Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Resurrection makes the Government more Godly

This brilliant graphic has been plucked from the web.  The religious symbolism is potent.

Well the unmarried atheist is gone from the Prime Minister’s office, much to my sadness.  And with her demise, those of us concerned with questions of faith and belief are wondering where we stand.  I reckon we of little or no faith are worse off.  There will be a bidding war for the religious vote.
But before we look at the consequences, let’s note the religious imagery that powerfully percolated through this revenge drama.  Religious imagery is embedded in the culture.  The question I always ask is what came first, the Bible stories or the human addiction to them.  We love a good revenge drama. We adore our martyrs.  We are beguiled by betrayal.  My understanding of the anthropological sources is that the human needs of a good story predate the bible. The Greek epics like the Bible, take the issues that tease and trouble us and explore them through drama.
Humans have since the dawn of time, made sense of this dangerous and confusing world with stories.  The bible cleverly caters to the adapted human fondness for stories.  Because of the Bible’s pre-eminence in our culture, we easily translate current stories into the biblical paradigm.  But the Bible is not the only source.  Shakespeare, fairy tales, musicals and other tall tales and true help us get a grip. Indeed the revenge cycles of the Greek tragedies with the inevitability of suffering help us to deal with the endless cycle of political bloodletting we have been witnessing.  Having said that, the Passion gives us characters by which we can measure our view of this drama. Here is my biblical analysis with some notes about when and where the tale diverges from the Passion.
The Resurrected Divinity is obviously K Rudd.  Resurrection is a very popular notion for it is all about second chances, especially in the face of death.  But in the Bible the resurrected Christ was clearly a much nicer person than Moon Face.  Would Jesus have so fatally undermined his own party to wreak revenge?  The consensus is that Rudd would stoop to any tactic to get back at Gillard.  I don’t think that the long suffering Jesus would have been so vengeful for a self interested cause.  Jesus threw temper tantrums and was a prima donna but Jesus was never as sinister as Mr Rudd.  The resurrected Rudd is a soiled Jesus.  But he is Jesus nonetheless.
Gillard was three years ago, a sort of Mary Magdalene but she has lost that glow long ago. During the appalling denigration leading up to her demise she was demonised as the Devil incarnate.  Her dignified exit gives her the dual quality of the Martyr/Devil.  That is the thing about complicated stories.  The players waft into and out of good roles.  Julia has a duality about her now, reviled Devil and gutsy Martyr. 
The easy one to characterise is the Judas for sale. Bill Shorten is a revolving door Judas.  After proudly knifing Rudd three years ago he at least had the sense to look tormented by this latest Judas act. Now remember that I love Judas.  When I read the Gospels, I see a man who was justly pragmatic but who was pilloried by the Gospel writers.  So when I call people Judas, it is not as denigrating as when most of the community use the term.  But is he really a Judas this time around or is he an agonised Pontius Pilate?  Remember Pontius Pilate mixed indecision with casual cruelty.  That may be Bill Shorten’s salient feature this coup.  In the last coup he was clearly Judas Iscariot (knife holder). This time he might be more Pontius Pilate.  What is your view?
The martyrs are legion.  These are those for whom resignation is preferred to opportunity: Wayne Swan, Greg Combet, Joe Ludwig, Craig Emerson and Peter Garrett (for whom Parliament seemed less enjoyable than being a rock god) are the martyrs of this yarn. 
The Sadducees or those who judged include Simon Crean and the others who led the charge in the various machinations of the government.
Well if that is the tale, what are the consequences?  We now have two main players who are proudly religious.  Expect Abbott and Rudd to strut into the pulpits of Hillsong and other religious organisations. Be prepared to choke back the vomit as they become more holier than thou. 
But it is a complicated picture.  Because Gillard was so straight about her lack of belief she had to make certain compromises.  She never hid behind any wishy washy agnosticism or that tired formula “I’m still searching”.  She was an unbeliever and never welched or wavered.  But that meant in a pluralistic society she had to placate the old religious vote. She supported religious education which I do understand. In fact I often defended her allocation of money to this cause as a necessary evil in a pluralistic world. And on gay marriage, she had to console the right wing, “Grouper Unions” which have a leadership aligned with the Catholic Church. This is the explanation for her anti gay and lesbian marriage stand. She needed to suck up to some appalling right wing unions in a way that Rudd does not.  So ironically, the godless might get some surprising policy wins with the change of leadership. But the symbols Mr Rudd will sell will be his affection for faith and those of faith.  Thus both Abbott and Rudd will promote faith even though there may be some freedom for policy wins for the godless.
What is your view on these issues?
What is the power of stories in our lives?
Using the Biblical or any other narrative, who is martyred, who is resurrected, who is a betrayer, who is a waverer and who is redeemed?
Will the change be better for the godless or the godly?
Is it bad that we have two party leaders now who are Catholic and Anglo Catholic? 
Are you as disconsolate as I am or mightily relieved that the She Devil has been expunged?
Over to you ...

235 comments:

  1. MalcolmS6:42 PM

    C'mon pirate, here's your big chance for first comment :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is not there a contradiction here. You invite Pirate to make the first comment and yet snare that honour for yourself. I am confused.

      Delete
    2. MalcolmS11:22 PM

      You missed the smiley Dick :)

      Delete
    3. Fifth comment!

      Delete
  2. MalcolmS9:12 AM

    "During the appalling denigration leading up to her demise she was demonised as the Devil incarnate"

    That's a little melodramatic. It was all over with her misogyny lie. Only the rabid feminazis fell for that one as they danced around their bubbling cauldrons. Abbott has numerous faults but misogyny is not one of them. The comparison of his relationship with his wife and daughters and that of Gillard with the half men who slithered around her past romantic life was stark.

    She was so desperate re the bad polls that she even resurrected the old "class struggle" myth, pitting one Australian against another, where no genuine division existed. How so last century!

    She was the worst PM in my memory. Any young woman who wants the job should study the careers of Margaret Thatcher or Golda Meir. They were at least courageous and principled whereas Gillard was a power-lusting tramp who achieved only destruction and whose demise can be celebrated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Malcolm where do I begin? Your letter is emblematic of the gender issues that played out during her term of leadership. As for me, I think she was a great leader in a complicated situation. Minority government and destabilising colleagues could not fetter the huge array of brave and innovative reforms her government implemented. She is hero.

      Dick

      Delete
    2. MalcolmS7:58 PM

      There were no gender issues in my comments. Nor with Thatcher or Meir. The difference was simply one of competence.

      Delete
    3. So there aren't any actual Nazis (and the ones who called themselves Nazis were left wing), but there are "feminazis"?

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS11:01 PM

      You've got those fingers in your buccaneers again.

      Delete
  3. MalcolmS9:14 AM

    "Her dignified exit gives her the dual quality of the Martyr/Devil"

    LOL Actually, Dick, she just didn't have the numbers!

    ReplyDelete

  4. http://www.news.com.au/travel/news/gorilla-gets-revenge-on-annoying-children/story-e6frfq80-1226670227451

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MalcolmS8:02 PM

      Fallacy of anthropomorphism.

      Delete
    2. lol


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

      rofl

      Delete
    3. "Fallacy of anthropomorphism."

      fallacy of being an ignorant fuckhead.

      Delete
    4. Mal: Fallacy of anthropomorphism.

      I don’t know how old you are, but you seem stuffed with outdated thinking. You didn’t know Aristotle personally, did you?

      Delete
    5. http://boingboing.net/2013/06/27/do-chimpanzees-understand-deat.html

      Yes Mal, we know . . .

      Delete
    6. lol

      Mal's his mum.

      Arris'!! ARRISS'!!
      Are you playing with those naughty realists again?
      COME INSIDE. Those boys are dirty dirty dirty birdies

      Delete
  5. RalphH 28/064:34 PM

    Well Dick, I guess your ignorance to some extent excuses you but it really is a rather profane comparison. Even 'little Johnnie' Howard was compared to Lazarus not the creator and ruler of the universe. Both Rudd and Gillard are normal flawed human beings hopefully doing their best for their country and their colleagues as they see it.

    Why not give them the benefit of the doubt. I can see pros and cons for both of them. I thought the way Rudd was deposed three years ago was a disgrace but do not see Rudd's return as any sort of revenge. (More fool him if it is.)

    One thing for sure is that it's a real shake-up which is probably just what was needed. Let's hope that we see a lot more diligence and common-sense being shown in the coming weeks. There is one thing I'll miss about Julia Gillard (not one of her major policies but one where she demonstrated common-sense and commitment).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Ralph, perhaps I should have gone for Lazarus. But the point I was trying to make is the ubiquity of religious symbolism in everyday conversation. This is especially the case for us oldies. However, I have had feedback from younger friends (ie under 50) who have so little biblical knowledge that some of the stuff I mentioned was a mystery (not in the religious sense)to them.

      As for your second para, I think you have a point. I was a pro Julia person. So was my wife. But she argues, as you seem to do, that the ALP may have had no choice. Yes a change might be as good as a holiday. Thanks for the contribution. Dick

      Delete
  6. Ralph: Both Rudd and Gillard are normal flawed human beings hopefully doing their best for their country and their colleagues as they see it.

    If you believe that, then you deserve everything that’s coming your way.

    Ralph: One thing for sure is that it's a real shake-up which is probably just what was needed.

    Yes, but not for your benefit.

    Ralph: Let's hope that we see a lot more diligence and common-sense being shown in the coming weeks.

    Don’t hold your breath. What you’re more likely to see is what we always get: a perpetual circus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MalcolmS8:13 PM

      Bread and circuses actually.

      Delete
    2. 8x
      Bread and circuses actually.
      x8

      Fallacy of the acrobatic baker

      Delete
    3. MalcolmS10:09 PM

      Actually, Terry, the circus has been around for a while.

      "The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."

      Cicero - 55 BC

      Those pagans were no dills.

      Delete
    4. 8x
      Those pagans were no dills.
      x8

      Then how did they get in that situation to begin with, ya twiddlehead?

      You don't think things through much do ya Billy-Dilly?

      Delete
  7. Thanks Terry. What I am interested in though is not the earthly secular issues but the more sacred aspects - the power of the biblical story to inform modern Australians and the changed role of faith in our society now that our atheist PM is gone. Dick

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 8x
      the power of the biblical story to inform modern Australians
      x8

      In order for "stories" to "inform" Richard, it must be understood that the value of an analogy lies only in its "structure", not in its content.

      Unfortunately "biblical stories" now have so much "cultural baggage", magical thinking and emotional extremism attached to them, that any attempt to extract a meaningful or useful structure, is promptly swamped by vast reams of literalist (and traditionalist for that matter) irrelevant shouty gooble-gobble, and cries of "heresy" from the "emotionally and factually challenged".

      In short they're now useless except for frightening children.

      Watch the video about the monkey instead.
      Its funny

      Delete
    2. Well I think that the stories have declining power. This is what I want to explore. The decline seems to be both from a credibility in the information, credibility in institutions and even knowledge of the stories. That is is the issue that I am hoping will be kick started.
      Dick
      PS The monkey video was uplifting.

      Delete
    3. It's not a monkey!!!!!!!!!!!

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS9:27 PM

      LOL No, of course not Andrew!

      It's Eddie McGuire in drag!

      Delete
    5. That's not a monkey . . . THIS is a monkey!
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2XFF9UaHFo

      Delete
    6. Dick: ... I am interested in ... the power of the biblical story to inform modern Australians ...

      Sorry, I don’t share your interest.

      Dick: ... and the changed role of faith in our society now that our atheist PM is gone.

      Whatever change occurs on account of Rudd will be for the sake of political expedience rather than his conscience. As HL Mencken observed, if the electorate were made up of cannibals the politicians would feed them missionaries.

      Delete
    7. Mal:

      Cicero was a politician. With that, there is nothing good that can be said about him.

      Delete
    8. MalcolmS1:06 AM

      Cicero was also a philosopher and introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy. His ideas were important in the Renaissance and the peak of his authority and prestige came during the eighteenth-century and his impact on leading Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke.

      His above quote was prescient of our era.

      Delete
    9. 8x
      His above quote was prescient of our era.
      x8

      Ahem:
      I think you'll find it's prescient of EVERY era thats overrun with bludgers, morons and bullshitters

      http://www.snopes.com/quotes/cicero.asp

      Delete
    10. Martin C12:40 PM

      Well done, Billy - caught Malcolm red-handed with a fake quote! I love what that link says, too: that the fake quote reflects its 1965 author's views much more accurately than Cicero's. Isn't that always the way?

      Delete
    11. How much to see Malcolm make a fool of himself?
      Priceless

      Delete
    12. MalcolmS11:44 PM

      Martin and Andrew, enjoy it while you can. Your enjoyment of the error comes from its rarity - unlike your daily efforts. In fact, taken as precis, it is an accurate reflection of Cicero's position and concern for the Republic. Furthermore, unlike yourselves, I admit to error when pointed out.

      Delete
    13. "Martin and Andrew, enjoy it while you can. Your enjoyment of the error comes from its rarity"

      No, it's even more hilarious because it's still so common.

      Delete
    14. "Furthermore, unlike yourselves, I admit to error when pointed out."

      Also wrong (although I doubt whether you'll admit to it).

      Delete
  8. "Using the Biblical or any other narrative, who is martyred, who is resurrected, who is a betrayer, who is a waverer and who is redeemed?"

    Who cares?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MalcolmS9:36 PM

      Your reply betrays you.

      Delete
    2. No it's just asking the question. You obviously haven't managed to notice I haven't posted on the subject. Your stupidity is a choice.

      Delete
  9. MalcolmS9:40 PM

    Put a peg on your nose folks.

    Loony tunes is off and running.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQ4oUYW2xZo&feature=player_embedded

    ReplyDelete
  10. Martin C1:13 PM

    Really can't see this analogy at all, Dick. Jesus may have been 'resurrected', but he didn't then kick out those who killed him in the first place. I think theists and atheists alike would accept that the Bible portrays him as keeping an awfully low profile after his resurrection, which is hardly reflected in the Rudd story.

    Nor does Shorten accord with Judas. Where are his 30 pieces of silver? He seems to have gained little from his most recent change of mind. He's been driven by practicality: his personal desire to have Gillard as leader instead of Rudd has been undermined by his more pressing need to haver Labor win. I can't see a parallel with the Jesus story there, but I CAN see a parallel closer to home: if Rudd gets on top in the polls, the Liberals may do the same thing, and dump the leader they themselves personally prefer (Abbott) to get the one more palatable with the electorate (Turnbull). They'll cling to Abbott as long as he will WIN - even if he would win by a smaller margin than Turnbull - but if the polling starts to suggest he will lose, they'll do what Labor has done, and take the less desirable but more reliable option.

    My biggest problem with Gillard was her failure to push back against the nutters re social issues like gay marriage. It's really strange to see a Bible-thumper like Rudd managing to have an epiphany on the subject (of course entirely unrelated to the polling data showing a majority of Australians support gay marriage, and that support is growing all the time) while Gillard mulishly tried to appease the hard-right 19th-century nutters of the ACL who would never vote for her anyway. That's going to hamper her legacy.

    The religiosity of the leaders is only an issue if they use it instead of their intelligence. Abbott has done that in the past ... he mostly got away with it as a member of the Howard government, but he might be aware it is less palatable as a leader. Australians are rightfully cynical about politicians who claim praying for something is an effective political solution, as sometimes happens in the USA. Rudd seems to be reasonably free of bringing his religion obviously to bear on his politics ... most people I know are quite surprised to find out that this is a man who apparently carries a Bible with him at all times, for instance.

    The most interesting thing about your post is your throwaway comment about my local MP, Peter Garrett. His story IS interesting because it is the journey of a man travelling from principle to practicality. Being a rock god allows you to write songs of great principle and morality, which might make you TicketHolder No. 1 for the Nuclear Disarmament Party, but after a while it gradually dawns on you that a really GOOD electorate result for the NDP is one where they scratch their way to 5% of the vote and win their deposit back. Garrett eventually learned that in order to actually exercise power, to influence public debate, and be a force for good (as HE saw it - better add that, before Malcolm bayonets another straw-man), you have to compromise your principles until they accord with a large enough group of fellow-minded people to be implemented as policy. It was like watching evolution in action.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Martin, Thanks for that great narrative. A few thoughts:

      I loved your low profile argument in the first para. However, I humbly disagree. Jesus' profile was carefully managed by his handlers just as Rudd's was managed by his gospel writers, Chris Bowen, Crean and the other mates of Kevin. So the issue of profile is interesting. When do you blow your own trumpet and when do you wait for your orchestra to sing your song. Both Kevin and Jesus had a mob behind them. I know the analogy is tortured but it reveals a profound truth. Those who leave a legacy do so because they have are so persuasive that they get backers. This was Jesus' main achievement and Rudd mirrors this. Yes perhaps Lazarus is a better analogy than Jesus.
      Your defence of Bill Shorten is fair and indeed I hinted at it in my first piece. I commend Judas as a practical person as is Bill. I think that Judas was a much maligned character as is Bill Shorten.
      I agree with you on the religiosity of leaders. It is only a problem if faith is misused. Julia did disappoint on gay and lesbian marriage. I suspect she had no belief in her position whatsoever although I have no evidence. It was one of the perverse outcomes of politics.
      Finally Garrett. You are absolutely spot on with your comments. I had dealings with him prior to my political decapitation and he is impressive. Pragmatism and compromise is fine. I just make this warning. We both condemn Julia for being pragmatic on GLBT marriage and yet we forgive Peter Garrett's pragmatism on nuclear issues. Where do we draw the line? Are we contradicting ourselves??
      Thanks,
      Dick

      Delete
    2. RalphH 29/0611:55 PM

      “Really can't see this analogy at all, Dick. Jesus may have been 'resurrected', but he didn't then kick out those who killed him in the first place.” (Martin C1:13 PM)

      Martin, I believe that anyone who sees Jesus as, in any way, political has completely missed the point. They have certainly misread the gospels. One of Christ's aims surely was to show that he had power over life and death. He did not choose to use that power in a political way but to teach, demonstrate and lead people to become better people.

      “My biggest problem with Gillard was her failure to push back against the nutters re social issues like gay marriage.”

      I don't think that I'm a “nutter” but my opinion is the complete opposite. I see Julia's stance on this issue as one of her most redeeming characteristics. However it plays out in other areas of her life she does realise that there is a difference between men and women which makes them complementary and hence, candidates for marriage. I think she must have had good sensible parents.

      Rudd, on the other hand (although he has many good attributes) is a great disappointment on this issue. Far from having an epiphany his about-face demonstrates that he has no real understanding or conscience of the issue other than to see it as a political ploy.

      “The most interesting thing about your post is your throwaway comment about my local MP, Peter Garrett. His story IS interesting because it is the journey of a man travelling from principle to practicality.”

      I agree about Peter Garret http://www.news.com.au/national-news/peter-garrett-opens-up-about-8216dark-nights-of-the-soul8217-as-a-minister/story-fncynjr2-1226671168423

      I think Garret epitomises the struggle of many a politician. When I read the above article I immediately thought of Machiavelli. Does the end justify the means? Can a politician compromise some of his principles/act contrary to his/her conscience to attain a position of influence and power where they believe they will be able to make a positive contribution for good or does that compromise destroy their inner integrity.

      Delete
    3. MalcolmS1:17 AM

      Martin C: "... Peter Garrett. His story IS interesting because it is the journey of a man travelling from principle to practicality. Being a rock god allows you to write songs of great principle and morality... Garrett eventually learned that in order to actually exercise power, to influence public debate, and be a force for good (as HE saw it - better add that, before Malcolm bayonets another straw-man), you have to compromise your principles..."

      ... and.. the reply

      Dick: "Finally Garrett. You are absolutely spot on with your comments... Pragmatism and compromise is fine. I just make this warning. We both condemn Julia for being pragmatic on GLBT marriage and yet we forgive Peter Garrett's pragmatism on nuclear issues. Where do we draw the line? Are we contradicting ourselves??"

      LOL Priceless!

      I am currently reading Peikoff's "The Ominous Parallels" - an account of the West's intellectual collapse in modern times. Here's an excerpt:

      "In the whirling Heraclitean flux which is the pragmatist’s universe, there are no absolutes. There are no facts, no fixed laws of logic, no certainty, no objectivity.

      There are no facts, only provisional “hypotheses” which for the moment facilitate human action. There are no fixed laws of logic, only mutable “conventions,” without any basis in reality. (Aristotle’s logic, Dewey remarks, worked so well for earlier cultures that it is now overdue for a replacement.) There is no certainty - the very quest for it, says Dewey, is a fundamental aberration, a “perversion.” There is no objectivity - the object is created by the thought and action of the subject"

      You guys must be prescient!!! ROFLMAO

      Delete
    4. "In the whirling Heraclitean flux which is the pragmatist’s universe"

      Mal can't the difference between pragmatist and being pragmatic in a given situation..

      Delete
    5. "she does realise that there is a difference between men and women which makes them complementary and hence, candidates for marriage."

      Two people can compliment each other w/o being the opposite sex.

      ' Far from having an epiphany his about-face demonstrates that he has no real understanding or conscience of the issue other than to see it as a political ploy."

      I reckon Rudd has a much better understanding of the issue than you can ever have Ralph.

      Delete
    6. RalphH 29/066:23 AM

      “Two people can compliment each other w/o being the opposite sex.” (Stranger2:17 AM)

      I can't think of one thing to compliment you about Stranger. Even your tenacity is compromised by your failure to mount a logical argument – your preference being for nay-saying; believe me, Tony Abbot has nothing on your negativity.

      Quite obviously two people of the same sex do not/cannot complEment each other sexually (which in case you hadn't noticed is what is being spoken of). This can only occur with a male and a female.

      Two of the same sex can get together and carry on together but cannot fulfil each other by combining into one entity spiritually (as spoken about in the Bible – Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5-6; Mark 10:8 - where 'flesh' is an analogue for the spiritual substance of the minds).

      “I reckon Rudd has a much better understanding of the issue than you can ever have Ralph.”

      I'll just point out that I didn't do an about face, Rudd did. I'm not running for political office either and kowtowing to various groups to try and win votes. Rudd has given no logical reason for changing his mind, he has merely succumbed to popular opinion. IOW he's being a politician.

      Delete
    7. MalcolmS7:19 AM

      In a "whirling Heraclitean flux," Andrew, there is no such thing as a "given situation"!

      Delete
    8. Martin C7:35 AM

      Ralph:

      "Rudd has given no logical reason for changing his mind, he has merely succumbed to popular opinion. IOW he's being a politician."

      It's odd that you can see that so clearly - and I think you might well be right - but you can't see the possibility of similarly ruthless politics at play in Gillard's decision in the opposite direction. Your statement:

      "I see Julia's stance on this issue as one of her most redeeming characteristics. However it plays out in other areas of her life she does realise that there is a difference between men and women which makes them complementary and hence, candidates for marriage. I think she must have had good sensible parents."

      Given that Gillard was leading a knife-edge coalition where the views of the religiously conservative ACL were considered important, can't you see the possibility that Gillard might have been simply playing the political game too?

      Re your comments on Jesus being political, I certainly didn't claim that, and Dick only attempted to force the current political situation into an analogy of Jesus because ... well, he has to write about something. I don't think modern Bible readers see Jesus as political. I would point out however that there is ample evidence that his listeners at the time - as described in the Bible - often DID see Jesus as political, and some were often disappointed in his failure to BE political.

      Delete
    9. Martin C7:44 AM

      Malcolm, I have no idea why you see Peikoff's strawman attack on the rabid slavering pragmatist-beastie as having anything to do with Garrett's move from a minor party to one that can actually accomplish something, if not the full list of what he would like to do. There's no doubt that Garrett achieved much more of his own agenda as a Labor politician than as an NDP politician, despite the NDP position probably being more representative of his beliefs. That's compromise. Note it does NOT mean he changes his beliefs. He merely changes his GOALS: to those that can actually be achieved. Assessing that point - working out what is worth working toward - is the mark of a successful politician.

      Peikoff incidentally did not seem in practice to have a problem with pragmatism. Per Wikipedia, Peikoff "endorsed John Kerry (despite thinking of Kerry as a 'disgustingly bad' candidate)", simply because he was a better choice than Bush. Seems pretty pragmatic to me.

      Delete
    10. MalcolmS7:59 AM

      Martin C: "... Peter Garrett. His story IS interesting because it is the journey of a man travelling from principle to practicality... Garrett eventually learned that in order to actually exercise power... you have to compromise your principles..."

      Translation: Those who seek and achieve political office are necessarily unprincipled.

      That's an interesting view of politics and politicians! Have you ever asked yourself why Stalin and Hitler did NOT compromise on their principles? There was no dichotomy between principles and practicality for them!

      You see, Martin, "practicality" depends on what it is you want to "practise."

      I'm surprised a pragmatist such as yourself didn't know that :)

      Delete
    11. RalphH 30/068:55 AM

      “It's odd that you can see that so clearly - and I think you might well be right (about Rudd) - but you can't see the possibility of similarly ruthless politics at play in Gillard's decision in the opposite direction. …..... can't you see the possibility that Gillard might have been simply playing the political game too?” (Martin C7:35 AM)

      I disagree Martin. Gillard's political situation would have been greatly enhanced (within her own party and with her Green supporters) if she had back-flipped on SSM as Rudd did. I think it's virtually a given that her sticking to her conscience on this matter is why Penny Wong in particular deserted her. It would also have been contributory in the minds of others. It may even have been enough to turn the tide. One could say that Rudd's back-flip was timed perfectly. I really don't believe the ACL has that much clout and they are almost universally demonised by the media.

      “Re your comments on Jesus being political, I certainly didn't claim that,..... there is ample evidence that his listeners at the time - as described in the Bible - often DID see Jesus as political, and some were often disappointed in his failure to BE political.”

      Agreed – on both points. The obsession of the Jews was to be freed from the Roman yoke. Except for a few of his most intimate followers (and even with them not fully until the final test of death and resurrection) the majority of the Jews were really not ready to respond to Jesus' higher agenda.

      Add to that the fact that the Jewish church had become corrupt and a political tool of the leaders and one can understand why the new church (Christianity) could not become established in Israel but could be accepted and spread more readily in gentile nations who were more prepared because their ignorance of the one true God (Jehovah) meant that they had not knowingly profaned and corrupted His Word as the Jewish leaders had done.

      Also, in particular the Greeks, had developed philosophy which was compatible with and an aid towards understanding the new revelation of Christ.

      Delete
    12. MalcolmS11:20 AM

      Martin C: "Peikoff incidentally did not seem in practice to have a problem with pragmatism. Per Wikipedia, Peikoff "endorsed John Kerry (despite thinking of Kerry as a 'disgustingly bad' candidate)", simply because he was a better choice than Bush. Seems pretty pragmatic to me"

      So riddle me this Martin: What is the principle which you are claiming Peikoff "compromised"?

      Delete
    13. Run Martin!

      The hamster wheel is coming for you!

      rofl

      Delete
    14. "In a "whirling Heraclitean flux," Andrew, there is no such thing as a "given situation"!"

      So Mal now has yo deny language use to make his idiotic claims seem clever even to himself.

      Delete
    15. " I would point out however that there is ample evidence that his listeners at the time - as described in the Bible - often DID see Jesus as political, and some were often disappointed in his failure to BE political."

      Indeed Martin. Ralph fails to acknowledge that Jesus was called King of the Jews, which is a political title and Messiah, which is also a political title.

      Delete
    16. "Two of the same sex can get together and carry on together but cannot fulfil each other by combining into one entity spiritually "

      Why do you keep making things up Ralph to make yourself feel better?

      Delete
    17. MalcolmS8:41 PM

      idiotcatimpersonator: "Run Martin! The hamster wheel is coming for you!"

      Actually, hamster wheels were invented by pragmatists. Thought you would have known that.

      Delete
    18. RalphH 30/0611:45 PM

      “Indeed Martin. Ralph fails to acknowledge that Jesus was called King of the Jews, which is a political title and Messiah, which is also a political title.” (Stranger6:53 PM)

      Oh! the bliss of ignorance Stranger. Jesus was called “the King of the Jews” because of what the Jews represented spiritually, not for any political reason. The Jews represented those who made the choice to follow God's Word (whether Jews or not and of course many Jews did not) or in a more individual sense, that part of a person's mind and heart that was willing to follow the path of goodness and truth.

      In a similar vein the Jews were called the 'chosen people' for the same reason but of course they totally misunderstood that also and came to think that they were better than others. God just doesn't play favourites – see Matthew 5:45)

      The Jews misinterpreted the term Messiah (a religious prophecy of a spiritual saviour of all mankind) because they were blinded by their selfish pride and did not realise that biblically kingship represented truth (and things to do with the thinking/reasoning side of the mind/spirit) and priesthood represented goodness (the emotional/feeling side).

      Delete
    19. RalphH 30/0611:47 PM

      “Why do you keep making things up Ralph to make yourself feel better?” (Stranger6:56 PM)

      Why do you keep accusing me of this, Stranger? Of course I feel better about myself for presenting what I believe to be the truth. Do you suggest that I deliberately tell lies so that I can feel bad about myself? Is that what you do? How smart! (being factious of course).

      Don't you realise yet that sometimes 'the truth is stranger than fiction' (pun intended) especially when our fiction is due to ignorance.

      Delete
    20. "Oh! the bliss of ignorance . . ."

      Gee, you must be REALLY happy!

      Delete
    21. "Why do you keep accusing me of this, Stranger?"

      Because you keep doing it.

      " Do you suggest that I deliberately tell lies so that I can feel bad about myself? "

      No, I suggest you stop telling lies to feel better about yourself.

      "Don't you realise yet that sometimes 'the truth is stranger than fiction' (pun intended) especially when our fiction is due to ignorance."

      Your fiction is due to ignorance,amongst other things.

      Delete
    22. "Oh! the bliss of ignorance Stranger. Jesus was called “the King of the Jews” because of what the Jews represented spiritually, not for any political reason."

      No he wasn't.

      "The Jews misinterpreted the term Messiah"

      The Jews invented it you dimwit.

      "(a religious prophecy of a spiritual saviour of all mankind)"

      No, it literally means priest king.

      You must be the happiest person around.

      Delete
    23. RalphH 01/074:08 PM

      “Gee, you must be REALLY happy!” (LJS2:33 AM)

      I'm not ashamed to admit to ignorance about a lot of things LJ, for example music is not my forte (and I'm quite happy to leave that to others) but religion is something that interests me greatly. I don't believe I would be big-noting myself by suggesting that I know far more about that subject than you have displayed on these pages.

      Delete
    24. RalphH 01/074:11 PM

      “..... I suggest you stop telling lies to feel better about yourself.” (Stranger2:50 AM)

      Now let's check this out Stranger. Previously you were saying that I make stuff up and tell lies because it makes me feel good. Now you're telling me that I would “feel better” by “stop(ping) telling lies” which infers that telling lies is making me feel bad. I suggest you're a little confused.
      The facts (so that you can get it right in the future) are that I don't tell lies and I feel quite good about speaking about things that I believe to be true.

      Delete
    25. RalphH 01/074:16 PM

      “The Jews invented (the term Messiah) you dimwit. …. it literally means priest king.” (Stranger2:58 AM)

      From http://www.etymonline.com messiah (n.) Look up messiah at Dictionary.com
      c.1300, Messias, from Late Latin Messias, from Greek Messias, from Aramaic meshiha and Hebrew mashiah "the anointed" (of the Lord), from mashah "anoint." This is the word rendered in Septuagint as Greek Khristos (see Christ). In Old Testament prophetic writing, it was used of an expected deliverer of the Jewish nation.

      Messiah literally means “the anointed” one but it quite obviously doesn't apply to all kings or all priests (or priest kings for that matter. The only one I'm aware of is Pen's mate Melchizedek who is not called Messiah).

      Have you never heard of the degradation of language Stranger? As words pass down the generations the”dimwits” of society who couldn't be bothered learning their real meanings begin to apply them incorrectly, at times clouding the original meaning so much that qualification becomes necessary and sometimes even a new word to cover the original meaning. (Like what is currently the case with words like marriage and misogyny.)

      Delete
    26. "Previously you were saying that I make stuff up and tell lies because it makes me feel good. Now you're telling me that I would “feel better” by “stop(ping) telling lies” which infers that telling lies is making me feel bad. I suggest you're a little confused."

      I see reading comprehension is one more thing you need to work on. I never wrote you would feel better by not telling lies. The reason you tell all the lies is so you can feel better about yourself and I suggested you stop telling lies to fell better about yourself.

      "The facts (so that you can get it right in the future) are that I don't tell lies and I feel quite good about speaking about things that I believe to be true."

      The fact is you do tell lies, and the most likely explanation is so you can feel better about yourself and your place in the universe.

      Delete
    27. "Messiah literally means “the anointed” one but it quite obviously doesn't apply to all kings or all priests (or priest kings for that matter. The only one I'm aware of is Pen's mate Melchizedek who is not called Messiah)."

      It is used throughout the Hebrew Bible in reference to a wide variety of individuals and objects; for example, a Jewish king,[1 Kings 1:39] Jewish priests,[Lev. 4:3] and prophets,[Isa. 61:1] the Jewish Temple and its utensils,[Ex. 40:9-11] unleavened bread,[Num. 6:15] and a non-Jewish king (Cyrus king of Persia).[Isa. 45:1]
      wiki

      Delete
    28. "I'm not ashamed to admit to ignorance about a lot of things LJ, for example music is not my forte (and I'm quite happy to leave that to others) but religion is something that interests me greatly. I don't believe I would be big-noting myself by suggesting that I know far more about that subject than you have displayed on these pages."

      Religion is also something you are ignorant of. I doubt you know much about anything actually as you don't show knowledge of anything except your own delusions.

      Delete
    29. Martin C5:03 AM

      Malcolm @ 7.59:

      "Translation: Those who seek and achieve political office are necessarily unprincipled."

      An utterly incorrect misreading of what I said. How could you possibly draw such an inept conclusion?

      Politicians are often faced with choices between sticking to 100% of their principles, or trading some off to get MOST of what they want when they perceive that ALL of what they want will not be achievable. That does not make them unprincipled; they keep the principles! They simply accept a compromise position, because that is the best they can achieve.

      An effective politician (before you begin baling another strawman, I am NOT imputing good or evil to this theoretical creature) is one who successfully estimates how far he/she can go to get their desired outcomes. That depends on how much of their desired outcomes agrees with others', on their own ability to convince, and on the amount of political sway they have.

      That is why Stalin and Hitler did not, as you say, compromise on their principles (such as they were): because the amount of political sway they had was effectively total. Garrett was not remotely in such a position, and achieved things he desired that he would not have achieved had he refused to compromise: he would have been a vocal but politically ineffective NDP mouthpiece to this day.

      Delete
    30. Martin C5:06 AM

      Ralph @ 8.55am:

      I don't think the ACL has much clout either, but I think there is good evidence that for some reason the Labor party THINK they do. I disagree with you about Penny Wong: she like all the others, went to Rudd, because of simple pragmatism ... the polls showed Rudd might win and Gillard would not.

      Re the spread of the church in Gentile lands, I'm not convinced there was as much planning there as you seem to imply. Part of the genesis of the Christian Church - as opposed to the Christian faith - was around the 70s AD, when the Jews were in revolt. It did not require a corrupt Jewish church directly persecuting the upstart Christian Church for Christian leaders to decide Jerusalem and environs were not a very safe place to be.

      "Also, in particular the Greeks, had developed philosophy which was compatible with and an aid towards understanding the new revelation of Christ."

      Hmmm ... cart/horse?

      Delete
    31. Martin C5:08 AM

      Malcolm @ 11.20am:

      "What is the principle which you are claiming Peikoff 'compromised'?"

      Again, you seem to have read a completely different meaning into my words than is found in a dictionary. I made no mention of a principle, I simply pointed out that the man you are quoting as deriding pragmatism, made, in 2004, an endorsement choice which could only be seen as pragmatic. He effectively said: 'Kerry is a poor candidate, but better than Bush, so vote for Kerry'. A person 100% opposed to pragmatism but devoted to ANY principle (Objectivist or otherwise) would have presumably said 'neither of these candidates meet my standards, therefore vote for neither.' His decision was a perfectly commonsense one, but it WAS a pragmatic one.

      Delete
    32. Martin C5:10 AM

      Stranger @ 6.56pm,
      Ralph @ 11.45pm:
      Stranger, 'Messiah' is NOT always used in the terms you state today. Sports writers might say "The bowling attack was anaemic; Smith was seen as the messiah". This sort of usage is clearly non-political: it just means 'saviour'. I think there is ample room for Ralph to claim that the Jews bestowed the political 'Messiah' label on Jesus, while Jesus himself might well have been claiming only the spiritual equivalent of improving their wicket-taking potential. Unsurprisingly, this would have led to misunderstandings, and we DO find those misunderstandings detailed in the Gospels. It's one of the things that makes me lean to the probability that Jesus actually existed: the fact that the Gospels sometimes display Jesus as making his followers scratch their heads, which would seem unnecessary if the gospels were simply morality fables.

      Delete
    33. Martin C5:18 AM

      Ralph @ 11.47pm
      Stranger @ 2.50am and later:

      I'm going to say here that Ralph does NOT lie. He is just misguided. He has one set of inputs - 'facts' - and another - faith - and tries to join them together in a meaningful way, which is tough at the points they are in conflict, which of course are the points that atheists always bring up. Those of us not carrying the baggage of faith find it hard to see why there is any joining to do at all - what 'faith' we have simply derives from our expectations that the facts lead us toward, and we will change that if the set of facts we are aware of changes, but Ralph is not in that position. However I think he genuinely believes what he believes.

      I WILL say that Ralph struggles to separate beliefs from evidence. So he'll make a number of perfectly sensible statements of fact that no-one would disagree with, then toss in something like "for there to be a candidacy for marriage it is essential for there to be complementarity in the gender department" which is pure unevidenced assertion. It is what he would LIKE to be true, but there is no evidence that it IS true. Also I think his faith makes him a bit lazy in assessing the quality of evidence, so he often falls for false evidence that supports his faith. That's unfortunate, because his beliefs include a bigotry which brings unnecessary misery to a certain proportion of the population, but such a situation does not make him a liar.

      Nor, by international standards, is Ralph a nutter. I read a lot of religious/social comment from the USA, and Ralph would not even be considered a trainee nutter by the standards of the morons they have there. To call Ralph a nutter would lower the bar for the absolute wingding nutters, who would then clear it with metres to spare.

      Delete
    34. "I'm going to say here that Ralph does NOT lie"

      He does though Martin. For one He insists he accepts science but he rejects it when it disagrees with his beliefs. His comment you quoted is a lie as he does not know it to be true so he is deliberate telling something he knows is not true.

      "Nor, by international standards, is Ralph a nutter."

      He's still a nutter, just outclassed by Yanks.

      Delete
    35. "His comment you quoted is a lie as he does not know it to be true so he is deliberate telling something he knows is not true."

      But does he BELIEVE it to be true? Only Ralph can answer that with certainty (and none of us would know whether his answer to that was honest), but I also suspect that he is deluded rather than dishonest.

      I also vote for him being a nutter (even if I consider his nuttiness as "mostly harmless")

      Delete
    36. "But does he BELIEVE it to be true?"

      Belief is irrelevant, it's about knowing.

      Delete
    37. Belief is entirely relevant to the question of whether someone is lying. If I say something which is untrue then it could be either a lie or a genuine misunderstanding. The key difference is whether or not you believe the untrue statement to be true.

      If I believe that something is true and express an opinion based on that belief, then the mere fact that my belief is incorrect does not mean that I am lying. It just means that I'm wrong.

      It is only lying if I say something which is untrue when I know that it is untrue.

      If Ralph genuinely believes that Swedenborg had conversations with Aristotle and learned about religion through discussions with angels then expressing that belief is not lying. If Swedenborg believed that spirits had described Mercurian cattle to him, then he may have been hallucinating but he was not lying.

      Delete
    38. Ralph can believe it but when faced with facts against it he is then lying to say it happened. He knows Swedenborg's rants are untrue as we have given him facts to show why, whether he believes it or not is irrelevant, so he is lying.

      Delete
    39. He's only lying if he believes those facts. I don't think he does know that Swedenborg's claims are untrue - he chooses to believe in his faith over the demands of reality. Refusing to accept the evidence may be stubborn and foolish, but is not necessarily dishonest.

      Delete
    40. "He's only lying if he believes those facts."

      No, he knows the facts exist, belief in them is irrelevant.

      "I don't think he does know that Swedenborg's claims are untrue"

      Hf course he does, we've told him about the conditions of Mercury etc. Belief is irrelevant to knowledge.

      "Refusing to accept the evidence may be stubborn and foolish, but is not necessarily dishonest."

      It is dishonest when he states things contrary to the evidence.

      Delete
    41. Martin C1:11 AM

      Stranger, you are parsing the evidence through your
      OWN bullshit detector when you effectively say "the facts that oppose the faith-based belief preclude the faith-based belief, ergo Ralph is lying". Ralph - and lots of people who have faith - are NOT simply basing their interpretation of truth on "facts". They use faith as well. It's a kind of mental bypass of rational evaluation of truth. To state that Ralph is lying requires you to say that he is aware that his faith bypass is giving him false information, and I think there is plenty of evidence to show that is not true.

      I don't understand in any way shape or form WHY anyone has this faith bypass of rationality, but there is ample evidence that it exists, and I think you and I - not being in possession of a faith bypass - are in a poor position to state how "true" its information seems to the sufferer of such a condition. It's like telling a schizophrenic that they're "lying" when they describe events that can't possibly have happened. They're almost certainly NOT lying, just ill-equipped to examine reality.

      "Belief is irrelevant to knowledge."

      This is simply incorrect. Knowledge is what is believed to be true. There are things I 'know' that no doubt will turn out to be untrue. Belief is irrelevant to the FACTS, true, but not to knowledge. Religious belief distorts a theist's knowledge by establishing a way of believing things without examining them for truth, but theists are NOT pretending when they do that. Theists DO lie to support their beliefs, but that does not make every wrong belief by a theist a lie.

      Delete
    42. "To state that Ralph is lying requires you to say that he is aware that his faith bypass is giving him false information, and I think there is plenty of evidence to show that is not true."

      No, all it require is knowledge of the facts and the saying of things he knows goes against those facts.

      "This is simply incorrect. Knowledge is what is believed to be true."

      No it isn't. Ralph believes cows live(d) on Mercury, he has no knowledge of that.

      Delete
    43. MalcolmS9:32 AM

      Martin C @ 5:08 AM:

      ""What is the principle which you are claiming Peikoff 'compromised'?" Again, you seem to have read a completely different meaning into my words than is found in a dictionary. I made no mention of a principle, I simply pointed out that the man you are quoting as deriding pragmatism, made, in 2004, an endorsement choice which could only be seen as pragmatic"

      Yes, I didn't think you knew the principle. It also appears that you don't realise that principle and pragmatism are antonyms.

      Peikoff's claim that it was *better* to vote for Kerry rather than Bush implies a *standard.* That standard was the "principle of individual rights." Based on this standard he regarded the politics of Bush as inferior to that of Kerry.

      "A person 100% opposed to pragmatism but devoted to ANY principle (Objectivist or otherwise) would have presumably said 'neither of these candidates meet my standards, therefore vote for neither.'"

      No, you are quite wrong. Peikoff was 100% in favour of individual rights and opposed to collectivism. One of the two men was going to be elected regardless and, given the principle, better Kerry as he regarded him as more individualist and, therefore, less evil.

      Given the context it was a principled decision and not remotely pragmatic.

      Delete
  11. Ralph: "I don't think that I'm a “nutter” . . ."

    Well, this is a blog dealing with democracy, so maybe we should put it to the vote. I think that you are a nutter. So we have something like a hung parliament. Anyone else want to vote on this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RalphH 30/0611:49 PM

      “Well, this is a blog dealing with democracy, so maybe we should put it to the vote. I think that you are a nutter. So we have something like a hung parliament. Anyone else want to vote on this?” (LJS4:12 PM)

      Is that more of your pirate logic LJ? If out of a sampling of ten people, nine who were all foolish and simple declared me a “nutter” and one who was a deal smarter than the rest could see that I wasn't, would I be a nutter?

      That's the limitation of democracy. Truth has nothing to do with quantity; it has to do with quality.

      Delete
    2. "Truth has nothing to do with quantity; it has to do with quality."

      Oh good so we can say your beliefs are not true.

      Delete
  12. "Two of the same sex can get together and carry on together but cannot fulfil each other by combining into one entity spiritually."

    Is contrasting genitalia really considered to be a critical spiritual factor in Ralphland?

    Heterosexual couples can relate emotionally and intellectualy to each other in various ways (not necessarily "complementary") regardless of their anatomical differences.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RalphH 30/0611:52 PM

      “Is contrasting genitalia really considered to be a critical spiritual factor in Ralphland?” (LJS6:18 PM)

      Genitalia is not the precursor of gender LJ. It is one of the effects. If there were not distinctively different male and female souls and minds/spirits there would not be distinctively different bodies.

      “Heterosexual couples can relate emotionally and intellectualy to each other in various ways (not necessarily "complementary") regardless of their anatomical differences.”

      Obviously, however for there to be a candidacy for marriage it is essential for there to be complementarity in the gender department.

      Anyone can tag a name on. I, for example, could call myself a computer technician or a dentist or a nuclear scientist – but it wouldn't be true because I don't have the qualifications or the skills. Even if the law-makers of the land passed a law saying that it was so, it still wouldn't be true for the same reasons.

      Delete
    2. "If there were not distinctively different male and female souls and minds/spirits there would not be distinctively different bodies."

      Even by your usual standards, this is a remarkably silly statement.

      "I, for example, could call myself a computer technician or a dentist or a nuclear scientist – but it wouldn't be true because I don't have the qualifications or the skills."

      Indeed. You could even claim that you're not a nutter – but it wouldn't be true because . . . you are a nutter.

      Delete
    3. " If there were not distinctively different male and female souls and minds/spirits there would not be distinctively different bodies."

      Why do you keep making things up, and lying? How does the spirit shape the body? How do you account for people who feel they have the wrong gender body? How do you account for ambiguous genitalia or hermaphrodites?

      "Obviously, however for there to be a candidacy for marriage it is essential for there to be complementarity in the gender department."

      No there isn't, why do you keep making things up?

      "Anyone can tag a name on"

      Yes Ralph and no matter how many times you say your beliefs are rational and 'common sense' it won't make them so.

      Delete
    4. "If there were not distinctively different male and female souls and minds/spirits there would not be distinctively different bodies. . . for there to be a candidacy for marriage it is essential for there to be complementarity in the gender department."

      How do you account for plants?

      To give a rough introduction:
      "Sex determination is a process that leads to the physical separation of male and female gamete-producing structures to different individuals of a species. Even though sexually reproducing species have only three possible options—to relegate the two sexes to separate individuals, to keep them together on the same individual, or to have a combination of both—plants in particular display a great variety of sexual phenotypes. In angiosperms, a sex-determining process is manifest in species that are monoecious, in which at least some flowers are unisexual but the individual is not, or dioecious, in which unisexual plants produce flowers of one sex type. In plants that produce no flowers and are homosporous, sex determination is manifest in the gametophyte generation with the production of egg- and sperm-forming gametangia on separate individual gametophytes." (you can read the rest of it here: http://www.plantcell.org/content/16/suppl_1/S61.full)

      OK, so we can have male and female plants. Does this mean that they have distinct male/female souls? Can they marry, or do they have to "germinate in sin"?

      What about plants that have both male and female parts? Surely they can't marry themselves? Do they have two souls?

      What kind of soul would be found in members of the genus Micromitrium, "in which the dwarf male gametophyte grows on the leaves of the markedly larger female plant"?

      Delete
    5. MalcolmS5:11 AM

      LJS: "How do you account for plants?"

      I think it was perfectly obvious that Ralph was not attempting to "account for plants."

      Firstly, plants don't have souls[consciousness].

      Secondly, plants are not homosexual.

      Thirdly, plants don't marry.

      Please try to run your questions past the kiddies before you join the grown-ups.

      It will save considerable time.

      Delete
    6. RalphH 01/074:38 PM

      “Why do you keep making things up, and lying? How does the spirit shape the body?” (Stranger2:41 AM)

      I did get a bit carried away there Stranger. It's the soul that is the conduit for the formation of the body. The spirit is what grows from the interaction of soul and body.

      “How do you account for people who feel they have the wrong gender body? How do you account for ambiguous genitalia or hermaphrodites?”

      The physical word is a world of change where things can go awry especially under the duress of evil. The physical problems of some could well be caused by the evils of others. The important point is that it is the spirit that is the essential person, not the physical body.

      So long as the integrity of the spirit is maintained (by not descending into evil intent) bodily problems, at worst, only exist for the duration of life in the physical world. As we know, many people rise above their physical/this-worldly (for Malcolm's benefit) problems.

      Delete
    7. Of course he wasn't attempting to account for plants, but they are a simple demonstration of how silly his claim was. I was responding to this: "If there were not distinctively different male and female souls and minds/spirits there would not be distinctively different bodies". Are you trying to defend that claim? I was trying to run my question past Ralph, but apparently you felt the need to respond before he did.

      Ralph believes that physical gender differences are the direct result of spiritual gender differences. I am quite sure that Ralph does not consider souls to be the same as "consciousness" so I will disregard your attempt to impose your defnitions on him. If plants don't have souls (in the sense that Ralph intended, not according to your mythical grandad's dictionary), then - IF Ralph's original claim was true - they wouldn't have different genders. However, plants DO have different genders. Therefore Ralph's claim is incorrect.

      Homosexuality would be difficult to establish (I doubt whether plants can separate sex and procreation in the way that animals can), but there are distinctions between those plants which have male and female characteristics on different parts of the same plant vs those which have distinct male and female plants.

      Plants don't marry yet - but the opponents of gay marriage will be confident that once we start on the slippery slope of gay marriage it will be a matter of time before a mushroom proposes to a willow (when we all know that he only wants a root) :)

      Delete
    8. "It's the soul that is the conduit for the formation of the body. The spirit is what grows from the interaction of soul and body."

      What is your evidence for this claim?

      Delete
    9. Mal: "plants are not homosexual"
      Wouldn't it be a great campaign for the Greens if they were? Us lefties would enjoy marching to demand "Equal Rights for Gay Rainforests"

      Delete
    10. "I did get a bit carried away there Stranger. It's the soul that is the conduit for the formation of the body. The spirit is what grows from the interaction of soul and body."

      You're still making shit up Ralph.

      "The physical word is a world of change where things can go awry especially under the duress of evil. The physical problems of some could well be caused by the evils of others."

      More bullshit.

      "So long as the integrity of the spirit is maintained (by not descending into evil intent) bodily problems, at worst, only exist for the duration of life in the physical world. As we know, many people rise above their physical/this-worldly (for Malcolm's benefit) problems."

      Why do you keep lying?

      Delete
    11. "Firstly, plants don't have souls[consciousness]."

      Ralph believes they do have souls, which isn't consciousness for him.

      Delete
    12. "The physical problems of some could well be caused by the evils of others."

      So those people going to medical school are wasting their time? If only they would prevent evil rather than wasting their time on antibiotics and performing operations etc.

      I guess that Dutch Elm disease is caused by evil plants?

      Gee, I'm glad that you're not a nutter!

      Delete
    13. 8x
      "Equal Rights for Gay Rainforests"
      x8

      I'm just glad we didn't get onto the subject of indigenous rain-forest.

      Mal would have insisted on compulsory removal of their saplings so he could raise them "properly" in plantations in his basement.

      Phew. Glad we dodged that controversy.

      Delete
    14. MalcolmS8:32 PM

      LJS: "Of course he wasn't attempting to account for plants, but they are a simple demonstration of how silly his claim was"

      Actually, the "demonstration" was yours! It was a simple demonstration of how silly your question was :)

      Please try to run your questions past the kiddies before you join the grown-ups.

      It will save considerable time.

      Delete
    15. MalcolmS8:36 PM

      LJS: "Homosexuality would be difficult to establish"

      LOL Er.. it's easy... it doesn't exist in plants.

      Homosexuality in the plant kingdom would mean instant extinction.

      Delete
    16. MalcolmS8:39 PM

      "The important point is that it is the spirit that is the essential person, not the physical body"

      Actually, Ralph, man is an integration of body and consciousness. *Both* are just as "essential."

      A consciousness without a body would be a ghost but is not a man.

      A body without consciousness would be a corpse but is not a man.

      Both are a contradiction.

      Either way you lose Ralph.

      Delete
    17. MalcolmS8:41 PM

      "As we know, many people rise above their physical/this-worldly (for Malcolm's benefit) problems"

      Yes, some do!

      However, they never ascend to otherworldliness.

      Delete
    18. MalcolmS8:42 PM

      LJS: "Us lefties would enjoy marching to demand "Equal Rights for Gay Rainforests""

      Er.. plants don't have rights.

      Delete
    19. 8x
      Homosexuality in the plant kingdom would mean instant extinction.
      x8

      lol

      Catastrophic homo induced plant extinction is a scam put about by collectivist parasites to serve their evil agenda of enslaving the free and rational man.

      Thought you would have known that

      Delete
    20. ROFL @ plant sex nonsense.

      Another question for the resident sexLOLogists (R-elf and mallypops)

      Is lattume an example of gay bestiality?
      http://garrubbo.com/lattume/

      And if so, is this not indicative of the slide down the slippery slope of shagadelic-ness we keep expecting to see "any moment now"?

      Thanks in advance for your wisdomy-ness

      Signed
      Concerned diner

      Delete
    21. "A body without consciousness would be a corpse but is not a man."

      So sleeping people are dead in Mal world? Your stupidity is a choice.

      Delete
    22. ". . . plants don't have rights."

      Of course they don't have rights YET. That's why we have to march for them, silly!

      Delete
    23. "A body without consciousness would be a corpse but is not a man."

      So if I had to be anaesthetised for an operation (as a result of the kind of wickedness-induced illness which us pirates sometimes suffer from), then I would no longer be a man? How about if I blacked out from too much rum? Would "not being a man" also mean that I wasn't married, given the (alleged) need for gender differentiation for marriage to be plausible?

      What if my wife lost consciousness? She's not even a man when she is conscious, so I don't see how she can be even less of a man when she isn't.

      Delete
    24. MalcolmS2:19 AM

      LJS: "So if I had to be anaesthetised for an operation (as a result of the kind of wickedness-induced illness which us pirates sometimes suffer from), then I would no longer be a man? How about if I blacked out from too much rum? Would "not being a man" also mean that I wasn't married, given the (alleged) need for gender differentiation for marriage to be plausible? What if my wife lost consciousness?"

      Please try to run your questions past the kiddies before you join the grown-ups.

      It will save considerable time.

      Had you done so they would have told you that all human discourse and knowledge is *contextual.* The context is Ralph's position on disembodied souls - a position of some considerable discussion between us over the years. The above was a continuation of that and was perfectly apt in that context. Hope that helps.

      Delete
    25. MalcolmS2:21 AM

      LJS: "What if my wife lost consciousness? She's not even a man when she is conscious"

      Context, context...

      In the context of the post she *is* a man.

      Er.. anything else you haven't told us..? :)

      Delete
    26. MalcolmS2:24 AM

      Andrew [stupidity is a choice] R: "So sleeping people are dead in Mal world?"

      No, just asleep dopey.

      It is perfectly accurate to say that man is an ambulatory being. That does not preclude him from sleeping or sitting occasionally. So, too, with consciousness.

      Delete
    27. "Andrew [stupidity is a choice] R: "So sleeping people are dead in Mal world?"

      No, just asleep dopey."

      But you said, "A body without consciousness would be a corpse but is not a man."

      "It is perfectly accurate to say that man is an ambulatory being. That does not preclude him from sleeping or sitting occasionally. So, too, with consciousness."

      So people who can't walk are still men but you say unconscious people are dead.

      Delete
    28. "The above was a continuation of that and was perfectly apt in that context."

      No it wasn't.

      Delete
    29. 8x
      A consciousness without a body would be a ghost but is not a man.
      x8

      Disembodied consciousness huh?
      Your mystical roots are showing again.

      Delete
    30. RalphH 01/076:36 AM

      “*"The important point is that it is the spirit that is the essential person, not the physical body"* (RalphH)

      Actually, Ralph, man is an integration of body and consciousness. *Both* are just as "essential."

      As I think LJ pointed out Malcolm, I do not confuse consciousness with the spirit or the soul. Consciousness is an awareness. One can be conscious on the physical, natural/of time and space level or on the inner, spiritual level of existence. A few select individuals have been conscious of both at the same time.

      I agree that man (by which you mean mankind or humans) is “an integration of body and consciousness” but where we differ is that I believe 'man' has two bodies (one within the other) a natural one (of material substance) and a spiritual body (of spiritual substance i.e. the character). It is the spiritual body (which houses/encompasses the soul and spirit) that is the essential body because it does not decay and cease to 'live' (i.e. die) as the natural one does.

      You may call that “other-worldly' and scoff at it but it's only otherworldly in the sense of where the consciousness is directed or focused. Whilst the physical body lives consciousness is directed outwards; when it dies the consciousness is directed inwards – towards the higher/more internal dimension of spirit.

      So 'a 'man' is never without a body. There is no contradiction. I do not lose.

      Delete
    31. MalcolmS9:13 AM

      Andrew [stupidity is a choice] R: "So people who can't walk are still men but you say unconscious people are dead"

      I said no such thing.

      I did not mention "unconscious people" or the "dead."

      Please stop, like Ralph, making stuff up.

      Delete
    32. MalcolmS9:16 AM

      idiotcatfetishist: "Disembodied consciousness huh? Your mystical roots are showing again"

      You have demonstrated no "mystical roots."

      Nor is there any such thing as "disembodied consciousness."

      Delete
    33. "Andrew [stupidity is a choice] R: "So people who can't walk are still men but you say unconscious people are dead"

      I said no such thing."

      Yes you did. "A body without consciousness would be a corpse but is not a man." An unconscious person is without consciousness. Your stupidity is a choice.

      Delete
    34. " It is the spiritual body (which houses/encompasses the soul and spirit) that is the essential body because it does not decay and cease to 'live' (i.e. die) as the natural one does."

      More made up bullshit so you can feel better about yourself.

      Delete
    35. "In the context of the post she *is* a man."

      In the context of someone writing in the 21st century, using "man" when you mean "person" is sexist.

      Delete
    36. MalcolmS7:33 PM

      LJs: "In the context of someone writing in the 21st century, using "man" when you mean "person" is sexist"

      In the above context "man" simply means an individual member of a particular species. Like many other words in the language it has a number of "senses." :) Your "progressive," lefty, education has made you as thick as the plank you walk!

      Furthermore, I have always been sexually attracted to women and not to men. That, in your confused mind, is "sexist." Your teachers should burn in hell for what they have done to you but the blame is not all theirs.

      Delete
    37. Heterosexuality is not sexist. Use of a gender specific word when you actually mean both genders is sexist. The word "person" is a suitable gender-neutral term.

      Your regressive righty education has made you incapable of having a sensible discussion.

      Delete
    38. RalphH 02/079:01 PM

      “Ralph believes that physical gender differences are the direct result of spiritual gender differences. I am quite sure that Ralph does not consider souls to be the same as "consciousness" so I will disregard your attempt to impose your defnitions on him. If plants don't have souls (in the sense that Ralph intended, not according to your mythical grandad's dictionary), then - IF Ralph's original claim was true - they wouldn't have different genders. However, plants DO have different genders. Therefore Ralph's claim is incorrect.” (LJS5:00 PM)

      LJ, I do believe that plants have souls. Everything that exists has a soul. Soul is a relative term but used in current context a soul is 'the essential part or fundamental nature of anything' (see #3 at Collins World English Dictionary, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/soul?s=t ).

      Of course plants do not have consciousness, certainly not in the animal sense or in the human sense (which is far in advance of the animal.

      From what I've said above it is obvious that I do not think/believe that the soul (of anything) is consciousness. One of the attributes of the animal soul is that it has awareness/consciousness of the physical world around it. The human soul however not only has consciousness of the physical world in which it's body lives but also has the capability of becoming aware of the spiritual world in which it's mind/spirit lives.

      Many, however, choose not to make use of that capability.

      Delete
    39. MalcolmS9:04 PM

      LJS: "Heterosexuality is not sexist. Use of a gender specific word when you actually mean both genders is sexist"

      Heterosexuality is decidedly sexist - it is the statement of a specific sexual preference. That does not mean it's evil!

      Furthermore, *man,* in the stated sense, is an *abstraction.* It does not refer to the gender of any particular - a specific example can be a male OR a female. Man can mentally and selectively focus on *attributes* of entities. For example he can selectively focus on an attribute whilst ignoring the grass or the tree - thereby forming the concept/word *green.* You appear not to realise that man is capable of abstract thought. Do you have hair on the palms of your hands?

      Delete
    40. MalcolmS9:10 PM

      LJS: "Use of a gender specific word when you actually mean both genders is sexist. The word "person" is a suitable gender-neutral term"

      You appear to have chosen a most unfortunate example: "perSON"

      ROFLMAO

      Delete
    41. MalcolmS9:26 PM

      RalphH: "LJ, I do believe that plants have souls. Everything that exists has a soul"

      I recall having a lengthy discussion with Ralph re the nature of the soul of a rock :) I pointed out to Ralph that such a soul would have to be physical. I also observed that I could grind up the rock and each dust particle so produced would then have to have a soul and asked him how he accounted for this!

      Ralph didn't bat an eye. He just ploughed on making stuff up as he went. It was a truly mind-numbing experience.

      Please excuse me from further discussion on this topic if he persists.

      Delete
    42. "You appear to have chosen a most unfortunate example: "perSON""

      person
      early 13c., from O.Fr. persone "human being" (12c., Fr. personne), from L. persona "human being," originally "character in a drama, mask," possibly borrowed from Etruscan phersu "mask." This may be related to Gk. Persephone. The use of -person to replace -man in compounds and avoid alleged sexist connotations
      dictionary.com
      Your stupidity is a choice.

      Delete
    43. "Heterosexuality is decidedly sexist - it is the statement of a specific sexual preference."

      sexist
      1.pertaining to, involving, or fostering sexism: a sexist remark; sexist advertising.
      noun
      2.a person with sexist attitudes or behavior.

      sexism
      1.attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles.
      2.discrimination or devaluation based on a person's sex, as in restricted job opportunities; especially, such discrimination directed against women.

      Nothing about sexual preference.
      Your stupidity is a choice

      Delete
    44. RalphH 02/079:58 PM

      “*"It's the soul that is the conduit for the formation of the body. The spirit is what grows from the interaction of soul and body."* (RalphH)

      What is your evidence for this claim?” (LJS5:13 PM)

      From what I can work out LJ, the spirit is the inner part of the mind (possibly the sub-conscious or another term sometimes used – the supra conscious mind.

      Here's an article that I found. It doesn't directly address the question of the soul but there is a pretty diagram about half way that looks like a cascade that demonstrates the process of creation.

      http://www.newtheism.com/papers/I.Thompson/degrees6.html

      The whole article might freak you out a bit because it requires some thinking to understand and I know that you're not much good at that. However with a tot of rum to steady the nerves and a bit of focus and application, who knows.

      Delete
    45. 'the essential part or fundamental nature of anything'

      How does that equate to something that can be aware of something else? Do multicellular organisms have multicellular souls? Do souls have an atomic structure of atom souls?

      Delete
    46. "From what I can work out LJ, the spirit is the inner part of the mind (possibly the sub-conscious or another term sometimes used – the supra conscious mind."

      So no source, just something you made up, as usual.

      Delete
    47. MalcolmS10:31 PM

      Andrew [stupidity is a choice] R: "Nothing about sexual preference"

      Thanks for your definitions of sexism and sexist dopey.

      Unfortunately for your position I was referring to heterosexuality which is certainly the statement of a specific sexual preference.

      Delete
    48. "Unfortunately for your position I was referring to heterosexuality which is certainly the statement of a specific sexual preference."

      You referred to it as being sexist, that's what I was correcting but you are too dumb even to have understood that.

      Delete
    49. MalcolmS1:28 AM

      Andrew [stupidity is a choice] R: ""Unfortunately for your position I was referring to heterosexuality which is certainly the statement of a specific sexual preference." You referred to it as being sexist"

      Since heterosexuality specifies a sexual preference it is necessarily sexist dopey.

      Delete
    50. "Since heterosexuality specifies a sexual preference it is necessarily sexist dopey."

      Read the definition of sexist dopey.

      Delete
    51. "Read the definition of sexist dopey."

      Was he the dwarf who expected Snow White to do all the housework?

      Delete
  13. Great to see this debate on the nature of the soul. It is a fundamental issue. If it exists, then the answers of faith to issues of death, morality and suffering triumph. If as I believe, there is no such post mortal thing, then we need an alternative godless approach. Dick
    PS Good to see the conversation veer away from the Rudd/Gillard thing. I am a bit over it myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MalcolmS9:30 AM

      "Great to see this debate on the nature of the soul. It is a fundamental issue. If it exists, then the answers of faith to issues of death, morality and suffering triumph"

      The soul certainly exists Dick. It's what we call consciousness.

      Consciousness *is* the "godless approach."

      Delete
    2. "The soul certainly exists Dick. It's what we call consciousness."

      Not according to Ralph it isn't.

      Delete
    3. "Not according to Ralph it isn't."

      All words must mean whatever Malcolm wants them to mean. If he wants to redefine "soul" (and "we") then he can declare all of us wrong. If we allow people to use words in any other way, then we violate the spirit of grandad's dictionary. All hail the linguistic overlord!

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS8:00 PM

      Andrew [stupidity is a choice] R: ""The soul certainly exists Dick. It's what we call consciousness." Not according to Ralph it isn't"

      You and Ralph have far more in common than either does with me. Good that you are finally able to see that.

      Delete
    5. MalcolmS8:03 PM

      LJS: "All words must mean whatever Malcolm wants them to mean"

      No, all words must have valid referents in reality in order to be objective. You really struggle with this don't you?

      Delete
    6. "You and Ralph have far more in common than either does with me. Good that you are finally able to see that."

      What the hell are you on about?

      Delete
    7. "No, all words must have valid referents in reality in order to be objective."

      Words aren't objective.
      Your stupidity is a choice.

      Delete
    8. MalcolmS9:32 PM

      Andrew [stupidity is a choice] R: "Words aren't objective"

      Especially when they come from your mouth.

      Objectivity is a choice.

      Delete
    9. "Andrew [stupidity is a choice] R: "Words aren't objective"

      Especially when they come from your mouth."

      No they are just not objective by their very nature.

      "Objectivity is a choice."

      Indeed, but you don't practice it much.

      Delete
    10. 8x
      No, all words must have valid referents in reality in order to be objective. You really struggle with this don't you?
      x8

      8x
      That is one of many fallacies committed by materialists/nominalists who regard "ideas" as not fully real. You need to grasp that an idea/concept, once formed, is a mental concrete.
      x8

      Ergo: "objective reality" is anything mallypops can imagine

      Sorry, shouldn't that be "nobjective reality"

      Also: ... little bit mental...

      Delete
    11. MalcolmS1:35 AM

      Andrew [stupidity is a choice] R: "Words aren't objective"

      Your posts are comprised entirely of words.

      Say no more :)

      Delete
    12. "Your posts are comprised entirely of words."
      False. They also include punctuation marks and spaces. ":)" is not a word.

      Or do you have a special "objective" interpretation of the word "entirely"?

      Delete
    13. "Your posts are comprised entirely of words."

      That still doesn't make words objective.

      Delete
    14. MalcolmS7:56 AM

      LJS: "... do you have a special "objective" interpretation of the word "entirely"?"

      "Special," no! "Objective," most certainly!

      Don't you?

      If not, why do you ask?

      Or, was it a non-objective question?

      Delete
    15. MalcolmS8:01 AM

      Andrew [stupidity is a choice] R: "That still doesn't make words objective"

      Then please stop grunting like a pig.

      Delete
    16. "Then please stop grunting like a pig."

      Your stupidity is a choice you know.

      Delete
    17. "Special," no! "Objective," most certainly!

      What is the "objective" meaning which allows you to interpret a post including a combination of words, spaces and punctuation marks as consisting "entirely" of words?

      Delete
  14. Ralph:

    I don’t know how many botanists, zoologists and other scientists have studied animals and plants over the years, but the time they’ve devoted to their studies must run into billions of hours, and not one of them has discovered a soul or anything like it. Yet here you are telling us not only that you know souls exist, but that they exist in all living things, that they have consciousness, and that their consciousness extends beyond the physical world to the spiritual.

    C'mon, mate. You can't be serious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MalcolmS10:18 PM

      "Yet here you are telling us not only that you know souls exist, but that they exist in all living things"

      It's worse than that.

      Ralph believes that everything has a soul: even rocks!

      Delete
    2. RalphH 02/073:27 AM

      “C'mon, mate. You can't be serious.” (Terry10:04 PM)

      I can be serious Terry and usually am, unless making fun of Andrew (the Stranger) or Long (the pirate) John. Why do you expect that it would be scientists who would discover the soul (if there was one). A soul is not a physical entity and science by definition confines itself to the physical world of Nature.

      The Swedish scientist Swedenborg spent a goodly portion of his life searching for the seat of the (human) soul as a scientist (making an in-depth study of physiology and psychology along the way) but in the end admitted that his search using this method was in vain so he turned to philosophy and theology.

      Incidentally he finally concluded that the soul is not located at any particular point but pervades the whole body - which fits well with the idea that the soul is of a 'higher' (not a spatial higher) reality.

      Delete
    3. RalphH 02/073:28 AM

      “It's worse than that.

      Ralph believes that everything has a soul: even rocks!” (MalcolmS10:18 PM)

      And what's “worse” about that Malcolm? I guess if you don't believe in God it would create a major stumbling block.

      The soul of a rock could be an idea in the mind of God. If you don't believe God has a mind, talk to Paul Davies about it.

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS3:55 AM

      RalphH: ".. science by definition confines itself to the physical world of Nature"

      No, your definition is incorrect. Science is the systematic gaining of knowledge by the use of reason based on observation. Sciences such as psychology, epistemology and ethics are of the NON-physical world of nature. Their methodologies are different to the physical sciences but they are still sciences.

      Delete
    5. Ethics is NOT a science.

      Delete
    6. Yes Ralph, and Swedenborg also concluded that "cows are from Mercury, horses are from Venus", but he had really moved on from being a scientist to being a nutjob at that stage in his career.

      Here is a simple way of telling the difference -

      Someone who gathers information by performing experiments is probably a scientist. Someone who gathers information by having conversations with dead people and visitors from outer space is probably not a scientist (even if they used to be one before they went mad).

      Delete
    7. According to the Oxford dictionary, science is "the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment." (http://oxforddictionaries.com)

      No doubt you expect us to defer to your grandfather's dictionary, but at this stage you are losing a discussion on science to someone who believes in Mercurian cattle.

      Delete
    8. MalcolmS5:04 AM

      Ethics IS a science.

      Ethics is a code of values to guide man’s choices and actions - the choices and actions that determine the purpose and the course of his life.

      Ethics, as a science, deals with discovering and defining such a code.

      Delete
    9. MalcolmS5:20 AM

      LJS: ".. you are losing a discussion on science to someone who believes in Mercurian cattle"

      Unlike yourself I do not debate science with a believer in Mercurian cattle. It is you who has been going at it for over a year and have made zero headway! You are as stupid as the Mercurian cattlist.

      I simply pointed out an error in his definition of science and moved on.

      Something which is asserted without evidence can, likewise, be dismissed without evidence! Hope that helps.

      Delete
    10. MalcolmS7:45 AM

      "I guess if you don't believe in God it would create a major stumbling block"

      No, Ralph, belief in God is the stumbling block. Otherwise it is perfectly apparent that a rock is a rock and that it is all matter - even when David brains Goliath on the back of the head with one. Or, are you claiming that it was "an idea in the mind of God" which did the damage.

      Delete
    11. MalcolmS8:25 AM

      RalphH: "The Swedish scientist Swedenborg spent a goodly portion of his life searching for the seat of the (human) soul as a scientist (making an in-depth study of physiology and psychology along the way) but in the end admitted that his search using this method was in vain so he turned to philosophy and theology"

      René Descartes, philosopher and theologian, claimed the soul was in the pineal gland.

      Like you and Swedenborg, he just made stuff up too.

      Delete
    12. Do you think that religion is a science?

      Delete
    13. Mal: "Something which is asserted without evidence can, likewise, be dismissed without evidence! Hope that helps."

      It would help more if you could offer some evidence for your assertion that Ethics is a science.

      Delete
    14. Ralph: Swedenborg [...] in the end admitted that his search [for the soul] using this method was in vain so he turned to philosophy and theology.

      With philosophy and theology you can make up any story you like and no one can prove you wrong. That’s why philosophy is dying (theology was dead from the start). Imagine what kind of world this would be if every scientist had turned to philosophy whenever his research led him to a dead end.

      Delete
    15. RalphH 03/075:22 PM

      “No, Ralph, belief in God is the stumbling block. Otherwise it is perfectly apparent that a rock is a rock and that it is all matter - even when David brains Goliath on the back of the head with one. Or, are you claiming that it was "an idea in the mind of God" which did the damage.” (MalcolmS7:45 AM)

      I believe in God Malcolm and it's “ perfectly apparent that a rock is a rock”. I also understand why it's a rock/has the characteristics that it has.

      David did not “brain Goliath on the back of the head”. It must be a long time since you read the story or you weren't attending properly in Sunday School when it was read to you. As with every story or narrative in the Bible every smallest detail is significant including the fact that David chose five smooth stones i.e. stones that had been shaped by running water.

      A rock represents faith and water represents truth. The deed was carried out by David. It represents how faith formed by truth can overcome evil (which can appear like a giant).

      Delete
    16. RalphH 03/075:24 PM

      “René Descartes, philosopher and theologian, claimed the soul was in the pineal gland.

      Like you and Swedenborg, he just made stuff up too.” (MalcolmS8:25 AM)

      He may just have made an educated guess, and been wrong.

      Delete
    17. RalphH 03/075:31 PM

      “Do you think that religion is a science?” (LJS3:24 PM)

      Well, both can be explored rationally LJ. However the object of science is the world of Nature and the object of religion is the world of spirit.

      Delete
    18. "He may just have made an educated guess, and been wrong."

      In order to make an educated guess one needs to know something about the thing being guessed. Descartes had no knowledge of the proper function of the pineal gland, or of souls.

      Delete
    19. RalphH 03/075:33 PM

      “With philosophy and theology you can make up any story you like and no one can prove you wrong. That’s why philosophy is dying (theology was dead from the start). Imagine what kind of world this would be if every scientist had turned to philosophy whenever his research led him to a dead end.” (Terry4:05 PM)

      Terry, even the denial of philosophy is a philosophy, albeit a false one.

      Delete
    20. " I also understand why it's a rock/has the characteristics that it has."

      No you don't you just make shit up about them.

      "It represents how faith formed by truth can overcome evil (which can appear like a giant)."

      There is no such thing as faith formed by truth.

      Delete
    21. MalcolmS10:09 PM

      LJS: "Mal: "Something which is asserted without evidence can, likewise, be dismissed without evidence! Hope that helps."

      It would help more if you could offer some evidence for your assertion that Ethics is a science"

      I did so at 5:04AM. Were you out of focus again?

      First I defined ethics. Then I outlined what is required if ethics is to be studied as a science - as distinct from climbing a mountain to retrieve revelationary tablets of stone or attending your local peoples' collective to receive orders. I'm sure you know where to go for the latest discoveries in the field! Hope that helps.

      Delete
    22. "Well, both can be explored rationally LJ. "

      But rational thought is not the only prerequisite for science.

      "I'm sure you know where to go for the latest discoveries in the field!"
      A semester of studying ethics at Uni was enough for me. None of the lecturers there suggested that it had anything to do with science.

      Delete
    23. MalcolmS11:19 PM

      Terry: "With philosophy and theology you can make up any story you like and no one can prove you wrong"

      Just like modern science: specifically with reference to the myth of cataclysmic anthropogenic roasting.

      "That’s why philosophy is dying (theology was dead from the start)"

      Modern philosophy has been dead for over a century.

      But underground and at the cutting edge it's doing fine :)

      Delete
    24. MalcolmS11:22 PM

      RalphH:"He may just have made an educated guess, and been wrong"

      No, qua philosopher, René Descartes was a 'rationalist.'***

      He was the so-called father of modern philosophy.

      Like you, Swedenborg and other rationalists he just made stuff up!

      *** NB Rationalism is a technical term in philosophy - it does not mean 'rational.' It is to be contrasted with empiricism.

      Delete
  15. "If there were not distinctively different male and female souls and minds/spirits there would not be distinctively different bodies."

    "LJ, I do believe that plants have souls. Everything that exists has a soul"

    OK, so in Ralphland plants have souls and the gender of these souls determines their sexual characteristics? Some plants are divided into male and female plants. Other plants include male and female parts on the same plant. Do these plants have two souls?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MalcolmS4:13 AM

      Forget plants!

      If "everything that exists has a soul" then every atom in existence has a soul :)

      Except that, since atoms never die, their souls are sentenced never to go to heaven :)

      Just you ask Paul Davies!

      I'm outta here!!

      Delete
    2. Yeah, but we don't get to argue about whether atoms have male or female souls & I was interested in that particular piece of silliness.

      Delete
    3. RalphH 03/074:38 PM

      “Except that, since atoms never die, their souls are sentenced never to go to heaven :)” (MalcolmS4:13 AM)

      It's not because thy “never die”, Malcolm. It's only the human soul that has the capacity for “go(ing) to heaven” i.e. it's an eternal soul. It is only the human being that is designed with the capability of knowing and responding to/connecting spiritually with it's creator.

      Delete
    4. Human atoms must have human souls Ralph.

      Delete
    5. RalphH 03/075:38 PM

      "Human atoms must have human souls Ralph." (Stranger4:50 PM"

      Why Stranger? If they did they'd be human beings, not atoms. Atoms are component parts of physical objects. They do not take on the characteristics of the objects of which they are a part.

      Delete
    6. "Atoms are component parts of physical objects. "

      Quite, which means they must have souls according to the object they make up as you can't have animal atoms having a human soul.

      " They do not take on the characteristics of the objects of which they are a part."

      Characteristics are totally reliant on the atoms that make up the body or there wouldn't be a body.

      Delete
    7. MalcolmS9:34 PM

      "It's not because thy “never die”, Malcolm. It's only the human soul that has the capacity for “go(ing) to heaven”"

      OK Ralph I'll bite!

      Do soul atoms go to heaven? :)

      Delete
  16. RalphH 03/074:10 PM

    "Yeah, but we don't get to argue about whether atoms have male or female souls & I was interested in that particular piece of silliness." (LJS5:10 AM)

    Since you don't seem to be able to work it out for yourself LJ (I suggest the silliness is in YOUR suggestion, not any of mine), ask yourself the question, "Do atoms reproduce sexually?" Now surely you can fill in the gaps. Things only exist where there is a purpose or use being served.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If males and females have a gendered soul then surely the atoms that make up males and females have gendered souls.

      Delete
    2. MalcolmS9:22 PM

      "Things only exist where there is a purpose or use being served"

      You are really making 'em up today Ralphie boy. The solar system has existed for 4 thousand billion years. Yet life has existed for only 3 billion years. What was the "purpose" of existence prior to life? Without life there is no purpose but there was still existence.

      That's the thing about existence, Ralph - it just exists and requires no purpose. Before there is purpose there must be life.

      Delete
  17. Mal:

    Yours is not the only definition of science. Nor is it a good one. There's also Feynman on the subject:

    Science, which contains within itself lessons of the danger of thinking that the great teachers of preceding generations were infallible, is the belief in the ignorance of experts. Or religion (which includes objectivism) is the culture of faith and science is the culture of doubt.

    Before you object to these definitions you might want to heed the words of your idol’s idol, HL Mencken, who said (and I’m sure he was thinking of you when he said it) that it’s a sure man who’s always dull, and a dull man who’s always sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MalcolmS8:44 PM

      Terry: "Before you object to these definitions..."

      What on earth made you think I would even comment? What on earth made you think they are even definitions? They are not and you didn't even know it! I have told you before that I regard Feynman as one of the influences for the modern collapse in science. That includes hacks such as yourself. You are both incompetents in the field. Oops... I just commented.

      Delete

Followers