I hope they still do though... Jeb Bush would be formidable)

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  168. "Ye see yon birkie ca'ed Romney, fa struts and stares and a' that, tho' hundreds worship at his word, he's but a couf for a' that..."

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  169. And now, 'what a panic's in his breastie...'

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  170. Obama's speech. Those old black women practically 'amening' in the background, blech!

    Hey, what do you guys think, if there were no Mitt Romney, say he was in a terrible accident or like that, would Rick Santorum actually be up for the election?

    From my perspective, it's one of those, "I'd rather believe two yankees lied than that rocks fall from the sky!", moments.

    I'd believe it, yet, I wouldn't fucking believe it. LOL

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  171. I'm afraid that I didn't understand that comment, Pboy.
    I didn't see that speech. What gives?

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  172. When they do these speeches they always have the back stacked with nodders and smilers. Obama was surrounded, on both sides and above him, with black women, and they were surrounded by white women.

    Very strange looking. So anyway this one older woman on the right as you're looking at your telly, she's nodding away at every single thing that Obama says, wearing her pink baseball cap, and actually commenting about how right he was.

    I don't like it when politicians do this. It must 'work' on people though, or they wouldn't do it. As you're watching the T.V. watching Obama say his stuff, I guess just off focus there's this nodder, it might be Santorum's daughter or Romney's wife, whoever, but it is annoying, off-putting, distracting.

    Maybe this tactic works for women, maybe it's 'cos I don't have that kind of 'wiring' or 'upbringing' or like that.

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  173. Ah. I see what you mean. It is obnoxious at that.

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  174. So now the deal is, Romney retired from Bain in 1999, but he did it in 2002.
    He retired retroactively.
    No, seriously.
    At what point does his head go 'boom!?'

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  175. This is a great discussion about Life of Brian on BBC with Michael Palin, John Cleese and some clergy who were, go figure, offended by the film.

    On throw away comment I thought was interesting was the one about the unwillingness to speak out against Islam, considered this was 1979. I thought that was a relatively recent phenomenon.

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  176. Interesting monkey wrench to throw into Thom's first way.

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  177. The best indictment of Romney is his own denial that he wasn't involved after a certain date.

    He and his Bain people did a certain kind of 'work' involving other companies, that's what they did.

    He is claiming that he was endorsing the Bain business model, it hadn't been changed since it all began, and he was they were not running from the Romney 'name' to emphasize some other business model or anything.

    Bain was doing what Bain did right from it's beginning through 'til now, it's not as if there's Bain, the kinder, gentler, pre 1998, and Bain the ruthless bastards, post 1998 as, Romeny himself seems to be implying.

    This is a dichotomy of Romney's own creation. All he seems to want to do is take any credit for stuff which seems to fit with his 'job-creator' story, no matter when Bain did it, and ditch any responsibility for anything Bain did which goes against that story, but only since it seems to go against his notion that a business model is how government ought to be run.

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  178. Jon Stewart was worth the wait... tonight after two weeks off, he came on and annihilated Mitt Romney, in far more effective manner than anyone in the Obama Campaign has even come close to. Unreal. I was slack-jawed watching it... too "funny-but-oh-so-true" to even laugh until after I'd heard all of it...

    Horse Prom.... I'm dying here... and so was his audience, I might add...

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  179. Did you see what they let S.E.Cupp away with on her show today? MSNBC is a 'left' channel? WTF?

    'Cording to that smarmy faced bitch, Obama has collectivist 'policies', which is apparently similar to, but hair-splittingly different from a collectivist economy, then with no time for the other three to argue against her, she gets to give us her patented 'fuck you' smile.

    MSNBC is so phoney with Andrea Mitchell and her inability to answer the right's boilerplate ideology and misrepresentation, 'fuck the poor' and that show allowing S.E.Cupp to 'blindside' the other three at the end of the show with that disgusting Randian rant.

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  180. I see you're feelin' the love too, huh?

    The patented 'fuck you' smile. That's it, of course.

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  181. I missed that show today. I have it on DVR, but is it really worth it? I think not. I don't need the upset stomach.

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  182. Andrea Mitchell is the kind of journalist that believes that neutrality means standing on the 50 yard line, never giving a thought that the 50 yard line is now on right-wing turf. You can't take the average between good and bad and sit *there.* You have to either have a moral compass, or not. No averages allowed. And you have to be a real reporter, or not. Halfway is useless as teats on a boarhog.

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  183. This place is pretty much dead, isn't it? Sad. Oh well. I've learned a lot here. It was worth it. If I want to be blogging and having fun, I'd best choose another subject, and have another blog.

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  184. http://appellatesky.blogspot.com/2012/07/prying-my-insurance-card-from-my-cold.html

    This is great.

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  185. http://www.jesusandmo.net/

    Ste B I think you are right. Have some fun with some other focus. The apologist's will never change and the rest of us should simply stop engaging with them about it and move on to better things.

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  186. Hey, just an FYI for all of you... I am as you may recall adopted, and today I got a copy of my original birth certificate... my real last name is 'Graham.' Scottish! Who knew?!

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  187. I've been cutting back on blogging for the simple reason that the economy is starting to recover enough that my business is starting to get, well, busy. I still read everything, just don't comment so much, especially on politics.

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  188. And the 200th comment, so to be continued on a new post...

    NEW POST

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