Monday, October 28, 2013

Malaysia’s Muslim Monopoly on the Monotheistic Master


There is nothing that is at once both sinister and hilarious as a nation enacting regulations based on religious dictates.  These efforts are hilarious because they sound, to a foreigner’s ear, as the most ridiculous laws that humans invented. Governments informed by faith ban stuff that is innocuous (to wit the Saudi ban on women driving!). They then mandate stuff that is moronic.  And they divide communities on the basis of irrational beliefs.  But more than stupid, these rulings are sinister for these directives, be they blasphemy or moral impositions, can entrench bigotry and lead to savagery.  
Beacons of tolerance capture control of a word in the fight against freedom.
Today we look at a Muslim ruling but we might have looked at the cruel jailing of the Pussy Riot Church concert in the name Christianity or the pathetic Jewish regulations on restricting women at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. All faiths have these disastrous lapses although at present, Islam seems over represented in the enactment of brainless and malicious laws.
A week ago, a court ruled that only Muslims can use the word "Allah" to refer to God.  The absurdity of this is that “Allah” is a combination of two Arabic words meaning “The God” where “al” Is the definite article and “Lah” is a slight abbreviation of the word for deity.  Thus Allah is the God and in a monotheistic sense, the sole god (lower case “g”).  It is not only deployed by Muslims.  It is the word used by Arabic and Maltese Christians, some Sephardi Jews and other faiths with an Arabic communion such as the Baha’i.    
In one sense I get the Judge.  Outside the Middle East, the word Allah does have Islamic overtones.  But those overtones are not actually correct.  And anyway, who cares?  The word is not monopolised in monotheism by Islam and even if it were solely used in Islam, why the problem with others talking the Allah talk?
Malaysia is a society with three ethnicities, Chinese, Indian and Malay (Bumiputra), who are treated differently by their government.  The Bumiputra have racial preference through affirmative action by way of various employment and other advantages.  This discrimination is underpinned by the faith differences.  The Bumiputra are overwhelmingly Muslim; the 8% Indians are Tamil Hindus and the 25% Chinese are Buddhist with a Christian sub-minority.  This ruling is aimed at the Chinese Christians and therefore appears to be part of the Malaysian ethnic issues rather than a pan Islamic one.
So outside Malaysia, if is fortunate that a number of Muslim scholars are condemning the decision.  For example, in Pakistan, the ruling has been called insular by the Dawn newspaper.  Islamic theologians and some Malaysian politicians also regard the decision with dismay.
Nonetheless, this does shed some light on how the provincial Muslims in an otherwise modern country view faith and ethnicity.  Clearly, litigants and the judge in this case (on appeal to a State court) felt that this matter was of such gravity that dramatic action was needed.  More objective observers in KL seem to be ashamed by the decision. However, it is clearly an attack on the Christian minority’s religious freedom and therefore is disgusting.  In more violent countries, such rulings inevitably signal the legitimate hounding of Christians and other apostates by the followers of Islam.  It is incumbent on all atheists to condemn this in the name of Christian freedom and I do so.
In Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia, this ruling would be just another signal for a religious pogrom.  This ugly decision is bigotry writ large and is a great advertisement for atheism.
What is your view?
Is this ruling an isolated provincial mistake or evidence that supports the view that Islam generally is intolerant?
Is this just an anomaly or conclusive evidence that atheism is wonderful?
What is it about the combination of faith and ethnicity that leads both to brilliant cultural diversity and murderous violence?  Will ethnicity and faith ever be separated?
Over to you guys...

191 comments:

  1. When I was doing the indexing for this blog, I noticed that it is the first time that I had a story on Islam. This is counter intuitive since most of the silly or violent rules I guess are often Muslim. Why have I been so reticent I ask myself? I think it is because in Oz, Muslims are overwhelming peace loving and yet get a pretty bad time in the press and on the street. What do you reckon? Should I be more direct on the problems posed by Islam? Dick

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd be more worried if they were nobjectivists

      Delete
    2. ...or homosexual demons....

      http://kfor.com/2013/10/24/police-oklahoma-city-man-burns-bible-destroys-apartment-because-of-high-homosexual-demon/

      Delete
  2. I think that brilliant diversity and murderous violence are both human characteristics which will find their expression with our without religion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're probably right Robin. The issue is whether religion causes or exacerbates some conflicts. The answer is not easily known for whilst faith is correlated with very many conflicts, it might not be a causal thing. Dick

      Delete
    2. MalcolmS5:39 PM

      "Murderous violence" is not a human "characteristic." It's a choice. The possession of a rational faculty, two eyes, two ears and a nose are characteristics.

      Murderous violence is perpetrated by religious and secular alike.

      What both sides fail to understand is that *reason* is man's means of survival and that *force* is anti-reason.

      Delete
    3. "What both sides fail to understand is that *reason* is man's means of survival and that *force* is anti-reason."

      Have you ever tried reasoning with a tiger?

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS8:41 PM

      "Have you ever tried reasoning with a tiger?"

      Fallacy of anthropomorphism.

      Delete
    5. ...*reason* is man's means of survival and that *force* is anti-reason."


      So I assume you had "reason" for dinner then twiddle[sic]?

      mmmmm ... reason.....

      Delete
    6. "Fallacy of anthropomorphism."

      No it wasn't. I take it you're dumb enough to try to reason with a tiger that's trying to eat you.

      Delete
    7. MalcolmS5:22 AM

      Stranger: "I take it you're dumb enough to try to reason with a tiger that's trying to eat you"

      Do you?

      On the basis of what evidence dopey?

      Delete
    8. "On the basis of what evidence dopey?"

      This "What both sides fail to understand is that *reason* is man's means of survival and that *force* is anti-reason.", dopey.

      Delete
    9. MalcolmS1:03 AM

      Stranger: "This "What both sides fail to understand is that *reason* is man's means of survival and that *force* is anti-reason.", dopey"

      The "sides" to which I referred are the "religious and secular." If you have become so imbecilic that you cannot hold *context* for the duration of a discussion I suggest you take up basket weaving - or don't expect a reply from me. I am not in the habit of having discussions with tigers. Got it dopey?

      Delete
  3. Malta was ruled by the Ottoman Empire for a long time and I believe they actually introduced the word Alla to the Christians there.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mind you, Sam Harris was recently suggesting that senior scientific positions should be denied to people who believe in God, so I am not sure that the atheists will be much better when they become a majority.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MalcolmS4:33 AM

      "Much better" than what?

      Delete
    2. Obviously I mean not much better than the Governments that Dick is describing above.

      Delete
    3. Who's Sam Harris, and why should I care what he thinks?

      Delete
    4. Good questions. He is nobody. You should not care what he thinks.

      But given he is a best selling author and appears all the time on popular television shows and films and in newspaper articles and talks at conferences it seems that there are a lot of people who do know who he is and do care what he thinks.

      Delete
    5. He is part of the pantheon (small but growing) of atheist superstars. BTW he is handsome.

      Delete
    6. Or to put it another way - I don't care what he thinks, I worry about how many people agree with him.

      Delete
    7. There you go. Sam Harris, Superstar.

      I think that banning people from senior scientific positions because they believe in God is a somewhat more intolerant suggestion than banning people from using a certain word for God.

      Thankfully Harris has no political clout.

      Delete
    8. MalcolmS6:10 PM

      Sam Harris along with Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are among those known as the "New Atheists."

      They are excellent examples of the wrong way to defend atheism. All actually come out in favour of a religious ethics based on faith and not on reason: altruism.

      Their false positions are suitably exposed here:

      http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2008-fall/mystical-ethics-new-atheists.asp#_edn42

      Delete
    9. By the way, I think that the approved collective noun for superstars is "galaxy" or "firmament".

      Delete
    10. He is nobody. You should not care what he thinks.


      Then why mention him at all?

      More odd behaviour

      I worry about how many people agree with him.

      Why?

      Delete
    11. Robin:

      You’re all over the shop. Sam Harris can’t be a superstar and a nobody at the same time. There’s no way you can get from ‘Sam Harris says theists should not get senior science jobs’ to ‘atheists won’t govern any better than theists’. There’s no need for you to worry what he says if he’s a nobody, unless you think he’s a superstar, which you do, but he’s also a nobody, and a superstar, so maybe you do need to worry. All very confusing.

      The only thing you have managed to achieve by your comments is to inform us that you don’t like Sam Harris. And I assume it’s not personal. You just don’t like him because he’s an atheist. I don’t like Harris either. But I do find what he has to say provocative, and for that reason he’s interesting. It’s a shame your prejudice precludes you from that pleasure

      Delete
    12. Terry wrote: "You’re all over the shop. Sam Harris can’t be a superstar and a nobody at the same time."

      Again you simply haven't taken the time to read. Dick said he was a superstar - I was only commenting on that.

      Terry " All very confusing"

      As I pointed out, confusing if you fail to read. I have had to point that out to you before.

      Terry wrote: "here’s no way you can get from ‘Sam Harris says theists should not get senior science jobs’ to ‘atheists won’t govern any better than theists’."

      And I didn't. I went to " I am not sure that the atheists will be much better when they become a majority.".

      It is not unreasonable to suppose that the opinion of people who are very popular with atheists might become a popular opinion when atheists become a majority.

      Terry wrote "You just don’t like him because he’s an atheist."

      There you go again - you say that reason is unreliable and yet you appear to have complete confidence that your unsupported assertions are true.

      Maybe you should occasionally examine your beliefs and ask yourself “Why do I think that is true?”

      Terry: ”But I do find what he has to say provocative, and for that reason he’s interesting. It’s a shame your prejudice precludes you from that pleasure”

      So let me get this straight. You see no value at all in philosophy. But on the other hand you see value in philosophy. And you assume that my prejudices prevent me from seeing value in philosophy. Right?

      If you had given this more thought you might have seen that it is not me who is all over the place.

      Harris’s philosophy is nothing new. I found the stuff he says reasonably interesting when I read them from other philosophers who said them first.

      My only interest in Harris is in how much his opposition to secularism might be shared by other atheists and how this might pan out when they grow in numbers.

      Delete
    13. Zed wrote: "Then why mention him at all?

      More odd behaviour"


      I already stated why I mention him. I restated it in the very next sentence to the one you quote.

      Why is it that atheists always find these little side tracks instead of addressing what I say?

      Zed wrote: "Why?"

      I already said, but I will repeat myself. If the people who agree with him become a majority then majority opinion has a habit of becoming government policy.

      If the majority opinion is against secularism then government policy might well become to abandon secularism.

      Delete
    14. Robin:

      Which other philosopher said that people who believe in god should not be given senior positions in science?

      Delete
    15. Zed wrote: "Why?"

      I already said, but I will repeat myself. If the people who agree with him become a majority then majority opinion has a habit of becoming government policy.

      If the majority opinion is against secularism then government policy might well become to abandon secularism.


      Actually you didnt repeat yourself

      Original response
      Or to put it another way - I don't care what he thinks, I worry about how many people agree with him.

      My error, I should have been clearer

      Why do you worry about this?

      Delete
    16. MalcolmS11:42 PM

      Robin: "Harris’s philosophy is nothing new. I found the stuff he says reasonably interesting when I read them from other philosophers who said them first"

      I agree. There has been nothing new in contemporary philosophy since Hume's slide into total scepticism and Kant's failed attempt to rescue him. Most modern atheists claim that you can't know about God's existence since you can't know anything. Hardly a convincing argument! You have to go back to the Aristotelians for the correct argument.

      Delete
  5. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/10/the-psychology-of-online-comments.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for this Tricia. Yes anonymity can be a dis inhibiting factor which leads to blog debates that are too mean or too nasty. We have always had this with graffiti on the dunny door. Clearly this is behaviour that is enhanced by the privacy and anonymity. But as your article acknowledges, sometimes the comments are self regulating. I don't have time to moderate so I just hope (but not pray) that the comments do not become too hurtful or nasty. What is your view?
      Dick

      Delete
    2. Hello Dickster. Firstly I don't believe in censorship so I'm not nurturing a secret wish for you to moderate the blog. I didn't post this link with the expectation that you'd read it (actually I didn't think anyone would read it). When I read the article my first thought was of this blog so here it landed. And I'm in no way hurt by comments on your blog.

      Truth be told, I'm wearied by the unpleasantness of some commenters in many areas of social media. I don't understand why we can't, debate, discuss, disagree without getting personal or unpleasant. You manage to be civil to all on your blog no matter where they sit on the theist/atheist spectrum. That's one of the reasons I like and respect you. But not everyone follows your lead. I enjoy a joke, but there's a difference between the witty and the witless comment.

      Maybe I'm just becoming a grouchy old woman, but I'm finding it hard to maintain enthusiasm when I see more point scoring than debate. Not being a scientist I don't have much to contribute, just my lived experience and I feel these days other than for yourself, no one's all that interested. And I must admit I hesitate to enter into discussion because I feel uncomfortable. And in all honesty I don't see much these days in the way of self regulation by many of the bloggers.

      None of this is meant as a complaint, Dick, just my point of view which you did ask for. :)

      Delete
    3. And enjoyed reading. Thanks Tricia

      Delete
    4. Actually this blog is the model of respectful restraint compared to some forums in which I have participated. My participation in those forums was, for obvious reasons, brief.

      Delete
    5. I must admit I stopped reading the comments after Dick's request, a few blogs ago, for people to be civil, was followed by a stream of witless comments, and then, further down on the same blog, some found it amusing to post foolish comments in the middle of Martin C's poem, which by the way, I deeply regret reposting. To put these comments at the end of the poem, well hey that's your right, but to put them in the middle of a poem defaces the poem and is an insult to the poet. Because of the length of the poem I had to post it in two parts. Ultimately the defacement of the poem is my fault because I reposted the poem and I apologise to Martin for my poor judgement.

      Robin, after reading your comment, I went back and read the comments on the rest of that blog and on subsequent blogs, and although people made fun of Dick's request at the time, the comments do appear to be more civil since then.

      Terry, during my reread I noticed a comment you made about my giving for my own pleasure. Yes, you're correct, my giving is not completely altruistic. I do want to help others, but I also want to help myself to feel in some way useful. Because my health prevents me from doing most things, by giving to various charities I feel that I'm still able to make a small contribution to the lives of others.

      Delete
    6. Tricia: ... I also want to help myself to feel in some way useful.

      So do I. I think all of us do. And what that research I referred to suggests is that biology might explain it (in part, at least). You are not charitable because you choose to be. You are charitable because it feels nice. It’s like eating chocolates. You get a dopamine hit when you are charitable.

      Don’t you think that’s cool? It’s so much more uplifting to think that Mother Nature is behind it than a selfish reward of everlasting life.

      Delete
    7. MalcolmS8:17 PM

      Terry: ""I also want to help myself to feel in some way useful" So do I. I think all of us do"

      LOL Ya got two chances! Buckley's & Nunn :)

      Delete
    8. MalcolmS8:24 PM

      Terry: "You are not charitable because you choose to be. You are charitable because it feels nice"

      You are charitable by choice!

      It doesn't necessarily "feel nice."

      Where did the expression "as cold as charity" come from?

      Being asked for a donation from the local bikey gang perhaps?

      Delete
    9. Mal[sic]: You are charitable by choice!

      How do you manage not to bore yourself to death? Can’t you at least try and spice your objectivist slogans up with a few grains of originality?

      It has been said, for example, that we know we are charitable by choice because an ancient Greek named Charitos said so. Charitos, who lent his name to the act, is famed for having bitten off his arm to give to a hungry man who had been expelled from Athens for making the ludicrous suggestion that Earth is round. Although Charitos is the only ancient Greek who has not yet been included in the Objectivist Hall of Fame, his musings are taken seriously because ... well, because he’s an ancient Greek.

      Delete
    10. MalcolmS9:11 PM

      Er... and you are still charitable by choice!

      Delete
    11. Er... and you are still charitable by choice!

      That's it? Just 'er' followed by the usual repetitve garbage. You don' got much bite, do ya?

      Delete
    12. MalcolmS10:06 PM

      Charity is a choice.

      Dopey modern "biologists."

      There, that fixed it. LOL

      Delete
    13. Terry, while I agree for some charity gives them a good feeling, helps the giver in some way, I also believe it's a choice.

      My husband volunteered for The Puffing Billy Preservation Society for many years. After we were married I helped put out their magazine, and I have photos of our son at 3 years old shovelling stones onto the track with his special little shovel. When my husband first started volunteering one of his friends wanted to join too but his family wouldn't let him. They said it was wrong to expect kids to work for nothing.

      I've worked as a volunteer for various organisations since my forties. Some friends told me I was foolish to give my time away when I had the qualifications and was working with others who were payed to do similar work. We were financially comfortable and I've never seen the value in acquiring money for monies sake. So not everyone feels good about charity. Some people feel good about acquiring possessions, the big house, the expensive car, that's their choice.

      There's also the charity of kindness. Yesterday I needed a few messages, prescriptions etc. I could have asked family or friends but they already do so much and I'm a stubborn woman who's fighting to retain some semblance of independence. I'm unwell at present and even with oxygen my breathing was laboured. Strangers helped me in each shop I went into. When I was heading to my car a mother with 2 small children very kindly helped me to put my few messages and walking frame into my car. When I got home I wept with gratitude for 'the kindness of strangers'.

      Delete
    14. Tricia:

      I don’t know if charity is a choice or not. All I know is what I told you, that charitable giving seems to stimulate the same neural pleasure pathways that are stimulated when we eat chocolate. You can conclude from that what you will. To me it suggests that charity is something that we are (at least to some extent) hardwired to perform.

      I think something similar takes place in the case of the kindness you received from those strangers. Such kindness appears to be a universal human trait. The sight of someone in distress elicits an automatic emotional response in us to go to their aid. I don’t believe we think about it. If anything, the more we do think about it the less likely we are to extend the kindness. Joshua Greene and others have done a lot of experimental work in this area and their results are, to my mind, convincing.

      I hope you’re feeling better today.

      Delete
    15. Thank you, Terry. :)

      Delete
  6. God sure has a lot of different names.
    Personally, I prefer Zeus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. God sure does have a lot of different names.
      Personally, I prefer howler monkey.

      Delete
    2. You are misguided, I could never claim to be fully god.

      Delete
    3. I don't claim that either.
      But I do great thunderbolts.

      Delete
    4. Zeus and Allah are not different names for the same concept, they are radically different concepts. Zeus is described as a contingent being and not a creator. Allah is described as a necessarily existing being who is the ultimate creator of all contingent things.

      Atheists always speak as though they were equivalent concepts and as a result always end up equivocating, as with the "We are both atheists, I just go one God more" slogan.

      Delete
    5. "Zeus and Allah are not different names for the same concept"

      This is exactly the problem.
      If they WERE all just different names, for the same god, religion wouldn't be so divisive.

      Delete
    6. I don't think that it is differing beliefs which make for division. After all the Catholic and Protestant beliefs are practically indistinguishable and they have been at each others' throats for centuries.

      Delete
    7. MalcolmS9:14 AM

      They have to sort out their disagreements by force since they both accept what they accept on faith. Discussion, persuasion and debate only works where reason is the absolute.

      Delete
    8. If you boys dont settle down I'm going to start paddling again.

      Then you'll be in the ... er ... mud

      http://bitly.com/17XSw1S

      Delete
    9. "I don't think that it is differing beliefs which make for division. After all the Catholic and Protestant beliefs are practically indistinguishable and they have been at each others' throats for centuries."

      Are they?
      I think you will probably find that there is a least one major point of contention.

      Delete
    10. I am trying hard to think of one. There is the Sole Fide thing but I don't understand the actual difference in what they are saying.

      Statues in the church? Not what I would regard as major. Celibacy of priests? The confessional? The higher regard for Mary?

      I am not sure which of these you are thinking of, or is there something else?

      Delete
    11. You're the one with the theological obsession.
      I'm sure you can come up with something a little more substantial if you really put your mind to it.

      Delete
    12. Conversations with you are so strange.

      You suggest that my statement is wrong and then when I ask you to tell me what is wrong with it you can't think of anything but ask me to help support your claim that my claim is wrong.

      Delete
    13. Wot?
      I make a flippant reference to Zeus, then you hijack the blog to pursue yet another one of your weird agendas, involving theological mumbo jumbo, and you accuse me of irrational behaviour.
      Give me a break.

      Delete
    14. Interesting dummy spit.

      I am sorry for pointing out that you just asked me to provide evidence to help you show that my claim was wrong.

      Delete
    15. Also I am sorry for hijacking a blog about names applied to God in order to make a point about names applied to God.

      Delete
    16. Finally I am sorry for not realising that when atheists bring up the subject of Jesus and omnipotence and then one of them accuses me of "evasion" because I didn't discuss the subject of Jesus and omnipotence even more and then he makes irrelevant reference to it in yet another blog, that by some bizarre logic it is I who have a "theological obsession" and not him.

      Delete
    17. Although not fully god, I am prepared, on this occasion, to extend to you my forgiveness .
      But, next time, please try and pay closer attention to what is actually being discussed.
      The blog is not about "names applied to god".
      It's about applying the same name to different gods.

      Delete
    18. "..by some bizarre logic it is I who have a "theological obsession" and not him."

      You forget that it was you who wanted to divert the discussion off on a Catholic/Protestant tangent.

      Delete
    19. "Zeus and Allah are not different names for the same concept"

      That depends on who you ask Robin.

      "Atheists always speak as though they were equivalent concepts"

      Always? Citation needed.

      Delete
    20. MalcolmS9:27 PM

      Robin: "Zeus and Allah are not different names for the same concept, they are radically different concepts"

      No, Zeus and Allah are proper names[nouns] and not concepts. They are *particulars* subsumed under the concept *god.*

      Delete
    21. howler monkey wrote: "You forget that it was you who wanted to divert the discussion off on a Catholic/Protestant tangent."

      You made the claim that if they were different names for the same God then it would not be divisive. I was giving an example of religions that worshipped the same God that were also divisive.

      In other words I was responding to your point.

      Delete
    22. Why do I waste my time with trolls?

      Or Poes? I don't know which.

      Who cares?

      This is what they call "rationality"?. They can keep it.

      Bye

      Delete
    23. Robin: Interesting dummy spit.
      Robin: This is what they call "rationality"?. They can keep it.
      Bye

      Interesting dummy spit.

      Delete
    24. Robin: “I am not sure which of these you are thinking of, or is there something else?”

      I think you will find the main issues that lead to the wars between catholic and protestant were the role of the clergy (catholics said you could only get to god/jesus through the clergy, protestants said you could do it yourself through private contemplation) and the statues in church (which might not mean much to you but were considered idolatrous to protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries). The consequences of these beliefs and the attempts to enforce them on populations were leading reasons in the initiation of the 30 years’ war; one of the bloodiest wars in history.

      Delete
    25. RalphH 1/113:56 PM

      “I think you will find the main issues that lead to the wars between catholic and protestant were the role of the clergy ……” (boof4:08 AM)

      I agree with this boof. Wiki describes Protestantism as, "any of several church denominations denying the universal authority of the Pope and affirming the Reformation principles of justification by faith alone, the priesthood of all believers, and the primacy of the Bible as the only source of revealed truth”.

      Luther, the initial instigator of the Reformation challenged the authority of the Pope and by extension the RRC clergy hierarchy and it’s power structure. The wars that some people attribute to ‘religion’ are actually attributable to this (basically political) power struggle not to the religious doctrines per se.

      The problem all along has been the ascendancy of (ego driven) human nature over the teachings (spiritual reality statements) of Christ and the politicising of religion (using it as a political tool) to gain power over others. I agree with Robin’s initial statement (Robin3:50 AM) that, “…. the Catholic and Protestant beliefs are practically indistinguishable …….”. When one is vying for power virtually any small excuse will do - twisting or interpreting doctrine to suit one’s own ends.

      Philosophically speaking there can be only one God - one source of existence, life and power. No individual or group has a monopoly on God. Any concept that does not see God as one and universal is a faulty concept based on human reasoning and ego driven desires of superiority.

      Some ‘god’ concepts are completely man-made reflecting human passions and frailties rather than the eternal and infinite qualities necessary for a genuine concept of God. Different names of God can reflect different aspects of (His) nature or in the case of different religious traditions, the unique way that tradition sees/interprets God to suit their particular spiritual background.

      Delete
    26. MalcolmS6:54 PM

      RalphH: "Philosophically speaking there can be only one God"

      Or a trinitarian God.

      Or polytheism.

      Or no God whatsoever.

      Depends on the philosopher Ralph.

      Delete
    27. MalcolmS7:23 PM

      RalphH: "Philosophically speaking there can be only one God - one source of existence"

      God can not be the "source of existence" any more than Satan or the purple people eater can be the source of existence.

      A "source" does not *explain* existence because before it could explain anything the source would first have to *exist.* No *existent* can explain existence. Any attempt to explain existence is circular.

      Existence requires no "source."

      Existence has always existed.

      Existence is eternal.

      Delete
    28. RalphH 1/115:47 AM

      “God can not be the "source of existence" any more than Satan or the purple people eater can be the source of existence.

      A "source" does not *explain* existence because before it could explain anything the source would first have to *exist.* No *existent* can explain existence. Any attempt to explain existence is circular.

      Existence requires no "source."
      Existence has always existed.
      Existence is eternal.” (MalcolmS7:23 PM)

      Malcolm, where I differ from you is that I believe there are different types or levels of existence/different levels of being. Eternal existence obviously “has always existed” and ‘requires no source’ (because that’s what eternal means). But temporal existence does require a source and that source is, IMO, the eternal existence which creates and sustains it (i.e. what many people call God).

      ‘Satan’ could not be the source because Satan is the epitome of evil and evil does not create, it destroys. The PPE is nothing more than an imagined monster and has not the least relevance.

      Everything we can sense with the physical senses is temporal. To become aware of/conscious of non-physical/non-temporal things we need to use the inner/non-physical senses i.e. of the mind - intuition, perception.

      What you call “existent(s)” are things of temporal existence only. That’s why I didn’t equate them with ‘spiritual things’ on the last thread. Spiritual things exist but on a higher level than temporal things. The physical does not give rise to the spiritual - the spiritual (the inner/higher level) gives life to the natural/physical.

      It is not “circular” to explain temporal existence in this way. It’s the only logical way TO explain it. I find your endeavour to ascribe eternal to all of existence illogical and not in the least convincing.

      Delete
    29. RalphH 2/116:05 AM

      “Or a trinitarian God.
      Or polytheism.
      Or no God whatsoever.

      Depends on the philosopher Ralph.” (MalcolmS6:54 PM)

      Philosophy is by definition the love of wisdom so I was inferring a logical/rational approach. If it “Depends on the philosopher” Malcolm, it’s merely an exercise in subjectivism.

      If one denies the qualities that make God to be God (His essence) then any silly idea (like the ones you’ve suggested above) will pop up to give fuel to that denial - but it will have no basis in reality.

      Delete
    30. MalcolmS8:09 AM

      Yet you still haven't demonstrated that God is the "source of existence." You just skirted around it Ralph. As usual all you demonstrated was your capacity for fantasy.

      Delete
    31. Any attempt to explain existence is circular.

      Yet here you are, explaining existence. lol


      Existence requires no "source."

      Existence has always existed.

      Existence is eternal.


      Magic sausage alert!!

      Delete
    32. MalcolmS8:51 AM

      "Yet here you are, explaining existence"

      No, there is no *explanation* of existence.

      That's the point Ralph, and now you, doesn't get.

      Delete
    33. Any attempt to explain existence is circular.

      No, there is no *explanation* of existence.

      There you go ... explaining existence ... again ... and again ... and again ...

      Does the word "irony" mean anything to you?

      roflmao

      Delete
    34. MalcolmS9:15 AM

      At no stage have I attempted to explain existence.

      Existence is *prior* to explanation.

      In fact I said: "No *existent* can explain existence."

      Delete
    35. Oh rofl...
      How do you "explain" this then?

      http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/explanation

      Explanation
      noun
      a statement or account that makes something clear
      a reason or justification given for an action or belief


      Existence is *prior* to explanation.

      Of couse it is. Otherwise your explanation would be about ... nothing!

      Oh right .. magic sausage
      roflmao

      Delete
    36. MalcolmS9:37 AM

      OK, so what is my explanation of existence???

      See??

      I have not given one, you have not given one, Ralph did not give one AND there is not one!

      That has been my point all along.

      Now, go toss your magic sausage.

      Delete

    37. I have not given one, you have not given one, Ralph did not give one AND there is not one!


      Then why the persistent attempts at explanation?

      By the way.
      You do know that no one believes you... right? lol

      go toss your magic sausage.

      lol. Existence exists and that's all you can say about it

      Thats your magic sausage son

      You're not asking for a reacharound are you?

      ookies

      Delete
    38. MalcolmS10:17 AM

      "Then why the persistent attempts at explanation?"

      THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OF EXISTENCE.

      The only "explanation" has been why there can be no explanation of existence.

      Delete
    39. The only "explanation" has been why there can be no explanation of existence.

      No

      Existence exists and that's all you can say about it

      See?


      Any attempt to explain existence is circular.

      Well you've certainly demonstrated that ad nausem

      Delete
    40. The only "explanation" has been why there can be no explanation of existence.

      You mean this?

      Existence is *prior* to explanation.

      That's like saying transpiration cant be explained because transpiration is prior to any explanation of it

      You do realise that's just a utterly stupid assertion don't you?

      Delete
    41. For pity's sake, Billy, enough now. This is painful to watch.

      Delete
    42. MalcolmS5:03 PM

      magicsausagetosser: "That's like saying transpiration cant[sic] be explained because transpiration is prior to any explanation of it"

      Fallacy of false analogy.

      "Transpiration" *can* be explained, existence cannot.

      That's the point.

      Or, to translate it into your language: "goo, goo, goo."

      Delete
    43. "Transpiration" *can* be explained, existence cannot.[sic]

      Riiiiiiight... Because Existence is *prior* to explanation. yeah?

      Sure bub. Say, why dont you chuck in some more [sic]'s while youre at it. That'll make you look reaaaaal smart.

      Fallacy of false analogy.

      Fallacy of desperately asserting something is a fallacy when it isn't.

      Go on ... Run away now and play with the other children

      Delete
    44. "Transpiration" *can* be explained, existence cannot.

      Explain transpiration then.. Go on - I'll give you til midnight to tell us what it is and how it works.

      No plagiarism though.

      Thats naughty! ;)

      Delete
    45. MalcolmS5:47 PM

      magicsausagetosser: "I'll give you til[sic] midnight to tell us what it is and how it works"

      You don't set the agenda around here tosser.

      Delete
    46. You don't set the agenda around here tosser.

      Still angling for that reacharound?

      lol - Not a chance.

      roflmao

      Delete
    47. "Transpiration" *can* be explained, existence cannot.

      Because Existence is *prior* to explanation whereas Transpiration is er... not? prior to explanation?

      Follow my agenda and please explain the "fallacy" here
      .
      Or are you going to disappear in a twiddly huff again?

      Quickly now!

      Delete
    48. MalcolmS6:36 PM

      magicsausagetosser: """Transpiration" *can* be explained, existence cannot" Because Existence is *prior* to explanation whereas Transpiration is er... not? prior to explanation?"

      Er... no!!

      Existence is prior to transpiration.

      Transpiration *presumes* existence.

      Transpiration *is* an explanation.

      Delete
    49. MalcolmS6:38 PM

      BTW magicsausagetosser

      If you consider my position false, then, just explain existence.

      That should do it.

      Delete
    50. Thank you for following my agenda.
      You must be really hanging out for that reacharound, huh?

      Existence is prior to transpiration.

      Transpiration *presumes* existence.


      Bzzzzzzzzt. Irrelevant answer.

      Fallacy of desperately asserting something is a fallacy when it isn't.

      Followed by

      Fallacy of answering a different question to the one that was posed as your "proof"

      Standard twiddle[sic]

      If you consider my position false, then, just explain existence.

      Oh lol.

      "Existence exists and thats all you can say about it"

      Job done. roflmaooooooo ;)

      Delete
    51. MalcolmS8:39 PM

      magicsausagetosser:""Existence is prior to transpiration. Transpiration *presumes* existence" Bzzzzzzzzt. Irrelevant answer"

      Hey tosser, you missed "Transpiration *is* an explanation."

      Any reason for that? :)

      Not up to it joyboy?

      ROFLMAO

      Delete
    52. RalphH 2/1110:22 PM

      "Yet you still haven't demonstrated that God is the "source of existence." You just skirted around it Ralph. As usual all you demonstrated was your capacity for fantasy." (MalcolmS8:09 AM)

      Malcolm, we both agree that ‘existence itself’ is eternal and that there is no explanation as to the how, when or why. That’s the nature of ‘eternal’.

      However, the things we see existing around us (the things of time and space - including our physical bodies) are not eternal. Obviously existence does not always have the tag, ‘eternal’, attached.

      Doesn’t this at least point to at least two ‘levels’/a duality of existence?

      What do you see as the relationship between existence in and of itself (i.e. eternal existence) and these non-eternal existents?

      Are you denying that we have explanations for the existence for things on this non-eternal level?

      Putting all previous preconceptions (including religious connotations) of God aside, I’m suggesting that the inner, eternal existence is (or is equivalent to) God - as creator - and the outer, temporal existence is it’s/(His) creation.

      You may think I’m fantasising (I believe I’m looking for a logical explanation) but on the other hand you need to explain your confusion between what is eternal and what is temporal.

      Delete
    53. Hey Disembodied Soul of Billy the Magic Cat , you missed "Transpiration *is* an explanation."

      Oh.. I see...

      Does that explain what just "transpired"?

      roflmaoooooo

      Delete
    54. "Philosophically speaking there can be only one God"

      Why do you keep making up shit Ralph?

      "Any concept that does not see God as one and universal is a faulty concept based on human reasoning and ego driven desires of superiority."

      Any concept of God is a faulty concept based on human reasoning and ego driven desires of superiority.

      "Some ‘god’ concepts are completely man-made"

      All 'god' concepts are man made.

      "Everything we can sense with the physical senses is temporal."

      No it isn't.

      Delete
    55. "However, the things we see existing around us (the things of time and space - including our physical bodies) are not eternal"

      Yes they are.

      Delete
    56. MalcolmS12:41 AM

      RalphH: "Malcolm, we both agree that ‘existence itself’ is eternal and that there is no explanation as to the how, when or why. That’s the nature of ‘eternal’"

      There is no explanation of existence itself [totality of/being]. Even your God[if He existed] does not explain it. Eternal, however, is perfectly straightforward. It simply means *out of time.* For example, we can properly say that the totality of existence[the universe] is eternal - the universe exists *out of time.*

      "However, the things we see existing around us (the things of time and space - including our physical bodies) are not eternal. Obviously existence does not always have the tag, ‘eternal’, attached"

      Correct. Existence[the total] is eternal. Time only exists *within* the universe as a relationship between existents[note spelling] which exist within and make up the universe.

      "Doesn’t this at least point to at least two ‘levels’/a duality of existence?"

      No, that's an ancient error which comes partly from religion. Your ‘levels’ are of the same world.

      "What do you see as the relationship between existence in and of itself (i.e. eternal existence) and these non-eternal existents?"

      The totality of existence[the universe] is the sum of the existents. No more and no less. The relationship between existents in motion within the universe is what we call time. What is *outside the universe*? Nothing. Strictly speaking there is no *outside the universe.* The universe and the existents which make it up are the same world.

      "Are you denying that we have explanations for the existence for things on this non-eternal level?"

      No, those explanations are provided by scientists, but I deny the existence of different "levels." There is only one world - thisworld - the world we access via our senses.

      "Putting all previous preconceptions (including religious connotations) of God aside, I’m suggesting that the inner, eternal existence is (or is equivalent to) God - as creator - and the outer, temporal existence is it’s/(His) creation"

      I reject your "suggestion." I have spoken only of one world. There is no "inner" and "outer" world. There is no evidence for your suggestion and you even deny the importance of evidence.

      "You may think I’m fantasising (I believe I’m looking for a logical explanation) but on the other hand you need to explain your confusion between what is eternal and what is temporal"

      There is no "confusion" on my part for all the reasons I have given. There is no contradiction between an eternal total and the temporal existents of which it's comprised when you properly define your terms and refrain from fabricating worlds.

      Delete
    57. I reject your "suggestion." I have spoken only of one world. There is no "inner" and "outer" world. There is no evidence for your suggestion and you even deny the importance of evidence.

      lol X 5282

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

      rofl X 3452

      Delete
    58. MalcolmS1:25 AM

      magicsausagetosser: "Does that explain what just "transpired"?"

      No, more likely your aforementioned "homosexual demons...." :)

      Delete
    59. RalphH 3/117:29 AM

      “There is no explanation of existence itself [totality of/being]. Even your God[if He existed] does not explain it. Eternal, however, is perfectly straightforward. It simply means *out of time.* For example, we can properly say that the totality of existence[the universe] is eternal - the universe exists *out of time.*” (MalcolmS12:41 AM)

      Malcolm, where do you get the idea that “[the universe]” is “the totality of existence”. I can’t see that there is any justification for such an assumption. The universe is merely the totality of that part of existence that can be experienced by means of the physical senses.

      I see the universe as existing within the totality of existence as a mathematical sub-set exists within a set, albeit not spatially (because the totality of existence is eternal/infinite, not spacial). That’s how the temporal can exist within the eternal without the temporal having eternal qualities. Rather than the eternal being “*out of time*”, it is the eternal that is prior to and circumscribing of time - which exists or comes forth from the eternal.

      “No, (two ‘levels’/a duality of existence) (is) an ancient error which comes partly from religion. Your ‘levels’ are of the same world.”

      I don’t believe that it is an “error”. Eternal and temporal are distinct in that they answer to different rules or laws. The physical world is explained by the Laws of Nature. The eternal world is explained by the Laws of the Spirit (or mind). Our physical body can be in one place (defined by time and space) while our mind can be in an entirely different place including in world abstracted from/beyond the physical world.


      “The totality of existence[the universe] is the sum of the existents.”

      The sum total of temporal existents (existents which are of space and time - the stuff of the universe) is (by definition) not eternal. Eternal is not a function of time. Eternal bliss, for example, is not bliss that goes on and on, it’s transcendent bliss - on a timeless level.

      “The relationship between existents in motion within the universe is what we call time.”

      That’s another way of saying that all such existents are temporal.

      “What is *outside the universe*? Nothing. Strictly speaking there is no *outside the universe.* The universe and the existents which make it up are the same world.”

      There is nothing of time and space “outside the physical universe” by definition - time and space exist only within the physical universe and define it. However this does not mean that there are not things which are not of time and space beyond/outside of the physical universe.

      “…. those explanations are provided by scientists, but I deny the existence of different "levels." There is only one world - thisworld - the world we access via our senses.”

      That’s the crux of our disagreement isn’t it? I suggest that “the world we access via our (physical) senses” does not include anything eternal but an eternal world certainly does exist because we experience it in (mental) states of transcendence.

      “There is no "inner" and "outer" world. There is no evidence for your suggestion and you even deny the importance of evidence. ……… There is no contradiction between an eternal total and the temporal existents of which it's comprised when you properly define your terms and refrain from fabricating worlds.”

      The “evidence’ for my suggestion is that it makes no sense otherwise (temporal to the nth value does not equal eternal). I do not “deny the importance of evidence”, I say that ‘evidence’ of/via the physical senses cannot supply evidence of the ‘eternal’ because eternal is on a level beyond the ‘reach’ of the physical.

      Delete
    60. ...when you properly define your terms and refrain from fabricating worlds.

      I seem to recall you trying to sell me a world that had been wholly fabricated by yourself

      http://bitly.com/1hCuPni

      See?

      Also: Didn't your "favourite foolosophy" spring from a Russians work of fiction?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_Shrugged

      See?

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

      Seems a bit odd to see you decry the "fabrication of worlds" then.
      How can you explain this glaring contradiction O' Great Fabricato?

      Delete
    61. Whup! Almost forgot...

      ...when you properly define your terms and refrain from fabricating worlds.[sic]

      There. Thats better. ;)

      Delete
    62. MalcolmS6:09 PM

      I said: "There is no contradiction between an eternal total and the temporal existents of which it's comprised when you properly define your terms and refrain from fabricating worlds"

      magicsausagetosser replied: "I seem to recall you trying to sell me a world that had been wholly fabricated by yourself"

      and

      "Didn't[well done!] your "favourite foolosophy[sic]" spring from a Russians[sic] work of fiction?"

      Thank you so much for your *reaffirmation through denial.*

      I appreciate it immensely.

      ROFLMAO

      Delete
    63. "I see the universe as existing within the totality of existence as a mathematical sub-set exists within a set, albeit not spatially"

      Which definition of within are you using?

      " The physical world is explained by the Laws of Nature. "

      The physical world is eternal.

      " The eternal world is explained by the Laws of the Spirit (or mind)."

      Mind is not eternal.

      "Our physical body can be in one place (defined by time and space) while our mind can be in an entirely different place including in world abstracted from/beyond the physical world."

      Stop making shit up

      Delete
    64. "Didn't[well done!] your "favourite foolosophy[sic]" spring from a Russians[sic] work of fiction?"

      Thank you so much for your *reaffirmation through denial.*


      Twit

      Your "favourite foolosophy[sic]" sprang from a traumatised Russian refugee's work of psychological fiction.

      All fixed

      Now answer the original question..chop chop

      You dont want to miss out on that reacharound do you now?

      roflmaoooooooo!!

      Delete
    65. MalcolmS12:46 AM

      magicsausagetosser: "Now answer the original question"

      I don't need your questions!

      You need my answers :)

      Furthermore, you have already confirmed my position as remarked.

      Perhaps we can enjoy another friendly joust when your magicsausagetossing is up to scratch :)

      The matter is closed in my favour.

      Delete
    66. Not up to it eh sausagejockey?
      Didn't think you were anyway.

      The matter is closed in my favour.

      Sure. Why not?
      It's your fantasy world after all

      Adios nobjockey..Awaaaaaaay!

      lol

      Delete
    67. Mal[sic]: The matter is closed in my favour.

      Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

      Delete
    68. MalcolmS6:36 PM

      RalphH: "Malcolm, where do you get the idea that “[the universe]” is “the totality of existence”. I can’t see that there is any justification for such an assumption. The universe is merely the totality of that part of existence that can be experienced by means of the physical senses"

      So you are claiming that the centre of Mars is not in the universe??

      The universe is the total of everything that exists. It includes the known, the *yet to be discovered* and even the *never to be discovered.* "Universe" is the term used by cosmologists and *totality of existence* by philosophers. You can please yourself.

      The universe is made up of entities and each entity has a specific nature [identity]. [entity: id-entity! Get it?] An entity is what it is - no more and no less - which means it's limited and finite. The actions of an entity are determined by its identity [A is A - law of identity]. An entity swims because it's a fish, hops because it's a kangaroo, etc. That's what makes science possible. Entities are not answerable to spooks or demons or wishes or "beliefs." Strictly speaking it's even improper to refer to the universe as the *physical universe* since many entities are *conscious* and have many non-physical attributes.

      To claim that the universe is temporal is to claim that it exists *in time* which is nonsensical. Time exists *within the universe.* Time is a *relationship* between entities in motion. There is nothing to *relate* the universe to! The universe exists *out of time.* Which is another way of saying that the universe is eternal.

      The universe is what it is - no more and no less. Which means it is limited and, therefore, finite.

      The universe is finite AND eternal.

      Now, don't reply with your usual plethora of beliefs, dogma, revelations and made up BS. I am not interested. Give me the facts, man, or go home.

      Delete
    69. RalphH 4/117:19 PM

      “Which definition of within are you using?” (Stranger10:14 PM)

      When you can understand what ‘heart’ means from the following scriptural quotes hopefully you’ll understand the sense in which I have used the word “within”.

      “…. out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34)

      “ ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
      And honour Me with their lips,
      But their heart is far from Me.” (Matthew 15:8)

      “ “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart,” (Matthew 15:18)

      Tip :- It has nothing to do with the biological pump.

      “The physical world is eternal.”

      Please explain.

      “Mind is not eternal.”

      Please explain.

      “Stop making shit up”

      The usual knee-jerk reaction.

      Delete
    70. MalcolmS7:53 PM

      RalphH: "Tip :- It has nothing to do with the biological pump"

      Your "quotes" came from a time when people did not know that the heart was a pump.

      Or that feelings/emotions came about as a result of prior thought.

      Yet the heart and feelings/emotions still exist/arise "within," are natural, thisworldly and have no supernatural components whatsoever.

      Delete
    71. "When you can understand what ‘heart’ means from the following scriptural quotes hopefully you’ll understand the sense in which I have used the word “within”."

      You have several definitions to choose from Ralph, which one are you using or are you making one to top suit your delusion?

      "Please explain."

      Thermodynamics.

      "Please explain."

      Mind is dependent some sort of nervous/chemical system. You didn't have a mind before you brain developed.

      "The usual knee-jerk reaction."

      Your usual response instead of prioviding evidence to show you aren't making shit up.

      Delete
    72. RalphH 4/114:20 AM

      “So you are claiming that the centre of Mars is not in the universe??” (MalcolmS6:36 PM)

      Of course not Malcolm, that’s a really strange suggestion by anyone’s standard. I recognise that it is not easy to think non-spatially but we do it all the time when we talk of ‘higher’ ideals’ or ‘core’ values and the like. IOW we use a sort of spatial analogy even though space (or time) is not really involved. Like Stranger you’re confused by thinking spatially of things which are not spatial.

      “The universe is the total of everything that exists. ..... ”Universe" is the term used by cosmologists and *totality of existence* by philosophers. You can please yourself.”

      What philosophers use the terminology *totality of existence* when talking about the universe? You obviously have ‘pleased yourself’ in making this claim because there is no way you or anyone could possibly show it to be correct.

      I can see how an atheist would want to believe that but it boils down to circular thinking - assuming as true that which you are supposedly trying to demonstrate.

      “The universe is made up of entities and each entity has a specific nature [identity]. [entity: id-entity! Get it?]”

      I would say the universe is the matrix in which physical entities exist

      “An entity is what it is - no more and no less - which means it's limited and finite.”

      A physical entity is “limited and finite” but it is space and time that impose those limitations.

      “The actions of an entity are determined by its identity [A is A - law of identity]. An entity swims because it's a fish, hops because it's a kangaroo, etc. That's what makes science possible.”

      I think you have the cart before the horse. It’s the idea behind an entity (it’s potential use) that determines it’s identity. It’s identity (the qualities that make it what it is) depends on the function it is required/intended to perform.

      “Entities are not answerable to spooks or demons or wishes or “beliefs.”"

      Entities are dependent on whatever it is that underpins their existence. I don’t believe in “spooks” by the way.

      “Strictly speaking it's even improper to refer to the universe as the *physical universe* since many entities are *conscious* and have many non-physical attributes.”

      Non-physical “attributes” cannot be explained in physical terms so are not a ‘part’ of the physical universe. They are something that act on or through the physical.

      “To claim that the universe is temporal is to claim that it exists *in time* which is nonsensical. Time exists *within the universe.* Time is a *relationship* between entities in motion. There is nothing to *relate* the universe to! The universe exists *out of time.* Which is another way of saying that the universe is eternal.”

      I don’t follow what you mean by “*out of time.*”. The universe is a sum of it’s parts. If the universe were eternal then all it’s parts would be eternal. But it’s parts (the individual entities that compose it) are temporal so the universe as a whole is also temporal.

      “The universe is what it is - no more and no less. Which means it is limited and, therefore, finite.

      The universe is finite AND eternal.”

      It’s a contradiction to attribute ‘finite and eternal’ to the one entity. They are mutually exclusive terms.

      “Give me the facts, man, or go home.”

      I’ve given you what I believe to be facts which are different from what you believe to be facts. I’ve mulled over your statements and claims and found them lacking. Your serve.

      Delete
    73. MalcolmS6:46 AM

      RalphH: "I would say the universe is the matrix in which physical entities exist"

      The physical entities are plainly obvious. There is no "matrix" of which I am aware. You just made that up. The universe is not a "matrix" - it's a term we ascribe to the totality[everything].

      “A physical entity is “limited and finite” but it is space and time that impose those limitations"

      No, entities are limited because they exist as something specific. Space and time are relationships between those entities. For example "the cat is on the mat"[space] or "the Earth rotates on its axis once a day"[time].

      “It’s the idea behind an entity (it’s potential use) that determines it’s identity"

      No, its identity is simply what it is. There are no "ideas behind" the entities of the universe except for a very few - e.g. man made entities.

      "It’s identity (the qualities that make it what it is) depends on the function it is required/intended to perform"

      No, its identity is simply what it is[its nature]. There is no intent/purpose/teleology behind the universe. The universe is uncreated.

      “I don’t believe in “spooks” by the way"

      You believe in one big BS one. One that you made up. One for which there is no evidence or proof.

      “Non-physical “attributes” cannot be explained in physical terms so are not a ‘part’ of the physical universe. They are something that act on or through the physical"

      Non-physical attributes no more require a "physical explanation" than physical entities require a non-physical explanation. Both simply *are* - explained or unexplained.

      “I don’t follow what you mean by “*out of time*”

      It's simple. Eternal *means* out of time. Look at the derivation of the word! You always link it with *infinite* and confuse yourself. There is no relationship between the meanings of eternal and infinite whatsoever.

      "The universe is a sum of it’s parts. If the universe were eternal then all it’s parts would be eternal. But it’s parts (the individual entities that compose it) are temporal so the universe as a whole is also temporal"

      That doesn't follow! You haven't been paying attention! To claim that the universe is temporal is to claim that it exists *in time* which is false. It's the other way around. Time exists *within the universe.* Time is a *relationship* between entities in motion. That does not apply to the totality. There is nothing to *relate* the universe to! The universe exists *out of time.* Which is what it means to say that the universe is eternal.

      “It’s a contradiction to attribute ‘finite and eternal’ to the one entity. They are mutually exclusive terms"

      There you go doing it again. They are not mutually exclusive since they describe different things. The universe is no more than what it is, i.e., it's limited[finite]. It's also *out of time*[eternal] since time is *within* the universe. It's not that difficult Ralph.

      Delete
    74. " You obviously have ‘pleased yourself’ in making this claim because there is no way you or anyone could possibly show it to be correct."

      Pot, kettle, black.

      "I can see how an atheist would want to believe that but it boils down to circular thinking - assuming as true that which you are supposedly trying to demonstrate."

      That's exactly what you do Ralph.

      "I would say the universe is the matrix in which physical entities exist"

      You say a lot of silly things, on more won't matter. The universe is a physical entity.

      " It’s the idea behind an entity (it’s potential use) that determines it’s identity."

      No it isn't. One object can have many uses.

      "Non-physical “attributes” cannot be explained in physical terms so are not a ‘part’ of the physical universe. They are something that act on or through the physical."

      How do they do that?

      Delete
    75. " "Universe" is the term used by cosmologists "

      Actually bubble universe and multiverse are being increasingly used by cosmologists.

      "An entity swims because it's a fish, hops because it's a kangaroo, etc."

      So you're a fish and a kangaroo are you?

      " since many entities are *conscious* and have many non-physical attributes."

      Citation needed.

      Delete
    76. MalcolmS8:06 AM

      Stranger: "Actually bubble universe and multiverse are being increasingly used by cosmologists"

      Cosmologists not worth following. They just make stuff up - like Ralph.

      ""An entity swims because it's a fish, hops because it's a kangaroo, etc." So you're a fish and a kangaroo are you?"

      Apparently you really are as retarded as you appear. Because a fish swims and a kangaroo hops does NOT preclude other entities from swimming or hopping!

      " since many entities are *conscious* and have many non-physical attributes." Citation needed.

      No citation needed. Anyone asking for that to be explained is too stupid to understand anyway.

      Delete
    77. Mal[sic]: Time exists *within the universe.*

      That may be true, but I doubt you understand why. If it is true, however, we’re going to have to rethink Einstein’s relativity theory. What do you suggest we replace it with? Has your Russian heroine got any ideas for us?

      Delete
    78. MalcolmS3:58 PM

      Terry: ""Time exists *within the universe.*" That may be true, but I doubt you understand why"

      It *is* true and I understand why. Need I remind you that you are on record as "doubting" everything? No doubt you even doubt that you doubt. In fact, if it came to the crunch, I suspect even Ralph could make more sense on the issue of time than you. Er... and that's saying something.

      "If it is true, however, we’re going to have to rethink Einstein’s relativity theory"

      "We" comrade? I don't think so! "Thinking" is an attribute of the individual. What is the point of a sceptic, such as yourself, thinking about anything?

      "What do you suggest we replace it with?"

      It's your suggestion dopey - not mine! And it's way past your competence. But, if you try, be careful your arse doesn't burst into flames :)

      "Has your Russian heroine got any ideas for us?"

      Rand is a novelist/philosopher - not a scientist. Unlike you she opposes armchair rationalism in science. Nor would she notice your existence.

      Delete
    79. MalcolmS4:14 PM

      PS Terry

      Whilst Rand is not a scientist she has much to say on the philosophy of science. Especially her solution to the age old alleged *problem of universals.* She was also the philosopher who solved the alleged *problem of induction.* Both are fields a sceptic would be well advised to steer clear of in case more arse burning ensues :)

      Delete
    80. Mal[sic]: It *is* true and I understand why.

      Easy to say, but are you going to prove it? Or is proof something you expect only of Ralph?

      Delete
    81. Mal[sic]: ... Rand is not a scientist ...

      Correct. And for that reason I’ve no interest in anything she has to say on the subject. And that probably goes for 99.99 per cent of all other scientists. If we want to learn anything about anything we go to the guys with their sleeves rolled up, not philosophers with armchair imprints on their arses.

      Delete
    82. MalcolmS5:33 PM

      Terry: "Easy to say, but are you going to prove it?"

      Not to you dopey. My position on time is well summarised to Ralph. What is your problem with it? Apart from the fact that, as a sceptic, you have the cognitive status of a plank of wood? Prove something to a sceptic? Pull the other one!

      Delete
    83. MalcolmS5:39 PM

      Terry: "If we want to learn anything about anything we go to the guys with their sleeves rolled up.."

      So, your dunny is blocked! Why am I not surprised?

      Delete
    84. Mal[sic]: Not to you dopey.

      I didn’t think you would. Unless it’s something you can look up in Rand you haven’t got a clue what to say, have you? Go back to Ralph then. He’s about the right level for you.

      Mal[sic]: So, your dunny is blocked!

      On second thoughts, I’ve been too unkind to Ralph.

      Delete
    85. Mal[sic]: My position on time is well summarised to Ralph.

      Time exists and time is a relationship. Yeah, that’s a summary alright.

      Delete
    86. MalcolmS7:18 PM

      Terry: "Time exists and time is a relationship. Yeah, that’s a summary alright"

      Much more than that was said. Lies and evasions won't save you.

      I asked: "What is your problem with it?"

      Don't even know what questions to ask do you dopey?

      Delete
    87. Mal[sic]: Much more than that was said.

      Bullshit. Point me to it then.

      Delete
    88. MalcolmS8:55 PM

      Terry: "Bullshit. Point me to it then"

      How about the following for starters:

      << “I don’t follow what you mean by “*out of time*”

      It's simple. Eternal *means* out of time. Look at the derivation of the word! You always link it with *infinite* and confuse yourself. There is no relationship between the meanings of eternal and infinite whatsoever.

      "The universe is a sum of it’s parts. If the universe were eternal then all it’s parts would be eternal. But it’s parts (the individual entities that compose it) are temporal so the universe as a whole is also temporal"

      That doesn't follow! You haven't been paying attention! To claim that the universe is temporal is to claim that it exists *in time* which is false. It's the other way around. Time exists *within the universe.* Time is a *relationship* between entities in motion. That does not apply to the totality. There is nothing to *relate* the universe to! The universe exists *out of time.* Which is what it means to say that the universe is eternal.

      “It’s a contradiction to attribute ‘finite and eternal’ to the one entity. They are mutually exclusive terms"

      There you go doing it again. They are not mutually exclusive since they describe different things. The universe is no more than what it is, i.e., it's limited[finite]. It's also *out of time*[eternal] since time is *within* the universe. It's not that difficult Ralph.>>

      What don't you get about that?

      Good on ya dopey.

      You're blind as well as stupid.

      Delete
    89. "Cosmologists not worth following"

      Fallacy of ignorance.

      "Apparently you really are as retarded as you appear."

      You're the one who made the distinction, not me. Maybe you need to think about what you write so you don't appear stupider than dirt.

      "No citation needed."

      So you were just making it up, like Ralph.

      Delete
    90. MalcolmS9:15 PM

      Stranger: "Fallacy of ignorance"

      What?? Fall off your horse midget? :)

      Delete
    91. Yeah, I got it the first time. Time exists and time is a relationship. You’re doing the usual and vomiting out objectivist tripe. No one other than you and a few pimply teenagers in America’s Bible Belt buys it.

      Delete
    92. " Time only exists *within* the universe as a relationship between existents[note spelling] which exist within and make up the universe."

      Wrong, try again.

      Delete
    93. MalcolmS9:54 PM

      Terry: "Yeah, I got it the first time"

      No, you haven't a clue.

      Otherwise you would make what you think is the relevant correction.

      But you won't because you can't.

      Same with Andrew the imbecilic midget.

      Delete
    94. Mal[sic]: Otherwise you would make what you think is the relevant correction.

      OK, how’s this:

      Objectivists have this weird idea that time is a measure of motion. And as such it is a type of relationship. The Earth, for example, orbits the Sun, and after 80 orbits Mal[sic] is 80 years old. This can only happen inside the Universe because outside the Universe there is no such standard as the Earth orbiting the Sun against which to measure a Mal[sic]’s age.

      Never mind that special relativity has shown us Mal[sic]’s age depends on his speed. Objectivists don’t allow beautiful facts to get in the way of their ugly theories.

      By the way, do I get a badge or something now?

      Delete
    95. MalcolmS4:57 PM

      Terry: "Never mind that special relativity has shown us Mal[sic]’s age depends on his speed"

      Which means that time is a *relationship* between bodies in motion and is commensurate with the Objectivist position.

      Well done dopey - hook, line and sinker :)

      Delete
    96. "Stranger: "Fallacy of ignorance"

      What?"

      Which part did you have trouble understanding?

      Delete
    97. MalcolmS10:02 PM

      Stranger: "Which part did you have trouble understanding?"

      No trouble. Channel 7's coverage was unclear. Didn't know whether they shot the horse or the midget :)

      Delete
    98. They put the nobjockey out of its misery?

      Kindest thing to do really...

      roflmaoooooooooooo

      Delete
    99. RalphH 6/113:50 AM

      “The universe is not a "matrix" - it's a term we ascribe to the totality[everything].” (MalcolmS6:46 AM)

      You claimed this (i.e. the totality[everything]) to be philosophical terminology. I asked what philosophers use such terminology and you did not respond. So who is/are “we”.


      “….. (an entity’s) identity is simply what it is. There are no "ideas behind" the entities of the universe except for a very few - e.g. man made entities.”

      That’s something you can assume but not know. The problem is that such an assumption doesn’t make much sense when you consider that all man-made entities do start out as an idea. You’re basically assuming that something comes from nothing.

      “*”It’s identity (the qualities that make it what it is) depends on the function it is required/intended to perform”* (RH)

      No, its identity is simply what it is[its nature]. There is no intent/purpose/teleology behind the universe. The universe is uncreated.”

      That’s another assumption (or a variation on the same one). The universe is physical and everything of it is created. How can the universe which can only be viewed in terms of time and space, be “uncreated”? Just saying it is doesn’t make it so.

      “You believe in one big BS one/(spook). One that you made up. One for which there is no evidence or proof.”

      I believe in rational explanations and assuming that things just happen does not fall into that category. Yes, I believe in God, who is an uncreated being. This is a rational assumption because God is not physical (does not answer to time and space laws/rules - is in fact prior to their creation) and hence does not require to be created.

      “Non-physical attributes no more require a "physical explanation" than physical entities require a non-physical explanation. Both simply *are* - explained or unexplained.”

      If you’re assuming that non physical attributes arise from the physical than I’d say they definitely do require an explanation. The reason “physical entities require a non-physical explanation” is because otherwise one has to explain how a physical entity creates itself - an impossibility.

      “It's simple. Eternal *means* out of time. Look at the derivation of the word! You always link it with *infinite* and confuse yourself. There is no relationship between the meanings of eternal and infinite whatsoever.”

      I think you’re wrong Malcolm. Infinite and eternal can be (and are) linked in the same way space and time are. Infinite is beyond space/spaceless and eternal is beyond time/timeless. Space and time are attributes of physical things. It makes sense that infinite and eternal would be attributes of non-physical things.

      “*”The universe is a sum of it’s parts. …… it’s parts (the individual entities that compose it) are temporal so the universe as a whole is also temporal” (RH)

      To claim that the universe is temporal is to claim that it exists *in time* which is false. It's the other way around. Time exists *within the universe.* Time is a *relationship* between entities in motion. That does not apply to the totality. There is nothing to *relate* the universe to! The universe exists *out of time.* Which is what it means to say that the universe is eternal.”

      Looks like a semantic trick to me. You’ve reduced eternal to merely the flip-side of the coin. I think it’s much more than that. Eternal isn’t explainable as simply ‘out/outside of time’, it’s a whole different ball-park, a different level of existence circumscribed by a different set of rules.


      “There you go doing it again. They are not mutually exclusive since they describe different things. The universe is no more than what it is, i.e., it's limited[finite]. It's also *out of time*[eternal] since time is *within* the universe. It's not that difficult Ralph.”

      To say the universe is finite/limited with one breath, and then that it’s eternal/unlimited with the next, is a contradiction - a contradiction that you have stated but not explained i.e. have not given a rational explanation that dispels the contradiction.

      Delete
    100. MalcolmS5:39 AM

      Part 1 of 2

      RalphH: "“The universe is not a "matrix" - it's a term we ascribe to the totality[everything]” You claimed this (i.e. the totality[everything]) to be philosophical terminology"

      "Totality[everything]” are synonyms for existence/universe. This is perfectly obvious from what I wrote. You cannot give a formal definition of existence since it's an axiom. You can give synonyms or an *ostensive* definition only. The latter consists of waving your arm around and stating: by existence I mean all of this.

      "I asked what philosophers use such terminology and you did not respond"

      I am not aware of any major ones who don't. How do you discuss metaphysics without talking about existence?

      "So who is/are “we”"

      "We" includes any rational, adult, human being with an interest in philosophy.

      “"….. (an entity’s) identity is simply what it is. There are no "ideas behind" the entities of the universe except for a very few - e.g. man made entities.” That’s something you can assume but not know"

      No, I know it! If you have *evidence*[not belief] for other than the man made being based on ideas then state it. Until then I am entitled to my position.

      "The problem is that such an assumption doesn’t make much sense when you consider that all man-made entities do start out as an idea"

      Followed by pysical action in a physical universe.

      "You’re basically assuming that something comes from nothing"

      That's not my assumption. The man made does start as an idea but must be followed by some existential physical action. Man literally reshapes matter in accordance with his idea.

      "“There is no intent/purpose/teleology behind the universe. The universe is uncreated.” That’s another assumption... The universe is physical and everything of it is created"

      No, the universe is uncreated. The universe is eternal. The only *creation* is within the universe and occurs in accordance with the natural law. It's what we call *change.* To refer to the universe as *physical* is a misrepresentation since many entities are conscious - they, too, act in accordance with the natural law.

      "How can the universe which can only be viewed in terms of time and space, be “uncreated”?"

      By grasping that the universe is eternal and exists *out of time.*

      “I believe in rational explanations and assuming that things just happen does not fall into that category. Yes, I believe in God, who is an uncreated being. This is a rational assumption because God is not physical (does not answer to time and space laws/rules - is in fact prior to their creation) and hence does not require to be created"

      You just made that up and there is nothing rational about it.

      “If you’re assuming that non physical attributes arise from the physical than I’d say they definitely do require an explanation. The reason “physical entities require a non-physical explanation” is because otherwise one has to explain how a physical entity creates itself - an impossibility"

      I think it is reasonable to conclude that consciousness is some sort of function of brain. There is evidence for this. There is no reason to assume a supernatural explanation.

      “Infinite and eternal can be (and are) linked in the same way space and time are"

      Space and time are totally different relationships. If you can't understand that, then, you have no business discussing metaphysics.

      "Infinite is beyond space/spaceless and eternal is beyond time/timeless"

      Thank you. Like I said: totally different concepts of totally different relationships.

      Delete
    101. MalcolmS5:42 AM

      Part 2 of 2

      RalphH: "Space and time are attributes of physical things"

      They most certainly are not "attributes."

      Time is a measurement of motion; as such, it is a type of relationship. Time applies only within the universe, when you define a standard - such as the motion of the earth around the sun. If you take that as a unit, you can say: “This person has a certain relationship to that motion; he has existed for three revolutions; he is three years old.” But when you get to the universe as a whole, obviously no standard is applicable. You cannot get outside the universe. The universe is eternal in the literal sense: non-temporal, out of time.

      “Space,” like “time,” is a relational concept. It does not designate an entity, but a relationship, which exists only within the universe. The universe is not in space any more than it is in time. To be “in a position” means to have a certain relationship to the boundary of some container. E.g., you are in Sydney: there is a point of the earth’s surface on which you stand - that’s your spatial position: your relation to this point. All it means to say “There is space between two objects” is that they occupy different positions. In this case, you are focusing on two relationships - the relationship of one entity to its container and of another to its container - simultaneously.

      The universe, therefore, cannot be anywhere. Can the universe be in Melbourne? Can it be in the Milky Way? Places are in the universe, not the other way around.

      Is the universe, then, unlimited in size? No. Everything which exists is finite, including the universe. What then, you ask, is outside the universe, if it is finite? This question is invalid. The phrase “outside the universe” has no referent. The universe is everything. “Outside the universe” stands for “that which is where everything isn’t.” There is no such place. There isn’t even nothing “out there”; there is no “out there.”

      "It makes sense that infinite and eternal would be attributes of non-physical things"

      It makes no sense at all.

      "To say the universe is finite/limited with one breath, and then that it’s eternal/unlimited with the next, is a contradiction - a contradiction that you have stated but not explained i.e. have not given a rational explanation that dispels the contradiction"

      The contradiction is all yours. Finite and limited mean the same thing. Eternal and unlimited have nothing to do with each other.

      Delete
    102. Mal[sic]:

      If you are going to quote long passages from Peikoff, which is your habit, you should at least acknowledge the source. Trying to pass the stuff on as your own is dishonest.

      In any case, it’s always better to think things through for yourself. I know you’re getting on, but it’s never too late to start, and it’ll do you a world of good. And think of all the time you’d save looking for the relevant passages and cutting and pasting them.

      You may think your simplistic notions of time are in accord with special relativity, but they are not. You believe that time is a measure of motion against a standard. In SR, time doesn’t exist. Physical reality is not a three-dimensional experience that is unfolding in time, but a four-dimensional experience in which there’s no separation between past and future. Time is an illusion, that’s all.

      Don’t forget to tell Ralph that you’ve been plagiarising Peikoff. Trust me, he’ll think better of you knowing that all that stupid nonsense is not your own.

      Delete
    103. MalcolmS4:55 PM

      That's a bit rich coming from you Terry. You have been accusing me of trotting out rote Objectivism for ages and I do so proudly. I have even stated I do that in the past[excuse temporal reference] so, in the future[excuse temporal reference], just take it as written. The point is that I agree with it after lengthy consideration. I do not leap into the sceptical void and slime theories without cause unlike yourself.

      "Physical reality is not a three-dimensional experience that is unfolding in time"

      That's exactly what it is! *Change* is alive and well and occurs in the universe. Furthermore, it's one hell of a statement for a sceptic to make given that you believe no scientific theory can be proved but only "falsified" :)

      "Time is an illusion, that’s all"

      Not very original. You have just "plagiarised" Plato, Augustine, Liebnitz and Kant for starters who agree with your position and also got it wrong.

      On top of that there is your phony commitment to "evolutionary biology." Evolution without time?? Pull the other one.

      Delete
    104. Mal[sic]:

      Agreeing with someone else’s words does not give you the right to pass them off as your own. And it’s not as if you do it now and then. Most of what you say belongs to Peikoff. It’s as if you’re a robot programmed to respond to words with passages of text from his books.

      I didn’t say special relativity is correct. I said it disagrees with your model of reality. The point being that if you want anyone to take you seriously you have to do more than quote Peikoff. You have to explain why SR is wrong about time.

      But you can’t do that because all you know is what Peikoff has said. You are trapped in a universe in which everything that exists has been created by Peikoff. Nothing else exists outside of this universe.

      George Ellis opposes the SR concept of time. But you don’t see him using ideologist slogans to voice that opposition. He turns to what is known about quantum physics to suggest a different concept.

      Delete
    105. MalcolmS8:00 PM

      Terry: "Agreeing with someone else’s words does not give you the right to pass them off as your own. Most of what you say belongs to Peikoff"

      That's entirely false. Most of what I say comes from Rand. The stuff on space and time comes from a philosophy course I attended back in the 80s which was given by Peikoff. It is not even primarily an Objectivist position - it is primarily Aristotelian so is only two and a half millennia old! Aristotle was the first to my knowledge to hold that time is relational and that existence/universe is eternal.

      "I didn’t say special relativity is correct. I said it disagrees with your model of reality... You have to explain why SR is wrong about time"

      I *have* to do no such thing. I gave my own position on time. It's up to the SR exponents to put their case and so far they have failed to do so to my satisfaction. SR has only become popular since the philosophy of science has turned sceptical. SR has hardly been proven yet I'm still not convinced that it necessarily contradicts the relational position. Time as a fourth dimension, however, is nonsense.

      "George Ellis opposes the SR concept of time. But you don’t see him using ideologist slogans to voice that opposition"

      LOL He's a modern kook. I suggest you watch:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tq8-eLGpEHc

      His agenda becomes apparent at approx 56 minutes :) He even tries to combine religion and the scepticism of Hume. Also, ex nihilo creation, purpose and meaning. His is a thoroughly modern approach and is hopeless.

      "He turns to what is known about quantum physics to suggest a different concept"

      Sure, and evades the contradictions in quantum mechanics.

      Delete
    106. Mal[sic]:

      Rand, Peikoff. What’s the difference? The point is you rely on other people to do your thinking.

      Yes, you gave your (Peikoff’s) position on time. But what’s the point if you can’t defend it? Do you have any idea how dumb you look when you say the case of special relativity hasn’t been made to your satisfaction? Exactly how would you be able to tell if the case is sound or not? The first time you heard of SR was probably when I mentioned it.

      And this constant bleating of yours about ‘moderns’ is pathetic. Get over it. Aristotle’s never coming back. In any case, who do you think invented the electronic device that steers your wheelchair?

      Delete
    107. MalcolmS10:22 PM

      Terry: "The point is you rely on other people to do your thinking"

      That is exactly what I don't do and you could no more substantiate that than fly to the moon.

      "Yes, you gave your (Peikoff’s) position on time. But what’s the point if you can’t defend it?"

      Try me Terry but you won't because you think knowledge - all knowledge - is a myth! You have not disputed or refuted one point I have made about time so why don't you give it your best shot? You simply would not have the courage.

      "Do you have any idea how dumb you look when you say the case of special relativity hasn’t been made to your satisfaction?"

      So why don't you tell us the truth about SR? You raised it. You have already told us that: "I didn’t say special relativity is correct" so why don't you tell us what the truth is? As a sceptic all you do is claim what you DON'T know. Big deal! Just for a change why don't you give us some facts. That'll be real tricky for you. Don't have a brain explosion will you dopey.

      "Aristotle’s never coming back"

      LOL He never left. He just happens not to be mainstream. Yet!

      Delete
    108. Mal[sic]:

      I can substantiate it. Just look back on this blog. Your responses are invariably those of an automaton. At the sight of key words you vomit out quotations. When challenged as Zed has done recently to explain obvious contradictions you simply go quiet. You are clearly not capable of thinking on your feet. Without your objectivist handbook in front of you you have nothing to say.

      I have tried you. I gave you SR as a refutation of your simplistic view. There is a mountain of evidence for the theory. What evidence is there for Peikoff’s views? None so far as I can see. Your faith in his views is no different to Ralph’s faith in god.

      Don’t speak to me about facts. If there’s anything that characterizes your posts it is the lack of facts and total reliance on assertions, few of which are your own.

      Delete
    109. MalcolmS1:59 AM

      Terry: "I have tried you. I gave you SR as a refutation of your simplistic view"

      Oh, spare me! Now you are saying SR refutes the relational theory of time! Does it? How? A few posts ago you claimed: "I didn’t say special relativity is correct" [8:00 PM] So what is the truth genius? How do you resolve that contradiction? Is SR true or false? You don't have a clue.

      "What evidence is there for Peikoff’s views? None so far as I can see"

      Really? So the time the Earth takes to revolve on its axis is not a constant? The time taken for the Earth to travel around the sun is not a constant? Your kids' birthdays don't occur at regular intervals? What, then, would you take as evidence?

      "There is a mountain of evidence for the theory[SR]"

      OK, I'll keep it simple for you. What is the validation of 'time' as the fourth dimension? To what does this fourth dimensional time correspond in reality? [what is its referent?] How does SR contradict the relational theory of time? That should keep you busy for a while - especially since you're a sceptic. You haven't a clue.

      Delete
    110. RalphH 7/113:36 AM

      “I am not aware of any major (philosophers) who don't. How do you discuss metaphysics without talking about existence?” (MalcolmS5:39 AM)

      The question was not about “talking about existence”. It was about the assumption that the physical universe/the cosmos is the totality of existence.

      “"We" includes any rational, adult, human being with an interest in philosophy. “

      OK! I can see myself there - depends, of course on how one defines ‘rational’.

      “No, I know it! If you have *evidence*[not belief] for other than the man(-)made being based on ideas then state it. Until then I am entitled to my position.”

      OK, let’s split the difference. You assume that you know that there is no mind other than humankind. You’re entitled to whatever position/assumption you want to take/align with.

      “All man-made creations are) Followed by p(h)ysical action in a physical universe.

      True. But the creation of the physical universe itself and all it’s component parts also requires “physical action” which follow natural laws that have a rational basis.

      How can anything come to exist without the impetus and guidance of a spiritual/non-physical principle (an idea and a desire)? Secularists would have us believe that it just happens but others are far from satisfied with such a simplistic assumption.

      "Man literally reshapes matter in accordance with his idea.”

      Which strongly suggests that matter initially had been shaped “in accordance with (an) idea.”

      “"“There is no intent/purpose/teleology behind the universe. …… the universe is uncreated (and) is eternal. The only *creation* is within the universe and occurs in accordance with the natural law. It's what we call *change.* To refer to the universe as *physical* is a misrepresentation since many entities are conscious - they, too, act in accordance with the natural law.”

      “Natural law” does not appear out of nothing. The isness/nature of natural things that establish ‘natural law’ does not just happen.

      “*”How can the universe which can only be viewed in terms of time and space, be “uncreated”?”* (RH)

      By grasping that the universe is eternal and exists *out of time.*”

      This is not an explanation, it’s an invitation to blind faith. I don’t do that.

      “I think it is reasonable to conclude that consciousness is some sort of function of brain. There is evidence for this. There is no reason to assume a supernatural explanation.”

      I don’t think it’s reasonable. Consciousness occurs when what’s outside meets what’s inside (not the brain - that’s just part of the physical mechanism that enables sense impressions to be presented to the soul). The soul is supernatural (not your spooky commercial supernatural) because it is not of/from nature.

      “Space and time are totally different relationships. If you can't understand that, then, you have no business discussing metaphysics.”

      They’re different relationships but they exist side by side and together (i.e. on the same level).

      "Infinite is beyond space/spaceless and eternal is beyond time/timeless”

      Once again, they are different but both have in common that they are ‘beyond’ nature and have the same characteristic of being unlimited.

      Delete
    111. RalphH 7/113:40 AM

      “RalphH: "Space and time are attributes of physical things"

      They most certainly are not “attributes." (MalcolmS5:42 AM)

      OK Malcolm, maybe I used the wrong word but the idea is that physical things exist in a world of space and time.

      “The universe, therefore, cannot be anywhere. Can the universe be in Melbourne? Can it be in the Milky Way? Places are in the universe, not the other way around.”

      So what! The organs and every individual cell of the body can be defined and located spatially within the body but the body as a whole cannot be located spatially within itself. That does not make the body as a whole eternal.

      The only difference with this analogy is that we can physically sensate the ‘whole body’ as being a temporal physical entity whereas we can’t physically step outside the universe.

      “Is the universe, then, unlimited in size? No. Everything which exists is finite, including the universe. What then, you ask, is outside the universe, if it is finite? This question is invalid. The phrase “outside the universe” has no referent. The universe is everything. “Outside the universe” stands for “that which is where everything isn’t.” There is no such place. There isn’t even nothing “out there”; there is no “out there.””

      I don’t think there is any justification for assuming that there is nothing to reference the universe by simply because there is no time and space, no physical “out there”. Even though you claim the universe (as a whole) is eternal you also say that only things within the universe have existence i.e. that eternity/infinity equates with non-existence.

      I disagree, I believe that the eternal is the bigger picture but when viewed from the temporal (a time and space perspective) it appears to be nothing. One has to raise one’s mind to the higher perspective (beyond time and space concepts) to see/understand the bigger picture.

      “The contradiction is all yours. Finite and limited mean the same thing. Eternal and unlimited have nothing to do with each other.”

      Eternal means having no beginning and no end, hence unlimited. Therefore my comparison/alignment was quite valid. You’ve still failed to explain the contradiction.

      Delete
    112. MalcolmS6:33 AM

      RalphH: "“No, I know it! If you have *evidence*[not belief] for other than the man(-)made being based on ideas then state it. Until then I am entitled to my position.” OK, let’s split the difference. You assume that you know that there is no mind other than humankind. You’re entitled to whatever position/assumption you want to take/align with"

      There is no "difference splitting"! I gave evidence for my position. You did not. Furthermore, I did not restrict consciousness to "humankind." There are numerous living creatures with consciousness apart from man and all function according to natural law.

      “..the creation of the physical universe itself and all it’s component parts also requires “physical action” which follow natural laws that have a rational basis"

      False. Existence/universe is uncreated.

      "How can anything come to exist without the impetus and guidance of a spiritual/non-physical principle (an idea and a desire)?"

      Because an entity changes into another entity in accordance with natural law, e.g., an acorn becomes an oak.

      "Secularists would have us believe that it just happens but others are far from satisfied with such a simplistic assumption"

      Not this secularist! Nothing "just happens"! The action of any entity is determined by its identity[nature]. Which is why an acorn becomes an oak and not a giraffe or a hot cross bun!

      “"Natural law” does not appear out of nothing. The isness/nature of natural things that establish ‘natural law’ does not just happen"

      Correct. The universe is eternal.

      “Consciousness occurs when what’s outside meets what’s inside (not the brain - that’s just part of the physical mechanism that enables sense impressions to be presented to the soul). The soul is supernatural (not your spooky commercial supernatural) because it is not of/from nature"

      You just made that up :)

      "“Space and time are totally different relationships. If you can't understand that, then, you have no business discussing metaphysics.” They’re different relationships but they exist side by side and together (i.e. on the same level)"

      You have no business discussing metaphysics. There is only one "level." It's called reality.

      "..they[infinite/eternal] are different but both have in common that they are ‘beyond’ nature and have the same characteristic of being unlimited"

      Nothing is "beyond nature." The "unlimited" does not exist.

      "OK Malcolm, maybe I used the wrong word but the idea is that physical things exist in a world of space and time"

      So do conscious things.

      “The only difference with this analogy is that we can physically sensate the ‘whole body’ as being a temporal physical entity whereas we can’t physically step outside the universe"

      Fallacy of false analogy.

      “I don’t think there is any justification for assuming that there is nothing to reference the universe by simply because there is no time and space, no physical “out there”"

      Nor do I. The justification is that the universe is all there is.

      "Even though you claim the universe (as a whole) is eternal you also say that only things within the universe have existence i.e. that eternity/infinity equates with non-existence"

      No, I say the universe is eternal, uncreated, finite and exists but no infinite entity exists.

      "Eternal means having no beginning and no end, hence unlimited. Therefore my comparison/alignment was quite valid. You’ve still failed to explain the contradiction"

      No, the notion of "beginnings" and "ends" do not arise *out of time.* Your failure to grasp this distinction is the source of *your* contradiction.

      Delete
    113. "No trouble. Channel 7's coverage was unclear. Didn't know whether they shot the horse or the midget :)"

      Right, you're just insane then as no one but you mentioned horses or midgets.

      Delete
    114. MalcolmS6:48 AM

      ROFLMAO

      Thanks Andrew, you made my night!

      Delete
    115. Mal[sic]: Now you are saying SR refutes the relational theory of time! Does it? How?

      Time dilation. Verified over and over by measurements on cosmic rays, muons in storage rings, clocks on aircraft, and so on. The astronauts that went to the moon aged less than the families they left behind on Earth. So much for Peikoff’s time is a measure of motion against a standard.

      Mal[sic]: So the time the Earth takes to revolve on its axis is not a constant?

      That’s right. The Earth is slowing down. Our current day is two thousandths of a second slower than it was a hundred years ago. And don’t try and say that’s practically insignificant. It causes all manner of headaches for GPS, smartphones and power grids.

      Mal[sic]: To what does this fourth dimensional time correspond in reality?

      That’s a typically useless question. What you need to ask is how does thinking of time as a fourth dimension help. And the answer to everyone but you and Peikoff is that without it the world you live in would be entirely different. You and I wouldn’t, for example, be able to insult each other at a distance like this. Wouldn’t that be a shame?

      Delete
    116. MalcolmS6:44 AM

      Terry: ""Now you are saying SR refutes the relational theory of time! Does it? How?" Time dilation... The astronauts that went to the moon aged less than the families they left behind on Earth"

      According to what standard? It is an inexorable fact that from the moment the family watched the astronaut blast off until the astronaut was back sitting in his lougeroom the Earth had revolved on its axis a specific number of times. Whether you were the astronaut, his family or the family dog! All had aged at exactly the same rate! The number of Earth rotations.

      Terry: ""So the time the Earth takes to revolve on its axis is not a constant?" That’s right. The Earth is slowing down. Our current day is two thousandths of a second slower than it was a hundred years ago"

      According to what standard? A day is still an Earth rotation on its axis - as it was when Aristotle was alive.

      Terry: ""To what does this fourth dimensional time correspond in reality?" That’s a typically useless question"

      LOL No, it was extremely useful. It flushed you out dopey! When asked to say what this alleged "fourth dimensional time" refers to in reality [its referent] you cack your rompers. Why? Because a "dimension" is extension in a particular direction and time is not. Dimension is an *attribute* of an entity whereas time is a *relationship* between entities in motion. Learn the difference between attribute and relationship sometime.

      Delete
    117. So the time the Earth takes to revolve on its axis is not a constant?" That’s right. The Earth is slowing down. Our current day is two thousandths of a second slower than it was a hundred years ago"

      According to what standard?


      Seconds.
      Have you never owned a wristwatch?

      Delete
    118. Dimension is an *attribute* of an entity

      Like existence?

      Delete
    119. Dimension is an *attribute* of an entity whereas time is a *relationship* between entities in motion

      Time doesn't "exist" until there is an act of measurement. You're confusing abstractions with reality again.

      If you're 5' 1" tall does that mean you're really made of five feet and an inch?

      Amusing thought lol


      Delete
    120. Peikoff:

      You don’t know what you’re talking about. You have redefined the units of ‘year’ and ‘day’. To you a year means one solar orbit. And a day means one Earth rotation. To the rest of us a year means 31.5576 million seconds and a day means 86.4 thousand seconds (a second being the raditaion emitted by a Caesium-133 atom in the ground state).

      This poses all sorts of problems for you. How do you relate days to years if they are based on different standards? What happens to time when the Sun blows up, as it will eventually do? Or when Earth stops rotating, as it will eventually do? How do scientists perform their work if there is not internationally agreed standard? How do you compare the ages of people who lived years apart when the length of a day and the length of a year are different.

      And on the question of time now being a dimension, consider that from Newton on every scientist who has ever drawn a graph with time on one axis has implicilty accepted that it is a dimension. It is impossible to do science without thinking of time as a dimension. Why do you think we say length of a year? Presumably you would like us to say orbits of a year and rotations of a day?

      Delete
    121. I'd like to see twiddle[sic] and a mercurian cowboy arguing about the way to accurately measure years and days.

      Then we'd finally be getting our moneys worth

      Delete
    122. MalcolmS5:18 PM

      Hark!! Did I hear the sound of distant magicsausagetossing??

      "Seconds. Have you never owned a wristwatch?"

      I did, I did, the prodical magicsausagetosser is back!

      Turns out he thinks the Mickey Mouse on his favourite tossing hand is the standard of time!

      Wow, will the boys at NASA be happy to get that tipoff.. er.. blastoff.

      ROFLMAO

      Delete
    123. That'll be a "no" then.

      Wristplanet? lol

      Delete
    124. MalcolmS6:59 AM

      Terrence[sic]: "You have redefined the units of ‘year’ and ‘day’. To you a year means one solar orbit. And a day means one Earth rotation. To the rest of us a year means 31.5576 million seconds and a day means 86.4 thousand seconds (a second being the raditaion[sic] emitted by a Caesium-133 atom in the ground state)."

      'Year' and 'day' are the units used by the entire population and, therefore, serve as a unit. A unit need *not* be numerical or mathematical in general usage but usually is in physics. The only people who use 'second' as defined by the emissions of atomic clocks are a tiny fraction of the population: some physicists. It is *not* a superior unit although it may be more exact for scientific purposes.

      Furthermore, from Wiki: "[Atomic] clocks collectively define a continuous and stable time scale, International Atomic Time (TAI). For civil time, another time scale is disseminated, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). UTC is derived from TAI, but approximately synchronized, by using leap seconds, to UT1, which is based on actual rotations of the earth with respect to the solar time."

      Did you get that dopey? Even history's most accurate clock must be standardised to "actual rotations of the earth with respect to solar time." Why? Because that is the referent IN REALITY to which 'time' refers and about which you did not have a clue! In that respect it is no different in principle than to a sundial or an egg timer!

      Terrence[sic]: "How do you relate days to years if they are based on different standards? What happens to time when the Sun blows up, as it will eventually do? Or when Earth stops rotating, as it will eventually do?"

      You'll have bigger worries then stupid!

      Terrence[sic]: "How do scientists perform their work if there is not internationally agreed standard? How do you compare the ages of people who lived years apart when the length of a day and the length of a year are different"

      Yeah, Galileo and Newton cried themselves to sleep every night over that one! Not!

      Terrence[sic]: "And on the question of time now being a dimension, consider that from Newton on every scientist who has ever drawn a graph with time on one axis has implicilty[sic] accepted that it is a dimension. It is impossible to do science without thinking of time as a dimension. Why do you think we say length of a year?"

      Rubbish. Time is a relationship as distinct from a "dimension." The only way "length of a year" can be used in that form is metaphorical and then it's a false metaphor. Far more than "dimension" can be plotted on a graph!

      Delete
    125. Mal[sic]:

      Stick to philosophy. This stuff is beyond you. UTC is a correction that has to be made precisely because of what I told you about the Earth slowing down. When the length of a day exceeds 86,401 seconds UTC will break down and have to be replaced by something else.

      On the matter of time as a dimension, you’ve already told us you disagree, but what exactly is your reason? Or does Wikipedia not have an entry on the subject?

      Delete
    126. Billy: If you're 5' 1" tall does that mean you're really made of five feet and an inch?

      Ha, ha, ha. And 25 solar orbits old, give or take a few leap seconds to keep us from getting stuck in mental concrete.

      Delete
    127. "All had aged at exactly the same rate! The number of Earth rotations."

      You really are stupider than dirt. They had not all aged at the same rate, even if agreeing on the amount of rotations of the planet. Time slows for objects in motion, the faster you travel the slower time is for you. proved by experimentation.

      "A day is still an Earth rotation on its axis - as it was when Aristotle was alive."

      A day has always been that but a day has not always been 24 hours you imbecile.

      " time is a *relationship* between entities in motion"

      No it isn't. Read some science that was done after 1756

      Delete
    128. " Even history's most accurate clock must be standardised to "actual rotations of the earth with respect to solar time"

      Actually it doesn't say that at all. It said UTC, a standard is derived that way, not TAI. Reading comprehension isn't your best attribute.

      "Time is a relationship"

      No it isn't.

      Delete
    129. MalcolmS4:03 AM

      Terrence[sic]: "UTC is a correction that has to be made precisely because of what I told you about the Earth slowing down"

      Really? The Earth is slowing down is it? No kiddin'? As related to what dopey? The referent in reality called 'time' which you refuse to talk about perhaps?

      Terrence[sic]: "On the matter of time as a dimension, you’ve already told us you disagree, but what exactly is your reason?"

      I gave an entire screed on why I disagreed which you promptly ignored with your usual modern bog ignorance. I suggest you reread the entire thread this time with your mind engaged. You are the one who claims 'time' as the fourth dimension along with length, width and depth as the first three. Perhaps you can tell me why you don't measure time in feet, metres or ångströms like the other three :)

      Delete
    130. MalcolmS4:06 AM

      MS: "A day is still an Earth rotation on its axis - as it was when Aristotle was alive."

      Stranger: "A day has always been that but a day has not always been 24 hours"

      You do realise those two sentences, given a correct theory of time, don't contradict each other I hope dopey.

      Delete
    131. MalcolmS4:09 AM

      Stranger: "Read some science that was done after 1756"

      It gets rather boring after that since all the good stuff was prior.

      Einstein credited Isaac Newton, the father of physics and arguably the founder of scientific certainty, with “the greatest advance in thought that a single individual was ever privileged to make.” [Albert Einstein, quoted in Fritjof Capra, The Turning Point (London: Fontana/Collins, 1983), p. 49.]

      But then you're a cataclysmic man made global warming wanker aren't you? Must be due to the flat Earth the Sun shines on I guess :)

      Delete
    132. Mal[sic]: I gave an entire screed on why I disagreed which you promptly ignored ...

      Sorry about that. But if you insist on being such a bore you must expect us to miss things every now and then. Never mind. I’ll look up Peikoff to get your opinion.

      Mal[sic]: It gets rather boring after that since all the good stuff was prior.

      That’s a reflection on your ability rather than the quality of the science. Special and general relativity, quantum mechanics and natural selection are incomprehensible to you and therefore bound to be boring.

      Mal[sic]: But then you're a cataclysmic man made global warming wanker aren't you?

      Not to mention your immaturity.

      Delete
    133. MalcolmS5:34 PM

      "Mal[sic]: ...Not to mention your immaturity"

      ROFLMAO

      Delete
    134. MalcolmS10:04 PM

      Terry: "Special and general relativity, quantum mechanics and natural selection are incomprehensible to you and therefore bound to be boring"

      Quite the contrary. I'm fine with relativity and natural selection. Quantum mechanics, 'big bang' theory, string theory and cataclysmic anthropogenic global roasting is junk. The reasons are "incomprehensible to you."

      Delete
  7. Existence has always existed.

    Jesus, Ralph. Get the message already.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MalcolmS8:13 PM

      "Existence has always existed"

      Yep, it sure can't leap out of nothingness.

      Even the ancient Greeks knew existence was eternal.

      Delete
    2. Mal[sic]: Even the ancient Greeks knew existence was eternal.

      Wow, that’s interesting.

      Delete
    3. MalcolmS9:09 PM

      Yes, it is interesting - especially in view of the Christian era which was about to take over.

      Delete
    4. Mal[sic]: Yes, it is interesting - especially in view of the Christian era which was about to take over.

      We wants it, we needs it. Must have the Greeks, precious. They stole them from us. Sneaky little Christians. Wicked, tricksy, false!

      Delete
    5. MalcolmS10:01 PM

      LOL Pretend scientist morphs into pretend historian.

      That’s interesting :)

      Delete
    6. That allusion appears to have flown over your head. Pity it didn't drop anything as it passed.

      Delete
    7. MalcolmS12:35 AM

      Er... did you mean *illusion*? :)

      Either way you failed.

      Delete
  8. MalcolmS9:06 PM

    Er... and you are still charitable by choice!

    ReplyDelete

Followers