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The advancedatheist takes issue with the relationship between atheism and nihilism:

Nihilism is not an atheist belief. Nihilism is a Christian belief about atheism. Notice the difference.

According to the GSS, atheists are four times as likely as firm theists to definitively agree that “life serves no purpose”. The percentages are small though, 8% and 2%, respectively. Fortunately the survey asked the question on a five-point scale, so it’s easy enough to create an index by both theistic orientation and religious service attendance. To avoid racial confounding, responses are restricted to whites:

To put it into political terms, most Democrats aren’t Marxists, but Democrats are more likely than Republicans to be Marxists. Likewise, most atheists aren’t nihilists, but atheists are more likely than theists to be nihilists.

GSS variables used: NIHILIST(1,2,3,4,5), GOD(1)(2)(3-5)(6), ATTEND(0)(1-2)(3-4)(5-6)(7-8), RACE(1)

 
• Category: Arts/Letters, Culture/Society, Ideology • Tags: GSS, Purpose, Religion 
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  1. Statstics: The discipline that proves that the average human being has one testicle.

    • Replies: @Realist
    @obwandiyag

    Good one.

    , @Mario Partisan
    @obwandiyag

    • LOL: Mario Partisan

  2. – Are these the Nazis, Walter?
    – No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there’s nothing to be afraid of.

    I think it depends on what the meaning of “meaning” is. Atheists will say that the “purpose” of life is to raise a new generation and continue the species, or some other circular reasoning platitude.

    • Replies: @Realist
    @Dumbo


    I think it depends on what the meaning of “meaning” is. Atheists will say that the “purpose” of life is to raise a new generation and continue the species, or some other circular reasoning platitude.
     
    Theists would say to raise a family and serve a god...also circular. Life is circular.

    Replies: @Dumbo, @Dumbo, @Dumbo

    , @DanHessinMD
    @Dumbo

    "Atheists will say that the “purpose” of life is to raise a new generation and continue the species, or some other circular reasoning platitude."

    Unfortunately that is the best case scenario.

    The reality is that childbearing among atheists is very low, as AE has touched on in many posts.

    Atheism fails utterly from a utilitarian perspective, at least on a society level. Atheist societies have had two defining characteristics in the last 100 years or so:

    - a brutishness unimaginable in any other society: 100 million people killed under Marxism in the 20th century

    - very low birthrates in most cases, commonly far below replacement

    I would add a third that we are presently seeing, which is insane leftist theology by atheists who have merely given up conventional religion for ideas which are really harmful.

    One might say that religiosity is the worst form of society, except for the alternative.

    We are stuck with religion whether we like it or not for the simple reason that the fertility advantage of religious groups compared to atheists is very large. Some religious group or other must win, as a matter of basic math. Smashing the Church of England doesn't bring you a Star Trek future, it brings you Islamic fundamentalism and stupid lefty fanaticism, as Richard Dawkins is noticing. Oops.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @raga10

    , @nebulafox
    @Dumbo

    Or to create your own purpose and joyously embrace life, no matter how hard it gets, because there's nothing else after it.

  3. ‘Purpose’ semantically requires a reason for and/or an object to be achieved for life in order to make sense. To use ‘purpose’ in connection to life thus implies an ulterior instance which is exactly what atheist do not believe in. In contrast, ‘meaning’ is inherent and might have yielded a different result.

  4. Killing Authority exists.

    If Killing Authority did not exist, we would have, by necessity, to invent it.

    Killing Authority wears many masks: Christ, Allah, Democracy, People’s Will, Socialist Revolution, but where ever men are willing to take lives and sacrifice their own lives, you are in the presence of Killing Authority.

    To say something has a purpose is to say that it is an instrument of something else, something higher. If life has a meaning or purpose, then that meaning or purpose serves as a justification for taking the lives of others, or sacrificing your own life. Of course life has a purpose. Every civil war, every execution, and every suicide bombing affirms it. To say that life has a purpose is to raise the knife of Abraham and direct it at your first born if you are so called. Nihilism is the act of laying down the knife. Its not denying the existence of God, its refusing to kill for Him.

    The errors of the atheist are multiple. First, the idea that exposing the mask as merely a mask serves to disprove the existence of that entity which wears it. Second, ascribing the monstrous energy to the mask and not its bearer. Third, the idea that this great beast can be exorcised from humanity, when it lies at the heart of human existence. The only real existential question is whether you choose submission or rebellion.

    • Replies: @Daniel Williams
    @Tulip

    What record sleeve did you copy that from?

    Replies: @Tulip

  5. @obwandiyag
    Statstics: The discipline that proves that the average human being has one testicle.

    Replies: @Realist, @Mario Partisan

    Good one.

    • Agree: Audacious Epigone
  6. @Dumbo
    - Are these the Nazis, Walter?
    - No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there's nothing to be afraid of.

    I think it depends on what the meaning of "meaning" is. Atheists will say that the "purpose" of life is to raise a new generation and continue the species, or some other circular reasoning platitude.

    Replies: @Realist, @DanHessinMD, @nebulafox

    I think it depends on what the meaning of “meaning” is. Atheists will say that the “purpose” of life is to raise a new generation and continue the species, or some other circular reasoning platitude.

    Theists would say to raise a family and serve a god…also circular. Life is circular.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Dumbo
    @Realist

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GibiNy4d4gc

    , @Dumbo
    @Realist


    Life is circular.
     
    https://youtu.be/GibiNy4d4gc
    , @Dumbo
    @Realist


    Life is circular.
     
    https://youtu.be/GibiNy4d4gc

    Replies: @Cortes

  7. Hey, are you and Anatoly coordinating poasting titles?

    I normally don’t see “teleology” more than once a year, but now with AE and AK it’s twice in a matter of hours.

  8. The purpose of life is for the living to reproduce … everything else is sugar on top.

  9. Why is it never mentioned in these discussions that atheism is simply wrong?

    The existence of God is not difficult to prove. Atheists like to act as if there’s some big debate going on, or say that religion is all about subjective impressions and beliefs, or worse, say that God has been proven not to exist (which is absurd).

    The process of reasoning demonstrating that there is a first cause or necessary being is not especially hard to grasp. Anybody who still calls himself an atheist after being acquainted with the arguments, and who goes on to proffer their brainless sophistical responses, is either a prig, a moron, or a troll.

    Richard Dawkins ha made an entire career out of this sort of trolling. Advancedatheist, who regularly embarrasses himself in these pages with his complete lack of theological knowledge, is a Junior Dawkins Rescue Ranger who is not even a troll.

    No one should care much what atheists believe when their signature, defining, and characteristic belief is itself nothing but the crock of solid gold Dunning-Krugerrands at the end of their unwoven rainbow.

    • Replies: @Magic Dirt Resident
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Atheism is the ultimate reddit, midwit ideology. A guy (I'm assuming) referring to himself as "advancedatheist" is almost too smug and self-absorbed to believe.

    And as you said, they act like their arguments are unique and irrefutable when in reality we've all heard them a thousand times before. Nothing has much changed since Thomas Aquinas wrote about the subject centuries ago.

    , @MarkU
    @Intelligent Dasein


    The existence of God is not difficult to prove.
     
    OK genius, if it isn't difficult to prove then lets have the proof. Come on, right here on this thread prove that God exists, if it isn't difficult then it shouldn't be a problem right? I won't hold my breath.

    Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

    , @Mario Partisan
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Hi. While I am inclined towards a position along the lines of your simple pseudonymic handle, I am interested in your response to the following question.

    If the universe is the “creation” of a first cause or necessary being, i.e. if something as complex as the universe requires a creative cause, why does The Creator itself not require a creative cause. In short, what created The Creator, and if the objection is that The Creator didn’t require a first cause, why did the universe?

    Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

    , @dfordoom
    @Intelligent Dasein


    The process of reasoning demonstrating that there is a first cause or necessary being is not especially hard to grasp.
     
    That's all very well. The problem is that even if you accept that there had to be a first cause that doesn't prove that any of our religions are true. It's possible that there was some kind of first cause (which for want of a better word you can call God) but that Christianity, for example, is entirely false.

    These processes of reasoning supposedly demonstrating that there is a first cause or necessary being might lead one to believe that some God-like entity exists, but they don't prove that Christianity is correct. They don't prove that there is a benevolent God who takes any interest in human affairs.

    Can you prove by a process of reasoning that any of the Christian beliefs about God or Jesus are true? If you can't then you haven't achieved very much. If there is a God-like entity who was the first cause he might be entirely indifferent to us, or he might even be malevolent. He might not care whether we believe in him or not.

    People aren't interested in abstract God-like entities. They want to believe that there is a God who will forgive their sins and they want to believe they'll go to Heaven when they die. Christians want to believe that Jesus was the Son of God and that he rose from the dead. Can you prove that by a process of reasoning? If you can't then most people will take the view that there is no point in being a Christian. If God is indifferent or malevolent then you might as well be an atheist or an agnostic.

    Replies: @nebulafox, @Rosie, @Wency

    , @Mr. Rational
    @Intelligent Dasein


    Why is it never mentioned in these discussions that atheism is simply wrong?
     
    You want it to be, but you're deathly afraid it's not.

    The existence of God is not difficult to prove.
     
    I second the call for proof of your assertion.

    The process of reasoning demonstrating that there is a first cause or necessary being is not especially hard to grasp.
     
    There are LOTS of un-caused events that nonetheless happen.  Anyone who's done the slightest study of quantum mechanics knows this; QM shows that the small-scale universe is stochastic, following probability distributions rather than e.g. firm Newtonian laws.  It is only at the macro scale, where the statistical averages look like solid, unvarying numbers, that you get anything that looks deterministic.  Even at the macro scale, you still have systems which follow chaotic attractors and thus predictions of their future states rapidly become less and less accurate.  Speaking as you do proves that you are among the ignorant, and thus a sterling example of Dunning-Kruger yourself.

    Anybody who still calls himself an atheist after being acquainted with the arguments, and who goes on to proffer their brainless sophistical responses, is either a prig, a moron, or a troll.
     
    Let's see if YOU have the brainpower to comprehend and explain the actual evidence in a way which leaves no room for atheism to be true.  If you can't, stop calling yourself intelligent.
  10. @Tulip
    Killing Authority exists.

    If Killing Authority did not exist, we would have, by necessity, to invent it.

    Killing Authority wears many masks: Christ, Allah, Democracy, People's Will, Socialist Revolution, but where ever men are willing to take lives and sacrifice their own lives, you are in the presence of Killing Authority.

    To say something has a purpose is to say that it is an instrument of something else, something higher. If life has a meaning or purpose, then that meaning or purpose serves as a justification for taking the lives of others, or sacrificing your own life. Of course life has a purpose. Every civil war, every execution, and every suicide bombing affirms it. To say that life has a purpose is to raise the knife of Abraham and direct it at your first born if you are so called. Nihilism is the act of laying down the knife. Its not denying the existence of God, its refusing to kill for Him.

    The errors of the atheist are multiple. First, the idea that exposing the mask as merely a mask serves to disprove the existence of that entity which wears it. Second, ascribing the monstrous energy to the mask and not its bearer. Third, the idea that this great beast can be exorcised from humanity, when it lies at the heart of human existence. The only real existential question is whether you choose submission or rebellion.

    Replies: @Daniel Williams

    What record sleeve did you copy that from?

    • Replies: @Tulip
    @Daniel Williams

    The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays + The Plague + Blood Sacrifice and the Nation.

  11. @obwandiyag
    Statstics: The discipline that proves that the average human being has one testicle.

    Replies: @Realist, @Mario Partisan

    • LOL: Mario Partisan

  12. @Intelligent Dasein
    Why is it never mentioned in these discussions that atheism is simply wrong?

    The existence of God is not difficult to prove. Atheists like to act as if there's some big debate going on, or say that religion is all about subjective impressions and beliefs, or worse, say that God has been proven not to exist (which is absurd).

    The process of reasoning demonstrating that there is a first cause or necessary being is not especially hard to grasp. Anybody who still calls himself an atheist after being acquainted with the arguments, and who goes on to proffer their brainless sophistical responses, is either a prig, a moron, or a troll.

    Richard Dawkins ha made an entire career out of this sort of trolling. Advancedatheist, who regularly embarrasses himself in these pages with his complete lack of theological knowledge, is a Junior Dawkins Rescue Ranger who is not even a troll.

    No one should care much what atheists believe when their signature, defining, and characteristic belief is itself nothing but the crock of solid gold Dunning-Krugerrands at the end of their unwoven rainbow.

    Replies: @Magic Dirt Resident, @MarkU, @Mario Partisan, @dfordoom, @Mr. Rational

    Atheism is the ultimate reddit, midwit ideology. A guy (I’m assuming) referring to himself as “advancedatheist” is almost too smug and self-absorbed to believe.

    And as you said, they act like their arguments are unique and irrefutable when in reality we’ve all heard them a thousand times before. Nothing has much changed since Thomas Aquinas wrote about the subject centuries ago.

  13. @Intelligent Dasein
    Why is it never mentioned in these discussions that atheism is simply wrong?

    The existence of God is not difficult to prove. Atheists like to act as if there's some big debate going on, or say that religion is all about subjective impressions and beliefs, or worse, say that God has been proven not to exist (which is absurd).

    The process of reasoning demonstrating that there is a first cause or necessary being is not especially hard to grasp. Anybody who still calls himself an atheist after being acquainted with the arguments, and who goes on to proffer their brainless sophistical responses, is either a prig, a moron, or a troll.

    Richard Dawkins ha made an entire career out of this sort of trolling. Advancedatheist, who regularly embarrasses himself in these pages with his complete lack of theological knowledge, is a Junior Dawkins Rescue Ranger who is not even a troll.

    No one should care much what atheists believe when their signature, defining, and characteristic belief is itself nothing but the crock of solid gold Dunning-Krugerrands at the end of their unwoven rainbow.

    Replies: @Magic Dirt Resident, @MarkU, @Mario Partisan, @dfordoom, @Mr. Rational

    The existence of God is not difficult to prove.

    OK genius, if it isn’t difficult to prove then lets have the proof. Come on, right here on this thread prove that God exists, if it isn’t difficult then it shouldn’t be a problem right? I won’t hold my breath.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    @MarkU

    Here, knock yourself out.



    Article 3. Whether God exists?

    Objection 1. It seems that God does not exist; because if one of two contraries be infinite, the other would be altogether destroyed. But the word "God" means that He is infinite goodness. If, therefore, God existed, there would be no evil discoverable; but there is evil in the world. Therefore God does not exist.

    Objection 2. Further, it is superfluous to suppose that what can be accounted for by a few principles has been produced by many. But it seems that everything we see in the world can be accounted for by other principles, supposing God did not exist. For all natural things can be reduced to one principle which is nature; and all voluntary things can be reduced to one principle which is human reason, or will. Therefore there is no need to suppose God's existence.

    On the contrary, It is said in the person of God: "I am Who am." (Exodus 3:14)

    I answer that, The existence of God can be proved in five ways.

    The first and more manifest way is the argument from motion. It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion; whereas a thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality. But nothing can be reduced from potentiality to actuality, except by something in a state of actuality. Thus that which is actually hot, as fire, makes wood, which is potentially hot, to be actually hot, and thereby moves and changes it. Now it is not possible that the same thing should be at once in actuality and potentiality in the same respect, but only in different respects. For what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot; but it is simultaneously potentially cold. It is therefore impossible that in the same respect and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved, i.e. that it should move itself. Therefore, whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another. If that by which it is put in motion be itself put in motion, then this also must needs be put in motion by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and, consequently, no other mover; seeing that subsequent movers move only inasmuch as they are put in motion by the first mover; as the staff moves only because it is put in motion by the hand. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.

    The second way is from the nature of the efficient cause. In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible. Now in efficient causes it is not possible to go on to infinity, because in all efficient causes following in order, the first is the cause of the intermediate cause, and the intermediate is the cause of the ultimate cause, whether the intermediate cause be several, or only one. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect. Therefore, if there be no first cause among efficient causes, there will be no ultimate, nor any intermediate cause. But if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect, nor any intermediate efficient causes; all of which is plainly false. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.

    The third way is taken from possibility and necessity, and runs thus. We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, since they are found to be generated, and to corrupt, and consequently, they are possible to be and not to be. But it is impossible for these always to exist, for that which is possible not to be at some time is not. Therefore, if everything is possible not to be, then at one time there could have been nothing in existence. Now if this were true, even now there would be nothing in existence, because that which does not exist only begins to exist by something already existing. Therefore, if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus even now nothing would be in existence — which is absurd. Therefore, not all beings are merely possible, but there must exist something the existence of which is necessary. But every necessary thing either has its necessity caused by another, or not. Now it is impossible to go on to infinity in necessary things which have their necessity caused by another, as has been already proved in regard to efficient causes. Therefore we cannot but postulate the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity, and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity. This all men speak of as God.

    The fourth way is taken from the gradation to be found in things. Among beings there are some more and some less good, true, noble and the like. But "more" and "less" are predicated of different things, according as they resemble in their different ways something which is the maximum, as a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest; so that there is something which is truest, something best, something noblest and, consequently, something which is uttermost being; for those things that are greatest in truth are greatest in being, as it is written in Metaph. ii. Now the maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus; as fire, which is the maximum heat, is the cause of all hot things. Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God.

    The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things which lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that not fortuitously, but designedly, do they achieve their end. Now whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is shot to its mark by the archer. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God.

    Reply to Objection 1. As Augustine says (Enchiridion xi): "Since God is the highest good, He would not allow any evil to exist in His works, unless His omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil." This is part of the infinite goodness of God, that He should allow evil to exist, and out of it produce good.

    Reply to Objection 2. Since nature works for a determinate end under the direction of a higher agent, whatever is done by nature must needs be traced back to God, as to its first cause. So also whatever is done voluntarily must also be traced back to some higher cause other than human reason or will, since these can change or fail; for all things that are changeable and capable of defect must be traced back to an immovable and self-necessary first principle, as was shown in the body of the Article.

    Replies: @MarkU, @GeeBee, @Mr. Rational

  14. Ironically, the teleological suspension of the Sittlichkeit is faith.

  15. @Intelligent Dasein
    Why is it never mentioned in these discussions that atheism is simply wrong?

    The existence of God is not difficult to prove. Atheists like to act as if there's some big debate going on, or say that religion is all about subjective impressions and beliefs, or worse, say that God has been proven not to exist (which is absurd).

    The process of reasoning demonstrating that there is a first cause or necessary being is not especially hard to grasp. Anybody who still calls himself an atheist after being acquainted with the arguments, and who goes on to proffer their brainless sophistical responses, is either a prig, a moron, or a troll.

    Richard Dawkins ha made an entire career out of this sort of trolling. Advancedatheist, who regularly embarrasses himself in these pages with his complete lack of theological knowledge, is a Junior Dawkins Rescue Ranger who is not even a troll.

    No one should care much what atheists believe when their signature, defining, and characteristic belief is itself nothing but the crock of solid gold Dunning-Krugerrands at the end of their unwoven rainbow.

    Replies: @Magic Dirt Resident, @MarkU, @Mario Partisan, @dfordoom, @Mr. Rational

    Hi. While I am inclined towards a position along the lines of your simple pseudonymic handle, I am interested in your response to the following question.

    If the universe is the “creation” of a first cause or necessary being, i.e. if something as complex as the universe requires a creative cause, why does The Creator itself not require a creative cause. In short, what created The Creator, and if the objection is that The Creator didn’t require a first cause, why did the universe?

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    @Mario Partisan


    If the universe is the “creation” of a first cause or necessary being, i.e. if something as complex as the universe requires a creative cause, why does The Creator itself not require a creative cause. In short, what created The Creator, and if the objection is that The Creator didn’t require a first cause, why did the universe?
     
    Thank you for the question.

    The fact is, though, that this is not the correct way of looking at the matter. There is no argument that is made or could be made along the lines of "the universe is so complex that it must require a creative cause." In fact such a belief would be heretical, as Christian doctrine proclaims the exact opposite. It is a matter of de fide teaching---and St.Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle both said this themselves---that natural reason alone cannot decide the question of whether the universe was created or was self-existent from all sempeternity. If the fact of creation were itself proof of God's existence, then it would entail a necessity in God to create; however, this conflicts with a previously established truth that God is actus purus and cannot by definition experience passion, compulsion, or necessity of any kind. Christian doctrine therefore holds that creation was a free act of God and cannot be proven by any means, however well-intentioned. I have spoken about this matter in some detail in my long essay that was published here on this site. Also, in the same place I also showed by several means that "complexity" itself is not proof of anything and is in fact misleading (living organisms, for example, are not irreducibly complex but irreducibly simple, i.e. monadic, and this is why the cannot arise from merely materialistic processes). I do not therefore hold with the advocates of "Intelligent Design," which is simply an old Bonaventurian heresy in modern form. These facts lead to the conclusion that, the question of the creation or self-existence of the universe being undecidable naturalistically, the proper scientific attitude is to treat the universe exactly as if it were self-existent. Far from being anti-Christian, this is entirely consonant with the Thomistic principle that the proper end of man's intellect is to discern the essences or quiddities of natural objects, and it is from thence that the various proofs of God can proceed.

    Now, when we say that natural reason working upon natural objects can prove the existence of God, the issue is not their complexity but their contingency. We see that nothing in the world around us contains its existence as part of its definition and therefore nothing "necessarily" exists. Furthermore, we see as a matter of fact that all things are changeable and corruptible. Therefore, if there were not some unchangeable substrate underlying the existence of things, everything would immediately go out of existence and, in effect, nothing would be. But things are; it is thus established that this "ground of being" exists necessarily, i.e. its essence is to exist. This necessary existence we call God.

    Tl;dr: If things exist, being changeable, then something must underlie their existence which is no thing.

    Replies: @raga10

  16. @MarkU
    @Intelligent Dasein


    The existence of God is not difficult to prove.
     
    OK genius, if it isn't difficult to prove then lets have the proof. Come on, right here on this thread prove that God exists, if it isn't difficult then it shouldn't be a problem right? I won't hold my breath.

    Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

    Here, knock yourself out.

    [MORE]

    Article 3. Whether God exists?

    Objection 1. It seems that God does not exist; because if one of two contraries be infinite, the other would be altogether destroyed. But the word “God” means that He is infinite goodness. If, therefore, God existed, there would be no evil discoverable; but there is evil in the world. Therefore God does not exist.

    Objection 2. Further, it is superfluous to suppose that what can be accounted for by a few principles has been produced by many. But it seems that everything we see in the world can be accounted for by other principles, supposing God did not exist. For all natural things can be reduced to one principle which is nature; and all voluntary things can be reduced to one principle which is human reason, or will. Therefore there is no need to suppose God’s existence.

    On the contrary, It is said in the person of God: “I am Who am.” (Exodus 3:14)

    I answer that, The existence of God can be proved in five ways.

    The first and more manifest way is the argument from motion. It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion; whereas a thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality. But nothing can be reduced from potentiality to actuality, except by something in a state of actuality. Thus that which is actually hot, as fire, makes wood, which is potentially hot, to be actually hot, and thereby moves and changes it. Now it is not possible that the same thing should be at once in actuality and potentiality in the same respect, but only in different respects. For what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot; but it is simultaneously potentially cold. It is therefore impossible that in the same respect and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved, i.e. that it should move itself. Therefore, whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another. If that by which it is put in motion be itself put in motion, then this also must needs be put in motion by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and, consequently, no other mover; seeing that subsequent movers move only inasmuch as they are put in motion by the first mover; as the staff moves only because it is put in motion by the hand. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.

    The second way is from the nature of the efficient cause. In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible. Now in efficient causes it is not possible to go on to infinity, because in all efficient causes following in order, the first is the cause of the intermediate cause, and the intermediate is the cause of the ultimate cause, whether the intermediate cause be several, or only one. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect. Therefore, if there be no first cause among efficient causes, there will be no ultimate, nor any intermediate cause. But if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect, nor any intermediate efficient causes; all of which is plainly false. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.

    The third way is taken from possibility and necessity, and runs thus. We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, since they are found to be generated, and to corrupt, and consequently, they are possible to be and not to be. But it is impossible for these always to exist, for that which is possible not to be at some time is not. Therefore, if everything is possible not to be, then at one time there could have been nothing in existence. Now if this were true, even now there would be nothing in existence, because that which does not exist only begins to exist by something already existing. Therefore, if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus even now nothing would be in existence — which is absurd. Therefore, not all beings are merely possible, but there must exist something the existence of which is necessary. But every necessary thing either has its necessity caused by another, or not. Now it is impossible to go on to infinity in necessary things which have their necessity caused by another, as has been already proved in regard to efficient causes. Therefore we cannot but postulate the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity, and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity. This all men speak of as God.

    The fourth way is taken from the gradation to be found in things. Among beings there are some more and some less good, true, noble and the like. But “more” and “less” are predicated of different things, according as they resemble in their different ways something which is the maximum, as a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest; so that there is something which is truest, something best, something noblest and, consequently, something which is uttermost being; for those things that are greatest in truth are greatest in being, as it is written in Metaph. ii. Now the maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus; as fire, which is the maximum heat, is the cause of all hot things. Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God.

    The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things which lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that not fortuitously, but designedly, do they achieve their end. Now whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is shot to its mark by the archer. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God.

    Reply to Objection 1. As Augustine says (Enchiridion xi): “Since God is the highest good, He would not allow any evil to exist in His works, unless His omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil.” This is part of the infinite goodness of God, that He should allow evil to exist, and out of it produce good.

    Reply to Objection 2. Since nature works for a determinate end under the direction of a higher agent, whatever is done by nature must needs be traced back to God, as to its first cause. So also whatever is done voluntarily must also be traced back to some higher cause other than human reason or will, since these can change or fail; for all things that are changeable and capable of defect must be traced back to an immovable and self-necessary first principle, as was shown in the body of the Article.

    • Replies: @MarkU
    @Intelligent Dasein

    So that is your idea of proof is it? Excessively verbose convoluted garbage by people who write their own definitions, design their own questions and evaluate their own answers. Using that technique anyone could ace their exams. Perhaps you could explain in concise modern English what it is you find so convincing about any of that drivel. The 'argument from motion' for example amounts to 'things move therefore God exists', surely you can't seriously regard that as a convincing argument?

    Replies: @Intelligent Dasein, @V. K. Ovelund

    , @GeeBee
    @Intelligent Dasein

    None of this remotely 'proves' the existence of any sentient, non-human cosmic agency. Rather, it reminds me of the tactics of a typical sales course, whereby the poor students are brainwashed into the idea that it is impossible to leave the course, and go out into the field to sell whatever product the sales course covers, without succeeding in making the sale at each and every 'cold-call'. A week out there in the field is sufficient to disabuse the poor sap of any such notion, and he might well begin to understand that all the carefully crafted 'logic' you might throw at him bears no resemblance to reality. (I thought that anyway you Christians were supposed to depend upon faith, not 'proof'.)

    So it is with the sort of feeble, intellectually-challenged and self-evidently contrived 'proofs' of the kind you proffer. They are riddled with logical fallacies, none of which the faithful will ever allow themselves to see or acknowledge, but which those of us unburdened with blind faith can easily discern. Not only this, however, but even supposing that any of you could come up with actual, irrefutable proof for the existence of sentient, non-human cosmic agencies, it would, I hate to tell you, by no means hand the laurels to the despicable and ludicrous Jewish YHWH and its offshoots. There are hundreds of claimed deities, and even in the light of my hypothetical proof, their adherents would immediately set about making claims as to why Shiva, Ganesh, Horus, Attis, Cybele, Osiris, Wotan, Azuha Mazda, Mawduk and a legion of others should take precedence over YHWH.

    It would make the Thirty Years War look like, well, a vicarage tea party.

    , @Mr. Rational
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Oh, FFS.  What a load of outright falsehoods and unmitigated sophistry in the service of ignorance.  IOW, totally in character for you.


    The first and more manifest way is the argument from motion. It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion; whereas a thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality.
     
    Again, nobody but NOBODY who has studied quantum mechanics could take this seriously.  Everything in the universe, from the lightest lepton to the heaviest black hole, has a de Broglie wavelength which is equal to Planck's constant h divided by the momentum.  h is an extremely small number, so you only get significant de Broglie wavelengths for extremely small masses and speeds.  However, anything that is confined has to have a de Broglie wavelength equal to or smaller than twice its confining space.  This means that everything MUST have momentum and thus MUST move to some degree or other.  That is motion without a cause.

    The second way is from the nature of the efficient cause. In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes.
     
    An efficient cause will explain why the world is as it is, and why it's NOT some other way.  QM, evolution, etc. are efficient causes.  "Goddidit" isn't.

    The third way is taken from possibility and necessity, and runs thus. We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, since they are found to be generated, and to corrupt, and consequently, they are possible to be and not to be. But it is impossible for these always to exist, for that which is possible not to be at some time is not. Therefore, if everything is possible not to be, then at one time there could have been nothing in existence. Now if this were true, even now there would be nothing in existence, because that which does not exist only begins to exist by something already existing. Therefore, if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus even now nothing would be in existence — which is absurd.
     
    More sophistry in service of finding the necessary cause to support the pre-determined conclusion.

    The fourth way is taken from the gradation to be found in things. Among beings there are some more and some less good, true, noble and the like. But “more” and “less” are predicated of different things, according as they resemble in their different ways something which is the maximum, as a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest; so that there is something which is truest, something best, something noblest and, consequently, something which is uttermost being; for those things that are greatest in truth are greatest in being, as it is written in Metaph. ii. Now the maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus; as fire, which is the maximum heat, is the cause of all hot things. Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God.
     
    Just plain sophistry there.  There may be something which defines the essence of "tiger-ness", but that is neither good nor not good, and it didn't exist before there were tigers.

    The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things which lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that not fortuitously, but designedly, do they achieve their end. Now whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence
     
    This is the already-debunked argument from motion, rephrased.

    I can't believe we're still refuting this hooey in the 21st century.
  17. @Mario Partisan
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Hi. While I am inclined towards a position along the lines of your simple pseudonymic handle, I am interested in your response to the following question.

    If the universe is the “creation” of a first cause or necessary being, i.e. if something as complex as the universe requires a creative cause, why does The Creator itself not require a creative cause. In short, what created The Creator, and if the objection is that The Creator didn’t require a first cause, why did the universe?

    Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

    If the universe is the “creation” of a first cause or necessary being, i.e. if something as complex as the universe requires a creative cause, why does The Creator itself not require a creative cause. In short, what created The Creator, and if the objection is that The Creator didn’t require a first cause, why did the universe?

    Thank you for the question.

    The fact is, though, that this is not the correct way of looking at the matter. There is no argument that is made or could be made along the lines of “the universe is so complex that it must require a creative cause.” In fact such a belief would be heretical, as Christian doctrine proclaims the exact opposite. It is a matter of de fide teaching—and St.Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle both said this themselves—that natural reason alone cannot decide the question of whether the universe was created or was self-existent from all sempeternity. If the fact of creation were itself proof of God’s existence, then it would entail a necessity in God to create; however, this conflicts with a previously established truth that God is actus purus and cannot by definition experience passion, compulsion, or necessity of any kind. Christian doctrine therefore holds that creation was a free act of God and cannot be proven by any means, however well-intentioned. I have spoken about this matter in some detail in my long essay that was published here on this site. Also, in the same place I also showed by several means that “complexity” itself is not proof of anything and is in fact misleading (living organisms, for example, are not irreducibly complex but irreducibly simple, i.e. monadic, and this is why the cannot arise from merely materialistic processes). I do not therefore hold with the advocates of “Intelligent Design,” which is simply an old Bonaventurian heresy in modern form. These facts lead to the conclusion that, the question of the creation or self-existence of the universe being undecidable naturalistically, the proper scientific attitude is to treat the universe exactly as if it were self-existent. Far from being anti-Christian, this is entirely consonant with the Thomistic principle that the proper end of man’s intellect is to discern the essences or quiddities of natural objects, and it is from thence that the various proofs of God can proceed.

    Now, when we say that natural reason working upon natural objects can prove the existence of God, the issue is not their complexity but their contingency. We see that nothing in the world around us contains its existence as part of its definition and therefore nothing “necessarily” exists. Furthermore, we see as a matter of fact that all things are changeable and corruptible. Therefore, if there were not some unchangeable substrate underlying the existence of things, everything would immediately go out of existence and, in effect, nothing would be. But things are; it is thus established that this “ground of being” exists necessarily, i.e. its essence is to exist. This necessary existence we call God.

    Tl;dr: If things exist, being changeable, then something must underlie their existence which is no thing.

    • Replies: @raga10
    @Intelligent Dasein


    Furthermore, we see as a matter of fact that all things are changeable and corruptible. Therefore, if there were not some unchangeable substrate underlying the existence of things, everything would immediately go out of existence and, in effect, nothing would be.
     
    Science tells us that all things *are* in fact changeable and corruptible, and given enough time will in fact cease to exist. We would be in agreement then, except that you introduced by sleight of hand this one little word: "immediately". But there is absolutely no reason to think everything would go "immediately". There is plenty of evidence though to show it will go "eventually".

    First cause argument is crippled by logical inconsistency of claiming that everything requires a cause then in the same breath saying "...therefore a non-caused cause must exist". Say what now? Your non-caused cause is just another way of saying, "sure, we've just said that everything must have a cause, but we'll just stop at this arbitrary point, because reasons." There is no reason to stop at God in fact: this progression should either continue infinitely, or not at all.

    ... And actually it should not continue at all because it is incorrect to claim that even everything in observable universe requires a cause. That might have seem evident to Thomas Aquinas, but quantum physics tells us otherwise. At the most elementary level particles are popping in out of existence completely randomly all over the place, no cause required.
  18. @Realist
    @Dumbo


    I think it depends on what the meaning of “meaning” is. Atheists will say that the “purpose” of life is to raise a new generation and continue the species, or some other circular reasoning platitude.
     
    Theists would say to raise a family and serve a god...also circular. Life is circular.

    Replies: @Dumbo, @Dumbo, @Dumbo

  19. @Realist
    @Dumbo


    I think it depends on what the meaning of “meaning” is. Atheists will say that the “purpose” of life is to raise a new generation and continue the species, or some other circular reasoning platitude.
     
    Theists would say to raise a family and serve a god...also circular. Life is circular.

    Replies: @Dumbo, @Dumbo, @Dumbo

    Life is circular.

  20. @Realist
    @Dumbo


    I think it depends on what the meaning of “meaning” is. Atheists will say that the “purpose” of life is to raise a new generation and continue the species, or some other circular reasoning platitude.
     
    Theists would say to raise a family and serve a god...also circular. Life is circular.

    Replies: @Dumbo, @Dumbo, @Dumbo

    Life is circular.

    • Replies: @Cortes
    @Dumbo

    Repetitive as well.

  21. As usual the words and terminology are problematic.

    I have been an atheist for almost 50 years. I despise nihilism. The phrase “life has no purpose” is true if you are thinking in terms of some sort of externality to human existence. If you are thinking in terms of humanity then what we create as our purpose is invaluable and supremely purposeful.

  22. @Intelligent Dasein
    @MarkU

    Here, knock yourself out.



    Article 3. Whether God exists?

    Objection 1. It seems that God does not exist; because if one of two contraries be infinite, the other would be altogether destroyed. But the word "God" means that He is infinite goodness. If, therefore, God existed, there would be no evil discoverable; but there is evil in the world. Therefore God does not exist.

    Objection 2. Further, it is superfluous to suppose that what can be accounted for by a few principles has been produced by many. But it seems that everything we see in the world can be accounted for by other principles, supposing God did not exist. For all natural things can be reduced to one principle which is nature; and all voluntary things can be reduced to one principle which is human reason, or will. Therefore there is no need to suppose God's existence.

    On the contrary, It is said in the person of God: "I am Who am." (Exodus 3:14)

    I answer that, The existence of God can be proved in five ways.

    The first and more manifest way is the argument from motion. It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion; whereas a thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality. But nothing can be reduced from potentiality to actuality, except by something in a state of actuality. Thus that which is actually hot, as fire, makes wood, which is potentially hot, to be actually hot, and thereby moves and changes it. Now it is not possible that the same thing should be at once in actuality and potentiality in the same respect, but only in different respects. For what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot; but it is simultaneously potentially cold. It is therefore impossible that in the same respect and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved, i.e. that it should move itself. Therefore, whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another. If that by which it is put in motion be itself put in motion, then this also must needs be put in motion by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and, consequently, no other mover; seeing that subsequent movers move only inasmuch as they are put in motion by the first mover; as the staff moves only because it is put in motion by the hand. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.

    The second way is from the nature of the efficient cause. In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible. Now in efficient causes it is not possible to go on to infinity, because in all efficient causes following in order, the first is the cause of the intermediate cause, and the intermediate is the cause of the ultimate cause, whether the intermediate cause be several, or only one. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect. Therefore, if there be no first cause among efficient causes, there will be no ultimate, nor any intermediate cause. But if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect, nor any intermediate efficient causes; all of which is plainly false. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.

    The third way is taken from possibility and necessity, and runs thus. We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, since they are found to be generated, and to corrupt, and consequently, they are possible to be and not to be. But it is impossible for these always to exist, for that which is possible not to be at some time is not. Therefore, if everything is possible not to be, then at one time there could have been nothing in existence. Now if this were true, even now there would be nothing in existence, because that which does not exist only begins to exist by something already existing. Therefore, if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus even now nothing would be in existence — which is absurd. Therefore, not all beings are merely possible, but there must exist something the existence of which is necessary. But every necessary thing either has its necessity caused by another, or not. Now it is impossible to go on to infinity in necessary things which have their necessity caused by another, as has been already proved in regard to efficient causes. Therefore we cannot but postulate the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity, and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity. This all men speak of as God.

    The fourth way is taken from the gradation to be found in things. Among beings there are some more and some less good, true, noble and the like. But "more" and "less" are predicated of different things, according as they resemble in their different ways something which is the maximum, as a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest; so that there is something which is truest, something best, something noblest and, consequently, something which is uttermost being; for those things that are greatest in truth are greatest in being, as it is written in Metaph. ii. Now the maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus; as fire, which is the maximum heat, is the cause of all hot things. Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God.

    The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things which lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that not fortuitously, but designedly, do they achieve their end. Now whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is shot to its mark by the archer. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God.

    Reply to Objection 1. As Augustine says (Enchiridion xi): "Since God is the highest good, He would not allow any evil to exist in His works, unless His omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil." This is part of the infinite goodness of God, that He should allow evil to exist, and out of it produce good.

    Reply to Objection 2. Since nature works for a determinate end under the direction of a higher agent, whatever is done by nature must needs be traced back to God, as to its first cause. So also whatever is done voluntarily must also be traced back to some higher cause other than human reason or will, since these can change or fail; for all things that are changeable and capable of defect must be traced back to an immovable and self-necessary first principle, as was shown in the body of the Article.

    Replies: @MarkU, @GeeBee, @Mr. Rational

    So that is your idea of proof is it? Excessively verbose convoluted garbage by people who write their own definitions, design their own questions and evaluate their own answers. Using that technique anyone could ace their exams. Perhaps you could explain in concise modern English what it is you find so convincing about any of that drivel. The ‘argument from motion’ for example amounts to ‘things move therefore God exists’, surely you can’t seriously regard that as a convincing argument?

    • Agree: GeeBee, Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    @MarkU


    The ‘argument from motion’ for example amounts to ‘things move therefore God exists’, surely you can’t seriously regard that as a convincing argument?
     
    Yes, I do. And so does every other major philosopher.

    Do you have a counterargument, or are you just an historically illiterate shitposting faggot?

    Replies: @GeeBee

    , @V. K. Ovelund
    @MarkU


    The ‘argument from motion’ for example amounts to ‘things move therefore God exists’, surely you can’t seriously regard that as a convincing argument?
     
    The greatest minds of the ages concur that the argument is convincing or, at least, that considerable effort is warranted to refute it. Practically no properly educated person blithely dismisses this argument.

    Practically everyone that grasps this argument takes it seriously.

    The manner in which @Intelligent Dasein has presented the argument was not intended to persuade, perhaps, yet the argument stands apart from the manner in which @Intelligent Dasein happens to have presented it. It is extremely difficult to attack the mind-body problem without affording an extensive hearing to arguments like this.

    Replies: @Mr. Rational

  23. @Intelligent Dasein
    @MarkU

    Here, knock yourself out.



    Article 3. Whether God exists?

    Objection 1. It seems that God does not exist; because if one of two contraries be infinite, the other would be altogether destroyed. But the word "God" means that He is infinite goodness. If, therefore, God existed, there would be no evil discoverable; but there is evil in the world. Therefore God does not exist.

    Objection 2. Further, it is superfluous to suppose that what can be accounted for by a few principles has been produced by many. But it seems that everything we see in the world can be accounted for by other principles, supposing God did not exist. For all natural things can be reduced to one principle which is nature; and all voluntary things can be reduced to one principle which is human reason, or will. Therefore there is no need to suppose God's existence.

    On the contrary, It is said in the person of God: "I am Who am." (Exodus 3:14)

    I answer that, The existence of God can be proved in five ways.

    The first and more manifest way is the argument from motion. It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion; whereas a thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality. But nothing can be reduced from potentiality to actuality, except by something in a state of actuality. Thus that which is actually hot, as fire, makes wood, which is potentially hot, to be actually hot, and thereby moves and changes it. Now it is not possible that the same thing should be at once in actuality and potentiality in the same respect, but only in different respects. For what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot; but it is simultaneously potentially cold. It is therefore impossible that in the same respect and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved, i.e. that it should move itself. Therefore, whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another. If that by which it is put in motion be itself put in motion, then this also must needs be put in motion by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and, consequently, no other mover; seeing that subsequent movers move only inasmuch as they are put in motion by the first mover; as the staff moves only because it is put in motion by the hand. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.

    The second way is from the nature of the efficient cause. In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible. Now in efficient causes it is not possible to go on to infinity, because in all efficient causes following in order, the first is the cause of the intermediate cause, and the intermediate is the cause of the ultimate cause, whether the intermediate cause be several, or only one. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect. Therefore, if there be no first cause among efficient causes, there will be no ultimate, nor any intermediate cause. But if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect, nor any intermediate efficient causes; all of which is plainly false. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.

    The third way is taken from possibility and necessity, and runs thus. We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, since they are found to be generated, and to corrupt, and consequently, they are possible to be and not to be. But it is impossible for these always to exist, for that which is possible not to be at some time is not. Therefore, if everything is possible not to be, then at one time there could have been nothing in existence. Now if this were true, even now there would be nothing in existence, because that which does not exist only begins to exist by something already existing. Therefore, if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus even now nothing would be in existence — which is absurd. Therefore, not all beings are merely possible, but there must exist something the existence of which is necessary. But every necessary thing either has its necessity caused by another, or not. Now it is impossible to go on to infinity in necessary things which have their necessity caused by another, as has been already proved in regard to efficient causes. Therefore we cannot but postulate the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity, and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity. This all men speak of as God.

    The fourth way is taken from the gradation to be found in things. Among beings there are some more and some less good, true, noble and the like. But "more" and "less" are predicated of different things, according as they resemble in their different ways something which is the maximum, as a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest; so that there is something which is truest, something best, something noblest and, consequently, something which is uttermost being; for those things that are greatest in truth are greatest in being, as it is written in Metaph. ii. Now the maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus; as fire, which is the maximum heat, is the cause of all hot things. Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God.

    The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things which lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that not fortuitously, but designedly, do they achieve their end. Now whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is shot to its mark by the archer. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God.

    Reply to Objection 1. As Augustine says (Enchiridion xi): "Since God is the highest good, He would not allow any evil to exist in His works, unless His omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil." This is part of the infinite goodness of God, that He should allow evil to exist, and out of it produce good.

    Reply to Objection 2. Since nature works for a determinate end under the direction of a higher agent, whatever is done by nature must needs be traced back to God, as to its first cause. So also whatever is done voluntarily must also be traced back to some higher cause other than human reason or will, since these can change or fail; for all things that are changeable and capable of defect must be traced back to an immovable and self-necessary first principle, as was shown in the body of the Article.

    Replies: @MarkU, @GeeBee, @Mr. Rational

    None of this remotely ‘proves’ the existence of any sentient, non-human cosmic agency. Rather, it reminds me of the tactics of a typical sales course, whereby the poor students are brainwashed into the idea that it is impossible to leave the course, and go out into the field to sell whatever product the sales course covers, without succeeding in making the sale at each and every ‘cold-call’. A week out there in the field is sufficient to disabuse the poor sap of any such notion, and he might well begin to understand that all the carefully crafted ‘logic’ you might throw at him bears no resemblance to reality. (I thought that anyway you Christians were supposed to depend upon faith, not ‘proof’.)

    So it is with the sort of feeble, intellectually-challenged and self-evidently contrived ‘proofs’ of the kind you proffer. They are riddled with logical fallacies, none of which the faithful will ever allow themselves to see or acknowledge, but which those of us unburdened with blind faith can easily discern. Not only this, however, but even supposing that any of you could come up with actual, irrefutable proof for the existence of sentient, non-human cosmic agencies, it would, I hate to tell you, by no means hand the laurels to the despicable and ludicrous Jewish YHWH and its offshoots. There are hundreds of claimed deities, and even in the light of my hypothetical proof, their adherents would immediately set about making claims as to why Shiva, Ganesh, Horus, Attis, Cybele, Osiris, Wotan, Azuha Mazda, Mawduk and a legion of others should take precedence over YHWH.

    It would make the Thirty Years War look like, well, a vicarage tea party.

  24. @Dumbo
    @Realist


    Life is circular.
     
    https://youtu.be/GibiNy4d4gc

    Replies: @Cortes

    Repetitive as well.

    • LOL: Dumbo
  25. @MarkU
    @Intelligent Dasein

    So that is your idea of proof is it? Excessively verbose convoluted garbage by people who write their own definitions, design their own questions and evaluate their own answers. Using that technique anyone could ace their exams. Perhaps you could explain in concise modern English what it is you find so convincing about any of that drivel. The 'argument from motion' for example amounts to 'things move therefore God exists', surely you can't seriously regard that as a convincing argument?

    Replies: @Intelligent Dasein, @V. K. Ovelund

    The ‘argument from motion’ for example amounts to ‘things move therefore God exists’, surely you can’t seriously regard that as a convincing argument?

    Yes, I do. And so does every other major philosopher.

    Do you have a counterargument, or are you just an historically illiterate shitposting faggot?

    • Troll: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @GeeBee
    @Intelligent Dasein


    And so does every other major philosopher
     
    Where the word 'major' is defined by the faithful sheep as 'Christian'. Because to suggest that philosophers such as, oh, I don't know, Hume or Schopenhauer or Nietzsche or John Stuart Mill or Baruch Spinoza or Jeremy Bentham or Bruno Bauer or Bertrand Russell, bought into your nonsense is not self-evidently true...
  26. @Intelligent Dasein
    @Mario Partisan


    If the universe is the “creation” of a first cause or necessary being, i.e. if something as complex as the universe requires a creative cause, why does The Creator itself not require a creative cause. In short, what created The Creator, and if the objection is that The Creator didn’t require a first cause, why did the universe?
     
    Thank you for the question.

    The fact is, though, that this is not the correct way of looking at the matter. There is no argument that is made or could be made along the lines of "the universe is so complex that it must require a creative cause." In fact such a belief would be heretical, as Christian doctrine proclaims the exact opposite. It is a matter of de fide teaching---and St.Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle both said this themselves---that natural reason alone cannot decide the question of whether the universe was created or was self-existent from all sempeternity. If the fact of creation were itself proof of God's existence, then it would entail a necessity in God to create; however, this conflicts with a previously established truth that God is actus purus and cannot by definition experience passion, compulsion, or necessity of any kind. Christian doctrine therefore holds that creation was a free act of God and cannot be proven by any means, however well-intentioned. I have spoken about this matter in some detail in my long essay that was published here on this site. Also, in the same place I also showed by several means that "complexity" itself is not proof of anything and is in fact misleading (living organisms, for example, are not irreducibly complex but irreducibly simple, i.e. monadic, and this is why the cannot arise from merely materialistic processes). I do not therefore hold with the advocates of "Intelligent Design," which is simply an old Bonaventurian heresy in modern form. These facts lead to the conclusion that, the question of the creation or self-existence of the universe being undecidable naturalistically, the proper scientific attitude is to treat the universe exactly as if it were self-existent. Far from being anti-Christian, this is entirely consonant with the Thomistic principle that the proper end of man's intellect is to discern the essences or quiddities of natural objects, and it is from thence that the various proofs of God can proceed.

    Now, when we say that natural reason working upon natural objects can prove the existence of God, the issue is not their complexity but their contingency. We see that nothing in the world around us contains its existence as part of its definition and therefore nothing "necessarily" exists. Furthermore, we see as a matter of fact that all things are changeable and corruptible. Therefore, if there were not some unchangeable substrate underlying the existence of things, everything would immediately go out of existence and, in effect, nothing would be. But things are; it is thus established that this "ground of being" exists necessarily, i.e. its essence is to exist. This necessary existence we call God.

    Tl;dr: If things exist, being changeable, then something must underlie their existence which is no thing.

    Replies: @raga10

    Furthermore, we see as a matter of fact that all things are changeable and corruptible. Therefore, if there were not some unchangeable substrate underlying the existence of things, everything would immediately go out of existence and, in effect, nothing would be.

    Science tells us that all things *are* in fact changeable and corruptible, and given enough time will in fact cease to exist. We would be in agreement then, except that you introduced by sleight of hand this one little word: “immediately”. But there is absolutely no reason to think everything would go “immediately”. There is plenty of evidence though to show it will go “eventually”.

    First cause argument is crippled by logical inconsistency of claiming that everything requires a cause then in the same breath saying “…therefore a non-caused cause must exist”. Say what now? Your non-caused cause is just another way of saying, “sure, we’ve just said that everything must have a cause, but we’ll just stop at this arbitrary point, because reasons.” There is no reason to stop at God in fact: this progression should either continue infinitely, or not at all.

    … And actually it should not continue at all because it is incorrect to claim that even everything in observable universe requires a cause. That might have seem evident to Thomas Aquinas, but quantum physics tells us otherwise. At the most elementary level particles are popping in out of existence completely randomly all over the place, no cause required.

  27. @Intelligent Dasein
    Why is it never mentioned in these discussions that atheism is simply wrong?

    The existence of God is not difficult to prove. Atheists like to act as if there's some big debate going on, or say that religion is all about subjective impressions and beliefs, or worse, say that God has been proven not to exist (which is absurd).

    The process of reasoning demonstrating that there is a first cause or necessary being is not especially hard to grasp. Anybody who still calls himself an atheist after being acquainted with the arguments, and who goes on to proffer their brainless sophistical responses, is either a prig, a moron, or a troll.

    Richard Dawkins ha made an entire career out of this sort of trolling. Advancedatheist, who regularly embarrasses himself in these pages with his complete lack of theological knowledge, is a Junior Dawkins Rescue Ranger who is not even a troll.

    No one should care much what atheists believe when their signature, defining, and characteristic belief is itself nothing but the crock of solid gold Dunning-Krugerrands at the end of their unwoven rainbow.

    Replies: @Magic Dirt Resident, @MarkU, @Mario Partisan, @dfordoom, @Mr. Rational

    The process of reasoning demonstrating that there is a first cause or necessary being is not especially hard to grasp.

    That’s all very well. The problem is that even if you accept that there had to be a first cause that doesn’t prove that any of our religions are true. It’s possible that there was some kind of first cause (which for want of a better word you can call God) but that Christianity, for example, is entirely false.

    These processes of reasoning supposedly demonstrating that there is a first cause or necessary being might lead one to believe that some God-like entity exists, but they don’t prove that Christianity is correct. They don’t prove that there is a benevolent God who takes any interest in human affairs.

    Can you prove by a process of reasoning that any of the Christian beliefs about God or Jesus are true? If you can’t then you haven’t achieved very much. If there is a God-like entity who was the first cause he might be entirely indifferent to us, or he might even be malevolent. He might not care whether we believe in him or not.

    People aren’t interested in abstract God-like entities. They want to believe that there is a God who will forgive their sins and they want to believe they’ll go to Heaven when they die. Christians want to believe that Jesus was the Son of God and that he rose from the dead. Can you prove that by a process of reasoning? If you can’t then most people will take the view that there is no point in being a Christian. If God is indifferent or malevolent then you might as well be an atheist or an agnostic.

    • Agree: martin_2
    • Replies: @nebulafox
    @dfordoom

    The overwhelming majority of people have spiritual needs that are deeply embedded within the normal human psyche. Logical consistency is of secondary importance (and why shouldn't it be? Belief in the divine isn't supposed to be some rational, standard issue thing that necessarily makes sense to other people), if any, and ex post facto rationalizations are used to justify their intuition about how the universe works. As Razib Khan pointed out, actual "natural" atheists are a minority: tellingly, they tend to not be emotionally intuitive, hence the high percentage of high functioning autistic people who are irreligious. Back in the pre-modern age when atheism in the modern sense wasn't really an option, or at least was far less obvious of one, such personality types ironically included the ones trying to hammer out logical justifications for their faith: just look at Isaac Newton, who considered his phyiscs work secondary to his metaphysics.

    The fact that most human beings have spiritual needs is perfectly healthy and should be honestly addressed: it's a beautiful part of the human condition that makes us different from animals, really. I think part of the big issue with the default ideology of the Western technocratic questions is that they refuse to even admit that these problems exist, because to them, human beings are interchangeable cogs that should be optimized for flat efficiency. In the absence of established religion, however, it should not be shocking that most people don't behave like cogs. Instead, they find alternative outlets for these impulses, alternative outlets that might not be a better replacement. The wokeists are a prominent example. They might not believe in God, but their whole behavior, conception betrays those needs. More broadly, there's the whole "spiritual but not religious" thing.

    (Then you have weirdos like me who are religious, but not spiritual...)

    Replies: @Rosie, @Chrisnonymous, @Audacious Epigone

    , @Rosie
    @dfordoom


    That’s all very well. The problem is that even if you accept that there had to be a first cause that doesn’t prove that any of our religions are true. It’s possible that there was some kind of first cause (which for want of a better word you can call God) but that Christianity, for example, is entirely false.
     
    That is certainly a logical possibility.

    But if you believe the World is good, then it is more likely than not (MLTN) that God is good. If God is good, then it is MLTN that he would reveal himself to humanity.

    Which revelation is true? That question requires further study.

    Replies: @raga10, @dfordoom

    , @Wency
    @dfordoom

    I'm jumping in kind of late here, but though we disagree on religion, I actually more or less agree with most of this argument, and Pascal made essentially the same point.

    The core atheist claim itself is very weak, though it can always escape total destruction because these are unfalsifiable matters at the edge of human comprehension, and thus man, being clever, can invent explanations that elude the obvious. Yet as Pascal noted, the refutation of atheism only gets you to deism, which from a Christian perspective isn't really any more desirable.

    I believe you can still build a rational case for Christianity as being stronger than that of the alternatives -- on this point I differ from Pascal -- but I'd still agree with him that faith, intuition, and subjective experience nonetheless must be at the heart of any formula that overcomes both deism and other religions.

    The core anti-deistic intuition -- not provable, but compelling to most human beings nonetheless -- is that the Creator would naturally have some particular interest in the only things it created that aspire to know and have a relationship with it.

    Replies: @iffen, @dfordoom

  28. @Intelligent Dasein
    Why is it never mentioned in these discussions that atheism is simply wrong?

    The existence of God is not difficult to prove. Atheists like to act as if there's some big debate going on, or say that religion is all about subjective impressions and beliefs, or worse, say that God has been proven not to exist (which is absurd).

    The process of reasoning demonstrating that there is a first cause or necessary being is not especially hard to grasp. Anybody who still calls himself an atheist after being acquainted with the arguments, and who goes on to proffer their brainless sophistical responses, is either a prig, a moron, or a troll.

    Richard Dawkins ha made an entire career out of this sort of trolling. Advancedatheist, who regularly embarrasses himself in these pages with his complete lack of theological knowledge, is a Junior Dawkins Rescue Ranger who is not even a troll.

    No one should care much what atheists believe when their signature, defining, and characteristic belief is itself nothing but the crock of solid gold Dunning-Krugerrands at the end of their unwoven rainbow.

    Replies: @Magic Dirt Resident, @MarkU, @Mario Partisan, @dfordoom, @Mr. Rational

    Why is it never mentioned in these discussions that atheism is simply wrong?

    You want it to be, but you’re deathly afraid it’s not.

    The existence of God is not difficult to prove.

    I second the call for proof of your assertion.

    The process of reasoning demonstrating that there is a first cause or necessary being is not especially hard to grasp.

    There are LOTS of un-caused events that nonetheless happen.  Anyone who’s done the slightest study of quantum mechanics knows this; QM shows that the small-scale universe is stochastic, following probability distributions rather than e.g. firm Newtonian laws.  It is only at the macro scale, where the statistical averages look like solid, unvarying numbers, that you get anything that looks deterministic.  Even at the macro scale, you still have systems which follow chaotic attractors and thus predictions of their future states rapidly become less and less accurate.  Speaking as you do proves that you are among the ignorant, and thus a sterling example of Dunning-Kruger yourself.

    Anybody who still calls himself an atheist after being acquainted with the arguments, and who goes on to proffer their brainless sophistical responses, is either a prig, a moron, or a troll.

    Let’s see if YOU have the brainpower to comprehend and explain the actual evidence in a way which leaves no room for atheism to be true.  If you can’t, stop calling yourself intelligent.

  29. @MarkU
    @Intelligent Dasein

    So that is your idea of proof is it? Excessively verbose convoluted garbage by people who write their own definitions, design their own questions and evaluate their own answers. Using that technique anyone could ace their exams. Perhaps you could explain in concise modern English what it is you find so convincing about any of that drivel. The 'argument from motion' for example amounts to 'things move therefore God exists', surely you can't seriously regard that as a convincing argument?

    Replies: @Intelligent Dasein, @V. K. Ovelund

    The ‘argument from motion’ for example amounts to ‘things move therefore God exists’, surely you can’t seriously regard that as a convincing argument?

    The greatest minds of the ages concur that the argument is convincing or, at least, that considerable effort is warranted to refute it. Practically no properly educated person blithely dismisses this argument.

    Practically everyone that grasps this argument takes it seriously.

    The manner in which has presented the argument was not intended to persuade, perhaps, yet the argument stands apart from the manner in which happens to have presented it. It is extremely difficult to attack the mind-body problem without affording an extensive hearing to arguments like this.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
    @V. K. Ovelund


    Practically everyone that grasps this argument takes it seriously.
     
    Everyone who takes it seriously is, at best, ignorant.  It's obvious that the thinkers before the 20th century had no access to the requisite knowledge to prove otherwise, but there is no longer any excuse.

    Maybe if we required calculus, statistics and physics through quantum mechanics as prerequisites for university admission (including in English, philosophy and religion) we would have someone produce a theology that wasn't full of howlers.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund

  30. @Intelligent Dasein
    @MarkU

    Here, knock yourself out.



    Article 3. Whether God exists?

    Objection 1. It seems that God does not exist; because if one of two contraries be infinite, the other would be altogether destroyed. But the word "God" means that He is infinite goodness. If, therefore, God existed, there would be no evil discoverable; but there is evil in the world. Therefore God does not exist.

    Objection 2. Further, it is superfluous to suppose that what can be accounted for by a few principles has been produced by many. But it seems that everything we see in the world can be accounted for by other principles, supposing God did not exist. For all natural things can be reduced to one principle which is nature; and all voluntary things can be reduced to one principle which is human reason, or will. Therefore there is no need to suppose God's existence.

    On the contrary, It is said in the person of God: "I am Who am." (Exodus 3:14)

    I answer that, The existence of God can be proved in five ways.

    The first and more manifest way is the argument from motion. It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion; whereas a thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality. But nothing can be reduced from potentiality to actuality, except by something in a state of actuality. Thus that which is actually hot, as fire, makes wood, which is potentially hot, to be actually hot, and thereby moves and changes it. Now it is not possible that the same thing should be at once in actuality and potentiality in the same respect, but only in different respects. For what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot; but it is simultaneously potentially cold. It is therefore impossible that in the same respect and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved, i.e. that it should move itself. Therefore, whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another. If that by which it is put in motion be itself put in motion, then this also must needs be put in motion by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and, consequently, no other mover; seeing that subsequent movers move only inasmuch as they are put in motion by the first mover; as the staff moves only because it is put in motion by the hand. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.

    The second way is from the nature of the efficient cause. In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible. Now in efficient causes it is not possible to go on to infinity, because in all efficient causes following in order, the first is the cause of the intermediate cause, and the intermediate is the cause of the ultimate cause, whether the intermediate cause be several, or only one. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect. Therefore, if there be no first cause among efficient causes, there will be no ultimate, nor any intermediate cause. But if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect, nor any intermediate efficient causes; all of which is plainly false. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.

    The third way is taken from possibility and necessity, and runs thus. We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, since they are found to be generated, and to corrupt, and consequently, they are possible to be and not to be. But it is impossible for these always to exist, for that which is possible not to be at some time is not. Therefore, if everything is possible not to be, then at one time there could have been nothing in existence. Now if this were true, even now there would be nothing in existence, because that which does not exist only begins to exist by something already existing. Therefore, if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus even now nothing would be in existence — which is absurd. Therefore, not all beings are merely possible, but there must exist something the existence of which is necessary. But every necessary thing either has its necessity caused by another, or not. Now it is impossible to go on to infinity in necessary things which have their necessity caused by another, as has been already proved in regard to efficient causes. Therefore we cannot but postulate the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity, and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity. This all men speak of as God.

    The fourth way is taken from the gradation to be found in things. Among beings there are some more and some less good, true, noble and the like. But "more" and "less" are predicated of different things, according as they resemble in their different ways something which is the maximum, as a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest; so that there is something which is truest, something best, something noblest and, consequently, something which is uttermost being; for those things that are greatest in truth are greatest in being, as it is written in Metaph. ii. Now the maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus; as fire, which is the maximum heat, is the cause of all hot things. Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God.

    The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things which lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that not fortuitously, but designedly, do they achieve their end. Now whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is shot to its mark by the archer. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God.

    Reply to Objection 1. As Augustine says (Enchiridion xi): "Since God is the highest good, He would not allow any evil to exist in His works, unless His omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil." This is part of the infinite goodness of God, that He should allow evil to exist, and out of it produce good.

    Reply to Objection 2. Since nature works for a determinate end under the direction of a higher agent, whatever is done by nature must needs be traced back to God, as to its first cause. So also whatever is done voluntarily must also be traced back to some higher cause other than human reason or will, since these can change or fail; for all things that are changeable and capable of defect must be traced back to an immovable and self-necessary first principle, as was shown in the body of the Article.

    Replies: @MarkU, @GeeBee, @Mr. Rational

    Oh, FFS.  What a load of outright falsehoods and unmitigated sophistry in the service of ignorance.  IOW, totally in character for you.

    [MORE]

    The first and more manifest way is the argument from motion. It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion; whereas a thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality.

    Again, nobody but NOBODY who has studied quantum mechanics could take this seriously.  Everything in the universe, from the lightest lepton to the heaviest black hole, has a de Broglie wavelength which is equal to Planck’s constant h divided by the momentum.  h is an extremely small number, so you only get significant de Broglie wavelengths for extremely small masses and speeds.  However, anything that is confined has to have a de Broglie wavelength equal to or smaller than twice its confining space.  This means that everything MUST have momentum and thus MUST move to some degree or other.  That is motion without a cause.

    The second way is from the nature of the efficient cause. In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes.

    An efficient cause will explain why the world is as it is, and why it’s NOT some other way.  QM, evolution, etc. are efficient causes.  “Goddidit” isn’t.

    The third way is taken from possibility and necessity, and runs thus. We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, since they are found to be generated, and to corrupt, and consequently, they are possible to be and not to be. But it is impossible for these always to exist, for that which is possible not to be at some time is not. Therefore, if everything is possible not to be, then at one time there could have been nothing in existence. Now if this were true, even now there would be nothing in existence, because that which does not exist only begins to exist by something already existing. Therefore, if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus even now nothing would be in existence — which is absurd.

    More sophistry in service of finding the necessary cause to support the pre-determined conclusion.

    The fourth way is taken from the gradation to be found in things. Among beings there are some more and some less good, true, noble and the like. But “more” and “less” are predicated of different things, according as they resemble in their different ways something which is the maximum, as a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest; so that there is something which is truest, something best, something noblest and, consequently, something which is uttermost being; for those things that are greatest in truth are greatest in being, as it is written in Metaph. ii. Now the maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus; as fire, which is the maximum heat, is the cause of all hot things. Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God.

    Just plain sophistry there.  There may be something which defines the essence of “tiger-ness”, but that is neither good nor not good, and it didn’t exist before there were tigers.

    The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things which lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that not fortuitously, but designedly, do they achieve their end. Now whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence

    This is the already-debunked argument from motion, rephrased.

    I can’t believe we’re still refuting this hooey in the 21st century.

  31. @V. K. Ovelund
    @MarkU


    The ‘argument from motion’ for example amounts to ‘things move therefore God exists’, surely you can’t seriously regard that as a convincing argument?
     
    The greatest minds of the ages concur that the argument is convincing or, at least, that considerable effort is warranted to refute it. Practically no properly educated person blithely dismisses this argument.

    Practically everyone that grasps this argument takes it seriously.

    The manner in which @Intelligent Dasein has presented the argument was not intended to persuade, perhaps, yet the argument stands apart from the manner in which @Intelligent Dasein happens to have presented it. It is extremely difficult to attack the mind-body problem without affording an extensive hearing to arguments like this.

    Replies: @Mr. Rational

    Practically everyone that grasps this argument takes it seriously.

    Everyone who takes it seriously is, at best, ignorant.  It’s obvious that the thinkers before the 20th century had no access to the requisite knowledge to prove otherwise, but there is no longer any excuse.

    Maybe if we required calculus, statistics and physics through quantum mechanics as prerequisites for university admission (including in English, philosophy and religion) we would have someone produce a theology that wasn’t full of howlers.

    • Agree: raga10
    • Replies: @V. K. Ovelund
    @Mr. Rational


    Maybe if we required calculus, statistics and physics through quantum mechanics as prerequisites for university admission (including in English, philosophy and religion) we would have someone produce a theology that wasn’t full of howlers.
     
    As you may be aware, I taught STEM courses to thousands of freshmen, sophomores and juniors over a period of ten years at a tier-one U.S. research university. (Tier-one U.S. research universities have in general become rather a joke, and mine was no exception, so I put on no airs; only I am not entirely ignorant of the subjects you mention.)

    Calculus, statistics and physics have little to say to the mind-body problem. Physics is no help at all, and pure mathematics only casts the mystery in an awesome, enigmatical light—as Leibnitz, Frege, Weyl, Brouwer and Gödel would have told you if you have listened.

    Dismissing Aristotle as a howler does not make you look smart.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @nebulafox, @Mr. Rational

  32. @Dumbo
    - Are these the Nazis, Walter?
    - No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there's nothing to be afraid of.

    I think it depends on what the meaning of "meaning" is. Atheists will say that the "purpose" of life is to raise a new generation and continue the species, or some other circular reasoning platitude.

    Replies: @Realist, @DanHessinMD, @nebulafox

    “Atheists will say that the “purpose” of life is to raise a new generation and continue the species, or some other circular reasoning platitude.”

    Unfortunately that is the best case scenario.

    The reality is that childbearing among atheists is very low, as AE has touched on in many posts.

    Atheism fails utterly from a utilitarian perspective, at least on a society level. Atheist societies have had two defining characteristics in the last 100 years or so:

    – a brutishness unimaginable in any other society: 100 million people killed under Marxism in the 20th century

    – very low birthrates in most cases, commonly far below replacement

    I would add a third that we are presently seeing, which is insane leftist theology by atheists who have merely given up conventional religion for ideas which are really harmful.

    One might say that religiosity is the worst form of society, except for the alternative.

    We are stuck with religion whether we like it or not for the simple reason that the fertility advantage of religious groups compared to atheists is very large. Some religious group or other must win, as a matter of basic math. Smashing the Church of England doesn’t bring you a Star Trek future, it brings you Islamic fundamentalism and stupid lefty fanaticism, as Richard Dawkins is noticing. Oops.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @DanHessinMD


    The reality is that childbearing among atheists is very low, as AE has touched on in many posts.

    Atheism fails utterly from a utilitarian perspective, at least on a society level.
     
    True, but religion continues to decline. Religion failed to meet the challenges presented by secularism so one could argue that from a utilitarian perspective religion has failed.

    Atheist societies have had two defining characteristics in the last 100 years or so:

    – a brutishness unimaginable in any other society
     
    You obviously haven't heard about the Thirty Years War.

    Brutishness is alas part of human nature. People will behave brutishly in the service of any belief system, religious or otherwise.

    Replies: @DanHessinMD

    , @raga10
    @DanHessinMD


    – a brutishness unimaginable in any other society: 100 million people killed under Marxism in the 20th century
     

    You have to remember it included two large populations: China and Russia, so the numbers are large. Yet taking that into account, Marxist regimes were no more brutal than any others. If China had some 70 million deaths attributed to communism, that is calculated for a period of over 50 years - and out of population that varied from 500 million to nearly 1.5 billion over that time. Compare that to genocide in Rwanda, country of under 6 million people that claimed anywhere from half a million to one million lives, depending on your sources - much worse than China per capita and not a communist in sight, just good old ethnic cleansing.

    – very low birthrates in most cases, commonly far below replacement

     

    Much more likely attributable to increase in standard of living than to religious affiliation.

    One might say that religiosity is the worst form of society, except for the alternative.
     
    One should refrain from paraphrasing Churchill remembering that while he did give a good quote, as a member of the ruling class he could hardly be called an impartial observer in such matters. To put it plainly, he was full of shit.

    Replies: @DanHessinMD

  33. @Dumbo
    - Are these the Nazis, Walter?
    - No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there's nothing to be afraid of.

    I think it depends on what the meaning of "meaning" is. Atheists will say that the "purpose" of life is to raise a new generation and continue the species, or some other circular reasoning platitude.

    Replies: @Realist, @DanHessinMD, @nebulafox

    Or to create your own purpose and joyously embrace life, no matter how hard it gets, because there’s nothing else after it.

  34. @dfordoom
    @Intelligent Dasein


    The process of reasoning demonstrating that there is a first cause or necessary being is not especially hard to grasp.
     
    That's all very well. The problem is that even if you accept that there had to be a first cause that doesn't prove that any of our religions are true. It's possible that there was some kind of first cause (which for want of a better word you can call God) but that Christianity, for example, is entirely false.

    These processes of reasoning supposedly demonstrating that there is a first cause or necessary being might lead one to believe that some God-like entity exists, but they don't prove that Christianity is correct. They don't prove that there is a benevolent God who takes any interest in human affairs.

    Can you prove by a process of reasoning that any of the Christian beliefs about God or Jesus are true? If you can't then you haven't achieved very much. If there is a God-like entity who was the first cause he might be entirely indifferent to us, or he might even be malevolent. He might not care whether we believe in him or not.

    People aren't interested in abstract God-like entities. They want to believe that there is a God who will forgive their sins and they want to believe they'll go to Heaven when they die. Christians want to believe that Jesus was the Son of God and that he rose from the dead. Can you prove that by a process of reasoning? If you can't then most people will take the view that there is no point in being a Christian. If God is indifferent or malevolent then you might as well be an atheist or an agnostic.

    Replies: @nebulafox, @Rosie, @Wency

    The overwhelming majority of people have spiritual needs that are deeply embedded within the normal human psyche. Logical consistency is of secondary importance (and why shouldn’t it be? Belief in the divine isn’t supposed to be some rational, standard issue thing that necessarily makes sense to other people), if any, and ex post facto rationalizations are used to justify their intuition about how the universe works. As Razib Khan pointed out, actual “natural” atheists are a minority: tellingly, they tend to not be emotionally intuitive, hence the high percentage of high functioning autistic people who are irreligious. Back in the pre-modern age when atheism in the modern sense wasn’t really an option, or at least was far less obvious of one, such personality types ironically included the ones trying to hammer out logical justifications for their faith: just look at Isaac Newton, who considered his phyiscs work secondary to his metaphysics.

    The fact that most human beings have spiritual needs is perfectly healthy and should be honestly addressed: it’s a beautiful part of the human condition that makes us different from animals, really. I think part of the big issue with the default ideology of the Western technocratic questions is that they refuse to even admit that these problems exist, because to them, human beings are interchangeable cogs that should be optimized for flat efficiency. In the absence of established religion, however, it should not be shocking that most people don’t behave like cogs. Instead, they find alternative outlets for these impulses, alternative outlets that might not be a better replacement. The wokeists are a prominent example. They might not believe in God, but their whole behavior, conception betrays those needs. More broadly, there’s the whole “spiritual but not religious” thing.

    (Then you have weirdos like me who are religious, but not spiritual…)

    • Replies: @Rosie
    @nebulafox


    Belief in the divine isn’t supposed to be some rational, standard issue thing that necessarily makes sense to other people)
     
    Indeed. The experience-based belief of the mystic cannot be logically demonstrated to the unbeliever.

    Recently, I heard an analogy on Millenniyule that I think is apropos. Suppose I go on a journey to find the Land of Eternal Bliss. Having found it, I make a map showing the way and give it to you. You demand proof that it exists before following the map, which I cannot give you unless you follow the map.

    Hence, we're in catch-22. The proof-demanders will go on demanding proof and the true seekers will follow the map.

    Replies: @nebulafox

    , @Chrisnonymous
    @nebulafox


    Then you have weirdos like me who are religious, but not spiritual…
     
    How does that work?

    Replies: @Talha, @dfordoom

    , @Audacious Epigone
    @nebulafox

    Spiritual but not religious is a female thing. Religious but not spiritual is a male thing.

  35. @DanHessinMD
    @Dumbo

    "Atheists will say that the “purpose” of life is to raise a new generation and continue the species, or some other circular reasoning platitude."

    Unfortunately that is the best case scenario.

    The reality is that childbearing among atheists is very low, as AE has touched on in many posts.

    Atheism fails utterly from a utilitarian perspective, at least on a society level. Atheist societies have had two defining characteristics in the last 100 years or so:

    - a brutishness unimaginable in any other society: 100 million people killed under Marxism in the 20th century

    - very low birthrates in most cases, commonly far below replacement

    I would add a third that we are presently seeing, which is insane leftist theology by atheists who have merely given up conventional religion for ideas which are really harmful.

    One might say that religiosity is the worst form of society, except for the alternative.

    We are stuck with religion whether we like it or not for the simple reason that the fertility advantage of religious groups compared to atheists is very large. Some religious group or other must win, as a matter of basic math. Smashing the Church of England doesn't bring you a Star Trek future, it brings you Islamic fundamentalism and stupid lefty fanaticism, as Richard Dawkins is noticing. Oops.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @raga10

    The reality is that childbearing among atheists is very low, as AE has touched on in many posts.

    Atheism fails utterly from a utilitarian perspective, at least on a society level.

    True, but religion continues to decline. Religion failed to meet the challenges presented by secularism so one could argue that from a utilitarian perspective religion has failed.

    Atheist societies have had two defining characteristics in the last 100 years or so:

    – a brutishness unimaginable in any other society

    You obviously haven’t heard about the Thirty Years War.

    Brutishness is alas part of human nature. People will behave brutishly in the service of any belief system, religious or otherwise.

    • Replies: @DanHessinMD
    @dfordoom

    "You obviously haven’t heard about the Thirty Years War."

    That I am far more educated and more knowledgeable than you is quite certain. Get up to my level if you want to debate me.

    The Thirty Years War came at a time when humanity was at the Malthusian limit. Almost all deaths were from disease and starvation as the order broke down, not from people directly killing each other. It is defective thinking to compare a Malthusian era to the modern era.

    If you want to look at the world of the Malthusian era honestly, you have to compare the Christian world to the heathen Vikings to their north. The Vikings were rightly seen as monsters from the perspective of civilized, Christian Europe. The Vikings' level of brutishness was stunning to all who saw it and lived to write about it. Then the Vikings Christianized. The civilizational contrast between the Vikings and the Christianized Scandinavia that followed is so vast it is laughable.

    The thing about atheistic Communism was the extreme brutishness and cruelty of that world in relation to its own contemporaries. The world in the 20th century was coming into unprecedented prosperity and the Malthusian limit was thrown off. As with medieval Europe, the contrast between those who had civilizing religion and those that did not was vast.

    The brutish uncivilization of the atheist left is coming into focus even now as they eagerly aside cast of the concept of free speech that has accompanied civilization for hundreds of years, and as they prove unable to wield any sort of power with even a modicum of balance and even-handedness.

    "People will behave brutishly in the service of any belief system, religious or otherwise."

    That is a cop-out. There is a vast difference. Much of political correctness is a war on noticing. We like to notice things around here.

    But the brutishness of atheist societies is not even the biggest problem. The biggest problem with atheistic societies is that fertility rates are so law that such societies inevitably decay even without any external threat.

    Smart people have a hard time believing in religious things. I get it. But then do what smart people did in Victorian England and support a non-fanatical, generally useful church that provides pro-social values, for the sake of your society, which can be great.

    Replies: @DanHessinMD, @dfordoom, @Chrisnonymous

  36. @DanHessinMD
    @Dumbo

    "Atheists will say that the “purpose” of life is to raise a new generation and continue the species, or some other circular reasoning platitude."

    Unfortunately that is the best case scenario.

    The reality is that childbearing among atheists is very low, as AE has touched on in many posts.

    Atheism fails utterly from a utilitarian perspective, at least on a society level. Atheist societies have had two defining characteristics in the last 100 years or so:

    - a brutishness unimaginable in any other society: 100 million people killed under Marxism in the 20th century

    - very low birthrates in most cases, commonly far below replacement

    I would add a third that we are presently seeing, which is insane leftist theology by atheists who have merely given up conventional religion for ideas which are really harmful.

    One might say that religiosity is the worst form of society, except for the alternative.

    We are stuck with religion whether we like it or not for the simple reason that the fertility advantage of religious groups compared to atheists is very large. Some religious group or other must win, as a matter of basic math. Smashing the Church of England doesn't bring you a Star Trek future, it brings you Islamic fundamentalism and stupid lefty fanaticism, as Richard Dawkins is noticing. Oops.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @raga10

    – a brutishness unimaginable in any other society: 100 million people killed under Marxism in the 20th century

    You have to remember it included two large populations: China and Russia, so the numbers are large. Yet taking that into account, Marxist regimes were no more brutal than any others. If China had some 70 million deaths attributed to communism, that is calculated for a period of over 50 years – and out of population that varied from 500 million to nearly 1.5 billion over that time. Compare that to genocide in Rwanda, country of under 6 million people that claimed anywhere from half a million to one million lives, depending on your sources – much worse than China per capita and not a communist in sight, just good old ethnic cleansing.

    – very low birthrates in most cases, commonly far below replacement

    Much more likely attributable to increase in standard of living than to religious affiliation.

    One might say that religiosity is the worst form of society, except for the alternative.

    One should refrain from paraphrasing Churchill remembering that while he did give a good quote, as a member of the ruling class he could hardly be called an impartial observer in such matters. To put it plainly, he was full of shit.

    • Replies: @DanHessinMD
    @raga10

    "Much more likely attributable to increase in standard of living than to religious affiliation."

    If you study the fertility rates of similar groups the differ by religiosity, you will find that religious affiliation has a huge impact on fertility, as has been addressed many times on this blog including most recently only one week ago.

    https://www.unz.com/anepigone/fertility-by-race-and-religiosity/

    https://www.unz.com/anepigone/believers-want-more-and-have-more/

    https://www.unz.com/anepigone/atheism-is-maladaptive/

    Audacious Epigone is undisputed leader of empirical social truth. If you can keep up with him, you will see more than almost anyone.

    Replies: @raga10

  37. @dfordoom
    @Intelligent Dasein


    The process of reasoning demonstrating that there is a first cause or necessary being is not especially hard to grasp.
     
    That's all very well. The problem is that even if you accept that there had to be a first cause that doesn't prove that any of our religions are true. It's possible that there was some kind of first cause (which for want of a better word you can call God) but that Christianity, for example, is entirely false.

    These processes of reasoning supposedly demonstrating that there is a first cause or necessary being might lead one to believe that some God-like entity exists, but they don't prove that Christianity is correct. They don't prove that there is a benevolent God who takes any interest in human affairs.

    Can you prove by a process of reasoning that any of the Christian beliefs about God or Jesus are true? If you can't then you haven't achieved very much. If there is a God-like entity who was the first cause he might be entirely indifferent to us, or he might even be malevolent. He might not care whether we believe in him or not.

    People aren't interested in abstract God-like entities. They want to believe that there is a God who will forgive their sins and they want to believe they'll go to Heaven when they die. Christians want to believe that Jesus was the Son of God and that he rose from the dead. Can you prove that by a process of reasoning? If you can't then most people will take the view that there is no point in being a Christian. If God is indifferent or malevolent then you might as well be an atheist or an agnostic.

    Replies: @nebulafox, @Rosie, @Wency

    That’s all very well. The problem is that even if you accept that there had to be a first cause that doesn’t prove that any of our religions are true. It’s possible that there was some kind of first cause (which for want of a better word you can call God) but that Christianity, for example, is entirely false.

    That is certainly a logical possibility.

    But if you believe the World is good, then it is more likely than not (MLTN) that God is good. If God is good, then it is MLTN that he would reveal himself to humanity.

    Which revelation is true? That question requires further study.

    • Replies: @raga10
    @Rosie

    But it is by no means proven that God revealed himself - arguably, since there is so much doubt on this matter, one could say he did not - because if he actually wanted to, being omnipotent and all that, surely he could've revealed himself in much less ambiguous way.

    He could also be good but prefer not to reveal himself, perhaps driven by his version of Prime Directive.

    In any case, I see little evidence supporting the idea that the world is good. I see plenty of evidence suggesting God is at best indifferent and quite possibly malevolent.

    Replies: @Rosie

    , @dfordoom
    @Rosie


    But if you believe the World is good, then it is more likely than not (MLTN) that God is good.
     
    The only reason for thinking that the World is good is wishful thinking. The World is both good and evil, so logically God must be both good and evil. The World is cruel, therefore God must be cruel. The World is full of things that happen randomly, therefore God must have a very disorganised mind.

    The World is filled with misery and suffering. Does this mean God enjoys misery and suffering? It seems more likely than not.

    Replies: @Rosie, @Talha, @Talha

  38. Anon[138] • Disclaimer says:

    “I normally don’t see “teleology” more than once a year, but now with AE and AK it’s twice in a matter of hours.”

    This is synchronicity. There are things we do not understand about the physical universe, and one of them is “too coincidental to be a coincidence.” It is some physical law, or divine providence, or we are living in an alien’s video game, a simulation. This happens to me all the time.

    • Thanks: Audacious Epigone
  39. @nebulafox
    @dfordoom

    The overwhelming majority of people have spiritual needs that are deeply embedded within the normal human psyche. Logical consistency is of secondary importance (and why shouldn't it be? Belief in the divine isn't supposed to be some rational, standard issue thing that necessarily makes sense to other people), if any, and ex post facto rationalizations are used to justify their intuition about how the universe works. As Razib Khan pointed out, actual "natural" atheists are a minority: tellingly, they tend to not be emotionally intuitive, hence the high percentage of high functioning autistic people who are irreligious. Back in the pre-modern age when atheism in the modern sense wasn't really an option, or at least was far less obvious of one, such personality types ironically included the ones trying to hammer out logical justifications for their faith: just look at Isaac Newton, who considered his phyiscs work secondary to his metaphysics.

    The fact that most human beings have spiritual needs is perfectly healthy and should be honestly addressed: it's a beautiful part of the human condition that makes us different from animals, really. I think part of the big issue with the default ideology of the Western technocratic questions is that they refuse to even admit that these problems exist, because to them, human beings are interchangeable cogs that should be optimized for flat efficiency. In the absence of established religion, however, it should not be shocking that most people don't behave like cogs. Instead, they find alternative outlets for these impulses, alternative outlets that might not be a better replacement. The wokeists are a prominent example. They might not believe in God, but their whole behavior, conception betrays those needs. More broadly, there's the whole "spiritual but not religious" thing.

    (Then you have weirdos like me who are religious, but not spiritual...)

    Replies: @Rosie, @Chrisnonymous, @Audacious Epigone

    Belief in the divine isn’t supposed to be some rational, standard issue thing that necessarily makes sense to other people)

    Indeed. The experience-based belief of the mystic cannot be logically demonstrated to the unbeliever.

    Recently, I heard an analogy on Millenniyule that I think is apropos. Suppose I go on a journey to find the Land of Eternal Bliss. Having found it, I make a map showing the way and give it to you. You demand proof that it exists before following the map, which I cannot give you unless you follow the map.

    Hence, we’re in catch-22. The proof-demanders will go on demanding proof and the true seekers will follow the map.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    @Rosie

    Thing is, I accept that there are parts of the human experience that I'm just not going to grasp to the same extent as most people, no matter how hard I try. Morally, it's not better, it's not worse: it's just different. I'm at peace with that, and perhaps that's why I'm pretty laid-back about this kind of stuff: I don't expect it to make sense for me. I don't expect it to be rational. I do expect it to be deeply human.


    What does tend to get my goat are religious impulses disguised as secular aims, or the reverse. The former is a lot more of a problem than the latter, not least because we have a society deeply invested in profiteering and rent-seeking that mass denialism is an inevitable result. If you are having a hard time getting people to admit that real, non-trivial concrete trade-offs exist in the first place when it comes to mundane policy matters, good luck discussing whether we're having nasty manifestations of the increasing inability of the human soul to be expressed in modern society.

  40. @Rosie
    @dfordoom


    That’s all very well. The problem is that even if you accept that there had to be a first cause that doesn’t prove that any of our religions are true. It’s possible that there was some kind of first cause (which for want of a better word you can call God) but that Christianity, for example, is entirely false.
     
    That is certainly a logical possibility.

    But if you believe the World is good, then it is more likely than not (MLTN) that God is good. If God is good, then it is MLTN that he would reveal himself to humanity.

    Which revelation is true? That question requires further study.

    Replies: @raga10, @dfordoom

    But it is by no means proven that God revealed himself – arguably, since there is so much doubt on this matter, one could say he did not – because if he actually wanted to, being omnipotent and all that, surely he could’ve revealed himself in much less ambiguous way.

    He could also be good but prefer not to reveal himself, perhaps driven by his version of Prime Directive.

    In any case, I see little evidence supporting the idea that the world is good. I see plenty of evidence suggesting God is at best indifferent and quite possibly malevolent.

    • Replies: @Rosie
    @raga10


    But it is by no means proven that God revealed himself –
     
    I didn't say it was. I said it was more likely than not.

    He could also be good but prefer not to reveal himself, perhaps driven by his version of Prime Directive.
     
    Here you just provided the answer to your own question in your first paragraph. Have you ever read The Wind in the Willows? I think I can share this without spoiling anything.

    “For this is the last best gift that the kindly demi-god is careful to bestow on those to whom he has revealed himself in their helping: the gift of forgetfulness. Lest the awful remembrance should remain and grow, and overshadow mirth and pleasure, and the great haunting memory should spoil all the after-lives of little animals helped out of difficulties, in order that they should be happy and light-hearted as before.”
     
    How could Rat and Mole go back to "messing about in boats" after having seen Pan in all his glory?

    In any case, I see little evidence supporting the idea that the world is good.
     
    Sorry to hear that.
  41. @dfordoom
    @DanHessinMD


    The reality is that childbearing among atheists is very low, as AE has touched on in many posts.

    Atheism fails utterly from a utilitarian perspective, at least on a society level.
     
    True, but religion continues to decline. Religion failed to meet the challenges presented by secularism so one could argue that from a utilitarian perspective religion has failed.

    Atheist societies have had two defining characteristics in the last 100 years or so:

    – a brutishness unimaginable in any other society
     
    You obviously haven't heard about the Thirty Years War.

    Brutishness is alas part of human nature. People will behave brutishly in the service of any belief system, religious or otherwise.

    Replies: @DanHessinMD

    “You obviously haven’t heard about the Thirty Years War.”

    That I am far more educated and more knowledgeable than you is quite certain. Get up to my level if you want to debate me.

    The Thirty Years War came at a time when humanity was at the Malthusian limit. Almost all deaths were from disease and starvation as the order broke down, not from people directly killing each other. It is defective thinking to compare a Malthusian era to the modern era.

    If you want to look at the world of the Malthusian era honestly, you have to compare the Christian world to the heathen Vikings to their north. The Vikings were rightly seen as monsters from the perspective of civilized, Christian Europe. The Vikings’ level of brutishness was stunning to all who saw it and lived to write about it. Then the Vikings Christianized. The civilizational contrast between the Vikings and the Christianized Scandinavia that followed is so vast it is laughable.

    The thing about atheistic Communism was the extreme brutishness and cruelty of that world in relation to its own contemporaries. The world in the 20th century was coming into unprecedented prosperity and the Malthusian limit was thrown off. As with medieval Europe, the contrast between those who had civilizing religion and those that did not was vast.

    The brutish uncivilization of the atheist left is coming into focus even now as they eagerly aside cast of the concept of free speech that has accompanied civilization for hundreds of years, and as they prove unable to wield any sort of power with even a modicum of balance and even-handedness.

    “People will behave brutishly in the service of any belief system, religious or otherwise.”

    That is a cop-out. There is a vast difference. Much of political correctness is a war on noticing. We like to notice things around here.

    But the brutishness of atheist societies is not even the biggest problem. The biggest problem with atheistic societies is that fertility rates are so law that such societies inevitably decay even without any external threat.

    Smart people have a hard time believing in religious things. I get it. But then do what smart people did in Victorian England and support a non-fanatical, generally useful church that provides pro-social values, for the sake of your society, which can be great.

    • Replies: @DanHessinMD
    @DanHessinMD

    Speaking of England, I can think of no better proof of the importance of religion than what Britain was during Victorian times as compared to what they are now.

    In Victorian times England ruled the world.

    In the modern era without faith, young British girls were groomed and raped by foreign men in vast numbers for many years and knowing authorities did nothing (Rotherham, etc etc etc). No segment of humanity from ancient times to today ever sunk as low as to allow such a thing. Plenty of girls from conquered groups have been raped but was their ever a time when a nation's men protected the rapists of its girls? Even primitive cannibalistic tribes would never stoop so low as to allow that. Then Britain jailed the one guy who dared to expose what was happening. To my eyes, modern Britain lands at the very bottom of a list of every society that has ever existed, because of what that scandal revealed about their national psyche.

    A great reason to have religion is to not be as pathetic as that.

    Replies: @anon, @dfordoom

    , @dfordoom
    @DanHessinMD


    The thing about atheistic Communism was the extreme brutishness and cruelty of that world in relation to its own contemporaries.
     
    The first half of the 20th century was non-stop brutishness and cruelty. The communists did not have a monopoly on brutishness and cruelty. The First World War. The mass executions carried out by the Catholic Nationalists after the Spanish Civil War. Atrocities committed by both sides during the Sino-Japanese War. The fire-bombing of Tokyo by the US.

    The horrifying brutishness and cruelty unleashed during that half-century was something that numerous supposedly civilised societies indulged in, communist and non-communists, Christians and non-Christians.

    That I am far more educated and more knowledgeable than you is quite certain.
     
    It is quite certain that just about every commenter on UR believes he is far more educated and more knowledgeable than anyone else, on every subject. It's one of the things that makes UR so amusing. You won't find so many geniuses anywhere else on Earth, except maybe in the locked ward of your local psych hospital.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund

    , @Chrisnonymous
    @DanHessinMD

    I think societies organized around Confucian principles are largely irreligious. While Japanese, for example, had and still have Buddhist and Shinto institutions, people's relationships with both the institutions and the metaphysical/ethical systems they represent were/are quite different from the relationships of Christians to the church. Yet, while these societies can be brutal to criminals, they do not criminalize life excessively. Similarly, while birth rates are low now, they were not in the past. Under the Pax Tokugawa, Japan had a kind of pre-modern authoritarian regime, but life was not so bad for people and the population was constrained more by the food supply than lack of interest in reproducing.

    My point is that perhaps we should amend your position to say that it is not "atheist societies" that are brutal but "anti-theist societies". This makes a lot of sense because the impulse to theism is so strong in the human psyche that banning it must be done by terrorism and denying it must crush the human spirit.

    I agree that the adoption of Christianity helped to improve life in both southern and northern Europe, but again the kind of brutality in those societies, which were not anti-theist, was qualitatively different from Communism.

    I just finished reading Scott's "Against the Grain" and am now reading Montgomery's "Dirt"--both interesting reads touching on Malthusian effects. Recommended.

    By the way, my employer in Japan issued humidifiers to all offices and break rooms. So, that information is out there, and people are paying attention. I think Japan has done quite well in its management of the pandemic, balancing openness against control based on evidence in effective ways.

    Replies: @DanHessinMD

  42. @DanHessinMD
    @dfordoom

    "You obviously haven’t heard about the Thirty Years War."

    That I am far more educated and more knowledgeable than you is quite certain. Get up to my level if you want to debate me.

    The Thirty Years War came at a time when humanity was at the Malthusian limit. Almost all deaths were from disease and starvation as the order broke down, not from people directly killing each other. It is defective thinking to compare a Malthusian era to the modern era.

    If you want to look at the world of the Malthusian era honestly, you have to compare the Christian world to the heathen Vikings to their north. The Vikings were rightly seen as monsters from the perspective of civilized, Christian Europe. The Vikings' level of brutishness was stunning to all who saw it and lived to write about it. Then the Vikings Christianized. The civilizational contrast between the Vikings and the Christianized Scandinavia that followed is so vast it is laughable.

    The thing about atheistic Communism was the extreme brutishness and cruelty of that world in relation to its own contemporaries. The world in the 20th century was coming into unprecedented prosperity and the Malthusian limit was thrown off. As with medieval Europe, the contrast between those who had civilizing religion and those that did not was vast.

    The brutish uncivilization of the atheist left is coming into focus even now as they eagerly aside cast of the concept of free speech that has accompanied civilization for hundreds of years, and as they prove unable to wield any sort of power with even a modicum of balance and even-handedness.

    "People will behave brutishly in the service of any belief system, religious or otherwise."

    That is a cop-out. There is a vast difference. Much of political correctness is a war on noticing. We like to notice things around here.

    But the brutishness of atheist societies is not even the biggest problem. The biggest problem with atheistic societies is that fertility rates are so law that such societies inevitably decay even without any external threat.

    Smart people have a hard time believing in religious things. I get it. But then do what smart people did in Victorian England and support a non-fanatical, generally useful church that provides pro-social values, for the sake of your society, which can be great.

    Replies: @DanHessinMD, @dfordoom, @Chrisnonymous

    Speaking of England, I can think of no better proof of the importance of religion than what Britain was during Victorian times as compared to what they are now.

    In Victorian times England ruled the world.

    In the modern era without faith, young British girls were groomed and raped by foreign men in vast numbers for many years and knowing authorities did nothing (Rotherham, etc etc etc). No segment of humanity from ancient times to today ever sunk as low as to allow such a thing. Plenty of girls from conquered groups have been raped but was their ever a time when a nation’s men protected the rapists of its girls? Even primitive cannibalistic tribes would never stoop so low as to allow that. Then Britain jailed the one guy who dared to expose what was happening. To my eyes, modern Britain lands at the very bottom of a list of every society that has ever existed, because of what that scandal revealed about their national psyche.

    A great reason to have religion is to not be as pathetic as that.

    • Replies: @anon
    @DanHessinMD

    In Victorian times England ruled the world.

    Prostitution was common. The age of consent was 12.

    http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/reynolds/20.html

    Replies: @dfordoom

    , @dfordoom
    @DanHessinMD


    In Victorian times England ruled the world.
     
    In Victorian times England ruled a huge largely worthless empire comprising mostly fly-blown sh*tholes. The British Empire was an illusion. It was an Empire that Britain could not afford and could not defend.

    England certainly did not rule Europe. France and Germany were the dominant military and political powers in Europe.

    The belief that England ruled the world in Victorian times is very common among the poorly educated.
  43. @DanHessinMD
    @DanHessinMD

    Speaking of England, I can think of no better proof of the importance of religion than what Britain was during Victorian times as compared to what they are now.

    In Victorian times England ruled the world.

    In the modern era without faith, young British girls were groomed and raped by foreign men in vast numbers for many years and knowing authorities did nothing (Rotherham, etc etc etc). No segment of humanity from ancient times to today ever sunk as low as to allow such a thing. Plenty of girls from conquered groups have been raped but was their ever a time when a nation's men protected the rapists of its girls? Even primitive cannibalistic tribes would never stoop so low as to allow that. Then Britain jailed the one guy who dared to expose what was happening. To my eyes, modern Britain lands at the very bottom of a list of every society that has ever existed, because of what that scandal revealed about their national psyche.

    A great reason to have religion is to not be as pathetic as that.

    Replies: @anon, @dfordoom

    In Victorian times England ruled the world.

    Prostitution was common. The age of consent was 12.

    http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/reynolds/20.html

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @anon



    In Victorian times England ruled the world.
     
    Prostitution was common. The age of consent was 12.
     
    Life in Victorian England was just swell if you were upper class or middle class. If you were lower class it was Hell on Earth in many ways. The squalor in which the poor lived was something we can scarcely imagine today. There was also an enormous amount of crime but the upper class and middle class were sheltered from that.

    Whatever you think of England today it is, for most people, preferable to Victorian England.

    It's dangerous to romanticise or idealise the past too much.

    Replies: @Yahya

  44. @raga10
    @Rosie

    But it is by no means proven that God revealed himself - arguably, since there is so much doubt on this matter, one could say he did not - because if he actually wanted to, being omnipotent and all that, surely he could've revealed himself in much less ambiguous way.

    He could also be good but prefer not to reveal himself, perhaps driven by his version of Prime Directive.

    In any case, I see little evidence supporting the idea that the world is good. I see plenty of evidence suggesting God is at best indifferent and quite possibly malevolent.

    Replies: @Rosie

    But it is by no means proven that God revealed himself –

    I didn’t say it was. I said it was more likely than not.

    He could also be good but prefer not to reveal himself, perhaps driven by his version of Prime Directive.

    Here you just provided the answer to your own question in your first paragraph. Have you ever read The Wind in the Willows? I think I can share this without spoiling anything.

    “For this is the last best gift that the kindly demi-god is careful to bestow on those to whom he has revealed himself in their helping: the gift of forgetfulness. Lest the awful remembrance should remain and grow, and overshadow mirth and pleasure, and the great haunting memory should spoil all the after-lives of little animals helped out of difficulties, in order that they should be happy and light-hearted as before.”

    How could Rat and Mole go back to “messing about in boats” after having seen Pan in all his glory?

    In any case, I see little evidence supporting the idea that the world is good.

    Sorry to hear that.

  45. @Rosie
    @dfordoom


    That’s all very well. The problem is that even if you accept that there had to be a first cause that doesn’t prove that any of our religions are true. It’s possible that there was some kind of first cause (which for want of a better word you can call God) but that Christianity, for example, is entirely false.
     
    That is certainly a logical possibility.

    But if you believe the World is good, then it is more likely than not (MLTN) that God is good. If God is good, then it is MLTN that he would reveal himself to humanity.

    Which revelation is true? That question requires further study.

    Replies: @raga10, @dfordoom

    But if you believe the World is good, then it is more likely than not (MLTN) that God is good.

    The only reason for thinking that the World is good is wishful thinking. The World is both good and evil, so logically God must be both good and evil. The World is cruel, therefore God must be cruel. The World is full of things that happen randomly, therefore God must have a very disorganised mind.

    The World is filled with misery and suffering. Does this mean God enjoys misery and suffering? It seems more likely than not.

    • Replies: @Rosie
    @dfordoom


    so logically God must be both good and evil.
     
    Almost everyone who believes in God, so far as I can tell, believes in some sort of manichean dualism. They don't call it that, but that is in fact what it is.
    , @Talha
    @dfordoom

    There are some underlying assumptions you are making in drawing out your particular conclusions. I’ll explain what I mean (it’s a bit late and my son’s glucose monitor is on the fritz), but for now, this is a nice explication (a bit over 4 minutes) on the subject if you’re interested:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLZ6zrPy6oo

    Peace.

    , @Talha
    @dfordoom

    Have a little more time now, so...to commence. Keep in mind, I'm not trying to debate or anything, but just share some of the insights I've gained over the years from my studies; maybe these will make sense to you, or maybe it's completely incoherent, we'll see.

    I mentioned I noticed a couple of underlying assumptions that seemed to be implicit in your line of thought; specifically, 1) that just because the Divine creates something, It thus approves of it and 2) the phenomenal world/universe that we inhabit is the only one.

    Let's dig a little deeper - keeping in the back of our mind what Dr. Nasr said; namely regarding the default expectation regarding the world is that (because it is not the Divine, but rather created) it must be necessarily imperfect and that the world is really a manifestation of the Divine self-disclosure.

    Say, I came across a people on some remote island and I wanted them to know something I know about myself. And say that particular aspect about me is that I hate hexagons. Now, those people perhaps have no idea what a hexagon is. At this point, for my statement to have any coherence, I must explain to them what it is and perhaps draw it out or something. I have just created a hexagon even though I dislike it, not for my benefit (because I already know what hexagons are and that I hate them), but for their benefit to understand that which I know about myself.

    The Divine Being already is All-Knowing about Its Perfection and all Divine Attributes. But if, in the Divine Prerogative, it wishes to manifest these aspects in creation in some sort of manner to the intended audience, there is an aspect of coherence involved. For example, take these two statements:
    "Verily, Allah loves those who are just." (60:8)
    "Allah does not love the oppressors." (3:140)

    Now, if we have no indication or expression of what exactly justice or oppression is then these statements have about as much coherence as "God loves bah" and "God does not love gah". Thus, unless we want to take the position that the Divine can only create or is limited to creating that which It necessarily approves of (and there simply is no logical reason to take that position), we can see why there is a cogent reason for there to be such a thing as, in our example (but it can be analogically applied to other things), oppression in the world.

    Let's ask another question, alluded to by Dr. Nasr also, that why was this particular world manifested? Meaning, was there a need for the Divine to self-disclose that aspect of Itself, namely that It does not like oppression, and thus there needs to be an expression of oppression in the world for this to have coherence?

    No - absolutely not. There is no reason to believe ours is necessarily THE only game in town. It may be, but there may well be many other worlds or universes that are created as self-disclosures or manifestations of other aspects of the Divine or Divine Attributes that may not even make any sense to us because we simply have no analogy or parallel in ours with which to understand.

    Imam Fakhr ud-Din ar-Razi (ra) mentioned the possibility of many universes/worlds when expounding on the initial verses of the Qur'an:
    "Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds." (1:2)

    Imam Ghazali (ra) who wrote a great book on the 99 Divine Names/Attributes, has a chapter in that tract mentioning how the Divine Names/Attributes are not limited to just 99. He concludes the chapter by offering, as proof, the supplication recorded in Imam Ahmad’s Musnad that has been taught to dispel distress and grief:
    “O Allah, I am Your servant, son of Your servant, son of Your maidservant, my forelock is in Your Hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every Name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Qur'an the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety.”

    So, while it is interesting and amusing to speculate on a universe/world/realm in which only the Divine Attributes of The-Merciful and The-Beautiful and such are manifest and where the Divine wants Its creation to only know what It loves, like justice and generosity and kindness and such and what It dislikes is completely hidden from them...perhaps one with floating lollipops and little chubby children that don't age and bunnies and kittens and lady bugs and gather around and dance and hug each other all day...we certainly don't seem to be living in that one. One deals with the cards one was dealt since the One Who created the universe we inhabit certainly didn't ask our opinion on whether we wished to exist or not nor, it seems, whether the universe created as our container was to made-to-order to our complete wish-list.

    Maybe the above was helpful or interesting...or maybe you want the last 10 minutes of your life back. In which case, I beg your pardon.

    Peace.

    Replies: @raga10

  46. @Rosie
    @nebulafox


    Belief in the divine isn’t supposed to be some rational, standard issue thing that necessarily makes sense to other people)
     
    Indeed. The experience-based belief of the mystic cannot be logically demonstrated to the unbeliever.

    Recently, I heard an analogy on Millenniyule that I think is apropos. Suppose I go on a journey to find the Land of Eternal Bliss. Having found it, I make a map showing the way and give it to you. You demand proof that it exists before following the map, which I cannot give you unless you follow the map.

    Hence, we're in catch-22. The proof-demanders will go on demanding proof and the true seekers will follow the map.

    Replies: @nebulafox

    Thing is, I accept that there are parts of the human experience that I’m just not going to grasp to the same extent as most people, no matter how hard I try. Morally, it’s not better, it’s not worse: it’s just different. I’m at peace with that, and perhaps that’s why I’m pretty laid-back about this kind of stuff: I don’t expect it to make sense for me. I don’t expect it to be rational. I do expect it to be deeply human.

    What does tend to get my goat are religious impulses disguised as secular aims, or the reverse. The former is a lot more of a problem than the latter, not least because we have a society deeply invested in profiteering and rent-seeking that mass denialism is an inevitable result. If you are having a hard time getting people to admit that real, non-trivial concrete trade-offs exist in the first place when it comes to mundane policy matters, good luck discussing whether we’re having nasty manifestations of the increasing inability of the human soul to be expressed in modern society.

    • Agree: Audacious Epigone
  47. @dfordoom
    @Rosie


    But if you believe the World is good, then it is more likely than not (MLTN) that God is good.
     
    The only reason for thinking that the World is good is wishful thinking. The World is both good and evil, so logically God must be both good and evil. The World is cruel, therefore God must be cruel. The World is full of things that happen randomly, therefore God must have a very disorganised mind.

    The World is filled with misery and suffering. Does this mean God enjoys misery and suffering? It seems more likely than not.

    Replies: @Rosie, @Talha, @Talha

    so logically God must be both good and evil.

    Almost everyone who believes in God, so far as I can tell, believes in some sort of manichean dualism. They don’t call it that, but that is in fact what it is.

  48. @DanHessinMD
    @dfordoom

    "You obviously haven’t heard about the Thirty Years War."

    That I am far more educated and more knowledgeable than you is quite certain. Get up to my level if you want to debate me.

    The Thirty Years War came at a time when humanity was at the Malthusian limit. Almost all deaths were from disease and starvation as the order broke down, not from people directly killing each other. It is defective thinking to compare a Malthusian era to the modern era.

    If you want to look at the world of the Malthusian era honestly, you have to compare the Christian world to the heathen Vikings to their north. The Vikings were rightly seen as monsters from the perspective of civilized, Christian Europe. The Vikings' level of brutishness was stunning to all who saw it and lived to write about it. Then the Vikings Christianized. The civilizational contrast between the Vikings and the Christianized Scandinavia that followed is so vast it is laughable.

    The thing about atheistic Communism was the extreme brutishness and cruelty of that world in relation to its own contemporaries. The world in the 20th century was coming into unprecedented prosperity and the Malthusian limit was thrown off. As with medieval Europe, the contrast between those who had civilizing religion and those that did not was vast.

    The brutish uncivilization of the atheist left is coming into focus even now as they eagerly aside cast of the concept of free speech that has accompanied civilization for hundreds of years, and as they prove unable to wield any sort of power with even a modicum of balance and even-handedness.

    "People will behave brutishly in the service of any belief system, religious or otherwise."

    That is a cop-out. There is a vast difference. Much of political correctness is a war on noticing. We like to notice things around here.

    But the brutishness of atheist societies is not even the biggest problem. The biggest problem with atheistic societies is that fertility rates are so law that such societies inevitably decay even without any external threat.

    Smart people have a hard time believing in religious things. I get it. But then do what smart people did in Victorian England and support a non-fanatical, generally useful church that provides pro-social values, for the sake of your society, which can be great.

    Replies: @DanHessinMD, @dfordoom, @Chrisnonymous

    The thing about atheistic Communism was the extreme brutishness and cruelty of that world in relation to its own contemporaries.

    The first half of the 20th century was non-stop brutishness and cruelty. The communists did not have a monopoly on brutishness and cruelty. The First World War. The mass executions carried out by the Catholic Nationalists after the Spanish Civil War. Atrocities committed by both sides during the Sino-Japanese War. The fire-bombing of Tokyo by the US.

    The horrifying brutishness and cruelty unleashed during that half-century was something that numerous supposedly civilised societies indulged in, communist and non-communists, Christians and non-Christians.

    That I am far more educated and more knowledgeable than you is quite certain.

    It is quite certain that just about every commenter on UR believes he is far more educated and more knowledgeable than anyone else, on every subject. It’s one of the things that makes UR so amusing. You won’t find so many geniuses anywhere else on Earth, except maybe in the locked ward of your local psych hospital.

    • Replies: @V. K. Ovelund
    @dfordoom


    The mass executions carried out by the Catholic Nationalists after the Spanish Civil War.
     
    Be still, my heart!
  49. @DanHessinMD
    @DanHessinMD

    Speaking of England, I can think of no better proof of the importance of religion than what Britain was during Victorian times as compared to what they are now.

    In Victorian times England ruled the world.

    In the modern era without faith, young British girls were groomed and raped by foreign men in vast numbers for many years and knowing authorities did nothing (Rotherham, etc etc etc). No segment of humanity from ancient times to today ever sunk as low as to allow such a thing. Plenty of girls from conquered groups have been raped but was their ever a time when a nation's men protected the rapists of its girls? Even primitive cannibalistic tribes would never stoop so low as to allow that. Then Britain jailed the one guy who dared to expose what was happening. To my eyes, modern Britain lands at the very bottom of a list of every society that has ever existed, because of what that scandal revealed about their national psyche.

    A great reason to have religion is to not be as pathetic as that.

    Replies: @anon, @dfordoom

    In Victorian times England ruled the world.

    In Victorian times England ruled a huge largely worthless empire comprising mostly fly-blown sh*tholes. The British Empire was an illusion. It was an Empire that Britain could not afford and could not defend.

    England certainly did not rule Europe. France and Germany were the dominant military and political powers in Europe.

    The belief that England ruled the world in Victorian times is very common among the poorly educated.

  50. @DanHessinMD
    @dfordoom

    "You obviously haven’t heard about the Thirty Years War."

    That I am far more educated and more knowledgeable than you is quite certain. Get up to my level if you want to debate me.

    The Thirty Years War came at a time when humanity was at the Malthusian limit. Almost all deaths were from disease and starvation as the order broke down, not from people directly killing each other. It is defective thinking to compare a Malthusian era to the modern era.

    If you want to look at the world of the Malthusian era honestly, you have to compare the Christian world to the heathen Vikings to their north. The Vikings were rightly seen as monsters from the perspective of civilized, Christian Europe. The Vikings' level of brutishness was stunning to all who saw it and lived to write about it. Then the Vikings Christianized. The civilizational contrast between the Vikings and the Christianized Scandinavia that followed is so vast it is laughable.

    The thing about atheistic Communism was the extreme brutishness and cruelty of that world in relation to its own contemporaries. The world in the 20th century was coming into unprecedented prosperity and the Malthusian limit was thrown off. As with medieval Europe, the contrast between those who had civilizing religion and those that did not was vast.

    The brutish uncivilization of the atheist left is coming into focus even now as they eagerly aside cast of the concept of free speech that has accompanied civilization for hundreds of years, and as they prove unable to wield any sort of power with even a modicum of balance and even-handedness.

    "People will behave brutishly in the service of any belief system, religious or otherwise."

    That is a cop-out. There is a vast difference. Much of political correctness is a war on noticing. We like to notice things around here.

    But the brutishness of atheist societies is not even the biggest problem. The biggest problem with atheistic societies is that fertility rates are so law that such societies inevitably decay even without any external threat.

    Smart people have a hard time believing in religious things. I get it. But then do what smart people did in Victorian England and support a non-fanatical, generally useful church that provides pro-social values, for the sake of your society, which can be great.

    Replies: @DanHessinMD, @dfordoom, @Chrisnonymous

    I think societies organized around Confucian principles are largely irreligious. While Japanese, for example, had and still have Buddhist and Shinto institutions, people’s relationships with both the institutions and the metaphysical/ethical systems they represent were/are quite different from the relationships of Christians to the church. Yet, while these societies can be brutal to criminals, they do not criminalize life excessively. Similarly, while birth rates are low now, they were not in the past. Under the Pax Tokugawa, Japan had a kind of pre-modern authoritarian regime, but life was not so bad for people and the population was constrained more by the food supply than lack of interest in reproducing.

    My point is that perhaps we should amend your position to say that it is not “atheist societies” that are brutal but “anti-theist societies”. This makes a lot of sense because the impulse to theism is so strong in the human psyche that banning it must be done by terrorism and denying it must crush the human spirit.

    I agree that the adoption of Christianity helped to improve life in both southern and northern Europe, but again the kind of brutality in those societies, which were not anti-theist, was qualitatively different from Communism.

    I just finished reading Scott’s “Against the Grain” and am now reading Montgomery’s “Dirt”–both interesting reads touching on Malthusian effects. Recommended.

    By the way, my employer in Japan issued humidifiers to all offices and break rooms. So, that information is out there, and people are paying attention. I think Japan has done quite well in its management of the pandemic, balancing openness against control based on evidence in effective ways.

    • Replies: @DanHessinMD
    @Chrisnonymous

    "By the way, my employer in Japan issued humidifiers to all offices and break rooms. So, that information is out there, and people are paying attention. I think Japan has done quite well in its management of the pandemic, balancing openness against control based on evidence in effective ways."

    Glad it is common knowledge in Japan. It isn't common knowledge here. This knowledge actually came from Japan, literally.

    Most of what you will find advising humidification originates in the work of Dr. Akiko Iwasaki of Yale University Medical School.

    https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev-virology-012420-022445

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/11/18/winter-covid-19-humidity/

    She is a Japanese immigrant.

    Dr. Fauci has never once recommended humidifiers. Apparently, the guy America looks to most for answers on the pandemic hasn't figured out the most basic thing people can do to improve respiratory immunity. He had one job.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund

  51. @nebulafox
    @dfordoom

    The overwhelming majority of people have spiritual needs that are deeply embedded within the normal human psyche. Logical consistency is of secondary importance (and why shouldn't it be? Belief in the divine isn't supposed to be some rational, standard issue thing that necessarily makes sense to other people), if any, and ex post facto rationalizations are used to justify their intuition about how the universe works. As Razib Khan pointed out, actual "natural" atheists are a minority: tellingly, they tend to not be emotionally intuitive, hence the high percentage of high functioning autistic people who are irreligious. Back in the pre-modern age when atheism in the modern sense wasn't really an option, or at least was far less obvious of one, such personality types ironically included the ones trying to hammer out logical justifications for their faith: just look at Isaac Newton, who considered his phyiscs work secondary to his metaphysics.

    The fact that most human beings have spiritual needs is perfectly healthy and should be honestly addressed: it's a beautiful part of the human condition that makes us different from animals, really. I think part of the big issue with the default ideology of the Western technocratic questions is that they refuse to even admit that these problems exist, because to them, human beings are interchangeable cogs that should be optimized for flat efficiency. In the absence of established religion, however, it should not be shocking that most people don't behave like cogs. Instead, they find alternative outlets for these impulses, alternative outlets that might not be a better replacement. The wokeists are a prominent example. They might not believe in God, but their whole behavior, conception betrays those needs. More broadly, there's the whole "spiritual but not religious" thing.

    (Then you have weirdos like me who are religious, but not spiritual...)

    Replies: @Rosie, @Chrisnonymous, @Audacious Epigone

    Then you have weirdos like me who are religious, but not spiritual…

    How does that work?

    • LOL: Rosie
    • Replies: @Talha
    @Chrisnonymous

    I’d be interested to know as well. The closest thing I can tell that fits this (at least from my experience) are people like Wahhabis who are very ritualistic but lack much spirituality and seem almost repulsed by it. But I don’t get that vibe from NB in his posts, so what gives...🤔

    Peace.

    Replies: @dfordoom

    , @dfordoom
    @Chrisnonymous



    Then you have weirdos like me who are religious, but not spiritual…
     
    How does that work?
     
    It is possible to see religion as something that is socially useful (maybe even socially necessary) without actually believing in it. I think it's even possible to see religion as something that is personally useful and valuable without actually believing in it.

    I've read books by Anglican theologians who are basically atheists but they think that being religious is still worthwhile.

    But I'm not sure if that's what @nebulafox meant.

    Replies: @nebulafox

  52. Almost like he should have been Vice President.

  53. O/T

    The leftist hate account does have a point here.

    Women hate alpha poseurism

    • Replies: @V. K. Ovelund
    @216


    Women hate alpha poseurism.
     
    I've been married over 25 years and have five children. Twenty-five-plus years ago, my then-future wife had a plethora of illustrious options: I won. (In the long run, I am not sure that she won, but I did, at any rate.) Will you hear me if I tell you that “Fake it until you make it” is not entirely useless advice to a young man when it comes to attracting women?

    Women hate alpha poseurism when it is empty and they detect it as such. If the poseur however actually possesses, or develops, some of the traits he poses, a degree of posing is not ineffective.

    Cads are cads because, to some extent, being a cad works. It's not everything. It's not a prominent part of a foundation for a father's family life. But it's not nothing, either.

    On another note, you mention Shapiro, Kirk and Fuentes. The last of these three is a clever lad, but not one of them represents the real U.S. Right.

  54. @dfordoom
    @Rosie


    But if you believe the World is good, then it is more likely than not (MLTN) that God is good.
     
    The only reason for thinking that the World is good is wishful thinking. The World is both good and evil, so logically God must be both good and evil. The World is cruel, therefore God must be cruel. The World is full of things that happen randomly, therefore God must have a very disorganised mind.

    The World is filled with misery and suffering. Does this mean God enjoys misery and suffering? It seems more likely than not.

    Replies: @Rosie, @Talha, @Talha

    There are some underlying assumptions you are making in drawing out your particular conclusions. I’ll explain what I mean (it’s a bit late and my son’s glucose monitor is on the fritz), but for now, this is a nice explication (a bit over 4 minutes) on the subject if you’re interested:

    Peace.

    • Thanks: Rosie
  55. @Chrisnonymous
    @nebulafox


    Then you have weirdos like me who are religious, but not spiritual…
     
    How does that work?

    Replies: @Talha, @dfordoom

    I’d be interested to know as well. The closest thing I can tell that fits this (at least from my experience) are people like Wahhabis who are very ritualistic but lack much spirituality and seem almost repulsed by it. But I don’t get that vibe from NB in his posts, so what gives…🤔

    Peace.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @Talha


    The closest thing I can tell that fits this (at least from my experience) are people like Wahhabis who are very ritualistic but lack much spirituality and seem almost repulsed by it.
     
    You could argue that religion in classical Greece and Rome was a bit like that. And it probably applies even more to the period preceding the classical age. Religion was based on performing the correct rituals but there was for most educated people very little if any spiritual content.

    The prevailing belief was that the gods were real and that performing the rituals incorrectly would have dire consequences but there was little sense of the gods as entities who actually cared about people. And there was no sense of having a personal relationship with God (or with the gods). You might perform sacrifices to Apollo or Aphrodite without feeling a personal connection to such deities.

    So religion without spirituality is possible. Maybe some of that still survives in religious (or quasi-religious) beliefs such as voodoo. Or Aleister Crowley-style ritual magic.

    Of course it's almost impossible to know for sure exactly how people who lived two-and-a-half thousand years ago felt about their religious practices.
  56. @Chrisnonymous
    @nebulafox


    Then you have weirdos like me who are religious, but not spiritual…
     
    How does that work?

    Replies: @Talha, @dfordoom

    Then you have weirdos like me who are religious, but not spiritual…

    How does that work?

    It is possible to see religion as something that is socially useful (maybe even socially necessary) without actually believing in it. I think it’s even possible to see religion as something that is personally useful and valuable without actually believing in it.

    I’ve read books by Anglican theologians who are basically atheists but they think that being religious is still worthwhile.

    But I’m not sure if that’s what meant.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    @dfordoom

    >But I’m not sure if that’s what @nebulafox meant.

    I'm not sure I subscribe to that, per se: I think it would be disrespectful to believe that others need lies in order to keep them morally straight. But I don't think that's what is at work for most people. As I mentioned, most human beings feel impulses that I just don't, and who am I to dismiss what they subjectively experience as a lie just because I can't appreciate it? If there's one thing I know, it is that I don't know much, and that I should focus on questions more in my paygrade.

    Two forces motivate me here. Firstly, a deep sort of reverence for the universe, that there could be stuff this cool and beautiful in the first place. When I look at a particularly pretty contour integral or I'm dropping my coin into the bucket on the day of Fabius Maximus' funeral as I read his biography or as I touch the bark of an old tree in the forest, my feelings cannot be described as simple rational appreciation. It's possible that the feelings are all materially grounded, but in terms of practical effect on the mind, it doesn't matter. This, as much as our rationality, are what make men higher-as well as lower, sometimes-than animals, just as the Homeric deities were simultaneously more and less than men.

    Secondly, I have a deep impulse for ritual, one that most humans do seem to share on some level. Because this need isn't rational, technocracy cannot discuss it, but it does exist. I think it'd be a lot better to cop to it honestly than to gaslight others and engage in mass denialism. I thus don't mind sacrificing a portion of my food to whatever deity might be out there-not because I believe in an afterlife, because I don't, or because I want this or that petty thing, because that's cheap bribery, but simply because this is part the human experience. I'm grateful for it all, and if there's a higher force out there that made it all possible, it deserves respect.

    This can extend to much in life: what is the point of a funeral? The dead person is dead, after all, and isn't coming back. But the dead person deserves rites, celebration, funeral games as much as they did 3,000 years ago, and as much as the pain of losing that person hurts, it is part of the human experience, of not being dead yourself.

  57. @anon
    @DanHessinMD

    In Victorian times England ruled the world.

    Prostitution was common. The age of consent was 12.

    http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/reynolds/20.html

    Replies: @dfordoom

    In Victorian times England ruled the world.

    Prostitution was common. The age of consent was 12.

    Life in Victorian England was just swell if you were upper class or middle class. If you were lower class it was Hell on Earth in many ways. The squalor in which the poor lived was something we can scarcely imagine today. There was also an enormous amount of crime but the upper class and middle class were sheltered from that.

    Whatever you think of England today it is, for most people, preferable to Victorian England.

    It’s dangerous to romanticise or idealise the past too much.

    • Replies: @Yahya
    @dfordoom


    Life in Victorian England was just swell if you were upper class or middle class. If you were lower class it was Hell on Earth in many ways. The squalor in which the poor lived was something we can scarcely imagine today.
     
    There's footage of English laborers during the late Victorian period:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HbElEqm1TQ&ab_channel=DenisShiryaev

    The people look ragged and worn. Their faces are covered with black soot from the mines. But there are some who look chipper and cheerful.

    Surprisingly, many of the women wore a hijab-like cloth around their head. Not a single one was as exposed as today's Western women. The scene reminds me in many ways of a modern day Third World country - say like India.

    Of course, the standard of living back then was just a notch above today's India. According to the Maddison Project, the UK's GDP per capita (adjusted to 2011 dollars) in 1900 was $7,594. India's GDP per capita (PPP) today is around $6806. Many other 3rd world countries - like Egypt ($11,956) and Mexico ($16,496) - have higher standards of living than 1900 Victorian England.

    We can thank diffuse innovation for that.

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone

  58. @Talha
    @Chrisnonymous

    I’d be interested to know as well. The closest thing I can tell that fits this (at least from my experience) are people like Wahhabis who are very ritualistic but lack much spirituality and seem almost repulsed by it. But I don’t get that vibe from NB in his posts, so what gives...🤔

    Peace.

    Replies: @dfordoom

    The closest thing I can tell that fits this (at least from my experience) are people like Wahhabis who are very ritualistic but lack much spirituality and seem almost repulsed by it.

    You could argue that religion in classical Greece and Rome was a bit like that. And it probably applies even more to the period preceding the classical age. Religion was based on performing the correct rituals but there was for most educated people very little if any spiritual content.

    The prevailing belief was that the gods were real and that performing the rituals incorrectly would have dire consequences but there was little sense of the gods as entities who actually cared about people. And there was no sense of having a personal relationship with God (or with the gods). You might perform sacrifices to Apollo or Aphrodite without feeling a personal connection to such deities.

    So religion without spirituality is possible. Maybe some of that still survives in religious (or quasi-religious) beliefs such as voodoo. Or Aleister Crowley-style ritual magic.

    Of course it’s almost impossible to know for sure exactly how people who lived two-and-a-half thousand years ago felt about their religious practices.

  59. @Intelligent Dasein
    @MarkU


    The ‘argument from motion’ for example amounts to ‘things move therefore God exists’, surely you can’t seriously regard that as a convincing argument?
     
    Yes, I do. And so does every other major philosopher.

    Do you have a counterargument, or are you just an historically illiterate shitposting faggot?

    Replies: @GeeBee

    And so does every other major philosopher

    Where the word ‘major’ is defined by the faithful sheep as ‘Christian’. Because to suggest that philosophers such as, oh, I don’t know, Hume or Schopenhauer or Nietzsche or John Stuart Mill or Baruch Spinoza or Jeremy Bentham or Bruno Bauer or Bertrand Russell, bought into your nonsense is not self-evidently true…

  60. @Mr. Rational
    @V. K. Ovelund


    Practically everyone that grasps this argument takes it seriously.
     
    Everyone who takes it seriously is, at best, ignorant.  It's obvious that the thinkers before the 20th century had no access to the requisite knowledge to prove otherwise, but there is no longer any excuse.

    Maybe if we required calculus, statistics and physics through quantum mechanics as prerequisites for university admission (including in English, philosophy and religion) we would have someone produce a theology that wasn't full of howlers.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund

    Maybe if we required calculus, statistics and physics through quantum mechanics as prerequisites for university admission (including in English, philosophy and religion) we would have someone produce a theology that wasn’t full of howlers.

    As you may be aware, I taught STEM courses to thousands of freshmen, sophomores and juniors over a period of ten years at a tier-one U.S. research university. (Tier-one U.S. research universities have in general become rather a joke, and mine was no exception, so I put on no airs; only I am not entirely ignorant of the subjects you mention.)

    Calculus, statistics and physics have little to say to the mind-body problem. Physics is no help at all, and pure mathematics only casts the mystery in an awesome, enigmatical light—as Leibnitz, Frege, Weyl, Brouwer and Gödel would have told you if you have listened.

    Dismissing Aristotle as a howler does not make you look smart.

    • Replies: @V. K. Ovelund
    @V. K. Ovelund


    Leibnitz, Frege, Weyl, Brouwer and Gödel would have told you if you have listened.

    Dismissing Aristotle as a howler does not make you look smart.
     

    And typing “have listened” instead of “had listened” does not make me look smart, does it? Oh, well.

    Before you conclude that the school of philosophical realism (Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, etc.) cannot possibly have anything pertinent to say, may I recommend Edward Feser's phenomenal little 2008 book, The Last Superstition? It's engaging and is not an especially difficult read. Having read it, you still might not agree with it, but you would at least possess a respectable layman's acquaintance with the thing with which you disagree.

    , @nebulafox
    @V. K. Ovelund

    I'm simply struck by how inefficient it all was, in hindsight. If you want to learn physics, pick up a book, go through the problems, and if you get stuck, join a Discord channel or a subreddit and post your questions there.

    It's funny how my 15 year old self and my 25 year old self would have agreed that my 20 year old self was being an idiot.

    , @Mr. Rational
    @V. K. Ovelund


    Dismissing Aristotle as a howler does not make you look smart.
     
    We dismissed Aristotle's cosmology long, long ago.  He was wrong about a lot, because he didn't have the mental or physical tools to pry the requisite knowledge out of Nature's grasp.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund

  61. @216
    https://twitter.com/TheRealHoarse/status/1350309663598915585

    O/T

    The leftist hate account does have a point here.

    Women hate alpha poseurism

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund

    Women hate alpha poseurism.

    I’ve been married over 25 years and have five children. Twenty-five-plus years ago, my then-future wife had a plethora of illustrious options: I won. (In the long run, I am not sure that she won, but I did, at any rate.) Will you hear me if I tell you that “Fake it until you make it” is not entirely useless advice to a young man when it comes to attracting women?

    Women hate alpha poseurism when it is empty and they detect it as such. If the poseur however actually possesses, or develops, some of the traits he poses, a degree of posing is not ineffective.

    Cads are cads because, to some extent, being a cad works. It’s not everything. It’s not a prominent part of a foundation for a father’s family life. But it’s not nothing, either.

    On another note, you mention Shapiro, Kirk and Fuentes. The last of these three is a clever lad, but not one of them represents the real U.S. Right.

  62. @V. K. Ovelund
    @Mr. Rational


    Maybe if we required calculus, statistics and physics through quantum mechanics as prerequisites for university admission (including in English, philosophy and religion) we would have someone produce a theology that wasn’t full of howlers.
     
    As you may be aware, I taught STEM courses to thousands of freshmen, sophomores and juniors over a period of ten years at a tier-one U.S. research university. (Tier-one U.S. research universities have in general become rather a joke, and mine was no exception, so I put on no airs; only I am not entirely ignorant of the subjects you mention.)

    Calculus, statistics and physics have little to say to the mind-body problem. Physics is no help at all, and pure mathematics only casts the mystery in an awesome, enigmatical light—as Leibnitz, Frege, Weyl, Brouwer and Gödel would have told you if you have listened.

    Dismissing Aristotle as a howler does not make you look smart.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @nebulafox, @Mr. Rational

    Leibnitz, Frege, Weyl, Brouwer and Gödel would have told you if you have listened.

    Dismissing Aristotle as a howler does not make you look smart.

    And typing “have listened” instead of “had listened” does not make me look smart, does it? Oh, well.

    Before you conclude that the school of philosophical realism (Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, etc.) cannot possibly have anything pertinent to say, may I recommend Edward Feser’s phenomenal little 2008 book, The Last Superstition? It’s engaging and is not an especially difficult read. Having read it, you still might not agree with it, but you would at least possess a respectable layman’s acquaintance with the thing with which you disagree.

  63. @dfordoom
    @anon



    In Victorian times England ruled the world.
     
    Prostitution was common. The age of consent was 12.
     
    Life in Victorian England was just swell if you were upper class or middle class. If you were lower class it was Hell on Earth in many ways. The squalor in which the poor lived was something we can scarcely imagine today. There was also an enormous amount of crime but the upper class and middle class were sheltered from that.

    Whatever you think of England today it is, for most people, preferable to Victorian England.

    It's dangerous to romanticise or idealise the past too much.

    Replies: @Yahya

    Life in Victorian England was just swell if you were upper class or middle class. If you were lower class it was Hell on Earth in many ways. The squalor in which the poor lived was something we can scarcely imagine today.

    There’s footage of English laborers during the late Victorian period:

    The people look ragged and worn. Their faces are covered with black soot from the mines. But there are some who look chipper and cheerful.

    Surprisingly, many of the women wore a hijab-like cloth around their head. Not a single one was as exposed as today’s Western women. The scene reminds me in many ways of a modern day Third World country – say like India.

    Of course, the standard of living back then was just a notch above today’s India. According to the Maddison Project, the UK’s GDP per capita (adjusted to 2011 dollars) in 1900 was $7,594. India’s GDP per capita (PPP) today is around $6806. Many other 3rd world countries – like Egypt ($11,956) and Mexico ($16,496) – have higher standards of living than 1900 Victorian England.

    We can thank diffuse innovation for that.

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
    @Yahya

    I watched that several times when it was first released a few years ago. One thing impossible for modern audiences to miss is how few fat people there are. Not a single person among the hundreds that pass through are obese. Only a handful are overweight, and it's a strong, stocky overweight, not the skinnyfat overweight body type that is fairly common today.

  64. @dfordoom
    @DanHessinMD


    The thing about atheistic Communism was the extreme brutishness and cruelty of that world in relation to its own contemporaries.
     
    The first half of the 20th century was non-stop brutishness and cruelty. The communists did not have a monopoly on brutishness and cruelty. The First World War. The mass executions carried out by the Catholic Nationalists after the Spanish Civil War. Atrocities committed by both sides during the Sino-Japanese War. The fire-bombing of Tokyo by the US.

    The horrifying brutishness and cruelty unleashed during that half-century was something that numerous supposedly civilised societies indulged in, communist and non-communists, Christians and non-Christians.

    That I am far more educated and more knowledgeable than you is quite certain.
     
    It is quite certain that just about every commenter on UR believes he is far more educated and more knowledgeable than anyone else, on every subject. It's one of the things that makes UR so amusing. You won't find so many geniuses anywhere else on Earth, except maybe in the locked ward of your local psych hospital.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund

    The mass executions carried out by the Catholic Nationalists after the Spanish Civil War.

    Be still, my heart!

  65. @raga10
    @DanHessinMD


    – a brutishness unimaginable in any other society: 100 million people killed under Marxism in the 20th century
     

    You have to remember it included two large populations: China and Russia, so the numbers are large. Yet taking that into account, Marxist regimes were no more brutal than any others. If China had some 70 million deaths attributed to communism, that is calculated for a period of over 50 years - and out of population that varied from 500 million to nearly 1.5 billion over that time. Compare that to genocide in Rwanda, country of under 6 million people that claimed anywhere from half a million to one million lives, depending on your sources - much worse than China per capita and not a communist in sight, just good old ethnic cleansing.

    – very low birthrates in most cases, commonly far below replacement

     

    Much more likely attributable to increase in standard of living than to religious affiliation.

    One might say that religiosity is the worst form of society, except for the alternative.
     
    One should refrain from paraphrasing Churchill remembering that while he did give a good quote, as a member of the ruling class he could hardly be called an impartial observer in such matters. To put it plainly, he was full of shit.

    Replies: @DanHessinMD

    “Much more likely attributable to increase in standard of living than to religious affiliation.”

    If you study the fertility rates of similar groups the differ by religiosity, you will find that religious affiliation has a huge impact on fertility, as has been addressed many times on this blog including most recently only one week ago.

    https://www.unz.com/anepigone/fertility-by-race-and-religiosity/

    https://www.unz.com/anepigone/believers-want-more-and-have-more/

    https://www.unz.com/anepigone/atheism-is-maladaptive/

    Audacious Epigone is undisputed leader of empirical social truth. If you can keep up with him, you will see more than almost anyone.

    • Replies: @raga10
    @DanHessinMD


    If you study the fertility rates of similar groups the differ by religiosity, you will find that religious affiliation has a huge impact on fertility, as has been addressed many times on this blog including most recently only one week ago.
     
    I had a quick look at the links you posted but none of the articles consider any correlation between economic status or standards of living and fertility, thus they neither confirm or deny my point - they simply don't address it.

    Also, they look exclusively at data within the US, while I am more interested in world-wide trends.
  66. @Chrisnonymous
    @DanHessinMD

    I think societies organized around Confucian principles are largely irreligious. While Japanese, for example, had and still have Buddhist and Shinto institutions, people's relationships with both the institutions and the metaphysical/ethical systems they represent were/are quite different from the relationships of Christians to the church. Yet, while these societies can be brutal to criminals, they do not criminalize life excessively. Similarly, while birth rates are low now, they were not in the past. Under the Pax Tokugawa, Japan had a kind of pre-modern authoritarian regime, but life was not so bad for people and the population was constrained more by the food supply than lack of interest in reproducing.

    My point is that perhaps we should amend your position to say that it is not "atheist societies" that are brutal but "anti-theist societies". This makes a lot of sense because the impulse to theism is so strong in the human psyche that banning it must be done by terrorism and denying it must crush the human spirit.

    I agree that the adoption of Christianity helped to improve life in both southern and northern Europe, but again the kind of brutality in those societies, which were not anti-theist, was qualitatively different from Communism.

    I just finished reading Scott's "Against the Grain" and am now reading Montgomery's "Dirt"--both interesting reads touching on Malthusian effects. Recommended.

    By the way, my employer in Japan issued humidifiers to all offices and break rooms. So, that information is out there, and people are paying attention. I think Japan has done quite well in its management of the pandemic, balancing openness against control based on evidence in effective ways.

    Replies: @DanHessinMD

    “By the way, my employer in Japan issued humidifiers to all offices and break rooms. So, that information is out there, and people are paying attention. I think Japan has done quite well in its management of the pandemic, balancing openness against control based on evidence in effective ways.”

    Glad it is common knowledge in Japan. It isn’t common knowledge here. This knowledge actually came from Japan, literally.

    Most of what you will find advising humidification originates in the work of Dr. Akiko Iwasaki of Yale University Medical School.

    https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev-virology-012420-022445

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/11/18/winter-covid-19-humidity/

    She is a Japanese immigrant.

    Dr. Fauci has never once recommended humidifiers. Apparently, the guy America looks to most for answers on the pandemic hasn’t figured out the most basic thing people can do to improve respiratory immunity. He had one job.

    • Thanks: Audacious Epigone
    • Replies: @V. K. Ovelund
    @DanHessinMD


    Glad it is common knowledge in Japan. It isn’t common knowledge here. This knowledge actually came from Japan, literally.
     
    My home was recently quarantined for covid (confirmed by positive test). We took your advice regarding humidification. Four of the five of us fell ill but symptoms were comparatively mild. Fever; slight coughing; no pneumonia. Pulses were fast but oximeter readings never fell below 90.

    'Tis an anectode, I know, but I thank you nevertheless.

    Replies: @Dan

  67. @DanHessinMD
    @Chrisnonymous

    "By the way, my employer in Japan issued humidifiers to all offices and break rooms. So, that information is out there, and people are paying attention. I think Japan has done quite well in its management of the pandemic, balancing openness against control based on evidence in effective ways."

    Glad it is common knowledge in Japan. It isn't common knowledge here. This knowledge actually came from Japan, literally.

    Most of what you will find advising humidification originates in the work of Dr. Akiko Iwasaki of Yale University Medical School.

    https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev-virology-012420-022445

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/11/18/winter-covid-19-humidity/

    She is a Japanese immigrant.

    Dr. Fauci has never once recommended humidifiers. Apparently, the guy America looks to most for answers on the pandemic hasn't figured out the most basic thing people can do to improve respiratory immunity. He had one job.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund

    Glad it is common knowledge in Japan. It isn’t common knowledge here. This knowledge actually came from Japan, literally.

    My home was recently quarantined for covid (confirmed by positive test). We took your advice regarding humidification. Four of the five of us fell ill but symptoms were comparatively mild. Fever; slight coughing; no pneumonia. Pulses were fast but oximeter readings never fell below 90.

    ‘Tis an anectode, I know, but I thank you nevertheless.

    • Replies: @Dan
    @V. K. Ovelund

    Glad to help. It grates terribly that Dr. Fauci gets such misplaced adulation when could not see this blindingly obvious, simple point about humidifiers.

    It isn't even in dispute. No scientist that examines the issue thinks that breathing dry air is good for this. But mostly the lowest hanging fruit just rots on the vine.

    Dr. Fauci has seemingly never thought about how innate respiratory immunity- and especially so-called mucocilliary clearance - works. Innate immunity is the part of the immune system that protects against all invasion, as compared to adaptive immunity which is the development of specific antibodies.

    Innate immunity is incredibly important because it is all you have until the body figures out how to make specific antibodies.

    In addition to mucocilliary clearance moist air keeps the throat and lungs from drying out and developing fissures that are entry points for the virus.

    Something Dr. Fauci has certainly never even thought about, in 40 years on the job. To me he is the greatest symbol of clown world of all.

  68. @Daniel Williams
    @Tulip

    What record sleeve did you copy that from?

    Replies: @Tulip

    The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays + The Plague + Blood Sacrifice and the Nation.

  69. @dfordoom
    @Chrisnonymous



    Then you have weirdos like me who are religious, but not spiritual…
     
    How does that work?
     
    It is possible to see religion as something that is socially useful (maybe even socially necessary) without actually believing in it. I think it's even possible to see religion as something that is personally useful and valuable without actually believing in it.

    I've read books by Anglican theologians who are basically atheists but they think that being religious is still worthwhile.

    But I'm not sure if that's what @nebulafox meant.

    Replies: @nebulafox

    >But I’m not sure if that’s what meant.

    I’m not sure I subscribe to that, per se: I think it would be disrespectful to believe that others need lies in order to keep them morally straight. But I don’t think that’s what is at work for most people. As I mentioned, most human beings feel impulses that I just don’t, and who am I to dismiss what they subjectively experience as a lie just because I can’t appreciate it? If there’s one thing I know, it is that I don’t know much, and that I should focus on questions more in my paygrade.

    Two forces motivate me here. Firstly, a deep sort of reverence for the universe, that there could be stuff this cool and beautiful in the first place. When I look at a particularly pretty contour integral or I’m dropping my coin into the bucket on the day of Fabius Maximus’ funeral as I read his biography or as I touch the bark of an old tree in the forest, my feelings cannot be described as simple rational appreciation. It’s possible that the feelings are all materially grounded, but in terms of practical effect on the mind, it doesn’t matter. This, as much as our rationality, are what make men higher-as well as lower, sometimes-than animals, just as the Homeric deities were simultaneously more and less than men.

    Secondly, I have a deep impulse for ritual, one that most humans do seem to share on some level. Because this need isn’t rational, technocracy cannot discuss it, but it does exist. I think it’d be a lot better to cop to it honestly than to gaslight others and engage in mass denialism. I thus don’t mind sacrificing a portion of my food to whatever deity might be out there-not because I believe in an afterlife, because I don’t, or because I want this or that petty thing, because that’s cheap bribery, but simply because this is part the human experience. I’m grateful for it all, and if there’s a higher force out there that made it all possible, it deserves respect.

    This can extend to much in life: what is the point of a funeral? The dead person is dead, after all, and isn’t coming back. But the dead person deserves rites, celebration, funeral games as much as they did 3,000 years ago, and as much as the pain of losing that person hurts, it is part of the human experience, of not being dead yourself.

    • Thanks: V. K. Ovelund
  70. @V. K. Ovelund
    @Mr. Rational


    Maybe if we required calculus, statistics and physics through quantum mechanics as prerequisites for university admission (including in English, philosophy and religion) we would have someone produce a theology that wasn’t full of howlers.
     
    As you may be aware, I taught STEM courses to thousands of freshmen, sophomores and juniors over a period of ten years at a tier-one U.S. research university. (Tier-one U.S. research universities have in general become rather a joke, and mine was no exception, so I put on no airs; only I am not entirely ignorant of the subjects you mention.)

    Calculus, statistics and physics have little to say to the mind-body problem. Physics is no help at all, and pure mathematics only casts the mystery in an awesome, enigmatical light—as Leibnitz, Frege, Weyl, Brouwer and Gödel would have told you if you have listened.

    Dismissing Aristotle as a howler does not make you look smart.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @nebulafox, @Mr. Rational

    I’m simply struck by how inefficient it all was, in hindsight. If you want to learn physics, pick up a book, go through the problems, and if you get stuck, join a Discord channel or a subreddit and post your questions there.

    It’s funny how my 15 year old self and my 25 year old self would have agreed that my 20 year old self was being an idiot.

  71. @V. K. Ovelund
    @Mr. Rational


    Maybe if we required calculus, statistics and physics through quantum mechanics as prerequisites for university admission (including in English, philosophy and religion) we would have someone produce a theology that wasn’t full of howlers.
     
    As you may be aware, I taught STEM courses to thousands of freshmen, sophomores and juniors over a period of ten years at a tier-one U.S. research university. (Tier-one U.S. research universities have in general become rather a joke, and mine was no exception, so I put on no airs; only I am not entirely ignorant of the subjects you mention.)

    Calculus, statistics and physics have little to say to the mind-body problem. Physics is no help at all, and pure mathematics only casts the mystery in an awesome, enigmatical light—as Leibnitz, Frege, Weyl, Brouwer and Gödel would have told you if you have listened.

    Dismissing Aristotle as a howler does not make you look smart.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @nebulafox, @Mr. Rational

    Dismissing Aristotle as a howler does not make you look smart.

    We dismissed Aristotle’s cosmology long, long ago.  He was wrong about a lot, because he didn’t have the mental or physical tools to pry the requisite knowledge out of Nature’s grasp.

    • Replies: @V. K. Ovelund
    @Mr. Rational


    We dismissed Aristotle’s cosmology long, long ago. He was wrong about a lot, because he didn’t have the mental or physical tools to pry the requisite knowledge out of Nature’s grasp.
     
    This is like dismissing a surgeon for unfamiliarity with the swimmer's butterfly stroke, or like dismissing da Vinci for lack of knowledge of the geography of California. Aristotle's cosmology was incidental to his metaphysics and is not at issue, as Aristotle himself would undoubtedly be the first, cheerfully, to admit.

    Unlike mathematics, physics is temperamentally blind to metaphysics. If you regard such blindness as a virtue, then I suppose that I've little else to add; but if you won't listen to me or @Intelligent Dasein, then you might at least consult a professional pure mathematician you respect. Mathematicians usually know better than to dismiss Platonism and the related philosophical schools out of hand.

    Replies: @Mr. Rational

  72. @Mr. Rational
    @V. K. Ovelund


    Dismissing Aristotle as a howler does not make you look smart.
     
    We dismissed Aristotle's cosmology long, long ago.  He was wrong about a lot, because he didn't have the mental or physical tools to pry the requisite knowledge out of Nature's grasp.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund

    We dismissed Aristotle’s cosmology long, long ago. He was wrong about a lot, because he didn’t have the mental or physical tools to pry the requisite knowledge out of Nature’s grasp.

    This is like dismissing a surgeon for unfamiliarity with the swimmer’s butterfly stroke, or like dismissing da Vinci for lack of knowledge of the geography of California. Aristotle’s cosmology was incidental to his metaphysics and is not at issue, as Aristotle himself would undoubtedly be the first, cheerfully, to admit.

    Unlike mathematics, physics is temperamentally blind to metaphysics. If you regard such blindness as a virtue, then I suppose that I’ve little else to add; but if you won’t listen to me or , then you might at least consult a professional pure mathematician you respect. Mathematicians usually know better than to dismiss Platonism and the related philosophical schools out of hand.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
    @V. K. Ovelund


    This is like dismissing a surgeon for unfamiliarity with the swimmer’s butterfly stroke, or like dismissing da Vinci for lack of knowledge of the geography of California. Aristotle’s cosmology was incidental to his metaphysics and is not at issue
     
    I've already explained why Aristotle's ignorance of physics very much IS the issue, because he held a false premise and proceeded to draw theological conclusions from it.  "If A, then B" may be valid logic, but assuming A when A is false invalidates your conclusion.  In this case, the inability of matter NOT to move falsifies any conclusion he draws from the opposite assumption.

    if you won’t listen to me or @Intelligent Dasein, then you might at least consult a professional pure mathematician you respect. Mathematicians usually know better than to dismiss Platonism and the related philosophical schools out of hand.
     
    I've known a few mathematicians.  I only know one who is mentally balanced, and she's as skeptical as I am.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund

  73. @DanHessinMD
    @raga10

    "Much more likely attributable to increase in standard of living than to religious affiliation."

    If you study the fertility rates of similar groups the differ by religiosity, you will find that religious affiliation has a huge impact on fertility, as has been addressed many times on this blog including most recently only one week ago.

    https://www.unz.com/anepigone/fertility-by-race-and-religiosity/

    https://www.unz.com/anepigone/believers-want-more-and-have-more/

    https://www.unz.com/anepigone/atheism-is-maladaptive/

    Audacious Epigone is undisputed leader of empirical social truth. If you can keep up with him, you will see more than almost anyone.

    Replies: @raga10

    If you study the fertility rates of similar groups the differ by religiosity, you will find that religious affiliation has a huge impact on fertility, as has been addressed many times on this blog including most recently only one week ago.

    I had a quick look at the links you posted but none of the articles consider any correlation between economic status or standards of living and fertility, thus they neither confirm or deny my point – they simply don’t address it.

    Also, they look exclusively at data within the US, while I am more interested in world-wide trends.

  74. @V. K. Ovelund
    @Mr. Rational


    We dismissed Aristotle’s cosmology long, long ago. He was wrong about a lot, because he didn’t have the mental or physical tools to pry the requisite knowledge out of Nature’s grasp.
     
    This is like dismissing a surgeon for unfamiliarity with the swimmer's butterfly stroke, or like dismissing da Vinci for lack of knowledge of the geography of California. Aristotle's cosmology was incidental to his metaphysics and is not at issue, as Aristotle himself would undoubtedly be the first, cheerfully, to admit.

    Unlike mathematics, physics is temperamentally blind to metaphysics. If you regard such blindness as a virtue, then I suppose that I've little else to add; but if you won't listen to me or @Intelligent Dasein, then you might at least consult a professional pure mathematician you respect. Mathematicians usually know better than to dismiss Platonism and the related philosophical schools out of hand.

    Replies: @Mr. Rational

    This is like dismissing a surgeon for unfamiliarity with the swimmer’s butterfly stroke, or like dismissing da Vinci for lack of knowledge of the geography of California. Aristotle’s cosmology was incidental to his metaphysics and is not at issue

    I’ve already explained why Aristotle’s ignorance of physics very much IS the issue, because he held a false premise and proceeded to draw theological conclusions from it.  “If A, then B” may be valid logic, but assuming A when A is false invalidates your conclusion.  In this case, the inability of matter NOT to move falsifies any conclusion he draws from the opposite assumption.

    if you won’t listen to me or , then you might at least consult a professional pure mathematician you respect. Mathematicians usually know better than to dismiss Platonism and the related philosophical schools out of hand.

    I’ve known a few mathematicians.  I only know one who is mentally balanced, and she’s as skeptical as I am.

    • Replies: @V. K. Ovelund
    @Mr. Rational


    I’ve known a few mathematicians. I only know one who is mentally balanced, and she’s as skeptical as I am.
     
    I doubt it.

    You seem to be a victim of a faulty summary of Aristotle. Rather than dismissing 2000 years of realist metaphysics plus today's mathematics profession excepting one individual, would you at least consider, for your own edification, reading the recommended book?

    Replies: @Mr. Rational

  75. @dfordoom
    @Rosie


    But if you believe the World is good, then it is more likely than not (MLTN) that God is good.
     
    The only reason for thinking that the World is good is wishful thinking. The World is both good and evil, so logically God must be both good and evil. The World is cruel, therefore God must be cruel. The World is full of things that happen randomly, therefore God must have a very disorganised mind.

    The World is filled with misery and suffering. Does this mean God enjoys misery and suffering? It seems more likely than not.

    Replies: @Rosie, @Talha, @Talha

    Have a little more time now, so…to commence. Keep in mind, I’m not trying to debate or anything, but just share some of the insights I’ve gained over the years from my studies; maybe these will make sense to you, or maybe it’s completely incoherent, we’ll see.

    I mentioned I noticed a couple of underlying assumptions that seemed to be implicit in your line of thought; specifically, 1) that just because the Divine creates something, It thus approves of it and 2) the phenomenal world/universe that we inhabit is the only one.

    Let’s dig a little deeper – keeping in the back of our mind what Dr. Nasr said; namely regarding the default expectation regarding the world is that (because it is not the Divine, but rather created) it must be necessarily imperfect and that the world is really a manifestation of the Divine self-disclosure.

    Say, I came across a people on some remote island and I wanted them to know something I know about myself. And say that particular aspect about me is that I hate hexagons. Now, those people perhaps have no idea what a hexagon is. At this point, for my statement to have any coherence, I must explain to them what it is and perhaps draw it out or something. I have just created a hexagon even though I dislike it, not for my benefit (because I already know what hexagons are and that I hate them), but for their benefit to understand that which I know about myself.

    The Divine Being already is All-Knowing about Its Perfection and all Divine Attributes. But if, in the Divine Prerogative, it wishes to manifest these aspects in creation in some sort of manner to the intended audience, there is an aspect of coherence involved. For example, take these two statements:
    “Verily, Allah loves those who are just.” (60:8)
    “Allah does not love the oppressors.” (3:140)

    Now, if we have no indication or expression of what exactly justice or oppression is then these statements have about as much coherence as “God loves bah” and “God does not love gah”. Thus, unless we want to take the position that the Divine can only create or is limited to creating that which It necessarily approves of (and there simply is no logical reason to take that position), we can see why there is a cogent reason for there to be such a thing as, in our example (but it can be analogically applied to other things), oppression in the world.

    Let’s ask another question, alluded to by Dr. Nasr also, that why was this particular world manifested? Meaning, was there a need for the Divine to self-disclose that aspect of Itself, namely that It does not like oppression, and thus there needs to be an expression of oppression in the world for this to have coherence?

    No – absolutely not. There is no reason to believe ours is necessarily THE only game in town. It may be, but there may well be many other worlds or universes that are created as self-disclosures or manifestations of other aspects of the Divine or Divine Attributes that may not even make any sense to us because we simply have no analogy or parallel in ours with which to understand.

    Imam Fakhr ud-Din ar-Razi (ra) mentioned the possibility of many universes/worlds when expounding on the initial verses of the Qur’an:
    “Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.” (1:2)

    Imam Ghazali (ra) who wrote a great book on the 99 Divine Names/Attributes, has a chapter in that tract mentioning how the Divine Names/Attributes are not limited to just 99. He concludes the chapter by offering, as proof, the supplication recorded in Imam Ahmad’s Musnad that has been taught to dispel distress and grief:
    “O Allah, I am Your servant, son of Your servant, son of Your maidservant, my forelock is in Your Hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every Name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Qur’an the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety.”

    So, while it is interesting and amusing to speculate on a universe/world/realm in which only the Divine Attributes of The-Merciful and The-Beautiful and such are manifest and where the Divine wants Its creation to only know what It loves, like justice and generosity and kindness and such and what It dislikes is completely hidden from them…perhaps one with floating lollipops and little chubby children that don’t age and bunnies and kittens and lady bugs and gather around and dance and hug each other all day…we certainly don’t seem to be living in that one. One deals with the cards one was dealt since the One Who created the universe we inhabit certainly didn’t ask our opinion on whether we wished to exist or not nor, it seems, whether the universe created as our container was to made-to-order to our complete wish-list.

    Maybe the above was helpful or interesting…or maybe you want the last 10 minutes of your life back. In which case, I beg your pardon.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @raga10
    @Talha

    I sympathize with your position, because I hate hexagons too. However if I were an omnipotent being I would not create living, feeling and thinking beings then condemn them to life of suffering followed by death merely so I could explain to them my dislike of hexagons; that seems like an incredibly selfish and cruel act to me.

    Now, you could say that morality of God is beyond our comprehension - it certainly has been said many times before and indeed you suggest something along such lines in your post. I beg to differ: God, we are told, created us in his own image. What does that mean? Surely not that God is a bipedal, (more or less) laterally symmetrical mammal? I take it to mean that we share his morality, his standards of right and wrong. So if my own sense of right and wrong tells me he is in the wrong, that means he falls short by his own standard.

    Replies: @Talha

  76. @Talha
    @dfordoom

    Have a little more time now, so...to commence. Keep in mind, I'm not trying to debate or anything, but just share some of the insights I've gained over the years from my studies; maybe these will make sense to you, or maybe it's completely incoherent, we'll see.

    I mentioned I noticed a couple of underlying assumptions that seemed to be implicit in your line of thought; specifically, 1) that just because the Divine creates something, It thus approves of it and 2) the phenomenal world/universe that we inhabit is the only one.

    Let's dig a little deeper - keeping in the back of our mind what Dr. Nasr said; namely regarding the default expectation regarding the world is that (because it is not the Divine, but rather created) it must be necessarily imperfect and that the world is really a manifestation of the Divine self-disclosure.

    Say, I came across a people on some remote island and I wanted them to know something I know about myself. And say that particular aspect about me is that I hate hexagons. Now, those people perhaps have no idea what a hexagon is. At this point, for my statement to have any coherence, I must explain to them what it is and perhaps draw it out or something. I have just created a hexagon even though I dislike it, not for my benefit (because I already know what hexagons are and that I hate them), but for their benefit to understand that which I know about myself.

    The Divine Being already is All-Knowing about Its Perfection and all Divine Attributes. But if, in the Divine Prerogative, it wishes to manifest these aspects in creation in some sort of manner to the intended audience, there is an aspect of coherence involved. For example, take these two statements:
    "Verily, Allah loves those who are just." (60:8)
    "Allah does not love the oppressors." (3:140)

    Now, if we have no indication or expression of what exactly justice or oppression is then these statements have about as much coherence as "God loves bah" and "God does not love gah". Thus, unless we want to take the position that the Divine can only create or is limited to creating that which It necessarily approves of (and there simply is no logical reason to take that position), we can see why there is a cogent reason for there to be such a thing as, in our example (but it can be analogically applied to other things), oppression in the world.

    Let's ask another question, alluded to by Dr. Nasr also, that why was this particular world manifested? Meaning, was there a need for the Divine to self-disclose that aspect of Itself, namely that It does not like oppression, and thus there needs to be an expression of oppression in the world for this to have coherence?

    No - absolutely not. There is no reason to believe ours is necessarily THE only game in town. It may be, but there may well be many other worlds or universes that are created as self-disclosures or manifestations of other aspects of the Divine or Divine Attributes that may not even make any sense to us because we simply have no analogy or parallel in ours with which to understand.

    Imam Fakhr ud-Din ar-Razi (ra) mentioned the possibility of many universes/worlds when expounding on the initial verses of the Qur'an:
    "Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds." (1:2)

    Imam Ghazali (ra) who wrote a great book on the 99 Divine Names/Attributes, has a chapter in that tract mentioning how the Divine Names/Attributes are not limited to just 99. He concludes the chapter by offering, as proof, the supplication recorded in Imam Ahmad’s Musnad that has been taught to dispel distress and grief:
    “O Allah, I am Your servant, son of Your servant, son of Your maidservant, my forelock is in Your Hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every Name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Qur'an the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety.”

    So, while it is interesting and amusing to speculate on a universe/world/realm in which only the Divine Attributes of The-Merciful and The-Beautiful and such are manifest and where the Divine wants Its creation to only know what It loves, like justice and generosity and kindness and such and what It dislikes is completely hidden from them...perhaps one with floating lollipops and little chubby children that don't age and bunnies and kittens and lady bugs and gather around and dance and hug each other all day...we certainly don't seem to be living in that one. One deals with the cards one was dealt since the One Who created the universe we inhabit certainly didn't ask our opinion on whether we wished to exist or not nor, it seems, whether the universe created as our container was to made-to-order to our complete wish-list.

    Maybe the above was helpful or interesting...or maybe you want the last 10 minutes of your life back. In which case, I beg your pardon.

    Peace.

    Replies: @raga10

    I sympathize with your position, because I hate hexagons too. However if I were an omnipotent being I would not create living, feeling and thinking beings then condemn them to life of suffering followed by death merely so I could explain to them my dislike of hexagons; that seems like an incredibly selfish and cruel act to me.

    Now, you could say that morality of God is beyond our comprehension – it certainly has been said many times before and indeed you suggest something along such lines in your post. I beg to differ: God, we are told, created us in his own image. What does that mean? Surely not that God is a bipedal, (more or less) laterally symmetrical mammal? I take it to mean that we share his morality, his standards of right and wrong. So if my own sense of right and wrong tells me he is in the wrong, that means he falls short by his own standard.

    • Replies: @Talha
    @raga10


    However if I were an omnipotent being I would not
     
    I understand, but this is an opinion about what you like and do not like and that you consider life to be one filled with suffering. As I mentioned, there may well be a universe or realm of existence unlike this one, but if we do not live in it, it doesn’t matter. If you have an opinion on a matter (maybe you would have liked food to fall from the sky) and the Divine has decided otherwise, who wins the argument?

    God, we are told, created us in his own image.
     
    This is a Jewish or Christian statement, you’d have to ask them about it.

    So if my own sense of right and wrong tells me he is in the wrong, that means he falls short by his own standard.
     
    Again you’d have to ask them about it since that is a verse from their book you are interpreting in a specific way as a starting point. However, if you are talking about the general principle, then this doesn’t seem like a sound way to approach the matter. It may well be that your own sense of morality is distorted due to a whole host of reasons (personal likes/dislikes, inherited culture, etc.). I came across a person on AE’s blog that would not accept that the Divine would prohibit sodomy.

    Peace.

    Replies: @raga10

  77. @Mr. Rational
    @V. K. Ovelund


    This is like dismissing a surgeon for unfamiliarity with the swimmer’s butterfly stroke, or like dismissing da Vinci for lack of knowledge of the geography of California. Aristotle’s cosmology was incidental to his metaphysics and is not at issue
     
    I've already explained why Aristotle's ignorance of physics very much IS the issue, because he held a false premise and proceeded to draw theological conclusions from it.  "If A, then B" may be valid logic, but assuming A when A is false invalidates your conclusion.  In this case, the inability of matter NOT to move falsifies any conclusion he draws from the opposite assumption.

    if you won’t listen to me or @Intelligent Dasein, then you might at least consult a professional pure mathematician you respect. Mathematicians usually know better than to dismiss Platonism and the related philosophical schools out of hand.
     
    I've known a few mathematicians.  I only know one who is mentally balanced, and she's as skeptical as I am.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund

    I’ve known a few mathematicians. I only know one who is mentally balanced, and she’s as skeptical as I am.

    I doubt it.

    You seem to be a victim of a faulty summary of Aristotle. Rather than dismissing 2000 years of realist metaphysics plus today’s mathematics profession excepting one individual, would you at least consider, for your own edification, reading the recommended book?

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
    @V. K. Ovelund

    No.  I have no time to read the things I want to read, so no time for things you think I should read.

    Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

  78. @V. K. Ovelund
    @Mr. Rational


    I’ve known a few mathematicians. I only know one who is mentally balanced, and she’s as skeptical as I am.
     
    I doubt it.

    You seem to be a victim of a faulty summary of Aristotle. Rather than dismissing 2000 years of realist metaphysics plus today's mathematics profession excepting one individual, would you at least consider, for your own edification, reading the recommended book?

    Replies: @Mr. Rational

    No.  I have no time to read the things I want to read, so no time for things you think I should read.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    @Mr. Rational

    Of course not. You haven't engaged with any of the arguments. Moreover, it's clear from what you wrote that you have not even in the least understood any of the arguments. Yet you want to dismiss them and act superior to them. This is nothing but pure pigheadedness, as anyone can see.

    The argument from motion, for instance, is about the fact of motion. It makes no bones what the physical description of that motion is, whether classical or quantum mechanical. Furthermore, the concept of "motion" here is comprehensive; it includes other types of change, such as the transition from potentiality to act. You seem not to understand that metaphysics is something different and higher than physics. When someone introduces the metaphysical fact of motion and you start spouting off about the de Broglie wavelength, you only look like a clod.

    The argument from degree you have completely misunderstood. "Tigerness" is not a quality that admits of perfection such as goodness or unity or truth. I think most people understand the difference quite readily. How come you do not?

    I'm not writing this for your benefit. You have the cognitive capacity of a cinder block and the personality to boot. I'm only writing this for the benefit of any naive and impressionable people who might be reading this thread and who might be temporarily waylaid by your hobbledehoyish pedantry.

    What you just summarily dismissed and insulted was a direct quote from the Summa Theologica. Do you really believe that your simplistic counter-assertions were of the same nature as the subjects that St. Thomas was talking about? Do you really believe that the Cosmological Argument falls to such banal rejoinders as yours? There is nothing more that can be said to you. Many have tried to educate you and you will not listen. Please remember when it comes time to answer for your life, that your ignorance was self-imposed.

    Replies: @Mr. Rational, @Audacious Epigone

  79. @raga10
    @Talha

    I sympathize with your position, because I hate hexagons too. However if I were an omnipotent being I would not create living, feeling and thinking beings then condemn them to life of suffering followed by death merely so I could explain to them my dislike of hexagons; that seems like an incredibly selfish and cruel act to me.

    Now, you could say that morality of God is beyond our comprehension - it certainly has been said many times before and indeed you suggest something along such lines in your post. I beg to differ: God, we are told, created us in his own image. What does that mean? Surely not that God is a bipedal, (more or less) laterally symmetrical mammal? I take it to mean that we share his morality, his standards of right and wrong. So if my own sense of right and wrong tells me he is in the wrong, that means he falls short by his own standard.

    Replies: @Talha

    However if I were an omnipotent being I would not

    I understand, but this is an opinion about what you like and do not like and that you consider life to be one filled with suffering. As I mentioned, there may well be a universe or realm of existence unlike this one, but if we do not live in it, it doesn’t matter. If you have an opinion on a matter (maybe you would have liked food to fall from the sky) and the Divine has decided otherwise, who wins the argument?

    God, we are told, created us in his own image.

    This is a Jewish or Christian statement, you’d have to ask them about it.

    So if my own sense of right and wrong tells me he is in the wrong, that means he falls short by his own standard.

    Again you’d have to ask them about it since that is a verse from their book you are interpreting in a specific way as a starting point. However, if you are talking about the general principle, then this doesn’t seem like a sound way to approach the matter. It may well be that your own sense of morality is distorted due to a whole host of reasons (personal likes/dislikes, inherited culture, etc.). I came across a person on AE’s blog that would not accept that the Divine would prohibit sodomy.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @raga10
    @Talha


    Again you’d have to ask them about it since that is a verse from their book
     
    I did, and that was what they said. And if you are actually Muslim, isn't their book (that is, Old Testament - that's where this idea comes from) supposed to be your book as well? Doesn't Islam teach that Old Testament was given directly to Moses by God? And isn't there a hadith that says, "Allah created Adam in his own image" (despite saying in Quran, "There is nothing whatsoever like Him" ... well, consistency was never a strong point of Islam, or of Christianity for that matter)

    there may well be a universe or realm of existence unlike this one, but if we do not live in it, it doesn’t matter
     

    Really? It doesn't matter to you if you are a victim of apparently malicious God? It would matter to me a great deal, which is why I'd rather be an atheist.

    I came across a person on AE’s blog that would not accept that the Divine would prohibit sodomy
     

    That wasn't me but I would agree with them. Why would the divine creator of the whole universe give a hoot about something so insignificant?

    Replies: @Talha

  80. @Mr. Rational
    @V. K. Ovelund

    No.  I have no time to read the things I want to read, so no time for things you think I should read.

    Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

    Of course not. You haven’t engaged with any of the arguments. Moreover, it’s clear from what you wrote that you have not even in the least understood any of the arguments. Yet you want to dismiss them and act superior to them. This is nothing but pure pigheadedness, as anyone can see.

    The argument from motion, for instance, is about the fact of motion. It makes no bones what the physical description of that motion is, whether classical or quantum mechanical. Furthermore, the concept of “motion” here is comprehensive; it includes other types of change, such as the transition from potentiality to act. You seem not to understand that metaphysics is something different and higher than physics. When someone introduces the metaphysical fact of motion and you start spouting off about the de Broglie wavelength, you only look like a clod.

    The argument from degree you have completely misunderstood. “Tigerness” is not a quality that admits of perfection such as goodness or unity or truth. I think most people understand the difference quite readily. How come you do not?

    I’m not writing this for your benefit. You have the cognitive capacity of a cinder block and the personality to boot. I’m only writing this for the benefit of any naive and impressionable people who might be reading this thread and who might be temporarily waylaid by your hobbledehoyish pedantry.

    What you just summarily dismissed and insulted was a direct quote from the Summa Theologica. Do you really believe that your simplistic counter-assertions were of the same nature as the subjects that St. Thomas was talking about? Do you really believe that the Cosmological Argument falls to such banal rejoinders as yours? There is nothing more that can be said to you. Many have tried to educate you and you will not listen. Please remember when it comes time to answer for your life, that your ignorance was self-imposed.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
    @Intelligent Dasein


    You haven’t engaged with any of the arguments. Moreover, it’s clear from what you wrote that you have not even in the least understood any of the arguments.
     
    You assclown, I went through your extended quote in detail 50 comments ago in @30.

    If you're not intelligent enough to remember that, you're not intelligent enough to appear on my screen.  >plonk!<
    , @Audacious Epigone
    @Intelligent Dasein

    hobbledehoyish

    Had to look that up, thanks for the edification.

  81. @Talha
    @raga10


    However if I were an omnipotent being I would not
     
    I understand, but this is an opinion about what you like and do not like and that you consider life to be one filled with suffering. As I mentioned, there may well be a universe or realm of existence unlike this one, but if we do not live in it, it doesn’t matter. If you have an opinion on a matter (maybe you would have liked food to fall from the sky) and the Divine has decided otherwise, who wins the argument?

    God, we are told, created us in his own image.
     
    This is a Jewish or Christian statement, you’d have to ask them about it.

    So if my own sense of right and wrong tells me he is in the wrong, that means he falls short by his own standard.
     
    Again you’d have to ask them about it since that is a verse from their book you are interpreting in a specific way as a starting point. However, if you are talking about the general principle, then this doesn’t seem like a sound way to approach the matter. It may well be that your own sense of morality is distorted due to a whole host of reasons (personal likes/dislikes, inherited culture, etc.). I came across a person on AE’s blog that would not accept that the Divine would prohibit sodomy.

    Peace.

    Replies: @raga10

    Again you’d have to ask them about it since that is a verse from their book

    I did, and that was what they said. And if you are actually Muslim, isn’t their book (that is, Old Testament – that’s where this idea comes from) supposed to be your book as well? Doesn’t Islam teach that Old Testament was given directly to Moses by God? And isn’t there a hadith that says, “Allah created Adam in his own image” (despite saying in Quran, “There is nothing whatsoever like Him” … well, consistency was never a strong point of Islam, or of Christianity for that matter)

    there may well be a universe or realm of existence unlike this one, but if we do not live in it, it doesn’t matter

    Really? It doesn’t matter to you if you are a victim of apparently malicious God? It would matter to me a great deal, which is why I’d rather be an atheist.

    I came across a person on AE’s blog that would not accept that the Divine would prohibit sodomy

    That wasn’t me but I would agree with them. Why would the divine creator of the whole universe give a hoot about something so insignificant?

    • Replies: @Talha
    @raga10


    Doesn’t Islam teach that Old Testament was given directly to Moses by God?
     
    Yes, but we don't have any confidence that it has been faithfully preserved.

    And isn’t there a hadith that says, “Allah created Adam in his own image” (despite saying in Quran, “There is nothing whatsoever like Him”
     
    Excellent! There are a couple of hadith mentioning something to that effect. Anything mentioned in hadith with regards to details has to be interpreted in light of first principles established in the Qur'an. The verse you mentioned establishes the primary principle, the whole verse is:
    "There is nothing like unto Him, yet He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing."

    "That the word 'image' here refers to 'attributes', such as hearing, seeing, knowledge, and so forth. Thus, Adam (Allah bless him) was created possessing attributes that Allah has also described Himself with, although the attributes of the former, as is evident, are contingent and relative while the Attributes of Allah are Eternal and Absolute."
    https://seekersguidance.org/answers/islamic-belief/what-does-the-narration-allah-created-adam-in-hishis-image-mean/

    Again, going back to the concept of self-disclosure; unless we have some concept of seeing, hearing, etc. (however imperfect, faulty, etc.) in our phenomenal world, we would have no reference point from which to understand when the Divine declares Itself to be All-Seeing. All-Hearing, etc.


    It doesn’t matter to you if you are a victim of apparently malicious God?
     
    But I don't consider myself a victim. I consider myself quite fortunate. As one of the Sufi poets said; I have been fortunate enough to have been invited to the banquet of existence. One simply must recognize the Host and mind their manners as per the house rules. Those who do will have a reward immeasurable. Sounds pretty fair to me; life is a test, pass it and you get rewarded, fail and their are consequences...and no repeats. Maybe one could try to make a case if the Divine insists on punishing everyone no matter how sincere and true they are in their worship and conduct, but that's simply never been forwarded as a belief.

    A lot of life has to do with attitude. One person looks at the banquet and is busy criticizing the food and the silverware, etc. while another is simply grateful to have been invited without having done anything to deserve it. Glass-half-full versus glass-half-empty.

    Notice the life of his young woman who has a quality of life far below the majority of most human beings. Yet she says (around the 3:15 mark); "I thank God for everything I do."
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGizTkDfxuI

    Gratitude despite few blessings versus ingratitude despite many blessings. Should they be accorded the same treatment by the Host? I personally don't see why?


    Why would the divine creator of the whole universe give a hoot about something so insignificant?
     
    The implicit statement underlying this is that the Divine is too busy or has better things to do to pay attention. Because that is how things seem from a human perspective. But the universe doesn't take any effort or pain or struggle for the Divine to create out of nothing any more than a grain of sand, it is simply willed into being. And if the entire purpose of the universe is as a testing ground for human beings, which - after having served its purpose - will simply be folded up, there is no reason to assume that the details of human beings' lives aren't being paid attention to (that is after all the point of a test) - again, something that takes no effort from a Divine Being that is All-Seeing, All-Hearing. Now, I'm sure plenty of people would like it to be the case that their lives and actions are not being recorded in order to be judged on the Day of Recompense. In fact, I myself would like it to be the case that I will not have to answer for my actions. But that is irrelevant; it is either the case that it will be or it will not. Whether one denies it or not will not change that.

    Peace.

    Replies: @raga10

  82. @V. K. Ovelund
    @DanHessinMD


    Glad it is common knowledge in Japan. It isn’t common knowledge here. This knowledge actually came from Japan, literally.
     
    My home was recently quarantined for covid (confirmed by positive test). We took your advice regarding humidification. Four of the five of us fell ill but symptoms were comparatively mild. Fever; slight coughing; no pneumonia. Pulses were fast but oximeter readings never fell below 90.

    'Tis an anectode, I know, but I thank you nevertheless.

    Replies: @Dan

    Glad to help. It grates terribly that Dr. Fauci gets such misplaced adulation when could not see this blindingly obvious, simple point about humidifiers.

    It isn’t even in dispute. No scientist that examines the issue thinks that breathing dry air is good for this. But mostly the lowest hanging fruit just rots on the vine.

    Dr. Fauci has seemingly never thought about how innate respiratory immunity- and especially so-called mucocilliary clearance – works. Innate immunity is the part of the immune system that protects against all invasion, as compared to adaptive immunity which is the development of specific antibodies.

    Innate immunity is incredibly important because it is all you have until the body figures out how to make specific antibodies.

    In addition to mucocilliary clearance moist air keeps the throat and lungs from drying out and developing fissures that are entry points for the virus.

    Something Dr. Fauci has certainly never even thought about, in 40 years on the job. To me he is the greatest symbol of clown world of all.

  83. @Intelligent Dasein
    @Mr. Rational

    Of course not. You haven't engaged with any of the arguments. Moreover, it's clear from what you wrote that you have not even in the least understood any of the arguments. Yet you want to dismiss them and act superior to them. This is nothing but pure pigheadedness, as anyone can see.

    The argument from motion, for instance, is about the fact of motion. It makes no bones what the physical description of that motion is, whether classical or quantum mechanical. Furthermore, the concept of "motion" here is comprehensive; it includes other types of change, such as the transition from potentiality to act. You seem not to understand that metaphysics is something different and higher than physics. When someone introduces the metaphysical fact of motion and you start spouting off about the de Broglie wavelength, you only look like a clod.

    The argument from degree you have completely misunderstood. "Tigerness" is not a quality that admits of perfection such as goodness or unity or truth. I think most people understand the difference quite readily. How come you do not?

    I'm not writing this for your benefit. You have the cognitive capacity of a cinder block and the personality to boot. I'm only writing this for the benefit of any naive and impressionable people who might be reading this thread and who might be temporarily waylaid by your hobbledehoyish pedantry.

    What you just summarily dismissed and insulted was a direct quote from the Summa Theologica. Do you really believe that your simplistic counter-assertions were of the same nature as the subjects that St. Thomas was talking about? Do you really believe that the Cosmological Argument falls to such banal rejoinders as yours? There is nothing more that can be said to you. Many have tried to educate you and you will not listen. Please remember when it comes time to answer for your life, that your ignorance was self-imposed.

    Replies: @Mr. Rational, @Audacious Epigone

    You haven’t engaged with any of the arguments. Moreover, it’s clear from what you wrote that you have not even in the least understood any of the arguments.

    You assclown, I went through your extended quote in detail 50 comments ago in @30.

    If you’re not intelligent enough to remember that, you’re not intelligent enough to appear on my screen.  >plonk!<

  84. @raga10
    @Talha


    Again you’d have to ask them about it since that is a verse from their book
     
    I did, and that was what they said. And if you are actually Muslim, isn't their book (that is, Old Testament - that's where this idea comes from) supposed to be your book as well? Doesn't Islam teach that Old Testament was given directly to Moses by God? And isn't there a hadith that says, "Allah created Adam in his own image" (despite saying in Quran, "There is nothing whatsoever like Him" ... well, consistency was never a strong point of Islam, or of Christianity for that matter)

    there may well be a universe or realm of existence unlike this one, but if we do not live in it, it doesn’t matter
     

    Really? It doesn't matter to you if you are a victim of apparently malicious God? It would matter to me a great deal, which is why I'd rather be an atheist.

    I came across a person on AE’s blog that would not accept that the Divine would prohibit sodomy
     

    That wasn't me but I would agree with them. Why would the divine creator of the whole universe give a hoot about something so insignificant?

    Replies: @Talha

    Doesn’t Islam teach that Old Testament was given directly to Moses by God?

    Yes, but we don’t have any confidence that it has been faithfully preserved.

    And isn’t there a hadith that says, “Allah created Adam in his own image” (despite saying in Quran, “There is nothing whatsoever like Him”

    Excellent! There are a couple of hadith mentioning something to that effect. Anything mentioned in hadith with regards to details has to be interpreted in light of first principles established in the Qur’an. The verse you mentioned establishes the primary principle, the whole verse is:
    “There is nothing like unto Him, yet He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.”

    “That the word ‘image’ here refers to ‘attributes’, such as hearing, seeing, knowledge, and so forth. Thus, Adam (Allah bless him) was created possessing attributes that Allah has also described Himself with, although the attributes of the former, as is evident, are contingent and relative while the Attributes of Allah are Eternal and Absolute.”
    https://seekersguidance.org/answers/islamic-belief/what-does-the-narration-allah-created-adam-in-hishis-image-mean/

    Again, going back to the concept of self-disclosure; unless we have some concept of seeing, hearing, etc. (however imperfect, faulty, etc.) in our phenomenal world, we would have no reference point from which to understand when the Divine declares Itself to be All-Seeing. All-Hearing, etc.

    It doesn’t matter to you if you are a victim of apparently malicious God?

    But I don’t consider myself a victim. I consider myself quite fortunate. As one of the Sufi poets said; I have been fortunate enough to have been invited to the banquet of existence. One simply must recognize the Host and mind their manners as per the house rules. Those who do will have a reward immeasurable. Sounds pretty fair to me; life is a test, pass it and you get rewarded, fail and their are consequences…and no repeats. Maybe one could try to make a case if the Divine insists on punishing everyone no matter how sincere and true they are in their worship and conduct, but that’s simply never been forwarded as a belief.

    A lot of life has to do with attitude. One person looks at the banquet and is busy criticizing the food and the silverware, etc. while another is simply grateful to have been invited without having done anything to deserve it. Glass-half-full versus glass-half-empty.

    Notice the life of his young woman who has a quality of life far below the majority of most human beings. Yet she says (around the 3:15 mark); “I thank God for everything I do.”

    Gratitude despite few blessings versus ingratitude despite many blessings. Should they be accorded the same treatment by the Host? I personally don’t see why?

    Why would the divine creator of the whole universe give a hoot about something so insignificant?

    The implicit statement underlying this is that the Divine is too busy or has better things to do to pay attention. Because that is how things seem from a human perspective. But the universe doesn’t take any effort or pain or struggle for the Divine to create out of nothing any more than a grain of sand, it is simply willed into being. And if the entire purpose of the universe is as a testing ground for human beings, which – after having served its purpose – will simply be folded up, there is no reason to assume that the details of human beings’ lives aren’t being paid attention to (that is after all the point of a test) – again, something that takes no effort from a Divine Being that is All-Seeing, All-Hearing. Now, I’m sure plenty of people would like it to be the case that their lives and actions are not being recorded in order to be judged on the Day of Recompense. In fact, I myself would like it to be the case that I will not have to answer for my actions. But that is irrelevant; it is either the case that it will be or it will not. Whether one denies it or not will not change that.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @raga10
    @Talha


    I consider myself quite fortunate. As one of the Sufi poets said; I have been fortunate enough to have been invited to the banquet of existence.
     
    You have not been invited - "invitation" implies having a choice and accepting of your own will, but you have never been asked, or given a choice to refuse. And what is so fortunate about existing anyway? You already did not exist for approximately 13.7 billion years and in all this time, did you ever mind not existing?

    Sounds pretty fair to me; life is a test, pass it and you get rewarded, fail and their are consequences
     
    There is nothing fair about it - rules of the test are arbitrary and not of your own choosing; in fact you were never asked whether you wanted to take this test in the first place. But more than that, life is short while consequences apparently unlimited - how is that fair? God is a bully and a sadist, for the above reasons alone. He is not fit to judge us.

    Replies: @Talha

  85. @Talha
    @raga10


    Doesn’t Islam teach that Old Testament was given directly to Moses by God?
     
    Yes, but we don't have any confidence that it has been faithfully preserved.

    And isn’t there a hadith that says, “Allah created Adam in his own image” (despite saying in Quran, “There is nothing whatsoever like Him”
     
    Excellent! There are a couple of hadith mentioning something to that effect. Anything mentioned in hadith with regards to details has to be interpreted in light of first principles established in the Qur'an. The verse you mentioned establishes the primary principle, the whole verse is:
    "There is nothing like unto Him, yet He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing."

    "That the word 'image' here refers to 'attributes', such as hearing, seeing, knowledge, and so forth. Thus, Adam (Allah bless him) was created possessing attributes that Allah has also described Himself with, although the attributes of the former, as is evident, are contingent and relative while the Attributes of Allah are Eternal and Absolute."
    https://seekersguidance.org/answers/islamic-belief/what-does-the-narration-allah-created-adam-in-hishis-image-mean/

    Again, going back to the concept of self-disclosure; unless we have some concept of seeing, hearing, etc. (however imperfect, faulty, etc.) in our phenomenal world, we would have no reference point from which to understand when the Divine declares Itself to be All-Seeing. All-Hearing, etc.


    It doesn’t matter to you if you are a victim of apparently malicious God?
     
    But I don't consider myself a victim. I consider myself quite fortunate. As one of the Sufi poets said; I have been fortunate enough to have been invited to the banquet of existence. One simply must recognize the Host and mind their manners as per the house rules. Those who do will have a reward immeasurable. Sounds pretty fair to me; life is a test, pass it and you get rewarded, fail and their are consequences...and no repeats. Maybe one could try to make a case if the Divine insists on punishing everyone no matter how sincere and true they are in their worship and conduct, but that's simply never been forwarded as a belief.

    A lot of life has to do with attitude. One person looks at the banquet and is busy criticizing the food and the silverware, etc. while another is simply grateful to have been invited without having done anything to deserve it. Glass-half-full versus glass-half-empty.

    Notice the life of his young woman who has a quality of life far below the majority of most human beings. Yet she says (around the 3:15 mark); "I thank God for everything I do."
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGizTkDfxuI

    Gratitude despite few blessings versus ingratitude despite many blessings. Should they be accorded the same treatment by the Host? I personally don't see why?


    Why would the divine creator of the whole universe give a hoot about something so insignificant?
     
    The implicit statement underlying this is that the Divine is too busy or has better things to do to pay attention. Because that is how things seem from a human perspective. But the universe doesn't take any effort or pain or struggle for the Divine to create out of nothing any more than a grain of sand, it is simply willed into being. And if the entire purpose of the universe is as a testing ground for human beings, which - after having served its purpose - will simply be folded up, there is no reason to assume that the details of human beings' lives aren't being paid attention to (that is after all the point of a test) - again, something that takes no effort from a Divine Being that is All-Seeing, All-Hearing. Now, I'm sure plenty of people would like it to be the case that their lives and actions are not being recorded in order to be judged on the Day of Recompense. In fact, I myself would like it to be the case that I will not have to answer for my actions. But that is irrelevant; it is either the case that it will be or it will not. Whether one denies it or not will not change that.

    Peace.

    Replies: @raga10

    I consider myself quite fortunate. As one of the Sufi poets said; I have been fortunate enough to have been invited to the banquet of existence.

    You have not been invited – “invitation” implies having a choice and accepting of your own will, but you have never been asked, or given a choice to refuse. And what is so fortunate about existing anyway? You already did not exist for approximately 13.7 billion years and in all this time, did you ever mind not existing?

    Sounds pretty fair to me; life is a test, pass it and you get rewarded, fail and their are consequences

    There is nothing fair about it – rules of the test are arbitrary and not of your own choosing; in fact you were never asked whether you wanted to take this test in the first place. But more than that, life is short while consequences apparently unlimited – how is that fair? God is a bully and a sadist, for the above reasons alone. He is not fit to judge us.

    • Replies: @Talha
    @raga10


    You have not been invited
     
    Well, perhaps the invitation was thrust into my hands, but I am personally grateful to have been invited.

    And what is so fortunate about existing anyway?
     
    Which reinforces my point about glass-half-full versus glass-half-empty. If you prefer non-existence to existence, I'm not going to try to convince you otherwise. I prefer existence.

    There is nothing fair about it
     
    It is fair as far as I can see; pass the test and you get rewarded, fail and you get punished.

    rules of the test are arbitrary and not of your own choosing
     
    Correct. The Divine didn't ask us whether we wanted to be created or tested because this is not a relationship of peers. The creation brings nothing to the table, they have nothing whatsoever of value to offer - the Creator brings everything to the table and has everything to offer:
    "O my servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you, to be as pious as the most pious heart of anyone of you, that would not increase My dominion at all.

    O my servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you, to be as wicked as the most wicked heart of anyone of you, that would not decrease My dominion at all.

    O my servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you, to rise up in one place and make a request of Me, and were I to give everyone what he requested, that would not diminish what I have any more than a needle would diminish the sea if dipped into it."
    - reported in Muslim

    When one side holds all the cards, they make all the rules since there is no negotiating in any sense of the term. Or, as Prof. Seyyed Hossein Nasr once said:
    “In accordance with the real nature of things, it is the human that must conform to the Divine and not the Divine to the human.”

    God is a bully and a sadist, for the above reasons alone. He is not fit to judge us.
     
    As, I said - a lot of it rests on one's attitude. I can only offer my opinion on the situation in contrast with your opinion. At the end of the day, if there is no Divine, then this is all moot. However, if there is a Divine and It does take one to account in judgement for their actions and statements, then you will have a chance to communicate this directly. Maybe it will work to your advantage in the situation, maybe it won't.

    I personally have no problem in addressing the Divine with words to the effect of; my Beloved Master, you have given me more than I have ever deserved, Your Justice is absolute and without flaw, but I seek refuge in Your Mercy..."I cannot enumerate Your praise; You are as You have praised Yourself."*

    To each his own...I guess we'll have a chance to see which approach bears more fruit.

    Peace.

    *From a supplication reported in Abu Dawud
  86. @raga10
    @Talha


    I consider myself quite fortunate. As one of the Sufi poets said; I have been fortunate enough to have been invited to the banquet of existence.
     
    You have not been invited - "invitation" implies having a choice and accepting of your own will, but you have never been asked, or given a choice to refuse. And what is so fortunate about existing anyway? You already did not exist for approximately 13.7 billion years and in all this time, did you ever mind not existing?

    Sounds pretty fair to me; life is a test, pass it and you get rewarded, fail and their are consequences
     
    There is nothing fair about it - rules of the test are arbitrary and not of your own choosing; in fact you were never asked whether you wanted to take this test in the first place. But more than that, life is short while consequences apparently unlimited - how is that fair? God is a bully and a sadist, for the above reasons alone. He is not fit to judge us.

    Replies: @Talha

    You have not been invited

    Well, perhaps the invitation was thrust into my hands, but I am personally grateful to have been invited.

    And what is so fortunate about existing anyway?

    Which reinforces my point about glass-half-full versus glass-half-empty. If you prefer non-existence to existence, I’m not going to try to convince you otherwise. I prefer existence.

    There is nothing fair about it

    It is fair as far as I can see; pass the test and you get rewarded, fail and you get punished.

    rules of the test are arbitrary and not of your own choosing

    Correct. The Divine didn’t ask us whether we wanted to be created or tested because this is not a relationship of peers. The creation brings nothing to the table, they have nothing whatsoever of value to offer – the Creator brings everything to the table and has everything to offer:
    “O my servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you, to be as pious as the most pious heart of anyone of you, that would not increase My dominion at all.

    O my servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you, to be as wicked as the most wicked heart of anyone of you, that would not decrease My dominion at all.

    O my servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you, to rise up in one place and make a request of Me, and were I to give everyone what he requested, that would not diminish what I have any more than a needle would diminish the sea if dipped into it.”
    – reported in Muslim

    When one side holds all the cards, they make all the rules since there is no negotiating in any sense of the term. Or, as Prof. Seyyed Hossein Nasr once said:
    “In accordance with the real nature of things, it is the human that must conform to the Divine and not the Divine to the human.”

    God is a bully and a sadist, for the above reasons alone. He is not fit to judge us.

    As, I said – a lot of it rests on one’s attitude. I can only offer my opinion on the situation in contrast with your opinion. At the end of the day, if there is no Divine, then this is all moot. However, if there is a Divine and It does take one to account in judgement for their actions and statements, then you will have a chance to communicate this directly. Maybe it will work to your advantage in the situation, maybe it won’t.

    I personally have no problem in addressing the Divine with words to the effect of; my Beloved Master, you have given me more than I have ever deserved, Your Justice is absolute and without flaw, but I seek refuge in Your Mercy…”I cannot enumerate Your praise; You are as You have praised Yourself.”*

    To each his own…I guess we’ll have a chance to see which approach bears more fruit.

    Peace.

    *From a supplication reported in Abu Dawud

    • Thanks: Audacious Epigone
  87. @dfordoom
    @Intelligent Dasein


    The process of reasoning demonstrating that there is a first cause or necessary being is not especially hard to grasp.
     
    That's all very well. The problem is that even if you accept that there had to be a first cause that doesn't prove that any of our religions are true. It's possible that there was some kind of first cause (which for want of a better word you can call God) but that Christianity, for example, is entirely false.

    These processes of reasoning supposedly demonstrating that there is a first cause or necessary being might lead one to believe that some God-like entity exists, but they don't prove that Christianity is correct. They don't prove that there is a benevolent God who takes any interest in human affairs.

    Can you prove by a process of reasoning that any of the Christian beliefs about God or Jesus are true? If you can't then you haven't achieved very much. If there is a God-like entity who was the first cause he might be entirely indifferent to us, or he might even be malevolent. He might not care whether we believe in him or not.

    People aren't interested in abstract God-like entities. They want to believe that there is a God who will forgive their sins and they want to believe they'll go to Heaven when they die. Christians want to believe that Jesus was the Son of God and that he rose from the dead. Can you prove that by a process of reasoning? If you can't then most people will take the view that there is no point in being a Christian. If God is indifferent or malevolent then you might as well be an atheist or an agnostic.

    Replies: @nebulafox, @Rosie, @Wency

    I’m jumping in kind of late here, but though we disagree on religion, I actually more or less agree with most of this argument, and Pascal made essentially the same point.

    The core atheist claim itself is very weak, though it can always escape total destruction because these are unfalsifiable matters at the edge of human comprehension, and thus man, being clever, can invent explanations that elude the obvious. Yet as Pascal noted, the refutation of atheism only gets you to deism, which from a Christian perspective isn’t really any more desirable.

    I believe you can still build a rational case for Christianity as being stronger than that of the alternatives — on this point I differ from Pascal — but I’d still agree with him that faith, intuition, and subjective experience nonetheless must be at the heart of any formula that overcomes both deism and other religions.

    The core anti-deistic intuition — not provable, but compelling to most human beings nonetheless — is that the Creator would naturally have some particular interest in the only things it created that aspire to know and have a relationship with it.

    • Replies: @iffen
    @Wency

    I'm really trying to do better, but this is a steaming pile of BS.

    Replies: @Wency

    , @dfordoom
    @Wency


    Yet as Pascal noted, the refutation of atheism only gets you to deism, which from a Christian perspective isn’t really any more desirable.
     
    I agree. Which is why it puzzles me when some Christians get very excited and think they've done something really clever when all they've done is to make a case for deism.
  88. @Wency
    @dfordoom

    I'm jumping in kind of late here, but though we disagree on religion, I actually more or less agree with most of this argument, and Pascal made essentially the same point.

    The core atheist claim itself is very weak, though it can always escape total destruction because these are unfalsifiable matters at the edge of human comprehension, and thus man, being clever, can invent explanations that elude the obvious. Yet as Pascal noted, the refutation of atheism only gets you to deism, which from a Christian perspective isn't really any more desirable.

    I believe you can still build a rational case for Christianity as being stronger than that of the alternatives -- on this point I differ from Pascal -- but I'd still agree with him that faith, intuition, and subjective experience nonetheless must be at the heart of any formula that overcomes both deism and other religions.

    The core anti-deistic intuition -- not provable, but compelling to most human beings nonetheless -- is that the Creator would naturally have some particular interest in the only things it created that aspire to know and have a relationship with it.

    Replies: @iffen, @dfordoom

    I’m really trying to do better, but this is a steaming pile of BS.

    • Replies: @Wency
    @iffen


    I’m really trying to do better
     
    I'll look forward to further improvements.

    Replies: @iffen

  89. @Wency
    @dfordoom

    I'm jumping in kind of late here, but though we disagree on religion, I actually more or less agree with most of this argument, and Pascal made essentially the same point.

    The core atheist claim itself is very weak, though it can always escape total destruction because these are unfalsifiable matters at the edge of human comprehension, and thus man, being clever, can invent explanations that elude the obvious. Yet as Pascal noted, the refutation of atheism only gets you to deism, which from a Christian perspective isn't really any more desirable.

    I believe you can still build a rational case for Christianity as being stronger than that of the alternatives -- on this point I differ from Pascal -- but I'd still agree with him that faith, intuition, and subjective experience nonetheless must be at the heart of any formula that overcomes both deism and other religions.

    The core anti-deistic intuition -- not provable, but compelling to most human beings nonetheless -- is that the Creator would naturally have some particular interest in the only things it created that aspire to know and have a relationship with it.

    Replies: @iffen, @dfordoom

    Yet as Pascal noted, the refutation of atheism only gets you to deism, which from a Christian perspective isn’t really any more desirable.

    I agree. Which is why it puzzles me when some Christians get very excited and think they’ve done something really clever when all they’ve done is to make a case for deism.

  90. @iffen
    @Wency

    I'm really trying to do better, but this is a steaming pile of BS.

    Replies: @Wency

    I’m really trying to do better

    I’ll look forward to further improvements.

    • Replies: @iffen
    @Wency

    I’ll look forward to further improvements.

    I'll try, but you need to reciprocate by not leaving comments that resemble Bourbon Street the day after Mardi Gras.

  91. @Wency
    @iffen


    I’m really trying to do better
     
    I'll look forward to further improvements.

    Replies: @iffen

    I’ll look forward to further improvements.

    I’ll try, but you need to reciprocate by not leaving comments that resemble Bourbon Street the day after Mardi Gras.

  92. @nebulafox
    @dfordoom

    The overwhelming majority of people have spiritual needs that are deeply embedded within the normal human psyche. Logical consistency is of secondary importance (and why shouldn't it be? Belief in the divine isn't supposed to be some rational, standard issue thing that necessarily makes sense to other people), if any, and ex post facto rationalizations are used to justify their intuition about how the universe works. As Razib Khan pointed out, actual "natural" atheists are a minority: tellingly, they tend to not be emotionally intuitive, hence the high percentage of high functioning autistic people who are irreligious. Back in the pre-modern age when atheism in the modern sense wasn't really an option, or at least was far less obvious of one, such personality types ironically included the ones trying to hammer out logical justifications for their faith: just look at Isaac Newton, who considered his phyiscs work secondary to his metaphysics.

    The fact that most human beings have spiritual needs is perfectly healthy and should be honestly addressed: it's a beautiful part of the human condition that makes us different from animals, really. I think part of the big issue with the default ideology of the Western technocratic questions is that they refuse to even admit that these problems exist, because to them, human beings are interchangeable cogs that should be optimized for flat efficiency. In the absence of established religion, however, it should not be shocking that most people don't behave like cogs. Instead, they find alternative outlets for these impulses, alternative outlets that might not be a better replacement. The wokeists are a prominent example. They might not believe in God, but their whole behavior, conception betrays those needs. More broadly, there's the whole "spiritual but not religious" thing.

    (Then you have weirdos like me who are religious, but not spiritual...)

    Replies: @Rosie, @Chrisnonymous, @Audacious Epigone

    Spiritual but not religious is a female thing. Religious but not spiritual is a male thing.

  93. @Yahya
    @dfordoom


    Life in Victorian England was just swell if you were upper class or middle class. If you were lower class it was Hell on Earth in many ways. The squalor in which the poor lived was something we can scarcely imagine today.
     
    There's footage of English laborers during the late Victorian period:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HbElEqm1TQ&ab_channel=DenisShiryaev

    The people look ragged and worn. Their faces are covered with black soot from the mines. But there are some who look chipper and cheerful.

    Surprisingly, many of the women wore a hijab-like cloth around their head. Not a single one was as exposed as today's Western women. The scene reminds me in many ways of a modern day Third World country - say like India.

    Of course, the standard of living back then was just a notch above today's India. According to the Maddison Project, the UK's GDP per capita (adjusted to 2011 dollars) in 1900 was $7,594. India's GDP per capita (PPP) today is around $6806. Many other 3rd world countries - like Egypt ($11,956) and Mexico ($16,496) - have higher standards of living than 1900 Victorian England.

    We can thank diffuse innovation for that.

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone

    I watched that several times when it was first released a few years ago. One thing impossible for modern audiences to miss is how few fat people there are. Not a single person among the hundreds that pass through are obese. Only a handful are overweight, and it’s a strong, stocky overweight, not the skinnyfat overweight body type that is fairly common today.

  94. @Intelligent Dasein
    @Mr. Rational

    Of course not. You haven't engaged with any of the arguments. Moreover, it's clear from what you wrote that you have not even in the least understood any of the arguments. Yet you want to dismiss them and act superior to them. This is nothing but pure pigheadedness, as anyone can see.

    The argument from motion, for instance, is about the fact of motion. It makes no bones what the physical description of that motion is, whether classical or quantum mechanical. Furthermore, the concept of "motion" here is comprehensive; it includes other types of change, such as the transition from potentiality to act. You seem not to understand that metaphysics is something different and higher than physics. When someone introduces the metaphysical fact of motion and you start spouting off about the de Broglie wavelength, you only look like a clod.

    The argument from degree you have completely misunderstood. "Tigerness" is not a quality that admits of perfection such as goodness or unity or truth. I think most people understand the difference quite readily. How come you do not?

    I'm not writing this for your benefit. You have the cognitive capacity of a cinder block and the personality to boot. I'm only writing this for the benefit of any naive and impressionable people who might be reading this thread and who might be temporarily waylaid by your hobbledehoyish pedantry.

    What you just summarily dismissed and insulted was a direct quote from the Summa Theologica. Do you really believe that your simplistic counter-assertions were of the same nature as the subjects that St. Thomas was talking about? Do you really believe that the Cosmological Argument falls to such banal rejoinders as yours? There is nothing more that can be said to you. Many have tried to educate you and you will not listen. Please remember when it comes time to answer for your life, that your ignorance was self-imposed.

    Replies: @Mr. Rational, @Audacious Epigone

    hobbledehoyish

    Had to look that up, thanks for the edification.

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