Monday, May 13, 2013

Venting Rage


The sexual abuse stuff that is being played out in inquiries across the land is gob smacking. There is now a virtual inquiry industry happening after decades of neglect and indifference. We are seeing a fundamental shift in social power.  Once a potent religious institution was above the law.  This has mercifully been reversed.  The mighty are falling.  The stories are shocking. My rage is simmering.  The rage of innocent Catholics must be wild. How about yours?
Let us first document this new inquiry map.  In addition to the many belated individual committals and trials there are three main inquiries going on concurrently. 
In NSW there is the Special Commission of Inquiry concerning child sexual abuse allegations in the Hunter region raised by Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox in an ABC Lateline interview. This is an interesting tale for it is examining how another institution, the police, may be culpable.  The police and the Church, partners in imposing moral order now stand accused of collaborating to subvert that order. Complementary institutions sometimes have a habit of supporting each other.  This can be a great thing.  It could be evidence of social harmony.  Or it can be selfish incumbents protecting their rear ends.  Time will tell. 
In Victoria, there is a Parliamentary Inquiry.  This Inquiry probably only saw the light of day because of the mass suicide of victims in the Ballarat  area of between 35 and 50 young men damaged by the Catholic school they attended.  These suicides numbers are appalling.  The not only demonstrate the frequency of abuse suggesting utter organizational cruelty but also dramatically exemplify the pain of abuse. Victims sometimes would rather die.
Nationally, the Queen issued Letters Patent for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse.  This was mirrored with the issue of 6 State Letters Patent. So if you include the 6 States, there could be said to be 9 inquiries of various different flavours. 
Don’t think however that they 9 inquiries are overkill. They are belated response to bipartisan indifference. Governments of every hue have turned a Nelsonian blind eye to the widespread ruination of children’s’ lives. 
Several overwhelming issues strike me. 
The Ballarat mass suicide is so significant one must ask whether there is a case to be made for seeing whether anyone who failed to act should be charged with manslaughter.  The slaughter is there, but are there the elements for criminally negligent manslaughter? Time will tell. It is a shocking event. Unlike other sorts of disasters where the death toll occurs at one moment in time, this was played out over years of abuse and subsequent silent suffering.  So as an event of alleged mass manslaughter it is invisible.  But it is a disaster nonetheless with more  suffering and death than say the Port Arthur massacre of 1996 or the West Gate Bridge collapse of 1970 where 35 people died in each.  But not many of us would see it that way.  I hope that this perception will change and that the group killing is recognized for the serious (and avoidable) disaster that it has been.
Another issue is nature of the Catholic expression of contrition.  Upon the announcement of the Royal Commission, Cardinal Pell, whilst welcoming the Commission, blamed a smear campaign against the Catholic Church and a persistent press campaign. Since then, the leadership of the Church have put on their professional sad faces, clasping their hands in front of them in their magnificent robes at healing ceremonies. I feel anger that these hypocrites have never, I repeat never, dobbed in an offender to the police. They have never called for assistance in weeding out abusers. They set up programs populated by good people (an uncle of mine included) but no one I know of gets sent to the independent criminal justice system.
The final issue for today is the role of the kinky anti sex rules of Catholicism.  The promotion of abstinence never gets a mention in the Letters Patent.  We respect faith no matter how bizarre.  The overwhelming issue appears to be the hierarchical nature of those faiths where miscreants can flower.   Obedient hierarchies suppress complaint and give the leaders a sense of being untouchable. But no one is investigating the role of sex and faith.  Sexual dysfunction in the form of no sex for the leadership is mandated by Catholicism. This kinky rule needs to be addressed but is not.
I need to acknowledge that the Catholics are not the only ones involved – Jews and Anglicans get a mention too.  But they are only mentions by comparison. I am a Facebook friend of Manny Waks who is a crusader on the Jewish abuse issue. At least Manny is a voice from within.
I could go on and on and indeed will.  I will try to avoid being a self-righteous atheist. Such complacency is tempting but must be resisted.
We are all angry I am sure.  For those of the faith, they must be appalled and embarrassed.  For those of no faith, we must guard against smugness and make sure we do not opportunistically delight in the suffering and death of others.  Several issues need your contribution:

  •  Are you as angry as I am? Are you Catholic and angry?
  •  Am I merely a sleazy opportunist?
  •  Will this taint Catholicism forever or will the Church recover quickly as I suspect it will?
  •   What do you think of the Church’s repentance?
  • What do think of the 35 to 50 Ballarat suicides? Mass manslaughter or a tiny problem easily ignored?
Over to you guys…

271 comments:

  1. MalcolmS10:45 PM

    "Will this taint Catholicism forever or will the Church recover quickly as I suspect it will?"

    Catholicism has always been "tainted" by the absurdity of its dogma. Imagine the deaths of innocents in the middle ages when the only authority was the Church. It makes my skin crawl. The Catholic Church is a leading contender for history's most evil organisation.

    "We respect faith no matter how bizarre"

    Freedom of religion should be a right but "respect" is not required. Faith is never a substitute for reason.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Malcolm. I wonder what members of the Church believe though? Dick

      Delete
    2. 8x
      Faith is never a substitute for reason.
      x8

      So true Mal-ingerer.

      Unfortunately judged solely by your addleheaded, self referential, contradictory wacky do, reason aint much cop either.

      8x
      Catholicism has always been "tainted" by the absurdity of its dogma.
      x8

      So very true as well there Mal-adjusted.

      Sigh.

      If only there was some kind of alternative epistemology that wasnt simply the ramblings of a patently idiotic, pseudo-rational, basement dwelling adolescent, channeling the long-winded mystical foolosophy of some drug-addled paranoid fiction writer...

      Wouldn't that be great for a change?

      Love
      Billy

      Delete
    3. MalcolmS9:00 PM

      "I wonder what members of the Church believe though? Dick"

      I used to wonder that as a youngster. Until I studied the dogma.

      Now, what they believe is all just so irrelevant.

      It has certainly made them no better than non-believers.

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS9:05 PM

      zedinhisbigloonyflyinghead: "If only there was some kind of alternative epistemology..."

      There is. It's called faith. Or scepticism. Or, in your case, asserting the arbitrary.

      So, what are the errors in Rand?

      Oh...? You have no such knowledge? And have no intention of getting any?

      That comment just popped out of your big loony head after you fell out of a very high tree?

      Perhaps you should, like a dog, return to your vomit and change your kitty litter!

      Delete
    5. 8x
      zedinhisbigloonyflyinghead
      x8

      Who?

      8x
      Oh...? You have no such knowledge? And have no intention of getting any?
      x8

      I've seen Battlefield Earth, so there!

      Anyhow, you can certainly speak from experience about "not getting knowledge" cant you, Captain Contradictory?

      mal-encholy strike 1

      8x
      Oh...? You have no such knowledge? And have no intention of getting any?
      x8

      mal-encholy strike 2

      8x
      I have never looked up any of your links and have no intention of ever doing so.
      x8

      mal-encholy strike 3

      8x
      The endorsement of such a contradiction makes it both false and unworthy of further comment.
      x8

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  2. Yes I'm angry, like Mal it makes my skin crawl.
    No Sir, you are not an unbelieving opportunist, you have been at the forefront of decency, one of the few to use whatever station they have to highlight the injustice even in the face of powerful global institutions such as religion, Dick, I dips my lid to you
    I think all religions are facing an onslaught from modernity, information and communications, there's no going back, unless we are damned to a devolution to middle-aged society, the end is nigh. Yes, there will be rumps of delusions, re-badged attempts to claim legitimacy, but global god cults will wane with every passing generation. Sadly, the Catholic hierarchy lives in a rarefied and self-serving world, they wont change, the fact that they can turn their backs to the sufferings of raped children speaks for itself.
    I do wish women were more involved in the upper echelons of religious power, I suspect the rot set in when they were pushed aside, I include Buddhist, Hindu, and all the triumvirate Abrahamic traditions in this accusation. When all is said and done there will still be incest to deal with, but maybe, just maybe, many of the seeds of this evil will be crushed by delivering a secular hammer blow to institutional rapists and their enablers. A powerful message is imperative to future proof our descendants from all of these horrors no matter the source.

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    1. "I do wish women were more involved in the upper echelons of religious power"

      They are in most modern Pagan religions.

      Delete
    2. Help me out here Stranger, what modern religions? Neo-Druids? Scientology? Jedi?

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    3. I wrote modern Pagan religions; eg Wicca, neo-Asatru/Khemet/Celtic/Aztec, many Shamanic traditions etc.

      Delete
  3. I remember anger at this many years ago - now I am numb. They did not seem to get it. They still don't seem to get it.

    Some of the Catholics I know have maintained the anger and some will not attend church any more.

    The idea of charges of criminally negligent manslaughter charges sounds good - sadly the law probably does not cover this case.

    As for the secular hammer - what are you thinking? That this only happens in religious organisations?

    No, this is widespread. I am betting that the media industry is the next - although the media, especially the commercial media, are even better protected than the Catholic hierarchy was.

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    1. Robin: Some of the Catholics I know have maintained the anger and some will not attend church any more.

      Gee, I’ll bet that’s a comfort to the victims. Of course, I don’t suppose your friends would consider going a little further and saying sorry for their part in all this. After all, they were pretty dumb to hand custody of their kids to men who’d never had shag and think nothing bad would come if it.

      It’s like those white people in South Africa who say they never stood up to apartheid because they didn’t know what was going on? Stupidity is no defence. All they had to do was open their eyes and look around.

      Delete
    2. Robin:

      Oh, and after you’ve suggested to your Catholic friends that they apologise to the victims of child abuse, you might like to stand up and make a mild apology of your own. Tell the victims you’re sorry for being a religious apologist and thereby helping the religious fend off criticisms badly needed to keep them in check.

      You could go further and say that from now on you’re going to be anti religion. Tell the victims that while it’s alright, sort of, to think there’s a god, it’s plain madness to think you know that god’s name, the members of his family, his enemies, where he lives, what he’s thinking, and what he expects of you.

      And if you get asked why you’ve changed your mind, say you woke up one morning, and for the first time in a long time you started to think, and it occurred to you that 13.72 billion years is a long time for god to wait to put people on planet Earth.

      Do it, you’ll feel better.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:23 PM

      Thanks for you insight on the reaction of those of faith Robin. Dick

      Delete
    4. Terry, I know your comments were directed to Robin but I believe that sometimes silence can be seen as tacit agreement.

      I am an atheist, my brother a Catholic, my sister a Christian. We are all good people. Not all Catholics are responsible for these atrocities. My brother is as horrified as I am about this issue. He believes those who covered up the abuse should be held accountable, that priests should be able to marry, and that women should be ordained priests. And like me he does not believe celibacy is the only problem. Some major issues are abuse of power, a sense of self aggrandisement and top of the list, paedophilia. Arrogance and self righteousness may also play a part, but then there are many arrogant, self righteous people in this world, not all of them Catholics.

      Re: ‘I don’t suppose your friends would consider going a little further and saying sorry for their part in all this.’ My Catholic brother is no more responsible for these abuses than I am. We came from a home where physical child abuse was the norm, but none of us grew up to be abusive of our children. Had we abused our children then we would be responsible for that, we are not responsible for the actions of the Catholic Church. My brother is a Catholic, not a paedophile.

      I don’t understand my brother’s beliefs, but I respect his right to hold them, just as he respects my right to be an atheist. Like mature adults, we agree to disagree on certain issues. Our differences are the ingredients that create many interesting, and yes sometimes heated discussions.

      Regarding your remark re handing ‘custody of their kids to men who had never had shag’ - If the lack of a ‘shag’ was the cause of the problem why is there widespread sexual abuse in non celibate organisations. Yes I know the Catholic Church is the worst offender, but it is not the only offender. Also do you believe it was the lack of a ‘shag’ that caused the nun in charge of the boarders at my school to beat me, and the other nuns to cover up for her?

      One final comment, some of the victims are still practicing Catholics, not all but some.

      Delete
    5. Proselytising now Terry?

      Oh well, I will address this later when I have time.

      Delete
    6. Tricia: I know your comments were directed to Robin but I believe that sometimes silence can be seen as tacit agreement.

      Yes, Tricia, that’s my point exactly. It’s not good enough for a Catholic to simply tell his friends he doesn’t like what’s going on and stop going to church. He has to make some effort to effect change, otherwise he’s complicit. If you see your neighbour beating his wife do you don’t draw the curtains and turn up the radio, do you? No, you do something like call the police or jump over the fence and stop the man.

      You shouldn’t be apologising for Catholics. You should be taking every opportunity to give them a good kick in the arse so they get off their couches and join the protest against their bloody awful church.

      Delete
    7. So, Terry, are you saying that everyone is complicit in every evil that they did not actively try to prevent? Yes?

      Or does your tortured logic only apply to religious people?

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    8. Or are you perhaps saying that the average Catholic, or even the average believer in God knew about these things before atheists did?

      Delete
    9. "Or are you perhaps saying that the average Catholic, or even the average believer in God knew about these things before atheists did?"

      They probably did Robin, your average Catholic spends a lot more time at church related activities than your average atheist.

      Delete
  4. I'm angry about many areas of this issue. However my white hot rage is fuelled by those who for so many years covered up this despicable crime, and in so doing enabled years of suffering, and precipitated the decline and death of many. These are the ones I long to see brought to justice. In my opinion they should stand shoulder to shoulder with the abusers they enabled, and their punishment should be great, as was their crime.

    Much has been written about the suicides but, in my opinion, that is just the tip of the sword of Damocles. It seems fitting to use the Damoclean metaphor as Damocles was an obsequious courtier. How many obsequious Vatican courtiers have presided over the cover up of abuse and the consequent destruction of so many lives?
    How many addicts are victims of abuse?
    How many in our mental health system have been broken by abuse?
    How many supposed overdoses are a consequence of a childhood lived in pain and terror?
    How many fatal car accidents were not accidents?

    I believe the death toll from this horror is far greater than we realise. I follow a Facebook page where victims comment. Their pain is palpable. Some are articulate, and others so broken they struggle to communicate their suffering.

    It seems appropriate that the abusers and their protectors are soon to be seated under the suspended sword of justice. But will justice be done? This is a question that haunts me whenever I think about this issue.

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    1. RalphH6:12 PM

      triciabertram7:14 AM, the 'Sword of Damocles' is a great story, I'm trying to get my head around how it could be symbolic of justice. Justice is often depicted as having a sword (I think Biblically a sword represents truth) but the sword is always in conjunction with a set of scales.

      I think the point of the Greek myth was Damocles lusted for the power and trappings of high office but failed to see the responsibility that comes with it. When push came to shove he wasn't willing to accept that responsibility – he was more involved with self-indulgence and self-aggrandisement.

      I agree with you about the flow-on effects of this insidious evil. Evil certainly doesn't go away if one sweeps it under the carpet as the RCC has done. It has to be brought out into the open/exposed for the blight it imposes on so many lives and summarily dealt with. Hopefully the current endeavours will do this.

      Delete
    2. Hello Ralph,

      I’m very familiar with the Sword of Damocles myth. If you reread my first two paragraphs you will see that I am referring to those who covered up the abuse as being, like Damocles, obsequious courtiers. In this case they sacrificed the safety of children, in their lust for power - refer ‘obsequious Vatican courtiers’. Like Damocles, some self interested members of the church hierarchy pander to papal rules. I think many in the church hierarchy were silent because they put self interest and promotion within the church, ahead of the safety of innocent children.

      In my final paragraph, I am referring to the sword of justice – the quest for truth, not the sword of Damocles. I used the word suspended in the last paragraph because we are all waiting to see if justice or power will prevail. I fear the church still holds great power in the community, and I fear that justice may not be done, I hope I am wrong.

      I was very angry when I wrote the post and can see how my mixing of metaphors could be confusing. Hope this makes things a little clearer.

      Delete
  5. RalphH9:04 AM

    Dick (venting rage - Monday, May 13, 2013), my initial response is about what seems to me to be an indiscriminate mixing of rage/anger and justice. IMO, rage/anger (violent emotion) are contrary to justice and only ever result in revenge and a continuing cycle of violence.

    I believe the correct terminology should be zeal. One can be zealous for justice (or the truth) without any spirit of retaliation or revenge.

    The main aim of justice is the restoration of order, not punishment (though punishment may be a necessary means to that end). As Shakespeare's character Hamlet says, "“Use every man according to his desert and who should 'scape whipping?" (Hamlet Act 2, Scene 2) Also Jesus said to the accusers of an adulteress, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." (John 8:7)

    Child abuse (particularly at the hands of those supposedly in a position of trust), and the covering up of such betrayal are horrific crimes but if justice is to be effected they must be dealt with dispassionately and rationally. Blame needs to be apportioned where it belongs – to individuals – not to an entire organisation or as some would have it against religion as a whole. Should this occur there will be many more innocent victims – forced to make reparations for others faults.

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    1. Ralph: Blame needs to be apportioned where it belongs – to individuals – not to an entire organisation or as some would have it against religion as a whole.

      I think you’re just being one-eyed here. If you were a doctor, and a dozen people presented with the same cancer, and all of them lived in the same street, the first thing you’d do is look at their surroundings for the cause. Why wouldn’t you do the same in this case?

      What is unreasonable about asking if widespread sexual abuse and cover up is more likely in an organisation whose members answer only to the creator of the universe than in an organisation whose members answer to their fellow citizens here on Earth?

      Delete
    2. RalphH6:06 PM

      triciabertram7:14 AM, the 'Sword of Damocles' is a great story, I'm trying to get my head around how it could be symbolic of justice. Justice is often depicted as having a sword (I think Biblically a sword represents truth) but the sword is always in conjunction with a set of scales.

      I think the point of the Greek myth was that Damocles lusted for the power and trappings of high office but failed to see the responsibility that comes with it. When push came to shove he wasn't willing to accept that responsibility – he was more involved with self-indulgence and self-aggrandisement.

      I agree with you about the flow-on effects of this insidious evil. Evil certainly doesn't go away if one sweeps it under the carpet as the RCC has done. It has to be brought out into the open/exposed for the blight it imposes on so many lives and summarily dealt with. Hopefully the current endeavours will do this.

      Delete
    3. RalphH6:10 PM

      Apologies - posted in the wrong place. Can you remove it Dick?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:26 PM

      Two things. Ralph thanks for your observations on "zeal" and "rage". I will alter my language accordingly. On the removal of the posts, I am interstate at the moment and will do so when I return home and get my various passwords in order.
      Dick

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    5. RalphH4:16 AM

      Terry4:57 PM, from your responses to Robin (above) I think it rather obvious that you are the one with blinkers on. IMO, your doctor analogy doesn't hold any water . If you look at the entire gamut of religion the overall picture is positive and good. Evils only result when religion is twisted and abused by perverse human nature.

      Religion teaches the opposite of perversity. For example – on this topic, "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)

      A far better analogy could be had with the law. If a lawyer was a rat-bag and a crook, adept at twisting the law and taking advantage of people would you lay blame on the whole legal system and wish to destroy it?

      Your final question is a no-brainer. If a being is powerful enough and loving enough to create a universe and beings within it capable of emulating His character. If He reveals to them the optimum means of achieving eternal happiness and contentment and also spells out the result of ignoring and countering His wisdom, why would anyone who believes and understands want to go contrary to those instructions?

      Only arrogant and selfish fools (including those calling themselves religious but being hypocritical or having ulterior motives ) who at heart, did not want to believe or understand would be likely to embrace evils that brought pain and suffering on their fellow-beings.

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    6. Ralph: Evils only result when religion is twisted and abused by perverse human nature.

      Good point. If you give people something like religion they’re bound to do bad things with it. Well, let’s get rid of religion then.

      Delete
    7. Ralph: A far better analogy could be had with the law. If a lawyer was a rat-bag and a crook, adept at twisting the law and taking advantage of people would you lay blame on the whole legal system and wish to destroy it?

      No, you wouldn’t blame the system if only one lawyer acted like a ratbag. But I’m not talking about one lawyer, am I? I’m asking what you’d do if lots and lots of lawyers started acting like ratbags. Then it would most definitely be fair to ask if perhaps there is something wrong with the whole system.

      Delete
    8. RalphH3:09 AM

      “Good point. If you give people something like religion they’re bound to do bad things with it. Well, let’s get rid of religion then.” (Terry6:45 PM)

      You're certainly demonstrating my claim about the blinkers Terry. The problem is 'perverse human nature', not religion. Religion (noun 1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion?s=t ) is as valid as any other discipline. There are false, pseudo-religions (like Scientology) that do not incorporate a “superhuman agency” but they are few and obviously fake.

      Delete
    9. RalphH3:14 AM

      “No, you wouldn’t blame the system if only one lawyer acted like a ratbag. But I’m not talking about one lawyer, am I? I’m asking what you’d do if lots and lots of lawyers started acting like ratbags. Then it would most definitely be fair to ask if perhaps there is something wrong with the whole system.” (Terry7:38 PM)

      You appear to have a problem with literalism (in a religious context, that would be called fundamentalism). I said “a”/(one) lawyer for the sake of the argument. Lawyers are human beings and are subject to 'perverse human nature' as much as anyone else. I'm sure the percentage of dishonest, unethical and immoral lawyers would be just as high as in any other discipline.

      You remind me of Richard Dawkins who believes that religion is the 'Root of All Evil' and uses that false premise as a platform for all his future blinkered thinking.

      Delete
    10. MalcolmS8:20 AM

      Religion is not the root of all evil Ralph.

      Just one of many.

      Delete
    11. RalphH7:05 PM

      “Religion is not the root of all evil Ralph.

      Just one of many.” (MalcolmS8:20 AM)

      Care to elucidate your ideas Malcolm? Aren't you confusing so-called religious individuals and maybe organisations with the discipline of religion itself.

      IMO the “root of evil” is the rejection of good (anywhere/on any level). Since religion (genuine religion) teaches what good is, it can't be the “root of evil” but the rejection of the good it teaches can be and, is.

      Delete
    12. "Since religion (genuine religion) teaches what good is"

      Ralph why do you keep having to make up definitions to make your lunacy appear sane? Just because a religion doesn't mention your version of God doesn't make it non-genuine.

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    13. "Religion .. is as valid as any other discipline."

      Not when claims about reality are made Ralph.

      Delete
    14. " If you look at the entire gamut of religion the overall picture is positive and good."

      No Ralph, at best it's neutral when all the evils it produces are added up.

      "Religion teaches the opposite of perversity."

      No it doesn't. You think there are cattle on Mercury, that's a very perverse idea.

      "why would anyone who believes and understands want to go contrary to those instructions?"

      Perverse human nature. You do it all the time when you lie Ralph, so why do you go against the teachings?

      Delete
    15. " Blame needs to be apportioned where it belongs – to individuals – not to an entire organisation or as some would have it against religion as a whole."

      Ralph on the one hand you say that justice needs to be done rationally then on the other you say that organisations shouldn't be blamed, can you ever be consistent?

      Delete
    16. RalphH3:37 PM

      Just what do you have against “good” Stranger? Do you really think it's “lunacy” to be teaching what is good? I made no mention of “(my) version of God” or any specific religious tradition.

      Genuine religion exists wherever anyone has a right/rational idea of God and lives a life in accordance with His teachings/inspiration. It can exist within various traditions, organisations or individuals but is not dependent on those traditions or organisations. Organisations or individuals within organisations can become corrupt but that does not effect the essential religious teaching which still teaches what is true and leads to what is good.

      It would be quite irrational for religions to teach evil because evil as well as harming others, is self-destructive in the long term (i.e. eternity).

      Delete
    17. RalphH3:39 PM

      “(religion is invalid) ….. when claims about reality are made Ralph.” (Stranger9:30 PM)

      Religion is about the inner life of thought and feeling and how they impinge on our outer/physical life. Do you think thought and feeling are unreal?

      Delete
    18. RalphH3:45 PM

      “No Ralph, at best (religion's) neutral when all the evils it produces are added up.” (Stranger9:36 PM)

      Stranger, there is no evidence that religion (I'm talking about genuine religion again not your 'straw-man' stuff) “produces” evil, only that human beings (beings with free-will) do. If religion doesn't teach evil then it can hardly “produce” it.

      Delete
    19. RalphH3:49 PM

      “Ralph on the one hand you say that justice needs to be done rationally then on the other you say that organisations shouldn't be blamed, can you ever be consistent?” (Stranger9:40 PM)

      Think back to your school days Stranger. Were you ever in a class where two or three did something wrong (unbeknown to the rest of the class) and didn't own up so everyone in the class was punished?

      An organisation as a whole is not a single thinking entity that can be “blamed”. Only the decision makers (and those who support them/those bad decisions) are responsible for those decisions.

      Delete
    20. "Think back to your school days Stranger. Were you ever in a class where two or three did something wrong (unbeknown to the rest of the class) and didn't own up so everyone in the class was punished?"

      A classroom is not an organisation. You're saying it's okay to be a member of the Mafia as long as you don't do anything bad.

      "An organisation as a whole is not a single thinking entity that can be “blamed”."

      Yes it can when its rules allow show it to be part of the problem.

      Delete
    21. "Stranger, there is no evidence that religion (I'm talking about genuine religion again not your 'straw-man' stuff) “produces” evil"

      Ralph your crap about genuine religion is the straw-man, you want your definition of genuine to be the correct one. Your religion produced witch-burnings, the idea of discrimination against women and homosexuals, the idea that religion is not to be questioned and other evils.

      Delete
    22. "Religion is about the inner life of thought and feeling and how they impinge on our outer/physical life."

      Religions make claims about a lot more than that Ralph, and you know it so why are you lying? And claism about "inner life of thought and feeling" are still claims about reality.

      Delete
    23. "Just what do you have against “good” Stranger?"

      I never said I had anything against 'good', why are you making things up to make yourself feel better?

      " Do you really think it's “lunacy” to be teaching what is good?"

      No, but making shit up and passing it off as 'good' is lunacy.

      "I made no mention of “(my) version of God” or any specific religious tradition."

      Once again you incorrectly said that genuine religions mention God.

      "Genuine religion exists wherever anyone has a right/rational idea of God and lives a life in accordance with His teachings/inspiration."

      No, the Aztec religion is a genuine religion and does not mention God.

      "It would be quite irrational for religions to teach evil because evil as well as harming others, is self-destructive in the long term (i.e. eternity)."

      Making/teaching people to believe things that aren't true is not good. Not allowing gay people to get married harms them, QED your religion teaches evil.

      Delete
    24. Long John silver9:16 PM

      Ralph, a single lawyer behaving inappropriately would not invalidate the entire legal profession. However, if a particular legal firm had a much higher proportion of corrupt lawyers than other comparable legal firms, then questions may be asked about whether there was a culture within that particular company which encouraged bad behaviour. We can blame an organisation if they have a large number of people in that organisation behaving inappropriately and those people are encouraged or protected by the culture within the organisation.

      Similarly, any organisation which involves adults interacting with children is likely to experience some issues with pedophilia. The question is whether the Catholic church is producing a higher percentage of paedophiles and child abusers than other organisations such as boy scouts, schools or swimming teachers. Are there issues within the Catholic church which are likely to (a) turn otherwise good people into child abusers or (b) encourage paedophiles to enter the priesthood because the organisation will enable their bad behaviour? Is there a culture within the Catholic Church which enables this behaviour - perhaps an attitude or a set of guidelines (which may have nothing to do with their belief in God, but are part of the way that this particular church is structured) which encourage those who are in charge of the organisation to behave towards the abusers in their ranks in a way which allows the abuse to continue? If so, then it is entirely reasonable to blame the organisation.

      The evidence from the Irish and American enquiries suggests that this is the case, and I expect that the Australian enquiries will also come to this conclusion.

      Some religious beliefs are foolish but harmless - as much as I enjoy teasing you about it, a belief in Mercurian cattle makes you a target for ridicule but doesn't really hurt anyone else. A belief that it is acceptable to protect a child rapist from the police, on the other hand, is not something which should be tolerated (and certainly not respected) merely because it is connected to a belief in the "invisible friend" or the perpetrators.

      Delete
    25. 8x
      Is there a culture within the Catholic Church which enables this behaviour - perhaps an attitude or a set of guidelines (which may have nothing to do with their belief in God, but are part of the way that this particular church is structured) which encourage those who are in charge of the organisation to behave towards the abusers in their ranks in a way which allows the abuse to continue?
      x8

      Churchie types spend a lot of time blathering about how their organisations "bring hope" or "relief" to the "less fortunate" or the "neglected and abandoned - poor in spirit" etc etc.

      In fact a comparison of the position of modern churches in the community to churches in times gone past, would seem to show this as one of -if not the- primary selling points\justifications of religion to modern punters (and not just within catholicism).

      In other words: Nothing like a bit of misery to bring in the business

      So; perverts as a type of agents provocateur?
      Weirder things have happened (and backfired) in history

      Delete
    26. RalphH5:01 PM

      Hi Long John, back in port again? Good to see you making a reasonable argument for a change. I'd like to point out that I have not been trying to be an apologist for the RCC. My arguments have been twofold, firstly against those who 'tar all of religion with the same brush' – failing to see the distinction between those who understand and use religion as it is intended (for the good of mankind) and those who abuse it for their own ends.

      Secondly, I am concerned for all those good and innocent Catholics (in their millions) who have understood and followed the teachings of Christ in loving, respecting and helping their neighbours. If one condemns the entire organisation these innocents are made guilty by association and forced to be a party to any reparations demanded by law.

      I concede that organisations (including religious ones) can become corrupt. This was the case with the Jewish Church that Jesus encountered. This occurred as the revelation on which it is based became ignored and replaced with merely human ideas and traditions. As Jesus said, “... making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down.” (Mark 7:13) His criticisms were directed specifically at the 'Scribes and Pharisees' – the leaders who wielded power within the organisation and led people astray.

      Jesus restored the divine Law. His teachings were an infilling and enhancement of the same Law on which the Jewish church was originally based. The Jewish church as an organisation lost it's predominance as people saw fit to institute new organisations based directly on Christ's teachings.

      Unfortunately the same problem (of placing human ideas and traditions/unregenerate human nature above the divine Law) reasserted itself. This is reflected in ideas like papal infallibility, priests being considered holy and forgiving sin, making human made creeds of more importance than scripture, belief that the organisation is the only path to God etc.

      The end result has been a divorcing of religion from everyday life (the motivation and doing of good to/for others) and making it into something esoteric and meaningless – a void that is often attempted to be filled with sensuousness and materialism.

      Delete
    27. Long John Silver6:36 AM

      "Good to see you making a reasonable argument for a change."

      I'm a bit worried that you thought my comment was "reasonable". I'm almost tempted to withdraw it, just because I know how different your concept of "reason" can be.
      However - the Catholic church has shown itself to be a problem as an institution. The problems go well beyond the "few bad apples" which some apologists try to blame for the situation. There is clearly something rotten within the culture of Catholicism.

      Obviously most Catholics are not directly responsible for the actions of the criminals within the church. However, if someone chooses to remain connected to a corrupt institution, then they must share some of the blame for the things which are done by that institution. If they don't want to take responsibilities for the actions of the church, they could leave. There is nothing to stop them from continuing to read their bible as individuals (it would be nice if they recognised that some of the bits that they mistake for history are actually fictional, but holding a few deluded ideas doesn't necessarily contribute to child abuse).

      Ordinary Catholics might not be directly abusing kids, but the money that they put in the collection plates is being used to fund the legal defense of pedophiles.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous12:22 AM

    Dick, I am not a Catholic and I am very angry because of the Catholics I know who tried to live by the Church's rules and stuffed up their lives accordingly by not using contracepition, having too many children when the church elders were not abiding by the rules anyway. They are so not above the law - and finally need to face the full impact of the law with the crimes against humanity they have commited. They are the biggest bunch of hypocrits that ever existed in the World. I detest their disgusting lack of morality.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:41 AM

      Dear Anon. Dick here. Thanks for this. Dick

      Delete
  7. Terry wrote: "Oh, and after you’ve suggested to your Catholic friends that they apologise to the victims of child abuse, you might like to stand up and make a mild apology of your own. Tell the victims you’re sorry for being a religious apologist and thereby helping the religious fend off criticisms badly needed to keep them in check."

    So now I am complicit in child abuse?

    Again I have to note the lack of a :rolleyes: icon in this blog.

    Terry: "You could go further and say that from now on you’re going to be anti religion."

    An example of your habit of simply assuming things in the absence of evidence.

    I have been against religion for a while. In the SMH incarnation of this blog I noted this a number of times.

    Terry: "...say you woke up one morning, and for the first time in a long time you started to think,..."

    Oh dear. Of course most atheists are not arrogant. It is interesting, isn't it, how the ones who are arrogant have so little to be arrogant about?

    Terry: "... and it occurred to you that 13.72 billion years is a long time for god to wait to put people on planet Earth."

    Again, oh dear. It sounds like the sort of thing I used to say when I was an atheist schoolboy back in 19(mumble,mumble)and I was debating the members of the ISCF.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robin: It sounds like the sort of thing I used to say when I was an atheist schoolboy back in 19(mumble,mumble)and I was debating the members of the ISCF.

      Well, you did the right thing to give up debating because you weren’t going to make a living from it. The question of why any god would wait such a long time to create us is a good one. I know it’s good because I haven’t yet found a theist who is prepared to tackle it.

      Delete
    2. Robin: I have been against religion for a while.

      Well, you’ve done a very good job of hiding it—much better than the job you’ve done of hiding your opposition to atheism.

      Delete
    3. Terry wrote: "The question of why any god would wait such a long time to create us is a good one."

      Do you think so? Why?

      Terry: "I know it’s good because I haven’t yet found a theist who is prepared to tackle it."

      Because you haven't actually presented any sort of a problem.

      Again you have presented a "If A then why B?, therefore not A" sort of a pseudo-challenge.

      You need to be specific as to why it is that you think that A implies not B.

      In other words you have to state, precisely, why the existence of a a creator God would imply that there would be no gap between the creation of the Universe and the creation of the first person?

      Or is it the length of the gap that you think is a problem?

      If it was only 37 years and 8 months would it be less of a problem?

      Delete
    4. For a start, what is 14 billion years to God? Do you think he would have gotten bored sitting around waiting?

      Do you think he would have gotten impatient and wanted to start sooner?

      Delete
    5. Now suppose God had created a different sort of a Universe.

      In that case it would have been peopled by a different sort of being.

      But if God wanted to create beings just like us then he would have needed to create a Universe just like this.

      And in a Universe just like this, that is how long the process takes.

      Delete
    6. And by the way, I am not opposed to atheism. Far from it.

      Everybody must work out what they believe for themselves.

      But if anybody tries to tell me that an atheistic world will be one in which these problems do not occur then I will try to persuade themselves against such a quaint delusion.

      If anybody tries to tell me that atheists represent logic and reason I have to point some obvious things out to them.

      Delete
    7. Robin:

      I need to retract a little. I don’t have a problem with theism other than to say anyone who is unequivocal about it is a fool (the same applies to atheism). The fact is we just don’t know if a god exists and we probably never will, so why waste time arguing over it.

      My beef is with religions that believe the universe was created for people. And I think the age of the universe does damage to this belief. It does it by putting a dent in the probability. Every fact we know about the universe suggests that it was not built specifically for us, and when you pile these facts on top of one another you end up with a very low probability. And that’s enough for me.


      Delete
    8. 8x
      If anybody tries to tell me that atheists represent logic and reason I have to point some obvious things out to them.
      x8

      Hey hey there, settle down mate!

      Malworld aint that bad

      Delete
    9. “Now suppose God had created a different sort of a Universe.

      In that case it would have been peopled by a different sort of being.

      But if God wanted to create beings just like us then he would have needed to create a Universe just like this.

      And in a Universe just like this, that is how long the process takes.”

      But why did god choose to let the process take so long, when presumably he could have done it much quicker? What with him being omnipotent and all.

      If there isn’t a god then life is essentially (for want of a better term) a chemical accident. That is, the right chemicals combined in just the right way under the right conditions to create what we now call life. For this to occur one would expect that this would require many trials and errors. That is, it would require trillions of planets orbiting billions of stars and the process to take billions of years (pretty much what we see).

      Now if this was done by a god to create human life then there is no a priori reason why we should think that he couldn’t just poof it all together at the same time. That is, there is no reason to think that the process must take so long with so much space not inhabited by humans, other than that that is how long it took and how much space there is.

      Therefore, the size of the universe and the time taken before humans appeared in it is evidence against a god creating the universe specifically as a home for humans.

      Delete
    10. "If anybody tries to tell me that atheists represent logic and reason I have to point some obvious things out to them."

      Robin No one says atheists do, atheism does though.

      Delete
    11. "For a start, what is 14 billion years to God? Do you think he would have gotten bored sitting around waiting?

      Do you think he would have gotten impatient and wanted to start sooner?"

      Why would a perfect being need to create something just so it can be worshiped by the creation?

      Delete
    12. MalcolmS9:55 PM

      "Why would a perfect being need to create something just so it can be worshiped by the creation?"

      I agree. Sounds as if He had a huge[infinite :)] self esteem problem!

      A "perfect being" would necessarily be content to contemplate only Himself.

      Delete
    13. 8x
      A "perfect being" would necessarily be content to contemplate only Himself.
      x8

      pfft nonsense.

      None of the perfect beings I've ever met bother themselves with contemplation at all.

      And you would know this from your own experience if you didnt spend all your time nobjectivising all alone in your basement.

      My advice:

      Get outside and do something useful for once.
      You'll soon feel much better about yourself

      Delete
    14. Hi boof,

      Firstly, no one has told me why a God must necessarily create beings instantaneously with the environment in which he creates them.

      Delete
    15. Secondly, lets get on the same page about the omnipotence thing.

      God cannot create a procedure to enumerate the digits of a Chaitin Constant - because that is a logically impossible thing to do.

      Some say that this means that God cannot be omnipotent since here is an example of something God cannot do.

      But they just mean a different thing by omnipotence than the majority of theists do.

      Being omnipotent does not mean the ability to instantiate a logical contradiction.

      I am not saying that you said otherwise, but I just want it explicit.

      Delete
    16. boof wrote: "But why did god choose to let the process take so long, when presumably he could have done it much quicker? What with him being omnipotent and all."

      God could have made a universe that did not work according to our laws of physics. But that universe could clearly not contain humans.

      Even so, it would not be the case of something happening quicker, because "quicker" would imply that a period of time in our physics could be equated to a period of time in a completely different set of physics.

      boof wrote: "Now if this was done by a god to create human life then there is no a priori reason why we should think that he couldn’t just poof it all together at the same time."

      No, that is just intrinsically impossible because something that happened "all together at the same time" would not be in our physics and therefore would not include human life, even if it could contain some other type of being.

      No, the age and size of the universe is intrinsic in the laws of physics that make up our bodies.

      The Universe is, as G K Chesterton (I think) pointed out, the smallest space for a man to hide his head.

      Delete
    17. Stranger wrote: "Why would a perfect being need to create something just so it can be worshiped by the creation?"

      Is there any religion which suggests that God needs to create something just so he can be worshipped?

      I can't think of one.

      Delete
    18. MalcolmS11:08 PM

      Robin asks: "Is there any religion which suggests that God needs to create something just so he can be worshipped?" and adds: "I can't think of one"

      I can't think of one either. However, Stranger's point that a perfect being would have no need to create anything is a good one! What is your answer to his question?

      Delete

    19. 8x
      Stranger's point that a perfect being would have no need to create anything is a good one! What is your answer to his question?
      x8

      What does "need" have to do with it? A "perfect" being "needs" nothing.
      So why not substitute giggles as its motive?

      For instance I'm fairly certain that most perfect beings wouldn't shy away from the opportunity to create something like... oh say... nobjectivism...

      Because obviously a perfect being would have a perfect sense of humour and nobjectivism is nothing if not ridiculous.

      In fact you could easily call it the biggest fart joke in all foolosophy

      Delete
    20. Robin,

      “Is there any religion which suggests that God needs to create something just so he can be worshipped?”

      Christianity says that our purpose is to praise and honour god; a purpose that came from god. Therefore, god created us to praise and honour him.

      Delete
    21. Robin

      “Firstly, no one has told me why a God must necessarily create beings instantaneously with the environment in which he creates them.”

      Not saying he must. Just that there is no reason why he wouldn’t. Therefore, there is no a priori reason why we would expect this universe given that god created it. Therefore, this universe is evidence against the conclusion that god created it.

      Put another way, there is no reason why god couldn’t have created a universe that looked like it wasn’t created by him. But a universe that looks like it wasn’t created by him is evidence against him having created it, as there is no a priori reason why we should think that god would create such a universe.

      “Secondly, lets get on the same page about the omnipotence thing…”

      To me that just says that omnipotence is a meaningless and/or internally inconsistent concept.

      “God could have made a universe that did not work according to our laws of physics. But that universe could clearly not contain humans.”

      Why not?

      “No, the age and size of the universe is intrinsic in the laws of physics that make up our bodies”

      That is for you to show. But given that (according to Christianity) our bodies are merely physical vessels for our souls, why should god care if we had different bodies?

      You seem to be trying to say that any other universe with humans in it would be logically impossible for god to create. However, you have not demonstrated any criterion for why it would be logically impossible for god to create a different universe, other than that it would be inconvenient for your argument.

      I could equally say that I am as strong as it is logically possible for me to be, given the amount of weight training that I have done. Therefore, it is logically impossible for me to be stronger than I am, therefore, I am omnipotent. Alternatively, I am as knowledgeable as it is logically possible for me to be given my intelligence, education and energy for learning, therefore I am omniscient.

      Delete
    22. boof wrote: "Why not?"

      Why wouldn't there be humans in a universe that worked according to another set of physical laws?

      I don't really understand what you don't get about that.

      Hold up you hand for a moment. There is something that is made of atoms - made of things which act according to the physical laws of the universe.

      In a universe which had different physical laws then there would not be something like a hand that was made of stuff that acted according the the physical laws of our universe.

      Repeat that with all parts of your body. They are all made of stuff that acts according to the physical laws of our universe.

      In a universe that had a different set of physical laws then there would not be those things.

      There would be different things that acted according to a different set of physical laws.

      Delete
    23. Robin,

      Yes I get that but that doesn’t demonstrate your point. All that says is that our physical bodies are governed by the laws of physics.

      Your argument is that it is logically impossible for god to create a universe with humans in it that is significantly different from the one in which we find ourselves. Why?

      For example, why is it logically impossible for god to create a universe with essentially the same laws of physics but that was only the size of the solar system? Or with a different set of laws of physics that held our bodies together in essentially the same way, but with a different result at the cosmic scale? Or one with different laws of physics that resulted in us having different physical bodies but that still housed our ‘souls’ (or whatever non-physical ‘us’ you propose)?

      I see no reason why any of these options are logically impossible for a god and so no reason why we should expect to find ourselves in a universe like this (as opposed to a different universe) if god created that universe for us.

      Delete
    24. boof said: "For example, why is it logically impossible for god to create a universe with essentially the same laws of physics but that was only the size of the solar system?"

      Because what you are basically asking is why is it logically impossible for a universe to have essentially the same laws of physics as ours and simultaneously have radically different laws of physics to ours.

      That question more or less answers itself.

      Delete
    25. "In a universe which had different physical laws then there would not be something like a hand that was made of stuff that acted according the the physical laws of our universe."

      If we lived in a universe that was not able to support us it would be proof that God exists.

      Delete
    26. Not really - if we lived in a physically anomalous universe then there would be no possibility of science and therefore no way of knowing that the universe was incapable of supporting us.

      Delete
    27. “Because what you are basically asking is why is it logically impossible for a universe to have essentially the same laws of physics as ours and simultaneously have radically different laws of physics to ours.”

      I don’t see how that follows. I get that our solar system is affected by gravity from the rest of the Milky Way but surely it is not a great problem for a god to be able to make a correction for this. I don’t see how it is logically impossible for a god to create a universe the size of our solar system with physical laws that affect us largely as those in our current universe do.

      Delete
    28. "if we lived in a physically anomalous universe then there would be no possibility of science"

      Why?

      Delete
    29. Because science depends upon there being some laws to find.

      There might be a limited form of science if there was localised consistency, but we could never reach the scientific conclusion that the universe cannot support us since science could never accept a hypothesis that was contradicted by experiment.

      We could only conclude that we do not know how it is that we are supported.

      I don't see how this could be taken for a proof of God.

      Delete
    30. MalcolmS9:11 AM

      zedinhisbigloonyhead: "What does "need" have to do with it? A "perfect" being "needs" nothing"

      Quite incorrect.

      1. A perfect being needs to exist. If it didn't exist it would not be perfect.

      2. A perfect being needs self awareness. A being unaware of its perfection would not be perfect.

      3. A perfect being needs immutability. The moment it moves or changes it is no longer perfect.

      "Need" I continue?

      Delete
    31. 8x
      zedinhisbigloonyhead:
      x8

      Who?


      8x
      1. A perfect being needs to exist. If it didn't exist it would not be perfect.
      x8

      Does such a being exist? Yet here we are discussing it. Ergo, a perfect being does not need to exist.

      Strike one bubblehead

      8x
      2. A perfect being needs self awareness. A being unaware of its perfection would not be perfect.
      x8

      A perfect being that can choose to exist or not can certainly choose to be aware of itself or not. For it to be otherwise would indicate an imperfection.

      Strike two bubblehead

      8x
      3. A perfect being needs immutability. The moment it moves or changes it is no longer perfect.
      x8

      Ludicrous twaddle. A perfect being moves and changes itself perfectly. A being that cannot move or change is far from perfect.

      Strike three bubblehead

      8x
      "Need" I continue?
      x8

      Not really, but I am curious as to just how many imperfections there are in a blithering nincompoops conception of the perfect being

      I'm guessing quite a few, so carry on...

      Delete
    32. 8x
      2. A perfect being needs self awareness. A being unaware of its perfection would not be perfect.

      3. A perfect being needs immutability. The moment it moves or changes it is no longer perfect.
      x8


      Hmm. So a "perfect being" must remain perfectly still and is only allowed to be aware of itself?

      I assume therefore that the particular "perfect being" under discussion remains perfectly still in a basement while repeating mallywallypoos over and over to itself?

      I believe you'll find thats actually what we call in the business a "perfect twerp" ;)

      Delete
    33. Yes, boof, I suppose God could have made a mathematically inconsistent universe.

      But consider if I plug this back into the challenge that Terry said I should give my friends:

      "Hey Guys - we should give up all this God business because, well, if there is a God then how come he didn't create a tiny young universe with physical laws consistent with a vast ancient universe and then a series of corrections for all the mathematical absurdities that this would entail?"

      Do you think they would answer "Yes, you are right - Theism - what were we thinking?"

      I think maybe they would answer "are you feeling quite OK, why do you think God would do a peculiar thing like that?"

      And if I countered "er ... umm.. you know because 14 billions years being such a long time and all" they might reply as I did at first "what is 14 billion years to God?"

      Delete
    34. Robin: What is 14 billion years to god?

      If a being exists to whom 14 billion years means nothing, then presumably it would also mean nothing to him to create many universes made up of different physical laws and yet containing humans. You can’t invoke the god-is-all-powerful argument to put down one common sense objection and then use it to support another.

      With god, everything and anything is possible. Why bother with science at all? The answer will always be god did it. God suits the lazy intellect.

      Delete
    35. Common sense objection?

      The point is, OK, God could have created a tiny young Universe and then given it (locally) laws of physics consistent with a vast ancient universe and then created billions of kludges to fix up the innumerable mathematical absurdities that this would give rise to.

      The question is, why do you think that a God ought to prefer the kludge universe described above to simply having a mathematically consistent, vast, ancient universe?

      What is the reasoning behind your contention that God ought to prefer kludge to consistency?

      Where is the common sense in that objection?

      Terry: "With god, everything and anything is possible. Why bother with science at all? The answer will always be god did it. God suits the lazy intellect."

      Yeah right, theists all have lazy intellects and don't bother with science. Can't think of a single exception.

      Oh, wait...

      Delete
    36. In short - can any of you actually state what this objection is? Why is a vast ancient universe inconsistent with it having been created by God?

      Delete
    37. Also, suppose on a Mars visit we found a large intricate machine left from a previous alien visitation.

      Would the fact that the machine had been designed mean that there was no interest or value in finding out how it worked?

      Delete
    38. And of course God would have no need to create a universe at all.

      God could simply create consistent perceptions of a universe and we would not know the difference.

      Delete
    39. "1. A perfect being needs to exist. If it didn't exist it would not be perfect."

      No, non-existence is perfection as nothing is needed.

      "2. A perfect being needs self awareness. A being unaware of its perfection would not be perfect."

      How is self awareness a needed trait?

      Delete
    40. "Because science depends upon there being some laws to find."

      No it doesn't. Do try and learn something about science so you don't look a complete fool. Unless that is your intent.

      "I don't see how this could be taken for a proof of God."

      Your inability to deduce is known to us. IF the natural world is incapable of supporting us then the only reason must be a 'supernatural' one.

      Delete
    41. 8x
      ...billions of kludges to fix up the innumerable mathematical absurdities that this would give rise to.
      x8

      You mean like infinities? ;)

      So maybe Kurt Godel really found something so truly disturbing that it sent him unhinged.

      And maybe the asylums are actually full of people who really "see reality as it really is"

      And of course this certainly explains the existence of nobjectivism.

      You may just be onto something robbsybobbs

      Delete
    42. "I think maybe they would answer "are you feeling quite OK, why do you think God would do a peculiar thing like that?""

      We ask the same thing of the shit you lot spout about God.

      "they might reply as I did at first "what is 14 billion years to God?""

      So why not 2 seconds after the BB or a trillion years after?

      Delete
    43. 'The question is, why do you think that a God ought to prefer the kludge universe described above to simply having a mathematically consistent, vast, ancient universe?"

      Because to house humans the universe only needs to be as big as the Earth itself.

      "What is the reasoning behind your contention that God ought to prefer kludge to consistency?"

      There's no consistency in the depiction of God.

      "Where is the common sense in that objection?"

      You posit a god then complain about lack of common sense? Fucking hypocrite.

      "Yeah right, theists all have lazy intellects and don't bother with science."

      The vast majority do and don't.

      Delete
    44. MalcolmS8:23 PM

      zedinhisbigloonyhead: "a perfect being does not need to exist"

      Obviously a perfect being which exists is more perfect than a being which does not exist.

      Strike one loonyhead!

      "A perfect being that can choose to exist or not can certainly choose to be aware of itself or not"

      A perfect being cannot choose to be other than it is. If it did it would no longer be perfect.

      Strike two loonyhead!

      "A perfect being moves and changes itself perfectly. A being that cannot move or change is far from perfect"

      A perfect being cannot change. Any change from its state of perfection necessarily makes it imperfect.

      Strike three loonyhead!

      Yerrr Out!!! :}}

      "I am curious as to just how many imperfections there are in a blithering nincompoops conception of the perfect being"

      Why worry about nincompoops loonyhead? Aristotle's writings on his Prime Mover will do you far more good. You can read can't you?

      Delete
    45. MalcolmS8:38 PM

      Terry: "God suits the lazy intellect"

      True. As does the materialist who claims the intellect does not exist.

      Delete
    46. MalcolmS8:40 PM

      Robin: "Why is a vast ancient universe inconsistent with it having been created by God?"

      Err... because the universe is eternal and uncreated?

      Delete
    47. MalcolmS8:42 PM

      Robin: "God could simply create consistent perceptions of a universe and we would not know the difference"

      Actually, first he would have to exist.

      Delete
    48. 8x
      zedinhisbigloonyhead:
      8x

      Who?

      8x
      a perfect being which exists is more perfect than a being which does not exist.
      x8

      More perfect huh?

      Honestly: Why dont you just change your name to dunderhead and be done with it? ;) lol

      Delete
    49. 8x
      True. As does the materialist who claims the intellect does not exist.
      x8

      Actually I think you'll find that the claim isnt that "the intellect" doesn't exist:

      Its actually that "your intellect" doesn't exist. ;)

      Delete
    50. MalcolmS9:17 PM

      loonyhead: "I think you'll find that the claim isnt that "the intellect" doesn't exist"

      No, wrong again.

      The materialist claims that the intellect, as such, doesn't exist.

      Stop making stuff up yawwwwnypoos.

      Delete
    51. 8x
      The materialist claims that the intellect, as such, doesn't exist.
      x8

      Yes:
      But that claim is only made by the "more perfect" materialists, now isnt it mallywallypoos? ;)

      rofl

      Delete
    52. MalcolmS9:40 PM

      loonyhead: "that claim is only made by the "more perfect" materialists, now isnt it"

      No, wrong again.

      All materialists make that claim.

      Furthermore, perfect materialists don't exist.

      Stop making stuff up yawwwwnypoos.

      Delete
    53. "Why is a vast ancient universe inconsistent with it having been created by God?"

      It is un-necessary.

      Delete
    54. zed wrote: "You mean like infinities?"

      An infinity is not a mathematical absurdity.

      Delete
    55. roflmao

      absolutely precious!

      Delete
    56. MalcolmS11:07 PM

      Robin: "An infinity is not a mathematical absurdity"

      True, it's a mathematical *potential.*

      Delete
    57. Stranger wrote: "It is ub-necessary"

      Do you mean God, or the universe?

      Delete
    58. Robin,

      You keep saying that it is impossible for god to create a universe that affects humans much as this one does but on a much smaller scale, but you have never shown why this is the case. You just keep up with a whole lot of hand waving that this would lead to a set of inconsistencies that god would have to overcome. Why?

      And even if this was the case why would that bother god, him being omnipotent and all. Even if (and I still haven’t heard a reason why we should think this) a smaller universe led to kludges that god has to overcome I see no reason why he should have a preference for one universe over the other (apart from the fact that it is very convenient for your argument to say that he would). Apparently, it is no great strain for him to do anything that theists want him to do, but anything outside of what theists want him to do and he would give up the whole project as too much effort.

      “Why is a vast ancient universe inconsistent with it having been created by God?”

      No-one has said that it is, and it is just goalpost shifting on your part to claim that it is. The point is that a vast, ancient universe is exactly what you would expect if life appeared in a universe without god, but as yet you haven’t given any coherent reason why we should expect a vast, ancient universe if god created the universe to support life (he might create such a universe but there is no reason to say that this is what he would prefer). Therefore in evaluating whether it is more probable that the universe was created by god or not, the fact that we are in a vast, ancient universe moves the probabilities more in favour of a godless universe than a god-created one.

      Delete
    59. boof wrote: "You keep saying that it is impossible for god to create a universe that affects humans much as this one does but on a much smaller scale, but you have never shown why this is the case.|

      Er .. no. That does not even bear a slight coincidental resemblance to what I said. What is this about the universe "affecting" humans? I never said that.

      Delete
    60. boof wrote: "You just keep up with a whole lot of hand waving that this would lead to a set of inconsistencies that god would have to overcome. Why? "

      OK, remember what I said about your hand. It is made of stuff that acts according to the laws of physics.

      Your whole body is made of stuff that acts according to the laws of physics.

      So if God wanted to create something like that then, obviously, he would have to have the laws of physics.

      So I said that the laws of physics that the stuff of our bodies obeys is consistent with a vast ancient universe.

      So if God wanted to create an animal like that then he would have to make such a universe.

      Then you asked why couldn't God make the laws apply to something the size of our solar system and then make corrections.

      So I replied that, yes, I suppose that God could do that, but a universe that acted aoccrding to our laws of physics and was only the size of our solar system would be mathematically inconsistent.

      That seems obviously true to me, not hand waving.

      Are you denying that a universe that acted acoording to our laws of physics and was the size of our solar system would *not* be mathematically inconsistent??

      So I am not saying that God could not do that, I am just saying there is no particular reason that he would.

      Delete
    61. boof wrote: "No-one has said that it is, and it is just goalpost shifting on your part to claim that it is. "

      That is just exactly what it sounded like you were all saying.

      So then you agree that there is no inconsistency in the idea that God might create a vast ancient universe?

      boof wrote: " as yet you haven’t given any coherent reason why we should expect a vast, ancient universe if god created the universe to support life "

      I said that if God intended to create a being like us with a body like this then we should expect him to create a universe like this. Given your objection I will amend to say that we would expect him to create a universe like this or else a mathematically inconsistent universe. But I can see no reason why God would arbitrarily decide to create mathematical inconsistencies.

      So I would still expect God to create a universe like this if he wanted to create a being like us.

      I can't even see how that is controversial.

      Delete
    62. boof wrote: "Therefore in evaluating whether it is more probable that the universe was created by god or not, the fact that we are in a vast, ancient universe moves the probabilities more in favour of a godless universe than a god-created one."

      But why would it shift the probabilities unless you would expect God to create a small young universe.

      I can't see why God would preference small over large or vice versa. A God would create an environment to suit his purposes.

      And if his purpose was to create a being like us then this is just exactly the right environment.

      Delete
    63. So, in short, I don't think big, small, young, old shifts the probabilities one way or the other.

      Delete
    64. "So if God wanted to create something like that then, obviously, he would have to have the laws of physics..So if God wanted to create an animal like that then he would have to make such a universe."

      Now you are trying to say what God can and can't do. is he omnipotent or not?

      " but a universe that acted aoccrding to our laws of physics and was only the size of our solar system would be mathematically inconsistent."

      Why?

      "Are you denying that a universe that acted acoording to our laws of physics and was the size of our solar system would *not* be mathematically inconsistent??"

      I don't think you know what 'mathematically inconsistent' even means.

      "So I am not saying that God could not do that, I am just saying there is no particular reason that he would."

      Again you try and say what God would or wouldn't. I wonder what God would say about that.

      Delete
    65. "I said that if God intended to create a being like us with a body like this then we should expect him to create a universe like this."

      You an say that as much as you like but you still haven't shown why it is the case.

      Delete
    66. Stranger wrote: "You an say that as much as you like but you still haven't shown why it is the case."

      You mean apart from all the times I showed why this is the case?

      I still don't get what you guys don't get about that.

      Do you think that your body is an exception to the physical laws that govern the rest of the universe?

      Delete
    67. Robin

      "You mean apart from all the times I showed why this is the case?
      I still don't get what you guys don't get about that.
      Do you think that your body is an exception to the physical laws that govern the rest of the universe?"

      We aren't saying that. We are saying why is it logically impossible for god to come up with another set of laws of physics that leaves our experience of the world largely unchanged (or even somewhat different but under which humans still exist) but has a much smaller universe?

      Changing the laws of physics will cause different effects on different scales. On the scale of humans the changes might be imperceptible but on the scale of the universe they might be radically different.

      Delete
    68. Robin,

      "But why would it shift the probabilities unless you would expect God to create a small young universe.

      I can't see why God would preference small over large or vice versa. A God would create an environment to suit his purposes."

      It is actually a fairly straightforward result from Bayesian inference, which is the reasoning used when evaluating the likelihood of hypotheses given some evidence.

      see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayesian_inference

      Delete
    69. MalcolmS7:16 AM

      Robin: "I said that if God intended to create a being like us with a body like this then we should expect him to create a universe like this"

      Except that in the eternal, uncreated universe[existence] in which we live man *had* to evolve exactly as he has. It could not have been otherwise. Man is not an aberrant exception.

      The universe is all there is. Everything and every event within the universe is natural, causal, lawful and temporal and there is no God to play dice with it.

      Delete
    70. Boof, I am quite familiar with Bayesian inference so please post the inference you are referring to.

      Just making reference to Bayesian inference tells me nothing.

      Delete
    71. Robin: So I am not saying that God could not [create a universe with different physical laws and humans], I am just saying there is no particular reason that he would.

      How do you know what is reasonable to god? If your argument here rests on what seems unreasonable to you, how can you reject our argument that 13 billion years seems unreasonable to us? Aren’t you being inconsistent?

      Robin: Given your objection I will amend to say that we would expect him to create a universe like this or else a mathematically inconsistent universe.

      But god created what we perceive as mathematics. Why could he not create a different mathematics to suit a different universe?

      Robin: So I would still expect God to create a universe like this if he wanted to create a being like us. I can't even see how that is controversial.

      What makes you think you can expect anything from god? Do you honestly believe you are endowed with the necessary faculty to know the mind of the creator of the universe?

      What comes through clearly in this debate is the problem for all theists, which is that once you posit the god hypothesis, that is the end of any discussion, for the answer to every question is simply this: god is capable of anything.

      Delete
    72. Mal: Except that in the eternal, uncreated universe[existence] in which we live man *had* to evolve exactly as he has. It could not have been otherwise. Everything and every event within the universe is natural, causal, lawful and temporal and there is no God to play dice with it.

      Apart from the ‘eternal, uncreated, lawful, temporal’ gobbledygook, this looks to me like hard determinism. What’s happened to your libertarianism?

      Delete
    73. 8x
      What’s happened to your libertarianism?
      x8

      Oh you just dont understand do you Terence.

      Mallywallypoos IS a libertarian because he HAD TO be.

      It wasnt "his chemicals" that made him do it. That would just be silly.

      No my friend: The Universe was responsible for winding up that peculiar little clockspring

      Delete
    74. "Except that in the eternal, uncreated universe[existence] in which we live man *had* to evolve exactly as he has."

      Bollocks.

      Delete
    75. "You mean apart from all the times I showed why this is the case?"

      You haven't done so, making shit up is not showing the case.

      "Do you think that your body is an exception to the physical laws that govern the rest of the universe?"

      No, but our bodies don't have to follow any physical laws if God is in charge of everything.

      Delete
    76. "And if his purpose was to create a being like us then this is just exactly the right environment."

      No it isn't. God had to wipe out the dinosaurs before we could evolve. Why does God make mistakes like that?

      Delete
    77. MalcolmS7:33 PM

      Stranger: "God had to wipe out the dinosaurs before we could evolve"

      [Leaving out the "God" reference] The dinosaurs would have been no match for man and his reason. Google how he handled the mammoths and herds of stampeding buffalo.

      In the same way that trillions of bacteria are no match for man and his reason. Reason is man's means of survival and no other species can match him.

      Delete
    78. "The dinosaurs would have been no match for man and his reason. "

      the dinosaurs were more than a match for our mammal ancestors.

      "In the same way that trillions of bacteria are no match for man and his reason."

      Yet people still die from bacterial infection.
      Don't you feel bad about never having a clue?

      Delete
    79. 8x
      "In the same way that trillions of bacteria are no match for man and his reason."
      x8

      Hows yer herpes doin' these days O' Great Raisiner?

      Delete
    80. MalcolmS8:27 PM

      Stranger: "the dinosaurs were more than a match for our mammal ancestors"

      I did not mention our "mammal ancestors." I said: "The dinosaurs would have been no match for man and his reason." And they wouldn't have been. Same with bacteria and the massive reduction in infectious disease.

      Please try to remain in focus Andrew. You may well regard yourself as no match for some pin headed dinosaur - we can agree in your case :)

      But that does not apply to all men[and women].

      Er... and didn't.

      Delete
    81. MalcolmS8:39 PM

      zedinhisbigflyingloonyhead: "Hows yer herpes doin' these days O' Great Raisiner?"

      Very well actually.

      Thanks to man's reason and Zovirax I haven't had a cold sore for ages.

      Pity it won't work on your looniness.

      Delete
    82. 8x
      zedinhisbigflyingloonyhead
      x8

      Who?

      ;) 8x
      Thanks to mal's raisin and Zovirax I haven't had a cold sore for ages
      x8 ;)

      Welllllll, fact is your "raisining" isn't helping to cure herpes

      http://www.ehow.com/way_5592760_eat-herpes-outbreak-happens.html

      So just stick to the zovirax. It's made by grown ups

      ;)

      Delete
    83. "I said: "The dinosaurs would have been no match for man and his reason.""

      I'm sorry I didn't realise you think The Flintstones was a documentary. I did say that humans couldn't have evolved if the dinosaurs didn't disappear not that the dinosaurs could have stopped humans, you are the one who needs to stay in focus.

      Delete
    84. Stranger wrote: "No, but our bodies don't have to follow any physical laws if God is in charge of everything."

      And a bachelor can get married if God is in charge - but he won't be a bachelor any more.

      The moon could be transformed into a giant squid if God is in charge - but it won't be the Moon any more.

      God can't turn the Moon into a giant squid and still make it the Moon. It would be a giant squid.

      Delete
    85. Terry wrote: "How do you know what is reasonable to god? If your argument here rests on what seems unreasonable to you, how can you reject our argument that 13 billion years seems unreasonable to us? Aren’t you being inconsistent?"

      No, if you check I think you will find that it is you who is being inconsistent.

      I know a good doctor who can help you get that bullet out of your foot.

      Delete
    86. "And a bachelor can get married if God is in charge - but he won't be a bachelor any more.

      The moon could be transformed into a giant squid if God is in charge - but it won't be the Moon any more.

      God can't turn the Moon into a giant squid and still make it the Moon. It would be a giant squid."

      I see I need to make it simpler for you. If God can do anything then he can make humans able to live in an otherwise hostile universe

      Delete
    87. Stranger wrote: "I see I need to make it simpler for you. If God can do anything then he can make humans able to live in an otherwise hostile universe"

      It would be even simpler if you had simply read the answer to this last time I gave it.

      Yes, I suppose God could do that. Is there any particular reason that we would expect God to do that???

      Do you have some sort of a point here???

      Delete
    88. Now Terry. This 14 billion years was supposed to be such a huge point against the existence of God that I could use it to convince my religious friends to give up their religion.

      Can you finally tell me just exactly what the problem is?

      Delete
    89. "Yes, I suppose God could do that. Is there any particular reason that we would expect God to do that???"

      Is there any sort of reason why God would create a huge universe just for us, or create us in the first place?

      "Do you have some sort of a point here?"

      Obviously, but I don't think you are able to grasp it.

      Delete
    90. MalcolmS1:13 AM

      Terry: "Apart from the ‘eternal, uncreated, lawful, temporal’ gobbledygook, this looks to me like hard determinism"

      Then you had better look again.

      The fact that the universe is "eternal, uncreated, lawful, temporal" and many other attributes *is* determined. That is just another way of saying that the universe is what it is - no more and no less. The nature of the universe, in that respect, could not have been otherwise. That includes the evolution of man and all his attributes.

      Even the fact that man's reason[mind] is his means of survival is determined.

      However, what is *not* determined is what man *does* with his reason[mind]. His mind is volitional, not determined, in the sense that he can choose to think, or not. He can also choose to *act,* or not, on his thinking. So, whether he thinks or acts on his thoughts does not have to be and could have been otherwise.

      So, in this sense, there are two types of entities in the universe.

      1. The *metaphysically given* - that which is determined, had to be and could not have been otherwise, e.g., solar systems, planets, mountains, oceans, etc.

      2. The *man made* - that which is volitionally derived, did not have to be and could have been otherwise, e.g., boomerangs, planes, cars, skyscrapers, books, holocausts, wars, etc.

      Delete
    91. MalcolmS1:17 AM

      Terry: "What’s happened to your libertarianism?"

      Nothing's happened because I am not, and never have been, a libertarian.

      Che Guevara and Jane Fonda were libertarians and had more in common with communism than Objectivism.

      Libertarians hold that *rights* are "self-evident" thereby committing the same error as the American Founding Fathers and the modern exponents of all forms of *collective rights.*

      In fact rights are not self-evident and require a complex ethical and philosophical validation which only Objectivism provides.

      Delete
    92. Robin,

      If you are familiar with Bayesian inference then:

      If we call the hypothesis that god created the universe, T, and the hypothesis that the universe was naturally formed (i.e. without god), N, and the evidence that we live in a vast, ancient universe as V, then we are trying to evaluate P(T|V) and/or P(N|V) (that is, the probability that god created the universe given that it is vast and ancient, and/or the probability that the universe was naturally formed given that it is vast/ancient).

      If we further assume that T and N are the only two alternatives so that P(T)=1-P(N), then according to Bayesian inference:

      P(T|V)=P(T)P(V|T) / (P(T)P(V|T)+P(N)P(V|N)) and
      P(N|V)= P(N)P(V|N) / (P(T)P(V|T)+P(N)P(V|N))

      Then, as long as P(V|N) (the probability that we would find ourselves in a vast ancient universe given that it was naturally formed) is greater than P(V|T) (the probability that we would find ourselves in a vast ancient universe given that it was created by god),

      P(T|V)< P(T) (i.e. the estimated probability of us being in a universe created by god is less after considering the evidence of the size of the universe than it was before) and

      P(N|V) > P(N) (i.e. the estimated probability of us being in a naturally formed universe is greater after considering the evidence of the size of the universe than it was before).

      Now I would argue that P(V|N) is significantly greater than P(V|T). As I said before a vast, ancient universe is exactly the type of universe we would expect to find ourselves in if the universe was naturally formed, therefore I would suggest that P(V|N) >0.9.

      If we just take the dimensions of vast vs small and ancient vs young, I still see no reason to suggest that god would prefer vast and ancient over the other four choices (and good reason to suggest he would prefer small and young to the others). Therefore, I would estimate P(V|T) as no greater than 0.25 and probably significantly smaller than that.

      Given that, I would say that regardless of what you rated the probabilities of god creating the universe vs it being naturally formed before considering the size and age of the universe, after considering the universe’s size and age the probabilities will shift significantly towards it being naturally formed. Therefore, the size and age of the universe is evidence in favour of a naturally formed universe and not of a divinely-created one.

      Delete
    93. MalcolmS1:50 AM

      Robin: "The moon could be transformed into a giant squid if God is in charge - but it won't be the Moon any more"

      Not according to the theists I know.

      According to them it could be the moon AND a giant squid.

      Some even claim that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are the same thing!!

      They claim it's a miracle :}}

      Delete
    94. Robin: No, if you check I think you will find that it is you who is being inconsistent. I know a good doctor who can help you get that bullet out of your foot.

      Childish response. But easier, I suppose, than answering the charge.

      Delete
    95. Mal: Nothing's happened because I am not, and never have been, a libertarian.

      You’re thinking political libertarianism. I’m talkinf metaphysical libertarianism. That is, you deny hard determinism, and advocate the existence of free will, and therefore moral responsibility. Which is to say that you are at odds with science, which advocates the opposite. For all practical purposes, you and Ralph are in the same camp.

      Delete
    96. Mal: However, what is *not* determined is what man *does* with his reason[mind].

      So what you’re saying is that everything in the world obeys the laws of physics except this magical mysterious thing called man’s mind which is explained by, what, god?

      Delete
    97. Terry wrote: "Childish response. But easier, I suppose, than answering the charge"

      Oh for crying out loud - what "charge"? You mean your silly statement that I am claiming to know the mind of God? That is just your feverish imagination working overtime.

      You begin by implying that I don't think and then suggest that the age of the universe should cause people to rethink their religious beliefs without specifying exactly what this alleged problem is.

      You have the burden to demonstrate that this is a problem and you have not done so.

      I have merely suggested that if God wanted to create a being like us then it would be perfectly reasonable to suppose he would create a universe consistent with that kind of being.

      Then you somehow interpret this as me claiming to know the mind of God, again without revealing the thought process, if any, behind that conclusion.

      No Terry. I simply pointed out that there was no inconsistency between a 14 billion year old universe and a God created universe, I was clearly not claiming to know the actual reasons.

      But your point pretty much clobbers your original point doesn't it?

      If we cannot speculate upon the reasons that a God might have then how can you claim that certain features of the Universe are incompatible with the proposition that it was created by God?

      Delete
    98. Robin,

      You are still not getting it.

      "I have merely suggested that if God wanted to create a being like us then it would be perfectly reasonable to suppose he would create a universe consistent with that kind of being."

      Yes, and we have said that, for an omnipotent being, there is no reason to suspect that the universe we find ourselves in is the only universe consistent with our existence. Especially given that Christian mythology says that god only really cares about our spirits rather than our physical bodies. If there are numerous other possible god-created universes that are consistent with our existence then the current universe loses power as evidence that it was created by god. Especially when compared with the alternative hypothesis that it was naturally formed (as I explained above).

      "If we cannot speculate upon the reasons that a God might have then how can you claim that certain features of the Universe are incompatible with the proposition that it was created by God?"

      We don’t say that they are incompatible with the proposition that it was created by god, rather that the alternative hypothesis gains in probability by comparison.

      This is ultimately the problem with the god hypothesis. There is absolutely no evidence that a believer would consider inconsistent with god having done what they want him to have done, which means that there can be no evidence that can be used in favour of god having done whatever it is that he is claimed to have done.

      Delete
  8. MalcolmS9:55 AM

    Terry: "Robin: Oh, and after you’ve suggested to your Catholic friends that they apologise to the victims of child abuse, you might like to stand up and make a mild apology of your own"

    Oh come now Terry. You are the last person on Earth to be blaming Robin and her Catholic friends.

    After all, how can they be blamed for what their "chemicals" made them do :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MalcolmS10:25 AM

      Furthermore Terry, whilst we're on the subject.

      Are you also claiming that Catholic priests can be blamed for their emotions and attractions? How can they control their neurology/chemicals/body given your recently expressed premises?

      Why the sudden change of heart?

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. Mal: How can [priests] control their neurology/chemicals/body given your recently expressed premises?

      The same way you do: by deluding themselves. They think there’s a god who doesn’t want them to exercise their natural urge to have sex with women. In your case, the delusion is that after reading Rand you no longer have to exercise your natural urge to think.

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS8:13 PM

      Terry: ""Mal: How can [priests] control their neurology/chemicals/body given your recently expressed premises?"

      The same way you do: by deluding themselves"

      Thank you for finally accepting that thoughts and emotions can *over-ride* neurology/chemicals/body. That wasn't so hard was it dopey?

      Had it not occurred to you that, if your theory of chemical determinism was true, there would be no such thing as evil?

      Delete
    5. Mal: Had it not occurred to you that, if your theory of chemical determinism was true, there would be no such thing as evil?

      Yes, it has occurred to me. Am I to assume you believe there is such a thing as evil? If so, I’ve underestimated the extent of your ignorance.

      Delete
    6. MalcolmS10:06 PM

      So, you claim that pedophilic priests are *not* evil??

      If so, I’ve underestimated the extent of your evil.

      Delete
    7. Mal:

      C'mon, mate, it's Friday, entertain us. What is evil? Or should we just go find out what Rand says about it since that's what you're going to vomit out, right?

      Hey, and while you're at it, take a photo of the stuff, will ya?

      Delete
    8. MalcolmS1:33 AM

      Terry: ".. entertain us. What is evil?"

      That question entails an entire theory of ethics which cannot be presented here but I'm sure you know where to go looking.

      The short answer is that the good is that which furthers your life and the evil is that which negates, opposes or destroys it.

      Now, in the spirit of reciprocity, perhaps you could answer the question you evaded: "So, you claim that pedophilic priests are *not* evil??"

      Delete
    9. 8x
      "So, you claim that pedophilic priests are *not* evil??"
      x8

      I'm fairly certain that if a pedophilic priest shagged you there mal-apropos, he could expect to receive framed and embossed "certificates of appreciation" from every one of your acquaintances.

      How might this particular phenomena be accommodated to your particularly simpleminded, infantile "ethical" theories?

      Delete
    10. Mal: The short answer is that the good is that which furthers your life and the evil is that which negates, opposes or destroys it.

      I asked you not to vomit Rand’s definition back at me. I was hoping to get an original thought from you. Ah, well, maybe some day …

      According to Rand then, if I kill you and eat you in order to further my life, that’s good? And if jump in front of a bus to save your life, that’s evil?

      That’s deep, man.

      Delete
    11. Mal: Now, in the spirit of reciprocity, perhaps you could answer the question you evaded: "So, you claim that pedophilic priests are *not* evil??"

      Obviously, if I don’t think such a thing as evil exists then priests can’t be evil, can they?

      To explain the actions of the priests I think you need something more helpful than Rand’s definition of evil. I prefer to look at what we know about human behaviour, at the circumstances of their lives, at the particular situations they found themselves in, and take it from there. Unfortunately, that’s not possible for you because all you know is Rand.

      Delete

    12. Mal: if your theory of chemical determinism was true, there would be no such thing as evil

      Terry: Obviously, if I don’t think such a thing as evil exists then priests can’t be evil

      =============================

      Christ on a bike. Have neither of you dweebs ever heard of categorys?
      FFS, this is primary school stuff


      I can see why zed cant be arsed botherin' with yez

      Delete
    13. Aren't "categories" considered a bit Urchfont and Bleaney these days?

      Delete
    14. MalcolmS8:04 AM

      Terry: "According to Rand then, if I kill you and eat you in order to further my life, that’s good? And if [sic] jump in front of a bus to save your life, that’s evil?"

      You are a far bigger fool than I ever suspected.

      Delete
    15. MalcolmS8:07 AM

      Terry: "Obviously, if I don’t think such a thing as evil exists then priests can’t be evil, can they?"

      So you finally figured out the implications of your position. Congratulations. Just stop complaining when they fiddle your kids. You can have no objection whatsoever and that's where your materialist/amoral/chemical worship leaves you.

      Delete
    16. 8x
      Aren't "categories" considered a bit Urchfont and Bleaney these days?
      x8


      You're right of course Robbsybobs. A sensible and prosaic attitude to a simple and obvious matter is just so passe' in our modern world of hi-speed, hi-tech, packetised gooble gobble...

      yawwwwnypoos

      Now, on the other hand, this is much more interesting.
      An actual real battle between good and evil played out right before your eyes!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q83Jqd2h0Yg

      Oh the humanity!!

      I think we can all now see why mal-odorous foolosophys fill the zeitgeist... ;)

      Delete
    17. "Sensible and prosaic"?

      Next you will be telling me that the Blue and Brown Books are simpler than "Reading without tears".

      But we can do the Urchfont and Bleaney thing if you really want to.

      Delete
    18. MalcolmS9:10 PM

      zedinhisbigloonyhead: "yawwwwnypoos"

      OMG, another bowel motion.

      This profligacy of kitty litter must stop....

      Delete
    19. Cat: FFS, this is primary school stuff.

      Presumably, ‘this’ refers to the idiotic exchange between Mal and me rather than your puerile ripostes?

      Delete
    20. puerile?

      Bowel motion?

      Wait, dont tell me...

      I made it onto the internet whackjob debating team? Right? ;)

      Wahoo!

      Time to break out the asinine baby!
      We're gonna have some fun now boys


      Delete
    21. "Time to break out the asinine baby!"

      Why do you have an asinine baby?

      Delete
    22. MalcolmS5:19 AM

      "Why do you have an asinine baby?"

      Good question!

      With zedinhisbigloonyhead who thinks he's a cat it's probably genetic and involves the preponderance of dominant loony genes :)

      Although it could be environmental and originate from exposure to excessive "yawwwwnypoos" :)

      Delete
    23. Hey Mallywallypoos

      Take a break from arguing with fictional characters on the internet and bring a bag of sausages up to Galts Gulch willya?

      That spaced out whackjob randypoo locked us up here without a butcher and hunger is turning the collective desperate.

      They've already eaten aslan, gollum and ganesh, now theyre all lookin' at me.

      Oh, if only Billy the Magic Cat or zed were here. They'd know what to do.

      Please help.... Ya dingus

      Signed
      John Galt

      "He's not just as "real" as "really real" is... He's realler!!!

      Delete
    24. 8x
      bring a bag of sausages up to Galts Gulch
      x8

      Hi John
      Dont worry, I'll pop by shortly with some supplies for your funny little commune.

      Remember: I told you this would happen didnt I?

      If you had been written by a decent writer like I was , you'd have a big flying head full of guns and a freezer full of tasty lamb chops.

      Still: Live and learn

      Delete

    25. Oh thank you zed

      Where would objectivism be now without great guys like you to support us?

      Sigh, My hero!

      Delete
    26. Chops?
      Sausages?

      But John, you said that "the only path to knowledge was raisin"

      Ohhh: I'm so confused

      Delete
    27. Terry - God can't create mathematics. It just is.

      Delete
    28. Or are you suggesting that God should deceive us about maths in order to get a smaller universe?

      Delete
    29. "Or are you suggesting that God should deceive us about maths in order to get a smaller universe?"

      There's nothing mathematically inconsistent about a small universe.

      Delete

  9. "The Anglican Archbishop of Grafton, Keith Slater, has resigned in disgrace. An auditor has found that some claims of child abuse at the North Coast Children's Home in Lismore had not been passed on by the bishop to the professional standards director. Over 40 children were abused between the 1940's and the 1980's by staff, visiting clergy, holiday host families and other residents. The audit was done in preparation for the Royal Commission. The bishop has apologised. His Diocese has commended him for his generosity and courage in resigning."

    I copied the above from lawyer and victims advocate, Peter Kelso's Royal Commission into Sexual Abuse facebook page.

    Comments such as "His Diocese has commended him for his generosity and courage in resigning." cause my gorge to rise and show me the hierarchy of religious institutions have learnt nothing. It's tantamount to abusing the victims again.

    How many more children were abused as a result of this man's inaction, subterfuge, lying by omission? That the Diocese saw fit to commend him beggars belief.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it beggars belief. As I said above - they still don't seem to get it.

      Delete
  10. My partner’s cousin recently got divorced from her husband. While cleaning up her house she found some history books and asked me if I wanted them. When she told me that they were mostly about WW2, I declined because I had read a lot about WW2 and didn’t need to read about the Nazis again.

    I feel similarly about these inquiries. They are important to be held and if anyone is not aware of the revelations that are coming out (and presumably will continue to come out) they should find out what is being said. And if anyone is trying to defend the catholic church (or any other organization implicated in the inquiries) they should read the reports of the inquiries. However, for myself, I don’t feel the need to put myself through hearing about another priest sodomising a child until the child shits blood.

    I guess what I am saying is that if my comments on such topics are mostly off-topic, that should not imply that I don’t fully support the inquiries, or that I am not fully supportive of all calls for justice in these cases. Just that I am kind of worn out from hearing about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear boof,

      We can get topic overload - even serious, life denying topics. I promise not to blog on this topic for at least a fortnight. I also welcome excursions off piste. Did I write at length about my injured knee?? That may be too off piste but I do welcome all irrelevant observations. BTW the testimony from Victoria yesterday was astounding - a bald confession of conspiracy or incompetence about the non laicisation of a criminal clergyman with no false piety. It seems that they are beginning to get it. Dick

      Delete
  11. Just a couple of points to begin with: When has the GG blog ever stayed on topic for more than a day or two? Also some not only go off topic they engage in, what to my mind are, meandering games of ‘pocket billiards’. Oftentimes the science/argument is lost amongst the constant ‘cue chalking’.

    Boof I accept your right to comment on whatever seems appropriate for you. I understand how hard it is to constantly revisit this horror. I often shed tears when I read of what some have experienced.

    I choose to keep following this subject because although I can’t be a companion or advocate for the victims, what I can do is continue to read their stories. Apart from the pain of their abuse, so many of the victims suffered the crushing secondary abuse of not being heard, of being accused of lying, of being made feel that the abuse was in some way their fault. Many of them are still those emotionally broken, unheard children and yet they have the courage to continue to fight for justice. For me the least I can do is listen, read and write on their behalf. Nobody wants to hear these dreadful stories, but I’m concerned that if we back off because it’s just too painful to listen, then justice will not be done.

    Dick commented about Hart’s testimony yesterday, but this would never have come about if there was not a constant flow of outrage and a demand for justice. Also Hart only went so far in his testimony. He is still rejecting the churches roll in recent times in the covering up of abuse, and yet when these inquires were announced Cardinal Pell’s first response was to talk of the churches suffering, not the victims. Pell used words such as ‘exaggerated and historic’. Pell objected to the Catholic Church being treated as ‘the only cab on the rank’. Just yesterday when questioned about the time frame of 18 years to defrock Desmond Gannon, Hart commented ‘Better late than never.”

    Archbishop Hart said ‘since the 1990s’, there has been change. I’ve read comments by victims who were dealt with by the Melbourne Response who would disagree with him.

    Hart also said “I understand that the community is looking for someone to take responsibility for the terrible acts that have occurred. I take responsibility.” I don’t see this as a win for victims, I see it as a man prepared to fall on his sword to save The Company.

    Dick I’m sorry you have a sore knee. Hope it’s not too serious and is better soon.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Dear Tricia,
    It is so true that Hart, who seems a scary and forbidding character, would not have said anything but that circumstances gave him no alternative. He would have (maybe happily) gone to the grave nursing the views that were levered out of him.
    You are right to remind us of this.
    Dick
    PS Knee was fine until I rode the bike against physio's orders. Live and learn...

    ReplyDelete
  13. Boof, I can assure you that victims get tired of the subject, in fact it is a coping mechanism. Ask many people of their experiences and quite often they can tell of the time, place and trigger that opened the floodgates of repressed images and pain. For me it was a frustrating and heated discussion with some women about rape being a foreign experience to men, everything went slow motion as I blurted out things I hadn't whispered a word about to anyone ever, I was just shy of being 30yrs old. I had an out of body experience and as I watched myself talking all I could think of was that I had always disbelieved in repressed memories, but here I was. I went to bed feeling soiled, confused and exhausted yet strangely sated, a lanced veruca. I often see my life in two parts, pre and post that night.
    So Boof and all, I would rather read about all the guff of religion, Rand, philosophy and sophistry than rape so please keep the games rolling along. Dick covers this story because he, like many of us, cant turn his back to suffering and in doing so allows a space for a shared experience, one in which I will now never underestimate.

    nb Dick, when I said "break a leg" I meant it in a thespian context. Bloody literalists ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel I should clarify my comment. I wasn’t trying to say that Dick shouldn’t write about this topic or that I am bored by it so please give us something else.

      I was only trying to say that for my own emotional well-being I don’t think that I will be keeping too close an eye on the proceedings of these inquiries and as such I am likely to be rather uninformed about the events. Therefore, my comments are unlikely to be on topic but that shouldn’t be taken as an indication that I don’t think the enquiries and any discussion of them are valuable.

      Delete
  14. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21829172.300-tracing-the-roots-of-human-morality-in-animals.html

    "In his new work, he bolsters the argument by drawing on a lot of new research, carefully footnoted for those who want to dig deeper. De Waal distinguishes two degrees of morality. The first he calls "one-on-one morality", which governs how an individual can expect to be treated, and the second "community concern", a larger, more abstract concept that extends to the harmony of the group as a whole.

    Chimps and bonobos certainly have the former – they respect ownership, for example, and expect to be treated according to their place in the hierarchy. But de Waal presents several examples – such as a chimp stepping in to stop a fight between two others – that suggest that they also have a rudimentary form of the latter."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MalcolmS10:53 PM

      "Chimps and bonobos certainly have the former – they respect ownership, for example, and expect to be treated according to their place in the hierarchy. But de Waal presents several examples – such as a chimp stepping in to stop a fight between two others – that suggest that they also have a rudimentary form of the latter"

      Fallacy of anthropomorphism.

      Delete
    2. "Fallacy of anthropomorphism."

      Fallacy of ignorance.

      Delete
    3. MalcolmS1:38 AM

      Stranger: "Fallacy of ignorance"

      Fallacy of polyanthropomorphism :}}

      Delete
    4. Long John Silver6:51 AM

      "Fallacy of polly anthropomorphism."
      My parrot is offended by this comment!

      Delete
  15. On topic again - I note in the press a gay pride march attacked by thugs and priests being among the thugs. Then an archbishop saying that he can't condemn them.

    I also note a story about a gay man being bashed by a gang of thugs. Newsworthy because he is the friend of someone well know, not, unfortunately, because it is rare.

    Thugs motivated by prejudice and religion giving spurious respectability to prejudice.

    I think these things are bound up - the inability to see real evil and the insistence on seeing evil where there is none.

    ReplyDelete
  16. "I think these things are bound up - the inability to see real evil and the insistence on seeing evil where there is none."

    That's the Christian condition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RalphH4:36 AM

      What then Stranger12:34 AM/Andrew is your criteria for judging/determining what is "evil"?

      Delete
    2. "What then Stranger12:34 AM/Andrew is your criteria for judging/determining what is "evil"?"

      Things that bring harm to a great number if people.

      Delete

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