Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Atheists Sentenced to Life in Prison

Well, at least while waiting around in the jury room, I had time to write today's post. It's an irrevocable verdict against materialists, anti-theists, and other pseudo-rationalists, such as our Sweden sour shrimp. They are guilty as charged of holding intelligence up to ridicule by "representing the commonest stupidity as intelligence and disguising it as philosophy," as Schuon once put it in a cranky mood. This unanimous verdict will serve the purpose of freeing me of having to respond to every half-educated intellectual papsquawk who deicides to take an ill-advised potshot at Dupree and "the twins." --->

We begin with Schuon's unassailable point that the effectiveness of metaphysical reasoning depends upon two principal factors, neither of which is reducible to "empirical facts" or the mechanical logic to which our minds have access (and therefore transcend). First is the depth or profundity of the intelligence in question. To cite some examples that come readily to mind, the depth and perspicacity of a Frithjof Schuon or Adin Steinsaltz or Unknown Friend far exceeds that of a Dawkins, Dennett, or Harris.

How do I know this? Easy. I've read and understand all of them. But can depth of soul be quantified like an empirical or logical fact? No. Rather, it can only be known because intelligence calls out to intelligence in a direct manner. Intelligence resonates with one's own depths, which is why metaphysical knowledge has always been associated with vertical recollection, as opposed to profane knowledge, which involves the mere passing of horizontal information from mind to mind.

If, as suggested by materialists and positivists, intelligence could be reduced to senses + logic, human beings wouldn't be intelligent enough to know it, since no logical operation can inform them of this. As Schuon writes, "reason always stands in need of data that it cannot provide or extract for itself."

The anti-theistic materialist would have you to believe that he begins his disinterested analysis "from zero," so to speak, completely free of dogma, but this is demonstrably false, for it is no less a dogma to irrationally affirm that no knowledge exists except for that supplied by reason in conjunction with sensory perception. As the philosopher of science Stanley Jaki has written, all bad philosophies begin at second base, but have no theory that can explain how they arrived at first. There's no stealing in philosophy (although it happens all the time).

In addition to intelligence, the second transrational condition of metaphysical reasoning is "the worth or amplitude of the available information." For example, our Swedish friend undoubtedly excludes revelation as a source of information with which to engage our reason, but only on alogical and a priori grounds, for there is no cosmic condition that forbids the Absolute from communicating itself to human beings in human terms, which is the essential definition of revelation (including the revelation of Being itself). You can fail to take cognizance of the Absolute, but it will always return through the backdoor. For example, it is impossible to consistently maintain that "it is absolutely true that nothing but the relatively true exists." As Schuon points out, one might just as well write that writing doesn't exist.

Just as the senses conform to the material world and our reason to the world of math and logic, our intellect -- or supralogical intelligence -- conforms to a realm of suprasensory phenomena. Here an analogy might be useful, for there is a dimension of suprasensible information readily available to human minds which is neither material nor logical, and that is other minds. Normal humans are equipped with what developmental neuropsychologists call a "mind reading" capacity, through which we may instantaneously -- without thinking -- access the "interior" of another.

This is especially pertinent in childrearing, both in the way the infant can read the mother and vice versa. Many adult psychopathologies are rooted in the "narcissistic injuries" and "empathic failures" of inadequate or distorted mind-reading. As you might expect, this results in split off, unintegrated parts of the psyche that are "unthinkable" because they were "unknown" by an empathic other. These often form the basis of mind parasites that dwell in a kind of infinite negative space -- a psychic "black hole," as it were.

Now, a gifted rabbi such as Adin Steinsaltz would, in all humility, say that in endeavoring to discern the meaning of this or that Torah passage, he is attempting to "read the mind of G-d." So too a Christian meditating on scripture. It is an elementary error of rationalists to equate the religious person's generative and fruitful dogma with their own reigning dogmas and catechisms.

In the case of tradition, we begin with what Schuon calls "an instinct for that which surpasses us," and which apprehends transcendent realities through their "superabundance of clarity." These are inclinations and perceptions that the anti-theist either lacks or is in rebellion against, which leads to the autodivinization of his own narrow ability to reason about the data given to his senses. The central difference is that traditional dogmas are not static, but furnish "pointers or keys," so that "the inward discovery" of their truth cannot be given but only discovered: O-->(n).

The materialist essentially reduces Truth to method and proceeds to close up intellectual shop, as his soph-satisfied soul has reached its carrying capacity. When "thinking" about religion, you will notice that he doesn't actually engage the object of religion, since he illogically rejects this object on a priori grounds.

To the extent that the atheist does think about the object of religion, he will simply supplant intellect with ego -- which is to say, he will try to operate in the absence of indispensable data that can only arise in the transitional space between O and our contemplation of it: "Just as it is impossible to reason about a country of which one has no knowledge, so also is it impossible to reason about suprasensory realities without drawing upon the data which pertain to them," which are supplied by 1) revelation, 2) intellection, and 3) grace.

Revelation is truly universal; it is about mankind as such -- a memo from Man to men, so to speak. But profane systems of thought are inevitably individualistic and idiosyncratic. They may convey a glimmer of transcendent truth, but it is always a partial picture, as a result of the warping of integral intelligence.

And what is intelligence? Intelligence is that which may know Truth. Likewise, Truth is that which the intellect my know with certitude. To say that the intellect cannot know God, the Absolute, is to place an artificial boundary around intelligence as such. And if our intelligence were bounded, we would not know where the boundary lay, so there would be no reason to accept anyone's boundary as anything other than arbitrary.

No. As Schuon writes, "either the intelligence by definition comprises a principle of illimitability or liberty," or it comprises "a principle of limitation or constraint, in which case it no longer admits of any certitude and cannot function any differently from the intelligence of animals, with the result that all pretension to a 'critical philosophy' is in vain."

I fully acknowledge that the materialist's intelligence leads him to the inevitable conclusions it does. But those conclusions are hardly inevitable to one with a wider and deeper intellect -- to those with more capacious and discerning souls. Countless human beings down through history have been aware of materialism and rejected it on the grounds that it excludes far too much of what we know to be the case.

Therefore, I pronounce atheists guilty as charged with intellectual cluelesside, and sentence them to life imprisonment down in flatland -- which has bars as strong as iron but weaker than the Love that removes the sin and other scars, speaking alighierically.

This brings us to another explanation of the term "idolatry," [which] refers to that which simply insists on the absolute independence of a self that is not the one God. When one sees himself as altogether independent of the absolute, he is in Galut, a state of being or place of banishment called exile.... It is not unlike captivity or subjugation, since there is no freedom to choose. --Adin Steinsaltz, In the Beginning

*I am indebted to Schuon's Logic and Transcendence for this post... both literally and figuratively.

52 Comments:

Blogger Mizz E said...

Kapeesh!

Dante Alighieri - il Sommo Poeta

8/21/2007 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

"These are inclinations and perceptions that the anti-theist either lacks or is in rebellion against,"

I think, both.

"For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot."

This, according to Paul.

8/21/2007 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

"...representing the commonest stupidity as intelligence and disguising it as philosophy," as Schuon once put it in a cranky mood.

Since that statement rings true to me, I guess I'm sort of embedded in crankiness.

8/21/2007 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

More to learn from Italians.

8/21/2007 09:59:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Just checked the Shrimpster's site & we cosmonauts have been pronounced tedious.

Oh dear.

Pissed you off with tagging you for a thumb-sucker no doubt.

Gotcha.

8/21/2007 10:21:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Ximeze,
Did you notice that the further down a person delves into the thumbsucking euro-weenys site, the blacker and more mind numbing it gets? Sort of coma inducing.

I had to come up for air and light.

8/21/2007 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Low Tide
on this holey ground
back turned to the rolling sea
a kingdom of sand

8/21/2007 11:19:00 AM  
Anonymous friend of Bob, not a leftist said...

Well, Bob writes good metaphysics, beyond a doubt.

But the salient point about Bob are his transcendant claims;

1. Contact with a spirit (Petey)

2. Direct intuitive reciept of intellectual content not of his own making.

By these markers, Bob must be considered a reciever of revelation. Petey is a representative of God; the intuitive content comes directly from God.

Metaphysical wrangling is not needed if direct contact is already in place; now the concern is how to transmit revelation smoothly and completely to the audience.

I am concerned that Bob is holding out; he knows more than he is telling. He is hiding his light under a bushel basket.

Rebutting the Swede is trivial compared to getting the full low-down out in the open.

Bob, if there is anything to my concern, think it over carefully. Why are you afraid to come out with the whole unvarnished truth about what you know? Are you afraid you'll be ridiculed or doubted?

I think the racoons are ready for the next level. You've idled on the mental level for long enough, trying to appear "normal."

It's time to let it all hang out. Bring it on--you'll be cheered by how much faith we have in you.

8/21/2007 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

"Here an analogy might be useful, for there is a dimension of suprasensible information readily available to human minds which is neither material nor logical, and that is other minds. Normal humans are equipped with what developmental neuropsychologists call a "mind reading" capacity, through which we may instantaneously -- without thinking -- access the "interior" of another. "

This appears to be a misrepresentation. When neuropsychologists speak of "mind reading", what they actually intend is the reading of non-verbal cues and the associated attribution of mental states to those cues. This isn't nonmaterial, resistant to logic, or "suprasensible". It isn't direct access to the interior of someone's mind any more than any other form of communication. It's also highly questionable whether you can make the claim it's "without thinking", though I suppose one would need to define thinking first.

8/21/2007 12:46:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Currently using FOB:
What about
furnish "pointers or keys," so that "the inward discovery" of their truth cannot be given but only discovered: O-->(n)
don't ya get?

Quit being so lazy & do your own work. Petey is not here to furnish you with CliffsNotes.

Removing that tinfoil hat too, will likely help. You're sounding like a scratched record. Get a new schtick, will ya?

8/21/2007 01:00:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Crypticlife, Bob's point has eluded you. As indeed it must.

8/21/2007 01:09:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Spot on, Hoarhey, with 'the blacker and more mind numbing it gets'

Did you get a load of the definition in BOLD of Christianity? Brings to mind the Bobservation:
"These often form the basis of mind parasites that dwell in a kind of infinite negative space -- a psychic "black hole," as it were."

I'm tempted to feel pity for the miserable pathetic flatlander.

Nah, he's just too much of an ass about the whole thing.

8/21/2007 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

Hi Cousin,

I have no wish to attack Bob's conclusions, and so his point was not on my agenda. Merely his supporting arguments.

8/21/2007 01:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Van said...

Dear FOB(Fresh Outta Bushels) said "I am concerned that Bob is holding out; he knows more than he is telling. He is hiding his light under a bushel basket."

Changing your nic every day doesn't hide you, listen to Ximeze, remooove the foil hat, start taking your meds again, get some sleep.

P.S. Ask one of the nice orderlies to take a permanent marker and draw a 'R' & a 'L' on your right & left hands, you're getting them mixed up again.

8/21/2007 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

"It isn't direct access to the interior of someone's mind any more than any other form of communication."

I don't know about that--try being married for a few years. ;) "The two shall become one" indeed.

8/21/2007 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

I love the raccoon - awesome!

FOB - seriously, you really need to quit focusing on Petey. You sound less like someone who wants to truly gno and experience God, and more like the guy searching for the end of the rainbow so he can mug the leprechaun. One suspects that if Petey were actually to visit you, you'd either get down and start worshiping in the mistaken belief that Petey is God, or you'd try to torture the truth out of him, which would get you precisely nada. Or perhaps you'd be like the main character in Misery.

Anyway, you're totally missing the point.

8/21/2007 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

Susannah,

Heh, heh,

It'll be 12 years, and three wonderful kids, in November.

8/21/2007 03:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Nick said...

Bob!! You're the best dude. I loved the lines...
"Therefore, I pronounce atheists guilty as charged with intellectual cluelesside, and sentence them to life imprisonment down in flatland -- which has bars as strong as iron but weaker than the Love that removes the sin and other scars, speaking alighierically."

Ain't that the truth!

8/21/2007 04:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It reminded me of Psalm 107:15-16..

"Let them gives thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds toward men, for He breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron"

8/21/2007 04:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Stu said...

Today was a tough day.

I got wrapped up in a problem at work and ended up spinning around in circles for hours.

This is just how the unattached intellect works. It will eat away at your mind until it consumes itself.

There is no end. Logic is truly a circular and ultimately futile endeavor unless it serves something greater than itself.

The intellect, used properly, is a gateway between the physical world and the transcendant world. Logic is one potential bridge from the created to the uncreated and back again.

It is absurd to suggest that the realm of reason is the end of the road, as opposed to merely a step on the path. Intellect for intellect's sake alone is nothing. It is a meaningless, nonsensical, impossible non-idea.

Reason must serve the transcendant cause of wisdom in much the same way that vision must serve beauty or empathy must serve decency and morailty.

In the absence of these transcendentals, the intellect becomes an escaped beast, devouring everything in its path.

And to the guy with the Petey fetish: You're really starting to creep me out. Get into a "normal" fetish like shoes or latex or something. It would be a lot less wierd.

8/21/2007 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

It reminds me of the movie Beetlejuice, with the book of the recently dead. They can't make any sense out of it. And that's why stuff like this makes no sense to atheists. We understand what Bob is saying, because we have a common language.

8/21/2007 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger Allotetraploid said...

Teri
I can assure you that I have no problem following Mr. Godwins language, actually I seem to know the sources of his thoughts better than he do himself. You should read Tillich, especially his “Systematic Theology”. He was the first one who, as far as I know, in the domain of Christian theology tried to connect “the subconscious” with standard Christian dogma. Before him we have C. G. Jung, though a Gnostic and not a Christian, who’s “The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious” tried to construct a scientific foundation for esoteric knowledge, by a phenomenological study of common themes in the human mind. Mircea Eliade also made some contributions along this line. Earlier on we have the Christian mystics, who tried to articulate their vision and contemplations within the framework of Christian theology, and to some extent they managed to work out a primitive terminology, “compunction amoris”, “compunctio timoris”, “outer darkness”, “blinding darkness”, “fulfiller of desires” etc etc. My point of view is simply that 1) these accounts lack logic validity 2) they are already accounted for by science 3) the explanation found within the Gnostic and esoteric traditions are in conflict with scientific data, no less than flat earth theory is with astronomy 4) given these circumstances intellectual morality directs my conscience to reject what I know is false i.e. mysticism.

8/21/2007 06:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

The poster boy for conflating (k)-->O and O-->(n)

8/21/2007 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

Thank you, allo, for precisely proving Teri's point.

You're like someone who looks at a reflection in a pool of water and says "It's flat, and a little shiny." Yes, it's flat, but if all you see is the flatness, you're missing the depth of the water below the image as well as the height of the space above the water, and everything in between.
You're also missing the things hidden behind the reflection in the water, and chances are the reflection of the sky is distorted to some degree, changing and even contradictory at times so that if you obtain all your information about "sky" by the reflection in the water, it isn't likely to be as accurate as you think.

You see all the words, and perhaps you even comprehend them (at least, you think you do), but you are still missing the Word behind the words, and therefore you are missing virtually everything.

And by the way, what does it matter if Bob has come to the same conclusions as other people who have thought about these things before? Seems to me that makes it more likely that he's found some Truth, and less likely that it's just a bunch of fancy jargon Bob pulled out of thin air to mesmerize a bunch of fools. Especially since he came to the same conclusions via different means (he's clearly diligent about attributing source material).

8/21/2007 07:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Van said...

allotetraploid,
One question for you, which may help clarify much, are you a determinist?

8/21/2007 07:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AllosaurausMetroidOptimusPrime-

You've mastered the basic syllogism. Nice.

In response to your comments:

You refer to something called "intellectual morality." There is no such thing. The intellect is subordinate to, and in service of the morality which both precedes and transcends it.

You also argue that mysticism "lacks logical validity." Of course it does - at least when you define logical validity in such narrow terms. Logic, as you define it, can only operate on itself. That's why scientific materialism is rigged for myopia from the outset. Mysticism has room to accomodate logic, but it certainly cannot be reduced to that process.

-Stu

8/21/2007 08:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Fob-et al said...

Raccoons are holding Bob back; I knew it. They can't handle the truth.

Witness Van's reaction to FOB assertion that Bob recieves revelation--

"Changing your nic every day doesn't hide you, listen to Ximeze, remooove the foil hat, start taking your meds again, get some sleep.

"P.S. Ask one of the nice orderlies to take a permanent marker and draw a 'R' & a 'L' on your right & left hands, you're getting them mixed up again."

Van, you are a poster child of why Bob despairs of being understood--you just can't make the bump.

I am disgusted and not hopeful that any quick progress is possible. Ya'll cling to "normalcy" with all of your might, because you're afraid of insanity.

You have to just jump if you going to make the bump. Bob, I've tried to help here but now I'm done.

I won't mention Petey again, but its clear to me that the crowd doesn't believe in Petey; they think he's another colonel Beaglehole. They don't (can't? won't?) understand.

8/21/2007 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Allotetraploid said...

Juliec
I think you are confusing “understanding” and “accepting”. Mr. Godwin earlier on made some joke about logic and tax deductions. Let’s assume that the accountant thinks that Mr. Godwin has done the same deduction twice and tells him that isn’t right. Does this mean that A) the accountant can’t count b) Mr. Godwin can’t count, or can it be that C) both have a grasp of mathematics but one got the sums wrong?
There is a tradition within Christianity starting with the infamous words in the psalm “The fool says in his heart: there is no God!” that might explain this confusion. Jesus used that line of thought as did Paul and the Gnostics who took great pride in it, and referred to those who didn’t agree with them as hylics (greek hULÊ: matter) while they themselves were pneumatics (greek PNEUMA: spirit) and literal minded Christians were in between. I think Godwin had some similar distinction when talking about those stuck in the material world and fundamentalist Christians who might have the faith but lacks the knowledge. It is indeed a convenient distinction since you can discard of criticism without reason. But here’s the crux interpretum! If I’m as a hylic don’t believe because I can’t understand then I can never believe because you cannot believe what you do not know. This will also mean that if any of you ever were in my predicament, i.e. lacking in understanding at one point, you’d never be able to believe in the first place, because you cannot believe what you cannot know. Belief is belief in something.
Now, you who believe because you have touched logos with your nous by means of charis will believe in something. This something, though not fully, must be translatable to a thought that you conscious self affirms, i.e. believe, and that thought will have an articulate content that equates your understanding (knowledge). Such devises are communicable and as such understandable. That understanding can very well be factually understood without me embracing it. I the same way I can understand your statement that you love someone without me feeling love for that person. In this domain of common reason, and this domain only, I consider myself competent to make judgments about the truth of your statements. And when I pass this judgment I find the tenants of your faith in violation of my principle of intellectual morality, that is to never accept something that I manifestly consider to be untrue.
Finally it is the question of dabble standards. If I were to say “Imperious Caesar, dead and turned to clay, Might stop a hole to keep the wind away” you would say “Ah, Shakespeare!” but if I had denied ever reading Shakespeare you would conclude that I had learnt the line through an intermediary source, perhaps a movie. Newer would you say “How fantastic, a proof of the transcendental nature of Hamlet!”. However in matters of religion you allow to lower your standard of proof below surface level while in matters of opposing view you raise the standard of proof to an unattainable level. This is also a thing that runs against intellectual honesty.
This double standard of proof is also applied when you say “Seems to me that makes it more likely that he's found some Truth, and less likely that it's just a bunch of fancy jargon Bob pulled out of thin air to mesmerize a bunch of fools.”. Well now, what is more likely in secular Sweden, a whole nation mesmerized by fancy godless talk or that they found the truth? What is most likely for the world’s second largest religion? Truth or mesmerized fools?

8/21/2007 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

fob et al - I'm sure all raccoons humbly thank you for trying to help. You have done all you can here. May Petey bless and keep you as you go away and never come back.

8/21/2007 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger Allotetraploid said...

Van!
I’m determinist in the sense we all are determinists; that is, everything has a cause.

8/21/2007 09:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Van said...

"I’m determinist in the sense we all are determinists; that is, everything has a cause. "

Oh, come on, that's a lightweight cop out. Philosophically, are you a determinist-no-such-thing-as-free-will-all-a-product-of-your-environment type of determinist?

8/21/2007 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

allotetraploid - I once knew an allotetraploid...you're no allotetraploid. Imposter!

8/21/2007 09:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Van said...

"This will also mean that if any of you ever were in my predicament, i.e. lacking in understanding at one point, you’d never be able to believe in the first place, because you cannot believe what you cannot know. Belief is belief in something. "

Ah, but I cam from the same position and perspective as you (Reality based, A is A [still am], atheist - but I considered it incidental to, not a center of my philosophical outlook), and yet I managed to see beyond it. Hmm.

" never accept something that I manifestly consider to be untrue. "

Very good. Just be careful not to make the mistake of assuming that you've looked at something from all angles, when you've never gone further than window shopping it.

“How fantastic, a proof of the transcendental nature of Hamlet!”

Psst! There's a big difference between discovering the same concept, and repeating the same quote. Newton & Leibniz both developed calculus, because there were...(dah-dah-dummm!) universal principles which apply to mathematics. Do with it what you will....

8/21/2007 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger Allotetraploid said...

-Stu
By “intellectual morality” I didn’t intend to say that our morality is a product of the intellect. What I meant was to say was that morality applied to my intellect forbids me to deny reason. Perhaps this lines from Plato can make the point more clear “we shall regard as maimed in precisely the same way the soul that hates the voluntary lie and is troubled by it in its own self and greatly angered by it in others, but cheerfully accepts the involuntary falsehood and is not distressed when convicted of lack of knowledge, but wallows in the mud of ignorance as insensitively as a pig. ”

8/21/2007 09:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Van said...

allotetraploid said "... wallows in the mud of ignorance as insensitively as a pig"

Now, now, don't despair, recognizing you've hit bottom is the first step towards cleaning yourself off.

8/21/2007 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger Allotetraploid said...

Van!
It is exactly this claim of “seeing beyond”, or to use the less modest term “being on higher ground”, that is the problem. Cuz in the same moment as you claim to escape reason you have betrayed reason, that is you have lied to your own intellect, and lying is a sin as the good lord said, and no such man shall inherit the kingdom.
I willfully agree that I have not looked at Christianity from all possible angles, neither have I taken all possible steps to ensure myself that I’m not a walking talking teapot. What I can take pride of though, is to have examined each and every reason put forward by Mr. Godwin, and most other known Christians throughout history, and none of them have put forward any reason whose acceptance would not turn my into one of those pig’s of Plato.
Concerning the proof of God from Tillich it is of cause a matter of probability. Mr. Godwin is a psychologist and as such he must have read of Jung, particularly if he has been in the field of psychoanalysis. Jung, as I earlier told, did with Gnosticism what Tillich later did with Christianity. They submerged their respective doctrine in the subconscious and tried to anchor it there. Since Tillich attempt became world renowned in the fifties and countless journals and books have been written about it, it would be serendipitous indeed if not direct so indirect influence played a role. One further note, the calculus of Newton & Leibniz was a discovery and not a method. Once the subconscious was labeled by Freud, who himself saw religion as a neurotic expression of the subconscious, it was only a matter of time before some religionist would come along and try to make apologetic of it, as indeed his colleague and apprentice Jung did.

8/21/2007 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger Allotetraploid said...

-Van
“determinist-no-such-thing-as-free-will”… etc etc
If will (or thought in general) was uncaused, our minds would be a haphazard cacophony of contradictory impulses, and we would not live out the day. So quite naturally our mind is determined by precursory events. The will is however free in the sense that if the precursors had been different it had willed different.

8/21/2007 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

"I think you are confusing “understanding” and “accepting”"

No, but clearly you are. Many years ago, I read the Bible out of curiosity, trying to figure out what I thought about God. At that time, I was very agnostic. I concluded from my reading, based upon exactly what the Bible said, that the Christian and Hebrew God was frequently capricious and cruel, and that his Son (assuming of course that Jesus really was his Son) was a lunatic. I saw the surface, the same words on the page as everyone else, and was amazed that people were taken in by this dreck. I pitied the poor Christians for a while, thinking they must be foolish and desperate (and many of the Born-Agains I had met up until then certainly helped to give me the Jesus-willies).

I've grown up a lot since then, and I've learned to see beyond the surface words to the deeper meanings buried within, especially since coming here on a regular basis. I don't see them all, I don't have perfect understanding, and I won't pretend that I am even 10% correct about virtually anything. But I can see the Truth in the Word, the World, and even in the posts on this website. If you want to see it, too, you have to learn to look beyond. It is hiding in plain sight, if you'll only focus your inner eyes on a point that's far beyond the page.

It's like a magic eye picture. If you don't know how to look at one, all you see is a random jumble of nonsensical image "noise." And that's actually the truth of the image - it really is image noise. But if you know how to see it, within that noise is contained a whole other three-dimensional image, which appears to practically stand up from the page. That is also the Truth. However, if you don't know how to see it, or can't teach your eyes to not-look the right way, no amount of description or advice from anyone else will make the image appear for you. And if, for some reason, you have only one eye, the image will remain forever hidden in plain sight.

Just because you can't see it, allo, doesn't make it not so. And just because we apparently can't explain it to your satisfaction, that doesn't mean we don't understand what we're talking about.

gdfubw.

8/21/2007 11:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Van said...

What Susannah said applies to many of us here. When we looked no further than the narrative, we were repulsed by the Bible and the religious. But when you look deeper, you find that there is much more there than meets the eye, it must be met with the I, in order to be found at all.

You're still hedging about the Free Will/Determinist answer. I'm not trying to trick you into saying 'Free Will! That's Faith then!', not so. I have been, and still remain committed to capital 'R' Reason, which is only aped by leftist (ideologies which follow from the Descartes-Rousseau-Kant line of thought) logic chopping little 'r' reason. Ayn Rand is as flatly atheistic as it gets, and committed to Reason, her Objectivist philosophy does show how a completely this worldly, secular ethics is not only possible, but demonstratable, following as it does from the properties and principles of reality. I hold to that, and contradict none of it now.

But there is a difference between what we examine and in the world, and in our interactions which demand verifiable knowledge in order to Reason and act with... and the non-verifiable (to others) knowledge which you may find within yourself.

As a small instance, consider 'my favorite color is blue' [no... I mean green... ahhh!. Sorry, couldn't help myself]. That is something which I can certainly verify to myself by introspective Reason. It is not a statement however, which I can proove beyond a shadow of a doubt, to anyone else ['oh, sure, well I see you've got lots of blue stuff around your house, but what about that picture frame, black isn't it, and that bookcase, and your carpet - that's not blue, what's with these other colors?], they believe you or they don't.

That internal knowledge is where you begin to find more than meets the eye. I posted on my site about how I found it leading me to a deeper inner understanding of who and what we are here, and here. There's a book The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis that takes a secular, philosophical serious look at Genesis... and sees deeper than the narrative... worth your while to take a look at. Wander down to your local Sweedish Barnes & Noble and read the first 35 or so pages, and without becoming a raving fundie born againer, you'll see that there is far more going on there than you've managed to see.

I ask the determinist question, because I can't read sweedish and discover it for myself. If you're not a knee jerk determinist leftist, but understand the existence of Free Will in a completely secular way, and reject the 'talking snake' stories based upon the obvious siliness of a snake talking, then you're salvageable. If, however, you are a determinist leftie militant atheist, then you are a mocker of reality, science and Reason and more guilty all the worse conotations of religious fanaticism than the lowest witch doctor.

Anyway, time for work.

8/22/2007 05:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Van said...

BTW, the Objectivist bent is mine alone and I speak for no one else. It's ethics, I think best and define proper ethical conduct for societal interactions better than any other philosophy out there, and I think fit exceptionaly well with a Classical Liberal outlook. Where it comes up short, in my opinion, is on the inner-actions, which is where I find myself knocking on the inner door... and getting a reply.

wv: eltit. I'm not touching that. Not in public, anyway.

8/22/2007 08:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Biker Lady said...

Alotofcrap said.

"What I can take pride of though, is to have examined each and every reason put forward by Mr. Godwin, and most other known Christians throughout history, and none of them have put forward any reason whose acceptance would not turn my into one of those pig’s of Plato."

It's obivious no one talks to this Person - why would they want to, he is so pompous and full of himself. Not his wife children, friends, family??, people at work??? So he has come here to get attention.
Apparently, even God is not interested in him since "full of crap" is still dumb as a bag of rocks!
A life wasted in intellectual useless arguing.

So fellow raccoons, quit wasting your pearls of wisdom on this fool. His is a continuing temper tantrum holdover from the terrible two's that he rolls around in like a pig rolls around in the dirt and muck and garbage an!d slop and then eats it! And he deserves to be called Alotofcrap

8/22/2007 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

I don't know why some folk try so very hard to convince themselves and others that God is not there. :) Keep talking and talking, keep eyes tightly closed, and maybe you will manage to avoid hearing him.

God *is* there, and "He is not silent."

"He who has ears to hear, let him hear..." That's really the crux of it.

8/22/2007 08:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Van said...

Biker Lady said "So fellow raccoons, quit wasting your pearls of wisdom on this fool."

I know, I know, soon Joan of Argh! will be wacking me with the flogger stick. Can't help it. I'm a flogger.

(Hoarhey's can of "Pffffttt!" is at the ready though)

8/22/2007 09:08:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

"You're still hedging about the Free Will/Determinist answer."

Vandude: that's because you got too close to the Real question. This guy is about words stung together, ad nauseum, that never get anywhere, a-la Inty.

Lookit! I'm a power-word-master! Layer upon layer, to make it work.

Quoting from Pol Incorrect Guide to Science:

Multiplication of entities is a hallmark of a theory that is not working: deteriorating paradigm theory gets more & more complex to account for its lack of success.

Wondered about the Scandahoovian/Calvin connection yesterday. Coonsmell sensed a putrid odor on the allo site. Perhaps he's trying to work out mind parasites involving the above. That would account for why he's avoiding the question.

wv:kuumgnk
Oh dear

8/22/2007 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Allotetraploid said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8/22/2007 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Allotetraploid said...

Biker Lady!
I very much appreciate your testament to the Christian temperament, Christ himself sat that example. I so love the venom of the humble!

8/22/2007 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Allotetraploid said...

ximeze and van!

Since Van posted the same question (about determinism) on my site earlier on, and I made an extensive answer there, I think he has got the answer he asked for. But that whole question is unrelated to the question of gods’ existence.

8/22/2007 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger Allotetraploid said...

Juliec
I have no problem with seeing beyond the letter. Let me give you an example. The human sacrifice of Jephtha’s daughter to Yahweh can be interpreted in the following manners 1) One should not make promises to “the spiritual realm” that one cannot fulfill 2) Sometimes you must discard the most important things in life for “the spiritual realm”. The only half completed sacrifice of Abraham’s son can be symbolically interpreted in sense (2) as mentioned above, but with the addition that god doesn’t take more than you can bear. The whole book of Job can be understood in the same manner with the addition, which can also be said of the story of Abraham, that God will give back what he has taken, and he might even pay some interest. Jesus puts this in plain words in some of his similes, for example that about the servants who were entrusted a certain amount of cash.
I don’t see who the symbolic potential in holy writ can elude anyone who isn’t an illiterate imbecile. But his doesn’t affect the point I’m making in the least. One should first keep in mind that the symbolic potential of most stories in the bible are dependent on their literary truth, as for example the lawgiving on Mount Sinai and the resurrection of Jesus. Without them being literary true, the whole idea in Judaism and Christianity comes to naught. And both of these, the most fundamental stories, are contrary to reason and human experience. They are works of fiction. This fiction is cruel, unjust and vindictive as soon as you look at what the text says. Furthermore, you can make an allegorical and symbolic reading of The Brothers Karamazov, but that doesn’t make the factual story true (i.e. that the stories in the book happened) much less does it lend any credence to the underlying metaphysical assumptions in those texts. For crying out loud, you could do the same thing with Donald Duck and base your existence on the metaphysics of lucky coins.
And yes, any failure to articulate why one knows what one claim to know is a testament to pretension and not truth. At least your lord and master had the common decency to keep his mouth shut and not make a fool of himself when Pilate asked him that question.

8/22/2007 01:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Van said...

allotetraploid said "The whole book of Job can be understood in the same manner with the addition, which can also be said of the story of Abraham, that God will give back what he has taken, and he might even pay some interest."

Here's another, things happen, life's a gamble, but what happens in the world doesn't affect your soul - unless you let it. The inner truths of the soul are more important, and if you're true to them, you have a chance of regaining position in the world once bad times pass.

"One should first keep in mind that the symbolic potential of most stories in the bible are dependent on their literary truth,..."

Not so. For instance, ask a hardcore Objectivist about Dagny Taggert, a lead character in Atlas Shrugged - or better yet (if you're armed) curse her.

There are tales, myths, poems without number whose Truth is shining and clear, without having proof of occuring in reality.

The Bible is the greatest story ever told, it gives as much as you're willing to receive, and the only archeological proof necessary is to be found in your own interior excavations.

" ... could do the same thing with Donald Duck and base your existence on the metaphysics of lucky coins."

Please, this isn't Jerry Springer, confess in private, it's embarrassing.

"And yes, any failure to articulate why one knows what one claim to know is a testament to pretension and not truth."

To demand more specificity than a subject will bear, Aristotle called a lack of Education. Demanding Truth (in a mathematicaly provable way, of something whose facts may only be examined introspectively) without understanding, is to confess ignorance of both. Which is fine, if you are ignorant, you're ignorant - just don't be surprised when people point it out to you.

8/24/2007 05:38:00 AM  
Blogger Allotetraploid said...

Van
“Here's another, things happen, life's a gamble, but what happens in the world doesn't affect your soul - unless you let it. The inner truths of the soul are more important, and if you're true to them, you have a chance of regaining position in the world once bad times pass.”

Besides from being as possibly removed from the thought and drive of the story as can be, it’s also rather banal. If you’re willing to engage in radical symbolism (Job as “man”, god and Satan as “fate”) you could at least have followed the story line through the chapters of Jobs epiphany. Jobs inner truth was that he (man) was unjustly being punished, but not until his epiphany did he realize that his innocence was irrelevant to the things that had befallen him (man). Before that point he had held to contradictory truths in his heart; one that God (fate) is good and the other that he (man) was unjustly punished. This tension is at center in all his dialogues until he at the end understands that his own innocence is irrelevant and the tension is released. Tada!
But seriously why go to the bible for psyhodramatic reading? Self reflection and projection of one’s own thoughts can be done on any text, so why not choose a less cruel one, perhaps Donald Duck as I suggested earlier.


“Not so. For instance, ask a hardcore Objectivist about Dagny Taggert, a lead character in Atlas Shrugged - or better yet (if you're armed) curse her.”

The content in Rand’s novel is not dependant on the metaphysical assumptions in the bible and thus the symbolic meaning (I’d prefer morale lesson) is accessible without them. It’s a different thing to indulge in the symbolic meaning of impossible events, which is thought possible by the author. One can of cause still make a tangible moral interpretation of such things, but it will be farfetched and even spurious given the sitz im leben of the narrative. That is unless there is an allegorical interpretation intended as in the case of “The tempest” or “Divina commedia”.


“The Bible is the greatest story ever told, it gives as much as you're willing to receive, and the only archeological proof necessary is to be found in your own interior excavations.”

A more correct way of putting it would be to say that the bible gives you as much as you are capable to read into it, and not a jota more. Such a creative reading is a testament to your verbal dexterity and imagination, not to your ability to see any metaphysical truth.


“To demand more specificity than a subject will bear, Aristotle called a lack of Education. Demanding Truth (in a mathematicaly provable way, of something whose facts may only be examined introspectively) without understanding, is to confess ignorance of both.”

You cannot mesmerize me with word without cause. Aristotle referred to PAIDEIA as a familiarity with the first principled of science and not just knowledge of disparate facts within the discipline. In no way did his idea of education accommodate for the acceptance of subjective truth (of the teacher) that could not be demonstrated openly and for all. There is a mathematically and empirically provable way to accommodate for the phenomenon of creative reading and pattern recognition and I’ll take the wonder of that knowledge before mysticism any day.

8/24/2007 07:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Van said...

allotetraploid said
"Jobs inner truth was that he (man) was unjustly being punished, but not until his epiphany did he realize that his innocence was irrelevant to the things that had befallen him (man). "

Ahem... know any good people, family perhaps, that have suffered and died of cancer? Your innocence is irrelevant to the things that have befall you. The things aren't the point. None of what you have or do or suffer goes with you, if anything does survive the grave, it'll be the you you've become through it all. When you try to understand why things happen to you, try to sophist, pious or condemn your way through it, you are pulled out of your proper relation and respect for truth - you begin trying to make the reality as you want it to be, not as it is, and as God points out in the end, you don't have even the slightest hairs breadth of perspective, knowledge and understanding needed to grasp why the wind blows (or the globe warms), let alone why bad things happen. They just do. Nothing personal. Live, respect and follow Truth, that's what you do have control over, and it is worth more than all the rest.

"You cannot mesmerize me with word without cause."
woooo...wooOOHHhhh... you're getting sleepy... sleeeepy [ uh-oh, it's backfiring on me - what a week this has been]


"In no way did his idea of education accommodate for the acceptance of subjective truth (of the teacher) that could not be demonstrated openly and for all."

I'm too tired to answer well... with any luck I'll get a post up on my site this weekend, but the short blurb, is that knowledge and direction for action in the world and between people, requires objective, and objectively verifiable knowledge. But again, when you take that same focus, and turn it inwards, and attempt to describe what you find to others, you can't carry any artifacts out with you to examine and discuss - only your impressions and evaluations, and if you're careful about it, you will find them conforming to Metaphysical Truth. And, yes, stories, religous stories, are vibrantly conforming to the deepest Metaphysical Truth, and the more you hold them and examine them, the more you find something taking shape within which is more real than 2+2=4, and equally True - just not demonstratable. And no, it isn't proper to use the Bible as a proscription for political action and such... oh, I'm sleep typing - will continue.

8/24/2007 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger Allotetraploid said...

Van

I'll keep an eye open for the future post on your blogg. Untill then, take care and have a good night's sleep.

8/25/2007 04:33:00 PM  

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