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A Review of God Exists But Gawd Does Not: From Evil to the New Atheism to Fine Tuning by David Ray Griffin

GodExists David Ray Griffin is one of the world’s most important thinkers. I first encountered his work in the mid-1990s while preparing a Ph.D. on Moroccan Sufi legends. It quickly dawned on me that Griffin’s analysis of postmodernism was more sensible than most of the trendier literature on the subject, while his work on such empirical topics as the scientific evidence for psi showed him to be an uncommonly flexible yet rigorous thinker who followed logic and evidence wherever it led. So while most contemporary Christian theologians were not terribly relevant to my Islamic Studies related Ph.D., Griffin and his mentor, John Cobb, the two biggest names in Process Theology, could not be ignored.

Since then, Griffin’s work has been even harder to ignore. In 2004 he published The New Pearl Harbor — which still stands as the single most important work on 9/11 — and followed it up with more than ten books expanding on his analysis of the false flag obscenity that shaped the 21st century. Then he turned to the other critically-important issue of our time, climate change, with Unprecedented: Can Civilization Survive the CO2 Crisis? Taken together, David Ray Griffin’s works on 9/11 and climate change are a rousing wake-up call for a planet sleepwalking toward disaster.

Griffin’s new book on the existence of God could be equally important. That may sound like a strange claim, given our era’s pervasive anti-theistic bias. But God Exists but Gawd Does Not is important precisely because it can cut through those biases and convince open-minded atheists and agnostics that, based on the best available logic and evidence, God’s existence is far more likely than not. And while spreading not just belief, but knowledge of God’s existence might or might not save the world, Griffin ends the book with a postscript featuring convincing arguments that it could be helpful.

As its title suggests, God Exists but Gawd Does Not is divided into two sections, but with the order reversed: The first part argues against the existence of the omnipotent ex-nihilo-creator “Gawd” of classical theism, while the second argues for the existence of God as understood by Whiteheadian process theologians in general and Griffin in particular. Though the whole book is argued rigorously and coherently, the second part — the argument for God’s existence — is more difficult to refute than the initial debunking of “Gawd.”

So why is God’s existence so much more likely than His/Her/Its non-existence?

Griffin begins the second part of his book with a series of arguments which, while sound, are not slam-dunk proof, at least to us non-philosophers. These claims — that the actual (not imaginary) existence of mathematics, morality, logic and rationality, and truth implies a cosmic mind or world soul as a “place” in which these non-material realities could exist — have been proffered in one form or another since at least the time of Plato. But Griffin’s version is the most concise and elegant I’ve yet seen.

Moving on to consider the question of religious experience, Griffin sensibly finds the ubiquity of religion and the experiences that give rise to it (direct contact with the holy, transcendent, or numinous) are certainly not absolute proof, at least to those who haven’t had such experiences, but do “provide simply one more reason to believe in the existence of God.” Likewise, considerations of metaphysical and cosmological order add weight to the cumulative argument.

Griffin’s Chapter 14, “Teleological Order,” provides the strongest stand-alone rational-empirical argument for God’s existence, one that should convince any open-minded person who is willing to invest some time in thinking about it and investigating the cited sources. This argument rests on the observation that at least 26 of the fundamental constants discovered by physicists appear to have been “fine tuned” to produce a universe in which complex, intelligent life forms could exist. A very slight variation in any one of these 26 numbers (including the strong force, electromagnetism, gravity, the mass difference between protons and neutrons, and many others) would produce a vastly less complex, rich, interesting universe, and destroy any possibility of complex life forms or intelligent observers. In short, the universe is indeed a miracle, in the sense of something indescribably wonderful and almost infinitely improbable. The claim that it could arise by chance (as opposed to intelligent design) is ludicrous.

NewPearlHarbor Even the most dogmatic atheists who are familiar with the scientific facts admit this. Their only recourse is to embrace the multiple-universes interpretation of quantum physics, claim that there are almost infinitely many actual universes (virtually all of them uninteresting and unfit for life), and assert that we just happen to have gotten unbelievably lucky by finding ourselves in the one-universe-out-of-infinity-minus-one with all of the constants perfectly fine-tuned for our existence. But, they argue, we should not be grateful for this almost unbelievable luck — which is far more improbable than winning hundreds of multi-million-dollar lottery jackpots in a row. For our existence in an amazingly, improbably-wonderful-for-us universe is just a tautology, since we couldn’t possibly be in any of the vast, vast, vast majority of universes that we couldn’t possibly be in.

Griffin gently and persuasively points out that the multiple-universes defense of atheism is riddled with absurdities and inconsistencies. Occam’s razor definitively indicates that by far the best explanation of the facts is that the universe was created not just by an intelligent designer, but by one that must be considered almost supremely intelligent as well as almost supremely creative: a creative intelligence as far beyond Einstein-times-Leonardo-to-the-Nth-power as those great minds were beyond that of a common slug.

So should we all rush back to our church, mosque or synagogue and accept everything our religious authorities tell us about God?

Griffin’s answer is no. He argues that the “Gawd” of classical theism — an omnipotent, impassible, and immutable source of creation-ex-nihilo — is not only a delusion, but a harmful one. According to Griffin, this “Gawd” has been criticized, with some justification, by the New Atheists and others on a long list of grounds. The most important is the problem of theodicy: How can an infinitely good, infinitely powerful god permit evil?

Griffin distinguishes between prima facie evils, those which appear evil but give rise to good, versus genuine evils which “make the world worse than it would have been without them, all things considered.” Since genuine evils exist, he continues, any all-good all-powerful Gawd, had He existed, would have eliminated them. Since He didn’t, He does not exist.

The major problem with this argument, and the many associated ones, is the phrase “all things considered.” What human being is ever really in a position to consider all things?

In the Qur’an’s Surat al-Kahf, Moses, the human law-giver, seeks enlightenment by following al-Khadir, the timeless and ageless Green Man who has been blessed with direct knowledge from and of God. Al-Khadir commits three prima-facie-evil (or at least wrong) acts: He murders a youth for no apparent reason, sinks a fishing boat depriving the fishermen of their livelihood, and seemingly returns good for evil by rebuilding a wall for inhospitable townspeople. Moses cannot help objecting to each of these acts, even though he has sworn to follow al-Khadir and observe in silence. After Moses’s third offense, al-Khadir explains that the youth he killed was evil and a better replacement is on the way; the fishermen’s boat was about to be hijacked by an evil king and used in a war of aggression (presumably thwarted by the scuttling); and the crumbling wall he repaired was about to reveal a hidden treasure to the evil townspeople, who did not deserve it. By re-immuring the treasure, al-Khadir ensured that it would go to a deserving future generation.

In all three cases, Moses’s best “all things considered” understanding was that each of al-Khadir’s three acts was genuinely evil. And in each of the three cases he was mistaken.

If we are at all open-minded, curious, and engaged in real inquiry about the world, we often discover that what we had thought was the case is completely wrong – or at least cast in a whole new light by new information. And our emotional reactions to evil and suffering, especially when we become obsessed with it, may blind us to the larger picture, or even create perverse attachments to the very evils that plague us.

Consider the case of the Nazi holocaust. This event, more than any other, has been used to disparage “Gawd”: How, many ask, could an all-good all-powerful deity allow such an atrocity? And to His chosen people?! Obviously such a deity cannot exist; therefore we must worship in His place an idol called “Israel,” a symbol of Jewish strength that vaunts its ability to protect the lives of the chosen over other lives by its systematic murder of Palestinian children, its Samson Option policy of threatening the world with nuclear holocaust, and so on.

The Nazi holocaust would seem to be the perfect example of an event that “all things considered” the world would have been better off without. Yet Zionists, and with them the West they dominate, cling so tenaciously to their “world in which the holocaust happened” that any historian who questions some of the central tenets of the Nazi holocaust narrative — six million Jewish victims, gas chambers, and an official fuhrer extermination order and comprehensive bureaucratically-administered extermination program — is likely to be imprisoned, suffer physical attack, and have their career and reputation ruined by a vicious chorus of incessant vituperation. Clearly, tens if not hundreds of millions of people in the West not only prefer to “live in a world in which the (maximal) Nazi holocaust happened” but actually insist on it so strongly that they are driven to destroy the lives of those who might show them otherwise.

One would think that any historian who claimed to have arguments and evidence that the Nazi holocaust, while terrible, wasn’t as incomparably horrible as it has been made out to be, would get a positive, enthusiastic reaction. Such a historian could conceivably be opening the gates to a better world — or at least a world that is not quite as awful as the one our orthodox history books and media describe. Who wouldn’t want to live in that better world, at least if the evidence and arguments were reasonably convincing?

I’ll tell you who wouldn’t: The Zionists, and the rest of the West. Ours is a culture of lunatics who fanatically insist on imprisoning themselves in a horrible world, while crucifying anyone who offers them a key to that prison cell — without even seriously investigating whether or not the key is genuine.

The bottom line here is: What do we really know from evil? It seems to me that anyone who thinks they can distinguish prima facie evil from genuine evil lacks a certain humility. We are likely to see “evil experienced as such by us” (ourselves, our family, our tribe, our nation) as genuine, whereas the evil we commit — such as the holocaust of the Germans perpetrated by the Allies, discussed in such books as Goodrich’s Hellstorm, M.S. King’s The Bad War, and Bradberry’s The Myth of German Villainy — as virtually invisible, and, if considered at all, excusable in light of the supposedly good things we imagine emerged from that evil.

So the human view of evil is inevitably subjective. Is there a “God’s-eye view” out there, from which all evil is only apparent evil, and no genuine evil exists? The scriptures of Middle Eastern monotheism, and the experiences of the mystics, suggest as much. The Old Testament story of Job’s horrible sufferings and final redemption offers a theodicy that many of us find less than convincing. But God’s last word to Job, “where were YOU when I created this vast, unimaginably beautiful universe” (I’m paraphrasing, of course) can be read as symbolizing Job’s final realization, in the form of a mystical experience, that IT’S ALL GOOD.

The New Testament and other gospels hint at something similar. Jesus’s teaching that “the Kingdom of God is all around us” suggests that we go through life virtually blind, unable to see the riches and beauty surrounding us. Once we awaken to it, we enter this “Kingdom of God” by way of shedding our all-too-human egos and enjoying the sheer overwhelming beautiful abundance of existence with others, in communal fashion, while gaining psychic (especially healing) abilities. This, not the illusory vale of tears we previously inhabited, is the actual reality — as mystics from time immemorial, from all traditions, have affirmed.

The Qur’an, too, teaches that “it’s all good.” Dissolving key mistakes that plague the Old and New Testaments — priesthoods, “chosen people,” original sin, the trinity, the patriarchal and anthropomorphic misconceptions of God — the Qur’an, like Jesus, tells us that God made us and the world perfect. Our sins, terrible as they may be, are the result of forgetting, negligence, heedlessness. God is Reality is Truth is Beauty: As Keats said, “that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” And the proper human posture is awed, ecstatic submission (islam) to that Reality.

Our culture is not one of awed, humble submission, or of reveling in loving communal abundance. It is rather one of chronic dissatisfaction, of whining and complaining, of arrogance and ambition, of material obsession and power-seeking and spiritual blindness. It is terminally afflicted by the diseases of the ego, and whether we die of nuclear holocaust, biowar pandemic, global warming, or — worst and most likely of all — extermination at the robotic hands of the soulless Darwinian “intelligent” machines we are creating — it is likely that civilization as we know it, and most of its inhabitants, will perish in the not-too-distant future. If we do, it will not be God’s fault. It will be our fault, for not listening to God and heeding His/Her/Its word.

Would this world have been better had humans not been given so much free will? I cannot even imagine the degree of arrogance required to presume to answer such a question.

As the above discussion suggests, I find Griffin’s arguments against Gawd, rigorous and coherent as they are, far less convincing than his arguments for God. But even if he tries too hard to make his conception of God square perfectly with human perceptions, human emotions, and human reason, as understood by the cultural environment he inhabits, Griffin is simply carrying out the task he has inherited as a contemporary philosopher and theologian. And he carries it out well — so well that his attempt to “write the best book on the existence of God ever written” has, to the best of my knowledge, succeeded.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Atheism, Conspiracy Theories, God Delusion 
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  1. I have always been puzzled by the insistence on whether something about Life, the Universe, and Everything can be proven in a mathematical or logical sense, rather than trying to look at “What is most likely?” It has an air of “You can’t MAKE me believe, so I refuse.” Whether they want to have core beliefs or not, people will indeed have them. The question is not whether they are unassailable, but narrowing the field to find the most probable. Christians and Jews would say that everyone has a religion, whether they acknowledge it or not. I don’t know if I’d put it that strongly, but something much like it is certainly true. If you don’t believe one ridiculous thing, you have to ultimately, however secretly, believe something even more ridiculous.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Not true. You can comfortably say "I'm not sure (indeed can scarcely grasp) whether Hawkins and Mlodinov have demonstrated how the cosmos as we know it could have jumped into being from nothing by some quantum event but I don't need to have a view about the origin of our universe or how many universes there may be. All I need to know for working out a sound moral and political morality for the society I live in, in so far as facts about the world matter, can start by a consideration of our nature and history as evolved primates".

    Does that involve positive but onprovable belief in anything, ridiculous or otherwise?
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  2. Help! Our kindly host, Ron Unz, has unleashed a Sufi kook in our midst!
    Not that I disagree with the key points raised.

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    • Replies: @Revisionism
    Oh dear, I dare say you will not relinquish your beloved hollow cost delusion.
  3. FKA Max says:

    Very interesting article! Thank you!

    Chris Langan highlights

    Human beings are such subsystems. The “purpose” of their lives, and the “meaning” of their existences, is therefore to self-actualize in a way consistent with global Self-actualization or teleology…i.e., in a way that maximizes global utility, including the utility of their fellow subsystems. Their existential justification is to help the universe, AKA God, express its nature in a positive and Self-beneficial way.

    If they do so, then their “souls”, or relationships to the overall System (“God”), attain a state of grace and partake of Systemic timelessness (“life eternal”). If, on the other hand, they do not – if they give themselves over to habitual selfishness at the expense of others and the future of their species – then they are teleologically devalued and must repair their connections with the System in order to remain a viable part of it. And if they do even worse, intentionally scarring the teleological ledger with a massive net loss of global utility, then unless they pursue redemption with such sincerety that their intense desire for forgiveness literally purges their souls, they face spiritual interdiction for the sake of teleological integrity.

    Such is the economy of human existence. Much of what we have been taught by organized religions is based on the illogical literalization of metaphorical aspects of their respective doctrines. But this much of it is true: we can attain a state of grace; we can draw near to God and partake of His eternal nature; we can fall from God’s grace; we can lose our souls for doing evil. In all cases, we are unequivocally answerable to the System that grants and sustains our existence, and doing right by that System and its contents, including other subsystems like ourselves, is why we exist. Sometimes, “doing right” simply means making the best of a bad situation without needlessly propagating one’s own misfortune to others; the necessary sufferance and nonpropagation of personal misfortune is also a source of grace. Further deontological insight requires an analysis of teleology and the extraction of its ethical implications.

    http://www.ctmu.org/ –> Chris Langan Q&A –> Self-Awareness

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    • Replies: @FKA Max
    How I understand him/it; he is basically saying ``Ask not what God can do for you; ask what you can do for God.''

    By helping God, one is helping oneself, because one's self is a tiny part of God himself/herself/itself.

    The hard part is to find out how exactly God works and what he/she/it is working/evolving towards.

    Understanding oneself (HBD, etc.) is a good starting point to begin figuring this out, in my opinion, and to then start understanding and knowing God/the Universe/the World more precisely and more fully, i.e., living in greater harmony with God/the Universe/the World.

    Here a comment of mine form a few months back:

    I actually quite like and personally identify with Christopher Langan’s concept and definition of God.

    I also believe God can be known and defined.

    “I believe in the theory of evolution, but I believe as well in the allegorical truth of creation theory. In other words, I believe that evolution, including the principle of natural selection, is one of the tools used by God to create mankind. Mankind is then a participant in the creation of the universe itself, so that we have a closed loop. I believe that there is a level on which science and religious metaphor are mutually compatible.”[16]
     

    – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Langan#Intellectual_pursuits

    He follows in the tradition of Theistic rationalism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_rationalism

    He is in good and esteemed company:


    Historian Gregg L. Frazer argues that the leading Founders (Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Wilson, Morris, Madison, Hamilton, and Washington) were neither Christians nor Deists, but rather supporters of a hybrid “theistic rationalism”.[23]
     
    – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founding_Fathers_of_the_United_States#Religion

    I must say, that I have thoroughly enjoyed the discussions in this comment thread. Thank you to all my fellow commenters, and, most importantly, thank you to Mr. Unz for providing this excellent intellectual discussion platform and forum to the world and the high IQ community.
     

    - http://www.unz.com/runz/when-viacom-ceo-philippe-dauman-still-had-an-iq-of-260/#comment-1528524
  4. Seraphim says:

    @“the Kingdom of God is all around us”

    Nowhere in the NT is said that. On the contrary “the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21), “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is near (or ‘at hand’)” (Matthew 3:2).
    The ‘gnostic gospels’ are not NT.

    “The primary meaning of both the Hebrew word ‘malkuth’ in the Old Testament and of the Greek word ‘basileia’ in the New Testament is the rank, authority and sovereignty exercised by a king. A ‘basileia’ may indeed be a realm over which a sovereign exercises his authority; and it may be the people who belong to that realm and over whom authority is exercised; but these are secondary and derived meanings. First of all, a kingdom is the authority to rule, the sovereignty of the king.”
    Christ is the King.
    It is the power of the “Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere and fillest all things, Treasury of Blessings, and Giver of Life” upon whom we call “to come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls, O Good One”.
    The Quran might believe
    The Kingdom of God is not the perfect “Nature” around us. Man was not created perfect (this is a deadly illusion), but perfectible. He was made to aim at the Kingdom of God, but he ‘missed the target’ (this is the meaning of the Greek word ‘hamartia’, which was translated by ‘sin’) and fell into the imperfect ‘Nature’.
    The Qur’an (and the Greenies) might tell us that God made us and the world perfect, but it is not what Jesus told. Don’t drag the Christ into it.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    "Man was created perfectible". What could that mean? How would one judge that perfection had been achieved?
    , @Talha
    Hey Seraphim,

    Thanks for the insights from a Christian perspective.


    The Qur’an (and the Greenies) might tell us that God made us and the world perfect
     
    You know, I am actually surprised that Prof. Barrett would state that when the Qur'an constantly calls out man for being: impatient, forgetful, greedy, etc.
    "God desires that He should make light your burdens, and man was created weak." (4:28)

    But maybe Prof. Barrett's intent was that man was created perfectly (including his flaws) for his specific purpose to find a relationship with God despite them.

    Peace.

  5. Can the author explain why trying to glean wisdom or ethics from consideration of his inevitably anthropomorphic deity has got any advantages over trying to infer from the nature and history of man and from evolution what the world of 50 or 100 years hence would be like if it allowed for minimum human misery and no radical destruction of the means for improving man’s lot and the best of past culture, and then trying to find a path towards that future, in the meantime persuading mad theists to entertain enough modest doubt to allow the sane and ordinary to get on with the project?

    And what’s wrong with multiverses? Any eternal anthropomorphic deity is going to be so lonely and bored that setting off a million big bangs a minute is just what one should expect.

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    • Replies: @Assistant Village Idiot
    As you have begged many questions, I doubt you will have much ability to consider other points of view. Yes, all we theists entertain no modest doubts at all, even in theory. Pascal, Descartes, Aquinas, Kierkegaard - all these were only pretending to ask honestly. Only smart people like you have seen through it all.

    If you do have some interest, however, Lewis points out that all talk about anything transcendent must necessarily be metaphorical, long before we get to discussion of deities. An anthromorphic deity is no worse than images of multiverses, vasty deeps, inaccurate pictures of atomic structures, etc. It may be better, because then at least the deeper thinkers can be easily aware that they are dealing in metaphor - as both Jewish and Christian theologians have done for centuries. Monty Python may believe in an elderly bearded man in a chair with clouds under his feet. It may comfort you to think that I do.
    , @Talha
    Hey WoO,

    Just one clarification...

    his inevitably anthropomorphic deity
     
    It seems Prof. Barrett is a Muslim (and pretty knowledgeable about Sufism - Khidr [as] is a figure that features heavily in Sufi doctrine) thus there is little doubt to me that his concept of God has very little to do with anthropomorphism (which is called 'tajseem' and is, at best, a heresy and, at worst, unbelief depending on which theologian is being asked).

    The overarching imperative has always been...
    "...There is nothing like unto Him, yet He is the Hearing, the Seeing." (42:10)

    Which the scholars explain as; if you can imagine 'it', then be sure 'it' is not Him.

    Peace.
    , @in the middle
    It sounds like saying the world is a globe. South American people hanging from tree tops for their very lives! Why do we measure 'sea level?", because it is flat, just like the surface it stands, the earth is flat! Obviously it is so difficult to believe the truth, that one sounds crazy to the brain washed multitude. It did sound crazy to me at first.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWiC3U8kbPY

    DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!
    , @dontaxme
    Whether there's a God or not, and whether we can ever know or not, and granting that science is not perfect or necessarily all-encompassing, what has religion contributed to the well-being of mankind except for wishful thinking? If that can even be considered a contribution.
  6. Wow!

    What a beautifully written bold article that bravely delves into taboo subjects like the Holocaust and if the Nazis were as evil as depicted, and flipping deftly to attempting to prove the existence of a non-classical God entity that causes this dyed-in-the-wool atheist to thirst for more.

    While I am not quite ready to endorse Dr. Barret’s positions, I admire the courage he demonstrates in touching the subjects that he does. I look forward to reading more from him here at Unz Review, and I intend to grab a copy of David Griffin’s book at the earliest opp.

    That was a refreshing read before going to bed (midnight here).

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  7. AaronB says:

    Thank you for that. We need to see more of these kinds of articles here, and less HBD nonsense.

    The “problem” of theodicy can only arise in a reduced religious context – one in which we are already moving away from humility and glorifying ourselves. We “must” understand everything, our human perspective cannot be flawed.

    This mindset, it occurs to me, also underlies scientism and other modern thought diseases – at bottom, all pride, an unwillingness to accept our scientific methods have severe limitations and that our attempt for precise knowledge and complete control can actually give us less knowledge and less control than we might otherwise have had.

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    • Replies: @Prisca morrow

    Thank you for that. We need to see more of these kinds of articles here, and less HBD nonsense.
     
    Wisdom and balance give way to the will to attack what is not like us in even the most tolerance-preaching open-mindedness-advising characters.

    Naked dogmatism and discounting on what's not comfortable are a form of sincerity, so thank you, this comment is clearer than most of your others.

    HBD nonsense, disappear, now! Or can't you hear the requests for comfort coming from so many, so good folks?!

  8. As one who slogged through Whitehead’s Process and Reality as corrected and edited by Griffin, I remain unconvinced by arguments for a “God” with self-consciousness and willful purpose. Advances in quantum physics tend more and more to demonstrate the ideas put forward by David Bohm in his Wholeness and the Implicate Order and by the Zen masters of yore.

    Zen is the equivalent of Occam’s Razor applied to metaphysics: there is only Mind, from which all phenomena arise and into which all subside.

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  9. Griffin argues chance is ludicrous.

    Solomon asserts “It is all decided by chance.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11)

    Who is wiser?

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  10. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Deriving explanations of nature’s supranatural rationality from our own rationalized perception of nature is strange. What 26 numbers, really? We can imagine or convene on any Pi, and Almighty God may create any reality around us. And what so special about Nazi Holocaust? Such events happen throughout history, and numerous evildoings of Old Testament peoples, Hordes of the Past, Conquistadors and Cowboys, US military etc. etc. do not prevent existence of army chaplains in the same Einsatzgruppen. One may derive ethics from socialized traits of high animals, or seek categorical imperative, or else, and the very thinking of ethics and teleology is also a social construct. Western philosophy is dead, anything goes.

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  11. In short, the universe is indeed a miracle, in the sense of something indescribably wonderful and almost infinitely improbable

    How you can prove it*

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  12. God does most certainly exist however within an entirely different context and that being :

    Each and every human being is ” God” , as each and every human is creating their own universe, the whole of it, and they are then the God of their own self-created reality/universe/dimension.

    This means that within this space arrangement called “Earth” there are approx seven billion overlapping universes being created within this moment, the moment of the eternal “Now”.

    The main bone of contention being the claim by religious groups that there exists a “Separate” “outside” God who is directing and creating the existing viewable reality, and this being the greatest misunderstanding of mankind the false idea of an “outside” God. There is no “outside” God: you are the God of your own reality, period.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artist.

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    • Replies: @Alfred1860
    I do believe I am the God of my own reality, as I have seen how consciously changing the way I react to things (and here I'm including thought reactions as well as physical/tangible ones) has greatly improved my life.

    Every second of every day is a choice point, and unlike in "computer code", each is an opportunity to choose from a wide array of options as opposed to simply yes/no, either/or, black/white. Most of these choice points are innocuous and individually have very little effect on my future, but collectively even these innocuous ones represent a tremendous amount of power. Power that I have, and each of us has, to shape our future. People who self-identify as victims or dinghies tossed in a sea have chosen (without knowing it) to give up that power to someone else.
    , @Pat the Rat
    Hi Authentic Jazzman

    On Saker's previous post(The Color Revolution) you asked a question of me concerning Hitler:

    "The Hitler puzzle :
    So if God, as according to you God-believing folks “knows” the future, and If God created everything and everybody including Hitler, this means then that God also “Knew” that Hitler , in the future, would be directly and indirectly responsible murders of ca sixty million humans........."

    Basically your question is why God is not reponsible for the holocaust if he had the power to change it.

    Anyone interested can read your full question there.

    I wrote an answer but you did not reply, most likely you just forgot about it.

    Since this subject has come up in this article and my post seems pertinent and you have commented on this article about your beliefs, I thought I would re-post it and see if you would reply this time.

    (Pat the Rat from The Saker, Color Revolution January 29, 2017 at 7:44 am GMT)

    You are right about "free will", everything hangs on that. Most deep thinking atheists that I have discussed these issues with reject free will. More on that later.

    For the purposes of your argument let's accept free will exists and God allowed Hitler to exercise his and therefore God bears some guilt for the holocaust. It is a pretty strong argument it is true. Augustine's argument against it is pretty strong too.

    I would fill the argument out a bit by pointing out in Christian theology God is completely good, and has free will himself, and giving us free will was an act of goodness, a gift from God, a kind of emulation of his powers in us.

    Unlike God though, who is completely good, we have the capacity for evil, we can use our free will to do evil .

    Because God is only capable of doing good, even by giving us the capacity to exercise our free will and do evil there must be perfect judgement of all actions by God. This is the crux or the matter. Free will means ultimate justice.

    In other words God is not only totally good, but must also be totally just Justice must reign if we have free will and there is a God. Every man will pay his dues for his sins in this life or after death, as Jesus says everyone will pay to the "last penny".

    You, me and Hitler.

    Now lets look at Hitler, an exceptionally evil man to be sure, but is the guilt totally his. Did he act alone: the ideas about Nationalism, Eugenics, Racial based mysticism, Anti semitism were also shared by large numbers of people all over the world, not just in Germany. The horrors and atrocities of war were committed by both sides, didn't many western countries refuse to help the Jews.

    My point is Hitler was a curse, and his sins were in large part our own sins, we, our society brought forth Hitler and we reaped the whirlwind of our own sins in the form of Hitler who became the scourge which nearly destroyed us all.

    Why should God interfere, we bring all this ourselves with our own actions, and ultimately we will all pay not just Hitler.

    For Christians no doubt watching porn is evil, and the woman in the porn movie is engaged in evil also. But who is most evil Jazzman, the woman and man who might have been told by intellectuals and feminists that porn is simply another way of living no better or worse than other ways. What about the director, or the cameraman, or the money man financing it. How about the politicians who allow laws which encourage the production of porn. My bet is the actress and man watching are not as guilty in the grand scheme of things than the others. Not simple questions.

    Why should God intervene particularly when people have the chance to repent and reject evil and move towards God and save their soul and find goodness and life. A very important point for whenever there is evil there is also the chance for the prodigal son to find his way home to the father and all heaven rejoices as it says in the gospels. Goodness comes out of evil. Great goodness often comes from evil times.

    Now I will take up the "free will" issue in regard to atheism I mentioned earlier.

    I think there is good reason to suspect that a universe with free will but no universal moral code provided by God would quickly degenerate into the most incredible evil and horror. Many of the deeper thinking atheists I think understand this and attempt to deny free will altogether. I think that is why materialism has such appeal to atheists, the moral questions around free will make their heads explode, they prefer to edit it from the story.

    Take this example I will give you:

    A secret policeman in the former Soviet Union is ordered to take a family, parents and children and have them shipped to a prison camp where some or all are bound to suffer and die.

    He knows that they are innocent of any crime.

    He also knows if he refuses to do what he is being ordered to do the result could be terrible for himself.

    The policeman is an atheist.

    What is the moral thing for him to do?

    I hope you have read all this Jazzman.

    I am no theologian so I am sure plenty will disagree with me, but you asked me for my thoughts on the Hitler problem and unfortunately the answer needed to be a little lengthy.

    Thanks Pat the Rat

    , @mjazz
    Why are we creating a communal hell, then?
    , @Anonymous White Male
    Hmm, sounds like:

    Genesis 3:5 (KJV)

    "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil".

    You might want to consider:

    I Corinthians 3:19 (KJV)

    “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God”

    Prov 16:25 (KJV)

    "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man,
    but the end thereof are the ways of death".

    Job 38.4 (KJV)

    "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding".

    Isaiah 55:8–9 (KJV)

    "For pMy thoughts are not your thoughts,
    Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
    “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    So are My ways higher than your ways,
    And My thoughts than your thoughts."

    Face it, no human is capable of understanding that which is infinite and eternal. All attempts of religion and philosophy are mental masturbation. Including what I just posted.
  13. My theory is that before universe or multi-verses all elements that produce it existed but they was separated one each other, at dynamic or inert way. Dynamic = elements before-universe had their own patterns but this patterns was perfect, just like many cars on a busy road in the city center that rarely happens accidents.

    So when these accidents happened something different happened, the perfection of the ” non-universe ” was broken during some time. Most of the time there was no synergy among the elements and the birth of a universe was aborted before it began to expand.

    So when happen a synergy among the elements, by ” nothing ”, the birth of the universe (of the universes) arose. By pure ” natural selection ” the most harmonious universes were the winners and expanded, that is, in ” accidents ” where there was a perfect match between the elements, the patterns were not incompatible, and more, they were strong enough to expand.

    Possibly we could conclude that no there is ”nothing”. Or if it ever existed then it was a very long time ago, and by ”nothing”, the ” something ” came out.

    Of course, delirium

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  14. So the human view of evil is inevitably subjective

    No,

    You kill a inocent individual or being by vile motivation.

    Subjective*

    Only for psychos.

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  15. ”it is likely that civilization as we know it, and most of its inhabitants, will perish in the not-too-distant future. If we do, it will not be God’s fault. It will be our fault, for not listening to God and heeding His/Her/Its word.”

    We laughed and despised our own luck as human beings and living, simply living, in a [possibly] endless ocean of beautiful and ‘dead’ colors/energy, nothing more stupid.

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  16. If God exists, (s)he(it)’s making a pretty poor show of it in my very humble opinion.

    I’m an ignorant half wit, yet even I can see more than a few flaws in this God (and Gawd) forsaken vale of tears.

    We’ve been told that we can recognize a tree by the fruit it bears. By that standard it doesn’t take a genius to see that God-Gawd apparently has more than a few flaws He/She/Itself, and that Satan is the dude/dudess with the upper hand at least more often than not.

    Would a good G-d claim responsibility for Homo sappyens? Really? Good grief.

    Bottom line: People can and will pervert anything, the presence or absence of God(s) notwithstanding, and no doubt (s)he(it) either has a sick sense of humor or is a sadist to the core. Either way, we’re screwed.

    Enjoy!

    PS: Ecclesiastes is the man. How did that stuff ever pass the editorial desk anyway?

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    • Replies: @nine
    Jacques,You think to highly of yourself.
    , @Anon
    "Would a good G-d claim responsibility for Homo sappyens? Really? Good grief."

    I would answer 'maybe', but then I think of Negroes, and it really makes you wonder why a higher being would create such folks.

    The most difficult theological question is 'why did god create negroes?'

    Maybe god wonders too... like Don Rickles.


    https://youtu.be/sjXOe9hkDzE?t=4m53s

  17. Which god are you talking about? Zeus, Dionysius, Mithra, Quetzalcoatl, Aphrodite, Venus, Huitzilopochtli, Viracocha, Hanuman, Brahman, Shiva? Aren’t there a thousand gods in India alone? And many more throughout recorded history? Which god?

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  18. @Assistant Village Idiot
    I have always been puzzled by the insistence on whether something about Life, the Universe, and Everything can be proven in a mathematical or logical sense, rather than trying to look at "What is most likely?" It has an air of "You can't MAKE me believe, so I refuse." Whether they want to have core beliefs or not, people will indeed have them. The question is not whether they are unassailable, but narrowing the field to find the most probable. Christians and Jews would say that everyone has a religion, whether they acknowledge it or not. I don't know if I'd put it that strongly, but something much like it is certainly true. If you don't believe one ridiculous thing, you have to ultimately, however secretly, believe something even more ridiculous.

    Not true. You can comfortably say “I’m not sure (indeed can scarcely grasp) whether Hawkins and Mlodinov have demonstrated how the cosmos as we know it could have jumped into being from nothing by some quantum event but I don’t need to have a view about the origin of our universe or how many universes there may be. All I need to know for working out a sound moral and political morality for the society I live in, in so far as facts about the world matter, can start by a consideration of our nature and history as evolved primates”.

    Does that involve positive but onprovable belief in anything, ridiculous or otherwise?

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    • Replies: @animalogic
    Spot on.
    Humans are animals. Born-live-die, they have NEVER EVER have experiences outside the possibilities of their bodies & senses.
    Any human who tells you about "spirits" or "souls" is -- odds on-- exercising their imagination....I say odds on because, naturally I can not prove it one way or the other....
    God or Gawd, both exist as an expression of FAITH. Fine-- OK. But, not to belabour the point, we are things of time & three dimensional space what can we know of eternity & infinity ?
    I agree with Voltaire: let us tend our garden. (Sounds cheesy) but let's be the best gardeners we can (which means life IS inherently an ethical situation -- as it is inherently "technical" in all its senses)
    So, by all means debate God or Gawd or whatever....just don't assert that YOUR faith, by that very fact, makes you a better gardener.
  19. @Seraphim
    @“the Kingdom of God is all around us”

    Nowhere in the NT is said that. On the contrary "the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20-21), "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is near (or 'at hand')" (Matthew 3:2).
    The 'gnostic gospels' are not NT.

    "The primary meaning of both the Hebrew word 'malkuth' in the Old Testament and of the Greek word 'basileia' in the New Testament is the rank, authority and sovereignty exercised by a king. A 'basileia' may indeed be a realm over which a sovereign exercises his authority; and it may be the people who belong to that realm and over whom authority is exercised; but these are secondary and derived meanings. First of all, a kingdom is the authority to rule, the sovereignty of the king."
    Christ is the King.
    It is the power of the "Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere and fillest all things, Treasury of Blessings, and Giver of Life" upon whom we call "to come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls, O Good One".
    The Quran might believe
    The Kingdom of God is not the perfect "Nature" around us. Man was not created perfect (this is a deadly illusion), but perfectible. He was made to aim at the Kingdom of God, but he 'missed the target' (this is the meaning of the Greek word 'hamartia', which was translated by 'sin') and fell into the imperfect 'Nature'.
    The Qur’an (and the Greenies) might tell us that God made us and the world perfect, but it is not what Jesus told. Don't drag the Christ into it.

    “Man was created perfectible”. What could that mean? How would one judge that perfection had been achieved?

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    • Replies: @Alfred1860
    "Man was created perfectible".

    Just imagine what this earth would be like if everyone, or even 90% of every one truly adhered to the Golden Rule. We would not need armies, weapons, lawyers, courts, patents, finance, fences, borders. Governments, if they were required at all, would be fully efficient, transparent and 100% accountable to all. Every one of us could have a standard of living, materially speaking, of royalty (although most would eschew that) and as an added bonus the knowledge that everyone loved us, cared for us, and looked out for our well-being as defined individually by each of us.

    Earth would be an unmitigated paradise. The only limit to actual perfection is our unwillingness to adhere to the Golden Rule.
    , @Seraphim
    One would judge that perfection was achieved when it would be actually achieved. "Be ye therefore perfect"—Literally, Ye therefore shall be perfect—the ideal future that implies an imperative.

    "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Mathew 5:44-48).
  20. @AaronB
    Thank you for that. We need to see more of these kinds of articles here, and less HBD nonsense.

    The "problem" of theodicy can only arise in a reduced religious context - one in which we are already moving away from humility and glorifying ourselves. We "must" understand everything, our human perspective cannot be flawed.

    This mindset, it occurs to me, also underlies scientism and other modern thought diseases - at bottom, all pride, an unwillingness to accept our scientific methods have severe limitations and that our attempt for precise knowledge and complete control can actually give us less knowledge and less control than we might otherwise have had.

    Thank you for that. We need to see more of these kinds of articles here, and less HBD nonsense.

    Wisdom and balance give way to the will to attack what is not like us in even the most tolerance-preaching open-mindedness-advising characters.

    Naked dogmatism and discounting on what’s not comfortable are a form of sincerity, so thank you, this comment is clearer than most of your others.

    HBD nonsense, disappear, now! Or can’t you hear the requests for comfort coming from so many, so good folks?!

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  21. Qasim says:

    Mr. Unz:

    I keep thanking you for this site, because you keep doing things that I truly feel grateful for.

    Wow, seeing this article as the main lead on your website boggled my mind.

    Muslims are always discussed in the media, but never get to be the ones doing the discussing (or more importantly, setting the terms of the discussion itself). Or if a Muslim does get some prominent exposure, it is an SJW academic type like Reza Aslan who is just a Muslim face for a fundamentally secular leftist ideology.

    I actually can’t remember ever reading an article that truly comes from an Islamic worldview in any mainstream media outlet.

    It is so bizarre if you think about it, the media endlessly writes about Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, but never asks an actual Iraqi, Syrian etc. their opinions on what is taking place. How much ink is spilled discussing ISIS or Islamic theology without actual Muslim theologians ever getting a say?

    As for the article itself, I was recently introduced to the arguments of classical theism when I read Edward Feser’s “The Last Superstition”, and was amazed at how the contents of these arguments are almost completely ignored in all the New Atheist debates; the intellectual dishonestly is really shocking. I look forward to reading Griffin’s book as well.

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  22. Agent76 says:

    Jan 10, 2016 Iranian Muslim Meets Jesus and Many Other Iranians Come to Jesus

    Pastor Afshin Javid is from Iran. He was a Hezbollah soldier. When he was in jail, he casted out evil spirit in the name of Jesus. That made him more confused. Two weeks later, he met Jesus personally and his sins was forgiven. Jesus showed him that many people who carried the sins. Jesus asked him to tell the people. Many Muslims and many Iranians are coming to Jesus all around the world through the dreams and vision. Jesus is the way, truth and the life. No one come to heaven except through Jesus Christ!

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    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    In case you haven't heard about this guy...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGTp1Q162Gw
    , @Steel T Post
    No one come to heaven except...except who wants wants it anyway?

    Life is sweet and precious because it is so fragile and short. When you've been there 10,000 years, the only industry left will be contriving a means of suicide, even in the Islamic paradise after drilling those famous 72 virgins. In the Christian heaven, you won't last 10,000 hours after watching all those hot, "perfect" female bodies that you dare not touch, because a certain not-so-clever Rabbi prohibited normal male-female relationships. (Mark 12:25)

    But if I am forced to live forever, I'm going to stay loyal to my blood (in disobedience to Jesus, see Luke 14.26, Matthew 19:27-30) and soil, and I'll choose the mythological Nordic underworld ruled by Loki's daughter Hell, an eternal abode where I don't have:

    1. Beg like a bitch to a foreign Jewish “Master” for crumbs from a table set “only” for Jews (Matthew 15:21-28)
    2. Accept second-rater status in a foreign “Jews First!” (Romans 1:16) cult
    3. Worship a foreign Jewish “King of Israel” (John 1:49) and/or
    4. Pledge allegiance to a foreign Jew’s capital city that is “Holy.” (Rev. 21:2)

    What White male would debase himself that way? Why can you not consider your own native soil holy?
  23. Agent76 says:

    Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus

    In the scriptures Jesus received the most opposition from the most religious people of his day. At it’s core Jesus’ gospel and the good news of the Cross is in pure opposition to self-righteousness/self-justification. Religion is man centered, Jesus is God-centered.

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  24. Talha says:
    @Seraphim
    @“the Kingdom of God is all around us”

    Nowhere in the NT is said that. On the contrary "the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20-21), "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is near (or 'at hand')" (Matthew 3:2).
    The 'gnostic gospels' are not NT.

    "The primary meaning of both the Hebrew word 'malkuth' in the Old Testament and of the Greek word 'basileia' in the New Testament is the rank, authority and sovereignty exercised by a king. A 'basileia' may indeed be a realm over which a sovereign exercises his authority; and it may be the people who belong to that realm and over whom authority is exercised; but these are secondary and derived meanings. First of all, a kingdom is the authority to rule, the sovereignty of the king."
    Christ is the King.
    It is the power of the "Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere and fillest all things, Treasury of Blessings, and Giver of Life" upon whom we call "to come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls, O Good One".
    The Quran might believe
    The Kingdom of God is not the perfect "Nature" around us. Man was not created perfect (this is a deadly illusion), but perfectible. He was made to aim at the Kingdom of God, but he 'missed the target' (this is the meaning of the Greek word 'hamartia', which was translated by 'sin') and fell into the imperfect 'Nature'.
    The Qur’an (and the Greenies) might tell us that God made us and the world perfect, but it is not what Jesus told. Don't drag the Christ into it.

    Hey Seraphim,

    Thanks for the insights from a Christian perspective.

    The Qur’an (and the Greenies) might tell us that God made us and the world perfect

    You know, I am actually surprised that Prof. Barrett would state that when the Qur’an constantly calls out man for being: impatient, forgetful, greedy, etc.
    “God desires that He should make light your burdens, and man was created weak.” (4:28)

    But maybe Prof. Barrett’s intent was that man was created perfectly (including his flaws) for his specific purpose to find a relationship with God despite them.

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @Seraphim
    Now, if even born Muslims don't understand always the true teaching of the Quran and misinterpret it, what can you expect from a former nominally Christian who did not understand his own tradition, which he abandoned (technically he is an apostate)? He is not to be trusted.
  25. Talha says:

    Nice article – putting the book on my reading list.

    Intrigued though, which of the Moroccan Sufis did he study, so many famous ones to choose from!

    Peace.

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  26. joe webb says:

    man thinks, god laughs.

    if you substitute evolution for God, then the world makes perfect sense. That is, a developing world, not on the way to any final denouement, but to , at least for us, more intelligence, less irrationality, and so on.. including more personal restraint and mutuality.

    That is, if whites manage not to suicide ourselves by worshipping the untermenschen.

    JW

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  27. DaveE says:

    Kevin, you sound more like a Buddhist every time you speak (about any subject other than Trump, anyway). That’s intended as a compliment.

    Thanks for a great piece, one of your best.

    “It’s impossible to unravel the knot which has brought you to this point in time”. —– Buddha.

    Unraveling the zionist knot is exactly what justice requires, however. But it’s probably impossible for humanity at this point.

    I’m just hoping the Parable of the Tares is real, and that we’ll get some help, soon.

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  28. Sean says:

    Arthur Balfour (British Prime Minister) said human cognitive facilities may not accurately perceive truth because evolution would takes up adaptation for useful illusions in preference to truth determining facilities..

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  29. Rurik says:

    I have given this some thought and I’ve figured it all out; to wit:

    there are three potential realities

    one is the ‘God’ reality, one is the physical reality and the other is our reality

    the God reality is: ‘everything that ever was, or will be, from the beginning of time, until it’s end. This reality encompasses it all, the physical reality, our personal realities and everything else. It is God.

    then there is the physical reality, and it is relative to its tiniest particle in its own relative space and time. It is the Higgs boson particle (ironically referred to as the ‘God particle) that the particle colliders try to find, and it’s the reality that we study and manipulate to make planes fly and crops grow. Math and the sciences are its scripture and how it is revealed.

    then there is the third reality, and that is our individual consciousnesses, (and subconsciousnesses and all the rest; our soul) . It is here that we live and here that we expound on the existence of God, or lack there of. But each and every single consciousness, how ever humble or exalted, is equally a valid reality, no matter human or otherwise.

    there you have it

    it’s unassailable

    and does God exist in our individual consciousnesses? To the degree that He does, He exists, and to the degree that He doesn’t, He doesn’t. Both are valid and true.

    The problems that we humans have is when we try to force our personal image of God, or lack there of, on other people’s (perfectly valid) reality (even if they believe they’re Napoleon), that is just as valid and true and righteous, no matter what they harbor in their personal reality, or don’t.

    It’s the physical reality that we should be arguing over or agreeing about, because that’s the one that will make the crops grow (or not grow), and the planes fly, (or not fly). There’s nothing we can or should do about forcing our image of the God reality upon people’s (perfectly valid) personal realities.

    IMHO

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  30. @Authenticjazzman
    God does most certainly exist however within an entirely different context and that being :

    Each and every human being is " God" , as each and every human is creating their own universe, the whole of it, and they are then the God of their own self-created reality/universe/dimension.

    This means that within this space arrangement called "Earth" there are approx seven billion overlapping universes being created within this moment, the moment of the eternal "Now".

    The main bone of contention being the claim by religious groups that there exists a "Separate" "outside" God who is directing and creating the existing viewable reality, and this being the greatest misunderstanding of mankind the false idea of an "outside" God. There is no "outside" God: you are the God of your own reality, period.

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artist.

    I do believe I am the God of my own reality, as I have seen how consciously changing the way I react to things (and here I’m including thought reactions as well as physical/tangible ones) has greatly improved my life.

    Every second of every day is a choice point, and unlike in “computer code”, each is an opportunity to choose from a wide array of options as opposed to simply yes/no, either/or, black/white. Most of these choice points are innocuous and individually have very little effect on my future, but collectively even these innocuous ones represent a tremendous amount of power. Power that I have, and each of us has, to shape our future. People who self-identify as victims or dinghies tossed in a sea have chosen (without knowing it) to give up that power to someone else.

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    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
    " Changing the way I react to things"

    Maybe you don't realize it yet, but you have hit the nail directly on the head with this concept, as what you are then exercizing is the acceptance of yourself, and the acceptance of what you are creating, seeing as you yourself are creating the things which you are reacting to.

    The acceptance of oneself it the most important step to be taken as a human being, and this has been prohibited, forbidden by all of the religions since their inception, starting with such horrid concepts as "Original sin", and mankind is "inherently" evil.

    Religion has lead mankind to hate itself, and to reject itself, instead of accepting oneself and caring for oneself, with the resulting abberations, the resulting maifestations of insanity throughout mankind.

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artist.
  31. polistra says:

    Anyone who thinks CO2 is the cause of climate change is hopelessly corrupt. Other thoughts from such a destroyed mind are not worth considering.

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    • Replies: @Alfred1860
    I was initially turned off by that sidebar, but came back and read the article anyway. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Your position is equivalent to saying "I don't believe anything Person X says unless I believe everything Person X says", which is of course a completely irrational position to hold.
  32. @Wizard of Oz
    "Man was created perfectible". What could that mean? How would one judge that perfection had been achieved?

    “Man was created perfectible”.

    Just imagine what this earth would be like if everyone, or even 90% of every one truly adhered to the Golden Rule. We would not need armies, weapons, lawyers, courts, patents, finance, fences, borders. Governments, if they were required at all, would be fully efficient, transparent and 100% accountable to all. Every one of us could have a standard of living, materially speaking, of royalty (although most would eschew that) and as an added bonus the knowledge that everyone loved us, cared for us, and looked out for our well-being as defined individually by each of us.

    Earth would be an unmitigated paradise. The only limit to actual perfection is our unwillingness to adhere to the Golden Rule.

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  33. @polistra
    Anyone who thinks CO2 is the cause of climate change is hopelessly corrupt. Other thoughts from such a destroyed mind are not worth considering.

    I was initially turned off by that sidebar, but came back and read the article anyway. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Your position is equivalent to saying “I don’t believe anything Person X says unless I believe everything Person X says”, which is of course a completely irrational position to hold.

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  34. Mark Presco says: • Website

    Two thoughts on this article:

    1. What is the fate of the Jews killed by the Nazis? According to most Christians, they are burning in Hell because they have not been saved by Jesus. Gawd has cast them into a lake of fire were they suffer the horrors of being burnt alive every second of their existence for eternity. Whatever the Nazis did to the Jews was a hug and a tickle compared to what Gawd is doing them right now. Show me how this evil has a good side.

    2. I believe the fine tuned constant argument is flawed. We do not know the true laws of physics. What we have are very powerful mathematical models that predict the behavior of the universe to some high degree of accuracy. These constants are simply necessary to make the models work. True laws of physics should work in both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics realms . They don’t.

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    • Replies: @Alden
    Jews don't burn in hell because they didn't convert to some version of Christianity. Only apostates and heretics burn in hell, not people who never converted.
    Didn't you go to Sunday school?

    Judaism does not believe in hell anyway so they cannot possibly burn in hell no matter what they did on earth. My friends went to Hebrew school and that is what they were taught.
    , @anonymous

    1. What is the fate of the civilian Germans, presumably Christians, killed by Allied firebombers (also presumably Christian)? According to most Christians, they are burning in Hell because they are Germans and assumed to be Nazis. Gawd has cast them into a lake of fire were they suffer the horrors of being burnt alive [again] every second of their existence for eternity. Whatever the Nazis did to the Jews was a hug and a tickle compared to what Jews are doing to Germans and Palestinians right now. Show me how this evil has a good side.
     
  35. @Agent76
    Jan 10, 2016 Iranian Muslim Meets Jesus and Many Other Iranians Come to Jesus

    Pastor Afshin Javid is from Iran. He was a Hezbollah soldier. When he was in jail, he casted out evil spirit in the name of Jesus. That made him more confused. Two weeks later, he met Jesus personally and his sins was forgiven. Jesus showed him that many people who carried the sins. Jesus asked him to tell the people. Many Muslims and many Iranians are coming to Jesus all around the world through the dreams and vision. Jesus is the way, truth and the life. No one come to heaven except through Jesus Christ!


    https://youtu.be/ClqE0ga38dg

    In case you haven’t heard about this guy…

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    • Replies: @Agent76
    Thanks for sharing it has been some time since I heard from Brother Nathanael.

    Apr 21, 2015 Gospel starts with "Go"

    This clip is from "The Way of the Master" TV program

    https://youtu.be/slIlJd3WGtI

    'Religious Freedom is our First Freedom'

    The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices. It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely. It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government.

    Amendment I - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.


    https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment
  36. @Agent76
    Jan 10, 2016 Iranian Muslim Meets Jesus and Many Other Iranians Come to Jesus

    Pastor Afshin Javid is from Iran. He was a Hezbollah soldier. When he was in jail, he casted out evil spirit in the name of Jesus. That made him more confused. Two weeks later, he met Jesus personally and his sins was forgiven. Jesus showed him that many people who carried the sins. Jesus asked him to tell the people. Many Muslims and many Iranians are coming to Jesus all around the world through the dreams and vision. Jesus is the way, truth and the life. No one come to heaven except through Jesus Christ!


    https://youtu.be/ClqE0ga38dg

    No one come to heaven except…except who wants wants it anyway?

    Life is sweet and precious because it is so fragile and short. When you’ve been there 10,000 years, the only industry left will be contriving a means of suicide, even in the Islamic paradise after drilling those famous 72 virgins. In the Christian heaven, you won’t last 10,000 hours after watching all those hot, “perfect” female bodies that you dare not touch, because a certain not-so-clever Rabbi prohibited normal male-female relationships. (Mark 12:25)

    But if I am forced to live forever, I’m going to stay loyal to my blood (in disobedience to Jesus, see Luke 14.26, Matthew 19:27-30) and soil, and I’ll choose the mythological Nordic underworld ruled by Loki’s daughter Hell, an eternal abode where I don’t have:

    1. Beg like a bitch to a foreign Jewish “Master” for crumbs from a table set “only” for Jews (Matthew 15:21-28)
    2. Accept second-rater status in a foreign “Jews First!” (Romans 1:16) cult
    3. Worship a foreign Jewish “King of Israel” (John 1:49) and/or
    4. Pledge allegiance to a foreign Jew’s capital city that is “Holy.” (Rev. 21:2)

    What White male would debase himself that way? Why can you not consider your own native soil holy?

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    • Replies: @Alden
    For someone who prefers the ancient Norse Gods you sure are an expert in the Jewish Christian bible.

    I don't believe in God but I don't care enough about the issue enough to call myself an atheist
    , @Seraphim
    @I’ll choose the mythological Nordic underworld ruled by Loki’s daughter Hell

    White Male Warrior, "Be careful what you wish for, it might just come true"! This is a mild variation of an old Yiddish curse: "May you get what you wish for". "Things are not always what they seem, the first appearance deceives many, the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden." Your Hel might be the Hell where there is "weeping and gnashing of teeth". This cold, dark and misty abode of the dead is located in the world of Niflheim, on the lowest level of the Norse universe. No one can ever leave this place, because of the impassable river Gjoll that flows from the spring Hvergelmir and encircles Helheim. Once they enter Helheim, not even the gods can leave. It is not the Valhalla.
    But 'as you make your bed, so you must lie', it's your choice. Heil!

  37. this entire article posit the bible, koran, torah, etc to be true. that is the granddaddy, mother-load of all assumptions. that alone renders all points made to be entirely pointless :/ very well written though.

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  38. FKA Max says:
    @FKA Max
    Very interesting article! Thank you!

    Chris Langan highlights

    https://youtu.be/Q-HXSHXUtFw?t=9m45s


    Human beings are such subsystems. The "purpose" of their lives, and the "meaning" of their existences, is therefore to self-actualize in a way consistent with global Self-actualization or teleology...i.e., in a way that maximizes global utility, including the utility of their fellow subsystems. Their existential justification is to help the universe, AKA God, express its nature in a positive and Self-beneficial way.

    If they do so, then their "souls", or relationships to the overall System ("God"), attain a state of grace and partake of Systemic timelessness ("life eternal"). If, on the other hand, they do not - if they give themselves over to habitual selfishness at the expense of others and the future of their species - then they are teleologically devalued and must repair their connections with the System in order to remain a viable part of it. And if they do even worse, intentionally scarring the teleological ledger with a massive net loss of global utility, then unless they pursue redemption with such sincerety that their intense desire for forgiveness literally purges their souls, they face spiritual interdiction for the sake of teleological integrity.

    Such is the economy of human existence. Much of what we have been taught by organized religions is based on the illogical literalization of metaphorical aspects of their respective doctrines. But this much of it is true: we can attain a state of grace; we can draw near to God and partake of His eternal nature; we can fall from God's grace; we can lose our souls for doing evil. In all cases, we are unequivocally answerable to the System that grants and sustains our existence, and doing right by that System and its contents, including other subsystems like ourselves, is why we exist. Sometimes, "doing right" simply means making the best of a bad situation without needlessly propagating one's own misfortune to others; the necessary sufferance and nonpropagation of personal misfortune is also a source of grace. Further deontological insight requires an analysis of teleology and the extraction of its ethical implications.
     
    - http://www.ctmu.org/ --> Chris Langan Q&A --> Self-Awareness

    How I understand him/it; he is basically saying “Ask not what God can do for you; ask what you can do for God.”

    By helping God, one is helping oneself, because one’s self is a tiny part of God himself/herself/itself.

    The hard part is to find out how exactly God works and what he/she/it is working/evolving towards.

    Understanding oneself (HBD, etc.) is a good starting point to begin figuring this out, in my opinion, and to then start understanding and knowing God/the Universe/the World more precisely and more fully, i.e., living in greater harmony with God/the Universe/the World.

    Here a comment of mine form a few months back:

    I actually quite like and personally identify with Christopher Langan’s concept and definition of God.

    I also believe God can be known and defined.

    “I believe in the theory of evolution, but I believe as well in the allegorical truth of creation theory. In other words, I believe that evolution, including the principle of natural selection, is one of the tools used by God to create mankind. Mankind is then a participant in the creation of the universe itself, so that we have a closed loop. I believe that there is a level on which science and religious metaphor are mutually compatible.”[16]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Langan#Intellectual_pursuits

    He follows in the tradition of Theistic rationalism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_rationalism

    He is in good and esteemed company:

    Historian Gregg L. Frazer argues that the leading Founders (Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Wilson, Morris, Madison, Hamilton, and Washington) were neither Christians nor Deists, but rather supporters of a hybrid “theistic rationalism”.[23]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founding_Fathers_of_the_United_States#Religion

    I must say, that I have thoroughly enjoyed the discussions in this comment thread. Thank you to all my fellow commenters, and, most importantly, thank you to Mr. Unz for providing this excellent intellectual discussion platform and forum to the world and the high IQ community.

    http://www.unz.com/runz/when-viacom-ceo-philippe-dauman-still-had-an-iq-of-260/#comment-1528524

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  39. @Alfred1860
    I do believe I am the God of my own reality, as I have seen how consciously changing the way I react to things (and here I'm including thought reactions as well as physical/tangible ones) has greatly improved my life.

    Every second of every day is a choice point, and unlike in "computer code", each is an opportunity to choose from a wide array of options as opposed to simply yes/no, either/or, black/white. Most of these choice points are innocuous and individually have very little effect on my future, but collectively even these innocuous ones represent a tremendous amount of power. Power that I have, and each of us has, to shape our future. People who self-identify as victims or dinghies tossed in a sea have chosen (without knowing it) to give up that power to someone else.

    ” Changing the way I react to things”

    Maybe you don’t realize it yet, but you have hit the nail directly on the head with this concept, as what you are then exercizing is the acceptance of yourself, and the acceptance of what you are creating, seeing as you yourself are creating the things which you are reacting to.

    The acceptance of oneself it the most important step to be taken as a human being, and this has been prohibited, forbidden by all of the religions since their inception, starting with such horrid concepts as “Original sin”, and mankind is “inherently” evil.

    Religion has lead mankind to hate itself, and to reject itself, instead of accepting oneself and caring for oneself, with the resulting abberations, the resulting maifestations of insanity throughout mankind.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artist.

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  40. Alden says:
    @Steel T Post
    No one come to heaven except...except who wants wants it anyway?

    Life is sweet and precious because it is so fragile and short. When you've been there 10,000 years, the only industry left will be contriving a means of suicide, even in the Islamic paradise after drilling those famous 72 virgins. In the Christian heaven, you won't last 10,000 hours after watching all those hot, "perfect" female bodies that you dare not touch, because a certain not-so-clever Rabbi prohibited normal male-female relationships. (Mark 12:25)

    But if I am forced to live forever, I'm going to stay loyal to my blood (in disobedience to Jesus, see Luke 14.26, Matthew 19:27-30) and soil, and I'll choose the mythological Nordic underworld ruled by Loki's daughter Hell, an eternal abode where I don't have:

    1. Beg like a bitch to a foreign Jewish “Master” for crumbs from a table set “only” for Jews (Matthew 15:21-28)
    2. Accept second-rater status in a foreign “Jews First!” (Romans 1:16) cult
    3. Worship a foreign Jewish “King of Israel” (John 1:49) and/or
    4. Pledge allegiance to a foreign Jew’s capital city that is “Holy.” (Rev. 21:2)

    What White male would debase himself that way? Why can you not consider your own native soil holy?

    For someone who prefers the ancient Norse Gods you sure are an expert in the Jewish Christian bible.

    I don’t believe in God but I don’t care enough about the issue enough to call myself an atheist

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    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    It's not that I'm a modern "pagan" who prefers the ancient Norse Gods, it's that Christian fanatics keep telling me "Hell is Real!" I've never heard "Hades (or Tartarus) is Real!" but if they said that, I'd then prefer the companionship of the hell-hound Cerberus (or the Titans) over an androgynous utopia floating in the clouds over a foreign middle-eastern capital city ruled by a foreign king. The point being that I'm too loyal to my own blood and soil to lust after foreign enticements.

    My preferred expression of God is "GNON," the "Nature's God" written into the US Declaration of Independence, the "Deus, sive Natura" of Spinoza, the "De rerum natura" of Lucretius. That expression puts my non-foreign Lord'n'Savior firmly in her seat, a homage which gnon would surely approve.

    "Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787
     
  41. Alden says:
    @Mark Presco
    Two thoughts on this article:

    1. What is the fate of the Jews killed by the Nazis? According to most Christians, they are burning in Hell because they have not been saved by Jesus. Gawd has cast them into a lake of fire were they suffer the horrors of being burnt alive every second of their existence for eternity. Whatever the Nazis did to the Jews was a hug and a tickle compared to what Gawd is doing them right now. Show me how this evil has a good side.

    2. I believe the fine tuned constant argument is flawed. We do not know the true laws of physics. What we have are very powerful mathematical models that predict the behavior of the universe to some high degree of accuracy. These constants are simply necessary to make the models work. True laws of physics should work in both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics realms . They don't.

    Jews don’t burn in hell because they didn’t convert to some version of Christianity. Only apostates and heretics burn in hell, not people who never converted.
    Didn’t you go to Sunday school?

    Judaism does not believe in hell anyway so they cannot possibly burn in hell no matter what they did on earth. My friends went to Hebrew school and that is what they were taught.

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    • Replies: @Mark Presco
    Firstly, I didn't assert they are in Hell because I don't believe any of it. I was taught in catechism (Catholic) that if you didn't receive all of the sacraments, you were bound straight for Hell except for rare exceptions.

    This leads to a third point. There are a lot of people claiming to speak for Gawd, or otherwise spreading Gawd’s word. The problem is that they are all saying something different. This has resulted in very many conflicting religions in the world, even within Christianity. This supports the case against His existence because He is extremely remiss in teaching us what he expects from us. Can we be condemned for His failure to teach us His word?
  42. mcohen says:

    No connection between G-d and relegion.zero, none .between a person and G-d yes,a direct link.relegion only provides the will and intent to survive.a man made self help app,that’s it.no more no less.

    The laws of the physical world,the laws of nature are the ultimate truth.everything else is illusion.however if spicing things up to make life more interesting and livable appeals to you then there is no shortage of gods and relegions to choose from.you get to construct your illusion,your reality.

    The spark plug gap theory is worth a look

    the physical world,where the laws of nature apply is one end or electrode and the reality you construct is the other end or electrode.when it all fires up and begins to work,a spark is created between the 2 ends.it is here that a new reality is created.this bright spark created through the meeting of the 2 seperate realities….the laws of nature,the universe and the realities we construct for ourselves,is repeated throughout our world in many forms some mundane and some incredible.

    That spark is a new law of nature a new reality it is also the proof of a creator.an ultimate truth,that never existed before.however there is a few rules.the gap my friends ,the GAP.yes the gap has to be right or the whole thing will not work.bummer

    Maintaining the gap in life to get a good spark is the secret.do it right and you will not only believe in G-d but you will ….you will…wait for it….yes….you will ….see the light

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  43. I know god exists cuz he calls me up sometimes.

    Every human brain is like a cellphone, and god calls up certain folks.

    Once awhile, god will gimme a ring to tell me stuff.

    What do I say when I get the call? I answer, “hello?”. And he says, “It’s me, god.”

    I don’t get to decide when and why. He will call me up out of the blue… when I’m going for a stroll, cleaning out the garage, or having a slice of pizza.

    Sometimes, he calls me up to tell me matters of great importance. Sometimes, just to chat about life, books, or movies. Once awhile, he calls me up to blow off steam, especially about how Jews are pushing homo stuff.

    Can I call him back? Sure,but I usually get a busy signal. Or a recorded message, “Hello, this is god speaking. At the moment, I’m creating a new and improved universe where my minions will never come up with stuff like rap or homo parades. I won’t be available for 7 days, so just leave a message, and I will get back to you.”
    But sometimes the call is answered by customer service angel who, for some reason, has a funny Hindu accent. These angels or heavenly agents, I must admit, are not very nice or helpful. Apparently, god has to outsource some of the divine services to hindus because his core angel force is too busy with cosmic innovation…. or left heaven to join forces with satan.
    If I wanna lodge a complaint about why god won’t a send a meteor to hit San Fran, the indian-accent angel says, “Look, you silly little worm, where were you when god made the curry rice recipe? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its ingredients? Surely you know! Who stretched the dough to make the perfect pizza? On what were its toppings set, or who laid the peppers and sausages while Clemenza sang together with Sally for joy? Who poured the wine that burst forth from the bottle, when he made the sand into glass and filled with thick darkness, when he fixed limits for it to prevent drunkenness, and…”

    It is about then I just hang up.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    OM?G my deaf ears allowed me to think He who started asking me "How are you today?" was trying to sell me funeral insurance, a cheap power contract or salvation by giving to the Guide Dogs. I must remember to switch off the Probable Spam warning that my smartphone provides, though, come to think of it, our Abrahamic G-d has an appallingly long record as a spammer. (And that's being kind: He throws off Trlojans and other malware as lightly as genetic mutations).
  44. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    “It is rather one of chronic dissatisfaction, of whining and complaining, of arrogance and ambition, of material obsession and power-seeking and spiritual blindness.”

    One might say that describes god who destroyed the entire garden just because someone ate from the apple tree.

    Maybe the eater should have been more like George Washington and said, “I won’t lie, I done it.”

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  45. @Wizard of Oz
    Can the author explain why trying to glean wisdom or ethics from consideration of his inevitably anthropomorphic deity has got any advantages over trying to infer from the nature and history of man and from evolution what the world of 50 or 100 years hence would be like if it allowed for minimum human misery and no radical destruction of the means for improving man's lot and the best of past culture, and then trying to find a path towards that future, in the meantime persuading mad theists to entertain enough modest doubt to allow the sane and ordinary to get on with the project?

    And what's wrong with multiverses? Any eternal anthropomorphic deity is going to be so lonely and bored that setting off a million big bangs a minute is just what one should expect.

    As you have begged many questions, I doubt you will have much ability to consider other points of view. Yes, all we theists entertain no modest doubts at all, even in theory. Pascal, Descartes, Aquinas, Kierkegaard – all these were only pretending to ask honestly. Only smart people like you have seen through it all.

    If you do have some interest, however, Lewis points out that all talk about anything transcendent must necessarily be metaphorical, long before we get to discussion of deities. An anthromorphic deity is no worse than images of multiverses, vasty deeps, inaccurate pictures of atomic structures, etc. It may be better, because then at least the deeper thinkers can be easily aware that they are dealing in metaphor – as both Jewish and Christian theologians have done for centuries. Monty Python may believe in an elderly bearded man in a chair with clouds under his feet. It may comfort you to think that I do.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    What's the point of all your interest in a deity, especially a metaphorical one (that inevitably is manmade and anthropomorphic, is it not?)?

    Clearly it is not going to contribute to physics, chemistry or any of the sciences which, for most people born in the West, give us a much better life than 300 years ago. And how can it contribute to ethics/morality?

    I presume you are not one of those who believes your theism has anything to say in justification for one lot of believers imposing their views, with punishing sanctions, on others who disagree with them, for example in conceiving of rights for human zygotes and blastocysts as though they were participating members of a community????

    What by the way do you say are the relevant questions I have begged?
  46. Good, well-written, thought provoking article. Thank you.

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    • Replies: @mcohen
    yes it is on the surface.but after a second read and a little thought and a sniff.....i caught a whiff of something smelly,something breitfarty,know what i mean,something like 3 month old 4chan.something steve bannon would think up.

    catchy title,bit of this and that then sneek in the holocaust denial.and the zionism bit of course.

    yes i smell a breitfart.coming from the outhouse.kevin barrett writes quite a bit for breitbart.google it.so thats it then.

    breitfart.......love it
  47. Mark Presco says: • Website
    @Alden
    Jews don't burn in hell because they didn't convert to some version of Christianity. Only apostates and heretics burn in hell, not people who never converted.
    Didn't you go to Sunday school?

    Judaism does not believe in hell anyway so they cannot possibly burn in hell no matter what they did on earth. My friends went to Hebrew school and that is what they were taught.

    Firstly, I didn’t assert they are in Hell because I don’t believe any of it. I was taught in catechism (Catholic) that if you didn’t receive all of the sacraments, you were bound straight for Hell except for rare exceptions.

    This leads to a third point. There are a lot of people claiming to speak for Gawd, or otherwise spreading Gawd’s word. The problem is that they are all saying something different. This has resulted in very many conflicting religions in the world, even within Christianity. This supports the case against His existence because He is extremely remiss in teaching us what he expects from us. Can we be condemned for His failure to teach us His word?

    Read More
  48. Bobzilla says:

    So while most contemporary Christian theologians were not terribly relevant to my Islamic Studies related Ph.D…

    I’m not sure that most contemporary Christian theologians are terribly relevant to Christianity.

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  49. Bobzilla says:

    This argument rests on the observation that at least 26 of the fundamental constants discovered by physicists appear to have been “fine tuned” to produce a universe in which complex, intelligent life forms could exist. A very slight variation in any one of these 26 numbers… [snip]

    Dr. Hugh Ross, astrophysicist (U. Toronto / Cal-Tech), put forth this argument many years ago and there were probably others prior to him. His website, http://www.reasons.org

    I would be remiss in not mentioning Dr. Stanley Jaki (Stanford, Princeton, Seton Hall); Most distinguished theologian and physicist.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Jaki

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  50. Seraphim says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    "Man was created perfectible". What could that mean? How would one judge that perfection had been achieved?

    One would judge that perfection was achieved when it would be actually achieved. “Be ye therefore perfect”—Literally, Ye therefore shall be perfect—the ideal future that implies an imperative.

    “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Mathew 5:44-48).

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  51. Pandos says:

    Process theology is the process of making excuses for God who doesn’t need your excuses. Go worship global warming.

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  52. @Alden
    For someone who prefers the ancient Norse Gods you sure are an expert in the Jewish Christian bible.

    I don't believe in God but I don't care enough about the issue enough to call myself an atheist

    It’s not that I’m a modern “pagan” who prefers the ancient Norse Gods, it’s that Christian fanatics keep telling me “Hell is Real!” I’ve never heard “Hades (or Tartarus) is Real!” but if they said that, I’d then prefer the companionship of the hell-hound Cerberus (or the Titans) over an androgynous utopia floating in the clouds over a foreign middle-eastern capital city ruled by a foreign king. The point being that I’m too loyal to my own blood and soil to lust after foreign enticements.

    My preferred expression of God is “GNON,” the “Nature’s God” written into the US Declaration of Independence, the “Deus, sive Natura” of Spinoza, the “De rerum natura” of Lucretius. That expression puts my non-foreign Lord’n’Savior firmly in her seat, a homage which gnon would surely approve.

    “Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.” -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

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    • Replies: @Seraphim
    'Nature's God' is 'Deus, sive Natura', but not 'De rerum natura'.
    'De rerum natura', or 'De natura rerum' means 'On the Nature of Things'. In Latin 'natura' means "essential qualities, innate disposition". You can talk about the 'nature of God'. 'Nature' in the modern sense is a misapplied term.
    The Founding Fathers spoke of the 'Laws of Nature and of Nature's God' (the God of Nature), defining immediately the 'nature' of God, the "Creator".
    , @The Westphalian Khan
    Just checking... you do know that Spinoza was also a (((foreign middle Easterner))) stranded in Europe? Not that I care. I would rather be reincarnated than spend eternity anywhere. I cannot know what the afterlife is like until I experience it. It is all speculation, as is the existence or non-existence of god.
  53. Seraphim says:
    @Steel T Post
    No one come to heaven except...except who wants wants it anyway?

    Life is sweet and precious because it is so fragile and short. When you've been there 10,000 years, the only industry left will be contriving a means of suicide, even in the Islamic paradise after drilling those famous 72 virgins. In the Christian heaven, you won't last 10,000 hours after watching all those hot, "perfect" female bodies that you dare not touch, because a certain not-so-clever Rabbi prohibited normal male-female relationships. (Mark 12:25)

    But if I am forced to live forever, I'm going to stay loyal to my blood (in disobedience to Jesus, see Luke 14.26, Matthew 19:27-30) and soil, and I'll choose the mythological Nordic underworld ruled by Loki's daughter Hell, an eternal abode where I don't have:

    1. Beg like a bitch to a foreign Jewish “Master” for crumbs from a table set “only” for Jews (Matthew 15:21-28)
    2. Accept second-rater status in a foreign “Jews First!” (Romans 1:16) cult
    3. Worship a foreign Jewish “King of Israel” (John 1:49) and/or
    4. Pledge allegiance to a foreign Jew’s capital city that is “Holy.” (Rev. 21:2)

    What White male would debase himself that way? Why can you not consider your own native soil holy?

    @I’ll choose the mythological Nordic underworld ruled by Loki’s daughter Hell

    White Male Warrior, “Be careful what you wish for, it might just come true”! This is a mild variation of an old Yiddish curse: “May you get what you wish for”. “Things are not always what they seem, the first appearance deceives many, the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.” Your Hel might be the Hell where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth”. This cold, dark and misty abode of the dead is located in the world of Niflheim, on the lowest level of the Norse universe. No one can ever leave this place, because of the impassable river Gjoll that flows from the spring Hvergelmir and encircles Helheim. Once they enter Helheim, not even the gods can leave. It is not the Valhalla.
    But ‘as you make your bed, so you must lie’, it’s your choice. Heil!

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    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    I note how you mock the myths of your ancestors and hanker after foreign fables. You've been scammed by the merchants of The Deciever (Jacob, who was then "blessed" as Israel) selling you a mess of pottage. Why don't you come over and bat for the home team?
  54. Seraphim says:
    @Talha
    Hey Seraphim,

    Thanks for the insights from a Christian perspective.


    The Qur’an (and the Greenies) might tell us that God made us and the world perfect
     
    You know, I am actually surprised that Prof. Barrett would state that when the Qur'an constantly calls out man for being: impatient, forgetful, greedy, etc.
    "God desires that He should make light your burdens, and man was created weak." (4:28)

    But maybe Prof. Barrett's intent was that man was created perfectly (including his flaws) for his specific purpose to find a relationship with God despite them.

    Peace.

    Now, if even born Muslims don’t understand always the true teaching of the Quran and misinterpret it, what can you expect from a former nominally Christian who did not understand his own tradition, which he abandoned (technically he is an apostate)? He is not to be trusted.

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  55. jb says:

    Their only recourse is to embrace the multiple-universes interpretation of quantum physics, claim that there are almost infinitely many actual universes (virtually all of them uninteresting and unfit for life), and assert that we just happen to have gotten unbelievably lucky by finding ourselves in the one-universe-out-of-infinity-minus-one with all of the constants perfectly fine-tuned for our existence. But, they argue, we should not be grateful for this almost unbelievable luck — which is far more improbable than winning hundreds of multi-million-dollar lottery jackpots in a row. For our existence in an amazingly, improbably-wonderful-for-us universe is just a tautology, since we couldn’t possibly be in any of the vast, vast, vast majority of universes that we couldn’t possibly be in.

    Um, I don’t know how to break it to Mr. Barrett, but the big thing about tautologies is that they are… you know… true. If the multiverse exists, then of necessity intelligent life will only be found in universes where the local laws of physics allow intelligent life to exist. There is absolutely no logical problem here, not even a trace of one. How dim do you have to be to misunderstand this point? Would you point to the absence of fish on the Moon, and then sneer about how “unbelievably lucky” it is for fish that they find themselves living in the ocean? What an idiot!

    And the idea of multiple universes really isn’t that much of a stretch. I don’t believe that pigs can fly, but if I saw one flying pig I wouldn’t find it particularly hard to believe that there might be more of them. Going from zero to one is much harder than going from one to many. And you know what? Since I can see one universe, I don’t find it particular hard to believe that there might be more of them! So the multiverse seems perfectly plausible to me. On the other hand, I have seen precisely zero gods (or supernatural creature of any sort for that matter), so it seems entirely reasonable to doubt that they exist at all.

    None of this is proof of anything of course. But as far as I can see the weight of evidence is solidly on the side of the multiverse, since we know for a fact that universes can exist, while we know no such thing about gods.

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  56. @Authenticjazzman
    God does most certainly exist however within an entirely different context and that being :

    Each and every human being is " God" , as each and every human is creating their own universe, the whole of it, and they are then the God of their own self-created reality/universe/dimension.

    This means that within this space arrangement called "Earth" there are approx seven billion overlapping universes being created within this moment, the moment of the eternal "Now".

    The main bone of contention being the claim by religious groups that there exists a "Separate" "outside" God who is directing and creating the existing viewable reality, and this being the greatest misunderstanding of mankind the false idea of an "outside" God. There is no "outside" God: you are the God of your own reality, period.

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artist.

    Hi Authentic Jazzman

    On Saker’s previous post(The Color Revolution) you asked a question of me concerning Hitler:

    “The Hitler puzzle :
    So if God, as according to you God-believing folks “knows” the future, and If God created everything and everybody including Hitler, this means then that God also “Knew” that Hitler , in the future, would be directly and indirectly responsible murders of ca sixty million humans………”

    Basically your question is why God is not reponsible for the holocaust if he had the power to change it.

    Anyone interested can read your full question there.

    I wrote an answer but you did not reply, most likely you just forgot about it.

    Since this subject has come up in this article and my post seems pertinent and you have commented on this article about your beliefs, I thought I would re-post it and see if you would reply this time.

    (Pat the Rat from The Saker, Color Revolution January 29, 2017 at 7:44 am GMT)

    You are right about “free will”, everything hangs on that. Most deep thinking atheists that I have discussed these issues with reject free will. More on that later.

    For the purposes of your argument let’s accept free will exists and God allowed Hitler to exercise his and therefore God bears some guilt for the holocaust. It is a pretty strong argument it is true. Augustine’s argument against it is pretty strong too.

    I would fill the argument out a bit by pointing out in Christian theology God is completely good, and has free will himself, and giving us free will was an act of goodness, a gift from God, a kind of emulation of his powers in us.

    Unlike God though, who is completely good, we have the capacity for evil, we can use our free will to do evil .

    Because God is only capable of doing good, even by giving us the capacity to exercise our free will and do evil there must be perfect judgement of all actions by God. This is the crux or the matter. Free will means ultimate justice.

    In other words God is not only totally good, but must also be totally just Justice must reign if we have free will and there is a God. Every man will pay his dues for his sins in this life or after death, as Jesus says everyone will pay to the “last penny”.

    You, me and Hitler.

    Now lets look at Hitler, an exceptionally evil man to be sure, but is the guilt totally his. Did he act alone: the ideas about Nationalism, Eugenics, Racial based mysticism, Anti semitism were also shared by large numbers of people all over the world, not just in Germany. The horrors and atrocities of war were committed by both sides, didn’t many western countries refuse to help the Jews.

    My point is Hitler was a curse, and his sins were in large part our own sins, we, our society brought forth Hitler and we reaped the whirlwind of our own sins in the form of Hitler who became the scourge which nearly destroyed us all.

    Why should God interfere, we bring all this ourselves with our own actions, and ultimately we will all pay not just Hitler.

    For Christians no doubt watching porn is evil, and the woman in the porn movie is engaged in evil also. But who is most evil Jazzman, the woman and man who might have been told by intellectuals and feminists that porn is simply another way of living no better or worse than other ways. What about the director, or the cameraman, or the money man financing it. How about the politicians who allow laws which encourage the production of porn. My bet is the actress and man watching are not as guilty in the grand scheme of things than the others. Not simple questions.

    Why should God intervene particularly when people have the chance to repent and reject evil and move towards God and save their soul and find goodness and life. A very important point for whenever there is evil there is also the chance for the prodigal son to find his way home to the father and all heaven rejoices as it says in the gospels. Goodness comes out of evil. Great goodness often comes from evil times.

    Now I will take up the “free will” issue in regard to atheism I mentioned earlier.

    I think there is good reason to suspect that a universe with free will but no universal moral code provided by God would quickly degenerate into the most incredible evil and horror. Many of the deeper thinking atheists I think understand this and attempt to deny free will altogether. I think that is why materialism has such appeal to atheists, the moral questions around free will make their heads explode, they prefer to edit it from the story.

    Take this example I will give you:

    A secret policeman in the former Soviet Union is ordered to take a family, parents and children and have them shipped to a prison camp where some or all are bound to suffer and die.

    He knows that they are innocent of any crime.

    He also knows if he refuses to do what he is being ordered to do the result could be terrible for himself.

    The policeman is an atheist.

    What is the moral thing for him to do?

    I hope you have read all this Jazzman.

    I am no theologian so I am sure plenty will disagree with me, but you asked me for my thoughts on the Hitler problem and unfortunately the answer needed to be a little lengthy.

    Thanks Pat the Rat

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    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
    Okay aside from the fact that I disagree with just about everything you have to say on this subject and I consider it to be a gigantic exercise in futility to go any further, there is one particular point which I simply must elaborate upon and that being your contention that God is "Completely good" and yet he creates beings with a "Capacity for evil".

    This viewpoint is so outrageously absurd that I am wondering how you could even make such an assertion.
    Look the idea that an infinitely "good" being : God, would then contradict his own attribute of infinite goodness and proceed to create a capacity for evil, this idea borders on insanity and I am cannot consider it as a theme of discussion.

    The main point being that an infinitely "good" being would not even be able to create a "capacity for evil", as he would not even know what "evil" is.

    Have a nice day.

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artist.

  57. nsa says:

    Is this author the same Kevin Barrett that pontificates over at a site titled Veterans Today? The site is vigorously anti-Trump, and promulgates unusual ideas like the Twin Towers were brought down by mini-nukes. VT also offer news as to the progress of the Syrian civil war and the latest depredations of the Zios. Occasionally, they have articles castigating the VA for not adequately treating the sainted veterans.

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  58. Uff, of course Moses was NOT mistaken. Pre-emptive killing is evil, as it is pre-emptive boat-shrinking… As for the wall, then if evil people deserved that wall, Trump’s wall is right. And perhaps it is! Actually “Gawd”‘s weakness is that he/she/it has always needed fairy-tales to get gullible people in.

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  59. mcohen says:
    @rationalandlogical
    Good, well-written, thought provoking article. Thank you.

    yes it is on the surface.but after a second read and a little thought and a sniff…..i caught a whiff of something smelly,something breitfarty,know what i mean,something like 3 month old 4chan.something steve bannon would think up.

    catchy title,bit of this and that then sneek in the holocaust denial.and the zionism bit of course.

    yes i smell a breitfart.coming from the outhouse.kevin barrett writes quite a bit for breitbart.google it.so thats it then.

    breitfart…….love it

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  60. pyrrhus says:

    Excellent piece, and I will check out Griffin. But the notion that “Gawd” would want to eliminate evil on Earth is essentially illogical. Earth is a place for experience, good and evil, not a petting zoo.
    If you have an immortal soul, which I think is obvious, you do not need to be protected from evil, but to learn from it.

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  61. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    “The most important is the problem of theodicy: How can an infinitely good, infinitely powerful god permit evil?”

    Because God made man free. If man can only choose to be good, he isn’t free, and without freedom, there is no true morality.

    If I program a robot to say only, “I love you” and never “Fuc* you and kiss my ass”, he would be a ‘good’ robot only programmed to be good. But it wouldn’t be free.

    To be free and to be moral means to have the freedom to choose to be good or choose to be evil.
    So, freedom makes the choice of good and evil possible. It’s the core question in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. If science can ‘treat’ people to only act ‘good’, are they really good? Or are they like robots? Alex, after treatment, can no longer do bad. But it has nothing to do with goodness of the heart or conscience. He’s just be chemically-’castrated that he can’t act on his evil impulses.

    So, morality cannot exist without freedom, and freedom means we can choose to be good or evil.

    This is the difference between a free society and a totalitarian utopian society. Under liberal democracy, there is more freedom for good and evil. Under communism, only the ‘good’ was permitted: equality, sharing, and unity.
    Most people prefer freedom to choose between good and evil. They don’t want to live in a world where they are forced to be good all the time.
    Granted, communism, in the name of enforcing the good, did a lot of evil.
    In contrast, free western societies, though offering more freedom for vice, chose the good over the bad. Is it because people are naturally more good than bad? So, for every evil person, there are 100 good people? Or were western societies instilled with good ideas and institutions that encouraged good behavior over the bad? If so, we should be worried about cultural rot and decadence because they degrade the sensibilities and moralities of people.

    Now, if God allowed freedom because true morality must be based on free will — the conscience to choose the good over the bad — , what about innocent victims of evil people? After all, some people will choose to be evil and do stuff bad stuff to innocent folks. Then what?

    Well, according to many religions, there is a righting of wrongs in the afterlife. Christianity says the Vengeance is God’s. So, if an evil serial killer murders an innocent woman, not to worry. The serial killer will burn in hell or undergo serious purgatory(if he repents) and the innocent woman will be taken into the bosom of God. According to Hinduism there is Karma to straighten things out. So, if an evil punk did bad and got rich while a good man died poor, karma will make the evil punk be reborn as a spider or Jeb Bush while the good man who died poor will be reborn as Sean Connery or John Wayne.
    So, there is justice after all in the cosmic order of things.

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    • Replies: @Tomster
    May you and Pascal rest in peace.
    , @Pat the Rat
    What many don't understand Anon is this:

    Go made man free as you state to do both good and evil.

    But if God is good, there must be a universal judgement and reckoning, a righting of wrongs.

    If God is wholly good then a universal justice must be a reality to balance out all the evil men do in this life which is never punished.

    Free will implies universal justice.

    Free will was given to us as an act of love and goodness and universal justice must exist also as an act of love and goodness.
    , @jb
    A simple question: can people who go to Heaven still do evil after they get there?

    If they can, then presumably this will get them kicked out of Heaven, so Heaven is not really eternal, at least not for everybody.

    If they can't, then by your reasoning there is no free will in Heaven. And since Heaven is supposed to be the most wonderful place ever, wouldn't this seem to imply that maybe free will isn't so important after all?
  62. @Seraphim
    @I’ll choose the mythological Nordic underworld ruled by Loki’s daughter Hell

    White Male Warrior, "Be careful what you wish for, it might just come true"! This is a mild variation of an old Yiddish curse: "May you get what you wish for". "Things are not always what they seem, the first appearance deceives many, the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden." Your Hel might be the Hell where there is "weeping and gnashing of teeth". This cold, dark and misty abode of the dead is located in the world of Niflheim, on the lowest level of the Norse universe. No one can ever leave this place, because of the impassable river Gjoll that flows from the spring Hvergelmir and encircles Helheim. Once they enter Helheim, not even the gods can leave. It is not the Valhalla.
    But 'as you make your bed, so you must lie', it's your choice. Heil!

    I note how you mock the myths of your ancestors and hanker after foreign fables. You’ve been scammed by the merchants of The Deciever (Jacob, who was then “blessed” as Israel) selling you a mess of pottage. Why don’t you come over and bat for the home team?

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    • Replies: @Seraphim
    Baseball is not my cup o' tea. Judging by the moronic spectators.
  63. jamie b. says:

    “Occam’s razor definitively indicates that by far the best explanation of the facts is that the universe was created not just by an intelligent designer, but by one that must be considered almost supremely intelligent as well as almost supremely creative…”

    Occam’s razor (which is a rule of thumb, rather than principle of logic) should prejudice us against explanations that multiply the number of entity TYPES, rather than the total number of entities needed to explain a phenomenon. The multiverse is no more a violation of Occam’s razor than the atomic theory of matter.

    The notion that an ultra-intelligent god is the “simplest” explanation is an illusion, since all you’ve done is taken all the complexity in need of explanation and hidden it behind a larger (but now ineffable) mystery.

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  64. Art says:

    It is rational to believe that there is a God. Believing in God is not only a matter of faith. There are logical reasons to believe that there is a God.

    It is not rational to believe that God plays an actual role in the individual events of the universe. Science has never ever recorded a super natural event. With every advance in human observational skill, science finds a logical answer as to the how and why things work. There is an explainable natural progression of natural organization from atoms to human culture.

    From a Western perspective, notions of god have evolved. First was our native thinking that god was nature, that animals and rivers and winds had god like attributes. Then the Greek notion of multiple gods with different human attributes appeared. Then came the monotheistic Sun god. Then the Old Testament god of fire and brimstone that played with mankind. Then came the hopeful forgiving can-do optimistic Christian god. Our thinking has progressed. We are on God 5.0, going to God 6.0.

    God 6.0 is – God the Creator. Our mind tells us that there is a beginning to everything. Science says that there is a beginning to the Universe. Our mind logically tells us that there is a cause behind everything – science agrees. Why not call that cause God?

    For all of human time, three intuitive notions have been held by humanity as valid. The first is that we each are unique individuals. Second is that we all are connect together in some way with nature. And thirdly that there is a God. Science has proved the first two to be absolutely true. Why not go with the third notion also?

    This God 6.0 created a universe that fostered us – he created a universe with consistent rules that we can begin to understand. We have use those rules to advance our species. The notions propagated by the Christian God 5.0 are bearing fruit. God 6.0 is a natural progression of human thinking.

    Believing in God 6.0 is rational and productive.

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    • Replies: @Santoculto
    If is rational to believe in God

    Define your concept of God
  65. @Wizard of Oz
    Not true. You can comfortably say "I'm not sure (indeed can scarcely grasp) whether Hawkins and Mlodinov have demonstrated how the cosmos as we know it could have jumped into being from nothing by some quantum event but I don't need to have a view about the origin of our universe or how many universes there may be. All I need to know for working out a sound moral and political morality for the society I live in, in so far as facts about the world matter, can start by a consideration of our nature and history as evolved primates".

    Does that involve positive but onprovable belief in anything, ridiculous or otherwise?

    Spot on.
    Humans are animals. Born-live-die, they have NEVER EVER have experiences outside the possibilities of their bodies & senses.
    Any human who tells you about “spirits” or “souls” is — odds on– exercising their imagination….I say odds on because, naturally I can not prove it one way or the other….
    God or Gawd, both exist as an expression of FAITH. Fine– OK. But, not to belabour the point, we are things of time & three dimensional space what can we know of eternity & infinity ?
    I agree with Voltaire: let us tend our garden. (Sounds cheesy) but let’s be the best gardeners we can (which means life IS inherently an ethical situation — as it is inherently “technical” in all its senses)
    So, by all means debate God or Gawd or whatever….just don’t assert that YOUR faith, by that very fact, makes you a better gardener.

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  66. Brewer says:

    “This argument rests on the observation that at least 26 of the fundamental constants discovered by physicists appear to have been “fine tuned” to produce a universe in which complex, intelligent life forms could exist. A very slight variation in any one of these 26 numbers (including the strong force, electromagnetism, gravity, the mass difference between protons and neutrons, and many others) would produce a vastly less complex, rich, interesting universe, and destroy any possibility of complex life forms or intelligent observers. In short, the universe is indeed a miracle”

    Common category mistake. The Universe is not a “thing” to which this sort of speculation applies. There is no logical necessity for it to have a beginning, an end, a shape or a time, twenty six or eleventy seven fundamental constants . It simply is.
    The Universe has a “What”, it does not have a “Why”.

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  67. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    “Griffin distinguishes between prima facie evils, those which appear evil but give rise to good, versus genuine evils which ‘make the world worse than it would have been without them, all things considered.’ Since genuine evils exist, he continues, any all-good all-powerful Gawd, had He existed, would have eliminated them. Since He didn’t, He does not exist.”

    What is evil? If lifeforms had human conscience, they’d all realize they are ‘evil’. In a way, this is what Buddha figured. He looked at nature and he saw everything eating everyone. He became like Woody Allen. He saw no redeeming facet to life, so he urged the seeking of Nirvana and cosmic extinction.

    https://youtu.be/w1ZLPmYHzdk?t=8s

    Life is all about life eating life with ruthless abandon. Morality only developed because of emotions of attachment arose — first between mother and offsprings — , and this emotions spread and grew stronger. This made animals aware of a sense of ‘wrong’. But they weren’t intelligent enough and didn’t have the power of language these emotions into words and rules.
    So, evil if a human construct. Simple organisms only ‘know’ eating and being eaten. Higher animals get horror. They know the horror of being torn apart by predators.

    Just look at this horror. Imagine you’re a hippo being eaten alive by hyenas.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0sS6zZxYJI

    As life forms became more complex, their sense of horror grew. It increased their chance of survival since a creature that fears horror runs like a mothafuc*a. Also, as the nervous system got more complex, animals felt more pain. This was a mixed blessing. If you felt more pain, you’ll be more afraid of dangers and try to elude them. If animals couldn’t feel pain, a prey animal might just chew on cud while a cougar is chewing on its leg.

    Even so, animals are bestial. They act horrific but act without understanding.. They are like Mike Tyson the moron thug who has no understanding of nuttin.
    Also, they act mainly out of hunger, fear, survivalism, and territoriality.

    In contrast, humans have greater empathy. They know that pain is horrible. So, they know that other humans and animals can feel great pain. So, we expect humans to act on a higher plane, and this is morality. It’s like we judge adults differently from children who don’t know much.

    Even so, much of what is called ‘evil’ may be rooted in simple nature. If a man is hungry, he may steal. It’s immoral but animal. If a man is covetous of another man’s wife, he may take the woman. He may act like a rapist thug, but he is acting by animal nature that goes ‘boing’.
    I don’t see those examples as true evil. I see them them as bestial, brutal, animal.
    Sure, humans who fail to control their animal drives are immoral and must be censured. But their animal lust and covetousness are understandable. In some ways, they are healthy natural drives but channeled wrongly. After all, it’s good to be want a sexual mate. But one mustn’t act like the fellas in SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS. It’s good to want property and stuff, but one mustn’t steal, which would make us like animals. Anyway, whether one gets a woman by courtship or by rape, both are easily understandable.

    I see true evil as something that cannot be understood, neither by way of nature nor by rules of man.

    Consider. Suppose someone murdered your child. Suppose you take the law into your own hands and slowly torture the man to death. One could say you committed a very immoral act. You should have relied on the law to capture and punish the man. Also, you yourself have blood on your hands. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Even so, the emotions of such a man is still understandable. We know why he felt such anger that he did something gruesome. It’s like the father in IN THE BEDROOM. It may be an ‘act of evil’ in the conventional sense but essential evil.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STbngNl_m2s

    But what about a case where you kidnap another person who never did you any wrong and torture him to death. That is beyond comprehension. That would be true evil. Now, some could argue that such a man was born sociopathic and lacks conscience due to something in his brain structure or biochemistry. But the fact is most sociopaths still don’t do stuff like that.

    Brutality is terrible but easily understood. We evolved from animals, and animal instincts still drive us. But some people do horrible things that make no sense in terms of nature, humanity, or justice(desire for revenge).

    Then, what about madness? Is madness evil? If someone suffers from schizophrenia, megalomania, or delusions or nuttery, could that person be considered evil? Maybe religious folks might say he was satan-possessed.
    But if a person was insane or lost control of his senses when he did something crazy, how responsible is he?

    True evil seems to be premeditated where the doer is fully conscious of what he is doing and the harm he is doing to others… but he doesn’t care and even enjoys it. And there is no real gain for him. No monetary gain, no nothing. Instead, he just enjoys the fact that another person is made to suffer.

    One of the most chilling faces of evil was in the film THE VANISHING.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlO2oIieI44

    “Griffin distinguishes between prima facie evils, those which appear evil but give rise to good”

    Do theologians consider the concept of ‘prima facie goods’, those which appear good but give rise to evil?

    Look at EU’s ‘welcoming’ of all those ‘refugees’ on ‘humanitarian’ grounds. It all seems so goody-goody, but it will lead to the downfall of Western Civilization.

    Maybe we should think more in terms of sound and unsound OR sensible and insensible than ‘good’ and ‘evil’ which is too cops and robbers like.

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  68. @Priss Factor
    I know god exists cuz he calls me up sometimes.

    Every human brain is like a cellphone, and god calls up certain folks.

    Once awhile, god will gimme a ring to tell me stuff.

    What do I say when I get the call? I answer, "hello?". And he says, "It's me, god."

    I don't get to decide when and why. He will call me up out of the blue... when I'm going for a stroll, cleaning out the garage, or having a slice of pizza.

    Sometimes, he calls me up to tell me matters of great importance. Sometimes, just to chat about life, books, or movies. Once awhile, he calls me up to blow off steam, especially about how Jews are pushing homo stuff.

    Can I call him back? Sure,but I usually get a busy signal. Or a recorded message, "Hello, this is god speaking. At the moment, I'm creating a new and improved universe where my minions will never come up with stuff like rap or homo parades. I won't be available for 7 days, so just leave a message, and I will get back to you."
    But sometimes the call is answered by customer service angel who, for some reason, has a funny Hindu accent. These angels or heavenly agents, I must admit, are not very nice or helpful. Apparently, god has to outsource some of the divine services to hindus because his core angel force is too busy with cosmic innovation.... or left heaven to join forces with satan.
    If I wanna lodge a complaint about why god won't a send a meteor to hit San Fran, the indian-accent angel says, "Look, you silly little worm, where were you when god made the curry rice recipe? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its ingredients? Surely you know! Who stretched the dough to make the perfect pizza? On what were its toppings set, or who laid the peppers and sausages while Clemenza sang together with Sally for joy? Who poured the wine that burst forth from the bottle, when he made the sand into glass and filled with thick darkness, when he fixed limits for it to prevent drunkenness, and..."

    It is about then I just hang up.

    OM?G my deaf ears allowed me to think He who started asking me “How are you today?” was trying to sell me funeral insurance, a cheap power contract or salvation by giving to the Guide Dogs. I must remember to switch off the Probable Spam warning that my smartphone provides, though, come to think of it, our Abrahamic G-d has an appallingly long record as a spammer. (And that’s being kind: He throws off Trlojans and other malware as lightly as genetic mutations).

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  69. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    “Occam’s razor definitively indicates that by far the best explanation of the facts is that the universe was created not just by an intelligent designer, but by one that must be considered almost supremely intelligent as well as almost supremely creative: a creative intelligence as far beyond Einstein-times-Leonardo-to-the-Nth-power as those great minds were beyond that of a common slug.”

    Applying Occam’s Razor to physics? Give me a break. OR is only good for simple reality against forces of PC. Physics revealed too much strange stuff for us to rely on OBVIOUS solutions.

    Btw, if the cosmos was created by God who loves life and intellect, why did he rig the system so that, out of million stars, only few can have planets that might, just might, produce life that takes billions to evolve into something like intellect? Even among humans, the smartest creatures on earth, most people are tards.

    If some great cosmic mind created the universe to bless with life and reason, he sure went about rigging the system ineffectively. He should have designed it so that every star could have planets that could have life that could evolve into intelligence in a few yrs, not billions of yrs.
    The God of the Bible loves life and humans, so He took 6 days to make everything and then plunked Adam down right away and gave him a woman.

    Suppose I love fish in aquariums… so, with my great power, I create a universe with a billion aquariums but only 10 have the stuff of life in them that may, over a 1 billion yrs, evolve into fish.

    That’s be pretty poor planning.

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  70. Tomster says:

    Having considered these things for near on 7 decades – and having overcome and survived roman catholicism, deism, atheism, and agnosticism – I find a concept that consists of a mere 3 letters inadequate (to say the least) to explain the great Mystery of Being, as I sidle towards the shedding of my mortal coil.

    This ‘erudite’ and ‘rational’ attempt at explaining the meaning of existence in the very limited human understanding of the Cosmos that we Earthlings have at our disposal – when we have such a poor understanding of our own bodies, minds and emotions – smacks to me of both anthropomorphism and hubris, of a kind that puts Augustine of Hippo in the shade.

    As my father famously said: “A man asked me if I think there is a God, and I told him that I’m not sure, but I’m not looking forward to finding out”. Indeed, there is only one way for any of us to find out – please let us all know how it works out for you.

    As I await the inevitable fate of my ancestors, I prefer to trust in DOG (hopefully a yellow Labrador with lots of puppies) – or a very large female Maine Coon Cat, like my own, who daily teaches me everything I need to know about our existence in this world and universe.

    I live, on the first floor of a two story building, in an area of constant seismic activity – most of it almost imperceptible to the most sophisticated monitoring technology – but she and the neighborhood dogs know, and they let me know, 24/7. I trust them to get me the hell out of here in a minute, before my ceiling caves in on me.

    So lots of luck to all of us, in a universe inside a universe, inside a universe – ad infinitum – whose construction, dimensions, contents and meaning (if there is any that we can comprehend beyond ours own little needs), we will never understand should we live for endless trillions of generations. Let alone the Deity who runs the show – if there is one.

    All we can do under the circumstances is to be kind and understanding to one another in our common predicament – unfortunately, that seems to be beyond us.

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  71. Talha says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Can the author explain why trying to glean wisdom or ethics from consideration of his inevitably anthropomorphic deity has got any advantages over trying to infer from the nature and history of man and from evolution what the world of 50 or 100 years hence would be like if it allowed for minimum human misery and no radical destruction of the means for improving man's lot and the best of past culture, and then trying to find a path towards that future, in the meantime persuading mad theists to entertain enough modest doubt to allow the sane and ordinary to get on with the project?

    And what's wrong with multiverses? Any eternal anthropomorphic deity is going to be so lonely and bored that setting off a million big bangs a minute is just what one should expect.

    Hey WoO,

    Just one clarification…

    his inevitably anthropomorphic deity

    It seems Prof. Barrett is a Muslim (and pretty knowledgeable about Sufism – Khidr [as] is a figure that features heavily in Sufi doctrine) thus there is little doubt to me that his concept of God has very little to do with anthropomorphism (which is called ‘tajseem’ and is, at best, a heresy and, at worst, unbelief depending on which theologian is being asked).

    The overarching imperative has always been…
    “…There is nothing like unto Him, yet He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” (42:10)

    Which the scholars explain as; if you can imagine ‘it’, then be sure ‘it’ is not Him.

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    On the run I don't think I mean much more than an empirical judgment that one's deities are anthropomorphic because conceived by the human mind inevitably according to the limited capacities and features of the mind that evolution and 200,000 years of chatter allow. G-d is Good! What conceptions of good can one have that are not grounded in human experience and language developed for everyday existence?
  72. There are at least four resounding falsehoods in the first several paragraphs of this article.

    1. That human CO2 emissions are causing planet-damaging gl0bal warming (they aren’t).

    2. That 9/11 was a false flag (it wasn’t).

    3. That there was a Nazi holocaust (there wasn’t).

    4. And that the “God of classical theism” does not exist (He most certainly does).

    Process theology and the arguments against God’s existence are really nothing but tired tripe to anyone who has studied philosophy and theology seriously. They excite the unlearned sentiments of the dilettantes, but they have no substance. To see this stuff eagerly embraced by so many of the commenters here is very illuminating with regard to the weight they ought to be given when speaking on other matters.

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  73. mcohen says:

    on third thoughts kevin barrett is a convert to islam

    this was wriiten about him on breitfart

    In an interview with Press TV on Tuesday, American scholar Dr. Kevin Barrett said, the September 11, 2001 attacks were a Zionist “coup d’etat” to seize power in the country and launch a permanent war on Islam on behalf of Israel.”

    wtf ron unz

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  74. Seraphim says:
    @Steel T Post
    It's not that I'm a modern "pagan" who prefers the ancient Norse Gods, it's that Christian fanatics keep telling me "Hell is Real!" I've never heard "Hades (or Tartarus) is Real!" but if they said that, I'd then prefer the companionship of the hell-hound Cerberus (or the Titans) over an androgynous utopia floating in the clouds over a foreign middle-eastern capital city ruled by a foreign king. The point being that I'm too loyal to my own blood and soil to lust after foreign enticements.

    My preferred expression of God is "GNON," the "Nature's God" written into the US Declaration of Independence, the "Deus, sive Natura" of Spinoza, the "De rerum natura" of Lucretius. That expression puts my non-foreign Lord'n'Savior firmly in her seat, a homage which gnon would surely approve.

    "Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787
     

    ‘Nature’s God’ is ‘Deus, sive Natura’, but not ‘De rerum natura’.
    ‘De rerum natura’, or ‘De natura rerum’ means ‘On the Nature of Things’. In Latin ‘natura’ means “essential qualities, innate disposition”. You can talk about the ‘nature of God’. ‘Nature’ in the modern sense is a misapplied term.
    The Founding Fathers spoke of the ‘Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God’ (the God of Nature), defining immediately the ‘nature’ of God, the “Creator”.

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    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    Seraphim, two books I'd recommend to disabuse your misconceptions about the influence of Lucretius' poem "De rerum natura" on the modern concept of Nature's God:

    • Matthew Stewart (2014) Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic. W.W. Norton & Co. (pp. 79-102 mentions Lucretius' poem De Rerum Natura many times)
    • Stephen Greenblatt (2011) The Swerve: How the World Became Modern. W.W. Norton & Co. (covers the history and influence of Lucretius' poem De Rerum Natura. pp. 70-71 addresses Jefferson's concept of Nature's God)
  75. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Maybe our universe in just some ‘brainfart’ inside another being’s mind.

    We are conscious of reality around us, but we don’t know most of what’s happening inside our heads. Every sec, the neurons are firing all over the place and lots of stuff is happening. But we are unaware of them. But they are happening just the same inside our brains. So, we don’t know most of what is happening in our mind-verse.

    So, maybe the cosmos is some part of the brain of ‘god’, and this god doesn’t know that this cosmos of ours even came into being in his god-mind. Maybe it is a subconscious creation of god.

    So, there are two interpretations of the cosmos as part of god-mind:

    1. Some super-mind-god consciously designed the universe that we live in…

    Or

    2. Some super-mind-god is working on some other project BUT our universe formed his mind unbeknownst to him.

    It’s like Brahma of Hinduism.

    Brahma is the creator god of Hinduism BUT he is lost in a dream, which suggests that his creation is a dream. The Jewish God ‘consciously’ created everything in a very proactive way. In contrast Brahma sleeps and dreams. So, he could be partly conscious of what he is doing but partly unconscious as well. Also, he himself is part of this dream, so he is like a dream in a dream, like two mirrors parallel to one another with infinite reflections.

    In TRON LEGACY, we learn that Flynn went inside the cyber world to consciously plan, map out, and design everything. He even created a double of himself, Clu, to finish the job when he’s back in reality. So, this cyberworld was supposed to be the ‘intelligently-designed’ world of Flynn and Clu. BUT, a new creation generated from a part of his mind that he was completely unaware of: a magical race of ‘eye-sores’. It was not born of intelligence, reason, logic, or intellect but of dream, inspiration, spark, spontaneity. Flynn thought he was the all-knowing master-designer of the cyberworld, but he discovered there was another part of his mind and soul with creative capacity beyond his own understanding.

    So, maybe we can argue that our universe isn’t so much a part of ‘intelligent design’ but ‘inspiration spark’, a super-neuronic flare of a super-cosmic-god who isn’t even aware of this part of himself.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9szn1QQfas

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ48-hK12aA

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  76. @Assistant Village Idiot
    As you have begged many questions, I doubt you will have much ability to consider other points of view. Yes, all we theists entertain no modest doubts at all, even in theory. Pascal, Descartes, Aquinas, Kierkegaard - all these were only pretending to ask honestly. Only smart people like you have seen through it all.

    If you do have some interest, however, Lewis points out that all talk about anything transcendent must necessarily be metaphorical, long before we get to discussion of deities. An anthromorphic deity is no worse than images of multiverses, vasty deeps, inaccurate pictures of atomic structures, etc. It may be better, because then at least the deeper thinkers can be easily aware that they are dealing in metaphor - as both Jewish and Christian theologians have done for centuries. Monty Python may believe in an elderly bearded man in a chair with clouds under his feet. It may comfort you to think that I do.

    What’s the point of all your interest in a deity, especially a metaphorical one (that inevitably is manmade and anthropomorphic, is it not?)?

    Clearly it is not going to contribute to physics, chemistry or any of the sciences which, for most people born in the West, give us a much better life than 300 years ago. And how can it contribute to ethics/morality?

    I presume you are not one of those who believes your theism has anything to say in justification for one lot of believers imposing their views, with punishing sanctions, on others who disagree with them, for example in conceiving of rights for human zygotes and blastocysts as though they were participating members of a community????

    What by the way do you say are the relevant questions I have begged?

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    • Replies: @Pat the Rat
    Science and discovery first accelerated in the west in Christian universities and monasteries.

    My own view is because Christianity is a notoriously fuzzy religion, given to multiple interpretations and resists institutionalization by earthly powers.

    One of them showed him a Roman coin, and he asked them whose head and inscription were on it. They answered, "Caesar's," and he responded: "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's"

    Free will, free thought, worship, delight in the world and knowledge for its own sake, contemplation of the good and making objects which eased the burdens of men who had rejected slavery. These are characteristics of the Christian west, and it was a perfect cradle for science.
  77. ‘…In the Qur’an’s Surat al-Kahf, Moses, the human law-giver, seeks enlightenment by following al-Khadir, the timeless and ageless Green Man…’

    I am very pleased to know that one of the leaders of the 9-11 truther movement believes this.

    1/ If this ‘Green Man’ is ‘timeless and ageless’ where is he today? Maybe he died.

    2/ If this ‘Green Man’ is ‘timeless and ageless’ wouldn’t that make him a deity? I thought Muslims didn’t believe a man could be a deity.

    3/ If this ‘Green Man’ is timeless why doesn’t he go back in time and fix things? Pretty useless for a timeless man, no?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey anony-mouse,

    Clarifications...

    Again, don't know why he used the word 'timeless'. 'Ageless' would have been enough. But there is a problem with this also, since no one agrees whether he is indeed alive and wandering the earth or has passed away. There is also only speculation as to whether he was a prophet or simply a very wise, saintly man to whom certain secrets were revealed.

    In all, there is simply not enough evidence to say much about him with conviction.

    Being ageless would not make him a deity since he would still have been created, but yes, we don't believe anything in creation could be divine.

    Peace.
  78. Tomster says:

    Having considered these things for near on 7 decades – and having overcome and survived roman catholicism, deism, atheism, and agnosticism – I find a concept that consists of a mere 3 letters inadequate (to say the least) in explaining the great Mystery of Being, as I sidle towards the shedding of my mortal coil.

    This ‘erudite’ and ‘rational’ attempt at explaining the meaning of existence in our very limited human understanding of the Cosmos, that we Earthlings have at our disposal – when we have such a poor understanding of our own bodies, minds and emotions – smacks to me of both anthropomorphism and hubris, of a kind that puts Augustine of Hippo in the shade.

    As my father said to me: “A man asked me if I think there is a God, and I told him that I’m not sure, but I’m not looking forward to finding out”. Indeed, there is only one way for any of us to find out – please let us all know how it works out for you.

    As I await the inevitable fate of my ancestors, I prefer to trust in DOG (hopefully a yellow Labrador with lots of puppies) – or a very large female Maine Coon Cat, like my own, who daily teaches me everything I need to know about our existence in this world and universe.

    I live on the first floor of a two story building, in an area of constant seismic activity – most of it almost imperceptible to the most sophisticated monitoring technology – but my cat and the neighborhood dogs know, and they let me know, 24/7. I trust them to get me the hell out of here in a minute, before my ceiling caves in on me.

    So lots of luck to all of us (the Crown of Creation), in a universe inside a universe, inside a universe – ad infinitum – whose construction, dimensions, contents and meaning (if there is any that we can comprehend beyond ours own little needs) we will never understand should we live for endless trillions of generations. Let alone the Deity who runs the show – if there is one.

    All we can do under the circumstances is to be kind and understanding to one another in our common predicament – unfortunately, that seems to be beyond us.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jamie b.
    “A man asked me if I think there is a God, and I told him that I’m not sure, but I’m not looking forward to finding out”

    Dumb.

    1) This kinda presumes the existence of an eternal soul that survives to find out.

    2) But even if given a soul and a god, why does the god necessarily make its existence known to the soul?

    2) And given a soul but no god, why/how should the disembodied soul come to know the answer? How does being dead make one omniscient?
  79. Tomster says:
    @Anon
    "The most important is the problem of theodicy: How can an infinitely good, infinitely powerful god permit evil?"

    Because God made man free. If man can only choose to be good, he isn't free, and without freedom, there is no true morality.

    If I program a robot to say only, "I love you" and never "Fuc* you and kiss my ass", he would be a 'good' robot only programmed to be good. But it wouldn't be free.

    To be free and to be moral means to have the freedom to choose to be good or choose to be evil.
    So, freedom makes the choice of good and evil possible. It's the core question in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. If science can 'treat' people to only act 'good', are they really good? Or are they like robots? Alex, after treatment, can no longer do bad. But it has nothing to do with goodness of the heart or conscience. He's just be chemically-'castrated that he can't act on his evil impulses.

    So, morality cannot exist without freedom, and freedom means we can choose to be good or evil.

    This is the difference between a free society and a totalitarian utopian society. Under liberal democracy, there is more freedom for good and evil. Under communism, only the 'good' was permitted: equality, sharing, and unity.
    Most people prefer freedom to choose between good and evil. They don't want to live in a world where they are forced to be good all the time.
    Granted, communism, in the name of enforcing the good, did a lot of evil.
    In contrast, free western societies, though offering more freedom for vice, chose the good over the bad. Is it because people are naturally more good than bad? So, for every evil person, there are 100 good people? Or were western societies instilled with good ideas and institutions that encouraged good behavior over the bad? If so, we should be worried about cultural rot and decadence because they degrade the sensibilities and moralities of people.

    Now, if God allowed freedom because true morality must be based on free will -- the conscience to choose the good over the bad -- , what about innocent victims of evil people? After all, some people will choose to be evil and do stuff bad stuff to innocent folks. Then what?

    Well, according to many religions, there is a righting of wrongs in the afterlife. Christianity says the Vengeance is God's. So, if an evil serial killer murders an innocent woman, not to worry. The serial killer will burn in hell or undergo serious purgatory(if he repents) and the innocent woman will be taken into the bosom of God. According to Hinduism there is Karma to straighten things out. So, if an evil punk did bad and got rich while a good man died poor, karma will make the evil punk be reborn as a spider or Jeb Bush while the good man who died poor will be reborn as Sean Connery or John Wayne.
    So, there is justice after all in the cosmic order of things.

    May you and Pascal rest in peace.

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  80. Seraphim says:
    @Steel T Post
    I note how you mock the myths of your ancestors and hanker after foreign fables. You've been scammed by the merchants of The Deciever (Jacob, who was then "blessed" as Israel) selling you a mess of pottage. Why don't you come over and bat for the home team?

    Baseball is not my cup o’ tea. Judging by the moronic spectators.

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  81. I believe that God exists because I want answers after I die. I was raised Roman Catholic but left the RCC because I don’t accept black/Asian priests-popes. I still am a Christian. Judaism ended in 30 A.D. and Islam is a Christian heresy.

    The line in the Bible about “man being made in God’s image” is such a puzzle when you look at the black/Asian races, their physical unattractiveness and their lower IQs. What are their purposes on earth? Then within the Caucasian races life is still very unfair. If you don’t have an IQ of 90+, you’ve got problems. Health issues, poverty, so many bad things that can happen.

    The fall of Adam and Eve is not a good enough answer and the punishment has
    been too much. I’ve had a pretty good life (with some unfortunate incidents) but better than 90% of all people in the world. But I know it can be better and I hope and pray it will get better even though I get older every day. I hope it will be better after I die. I want answers.

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    • Replies: @Seraphim
    @ I want answers.

    Read very carefully Like 16:19-31 until you could recite it by heart. Repeat it every time you go to sleep and in the morning when you wake up.

  82. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Some might argue… why should God give a damn about tiny little earth when it’s a speck of a speck of a speck in the universe with a gazillion trillion billion million stars?

    But some might argue… cuz it’s special.

    It’s like this. Suppose a man owns a huge amount of land, and it is filled with weeds and weeds but there is one flower. Some might ask… why would he care about that one flower when there are a billion weeds on the land? Well, because the flower is a miracle, a special exception.

    So, one could argue a kind of covenant happened on Earth. While the cosmos is teeming with stars and planets, only on earth did a life-form arise to evolve into creatures with souls who could ponder the universe and form a spiritual bond with its master/creator.

    So, while most planets are lifeless, this cosmic covenant filled earth with life. And even if some other planets have life, the life on earth is special because it discovered the ‘face’ of God.

    I think Jews had a similar mentality. Sure, there were lots of other tribes in other lands, but it was only to Jews and Jews alone that the true ‘face’ of God was revealed, and the Covenant formed whereby God told Jews to slit their puds.

    Earthly life is not the norm but the product of cosmic covenant, something special… like Jews believe Jewish life isn’t the norm but special because of the special blessing of God.

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    • Replies: @Seraphim
    @why should God give a damn about tiny little earth when it’s a speck of a speck of a speck in the universe with a gazillion trillion billion million stars?

    My friend, the answer is blowing in the wind: because it is His creation and He cares for it as you would care for your children!

  83. jamie b. says:
    @Tomster
    Having considered these things for near on 7 decades - and having overcome and survived roman catholicism, deism, atheism, and agnosticism - I find a concept that consists of a mere 3 letters inadequate (to say the least) in explaining the great Mystery of Being, as I sidle towards the shedding of my mortal coil.

    This 'erudite' and 'rational' attempt at explaining the meaning of existence in our very limited human understanding of the Cosmos, that we Earthlings have at our disposal - when we have such a poor understanding of our own bodies, minds and emotions - smacks to me of both anthropomorphism and hubris, of a kind that puts Augustine of Hippo in the shade.

    As my father said to me: "A man asked me if I think there is a God, and I told him that I'm not sure, but I'm not looking forward to finding out". Indeed, there is only one way for any of us to find out - please let us all know how it works out for you.

    As I await the inevitable fate of my ancestors, I prefer to trust in DOG (hopefully a yellow Labrador with lots of puppies) - or a very large female Maine Coon Cat, like my own, who daily teaches me everything I need to know about our existence in this world and universe.

    I live on the first floor of a two story building, in an area of constant seismic activity - most of it almost imperceptible to the most sophisticated monitoring technology - but my cat and the neighborhood dogs know, and they let me know, 24/7. I trust them to get me the hell out of here in a minute, before my ceiling caves in on me.

    So lots of luck to all of us (the Crown of Creation), in a universe inside a universe, inside a universe - ad infinitum - whose construction, dimensions, contents and meaning (if there is any that we can comprehend beyond ours own little needs) we will never understand should we live for endless trillions of generations. Let alone the Deity who runs the show - if there is one.

    All we can do under the circumstances is to be kind and understanding to one another in our common predicament - unfortunately, that seems to be beyond us.

    “A man asked me if I think there is a God, and I told him that I’m not sure, but I’m not looking forward to finding out”

    Dumb.

    1) This kinda presumes the existence of an eternal soul that survives to find out.

    2) But even if given a soul and a god, why does the god necessarily make its existence known to the soul?

    2) And given a soul but no god, why/how should the disembodied soul come to know the answer? How does being dead make one omniscient?

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  84. Calvin said that you cannot disprove a negative. He was right.
    A non-existent deity requires no arguments against it. It simply is not. Nothing to disbelieve.

    Paul noted that an entity which created and controlled the cosmos, while it exists within and around us, decrees our fate and life course, simultaneously exists on a scale of cosmic time. Galaxies, that sort of thing. As such, God is like a 5th dimension that permeates all 4 of our ordinary dimensions. God is ordinary reality suffused with non-ordinary reality.

    Having said that, this book sounds insanely tedious…..

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  85. mjazz says:
    @Authenticjazzman
    God does most certainly exist however within an entirely different context and that being :

    Each and every human being is " God" , as each and every human is creating their own universe, the whole of it, and they are then the God of their own self-created reality/universe/dimension.

    This means that within this space arrangement called "Earth" there are approx seven billion overlapping universes being created within this moment, the moment of the eternal "Now".

    The main bone of contention being the claim by religious groups that there exists a "Separate" "outside" God who is directing and creating the existing viewable reality, and this being the greatest misunderstanding of mankind the false idea of an "outside" God. There is no "outside" God: you are the God of your own reality, period.

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artist.

    Why are we creating a communal hell, then?

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  86. mjazz says:

    Anyone who thinks that the Israelis are systematically killing palestinian children is prejudiced and terribly misinformed.

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  87. @Steel T Post
    It's not that I'm a modern "pagan" who prefers the ancient Norse Gods, it's that Christian fanatics keep telling me "Hell is Real!" I've never heard "Hades (or Tartarus) is Real!" but if they said that, I'd then prefer the companionship of the hell-hound Cerberus (or the Titans) over an androgynous utopia floating in the clouds over a foreign middle-eastern capital city ruled by a foreign king. The point being that I'm too loyal to my own blood and soil to lust after foreign enticements.

    My preferred expression of God is "GNON," the "Nature's God" written into the US Declaration of Independence, the "Deus, sive Natura" of Spinoza, the "De rerum natura" of Lucretius. That expression puts my non-foreign Lord'n'Savior firmly in her seat, a homage which gnon would surely approve.

    "Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787
     

    Just checking… you do know that Spinoza was also a (((foreign middle Easterner))) stranded in Europe? Not that I care. I would rather be reincarnated than spend eternity anywhere. I cannot know what the afterlife is like until I experience it. It is all speculation, as is the existence or non-existence of god.

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    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    Khan, I don't worship Spinoza; I am crediting a writer for the term Nature's God when it has been earned.

    The Declaration of Independence, that extraordinary document first drafted by Thomas Jefferson, softly echoes Spinoza. John Locke, Spinoza’s contemporary — both were born in 1632 — is a more obvious influence on Jefferson than Spinoza was. But Locke had himself been influenced by Spinoza’s ideas...Locke’s library not only included all of Spinoza’s important works...Spinoza’s collected works were also in Jefferson’s library, so Spinoza’s impact may not just have been by way of Locke.

    Reasonable Doubt
    nytimes.com/2006/07/29/opinion/29goldstein.html
     
  88. Seraphim says:
    @attilathehen
    I believe that God exists because I want answers after I die. I was raised Roman Catholic but left the RCC because I don't accept black/Asian priests-popes. I still am a Christian. Judaism ended in 30 A.D. and Islam is a Christian heresy.

    The line in the Bible about "man being made in God's image" is such a puzzle when you look at the black/Asian races, their physical unattractiveness and their lower IQs. What are their purposes on earth? Then within the Caucasian races life is still very unfair. If you don't have an IQ of 90+, you've got problems. Health issues, poverty, so many bad things that can happen.

    The fall of Adam and Eve is not a good enough answer and the punishment has
    been too much. I've had a pretty good life (with some unfortunate incidents) but better than 90% of all people in the world. But I know it can be better and I hope and pray it will get better even though I get older every day. I hope it will be better after I die. I want answers.

    @ I want answers.

    Read very carefully Like 16:19-31 until you could recite it by heart. Repeat it every time you go to sleep and in the morning when you wake up.

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    • Replies: @attilathehen
    Thank you. I know this passage. But it still doesn't answer my questions.
    , @Seraphim
    My friend,

    If you want only the answer that would please you, you have the liberty to give it yourself. Many people fabricated their own paradises.

  89. @Seraphim
    'Nature's God' is 'Deus, sive Natura', but not 'De rerum natura'.
    'De rerum natura', or 'De natura rerum' means 'On the Nature of Things'. In Latin 'natura' means "essential qualities, innate disposition". You can talk about the 'nature of God'. 'Nature' in the modern sense is a misapplied term.
    The Founding Fathers spoke of the 'Laws of Nature and of Nature's God' (the God of Nature), defining immediately the 'nature' of God, the "Creator".

    Seraphim, two books I’d recommend to disabuse your misconceptions about the influence of Lucretius’ poem “De rerum natura” on the modern concept of Nature’s God:

    • Matthew Stewart (2014) Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic. W.W. Norton & Co. (pp. 79-102 mentions Lucretius’ poem De Rerum Natura many times)
    • Stephen Greenblatt (2011) The Swerve: How the World Became Modern. W.W. Norton & Co. (covers the history and influence of Lucretius’ poem De Rerum Natura. pp. 70-71 addresses Jefferson’s concept of Nature’s God)

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    • Replies: @Seraphim
    It looks like you have some difficulty understanding.
  90. @Anon
    "The most important is the problem of theodicy: How can an infinitely good, infinitely powerful god permit evil?"

    Because God made man free. If man can only choose to be good, he isn't free, and without freedom, there is no true morality.

    If I program a robot to say only, "I love you" and never "Fuc* you and kiss my ass", he would be a 'good' robot only programmed to be good. But it wouldn't be free.

    To be free and to be moral means to have the freedom to choose to be good or choose to be evil.
    So, freedom makes the choice of good and evil possible. It's the core question in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. If science can 'treat' people to only act 'good', are they really good? Or are they like robots? Alex, after treatment, can no longer do bad. But it has nothing to do with goodness of the heart or conscience. He's just be chemically-'castrated that he can't act on his evil impulses.

    So, morality cannot exist without freedom, and freedom means we can choose to be good or evil.

    This is the difference between a free society and a totalitarian utopian society. Under liberal democracy, there is more freedom for good and evil. Under communism, only the 'good' was permitted: equality, sharing, and unity.
    Most people prefer freedom to choose between good and evil. They don't want to live in a world where they are forced to be good all the time.
    Granted, communism, in the name of enforcing the good, did a lot of evil.
    In contrast, free western societies, though offering more freedom for vice, chose the good over the bad. Is it because people are naturally more good than bad? So, for every evil person, there are 100 good people? Or were western societies instilled with good ideas and institutions that encouraged good behavior over the bad? If so, we should be worried about cultural rot and decadence because they degrade the sensibilities and moralities of people.

    Now, if God allowed freedom because true morality must be based on free will -- the conscience to choose the good over the bad -- , what about innocent victims of evil people? After all, some people will choose to be evil and do stuff bad stuff to innocent folks. Then what?

    Well, according to many religions, there is a righting of wrongs in the afterlife. Christianity says the Vengeance is God's. So, if an evil serial killer murders an innocent woman, not to worry. The serial killer will burn in hell or undergo serious purgatory(if he repents) and the innocent woman will be taken into the bosom of God. According to Hinduism there is Karma to straighten things out. So, if an evil punk did bad and got rich while a good man died poor, karma will make the evil punk be reborn as a spider or Jeb Bush while the good man who died poor will be reborn as Sean Connery or John Wayne.
    So, there is justice after all in the cosmic order of things.

    What many don’t understand Anon is this:

    Go made man free as you state to do both good and evil.

    But if God is good, there must be a universal judgement and reckoning, a righting of wrongs.

    If God is wholly good then a universal justice must be a reality to balance out all the evil men do in this life which is never punished.

    Free will implies universal justice.

    Free will was given to us as an act of love and goodness and universal justice must exist also as an act of love and goodness.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I've just had a call "Tell that presumptuous little Rat to get off his high horse and to stop telling people he knows what is good and bad and, outrageously, whether I am good or bad.

    "All that tosh about judgment and righting of wrongs shows that he hasn't a clue what eternity means or considered what my being eternal entails. He'll find that he's waiting a long time eventually.

    "Pathetic really that they think there is anything I regard as good or bad in the affairs of these puny but sometimes entertaining little creatures. They really must think I give a damn about them and their ridiculous preening and posturing".
  91. @Wizard of Oz
    What's the point of all your interest in a deity, especially a metaphorical one (that inevitably is manmade and anthropomorphic, is it not?)?

    Clearly it is not going to contribute to physics, chemistry or any of the sciences which, for most people born in the West, give us a much better life than 300 years ago. And how can it contribute to ethics/morality?

    I presume you are not one of those who believes your theism has anything to say in justification for one lot of believers imposing their views, with punishing sanctions, on others who disagree with them, for example in conceiving of rights for human zygotes and blastocysts as though they were participating members of a community????

    What by the way do you say are the relevant questions I have begged?

    Science and discovery first accelerated in the west in Christian universities and monasteries.

    My own view is because Christianity is a notoriously fuzzy religion, given to multiple interpretations and resists institutionalization by earthly powers.

    One of them showed him a Roman coin, and he asked them whose head and inscription were on it. They answered, “Caesar’s,” and he responded: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s”

    Free will, free thought, worship, delight in the world and knowledge for its own sake, contemplation of the good and making objects which eased the burdens of men who had rejected slavery. These are characteristics of the Christian west, and it was a perfect cradle for science.

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  92. Seraphim says:
    @Anon
    Some might argue... why should God give a damn about tiny little earth when it's a speck of a speck of a speck in the universe with a gazillion trillion billion million stars?

    But some might argue... cuz it's special.

    It's like this. Suppose a man owns a huge amount of land, and it is filled with weeds and weeds but there is one flower. Some might ask... why would he care about that one flower when there are a billion weeds on the land? Well, because the flower is a miracle, a special exception.

    So, one could argue a kind of covenant happened on Earth. While the cosmos is teeming with stars and planets, only on earth did a life-form arise to evolve into creatures with souls who could ponder the universe and form a spiritual bond with its master/creator.

    So, while most planets are lifeless, this cosmic covenant filled earth with life. And even if some other planets have life, the life on earth is special because it discovered the 'face' of God.

    I think Jews had a similar mentality. Sure, there were lots of other tribes in other lands, but it was only to Jews and Jews alone that the true 'face' of God was revealed, and the Covenant formed whereby God told Jews to slit their puds.

    Earthly life is not the norm but the product of cosmic covenant, something special... like Jews believe Jewish life isn't the norm but special because of the special blessing of God.

    @why should God give a damn about tiny little earth when it’s a speck of a speck of a speck in the universe with a gazillion trillion billion million stars?

    My friend, the answer is blowing in the wind: because it is His creation and He cares for it as you would care for your children!

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    • Replies: @Anon
    "My friend, the answer is blowing in the wind: because it is His creation and He cares for it as you would care for your children!"

    That metaphor doesn't work.

    Parents produce just few children and take care of them as their own.

    Suppose parents produced a billion children. Why would they care about just a few over all others?

    God didn't just create Earth and humans. He created gazillions and gazillions of stars. So, that begs the question, why should He care so much about a speck of a speck called Earth?

    On the cosmic scale, Earth is merely one 'atom' among gazillions of 'atoms' that make up suns and other planets.

    Imagine you're a parent and you have a kid. The kid is made of gazillions of cells. Would you care more about a single cell on the kid than the whole kid?

    If God created all the cosmos, then all of the cosmos is his child. Earth is just an 'atom' or 'cell' of the cosmos. So, why would God care so much about this one single cell?

    The ONLY answer is that Earth is a special unique 'atom' or 'cell' unlike any other. So, Earth has a special covenant with God. One could say God positioned Earth in such a way that it and only it could produce life that could discover and worship Him. So, earth is to God in the way that Jews(according to Judaism) are to God. Unique, special, irreplaceable. Diamond among stones.

  93. @Art
    It is rational to believe that there is a God. Believing in God is not only a matter of faith. There are logical reasons to believe that there is a God.

    It is not rational to believe that God plays an actual role in the individual events of the universe. Science has never ever recorded a super natural event. With every advance in human observational skill, science finds a logical answer as to the how and why things work. There is an explainable natural progression of natural organization from atoms to human culture.

    From a Western perspective, notions of god have evolved. First was our native thinking that god was nature, that animals and rivers and winds had god like attributes. Then the Greek notion of multiple gods with different human attributes appeared. Then came the monotheistic Sun god. Then the Old Testament god of fire and brimstone that played with mankind. Then came the hopeful forgiving can-do optimistic Christian god. Our thinking has progressed. We are on God 5.0, going to God 6.0.

    God 6.0 is - God the Creator. Our mind tells us that there is a beginning to everything. Science says that there is a beginning to the Universe. Our mind logically tells us that there is a cause behind everything – science agrees. Why not call that cause God?

    For all of human time, three intuitive notions have been held by humanity as valid. The first is that we each are unique individuals. Second is that we all are connect together in some way with nature. And thirdly that there is a God. Science has proved the first two to be absolutely true. Why not go with the third notion also?

    This God 6.0 created a universe that fostered us – he created a universe with consistent rules that we can begin to understand. We have use those rules to advance our species. The notions propagated by the Christian God 5.0 are bearing fruit. God 6.0 is a natural progression of human thinking.

    Believing in God 6.0 is rational and productive.

    If is rational to believe in God

    Define your concept of God

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    • Replies: @Art
    It is rational to believe in God

    Define your concept of God


    Science says the universe had a beginning – and science says that the universe will die. Intuitively we believe that that everything (i.e., every single definable entity) has a beginning and a possible ending.

    I place god as the cause of the beginning. I see god "as the Creator" – nothing more – nothing less. The universe that god created, gave every piece or bit of energy, the task of lasting as long as it can. Combining with other bits of energy is the modus operandi to accomplish god’s task.

    Our human thinking about god has changed over time --- God 6.0 is Darwin’s God. Darwin’s thinking on evolution, took god out of everyday events. Now we must face the chaos of the universe on our own – we can no longer evoke god to help us. This is a good thing – because it is reality.

    Will there eventually be a God 7.0 – most likely yes.
  94. Griffin is wrong about the improbability. The anthropic principle gives a simple explanation of it. AP in its most basic version says: intelligent observers must be present for this kind of debate to arise so there is a selective bias implied by the debate. It doesnt matter how many alternative worlds which might exist, and actually even the probability doesnt matter.
    But religion is such a powerful institution that people who have professed the AP have a defensive stance and there is a lot of irrational revulsion against AP. Wallace, Darwins competitor was an early exponent of AP.
    Did Griffin bring it up in the book and Kevin didnt mention that? Maybe, in any case AP certainly ought to be a part of this kind of analysis.
    Some scientists suspect that there may be a uniqueness in how the universe must be and that only one set of natural laws may arise from pure mathematics. Others that there might be critical events when different types of natural law might have arisen. And that some degree of arbitrariness would be involved. In the latter case AP matters.
    But science is a method. An evolving method. It undergoes change. The change may involve fundamental concepts like time. The so called relativity theory associated with Einstein meant a smooth transition from the previous framework. Conceivably such a change may be so dramatic as to be denoted singular. That is, after embracing it what happens next is unpredictable. Electromagnetism is associated with sofar unemployed symmetries of a dramatic character. Scientists have known that for over a century but dont really know what to make of it. The realization or belief among established science that there appears to exist so called dark matter might give a clue.
    A singular change might be that the universe becomes understood as an introspection of ourselves. And it might be associated with something religious people would find comfort in and could elaborate on as part of their deeply felt intuitions. But there is no guarantee for that. Goethe said after collecting the various faustian legends to create his own synthesis that he felt it was about himself. But Faust made a pact with the devil.
    In the Bible knowledge is associated with sin leading to the expulsion from the Paradise of blissful ignorance.
    In other words science is evil if you agree with those two examples.
    Is that the case? Is the search for truth without fear of what you might uncover an act of evil?

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    As a lucid expositor of cosmic matters would you be so kind as to explain how one can talk sensibly of our universe consisting in part of Dark Energy.

    I understand that it is now said to be made up of 5 per cent regular matter (periodic table and associated quarks, muons etc), 25 per cent dark matter - which, as "matter" one can understand having mass - and 70 per cent Dark Energy (that I undestand is associated with the constant expansion of the universe).

    I understand that E=mc^2 means mass and energy are just two ways of accounting for the same stuff (though I can never remember the answer to the question "why is it true without specification of the units of measurement?"). But that doesn't really answer my question. It doesn't even get close to answering how we know 70 per cent or what yhat means...
  95. Seraphim says:
    @Steel T Post
    Seraphim, two books I'd recommend to disabuse your misconceptions about the influence of Lucretius' poem "De rerum natura" on the modern concept of Nature's God:

    • Matthew Stewart (2014) Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic. W.W. Norton & Co. (pp. 79-102 mentions Lucretius' poem De Rerum Natura many times)
    • Stephen Greenblatt (2011) The Swerve: How the World Became Modern. W.W. Norton & Co. (covers the history and influence of Lucretius' poem De Rerum Natura. pp. 70-71 addresses Jefferson's concept of Nature's God)

    It looks like you have some difficulty understanding.

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    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    Speaking of difficulty understanding, St. Paul claims the slow-witted ones are his own followers who accept the Gawd nonsense. Later, the Jesus character was presented as seeking believers from those whose intellect had not developed beyond childhood.

    • ...the cross is nonsense...the nonsense of our preaching...Not many of you were wise by human standards... 1 Corinthians 1:18-26
    • ...anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. Luke 18:17
    • ... because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Matt. 11:25
     
    Who would dare disagree with one of the few points upon which the Bible and Science jibe?

    A meta-analysis of 63 studies showed a significant negative association between intelligence and religiosity.
    journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1088868313497266
     
    Glass houses, stones, and all that.
  96. @Pat the Rat
    What many don't understand Anon is this:

    Go made man free as you state to do both good and evil.

    But if God is good, there must be a universal judgement and reckoning, a righting of wrongs.

    If God is wholly good then a universal justice must be a reality to balance out all the evil men do in this life which is never punished.

    Free will implies universal justice.

    Free will was given to us as an act of love and goodness and universal justice must exist also as an act of love and goodness.

    I’ve just had a call “Tell that presumptuous little Rat to get off his high horse and to stop telling people he knows what is good and bad and, outrageously, whether I am good or bad.

    “All that tosh about judgment and righting of wrongs shows that he hasn’t a clue what eternity means or considered what my being eternal entails. He’ll find that he’s waiting a long time eventually.

    “Pathetic really that they think there is anything I regard as good or bad in the affairs of these puny but sometimes entertaining little creatures. They really must think I give a damn about them and their ridiculous preening and posturing”.

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  97. jb says:
    @Anon
    "The most important is the problem of theodicy: How can an infinitely good, infinitely powerful god permit evil?"

    Because God made man free. If man can only choose to be good, he isn't free, and without freedom, there is no true morality.

    If I program a robot to say only, "I love you" and never "Fuc* you and kiss my ass", he would be a 'good' robot only programmed to be good. But it wouldn't be free.

    To be free and to be moral means to have the freedom to choose to be good or choose to be evil.
    So, freedom makes the choice of good and evil possible. It's the core question in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. If science can 'treat' people to only act 'good', are they really good? Or are they like robots? Alex, after treatment, can no longer do bad. But it has nothing to do with goodness of the heart or conscience. He's just be chemically-'castrated that he can't act on his evil impulses.

    So, morality cannot exist without freedom, and freedom means we can choose to be good or evil.

    This is the difference between a free society and a totalitarian utopian society. Under liberal democracy, there is more freedom for good and evil. Under communism, only the 'good' was permitted: equality, sharing, and unity.
    Most people prefer freedom to choose between good and evil. They don't want to live in a world where they are forced to be good all the time.
    Granted, communism, in the name of enforcing the good, did a lot of evil.
    In contrast, free western societies, though offering more freedom for vice, chose the good over the bad. Is it because people are naturally more good than bad? So, for every evil person, there are 100 good people? Or were western societies instilled with good ideas and institutions that encouraged good behavior over the bad? If so, we should be worried about cultural rot and decadence because they degrade the sensibilities and moralities of people.

    Now, if God allowed freedom because true morality must be based on free will -- the conscience to choose the good over the bad -- , what about innocent victims of evil people? After all, some people will choose to be evil and do stuff bad stuff to innocent folks. Then what?

    Well, according to many religions, there is a righting of wrongs in the afterlife. Christianity says the Vengeance is God's. So, if an evil serial killer murders an innocent woman, not to worry. The serial killer will burn in hell or undergo serious purgatory(if he repents) and the innocent woman will be taken into the bosom of God. According to Hinduism there is Karma to straighten things out. So, if an evil punk did bad and got rich while a good man died poor, karma will make the evil punk be reborn as a spider or Jeb Bush while the good man who died poor will be reborn as Sean Connery or John Wayne.
    So, there is justice after all in the cosmic order of things.

    A simple question: can people who go to Heaven still do evil after they get there?

    If they can, then presumably this will get them kicked out of Heaven, so Heaven is not really eternal, at least not for everybody.

    If they can’t, then by your reasoning there is no free will in Heaven. And since Heaven is supposed to be the most wonderful place ever, wouldn’t this seem to imply that maybe free will isn’t so important after all?

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Nice.
    , @RSDB
    I could write a long reply, but this about sums it up: https://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/FRWILL.HTM .

    Yours is a very natural question.
  98. Talha says:
    @anony-mouse
    '...In the Qur’an’s Surat al-Kahf, Moses, the human law-giver, seeks enlightenment by following al-Khadir, the timeless and ageless Green Man...'

    I am very pleased to know that one of the leaders of the 9-11 truther movement believes this.

    1/ If this 'Green Man' is 'timeless and ageless' where is he today? Maybe he died.

    2/ If this 'Green Man' is 'timeless and ageless' wouldn't that make him a deity? I thought Muslims didn't believe a man could be a deity.

    3/ If this 'Green Man' is timeless why doesn't he go back in time and fix things? Pretty useless for a timeless man, no?

    Hey anony-mouse,

    Clarifications…

    Again, don’t know why he used the word ‘timeless’. ‘Ageless’ would have been enough. But there is a problem with this also, since no one agrees whether he is indeed alive and wandering the earth or has passed away. There is also only speculation as to whether he was a prophet or simply a very wise, saintly man to whom certain secrets were revealed.

    In all, there is simply not enough evidence to say much about him with conviction.

    Being ageless would not make him a deity since he would still have been created, but yes, we don’t believe anything in creation could be divine.

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @mtn cur
    Hi Talha:

    Gotta wonder how much confusion and conflict is caused by the reciprocal and opposite images in this arcade of mirrors called earth. Believing that if God "forgets our sins," then they are no more, as if never having existed, it seems that by thinking of us, our existence is maintained by Gods thoughts. Are Gods' thoughts not sacred and therefore, the whole of creation sacred, including even us, demented clowns though we are.
  99. @The Westphalian Khan
    Just checking... you do know that Spinoza was also a (((foreign middle Easterner))) stranded in Europe? Not that I care. I would rather be reincarnated than spend eternity anywhere. I cannot know what the afterlife is like until I experience it. It is all speculation, as is the existence or non-existence of god.

    Khan, I don’t worship Spinoza; I am crediting a writer for the term Nature’s God when it has been earned.

    The Declaration of Independence, that extraordinary document first drafted by Thomas Jefferson, softly echoes Spinoza. John Locke, Spinoza’s contemporary — both were born in 1632 — is a more obvious influence on Jefferson than Spinoza was. But Locke had himself been influenced by Spinoza’s ideas…Locke’s library not only included all of Spinoza’s important works…Spinoza’s collected works were also in Jefferson’s library, so Spinoza’s impact may not just have been by way of Locke.

    Reasonable Doubt
    nytimes.com/2006/07/29/opinion/29goldstein.html

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  100. @Pat the Rat
    Hi Authentic Jazzman

    On Saker's previous post(The Color Revolution) you asked a question of me concerning Hitler:

    "The Hitler puzzle :
    So if God, as according to you God-believing folks “knows” the future, and If God created everything and everybody including Hitler, this means then that God also “Knew” that Hitler , in the future, would be directly and indirectly responsible murders of ca sixty million humans........."

    Basically your question is why God is not reponsible for the holocaust if he had the power to change it.

    Anyone interested can read your full question there.

    I wrote an answer but you did not reply, most likely you just forgot about it.

    Since this subject has come up in this article and my post seems pertinent and you have commented on this article about your beliefs, I thought I would re-post it and see if you would reply this time.

    (Pat the Rat from The Saker, Color Revolution January 29, 2017 at 7:44 am GMT)

    You are right about "free will", everything hangs on that. Most deep thinking atheists that I have discussed these issues with reject free will. More on that later.

    For the purposes of your argument let's accept free will exists and God allowed Hitler to exercise his and therefore God bears some guilt for the holocaust. It is a pretty strong argument it is true. Augustine's argument against it is pretty strong too.

    I would fill the argument out a bit by pointing out in Christian theology God is completely good, and has free will himself, and giving us free will was an act of goodness, a gift from God, a kind of emulation of his powers in us.

    Unlike God though, who is completely good, we have the capacity for evil, we can use our free will to do evil .

    Because God is only capable of doing good, even by giving us the capacity to exercise our free will and do evil there must be perfect judgement of all actions by God. This is the crux or the matter. Free will means ultimate justice.

    In other words God is not only totally good, but must also be totally just Justice must reign if we have free will and there is a God. Every man will pay his dues for his sins in this life or after death, as Jesus says everyone will pay to the "last penny".

    You, me and Hitler.

    Now lets look at Hitler, an exceptionally evil man to be sure, but is the guilt totally his. Did he act alone: the ideas about Nationalism, Eugenics, Racial based mysticism, Anti semitism were also shared by large numbers of people all over the world, not just in Germany. The horrors and atrocities of war were committed by both sides, didn't many western countries refuse to help the Jews.

    My point is Hitler was a curse, and his sins were in large part our own sins, we, our society brought forth Hitler and we reaped the whirlwind of our own sins in the form of Hitler who became the scourge which nearly destroyed us all.

    Why should God interfere, we bring all this ourselves with our own actions, and ultimately we will all pay not just Hitler.

    For Christians no doubt watching porn is evil, and the woman in the porn movie is engaged in evil also. But who is most evil Jazzman, the woman and man who might have been told by intellectuals and feminists that porn is simply another way of living no better or worse than other ways. What about the director, or the cameraman, or the money man financing it. How about the politicians who allow laws which encourage the production of porn. My bet is the actress and man watching are not as guilty in the grand scheme of things than the others. Not simple questions.

    Why should God intervene particularly when people have the chance to repent and reject evil and move towards God and save their soul and find goodness and life. A very important point for whenever there is evil there is also the chance for the prodigal son to find his way home to the father and all heaven rejoices as it says in the gospels. Goodness comes out of evil. Great goodness often comes from evil times.

    Now I will take up the "free will" issue in regard to atheism I mentioned earlier.

    I think there is good reason to suspect that a universe with free will but no universal moral code provided by God would quickly degenerate into the most incredible evil and horror. Many of the deeper thinking atheists I think understand this and attempt to deny free will altogether. I think that is why materialism has such appeal to atheists, the moral questions around free will make their heads explode, they prefer to edit it from the story.

    Take this example I will give you:

    A secret policeman in the former Soviet Union is ordered to take a family, parents and children and have them shipped to a prison camp where some or all are bound to suffer and die.

    He knows that they are innocent of any crime.

    He also knows if he refuses to do what he is being ordered to do the result could be terrible for himself.

    The policeman is an atheist.

    What is the moral thing for him to do?

    I hope you have read all this Jazzman.

    I am no theologian so I am sure plenty will disagree with me, but you asked me for my thoughts on the Hitler problem and unfortunately the answer needed to be a little lengthy.

    Thanks Pat the Rat

    Okay aside from the fact that I disagree with just about everything you have to say on this subject and I consider it to be a gigantic exercise in futility to go any further, there is one particular point which I simply must elaborate upon and that being your contention that God is “Completely good” and yet he creates beings with a “Capacity for evil”.

    This viewpoint is so outrageously absurd that I am wondering how you could even make such an assertion.
    Look the idea that an infinitely “good” being : God, would then contradict his own attribute of infinite goodness and proceed to create a capacity for evil, this idea borders on insanity and I am cannot consider it as a theme of discussion.

    The main point being that an infinitely “good” being would not even be able to create a “capacity for evil”, as he would not even know what “evil” is.

    Have a nice day.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artist.

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    • Replies: @Pat the Rat
    Hello Jazzman.

    I knew you would find my post abhorrent. So thanks for replying

    I don't think it is so hard to reconcile the idea that God is completely good with the creation of men who have the will to do evil.

    There is no doubt that free will is a greater good than lack of free will.

    Two fathers have a son. One locks him up to keep him safe. The other gives him freedom to explore and accepts the risks.

    Who is morally superior? I think quite clearly the second father.

    On God not knowing evil.

    Moral evil is not just about free will, but knowledge. Many animals have a limited free will but their knowledge is so restrained they cannot be said to be evil in any sense we understand it.

    Likewise with God in the opposite way, God sees vastly more than we see, just as we see far more than animals. And so I believe he would recognize evil. I think he refrains from all evil and allows evil because of seeing further and stopping it would lead to far greater evils. We usually face exactly the same dilemma throughout our life from work to child-rearing.

    I said earlier I knew you would find my post abhorrent.

    Paul wrote in Corinthians: "And I did this so that your faith should not depend on human philosophy but on the power of God"

    The Christian view of the world as I understand it is essentially moral and sees morality as hierarchical, from solid matter, to animals, to man, to angels, to God. A growing moral awareness.

    Atheism seems to be an attempt to exclude this moral view from man and really in crude terms an attempt to take us back to being animals. You would know as well as me that many who reject God insist we are only animals.

    This is a crude characterization of course as many atheists are law abiding citizens so they do not reject morality altogether. But they do limit their vision and knowledge to man and government and trust the moral choices made by government as the most far sighted that can be made.

    But what happens when governments go bad and become evil, what happens to the atheist then? That was the point of my question to you about the Soviet policeman, which you did not answer.

    Thanks
  101. Agent76 says:
    @jacques sheete
    In case you haven't heard about this guy...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGTp1Q162Gw

    Thanks for sharing it has been some time since I heard from Brother Nathanael.

    Apr 21, 2015 Gospel starts with “Go”

    This clip is from “The Way of the Master” TV program

    https://youtu.be/slIlJd3WGtI

    ‘Religious Freedom is our First Freedom’

    The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices. It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely. It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government.

    Amendment I – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment

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  102. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Mark Presco
    Two thoughts on this article:

    1. What is the fate of the Jews killed by the Nazis? According to most Christians, they are burning in Hell because they have not been saved by Jesus. Gawd has cast them into a lake of fire were they suffer the horrors of being burnt alive every second of their existence for eternity. Whatever the Nazis did to the Jews was a hug and a tickle compared to what Gawd is doing them right now. Show me how this evil has a good side.

    2. I believe the fine tuned constant argument is flawed. We do not know the true laws of physics. What we have are very powerful mathematical models that predict the behavior of the universe to some high degree of accuracy. These constants are simply necessary to make the models work. True laws of physics should work in both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics realms . They don't.

    1. What is the fate of the civilian Germans, presumably Christians, killed by Allied firebombers (also presumably Christian)? According to most Christians, they are burning in Hell because they are Germans and assumed to be Nazis. Gawd has cast them into a lake of fire were they suffer the horrors of being burnt alive [again] every second of their existence for eternity. Whatever the Nazis did to the Jews was a hug and a tickle compared to what Jews are doing to Germans and Palestinians right now. Show me how this evil has a good side.

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  103. Muzza says: • Website

    Kevin, you write like an angel (which does not prove they exist).

    Thank you for such a full and engaging review of David Ray Griffin’s latest book. I found it informative and – in its own way – inspiring. So many philosophical threads that could lead from this. But the one nugget I take that was new, is that the Qu’ran does not have a concept of original sin … just human mistakes. It is at least 35 years since I heard the story of Moses and the Green Man (at Beshara, a Sufi community in the UK).

    Thank you for this and all your other courageous work.

    Read More
  104. mtn cur says:
    @Talha
    Hey anony-mouse,

    Clarifications...

    Again, don't know why he used the word 'timeless'. 'Ageless' would have been enough. But there is a problem with this also, since no one agrees whether he is indeed alive and wandering the earth or has passed away. There is also only speculation as to whether he was a prophet or simply a very wise, saintly man to whom certain secrets were revealed.

    In all, there is simply not enough evidence to say much about him with conviction.

    Being ageless would not make him a deity since he would still have been created, but yes, we don't believe anything in creation could be divine.

    Peace.

    Hi Talha:

    Gotta wonder how much confusion and conflict is caused by the reciprocal and opposite images in this arcade of mirrors called earth. Believing that if God “forgets our sins,” then they are no more, as if never having existed, it seems that by thinking of us, our existence is maintained by Gods thoughts. Are Gods’ thoughts not sacred and therefore, the whole of creation sacred, including even us, demented clowns though we are.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey mtncur,

    this arcade of mirrors called earth
     
    Indeed my friend - this is the realm of trials.

    our existence is maintained by Gods thoughts
     
    We believe that we and the entirety of the phenomenal world is sustained through His will - not sure if that's the same, but it may simply be a semantic difference.

    On sins, without them; could things like repentance, forgiveness, and mercy (or even justice) be manifest or explained? This is a hadith that I have loved since the day I came across it:
    "By Him in whose hand is my soul; if you did not sin, God would replace you with people who would sin and they would seek the forgiveness of God and He would forgive them." - reported in Muslim

    And this is a prayer I try to recite on a daily basis:
    "O Allah, indeed You are Most Forgiving and Generous, You love to forgive; so forgive me." - reported in Tirmidhi

    the whole of creation sacred, including even us, demented clowns though we are
     
    Yeah, we can be pretty horrible, no doubt - despite our purported religious background. For us, there is some of the phenomenal world which is indeed sacred, and some which is not; whatever is created to reflect the Divine attribute 'The Holy' versus that which is created to reflect the lack thereof (or even as a locus for the manifestation of the attribute 'The Abaser').

    If you've got four minutes to spare, this is a good clip on why we sometimes think the wrong question is being asked - maybe it'll give a different perspective when thinking about this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLZ6zrPy6oo

    Peace and many more sound and healthy years - and (based on your comments on other threads) steady hands. :)

    Note: To others, I'm just sharing thoughts with a friend, please don't take these as some intellectual 'fighting words' - not interested in a theological debate, thanks. Take what you like, reject what you don't.
  105. @Seraphim
    @ I want answers.

    Read very carefully Like 16:19-31 until you could recite it by heart. Repeat it every time you go to sleep and in the morning when you wake up.

    Thank you. I know this passage. But it still doesn’t answer my questions.

    Read More
  106. Re-read this article, but skip every paragraph about the Holocaust: read the first 17 paragraphs then the last 7. After that read the last seven again.

    American instruction in history is so poor that few Americans appreciate that “Greece” of history and antiquity was vast, not he minor peninsula that hosts the nation-state we know today. Greek people encircled the Black Sea and were found along the north African, Spanish and Italian coasts, and most of all: Anatolia, a.k.a. Asia Minor, i.e.: modern Turkey – has for thousands of years been Greek. Anatolia was Greek before Classical Greece was Greek.

    I found myself reading up on the Anatolian Greek Genocide late yesterday, 8-10 hours after I read this. If you are unfamiliar with this fairly recent event, please, look it up, it’s a Google search away.

    The reading brought my mind back to this hideous article and the slight of hand the author pulled off getting so many of you to compliment it.

    This article is an apologia for genocide. It is not the words written after the fact, with some creepy religious compassion about theodicy to provide comfort to the living. This article is the kind of propaganda that’s put out in advance of the next genocide.

    I for one would rather oppose genocide that write apologia for it, let alone sympathize with such apologia. Let the author’s god damn me for it.

    Which brings me to Unz.

    Ron Unz – is this to expose that this stuff is out there? Is it to illustrate the peculiarity of inviting Muslim immigration by the tolerance crowd? Is it a test to see how susceptible your readers and a large swath of Americans have become? In general, wtf?

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  107. Agent76 says:

    Aug 6, 2013 Evolution Vs. God Movie

    Hear expert testimony from leading evolutionary scientists from some of the world’s top universities:

    • Peter Nonacs, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA
    • Craig Stanford, Professor, Biological Sciences and Anthropology, USC
    • PZ Myers, Associate Professor, Biology, University of Minnesota Morris
    • Gail E. Kennedy, Associate Professor, Anthropology, UCLA

    A study of the evidence of vestigial organs, natural selection, the fifth digit, the relevance of the stickleback, Darwin’s finches and Lenski’s bacteria—all under the microscope of the Scientific Method—observable evidence from the minds of experts. Prepare to have your faith shaken.

    https://youtu.be/U0u3-2CGOMQ?list=PLIMAX6WHtnhB-42IPH_TWqwCRyZVuHOS-

    Read More
  108. nine says:
    @jacques sheete
    If God exists, (s)he(it)'s making a pretty poor show of it in my very humble opinion.

    I'm an ignorant half wit, yet even I can see more than a few flaws in this God (and Gawd) forsaken vale of tears.

    We've been told that we can recognize a tree by the fruit it bears. By that standard it doesn't take a genius to see that God-Gawd apparently has more than a few flaws He/She/Itself, and that Satan is the dude/dudess with the upper hand at least more often than not.

    Would a good G-d claim responsibility for Homo sappyens? Really? Good grief.

    Bottom line: People can and will pervert anything, the presence or absence of God(s) notwithstanding, and no doubt (s)he(it) either has a sick sense of humor or is a sadist to the core. Either way, we're screwed.

    Enjoy!

    PS: Ecclesiastes is the man. How did that stuff ever pass the editorial desk anyway?

    Jacques,You think to highly of yourself.

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  109. @Seraphim
    It looks like you have some difficulty understanding.

    Speaking of difficulty understanding, St. Paul claims the slow-witted ones are his own followers who accept the Gawd nonsense. Later, the Jesus character was presented as seeking believers from those whose intellect had not developed beyond childhood.

    • …the cross is nonsense…the nonsense of our preaching…Not many of you were wise by human standards… 1 Corinthians 1:18-26
    • …anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. Luke 18:17
    • … because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Matt. 11:25

    Who would dare disagree with one of the few points upon which the Bible and Science jibe?

    A meta-analysis of 63 studies showed a significant negative association between intelligence and religiosity.
    journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1088868313497266

    Glass houses, stones, and all that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    You prove to be much thicker than I first believed. And dishonest.
  110. A. BC says:

    But what or who is God exactly?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    I guess some would say god is the ultimate truth that is beyond our understanding.
    , @Chuck Orloski
    A. BC

    No one (that I know) holds the kernel of absolute truth in their hand, but first of all, I suggest it's best to begin with asking oneself, "what or who the hell is Man exactly."

    In "The Phenomenon of Man," the late-Jesuit priest and paleontologist, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, provided fascinating openings to answer the perennial question you have posed, above.

    The aim of de Chardin's very mature (follow up) book "The Divine Milieu" was to offer a new formula which would enable world Christianity to dare look "beyond the cross." He saw being Christian as dynamic in awareness throughout time, and upon openness to the Divine, capable of actually fulfilling what the US Army once cheaply promised creatures ,"To Be All That You Can Be."

    I especially liked how De Chardin defined evil, he said that it's "anything that makes man lesser" and advised that such must resisted. Thanks & long live the Resistance, A. BC!
    , @A. BC
    The reason for asking what or who is God exactly is, was that everybody claims God exists/does not exist, does/does not etc. without specifying what he/she is actually talking about, so that we talk all about the same.
  111. Art says:
    @Santoculto
    If is rational to believe in God

    Define your concept of God

    It is rational to believe in God

    Define your concept of God

    Science says the universe had a beginning – and science says that the universe will die. Intuitively we believe that that everything (i.e., every single definable entity) has a beginning and a possible ending.

    I place god as the cause of the beginning. I see god “as the Creator” – nothing more – nothing less. The universe that god created, gave every piece or bit of energy, the task of lasting as long as it can. Combining with other bits of energy is the modus operandi to accomplish god’s task.

    Our human thinking about god has changed over time — God 6.0 is Darwin’s God. Darwin’s thinking on evolution, took god out of everyday events. Now we must face the chaos of the universe on our own – we can no longer evoke god to help us. This is a good thing – because it is reality.

    Will there eventually be a God 7.0 – most likely yes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Santoculto
    Yes, but i asked you your definition of God.

    ''God create universe''
     
    Ok, what is God on your view*

    what is IT who/that 'created' universe*

    What's your definition to ''creation'' or ''to create''*

    A virus create flu**

    Or a virus cause flu*

    I believe universe wasn't created but caused... universe is a effect.

    We believe everything there is was created for some-thing but anthropormophic people like to say that everything there is was created for some-ONE, this seems just self-projection. If humans create things so God is human or human-like-entity*

    I think we are near to the initial understanding of universe ''purpose'' and nature. Why* Because we have a mind that follow and understand patterns in more holistic and less immediate & specialized way. Humans can think in other things beside themselves ( less instinct).
  112. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Seraphim
    @why should God give a damn about tiny little earth when it’s a speck of a speck of a speck in the universe with a gazillion trillion billion million stars?

    My friend, the answer is blowing in the wind: because it is His creation and He cares for it as you would care for your children!

    “My friend, the answer is blowing in the wind: because it is His creation and He cares for it as you would care for your children!”

    That metaphor doesn’t work.

    Parents produce just few children and take care of them as their own.

    Suppose parents produced a billion children. Why would they care about just a few over all others?

    God didn’t just create Earth and humans. He created gazillions and gazillions of stars. So, that begs the question, why should He care so much about a speck of a speck called Earth?

    On the cosmic scale, Earth is merely one ‘atom’ among gazillions of ‘atoms’ that make up suns and other planets.

    Imagine you’re a parent and you have a kid. The kid is made of gazillions of cells. Would you care more about a single cell on the kid than the whole kid?

    If God created all the cosmos, then all of the cosmos is his child. Earth is just an ‘atom’ or ‘cell’ of the cosmos. So, why would God care so much about this one single cell?

    The ONLY answer is that Earth is a special unique ‘atom’ or ‘cell’ unlike any other. So, Earth has a special covenant with God. One could say God positioned Earth in such a way that it and only it could produce life that could discover and worship Him. So, earth is to God in the way that Jews(according to Judaism) are to God. Unique, special, irreplaceable. Diamond among stones.

    Read More
  113. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @A. BC
    But what or who is God exactly?

    I guess some would say god is the ultimate truth that is beyond our understanding.

    Read More
  114. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @jacques sheete
    If God exists, (s)he(it)'s making a pretty poor show of it in my very humble opinion.

    I'm an ignorant half wit, yet even I can see more than a few flaws in this God (and Gawd) forsaken vale of tears.

    We've been told that we can recognize a tree by the fruit it bears. By that standard it doesn't take a genius to see that God-Gawd apparently has more than a few flaws He/She/Itself, and that Satan is the dude/dudess with the upper hand at least more often than not.

    Would a good G-d claim responsibility for Homo sappyens? Really? Good grief.

    Bottom line: People can and will pervert anything, the presence or absence of God(s) notwithstanding, and no doubt (s)he(it) either has a sick sense of humor or is a sadist to the core. Either way, we're screwed.

    Enjoy!

    PS: Ecclesiastes is the man. How did that stuff ever pass the editorial desk anyway?

    “Would a good G-d claim responsibility for Homo sappyens? Really? Good grief.”

    I would answer ‘maybe’, but then I think of Negroes, and it really makes you wonder why a higher being would create such folks.

    The most difficult theological question is ‘why did god create negroes?’

    Maybe god wonders too… like Don Rickles.

    https://youtu.be/sjXOe9hkDzE?t=4m53s

    Read More
  115. Seraphim says:
    @Seraphim
    @ I want answers.

    Read very carefully Like 16:19-31 until you could recite it by heart. Repeat it every time you go to sleep and in the morning when you wake up.

    My friend,

    If you want only the answer that would please you, you have the liberty to give it yourself. Many people fabricated their own paradises.

    Read More
  116. @A. BC
    But what or who is God exactly?

    A. BC

    No one (that I know) holds the kernel of absolute truth in their hand, but first of all, I suggest it’s best to begin with asking oneself, “what or who the hell is Man exactly.”

    In “The Phenomenon of Man,” the late-Jesuit priest and paleontologist, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, provided fascinating openings to answer the perennial question you have posed, above.

    The aim of de Chardin’s very mature (follow up) book “The Divine Milieu” was to offer a new formula which would enable world Christianity to dare look “beyond the cross.” He saw being Christian as dynamic in awareness throughout time, and upon openness to the Divine, capable of actually fulfilling what the US Army once cheaply promised creatures ,”To Be All That You Can Be.”

    I especially liked how De Chardin defined evil, he said that it’s “anything that makes man lesser” and advised that such must resisted. Thanks & long live the Resistance, A. BC!

    Read More
    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
    wow

    It has been years since I heard anyone mention de Chardin.

    Don't have Divine Milieu at hand right now, but a passage in the introduction still inspires:

    It goes something like this:

    "The look in his eyes when his eyes met yours renewed your confidence in yourself . . . Just to speak to him made you feel better; you knew that he was listening to you and that he understood you. His own faith was in the invincible power of love: men hurt one another by not loving one another."

    thanks, Chuck Orloski
  117. Seraphim says:
    @Steel T Post
    Speaking of difficulty understanding, St. Paul claims the slow-witted ones are his own followers who accept the Gawd nonsense. Later, the Jesus character was presented as seeking believers from those whose intellect had not developed beyond childhood.

    • ...the cross is nonsense...the nonsense of our preaching...Not many of you were wise by human standards... 1 Corinthians 1:18-26
    • ...anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. Luke 18:17
    • ... because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Matt. 11:25
     
    Who would dare disagree with one of the few points upon which the Bible and Science jibe?

    A meta-analysis of 63 studies showed a significant negative association between intelligence and religiosity.
    journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1088868313497266
     
    Glass houses, stones, and all that.

    You prove to be much thicker than I first believed. And dishonest.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    Speaking of dishonesty, lying is an integral part of your middle-eastern redemption cult; as Biblical scholar Bart Ehrman analyses in his text Forged: Writing in the Name of God--Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are.“There were a lot of people in the ancient world who thought that lying could serve a greater good," he demonstrates, with St. Paul admitting as much in Romans 3:7, saying, "the truth of Gawd hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory."

    I warned you about glass houses and stones; but if you must, go ahead and throw another one.
  118. @Art
    It is rational to believe in God

    Define your concept of God


    Science says the universe had a beginning – and science says that the universe will die. Intuitively we believe that that everything (i.e., every single definable entity) has a beginning and a possible ending.

    I place god as the cause of the beginning. I see god "as the Creator" – nothing more – nothing less. The universe that god created, gave every piece or bit of energy, the task of lasting as long as it can. Combining with other bits of energy is the modus operandi to accomplish god’s task.

    Our human thinking about god has changed over time --- God 6.0 is Darwin’s God. Darwin’s thinking on evolution, took god out of everyday events. Now we must face the chaos of the universe on our own – we can no longer evoke god to help us. This is a good thing – because it is reality.

    Will there eventually be a God 7.0 – most likely yes.

    Yes, but i asked you your definition of God.

    ”God create universe”

    Ok, what is God on your view*

    what is IT who/that ‘created’ universe*

    What’s your definition to ”creation” or ”to create”*

    A virus create flu**

    Or a virus cause flu*

    I believe universe wasn’t created but caused… universe is a effect.

    We believe everything there is was created for some-thing but anthropormophic people like to say that everything there is was created for some-ONE, this seems just self-projection. If humans create things so God is human or human-like-entity*

    I think we are near to the initial understanding of universe ”purpose” and nature. Why* Because we have a mind that follow and understand patterns in more holistic and less immediate & specialized way. Humans can think in other things beside themselves ( less instinct).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art
    I believe universe wasn’t created but caused… universe is an effect.

    The words “effect” and “cause” say that something is moved. Whereas “create” establishes that something is new. In the case of the universe – which is most descriptive?

    We believe everything there is was created for some-thing but anthropomorphic people like to say that everything there is was created for some-ONE

    It seems to that you object to the word “who” and want to use the word “what.” Is the cause – effect – creator --- at the top of the order of things or at the bottom. “Who” is above “what” in the logical order of significance – “who” is more important in our thinking than “what.” Should we not hold this - cause – effect – creator – god - above all else?
  119. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    “The most important is the problem of theodicy: How can an infinitely good, infinitely powerful god permit evil?”

    How about Negrodicy? How could a wise cosmic being create a bunch of jive-ass lunatic sheboons who have chimpouts all over the place?

    https://www.facebook.com/WMCActionNews5/videos/10154381274252756/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovjiAgh6FvU&feature=share

    Every race seems capable of sanity and civilization if given a chance, but the Negro spells hell on earth. Look at Haiti and Detroit. The Negro is antithetical to higher spirituality. Negroes turned Christianity into boogie woogie.

    DNA shows that the human species can roughly be divided into Sub-Saharan blacks and everyone else. We see same pattern in the USA. Despite political, ideological, and cultural differences among whites, Asians, Hindus, Muslims, Arabs, Mexicans, and etc, they can still get along on a neighborly basis. But Negroes spell trouble for everyone else, even for themselves. Look at Negroes in New Orleans after Katrina. Just looting and sitting on their ass looking for HEP. Doing nothing for themselves, acting just like Haitian blacks.

    Maybe Negrodicy can argue that the Negro is the biggest challenge for the human species to overcome. Negroes are Satan’s chillunm, and they exist as a test that humanity must overcome in order to be free and truthful.

    Negroes fool and tempt the other races.
    Even though the essential core of Negro is savagery, apish-ness, destructiveness, and law of the jungle, they have developed traits that fool non-blacks into thinking and feeling different. Negroes can be colorful, and this can seem charming and vibrant to non-blacks. Negroes got them boombox voices that non-blacks might mistake for the authoritative voice of godliness when, if fact, it’s just the howl of the gorillian. MLK myth is largely based on his voice. “I HAVE A DREAM… fo’ some booze and ho’s after I fool whitey wid dis speech n shi*” Negro idea of soul is different from other races. Soul for non-blacks means depth, meditative states, inner beauty, the peace within. For blacks, it means Da Soul Train, boogie-woogie chimpout. It means being funky like a monkey.

    [MORE]

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lODBVM802H8

    The sacralization of the Negro is the new idolatry, a parody of true religion. The idea that we should be worshiping some nappy headed fools just because they can howl like gorillas is sheer nuttery. So, why do people fall for this?
    It’s because God is Power, and so people figure that since Negroes got the most powerful voice, they must be closest to God and conveyors of God’s message.
    But God’s eloquence isn’t about howling like animals. His eloquence is flows in the undercurrents. When God spoke to Job, the words were ‘silent’ but deep. God doesn’t need to shout to be heard. God didn’t say to Job, “Listen you mothafuc*a, did you make all them watermelons and shi*? You aint built all the cadillacs!! You aint built all the colt 45, beer or gun!! You aint built all them fuzzy dice!! Who you think you be?!”
    So, to measure God’s eloquence in terms of sheer volume is stupid. After all, monkeys can howl louder than Negroes, but we don’t mistake it for divine truth.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdnwLX5m3G8

    No, true spirituality is about the deep wellspring of God. God’s whisper is deeper and ‘louder’ than the loudest hollerings of all the Negroes that be. God is truth and doesn’t need to holler like an animal to send His message.
    Christianity used to be about silence and the truth heard within that silence.
    It’s like the Endo Shusaku novel SILENCE where the priest finally hears Jesus’ words within the sounds of silence.
    For the Negro, truth is volume. Whoever can out-shout others hold the truth. This is savagery. It is jivery. It is truth-by-intimidation. It is what has become of black debating styles at colleges. A bunch of Negroes have no use for logic, facts, or reason. They just scream and holler, as if volume = truth.
    Same thing with BLM. Even though they are so divorced from truth(that negroes kill negroes and non-negroes), they think they are right cuz they scream the loudest. Truth isn’t established by volume.
    We saw how this could go wrong for Italians and Germans too. Mussolini had charisma, to be sure, but truth cannot be based on oratory. Hitler was even louder as a speaker, and he could be spellbinding, but what did he do in the end? He mesmerized Germans into fighting a crazy war that killed millions. Evil.

    Because Negro is the loudest creature, he represents the false notion that volume = truth = word of god. If this is true, then rappers must be the biggest truth tellers since they holler the most. But when two negreos face one another and scream about how “I f***ed yo’ mama, ni**a”, what kind of truth is that? Rap is crap.

    But we can see how the false god of black volume-nity is a temptation to mankind. Mankind just realize that this is a false god cuz truth isn’t measured by who can scream the loudest. If that were true, a man hollering 2 + 2 = 5 would be truer than a man saying 2 + 2 = 4. Volume-ism is destroying the West. Cuz of pop culture’s emphasis on Extreme Expression and modern ideology’s addiction to mass spectacle, so much value is determined by volumnity. Display of power is equated with force of truth. But in fact, power can be used to spread BS. Take the ending of PULP FICTION. Sam Jackson talks up a storm… but it doesn’t mean anything except “I got the gun, so I talk, you listen.”

    If the Negro tempts us with volumnity, the Jew tempts us with wittery and the homo tempts us with fancery(fancy-ery). Jews are clever and funny, and as such fool us into thinking that humor = humor. So, if Jews mock something and make us laugh, the object of ridicule must be false since it has been hit with wit. Now, we all like humor and funny stuff, but wit isn’t same as truth. This goes for Bill Buckley as well. It’s been said Buckley won a lot of debates, but it was through wit, not truth. So, he scored more points but did little for conservative discourse since he evaded the core issues and just relied on wise cracks and one-liners. Today, Jews like Jon Stewart and their cuck puppets like Colbert used humor to mock lots of truths. But anything can be mocked. Even Einstein’s theories can be mocked with humor. It doesn’t make it untrue.
    As for homos, they tempt us with style and design and whoopity-doo fancy stuff. Homos make us feel that the fashionable is next to godliness. We are so into celebrity stuff and the image that a lot of people think divinity is about homomania. We even see homo flags in churches — totally vile.

    The Negro also tempts the non-black races with muscle, booty, and the dong. The animal beastly side of us is into sports, and this means that people come to near-worship black athletes are demi-gods. Also, the sexualization of culture means that women’s lives revolve around their booties than hearts, minds, and wombs. It’s about the pornographication of the mainstream in a culture where even young children grow up looking at Nikki Minajg’s ‘twerking’ butt. And the Negro dong has led to cuck culture among white boys who worship the negro doing doing their women.

    So, maybe there is a meaning to the existence of Negroes. They are the mockery of all that is truly godly. As such, people are fooled and seduced by their false-goddery because blackness mimics and parodies godliness. Via physical and aural volumnity, they offer a parodic mockery of godly power, and senseless non-blacks fall for this false god.

    For mankind to rise to a higher level, it must rise above the Negro and keep the Negroes in their own separate world of chimpouts and sheboon-ish acts.

    Read More
  120. @Peter Grafström
    Griffin is wrong about the improbability. The anthropic principle gives a simple explanation of it. AP in its most basic version says: intelligent observers must be present for this kind of debate to arise so there is a selective bias implied by the debate. It doesnt matter how many alternative worlds which might exist, and actually even the probability doesnt matter.
    But religion is such a powerful institution that people who have professed the AP have a defensive stance and there is a lot of irrational revulsion against AP. Wallace, Darwins competitor was an early exponent of AP.
    Did Griffin bring it up in the book and Kevin didnt mention that? Maybe, in any case AP certainly ought to be a part of this kind of analysis.
    Some scientists suspect that there may be a uniqueness in how the universe must be and that only one set of natural laws may arise from pure mathematics. Others that there might be critical events when different types of natural law might have arisen. And that some degree of arbitrariness would be involved. In the latter case AP matters.
    But science is a method. An evolving method. It undergoes change. The change may involve fundamental concepts like time. The so called relativity theory associated with Einstein meant a smooth transition from the previous framework. Conceivably such a change may be so dramatic as to be denoted singular. That is, after embracing it what happens next is unpredictable. Electromagnetism is associated with sofar unemployed symmetries of a dramatic character. Scientists have known that for over a century but dont really know what to make of it. The realization or belief among established science that there appears to exist so called dark matter might give a clue.
    A singular change might be that the universe becomes understood as an introspection of ourselves. And it might be associated with something religious people would find comfort in and could elaborate on as part of their deeply felt intuitions. But there is no guarantee for that. Goethe said after collecting the various faustian legends to create his own synthesis that he felt it was about himself. But Faust made a pact with the devil.
    In the Bible knowledge is associated with sin leading to the expulsion from the Paradise of blissful ignorance.
    In other words science is evil if you agree with those two examples.
    Is that the case? Is the search for truth without fear of what you might uncover an act of evil?

    As a lucid expositor of cosmic matters would you be so kind as to explain how one can talk sensibly of our universe consisting in part of Dark Energy.

    I understand that it is now said to be made up of 5 per cent regular matter (periodic table and associated quarks, muons etc), 25 per cent dark matter – which, as “matter” one can understand having mass – and 70 per cent Dark Energy (that I undestand is associated with the constant expansion of the universe).

    I understand that E=mc^2 means mass and energy are just two ways of accounting for the same stuff (though I can never remember the answer to the question “why is it true without specification of the units of measurement?”). But that doesn’t really answer my question. It doesn’t even get close to answering how we know 70 per cent or what yhat means…

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    • Replies: @Romi
    What, exactly, is the universe expanding into? Oz?
    , @Peter Grafström
    For completeness I first discuss dark matter, but perhaps you are already familiar with it.
    There is a statistically based method of estimating the distribution of energy between potential and kinetic energy. When astrophysicists found apparent deviations from Newton/Einstein theories of gravitation for visible matter they tried to alter the dependence on distance for gravitational interaction and made use of the above mentioned statistical theorems. But deduced that the usual 1/r^2 dependence still gave the best fit to the available data. So they had to assume there were large quantities of invisible matter. Due to the transparency of the universe over huge distances they also concluded that the missing matter could not be interacting electromagnetically since that would have decreased the transparency.
    Departing from established physics, it then appears necessary to look for new types of particles and string theorists are hoping they have got some workable ideas. An alternative would be to seek explanations among the still unused symmetries of established theory, the simplest of which would be time reversal. Planet orbits look the same in a time reversed scenario indicating that gravity wouldnt immediately reveal the time direction in connection with most types of motion. A clear exception is the case when bodies collide, but in that case time reversal makes the collision invisible since electromagnetic signals would converge on the sources instead of signalling the events.
    But are these hypothetical systems with different time directions different instances of matter or could they be the same matter as 'seen' from an unfamiliar perspective? A wealth of questions pop up... Apparently entropy calculations would be rendered more complicated.
    There are more interesting symmetries than simple time reversal but lets drop that subject.
    Dark energy is hypothetical and is connected with Hilbert /Einsteins theory of gravitaion and its use for estimating cosmic expansion and fitting it with observations.
    mc^2 has the unit of energy and is a generalisation of the commonly used formula for kinetic energy. I believe H Herz wrote about concealed motion.
    Ie it would be mostly internal motion which produces inertia/mass.
    (The standard model of particle physics purports to explain that differently)
    As long as 3D is concerned there is Newtons bucket experiment which provides an example of how seemingly an absolute reference system exists and appears to correspond to the global distribution of matter in the universe. But E=mc^2 could well be related to something beyond 3D. 3D is a property of electromagnetism and causality more than it is a reliable feature of the external world. The strange sides of quantum mechanics demonstrate that there is something we dont understand. Higher D for purely mathematical reasons when fluctuations are included, has to show up in an entirely different manner, probably like microscopic properties.
  121. @jb
    A simple question: can people who go to Heaven still do evil after they get there?

    If they can, then presumably this will get them kicked out of Heaven, so Heaven is not really eternal, at least not for everybody.

    If they can't, then by your reasoning there is no free will in Heaven. And since Heaven is supposed to be the most wonderful place ever, wouldn't this seem to imply that maybe free will isn't so important after all?

    Nice.

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  122. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    “In all three cases, Moses’s best ‘all things considered’ understanding was that each of al-Khadir’s three acts was genuinely evil. And in each of the three cases he was mistaken.”

    This seems like the concept of necessary evil or lesser evil. But it is still evil.

    Also, this kind of ‘higher goodness’ depends on foreknowledge, which humans don’t have.

    For example, suppose I kill a baby and say it’s justified as a ‘higher good’ because the baby will have grown up to be a murderer of innocents. Well, for people to believe me, they will have to have faith in my powers for foreknowledge. But why should anyone trust anyone who claims to know the future?
    Also, even if my foreknowledge is true — the baby will certainly will grow up to be a murderer — , my act of killing the kid would still be evil since I killed a baby that, in its infantile state, was innocent of any crime. The most I can claim is ‘necessary evil’ based on special knowledge.

    Any man who claims to know the future is a charlatan. There is no man with the foresight of Merlin(EXCALIBUR) or Indrid Cold(MOTHMAN PROPHECIES).

    Now, one might say it’s okay for God or higher beings to carry out such ruthless acts since He or they do have foreknowledge. But if that is true and if they are the creators of all past, present, and future, why did they allow the creation of people who would commit such acts of evil?
    When God created the cosmos, He must have known how everything would unfold since He had the power for foresight to the end of time and beyond.

    I suppose one could argue that God has the power to not know as well as to know. So, even though God knows everything or could know everything, He could have chosen to create a universe where He would not know how things would turn out.
    This would be a great power, the power to not know. We don’t have this power. If we know what an apple is, we can’t make ourselves not know it. No matter how much we tell ourselves we don’t know what an apple is, we know what it is. We don’t have the power to not know. But maybe God has the power to not know. So, even though He is all-knowing, He decided to create a universe where even He would not know how things would turn out, at least among the humankind gifted with free will. As for rest of universe, it’s all-knowable since they all obey the Law of Nature.
    Now, physicists will say that everything that men do is also part of this Law of Nature. Every neuronic activity follows the same rules as billiard balls according to Newtonian physics. Still, there is something in us that makes s feel that we are independent of the Law of Nature, at least in the workings of our ‘souls’.

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  123. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    “Consider the case of the Nazi holocaust. This event, more than any other, has been used to disparage ‘Gawd’: How, many ask, could an all-good all-powerful deity allow such an atrocity? And to His chosen people?! Obviously such a deity cannot exist; therefore we must worship in His place an idol called “Israel,” a symbol of Jewish strength that vaunts its ability to protect the lives of the chosen over other lives by its systematic murder of Palestinian children, its Samson Option policy of threatening the world with nuclear holocaust, and so on.”

    Only a fool would say the Holocaust invalidates God.
    If anything, it is an event very much in the spirit of narrative of Gawd in the Old Testament.

    Yahweh is a very angry and judgmental God. He loves to smite the sinful. He blew up Saddam and Gamera cuz its fruitcakes wanted to make His angels squeeeeeeaaaal like a pig.
    Earlier, Yahweh even sent the flood to drown the pervs and tards.
    God makes Jews when they’re wicked. But when Jews repent, God helps them and smites their enemies.

    It seems to me that WWII fits perfectly into the Gawd narrative.

    One can say God let the Holocaust happen because Jews got too wicked. Jews became greedy finance capitalist who looted entire economies. Jews became godless commies who destroyed holy places and killed millions of innocents. Jews became pornographers who spread decadence all over the world. Jews became deracinated and became overly secular and quasi-gentile.
    So, God let the Holocaust happen to sober up the Jews and make them return to their identity.
    BUT, God being God, He wasn’t gonna let the enemies of Jews get away with what they did to Jews either. So, in the end, Nazis lost WWII, Germany lost 10 million lives and lots of land. And Germans came to live in shame and guilt. So, God punished the modern Jews who became sinful, and God also punished the murderers of Jews.

    WWII is totally Gawdy.

    Also, WWII led to the return of Jews to Israel. It’s like the hellfire in Egypt led to Jews on the exodus to the Land of Canaan.

    The Old Testament God was never a nice guy. He got angry and smote people left and right when they didn’t act righteous and good. And in the 20th century, too many Jews and gentiles got nasty. Both peoples got punished real good in WWII.

    WWII is very good for the Gawd narrative.

    Gawd made Germans bash Jews, Germans bash Russians, and Russians and Americans bash Germans. And surviving Jews were sent off to regain the Promised Land.

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  124. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    “The Nazi holocaust would seem to be the perfect example of an event that ‘all things considered’ the world would have been better off without. Yet Zionists, and with them the West they dominate, cling so tenaciously to their ‘world in which the holocaust happened’ that any historian who questions some of the central tenets of the Nazi holocaust narrative — six million Jewish victims, gas chambers, and an official fuhrer extermination order and comprehensive bureaucratically-administered extermination program — is likely to be imprisoned, suffer physical attack, and have their career and reputation ruined by a vicious chorus of incessant vituperation.”

    If Jews got NOTHING out of the Holocaust, I’m sure they would prefer it didn’t happen or hadn’t been so bad. But they got A LOT out of it. Stanley Kubrick said SCHINDLER’S LIST got it all wrong because it’s a story about success(good gentile saves the Jews) when the Holocaust was about failure(millions of Jews got killed without help). As a historical event, Kubrick is largely right, but there is the Holocaust (the event) and the ‘Holocaust’(the uses of the event). The ‘Holocaust’ has been a great success, and Spielberg’s movie is a demonstration of that success. Jews, with media control, made Holocaust into ‘Holocaust’, a new religion that elevated Jews as the new jesuses who died for the sins of goyim. It’s like the actual story of Jesus is one of failure. He got whupped and killed real bad. But the myth of Jesus is one of great success: He died for our sins and rose to Heaven and returned.
    Since much of Jewish power and its shielding from criticism is founded on the Holocaust Narrative, the maximalist narrative is actually beneficial to Jews. As Jews are only 2% of US population and since Israel is a small nation that depends on Western support, Jews need to play on white guilt. Also, because Jews are so rich and powerful, they are natural target of envy and criticism. The only thing that suppresses such opposition and challenge to Jewish Power is the Cult of Holocaust Guilt.

    Also, while there are responsible historical revisionists of the Holocaust narrative, most people invested in minimizing the Holocaust horror are not doing it out of sympathy for Jews. They are not saying 3 million died than 6 million died because they wish fewer Jews had suffered. It is because they want to reduce Jewish power and justification by pulling the Holocaust rug from under the Jewish feet. Also, some of the nuttier ones are trying to validate Hitler and Nazism by saying, “See, they weren’t so bad. They killed maybe just a million Jews, and most of them died of typhus.” This has NOTHING to do with sympathy for Jews but with sympathy for Nazis. By arguing that the Holocaust wasn’t so bad, they’re saying Jewish power has no justification and Nazi past should be half-way rehabilitated.

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  125. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    I’ve been an atheist all my life, but looking around the world today, I wish Gawd did exist and carried out some Sgt. Hartman-ism around the world.

    How I’d love to see Gawd deal with rappers, homo paraders, feminists, and other lunatics.

    Negroes are often crazy, but they sometimes make more sense than the decadent West.

    Gawd, if you’re listening, send hellfire and brimstone on the next homo parade. Or send an earthquake to swallow them shameless buggers.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNyZuoj2EM0

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTQAXX08A-s

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  126. @Seraphim
    You prove to be much thicker than I first believed. And dishonest.

    Speaking of dishonesty, lying is an integral part of your middle-eastern redemption cult; as Biblical scholar Bart Ehrman analyses in his text Forged: Writing in the Name of God–Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are.“There were a lot of people in the ancient world who thought that lying could serve a greater good,” he demonstrates, with St. Paul admitting as much in Romans 3:7, saying, “the truth of Gawd hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory.”

    I warned you about glass houses and stones; but if you must, go ahead and throw another one.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    “the truth of Gawd hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory”

    Well, Jesus was totally truthful, and how did He end up?

    Such purity was not expected of man since no man could be as perfect as Jesus.

    And Jesus said as much, which is why He said Peter would deny Him. Peter was sincere when he said he wouldn't deny Jesus three times, but when the time came, he did.
    So, even when people want to be true and honest, they aren't out of fear and terror.
    Jesus correctly looked into Peter's heart. Peter thought of himself as totally devoted to Jesus, but he failed when the crucial moment came. He didn't want to get whupped and killed like Jesus, so his animal fear of self-preservation and social desire for acceptance compelled him to deny Jesus, three times too. So, in a way, Peter didn't know his true nature. People lie to themselves in this manner. Even people who are consciously sincere don't know their true hearts.

    Think of all the Japanese soldiers who swore to fight to the very end, but when the war ended, decided to just give up and return home and serve the Americans.

    This is why Jesus wasn't condemning Peter when He said Peter would deny Him three times. It was more like pre-forgiveness. And Jesus was also saying that He doesn't expect His followers to go the length He did. They are not the Son of God.

    Paul, originally a persecutor of Christians, was an ambiguous character. He was all over the map, steeped in both Jewish and gentile cultures and ways. He was tribal, worldly, spiritual, and cosmopolitan. He had to take this religion borne of resistance to Roman rule and spread it all around the Roman world. If he acted as purely as Jesus, he would have been whupped and killed in no time. He had to use cunning as part of his strategy, like Benjamin Franklin at the French court.

    And he has to rank as among the greatest men of all time. What total genius.
    , @Seraphim
    Bart Ehrman is your typical 'middle-eastern' liar. He is one in a long series of semi-erudite pseudo-Christians (like all the peddlers of 'higher criticism') who walked the road of Damascus backwards, discovering the truth of the Talmud and 'renouncing' with much fanfare the false God of the Christians, who permitted the Holocaust. He is a 'cultural Jew' (if not a real one). I would classify him as one of the many pathetic 'intellectuals yet idiots' who infest the universities, the media, the show-business (and politics). Beware the semi-erudite who thinks he is an erudite. He fails to naturally detect sophistry. In parenthesis, Paul speaks about the lie of Judaism in which he was steeped before his meeting the Lord on the road to Damascus.
  127. Art says:
    @Santoculto
    Yes, but i asked you your definition of God.

    ''God create universe''
     
    Ok, what is God on your view*

    what is IT who/that 'created' universe*

    What's your definition to ''creation'' or ''to create''*

    A virus create flu**

    Or a virus cause flu*

    I believe universe wasn't created but caused... universe is a effect.

    We believe everything there is was created for some-thing but anthropormophic people like to say that everything there is was created for some-ONE, this seems just self-projection. If humans create things so God is human or human-like-entity*

    I think we are near to the initial understanding of universe ''purpose'' and nature. Why* Because we have a mind that follow and understand patterns in more holistic and less immediate & specialized way. Humans can think in other things beside themselves ( less instinct).

    I believe universe wasn’t created but caused… universe is an effect.

    The words “effect” and “cause” say that something is moved. Whereas “create” establishes that something is new. In the case of the universe – which is most descriptive?

    We believe everything there is was created for some-thing but anthropomorphic people like to say that everything there is was created for some-ONE

    It seems to that you object to the word “who” and want to use the word “what.” Is the cause – effect – creator — at the top of the order of things or at the bottom. “Who” is above “what” in the logical order of significance – “who” is more important in our thinking than “what.” Should we not hold this – cause – effect – creator – god – above all else?

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    • Replies: @Santoculto

    The words “effect” and “cause” say that something is moved. Whereas “create” establishes that something is new. In the case of the universe – which is most descriptive?
     
    I think ''create'' tend to be based on deliberated action even this word can be used in impersonal contexts.

    ''Your feelings creates the idea that you're suffering''

    Seems the original aplication of this word ''creation'' and derivative tend to be anthropocentric or at least based on ''deliberated action'' via aware individual, a literal subject .


    Also, ''to create'' stablish the idea of ''purpose''. Everything that is created have a purpose, by their creators.

    Evolution is a work of creation or a cause*

    Creation would be a evolution of the cause because it's a deliberated, purposeful cause.

    Cause would be a primitive creation, without a ''human-like'' self-awareness. Inevitably when we believe ''universe was created'' the creator need exist, but when we start to think that ''universe was caused'', we can think without this anthropocentric perspective.

    God invent/create the rain*

    I think it's not.

    We know how the rain is formed/caused.

    If the rain is part of reality that God ''created'' so God also ''created/invented'' the rain*


    It seems to that you object to the word “who” and want to use the word “what.” Is the cause – effect – creator — at the top of the order of things or at the bottom. “Who” is above “what” in the logical order of significance – “who” is more important in our thinking than “what.” Should we not hold this – cause – effect – creator – god – above all else?

     

    What is God for you*
  128. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Steel T Post
    Speaking of dishonesty, lying is an integral part of your middle-eastern redemption cult; as Biblical scholar Bart Ehrman analyses in his text Forged: Writing in the Name of God--Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are.“There were a lot of people in the ancient world who thought that lying could serve a greater good," he demonstrates, with St. Paul admitting as much in Romans 3:7, saying, "the truth of Gawd hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory."

    I warned you about glass houses and stones; but if you must, go ahead and throw another one.

    “the truth of Gawd hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory”

    Well, Jesus was totally truthful, and how did He end up?

    Such purity was not expected of man since no man could be as perfect as Jesus.

    And Jesus said as much, which is why He said Peter would deny Him. Peter was sincere when he said he wouldn’t deny Jesus three times, but when the time came, he did.
    So, even when people want to be true and honest, they aren’t out of fear and terror.
    Jesus correctly looked into Peter’s heart. Peter thought of himself as totally devoted to Jesus, but he failed when the crucial moment came. He didn’t want to get whupped and killed like Jesus, so his animal fear of self-preservation and social desire for acceptance compelled him to deny Jesus, three times too. So, in a way, Peter didn’t know his true nature. People lie to themselves in this manner. Even people who are consciously sincere don’t know their true hearts.

    Think of all the Japanese soldiers who swore to fight to the very end, but when the war ended, decided to just give up and return home and serve the Americans.

    This is why Jesus wasn’t condemning Peter when He said Peter would deny Him three times. It was more like pre-forgiveness. And Jesus was also saying that He doesn’t expect His followers to go the length He did. They are not the Son of God.

    Paul, originally a persecutor of Christians, was an ambiguous character. He was all over the map, steeped in both Jewish and gentile cultures and ways. He was tribal, worldly, spiritual, and cosmopolitan. He had to take this religion borne of resistance to Roman rule and spread it all around the Roman world. If he acted as purely as Jesus, he would have been whupped and killed in no time. He had to use cunning as part of his strategy, like Benjamin Franklin at the French court.

    And he has to rank as among the greatest men of all time. What total genius.

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    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    Jesus lied too.

    Mark 11:24-25 Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him. Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours.
     
    I have yet to see a believer in the Magical Jew be able to toss a grain of sand into the sea by faith, much less a mountain. Because the claim is a lie, or more precisely, faith is a confidence game played by confidence men (con-men) who are full of blessed assurances.

    Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
     
    Never be surprised to find a faithful son of Jacob the Deceiver—whose guile got him blessed by the Jewgod as the founder of Israel (Genesis 25:19-34; 27:1-41)—lying to you; they boast about how accomplished they are at con games in their "Good Book." Don't take my word for it; read Professor Kevin MacDonald's scholarly analysis of Jews after he was astonished at the Old Testament's con culture. He's a regular contributor here at unz.com and has his own website at kevinmacdonald.net.
  129. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Jews have a strange relation to the Holocaust, but I think this can be said for any people with any horrible event.

    They feel a great sense of tragedy over what happened and, in a basic sense, wish it hadn’t happened. But people also derive the greatest meanings, narratives, and lessons from tragedies. So, it’s a kind of paradox. You wish the thing hadn’t happened, but if it hadn’t happened, you wouldn’t have the wisdom that could only have been attained by that tragedy. It’s like RAN by Kurosawa based on KING LEAR. In a way, the protagonists wish the downfall of the clan hadn’t happened cuz it led to so many deaths and mayhem. But if not for the tragedy, the old lord(and we as observers) wouldn’t have gained the wisdom that he finally did at the end. He was a man who went from victory to victory. Only with loss and humiliation did he come to plumb the depths of the human condition. Or consider LOVE STORY. It’s terrible what happens to the girl, and of course, the guy wishes she were alive. But he gained the truest meaning of love through her death. So, only with great loss can we gain something profound. We value true worth only by its tragic loss. This is why George Bailey flips out in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE when he experiences a world where everything he took for granted no longer exists. Or consider the Mizoguchi’s UGETSU. It’s a very sad film, where the man loses both his wife and the dream. He was a potter with a plain-looking wife who was very devoted to him and gave him a son. But he falls under the spell of some aristocratic ghost lady and is drawn into an enchanted world. In choosing this realm, he forgets his wife and son. But he finally breaks out of the spell. So, he loses the dream. But it was only through this experience of seduction and liberation that he came to value his wife who, though not glamorous, is real and devoted to him. But when he returns home, he realized she’s dead too. (She was killed by bandits. The son miraculously survived.) So, he lost the dream and lost the wife, but it was through those losses that he comes to value the true worth of what he lost. If none of this had happened, he’d be with wife and son and maybe bored out of his mind. He would just take his life with his wife as humdrum drudgery. The tragic thing is that the ONLY way he could appreciate the truth worth of his wife was by losing her. For a long time in the Jewish Narrative, there was this too. Jews came to realize the true value of the Holy Land only through exile and the sense that it was lost forever.

    What goes for the Holocaust also goes for WWII. Any decent person wishes it hadn’t happened, but then, it’s become so central to world history and our understanding of humanity. We wish it hadn’t happened but we don’t want to do without its great narratives, stories of heroism, tragedy and triumph, and redemption. But the thing is we can’t have the narratives, lesson, and wisdom without the horror.
    Also, it is only after such horrors that a new thing can grow.
    This is the horror of winter. So many lifeforms are killed by cold and hunger… but its purging leads to spring and new beginning. Same with forest fire. It is horrible and no one wishes innocent animals to be killed. But forest fires create new growths.
    And the asteroid that hit earth and killed so many animals and dinosaurs was truly horrific. But if not for that event, there might have been no rise of mammals and rise of humans.

    Now, where did the Jews go wrong with the Holocaust narrative? They fell under hubris, which is ALWAYS met with nemesis.

    The proper lessons of the Holocaust should have been:

    1. Radical supremacism and anti-humanist culture of contempt among the Germans led to the destruction of Jews. So, all peoples must reject and denounce such supremacism. This is especially true of a People of Power. If Germans were a poor, lazy, and weak people, their crazy ideology wouldn’t have done much. But as Germany was a great power, their turn to evil had huge impact, aftershocks, and repercussions around the world. So, if you’re a great power, be mindful of your power. This is a lesson that the US needs to learn. US isn’t racially supremacist but its moral supremacism is sickening, as if it has right to be judge and jury as to which nations should or shouldn’t be smashed on the basis of ‘human rights’ as defined by the GLOB.

    2. Jews need to reflect on their behaviors and agendas that led to such anti-Jewish hostility. This isn’t to morally excuse Hitler or Nazism but to point out that if you keep messing with something, it can go nuts. Human emotions are like fire. If you mess with other people’s emotions, it can burn out of control and hurt you real bad. Jews became too pyromaniacal with history with their radical politics, cultural degeneracy, and financial manipulation, especially following WWI. Jewish role in communism in Russia turned so many people against Jews. Jewish role in financial manipulation, esp during the economic crisis yrs in the 20s and 30s, was pure gold for antisemitic demagogues who could scapegoat all Jews for the disaster. (And then, Jews, having learned nothing, pulled the same shi* in Russia in the 90s to horrible effect.) If you torment an animal for too long, it might maul you. One can say the animal went too far in tearing the human from limb to limb, but human passions, once aroused, get turn into an uncontrollable fire.
    Lately, how dumb is it for Jews to declare fatwa on white patriots and tell people to ‘punch nazis’. Jews are only 2% of the population. Do they really want US to devolve into punch-politics? Even as we maintain that the Holocaust cannot be justified, the rise of Hitler cannot be understood apart from a lot of bad Jewish behavior.

    3. Third lesson of the Holocaust is that ANY people can do what the Germans did. ANY people. Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Turks, Arabs, Africans, and yes, even Jews. If Holocaust should be a lesson about the danger of racial supremacism, then it is racially supremacist to say ONLY Germans or whites could do something so horrible while Jews are eternal saints. No, Jews could also act like Nazis, and Jews have done horrible things in the past and will do so in the future, as will others.
    So, even though we need to sympathize with Jews who perished in the Holocaust, the Holocaust Narrative must not pre-exonerate all future Jews from bad behavior. After all, there are Jewish voices in Israel who sound so much like Nazis as they demean Palestinians as ‘sub-human animals’. Of course, Palestinians can be like Nazis too, but the fact remains that Jews have power over them, not the other way around. And it is Jews who are occupying Palestinian territory in the West Bank.

    But the necessary lessons of the Holocaust have been lost to Jews who adopted Moral Hubris. Too many Jews act as if the great tragedy turned them into little jesuses who are blameless no matter what they do and must have red carpets rolled out to them by all of humanity.

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    • Disagree: SolontoCroesus
    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
    The parts I disagree with are that Jews were targeted by Germans for extermination, and the gas chambers etc etc etc. Many people know that a great deal of that is hokum. That's no longer the issue. The crucial question is WHY perpetuate that hokum? WHY lie?

    The lies are a smokescreen to cover up the unaccounted-for crimes, the unatoned for crimes, those crimes that Jews, with and through the Allies, committed against the German and other people.

    In effect, god -- or gawd -- has been called on to provide an alibi for those crimes.

    Once thus complicit in those evil deeds god/gawd is now under the control of those who suborned his testimony. It's like Trump killing those people that Obama scheduled for murder: Trump had to be blooded, had to commit a blood crime, like a gang member. By making god/gawd a false witness to an evil -- the deaths of Jews in concentration camps -- that was in reality a lesser evil than the evil of the Allied firebombing of German and Japanese cities, god/gawd is complicit in the lie of the "victors;" god/gawd can now be coerced to carry out further crimes of the same kind. Until god/gawd finally summons his courage and says, NO, I will not do it, I will not kill more innocent people. You can kill me but I will no longer lie for you to allow you kill my innocent creatures. That may be the death of god/gawd that will restore order to man.

    Yes, creation is good, but lying distorts the fabric of creation, of nature, and of nature's god. As the Aryans believe, as Karen Armstrong wrote, "a lie was absolutely evil because it perverted the holy power inherent in the spoken word. The Aryans would never lose this passion for absolute truthfulness."

  130. Talha says:
    @mtn cur
    Hi Talha:

    Gotta wonder how much confusion and conflict is caused by the reciprocal and opposite images in this arcade of mirrors called earth. Believing that if God "forgets our sins," then they are no more, as if never having existed, it seems that by thinking of us, our existence is maintained by Gods thoughts. Are Gods' thoughts not sacred and therefore, the whole of creation sacred, including even us, demented clowns though we are.

    Hey mtncur,

    this arcade of mirrors called earth

    Indeed my friend – this is the realm of trials.

    our existence is maintained by Gods thoughts

    We believe that we and the entirety of the phenomenal world is sustained through His will – not sure if that’s the same, but it may simply be a semantic difference.

    On sins, without them; could things like repentance, forgiveness, and mercy (or even justice) be manifest or explained? This is a hadith that I have loved since the day I came across it:
    “By Him in whose hand is my soul; if you did not sin, God would replace you with people who would sin and they would seek the forgiveness of God and He would forgive them.” – reported in Muslim

    And this is a prayer I try to recite on a daily basis:
    “O Allah, indeed You are Most Forgiving and Generous, You love to forgive; so forgive me.” – reported in Tirmidhi

    the whole of creation sacred, including even us, demented clowns though we are

    Yeah, we can be pretty horrible, no doubt – despite our purported religious background. For us, there is some of the phenomenal world which is indeed sacred, and some which is not; whatever is created to reflect the Divine attribute ‘The Holy’ versus that which is created to reflect the lack thereof (or even as a locus for the manifestation of the attribute ‘The Abaser’).

    If you’ve got four minutes to spare, this is a good clip on why we sometimes think the wrong question is being asked – maybe it’ll give a different perspective when thinking about this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLZ6zrPy6oo

    Peace and many more sound and healthy years – and (based on your comments on other threads) steady hands. :)

    Note: To others, I’m just sharing thoughts with a friend, please don’t take these as some intellectual ‘fighting words’ – not interested in a theological debate, thanks. Take what you like, reject what you don’t.

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    • Replies: @mtn cur
    The book of Romans asks ,"does not the potter have authority over the clay," to make either vessels of honor or dishonor? More pointedly in Job 38, "Who is this that obscures my designs with words without knowledge? Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you understand? Because of what seems to be messes made mostly by humans, many reject the idea of God making everything out of nothing and then espouse the notion that nothing made everything out of itself. Being too stupid to know we are stupid, we quarrel over our stupidity.
  131. @Art
    I believe universe wasn’t created but caused… universe is an effect.

    The words “effect” and “cause” say that something is moved. Whereas “create” establishes that something is new. In the case of the universe – which is most descriptive?

    We believe everything there is was created for some-thing but anthropomorphic people like to say that everything there is was created for some-ONE

    It seems to that you object to the word “who” and want to use the word “what.” Is the cause – effect – creator --- at the top of the order of things or at the bottom. “Who” is above “what” in the logical order of significance – “who” is more important in our thinking than “what.” Should we not hold this - cause – effect – creator – god - above all else?

    The words “effect” and “cause” say that something is moved. Whereas “create” establishes that something is new. In the case of the universe – which is most descriptive?

    I think ”create” tend to be based on deliberated action even this word can be used in impersonal contexts.

    ”Your feelings creates the idea that you’re suffering”

    Seems the original aplication of this word ”creation” and derivative tend to be anthropocentric or at least based on ”deliberated action” via aware individual, a literal subject .

    Also, ”to create” stablish the idea of ”purpose”. Everything that is created have a purpose, by their creators.

    Evolution is a work of creation or a cause*

    Creation would be a evolution of the cause because it’s a deliberated, purposeful cause.

    Cause would be a primitive creation, without a ”human-like” self-awareness. Inevitably when we believe ”universe was created” the creator need exist, but when we start to think that ”universe was caused”, we can think without this anthropocentric perspective.

    God invent/create the rain*

    I think it’s not.

    We know how the rain is formed/caused.

    If the rain is part of reality that God ”created” so God also ”created/invented” the rain*

    It seems to that you object to the word “who” and want to use the word “what.” Is the cause – effect – creator — at the top of the order of things or at the bottom. “Who” is above “what” in the logical order of significance – “who” is more important in our thinking than “what.” Should we not hold this – cause – effect – creator – god – above all else?

    What is God for you*

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  132. @Anon
    “the truth of Gawd hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory”

    Well, Jesus was totally truthful, and how did He end up?

    Such purity was not expected of man since no man could be as perfect as Jesus.

    And Jesus said as much, which is why He said Peter would deny Him. Peter was sincere when he said he wouldn't deny Jesus three times, but when the time came, he did.
    So, even when people want to be true and honest, they aren't out of fear and terror.
    Jesus correctly looked into Peter's heart. Peter thought of himself as totally devoted to Jesus, but he failed when the crucial moment came. He didn't want to get whupped and killed like Jesus, so his animal fear of self-preservation and social desire for acceptance compelled him to deny Jesus, three times too. So, in a way, Peter didn't know his true nature. People lie to themselves in this manner. Even people who are consciously sincere don't know their true hearts.

    Think of all the Japanese soldiers who swore to fight to the very end, but when the war ended, decided to just give up and return home and serve the Americans.

    This is why Jesus wasn't condemning Peter when He said Peter would deny Him three times. It was more like pre-forgiveness. And Jesus was also saying that He doesn't expect His followers to go the length He did. They are not the Son of God.

    Paul, originally a persecutor of Christians, was an ambiguous character. He was all over the map, steeped in both Jewish and gentile cultures and ways. He was tribal, worldly, spiritual, and cosmopolitan. He had to take this religion borne of resistance to Roman rule and spread it all around the Roman world. If he acted as purely as Jesus, he would have been whupped and killed in no time. He had to use cunning as part of his strategy, like Benjamin Franklin at the French court.

    And he has to rank as among the greatest men of all time. What total genius.

    Jesus lied too.

    Mark 11:24-25 Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him. Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours.

    I have yet to see a believer in the Magical Jew be able to toss a grain of sand into the sea by faith, much less a mountain. Because the claim is a lie, or more precisely, faith is a confidence game played by confidence men (con-men) who are full of blessed assurances.

    Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

    Never be surprised to find a faithful son of Jacob the Deceiver—whose guile got him blessed by the Jewgod as the founder of Israel (Genesis 25:19-34; 27:1-41)—lying to you; they boast about how accomplished they are at con games in their “Good Book.” Don’t take my word for it; read Professor Kevin MacDonald’s scholarly analysis of Jews after he was astonished at the Old Testament’s con culture. He’s a regular contributor here at unz.com and has his own website at kevinmacdonald.net.

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    • Replies: @Marcus
    Judaism and Islam are dry, legalistic "religions," and in true Semitic fashion they condone any manner of chicanery as long as it benefits the tribe. In the case of Jesus and Paul, it was converting the debased urban masses of the empire to undermine Roman hegemony.
  133. @Chuck Orloski
    A. BC

    No one (that I know) holds the kernel of absolute truth in their hand, but first of all, I suggest it's best to begin with asking oneself, "what or who the hell is Man exactly."

    In "The Phenomenon of Man," the late-Jesuit priest and paleontologist, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, provided fascinating openings to answer the perennial question you have posed, above.

    The aim of de Chardin's very mature (follow up) book "The Divine Milieu" was to offer a new formula which would enable world Christianity to dare look "beyond the cross." He saw being Christian as dynamic in awareness throughout time, and upon openness to the Divine, capable of actually fulfilling what the US Army once cheaply promised creatures ,"To Be All That You Can Be."

    I especially liked how De Chardin defined evil, he said that it's "anything that makes man lesser" and advised that such must resisted. Thanks & long live the Resistance, A. BC!

    wow

    It has been years since I heard anyone mention de Chardin.

    Don’t have Divine Milieu at hand right now, but a passage in the introduction still inspires:

    It goes something like this:

    “The look in his eyes when his eyes met yours renewed your confidence in yourself . . . Just to speak to him made you feel better; you knew that he was listening to you and that he understood you. His own faith was in the invincible power of love: men hurt one another by not loving one another.”

    thanks, Chuck Orloski

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    • Replies: @Chuck Orloski
    Dear S2C,

    Having read most of your Unz Review posts for the past 6-months or so, I am honored by your making response to my comment on Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

    As you know, his respect for science & faith is mature. In fact, I believe Paul the Apostle would refer to his spiritual writings as having reached a higher level of "solid" food rather than intake of the first-come/first- served "liquid." (Maybe the author of this article, K. Barrett, has looked de Chardin's way?)

    Teilhard passed away in 1955, 3-years after my birth in the Scranton State Hospital. He is buried in the cemetery of the Jesuit novitiate for the New York Province.

    One day prior to my inevitable departure, I want to visit de Chardin's grave, S2C. So I did a Google-search and found an article (below) written by a man who did happen to travel to Saint Andrew on the Hudson. Don't get alarmed at the mention of CIA! , with mentioning the CIA information in the article below.

    Thank you for all the affordable Continuing Education!
  134. @Anon
    Jews have a strange relation to the Holocaust, but I think this can be said for any people with any horrible event.

    They feel a great sense of tragedy over what happened and, in a basic sense, wish it hadn't happened. But people also derive the greatest meanings, narratives, and lessons from tragedies. So, it's a kind of paradox. You wish the thing hadn't happened, but if it hadn't happened, you wouldn't have the wisdom that could only have been attained by that tragedy. It's like RAN by Kurosawa based on KING LEAR. In a way, the protagonists wish the downfall of the clan hadn't happened cuz it led to so many deaths and mayhem. But if not for the tragedy, the old lord(and we as observers) wouldn't have gained the wisdom that he finally did at the end. He was a man who went from victory to victory. Only with loss and humiliation did he come to plumb the depths of the human condition. Or consider LOVE STORY. It's terrible what happens to the girl, and of course, the guy wishes she were alive. But he gained the truest meaning of love through her death. So, only with great loss can we gain something profound. We value true worth only by its tragic loss. This is why George Bailey flips out in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE when he experiences a world where everything he took for granted no longer exists. Or consider the Mizoguchi's UGETSU. It's a very sad film, where the man loses both his wife and the dream. He was a potter with a plain-looking wife who was very devoted to him and gave him a son. But he falls under the spell of some aristocratic ghost lady and is drawn into an enchanted world. In choosing this realm, he forgets his wife and son. But he finally breaks out of the spell. So, he loses the dream. But it was only through this experience of seduction and liberation that he came to value his wife who, though not glamorous, is real and devoted to him. But when he returns home, he realized she's dead too. (She was killed by bandits. The son miraculously survived.) So, he lost the dream and lost the wife, but it was through those losses that he comes to value the true worth of what he lost. If none of this had happened, he'd be with wife and son and maybe bored out of his mind. He would just take his life with his wife as humdrum drudgery. The tragic thing is that the ONLY way he could appreciate the truth worth of his wife was by losing her. For a long time in the Jewish Narrative, there was this too. Jews came to realize the true value of the Holy Land only through exile and the sense that it was lost forever.

    What goes for the Holocaust also goes for WWII. Any decent person wishes it hadn't happened, but then, it's become so central to world history and our understanding of humanity. We wish it hadn't happened but we don't want to do without its great narratives, stories of heroism, tragedy and triumph, and redemption. But the thing is we can't have the narratives, lesson, and wisdom without the horror.
    Also, it is only after such horrors that a new thing can grow.
    This is the horror of winter. So many lifeforms are killed by cold and hunger... but its purging leads to spring and new beginning. Same with forest fire. It is horrible and no one wishes innocent animals to be killed. But forest fires create new growths.
    And the asteroid that hit earth and killed so many animals and dinosaurs was truly horrific. But if not for that event, there might have been no rise of mammals and rise of humans.

    Now, where did the Jews go wrong with the Holocaust narrative? They fell under hubris, which is ALWAYS met with nemesis.

    The proper lessons of the Holocaust should have been:

    1. Radical supremacism and anti-humanist culture of contempt among the Germans led to the destruction of Jews. So, all peoples must reject and denounce such supremacism. This is especially true of a People of Power. If Germans were a poor, lazy, and weak people, their crazy ideology wouldn't have done much. But as Germany was a great power, their turn to evil had huge impact, aftershocks, and repercussions around the world. So, if you're a great power, be mindful of your power. This is a lesson that the US needs to learn. US isn't racially supremacist but its moral supremacism is sickening, as if it has right to be judge and jury as to which nations should or shouldn't be smashed on the basis of 'human rights' as defined by the GLOB.

    2. Jews need to reflect on their behaviors and agendas that led to such anti-Jewish hostility. This isn't to morally excuse Hitler or Nazism but to point out that if you keep messing with something, it can go nuts. Human emotions are like fire. If you mess with other people's emotions, it can burn out of control and hurt you real bad. Jews became too pyromaniacal with history with their radical politics, cultural degeneracy, and financial manipulation, especially following WWI. Jewish role in communism in Russia turned so many people against Jews. Jewish role in financial manipulation, esp during the economic crisis yrs in the 20s and 30s, was pure gold for antisemitic demagogues who could scapegoat all Jews for the disaster. (And then, Jews, having learned nothing, pulled the same shi* in Russia in the 90s to horrible effect.) If you torment an animal for too long, it might maul you. One can say the animal went too far in tearing the human from limb to limb, but human passions, once aroused, get turn into an uncontrollable fire.
    Lately, how dumb is it for Jews to declare fatwa on white patriots and tell people to 'punch nazis'. Jews are only 2% of the population. Do they really want US to devolve into punch-politics? Even as we maintain that the Holocaust cannot be justified, the rise of Hitler cannot be understood apart from a lot of bad Jewish behavior.

    3. Third lesson of the Holocaust is that ANY people can do what the Germans did. ANY people. Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Turks, Arabs, Africans, and yes, even Jews. If Holocaust should be a lesson about the danger of racial supremacism, then it is racially supremacist to say ONLY Germans or whites could do something so horrible while Jews are eternal saints. No, Jews could also act like Nazis, and Jews have done horrible things in the past and will do so in the future, as will others.
    So, even though we need to sympathize with Jews who perished in the Holocaust, the Holocaust Narrative must not pre-exonerate all future Jews from bad behavior. After all, there are Jewish voices in Israel who sound so much like Nazis as they demean Palestinians as 'sub-human animals'. Of course, Palestinians can be like Nazis too, but the fact remains that Jews have power over them, not the other way around. And it is Jews who are occupying Palestinian territory in the West Bank.

    But the necessary lessons of the Holocaust have been lost to Jews who adopted Moral Hubris. Too many Jews act as if the great tragedy turned them into little jesuses who are blameless no matter what they do and must have red carpets rolled out to them by all of humanity.

    The parts I disagree with are that Jews were targeted by Germans for extermination, and the gas chambers etc etc etc. Many people know that a great deal of that is hokum. That’s no longer the issue. The crucial question is WHY perpetuate that hokum? WHY lie?

    The lies are a smokescreen to cover up the unaccounted-for crimes, the unatoned for crimes, those crimes that Jews, with and through the Allies, committed against the German and other people.

    In effect, god — or gawd — has been called on to provide an alibi for those crimes.

    Once thus complicit in those evil deeds god/gawd is now under the control of those who suborned his testimony. It’s like Trump killing those people that Obama scheduled for murder: Trump had to be blooded, had to commit a blood crime, like a gang member. By making god/gawd a false witness to an evil — the deaths of Jews in concentration camps — that was in reality a lesser evil than the evil of the Allied firebombing of German and Japanese cities, god/gawd is complicit in the lie of the “victors;” god/gawd can now be coerced to carry out further crimes of the same kind. Until god/gawd finally summons his courage and says, NO, I will not do it, I will not kill more innocent people. You can kill me but I will no longer lie for you to allow you kill my innocent creatures. That may be the death of god/gawd that will restore order to man.

    Yes, creation is good, but lying distorts the fabric of creation, of nature, and of nature’s god. As the Aryans believe, as Karen Armstrong wrote, “a lie was absolutely evil because it perverted the holy power inherent in the spoken word. The Aryans would never lose this passion for absolute truthfulness.”

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  135. Is David Ray Griffin displaying a prejudice against ‘mericans’?…I mean how is G_D pronounced anyways…..why some might even think that Gawd closer to the truth than God, but maybe everyone has had it wrong all along for maybe it is with two O’s.

    Eeee Gad, why Gad might actually be it….!

    Be that as it may at least Griffin knows that 9/11 was an “inside job”

    As regards the “Green Man” yes nice to see the ancient and universal natural gnosis, what might be termed the Druidic and Pagan, seeping its way through….it is that which is missing among the monotheistic literalists who literally cut off the clit, circumcised life is their submission to a theatrical fear campaigns, codified, into code, why is it really only Code, or, why Bill Gates is now a trillionaire, by Cod….how disgusting.

    Well the good gawd cod has well been over fished, or the sea is not being fed, iron oxide…

    So look at Mecca now, overshadowed by a Saturnian tower, so identified by its eye, the tick tock of the massive clock, that shadows over the Kaaba and the worshipers (peace). Frankly it seems like an insult.just part of the game, at least it is not a digital time, piece, but a old fashioned clock on top of some Gothemesque tower of the movies, that seems like a perversion….

    Well we know that skyscrapers can fall to dust, when holographs intersect with charges, it can all go poof….

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  136. @Authenticjazzman
    Okay aside from the fact that I disagree with just about everything you have to say on this subject and I consider it to be a gigantic exercise in futility to go any further, there is one particular point which I simply must elaborate upon and that being your contention that God is "Completely good" and yet he creates beings with a "Capacity for evil".

    This viewpoint is so outrageously absurd that I am wondering how you could even make such an assertion.
    Look the idea that an infinitely "good" being : God, would then contradict his own attribute of infinite goodness and proceed to create a capacity for evil, this idea borders on insanity and I am cannot consider it as a theme of discussion.

    The main point being that an infinitely "good" being would not even be able to create a "capacity for evil", as he would not even know what "evil" is.

    Have a nice day.

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artist.

    Hello Jazzman.

    I knew you would find my post abhorrent. So thanks for replying

    I don’t think it is so hard to reconcile the idea that God is completely good with the creation of men who have the will to do evil.

    There is no doubt that free will is a greater good than lack of free will.

    Two fathers have a son. One locks him up to keep him safe. The other gives him freedom to explore and accepts the risks.

    Who is morally superior? I think quite clearly the second father.

    On God not knowing evil.

    Moral evil is not just about free will, but knowledge. Many animals have a limited free will but their knowledge is so restrained they cannot be said to be evil in any sense we understand it.

    Likewise with God in the opposite way, God sees vastly more than we see, just as we see far more than animals. And so I believe he would recognize evil. I think he refrains from all evil and allows evil because of seeing further and stopping it would lead to far greater evils. We usually face exactly the same dilemma throughout our life from work to child-rearing.

    I said earlier I knew you would find my post abhorrent.

    Paul wrote in Corinthians: “And I did this so that your faith should not depend on human philosophy but on the power of God”

    The Christian view of the world as I understand it is essentially moral and sees morality as hierarchical, from solid matter, to animals, to man, to angels, to God. A growing moral awareness.

    Atheism seems to be an attempt to exclude this moral view from man and really in crude terms an attempt to take us back to being animals. You would know as well as me that many who reject God insist we are only animals.

    This is a crude characterization of course as many atheists are law abiding citizens so they do not reject morality altogether. But they do limit their vision and knowledge to man and government and trust the moral choices made by government as the most far sighted that can be made.

    But what happens when governments go bad and become evil, what happens to the atheist then? That was the point of my question to you about the Soviet policeman, which you did not answer.

    Thanks

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    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    Humans too are Animals, in the Great Ape family.

    Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
    Class: Mammalia
    Order: Primates
    Superfamily: Hominoidea (Apes)
    Family: Hominidae (Great Apes)
    Tribe: Hominini
    Genus: Homo
    Species: H. sapiens

    And evolutionary psychology well explains morality, no superstitions necessary:

    • Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals. (1996) Harvard University Press
    • Rational Animals? (2006) Oxford University Press
    • Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved. (2006) Princeton University Press
    • Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals (2010) Chicago University Press
    • Moral Origins: The Evolution of Virtue, Altruism, and Shame. (2012) Basic Books

    Humans have no advantage over any other species of animal. Even the apikoros Qoheleth—the single author in the Bible worth reading—agrees:

    Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?"
     
    You come from dust, and life itself is no more significant to Nature's God than dust in the wind or a rolling stone.

    [T]he origin and subsequent evolution of life follow from the fundamental laws of nature and “should be as unsurprising as rocks rolling downhill.”

    -A New Physics Theory of Life
    http://www.quantamagazine.org/20140122-a-new-physics-theory-of-life/
    (Unmentioned in the article, H. T. Odum (1994) and A. Lotka (1922) have already done the heavy lifting on a proposed Fourth Law of Thermodynamics that explains life via physics.)
     
    Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind.
  137. Seraphim says:
    @Steel T Post
    Speaking of dishonesty, lying is an integral part of your middle-eastern redemption cult; as Biblical scholar Bart Ehrman analyses in his text Forged: Writing in the Name of God--Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are.“There were a lot of people in the ancient world who thought that lying could serve a greater good," he demonstrates, with St. Paul admitting as much in Romans 3:7, saying, "the truth of Gawd hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory."

    I warned you about glass houses and stones; but if you must, go ahead and throw another one.

    Bart Ehrman is your typical ‘middle-eastern’ liar. He is one in a long series of semi-erudite pseudo-Christians (like all the peddlers of ‘higher criticism’) who walked the road of Damascus backwards, discovering the truth of the Talmud and ‘renouncing’ with much fanfare the false God of the Christians, who permitted the Holocaust. He is a ‘cultural Jew’ (if not a real one). I would classify him as one of the many pathetic ‘intellectuals yet idiots’ who infest the universities, the media, the show-business (and politics). Beware the semi-erudite who thinks he is an erudite. He fails to naturally detect sophistry. In parenthesis, Paul speaks about the lie of Judaism in which he was steeped before his meeting the Lord on the road to Damascus.

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    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    So you now admit Judaism is a lie, but then you trust a Judaic "Jews First" (Romans 1:16) cult anyway. Fool me once...
  138. @Seraphim
    Bart Ehrman is your typical 'middle-eastern' liar. He is one in a long series of semi-erudite pseudo-Christians (like all the peddlers of 'higher criticism') who walked the road of Damascus backwards, discovering the truth of the Talmud and 'renouncing' with much fanfare the false God of the Christians, who permitted the Holocaust. He is a 'cultural Jew' (if not a real one). I would classify him as one of the many pathetic 'intellectuals yet idiots' who infest the universities, the media, the show-business (and politics). Beware the semi-erudite who thinks he is an erudite. He fails to naturally detect sophistry. In parenthesis, Paul speaks about the lie of Judaism in which he was steeped before his meeting the Lord on the road to Damascus.

    So you now admit Judaism is a lie, but then you trust a Judaic “Jews First” (Romans 1:16) cult anyway. Fool me once…

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    • Replies: @Seraphim
    Your thickness became opacity. You can't see that you fool yourself and make a fool of yourself. You can't understand what you read. Your Norse 'gawds' don't do much to enlighten your mind. Loki tricked you.
  139. Seraphim says:
    @Steel T Post
    So you now admit Judaism is a lie, but then you trust a Judaic "Jews First" (Romans 1:16) cult anyway. Fool me once...

    Your thickness became opacity. You can’t see that you fool yourself and make a fool of yourself. You can’t understand what you read. Your Norse ‘gawds’ don’t do much to enlighten your mind. Loki tricked you.

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    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    Jesus: Whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. (Matthew 5:22)
    Seraphim: Thou "...fool...fool..."

    Never really believed Jesus' empty threats, did ya? Well, enjoy your eternal roasting in that mythological Norse underworld ruled by Loki's daughter Hell in which Buybull translators apparently thought Jesus believed! ;)
  140. Romi says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    As a lucid expositor of cosmic matters would you be so kind as to explain how one can talk sensibly of our universe consisting in part of Dark Energy.

    I understand that it is now said to be made up of 5 per cent regular matter (periodic table and associated quarks, muons etc), 25 per cent dark matter - which, as "matter" one can understand having mass - and 70 per cent Dark Energy (that I undestand is associated with the constant expansion of the universe).

    I understand that E=mc^2 means mass and energy are just two ways of accounting for the same stuff (though I can never remember the answer to the question "why is it true without specification of the units of measurement?"). But that doesn't really answer my question. It doesn't even get close to answering how we know 70 per cent or what yhat means...

    What, exactly, is the universe expanding into? Oz?

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I think I know the answer partly because a US born Australian astrophysicist Prof Brian Schmidt was awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering that our universe is not just expanding but expanding faster and faster. So I have been given reason in the Australian media to consider the expansion of the universe. And it seems that the answer is that it is not expanding into anything. It is merely space becoming a bigger space. Actually I think I first grasped that when I learned about the great initial inflation (which may or may not be universally accepted by cosmologists as established fact) which is most intriguing because, as I understand it, it involves our universe, immediately after the Big Bang, inflating at greater than the speed of light.
  141. Of course there is no personal god that you can have a conersation in English with and who has 10 fingers and 10 toes. Christianity is just a primitive superstition. The reason why this belief system has been so successful is because of prostelization to the masses. This is the same reason Buddhism has been successful in the east.

    And, sure Judaic religions are the dominant beliefs now, but that does not mean they always have been or always will be. I think as the west is exposed to more ideas they won’t think of their tradition as so preeminent.

    I somewhat agree with the concept of a ‘world soul’. However, I would just call it life. But, that doesn’t mean I’m burning frankincense or lighting candels. Teaching your kids, that’s all that matters to me.

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  142. mcohen says:

    1.Who created the earth.the creator…..advanced technology

    2.Who made petrol.the creator…..a human

    If 2 is correct then why not 1.

    in fact it is more likely that earth was made by advanced technology just look at the advances in the last 10 years.unbelievable.

    If you were asked to choose between God creating earth and an advanced technology creating earth ….which would you choose knowing that science is discovering new data every second.

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  143. @Wizard of Oz
    As a lucid expositor of cosmic matters would you be so kind as to explain how one can talk sensibly of our universe consisting in part of Dark Energy.

    I understand that it is now said to be made up of 5 per cent regular matter (periodic table and associated quarks, muons etc), 25 per cent dark matter - which, as "matter" one can understand having mass - and 70 per cent Dark Energy (that I undestand is associated with the constant expansion of the universe).

    I understand that E=mc^2 means mass and energy are just two ways of accounting for the same stuff (though I can never remember the answer to the question "why is it true without specification of the units of measurement?"). But that doesn't really answer my question. It doesn't even get close to answering how we know 70 per cent or what yhat means...

    For completeness I first discuss dark matter, but perhaps you are already familiar with it.
    There is a statistically based method of estimating the distribution of energy between potential and kinetic energy. When astrophysicists found apparent deviations from Newton/Einstein theories of gravitation for visible matter they tried to alter the dependence on distance for gravitational interaction and made use of the above mentioned statistical theorems. But deduced that the usual 1/r^2 dependence still gave the best fit to the available data. So they had to assume there were large quantities of invisible matter. Due to the transparency of the universe over huge distances they also concluded that the missing matter could not be interacting electromagnetically since that would have decreased the transparency.
    Departing from established physics, it then appears necessary to look for new types of particles and string theorists are hoping they have got some workable ideas. An alternative would be to seek explanations among the still unused symmetries of established theory, the simplest of which would be time reversal. Planet orbits look the same in a time reversed scenario indicating that gravity wouldnt immediately reveal the time direction in connection with most types of motion. A clear exception is the case when bodies collide, but in that case time reversal makes the collision invisible since electromagnetic signals would converge on the sources instead of signalling the events.
    But are these hypothetical systems with different time directions different instances of matter or could they be the same matter as ‘seen’ from an unfamiliar perspective? A wealth of questions pop up… Apparently entropy calculations would be rendered more complicated.
    There are more interesting symmetries than simple time reversal but lets drop that subject.
    Dark energy is hypothetical and is connected with Hilbert /Einsteins theory of gravitaion and its use for estimating cosmic expansion and fitting it with observations.
    mc^2 has the unit of energy and is a generalisation of the commonly used formula for kinetic energy. I believe H Herz wrote about concealed motion.
    Ie it would be mostly internal motion which produces inertia/mass.
    (The standard model of particle physics purports to explain that differently)
    As long as 3D is concerned there is Newtons bucket experiment which provides an example of how seemingly an absolute reference system exists and appears to correspond to the global distribution of matter in the universe. But E=mc^2 could well be related to something beyond 3D. 3D is a property of electromagnetism and causality more than it is a reliable feature of the external world. The strange sides of quantum mechanics demonstrate that there is something we dont understand. Higher D for purely mathematical reasons when fluctuations are included, has to show up in an entirely different manner, probably like microscopic properties.

    Read More
  144. @Seraphim
    Your thickness became opacity. You can't see that you fool yourself and make a fool of yourself. You can't understand what you read. Your Norse 'gawds' don't do much to enlighten your mind. Loki tricked you.

    Jesus: Whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. (Matthew 5:22)
    Seraphim: Thou “…fool…fool…”

    Never really believed Jesus’ empty threats, did ya? Well, enjoy your eternal roasting in that mythological Norse underworld ruled by Loki’s daughter Hell in which Buybull translators apparently thought Jesus believed! ;)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    Is in danger of hell fire "whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause", who says 'you fool' in anger. I am not angry with you. I did say 'You are a fool', but that it is not me (or Paul) who fooled you.
    You are angry with me. You are angry with Jesus whom you call worse that 'fool' (this is blasphemy).
    But "the fool said in his heart, There is no God".
  145. @Romi
    What, exactly, is the universe expanding into? Oz?

    I think I know the answer partly because a US born Australian astrophysicist Prof Brian Schmidt was awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering that our universe is not just expanding but expanding faster and faster. So I have been given reason in the Australian media to consider the expansion of the universe. And it seems that the answer is that it is not expanding into anything. It is merely space becoming a bigger space. Actually I think I first grasped that when I learned about the great initial inflation (which may or may not be universally accepted by cosmologists as established fact) which is most intriguing because, as I understand it, it involves our universe, immediately after the Big Bang, inflating at greater than the speed of light.

    Read More
  146. @Pat the Rat
    Hello Jazzman.

    I knew you would find my post abhorrent. So thanks for replying

    I don't think it is so hard to reconcile the idea that God is completely good with the creation of men who have the will to do evil.

    There is no doubt that free will is a greater good than lack of free will.

    Two fathers have a son. One locks him up to keep him safe. The other gives him freedom to explore and accepts the risks.

    Who is morally superior? I think quite clearly the second father.

    On God not knowing evil.

    Moral evil is not just about free will, but knowledge. Many animals have a limited free will but their knowledge is so restrained they cannot be said to be evil in any sense we understand it.

    Likewise with God in the opposite way, God sees vastly more than we see, just as we see far more than animals. And so I believe he would recognize evil. I think he refrains from all evil and allows evil because of seeing further and stopping it would lead to far greater evils. We usually face exactly the same dilemma throughout our life from work to child-rearing.

    I said earlier I knew you would find my post abhorrent.

    Paul wrote in Corinthians: "And I did this so that your faith should not depend on human philosophy but on the power of God"

    The Christian view of the world as I understand it is essentially moral and sees morality as hierarchical, from solid matter, to animals, to man, to angels, to God. A growing moral awareness.

    Atheism seems to be an attempt to exclude this moral view from man and really in crude terms an attempt to take us back to being animals. You would know as well as me that many who reject God insist we are only animals.

    This is a crude characterization of course as many atheists are law abiding citizens so they do not reject morality altogether. But they do limit their vision and knowledge to man and government and trust the moral choices made by government as the most far sighted that can be made.

    But what happens when governments go bad and become evil, what happens to the atheist then? That was the point of my question to you about the Soviet policeman, which you did not answer.

    Thanks

    Humans too are Animals, in the Great Ape family.

    Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
    Class: Mammalia
    Order: Primates
    Superfamily: Hominoidea (Apes)
    Family: Hominidae (Great Apes)
    Tribe: Hominini
    Genus: Homo
    Species: H. sapiens

    And evolutionary psychology well explains morality, no superstitions necessary:

    • Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals. (1996) Harvard University Press
    • Rational Animals? (2006) Oxford University Press
    • Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved. (2006) Princeton University Press
    • Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals (2010) Chicago University Press
    • Moral Origins: The Evolution of Virtue, Altruism, and Shame. (2012) Basic Books

    Humans have no advantage over any other species of animal. Even the apikoros Qoheleth—the single author in the Bible worth reading—agrees:

    Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”

    You come from dust, and life itself is no more significant to Nature’s God than dust in the wind or a rolling stone.

    [T]he origin and subsequent evolution of life follow from the fundamental laws of nature and “should be as unsurprising as rocks rolling downhill.”

    -A New Physics Theory of Life

    http://www.quantamagazine.org/20140122-a-new-physics-theory-of-life/

    (Unmentioned in the article, H. T. Odum (1994) and A. Lotka (1922) have already done the heavy lifting on a proposed Fourth Law of Thermodynamics that explains life via physics.)

    Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Homo sapiens makes classification, where he is called Homo sapiens. You can name yourself as you please, e.g. Pthirus pubis or Megalomaniacus grandiosus sp nov. In the same time, you can invent/proclaim Bozon or Whateverzon, E=XYZ2, Big Fart Theory or else. Without God this is only a convention, nature itself has no laws. Phlogiston and monades explained the nature circa 1750 quite enough for age of sail and gunpowder, like 'relativism' of modernity is quite enough for making nukes.
  147. A. BC says:
    @A. BC
    But what or who is God exactly?

    The reason for asking what or who is God exactly is, was that everybody claims God exists/does not exist, does/does not etc. without specifying what he/she is actually talking about, so that we talk all about the same.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    God = Nature. Deus, sive Natura.

    Any other definition is a petulant rebellion against Nature's God, exhibiting the same psychology as transgender queers who are too in rebellion against Nature's God. Those in rebellion against Nature's God desire a new supra-Natural body with features and functions that Nature's God didn't provide them, e.g.: (a) Jesus rebelled against the testicles Nature's God provided (Mat. 19:11-12) and hoped for a sexless utopia (Matt. 22:30), hating life itself (John 12.25), and (b) Paul longed for a new magical body Nature's God hadn't provided him. (Two Corinthians 5)

    Wherefore by their fruitcakes ye shall know them—the rebellious supra-Naturalists who narcissistically attempt to place themselves above God by inventing a fantasy Gawd.
  148. RandF says:

    For me it has always boiled down to the 2nd law of thermodynamics, that because the universe has not tended toward heat and chaos but gotten considerably more complicated and interesting therefore refuting the expected chaotic end, that the reversible part of the equation is the definition of God who loves us and we are part of his creation.

    It’s possible they were wrong about the cause of red shift and maybe our universe unlike raisin cake batter in the oven is not expanding. We are even now able to see the tiny bits of something from nothing popping up in space, this is no accident and it is real and totally argues for another dimension interacting with ours.

    God or Gods! Everything IS awesome again.

    Read More
    • Replies: @FKA Max

    We are even now able to see the tiny bits of something from nothing popping up in space, this is no accident and it is real and totally argues for another dimension interacting with ours.
     
    Long-term memory: scaling of information to brain size


    For all these storage alternatives, the thinking is conventional in that long-term memory is held to be within the brain, and the hydrocephalic cases remain hard to explain. Yet currently most of us, including the present author, would prudently bet on one or more of the stand-alone forms. The unconventional alternatives are that the repository is external to the nervous system, either elsewhere within the body, or extra-corporeal. The former is unlikely since the functions of other body organs are well understood. Remarkably, the latter has been on the table since at least the time of Avicenna [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avicenna ] and hypothetical mechanisms have been advanced (Talbot, 1991; Berkovich, 1993; Forsdyke, 2009; Doerfler, 2010). Its modern metaphor is “cloud computing.”

    Even though the internet emerged in the 1990s (Berners-Lee, 2010), it took two decades for cloud computing to become established (Furht, 2010). Imaginative attempts to relate this to the workings of individual brains (Talbot, 1991; Berkovich, 1993), still fall far short on evidence (Forsdyke, 2009). However, the rare hydrocephalic cases described here suggest we should exercise caution when tempted to cast aside the astonishing idea of personal information—long-term memory—being remotely stored. After all, Nature is not obliged to conform to our preconceptions. And, as Sherlock Holmes once said, “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

    The importance of this extends far beyond neuroscience and the clinic. When speaking of extracorporeal memory storage we enter the domain of “mind” or “spirit,” with corresponding metaphysical implications (Crick, 1995; Draaisma, 2000; Forsdyke, 2009). We begin to “secularize the soul” (Hacking, 1995). Thus, there may be vestiges of truth amongst the dross that we poor creatures, imprisoned within the second decade of the twenty-first century, can comprehend no better than those imprisoned in the later decades of the nineteenth century would have comprehended Gregor Mendel, had they known of him (Cock and Forsdyke, 2008). And that which is now deemed metaphorical may not always remain so. Draaisma (2000) notes that metaphors can die and become literal. There are those who urge us to lift our eyes to new horizons (Talbot, 1991; Berkovich, 1993). While they may lack a formal training in neuroscience, we should listen carefully.
     
    - http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00397/full
  149. @A. BC
    The reason for asking what or who is God exactly is, was that everybody claims God exists/does not exist, does/does not etc. without specifying what he/she is actually talking about, so that we talk all about the same.

    God = Nature. Deus, sive Natura.

    Any other definition is a petulant rebellion against Nature’s God, exhibiting the same psychology as transgender queers who are too in rebellion against Nature’s God. Those in rebellion against Nature’s God desire a new supra-Natural body with features and functions that Nature’s God didn’t provide them, e.g.: (a) Jesus rebelled against the testicles Nature’s God provided (Mat. 19:11-12) and hoped for a sexless utopia (Matt. 22:30), hating life itself (John 12.25), and (b) Paul longed for a new magical body Nature’s God hadn’t provided him. (Two Corinthians 5)

    Wherefore by their fruitcakes ye shall know them—the rebellious supra-Naturalists who narcissistically attempt to place themselves above God by inventing a fantasy Gawd.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    'God' is NOT 'Natura'.
    Since Spinoza the concept of 'natura' was degraded to mean the 'world', the 'cosmos' ('the created world') and then capitalized and venerated as God (idolized) which created the ongoing confusion we see in ignorant peoples' minds. But the Jeffersonian term 'Nature's God' is not the equivalent of 'Natura' (in actual fact Spinoza himself was differentiating between the 'Natura naturans' and 'Natura naturata').
    Jefferson was talking about the Laws which entitled the colonies to sever their ties with England.
    “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
    There are then the 'Laws of Nature' and the 'Laws of the God of the Nature'. Two separate sets of laws. This is what the laws of the English grammar impose. 'Nature's' is 'of the Nature'. So, it is 'The God of the Nature', a separate entity from Natura. The laws of the God of the Nature are more than the 'laws of Nature'. When Jefferson called this God in the most traditional fashion 'the Creator' and 'Divine Providence', most definitely he understood it as the God of the Bible (as all the Founding Fathers).
    'Laws of Nature' is in the context of the 'Declaration of Independence' what was always known in political philosophy as 'ius naturalis, δικαιον φυσικον' as opposed to the laws imposed by man (in the city - which may be in harmony with the 'laws of nature' given to the 'Nature' by God, or transgessions which ultimately can harm the good functioning of the society). 'Laws of Nature' were opposed to the laws given by the 'divine right of kings' which led to tyranny. ('The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States...').
  150. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Steel T Post
    Humans too are Animals, in the Great Ape family.

    Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
    Class: Mammalia
    Order: Primates
    Superfamily: Hominoidea (Apes)
    Family: Hominidae (Great Apes)
    Tribe: Hominini
    Genus: Homo
    Species: H. sapiens

    And evolutionary psychology well explains morality, no superstitions necessary:

    • Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals. (1996) Harvard University Press
    • Rational Animals? (2006) Oxford University Press
    • Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved. (2006) Princeton University Press
    • Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals (2010) Chicago University Press
    • Moral Origins: The Evolution of Virtue, Altruism, and Shame. (2012) Basic Books

    Humans have no advantage over any other species of animal. Even the apikoros Qoheleth—the single author in the Bible worth reading—agrees:

    Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?"
     
    You come from dust, and life itself is no more significant to Nature's God than dust in the wind or a rolling stone.

    [T]he origin and subsequent evolution of life follow from the fundamental laws of nature and “should be as unsurprising as rocks rolling downhill.”

    -A New Physics Theory of Life
    http://www.quantamagazine.org/20140122-a-new-physics-theory-of-life/
    (Unmentioned in the article, H. T. Odum (1994) and A. Lotka (1922) have already done the heavy lifting on a proposed Fourth Law of Thermodynamics that explains life via physics.)
     
    Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind.

    Homo sapiens makes classification, where he is called Homo sapiens. You can name yourself as you please, e.g. Pthirus pubis or Megalomaniacus grandiosus sp nov. In the same time, you can invent/proclaim Bozon or Whateverzon, E=XYZ2, Big Fart Theory or else. Without God this is only a convention, nature itself has no laws. Phlogiston and monades explained the nature circa 1750 quite enough for age of sail and gunpowder, like ‘relativism’ of modernity is quite enough for making nukes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    Nature has no laws? That's odd, try telling a physicist that. Try throwing a mountain into the sea, (Mt. 21:21) and see whose Law is paramount, that of Nature's God, or the supra-Natural Gawd Jesus worshiped.
  151. @Frayedthread
    Help! Our kindly host, Ron Unz, has unleashed a Sufi kook in our midst!
    Not that I disagree with the key points raised.

    Oh dear, I dare say you will not relinquish your beloved hollow cost delusion.

    Read More
  152. @Anon
    Homo sapiens makes classification, where he is called Homo sapiens. You can name yourself as you please, e.g. Pthirus pubis or Megalomaniacus grandiosus sp nov. In the same time, you can invent/proclaim Bozon or Whateverzon, E=XYZ2, Big Fart Theory or else. Without God this is only a convention, nature itself has no laws. Phlogiston and monades explained the nature circa 1750 quite enough for age of sail and gunpowder, like 'relativism' of modernity is quite enough for making nukes.

    Nature has no laws? That’s odd, try telling a physicist that. Try throwing a mountain into the sea, (Mt. 21:21) and see whose Law is paramount, that of Nature’s God, or the supra-Natural Gawd Jesus worshiped.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Sure nature has no laws. Laws are either convened by humans (contrait social) or granted from above (the Covenant). Humans only apply this social consctruct to nature they perceive. As a result, they receive laws of their perception of nature, not the nature itself. That's the philosophy.
  153. @SolontoCroesus
    wow

    It has been years since I heard anyone mention de Chardin.

    Don't have Divine Milieu at hand right now, but a passage in the introduction still inspires:

    It goes something like this:

    "The look in his eyes when his eyes met yours renewed your confidence in yourself . . . Just to speak to him made you feel better; you knew that he was listening to you and that he understood you. His own faith was in the invincible power of love: men hurt one another by not loving one another."

    thanks, Chuck Orloski

    Dear S2C,

    Having read most of your Unz Review posts for the past 6-months or so, I am honored by your making response to my comment on Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

    As you know, his respect for science & faith is mature. In fact, I believe Paul the Apostle would refer to his spiritual writings as having reached a higher level of “solid” food rather than intake of the first-come/first- served “liquid.” (Maybe the author of this article, K. Barrett, has looked de Chardin’s way?)

    Teilhard passed away in 1955, 3-years after my birth in the Scranton State Hospital. He is buried in the cemetery of the Jesuit novitiate for the New York Province.

    One day prior to my inevitable departure, I want to visit de Chardin’s grave, S2C. So I did a Google-search and found an article (below) written by a man who did happen to travel to Saint Andrew on the Hudson. Don’t get alarmed at the mention of CIA! , with mentioning the CIA information in the article below.

    Thank you for all the affordable Continuing Education!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Chuck Orloski
    To SolontoCroesus,

    I am trigger-happy with hitting the U.R. "Post Comment" tab, and below you will find the article by Ed Reilly which I wrote about in comment # 101 but failed to "link." Don't let Reilly's CIA reference spook you!

    http://www.edreilly.info/teilhard.html

    Also, I wanted to post a "link" to Pierre Leroy S.J.'s thoughtful forward to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's book "The Divine Milieu" but I did not want to go over board and subsequently inspire you into genuflecting. Thanks again, S2C!
  154. @Chuck Orloski
    Dear S2C,

    Having read most of your Unz Review posts for the past 6-months or so, I am honored by your making response to my comment on Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

    As you know, his respect for science & faith is mature. In fact, I believe Paul the Apostle would refer to his spiritual writings as having reached a higher level of "solid" food rather than intake of the first-come/first- served "liquid." (Maybe the author of this article, K. Barrett, has looked de Chardin's way?)

    Teilhard passed away in 1955, 3-years after my birth in the Scranton State Hospital. He is buried in the cemetery of the Jesuit novitiate for the New York Province.

    One day prior to my inevitable departure, I want to visit de Chardin's grave, S2C. So I did a Google-search and found an article (below) written by a man who did happen to travel to Saint Andrew on the Hudson. Don't get alarmed at the mention of CIA! , with mentioning the CIA information in the article below.

    Thank you for all the affordable Continuing Education!

    To SolontoCroesus,

    I am trigger-happy with hitting the U.R. “Post Comment” tab, and below you will find the article by Ed Reilly which I wrote about in comment # 101 but failed to “link.” Don’t let Reilly’s CIA reference spook you!

    http://www.edreilly.info/teilhard.html

    Also, I wanted to post a “link” to Pierre Leroy S.J.’s thoughtful forward to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s book “The Divine Milieu” but I did not want to go over board and subsequently inspire you into genuflecting. Thanks again, S2C!

    Read More
  155. FKA Max says:
    @RandF
    For me it has always boiled down to the 2nd law of thermodynamics, that because the universe has not tended toward heat and chaos but gotten considerably more complicated and interesting therefore refuting the expected chaotic end, that the reversible part of the equation is the definition of God who loves us and we are part of his creation.

    It's possible they were wrong about the cause of red shift and maybe our universe unlike raisin cake batter in the oven is not expanding. We are even now able to see the tiny bits of something from nothing popping up in space, this is no accident and it is real and totally argues for another dimension interacting with ours.

    God or Gods! Everything IS awesome again.

    We are even now able to see the tiny bits of something from nothing popping up in space, this is no accident and it is real and totally argues for another dimension interacting with ours.

    Long-term memory: scaling of information to brain size

    [MORE]

    For all these storage alternatives, the thinking is conventional in that long-term memory is held to be within the brain, and the hydrocephalic cases remain hard to explain. Yet currently most of us, including the present author, would prudently bet on one or more of the stand-alone forms. The unconventional alternatives are that the repository is external to the nervous system, either elsewhere within the body, or extra-corporeal. The former is unlikely since the functions of other body organs are well understood. Remarkably, the latter has been on the table since at least the time of Avicenna [ http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00397/full

    Read More
  156. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Steel T Post
    Nature has no laws? That's odd, try telling a physicist that. Try throwing a mountain into the sea, (Mt. 21:21) and see whose Law is paramount, that of Nature's God, or the supra-Natural Gawd Jesus worshiped.

    Sure nature has no laws. Laws are either convened by humans (contrait social) or granted from above (the Covenant). Humans only apply this social consctruct to nature they perceive. As a result, they receive laws of their perception of nature, not the nature itself. That’s the philosophy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    Nature has no laws? So things like gender and the 2nd law of thermodynamics are "social constructs." Where have we heard that before?
  157. […] Take this essay by Kevin Barrett, an Islamologist who gained some notoreity for arguing that 9/11 was an inside job. It is a review of a book by David Ray Griffin, a theologian best known for making similar arguments about 9/11. The book is both a defence of the existence of God and a critique of popular conceptions of the Almighty. There is no level on which this essay is not embarrassing. […]

    Read More
  158. @Wizard of Oz
    Can the author explain why trying to glean wisdom or ethics from consideration of his inevitably anthropomorphic deity has got any advantages over trying to infer from the nature and history of man and from evolution what the world of 50 or 100 years hence would be like if it allowed for minimum human misery and no radical destruction of the means for improving man's lot and the best of past culture, and then trying to find a path towards that future, in the meantime persuading mad theists to entertain enough modest doubt to allow the sane and ordinary to get on with the project?

    And what's wrong with multiverses? Any eternal anthropomorphic deity is going to be so lonely and bored that setting off a million big bangs a minute is just what one should expect.

    It sounds like saying the world is a globe. South American people hanging from tree tops for their very lives! Why do we measure ‘sea level?”, because it is flat, just like the surface it stands, the earth is flat! Obviously it is so difficult to believe the truth, that one sounds crazy to the brain washed multitude. It did sound crazy to me at first.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWiC3U8kbPY

    DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    It isn't at all clear what you are replying to or what you are asserting or hypothesising. Are you by chance referring to the multiverse hypothesis?
  159. @Anon
    Sure nature has no laws. Laws are either convened by humans (contrait social) or granted from above (the Covenant). Humans only apply this social consctruct to nature they perceive. As a result, they receive laws of their perception of nature, not the nature itself. That's the philosophy.

    Nature has no laws? So things like gender and the 2nd law of thermodynamics are “social constructs.” Where have we heard that before?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Social constructs, really. If you display belief in evolution and e=mc2, you graduate from school and get a decent job today. Say this in 1096 AD and you get problems only. You cannot persuade me on most 'science' matters I don't intend to believe, and say

    try telling a physicist that
     
    - that's plain convention between humans: you HAVE TO respect physicists and the stuff they publish for social reasons (mutual trust in division of labor). The 'scientists', in turn, HAVE TO base their concepts on known conventions just to get new stuff, like machines and rockets - the same social reasons. Once they forget this and produce 'dark matter', 'big bang' and 'gravity waves', human reason is confused. Since 'gravity waves' give us nothing beneficial, we may allow these to be caused by itch of World Turtle.
  160. Seraphim says:
    @Steel T Post
    Jesus: Whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. (Matthew 5:22)
    Seraphim: Thou "...fool...fool..."

    Never really believed Jesus' empty threats, did ya? Well, enjoy your eternal roasting in that mythological Norse underworld ruled by Loki's daughter Hell in which Buybull translators apparently thought Jesus believed! ;)

    Is in danger of hell fire “whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause”, who says ‘you fool’ in anger. I am not angry with you. I did say ‘You are a fool’, but that it is not me (or Paul) who fooled you.
    You are angry with me. You are angry with Jesus whom you call worse that ‘fool’ (this is blasphemy).
    But “the fool said in his heart, There is no God”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    Do you lie pathologically, Seraphim? I've never said nor implied "there is no God," and to do so is an outright falsehood, as evidenced here by my posts about Nature's God. But then watching you lie about your own anger and weasel out of Jesus' plain prohibition against calling people what you called me answers my question well enough. You would have made an excellent sea-lawyerin' Pharisee. But do bang on about "blasphemy;" that's rich!

    All I said was, "That piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah!"
     
    , @Seraphim
    Mea culpa,

    A typo crept in: "I did say ‘You are a fool’". Actually, it was: 'I DID NOT SAY "You are a fool"' (as you accuse me), but that you let yourself to be fooled (by the Ehrman's ilk). Accept my apologies.

  161. @Talha
    Hey WoO,

    Just one clarification...

    his inevitably anthropomorphic deity
     
    It seems Prof. Barrett is a Muslim (and pretty knowledgeable about Sufism - Khidr [as] is a figure that features heavily in Sufi doctrine) thus there is little doubt to me that his concept of God has very little to do with anthropomorphism (which is called 'tajseem' and is, at best, a heresy and, at worst, unbelief depending on which theologian is being asked).

    The overarching imperative has always been...
    "...There is nothing like unto Him, yet He is the Hearing, the Seeing." (42:10)

    Which the scholars explain as; if you can imagine 'it', then be sure 'it' is not Him.

    Peace.

    On the run I don’t think I mean much more than an empirical judgment that one’s deities are anthropomorphic because conceived by the human mind inevitably according to the limited capacities and features of the mind that evolution and 200,000 years of chatter allow. G-d is Good! What conceptions of good can one have that are not grounded in human experience and language developed for everyday existence?

    Read More
  162. @in the middle
    It sounds like saying the world is a globe. South American people hanging from tree tops for their very lives! Why do we measure 'sea level?", because it is flat, just like the surface it stands, the earth is flat! Obviously it is so difficult to believe the truth, that one sounds crazy to the brain washed multitude. It did sound crazy to me at first.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWiC3U8kbPY

    DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!

    It isn’t at all clear what you are replying to or what you are asserting or hypothesising. Are you by chance referring to the multiverse hypothesis?

    Read More
  163. @Seraphim
    Is in danger of hell fire "whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause", who says 'you fool' in anger. I am not angry with you. I did say 'You are a fool', but that it is not me (or Paul) who fooled you.
    You are angry with me. You are angry with Jesus whom you call worse that 'fool' (this is blasphemy).
    But "the fool said in his heart, There is no God".

    Do you lie pathologically, Seraphim? I’ve never said nor implied “there is no God,” and to do so is an outright falsehood, as evidenced here by my posts about Nature’s God. But then watching you lie about your own anger and weasel out of Jesus’ plain prohibition against calling people what you called me answers my question well enough. You would have made an excellent sea-lawyerin’ Pharisee. But do bang on about “blasphemy;” that’s rich!

    All I said was, “That piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah!”

    Read More
  164. Seraphim says:
    @Steel T Post
    God = Nature. Deus, sive Natura.

    Any other definition is a petulant rebellion against Nature's God, exhibiting the same psychology as transgender queers who are too in rebellion against Nature's God. Those in rebellion against Nature's God desire a new supra-Natural body with features and functions that Nature's God didn't provide them, e.g.: (a) Jesus rebelled against the testicles Nature's God provided (Mat. 19:11-12) and hoped for a sexless utopia (Matt. 22:30), hating life itself (John 12.25), and (b) Paul longed for a new magical body Nature's God hadn't provided him. (Two Corinthians 5)

    Wherefore by their fruitcakes ye shall know them—the rebellious supra-Naturalists who narcissistically attempt to place themselves above God by inventing a fantasy Gawd.

    ‘God’ is NOT ‘Natura’.
    Since Spinoza the concept of ‘natura’ was degraded to mean the ‘world’, the ‘cosmos’ (‘the created world’) and then capitalized and venerated as God (idolized) which created the ongoing confusion we see in ignorant peoples’ minds. But the Jeffersonian term ‘Nature’s God’ is not the equivalent of ‘Natura’ (in actual fact Spinoza himself was differentiating between the ‘Natura naturans’ and ‘Natura naturata’).
    Jefferson was talking about the Laws which entitled the colonies to sever their ties with England.
    “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
    There are then the ‘Laws of Nature’ and the ‘Laws of the God of the Nature’. Two separate sets of laws. This is what the laws of the English grammar impose. ‘Nature’s’ is ‘of the Nature’. So, it is ‘The God of the Nature’, a separate entity from Natura. The laws of the God of the Nature are more than the ‘laws of Nature’. When Jefferson called this God in the most traditional fashion ‘the Creator’ and ‘Divine Providence’, most definitely he understood it as the God of the Bible (as all the Founding Fathers).
    ‘Laws of Nature’ is in the context of the ‘Declaration of Independence’ what was always known in political philosophy as ‘ius naturalis, δικαιον φυσικον’ as opposed to the laws imposed by man (in the city – which may be in harmony with the ‘laws of nature’ given to the ‘Nature’ by God, or transgessions which ultimately can harm the good functioning of the society). ‘Laws of Nature’ were opposed to the laws given by the ‘divine right of kings’ which led to tyranny. (‘The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States…’).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    But Jefferson didn't write "Laws of the God of the Nature." You're sticking your own words that suit your own theology in there. He wrote 'Nature's God." Which means you're lying again, which is so common for Gawd apologists like yourself that the lies concocted about the Founders have been documented at LiarsForJesus.com

    Fact is, the Founders were in a revolution against both Gawd and King. As Matthew Stewart, author of Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic, writes, "the project to free the American people from the yoke of King George III was part of a grander project to liberate the world from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion."

    If you're in doubt, Jefferson wrote that he hoped to effect a quiet euthanasia of your ilk's ultra-Christian bigotry and fanaticism.

    "...invented by ultra-Christian sects...it is to be hoped, effect a quiet euthanasia of the heresies of bigotry and fanaticism..."

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short, October 31, 1819
    www.csun.edu/~hcfll004/jefflet.html

    Also see: The Euthanasia of Platonic Christianity: Thomas Jefferson, Plato, Religion and Human Freedom (San Jose State University, 1993) scholarworks.sjsu.edu/etd_theses/689/
     

     
  165. Seraphim says:
    @Seraphim
    Is in danger of hell fire "whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause", who says 'you fool' in anger. I am not angry with you. I did say 'You are a fool', but that it is not me (or Paul) who fooled you.
    You are angry with me. You are angry with Jesus whom you call worse that 'fool' (this is blasphemy).
    But "the fool said in his heart, There is no God".

    Mea culpa,

    A typo crept in: “I did say ‘You are a fool’”. Actually, it was: ‘I DID NOT SAY “You are a fool”‘ (as you accuse me), but that you let yourself to be fooled (by the Ehrman’s ilk). Accept my apologies.

    Read More
  166. @Seraphim
    'God' is NOT 'Natura'.
    Since Spinoza the concept of 'natura' was degraded to mean the 'world', the 'cosmos' ('the created world') and then capitalized and venerated as God (idolized) which created the ongoing confusion we see in ignorant peoples' minds. But the Jeffersonian term 'Nature's God' is not the equivalent of 'Natura' (in actual fact Spinoza himself was differentiating between the 'Natura naturans' and 'Natura naturata').
    Jefferson was talking about the Laws which entitled the colonies to sever their ties with England.
    “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
    There are then the 'Laws of Nature' and the 'Laws of the God of the Nature'. Two separate sets of laws. This is what the laws of the English grammar impose. 'Nature's' is 'of the Nature'. So, it is 'The God of the Nature', a separate entity from Natura. The laws of the God of the Nature are more than the 'laws of Nature'. When Jefferson called this God in the most traditional fashion 'the Creator' and 'Divine Providence', most definitely he understood it as the God of the Bible (as all the Founding Fathers).
    'Laws of Nature' is in the context of the 'Declaration of Independence' what was always known in political philosophy as 'ius naturalis, δικαιον φυσικον' as opposed to the laws imposed by man (in the city - which may be in harmony with the 'laws of nature' given to the 'Nature' by God, or transgessions which ultimately can harm the good functioning of the society). 'Laws of Nature' were opposed to the laws given by the 'divine right of kings' which led to tyranny. ('The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States...').

    But Jefferson didn’t write “Laws of the God of the Nature.” You’re sticking your own words that suit your own theology in there. He wrote ‘Nature’s God.” Which means you’re lying again, which is so common for Gawd apologists like yourself that the lies concocted about the Founders have been documented at LiarsForJesus.com

    Fact is, the Founders were in a revolution against both Gawd and King. As Matthew Stewart, author of Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic, writes, “the project to free the American people from the yoke of King George III was part of a grander project to liberate the world from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion.”

    If you’re in doubt, Jefferson wrote that he hoped to effect a quiet euthanasia of your ilk’s ultra-Christian bigotry and fanaticism.

    “…invented by ultra-Christian sects…it is to be hoped, effect a quiet euthanasia of the heresies of bigotry and fanaticism…”

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short, October 31, 1819
    http://www.csun.edu/~hcfll004/jefflet.html

    Also see: The Euthanasia of Platonic Christianity: Thomas Jefferson, Plato, Religion and Human Freedom (San Jose State University, 1993) scholarworks.sjsu.edu/etd_theses/689/

    Read More
  167. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Steel T Post
    Nature has no laws? So things like gender and the 2nd law of thermodynamics are "social constructs." Where have we heard that before?

    Social constructs, really. If you display belief in evolution and e=mc2, you graduate from school and get a decent job today. Say this in 1096 AD and you get problems only. You cannot persuade me on most ‘science’ matters I don’t intend to believe, and say

    try telling a physicist that

    – that’s plain convention between humans: you HAVE TO respect physicists and the stuff they publish for social reasons (mutual trust in division of labor). The ‘scientists’, in turn, HAVE TO base their concepts on known conventions just to get new stuff, like machines and rockets – the same social reasons. Once they forget this and produce ‘dark matter’, ‘big bang’ and ‘gravity waves’, human reason is confused. Since ‘gravity waves’ give us nothing beneficial, we may allow these to be caused by itch of World Turtle.

    Read More
  168. Seraphim says:

    I am in serious doubt whether you know the English language if you can’t tell how the genitive (possessive) case is used (‘s or ‘of the’). The possessive case can be confusing, especially when two nouns are doing the possessing. Little wonder, grammar is not taught in American schools (or reading or writing ‘skills’, for that matter – 20 to 23% of adults in the U.S., are limited to reading at the basic or below basic proficiency levels – when they are not downright illiterate). I wonder whether you ever read the Declaration of Independence.
    Jefferson used the short form of the possessive case.

    The rejection of ‘Christian Platonism’ by Jefferson is illustrative of his own intellectual limitations and of his superficial knowledge of the classics. He never studied Plato (“I amused myself with reading seriously Plato’s Republic. I am wrong however in calling it amusement, for it was the heaviest task-work I ever went through. I had occasionally before taken up some of his other works, but scarcely ever had patience to go through a whole dialogue”), which did not prevent him pontificate about the malfeasance of his philosophy in true ‘intellectual yet idiot’ fashion. All his’knowledge’ of Plato came from the famous “English theologian, English Dissenters clergyman, natural philosopher, chemist, innovative grammarian, multi-subject educator, and Liberal political theorist” Joseph Priestley (a Mason, member of the “Lunar Society” – the ‘Lunarticks’, as they called themselves). Jefferson believed in the ‘divine institution of the Sabbath’! His God was the Jewish God of Protestantism and Islam, of the Masons and Illuminati (he was a Mason). “The grander project to liberate the world from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion” was their project also. Jefferson was not only an ‘intelectual yet idiot”. He was also a ‘useful idiot’ for the World Revolution.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    You just cannot stop lying! Another example from your diatribe of falsehoods above: Jefferson was not a Mason.

    Thomas Jefferson's connections to fraternal organizations have often been misunderstood. He is frequently, yet falsely, linked to the Freemasons. Comments that he made in his correspondence suggest that he had a generally negative opinion of fraternal organizations.

    http://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/fraternal-organizations
     
    If your job is to make Christian apologists look mendacious, you're succeeding. LiarsForJesus.com indeed!
    , @Anon
    Obsession of certain Americans by the legacy of Jefferson is almost ridiculous. The writings of this 'founding father' (i.e. disguised brother mason building the foundation of their 'temple') are translated to Russian also. I have his 'history of Virginia' on my bookshelf. Quite a mediocre work, so typical for educated rural landlords throughout Europe of that times. His political adventurism was a kind of remedy from countrylife boredom. Just imagine Squire Trelawney composing the masonic 'Declaration of Whatever' together with Captain Smollet crossing the Delaware. The America's own writer, Mark Twain, has a clue:



    THE STORY OF A GALLANT DEED

    THIS INDENTURE, made the tenth
    Day of November, in the year
    Of our Lord one thousand eight
    Hundred six-and-fifty,

    Between Joanna S. E. Gray
    And Philip Gray, her husband,
    Of Salem City in the State
    Of Texas, of the first part,

    And O. B. Johnson, of the town
    Of Austin, ditto, WITNESSETH:
    That said party of first part,
    For and in consideration

    Of the sum of Twenty Thousand
    Dollars, lawful money of
    The U. S. of Americay,
    To them in hand now paid by said

    Party of the second part,
    The due receipt whereof is here--
    By confessed and acknowledg-ed
    Having Granted, Bargained, Sold, Remised,

    Released and Aliened and Conveyed,
    Confirmed, and by these presents do
    Grant and Bargain, Sell, Remise,
    Alien, Release, Convey, and Con--

    Firm unto the said aforesaid
    Party of the second part,
    And to his heirs and assigns
    Forever and ever ALL

    That certain lot or parcel of
    LAND situate in city of
    Dunkirk, County of Chautauqua,
    And likewise furthermore in York State

    Bounded and described, to-wit,
    As follows, herein, namely
    BEGINNING at the distance of
    A hundred two-and-forty feet,

    North-half-east, north-east-by north,
    East-north-east and northerly
    Of the northerly line of Mulligan street
    On the westerly line of Brannigan street,

    And running thence due northerly
    On Brannigan street 200 feet,
    Thence at right angles westerly,
    North-west-by-west-and-west-half-west,

    West-and-by-north, north-west-by-west,
    About--
     
  169. skrik says:

    Kevin Barrett reviewing Griffin’s Chapter 14, “Teleological Order:” “The claim that it could arise by chance (as opposed to intelligent design) is ludicrous.”

    Me: I ‘beg’ to differ. AFAIK, nowhere is it shown that ‘at least 26 of the fundamental constants’ are in any way amenable to any alleged ‘fine tuning,’ as opposed to being ‘emergent’ = derived from/specified by the ‘natural’ properties of matter/energy itself. See ‘conservation laws’ vs. ‘supernatural’ below. I just re-read parts of Feynman’s “The Meaning of it All,” IMHO useless on alleged deities; publishing it posthumously was a mischievous act. Theologians’ ‘business’ is speculating about alleged deities and IMHO any output should be on the fiction shelves.

    A necessary and sufficient morality is “Do unto others …” with a codicil “Do no harm” (to negate ‘self-harmers’), with a lemma: MYOB = mind your own business.

    Since we lack telepathy, any ‘religion’ [= belief in some alleged deity] can only be in the victim’s mind, and by the conservation laws [= matter/energy cannot be created/destroyed etc., *no* exceptions either detected or expected], no ‘outside interference’ is possible [refer to believers' alleged 'supernatural' forces as a claimed exception, but, looping, since both the universe and people are made of matter/energy, outside interference is forbidden by the conservation laws as inherently undetectable.] Hence the expression: Wholly imaginary deity.

    Q: Why is it so? A: People yearn for an explanation of where the universe may have come from in general, and where they themselves may be going to – in particular, after their own inevitable death. So religion’s ‘hook’ = alleged deity’s ‘promise:’ “Believe in me and get eternal life.” Haw; nothing could be more fantastic – or self-serving. And the ‘bonus’ = ‘the creator’ = origin myth.

    Again invoking the conservation laws, before the ‘big bang’ was not nothing, merely matter/energy in some other, highly concentrated, form. OK; Q: What happened? A: We know of ‘quantum fluctuations;’ for example how radioactive nuclei spontaneously fission. This occurs at a predictable rate, but Q: How does any particular nucleus ‘know’ when to decay? A: It doesn’t; it just has a some non-zero probability, which in bulk produces the observed rate of decay. So with the big-bang precursor ‘cosmic egg;’ sometime it just had to blow, and it really does not matter when, it just did [currently 13.799±0.021 billion years ago]. No magic = no ‘creator;’ the cosmic egg went through a spontaneous phase transition, like super-heated water in a pressure-cooker does if/when the seal is suddenly removed. Colloquially, the big-bang happened when/as the lid blew off hell.

    So now we can apply Occam’s razor [= no more assumptions should be made than are necessary]; ‘the creator’ = origin myth may be desired by those of fragile mind, but is an unnecessary complication = superfluous concept and can summarily be dismissed: Goodbye, ‘god-concept’ and good riddance.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    I concur with you that people invent Gawds to pretend that an afterlife exists. Afterlife belief ameliorates their mortality salience, i.e., fear of death. This has actually been proven scientifically, with over 400 empirical experiments in a field called Terror Management Theory (Greenberg, Solomon, Pyszczynski, 1986). Interestingly, TMT has proven that even atheists will embrace religion to assuage their fear of death.

    Heflick, N., Goldenberg, J. (2012) No atheists in foxholes: Arguments for (but not against) afterlife belief buffers mortality salience effects for atheists. British journal of social psychology. Volume 51, Issue 2, pp. 385–392.
     
    The best introduction to Terror Management Theory is a documentary produced by the Ernest Becker Foundation, which includes video of Greenberg, Solomon, and Pyszczynski's ingenious mortality salience experiments, found here:

    Denial of Death
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Hi1C4NNnV4
     
    Of course, an afterlife belief is only one way to ameliorate mortality salience. I prefer the path of humility, i.e., accepting life for what it is, fleeting.

    Kesebir, P. (2014) A quiet ego quiets death anxiety: Humility as an existential anxiety buffer. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Vol 106(4), pp. 610-623.
     
    Those who desire heaven reveal themselves as egotistical narcissists. Nobody expresses that afterlife narcissism better than good ol' Rust Cohle:

    The ontological fallacy of expecting a light at the end of the tunnel, well, that’s what the preacher sells, same as a shrink. See, the preacher, he encourages your capacity for illusion. The he tells you it’s a fucking virtue. Always a buck to be had doing that. And it’s such a desperate sense of entitlement, isn’t it? Surely this is all for me. Me. Me, me, me. I, I. I’m so fucking important. I’m so fucking important, then, right? F--k you.

    –Rust Cohle, True Detective, Season 1, Episode 3
     

  170. @Seraphim
    I am in serious doubt whether you know the English language if you can't tell how the genitive (possessive) case is used ('s or 'of the'). The possessive case can be confusing, especially when two nouns are doing the possessing. Little wonder, grammar is not taught in American schools (or reading or writing 'skills', for that matter - 20 to 23% of adults in the U.S., are limited to reading at the basic or below basic proficiency levels - when they are not downright illiterate). I wonder whether you ever read the Declaration of Independence.
    Jefferson used the short form of the possessive case.

    The rejection of 'Christian Platonism' by Jefferson is illustrative of his own intellectual limitations and of his superficial knowledge of the classics. He never studied Plato ("I amused myself with reading seriously Plato’s Republic. I am wrong however in calling it amusement, for it was the heaviest task-work I ever went through. I had occasionally before taken up some of his other works, but scarcely ever had patience to go through a whole dialogue"), which did not prevent him pontificate about the malfeasance of his philosophy in true 'intellectual yet idiot' fashion. All his'knowledge' of Plato came from the famous "English theologian, English Dissenters clergyman, natural philosopher, chemist, innovative grammarian, multi-subject educator, and Liberal political theorist" Joseph Priestley (a Mason, member of the "Lunar Society" - the 'Lunarticks', as they called themselves). Jefferson believed in the 'divine institution of the Sabbath'! His God was the Jewish God of Protestantism and Islam, of the Masons and Illuminati (he was a Mason). "The grander project to liberate the world from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion" was their project also. Jefferson was not only an 'intelectual yet idiot". He was also a 'useful idiot' for the World Revolution.

    You just cannot stop lying! Another example from your diatribe of falsehoods above: Jefferson was not a Mason.

    Thomas Jefferson’s connections to fraternal organizations have often been misunderstood. He is frequently, yet falsely, linked to the Freemasons. Comments that he made in his correspondence suggest that he had a generally negative opinion of fraternal organizations.

    http://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/fraternal-organizations

    If your job is to make Christian apologists look mendacious, you’re succeeding. LiarsForJesus.com indeed!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    Is it really to be believed that when nearly all the Founding Fathers of the United States were masons, Jefferson was not? When all his life and carrier he associated with the most notorious masons in America and Europe (where as Ambassador to France he frequented 'La Loge des Neuf Sœurs', the prominent French Masonic Lodge of the Grand Orient de France that was influential in organising French support for the American Revolution and whose Master was at a time Benjamin Franklin?). When his philosophy was pure masonism? When he wrote so enthusiastically about Adam Weishaupt while disparaging his 'detractors', than one may believe that he was a member of his Order?
  171. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Seraphim
    I am in serious doubt whether you know the English language if you can't tell how the genitive (possessive) case is used ('s or 'of the'). The possessive case can be confusing, especially when two nouns are doing the possessing. Little wonder, grammar is not taught in American schools (or reading or writing 'skills', for that matter - 20 to 23% of adults in the U.S., are limited to reading at the basic or below basic proficiency levels - when they are not downright illiterate). I wonder whether you ever read the Declaration of Independence.
    Jefferson used the short form of the possessive case.

    The rejection of 'Christian Platonism' by Jefferson is illustrative of his own intellectual limitations and of his superficial knowledge of the classics. He never studied Plato ("I amused myself with reading seriously Plato’s Republic. I am wrong however in calling it amusement, for it was the heaviest task-work I ever went through. I had occasionally before taken up some of his other works, but scarcely ever had patience to go through a whole dialogue"), which did not prevent him pontificate about the malfeasance of his philosophy in true 'intellectual yet idiot' fashion. All his'knowledge' of Plato came from the famous "English theologian, English Dissenters clergyman, natural philosopher, chemist, innovative grammarian, multi-subject educator, and Liberal political theorist" Joseph Priestley (a Mason, member of the "Lunar Society" - the 'Lunarticks', as they called themselves). Jefferson believed in the 'divine institution of the Sabbath'! His God was the Jewish God of Protestantism and Islam, of the Masons and Illuminati (he was a Mason). "The grander project to liberate the world from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion" was their project also. Jefferson was not only an 'intelectual yet idiot". He was also a 'useful idiot' for the World Revolution.

    Obsession of certain Americans by the legacy of Jefferson is almost ridiculous. The writings of this ‘founding father’ (i.e. disguised brother mason building the foundation of their ‘temple’) are translated to Russian also. I have his ‘history of Virginia’ on my bookshelf. Quite a mediocre work, so typical for educated rural landlords throughout Europe of that times. His political adventurism was a kind of remedy from countrylife boredom. Just imagine Squire Trelawney composing the masonic ‘Declaration of Whatever’ together with Captain Smollet crossing the Delaware. The America’s own writer, Mark Twain, has a clue:

    [MORE]

    THE STORY OF A GALLANT DEED

    THIS INDENTURE, made the tenth
    Day of November, in the year
    Of our Lord one thousand eight
    Hundred six-and-fifty,

    Between Joanna S. E. Gray
    And Philip Gray, her husband,
    Of Salem City in the State
    Of Texas, of the first part,

    And O. B. Johnson, of the town
    Of Austin, ditto, WITNESSETH:
    That said party of first part,
    For and in consideration

    Of the sum of Twenty Thousand
    Dollars, lawful money of
    The U. S. of Americay,
    To them in hand now paid by said

    Party of the second part,
    The due receipt whereof is here–
    By confessed and acknowledg-ed
    Having Granted, Bargained, Sold, Remised,

    Released and Aliened and Conveyed,
    Confirmed, and by these presents do
    Grant and Bargain, Sell, Remise,
    Alien, Release, Convey, and Con–

    Firm unto the said aforesaid
    Party of the second part,
    And to his heirs and assigns
    Forever and ever ALL

    That certain lot or parcel of
    LAND situate in city of
    Dunkirk, County of Chautauqua,
    And likewise furthermore in York State

    Bounded and described, to-wit,
    As follows, herein, namely
    BEGINNING at the distance of
    A hundred two-and-forty feet,

    North-half-east, north-east-by north,
    East-north-east and northerly
    Of the northerly line of Mulligan street
    On the westerly line of Brannigan street,

    And running thence due northerly
    On Brannigan street 200 feet,
    Thence at right angles westerly,
    North-west-by-west-and-west-half-west,

    West-and-by-north, north-west-by-west,
    About–

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    I find it curious that those who would denigrate the Founders would obsess about foreign Magical Jew that they deem "perfect." Whites just don't suit your fancy? Are you one with the Culture of Critique (MacDonald, 1998)?
  172. Seraphim says:
    @Steel T Post
    You just cannot stop lying! Another example from your diatribe of falsehoods above: Jefferson was not a Mason.

    Thomas Jefferson's connections to fraternal organizations have often been misunderstood. He is frequently, yet falsely, linked to the Freemasons. Comments that he made in his correspondence suggest that he had a generally negative opinion of fraternal organizations.

    http://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/fraternal-organizations
     
    If your job is to make Christian apologists look mendacious, you're succeeding. LiarsForJesus.com indeed!

    Is it really to be believed that when nearly all the Founding Fathers of the United States were masons, Jefferson was not? When all his life and carrier he associated with the most notorious masons in America and Europe (where as Ambassador to France he frequented ‘La Loge des Neuf Sœurs’, the prominent French Masonic Lodge of the Grand Orient de France that was influential in organising French support for the American Revolution and whose Master was at a time Benjamin Franklin?). When his philosophy was pure masonism? When he wrote so enthusiastically about Adam Weishaupt while disparaging his ‘detractors’, than one may believe that he was a member of his Order?

    Read More
  173. @Anon
    Obsession of certain Americans by the legacy of Jefferson is almost ridiculous. The writings of this 'founding father' (i.e. disguised brother mason building the foundation of their 'temple') are translated to Russian also. I have his 'history of Virginia' on my bookshelf. Quite a mediocre work, so typical for educated rural landlords throughout Europe of that times. His political adventurism was a kind of remedy from countrylife boredom. Just imagine Squire Trelawney composing the masonic 'Declaration of Whatever' together with Captain Smollet crossing the Delaware. The America's own writer, Mark Twain, has a clue:



    THE STORY OF A GALLANT DEED

    THIS INDENTURE, made the tenth
    Day of November, in the year
    Of our Lord one thousand eight
    Hundred six-and-fifty,

    Between Joanna S. E. Gray
    And Philip Gray, her husband,
    Of Salem City in the State
    Of Texas, of the first part,

    And O. B. Johnson, of the town
    Of Austin, ditto, WITNESSETH:
    That said party of first part,
    For and in consideration

    Of the sum of Twenty Thousand
    Dollars, lawful money of
    The U. S. of Americay,
    To them in hand now paid by said

    Party of the second part,
    The due receipt whereof is here--
    By confessed and acknowledg-ed
    Having Granted, Bargained, Sold, Remised,

    Released and Aliened and Conveyed,
    Confirmed, and by these presents do
    Grant and Bargain, Sell, Remise,
    Alien, Release, Convey, and Con--

    Firm unto the said aforesaid
    Party of the second part,
    And to his heirs and assigns
    Forever and ever ALL

    That certain lot or parcel of
    LAND situate in city of
    Dunkirk, County of Chautauqua,
    And likewise furthermore in York State

    Bounded and described, to-wit,
    As follows, herein, namely
    BEGINNING at the distance of
    A hundred two-and-forty feet,

    North-half-east, north-east-by north,
    East-north-east and northerly
    Of the northerly line of Mulligan street
    On the westerly line of Brannigan street,

    And running thence due northerly
    On Brannigan street 200 feet,
    Thence at right angles westerly,
    North-west-by-west-and-west-half-west,

    West-and-by-north, north-west-by-west,
    About--
     

    I find it curious that those who would denigrate the Founders would obsess about foreign Magical Jew that they deem “perfect.” Whites just don’t suit your fancy? Are you one with the Culture of Critique (MacDonald, 1998)?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon

    Are you one with the
     
    We are the ones with Materialism and Empirio-criticism and consider your philosophy reactionary as well, since it fits your racial prejudice and US imperialistic (and corporate trans-national as well!) robbing and exploitation of other nations. Philosophies displayed above were considered obsolete it the times of USSR. Instead of praying God, you idolize your State, the Western Primacy, the Founding fathers, the IQ and Genetic Advantage, etc. i.e. yourself, own vanity.
  174. @skrik
    Kevin Barrett reviewing Griffin’s Chapter 14, “Teleological Order:” "The claim that it could arise by chance (as opposed to intelligent design) is ludicrous."

    Me: I 'beg' to differ. AFAIK, nowhere is it shown that 'at least 26 of the fundamental constants' are in any way amenable to any alleged 'fine tuning,' as opposed to being 'emergent' = derived from/specified by the 'natural' properties of matter/energy itself. See 'conservation laws' vs. 'supernatural' below. I just re-read parts of Feynman's "The Meaning of it All," IMHO useless on alleged deities; publishing it posthumously was a mischievous act. Theologians' 'business' is speculating about alleged deities and IMHO any output should be on the fiction shelves.

    A necessary and sufficient morality is "Do unto others ..." with a codicil "Do no harm" (to negate 'self-harmers'), with a lemma: MYOB = mind your own business.

    Since we lack telepathy, any 'religion' [= belief in some alleged deity] can only be in the victim's mind, and by the conservation laws [= matter/energy cannot be created/destroyed etc., *no* exceptions either detected or expected], no 'outside interference' is possible [refer to believers' alleged 'supernatural' forces as a claimed exception, but, looping, since both the universe and people are made of matter/energy, outside interference is forbidden by the conservation laws as inherently undetectable.] Hence the expression: Wholly imaginary deity.

    Q: Why is it so? A: People yearn for an explanation of where the universe may have come from in general, and where they themselves may be going to - in particular, after their own inevitable death. So religion's 'hook' = alleged deity's 'promise:' "Believe in me and get eternal life." Haw; nothing could be more fantastic - or self-serving. And the 'bonus' = 'the creator' = origin myth.

    Again invoking the conservation laws, before the 'big bang' was not nothing, merely matter/energy in some other, highly concentrated, form. OK; Q: What happened? A: We know of 'quantum fluctuations;' for example how radioactive nuclei spontaneously fission. This occurs at a predictable rate, but Q: How does any particular nucleus 'know' when to decay? A: It doesn't; it just has a some non-zero probability, which in bulk produces the observed rate of decay. So with the big-bang precursor 'cosmic egg;' sometime it just had to blow, and it really does not matter when, it just did [currently 13.799±0.021 billion years ago]. No magic = no 'creator;' the cosmic egg went through a spontaneous phase transition, like super-heated water in a pressure-cooker does if/when the seal is suddenly removed. Colloquially, the big-bang happened when/as the lid blew off hell.

    So now we can apply Occam's razor [= no more assumptions should be made than are necessary]; 'the creator' = origin myth may be desired by those of fragile mind, but is an unnecessary complication = superfluous concept and can summarily be dismissed: Goodbye, 'god-concept' and good riddance.

    I concur with you that people invent Gawds to pretend that an afterlife exists. Afterlife belief ameliorates their mortality salience, i.e., fear of death. This has actually been proven scientifically, with over 400 empirical experiments in a field called Terror Management Theory (Greenberg, Solomon, Pyszczynski, 1986). Interestingly, TMT has proven that even atheists will embrace religion to assuage their fear of death.

    Heflick, N., Goldenberg, J. (2012) No atheists in foxholes: Arguments for (but not against) afterlife belief buffers mortality salience effects for atheists. British journal of social psychology. Volume 51, Issue 2, pp. 385–392.

    The best introduction to Terror Management Theory is a documentary produced by the Ernest Becker Foundation, which includes video of Greenberg, Solomon, and Pyszczynski’s ingenious mortality salience experiments, found here:

    Denial of Death
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Hi1C4NNnV4

    Of course, an afterlife belief is only one way to ameliorate mortality salience. I prefer the path of humility, i.e., accepting life for what it is, fleeting.

    Kesebir, P. (2014) A quiet ego quiets death anxiety: Humility as an existential anxiety buffer. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Vol 106(4), pp. 610-623.

    Those who desire heaven reveal themselves as egotistical narcissists. Nobody expresses that afterlife narcissism better than good ol’ Rust Cohle:

    The ontological fallacy of expecting a light at the end of the tunnel, well, that’s what the preacher sells, same as a shrink. See, the preacher, he encourages your capacity for illusion. The he tells you it’s a fucking virtue. Always a buck to be had doing that. And it’s such a desperate sense of entitlement, isn’t it? Surely this is all for me. Me. Me, me, me. I, I. I’m so fucking important. I’m so fucking important, then, right? F–k you.

    –Rust Cohle, True Detective, Season 1, Episode 3

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    If you really prefer the 'path of humility' the first thing to do is to get down from your stilts and stop imagining that you are "so fucking important".
    , @skrik
    Thanks for the response; I 'match' your humility with carpe diem.

    [anecdote] I went to a doctor; I said: "When I do this, it hurts."

    He said: "Do not do this!" [/anecdote]

    Normally, I do not 'do' video; I find it a thin medium, with too much time needed, far too much extraneous detail and not enough information per squandered bandwidth/time-unit. [My 'worst case' video was "Century of the Self," but perseverance paid off with my discovery of Bernays.]

    I 'match' your "Denial of Death" with "Island". To be fair, I add a clue: 'Huxley.'

    Now, what we have here is probably [deliberate] 'leadership' failure, certainly [dis-informed] 'parental' failure, but of whatever sort of failure, a wicked error, one of the very worst.

    Back to my doctor, here this = never put the scare of death into any of your [let alone immature = 'below the age of reason'] child(ren)!

    Accept/apply that, problem practically solved. "Island" is not perfect, but one has to start somewhere.

    Back to the video, I do not accept that the worst that humans do to each other [= kill] is caused by individual or mass fear of death; two 'perfect' examples can be directly observed in the ME, whereby one group murders to steal soil, another oil. rgds
    , @skrik
    PS RTFM!

    One of the 1st steps towards my own enlightenment was the realisation that there is no manual.

    I observed couples, my friends, acquaintances and strangers, getting married and/or having children, and overwhelmingly stuffing it up. I wondered, where/how do the errors come from, or in other words, how to do it right?

    I spent a lot of time/effort on that problem, and developed my own ideas over the years, but now, given the villainy almost everywhere one looks, plus the obvious bankruptcy of most of academia, no manual is on purpose, actively prevented by the [totally undemocratic] tyrants who rule over us. So also, the fear of death is actively promoted by those same tyrants. rgds
  175. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Steel T Post
    I find it curious that those who would denigrate the Founders would obsess about foreign Magical Jew that they deem "perfect." Whites just don't suit your fancy? Are you one with the Culture of Critique (MacDonald, 1998)?

    Are you one with the

    We are the ones with Materialism and Empirio-criticism and consider your philosophy reactionary as well, since it fits your racial prejudice and US imperialistic (and corporate trans-national as well!) robbing and exploitation of other nations. Philosophies displayed above were considered obsolete it the times of USSR. Instead of praying God, you idolize your State, the Western Primacy, the Founding fathers, the IQ and Genetic Advantage, etc. i.e. yourself, own vanity.

    Read More
  176. mtn cur says:
    @Talha
    Hey mtncur,

    this arcade of mirrors called earth
     
    Indeed my friend - this is the realm of trials.

    our existence is maintained by Gods thoughts
     
    We believe that we and the entirety of the phenomenal world is sustained through His will - not sure if that's the same, but it may simply be a semantic difference.

    On sins, without them; could things like repentance, forgiveness, and mercy (or even justice) be manifest or explained? This is a hadith that I have loved since the day I came across it:
    "By Him in whose hand is my soul; if you did not sin, God would replace you with people who would sin and they would seek the forgiveness of God and He would forgive them." - reported in Muslim

    And this is a prayer I try to recite on a daily basis:
    "O Allah, indeed You are Most Forgiving and Generous, You love to forgive; so forgive me." - reported in Tirmidhi

    the whole of creation sacred, including even us, demented clowns though we are
     
    Yeah, we can be pretty horrible, no doubt - despite our purported religious background. For us, there is some of the phenomenal world which is indeed sacred, and some which is not; whatever is created to reflect the Divine attribute 'The Holy' versus that which is created to reflect the lack thereof (or even as a locus for the manifestation of the attribute 'The Abaser').

    If you've got four minutes to spare, this is a good clip on why we sometimes think the wrong question is being asked - maybe it'll give a different perspective when thinking about this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLZ6zrPy6oo

    Peace and many more sound and healthy years - and (based on your comments on other threads) steady hands. :)

    Note: To others, I'm just sharing thoughts with a friend, please don't take these as some intellectual 'fighting words' - not interested in a theological debate, thanks. Take what you like, reject what you don't.

    The book of Romans asks ,”does not the potter have authority over the clay,” to make either vessels of honor or dishonor? More pointedly in Job 38, “Who is this that obscures my designs with words without knowledge? Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you understand? Because of what seems to be messes made mostly by humans, many reject the idea of God making everything out of nothing and then espouse the notion that nothing made everything out of itself. Being too stupid to know we are stupid, we quarrel over our stupidity.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey mtncur,

    Ahhh - one of my favorite set of verses..."Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades? Can you loosen Orion's belt?"


    the notion that nothing made everything out of itself
     
    I have observed this and come to the realization that people actually have different notions of 'nothing'. Like when some speak about it, I shake my head and think, that's not the 'nothing' we're talking about - the state of 'nothing' cannot exist, for if it 'is', then it isn't 'nothing'. Usually they're thinking in terms of a vacuum or empty space or something which is already composed of time-space.

    Being too stupid to know we are stupid, we quarrel over our stupidity.
     
    Maybe they are right - maybe we haven't progressed beyond apehood - we're just doing 'ooga booga' and just using more phonemes. :)

    Peace.

    , @Steel T Post
    "Yeah well, sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand." -Paul Newman (Cool Hand Luke, 1967)

    A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing by Lawrence Krauss. (Free Press, 2012)
     
    , @Seraphim
    Is it 'ce...' or 'pe...'? I am with you any other way.
  177. Talha says:
    @mtn cur
    The book of Romans asks ,"does not the potter have authority over the clay," to make either vessels of honor or dishonor? More pointedly in Job 38, "Who is this that obscures my designs with words without knowledge? Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you understand? Because of what seems to be messes made mostly by humans, many reject the idea of God making everything out of nothing and then espouse the notion that nothing made everything out of itself. Being too stupid to know we are stupid, we quarrel over our stupidity.

    Hey mtncur,

    Ahhh – one of my favorite set of verses…”Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades? Can you loosen Orion’s belt?”

    the notion that nothing made everything out of itself

    I have observed this and come to the realization that people actually have different notions of ‘nothing’. Like when some speak about it, I shake my head and think, that’s not the ‘nothing’ we’re talking about – the state of ‘nothing’ cannot exist, for if it ‘is’, then it isn’t ‘nothing’. Usually they’re thinking in terms of a vacuum or empty space or something which is already composed of time-space.

    Being too stupid to know we are stupid, we quarrel over our stupidity.

    Maybe they are right – maybe we haven’t progressed beyond apehood – we’re just doing ‘ooga booga’ and just using more phonemes. :)

    Peace.

    Read More
  178. @mtn cur
    The book of Romans asks ,"does not the potter have authority over the clay," to make either vessels of honor or dishonor? More pointedly in Job 38, "Who is this that obscures my designs with words without knowledge? Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you understand? Because of what seems to be messes made mostly by humans, many reject the idea of God making everything out of nothing and then espouse the notion that nothing made everything out of itself. Being too stupid to know we are stupid, we quarrel over our stupidity.

    “Yeah well, sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand.” -Paul Newman (Cool Hand Luke, 1967)

    A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing by Lawrence Krauss. (Free Press, 2012)

    Read More
  179. Marcus says:
    @Steel T Post
    Jesus lied too.

    Mark 11:24-25 Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him. Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours.
     
    I have yet to see a believer in the Magical Jew be able to toss a grain of sand into the sea by faith, much less a mountain. Because the claim is a lie, or more precisely, faith is a confidence game played by confidence men (con-men) who are full of blessed assurances.

    Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
     
    Never be surprised to find a faithful son of Jacob the Deceiver—whose guile got him blessed by the Jewgod as the founder of Israel (Genesis 25:19-34; 27:1-41)—lying to you; they boast about how accomplished they are at con games in their "Good Book." Don't take my word for it; read Professor Kevin MacDonald's scholarly analysis of Jews after he was astonished at the Old Testament's con culture. He's a regular contributor here at unz.com and has his own website at kevinmacdonald.net.

    Judaism and Islam are dry, legalistic “religions,” and in true Semitic fashion they condone any manner of chicanery as long as it benefits the tribe. In the case of Jesus and Paul, it was converting the debased urban masses of the empire to undermine Roman hegemony.

    Read More
    • Agree: Steel T Post
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Marcus,

    Your denial of existence the Sufi saints from the Maghreb to Malaysia won't make them or their writings go away, Marcus. :)

    Speaking of one such man, Sidi Ahmad Zarruq (ra) - possibly the same Sufi-scholar that Prof. Barrett did his dissertation on; he was an amazing sage of the Maliki school and the Shadhili Order. He lived in Fes for the early part of his life, but he was run out and declared a crypto-Jew because he stood up with the principles (yes, the 'legalities') that religious minorities - aka 'those outside the tribe' had to be protected against pogroms:
    "What is clear, however, is that the anti-Jewish rhetoric of the revolutionaries was strong enough that anyone who opposed their political agenda of jihad and revolution against the Marinid Dynasty was accused of 'being a Jew.' This accusation was leveled against Ahmad Zarruq in his youth. Zarruq believed that Islamic law required continuity of legitimacy of the government against revolutionary change; he believed it also required the protection of religious minorities (dhimmi) living as citizens under such a legitimate Islamic government. When he spoke out openly against the sharifian revolution, even refusing to pray behind its leaders, he was driven from Fez under the shadow of the accusation of 'being a Jew' and not a Muslim.
    Rebel Between Spirit and Law: Ahmad Zarruq, Sainthood, and Authority in Islam

    Morocco lost one of its greatest, for when the Egyptians came to know that he had come to Cairo, they installed him as the chief Maliki jurist in al-Azhar and thousands are reported to have attended his lectures.

    Peace.

    , @Steel T Post
    I strongly agree. Christianity was the original ANTIFA (fasces being the symbol of the Roman white male power.) Low Lives Matter! (One Corinthians 1:28) movement. Sound familiar to today?

    It was a bait and switch operation. The bait was Greek, both with Greek philosophy and evangelical Greek redemption cult traditions.

    The evangelical Greek redemption cult traditions were copied almost perfectly into the New Testament, as this passage from Homer, which Plato copied, clearly shows:

    [T]hey perform their ritual, and persuade not only individuals, but whole cities, that expiations and atonements for sin may be made by sacrifices and amusements which fill a vacant hour, and are equally at the service of the living and the dead; the latter sort they call mysteries, and they redeem us from the pains of hell, but if we neglect them no one knows what awaits us.

    -Plato (4th century BCE)
    The Republic (Book II)
     
    The Greek philosophy was mainly Epicurean. From Epicurus, Christianity took many things, and often twisted them into completely different meanings. One example is the Epicurean meal together, which was turned into the Last Supper/Eucharist magic show. Another example is that Epicurus claimed to have removed the sting of death, Amelioration of death anxiety is an extremely important function of any religion or philosophy if you are familiar with Terror Management Theory.

    The last example I'll proffer is one of the strongest emotional attractions of Christianity, which is somebody dying for you. (John 15:13) Again, Epicurus beat Jesus to this by centuries.

    "...an Epicurean sage will on occasion will even perform what may be termed the ultimate act of self-sacrifice; he will die for a friend."

    Warren, J. (2004) Facing Death: Epicurus and his Critics. Oxford University Press. pp. 186-187.
     
    I won't go into more examples of what Christianity plagiarized from Epicurus, as all of the details are contained in here:

    "...Epicureanism functioned as a bridge of transition from Greek philosophy to the Christian religion."

    Norman Dewitt (1954) St. Paul and Epicurus. University of Minnesota Press.
    muse.jhu.edu/books/9780816662135
     
    The switch part of the bait and switch operation was twisting Caesar into a Magical Jew.

    "Jesus is the historically transmitted figure of Divus Julius."

    -Francesco Carrota
    http://www.carotta.de/subseite/texte/jwc_e/contents.html
     
    Carrota's work is outstanding. You'll see pictures of Roman coins with Caesar's symbol of military triumph, a cross with his armor placed on the cross, with two crucified figures on each side. The Christians put Jesus in place of place of Julius, and the Jesus character even brags about the switcharoo in Luke 20:24.
  180. Talha says:
    @Marcus
    Judaism and Islam are dry, legalistic "religions," and in true Semitic fashion they condone any manner of chicanery as long as it benefits the tribe. In the case of Jesus and Paul, it was converting the debased urban masses of the empire to undermine Roman hegemony.

    Hey Marcus,

    Your denial of existence the Sufi saints from the Maghreb to Malaysia won’t make them or their writings go away, Marcus. :)

    Speaking of one such man, Sidi Ahmad Zarruq (ra) – possibly the same Sufi-scholar that Prof. Barrett did his dissertation on; he was an amazing sage of the Maliki school and the Shadhili Order. He lived in Fes for the early part of his life, but he was run out and declared a crypto-Jew because he stood up with the principles (yes, the ‘legalities’) that religious minorities – aka ‘those outside the tribe’ had to be protected against pogroms:
    “What is clear, however, is that the anti-Jewish rhetoric of the revolutionaries was strong enough that anyone who opposed their political agenda of jihad and revolution against the Marinid Dynasty was accused of ‘being a Jew.’ This accusation was leveled against Ahmad Zarruq in his youth. Zarruq believed that Islamic law required continuity of legitimacy of the government against revolutionary change; he believed it also required the protection of religious minorities (dhimmi) living as citizens under such a legitimate Islamic government. When he spoke out openly against the sharifian revolution, even refusing to pray behind its leaders, he was driven from Fez under the shadow of the accusation of ‘being a Jew’ and not a Muslim.
    Rebel Between Spirit and Law: Ahmad Zarruq, Sainthood, and Authority in Islam

    Morocco lost one of its greatest, for when the Egyptians came to know that he had come to Cairo, they installed him as the chief Maliki jurist in al-Azhar and thousands are reported to have attended his lectures.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Marcus
    That's true, there are also the Kabbalists and several Jewish mystical strains, but I think you'll agree that Judaism and Islam are primarily political systems rather than what we would think of as religions.

    Bolshevism combines the characteristics of the French Revolution with those of the rise of Islam… Among religions, Bolshevism is to be reckoned with Mohammedanism rather than with Christianity and Buddhism. Christianity and Buddhism are primarily personal religions, with mystical doctrines and a love of contemplation. Mohammedanism and Bolshevism are practical, social, unspiritual, concerned to win the empire of this world.
     
    -Bertrand Russell
    Jung also compared Hitler to Mohammed and the prophets of the Torah.
  181. dontaxme says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Can the author explain why trying to glean wisdom or ethics from consideration of his inevitably anthropomorphic deity has got any advantages over trying to infer from the nature and history of man and from evolution what the world of 50 or 100 years hence would be like if it allowed for minimum human misery and no radical destruction of the means for improving man's lot and the best of past culture, and then trying to find a path towards that future, in the meantime persuading mad theists to entertain enough modest doubt to allow the sane and ordinary to get on with the project?

    And what's wrong with multiverses? Any eternal anthropomorphic deity is going to be so lonely and bored that setting off a million big bangs a minute is just what one should expect.

    Whether there’s a God or not, and whether we can ever know or not, and granting that science is not perfect or necessarily all-encompassing, what has religion contributed to the well-being of mankind except for wishful thinking? If that can even be considered a contribution.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
    " What has religion contributed to the well-being of mankind except for wishful thinking".

    Well to start with how about the unsurpassed magnificent Baroque architecture, painting, sculpting, brought forth by the counter-reformation.

    All one has to do to understand the impact of religion on the art world is to tour the breathtaking baroque Dom of Passau, or to view the gilded baroque altar by Baltasar Neuman in the cathedral of Worms, and to sense the overwhelming otherworldy quality of beauty before onesself, and the question is answered.

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" society member since 1973, and pro jazz artist.

    PS I am an atheist myself, but am not blinded to to obvious.
  182. Marcus says:
    @Talha
    Hey Marcus,

    Your denial of existence the Sufi saints from the Maghreb to Malaysia won't make them or their writings go away, Marcus. :)

    Speaking of one such man, Sidi Ahmad Zarruq (ra) - possibly the same Sufi-scholar that Prof. Barrett did his dissertation on; he was an amazing sage of the Maliki school and the Shadhili Order. He lived in Fes for the early part of his life, but he was run out and declared a crypto-Jew because he stood up with the principles (yes, the 'legalities') that religious minorities - aka 'those outside the tribe' had to be protected against pogroms:
    "What is clear, however, is that the anti-Jewish rhetoric of the revolutionaries was strong enough that anyone who opposed their political agenda of jihad and revolution against the Marinid Dynasty was accused of 'being a Jew.' This accusation was leveled against Ahmad Zarruq in his youth. Zarruq believed that Islamic law required continuity of legitimacy of the government against revolutionary change; he believed it also required the protection of religious minorities (dhimmi) living as citizens under such a legitimate Islamic government. When he spoke out openly against the sharifian revolution, even refusing to pray behind its leaders, he was driven from Fez under the shadow of the accusation of 'being a Jew' and not a Muslim.
    Rebel Between Spirit and Law: Ahmad Zarruq, Sainthood, and Authority in Islam

    Morocco lost one of its greatest, for when the Egyptians came to know that he had come to Cairo, they installed him as the chief Maliki jurist in al-Azhar and thousands are reported to have attended his lectures.

    Peace.

    That’s true, there are also the Kabbalists and several Jewish mystical strains, but I think you’ll agree that Judaism and Islam are primarily political systems rather than what we would think of as religions.

    Bolshevism combines the characteristics of the French Revolution with those of the rise of Islam… Among religions, Bolshevism is to be reckoned with Mohammedanism rather than with Christianity and Buddhism. Christianity and Buddhism are primarily personal religions, with mystical doctrines and a love of contemplation. Mohammedanism and Bolshevism are practical, social, unspiritual, concerned to win the empire of this world.

    -Bertrand Russell
    Jung also compared Hitler to Mohammed and the prophets of the Torah.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Marcus,

    I cannot speak to Judaism - not my expertise.

    But bro - you've got to be kidding me - if you know my tradition as thoroughly as I have studied it, then you know that; for certain the political realm is and always has been part of its domain for it has something to say about how humans interact - and social organization is one aspect. But, from just looking at the literature - there are far, far more works written on spirituality than there are on the realm of politics or government - this is not debatable. Politics/government is one of the branches of the legal tradition and probably gets far more attention in an increasingly materialist world because, what else are they going to scrutinize or use as a yardstick to judge except that which manifests itself materially?

    We talked about Russell before, remember? Look, if he wanted to cast a statement without attention to the writings of men like Ibn Arabi (ra), Mawlana Rumi (ra), Ibn Ata Illah (ra), Abdullah ibn Alawi al-Haddad (ra), and the numerous founders of the Sufi Orders - then, honestly, what can I say other than; why should I take his words seriously?

    I respect some of Jung's works that I have been exposed to. I see your Jung and raise you a Gandhi :) - who had words of praise for him - and a Goethe (he wrote some great poetry about the Prophet [pbuh]):
    "In this context, perhaps it is helpful to rememebr a time in the formation of German national identity where Islam was not incompatible with being German. Goethe wrote to the artist Johann Meyer: 'and so we must abide in Islam (that means: absolute devotion to God's will)...' That the man who would become Germany's national poet saw Islam as a concept that could be practiced by anyone (not necessarily as a religion) is striking. Goethe was not the only one: Hammer, a Catholic, would have his own grave stone imported from the Ottoman Empire, with verses from the Quran written on it."
    Religion, Identity and Politics: Germany and Turkey in Interaction

    It is unfortunate that we live in a time and circumstance when the historic tie between the deeply spiritual and the externally legal (Can anyone question that Junayd al-Baghdadi [ra] was both an accomplished Sufi and jurist?) in our tradition has been cast into doubt. A hundred or so years ago, this wouldn't even have been a question worth discussing.

    Peace.

  183. @Marcus
    Judaism and Islam are dry, legalistic "religions," and in true Semitic fashion they condone any manner of chicanery as long as it benefits the tribe. In the case of Jesus and Paul, it was converting the debased urban masses of the empire to undermine Roman hegemony.

    I strongly agree. Christianity was the original ANTIFA (fasces being the symbol of the Roman white male power.) Low Lives Matter! (One Corinthians 1:28) movement. Sound familiar to today?

    It was a bait and switch operation. The bait was Greek, both with Greek philosophy and evangelical Greek redemption cult traditions.

    The evangelical Greek redemption cult traditions were copied almost perfectly into the New Testament, as this passage from Homer, which Plato copied, clearly shows:

    [T]hey perform their ritual, and persuade not only individuals, but whole cities, that expiations and atonements for sin may be made by sacrifices and amusements which fill a vacant hour, and are equally at the service of the living and the dead; the latter sort they call mysteries, and they redeem us from the pains of hell, but if we neglect them no one knows what awaits us.

    -Plato (4th century BCE)
    The Republic (Book II)

    The Greek philosophy was mainly Epicurean. From Epicurus, Christianity took many things, and often twisted them into completely different meanings. One example is the Epicurean meal together, which was turned into the Last Supper/Eucharist magic show. Another example is that Epicurus claimed to have removed the sting of death, Amelioration of death anxiety is an extremely important function of any religion or philosophy if you are familiar with Terror Management Theory.

    The last example I’ll proffer is one of the strongest emotional attractions of Christianity, which is somebody dying for you. (John 15:13) Again, Epicurus beat Jesus to this by centuries.

    “…an Epicurean sage will on occasion will even perform what may be termed the ultimate act of self-sacrifice; he will die for a friend.”

    Warren, J. (2004) Facing Death: Epicurus and his Critics. Oxford University Press. pp. 186-187.

    I won’t go into more examples of what Christianity plagiarized from Epicurus, as all of the details are contained in here:

    “…Epicureanism functioned as a bridge of transition from Greek philosophy to the Christian religion.”

    Norman Dewitt (1954) St. Paul and Epicurus. University of Minnesota Press.
    muse.jhu.edu/books/9780816662135

    The switch part of the bait and switch operation was twisting Caesar into a Magical Jew.

    “Jesus is the historically transmitted figure of Divus Julius.”

    -Francesco Carrota
    http://www.carotta.de/subseite/texte/jwc_e/contents.html

    Carrota’s work is outstanding. You’ll see pictures of Roman coins with Caesar’s symbol of military triumph, a cross with his armor placed on the cross, with two crucified figures on each side. The Christians put Jesus in place of place of Julius, and the Jesus character even brags about the switcharoo in Luke 20:24.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Marcus
    Yes, the bewildering and often grotesque milieu of the Hellenistic Near East was fertile ground for the development of a new religion, and the imposition of a unitary imperial rule against Jewish resistance was the final catalyst. Philo of Alexandria is also a good example of the oriental/hellenic syncretism. The Greeks had lost their martial vigor and become orientalized by the time of the Roman conquest, but Egyptian Christianity became a proxy for national resistance to the Greco-Romans by the native population, one of the reasons it converted so rapidly. You can still see the cosmetic Egyptian influence
    https://ivarfjeld.com/2012/01/21/the-pope-acts-like-a-copy-cat-of-egyptian-pagan-kings/
  184. Seraphim says:
    @Steel T Post
    I concur with you that people invent Gawds to pretend that an afterlife exists. Afterlife belief ameliorates their mortality salience, i.e., fear of death. This has actually been proven scientifically, with over 400 empirical experiments in a field called Terror Management Theory (Greenberg, Solomon, Pyszczynski, 1986). Interestingly, TMT has proven that even atheists will embrace religion to assuage their fear of death.

    Heflick, N., Goldenberg, J. (2012) No atheists in foxholes: Arguments for (but not against) afterlife belief buffers mortality salience effects for atheists. British journal of social psychology. Volume 51, Issue 2, pp. 385–392.
     
    The best introduction to Terror Management Theory is a documentary produced by the Ernest Becker Foundation, which includes video of Greenberg, Solomon, and Pyszczynski's ingenious mortality salience experiments, found here:

    Denial of Death
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Hi1C4NNnV4
     
    Of course, an afterlife belief is only one way to ameliorate mortality salience. I prefer the path of humility, i.e., accepting life for what it is, fleeting.

    Kesebir, P. (2014) A quiet ego quiets death anxiety: Humility as an existential anxiety buffer. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Vol 106(4), pp. 610-623.
     
    Those who desire heaven reveal themselves as egotistical narcissists. Nobody expresses that afterlife narcissism better than good ol' Rust Cohle:

    The ontological fallacy of expecting a light at the end of the tunnel, well, that’s what the preacher sells, same as a shrink. See, the preacher, he encourages your capacity for illusion. The he tells you it’s a fucking virtue. Always a buck to be had doing that. And it’s such a desperate sense of entitlement, isn’t it? Surely this is all for me. Me. Me, me, me. I, I. I’m so fucking important. I’m so fucking important, then, right? F--k you.

    –Rust Cohle, True Detective, Season 1, Episode 3
     

    If you really prefer the ‘path of humility’ the first thing to do is to get down from your stilts and stop imagining that you are “so fucking important”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    Thanks for your feedback; it is interesting that you read everything I write and feel intimidated by it. Your fantasy worldview of having an afterlife is threatened, and people whose afterlife fantasy worldviews are threatened react exactly as if their life has been threatened. My words are as scary to you as a bear in the woods jumping out at you on a hiking trail.

    If you would like to further understand your "derogation and aggression," it is addressed in this study in the field of Terror Management Theory:

    Abstract: The hypothesis that mortality salience (MS) motivates aggression against worldview-threatening others was tested in 4 studies. In Study 1, the experimenters induced participants to write about either their own death or a control topic, presented them with a target who either disparaged their political views or did not, and gave them the opportunity to choose the amount of hot sauce the target would have to consume. As predicted, MS participants allocated a particularly large amount of hot sauce to the worldview-threatening target. In Studies 2 and 3, the authors found that following MS induction, the opportunity to express a negative attitude toward the critical target eliminated aggression and the opportunity to aggress against the target eliminated derogation. This suggests that derogation and aggression are two alternative modes of responding to MS that serve the same psychological function. Finally, Study 4 showed that MS did not encourage aggression against a person who allocated unpleasant juice to the participant, supporting the specificity of MS-induced aggression to worldview-threatening others.

    HA McGregor, JD Lieberman, J Greenberg. (1998) Terror management and aggression: evidence that mortality salience motivates aggression against worldview-threatening others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 74(3), pp. 590-605.
     
    Also, video from the above experiments is available on youtube within this documentary produced by the Ernest Becker Foundation about Terror Management Theory, where they talk about the "hot sauce" experiments. It's about half way through the documentary.

    Denial of Death: Ernest Becker Foundation Documentary
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Hi1C4NNnV4
     
  185. Seraphim says:
    @mtn cur
    The book of Romans asks ,"does not the potter have authority over the clay," to make either vessels of honor or dishonor? More pointedly in Job 38, "Who is this that obscures my designs with words without knowledge? Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you understand? Because of what seems to be messes made mostly by humans, many reject the idea of God making everything out of nothing and then espouse the notion that nothing made everything out of itself. Being too stupid to know we are stupid, we quarrel over our stupidity.

    Is it ‘ce…’ or ‘pe…’? I am with you any other way.

    Read More
  186. Marcus says:
    @Steel T Post
    I strongly agree. Christianity was the original ANTIFA (fasces being the symbol of the Roman white male power.) Low Lives Matter! (One Corinthians 1:28) movement. Sound familiar to today?

    It was a bait and switch operation. The bait was Greek, both with Greek philosophy and evangelical Greek redemption cult traditions.

    The evangelical Greek redemption cult traditions were copied almost perfectly into the New Testament, as this passage from Homer, which Plato copied, clearly shows:

    [T]hey perform their ritual, and persuade not only individuals, but whole cities, that expiations and atonements for sin may be made by sacrifices and amusements which fill a vacant hour, and are equally at the service of the living and the dead; the latter sort they call mysteries, and they redeem us from the pains of hell, but if we neglect them no one knows what awaits us.

    -Plato (4th century BCE)
    The Republic (Book II)
     
    The Greek philosophy was mainly Epicurean. From Epicurus, Christianity took many things, and often twisted them into completely different meanings. One example is the Epicurean meal together, which was turned into the Last Supper/Eucharist magic show. Another example is that Epicurus claimed to have removed the sting of death, Amelioration of death anxiety is an extremely important function of any religion or philosophy if you are familiar with Terror Management Theory.

    The last example I'll proffer is one of the strongest emotional attractions of Christianity, which is somebody dying for you. (John 15:13) Again, Epicurus beat Jesus to this by centuries.

    "...an Epicurean sage will on occasion will even perform what may be termed the ultimate act of self-sacrifice; he will die for a friend."

    Warren, J. (2004) Facing Death: Epicurus and his Critics. Oxford University Press. pp. 186-187.
     
    I won't go into more examples of what Christianity plagiarized from Epicurus, as all of the details are contained in here:

    "...Epicureanism functioned as a bridge of transition from Greek philosophy to the Christian religion."

    Norman Dewitt (1954) St. Paul and Epicurus. University of Minnesota Press.
    muse.jhu.edu/books/9780816662135
     
    The switch part of the bait and switch operation was twisting Caesar into a Magical Jew.

    "Jesus is the historically transmitted figure of Divus Julius."

    -Francesco Carrota
    http://www.carotta.de/subseite/texte/jwc_e/contents.html
     
    Carrota's work is outstanding. You'll see pictures of Roman coins with Caesar's symbol of military triumph, a cross with his armor placed on the cross, with two crucified figures on each side. The Christians put Jesus in place of place of Julius, and the Jesus character even brags about the switcharoo in Luke 20:24.

    Yes, the bewildering and often grotesque milieu of the Hellenistic Near East was fertile ground for the development of a new religion, and the imposition of a unitary imperial rule against Jewish resistance was the final catalyst. Philo of Alexandria is also a good example of the oriental/hellenic syncretism. The Greeks had lost their martial vigor and become orientalized by the time of the Roman conquest, but Egyptian Christianity became a proxy for national resistance to the Greco-Romans by the native population, one of the reasons it converted so rapidly. You can still see the cosmetic Egyptian influence

    https://ivarfjeld.com/2012/01/21/the-pope-acts-like-a-copy-cat-of-egyptian-pagan-kings/

    Read More
    • Agree: Steel T Post
    • Replies: @Brewer
    Russell Gmirkin has an interesting new book:
    http://religionnews.com/2016/09/21/new-book-claims-the-old-testament-drew-extensively-on-platos-writings/

    Discussion here:
    https://www.sott.net/article/336354-The-Truth-Perspective-Interview-with-Russell-Gmirkin-What-Does-Plato-Have-To-Do-With-the-Bible
  187. Talha says:
    @Marcus
    That's true, there are also the Kabbalists and several Jewish mystical strains, but I think you'll agree that Judaism and Islam are primarily political systems rather than what we would think of as religions.

    Bolshevism combines the characteristics of the French Revolution with those of the rise of Islam… Among religions, Bolshevism is to be reckoned with Mohammedanism rather than with Christianity and Buddhism. Christianity and Buddhism are primarily personal religions, with mystical doctrines and a love of contemplation. Mohammedanism and Bolshevism are practical, social, unspiritual, concerned to win the empire of this world.
     
    -Bertrand Russell
    Jung also compared Hitler to Mohammed and the prophets of the Torah.

    Hey Marcus,

    I cannot speak to Judaism – not my expertise.

    But bro – you’ve got to be kidding me – if you know my tradition as thoroughly as I have studied it, then you know that; for certain the political realm is and always has been part of its domain for it has something to say about how humans interact – and social organization is one aspect. But, from just looking at the literature – there are far, far more works written on spirituality than there are on the realm of politics or government – this is not debatable. Politics/government is one of the branches of the legal tradition and probably gets far more attention in an increasingly materialist world because, what else are they going to scrutinize or use as a yardstick to judge except that which manifests itself materially?

    We talked about Russell before, remember? Look, if he wanted to cast a statement without attention to the writings of men like Ibn Arabi (ra), Mawlana Rumi (ra), Ibn Ata Illah (ra), Abdullah ibn Alawi al-Haddad (ra), and the numerous founders of the Sufi Orders – then, honestly, what can I say other than; why should I take his words seriously?

    I respect some of Jung’s works that I have been exposed to. I see your Jung and raise you a Gandhi :) – who had words of praise for him – and a Goethe (he wrote some great poetry about the Prophet [pbuh]):
    “In this context, perhaps it is helpful to rememebr a time in the formation of German national identity where Islam was not incompatible with being German. Goethe wrote to the artist Johann Meyer: ‘and so we must abide in Islam (that means: absolute devotion to God’s will)…’ That the man who would become Germany’s national poet saw Islam as a concept that could be practiced by anyone (not necessarily as a religion) is striking. Goethe was not the only one: Hammer, a Catholic, would have his own grave stone imported from the Ottoman Empire, with verses from the Quran written on it.”
    Religion, Identity and Politics: Germany and Turkey in Interaction

    It is unfortunate that we live in a time and circumstance when the historic tie between the deeply spiritual and the externally legal (Can anyone question that Junayd al-Baghdadi [ra] was both an accomplished Sufi and jurist?) in our tradition has been cast into doubt. A hundred or so years ago, this wouldn’t even have been a question worth discussing.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Marcus
    Certainly Muhammad and his pals had plenty of interactions with Christians, but I see Islam as essentially an evangelical offshoot of Judaism: the goal of the latter is social organization to maintain the community as a nation among nations, the goal of the former is mobilization for expanding the community by force or persuasion. Both are intensely concerned with differentiating themselves from outsiders, you could call them negative belief systems. The Hagarism theory may be a bridge too far, but it seems reasonable that the two didn't become distinguishable until later than is usually accepted.

    Here's the rest of Jung's analysis, he clearly saw Hitler as an heir of the Abrahamic prophets rather than mere strongman
    http://christopherdickey.blogspot.com/2016/11/carl-jung-on-hitler-stalin-and_5.html
  188. @Seraphim
    If you really prefer the 'path of humility' the first thing to do is to get down from your stilts and stop imagining that you are "so fucking important".

    Thanks for your feedback; it is interesting that you read everything I write and feel intimidated by it. Your fantasy worldview of having an afterlife is threatened, and people whose afterlife fantasy worldviews are threatened react exactly as if their life has been threatened. My words are as scary to you as a bear in the woods jumping out at you on a hiking trail.

    If you would like to further understand your “derogation and aggression,” it is addressed in this study in the field of Terror Management Theory:

    Abstract: The hypothesis that mortality salience (MS) motivates aggression against worldview-threatening others was tested in 4 studies. In Study 1, the experimenters induced participants to write about either their own death or a control topic, presented them with a target who either disparaged their political views or did not, and gave them the opportunity to choose the amount of hot sauce the target would have to consume. As predicted, MS participants allocated a particularly large amount of hot sauce to the worldview-threatening target. In Studies 2 and 3, the authors found that following MS induction, the opportunity to express a negative attitude toward the critical target eliminated aggression and the opportunity to aggress against the target eliminated derogation. This suggests that derogation and aggression are two alternative modes of responding to MS that serve the same psychological function. Finally, Study 4 showed that MS did not encourage aggression against a person who allocated unpleasant juice to the participant, supporting the specificity of MS-induced aggression to worldview-threatening others.

    HA McGregor, JD Lieberman, J Greenberg. (1998) Terror management and aggression: evidence that mortality salience motivates aggression against worldview-threatening others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 74(3), pp. 590-605.

    Also, video from the above experiments is available on youtube within this documentary produced by the Ernest Becker Foundation about Terror Management Theory, where they talk about the “hot sauce” experiments. It’s about half way through the documentary.

    Denial of Death: Ernest Becker Foundation Documentary
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Hi1C4NNnV4

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    The main reason for following your teenager's rants is for the comic relief they provide. Keep going, it's getting better every time. Laughing is the best cure for 'Terror Management".
  189. Seraphim says:
    @Steel T Post
    Thanks for your feedback; it is interesting that you read everything I write and feel intimidated by it. Your fantasy worldview of having an afterlife is threatened, and people whose afterlife fantasy worldviews are threatened react exactly as if their life has been threatened. My words are as scary to you as a bear in the woods jumping out at you on a hiking trail.

    If you would like to further understand your "derogation and aggression," it is addressed in this study in the field of Terror Management Theory:

    Abstract: The hypothesis that mortality salience (MS) motivates aggression against worldview-threatening others was tested in 4 studies. In Study 1, the experimenters induced participants to write about either their own death or a control topic, presented them with a target who either disparaged their political views or did not, and gave them the opportunity to choose the amount of hot sauce the target would have to consume. As predicted, MS participants allocated a particularly large amount of hot sauce to the worldview-threatening target. In Studies 2 and 3, the authors found that following MS induction, the opportunity to express a negative attitude toward the critical target eliminated aggression and the opportunity to aggress against the target eliminated derogation. This suggests that derogation and aggression are two alternative modes of responding to MS that serve the same psychological function. Finally, Study 4 showed that MS did not encourage aggression against a person who allocated unpleasant juice to the participant, supporting the specificity of MS-induced aggression to worldview-threatening others.

    HA McGregor, JD Lieberman, J Greenberg. (1998) Terror management and aggression: evidence that mortality salience motivates aggression against worldview-threatening others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 74(3), pp. 590-605.
     
    Also, video from the above experiments is available on youtube within this documentary produced by the Ernest Becker Foundation about Terror Management Theory, where they talk about the "hot sauce" experiments. It's about half way through the documentary.

    Denial of Death: Ernest Becker Foundation Documentary
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Hi1C4NNnV4
     

    The main reason for following your teenager’s rants is for the comic relief they provide. Keep going, it’s getting better every time. Laughing is the best cure for ‘Terror Management”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    I do thank you for deeming me your intellectual superior, several grades above the "little child" level of understanding that the Magical Rabbi demanded of his dupes in Luke 18:17. Jesus has a valid point; hell, he's shoving it right into your face: The afterlife narrative hustled by the Happy Merchant is much like booze; both numb the pain of life for those incapable of handling the realities of life, including mortality salience, like an grown man.

    “Two great European narcotics, alcohol and Christianity.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche
     
    The mature attitude to facing death is Epicurean. "Death is nothing to us."

    • Being dead involves neither pleasure nor pain.
    • The only thing that is bad for us is pain.
    • Thus, death is not bad for us.

    No liquid jew necessary.

  190. Marcus says:
    @Talha
    Hey Marcus,

    I cannot speak to Judaism - not my expertise.

    But bro - you've got to be kidding me - if you know my tradition as thoroughly as I have studied it, then you know that; for certain the political realm is and always has been part of its domain for it has something to say about how humans interact - and social organization is one aspect. But, from just looking at the literature - there are far, far more works written on spirituality than there are on the realm of politics or government - this is not debatable. Politics/government is one of the branches of the legal tradition and probably gets far more attention in an increasingly materialist world because, what else are they going to scrutinize or use as a yardstick to judge except that which manifests itself materially?

    We talked about Russell before, remember? Look, if he wanted to cast a statement without attention to the writings of men like Ibn Arabi (ra), Mawlana Rumi (ra), Ibn Ata Illah (ra), Abdullah ibn Alawi al-Haddad (ra), and the numerous founders of the Sufi Orders - then, honestly, what can I say other than; why should I take his words seriously?

    I respect some of Jung's works that I have been exposed to. I see your Jung and raise you a Gandhi :) - who had words of praise for him - and a Goethe (he wrote some great poetry about the Prophet [pbuh]):
    "In this context, perhaps it is helpful to rememebr a time in the formation of German national identity where Islam was not incompatible with being German. Goethe wrote to the artist Johann Meyer: 'and so we must abide in Islam (that means: absolute devotion to God's will)...' That the man who would become Germany's national poet saw Islam as a concept that could be practiced by anyone (not necessarily as a religion) is striking. Goethe was not the only one: Hammer, a Catholic, would have his own grave stone imported from the Ottoman Empire, with verses from the Quran written on it."
    Religion, Identity and Politics: Germany and Turkey in Interaction

    It is unfortunate that we live in a time and circumstance when the historic tie between the deeply spiritual and the externally legal (Can anyone question that Junayd al-Baghdadi [ra] was both an accomplished Sufi and jurist?) in our tradition has been cast into doubt. A hundred or so years ago, this wouldn't even have been a question worth discussing.

    Peace.

    Certainly Muhammad and his pals had plenty of interactions with Christians, but I see Islam as essentially an evangelical offshoot of Judaism: the goal of the latter is social organization to maintain the community as a nation among nations, the goal of the former is mobilization for expanding the community by force or persuasion. Both are intensely concerned with differentiating themselves from outsiders, you could call them negative belief systems. The Hagarism theory may be a bridge too far, but it seems reasonable that the two didn’t become distinguishable until later than is usually accepted.

    Here’s the rest of Jung’s analysis, he clearly saw Hitler as an heir of the Abrahamic prophets rather than mere strongman

    http://christopherdickey.blogspot.com/2016/11/carl-jung-on-hitler-stalin-and_5.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Marcus,

    Well, if you don't believe in the narrative, you are either going to come to one or the other conclusion; it is an Arab Christian heresy or an Arab Judaic heresy - or maybe an amalgam. There isn't much direct evidence for this coming out of the sands of Arabia honestly so it is a stretch, but, like I said - if one insists on not wanting to accept its narrative of Divine origin, one is forced to come to that interpretation. Now, early Nestorian Christians like John Bar Penkaye (http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/john_bar_penkaye_history_15_trans.htm#Book14) already mentioned that the conquering Arabs held Christianity and the monks in esteem - and John of Damascus also gets a good amount of the Islamic belief about the Son of Mary (pbuh) correct in his polemics. And most of the early folk thought it was a Christian heresy (since it holds Christ [pbuh] and his mother [pbuh] in honor) - so I guess the jury is out on which heresy we really are according to non-Muslims. :)

    Now, I believe you are aware regarding how the Byzantine Empire was handling its relationship with non-Chalcedonian Christians at the time, then you'll realize what situation the Muslims might have been in once Constantinople found out that there was a strong new heresy brewing on its Southern borders. Whether that detail was taken account into their calculations or not; it was an impressively sagacious move on the part of the Companions (ra) to punch Byzantium fast and brutally hard, square in the face while it was still breathing heavily from its recent efforts against the Sassanids.

    Peace.

  191. Talha says:
    @Marcus
    Certainly Muhammad and his pals had plenty of interactions with Christians, but I see Islam as essentially an evangelical offshoot of Judaism: the goal of the latter is social organization to maintain the community as a nation among nations, the goal of the former is mobilization for expanding the community by force or persuasion. Both are intensely concerned with differentiating themselves from outsiders, you could call them negative belief systems. The Hagarism theory may be a bridge too far, but it seems reasonable that the two didn't become distinguishable until later than is usually accepted.

    Here's the rest of Jung's analysis, he clearly saw Hitler as an heir of the Abrahamic prophets rather than mere strongman
    http://christopherdickey.blogspot.com/2016/11/carl-jung-on-hitler-stalin-and_5.html

    Hey Marcus,

    Well, if you don’t believe in the narrative, you are either going to come to one or the other conclusion; it is an Arab Christian heresy or an Arab Judaic heresy – or maybe an amalgam. There isn’t much direct evidence for this coming out of the sands of Arabia honestly so it is a stretch, but, like I said – if one insists on not wanting to accept its narrative of Divine origin, one is forced to come to that interpretation. Now, early Nestorian Christians like John Bar Penkaye (http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/john_bar_penkaye_history_15_trans.htm#Book14) already mentioned that the conquering Arabs held Christianity and the monks in esteem – and John of Damascus also gets a good amount of the Islamic belief about the Son of Mary (pbuh) correct in his polemics. And most of the early folk thought it was a Christian heresy (since it holds Christ [pbuh] and his mother [pbuh] in honor) – so I guess the jury is out on which heresy we really are according to non-Muslims. :)

    Now, I believe you are aware regarding how the Byzantine Empire was handling its relationship with non-Chalcedonian Christians at the time, then you’ll realize what situation the Muslims might have been in once Constantinople found out that there was a strong new heresy brewing on its Southern borders. Whether that detail was taken account into their calculations or not; it was an impressively sagacious move on the part of the Companions (ra) to punch Byzantium fast and brutally hard, square in the face while it was still breathing heavily from its recent efforts against the Sassanids.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    Heresy/haíresis means "a strong, distinctive opinion", "that which is chosen, a chosen course of thought and action; hence one's chosen opinion, tenet", by extension "a body of men separating themselves from others and following their own tenets (a sect or party)", in the II century A.D., 'hairesis' had become a standard term for philosophical school.
    The term is used in the NT of individual "parties (sects)" that operated within Judaism and Christianity.
    For Saint John Damascene Islam is “the superstition (σκεια) of the Ishmaelites, being the forerunner of the Antichrist. They are descended from Ishmael, [who] was born to Abraham of Agar, and for this reason they are called both Agarenes and Ishmaelites". It was not a 'heresy' from within Judaism or Christianity.
    "And so down to the time of Heraclius they [the Ishmaelites] were very great idolaters. From that time to the present a false prophet named Mohammed has appeared in their midst. This man, after having chanced upon the Old and New Testaments and likewise, it seems, having conversed with an Arian monk, devised his OWN HERESY". Obviously, John understood the term heresy in its meaning of "sect, following, party, school" and that is the reason why the sect was called Mahomedanism.
    , @Marcus
    Yes, Monophysites would have shed no tears for the departing "Greek" authorities, Melkite (Catholic) was originally a derogatory term, "king's man," and Q 5:82 contrasts the Christians very favorably to Jews. The only explanation would be a later date for the composition of the Quran, very shortly after a break with Judaism. However, i believe the earliest Christian accounts of the Arab attackers were pretty hostile, so it is possible.
  192. Brewer says:
    @Marcus
    Yes, the bewildering and often grotesque milieu of the Hellenistic Near East was fertile ground for the development of a new religion, and the imposition of a unitary imperial rule against Jewish resistance was the final catalyst. Philo of Alexandria is also a good example of the oriental/hellenic syncretism. The Greeks had lost their martial vigor and become orientalized by the time of the Roman conquest, but Egyptian Christianity became a proxy for national resistance to the Greco-Romans by the native population, one of the reasons it converted so rapidly. You can still see the cosmetic Egyptian influence
    https://ivarfjeld.com/2012/01/21/the-pope-acts-like-a-copy-cat-of-egyptian-pagan-kings/
    Read More
  193. Seraphim says:
    @Talha
    Hey Marcus,

    Well, if you don't believe in the narrative, you are either going to come to one or the other conclusion; it is an Arab Christian heresy or an Arab Judaic heresy - or maybe an amalgam. There isn't much direct evidence for this coming out of the sands of Arabia honestly so it is a stretch, but, like I said - if one insists on not wanting to accept its narrative of Divine origin, one is forced to come to that interpretation. Now, early Nestorian Christians like John Bar Penkaye (http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/john_bar_penkaye_history_15_trans.htm#Book14) already mentioned that the conquering Arabs held Christianity and the monks in esteem - and John of Damascus also gets a good amount of the Islamic belief about the Son of Mary (pbuh) correct in his polemics. And most of the early folk thought it was a Christian heresy (since it holds Christ [pbuh] and his mother [pbuh] in honor) - so I guess the jury is out on which heresy we really are according to non-Muslims. :)

    Now, I believe you are aware regarding how the Byzantine Empire was handling its relationship with non-Chalcedonian Christians at the time, then you'll realize what situation the Muslims might have been in once Constantinople found out that there was a strong new heresy brewing on its Southern borders. Whether that detail was taken account into their calculations or not; it was an impressively sagacious move on the part of the Companions (ra) to punch Byzantium fast and brutally hard, square in the face while it was still breathing heavily from its recent efforts against the Sassanids.

    Peace.

    Heresy/haíresis means “a strong, distinctive opinion”, “that which is chosen, a chosen course of thought and action; hence one’s chosen opinion, tenet”, by extension “a body of men separating themselves from others and following their own tenets (a sect or party)”, in the II century A.D., ‘hairesis’ had become a standard term for philosophical school.
    The term is used in the NT of individual “parties (sects)” that operated within Judaism and Christianity.
    For Saint John Damascene Islam is “the superstition (σκεια) of the Ishmaelites, being the forerunner of the Antichrist. They are descended from Ishmael, [who] was born to Abraham of Agar, and for this reason they are called both Agarenes and Ishmaelites”. It was not a ‘heresy’ from within Judaism or Christianity.
    “And so down to the time of Heraclius they [the Ishmaelites] were very great idolaters. From that time to the present a false prophet named Mohammed has appeared in their midst. This man, after having chanced upon the Old and New Testaments and likewise, it seems, having conversed with an Arian monk, devised his OWN HERESY”. Obviously, John understood the term heresy in its meaning of “sect, following, party, school” and that is the reason why the sect was called Mahomedanism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Seraphim,

    OK thanks - I guess it all depends on how one wants to approach it from a lexical perspective.

    One question, if you have the time. Practically all the early Christians who came into contact with the Muslims accepted that they were from the progeny of Ishmael, correct? If so, how do you guys interpret this verse in the Bible?
    “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.” – Genesis 17:20

    Given that, from a point of history, there really was nothing else that came out of that area worth paying attention to - I guess, except oil maybe. Just curious.

    Peace.
  194. @Seraphim
    The main reason for following your teenager's rants is for the comic relief they provide. Keep going, it's getting better every time. Laughing is the best cure for 'Terror Management".

    I do thank you for deeming me your intellectual superior, several grades above the “little child” level of understanding that the Magical Rabbi demanded of his dupes in Luke 18:17. Jesus has a valid point; hell, he’s shoving it right into your face: The afterlife narrative hustled by the Happy Merchant is much like booze; both numb the pain of life for those incapable of handling the realities of life, including mortality salience, like an grown man.

    “Two great European narcotics, alcohol and Christianity.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche

    The mature attitude to facing death is Epicurean. “Death is nothing to us.”

    • Being dead involves neither pleasure nor pain.
    • The only thing that is bad for us is pain.
    • Thus, death is not bad for us.

    No liquid jew necessary.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    OK, OK, please don't stop.
    Cheers (Anything but Bourbon or the Budweiser horse piss).
  195. @dontaxme
    Whether there's a God or not, and whether we can ever know or not, and granting that science is not perfect or necessarily all-encompassing, what has religion contributed to the well-being of mankind except for wishful thinking? If that can even be considered a contribution.

    ” What has religion contributed to the well-being of mankind except for wishful thinking”.

    Well to start with how about the unsurpassed magnificent Baroque architecture, painting, sculpting, brought forth by the counter-reformation.

    All one has to do to understand the impact of religion on the art world is to tour the breathtaking baroque Dom of Passau, or to view the gilded baroque altar by Baltasar Neuman in the cathedral of Worms, and to sense the overwhelming otherworldy quality of beauty before onesself, and the question is answered.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” society member since 1973, and pro jazz artist.

    PS I am an atheist myself, but am not blinded to to obvious.

    Read More
  196. Seraphim says:
    @Steel T Post
    I do thank you for deeming me your intellectual superior, several grades above the "little child" level of understanding that the Magical Rabbi demanded of his dupes in Luke 18:17. Jesus has a valid point; hell, he's shoving it right into your face: The afterlife narrative hustled by the Happy Merchant is much like booze; both numb the pain of life for those incapable of handling the realities of life, including mortality salience, like an grown man.

    “Two great European narcotics, alcohol and Christianity.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche
     
    The mature attitude to facing death is Epicurean. "Death is nothing to us."

    • Being dead involves neither pleasure nor pain.
    • The only thing that is bad for us is pain.
    • Thus, death is not bad for us.

    No liquid jew necessary.

    OK, OK, please don’t stop.
    Cheers (Anything but Bourbon or the Budweiser horse piss).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    Seraphim prays to a common White man and gets his wish fulfilled.

    Try getting your prayers to a Magical Jew answered like that. Go ahead, be nice and say please. (John 14:14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.)

    Goes to show who is more powerful and good. :)
  197. @Seraphim
    OK, OK, please don't stop.
    Cheers (Anything but Bourbon or the Budweiser horse piss).

    Seraphim prays to a common White man and gets his wish fulfilled.

    Try getting your prayers to a Magical Jew answered like that. Go ahead, be nice and say please. (John 14:14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.)

    Goes to show who is more powerful and good. :)

    Read More
  198. Marcus says:
    @Talha
    Hey Marcus,

    Well, if you don't believe in the narrative, you are either going to come to one or the other conclusion; it is an Arab Christian heresy or an Arab Judaic heresy - or maybe an amalgam. There isn't much direct evidence for this coming out of the sands of Arabia honestly so it is a stretch, but, like I said - if one insists on not wanting to accept its narrative of Divine origin, one is forced to come to that interpretation. Now, early Nestorian Christians like John Bar Penkaye (http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/john_bar_penkaye_history_15_trans.htm#Book14) already mentioned that the conquering Arabs held Christianity and the monks in esteem - and John of Damascus also gets a good amount of the Islamic belief about the Son of Mary (pbuh) correct in his polemics. And most of the early folk thought it was a Christian heresy (since it holds Christ [pbuh] and his mother [pbuh] in honor) - so I guess the jury is out on which heresy we really are according to non-Muslims. :)

    Now, I believe you are aware regarding how the Byzantine Empire was handling its relationship with non-Chalcedonian Christians at the time, then you'll realize what situation the Muslims might have been in once Constantinople found out that there was a strong new heresy brewing on its Southern borders. Whether that detail was taken account into their calculations or not; it was an impressively sagacious move on the part of the Companions (ra) to punch Byzantium fast and brutally hard, square in the face while it was still breathing heavily from its recent efforts against the Sassanids.

    Peace.

    Yes, Monophysites would have shed no tears for the departing “Greek” authorities, Melkite (Catholic) was originally a derogatory term, “king’s man,” and Q 5:82 contrasts the Christians very favorably to Jews. The only explanation would be a later date for the composition of the Quran, very shortly after a break with Judaism. However, i believe the earliest Christian accounts of the Arab attackers were pretty hostile, so it is possible.

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  199. skrik says:
    @Steel T Post
    I concur with you that people invent Gawds to pretend that an afterlife exists. Afterlife belief ameliorates their mortality salience, i.e., fear of death. This has actually been proven scientifically, with over 400 empirical experiments in a field called Terror Management Theory (Greenberg, Solomon, Pyszczynski, 1986). Interestingly, TMT has proven that even atheists will embrace religion to assuage their fear of death.

    Heflick, N., Goldenberg, J. (2012) No atheists in foxholes: Arguments for (but not against) afterlife belief buffers mortality salience effects for atheists. British journal of social psychology. Volume 51, Issue 2, pp. 385–392.
     
    The best introduction to Terror Management Theory is a documentary produced by the Ernest Becker Foundation, which includes video of Greenberg, Solomon, and Pyszczynski's ingenious mortality salience experiments, found here:

    Denial of Death
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Hi1C4NNnV4
     
    Of course, an afterlife belief is only one way to ameliorate mortality salience. I prefer the path of humility, i.e., accepting life for what it is, fleeting.

    Kesebir, P. (2014) A quiet ego quiets death anxiety: Humility as an existential anxiety buffer. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Vol 106(4), pp. 610-623.
     
    Those who desire heaven reveal themselves as egotistical narcissists. Nobody expresses that afterlife narcissism better than good ol' Rust Cohle:

    The ontological fallacy of expecting a light at the end of the tunnel, well, that’s what the preacher sells, same as a shrink. See, the preacher, he encourages your capacity for illusion. The he tells you it’s a fucking virtue. Always a buck to be had doing that. And it’s such a desperate sense of entitlement, isn’t it? Surely this is all for me. Me. Me, me, me. I, I. I’m so fucking important. I’m so fucking important, then, right? F--k you.

    –Rust Cohle, True Detective, Season 1, Episode 3
     

    Thanks for the response; I ‘match’ your humility with carpe diem.

    [anecdote] I went to a doctor; I said: “When I do this, it hurts.”

    He said: “Do not do this!” [/anecdote]

    Normally, I do not ‘do’ video; I find it a thin medium, with too much time needed, far too much extraneous detail and not enough information per squandered bandwidth/time-unit. [My 'worst case' video was "Century of the Self," but perseverance paid off with my discovery of Bernays.]

    I ‘match’ your “Denial of Death” with “Island”. To be fair, I add a clue: ‘Huxley.’

    Now, what we have here is probably [deliberate] ‘leadership’ failure, certainly [dis-informed] ‘parental’ failure, but of whatever sort of failure, a wicked error, one of the very worst.

    Back to my doctor, here this = never put the scare of death into any of your [let alone immature = 'below the age of reason'] child(ren)!

    Accept/apply that, problem practically solved. “Island” is not perfect, but one has to start somewhere.

    Back to the video, I do not accept that the worst that humans do to each other [= kill] is caused by individual or mass fear of death; two ‘perfect’ examples can be directly observed in the ME, whereby one group murders to steal soil, another oil. rgds

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    I concur with you about learning from video, it often has a very "thin" signal to noise ratio. I do like the documentary I recommended, especially with the original video footage of the experiments provided. But there are two books published on TMT now for those who prefer reading, and I'll include in this list Becker's book that inspired the research:

    • Ernest Becker (1973) The Denial of Death. Free Press.
    • Stephen Cave (2012) Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization. Crown.
    • Sheldon Solomon and Jeff Greenberg (2015) The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life. Random House.

    As far as the aggression in the middle-east, the TMT researchers actually use your example.

    Paradoxically, an unconscious fear of death may underlie much of the motivation behind terrorism and reactions to terrorism, maintains psychologist Tom Pyszczynski, PhD, of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Along with colleagues Jeff Greenberg, PhD, and Sheldon Solomon, PhD, Pyszczynski developed "terror management theory," which holds that people use culture and religion to protect themselves from a fear of death that lies on the fringes of awareness.

    DeAngelis, T. (2009) Understanding terrorism. Monitor on Psychology. Vol 40, No. 10, p. 60.
     
    Anyway, take it for what it's worth.

    I also concur with your admonition "to never put the scare of death into any of your children!" Yours is outstanding advice.
  200. skrik says:
    @Steel T Post
    I concur with you that people invent Gawds to pretend that an afterlife exists. Afterlife belief ameliorates their mortality salience, i.e., fear of death. This has actually been proven scientifically, with over 400 empirical experiments in a field called Terror Management Theory (Greenberg, Solomon, Pyszczynski, 1986). Interestingly, TMT has proven that even atheists will embrace religion to assuage their fear of death.

    Heflick, N., Goldenberg, J. (2012) No atheists in foxholes: Arguments for (but not against) afterlife belief buffers mortality salience effects for atheists. British journal of social psychology. Volume 51, Issue 2, pp. 385–392.
     
    The best introduction to Terror Management Theory is a documentary produced by the Ernest Becker Foundation, which includes video of Greenberg, Solomon, and Pyszczynski's ingenious mortality salience experiments, found here:

    Denial of Death
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Hi1C4NNnV4
     
    Of course, an afterlife belief is only one way to ameliorate mortality salience. I prefer the path of humility, i.e., accepting life for what it is, fleeting.

    Kesebir, P. (2014) A quiet ego quiets death anxiety: Humility as an existential anxiety buffer. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Vol 106(4), pp. 610-623.
     
    Those who desire heaven reveal themselves as egotistical narcissists. Nobody expresses that afterlife narcissism better than good ol' Rust Cohle:

    The ontological fallacy of expecting a light at the end of the tunnel, well, that’s what the preacher sells, same as a shrink. See, the preacher, he encourages your capacity for illusion. The he tells you it’s a fucking virtue. Always a buck to be had doing that. And it’s such a desperate sense of entitlement, isn’t it? Surely this is all for me. Me. Me, me, me. I, I. I’m so fucking important. I’m so fucking important, then, right? F--k you.

    –Rust Cohle, True Detective, Season 1, Episode 3
     

    PS RTFM!

    One of the 1st steps towards my own enlightenment was the realisation that there is no manual.

    I observed couples, my friends, acquaintances and strangers, getting married and/or having children, and overwhelmingly stuffing it up. I wondered, where/how do the errors come from, or in other words, how to do it right?

    I spent a lot of time/effort on that problem, and developed my own ideas over the years, but now, given the villainy almost everywhere one looks, plus the obvious bankruptcy of most of academia, no manual is on purpose, actively prevented by the [totally undemocratic] tyrants who rule over us. So also, the fear of death is actively promoted by those same tyrants. rgds

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  201. Talha says:
    @Seraphim
    Heresy/haíresis means "a strong, distinctive opinion", "that which is chosen, a chosen course of thought and action; hence one's chosen opinion, tenet", by extension "a body of men separating themselves from others and following their own tenets (a sect or party)", in the II century A.D., 'hairesis' had become a standard term for philosophical school.
    The term is used in the NT of individual "parties (sects)" that operated within Judaism and Christianity.
    For Saint John Damascene Islam is “the superstition (σκεια) of the Ishmaelites, being the forerunner of the Antichrist. They are descended from Ishmael, [who] was born to Abraham of Agar, and for this reason they are called both Agarenes and Ishmaelites". It was not a 'heresy' from within Judaism or Christianity.
    "And so down to the time of Heraclius they [the Ishmaelites] were very great idolaters. From that time to the present a false prophet named Mohammed has appeared in their midst. This man, after having chanced upon the Old and New Testaments and likewise, it seems, having conversed with an Arian monk, devised his OWN HERESY". Obviously, John understood the term heresy in its meaning of "sect, following, party, school" and that is the reason why the sect was called Mahomedanism.

    Hey Seraphim,

    OK thanks – I guess it all depends on how one wants to approach it from a lexical perspective.

    One question, if you have the time. Practically all the early Christians who came into contact with the Muslims accepted that they were from the progeny of Ishmael, correct? If so, how do you guys interpret this verse in the Bible?
    “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.” – Genesis 17:20

    Given that, from a point of history, there really was nothing else that came out of that area worth paying attention to – I guess, except oil maybe. Just curious.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Marcus
    More evidence the Jewish-Muslim alliance is going strong
    https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/manhattan/19-rabbis-arrested-trump-hotel-protest-travel-ban-article-1.2965970
    , @Seraphim
    @all depends on how one wants to approach it from a lexical perspective.

    Indeed. It can be approached taking the words in their original sense or in an altered sense.
    This is how 'us guys' (I suspect that you mean Christians) interpret the passage on Ishmael, as the Bible says (in context). Muslims interpret it according to their own fantasies.

    For example, the promise regarding Ishmael says that he would make him a ἔθνος μέγα. Mega means 'big', 'large' in a numerical sense (will increase him and multiply him exceedingly; twelve nations shall he beget). Great in the sense of 'amount above average', not in the sense of 'ability, quality, or eminence considerably above average'.
    The promise made to Abraham is sort of consolation prize for the fact that God refused the demand of Abraham to make Ishmael the inheritor because he was born illegitimate. God commanded Abraham to pass the inheritance to the legitimate son, Isaac. " I will establish my testament with him, for an everlasting testament, to be a God to him and to his seed after him". Actually, the real sense of διαθήκη, ברית (berith) is precisely "testament".
    But God provides also for Ishmael for the sake of Abraham, he was nevertheless a son. He gave him his benediction to become prosperous, but not any special status.
    The fact that "Practically all the early Christians who came into contact with the Muslims accepted that they were from the progeny of Ishmael, correct?" does not imply recognition of their claims that Ishmael was the 'chosen' because he was the first-born. It was a simple statement of fact, Ishmael was the progenitor of the Arabs, that's all. He might have built the Kaaba, might have been the ancestor of Mahomed, Christians have no bones with that.
  202. headrick says:

    This attempt at apologetics, as it used to be called in Catholic high school, is doomed.
    I take my stand on the hill with the hopeful, and not across the way with the cynical.
    In the face of human inability to know such deep thing, this is my choice, to pick my clan.
    I hear the voices of hope, and it is poetry. Science offers no conclusions on either side. Some think occams razor would favor just the universe as it is, with no God, but the truth is that there is nothing science has to say about such deep things.
    My personal belief is that Man and God had a early understanding about their relationship – The garden of eden is the symbolic representation, that Man wanted to walk alone in nature, and to arrogate to himself to define the nature of such deep reality, and did not want God behind every question. Like a wild animal that escapes the safety of a benevolent keeper to live in the woods in freedom, because that is the nature of man.
    So- thats what we have. God speaks in a small voice to each person if you wish to listen.

    There is no chance of converting the cynic with metaphysical arguments. The cynics are always ready with an alternative. Physical constants tuned to make life possible? Well we have the m-brane collision theory which generates an infinite number of universes over time, and we are in the one which supports life because here we are standing on our shoes reflecting on it. There is not proof of God because that is the deal man has struck with God. I believe in Jesus dying for our sins, not because I can prove it, but because the poetry of the story is compelling. The same kind of poetry that makes the Maxwell equations – right. because it is simple- and beautiful, and it works.

    If you send kids off to College thinking there is a successful argument for God and Christianity, they will be crushed by their atheist professors, and they will lose their faith. Don’t send them off to war with such flawed tools as those presented based on
    physics of the day. Don’t please.
    God will speak to them someday, and they come to know, but not based on a proof.
    Poetry of the heart- decide on what hill you want to stand on son.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    Poetry of the heart indeed!

    There's real poetry in the real world
    Science is the poetry of reality

    The Poetry of Reality
    Symphony of Science
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Cd36WJ79z4
     

    I don't think universities make as many atheists as Bible-thumpers do.

    "Indeed I think that every Christian sect gives a great handle to Atheism by their general dogma that, without a revelation, there would not be sufficient proof of the being of a god."

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, from Monticello, April 11, 1823
     

    I commune with God every day, no foreign Jewguru's revelation necessary. Deus, sive Natura.
    , @Talha
    Hey headrick,

    I enjoyed your post. It really does come down to being real and honestly coming to terms with the full ramifications with one's belief.


    Poetry of the heart- decide on what hill you want to stand on son.
     
    Unfortunately, people don't give the heart enough credit. But without it - what is the reality (without all the fluff and intellectualization) of the other hill?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK2a-1K0Sdg

    Purpose of life: survive - no matter what the costs (religion, philosophy, etc. - all is irrelevant unless it leads to survival - the truth of it is also irrelevant). We are all just evolved chemical machines.

    Welcome to the jungle.

    Peace.

    , @Seraphim
    @God speaks in a small voice to each person if you wish to listen.

    If you believe in Jesus dying for our sins, not because I can prove it, but because the poetry of the story is compelling, how much more compelling will be God's own big voice when he spoke to the Prophets and the Apostles when he showed himself to them?

    "16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased*. 18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star (φωσφόρος) arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:16-20).
    The poetry of the heart is the light of the day star arising your hearts.

    *16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Mathew 3: 16-17).

    Right, don’t send the kids off to war with flimsy tools like the Occam razor. Give them the right ones:

    "10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints" (Ephesians 6:10-18)
  203. @skrik
    Thanks for the response; I 'match' your humility with carpe diem.

    [anecdote] I went to a doctor; I said: "When I do this, it hurts."

    He said: "Do not do this!" [/anecdote]

    Normally, I do not 'do' video; I find it a thin medium, with too much time needed, far too much extraneous detail and not enough information per squandered bandwidth/time-unit. [My 'worst case' video was "Century of the Self," but perseverance paid off with my discovery of Bernays.]

    I 'match' your "Denial of Death" with "Island". To be fair, I add a clue: 'Huxley.'

    Now, what we have here is probably [deliberate] 'leadership' failure, certainly [dis-informed] 'parental' failure, but of whatever sort of failure, a wicked error, one of the very worst.

    Back to my doctor, here this = never put the scare of death into any of your [let alone immature = 'below the age of reason'] child(ren)!

    Accept/apply that, problem practically solved. "Island" is not perfect, but one has to start somewhere.

    Back to the video, I do not accept that the worst that humans do to each other [= kill] is caused by individual or mass fear of death; two 'perfect' examples can be directly observed in the ME, whereby one group murders to steal soil, another oil. rgds

    I concur with you about learning from video, it often has a very “thin” signal to noise ratio. I do like the documentary I recommended, especially with the original video footage of the experiments provided. But there are two books published on TMT now for those who prefer reading, and I’ll include in this list Becker’s book that inspired the research:

    • Ernest Becker (1973) The Denial of Death. Free Press.
    • Stephen Cave (2012) Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization. Crown.
    • Sheldon Solomon and Jeff Greenberg (2015) The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life. Random House.

    As far as the aggression in the middle-east, the TMT researchers actually use your example.

    Paradoxically, an unconscious fear of death may underlie much of the motivation behind terrorism and reactions to terrorism, maintains psychologist Tom Pyszczynski, PhD, of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Along with colleagues Jeff Greenberg, PhD, and Sheldon Solomon, PhD, Pyszczynski developed “terror management theory,” which holds that people use culture and religion to protect themselves from a fear of death that lies on the fringes of awareness.

    DeAngelis, T. (2009) Understanding terrorism. Monitor on Psychology. Vol 40, No. 10, p. 60.

    Anyway, take it for what it’s worth.

    I also concur with your admonition “to never put the scare of death into any of your children!” Yours is outstanding advice.

    Read More
    • Replies: @skrik
    G'day again. I did watch the video before my previous response and yes, the experiments are impressive.

    "Paradoxically, an unconscious fear of death may underlie much of the motivation behind terrorism and reactions to terrorism"
     
    This is, possibly, simply too convenient. We do know, for instance, that 'modern terrorism' was largely invented by the alien interlopers into Palestine, see the King David Hotel bombing, say. The perps were setting out to steal an entire country, or even more, deploying genocidal violence as their main tool. Not much to do with any unconscious fear of death there, despite their crooked claims re persecution. Then, the Al-Qaeda types didn't appear in response to the interlopers' aggression so much, as were manufactured by 'the West,' including perverting a branch of Islam as 'subversion,' also with a big helping hand from the West. 'Too convenient' also, is the idea that fear of death is somewhat universal, thus 'letting off' the psychopathic tyrant 'leadership.' Of course, the fear of death widely exists, but as a 'prime mover' requires further study by me. I found the "Denial of Death" book in the public domain:

    https://archive.org/details/DenialOfDeath

    My concept of the 'population at large' is that they are mostly decent people, but the 'leadership' has gone astray. Representatives are no longer 'honest' [if they ever were]; they obviously sell-out, to $s, erring ideology and/or are coerced, most often by some filthy 5th column. I see the villains all together as:

    The US rogue regime = US-M/I/C/4a†-plex, with dog-wagging-tail, its illegitimate sprog the Zionist/Israeli rogue regime + Js = I/J/Z-plex, all components rife with corruption.

    a = academic = econ, psy, leg et al.; 4 = MSM+PFBCs, † = churches

    add a few significant stragglers like $ = banksters & ¿ = spies

    Q: Why academia? A: Well, economists largely support 'neoliberal' erring ideology, psychologists prepare and propagate the 'Bernays haze' and lawyers 'tolerate' torture, say, plus aggressive warring, amongst other sins. As with the traitor-politicians, it's the same corrupting forces at work, again $s, erring ideology and/or filthy 5th column coercion. Again of course, that could just be the visible surface, with fear of death being the constant undercurrent. As I say, more work for me to do, and thanks for your engagement. rgds

  204. @headrick
    This attempt at apologetics, as it used to be called in Catholic high school, is doomed.
    I take my stand on the hill with the hopeful, and not across the way with the cynical.
    In the face of human inability to know such deep thing, this is my choice, to pick my clan.
    I hear the voices of hope, and it is poetry. Science offers no conclusions on either side. Some think occams razor would favor just the universe as it is, with no God, but the truth is that there is nothing science has to say about such deep things.
    My personal belief is that Man and God had a early understanding about their relationship - The garden of eden is the symbolic representation, that Man wanted to walk alone in nature, and to arrogate to himself to define the nature of such deep reality, and did not want God behind every question. Like a wild animal that escapes the safety of a benevolent keeper to live in the woods in freedom, because that is the nature of man.
    So- thats what we have. God speaks in a small voice to each person if you wish to listen.

    There is no chance of converting the cynic with metaphysical arguments. The cynics are always ready with an alternative. Physical constants tuned to make life possible? Well we have the m-brane collision theory which generates an infinite number of universes over time, and we are in the one which supports life because here we are standing on our shoes reflecting on it. There is not proof of God because that is the deal man has struck with God. I believe in Jesus dying for our sins, not because I can prove it, but because the poetry of the story is compelling. The same kind of poetry that makes the Maxwell equations - right. because it is simple- and beautiful, and it works.

    If you send kids off to College thinking there is a successful argument for God and Christianity, they will be crushed by their atheist professors, and they will lose their faith. Don't send them off to war with such flawed tools as those presented based on
    physics of the day. Don't please.
    God will speak to them someday, and they come to know, but not based on a proof.
    Poetry of the heart- decide on what hill you want to stand on son.

    Poetry of the heart indeed!

    There’s real poetry in the real world
    Science is the poetry of reality

    The Poetry of Reality
    Symphony of Science
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Cd36WJ79z4

    I don’t think universities make as many atheists as Bible-thumpers do.

    “Indeed I think that every Christian sect gives a great handle to Atheism by their general dogma that, without a revelation, there would not be sufficient proof of the being of a god.”

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, from Monticello, April 11, 1823

    I commune with God every day, no foreign Jewguru’s revelation necessary. Deus, sive Natura.

    Read More
  205. Marcus says:
    @Talha
    Hey Seraphim,

    OK thanks - I guess it all depends on how one wants to approach it from a lexical perspective.

    One question, if you have the time. Practically all the early Christians who came into contact with the Muslims accepted that they were from the progeny of Ishmael, correct? If so, how do you guys interpret this verse in the Bible?
    “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.” – Genesis 17:20

    Given that, from a point of history, there really was nothing else that came out of that area worth paying attention to - I guess, except oil maybe. Just curious.

    Peace.
    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Marcus,

    Like I've stated, historically, they usually found refuge in our lands after getting kicked around by Christians in Europe. I dare say, their current population (which made aliah from Muslim lands as far as Bukhara and Yemen) is largely due to Muslim lands providing them with a buffer zone. We have differences with Bani Israel, for sure, but they are People of the Book. I think Bernard Lewis best explained it:
    “Bernard Lewis, whose Jews of Islam is the most balanced assessment of the position of the Jews under Islamic rule in the Middle Ages, offers his own explanation of why the Jews fared better under Islam than under Christianity.
    ‘In Islamic society hostility to the Jew is nontheological…It is rather the usual attitude of the dominant to the subordinate, of the majority to the minority, without that additional theological and therefore psychological dimension that gives Christian anti-semitism its unique and special character.’”
    Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages

    The West is currently nicer to them, but that is a relatively recent turn of events.

    Peace.
  206. Talha says:
    @Marcus
    More evidence the Jewish-Muslim alliance is going strong
    https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/manhattan/19-rabbis-arrested-trump-hotel-protest-travel-ban-article-1.2965970

    Hey Marcus,

    Like I’ve stated, historically, they usually found refuge in our lands after getting kicked around by Christians in Europe. I dare say, their current population (which made aliah from Muslim lands as far as Bukhara and Yemen) is largely due to Muslim lands providing them with a buffer zone. We have differences with Bani Israel, for sure, but they are People of the Book. I think Bernard Lewis best explained it:
    “Bernard Lewis, whose Jews of Islam is the most balanced assessment of the position of the Jews under Islamic rule in the Middle Ages, offers his own explanation of why the Jews fared better under Islam than under Christianity.
    ‘In Islamic society hostility to the Jew is nontheological…It is rather the usual attitude of the dominant to the subordinate, of the majority to the minority, without that additional theological and therefore psychological dimension that gives Christian anti-semitism its unique and special character.’”
    Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages

    The West is currently nicer to them, but that is a relatively recent turn of events.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Marcus
    Judaism developed in what Coon called segmentary societies that characterize the Mideast and south Asia. They never really "fit in" in the open societies of Europe (especially northern Europe), though at times they thrived materially and even attained great power in some places like Russia and Poland.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segmentary_lineage
    Kevin MacDonald has wrote extensively about this in context of Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy
    https://books.google.com/books?id=4cgQmKMMBVgC&
    ‘In Islamic society hostility to the Jew is nontheological
    Hmm, there seem to be some very hostile accounts of Jews in Muslim texts, but I'm guessing these weren't really relevant in praxis during most of their history of cohabitation?
  207. One could argue that God and Evil have one thing in common: both are beyond understanding.

    So, the dichotomy of ‘good and evil’ is misconceived. It should be ‘good and bad’.
    ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ operate on the human level, and we can understand why something seems or feels ‘good’ to us while something else seems or feels ‘bad’. It is on the human scale of experience and comprehension.

    In contrast, God is a kind of goodness that is beyond human understanding. It works on the cosmic scale across eternity. So, what seems ‘good’ on the human scale cannot apply to all of space and eternity. And what is ‘good’ in the ind of God is simply beyond our grasp of its ultimate purpose or hidden meanings.
    Likewise, Evil is a kind of badness that is beyond our understanding. It is a malevolent force in the cosmos that is beyond our power of comprehension.

    Just like the circle in which the far right and far left converge, one could argue that the far-good of God and far-bad of Evil converge at the opposite end of the circle. They are NOT the same but they both seem nihilistic to us since our comprehension cannot go beyond the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ on the human scale of experience.

    This is why MOTHMAN PROPHECIES is such an interesting movie. We can’t tell if the Mothman is an angelic figure that warns us to save us or a demonic force that haunts us to harm/kill us. It seems both savior and destroyer, both a messenger of truth and teller of lies. Or maybe we are just misreading the messages.

    He giveth, he taketh away.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXcpwJbXT7o

    Read More
  208. Marcus says:
    @Talha
    Hey Marcus,

    Like I've stated, historically, they usually found refuge in our lands after getting kicked around by Christians in Europe. I dare say, their current population (which made aliah from Muslim lands as far as Bukhara and Yemen) is largely due to Muslim lands providing them with a buffer zone. We have differences with Bani Israel, for sure, but they are People of the Book. I think Bernard Lewis best explained it:
    “Bernard Lewis, whose Jews of Islam is the most balanced assessment of the position of the Jews under Islamic rule in the Middle Ages, offers his own explanation of why the Jews fared better under Islam than under Christianity.
    ‘In Islamic society hostility to the Jew is nontheological…It is rather the usual attitude of the dominant to the subordinate, of the majority to the minority, without that additional theological and therefore psychological dimension that gives Christian anti-semitism its unique and special character.’”
    Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages

    The West is currently nicer to them, but that is a relatively recent turn of events.

    Peace.

    Judaism developed in what Coon called segmentary societies that characterize the Mideast and south Asia. They never really “fit in” in the open societies of Europe (especially northern Europe), though at times they thrived materially and even attained great power in some places like Russia and Poland.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segmentary_lineage

    Kevin MacDonald has wrote extensively about this in context of Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy

    https://books.google.com/books?id=4cgQmKMMBVgC&

    ‘In Islamic society hostility to the Jew is nontheological
    Hmm, there seem to be some very hostile accounts of Jews in Muslim texts, but I’m guessing these weren’t really relevant in praxis during most of their history of cohabitation?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Marcus,

    Exactly, there were specific engagements in Madinah for sure and the Qur'an calls them out on various things. But as far as praxis, I've never come across a single ruling where a Jew is treated differently than a Christian.

    Of course, there were incidents outside the framework like the communal violence in Fes that I cited, but that's not official practice (as evidenced by the fact that Sidi Ahmad Zarruq [ra] was kicked out for speaking up).

    Peace.
  209. Talha says:
    @Marcus
    Judaism developed in what Coon called segmentary societies that characterize the Mideast and south Asia. They never really "fit in" in the open societies of Europe (especially northern Europe), though at times they thrived materially and even attained great power in some places like Russia and Poland.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segmentary_lineage
    Kevin MacDonald has wrote extensively about this in context of Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy
    https://books.google.com/books?id=4cgQmKMMBVgC&
    ‘In Islamic society hostility to the Jew is nontheological
    Hmm, there seem to be some very hostile accounts of Jews in Muslim texts, but I'm guessing these weren't really relevant in praxis during most of their history of cohabitation?

    Hey Marcus,

    Exactly, there were specific engagements in Madinah for sure and the Qur’an calls them out on various things. But as far as praxis, I’ve never come across a single ruling where a Jew is treated differently than a Christian.

    Of course, there were incidents outside the framework like the communal violence in Fes that I cited, but that’s not official practice (as evidenced by the fact that Sidi Ahmad Zarruq [ra] was kicked out for speaking up).

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Marcus
    As an aside, the American Jewish writer Tony Horwitz' book Baghdad Without a Map has an interesting account of the tiny remaining Jewish community in Yemen in the 1980s, sadly I think even that remnant has left by now. When I was in Istanbul in the early 2000s, our tour guide pointed to some of the remaining Jewish landmarks there, security was present as tensions were already beginning to get worse. I think the only other significant Jewish community left in a Muslim country is in current bete-noire Iran! Many Persian Jews came here after 1979 though
  210. Talha says:
    @headrick
    This attempt at apologetics, as it used to be called in Catholic high school, is doomed.
    I take my stand on the hill with the hopeful, and not across the way with the cynical.
    In the face of human inability to know such deep thing, this is my choice, to pick my clan.
    I hear the voices of hope, and it is poetry. Science offers no conclusions on either side. Some think occams razor would favor just the universe as it is, with no God, but the truth is that there is nothing science has to say about such deep things.
    My personal belief is that Man and God had a early understanding about their relationship - The garden of eden is the symbolic representation, that Man wanted to walk alone in nature, and to arrogate to himself to define the nature of such deep reality, and did not want God behind every question. Like a wild animal that escapes the safety of a benevolent keeper to live in the woods in freedom, because that is the nature of man.
    So- thats what we have. God speaks in a small voice to each person if you wish to listen.

    There is no chance of converting the cynic with metaphysical arguments. The cynics are always ready with an alternative. Physical constants tuned to make life possible? Well we have the m-brane collision theory which generates an infinite number of universes over time, and we are in the one which supports life because here we are standing on our shoes reflecting on it. There is not proof of God because that is the deal man has struck with God. I believe in Jesus dying for our sins, not because I can prove it, but because the poetry of the story is compelling. The same kind of poetry that makes the Maxwell equations - right. because it is simple- and beautiful, and it works.

    If you send kids off to College thinking there is a successful argument for God and Christianity, they will be crushed by their atheist professors, and they will lose their faith. Don't send them off to war with such flawed tools as those presented based on
    physics of the day. Don't please.
    God will speak to them someday, and they come to know, but not based on a proof.
    Poetry of the heart- decide on what hill you want to stand on son.

    Hey headrick,

    I enjoyed your post. It really does come down to being real and honestly coming to terms with the full ramifications with one’s belief.

    Poetry of the heart- decide on what hill you want to stand on son.

    Unfortunately, people don’t give the heart enough credit. But without it – what is the reality (without all the fluff and intellectualization) of the other hill?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK2a-1K0Sdg

    Purpose of life: survive – no matter what the costs (religion, philosophy, etc. – all is irrelevant unless it leads to survival – the truth of it is also irrelevant). We are all just evolved chemical machines.

    Welcome to the jungle.

    Peace.

    Read More
  211. Marcus says:
    @Talha
    Hey Marcus,

    Exactly, there were specific engagements in Madinah for sure and the Qur'an calls them out on various things. But as far as praxis, I've never come across a single ruling where a Jew is treated differently than a Christian.

    Of course, there were incidents outside the framework like the communal violence in Fes that I cited, but that's not official practice (as evidenced by the fact that Sidi Ahmad Zarruq [ra] was kicked out for speaking up).

    Peace.

    As an aside, the American Jewish writer Tony Horwitz’ book Baghdad Without a Map has an interesting account of the tiny remaining Jewish community in Yemen in the 1980s, sadly I think even that remnant has left by now. When I was in Istanbul in the early 2000s, our tour guide pointed to some of the remaining Jewish landmarks there, security was present as tensions were already beginning to get worse. I think the only other significant Jewish community left in a Muslim country is in current bete-noire Iran! Many Persian Jews came here after 1979 though

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Morocco:

    https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2016/12/203910/king-mohammed-vi-attends-synagogue-inauguration-shows-commitment-moroccan-jewish-community/

    https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2016/09/197277/moroccan-jews-dancing-while-carrying-photo-of-king-mohammed-vi/

    Peace.
  212. Seraphim says:
    @Talha
    Hey Seraphim,

    OK thanks - I guess it all depends on how one wants to approach it from a lexical perspective.

    One question, if you have the time. Practically all the early Christians who came into contact with the Muslims accepted that they were from the progeny of Ishmael, correct? If so, how do you guys interpret this verse in the Bible?
    “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.” – Genesis 17:20

    Given that, from a point of history, there really was nothing else that came out of that area worth paying attention to - I guess, except oil maybe. Just curious.

    Peace.

    @all depends on how one wants to approach it from a lexical perspective.

    Indeed. It can be approached taking the words in their original sense or in an altered sense.
    This is how ‘us guys’ (I suspect that you mean Christians) interpret the passage on Ishmael, as the Bible says (in context). Muslims interpret it according to their own fantasies.

    For example, the promise regarding Ishmael says that he would make him a ἔθνος μέγα. Mega means ‘big’, ‘large’ in a numerical sense (will increase him and multiply him exceedingly; twelve nations shall he beget). Great in the sense of ‘amount above average’, not in the sense of ‘ability, quality, or eminence considerably above average’.
    The promise made to Abraham is sort of consolation prize for the fact that God refused the demand of Abraham to make Ishmael the inheritor because he was born illegitimate. God commanded Abraham to pass the inheritance to the legitimate son, Isaac. ” I will establish my testament with him, for an everlasting testament, to be a God to him and to his seed after him”. Actually, the real sense of διαθήκη, ברית (berith) is precisely “testament”.
    But God provides also for Ishmael for the sake of Abraham, he was nevertheless a son. He gave him his benediction to become prosperous, but not any special status.
    The fact that “Practically all the early Christians who came into contact with the Muslims accepted that they were from the progeny of Ishmael, correct?” does not imply recognition of their claims that Ishmael was the ‘chosen’ because he was the first-born. It was a simple statement of fact, Ishmael was the progenitor of the Arabs, that’s all. He might have built the Kaaba, might have been the ancestor of Mahomed, Christians have no bones with that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Seraphim,

    Sweet - thanks for the info! Of course, we disagree with it, but thanks for replying in such detail none the less.

    Peace.
  213. Talha says:
    @Marcus
    As an aside, the American Jewish writer Tony Horwitz' book Baghdad Without a Map has an interesting account of the tiny remaining Jewish community in Yemen in the 1980s, sadly I think even that remnant has left by now. When I was in Istanbul in the early 2000s, our tour guide pointed to some of the remaining Jewish landmarks there, security was present as tensions were already beginning to get worse. I think the only other significant Jewish community left in a Muslim country is in current bete-noire Iran! Many Persian Jews came here after 1979 though
    Read More
  214. Talha says:
    @Seraphim
    @all depends on how one wants to approach it from a lexical perspective.

    Indeed. It can be approached taking the words in their original sense or in an altered sense.
    This is how 'us guys' (I suspect that you mean Christians) interpret the passage on Ishmael, as the Bible says (in context). Muslims interpret it according to their own fantasies.

    For example, the promise regarding Ishmael says that he would make him a ἔθνος μέγα. Mega means 'big', 'large' in a numerical sense (will increase him and multiply him exceedingly; twelve nations shall he beget). Great in the sense of 'amount above average', not in the sense of 'ability, quality, or eminence considerably above average'.
    The promise made to Abraham is sort of consolation prize for the fact that God refused the demand of Abraham to make Ishmael the inheritor because he was born illegitimate. God commanded Abraham to pass the inheritance to the legitimate son, Isaac. " I will establish my testament with him, for an everlasting testament, to be a God to him and to his seed after him". Actually, the real sense of διαθήκη, ברית (berith) is precisely "testament".
    But God provides also for Ishmael for the sake of Abraham, he was nevertheless a son. He gave him his benediction to become prosperous, but not any special status.
    The fact that "Practically all the early Christians who came into contact with the Muslims accepted that they were from the progeny of Ishmael, correct?" does not imply recognition of their claims that Ishmael was the 'chosen' because he was the first-born. It was a simple statement of fact, Ishmael was the progenitor of the Arabs, that's all. He might have built the Kaaba, might have been the ancestor of Mahomed, Christians have no bones with that.

    Hey Seraphim,

    Sweet – thanks for the info! Of course, we disagree with it, but thanks for replying in such detail none the less.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    Well, I know you disagree with us. So, why did you ask the question in the first place? Hoping to catch us in some sort of contradiction with 'our' Bible?
  215. He lost me when he brought in the holocaust, that is a prime example of Victor’s History, something which until proven beyond doubt with evidence should not be used in any argument or illustration.
    Please read the Enigma Ciphers from the concentration camp commanders to Berlin.

    WHAT IS surprising is that although every minute detail of SS and concentration camp operations is mirrored in these thousands of messages, preserved either in the original German, or in English translation and sometimes in both there is no reference whatever to mass killing operations by gas or any other method in the camps.

    Every other conceivable detail is however reflected in the signals, including a signal to Auschwitz commandant S.S. Sturmbannfuhrer Rudolf Hoss in September 1942 regretting that rubber truncheons are unobtainable in Breslau.

    GCCS German Police report No. 41, 1942, Oct 5, 1942 PRO file HW.166, part ii.

    Read More
  216. Seraphim says:
    @Talha
    Hey Seraphim,

    Sweet - thanks for the info! Of course, we disagree with it, but thanks for replying in such detail none the less.

    Peace.

    Well, I know you disagree with us. So, why did you ask the question in the first place? Hoping to catch us in some sort of contradiction with ‘our’ Bible?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Seraphim,

    No, actually I've got a similar conversation going on on another thread with some Jewish folks and I wanted to know what you guys think from a more traditional Christian perspective.

    Again thanks - especially for the etymological breakdown.

    Peace.
  217. Talha says:
    @Seraphim
    Well, I know you disagree with us. So, why did you ask the question in the first place? Hoping to catch us in some sort of contradiction with 'our' Bible?

    Hey Seraphim,

    No, actually I’ve got a similar conversation going on on another thread with some Jewish folks and I wanted to know what you guys think from a more traditional Christian perspective.

    Again thanks – especially for the etymological breakdown.

    Peace.

    Read More
  218. Seraphim says:
    @headrick
    This attempt at apologetics, as it used to be called in Catholic high school, is doomed.
    I take my stand on the hill with the hopeful, and not across the way with the cynical.
    In the face of human inability to know such deep thing, this is my choice, to pick my clan.
    I hear the voices of hope, and it is poetry. Science offers no conclusions on either side. Some think occams razor would favor just the universe as it is, with no God, but the truth is that there is nothing science has to say about such deep things.
    My personal belief is that Man and God had a early understanding about their relationship - The garden of eden is the symbolic representation, that Man wanted to walk alone in nature, and to arrogate to himself to define the nature of such deep reality, and did not want God behind every question. Like a wild animal that escapes the safety of a benevolent keeper to live in the woods in freedom, because that is the nature of man.
    So- thats what we have. God speaks in a small voice to each person if you wish to listen.

    There is no chance of converting the cynic with metaphysical arguments. The cynics are always ready with an alternative. Physical constants tuned to make life possible? Well we have the m-brane collision theory which generates an infinite number of universes over time, and we are in the one which supports life because here we are standing on our shoes reflecting on it. There is not proof of God because that is the deal man has struck with God. I believe in Jesus dying for our sins, not because I can prove it, but because the poetry of the story is compelling. The same kind of poetry that makes the Maxwell equations - right. because it is simple- and beautiful, and it works.

    If you send kids off to College thinking there is a successful argument for God and Christianity, they will be crushed by their atheist professors, and they will lose their faith. Don't send them off to war with such flawed tools as those presented based on
    physics of the day. Don't please.
    God will speak to them someday, and they come to know, but not based on a proof.
    Poetry of the heart- decide on what hill you want to stand on son.

    @God speaks in a small voice to each person if you wish to listen.

    If you believe in Jesus dying for our sins, not because I can prove it, but because the poetry of the story is compelling, how much more compelling will be God’s own big voice when he spoke to the Prophets and the Apostles when he showed himself to them?

    “16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased*. 18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star (φωσφόρος) arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:16-20).
    The poetry of the heart is the light of the day star arising your hearts.

    *16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Mathew 3: 16-17).

    Right, don’t send the kids off to war with flimsy tools like the Occam razor. Give them the right ones:

    “10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:10-18)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steel T Post
    God’s own big voice sounds like Uranus, the son and husband of Gaia.

    "And lo a voice from [Ouranos/Uranus], saying..." (Matthew 3:17)

    "...and a voice came from [Ouranos/Uranus], which said..." (Luke 3:22)
     

    Uranus and Gaia were the parents of the Titans—Kronos, Iapetus, Hyperion, Oceanus, Coeus, Creus, Theia, Rhea, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Tethys, and Themis—who, along with their underworld prison Tartarus into which they were cast by Uranus, the God of the sky, are recognized in Peter's epistle.

    For if God (Uranus) spared not the angels (Titans) that sinned, but cast them down to [Tartarus], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment. (2 Peter 2:4)
     
    Do you believe in the whole first Pantheon of Greek Gods who ruled during the legendary Golden Age literally or figuratively?
  219. @Seraphim
    @God speaks in a small voice to each person if you wish to listen.

    If you believe in Jesus dying for our sins, not because I can prove it, but because the poetry of the story is compelling, how much more compelling will be God's own big voice when he spoke to the Prophets and the Apostles when he showed himself to them?

    "16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased*. 18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star (φωσφόρος) arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:16-20).
    The poetry of the heart is the light of the day star arising your hearts.

    *16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Mathew 3: 16-17).

    Right, don’t send the kids off to war with flimsy tools like the Occam razor. Give them the right ones:

    "10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints" (Ephesians 6:10-18)

    God’s own big voice sounds like Uranus, the son and husband of Gaia.

    “And lo a voice from [Ouranos/Uranus], saying…” (Matthew 3:17)

    “…and a voice came from [Ouranos/Uranus], which said…” (Luke 3:22)

    Uranus and Gaia were the parents of the Titans—Kronos, Iapetus, Hyperion, Oceanus, Coeus, Creus, Theia, Rhea, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Tethys, and Themis—who, along with their underworld prison Tartarus into which they were cast by Uranus, the God of the sky, are recognized in Peter’s epistle.

    For if God (Uranus) spared not the angels (Titans) that sinned, but cast them down to [Tartarus], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment. (2 Peter 2:4)

    Do you believe in the whole first Pantheon of Greek Gods who ruled during the legendary Golden Age literally or figuratively?

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    • Replies: @Seraphim
    Is that the terrifying Hell perched on stilts (or is it a post)? Nah, is just a Scarecrow.
  220. Seraphim says:
    @Steel T Post
    God’s own big voice sounds like Uranus, the son and husband of Gaia.

    "And lo a voice from [Ouranos/Uranus], saying..." (Matthew 3:17)

    "...and a voice came from [Ouranos/Uranus], which said..." (Luke 3:22)
     

    Uranus and Gaia were the parents of the Titans—Kronos, Iapetus, Hyperion, Oceanus, Coeus, Creus, Theia, Rhea, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Tethys, and Themis—who, along with their underworld prison Tartarus into which they were cast by Uranus, the God of the sky, are recognized in Peter's epistle.

    For if God (Uranus) spared not the angels (Titans) that sinned, but cast them down to [Tartarus], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment. (2 Peter 2:4)
     
    Do you believe in the whole first Pantheon of Greek Gods who ruled during the legendary Golden Age literally or figuratively?

    Is that the terrifying Hell perched on stilts (or is it a post)? Nah, is just a Scarecrow.

    Read More
  221. skrik says:
    @Steel T Post
    I concur with you about learning from video, it often has a very "thin" signal to noise ratio. I do like the documentary I recommended, especially with the original video footage of the experiments provided. But there are two books published on TMT now for those who prefer reading, and I'll include in this list Becker's book that inspired the research:

    • Ernest Becker (1973) The Denial of Death. Free Press.
    • Stephen Cave (2012) Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization. Crown.
    • Sheldon Solomon and Jeff Greenberg (2015) The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life. Random House.

    As far as the aggression in the middle-east, the TMT researchers actually use your example.

    Paradoxically, an unconscious fear of death may underlie much of the motivation behind terrorism and reactions to terrorism, maintains psychologist Tom Pyszczynski, PhD, of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Along with colleagues Jeff Greenberg, PhD, and Sheldon Solomon, PhD, Pyszczynski developed "terror management theory," which holds that people use culture and religion to protect themselves from a fear of death that lies on the fringes of awareness.

    DeAngelis, T. (2009) Understanding terrorism. Monitor on Psychology. Vol 40, No. 10, p. 60.
     
    Anyway, take it for what it's worth.

    I also concur with your admonition "to never put the scare of death into any of your children!" Yours is outstanding advice.

    G’day again. I did watch the video before my previous response and yes, the experiments are impressive.

    “Paradoxically, an unconscious fear of death may underlie much of the motivation behind terrorism and reactions to terrorism”

    This is, possibly, simply too convenient. We do know, for instance, that ‘modern terrorism’ was largely invented by the alien interlopers into Palestine, see the King David Hotel bombing, say. The perps were setting out to steal an entire country, or even more, deploying genocidal violence as their main tool. Not much to do with any unconscious fear of death there, despite their crooked claims re persecution. Then, the Al-Qaeda types didn’t appear in response to the interlopers’ aggression so much, as were manufactured by R