Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A more godless Pontiff or a more guilty one?

Thumbs up for Atheism????


In March of this year, Pope Francis looked at a bunch of apostate media hacks and said he would bless them even though “many of you do not belong to the Catholic Church, and others are not believers".
Later that week, while delivering a homily, the former Jesuit, Pope Francis said:
“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone!  'Father, the atheists?'  Even the atheists.  Everyone! ... We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all … We need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. 'But I don't believe, Father, I am an atheist!' But do good: We will meet one another there.”
After that surprising olive branch, the Vatican officials ran around retracting it but the tolerance cat was out of the bag.  Atheists can be redeemed.  Not that many of us care. 
This approach seems to be informed by the concept of “the Anonymous Christian” promoted by another Jesuit, Karl Rahner.  This notion is that people who have never heard of the Christian Gospels might be saved if "in [their] basic orientation and fundamental decision," Rahner wrote, "accepted the grace of God, through Christ, although [they] may never have heard of the Christian revelation." Now we atheists actually have heard of, and maybe even read, the Gospels but have failed to be persuaded. So the atheistic olive branch offered by Pope Francis is a dramatic escalation of the Anonymous  Christian doctrine. 
The Rahner doctrine and the Francis overture taken together are extraordinary.  They are examples of the Jesuits in the Catholic Church dealing with the plausibility problems of faith in a modern world.  The Jesuits were supposed to be the hard line soldiers of Christ and look at them now! The plausibility crisis has been present in an increasing for centuries with the boom in science post The Enlightenment but now seems to be cutting a swathe in the European faith communities.  What do the churches’ leaderships do in Europe when the flocks have lost their creeds?  One could become more truculent and fundamentalist.  Or one could become more inclusive and modern.  Pope Francis seems to have embraced the latter.  
This is a marvellous development.  There is no knocking tolerance.  Since March, however, such overtures seem to have evaporated but the record cannot be denied.
Two issues therefore are opened by this event: why did he do this? And will he do it for other appalling beliefs of Catholicism?  Next time, I look at Pope Francis and the gay and lesbian issue but I want to spend some words speculating on why Francis may be concerned with redemption and therefore reach out to those(like atheists and gays) whom other Popes thought were beyond redemption.
Pope Francis, with his emphasis on redemption of even apostates, is a person who reminds me of John Newton.  “John who?”, I hear you cry.  John Newton was a slave trader who was redeemed by faith and became a leader of the anti Slavery movement.  He celebrated the role of redemption in his life by penning the most popular hymn of all time on the subject – Amazing Grace.  Francis too embraces redemption and, like Newton, needs to redeem himself.
Francis, as the Cardinal Jorge Borgoglio, was in Argentina during the so called “Dirty War” where up to 30,000 dissidents were killed and/or tortured.  It is difficult in these scary situations to emerge both with clean hands and alive.  Cardinal Borgoglio was the subject of allegations as leader of the Jesuits.  There were clearly disagreements within the Jesuit community about how to deal with this brutal regime.  At the end of it all, Borgoglio was accused of collaboration and even betrayal but the betrayal allegations appear to be without substance.  However, I ask myself that in the aftermath, whether Borgoglio felt some remorse for his lack of opposition.  He was supine – not a rogue but also not a hero.  Thus, repentance would, I imagine, like John Newton, figure in his internal narrative about his behavior in the Dirty War and his faith.
I speculate that this insight into his own fragility and humanity must inform this Papacy.  Thus redemption of atheists is comprehensible to him.  John Newton was an unbeliever who was redeemed.  Francis has never lost his belief in God but he may have in the post Dirty War time lost some belief in himself.  Hence he embraces ostentatious modesty.  Thus he can deal with atheists and contemplate that we could be bound for glory. 
This is all, of course, speculative.  But the perestroika displayed by Francis is extraordinary.  We must now observe the Papacy of Francis through this lens.  He is open in ways that no Pope has been open since John XXIII.  Paul V, JP II and Benedict XVI were reactionary duds and the Church has plummeted in Europe and elsewhere as a result. Francis may not be such a dud. 
What is your view?
Is the overture from Francis to the world of unbelief an unprecedented opportunity to converse with the godless or a momentary slip?
Is the emphasis on redemption guided by the Dirty War guilt or just another Catholic with redemption as a principal marketing tool?  It is pretty good that a few Hail Mary’s can get you out of trouble.  Just ask the priestly paedophiles.
Is a more rational Catholicism bad for atheism as we have lost our favourite whipping boy or is it good for those of us who want to work with reasonable people of faith?
Over to you….

171 comments:


  1. 8x
    One could become more truculent and fundamentalist. Or one could become more inclusive and modern.
    x8

    Why are these the only two potential options?



    8x
    Is a more rational Catholicism bad for atheism as we have lost our favourite whipping boy
    x8

    Whipping boy?
    Are you Stephen Fry?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MalcolmS3:22 AM

      Nothing wrong with a good thrashing :)

      Delete
    2. Sorry Zed, I should have noted that this simplistic dichotomy should include the continuum between the two polarities.

      Dick

      BTW Catholicism is the greatest advertisement for secularism (along with the fundamentalists of every creed). Its reform would deprive us of much evidence of the evil aspects of faith.

      Delete
    3. "Its reform would deprive us of much evidence of the evil aspects of faith."

      There's still plenty of fodder in it and other beliefs.

      Delete
    4. Whenever some religious whackos want their wacky-do to be taken "seriously" they apply the "fundamental" tag

      But heres the rule:
      The shouting and armwaving of loonies is NEVER a return to "fundamentals".

      With a tip of the hat to the critics of political correctness, I'd say we should probably call it "hysterical self-importance gone mad".

      So putting "fundamentalism" on one side of your dichotomy simply:

      1) panders to their delusions
      2) normalises idiocy
      3) irritates me

      And dont get me started on the great convoluted, socially engineered knot of presuppositions required to swallow the equivalence of "inclusive and modern" at the other end...

      Delete
    5. MalcolmS8:29 PM

      toolshead: "But heres[sic] the rule: The shouting and armwaving of loonies is NEVER a return to "fundamentals""

      Fallacy of the stolen concept.

      I was wondering when you were going to state the fundamental.

      Thanks for not disappointing :)

      Delete
    6. Fallacy of the stolen concept.

      pfft
      fallacy of the nobjockey

      Delete
  2. "most popular him..that not Pope"

    You used to work at The Age didn't you?

    "Is the overture from Francis to the world of unbelief an unprecedented opportunity to converse with the godless or a momentary slip?"

    Let's see how long this pope lasts. It's a start in the right direction of not being intolerant.

    "Is the emphasis on redemption guided by the Dirty War guilt or just another Catholic with redemption as a principal marketing tool?"

    Maybe a bit of both, redemption isn't owned by the Christians either.

    "Is a more rational Catholicism bad for atheism as we have lost our favourite whipping boy or is it good for those of us who want to work with reasonable people of faith?"

    It's still a whipping boy but it's hopefully going to be easier to talk to them now.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for finding the shocking typo Stranger.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just wondering if the italics tag works

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay

      I bet bold will work too then

      Delete
    2. 8:49 AM 23/08/2013

      Things are looking up. An accurate time and date could be next.

      We are all going to have to lift our game if we are to become officially part of the Anglosphere.

      Delete
    3. Three cheers for F5... ;)

      Delete
    4. F5 - What does that one do???
      Dick

      Delete
    5. No dont push...

      Uh .. Too late ;)

      Delete
  5. RalphH 23/085:40 PM

    Hi Dick, glad you fcorrected the him/hymn thing. It was a bit of a clanger. Do that sort of thing all the time myself and, of course spell-checker doesn’t pick it up.

    I think the pope is right in saying that redemption is for everyone - can’t imagine why anyone would think otherwise. There is nothing deterministic about atheism, it’s a choice and anyone can always un-choose or chose differently. Of course it’s not always as simple as that - one would have to come to the point where they accepted that they’d made a mistake and would also have to want to revise and change their assumptions. Examples would be C.S. Lewis and Andrew Flew.

    I think however the pope was saying that all people are saved, without any realisation of being wrong or making any effort to change, because Jesus picked up the tab for all of us. I disagree. Redemption (which involved the injection of a new, deeper revelation of truth taught, demonstrated and exemplified by Jesus ) bought back the human race from it’s slavery to sin. This essentially means the restoral of free-will/the ability to choose between good and evil.

    When people repeatedly choose evil/selfishness they progressively become addicted to or enslaved by it with a cumulative effect as succeeding generations follow the same pattern. The having of free-will however does not ensure salvation but the choosing of good over evil does. Redemption saved the human race from extermination but did not rubber stamp personal salvation to eternal life. This applies to theists and atheists alike.

    There are two distinct reasons for atheism. The first is spiritual ignorance and the second is love of evil. The second is the bigger problem (it’s harder to resolve because the will/loves are involved) but the easier to explain. If God is good then anyone who loves evil wouldn’t want God around/to exist so they decide (He) doesn’t and go about committing evil whenever they think they can get away with it..

    Spiritual ignorance (ignorance of the nature and operation of God) is a bigger story because many atheists are extremely smart/intelligent so far as worldly affairs go. However they unfortunately use worldly, scientific and pseudo-scientific reasoning to conclude and decide that God doesn’t exist.

    They may even have a love for civil and moral good because they can see that is is essential for a coherent and happy society but by believing that there is not an objective source of reality (i.e. God) they are living a life of delusion by not connecting to God who is eternal goodness and eternal life. However this is a disconnect of the mind (understanding) not the heart (will) as is the case with those who come to love evil.

    Admittedly many do this because they are rejecting foolish and limited ideas of God and they see theists who fail to live up to the standards they claim to believe in. The answer, IMO, is not to give up on God but to keep actively looking and learning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Examples would be C.S. Lewis and Andrew Flew."

      You do realise that Flew doesn't believe in the same God you do don't you Ralph?

      "bought back the human race from it’s[sic] slavery to sin. "

      Why do you keep making things up and pretending they are facts?

      "There are two distinct reasons for atheism. The first is spiritual ignorance and the second is love of evil."

      Why do you keep lying? The reason for atheism is lack of any evidence of your deity. I can just as easily say the reasons for Christianity are complete stupidity and selfishness (because you want to live forever). You're so fucking stupid you think the Dalai Lama is spiritually ignorant and loves evil because he doesn't believe in your God.

      "Spiritual ignorance (ignorance of the nature and operation of God)"

      God id not the be all of spirituality.

      "Admittedly many do this because they are rejecting foolish and limited ideas of God and they see theists who fail to live up to the standards they claim to believe in."

      You fail to live up to the standards you claim to believe in and there are no sensible ideas about God. But it's the lack of evidence that makes atheists not believe.

      Delete
    2. MalcolmS8:49 AM

      RalphH: "There are two distinct reasons for atheism. The first is spiritual ignorance and the second is love of evil"

      False. The cause of atheism is the unjustified and unjustifiable claims of theists.

      Without theism atheism would not even arise.

      Delete
    3. RalphH 24/081:59 AM

      “False. The cause of atheism is the unjustified and unjustifiable claims of theists.” (MalcolmS8:49 AM)

      For theism to be “unjustified” there would need to be a better, more rational explanation of existence, Malcolm. I’m not aware of one. Are you?

“

      Without theism atheism would not even arise.”

      That’s fairly obvious but it’s not a reason for it’s existence. If everyone was wise enough to understand God and (His) modus operandi and were willing to co-operate there would be no atheism. That covers both of my reasons. Understanding dispels ignorance and willingness to co-operate dispels evil.

      Delete
    4. "For theism to be “unjustified” there would need to be a better, more rational explanation of existence, Malcolm. I’m not aware of one."

      Yes you are aware of one Ralph, why do you keep lying?

      Delete
    5. RalphH 24/086:49 AM

      “Yes you are aware of one Ralph, why do you keep lying?” (Stranger3:05 AM)

      I repeat (for your benefit this time Stranger since you seem to be a little deaf), I AM NOT AWARE OF A BETTER, MORE RATIONAL EXPLANATION. I am aware of other explanations but not one that is “better or more rational”. Please try to focus rather than just blurt out ‘liar’.

      Delete
    6. MalcolmS7:39 AM

      RalphH: "“False. The cause of atheism is the unjustified and unjustifiable claims of theists.” (MalcolmS8:49 AM) For theism to be “unjustified” there would need to be a better, more rational explanation of existence, Malcolm. I’m not aware of one. Are you?

“

      You know I have answered that on many occasions!! THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OF EXISTENCE!! *You* have not given one. God *explains* nothing. Before God could explain existence she would first have to exist which would mean you have begged the question. Existence is an axiom which is at the base of all "explanation." Existence is where you start - it is not a derivative concept. God, if she existed, would be a derivative concept - just like shoes, ships and sealing wax... Existence is uncreated, inexplicable, axiomatic and eternal - it is self-evident and at the base of all knowledge.

      Or, as I wrote a couple of threads ago:

      ****

      Robin's[and Ralph's] main problem is that he thinks that existence can be *explained.*

      It can't.

      Existence simply exists and that is all you can say about it.

      Existence is where you start or you find yourself in an infinite regress.

      If you start out arguing that *X caused existence,* then, the problem is that X must exist and you have begged the question.

      You can't *presume* what you are trying to prove.

      ****

      Now, just substitute X for your otherworldly fairy and, if you are not too retarded, you may just get the drift!

      Delete
    7. Existence simply exists and that is all you can say about it.

      No it isnt.

      Delete
    8. RalphH 25/084:30 PM

      “You know I have answered that on many occasions!! THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OF EXISTENCE!! *You* have not given one. God *explains* nothing.” (MalcolmS7:39 AM)

      Yes Malcolm, I’m well aware of that but you must be equally aware that I do not agree with you. Your explanation of existence is that there is “no explanation”. It’s just your say-so/your opinion. I don’t think that is any better an explanation then your belittling scoffing of ““otherworldly fairy”. I have presented a dualistic explanation because whatever we don’t know, we do know that there is a time and space element and an eternal element.

      “Before God could explain existence she would first have to exist which would mean you have begged the question. Existence is an axiom which is at the base of all "explanation."”

      We can’t explain the existence of eternity (i.e. where it can from) but we can explain the existence of the world around us as coming forth from/being created from and by eternity (which many people align with God/existence in and of itself).

      “Existence is where you start - it is not a derivative concept. God, if she existed, would be a derivative concept - just like shoes, ships and sealing wax... Existence is uncreated, inexplicable, axiomatic and eternal - it is self-evident and at the base of all knowledge.”

      The natural world/universe around us is created, is explicable and is not axiomatic or eternal but behind/prior to all “derive(d) concept(s)” is something that is “uncreated, inexplicable, axiomatic and eternal”. It’s a different type of existence because it is uncreate and eternal. Why should we not call this eternal existence God?

      By the way, last time i checked I was not retarded.



      Delete
    9. R-elf-ie and the toolshed. What a combination

      Step right up folks.
      Welcome to the Capybara wheel... ;)

      Delete
    10. "I repeat (for your benefit this time Stranger since you seem to be a little deaf), I AM NOT AWARE OF A BETTER, MORE RATIONAL EXPLANATION."

      Yes you are Ralph, stop lying.

      Delete
    11. "The natural world/universe around us is created,"

      Repeating bullshit doesn't make it non-bullshit.

      Delete
    12. RalphH 25/087:45 PM

      “Yes you are Ralph, stop lying.” (Stranger6:52 PM)

      I have stated my case (my opinion if you like) Stranger. Imposing your view on me does not make me a liar.

      Delete
    13. RalphH 25/087:47 PM

      “*"The natural world/universe around us is created,"* (RalphH)

Repeating bullshit doesn't make it non-bullshit.” (Stranger6:54 PM)

      So Stranger, you reject the scientific theory of the ‘Big Bang’ and the notion that the universe is 13+ billion years old. And you have the hide to accuse me of disbelieving ‘science’.

      Delete
    14. " Imposing your view on me does not make me a liar."

      Indeed, lying makes you a liar, so stop doing it if you don't want to be called out as a liar.

      "So Stranger, you reject the scientific theory of the ‘Big Bang’ and the notion that the universe is 13+ billion years old"

      Not at all. The natural world is formed, not created.

      Delete
    15. MalcolmS9:30 PM

      RalphH: "Your explanation of existence is that there is “no explanation”"

      I am starting to agree with Andrew's position that you are a liar! I specifically stated my position: there is no explanation of existence. Stop your deliberate misrepresentations and wilful distortions Ralph.

      "..we do know that there is a time and space element and an eternal element"

      Yes, and *not* a "God" element :) Time and space are *relationships* which exist between entities *within* the universe. Eternal is an attribute of existence as such: the attribute that it cannot come from/become nothing. In that sense you can *explain* space, time and eternity but nothing explains existence. Which means that existence exists, existence has always existed and existence will always exist.

      “We can’t explain the existence of eternity (i.e. where it can[sic] from)"

      I have just explained it! What you can't explain is existence itself. Positing an existent to explain existence is the fallacy of begging the question. To attempt to explain existence you (or the otherworldly fairy) would have to literally be nonexistent. Is that what you are claiming?

      “Why should we not call this eternal existence God?"

      "Eternal existence" is not a puppy dog, or an otherworldly fairy, which requires a name Ralph. "Eternal existence" is perfectly accurate, adequate and actually exists. "Eternal existence" has no otherworldly connotations whatsoever!

      Delete
    16. RalphH 25/084:59 AM

      “I am starting to agree with Andrew's position that you are a liar! I specifically stated my position: there is no explanation of existence. Stop your deliberate misrepresentations and wilful distortions Ralph.” (MalcolmS9:30 PM)

      I don’t get it Malcolm, you repeat back to me exactly what I said and yet say that you agree with Andrew’s ‘liar‘ antics.

“*"..we do know that there is a time and space element and an eternal element"* (RH)

“Yes, and *not* a "God" element :)”

      I didn’t suggest a third element, I equated the “eternal element” with God.

      “Time and space are *relationships* which exist between entities *within* the universe. Eternal is an attribute of existence as such: the attribute that it cannot come from/become nothing.”

      What I’m suggesting isn’t all that different. I’m saying that eternal existence is an attribute of God.

      “In that sense you can *explain* space, time and eternity but nothing explains existence. Which means that existence exists, existence has always existed and existence will always exist.”

      This (with God plugged in where you have “existence”) is the truism that I grew up with, “God exists, God has always existed and God will always exist.” This aligns completely with the NT, “The One who is and who was and who is to come,” (book of Revelation 11:17, also 16:5)

“I have just explained it (eternity)! What you can't explain is existence itself. Positing an existent to explain existence is the fallacy of begging the question. To attempt to explain existence you (or the otherworldly fairy) would have to literally be nonexistent. Is that what you are claiming?”

      What’s the difference between positing God and positing “existence itself”. I have always (well, since I grew up and started thinking for myself) thought of God as “existence itself”. (see Exodus 3:14 - ‘And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO is I AM." ‘ and Jesus’ own words at John 8:58 - “before Abraham was, I AM.")
      

“"Eternal existence" is not a puppy dog, or an otherworldly fairy, which requires a name Ralph. "Eternal existence" is perfectly accurate, adequate and actually exists. "Eternal existence" has no otherworldly connotations whatsoever!”

      If one doesn’t make an effort to understand it, it’s just an abstraction. The mere fact that it is eternal as contrasted with the world of time and space, indicates that it is an ‘other world’ - not merely an outgrowth from or extension of the physical, time and space world.

      You have some sort of fetish or fear of ‘other-worldliness’. There is nothing strange or magical about it. Don’t we often say of someone who is concentrating on what is going on in their mind and is unaware of their immediate physical surroundings, that they are in another world? (i.e. the mind’s world).

      Delete
    17. MalcolmS5:17 AM

      RalphH: "What I’m suggesting isn’t all that different. I’m saying that eternal existence is an attribute of God"

      It's as different as chalk and cheese. You don't have to make stuff up to know that existence exists and that existence can't go in and out of existence. A rational parent can teach it to a child - it's about the world in which he lives. That's not the case with an otherworldly fairy.

      Delete
    18. MalcolmS5:20 AM

      RalphH: ".. you reject the scientific theory of the ‘Big Bang’ and the notion that the universe is 13+ billion years old"

      There is nothing to reject. The ‘Big Bang’ is nothing more than hypothesis. What we do know is that the ‘Big Bang’ was not an ex nihilo event. Nothing cannot go bang. Existence does not leap out of nothingness. Existence is eternal. The ‘Big Bang’ is nothing more than an unproven hypothesis[there are others] as to how the universe *as we now know it* arose.

      Delete
    19. RalphH 25/085:25 AM

      “Indeed, lying makes you a liar, so stop doing it if you don't want to be called out as a liar.” (Stranger8:11 PM)

      The problem Stranger is not that I am a liar but that you think me a liar. I cannot stop lying because I’m not lying. The only way to resolve this problem is for you to admit that it is merely your opinion that I’m a liar because that’s all it is - a fallacious opinion.

      

“Not at all. The natural world is formed, not created.”

      So, what’s the difference? If we assume it’s formed (I’ll point out here that created is given as a synonym for formed - dictionary.com) then it’s formed from something that is created and that formation is part of the creation of more complex elements and forms receptive of life.

      Nothing ‘just happens’. There is always a cause and a ‘raison d'être’.

      Delete

    20. You don't have to make stuff up to know that existence exists and that existence can't go in and out of existence.


      Does that "rule" apply to your magical mental concrete as well?


      Existence simply exists and that is all you can say about it.

      Existence is where you start or you find yourself in an infinite regress.

      If you start out arguing that *X caused existence,* then, the problem is that X must exist and you have begged the question.

      Positing an existent to explain existence is the fallacy of begging the question.


      Yeah R-elf-ie. Existence was caused by existence existing. You cant tell me that existing doesnt exist.
      And the only reason we are able to exist at all is because of the existing existence.

      Why, If there was no existing existence we'd have to make one out of toolsheds mental concrete.
      Err wait on. Doesnt foam rubber sound more comfy?


      You know I have answered that on many occasions!! THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OF EXISTENCE!!

      Wait a sec.


      *You* have not given one. God *explains* nothing. Before God could explain existence she would first have to exist which would mean you have begged the question. Existence is an axiom which is at the base of all "explanation." Existence is where you start - it is not a derivative concept. God, if she existed, would be a derivative concept - just like shoes, ships and sealing wax... Existence is uncreated, inexplicable, axiomatic and eternal - it is self-evident and at the base of all knowledge.


      Isnt that an explanation?


      Existence is uncreated, inexplicable, axiomatic and eternal - it is self-evident and at the base of all knowledge.

      Isnt it at the base of all bullshit as well?


      Which means that existence exists, existence has always existed and existence will always exist.

      But if existence ever stopped existing it would instantly not, never have, and never will existed.

      So dont push the red button.

      Delete

    21. Question:
      Before the word existence existed, did existence actually exist?

      Answer:
      No.
      Before existence existed there was flobnobble-ng-ng, and it was made of magic sausages.

      Delete
    22. Existence does not leap out of nothingness.

      Magic cats do.

      Boo!

      See?

      Signed
      Billy the Magic Cat.

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

      Delete
    23. Transcript of a conversation between Billy the Magic Cat - professor emeritus of chicken sexing at Randypoo university - and Elvis the Giant Persimmon - skeptic, broadcaster and fruit.

      Elvis the Giant Persimmon: Thanks for coming Professor Billy

      Billy the Magic Cat: No problem, pleasure to be here

      EtGP: Lets begin with your assertion that "Before existence existed there was flobnobble-ng-ng, and it was made of magic sausages". What evidence do you have to back up this extra-ordinary claim?

      BtMC: Well look around you Elvis, the evidence is plain. The assertion is self-evident. I'm surprised whenever someone asks me for evidence for this one. There had to be something to bring existence into existence. That something was obviously flobnobble-ng-ng.

      EtGP: And the sausages...?

      BtMC: I rather like sausages.

      EtGP: I see. Still there does seem to be some unanswered questions around the whole scenario

      BtMC: Such as...?

      EtGP: What happened to flobnobble-ng-ng and the magic sausages when existence began to exist?

      BtMC: Nothing: They are still here just as they were before.

      EtGP: Why cant I see any then?

      BtMC: Sigh.. Because they exist in a non-existent state Elvis. They are magic sausages after all. Could you imagine the chaos if flobnobble-ng-ng was made entirely of real sausages? There'd be nowhere to park your car for a start. And have you ever seen someone breathing sausages? It's not pretty

      EtGP: And how does existence fit into all this

      BtMC: Well heres the funny bit. Existence doesnt really exist.

      EtGP: Existence doesnt exist? Wait a sec. This chair exists.

      BtMC: The chair exists ... as a chair, not as existence. Existence itself doesnt exist. Look - Heres a challenge for you. Find me some raw pure existence. You cant do it because for anything that you try to call existence there is always a better more accurate more useful description. Existence is not a primary concept, its just a weak abstraction for lazy thinkers. It's just a ...

      EtGP: ... magic sausage?

      BtMC: magic sausage

      EtGP: Fascinating. Thank you professor Billy

      BtMC: Yowser.

      Delete
    24. "The problem Stranger is not that I am a liar but that you think me a liar."

      No Ralph the problem is that you are a liar.

      " I cannot stop lying because I’m not lying."

      You can't stop lying because you need to your delusion to be true.

      "So, what’s the difference?"

      As you keep saying creation implies a creator, wheres formation doesn't need a former.

      "Nothing ‘just happens’."

      What causes radioactive decay of a particular atom?

      Delete
    25. MalcolmS7:42 PM

      RalphH: "Nothing ‘just happens’. There is always a cause and a ‘raison d'être’"

      So, what is the cause of your God??

      Handy hint for mystics: existence has no cause - existence is eternal.

      Delete
    26. MalcolmS7:45 PM

      Stranger: "What causes radioactive decay of a particular atom?"

      The nature of that particular atom.

      All actions are caused by entities. The nature of an action is caused and determined by the nature of the entities that act; a thing cannot act in contradiction to its nature.

      Delete

    27. Stranger: "What causes radioactive decay of a particular atom?"

      The nature of that particular atom.


      False.

      "Nature" is an abstraction. An abstraction is not a cause, it is a representation created by the perceiving entity

      Once again you confuse the tangible and the intangible - mind and matter.
      I suggest you might try taking to that mental concrete with a mental jackhammer

      Delete
    28. MalcolmS9:10 PM

      idiotcatfetishist: ""Nature" is an abstraction"

      *Nature* is an abstraction *of* that which exists!

      As such it is a cognitively valid concept.

      In fact *all* words [with the exception of proper nouns], if properly conceptualised, represent abstractions of that which exists in reality.

      Are you a lunatic?

      Delete
    29. MalcolmS9:25 PM

      toolshead: "An abstraction.. is a representation created by the perceiving entity. Once again you confuse the tangible and the intangible - mind and matter"

      The confusion is all yours.

      You are the one who places abstraction entirely within consciousness.

      In fact an abstraction is a selective mental focus that takes out or separates a certain aspect of reality from all others (e.g., isolates a certain attribute from the entities possessing it, or a certain action from the entities performing it, etc).

      In other words an abstraction is a *relationship* between mind and reality. There is nothing "intangible" about mind OR reality. Or abstractions!

      Are you a lunatic?

      Delete
    30. "The nature of that particular atom."

      *sigh* I meant in a block of uranium, as one example of a radioactive material, what makes any particular atom decay.

      Delete
    31. it is a cognitively valid concept

      Agreed.
      However its of a similar "cognitive validity" to "Big fart-fart wind machine make aeroplane fly".

      I'll let you have it as an analogy - I suppose an aeroplane could be said to fly because its "in its nature" to do so ... pfft rofl ;)

      But all that presenting "nature" as a physical cause for radioactive decay will get you (outside of kindergarten)is:

      haaa haaa haaa haaaaaaaa roffffl! What a toolshed! ;)

      Its near enough for a child or the senile I suppose. Adults should be able to do better though

      Thought you would have known that... ;)

      Delete
    32. MalcolmS9:54 PM

      Stranger: "*sigh* I meant in a block of uranium, as one example of a radioactive material, what makes any particular atom decay"

      So did I - "the nature of that particular atom"

      Delete

    33. You are the one who places abstraction entirely within consciousness.


      False assertion again - but never mind that.


      In fact an abstraction is a selective mental focus that takes out or separates a certain aspect of reality from all others (e.g., isolates a certain attribute from the entities possessing it, or a certain action from the entities performing it, etc).
      [sic]

      lol. Ya wanna be a weeny bit more specific about where you think this "selective mental focus" occurs? ;)


      In other words an abstraction is a *relationship* between mind and reality.
      [sic]

      In other words, abstractions are generated by the interaction of mind and reality.

      Fixed it for ya.


      There is nothing "intangible" about mind OR reality. Or abstractions!

      lol. Ok then - This time try a real jackhammer and shove it up yer nostril. rofl ;)


      Are you a lunatic?

      rofl - Are you a nobjockey?

      Delete
    34. MalcolmS10:09 PM

      toolshead: "I suppose an aeroplane could be said to fly because its[sic] "in its nature" to do so"

      Correct... and that's all philosophy needs to say about it.

      Other sciences, depending on the specialty, could say other things but that was not my point.

      Get it?!

      Delete
    35. "So did I - "the nature of that particular atom""

      That's not an answer. I already know it's radioactive, I want to know why one particular atom out of millions decays.

      Delete

    36. Other sciences, depending on the specialty, could say other things but that was not my point.


      So to paraphrase, "You didnt understand the question so you just warbled on the usual irrelevant airy drivel in order to feel "special". Then, when challenged you blustered and tried to defend your fragile self esteem with filibuster and spiteful insults.

      "Love of wisdom"? Load of arse. Who the hell would ever touch your foolosophy?

      Get it?!

      Get it? Man I nailed it! ;)

      Delete
    37. MalcolmS10:40 PM

      toolshead: [warning, baby talk follows] "Ya wanna be a weeny bit more specific about where you think this "selective mental focus" occurs?"

      Handy hint for loonies: there is no such thing as a "selective mental focus" without an *object.*

      Hence the *relationship.*

      Got it dopey?!

      Delete
    38. MalcolmS10:40 PM

      Poor widdle tooly - Didnt understand the question again huh.

      And I twied and twied so hardie wardies to make it easy peasy weasy for oo ;)

      roflmao

      Delete
    39. MalcolmS10:53 PM

      Stranger: "That's not an answer. I already know it's radioactive, I want to know why one particular atom out of millions decays"

      I gave you the correct answer from philosophy: "All actions are caused by entities. The nature of an action is caused and determined by the nature of the entities that act; a thing cannot act in contradiction to its nature"

      The correct answer from physics is currently unknown.

      Ralph had asserted a divine cause and you implied a *random* cause. Both are incorrect.

      Delete
    40. "I gave you the correct answer from philosophy:"

      Which is why philosophy is useless, and I didn't ask for a philosophical (ie wanky) answer.

      "All actions are caused by entities."

      No they aren't.

      "Ralph had asserted a divine cause and you implied a *random* cause. Both are incorrect."

      One is incorrect the other is what we currently know, I doubt you are able to tell me which.

      Delete
    41. One is incorrect the other is what we currently know, I doubt you are able to tell me which.

      I'm fairly certain that the toolshed will pimp for an answer that contains an "entity" or two.

      Oh .. and capitalism ;)

      rofl

      Delete
    42. MalcolmS11:21 PM

      "One is incorrect the other is what we currently know, I doubt you are able to tell me which"

      I have already told you. Both are incorrect.

      Delete
    43. "I have already told you. Both are incorrect."

      You're still wrong.

      Delete
    44. I have already told you. Both are incorrect.

      But you're an idiot, so that's no use to us.

      Can you maybe run and get your mum and ask her?

      Delete
    45. Dear Ralph,

      thanks for the thoughtful reply. It has led to a lengthy conversation that has monopolised the blog. Well done!! I love your last about active looking and learning. Could not agree more.

      Thanks again.

      Dick

      Delete
    46. " Well done!! I love your last about active looking and learning."

      Don't congratulate him too much Dick, he doesn't actively look and learn, just stays with what he wants to be true.

      Delete
    47. RalphH 26/086:39 AM

      RalphH: "Nothing ‘just happens’. There is always a cause and a ‘raison d'être’"

      

“So, what is the cause of your God??” (MalcolmS7:42 PM)

      I already did that Malcolm. The same as your eternal existence. IOW, there is no cause to the eternal (it’s a different realm, a different dimension, involving a different set of rules - it’s a different world). Only temporal (time and space related) things are caused and created.

      

“Handy hint for mystics: existence has no cause - existence is eternal.”

      Handy hint for skeptics: God has no cause - God is eternal.

      You go wrong by insisting that God is a created thing. You just haven't got a big/expansive enough idea of God.

      Delete
    48. RalphH 26/087:03 AM

      “All actions are caused by entities. The nature of an action is caused and determined by the nature of the entities that act; a thing cannot act in contradiction to its nature.” (MalcolmS7:45 PM)

      Malcolm, if you want things to be “determined” they have to be determined by something (nothing just happens) and the only thing we know of that can determine things is mind. All created things are determined to varying degrees. Only one creature (created being) can act contrary to it’s nature i.e. the human has, by virtue of rationality and free-will, the capacity to rise above it’s natural instincts and by mentally imaging something higher can transcend it’s physical limitations.

      Delete
    49. MalcolmS9:30 AM

      RalphH: "..there is no cause to the eternal (it’s a different realm, a different dimension, involving a different set of rules - it’s a different world)"

      No, Ralph, eternal existence is this realm, this dimension and operates in accordance with the laws of nature - it's this world. There is nothing else.

      Delete
    50. MalcolmS9:32 AM

      RalphH: "Malcolm, if you want things to be “determined” they have to be determined by something (nothing just happens) and the only thing we know of that can determine things is mind"

      I don't "want," or not want, things to be determined. It's just that, with the exception of the human mind, everything *is* determined.

      Furthermore, mind alone creates nothing unless accompanied by physical action in the physical world. The same would apply to your fairy if she existed.

      What determines action/change in the world? “All actions are caused by entities. The nature of an action is caused and determined by the nature of the entities that act; a thing cannot act in contradiction to its nature.”

      Delete
    51. MalcolmS9:35 AM

      RalphH: "Only one creature (created being) can act contrary to it’s nature i.e. the human has, by virtue of rationality and free-will, the capacity to rise above it’s natural instincts and by mentally imaging something higher can transcend it’s physical limitations"

      ROFLMAO

      No we can't Ralph and we can't because it's contrary to our nature. If we could do it it would be because it *was* in our nature.

      Delete
    52. The nature of an action is caused and determined by the nature of the entities that act; a thing cannot act in contradiction to its nature.

      A nobjockey is a type of entity yeah? ;)

      Delete

    53. Furthermore, mind alone creates nothing unless accompanied by physical action in the physical world.


      So you're saying mind is intangible now.

      Thank god someone is keeping track of the contradictions in your foolosophical warbling
      Coz you sure don't.

      Delete

    54. The nature of an action is caused and determined by the nature of the entities that act

      Mmmmm mmmmm. I love me them tasty magic sausages.

      Delete

    55. No, Ralph, eternal existence is this realm, this dimension and operates in accordance with the laws of nature - it's this world. There is nothing else.


      Sausagefest 2013!

      nummy num num nums!

      Delete
    56. It's just that, with the exception of the human mind, everything *is* determined.

      Determined by the nature of the entities that act. So you keep saying anyway - over and over and over ad nauseum.

      Hey wait on - according to your foolosophy, isnt "the mind" an "entity" with a "nature" as well?

      Suck on that, robot boy. roflmao ;)

      Delete
    57. MalcolmS11:46 AM

      toolshead: "So you're saying mind is intangible now"

      Handy hint to the dull and the ignorant: never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night again.

      Delete
    58. Handy hint to the dull and the ignorant: never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night again.

      Tough night was it? ;) lol

      Delete
    59. MalcolmS11:56 AM

      toolshead: "Hey[sic] wait on... isnt[sic] "the mind" an "entity" with a "nature" as well?

      Certainly is dopey!

      Its nature is to think volitionally.

      Delete

    60. toolshead: "Hey[sic] wait on... isnt[sic] "the mind" an "entity" with a "nature" as well?

      Certainly is dopey!

      Its nature is to think volitionally.
      [sic]

      predictable response there robot boy.
      Are you sure you didnt accidentally stick some of those laxatives in your ear as well. ;)

      Delete
    61. Malcolm12:20 PM

      "predictable response there robot boy"

      Except that you didn't predict it dopey :)

      Delete
    62. you forgot the [sic]

      Just thought I'd help you out there. I've noticed your standards drop even lower than usual whenever you get upset.
      And please don't be scared to let me know if there's anything else I can assist with.

      (It's the "nature" of my "entity" to be helpful to the "differently abled")

      rofl

      Delete
    63. "a thing cannot act in contradiction to its nature."

      So if I turn a table upside down and use it as a sled is it a table or a sled now as it can't be both according to you.

      Delete
    64. "Its nature is to think volitionally."

      Minds don't think.

      Delete
    65. MalcolmS11:11 PM

      toolshead: "you forgot the [sic]"

      No I didn't.

      Delete
    66. MalcolmS11:16 PM

      Stranger: "So if I turn a table upside down and use it as a sled is it a table or a sled now as it can't be both according to you"

      Really? I said no such thing!

      An upturned table sliding down a snow covered hill is most certainly an example of an entity which "cannot act in contradiction to its nature." What did you expect? That it would fly away like a bumblebee?

      Aah yes, now I remember, you're the fool who reckons minds can't think! So, in your case, you may be right! Although, even then, I can blame it on volition.

      Or are you just retarded?

      Delete
    67. "Really? I said no such thing!"

      yes you did when you said things can only act according to their nature.

      "An upturned table sliding down a snow covered hill is most certainly an example of an entity which "cannot act in contradiction to its nature.""

      But it is acting in contradiction to it's nature because it is sliding down a snow covered hill.

      "Aah yes, now I remember, you're the fool who reckons minds can't think"

      You're the fool who thinks that minds aren't generated by the brain.

      Delete
    68. An upturned table sliding down a snow covered hill is most certainly an example of an entity which "cannot act in contradiction to its nature."

      magic sausage.

      You should open a magic butchers shop tooly ;)

      Delete
    69. RalphH 27/082:34 AM

      “No, Ralph, eternal existence is this realm, this dimension and operates in accordance with the laws of nature - it's this world. There is nothing else.” (MalcolmS9:30 AM)


      This is nothing more than one of your pet theories Malcolm. I think it’s pretty obvious that the “laws of nature” do not deal with the eternal or eternity. One can’t measure it, weigh it or take a sample. Can you evidence your idea in any way?

      Delete
    70. MalcolmS7:17 AM

      Stranger: ".. you said things can only act according to their nature"

      Correct.

      ".. it is acting in contradiction to it's nature because it is sliding down a snow covered hill"

      It's not acting in contradiction to its nature. It's acting according to its nature - the only way it can ever act. Did you expect it to turn into a pumpkin? No, it slides down the snow covered hill in accordance with its nature.

      "You're the fool who thinks that minds aren't generated by the brain"

      Like Ralph you just made that up. In fact that has nothing to do with my position. Mind is not brain. Mind is not reducible to brain. Brain is physical - mind is not. However, that does not mean that mind is *independent* of brain. It's not. There is no such thing as disembodied mind. Without living brain there is no mind.

      Delete
    71. MalcolmS7:58 AM

      RalphH: "I think it’s pretty obvious that the “laws of nature” do not deal with the eternal or eternity"

      Existence[the only "eternal" there is] is *prior* to the laws of nature. In the same sense as existence is *prior* to explanation.

      "One can’t measure it, weigh it or take a sample"

      Existence is *prior* to measurement. Existence is *prior* to weighing. Existence is *prior* to sampling.

      "Can you evidence your idea in any way?"

      Existence is *prior* to evidence.

      Got it yet?

      *Nothing* is prior to existence - or any other axiom.

      Delete
    72. *Nothing* is prior to existence

      So existence comes from nothing.

      Got it.

      Your foolosophy is easy-peasy tooly-wooly.

      Go on. Give us a hard one...

      Delete

    73. It's not acting in contradiction to its nature. It's acting according to its nature - the only way it can ever act.


      So now tables can only slide down hills because thats their nature?

      Wow! What a wacky foolosophy you have tooly.
      I need to learn some more about this nature stuff

      So tell me: What is the "nature" of nature in nobjockey world?

      Delete
    74. Existence[the only "eternal" there is] is *prior* to the laws of nature.

      Is that a "law of nature" too tooly or is there some wiggle room?

      Oops! Your foolosophy is broken.
      How careless of me ;)

      Delete
    75. RalphH 28/083:44 PM

      “*"You're the fool who thinks that minds aren't generated by the brain"* (Stranger11:33 PM)

      

Like Ralph you just made that up. In fact that has nothing to do with my position. Mind is not brain. Mind is not reducible to brain. Brain is physical - mind is not. However, that does not mean that mind is *independent* of brain. It's not. There is no such thing as disembodied mind. Without living brain there is no mind.” (MalcolmS7:17 AM)

      Malcolm, I can’t speak for Stranger/Andrew (ever though he consistent thinks that he can speak for me) but I do not “ma(k)e things up”. I speak according to my knowledge and beliefs.

      I believe that the brain plays a part in the formation of the mind but the brain, of itself, is only dead matter. It is not the instigator but a passive tool in the process. I agree that there is no such thing as a “disembodied mind” but that does not mean that such a “body” must be physical or made from physical matter. While we live in the physical world, we need a physical body (including brain).

      But we also live in the spiritual/mind’s world concurrently. The mind has it’s own permanent body (not directly impinged on by physical/temporal events - so it cant ‘die’). A physical body is an organised complex of physical matter/stuff, a spiritual body is an organised complex of spiritual ‘matter’/stuff.

      I see it as the character which is actually the person themselves (the body is merely an added extra to enable life in a physical world). Every created thing must be ‘grounded’ in the physical world and this grounding is achieved after the death of the physical body by a mental connection (through sub-conscious thoughts and feelings) with those whose physical bodies still reside in the physical.

      Delete
    76. MalcolmS7:09 PM

      RalphH: "I do not “ma(k)e things up”. I speak according to my knowledge and beliefs"

      You do not know the difference. You do, occasionally, express valid knowledge. Your "beliefs," however, are made up.

      "I believe that the brain plays a part in the formation of the mind but the brain, of itself, is only dead matter"

      As knowledge that is false. The brain is *living* matter.

      "It is not the instigator but a passive tool in the process"

      As knowledge that is false. The brain is not "passive." It is a highly *active* living organ - an activity commensurate with the activity of the mind. The brain is more active and more complex that any computer.

      ".. there is no such thing as a “disembodied mind” but that does not mean that such a “body” must be physical or made from physical matter"

      Brain is physical and mind is spiritual yet both are an integration. There are no otherworldly connotations of that integration whatsoever.

      You cannot metaphysically separate mind and body any more than you can separate *hopping* from the kangaroo.

      Delete
    77. "No, it slides down the snow covered hill in accordance with its nature."

      But it's nature is a coffee table, how can it be a sled if it's nature is to be a coffee table?

      Delete
    78. "Like Ralph you just made that up."

      No, I got it from your comment about minds thinking. It's brains that think, mind is the result.

      Delete
    79. "but the brain, of itself, is only dead matter."

      What is dead matter Ralph? Is there live matter for theer to be dead matter?

      "But we also live in the spiritual/mind’s world concurrently. The mind has it’s own permanent body (not directly impinged on by physical/temporal events - so it cant ‘die’). A physical body is an organised complex of physical matter/stuff, a spiritual body is an organised complex of spiritual ‘matter’/stuff."

      You made that up.

      Delete
    80. MalcolmS11:22 PM

      Stranger: "But it's nature is a coffee table, how can it be a sled if it's nature is to be a coffee table?"

      You can go to sleep on it or chop it up for firewood if you so choose. None would be a contradiction.

      It would be a contradiction if, after you used it as firewood, it was reincarnated as the Virgin Mary!! THAT would be a contradiction.

      Delete
    81. MalcolmS11:24 PM

      Stranger: "I got it from your comment about minds thinking. It's brains that think, mind is the result"

      If brain thinks, what does mind do?

      Delete
    82. "You can go to sleep on it or chop it up for firewood if you so choose. None would be a contradiction."

      But a coffee table's nature is to be a table, not fire wood or a bed.

      Delete
    83. MalcolmS2:31 AM

      Stranger: ".. a coffee table's nature is to be a table, not fire wood or a bed"

      If you use it as a sled, fire wood or a bed then it's a sled, fire wood or a bed!! Period. Nor does that involve a contradiction.

      Delete
    84. MalcolmS2:33 AM

      I repeat my question to Stranger: "If brain thinks, what does mind do?"

      Delete
    85. "Nor does that involve a contradiction."

      But a coffee table's nature is to be a table, not fire wood or a bed.

      Delete
    86. MalcolmS3:32 AM

      Stranger: "... a coffee table's nature is to be a table, not fire wood or a bed"

      No, that may have been its purpose at construction but, as you have noted, it can be used for other things.

      Nor does that involve a contradiction.

      Nature and purpose are not synonyms.

      Delete
    87. MalcolmS3:34 AM

      I repeat my question to Stranger: "If brain thinks, what does mind do?"

      Delete
    88. But a coffee table's nature is to be a table, not fire wood or a bed.

      In this instance the toolshed is using "nature" as one of his magic sausages.

      That is to say the meaning of "nature" as he uses it is vague enough that it can be used to refer to any quality.

      So as you are "discussing" (lol) the "nature" (lol) of some "entity" (lol), he will jump from definition to definition while claiming he was using one "specific" definition all the time.

      Amongst other things it's a good way to avoid tricky corners

      Why does he behave this way?

      Its his nature to do so. The nature of the nobjockey ;)


      Delete
    89. what does mind do

      That depends on the mind.
      For instance - My mind soars while your mind bores.

      Get it?

      Delete
    90. RalphH 29/082:58 PM

      “You do not know the difference (between knowledge and belief). You do, occasionally, express valid knowledge. Your "beliefs," however, are made up.” (MalcolmS7:09 PM)

      Malcolm, my knowledge is the sum total of everything I know. Some of what I know I believe to be true, some I believe to be false. The things I believe to be true are my beliefs because I accept them as true. My beliefs are chosen but they are not “made up”.

“*"........... but the brain, of itself, is only dead matter"* (RH)



      As knowledge that is false. The brain is *living* matter.”

      It’s your belief that my statement is false, however you seem to have overlooked that I said “of itself”. The brain (the whole physical body) can be enlivened/animated because (when not diseased or damaged) it is of a form capable of receiving live. Without that influx (i.e. of itself ) all physical substance is dead/inert and will break down and decay as demonstrated when the body dies.

      

“As knowledge that is false. The brain is not "passive." It is a highly *active* living organ - an activity commensurate with the activity of the mind. The brain is more active and more complex that any computer.

      It’s passive in the sense that it is acted upon and directed by the mind just as a computer has an influx of power and programming



      “Brain is physical and mind is spiritual yet both are an integration. There are no otherworldly connotations of that integration whatsoever.”

      Have you never been in a state (of mind) where you are completely oblivious to your physical surroundings (including your physical body) and aware only of the thoughts and feelings encompassing your mind (which may have no connection whatever to your immediate physical environment)?



      “You cannot metaphysically separate mind and body any more than you can separate *hopping* from the kangaroo.”

      I think that’s a very poor (attempted) analogy. Hopping is a deterministic instinct of an animal (a creature without the capability of delving metaphysically into it’s own mind or considering the nature of reality).

      The mind is not a bodily (or brain) activity. Apart from the autonomic nervous system, it is the mind that controls and directs the body. The mind is quite complex having an outer, world focused level and an inner core of being/spiritual level. It is the inner level that survives the death of the body.

      Delete
    91. all physical substance is dead/inert and will break down and decay as demonstrated when the body dies

      Did you know that the process of "break down and decay" doesnt "just occur"?

      Since most of it is the work of "other" life your "influx" theory does seem rather quaint and innocent

      Delete

    92. Have you never been in a state (of mind) where you are completely oblivious to your physical surroundings (including your physical body) and aware only of the thoughts and feelings encompassing your mind (which may have no connection whatever to your immediate physical environment)?




      lol. Thats his only state of mind... ;)

      Delete
    93. "I repeat my question to Stranger: "If brain thinks, what does mind do?""

      I've already told you what the mind is. Pay attention old man.

      Delete
    94. "Malcolm, my knowledge is the sum total of everything I know."

      The problem Ralph is you think you know things when you just want them to be true.

      "My beliefs are chosen but they are not “made up”."

      Yes they are.

      " Without that influx (i.e. of itself ) all physical substance is dead/inert and will break down and decay as demonstrated when the body dies."

      Decay is due to microorganisms for the most part. Remove them and you won't get decay. You really are ignorant of everything to do with reality.

      "The mind is not a bodily (or brain) activity."

      Yes it is.

      "Apart from the autonomic nervous system, it is the mind that controls and directs the body. "

      No it isn't.

      " The mind is quite complex having an outer, world focused level and an inner core of being/spiritual level. It is the inner level that survives the death of the body."

      Stop making things up.

      Delete
    95. MalcolmS7:54 PM

      toolshead: "That is to say the meaning of "nature" as he uses it is vague enough that it can be used to refer to any quality"

      FYI dopey, there is nothing "vague" about nature.

      There is nothing else :)

      Not surprised you didn't know that.

      Delete
    96. MalcolmS7:56 PM

      RalphH: "The mind is quite complex having an outer, world focused level and an inner core of being/spiritual level. It is the inner level that survives the death of the body"

      LOL See what I mean about knowledge and belief?

      Epistemologists of the world rejoice :)

      Delete
    97. MalcolmS8:14 PM

      RalphH: "Have you never been in a state (of mind) where you are completely oblivious to your physical surroundings (including your physical body) and aware only of the thoughts and feelings encompassing your mind (which may have no connection whatever to your immediate physical environment)?"

      Of course. It's called "day dreaming." It's perfectly OK [and quite enjoyable] provided it's not your permanent state. In fact refocusing your mind from such a state is an eloquent demonstration of human volition. Day dreaming has no otherworldly connotations whatsoever.

      Er... don't confuse the state with one of your trances whilst receiving the latest "revelation" Ralph :)

      Delete
    98. MalcolmS8:16 PM

      RalphH: “"You cannot metaphysically separate mind and body any more than you can separate *hopping* from the kangaroo[MS]” I think that’s a very poor (attempted) analogy"

      A true one nevertheless!

      Delete
    99. MalcolmS8:19 PM

      Stranger: "I've already told you what the mind is"

      No you haven't. As a materialist you haven't a clue.

      Delete
    100. "No you haven't. As a materialist you haven't a clue."

      Yes I did. As an ignorant twit you haven't a clue.

      Delete
    101. MalcolmS1:15 AM

      "Yes I did. As an ignorant twit you haven't a clue"

      No you didn't. You just made that up.

      Of course you could always repeat your answer.

      Preferably before you go off the tablets.

      But you won't because you have no answer preferring, instead, to lie.

      I repeat my question: "If brain thinks, what does mind do?" :)

      Delete
    102. I repeat my question: "If brain thinks, what does mind do?"

      Already told you. pay attention

      Delete
    103. FYI dopey, there is nothing "vague" about nature.

      Your use of "nature" is vague

      Already told you this. And it's another magic sausage.
      pay attention chickenfelcher

      Delete
    104. MalcolmS11:11 PM

      toolshead: "Your use of "nature" is vague"

      Your understanding of nature is vague.

      In fact your understanding of everything is vague.

      Not surprising really since nature *is* everything :)

      Ah.. the product of a modern "education".. er.. and the Heraclitean flux in which its exponents live.

      Delete
    105. Not surprising really since nature *is* everything :)

      Why you're right. Thats not so vague as to be completely useless at all.

      I just dont understand why everyone thinks you're an idiot

      Delete
    106. RalphH 01/094:00 PM

      “Of course. It's called "day dreaming." It's perfectly OK [and quite enjoyable] provided it's not your permanent state. In fact refocusing your mind from such a state is an eloquent demonstration of human volition. Day dreaming has no otherworldly connotations whatsoever.” (MalcolmS8:14 PM)

      Daydreaming may fit the criteria I gave but I wasn’t thinking about daydreaming Malcolm. Daydreaming is usually worldly based. When was the last time you daydreamed about being in heaven? I was thinking more about the complete opposite of daydreaming - extreme focus.

      This can be on worldly things or abstract or philosophic or theologic. The point I was trying to make was that once information has been gathered from the outside world (by the mind) and retained in memory, the mind can act independently of the (physical) body. Broadly speaking the actual person is the spirit (inner mind) encased in it’s own spiritual body - the character.


      The conclusion is that the physical body is not the person per se. This is borne out by NDE’s where the person is actually separated from the physical.

      Delete
    107. " Daydreaming is usually worldly based. When was the last time you daydreamed about being in heaven?"

      Why would a non-believer day-dream about being in Heaven? A Christian might, but day-dreams can be about anything.

      " Broadly speaking the actual person is the spirit (inner mind) encased in it’s own spiritual body - the character."

      Specifically speaking you are making shit up as usual.

      "The conclusion is that the physical body is not the person per se. This is borne out by NDE’s where the person is actually separated from the physical."

      Why do you keep lying? No one knows if that is actually happening or not as no one has been able to show it is the case. The person feels separated but that can be done via other means.

      You also fail to understand that they are near death experiences, not death experiences. It's like asking for driving lessons from someone who's nearly driven a a car.

      Delete
    108. RalphH 02/093:26 PM

      “Why would a non-believer day-dream about being in Heaven?” (Stranger10:34 PM)

      Because it’s about as close as they’re ever going to get unless they change their tune? At the very least one could suspect that they might like to formulate some sort of picture of what they think they’re missing out on.

      
“*" Broadly speaking the actual person is the spirit (inner mind) encased in it’s own spiritual body - the character."* (RH)

      

Specifically speaking you are making shit up as usual.”


      I’m happy with your choosing not to believe it if you want to Stranger, but your adverse opinion doesn’t make it wrong. Here’s a quote from Swedenborg jut to show that I don’t “mak(e) s...t up”.

      “When the body is no longer able to continue to function in the natural world, a person is said to die. Yet he does not die, but is only separated from the body which was of use to him in the world. The person still lives; for a person is not human by virtue of the body, but by virtue of the spirit. It is the spirit which thinks in a person; and thought united with affections is what makes someone human.” (Heaven and Hell 445)

      “Why do you keep lying? No one knows if (separation from the physical body) is actually happening or not as no one has been able to show it is the case. The person feels separated but that can be done via other means.”

      You still haven’t learned about making those baseless accusations of lying Stranger. Bad fellow! Would you care to list and explain those “other means”?

      
“You also fail to understand that they are near death experiences, not death experiences.”

      I’m very well aware of it but it’s not the aspect of NDE’s that I was relying on. I was talking about the actual reported experiences of thousands of people.

      “It's like asking for driving lessons from someone who's nearly driven a a car.”

      Analogies are great when they work or are meaningful. This one doesn’t and hence isn’t. One does not have to learn how to have either an NDE or an actual death experience.

      Delete
    109. "I’m happy with your choosing not to believe it if you want to Stranger, but your adverse opinion doesn’t make it wrong."

      Ralph just because you say it's true doesn't make it true.
      Swedenborg made it up if you didn't. You are just stupid enough to think insane ramblings are reality.

      "You still haven’t learned about making those baseless accusations of lying Stranger."

      They aren't baseless, you're a fucking liar and you seem proud of it.

      The analogy does work, unlike you I know how to make a proper analogy.

      Delete
    110. "I was talking about the actual reported experiences of thousands of people."

      And you're stupiud enough to think that just because someone has an experience that experience is a reflection of reality, but you are also a fucking hypocrite by insisting experiences you don; agree with aren't reflections of reality.

      Delete
    111. MalcolmS7:40 PM

      RalphH: "I was talking about the actual reported experiences of thousands of people[NDEs]"

      Then you will know that all were in an abnormal/aberrant state of consciousness. All reported experiences of a temporal/spatial nature. All lived to tell the tale.

      In other words those experiences have nothing to do with death whatsoever.

      Get a grip Ralph!

      Delete
    112. RalphH 02/092:03 AM

      “Ralph just because you say it's true doesn't make it true.
Swedenborg made it up if you didn't. You are just stupid enough to think insane ramblings are reality.” (Stranger6:53 PM)

      Obviously Stranger, I’ve never claimed that it does. Even Swedenborg doesn’t make that claim of himself. Making things up may be the modus operandi you are used to but you don’t need to have that expectation of all others unless there is some real reason to do so.

      I’ve listened to quite a few “insane ramblings” in my time but nothing I’ve ever read of Swedenborg’s would meet that description. It’s up to you to make up your own mind but first you would need to read what he wrote and think about it rather than just mouthing off uninformed opinion.That’s an invitation to do a bit of research BTW.

      Delete
    113. "Obviously Stranger, I’ve never claimed that it does."

      You do it all the time Ralph, you have yet to produce any evidence that your claims or those of your heroes are true. Ergo you want us to believe what you write just because you write it.

      "I’ve listened to quite a few “insane ramblings” in my time but nothing I’ve ever read of Swedenborg’s would meet that description"

      That's because you want his insane ramblings to be true. I ave read things he's written, it's obvious to anyone who isn't deluded that he was insane and completely wrong about the solar system.

      Delete
  6. Idiots

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/04/24/christian-couple-kills-their-second-child-with-prayer/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Stranger,

      I have for some time been interested in faith healing parents who kill their children. It is a hopeless situation in the States. Many of these parents are jailed by the crimes continue. It is a mystery. Thanks for the link.

      Dick

      Delete
    2. In this case the state law says that religious freedom comes first and they can't be prosecuted for negligence etc, but they have had the rest of their kids taken away.

      Delete
  7. Dick read this to help you sort out the time zone and date stamp settings.

    https://support.google.com/blogger/answer/41963?hl=en&ref_topic=12478

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh tooly


    Existence simply exists and that is all you can say about it


    But then look at this...


    nothing explains existence

    Existence is where you start or you find yourself in an infinite regress.

    Eternal is an attribute of existence

    existence can't go in and out of existence.

    Existence is uncreated, inexplicable, axiomatic and eternal - it is self-evident and at the base of all knowledge.”


    ...and to cap it all off:


    "Eternal existence" is not a puppy dog, or an otherworldly fairy, which requires a name


    But you just gave it a name - In the very same sentance you said it didnt need a name!!


    Are you a lunatic?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Existence ... is self-evident ...

      Also:
      Where did this piece of nonsense come from?

      Your lunacy again?

      Delete
    2. No response?

      Running away toolshed?

      Sorry - riding away nobjockey? ;)

      Guess its just in your nature huh? lol

      Delete
    3. MalcolmS7:49 PM

      toolshead: "No response?"

      I'll just point out that your post implies that existence[and all other axioms] is self-evident. In fact an axiom is a statement that identifies the base of knowledge and of any further statement pertaining to that knowledge, a statement necessarily contained in all others, whether any particular thinker chooses to identify it or not. An axiom is a proposition that defeats its opponents by the fact that they have to accept it and use it in the process of any attempt to deny it.

      Or, to translate it into your language:

      "goo goo" :)

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS9:39 AM

      toolshead: "[sic]"

      Reaffirmation through denial.

      Delete
    5. An axiom is a proposition that defeats its opponents by the fact that they have to accept it and use it in the process of any attempt to deny it.[sic]

      lol. I'm not opposed to existence - ya goober.

      Reaffirmation through denial.

      lol. WTF. Is it "Irrelevant Statement Week" in nobjectivism land again?
      Think I'll throw this one over to every sentient intelligence in the cosmos.

      Folks:

      Reaffirmation through denial.

      Any idea what this means?

      Delete

    6. I'll just point out that your post implies that existence[and all other axioms] is self-evident.


      Existence simply exists and that is all you can say about it

      So existence is an "axiom" as well now?

      lol. Aother one to add to the list

      Delete
    7. In fact an axiom is a statement that identifies the base of knowledge and of any further statement pertaining to that knowledge, a statement necessarily contained in all others, whether any particular thinker chooses to identify it or not.

      Sooo. Existence is a "statement" then?

      An eternal statement? ;)

      Delete
    8. MalcolmS11:06 AM

      toolshead: "Folks: Reaffirmation through denial. Any idea what this means?"

      LOL Don't ask the "folks": they won't have a clue. Instead of the unsuccessful attempt at resident comedian perhaps you should pay attention sometime! You may even learn something! [holds breath] I won't be wasting time repeating myself.

      Handy hint to the dull and ignorant: "Reaffirmation through denial" is only a mere two and a half thousand years old[Aristotle]. Google it!

      "So existence is an "axiom" as well now?"

      As well as what?! Existence is the only [philosophic]axiom I have ever mentioned here[there are others]. Do pay attention.

      Delete
    9. MalcolmS11:19 AM

      toolshead: "Sooo. Existence is a "statement" then?"

      Existence is an axiom. *Existence exists* is a statement of the axiom.

      "An eternal statement?"

      No, statements are not eternal! Existence is eternal.

      Delete
    10. Google it!

      No real need since it's irrelevant, but I was a bit bored so I did look up "axiom"

      Heres what a quick search gave me [sic ;) ]

      {Collins English Dictionary - Complete and unabridged}
      (Philosophy / Logic) a self-evident statement

      {The American Heritage® Science Dictionary}
      A principle that is accepted as true without proof. The statement "For every two points P and Q there is a unique line that contains both P and Q" is an axiom because no other information is given about points or lines, and therefore it cannot be proven. Also called postulate.

      {Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary}
      1. a self-evident truth that requires no proof.
      2. a universally accepted principle or rule.

      IMO This appears the most sensible of the definitions.
      3. a proposition in logic or mathematics that is assumed without proof for the sake of studying the consequences that follow from it.

      Given that existence can only be said to exist as a philosophical axiom it seems reasonable to assume that your grandfathers dictionary must have a different definition?

      Delete
    11. MalcolmS7:10 PM

      "Given that existence can only be said to exist as a philosophical axiom..."

      Ah, toolshead... you just joined the world of nonexistence... er.. and of irrelevance.

      Delete
    12. the world of nonexistence

      Wrong again nobjockey

      Nonexistence doesnt exist and thats all you can say about it. ;)

      Racing this time...

      Delete
  9. MalcolmS5:37 PM

    Fallacy of context dropping.

    [Warning: baby talk will now follow]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As demonstrated by this contextless comment?

      Well done!
      Mummys clever boy!!

      Delete
  10. Dan Sperber and Hugo Mercer believe that reason evolved to help people win arguments, not to find the truth. They formulated their theory after years of studying all the research on the subject. The poor buggers wasted their time. All they had to do was visit this blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps Terry but the discourse is always interesting. Zed showed us once again that his future lies in the playwright field. Ralph brave as always keeps plugging away. The bloggers are persistent and occasionally too acrimonious but always intellectually engaged. Long may they blog. Dick

      Delete
    2. MalcolmS2:41 AM

      "Dan Sperber and Hugo Mercer believe that reason evolved to help people win arguments, not to find the truth"

      ROFLMAO

      So much for "their [formulated] theory after years of studying all the research on the subject."

      Delete
    3. Transcript of a conversation between Dan Sperber and Hugo Mercer whilst reading the comments on Dicks blog

      DS: Who's that nobjectivist nobjockey?

      HM: Dunno, he's an idiot, but just look at the little bugger go!

      DS: Oh hey look! Its Professor Billy!

      HM: Hi Professor Billy. We love you!!

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS7:27 PM

      "Zed showed us once again that his future lies in the playwright field"

      Yours doesn't lie in being a literary critic Dick.

      Delete
    5. Yours doesn't lie in being a literary critic Dick.

      Rofl. Dont listen to him Dick. I'm with you.

      On the other hand toolshed has a potentially great future in the rapidly expanding "whiny crybaby" industry. ;)

      Delete
    6. MalcolmS11:39 AM

      ""whiny crybaby" industry"

      LOL Pot... kettle... black!

      Or, as you opined recently: "goo goo."

      ROFLMAO

      Delete
    7. Or, as you opined recently: "goo goo."

      No, that was you.

      http://godlessgross.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-more-godless-pontiff-or-more-guilty.html?showComment=1377744583366#c2086354577006942593

      See?

      I said "giddyup"

      http://godlessgross.blogspot.com/2013/08/commemorating-death-of-woman.html?showComment=1376174401070#c274445604326088839

      See?

      Youre losin' it tooly.

      Soon you'll be telling us "existence exists" is an self evident eternal philosophical axiom at the root of all knowledge and thats all you can say about it.

      lol ;)

      Delete
  11. MalcolmS6:57 PM

    toolshead: ""Google it!" No real need since it's irrelevant"

    Thank you so much for your reaffirmation through denial!

    I appreciate it and rest my case [Thanks Aristotle :)].

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't you mean "rest my arse"? ;)

      Delete
    2. MalcolmS6:44 AM

      I know nothing about your arse.

      Thank Zeus.

      Delete
    3. Fallacy of context dropping.

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS7:27 PM

      Returning to context which you dropped.

      Thank you so much for your reaffirmation through denial!

      Delete
    5. Fallacy of context dropping.

      Returning to context which you dropped.


      Reaffirmation through denial.

      Delete
  12. MalcolmS9:33 PM

    RalphH: "I was thinking more about the complete opposite of daydreaming - extreme focus"

    As I said: don't confuse the state with one of your trances whilst receiving the latest "revelation." Extreme focus is a redundancy. Either your mind is in focus or it's not. A focused mind requires an object upon which to focus. That does not apply to the 'otherworld' or 'heaven.'

    "The point I was trying to make was that once information has been gathered from the outside world (by the mind) and retained in memory, the mind can act independently of the (physical) body"

    No, it can't! The mind cannot act independent of brain. Mind is not brain. Mind is not reducible to brain. But brain and mind are mutually dependant. It's as my analogy states: you cannot metaphysically separate mind and body any more than you can separate *hopping* from the kangaroo.

    "The conclusion is that the physical body is not the person per se"

    A false conclusion. The human being is an integration of body and mind - you can't have one without the other except in death.

    "This is borne out by NDE’s where the person is actually separated from the physical"

    Or with drug addicts and drunks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ". A focused mind requires an object upon which to focus"

      No it doesn't. The mind can be focused on abstract things.

      Delete
    2. MalcolmS10:45 PM

      Stranger: "The mind can be focused on abstract things"

      When the mind[the subject] focuses on abstract things, then, they are the "object" of focus.

      At least, at last, you accept it's the mind doing the focusing - not the brain :)

      Delete
    3. An object of focus is not the same as an object to focus on.

      "At least, at last, you accept it's the mind doing the focusing - not the brain "

      Why wouldn't I accept that, it's quite different to the brain doing the thinking.

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS11:28 PM

      Stranger: "An object of focus is not the same as an object to focus on"

      Yes, it is.

      Even in your example both the "object of focus" AND the "object to focus on" is "abstract things."

      Delete

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