Wednesday, November 25, 2009

If Wishes Were Hearses, Atheists Would Ride in Back

I'm glad everyone is enjoying this little series of posts, because I don't think Oldbob is. The one thing that leftists, atheists, global warmists, and Obamists cannot tolerate is ridicule. After all, they are the ridiculers. It's what they do. It's their main mode of argument. Not for nothing are all of the deepest thinkers of the left comedians -- Bill Maher, Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo, Jon Stewart, Will Ferrell, Rosie O'Donnell, David Letterman, Roseanne, Joe Biden, et al. And no one ridicules the ridiculers!

By the way, isn't it fitting that "Mister Rational," Bill Maher, is being eviscerated and shown for the buffoon he is, with his anti-vaccination lunacy? And now climategate. It's not easy being so brilliant. (More on the liberal war on science and reason here.)

Well, things are also about to get tougher for Oldbob. Next up is argument #5, which I will quote verbatim, even though it makes me cringe by proxy. It sounds exactly like some of our trolls. To think that I was once one of them!

"No tenable argument for the existence of God has ever been promulgated. For one thing, the word 'God' has no definition, and one can never assert that something exists without saying what the existent precisely is. Who would dispute for long about 'blue meanies' without indicating in a rough way what these are?"

Really, this is too stupid and incoherent to even take seriously. Let's start with the first statement, "No tenable argument for the existence of God has ever been promulgated."

In fact, plenty of tenable arguments for the existence of God have been promulgated (and BTW Oldob, who are you trying to impress? I know you just learned that big word last week!). But even then, rational arguments about the existence of God only take one so far, which is to say, not very. However, I maintain that in our hyper-materialist age, these arguments are actually more important than ever, because they help the mind transcend its own limitations, and give one "permission to believe," so to speak.

For better or worse, modern man's intelligence must be convicted. And there is a huge upside to this, as I am not one of those people who shun the countless technological blessings of modernity brought to us by scientific rationalism. It's just that one must not confuse method with ontology, the map with the territory. Science is a way to look, not the thing seen.

In his Logic and Transcendence, Schuon has a couple of chapters devoted to this topic, Concerning Proofs of God and The Argument from Substance. To even mention "Schuon" and "Oldbob" in the same breath should be a source of deep embarrassment to the latter. But how is he to know that there are intellects that tower over his? A fluorescent bulb in a dark room can appear brighter than the sun. And Oldbob was futilely attempting to develop pnuemagraphs in his windowless little darkroom.

Likewise, how is Richard Dawkins to know that he and Thomas Aquinas are not meeting on the same ontological playing field, let alone Bill Maher and Hans von Balthasar? Children have no way of knowing what is far above and beyond them.

Just yesterday, my son, good boy that he is, took his dinner plate over to the countertop when he was finished eating. He thought he was placing it on a surface, because he had no way of knowing that he was dropping it into a concavity known as the "sink," so the plate broke. How many of us get into trouble in life because we have no idea of the outlines, contours, attractors, and forces that lie above -- to say nothing of the powers and principalities below?

Just recently, Mrs. G. and I have begun the practice of reading my long series of meditations on Meditations on the Tarot, which I did last year. I explained to her that one of the main purposes of these verticalisthenics is to be able to "see," "hear," and "touch" the spaces they illuminate. Yes, a regular exoteric practice helps one intuit these realities, and for many people, that's enough.

But these exercises - and I hope my blog in general -- help one to really see what's going on. I don't think it's any different than the manner in which science helps to illuminate material reality. It's just that we are attempting to illuminate immaterial reality. It's just as lawful, except that the laws are not necessarily embedded in matter, so they're not as obvious to the senses.

Again, there's nothing wrong with intuition. As Schuon writes, "if authentic, it necessarily contains in an infused manner the certainty transmitted by the proofs of God or the supernatural." Many people are convicted in this way -- just as the materialist is ultimately convicted by his own defective sense that there is no reality above matter. It's just a feeling he has, not a proper thought, let alone intellection. In the end, atheists are rank sentimentalists.

Schuon begins with the idea -- and when you think about it, all philosophies must begin here, on pain of undercutting their own foundation and rooting themselves in accident and contingency -- that "human intelligence coincides in its essence with certainty of the Absolute." This is really just another way of affirming the Truth that truth exists and man may know it. If he cannot know truth, then we have no argument, for what are we arguing over? The more attractive lie?

Indeed, we might say to Oldbob: "You say that no tenable argument for the existence of God has ever been promulgated. Is that true? Really? Are you sure? Then there is your tenable argument for the existence of God: truth surely exists, and man may know it."

As Schuon points out, the traditional proofs of God are not intended to be the end, merely the beginning; they "can serve as keys for restoring to intelligence its characteristic and integral nature." Truly, they are more like enzymes, or fertilizer, that helps restore the balance of your barren psyche.

But even then, the fertilizer does nothing if the seeds aren't there: "In the spiritual order, a proof is of assistance only to the man who wishes to understand and who, because of this wish, has in some measure understood it already; it is of no practical use to one who, deep in his heart, does not want to change his position and whose philosophy merely expresses this desire."

So I say to Oldbob: yours is a philosophy of your own desire that it be true. If it is, then it isn't. But at least you still have your desire to guide you through life. Enjoy the ride!


Northern Bandit said...

Those super-smart jet-setting uber-atheists have debunked a whopping 36 arguments for the existence of God!

Oh why can't we all be smart like atheists are smart?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why scepticism regarding vaccinations is lunacy. I am always sceptical of so-called scientific consensus--as in the case of human caused global warming. Some vaccinations have proven useful, others not. The propoganda regarding them, is, of course, full on. You obviously buy the vaccination propaganda whole-heartedly but not the climateganda. They are of a piece, I assure you.

Gagdad Bob said...

Thanks. So long as I have your assurance, I'll ignore the science.

Anonymous said...

I heard a good little tune the other day.
Can you name the tweaker?

“When microscopes were discovered, there where some clergymen who thought that with sufficient magnification, it would be possible to see a little Jesus in the host -- which is hardly less silly than the hyper-rational atheist who rejects religion, in effect, because he can't see God with the tools of empirical science.”

Hint: rhymes with Gobert Rodwin


Anonymous said...

Hey Anon!
(not me)
No offense…but I’ve seen what you’re kind do to data.

Cousin Dupree said...

The belief that vaccinations cause autism is caused by intellectual autism.

Anonymous said...

I don't know who this guy is..but he's pretty funny!


Anonymous said...

Why does today feel like open-line Friday?

BTW, Rush is on fire today.
(no anon, not literally)


Anonymous said...

I said nothing regarding autism. I'm simply referring to the meme of scientific consensus--in any field. It is never lunacy to be sceptical of it. It is only politically correct fascism to speak of those who are sceptical of any scientific consensus as lunatics.

Cousin Dupree said...

Your mercury fillings are obviously affecting your brain.

Anonymous said...

Not for nothing are all of the deepest thinkers of the left comedians -- Bill Maher, Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo, Jon Stewart, Will Ferrell, Rosie O'Donnell, David Letterman, Roseanne, Joe Biden, et al.
I wonder why you keep repeating this kind of obvious and transparent lie. Nobody -- including the people named -- would consider these "the deepest thinkers on the left". By claiming that, you just appear to be someone whose view of politics is shaped largely by watching entertainment TV. A moron, in other words.

You might ask yourself why it is so easy to ridicule conservatives, while the efforts of conservatives to counterattack (the late and unlamented Half-hour News Hour, or that terrible movie with Kelsey Grammer) have been dismal failures.

Anna said...

"This is really just another way of affirming the Truth that truth exists and man may know it."

This is like time travel back to the fork in the road where those silly nilly philosophers said you can't know anything (er, how then do you know *that*? Anyway...) and truth is a construct of power, that winded down to postmodern deconstruction theories. It's neat to see it in that stark of a contrast, that clean of a break.

""In the spiritual order, a proof is of assistance only to the man who wishes to understand and who, because of this wish, has in some measure understood it already;..."

Proofs, the definition of "proof", is proof "according to". It's an account. If someone's account sheet or original comparison standard is off, then the proof won't match up. In math, that's always how it works. You prove something according to something else. (There are always the axiomatic givens, as well.) The equal sign implies equivalent values in different forms on either side, until the values are shown to be equivalent through identical forms.

Divorced from being, then, maybe knowing is a branch on the dirt that fell off the Vine. Kind of futile. It is pretty amazing that the existence of the ability to know is how we can know that God exists. An economically trim proof of Truth kit, all in one.

Petey said...

Speaking of invisible landscapes: Rock. Pig. Squeal.

Anonymous said...

ok, Petey, you win, as always. Global warming is settled--it's human caused; all vaccinations should be injected into babies and infants, as many as scientists say we need; evolution is not a theory, it's a fact; there are millions of parallel universes; everyone should undergo psychotherapy.

Go Science! Poo Poo religion!

Northern Bandit said...

Somebody needs to google the meaning of "tongue in cheek".

Kinda hard to hang out here without that little meme under your pelt.

Cousin Dupree said...

Leftists simply don't get humor when it's directed at them. Does not compute.

Cousin Dupree said...

Which is why all of those great thinkers have such difficulty finding humor in the ridiculous figure of Obama....

Cousin Dupree said...

Besides, the inclusion of Joe Biden should have been a tip-off. He's obviously not a comedian. He's a clown.

Anonymous said...

I generally don't find political humor all that funny. No matter who it's from. Either that or it's not very memorable.
It's just heckling weird al yankovick style. Predictable. Anybody can do it. However, that young guy Steve Crowder is it? He's pretty funny.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the double post. Phone flipped out for a sec..

Anonymous said...

Consider the One God Universe: OGU. The spirit recoils in horror from such a deadly impasse. He is all-powerful and all-knowing. Because He can do everything, He can do nothing, since the act of doing demands opposition. He knows everything, so there is nothing for Him to learn. He can't go anywhere, since He is already fucking everywhere, like cowshit in Calcutta.

The OGU is a pre-recorded universe of which He is the recorder. It's a flat, thermodynamic universe, since it has no friction by definition. So He invents friction and conflict, pain, fear, sickness, famine, war, old age and Death.


The Magical Universe, MU, is a universe of many gods, often in conflict. So the paradox of an all-powerful, all-knowing God who permits suffering, evil and death, does not arise.

-- William S. Burroughs, The Western Lands

Gagdad Bob said...

I'll see your duality and raise you one Person.

julie said...

Related, via Vanderleun:

Suppose Tim and I are having a debate. Tim already strongly dislikes me for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that in his mind he has categorized me as an evil conservative who stands in the way of his grand vision of society with my backwards, brainwashed ideas dicated to me by that religion that I don’t actually have.

It’s easy for that dislike to spill over into abject distrust. When I speak truth to him, he hears lies.

But the nice thing about the truth is that it’s true.

Cassandra said...

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

I am very thankful for this blog. There is nothing quite like it.

walt said...

Let me be the first to second what Cassandra said!

Anonymous said...

Third it!
Hey Walt!


Van said...

"By the way, isn't it fitting that "Mister Rational," Bill Maher, is being eviscerated and shown for the buffoon he is..."

Bill M. and the non-blue anonymi... they're all in on the joke they don't get... now that's funny!

Van said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

(4th'd it!)

Anonymous said...

So which Bob would the kid like better?