Friday, May 16, 2008

On the Probability of God's Certainty (5.10.09)

As I mentioned in the book, the existence of God is not on a continuum of probability. It is not as if one becomes a believer because 51% of the evidence points in the direction of a largely nightened deity, as if God is a plurality instead of a unity. Rather, I would say that God is either impossible or necessary.

Furthermore, if he is not impossible, then he is necessary. Being that a higher cosmic power is obviously not impossible, this is another way of saying that everything proves its existence, most especially atheists, who are like branches that grow more leaves in order to prove that trees don't exist. Frankly, that argument is so green, that they're either very naive or very envious.

And repetey after him: it's a tree of life for those whose wood beleaf. So long as you are aliving, alaughing, and aloving, then you beleafing. You cannot leaf God allone, bark as you might. You may well be dysluxic, but even the least of you is not made in the image of doG, for the woof and warp of existence are woven with threads of the vertical and horizontal. I don't mean to needle you, but this is why you're born to learn and grow in truth and wisdom, even if the best you can come up with is a crazy quilt or quasi-cult of atheistic nonsense.

The Tree of Life has it's nonlocal roots above, its local branches and district orifices down below. Which is why it All Makes Sense, including, of course, science. For if you try to grow the Tree of Life in the infertile soil below, it won't survive the transplant, and can produce nothing, not even death (which requires life). Nothing makes sense in such an inverted cosmos, including atheism, which supernaturally presupposes an intelligence perversely capable of denying its own sufficient reason. There can be no meaning, no purpose, no truth, no values, no nothing, not even nothing (in other words, no animal is dense enough to be an existentialist).

You know what they say: the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. Thus, their every blasphemy praises God. Only animals are atheists. But even then, not really. That's an insult to animals, being that no animal has the unnatural stupidity to deny its own intelligence, instinct being equivalent to animal intellect, just as man's uncreated intellect is his central instinct.

Which is why the vast majority of people are instinctive theists. It just means their intellect is more or less intact. A human who denies the divine is like a flower who turns from the sun. When that happens, your intellect can no longer engage in photosynthesis, which is simply converting Light into thought. I mean, you can still do it, but don't be surprised that your beleafs are so yellow and withered. Plus, you can't digest them, unless you enjoy word salad -- which this green solid of a post is not to be confused with. Unlike other salad bars, this one actually gets you high.

Let's trancelight some of this into plain english. Let's say God is probable instead of certain (and science deals only in probabilities, not certainties). As Berlinski says, the "the theory of probability is in the business of assigning numbers to events." But "just which random process is designed to yield the Deity as a possible outcome?" It's an important question, because, given sufficient time, "events that are improbable over the short term become probable and even certain over the long term" -- which is another way of saying that everything eventually happens, including God. So "an improbable God, denied access to Being over the short term, may find himself clambering into existence over a term that is long." Yes, it's a silly argument, but that's scientism for you.

Berlinski quotes Sherlock Holmes, who admonished Watson, "How many times have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?" And here's the problem: you are strictly impossible in the absence of a creator. To cite one obvious example, the laws governing the cosmos are either necessary or contingent -- they either must be, or they are a random accident. But if the latter, we could not know that they are true, since truth is by definition necessary. How does absolute truth ever sneak its way into an absolutely relative cosmos? It's absurd.

The human mind is an infinite space, which is the only way we can know of the infinite cosmos, being that the cosmos is consciousness exteriorized, while the mind is the cosmos interiorized. Again, animals do not live in the cosmos, only in their nervous systems. Alone among the animals, human beings have broken free of their neurology, and inhabit a vast cosmos in which consciousness is the center and axis. Cosmology is ultimately the study of man -- and vice versa.

Here again, the gap between animal and man is infinite, just as is the gap between matter and life. To say that the genomes of humans and chimps are 99% similar (or whatever it is) only points to the poverty of biology to account for the infinite divide between human beings and their furry and/or tenured cousins.

This, by the way, is why Wallace -- the co-discoverer of modern theory of evolution by common descent -- concluded that it was hopelessly inadequate to account for so many defining characteristics of the human race. Ironically, as Berlinksi notes, Darwin had misgivings about the theory because, in "considering its consequences, he feared [it] might be true." But with Wallace, it was the other way around: "Considering, its consequences, he suspected his theory might be false."

And what are those consequences? They are too numerous to mention, but they ultimately result -- as is only logical and necessary -- in the elimination of Man as Such, if not in the short term, then most certainly in the long term. Don't you see it happening before your eyes, idiot?!

People who pretend to not understand the link between Darwinism or atheism and nazism or communism are just willfully obtuse, for the great mystery of the cosmos is not why evil exists.

Rather, as always, it is why goodness and decency exist. Not why there are sinners, but why there are saints. Not why there is despair, but why there is hope and joy. Not why there are liars who take advantage, but why there is Truth to which a good person naturally wishes to conform his being. Not why Madonna exists, but why Van Morrison does. Not why Bill Maher exists, but why Groucho did. And most assuredly, not why Sam Harris or Richard Dawkins sopher their books to exist, but why Frithjof Schuon or Meister Eckhart blessed us in their lifetomes.

As I argued in One Cosmos, Wallace came to the conclusion that "characteristic human abilities must be latent in primitive man, existing somehow as an unopened gift, the entryway to a world that primitive man does not possess and would not recognize." Such a view makes no sense in Darwinian terms, for it would suggest "the forbidden doctrine that evolutionary advantages were frontloaded far away and long ago; it is in conflict with the Darwinian principle that useless genes are subject to negative selection pressure and must therefore find themselves draining away in the sands of time" (Berlinski).

Again: in the upside-down world of bovine materialism, the gaps in being are infinite and unbridgeable. But in the right side-up world of the perennial religion, the ontological continuity is infinite, extending as it does from the top down, from the One to the many, from the center to the periphery, and from the Abbasolute father to his middling relativities. In such a universe, evil and falsehood are not permitted, but they are nevertheless necessary, or existence could not exist. Which is why all atheist cretins are liars. And why in coontrast I am a Free Man. Truth has a way of doing that.

53 Comments:

Blogger sorceror said...

Hitler wasn't an evolutionist. He sure wasn't a traditional Christian, of course, but he was sort of a neo-Pagan crypto-Christian who explicitly rejected evolution and based his racism on the idea that the 'races' had been created separately. The Holocaust owed far more to the virulent strain of anti-Semitism that Martin Luther embraced and fostered. That was certainly the motivation for the majority who actually carried out the crimes in person.

As to the Communist states under Stalin and Mao - they also explicitly rejected neo-Darwinian evolution and embraced (and enforced) Lysenkoism instead. The resulting crop failures when reality failed to match up to "worker's science" killed millions, accounting for a substantial chunk - possibly a majority - of the death toll from those regimes.

Ironically, the people under Hitler, Stalin, and Mao would have been better off if those 'leaders' had accepted neo-Darwinian evolution.

The idea of evolution's been misused, certainly - quite analogously to Luther's anti-Semitism - but those particular examples just, well, aren't examples.

5/16/2008 09:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

As usual, you are missing the point. The inversion of the cosmos, by whatever means, will eventually result in the elimination of Man as Such, whether it is by reductionist Darwinism, Lysenkoism, anti-Semitism, atheism, or "neo-Pagan crypto-Christianity" (and it is absurd to suggest that Hitler was any kind of Christian, crypto or otherwise; with that statement alone, you have squandered what little is left of your credibility, and announced your agenda). Besides, I can cite just as many sources that make the link between Hitler and the climate of German biology, i.e., that "competition between species was reflected in human affairs by competition between races."

5/16/2008 09:47:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

So "an improbable God, denied access to Being over the short term, may find himself clambering into existence over a term that is long." Yes, it's a silly argument, but that's scientism for you.

Ok, I'll play: is Eternity a long enough term for ya there bubba?

***********************

Berlinski will be on BookTV (CSPAN2) this weekend:

The Devil's Delusion: Atheism And Its Scientific Pretensions
Author: David Berlinski

Upcoming Schedule
Saturday, May 17, at 10:00 AM
Sunday, May 25, at 3:00 AM

5/16/2008 09:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

You're also introducing a straw man, because I know of no one who denies that Darwinian principles apply to farming, but I also know of no farmer who believes that the application of such principles will eventually turn corn into arugula.

5/16/2008 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Thank you Bob. Beautifully, brilliant post. Or is it the other way around? Yes.

Thank you, Petey, as always.

…and thank you, Ximeze!

5/16/2008 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger sorceror said...

petey - Hitler, as I said, wasn't a traditional Christian, but he believed that Jesus was an Aryan whose teachings had been corrupted. Hence, 'crypto-Christian'.

I'm not using Hitler as an argument against Christianity - I'm pointing out that he can't be used as an argument against 'Darwinism', for the same reasons. That's my 'agenda', such as it is.

Hitler never actually wrote or spoke of evolution in the biological sense, except negatively. But he certainly did make statements that were unequivocally religious. Speaking of the 'climate of German biology' without acknowledging the climate of German anti-Semitism isn't going to improve anyone's understanding of the Holocaust. Or help prevent such atrocities in the future.

5/16/2008 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Sorceror - It is pretty rare that a determined unbeliever such as yourself makes it a point to show up in a "wholly" place like this first thing in the morning.

Perhaps you should be questioning your motivation. Oh yeah - knock, knock... (at first this may look like Greek to you).

5/16/2008 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

If nothing else, Sorceror provides us all an object lesson on how to systematically not understand God, and to render him inaccessible -- i.e., to pull the wool over your own I -- as he is slave to a form of anti-cognition that attacks the very links through which God manifests to the intellect. It's fascinating if you ignore the content and focus on the process, as any good psychoanalyst must do. Why, it's almost as if he wishes not so much to discover truth as to find intellectual justification, however flimsy, to avoid an undesired one. Either way, God is the elephant in the living room of his discourse.

5/16/2008 10:57:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Nomo:
Bwaaaaaahahahaha well done!

PS: you're still my favorite hyper-link master around here. Quality always trumps quantity, don'tcha gno.

5/16/2008 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Sorceror,
You seem to know an awful lot more about Hitler than I would ever care to know. That’s the other point you missed in Bob’s post.
Now I’ve gone and broke my own rule.

Petey,

“Why, it's almost as if he wishes not so much to discover truth as to find intellectual justification, however flimsy, to avoid an undesired one.

I couldn’t agree more. I think that’s really what he didn’t like about what that woman, excuse me, “intruder” said to him. It wasn’t her presumption, it was the reminder.

5/16/2008 11:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Yes, as with Obama's outrage about Bush's speech -- as they put it at PowerLine -- "Barack Obama and his many friends in the mainstream media have projected Obama into Bush's speech, alleging that Bush made a veiled reference to him as a supporter of appeasement. From Hamlet we learn that the play's the thing wherein to catch the conscience of the king."

I think we've caught the conscience of the troll.

5/16/2008 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Sorceror, that's not crypto Christian. 'Crypto Christian' implies that you are secretly a Christian even though you obscure that fact. What Hitler was, was a 'pseudo Christian'. Like a Gnostic, Arian or Muslim, he took some Christian ideas and modified them to suit his needs.

Also, the notion of evolution itself became a fancy for everyone who thought they were smart enough to control the world. It gave people the impression that they understood and held the keys to the past and the future, and had no need for 'Divine Rights' or even 'Liberal Politics' (as defined at that time.) But instead, with evolution as a model they decided to interpret the world in that way.

It should be noted that few if any of the people in that period actually understood the theory (and I suppose the same is true today) but instead used the theory itself to cut God out of the equation. The result was worse than any number of 'Divine Right' kings or 'Deist' Republicans; it was 'we will speed up natural selection on our own.'

Ultimately Evolution is simply an innocuous explanation (that some number of believers will have to get around to digesting) but taken as the overarching paradigm it always creates havoc.

5/16/2008 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

By the way, as for my last statement: There will be worse ones.

5/16/2008 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I like Sorceror. He seems like a nice guy. It's always good to have people throwing gravel at you when you are ascending an icy slope. Climbing, as we are, the trail cut by B'ob on the glacier-decked rampants of Coonerest, we need all the traction we can get. It is all cool. (Should we tell him he's up here with us?)

Cosmology is ultimately the study of man -- and vice versa.

You would think the materialists would get it after a while.

GB says: People who pretend to not understand the link between Darwinism or atheism and nazism or communism are just willfully obtuse, for the great mystery of the cosmos is not why evil exists.

OK, so they don't want to get it.

Petey says: The inversion of the cosmos, by whatever means, will eventually result in the elimination of Man as Such

As C.S. Lewis put it, The Abolition of Man.

Petey: "Barack Obama and his many friends in the mainstream media have projected Obama into Bush's speech, alleging that Bush made a veiled reference to him as a supporter of appeasement. From Hamlet we learn that the play's the thing wherein to catch the conscience of the king."

I heard all the leftists squealing like pigs (apologies to Ned Beatty) because Bush said, in Israel, to Israelis -- you know, people that are constantly being pressured to give appeasement a chance (to wipe them off the map) -- that appeasement of Anti-Semitics got a lot of Jews killed in the Holocaust. Then the newsreader comes on last night and says with a straight face, "Bush attacks Obama on the issue of negotiating with Iran."

I'm an old hillbilly so I know more about ham than Hamlet, but I do know if you pitch a rock in the pigpen, the one that squeals is the one you hit.

5/16/2008 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Ha! That's a good one.

On a lighter note, this does a good job of explaining how the irreligious and anti-religious always end up creating a foolish and/or evil pseudo-church, now in the form of Obama-worship. I don't frighten easily, but this whole phenomenon does creep me out.

5/16/2008 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Sorceror, you yourself are an example of a person who does not take their non-theistic view of the world to mean that man is abolished. That is commendable to the extreme. However, (for instance) we can not assume that because there are a fair number of good Muslims that Islam is a good thing for the world.

Perhaps what we're confused about is evolution as science (which they rejected) and evolution as philosophy? Darwin originally intended it as science, but everyone else took it philosophically.

There are those today who are both.

Is that perhaps, the confusion?

5/16/2008 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

sorceror said "Hitler wasn't an evolutionist... The Holocaust owed far more to the virulent strain of anti-Semitism that Martin Luther embraced and fostered. That was certainly the motivation for the majority who actually carried out the crimes in person."

sigh.

"...But he certainly did make statements that were unequivocally religious..."

Yeah. He also made statements like "Germany only wants peace!". Dig a little deeper.

Whatever the meaning and consequence of Darwins research and theories, or any particular leading figures regard for them, Darwinism came about at a formative point in the development of Progressivism, and the Proregressives spun them as the Scientific proof! they needed to invalidate religion in particular, and morality, manners and custom in general, to bolster their deterministic notions flowing from the Feelourself's ala Rousseau & Godwin through to the pragmatists and Hegel & later Marx - they took it as their 'Get out of Hubris Free Card' and license for remaking man in their own image and they, the Hegelians, Marxists & Proregressive's, were the motive source for the communists, fascists and nazi's, and their modern day cousins in the modern left.

Darwinism, rightly or wrongly, was and is their fall back weapon of choice in any attack or defense against religion in particular, and morality, manners and custom in general - the Good, the Beautiful and the True.

From today,
"And what are those consequences? They are too numerous to mention, but they ultimately result -- as is only logical and necessary -- in the elimination of Man as Such, if not in the short term, then most certainly in the long term. Don't you see it happening before your eyes, idiot?!"

It's not religion that they are actually against, that's just the convenient straw man, heck, they happily slip into its costume and play dress up whenever possible; their real target and sworn enemy is Truth, Reality and Man's relation to them (and if they can keep their focus there, they can ignore "...the elephant in the living room...").

"To cite one obvious example, the laws governing the cosmos are either necessary or contingent -- they either must be, or they are a random accident. In the end, it's either God or nothing. But if the latter, we could not know that they are true, since truth is by definition necessary. How does absolute truth ever sneak its way into an absolutely relative cosmos? It's absurd."

Perspective matters.
"...Rather, as always, it is why goodness and decency exist. Not why there are sinners, but why there are saints. "

If you want a useful focus to turn your critical questioning towards, look to your own roots in 'Cogito ergo sum' - there you'll find the source not only of Hitler and the other repurposings of scientismic Darwinism, but of your own apparent homelessness.

5/16/2008 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ximeze said "Berlinski will be on BookTV (CSPAN2) this weekend:..."

You are my TV Guide!

5/16/2008 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

River said "Also, the notion of evolution itself became a fancy for everyone who thought they were smart enough to control the world. It gave people the impression that they understood and held the keys to the past and the future, and had no need for 'Divine Rights' or even 'Liberal Politics' (as defined at that time.) But instead, with evolution as a model they decided to interpret the world in that way."

Oooh! Riv, beat me to it on all counts!

5/16/2008 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Mushroom said "(Should we tell him he's up here with us?)"

Shhh! No... gotta be careful with intellectual vertigo... he might over correct and fall in the other direction... probably best if he figures it out slowly

5/16/2008 02:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Groucho said...

Speaking of survival of the hungriest…

...if anyone would like a glimpse of what this country would look like under the utopian system of communism, just have a look inside the “community” microwave oven of this office building.


(RR)

5/16/2008 03:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Cowardly Lion said...

Groucho,
I wouldn’t look in the fridge,
If.
I.
Were.
You.


(RR)
Happy Friday Raccoons!

5/16/2008 03:24:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Van said:
You are my TV Guide!

stage whisper to anyone who cares....signed-up over at booktv to get the schedule emailed each week to my home acct

**********************
Now for a really kewl, total OT:

Ancient church emerges from flooded valley for first time in 50 years. This year, receding waters have exposed the 11th-century church completely, attracting crowds of tourists who stand gazing around it on the dusty bed of the reservoir. (with pics!)

http://www.clipmarks.com/clipmark/
1AC55AB1-A6B9-42A1-AC89-E271C567E7E0/

5/16/2008 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Smoov said...

Bob,

Have you discussed Bob Marley here yet? I tried searching but no luck so far...

5/16/2008 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I don't believe so. I have a few reggae collections among my holdings, but a little goes a long way for me.

5/16/2008 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger sorceror said...

Nomo - I'm in the Eastern time zone, and I work in front of computers all day. I'm intrigued enough to post here after I've finished my webcomics. Oh, and I'm pretty familiar with the Bible - four years of Catholic high school. One passage that makes it hard for me to credit divine authorship is Deuteronomy 25:11-12.

River - You're right about the "crypto-"; that's the wrong prefix to use. I'll henceforth use "quasi-" or maybe "para-". The various heresies are certainly 'Christianish'. I'm fine with calling the eugenics types 'quasi-Darwinian' if it helps. They bore about as much relation to actual evolutionary science as Arians or Muslims do to Christianity.

I don't think evolution disproves God(s). I do think it rather heavily undermines what used to be a 'slam dunk' argument for God(s) - the 'argument from appearance of design in biology' - but that's not the same thing as arguing against theism. (Yeah, I can think Dawkins is wrong about a few things.)

Ricky - This is an interesting site to be invoking Godwin's Law. :->

Petey, River - A good book on evolution, which also has things to say about religion, is "Evolution For Everyone" by David Sloan Wilson. It actually changed my mind about some of these topics; you might find it interesting. Evolution is not a philosophy, or a 'theory of everything', but evolutionary thinking can produce some interesting insights, even outside the field of biology.

5/16/2008 07:18:00 PM  
Anonymous poopinschcooper said...

Kudos to sorcerer!
You done gott, kid. You succeeded in egging Petey out of his shell as the last lyin of defins, lest Bob himself needs appear from behind the certain to get in the lost word.
Last I saw Dupree he was pokin himself in the I with a scharp schtick. (Letting you in on a little coonfidence there.)

Despite some carpin and kvetchin about how dreary it is to put up with you, sanctimony aint nearly as...fun... without you.

5/16/2008 07:50:00 PM  
Anonymous coonified said...

"One passage that makes it hard for me to credit divine authorship is Deuteronomy 25:11-12."

Here it is in whole:

11 If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, 12 you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.

13 Do not have two differing weights in your bag—one heavy, one light. 14 Do not have two differing measures in your house—one large, one small. 15 You must have accurate and honest weights and measures, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. 16 For the LORD your God detests anyone who does these things, anyone who deals dishonestly.

The writer is obviously trying to make a point about honesty and fairness by using a third person-- the one watching the conflict between two men--to ensure and maintain balance between the two. If you introduce the third element, the the whole fight multiplies itself evermore, until the whole tribe's involved, and then the tribes...and so on.

Of course people don't cut of each others hands now days. That's cruel. But in the context of the culture back then, there could have been worse things. A lot worse.

The mouthpieces of spirit are still historically and culturally bound. Duh!

5/16/2008 08:01:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Sorceror,
It looks as though you have a cheerleading section here. In addition to poopinschcooper, he sometimes uses the moniker 'jackass'. (Letting you in on a little coonfidence there.)

5/16/2008 08:23:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

Sorceror is the most well-mannered troll I can remember visiting here. Shows you what good breeding can do.

5/16/2008 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Coonified - You da man.

Sorceror - "...pretty familiar with the Bible..."? And you're an atheist? Please say this isn't you.

5/16/2008 10:22:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5/16/2008 10:22:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

...or this or this. Seriously.

5/16/2008 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

sorceror said "Evolution is not a philosophy, or a 'theory of everything', but evolutionary thinking can produce some interesting insights, even outside the field of biology."

If you browse back through the archives, or better yet, buy The Coonifesto(psst! Cuz!... I get a commission... right?), you'll find that the facts of Evolution aren't what is denied here, just the darwinista's magical incantations of it.

I mean... really... some of it's claims are as outrageous as... as thinking that ol' yeller snow (poopinschcooper... rabid coon... his nic's are legion) could have descended from Man... ridiculous.

(Still laughin' oy)

5/16/2008 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Sorc,

My rule was to not talk to you anymore. It was a joke. Now I’ve broken my other rule about jokes.
But I'll do it only for the record:
You brought up Hitler. Repeatedly. And you may want to ask yourself why.

The point in Bob’s post that I implied that you missed was,

“…the great mystery of the cosmos is not why evil exists. Rather, as always, it is why goodness and decency exist. Not why there are sinners, but why there are saints.”

That was advice on which half of the cosmos is worth knowing something about.

5/16/2008 11:47:00 PM  
Anonymous marimoishe said...

Bob sed:
The human mind is an infinite space, which is the only way we can know of the infinite cosmos, being that the cosmos is consciousness exteriorized, while the mind is the cosmos interiorized. Again, animals do not live in the cosmos, only in their nervous systems. Alone among the animals, human beings have broken free of their neurology, and inhabit a vast cosmos in which consciousness is the center and axis. Cosmology is ultimately the study of man -- and vice versa.

I like this bit. Perhaps this is why, unlike many others I've known who have been fascinated with the heavens, I've never felt particularly insignificant when studying the stars and planets. Not only is the mind of man unfathomably vast within, but it seems designed to continue to expand. Likewise, if I can believe what God is telling us, the stars, planets, galaxies and other celestial objects we observe will some day pass away, but we will not. More than the earth or the moon or the stars, human souls were designed to be eternal. That rocks.

(slightly off-topic: Heh. Deuteronomy 25:11-12 seems to suggest that God doesn't much care for the "oooh, right in the family jewels" section of America's Funniest Home Videos. I've gotta say I'm with him on that one.)

5/17/2008 02:23:00 AM  
Blogger sorceror said...

Cousin Dupree - I'd like to advance the possibility of someone who enjoys thinking about and discussing some of the issues bandied about here, but who has reached different conclusions than you.

Van - what kind of claims, exactly, are "outrageous"? I suspect we'd agree on some, disagree on others.

Ricky - I don't think I'm the person to ask about who brought up Nazism. But I have thought about where goodness comes from.

5/17/2008 06:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Frithjof Schuon said...

In the opinion of all unbelievers, it is the absurdities contained in the sacred Scriptures which primarily stand in the way of the credibility of the Message; … error due to an ignorant and hasty reading... First of all, it is necessary to envisage a scripture in its totality and not be hypnotized, with perfect myopia, by a fragmentary difference, which after all is the perspective of the devil, who disparages a mountain because of a fissure and, conversely, praises an evil because of an inevitable particle of good. When Scripture is envisaged in its totality it imparts its global value and its supernatural character to whomever is not blinded by any prejudice and who has been able to preserve intact the normally human sensibility for the majestic and sacred…

5/17/2008 06:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

The set up of Sorceror's link is rather long and tedious, but at least there's a good punchline: "I contend that people in general are ethical and moral."

Yes, that would explain why history is such a freaking paradise.

Here again, there is an infinite gap between this "rational" belief and the "irrational" belief that man is fallen. The latter has far more explanatory power than the former, especially if you don't merely stop at the outer "husk," and take the time to probe the depth of its esoteric meaning in an authentic wisdom tradition. I believe it's safe to assume that none of our readers are unaware of alternative explanations for man's evil.

5/17/2008 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger sorceror said...

Cousin Dupree - Let's at least quote the whole sentence: "I contend that I am ethical and moral, that people in general are ethical and moral, because the alternative is running naked in the woods fighting over scraps of food."

People really do behave decently most of the time, at least with people they consider to be part of 'their group'. Compare day-to-day life with, say, what happens when the police go on strike.

5/17/2008 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger Dougman said...

Sorceror

Look at the evidence.
The Vikings were conquered by the Word.
As were the Romans,etc.
The list is still being compiled.
Christ tames the primative, after that, it's all about the maintanence.

5/17/2008 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger Dougman said...

"maintanence" or maintenance,
One of the two, sheesh!

5/17/2008 08:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

First comes the Word. Then it's all about the spelling.

5/17/2008 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

sorceror said "Van - what kind of claims, exactly, are "outrageous"? I suspect we'd agree on some, disagree on others."

That really was more of a quip at the canine's expense, than a serious statement.

Personally I do believe that the Universe has developed in accordance with the unfolding identity of it and its constituent parts, all of which - though we don't yet grasp the particulars of it (wow - now that's an understatement), form one integrated Whole.

I don't have a problem with evolution, I have a problem with evolutionists saying that they are aware of all of the factors involved, and that they are all reducible to known chemical processes, etc. I've read several sensible descriptions of how life evolved and yet while they do not understand the spark of life, they feel adequate to stating how it operates strictly within their conclusions. I think too often they don't have Newton's sense when pressed for an explanation of what gravity was, he replied ... ughh... too early to google the exact quote... something along the lines of "It is enough that I know gravity is, and have demonstrated its effects, one must have the sense to not venture beyond your knowledge and just say 'I don't know'".

BTW re your link, if you read the link to my site the other day, you know what opinion I have of Hume, the Dennet type materialists I think are more superstitious than their fundamentalist opponents, and the idea of a 'moral sense' is just more of the same foolishness.

"I contend that I am ethical and moral, that people in general are ethical and moral, because the alternative is running naked in the woods fighting over scraps of food."

That is nothing more than pragmatism, and Godwin's law and Ricky's rules notwithstanding, that will lead only to their ultimate expression via Hitler and his like.

There is the choice to think, or not to think, to think systematically or chaotically, to be principled or pragmatic, to respect reality or prefer your own whims to its dictates. Because of the nature of our minds and our soul (immortal or otherwise), it is through the Poetic, which holographically contains and integrates all the several truths of the prose within its Truth and that the One Truth is always more than can be contained in explanations. I make no claims to knowledge outside what can be observed in reality, I just don't make the mistake of discounting what I can by first hand experience ... inwardly outwards, or of thinking that my thinking anything is a primary from which to build thoughts upon, ala the silly cogitations or the cogito and Descartes.

Existence exists, we know it, and we learn to know what we know by identifying it... step by step - and morality follows from the application of capital 'R' Reason to that... and if you keep to the 'R', rather than the 'r' version of Reason, you'll find no conflict between Logic, Reality and Religion... only with many of the religious and 'rational' people you might meet. Religion, read properly, poetically (Dante gives a nice explanation here), you’ll probably be as startled as I was in my recent non-theistic past, to discover that there is much more to it than meets the I.

5/17/2008 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

sheesh. Please do my fumbling for missing words and botched grammar for me... told you it was too early.

... and it may be too early still, in part, because my Wife graduated last night... full RN now. Woo-Hoo!

5/17/2008 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Coongratulations to your wife, Van, that's a big achievement!

5/17/2008 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks for the tip about Book TV, Ximeze. I saw the mornin' showing of Berlinski.
I wasn't too impressed with some of the questions that were asked of him, but maybe I'm being too critical.
The best part of the show was when Berlinski was talkin'. :^)

5/17/2008 10:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Melvin_H_Fox said...

Hitler was no Christian (Mein Kampf):

“The two Christian denominations look on with indifference at the profanation and destruction of a noble and unique creature who was given to the world as a gift of God’s grace. For the future of the world, however, it does not matter which of the two triumphs over the other, the Catholic or the Protestant. But it does matter whether Aryan humanity survives or perishes. And yet the two Christian denominations are not contending against the destroyer of Aryan humanity but are trying to destroy one another. Everybody who has the right kind of feeling for his country is solemnly bound, each within his own denomination, to see to it that he is not constantly talking about the Will of God merely from the lips but that in actual fact he fulfils the Will of God and does not allow God’s handiwork to be debased. For it was by the Will of God that men were made of a certain bodily shape, were given their natures and their faculties. Whoever destroys His work wages war against God’s Creation and God’s Will." (p.310)

Hitler worshiped the creature (Aryan humanity) rather than the Creator. He advocated a race war against the Jews with delusions that is was God’s will.

"What we have to fight for is the necessary security for the existence and increase of our race and people, the subsistence of its children and the maintenance of our racial stock unmixed, the freedom and independence of the Fatherland; so that our people may be enabled to fulfil the mission assigned to it by the Creator." (p.125)

How ridiculous would it be that Hitler would think himself any sort of Christian when Jesus was a Jew?

"He will stop at nothing. His utterly low-down conduct is so appalling that one really cannot be surprised if in the imagination of our people the Jew is pictured as the incarnation of Satan and the symbol of evil. The ignorance of the broad masses as regards the inner character of the Jew, and the lack of instinct and insight that our upper classes display, are some of the reasons which explain how it is that so many people fall an easy prey to the systematic campaign of falsehood which the Jew carries on. While the upper classes, with their innate cowardliness, turn away from anyone whom the Jew thus attacks with lies and calumny, the common people are credulous of everything, whether because of their ignorance or their simple-mindedness. Government authorities wrap themselves up in a robe of silence, but more frequently they persecute the victims of Jewish attacks in order to stop the campaign in the Jewish Press." (p.184)

-Mel

5/17/2008 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger sorceror said...

Melvin - That's just it. Hitler didn't think Jesus was a Jew. He thought Jesus was Aryan.

I'd like to repeat that I'm not trying to blame Christianity for Hitler or the Holocaust. I'm simply pointing out that evolution can't take the blame, either. Hitler was, if anything, even less affiliated with evolution than with Christianity. Some people don't like me quoting science fiction authors, but sometimes they're just too darn pithy. Larry Niven: "There is no cause so noble it will not attract some kooks."

Van - it sounds like, from your blog, we could get along pretty well. If you look here, at the end, I state that dogmatism - being positive you have The Answer - is the real problem. I'm not frightened of laid-back, tolerant atheists or theists who don't take themselves too seriously. But I'm scared of dogmatic theists and dogmatic atheists.

5/17/2008 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger baldilocks said...

river cocytus said: "What Hitler was, was a 'pseudo Christian'. Like a Gnostic, Arian or Muslim, he took some Christian ideas and modified them to suit his needs." Or like a Black Liberation Theologist.

5/17/2008 08:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Melvin_H_Fox said...

There is what Hitler thought and then there is Hitler’s line of thinking. His line of thinking, intentional or not, lines up with the evolutionary fairy tale. Sir Arthur Keith argued this as far back as the 1940’s in his book “Evolution and Ethics”. On the other hand, evolution and Christianity are irreconcilable.
In the love of Christ,
-Mel

5/19/2008 12:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Melvin_H_Fox said...

Ray,
Have read your “So why do you think the concept of God is incoherent?” I would enjoy the opportunity to discuss your valid concerns. Are you interested?
In the love of Christ,
-Mel

5/19/2008 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger sorceror said...

Melvin - Ever heard the stories of Spanish missionaries baptizing native-American infants, and then immediately killing them so the babies' souls would be sure to go to Heaven? I'm not sure those are real, but that bears about as much relation to Christian doctrine as 'Social Darwinism' does to evolution. Both positions leave out quite crucial bits of information and come to exactly wrong conclusions.

(Feel free to email me, that's my real email address. Or, we could have a discussion on your blog, if you like.)

5/19/2008 06:17:00 PM  

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