Sunday, July 21, 2013

Did Peter Jensen Save the Global Anglican Communion???

A benign picture of a recently departed but scary prelate.


11 days ago, after a tumultuous term for a dozen years, the most Reverend Archbishop Peter Jensen retired as the leader of the Sydney Anglicans.  I hate many of his views but he may have saved the Anglican denomination from tearing itself to bits.
The Anglican Communion matters.  At 80 to 85 million adherents, it is the third biggest Christian denomination after Catholicism and Orthodoxy. 
Anglicanism matters also because it represents the tensions all the big denominations of faith face – diversity and disagreement.  How they manage this critical to the future of the denomination concerned.  It is also a pointer to all global organisations, secular and sacred, on the question of managing change when we have divergent global views. As change hits different countries in different ways and at different speeds, global churches (and other global institutions) have a real problem keeping it all together.
In the homeland of England, the C of E is sclerotic.  Click on this PowerPoint discussion by Prof Linda Woodhead.  http://www.churchofengland.org/about-us/facts-stats/research-statistics/faith-in-research-2013.aspx
This survey of English belief discloses a Church sliding into irrelevance. Even 33% of Anglicans are “doubters”.  Only 6% of the community turns to God for moral guidance.  68% (including “don’t knows”) of the community don’t really think about the established Church at all and of the rest, only 18% see it as positive.  Last year at the November Synod, the idea of women bishops was rejected to massive public derision.  They had another go last week at the Synod in the beautiful northern city of York where the Synod agreed to a new glacial process to decide on this unexceptional idea.  Instead of derision, this development elicited a yawn.  In its home of Great Britain, Anglicanism appears to be a train wreck.
Anglicanism very roughly follows the boundaries of the British Empire with adherents in the UK, Africa, here and increasingly Asia. Anglicanism and indeed Christianity in general are having a growth spurt in the developing world at the expense of Islam. There is a claim by a Muslim scholar that 6 million Muslims are lost each year to Christianity particularly in Africa. http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles6/AlJazeerahAfrica.php
 One of the beneficiaries of this trend is African Anglicanism.  There are more Nigerian Anglicans than in the home of this denomination, England.  Thus the Africans are claiming to have more power in both Catholicism and Anglicanism.  Catholic and Anglican Africans can mount a claim for more power in their respective churches.  They are growing.  They are waging the often bloody war with Islam.  They have the numbers.  They ought to have the power.  And these congregations are often hopelessly conservative on the two topics that that churches traditionally do poorly – sex and gender.
Anglicanism is being stalked by the prospect of Schism because its conservative wing cannot deal with pretty unremarkable ideas such as ordination of gays and women.  The conservatives can be found in every part of the Anglican world but the Africans are big on these topics and the Nigerians in particular make no bones about it.  They will not tolerate ordination of gays and women.
The Dioceses in the West naturally find these ideas not too confronting.  The northern Americans embrace gay and women leadership.
To the outside world, there is a temptation to see the divide over doctrine as a racial divide.  That is not the case.  But it does have a superficial look of the black versus white wings of the church.  The reality is that the American diocese is bitterly divided with the conservatives gravitating towards two movements – the Continuing Anglican movement which is outside the main denomination and the Anglo Catholics who were poached by Pope Benedict in 2007.  The can keep their Anglican liturgy and their married priests but are hybrid Roman / English Catholics. 
Peter Jensen allied himself to a similar conservative grouping called GAFCON – the Global Anglican Future Conference.  This mob includes the Africans and other conservatives.  I think that it may have saved Anglicanism from schism.  For it spoke to the African conservatives and gave them an outlet for their grievances.  Archbishop Jensen was an important leader of this gang. It also made obvious that this is a doctrinal fight not black versus white divide. 
In 2008, GAFCON met in Jerusalem prior to the Lambeth Conference which is the meeting of worldwide Anglicanism.  The Conference is so named for it takes place a Lambeth Palace which is the headquarters of the boss of Anglicanism, the Archbishop of Canterbury. 
The GAFCON views are loathsome to me and I imagine most of the godless. But I suspect that it saved Anglicanism for the time being.  Within that faith there are intractable disagreements.  These disagreements must have an outlet or the discontented will walk. If organisations do not provide the disgruntled with outlets for their rage, then schism beckons.  
I sense that GAFCON kept the conservatives in the Anglican community. I sense too that it showed that the clash of ideology is not a sectarian and racial one but doctrinal debate. That is a wonderful thing for the last thing the world needs is another fight between races.  Indeed that is probably the best thing about the Commonwealth Games and Anglicanism – differing races, ethnicities and groups can share communion brought about by the dying embers of the global anachronism that was the Empire.
So I sense that Archbishop Jensen, though championing views that are utterly repugnant to me, and in the long term, not viable for any modern organisation, did squirt some glue into the fraying Anglican Communion.  I will pine for him for he is such an easy target for us atheists to aim at.  However, we cannot deny his role globally.  And locally, whilst I despise their liturgy, there is no doubt that Jensen’s Evangelical foot soldiers slugged it out better than most for planting new Christian bums on seats.  Oh yes, Jensen was belligerent, intelligent and annoying.  But he was the sort I love to hate and I think I may miss him.
Am I mad?  Should I be dancing a gig at the prospect of his departure?
Would you miss Archbishop Jensen more that Cardinal Pell or do you hope that someone stuffs Cardinal Pell and mounts him permanently on a plinth?
How do global organisations deal with the fractious few who stand in the way of progress?
When should schism triumph over compromise and moderation?
Over to you guys.

254 comments:

  1. "Am I mad? "

    You do have that jacket.

    "Should I be dancing a gig at the prospect of his departure?"

    As long as no one gets hurt.

    "Would you miss Archbishop Jensen more that Cardinal Pell or do you hope that someone stuffs Cardinal Pell and mounts him permanently on a plinth?"

    Both are useless, waste of resources.

    "How do global organisations deal with the fractious few who stand in the way of progress?"

    They sack them.

    "When should schism triumph over compromise and moderation?"

    Whenever it wants to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gee Stranger, ants in your pants??? My jackets are sublime.

      Delete
    2. I was perusing the previous blog for insane posts from Ralph when I saw the new one.

      Delete
    3. "They sack them."
      Except for the ones who possess sufficient power to do more than just sack their opponents (Taliban, Spanish Inquisition etc). They kill them.

      Delete
  2. Sorry this was so late. Had an emergency appendectomy in the family and a funeral. More on the latter later. Dick

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No wuckers Dick. Hopefully the former didn't bring on the latter.

      Delete
    2. "No Wuckers" puts you in my demographic.

      The former is a "good" disease. Appendicitis is lots of drama and usually survival with a life long treatment. No lingering doubts like other conditions.

      Delete
    3. ""No Wuckers" puts you in my demographic."

      We were born in the same decade I think.

      Delete
  3. 8x
    There are more Nigerian Anglicans than in the home of this denomination, England.
    x8

    Shouldn't they change the name to Nigerican then?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MalcolmS9:48 PM

      LOL You really don't know the answer to that question do you toolshead??

      Delete
    2. Hello, whats this? Bit sensitive are you twerplet??

      We knew you were ex-religio but I think we might just have discovered the denomination.

      Did you post that to impress your mum? ;)

      Delete
    3. MalcolmS2:44 AM

      Wrong again toolshead - never been religious - nor was my mum :)

      Why? Are you [or your mum] a Nigerian Anglican? :)

      Delete
    4. Go not to the Elves for counsel, for they will say both no and yes.


      Well whattaya know.
      Works for nobjectivists too.

      Delete
    5. MalcolmS9:38 AM

      Yes, as you would expect for an axiom.

      Delete
  4. To me this argument and potential schism just demonstrates again that the morality that comes from religion is anything but god-given. If it was then the powers that be in the Anglican Church could consult god, who would then tell them if it was ok for the ordination of women and what his position is on gay people. They would then get the same answer back and the question would be resolved.

    Instead you get people of equal dedication to god with the same desire to get god’s message correct, ‘consulting god’ only to come back with an answer that only reflects their personal prejudices and convictions. If god existed and was consultable by people of faith why should there ever be any question over matters of doctrine?

    I can anticipate that some theists might argue that god wants us to work this stuff out for ourselves (and then punish us eternally if we get the answer wrong, as any good parent would), but then why should we trust anyone who has ever said that they have had a communication with god, up to and including the church’s prophets. If god wants us to work this out why didn’t he want us to work out the other stuff for ourselves?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Boof. You raise a couple of very big issues. The first is the nature of godliness differs so markedly between those who follow the same God. This distincition between Churchianity and Christianity is so striking for the godless outsider. Should we blame God for the differences particularly some of the awful differences that denominations impose???
      The second issue you raise is the free will element in most beliefs. God gives us the freedom to blunder around. If we do blunder, is that out fault or God's?

      Thanks again Boof.

      Dick

      Delete
  5. MalcolmS8:02 PM

    "Indeed that is probably the best thing about the Commonwealth Games and Anglicanism – differing races, ethnicities and groups can share communion brought about by the dying embers of the global anachronism that was the Empire"

    Interesting that you see the Games as about "race" and "groups" Dick - your collectivism is showing.

    In fact the Games were originally conceived as a contest between *individuals* - not races or groups.

    This was in the spirit of the ideas of British empiricists especially the ideas of John Locke.

    The Empire did more good, in the countries of the Empire, than harm because of such ideas.

    Especially when compared to the "Empire" which you so greatly admired: the USSR.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ima let you finish Mal, but Ralph has the best inane drivel of ALL TIME!

      I think that Ralph wins the gold medal for the previous blog, but wait until he moves on from the previous blog, and then we can watch the two of you engage in a new bullshit contest between *individuals*.

      Delete
    2. 8x
      In fact the Games were originally conceived as a contest between *individuals* - not races or groups.
      x8

      Ooh *sparklies*.
      Thats pretty!

      Is phlogiston doing that, or is it one of your other fantasta-mal-gorical "mental concretes"? ;)

      Delete
  6. "They will not tolerate ordination of gays and women."
    The conflict seems particularly clear when they consider why God created all those gay people.

    The conservatives follow the biblical injunctions from Leviticus regarding sex:

    20:10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
    20:11 And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
    20:12 And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.
    20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
    20:14 And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.
    20:15 And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast.

    There is a debate about whether bestiality should be punished by the death of the animal or whether it is sufficient to just put the offending person to death. Do the same rules apply to someone who has sex with Mercurian cattle? How does one establish whether the beast was consenting?

    The more "progressive" christians are satisfied with preventing gay people from marrying, attending their religious schools or becoming ministers. Some are willing to disobey God and refrain from burning gays to death (if there's anybody watching).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MalcolmS12:04 AM

      LJS: "The more "progressive" christians are satisfied with preventing gay people from marrying, attending their religious schools or becoming ministers"

      There are plenty of married gays in the world. Religion no longer has the power to prevent it. Has it not occurred to you that there are plenty of atheists who oppose gay marriage also and that is the reason that we don't have gay marriage in this country? How come you don't mention them? Furthermore, why should a private organisation such as a church appoint a priest who disagrees with their moral code?

      "Some are willing to disobey God and refrain from burning gays to death"

      Yes, of course. Mainstream Christianity has been tempered by the Enlightenment or haven't you heard? Last century about 100 million people were slaughtered by atheists such as yourself - which the Christians of history didn't come close to matching. Why pick on Ralph?

      "The conflict seems particularly clear when they consider why God created all those gay people"

      If it's so "clear," then, where did Ralph et al get it wrong? Where did "all those gay people" come from? :)

      Delete
    2. 8x
      Last century about 100 million people were slaughtered by atheists such as yourself
      x8

      Actually they were "atheists" such as yourself bubblehead.

      Surprised you didn't know that...

      Delete
    3. 8x
      There is a debate about whether bestiality should be punished by the death of the animal...
      x8

      Only if the animal has been baptised

      http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090217155420AAflXRd


      Get out of jail free... unless you're one o' them abrahamists of course...

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS2:20 AM

      idiotcatfetishist: "Actually they were "atheists" such as yourself bubblehead"

      LOL That's no way to talk about the idiot pirate!

      Delete
    5. Bubblehead: LOL That's no way to talk about the idiot pirate!

      lol, please try not to go *pop* ;)

      Delete
    6. "Mainstream Christianity has been tempered by the Enlightenment or haven't you heard?"

      Apparently the Nigerians didn't get the memo. Although it does seem to be the Islamic areas which are most inclined to stone them to death. It doesn't hurt to mention other religions occasionally -

      "In the states of Gombe, Jigawa, and Zamfara, a person who commits the offence of sodomy shall be punished:

      (a) with caning of one hundred lashes if unmarried, and shall also be liable to imprisonment for the term of one year; or

      (b) if married with stoning to death"
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Nigeria

      Delete
    7. Apparently the enlightenment didn't make it to Arizona either:

      "Well, the Bible actually teaches that gays should be executed… now, I’m not saying that I would ever kill anyone, because I never would, but I believe that the government should use the death penalty on murderers, rapists, homosexuals, and… that’s what the Bible teaches very clearly."
      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/07/06/christian-pastor-i-believe-that-the-government-should-use-the-death-penalty-on-homosexuals/

      Delete
    8. Do Baptists count as mainstream Christians? A pastor in Kansas is also in favour of the death penalty for gays:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMkZ02NrxP8

      Delete
    9. MalcolmS6:43 AM

      LJS: "Apparently the Nigerians didn't get the memo"

      It's you who doesn't get the memo.

      When, precisely, do you think the Nigerian Enlightenment occurred?

      Delete
    10. Sigh . .

      You did read the blog?
      "The conservatives can be found in every part of the Anglican world but the Africans are big on these topics and the Nigerians in particular make no bones about it."

      The potential schism involves those conservative elements of the church (the ones who follow what the bible says about putting gays to death for their "abomination") and the more progressive elements who may have been "tempered by the Enlightenment". The anti-gay elements in the church are making it difficult for the Anglicans to embrace contemporary ideas about equality (particularly in questions relating to gender and sexual orientation).

      Do try to remain in focus.

      Delete
  7. "Why pick on Ralph?"

    Why not?

    "Has it not occurred to you that there are plenty of atheists who oppose gay marriage also and that is the reason that we don't have gay marriage in this country?"

    I had assumed that most of the political opposition has been driven by politicians pandering to the religious right, but I am curious to see you ddefending this statement. Would you care to produce EVIDENCE for your assertion that atheist opposition to gay marriage has been the reason for this country failing to legislate on this matter, or should we just dismiss your claim?

    "Last century about 100 million people were slaughtered by atheists such as yourself - which the Christians of history didn't come close to matching."

    An odd comment from an atheist! Or have you converted since the last time someone mistook you for a Christian? Is there a reason why you think that this slaughter was performed by atheists like me (rather than ones like you)?

    "Where did "all those gay people" come from?"
    The same place that all the heterosexual people came from.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MalcolmS7:17 AM

      LJS: "I had assumed that most of the political opposition has been driven by politicians pandering to the religious right, but I am curious to see you ddefending[sic] this statement. Would you care to produce EVIDENCE for your assertion that atheist opposition to gay marriage has been the reason for this country failing to legislate on this matter, or should we just dismiss your claim?"

      "Assumed"? On what evidence? Just like Ralph you simply make stuff up as you go along.

      Why do you think Gillard opposed same-sex marriage during her career even though she claimed she was personally in favour of it? With the help of the Greens she may well have had the numbers to get it through. It was not concern for the feelings of the religious right I can assure you! No, it was because so many of her atheist/socialist mates oppose it.

      FYI this was also the case in the atheist USSR. There was some ambivalence to homosexuality in the early days following the revolution but never the advocacy of same-sex marriage. From Stalin on homosexuality was banned with severe penalties as it was in the East European satellites, communist China and Cuba.

      Even today in Russia Vladimir Putin has a ban on schoolchildren being taught about homosexuality.

      Your position that such opposition is limited to the religious right is as fanciful and bigoted as any of the myths which you regularly criticise Ralph for.

      Delete
    2. Mal:

      Evidently, Ralph is not the only one who makes things up. Julia G did not claim she was in favour of gay marriage. The Daily Telegraph, 21 March 2011, quoted her as saying she opposed it.

      And her opposition had nothing to do with her atheism. She blamed her conservative upbringing, adding that 'what comes from the Bible has formed such an important part of our culture’. It would probably be more accurate to say she opposed gay marriage on religious grounds.

      Atheists may oppose gay marriage, but their atheism has nothing to do with it. This is in contrast to ideologues, such as you and your new best friend, whose ideologies explain their every thought and action.

      Delete
    3. MalcolmS7:41 PM

      Terry: "Atheists may oppose gay marriage, but their atheism has nothing to do with it"

      I have not claimed otherwise.

      Only that *both* atheists and theists can favour/oppose SSM.

      In fact knowing someone is an atheist tells you nothing about what the atheist *does* believe.

      Delete
    4. "It was not concern for the feelings of the religious right I can assure you! No, it was because so many of her atheist/socialist mates oppose it."

      And your EVIDENCE for this assertion is . . . ????

      Delete
    5. Mal: I have not claimed otherwise.

      You may not have meant to, but you did. By saying it’s because there are so many atheists who oppose it that we don’t have gay marriage in this country you inferred a connection between their atheism and their opposition.

      Thank you for clearing things up.

      Delete
    6. LJS: And your EVIDENCE for this assertion is?

      Perhaps Ralph has convinced Mal that ‘The truth of any matter does not depend on evidence. Truth depends only on the fact that something is true.’ Or was it Mal that convinced Ralph? Can’t remember.

      Delete
    7. " "Assumed"? On what evidence? "

      On the evidence of statements from groups like the ACL:

      http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/australian-christian-lobby-shocker-gay-sex-could-be-taught-in-schools/story-fneszs56-1226647788718

      http://www.acl.org.au/2013/07/the-australian-family-association-national-marriage-day-events-in-nsw-and-wa/

      There's a reasonable chance that Fred Nile could have made his opinion knownn:

      http://crossmap.christianpost.com/news/replace-marriage-with-homiage-or-lesiage-australian-politician-suggests-4027

      Of course the views of the ACL, Fred Nile, George Pell etc do not represent the views of all Christians. Some Christians are perfectly nice people (despite their belief in God), BUT the ones who lobby against gay marriage do seem to be mainly Christian groups. I doubth whether Gillard received many emails/petitions from Richard Dawkins opposing gay marriage, but it seems likely that groups like the ACL might have tried to apply political pressure. The Christians who oppose gay marriage do so because (according to their interpretation of the bible) god doesn't like it. Atheists who are opposed to gay marriage are opposed because of reasons which have nothing to do with atheism.

      Of course there are differences of opinion among Christians (as usual, they cherry pick the passages which support whatever they want to believe) - that was one of the point being made in Dick's discussion about "schism" -

      http://www.biblesociety.org.au/news/christians-divided-over-kevin-rudds-support-of-gay-marriage

      However, you apparently have evidence to prove that my assumptions were wrong, and it was really atheist/socialist lobbyists who convinced Gillard. I will be interested to see this evidence.

      Delete
    8. MalcolmS10:14 PM

      idiot pirate: "And your EVIDENCE for this assertion is . . . ????"

      I have provided numerous examples of atheists opposing homosexuality including entire regimes who partly controlled the world. I know many atheists who oppose SSM and many who don't. The evidence is all around you!

      Your position that opposition to gay marriage originates from the "religious right" and that atheists are in favour of it is nonsense.

      *Nothing* follows from atheism.

      Delete
    9. "Your position that such opposition is limited to the religious right . . ."

      Actually my position is that the religious right is particularly likely to lobby against changes which go against their interpretation of what their invisible friend has told them. There may well be others who are opposed to gay marriage, but they are less inclined to organise petitions, rallies, press releases etc.

      Delete
    10. MalcolmS10:18 PM

      Terry: "By saying it’s because there are so many atheists who oppose it that we don’t have gay marriage in this country you inferred a connection between their atheism and their opposition"

      THERE IS NO CONNECTION BETWEEN ATHEISM AND OPPOSITION TO, OR FAVOUR OF, SSM.

      How many times do I have to say it?

      Nor have I implied such a connection.

      I repeat: "In fact knowing someone is an atheist tells you nothing about what the atheist *does* believe."

      Glad that's cleared up!!

      Delete
    11. "Your position that opposition to gay marriage originates from the "religious right" and that atheists are in favour of it is nonsense."

      Your position that this is my position is nonsense.

      My ACTUAL position is that Christian lobbyists against SSM have more political power than their numbers warrant, and that their opposition is largely motivated by religious considerations.

      "I know many atheists who oppose SSM and many who don't."
      So you have anecdotal evidence? Good for you! How many of them have written to a politician expressing their opinion in the name of atheism? Do you think that they match the number of submissions that would have been received by lobbyists for Christian groups?

      "I have provided numerous examples of atheists opposing homosexuality including entire regimes who partly controlled the world. "

      Maybe you could remind me which of these groups were likely to have influenced Gillard's position on SSM?

      Nearly forgot, here's another bit of evidence:

      http://www.christianpost.com/news/australian-prime-minister-may-face-christian-backlash-over-gay-marriage-support-99426/

      Delete
    12. MalcolmS10:28 PM

      idiot pirate: "Actually my position is that the religious right is particularly likely to lobby against changes which go against their interpretation of what their invisible friend has told them. There may well be others who are opposed to gay marriage, but they are less inclined to organise petitions, rallies, press releases etc"

      Did you mean your previously unstated NEW "position"?

      Do you have any evidence for your new position??

      Or is it bullshit like the last position?

      Delete
    13. "THERE IS NO CONNECTION BETWEEN ATHEISM AND OPPOSITION TO, OR FAVOUR OF, SSM.

      How many times do I have to say it? "

      42


      However, there IS a connection between some interpretations of religion and opposition to SSM. Which means that if atheists and "progressive" Christians hold roughly similar views on a topic, but "conservative" Christians hols different views, then there is a possibility of conservative Christians holding the balance of power in some issues.

      Therefore a belief in religion (or a belief that religious groups are politically important enough for their views to be relevant to an election) is likely to influence a politician's position on SSM.

      Delete
    14. Did you mean your previously unstated NEW "position"?

      No, I mean the position that I held before and after your attempts to misrepresent what I said.

      Still waiting for your EVIDENCE that Gillard's position "was because so many of her atheist/socialist mates oppose it."

      Delete
    15. idiot Mal -

      "Do you have any evidence for your new position??"

      I've given a few examples of Christian lobbying in opposition to SSM. Where is your evidence of atheist lobbyists against SSM, so that we can see whether they outnumber the religious lobbyists? I'm always willing to reconsider my position if I'm presented with a sensible reason (calling me names doesn't really cut it as a debating tactic). I think it is improbable that Stalin was an important political consideration for Gillard, so you may need to provide examples of Australian lobbyists who were more likely to have influenced her decision than groups like the ACL, Catholic church etc. convincing her that the "Christian vote" could be important to her politically.

      Another bit of evidence:

      "The last major groups against gay marriage are the religious and those who covet their support. Marginal seats like Lindsay and Hughes in NSW, and Dickson and Bonner in Queensland, have significantly higher percentages of believers. Census records show in Lindsay, for instance, 75 per cent are Christian, while in Sydney – which covers inner-city suburbs like Darlinghurst and Ultimo – just 40 per cent are.

      As demographer Bernard Salt wrote in The Australian in March: "The lesson for politicians is clear. If you want to align yourself with swinging electorates on the edge of town, then convert to Catholicism."

      . . . Marriage equality is not the victim of the tyranny of the majority.

      It is a victim of the tyranny of a powerful minority living in important electorates"

      http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/society-and-culture/gay-marriage-what-would-it-really-take-20100818-1292p.html#ixzz2ZwIBQLQz

      Delete
    16. Did you mean your previously unstated NEW "position"?

      Would you like to quote the part from my earlier post where I asserted that atheists are in favour of SSM?

      Delete
    17. MalcolmS11:04 PM

      idiot pirate: "No, I mean the position that I held before and after your attempts to misrepresent what I said"

      I did not misrepresent what you said.

      I invalidated what you said.

      Thank you for your capitulation.

      This conversation has ended.

      Delete
    18. Apparently the definition of "capitulation" and "invalidated" in your grandfather's dictionary are not the definitions which are in common use.

      Terry (10:56 PM) also commented on your misrepresentation of my position, but obviously there is no point in confusing you with any further explanation.

      "idiot pirate"
      http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ad-hominem.html

      Delete
    19. RalphH 24/074:44 AM

      “And her opposition had nothing to do with her atheism. She blamed her conservative upbringing, adding that 'what comes from the Bible has formed such an important part of our culture’. It would probably be more accurate to say she opposed gay marriage on religious grounds.” (Terry7:31 PM)

      Well Terry, I've managed to be pilloried and ridiculed quite extensively already without even posting on this current thread.

      I reckon Julia Gillard's opposition to SSM is a result of common-sense which spans the theist/atheist divide. It's something everyone is capable of exhibiting. It which can and does pop up in people's lives where it might be least expected.

      I don't think her view had any political or overt religious implications. Ideologically she was probably closest to Bob Katter who sees it as a non-issue, certainly not something to waste political time on. J G couldn't openly say so because it would have been damaging politically to do so.

      SSM is the most ridiculous idea but many people can't see beyond the emotionalism and so they take it seriously because they don't understand what marriage is and treat it as merely a social convention.

      “Atheists may oppose gay marriage, but their atheism has nothing to do with it. This is in contrast to ideologues, such as you and your new best friend, whose ideologies explain their every thought and action.”

      Atheism is opposed to theism, not because theism is an ideology but because some people don't want to believe in God. There are people from political and social ideologies in both camps. I think you err in trying to lump everything you don't like all together under the one common whipping boy that you call ideologies.

      Religion (which deals primarily with the inner mind) and political/social/economic issues (which are the province of the outer mind) are on different levels.

      Delete
    20. RalphH 24/076:01 AM

      “Perhaps Ralph has convinced Mal that ‘The truth of any matter does not depend on evidence. Truth depends only on the fact that something is true.’ Or was it Mal that convinced Ralph? Can’t remember.” (Terry9:41 PM)

      That would be me Terry. Why would anyone need to be convinced of that. It's another common-sense thing. Evidence merely makes us aware of the truth of a matter or confirms our suspicions that something is true. If something is true it's true, evidence or no evidence. It's great when evidence is found but it's not the evidence that makes it true.

      Delete
    21. Ralph:

      You deserve to be ridiculed because you say some outrageously stupid things. In this instance, however, you have a point about common-sense and the opposition to gay marriage.

      I know someone who opposes it because it costs money and he wants to see a return on the investment. He points out that governments subsidise marriages because they expect them to produce families with children. They have no incentive to subsidise marriages whose only purpose is sexual love.

      You may not agree with this argument, but at least there’s some thought behind it. Contrast this with the ideologue who says it’s wrong because god thinks so.

      As for ideology, I just don’t like people who think they can figure it all out by reading one book. People who are not afraid of ignorance are much more interesting.

      Delete
    22. RalphH 24/076:16 AM

      “*Nothing* follows from atheism.” (MalcolmS10:14 PM)

      I couldn't agree more Malcolm. What would one expect from a negation. However there are consequences of atheism/the atheistic mind-set.

      Delete
    23. Ralph: Evidence merely makes us aware of the truth of a matter or confirms our suspicions that something is true.

      No, mate, evidence can’t prove a thing true, it can only prove it false. No matter how much evidence you find for god, there is always the chance that someday something will come along to disappoint you. By all means, live your life according to the evidence as you see it, but don’t be a fool and discount the possibility that it ain’t so.

      Delete
    24. Ralph: I couldn't agree more Malcolm. What would one expect from a negation. However there are consequences of atheism/the atheistic mind-set.

      I’m not sure you quite got Mal’s meaning, mate. But it’s a wonderful thing to witness your growing affection for each other.

      Delete
    25. RalphH 24/076:46 AM

      “.... calling (people) names doesn't really cut it as a debating tactic.” (LJS10:50 PM)

      Good to see that you at least pay lip-service to that principle LJ. Now you need to start applying it to yourself. - observe your introduction. You could also pass it on to Stranger/Andrew. He needs it badly.

      Other things that don't “ cut it as a debating tactic” that you might consider:

      ridicule and continually accusing the other party of 'making things up'.

      Delete
    26. "But it’s a wonderful thing to witness your growing affection for each other."

      Sweet, isn't it? What a shame they can't get married.

      Delete
    27. Ralph, I promise that I will stop ridiculing you as soon as you stop being ridiculous.

      Delete
    28. "Atheism is opposed to theism, not because theism is an ideology but because some people don't want to believe in God."

      Yep. And people study geography because they don't want to believe that Paris is the capital city of Indonesia. And they learn about maths because they don't want to believe that 2 + 2 = 7.

      It's just weird that people would choose to not believe in something, just because it's bullshit.

      Delete
    29. "Religion (which deals primarily with the inner mind) and political/social/economic issues (which are the province of the outer mind) are on different levels."

      Or to put it another way . . .

      Religion (which deals primarily with stuff that people have made up) and political/social/economic issues (which are the province of reality) are on different levels.

      Delete
    30. MalcolmS7:45 AM

      RalphH: "Atheism is opposed to theism, not because theism is an ideology but..."

      Theism is most definitely an "ideology." In fact it is a systematic body of ideas - albeit false.

      Atheism is not an ideology - although atheists may well have an ideology.

      Atheism is opposed to theism because theists cannot validate their position.

      In the absense of theism atheism would not even arise.

      "Religion (which deals primarily with the inner mind) and political/social/economic issues (which are the province of the outer mind) are on different levels"

      Your inner mind/outer mind dichotomy is nonsense and deals with nothing which exists in reality - as is the "different levels" to which you refer. Different levels of what?

      Delete
    31. MalcolmS7:51 AM

      RalphH: "That would be me Terry. Why would anyone need to be convinced of that. It's another common-sense thing. Evidence merely makes us aware of the truth of a matter or confirms our suspicions that something is true. If something is true it's true, evidence or no evidence. It's great when evidence is found but it's not the evidence that makes it true"

      False.

      What exists in the absense of evidence are *facts.* Truth involves the recognition of those facts and, therefore, requires consciousness. Facts exist independent of consciousness - truth requires consciousness.

      Definitions[not from my grandfather's dictionary]:

      A *fact* is something that actually exists.

      *Truth* is the product of the recognition (i.e., identification) of a fact.

      Delete
    32. MalcolmS7:56 AM

      Terry: "No, mate, evidence can’t prove a thing true, it can only prove it false"

      Then, by your own admission, we can flush that statement.

      I'm afraid you've been listening to those modern philosophers of science again.

      Don't give up your government job mate.

      Delete
    33. 8x
      Different levels of what?
      x8

      Different levels of levellyness of course. Thats a fact.

      Do try to keep up, theres a good fellow. ;)

      Delete
    34. RalphH 25/072:48 PM

      “I know someone who opposes it because it costs money and he wants to see a return on the investment. He points out that governments subsidise marriages because they expect them to produce families with children. They have no incentive to subsidise marriages whose only purpose is sexual love.” (Terry6:08 AM)

      I wouldn't call that a common-sense argument Terry, I'd call it an economic argument. What I have in mind is: men and women are different; Male and female complement each other; SS relationships are therefore different from marriage relationships and it's illogical to try to squeeze them under the same umbrella just because some people feel emotionally deprived.

      That's not a value judgement - it's just common-sense clarification. I don't favour SS relationships because I believe there are spiritual ramifications but people are free to form them if they wish – just don't call them a marriage – that term is already taken.

      “You may not agree with this argument, but at least there’s some thought behind it. Contrast this with the ideologue who says it’s wrong because god thinks so.”

      The thing that seems to elude you is that God (even as a hypothesis) is not just another limited, possibly fallacious human view. God is infinite and infallible - Truth/Reality itself. Yes we have to interpret what God says and possibly argue till the cows come home but if God does exist (and there is no way of proving or demonstrating that He doesn't) it is not illogical or childish to believe that something is true because God (as the creator and source of our conscious reality) says so.

      Delete
    35. Ralph: The thing that seems to elude you is that God (even as a hypothesis) is not just another limited, possibly fallacious human view.

      I get it. God is a fact, which is something that actually exists, and therefore god exists. And truth is the recognition of a fact, therefore truth is the recognition that god exists. Is that right?

      I hope you’re giving Mal something for all this insight.

      Delete
    36. Mal: I'm afraid you've been listening to those modern philosophers of science again.

      What, you’re back? I thought mommy said you weren’t allowed to play. Well, now you can answer Pirate’s question. You remember what it was, right?

      Delete
    37. Oh R-elfie

      8x
      I wouldn't call that a common-sense argument Terry
      x8

      What a set up! lol at anything that follows

      8x
      I don't favour SS relationships because I believe there are spiritual ramifications but people are free to form them if they wish – just don't call them a marriage – that term is already taken.
      x8

      And you cant call a bus service "transport". That term has been taken already.... by trains

      8x
      God is infinite and infallible - Truth/Reality itself.
      x8

      Reality isn't infinite and infallible. I'm part of reality and you think I'm always wrong
      QED

      8x
      it is not illogical or childish to believe that something is true because God (as the creator and source of our conscious reality) says so.
      x8

      lol. Would oo like a biscuit?

      Delete
    38. Ralph: ... SS relationships are therefore different from marriage relationships and it's illogical to try to squeeze them under the same umbrella ...

      That depends on what you think the purpose of marriage is. If, for example, you think its value to society lies in the raising of families, then it doesn’t matter who marries who, as long as the purpose is met.

      Ralph: ... people are free to form them if they wish – just don't call them a marriage – that term is already taken.

      I’m sure gays wouldn’t care what you call it. All they want are the same legal rights and economic entitlements. Would you be happy to give those?

      Delete
    39. "I reckon Julia Gillard's opposition to SSM is a result of common-sense which spans the theist/atheist divide"

      I reckon you're an idiot who doesn't know what he is talking about.

      "SSM is the most ridiculous idea"

      No it's a sensible idea, cows living on Mercury is the most ridiculous idea.

      " they don't understand what marriage is and treat it as merely a social convention."

      Marriage, by whatever term one uses it, has always been a social convention. Your ignorance does not form valid opinions.

      "Atheism is opposed to theism, not because theism is an ideology but because some people don't want to believe in God."

      Why do you keep lying?

      Delete
    40. " It's great when evidence is found but it's not the evidence that makes it true."

      Without evidence how do you know it's true? Your bullshit is not true just because you want it to be.

      Delete
    41. " Male and female complement each other; SS relationships are therefore different from marriage relationships and it's illogical to try to squeeze them under the same umbrella just because some people feel emotionally deprived."

      You keep saying the same bullshit as if it makes a difference the amount of times you say it. You have no clue what makes two people complementary and it can be two people of the same sex just as easily as two people of opposing sexes.

      "That's not a value judgement - it's just common-sense clarification."

      Yes it is a value judgment and you are either just too stupid to see it or you know it's bullshit but say it anyway.

      "I don't favour SS relationships because I believe there are spiritual ramifications but people are free to form them if they wish – just don't call them a marriage – that term is already taken."

      Other spiritual people don't believe there are spiritual ramifications. just because you want something to be true doesn't mean it is. The term can be used for anything we want to use it for if you don't like it boo-fucking-hoo.

      "The thing that seems to elude you is that God (even as a hypothesis) is not just another limited, possibly fallacious human view."

      Yes he is.

      " it is not illogical or childish to believe that something is true because God (as the creator and source of our conscious reality) says so."

      Yes it is, God may not be telling you the truth. Children tend to believe what parents tell them because it's a good survival tactic, you are no better than a child believing in Santa Clause because mummy says he exists.

      Delete
    42. RalphH 25/0710:13 PM

      “You have no clue what makes two people complementary and it can be two people of the same sex just as easily as two people of opposing sexes.” (Stranger5:29 PM)

      Two people of the same sex may complement each other in minor non essential ways but do not as to their entire being. It's glaringly obvious that male and female complement each other sexually/biologically. That's a huge omission for two of the same sex. Male and female also complement each other psychologically and spiritually but some whose spiritual education has been sadly lacking probably wouldn't realise the latter.

      “Yes it is a value judgment and you are either just too stupid to see it or you know it's bullshit but say it anyway.”

      Stranger, you are probably one of the last people contributing here that I would consult over a matter of common-sense.

      “Other spiritual people don't believe there are spiritual ramifications. just because you want something to be true doesn't mean it is. The term can be used for anything we want to use it for …..”

      If your second sentence were true we might as well scrap language altogether because if any term could be used for anything, all we'd have would be one huge, useless, amorphous mass.

      There's nothing unique about a “spiritual person” (any more than there is about a 'gay person'). It's simply any person who chooses to be guided by and act according to spiritual principles. You could be one if you wanted – it does require clear thinking and effort but I have confidence that you could manage.

      “*"The thing that seems to elude you is that God (even as a hypothesis) is not just another limited, possibly fallacious human view."* (RalphH)

      Yes he is.”

      I suggest you get some training in hypothesis formation – now there's a place you CAN do 'whatever you want'.

      “.... God may not be telling you the truth. Children tend to believe what parents tell them because it's a good survival tactic, you are no better than a child believing in Santa Clause because mummy says he exists.”

      You're imposing an adult way of thinking on children. Only an abused child would react that way. What's so wrong with believing in Santa when one is a child? It brings immense joy to many children.

      I think most people are smart enough to eventually work out that God is telling the truth and where He appears not to be that is a perfectly logical explanation like confused intermediaries or the reference being understood literally/naturally when it is speaking spiritually.

      Delete
    43. Terry: "No, mate, evidence can’t prove a thing true, it can only prove it false"

      Mal: "Then, by your own admission, we can flush that statement."

      Can you offer some examples of evidence which has proven something to be true? Or should we flush that statement as well?

      Delete
    44. "Two people of the same sex may complement each other in minor non essential ways but do not as to their entire being."

      How would you know?

      " It's glaringly obvious that male and female complement each other sexually/biologically."

      Two people of the same sex can complement each other sexually, and they can find other ways to have children.

      "Male and female also complement each other psychologically and spiritually but some whose spiritual education has been sadly lacking probably wouldn't realise the latter."

      Two men or two women can do the same things. It's your education that is lacking.

      "Stranger, you are probably one of the last people contributing here that I would consult over a matter of common-sense."

      You tend to do the opposite to common-sense.

      "If your second sentence were true we might as well scrap language altogether because if any term could be used for anything, all we'd have would be one huge, useless, amorphous mass."

      Any term can be used for anything, that's the whole point of being able to speak. We agree upon definitions to make language easier but there's nothing stopping us making new words or changing the definition (especially in legal terms) existing ones.

      " You could be one if you wanted – it does require clear thinking"

      In that case I'm more spiritual than you as your thinking is far from clear. Blindly following someone else's beliefs is not necessarily being spiritual.

      "I suggest you get some training in hypothesis formation – now there's a place you CAN do 'whatever you want'."

      That's exactly what you've done.

      "You're imposing an adult way of thinking on children. Only an abused child would react that way."

      No, all children are like that.

      "What's so wrong with believing in Santa when one is a child?"

      Nothing as long as one grows out of it, like religion, but it's an example of kids believing things their parent's tell them

      "I think most people are smart enough to eventually work out that God is telling the truth"

      Sadly they aren't smart enough to work out that it's all bullshit.

      Delete
    45. "Two people of the same sex may complement each other in minor non essential ways but do not as to their entire being."

      So genitalia is someone's "entire being"?

      If one person in a relationship is Asian, young, overweight, atheist and introverted, while the other is African, old, thin, religious and extroverted then that would be insignificant, but if they are both the same age, weight, cultural background, personality type (etc) but one has a penis and the other has a vagina then they complement each other?

      It's glaringly obvious that male and female complement each other sexually/biologically.

      No it isn't. Some heterosexual couples are mismatched sexually (one may have a higher libido than the other, or one of them could be interested in various kinky practices which the other partner finds repulsive). There is more to biology than genitalia.

      "Male and female also complement each other psychologically . . ."

      Nonsense. Some homosexual couples complement each other psychologically, some don't. Ditto for heterosexual couples. You are assuming a ridiculously simple minded distinction between male and female psychology.

      ". . .some whose spiritual education has been sadly lacking probably wouldn't realise the latter"
      By "sadly lacking", I assume that you mean people who haven't been indoctrinated in your wacky cult? You can't "educate" someone about stuff that someone has made up (there needs to be some kind of basis to the material that you are teaching for it to be worthy of the name "education")

      Delete
    46. "if any term could be used for anything, all we'd have would be one huge, useless, amorphous mass."

      Which is why we needed to find a new word for "election" when we allowed women to vote. We also had to change the word "census" when we decided that indigenous people should be counted. "Television" had to be replaced by a new word when colour was introduced.

      Oops, now I remember, we just expanded the meaning of the word to remove the assumption that some things were arbitrarily excluded.

      Delete
    47. "I think most people are smart enough to eventually work out that God is telling the truth and where He appears not to be that is a perfectly logical explanation like confused intermediaries or the reference being understood literally/naturally when it is speaking spiritually."

      Do you remember when I mentioned "confirmation bias" in the previous blog, Ralphy?

      Delete
    48. MalcolmS1:06 AM

      LJS: "Can you offer some examples of evidence which has proven something to be true?"

      Sure! Heaps! But there would be no point. If you have no such evidence of your own, then, evidence from me would be meaningless to you.

      I see you still appear to need my answers!

      I still don't need your questions :)

      Delete
    49. "Yes we have to interpret what God says and possibly argue till the cows come home . . "

      Until cows develop spaceships, they'll never come home - they'll be stuck on Mercury.

      Delete
    50. "Sure! Heaps! But there would be no point. If you have no such evidence of your own, then, evidence from me would be meaningless to you."

      And I should provide evidence to support your claims because . . . ????

      "I see you still appear to need my answers!"

      I don't "need" anything from you. It just seems polite to at least offer you the opportunity to provide evidence for your claims. As you refuse to offer any evidence, I can dismiss your statement (as usual).

      Delete
    51. MalcolmS1:33 AM

      LJS: "And I should provide evidence to support your claims because . . . ????"

      I have asked for no such evidence - *I* don't need your evidence.

      Or your questions :)

      Delete
    52. MalcolmS1:35 AM

      LJS: "Which is why we needed to find a new word for "election" when we allowed women to vote. We also had to change the word "census" when we decided that indigenous people should be counted. "Television" had to be replaced by a new word when colour was introduced.

      Oops, now I remember, we just expanded the meaning of the word to remove the assumption that some things were arbitrarily excluded"

      Actually, there was no arbitrary exclusion.

      We simply discovered new units which are be subsumed under the concept[what you call a word] as our knowledge increased.

      Delete
    53. "I have asked for no such evidence - *I* don't need your evidence."

      You have made a claim and have offered no evidence. Therefore your claim can be dismissed. As usual.

      Delete
    54. MalcolmS2:47 AM

      LJS: "You have made a claim and have offered no evidence"

      I was replying to Terry's claim that "evidence can’t prove a thing true, it can only prove it false" which I pointed out was a self-refuting statement. That's all! No further explanation/evidence is required. Either you get it or you don't.

      "Therefore your claim can be dismissed"

      Upon what evidence?

      Delete
    55. "Upon what evidence?"

      "If you have no such evidence of your own, then, evidence from me would be meaningless to you."

      (simplifies things to just let you talk to yourself)

      Delete
    56. "We simply discovered new units which are be subsumed under the concept[what you call a word] as our knowledge increased."

      Why would it require an increase in knowledge for us to give the vote to women, or marriage rights to homosexuals? We didn't "discover new units". Are you suggesting that noone had noticed the existence of women before they were entitled to vote? That the concept of "marriage" might be enlarged because we have "discovered" homosexuality?

      All that changed was our willingness to discriminate against particular groups.

      I call "marriage" a word because I was responding to Ralph's use of the ludicrous lexicographical argument against SSM:

      ". . . just don't call them a marriage – that term is already taken."

      Delete
    57. MalcolmS6:49 AM

      LJS: "Why would it require an increase in knowledge for us to give the vote to women"

      Because that was exactly what happened, and was required, historically. Prior to modern times women were considered to be sub-human relative to men - mere chattels or possessions of men - similar to blacks. That women[or blacks] have the same rights as men is a modern discovery, i.e., "an increase in knowledge."

      Delete
    58. RalphH 26/077:10 AM

      “We simply discovered new units which are be subsumed under the concept[what you call a word] as our knowledge increased.” (MalcolmS1:35 AM)

      Malcolm, this may work in some instances where there is no disparity but doesn't where there are disparate relationships as SS relationships are in comparison with complementary gender relationships.

      Delete
    59. MalcolmS8:08 AM

      RalphH: "Malcolm, this may work in some instances where there is no disparity but doesn't where there are disparate relationships as SS relationships are in comparison with complementary gender relationships"

      This may surprise you Ralph but I agree with you. I well remember discussing this same issue many moons ago where the idiot pirate seriously tried to argue for human/dog marriage. Objectivity is not his strong point.

      I do not agree that religion gives a legitimate validation for marriage. I also note that the pirate, who advocates SSM, has not a clue as to how to validate it. In fact he steers well clear of any attempt to do so :) So far I have you ahead on points.

      Delete
    60. MalcolmS8:39 AM

      LJS: "I call "marriage" a word because I was responding to Ralph's use of the ludicrous lexicographical argument against SSM: ". . . just don't call them a marriage – that term is already taken.""

      You may well regard Ralph's position as "ludicrous" but what is your validation of SSM? Saying you are in favour is not a validation. Saying Ralph is wrong is not a validation.

      What do you think of the position of prominent Melbourne homosexual John-Michael Houson who has lived with his partner for most of his adult life yet does NOT favour SSM? [a parallel with those atheists who don't favour SSM and who we previously discussed]

      Delete
    61. 8x
      That women[or blacks] have the same rights as men is a modern discovery, i.e., "an increase in knowledge."
      x8

      lol
      you dont really "get" history, do you mallypoo?
      Hmm
      In order that our terminology be consistent, should we just call that "a decrease in knowledge"?

      Delete
    62. Mal: Prior to modern times women were considered to be sub-human relative to men - mere chattels or possessions of men - similar to blacks.

      Sorry, no marks for this answer. Go away and check your facts.

      Mal: I was replying to Terry's claim that "evidence can’t prove a thing true, it can only prove it false" which I pointed out was a self-refuting statement.

      True, but trivial.

      Delete
    63. "Because that was exactly what happened, and was required, historically."

      Mal is dumb enough to think that attitude is the same as knowledge.

      Delete
    64. "Malcolm, this may work in some instances where there is no disparity but doesn't where there are disparate relationships as SS relationships are in comparison with complementary gender relationships."

      Except in reality they aren't.

      Delete
    65. MalcolmS6:27 PM

      Terry: "True, but trivial"

      Thank you for conceding the truth of my statement for which the idiot pirate lacked the courage.

      But it's not trivial! Like all self refuting statements it actually demolishes your position.

      Don't give up your government job.

      Delete
    66. Mal: But it's not trivial! Like all self refuting statements it actually demolishes your position.

      So what if it demolishes my position? It’s still trivial. It may be important to a curmudgeonly retiree who wants to impress Professor Finkelstein at next Monday’s ‘philosophy for seniors’ lecture in the community hall. But to scientists who are busy trying to figure things out it means nothing at all.

      Mal: Don't give up your government job.

      That’s the second time you said this. No doubt you’re trying to get in your usual dig about science funding by government. But here’s the thing: I don’t work for the government. I own and manage a technical business that has operations in three countries and employs thirty engineers and scientists. Whereas everything you’ve learned about science funding comes from listening to the Bolt Report and Professor Finkelstein on Monday nights, what I know comes from dealing directly with both the providers of funding and its beneficiaries.

      Funding is a problem for scientists. It has always been a problem. But the mistake people like you make is underestimating the determination of scientists to get around the problem and the extent to which they succeed.

      Delete
    67. MalcolmS9:16 PM

      Terry: "So what if it demolishes my position? It’s still trivial...to scientists who are busy trying to figure things out it means nothing at all"

      On the contrary - it's the reason you can't "figure things out"!

      Don't give up your government job.

      Delete
    68. MalcolmS9:21 PM

      Stranger: "Mal is dumb enough to think that attitude is the same as knowledge"

      No, he's not.

      Delete
    69. Mal: On the contrary - it's the reason you can't "figure things out"! Don't give up your government job.

      Grow up.

      Delete
    70. "What do you think of the position of prominent Melbourne homosexual John-Michael Houson who has lived with his partner for most of his adult life yet does NOT favour SSM? "

      What are his REASONS for opposing it?

      Delete
    71. MalcolmS8:34 AM

      LJS: "What are his REASONS for opposing it?"

      I don't know.

      What is your validation of SSM?

      Delete
    72. Mal: What is your validation of SSM?

      Here are some possible answers. If you had an open and interesting mind, which you don’t, you’d be able to think up a few more of your own.

      1. It is cruel to deny gay people the right to marry, especially since there’s evidence that their condition could have a biological explanation.

      2. Gay marriages could be useful to society. There are millions of orphans in the world. Why not let gay people marry and look after them. This, after all, is the purpose served by homosexuals in many of the hundreds of other species of animal in which homosexuality has been observed.

      3. Gay marriage would be a poke in the eye of all the religious and ideological bigots in the world.

      4. Gay people are often criticised for their promiscuous lifestyle. Perhaps marriage, and the commitment that goes with it, would help to dampen their apparent enthusiasm for messing around.

      Delete
    73. "No, he's not."

      the evidence shows otherwise.

      Delete
    74. MalcolmS10:35 PM

      Stranger: "the evidence shows otherwise"

      No, it doesn't.

      Delete
  8. Mal: How many times do I have to say it?

    Once will do, thank you. But preferably at the start of the conversation, not after it’s been pointed out that you’re talking through your arse, then we might believe you.

    Mal: I have provided numerous examples of atheists opposing homosexuality including entire regimes who partly controlled the world.

    Actually, what you’ve provided is examples of ideologues who oppose gay marriage. Their atheism, as you’ve come to realise, has as much to do with it as their height and weight.

    Mal: Your position that opposition to gay marriage originates from the "religious right" and that atheists are in favour of it is nonsense.

    I can’t see why you object to the first claim. As for the second, where did LJS say that? All I saw was him asking you out of which crevice you pulled the one about atheist opposition being the reason we don’t have gay marriage in this country.

    I’m beginning to understand your empathy with Ralph.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MalcolmS11:14 PM

      Terry: "All I saw was him asking you out of which crevice you pulled the one about..."

      I don't recall any conversations about "crevices" although I have no doubt you are both experts in the field.

      I shall leave you to explore each others.

      Bye :)

      Delete
    2. "I shall leave you to explore each others."

      Not until we're married!

      Delete
    3. LJS: Not until we're married!

      Sorry, mate, we can’t, it’s not legal.

      Delete
    4. Spelunking is illegal now as well?

      Well I never!

      Delete
  9. Mal: Thank you for your capitulation. This conversation has ended.

    What, has mommy called you back to the house? FFS, how old are you? Just give Pirate the answer to his question. You said atheist opposition is the reason we don’t have gay marriage in this country. Why did you say that?

    ReplyDelete
  10. My two cents worth is that Jensen did not save the Anglican communion from being split.

    As far as I could tell he was saying "Yes, cut the baby in half" and the liberals were saying "No, don't cut the baby in half, give it to the other woman"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or alternately, using a "gay divorce" type analogy:

      "Dont cut Pooky the Pekingese in half"

      Delete
  11. " it is not illogical or childish to believe that something is true because God (as the creator and source of our conscious reality) says so."

    It is illogical to believe that you know what God has said (on the basis of reading a book written by someone who claimed to have had conversations with Mercurian spirits, angels and miscellaneous historical figures).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RalphH 26/071:46 AM

      “It is illogical to believe that you know what God has said (on the basis of reading a book written by someone who claimed to have had conversations with Mercurian spirits, angels and miscellaneous historical figures).” (LJS4:02 AM)

      You're like a dog with a bone LJ and suffering from acute tunnel vision to boot. Having partially read one small book (and procured very little understanding of that), you think you've become an overnight expert. I realise that being a pirate probably limits you intellectual companionship but there's no moratorium on using your rational mind you know. There, I've most likely given you more credit than you deserve.

      A smarter 'dog' (if you're offended by that we could make it a sea-dog) would have realised long ago that it's a waste of time ridiculing me. But then, I suppose that since you seldom have an argument you'd have nothing to say without it.

      Delete
    2. OK Ralph, I'll give you the shorter version:
      “It is illogical to believe that you know what God has said."

      (1) You have no evidence that God even exists
      (2) In the unlikely event that there is a god, there is no agreement on what God actually says (there is no reason to assume that your version of "God's word" is accurate).

      Delete
    3. "unlikely" represents a positive claim and carries a burden of its own.

      I agree that no one can claim to know what God has said.

      And I don't think there is any decisive evidence, no QED.

      But I think that there are four pieces of evidence that make it reasonable to suppose that a bare theistic explanation is, on the whole, better.

      If anyone is interested I can go into it.

      Delete
    4. "But I think that there are four pieces of evidence that make it reasonable to suppose that a bare theistic explanation is, on the whole, better."

      Better than what?

      Delete
    5. MalcolmS10:43 PM

      I repeat Stranger's question:

      "Better than what?"

      Delete
    6. "I agree that no one can claim to know what God has said."
      At least we can agree to dismiss Ralph's statement - that's a step forward.

      If nooone can claim to know what God has said (including the people who believe in God's existence) then it doesn't really matter whether he exists or not. Theists can't agree on whether God wants them to smite their enemies or to turn the other cheek. Some think that God commands them to lover their neighbour, others think that he demands blood sacrifices. So in effect, they just do whatever they want to do, then attempt to assert divine authority for the things that they would do if they didn't believe in god. It is an appeal to authority, without even proving that the authority exists.

      "But I think that there are four pieces of evidence that make it reasonable to suppose that a bare theistic explanation is, on the whole, better.

      If anyone is interested I can go into it."

      OK, I'm interested. Show me the evidence.

      Delete
  12. Robin: If anyone is interested I can go into it.

    I am.

    ReplyDelete
  13. OK, let's just state the four pieces of evidence before going into them:

    1. Consciousness is not physical
    2. Nature's laws are universal (in the algorithmic sense)
    3. Meaning and logic transcend the physical
    4. There are moral facts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 2. Nature’s laws are universal

      For something to be universal in the algorithmic sense it can perform any calculation at all given the right input.

      So for example a universal Turing Machine is universal and Conway’s Game of Life is Universal.

      Nature’s laws must be universal because if they were not then there could never be any sort of computer or mind that computes, not even in principle, not given an infinite amount of activity.

      The simplest set of rules we know of that has been proved to be universal is a one dimensional cellular automaton, knows as Wolfram’s Rule 110.

      It is basically a two input state change rules and with the right initial conditions it can do any computation.

      But it can be expressed in a minimum of 32 bits. So for these 32 bits there is one way for it to be universal and more than 4 billion ways for it to be non-universal.

      That is the problem, there are always many more ways for any system to be non-universal than for it to be universal. And if nature’s laws are not basically universal then we cannot exist.

      You might try to find a way out by saying that maybe the rules vary randomly until they find a universal machine.

      But there are still vastly many more ways for it to be non-universal.

      And yet here we are.

      So really the only way this can be so is if whatever it is that explains the complexity we see must be something that exists necessarily.

      Delete
    2. "1. Consciousness is not physical"

      It is tied to the physical brain.

      "2. Nature's laws are universal (in the algorithmic sense)"

      So?

      "3. Meaning and logic transcend the physical"

      So?

      "4. There are moral facts."

      What is a moral fact?

      Delete
    3. "Nature’s laws must be universal because if they were not then there could never be any sort of computer or mind that computes, not even in principle, not given an infinite amount of activity."

      That doesn't follow. Laws could be different in another part of the universe but that doesn't stop your brain from working here.

      "So really the only way this can be so is if whatever it is that explains the complexity we see must be something that exists necessarily."

      Argument from ignorance.

      I'm guessing you can't do better.

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS11:48 PM

      Robin

      "1. Consciousness is not physical"

      True, but nor is consciousness disembodied.

      "2. Nature's laws are universal (in the algorithmic sense)"

      Or, in the non-algorithmic sense. [e.g. axioms]

      "3. Meaning and logic transcend the physical"

      "Transcend"? So where is "meaning and logic" transcending to - or from? Consciousness is not physical but it's an attribute of the physical. There is no disembodied consciousness. Consciousness can't "transcend"! Furthermore, there is no "meaning" prior to the evolution of life - or "logic" prior to the evolution of man.

      4. There are moral facts.

      There are moral "truths." They were not prior to human evolution. They were not prior to human discovery.


      Your "four pieces of evidence" have a long way to go.

      Delete
    5. MalcolmS12:44 AM

      Robin: "So really the only way this can be so is if whatever it is that explains the complexity we see must be something that exists necessarily"

      There is no *explanation of existence* because existence is eternal.

      Existence is *prior* to explanation.

      Your alleged "necessary existent," before she could "explain" existence, would first of all have to EXIST which would beg the question.

      Delete
    6. 1. Consciousness is not physical

      zed: Neither is "difference". So what?

      2. Nature's laws are universal (in the algorithmic sense)

      zed: meaning?
      ("natures laws" arent nature by the way - they are human inventions - more like a codified description of observed regularities )

      3. Meaning and logic transcend the physical

      zed: meaning? (lol)

      4. There are moral facts.

      zed: Oh lord. I sense another yawnfest in the making

      Delete
    7. RalphH 27/072:02 AM

      “There is no *explanation of existence* because existence is eternal.” (MalcolmS12:44 AM)

      That's one of your catch phrases Malcolm but to me, it's makes no sense. I believe there is 'eternal existence' but everything that exists is not eternal. I think I've said this before but a long while ago. I recognise three distinct levels of existence – existence itself (no beginning and no end); existence that has a beginning and no end and existence that has a beginning and an end.

      The first is eternal, the second becomes eternal and the third is temporal – that's the physical. The second and third are created from the first; the second gains eternity by adjoining itself to the first and the third serves a purpose and is recycled into other temporal things.

      Delete
    8. "That's one of your catch phrases Malcolm but to me, it's makes no sense"

      There are lots of things that won't make sense to you Ralph, are they all not true then?

      Delete
    9. MalcolmS2:43 AM

      re RalphH @ 27/07 2:02 AM

      Thanks for the fairy story Ralph.

      Just as I said.

      You have *not* explained existence.

      Delete
  14. RalphH 27/0712:44 AM

    “*"3. Meaning and logic transcend the physical"* (Robin)

    "Transcend"? So where is "meaning and logic" transcending to - or from? Consciousness is not physical but it's an attribute of the physical. There is no disembodied consciousness. Consciousness can't "transcend"! Furthermore, there is no "meaning" prior to the evolution of life - or "logic" prior to the evolution of man.” (MalcolmS11:48 PM)

    Granted Malcolm that there is no “disembodied consciousness” but why do you assume that consciousness is “an attribute of the physical”? There can be consciousness of far more than “the physical” - meaning and logic” for example. If consciousness were “an attribute of the physical” it could not be conscious of anything transcending the physical.

    Why assume that a 'physical' body is the only 'body' there is? If you look at it the other way round “the physical” could be “an attribute” of something on a higher level. It's only because we are 'in the physical' that there is an appearance of 'transcendence'. If we were above looking down we would see the physical as substance – that which stands under.
    That, by the way, is the entomological meaning of substance. The question is, “What does the physical stand under?”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MalcolmS1:12 AM

      RalphH: "The question is, “What does the physical stand under?”"

      Er.. let me guess.

      Nonexistence?!?! :)

      Delete
    2. "There can be consciousness of far more than “the physical” - meaning and logic” for example."

      Ralph you are so stupid you are confusing consciousness with conscious of.

      " If consciousness were “an attribute of the physical” it could not be conscious of anything transcending the physical."

      Bollocks.

      " If we were above looking down we would see the physical as substance – that which stands under."

      More bollocks.

      "That, by the way, is the entomological meaning of substance. The question is, “What does the physical stand under?”"

      learn something about language, or continue to look like a complete fool.

      Delete
    3. 8x
      “What does the physical stand under?”
      x8

      Umbrella?

      Delete
    4. RalphH 27/072:07 AM

      “RalphH: *"The question is, “What does the physical stand under?”"*

      Er.. let me guess.

      Nonexistence?!?! :)” (MalcolmS1:12 AM)

      That's a stretch Malcolm. Non-existence is not an existant so nothing could be said to 'stand under it'.

      Delete
    5. r-elf
      8x
      Non-existence is not an existant so nothing could be said to 'stand under it'.
      x8

      "The physical" isnt an "existant" either, its an abstraction ( just like non-existence )

      So given that neither are existants it seems perfectly sensible to say that "the physical stands under non-existence".

      And I'm sure you can verify the truth of this "impirically" ;)

      Delete
    6. MalcolmS2:27 AM

      RalphH: "That's a stretch Malcolm. Non-existence[sic] is not an existant[sic] so nothing could be said to 'stand under it'"

      True Ralph. Nonexistence is "nothing."

      Er... but the physical *is* something :)

      Delete
    7. MalcolmS7:41 AM

      toolshead: "And I'm sure you can verify the truth of this "impirically""

      No, but he can fairyirically.

      ROFLMAO

      Delete
    8. RalphH 29/078:11 AM

      “RalphH: * "That's a stretch Malcolm. Non-existence[sic] is not an existant[sic] so nothing could be said to 'stand under it'" *

      True Ralph. Nonexistence is "nothing."

      Er... but the physical *is* something :)” (MalcolmS2:27 AM)

      Yes Malcolm, but “the physical” is often termed 'substance' which means it 'stands under' something. We agree that it's not “non-existence' because it doesn't exist. So what is it? Something that 'stands above the natural/'the physical' might just be termed super........ Fill in the blanks.

      Delete
    9. RalphH 29/078:13 AM

      “Ralph you are so stupid you are confusing consciousness with conscious of.” (Stranger1:17 AM)

      So, could you be “conscious of” anything without “consciousness” Stranger? There was nothing wrong grammatically or linguistically with what I wrote. Your knee must have jerked again.

      “Bollocks.”

      “More bollocks.”

      Your bollockses mean nothing without an explanation. More knee-jerking.

      “learn something about language, or continue to look like a complete fool.”

      Funny you, of all people, would be saying that to a third party. Sometimes what one thinks about other people is true about oneself.

      Delete
    10. 8x
      Something that 'stands above the natural/'the physical' might just be termed super........
      x8

      super...fluous?

      Delete
  15. So, firstly, Zed. When physicists describe phenomena in our universe, do you think that there is nothing that they are describing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol

      How did you come up with that?

      Delete
    2. You said that "nature's laws" are human inventions.

      Now it is common practice to refer to the regularities we observe in our universe as "nature's laws" or "the laws of physics".

      And I am pretty sure you understood what I meant but you went for the silly equivocation of pretending you thought that I might mean mathematical expressions like f=ma.

      That is your usual brand of dust-kicking.

      If you are not up to the discussion then why don't you just shut up?

      Delete
    3. blah blah ... I am pretty sure you understood what I meant ... whine whine

      Ok Cap'n Tangent, I'll ask you again: How did you come up with that?
      But I'll try to make it as easy as I can for you since you seem to be having ... 'difficulties'

      SPECIFICALLY: How did you get

      FROM:
      (zed)
      8x
      "natures laws" arent nature by the way - they are human inventions - more like a codified description of observed regularities.
      x8

      TO:
      (Cap'n Tangent)
      8x
      When physicists describe phenomena in our universe, do you think that there is nothing that they are describing?
      x8

      8x
      silly equivocation of pretending
      x8

      Wouldnt try to beat you at your own game.


      8x
      That is your usual brand of dust-kicking
      x8

      False: This dust I'm kicking is new improved and hypo-allergenic. Get some today

      8x
      If you are not up to the discussion then why don't you just shut up?
      x8

      Would you like a saucer of milk?

      Delete
    4. The one statement that makes sense above is that your brand of dust kicking is new and improved.

      OK, now you were asking how I got from your statement to my request for a clarification of that statement.

      Well I am not quite sure what part you didn't get.

      f=ma is a set of symbols devised by a man. It is one of the "codified descriptions" you mention.

      When it is manipulated according to a set of rules devised by humans it can be used to describe and predict observational data. That is your observed regularity.

      So I am asking if you admit to the possibility that there is something which is responsible for that regularity in our independent observations.

      Or do you suppose that the agreement among independent observations is simply a matter of huge coincidence?

      Delete
    5. But if you are going to stick to the old "map/terrain equivocation" tactic it doesn't really matter.

      The argument works just as well using the map.

      Delete
    6. 8x
      Well I am not quite sure what part you didn't get.
      x8

      lol. I "got it". What I was wondering was why you didnt


      8x
      So I am asking if you admit to the possibility that there is something which is responsible for that regularity in our independent observations.
      x8

      ahem
      8x
      "natures laws" arent nature by the way - they are human inventions - more like a codified description of observed regularities.
      x8

      ok?



      8x
      ...old "map/terrain equivocation" tactic...
      x8

      lol You are such a silly twit sometimes

      Please continue with whatever it was you were attempting to do, prior to your attacks of tangental spasmosis

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 8x
      There is an initial condition for which Rule 110 might implement Rule 111. But there is not, even in principle an initial condition for Rule 111 where it would implement Rule 110. Or any other universal computer for that matter.
      x8

      Is that what happened here?

      Delete
  17. Stranger wrote: "Argument from ignorance."

    Nope.

    "I'm guessing you can't do better"

    I am guessing you are not even capable of understanding the point of what I am making.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Stranger wrote: "Argument from ignorance."

      Nope."

      Yes it is.

      "I am guessing you are not even capable of understanding the point of what I am making."

      I'm not sure if you are, or why you are wrong.

      Delete
    2. Stranger wrote: "Yes it is."

      Things are not true just because you say they are.

      Delete
    3. "Things are not true just because you say they are."

      I know, doesn't stop that argument being one of ignorance though.

      Delete
    4. 8x
      "Things are not true just because you say they are."
      x8

      So who is the one who has to say something in order for it to be true? ;)

      Delete
    5. Stranger: "I know, doesn't stop that argument being one of ignorance though."

      Are you going to explain why you think it is an argument from ignorance or not?

      Oh, wait, I forgot who I was addressing.

      Delete
    6. "Are you going to explain why you think it is an argument from ignorance or not?"

      Only if you need me to. Do you need me to or are you able to figure it out for yourself?

      Delete
    7. Getting an atheist to back up a claim is like pulling teeth.

      Delete
    8. I may be right or I may be wrong, but that is not what an argument from ignorance is.

      An argument from ignorance would be something like "I don't know why it is they way it is therefore it must be caused by something that necessarily exists"

      But clearly I have said nothing of the sort.

      So how is it an argument from ignorance?

      No more prevarication. Just tell me.

      Delete
    9. 8x
      Getting an atheist to back up a claim is like pulling teeth.
      x8

      Only atheists? ;)

      lol

      Delete
    10. "An argument from ignorance would be something like "I don't know why it is the way it is therefore it must be caused by something that necessarily exists""

      That is what you say.

      Delete
    11. Nope."

      "Yes it is."

      Is this blog turning into a Monty Python sketch again?

      This isn't an argument, it's just contradiction. No it isn't. yes it is . . .

      "Getting an atheist to back up a claim is like pulling teeth."
      Listening to the claims of a theist is like watching a hallucinating dentist attempting to pull invisible teeth and refusing to admit that they don't exist.

      Delete
  18. Stranger: "That doesn't follow. Laws could be different in another part of the universe but that doesn't stop your brain from working here."

    I never suggested that for a moment.

    You did not read what I said.

    A non-universal set of laws will never become universal, even given an infinite amount of data and time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I never suggested that for a moment."

      Yes you did

      "Nature’s laws must be universal because if they were not then there could never be any sort of computer or mind that computes"

      "You did not read what I said."

      You didn't understand what you wrote, no surprise there then as you got it from someone else.

      Delete
    2. Stranger wrote: "Yes you did"

      How on earth did you get the one statement from the other???

      Stranger wrote: "You didn't understand what you wrote, no surprise there then as you got it from someone else."

      Oh dearie me atheists say such silly things.

      Delete
    3. The point is that there might be a non-universal region and a universal region, but that could not even in principle be possible unless the process that led to them both was universal.

      Delete
    4. "The point is that there might be a non-universal region and a universal region"

      Oxymoron.

      " but that could not even in principle be possible unless the process that led to them both was universal."

      That's not what you first stated. You don't understand what you write.

      Delete
    5. 8x
      Oh dearie me atheists say such silly things
      x8

      only atheists? lol ;)

      Delete
    6. "How on earth did you get the one statement from the other???"

      Easily. If you can't understand what you write you should give up.

      Delete
  19. If you don't understand that you can't have a computer in a system of non-universal laws then you won't get this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can't or don't want to understand that you can, as long as the local laws allow it.

      Delete
    2. MalcolmS3:01 AM

      "If you don't understand that you can't have a computer in a system of non-universal laws then you won't get this"

      If you don't understand that you can't continually assert the arbitrary you won't get it either.

      Delete
    3. No Stranger. A non-universal system will never lead to a universal system. If it did then it would, by definition, be universal.

      There is an initial condition for which Rule 110 might implement Rule 111. But there is not, even in principle an initial condition for Rule 111 where it would implement Rule 110. Or any other universal computer for that matter.

      Delete
    4. 8x
      ...you can't continually assert the arbitrary...
      x8

      Yes you can ;)

      Delete
    5. " A non-universal system will never lead to a universal system."

      I didn't say it would.

      Delete
    6. OK, let's replay this:

      Robin: "If you don't understand that you can't have a computer in a system of non-universal laws then you won't get this."

      Stranger: "You can't or don't want to understand that you can, as long as the local laws allow it."

      Robin: "No Stranger. A non-universal system will never lead to a universal system. If it did then it would, by definition, be universal."

      Stranger: "I didn't say it would."

      OK - I haven't misrepresented you here, have I?

      And you understand that a computer is a universal system?

      So you have completely contradicted yourself here.

      If a non-universal system will never lead to a universal system then it is illogical to say that you can have a computer in a non-universal system.

      Delete
    7. "And you understand that a computer is a universal system?"

      A computer is not a universal system.

      "If a non-universal system will never lead to a universal system then it is illogical to say that you can have a computer in a non-universal system"

      No it isn't.

      Delete
    8. Even the computer you are using is even a universal computer because it can implement a Turing Machine, it can implement Rule 110.

      Your brain is a universal computer.

      Delete
    9. "Your brain is a universal computer."

      No it isn't.

      Delete
  20. So which part was arbitrary?

    Was it the definition of a universal system as a system that can perform any computation?

    Was it the statement that a non-universal system will never become a universal system?

    Or was it the statement there are many more ways for systems to be non-universal than universal?

    Or was it the statement that our universe must be based on some universal system because we have things that can do any computation?

    These appear to be perfectly good and defensible statements.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Or was it the statement that our universe must be based on some universal system because we have things that can do any computation?"

      We don't have things that can do any computation though.

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

      Delete
    3. We have things that can, in principle, do any computation. It is only the limitations in the size of the universe which prevents this.

      That makes no difference. As long as we can implement the logic of something that can do any computation then we have universal computers.

      In a system that was not universal you could not, even in principle, implement the logic of a universal computer.

      Delete
    4. "We have things that can, in principle, do any computation."

      No we don't. We don't have anything that can compute in a spacetime with more than 3 spatial dimensions.

      "In a system that was not universal you could not, even in principle, implement the logic of a universal computer."

      We might not live in a system that is universal. If the multiverse exists then we just live in a local area and manage to have computers

      Delete
  21. Stranger: "What is a moral fact?"

    For example:

    "You should not shoot children in the head for wanting an education"

    "You should not pretend to be psychic in order to get money from vulnerable bereaved people"

    "If you are CEO of a company and you discover that your main product is likely to cause a painful death for many of your employees and customers you should disclose this straight away and not cover up the fact to protect your profits and bonuses"

    That sort of thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Odd use of the word "fact" there. I can definitely see the language police paying you a visit.

      Perhaps you should just start spelling it "fakt"?

      Delete
    2. Nope zed, when a priest abuses a child that is wrong and that is a fact spelt f.a.c.t

      When the Catholic Church covers it up then that is wrong and that is another fact.

      Delete
    3. You arent catholic.

      See? Thats what a fact looks like.

      Delete
  22. "Stranger: "What is a moral fact?"

    For example:

    "You should not shoot children in the head for wanting an education"

    "You should not pretend to be psychic in order to get money from vulnerable bereaved people"

    "If you are CEO of a company and you discover that your main product is likely to cause a painful death for many of your employees and customers you should disclose this straight away and not cover up the fact to protect your profits and bonuses""

    They aren't facts Robin, they are opinions not held by everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hmmm.. so shooting a girl in the head for wanting an education isn't wrong ... it is just not to your particular taste - yes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Hmmm.. so shooting a girl in the head for wanting an education isn't wrong ... it is just not to your particular taste - yes?"

      It wasn't wrong to the people that did it, ergo it's not a fact that it's wrong. Just like it's not a fact that same sex relationships are not as good as heterosexual relationships.

      Delete
  24. What about the Catholic Church covering up child abuse?

    Was it wrong?

    Or was it just not your particular cup of tea?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Stranger: "They aren't facts Robin, they are opinions not held by everyone"

    Does everybody have to agree that something is true for it to be a fact?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 8x
      "They aren't facts Robin, they are opinions not held by everyone"
      x8

      Thats a fact.

      8x
      Does everybody have to agree that something is true for it to be a fact?
      x8

      no.

      Also a fact

      8x
      ...the Catholic Church covering up child abuse?
      x8

      Thats a fact ( assuming we define "church" as "collection of people" rather than "building")

      8x
      Was it wrong?
      x8

      Depends on who you talk to.

      Thats a fact

      Delete
  26. MalcolmS8:51 AM

    Robin: "So which part was arbitrary?"

    How about "Meaning and logic transcend the physical," "Nature’s laws must be universal because if they were not then there could never be any sort of computer or mind that computes," "an infinite amount of activity," "if nature’s laws are not basically universal then we cannot exist," "maybe the rules vary randomly" or "whatever it is that explains the complexity we see must be something that exists necessarily" for starters and they are only in the first two posts[10:01 PM and 11:28 PM]. Heaps more follow.

    Instead of all the bullshit just return to your alleged "four pieces of evidence" and your conclusion "whatever it is that explains the complexity we see must be something that exists necessarily" and validate it. You have, so far, failed to do so. I'm betting you can't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is coming from someone who claims that logic cannot apply to non existent things or to contradictions.

      That is basically the equivalent, in logic, of being a young earth creationist.

      Actually, that is probably an insult to young earth creationists.

      Now, can you show me the reasoning (look it up) behind your classification of these things as "arbitrary".

      Or is a statement arbitrary because you arbitrarily label it so?

      Delete
    2. MalcolmS6:18 PM

      Robin: ".. can you show me the reasoning (look it up) behind your classification of these things as "arbitrary""

      Yes, of course I can, but you keep to your commitment at the start of the thread and stop sliming past it.

      Answer the original task you set yourself: validate the assertion "whatever it is that explains the complexity we see must be something that exists necessarily." My point is that, in trying to do so, you have asserted the arbitrary [that for which you can demonstrate no referent] and your "attempt" can be dismissed.

      Delete
    3. MalcolmS6:20 PM

      BTW Robin, when you have finished that[not before :)] perhaps you could give an example of an existent which does NOT "exist necessarily." You'll discover it can't be done.

      Delete
  27. Robin:

    You’ve got to be joking. That’s hands down the worst explanation for god I’ve seen. No one on the planet has more than a vague idea of what consciousness is, yet you use it to prove god exists.

    And ‘meaning and logic transcends the physical’ is so ambiguous it could mean anything. You could just as well have said objectivism transcends the physical, and therefore god exists.

    I don’t know what evidence you think there is for ‘moral facts’, but whatever it is it surely can’t beat the obvious, which is that morality is simply what social animals must do. You do the right things by your neighbours because you have to live with them, not because god said you must.

    As for that nonsense about the laws of nature being universal, all you’re saying, so far as I can tell, is that sausages must be long and thin so they can fit into hot dog buns, therefore god must exist.

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