Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Deathly Discussion.



Well what if you don’t believe in the afterlife?  We godless suffer the weight of knowing that there is no Heaven.  Our existence is terrestrial not celestial. So what do we do about consoling the species in our unique position of knowing that we will die and fearing death and grieving the dead?

Here is a conversation between a man named Harry (as Tom, Dick or Harry) and his made up daughter Gracie.  What do you think of their godless views on consolation in the face of death?

HARRY:  So Gracie, do you believe in the afterlife?

GRACE: Of course not.  I am after all your godless daughter.

HARRY: So what do you recommend that the godless do to find some solace from the fear of death?

GRACE:  I don’t know. I don’t think about this sort stuff like you.  I am not old nor am I a death perv like you are.

HARRY:  Can I just mention two perspectives on life after death that don’t offend logic or science.  The only trouble is that these perspectives give only scant consolation. 

GRACE: In other words, they’re crap.

HARRY: Basically yes.  The first is that we are well practised in non existence.  When we cease to exist upon death we are merely returning to the state of non existence that occurred before birth.  We didn’t exist from the beginning of time to the moment of birth.  And then when we die after the miracle of having lived we just return to our state of non existence which was not painful but nothing.

DOROTHY (an innocent but godly bystander):  Oh huzzah!  Such consolation indeed!  Non existence is fine because we are so used to it!  That has the comfort of the rack.

GRACE:  Dorothy has a point Dad – it is feeble.

HARRY:  Oh it’s lame as a one legged dog.   Of course it is not that soothing for since birth, we have had the revelation of life.  Non existence seems awful by comparison.

DOROTHY:  And what’s the second miraculous attitude to death that doesn’t offend your logic or your science?

GRACE:  Don’t get your hopes up Dorothy. I get the sense that the second will be less exciting than the first.

HARRY:  And you’d be right Gracie.  I confess the second is ...what is the word I am searching for?

GRACE: Crap.

HARRY:  That’s the one.  It is this: death is necessary for life. 

DOROTHY:  Oh huzzah again.  Oh bravo Harold! That elevates my spirit and magnifies my soul.

HARRY: For our species to evolve, we needed millions of years of death of millions of species.  So our death is making room in the same way our predecessors’ deaths made room for us.  Our afterlife is lived through the opportunities afforded to others by our deaths. 

GRACE: Dad that is so feeble. Who cares about making room for others?

HARRY: Allow me to give a trivial example.  I became entitled to be a member of prestigious sport club, the Melbourne Cricket Club which I declined many moons ago. 

DOROTHY:  What is cricket?

GRACE:  Cricket is a game more tedious than you can ever imagine. 

DOROTHY:  And it tickles Harry’s fancy?

GRACE:  He’s strangely obsessed.

HARRY:  My membership of the club literally died when I declined to be a member.  My nephews who are in a decade long queue for the MCC rejoiced when told of the death of my membership for it progresses them along the queue which today stands at 217,000 people.  And indeed, in a club overpopulated by octogenarians, my hard hearted nephews exult every time they observe the club’s flag at half mast.  Another competitor has been liquidated and they move closer to their MCC life.  Death causes life.

DOROTHY:  Don’t ever become a parson Harry.  Your parsonage would empty within days of you assuming office.

GRACE: And don’t ever be a writer Dad.  You’d starve but not in a talented Van Gogh, genius kind of way.

HARRY:  Yes these perspectives are scant comfort and a bit cheerless. 

GRACE:  Well what do you expect Dad?  Without a belief in God and Heaven, even though they are too absurd for words, humans are doomed to have unresolved fears of death and dying.

What is your view? 
If we cannot believe in the hereafter, what is left to console us?

What do you think of Harry’s views?

Is there anything else to assuage our fears other than denial?

Is denial bad?

Over to you guys…

94 comments:

  1. Ooh Cricket! How I miss Glenn McGrath running in to terrify a few batsman and the elegance of the Waugh brothers' batting displays. Happy days... What we're we talking about? Ah yes, death...

    My Dad will be 86 on Sunday and he tells me he doesn't think about death at all - even when he was recently diagnosed with some emphysema in one lung (never smoked) he just shrugged and said "well, I was content with life before I knew it was there, why should knowing about it change anything" and he went off to do some more gardening. A simple man, my Dad, never makes a fuss (except about the Abbott government and why "the bastard won't let gay people get married" and other right-wing bullshit that fires him up), he just gets on with living a full life, being a good neighbour, friend and dad and gaining great satisfaction in watching his plants grow and enjoying the wildlife that his garden attracts.

    Apart from giving my fine old dad a shout-out for his birthday, I'm wondering if there's a connection between my Dad's love of his garden and the energy he puts into supporting and sustaining life, other than his own, that gives him an innate understanding of the necessity of death and therefore his acceptance of it. Am I over-reaching? Quite possibly; perhaps he's just not fussed about death and that would be true even if he'd never so much as watered a pot plant in his whole life.

    To Dick's questions... I wonder why some people need consolation of the inevitable. The world and the universe got along with us for billions of years and we are but a blip. I have no problem with that.

    Harry is right to passionate about Cricket. Harry might also like to consider that, in one sense, our body dies many times before the final death. All our cells die and new cells form and don't we get a brand new body every 12 years, or is that just a new skeleton? Mind you it is a body that keeps aging, but life and death, of a sort, is going on within us all the time.

    Yes denial is bad, on an individual and societal level. Denial is just another form of ignorance and leads to the support of ignorant beliefs. Look at the denial of our government to treat asylum seekers in a human way and the harm that is doing to the individuals and to the rest of us. Look at those denying that being gay is perfectly acceptible and normal and the harm those people do to people who are gay. (Did anyone watch Stephen Fry's "Out There" last Monday? Terribly sad to see those who've been victimised for being gay by people who are too bigotted and ignorant to understand their own species.) Can anyone think of a single instance where denial lead to anything positive?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RalphH 25/014:07 PM

      “Can anyone think of a single instance where denial lead to anything positive?” (Kate7:25 PM)

      I sure can Kate, In fact last Sunday’s sermon was on that very topic. If one denies negative thoughts and impulses all that’s left are the positive ones. If one denies ones inclinations to various forms of evil and selfishness (moral, ethical or spiritual) all that is left is the positiveness of good and sharing.

      On another tack (i.e. agreeing with your suggestion), what positive can come from denying an afterlife? Answer: nothing - only negativity and nothingness.

      It all seems rather simple so what exactly did you have in mind?

      Delete
    2. "If one denies negative thoughts and impulses all that’s left are the positive ones." What rubbish, but given your god is the thought-police and you think the 10 commandments are just peachy it's not surprising that you believe this twaddle. Shades of grey really don't exist in your world Ralph, do they? No wonder the fact that human sexuality includes gay people is such an anathema for you - far too many shades to contemplate eh. It's all black and white - how incredibly unimaginative. Having some negative thoughts hurts no one - acting on them is another matter. If you never had a negative thought, how would distinguish the positive ones? Many thoughts are neither negative nor positive; they're just thoughts, and on the whole our thoughts are harmless. Your waffle stems from the bullshit notion that man was created perfect by god and then became not so perfect and now we should all be obliged to seek perfection. What tosh. Who gets to decide what perfection looks like? What's so great about perfection? We learn more by being wrong than we ever would by being perfect. Or is that the whole point? God and religion don't want man to seek and learn; just parade about being obedient and unthinking? Well it would certainly control the people - the ultimate raison d'etre for all religions.

      "If one denies ones inclinations to various forms of evil and selfishness (moral, ethical or spiritual) all that is left is the positiveness of good and sharing." More rubbish. I don't have any inclinations or impulses to evil (who gets to define evil? more Ralph gobbledegook) and we are all selfish in one way or another, it doesn't automatically follow that selfishness always hurts anyone else.

      "On another tack (i.e. agreeing with your suggestion), what positive can come from denying an afterlife? Answer: nothing - only negativity and nothingness." More black and white bullshit. My life, my thoughts are not negative, on the whole, and my lack of belief in the afterlife has no bearing on my day-to-day thoughts. Nor do I reside with nothingness - what is nothingness? Another bullshit Ralph term to make atheists sound bad - oh we're so wicked.

      As always Ralph. you can't prove the afterlife exists. I am not denying it; there is just no evidence for its existence. I do not deny god either; there's just not a single shred of evidence that your god, or anyone else's god, actually exists. Show me the evidence and I'll change my mind on god and the afterlife.

      "It all seems rather simple so what exactly did you have in mind?" No idea what you're talking about. What's simple and what did you assume I was referring to?

      Delete
    3. Thanks so much Kate for that contribution. So great that your dear Dad derives such comforts from his profound thinking and his garden. I don't know that I could be so brave. Happy Birthday Kate's Daddy.

      Dick

      Delete
  2. MalcolmS8:31 PM

    "HARRY:....

    [1] The first is that we are well practised in non existence. When we cease to exist upon death we are merely returning to the state of non existence that occurred before birth. We didn’t exist from the beginning of time to the moment of birth. And then when we die after the miracle of having lived we just return to our state of non existence which was not painful but nothing"

    I agree with the thrust of that. Except for the claim that life is "miraculous." Life is natural, thisworldly and causal. It has no demonstrable supernatural components whatsoever.

    "[2] ...death is necessary for life"

    I agree in the sense that, in order to live, we must kill and eat other life forms.

    I don't agree in the sense that you could hypothetically transport all human beings to Texas and it would only have the population density of current Hong Kong - leaving the rest of the world available to feed them. We are a long way from having a population crisis requiring the death of other human beings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you could hypothetically transport all human beings to Texas and it would only have the population density of current Hong Kong - leaving the rest of the world available to feed them.

      Grand idea Twiddlehead
      I'm sure you'd be among the first to pimp your daughters out to the controllers of the supply chain for the sake of a single tasty tasty strawberry

      Dumbass

      Delete
    2. RalphH 25/014:12 PM

      “ "Consolation" is not required according to Epicurus and with good reason: ………….
      Death really is overrated.” (MalcolmS10:55 PM)

      Malcolm, is it “death” (the act of dying) that some people fear or a loss or cessation of life? No one can deny that there is a huge loss involved especially if one believes that there is a complete annihilation.

      I believe it is the loss that people fear - the loss of something incredibly beautiful and unique - if not actually at all times, potentially a state of joy/happiness and wonderment. I think you'd agree that there is no such thing as ‘experiencing’ non-existence or complete nothingness either before or after the “death’ of the physical body.

      Those who don’t believe in the afterlife are doing themselves a great disservice. I don’t see how there could be any “consolation”, only a steeling of oneself against what one has talked oneself into believing is inevitable. IOW, there could be no real coming to terms with and understanding one’s emotions on the subject, only an intellectual burying of them.

      Delete
    3. "...only a steeling of oneself against what one has talked oneself into believing is inevitable." Yet that's exactly what some of the folk on Flight 93 did and they achieved something remarkable in their deaths, giving great consolation to their family and friends and earning the admiration of millions. They faced the inevitable with a bravery and ferocity that brings me to tears ever time I think of them. Facing the inevitable with that kind of fortitude, determination and honesty is something to marvelled at - not diminished and ridiculed as you seek to do.

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS10:23 PM

      "... Flight 93.."

      Excellent example Kate.

      In this life some cover themselves in glory...

      ... death comes to us all but is simply irrelevant.

      NB The thugs of this drama were motivated by eternal life.

      Delete
    5. "The thugs of this drama were motivated by eternal life." Absobloodylutely Malcolm! The danger of believing bullshit beliefs; not that Ralph will be able to accept that.

      Delete
    6. RalphH 28/012:13 AM

      “*”The thugs of this drama were motivated by eternal life.”* (MalcolmS10:23 PM)

      Absobloodylutely Malcolm! The danger of believing bullshit beliefs; not that Ralph will be able to accept that.” (Kate2:21 PM)

      That may be so Kate but it would have been a false, foolish and materialistic concept of eternal life, dreamed up by someone who didn’t understand Islamic teaching or twisted it to seduce recruits. I’m warrant there was a good deal of hatred, envy and contempt also contributing to the motivation (which isn’t taught by any religion by the way).

      ——————

      “*”...only a steeling of oneself against what one has talked oneself into believing is inevitable.”* (RH)

      Yet that's exactly what some of the folk on Flight 93 did and they achieved something remarkable in their deaths, giving great consolation to their family and friends and earning the admiration of millions. They faced the inevitable with a bravery and ferocity that brings me to tears ever time I think of them. Facing the inevitable with that kind of fortitude, determination and honesty is something to marvelled at - not diminished and ridiculed as you seek to do.” (Kate9:46 PM)

      Many of the “folk on Flight 93” may/would have been religious. They may well have been motivated by a love of others - the potential victims of the terrorists.

      Because of their love of God, these “folk” would have overcome their fear of death and been willing to lay down their lives for their friends (as taught by their religion). They would have no qualms about their future because they would have a real, spiritual concept of eternal life.

      Delete
    7. Yes Malcolm, the use of the word "miraculous" by Harry is wrong. The word has become synonymous with "really great" in some ignorant peoples' minds. A fatal booboo in this blog.

      Dick

      Delete
    8. MalcolmS5:50 PM

      RalphH: "That may be so Kate but it would have been a false, foolish and materialistic concept of eternal life, dreamed up by someone who didn’t understand Islamic teaching or twisted it to seduce recruits. I’m[sic] warrant there was a good deal of hatred, envy and contempt also contributing to the motivation (which isn’t taught by any religion by the way)"

      Utter rubbish. It was taught by that illiterate, mass murdering, pedophilic, misogynist, revelationary, alleged prophet of God: Mohammed.

      "Many of the “folk on Flight 93” may/would have been religious. They may well have been motivated by a love of others - the potential victims of the terrorists. Because of their love of God, these “folk” would have overcome their fear of death and been willing to lay down their lives for their friends (as taught by their religion). They would have no qualms about their future because they would have a real, spiritual concept of eternal life"

      Utter rubbish. There no doubt were atheists on that flight as well. Big deal! None of those people wanted to die although most knew they were going to die. They were motivated by a desire, even if they were to die, to prevent their eventual killers from striking their target. In other words they were prepared to fight to the death for *their* values. There is nothing more selfish than that! Love of complete strangers["love of others"] be damned! Those people were heroes - great human beings - they displayed the best in man. Unlike your grovelling self, Ralph, you pathetic little worm. Love of eternal life be damned!

      Delete
    9. None of those people wanted to die although most knew they were going to die.

      You have no evidence for it...

      They were motivated by a desire, even if they were to die, to prevent their eventual killers from striking their target.

      You have no evidence for it...

      In other words they were prepared to fight to the death for *their* values.

      You have no evidence for it ...

      There is nothing more selfish than that!

      You have no evidence for it...


      Love of complete strangers["love of others"] be damned! Those people were heroes - great human beings - they displayed the best in man

      You have no evidence for it...


      lol ... Too f`kin easy mon.... Can't you do any better?

      Delete
    10. MalcolmS12:30 AM

      magicsausagetosser: "You have no evidence for it..."

      Yes, I do! *All* of it!

      Delete
    11. Ralph 30/011:00 PM

      “Utter rubbish. It was taught by that illiterate, mass murdering, pedophilic, misogynist, revelationary, alleged prophet of God: Mohammed.” (MalcolmS5:50 PM)

      That seems like an extremely biased and I suggest incorrect assessment of Mohammed, Malcolm.

      “Utter rubbish. There no doubt were atheists on that flight as well. Big deal! None of those people wanted to die although most knew they were going to die. They were motivated by a desire, even if they were to die, to prevent their eventual killers from striking their target. In other words they were prepared to fight to the death for *their* values. There is nothing more selfish than that! Love of complete strangers["love of others"] be damned! Those people were heroes - great human beings - they displayed the best in man. Unlike your grovelling self, Ralph, you pathetic little worm. Love of eternal life be damned!”

      More “utter rubbish”! “….. pathetic little worm”! “….. life be damned!” You really must be having a bad day.

      Once again you throw forth your strange unintelligible concept of selfishness and it’s supposed virtue. You’re talking about atheists so how could they (believing in their total annulation as they claim to do) serve themselves by dying for their “values”. The only people who could possibly benefit would be “others” and many of them, contrary to your claim, would be “complete strangers”.

      I agree that they were heroes but standing up for oneself doesn’t make one a hero. Here’s why - “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.” (John 15:13) You overlook the fact that every stranger is a potential friend until they (or you) do or say something to estrange them.

      Delete
    12. MalcolmS6:18 PM

      Ralph: “Once again you throw forth your strange unintelligible concept of selfishness and it’s supposed virtue"

      And, once again, you produce no refutation of it.

      Consider your own myth Ralph! It goes like this! Before the creation there only existed God who had been hovering around all by HimSELF for eternity. What was the nature of this God? Well, He was all there was and He had no physical body - He was literally Pure Consciousness! So, what did He do? The only thing a Pure Consciousness could do - be Conscious! But, *of what* was He Conscious? The only thing He could be Conscious of was HimSELF! There was nothing else.

      He was Pure Consciousness, Conscious only of SELF.

      Or, to put it another way, the Divine was Pure Selfishness :)

      You have a few wrinkles to iron out in your own worldview before you start criticising human selfishness Ralph - starting with learning what it actually is!

      Delete
    13. MalcolmS7:00 PM

      Ralph: "You’re talking about atheists so how could they (believing in their total annulation as they claim to do) serve themselves by dying for their “values”"

      Only one way - it's because they choose to *live* on no terms[values] but their own. The same as a soldier who fights for his values in life and dies in battle. The essence of heroism is how you live - not how you die. This is difficult to communicate to Christians who are obsessed with death - rather than life.

      This was well understood by Greek writers such as Homer long before the Christian era. According to this view, it was the only form of eternal life available to human beings, by virtue of the hero who lives on in the memory of subsequent generations.

      Delete
    14. Yes, I do! *All* of it!

      Evidence?... lol

      Soak it up tossrag
      rofl

      Delete
  3. Well what if you don’t believe in the afterlife?

    Bit late for that.. Woooooooo!!

    lol

    ReplyDelete
  4. MalcolmS10:55 PM

    Dick: "If we cannot believe in the hereafter, what is left to console us?"

    "Consolation" is not required according to Epicurus and with good reason:

    "Accustom yourself to believe that death is nothing to us, for good and evil imply awareness, and death is the privation of all awareness; therefore a right understanding that death is nothing to us makes the mortality of life enjoyable, not by adding to life an unlimited time, but by taking away the yearning after immortality. For life has no terror; for those who thoroughly apprehend that there are no terrors for them in ceasing to live. Foolish, therefore, is the person who says that he fears death, not because it will pain when it comes, but because it pains in the prospect. Whatever causes no annoyance when it is present, causes only a groundless pain in the expectation. Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not. It is nothing, then, either to the living or to the dead, for with the living it is not and the dead exist no longer."

    Death really is overrated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RalphH 25/014:14 PM

      Sorry about the double posting. I put it in the wrong place.

      “ "Consolation" is not required according to Epicurus and with good reason: ………….
      Death really is overrated.” (MalcolmS10:55 PM)

      Malcolm, is it “death” (the act of dying) that some people fear or a loss or cessation of life? No one can deny that there is a huge loss involved especially if one believes that there is a complete annihilation.

      I believe it is the loss that people fear - the loss of something incredibly beautiful and unique - if not actually at all times, potentially a state of joy/happiness and wonderment. I think you'd agree that there is no such thing as ‘experiencing’ non-existence or complete nothingness either before or after the “death’ of the physical body.

      Those who don’t believe in the afterlife are doing themselves a great disservice. I don’t see how there could be any “consolation”, only a steeling of oneself against what one has talked oneself into believing is inevitable. IOW, there could be no real coming to terms with and understanding one’s emotions on the subject, only an intellectual burying of them.

      Delete
    2. I believe it is the loss that people fear - the loss of something incredibly beautiful and unique - if not actually at all times, potentially a state of joy/happiness and wonderment.

      Ironically the easiest way to lose this state of joy/happiness and wonderment is to wander around fearing that one will lose it.

      Ie: Once you get to this point... its already been lost. So you might as well stop worrying.

      Whup: Hey! Back it comes.. lol

      So no thanks Ralfie. I think you already know my opinion of this type of foolosophical hamster wheel...

      Delete
    3. MalcolmS9:50 PM

      RalphH: "Sorry about the double posting. I put it in the wrong place"

      LOL That's what the bishop said to the hooker.

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS4:30 AM

      RalphH: "No one can deny that there is a huge loss involved especially if one believes that there is a complete annihilation"

      That is not the case with someone who has had an enjoyable and fulfilled life and is now too old to do so.

      "I believe it is the loss that people fear - the loss of something incredibly beautiful and unique"

      Especially if you've wasted your life, have lived a life of non-achievement or have not come to terms with your mortality.

      "I think you'd agree that there is no such thing as ‘experiencing’ non-existence or complete nothingness either before or after the “death’ of the physical body"

      Well, "non-existence" and "complete nothingness" is what your mortality ultimately means. You are correct that you won't "experience" it though. That's because there is no disembodied consciousness you can cling to either. But don't get frightened Ralph! You won't feel a thing :) *That* was Epicurus' point! I suggest you reread what he said.

      "Those who don’t believe in the afterlife are doing themselves a great disservice"

      No, they have discovered an elementary truth about *all* life - it comes to an end.

      "I don’t see how there could be any “consolation”, only a steeling of oneself against what one has talked oneself into believing is inevitable. IOW, there could be no real coming to terms with and understanding one’s emotions on the subject, only an intellectual burying of them"

      Forget it Ralph. You are talking about that of which you will never have any experience. Just ask Epicurus :)

      Delete
    5. MalcolmS4:32 AM

      BTW Ralph

      Epicurus was a man of many talents. Here's another gem.

      “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
      Then he is not omnipotent.
      Is he able, but not willing?
      Then he is malevolent.
      Is he both able and willing?
      Then whence cometh evil?
      Is he neither able nor willing?
      Then why call him God?”

      - Epicurus (341–270 BC)

      Delete
    6. "Then why call him God?”

      Because he can f*ck with you and you cant do anything about it.

      lol
      Seems like Manicurus was as dumb as you are...

      Delete
    7. Death really is overrated.

      `cept when you're dying. Then it becomes very important.

      An adult would have known that.

      Delete
    8. RalphH 27/016:30 AM

      “Epicurus was a man of many talents. Here's another gem.” (MalcolmS4:32 AM)

      You call that a “gem” Malcolm?

      “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? …… Is he able, but not willing? …. Is he both able and willing?”

      The reason Epicurus gets it wrong is that he doesn’t reason from the nature of God.

      God, by definition, (i.e. being infinite love and omnipotent) is obviously willing and able to prevent all evil. However, if God prevented evil by subverting man(kind)’s ability to choose (He) would destroy man. This would defeat (His) greater purpose which is to create a being capable of reciprocating love. Therefore God permits evil for the sake of man being able to reject it and choose good.

      “Then whence cometh evil?”

      Evil (all evil) comes from mankind - whenever they make the choice to reject good (the common good of all) and instead make their wishes and desires of greater importance than others.

      This whole scenario (discussing the nature of God), has to be seen in the context of eternal life (because God is eternal life - self existing and self sustaining). In this world there are always victims of evil. But there are also people responding positively to the inspiration (from God) to fight against evil and help and minister to those who have been harmed.

      The end game, however, (from a religious perspective) is not this world but the eternal world where the only victims of evil are those who choose to do and love it and all good people live together in harmony because their lives are ruled (by choice) by God’s good principles of life.

      Delete
    9. MalcolmS9:19 PM

      RalphH: "The reason Epicurus gets it wrong is that he doesn’t reason from the nature of God"

      Epicurus argues from the perspective of what follows *if* the alleged God attributes existed. The nonexistent has no nature.

      "God, by definition, (i.e. being infinite love and omnipotent) is obviously willing and able to prevent all evil. However, if God prevented evil by subverting man(kind)’s ability to choose (He) would destroy man. This would defeat (His) greater purpose which is to create a being capable of reciprocating love. Therefore God permits evil for the sake of man being able to reject it and choose good"

      That just popped out of your head as rote propaganda - like steam from a kettle - a useless by-product. You have no evidence for it and it does not address Epicurus' position.

      Furthermore, you are vainly implying that the creation of man somehow *perfects* God. In fact it would do the opposite since He has allegedly created an entity who has a "tendency to evil" [your words]. Since, according to the myth, God had existed in a state of omniperfection for all eternity *before* the creation of man He had no need of "reciprocating love." Love of Himself as an end in itself had been perfectly perfect for all eternity! He did not require a "greater purpose"! You are up shit creek without a paddle, Ralph, and have dragged your God with you :)

      "The end game, however, (from a religious perspective) is not this world but the eternal world..."

      Thisworld *is* eternal!

      Delete
    10. You have no evidence for it and it does not address Epicurus' position.

      Certainly lacking in evidence, so your statement is half correct: a new level of positive achievement for you!

      Well done son! (That progressive education is really starting to shine! lol )

      Ralfies response does in fact address Manicurists position quite succinctly Which by the way, was also completely lacking in evidence:( Quite ironically, given the nature of your "protest" )

      Oh... By the way.. Don't know how to break this to you... lol ...so did mine.

      C'mon man up a bit and address the real issues for once..

      Thisworld *is* eternal![siccitysicsic]

      Evidence please.

      C`mon sonny, quit diverting

      Delete
    11. RalphH 27/0112:56 PM

      "Epicurus argues from the perspective of what follows *if* the alleged God attributes existed.” (MalcolmS9:19 PM)

      Epicurus is trying to convince others that God does not exist because God does not live up to his (Epicurus') expectations. As I said, it’s false reasoning because he fails to appreciate the bigger picture and projects his nature, and the way he would act, onto God.

      “The nonexistent has no nature.”

      If Epicurus is running a hypothetical on God, he has to ascribe a nature to (Him) for the purpose of the hypothetical. If he already believes that God is “nonexistent” (and has no nature) what would be the purpose of the hypothetical.

      “ *”God, by definition, (i.e. being infinite love and omnipotent) is obviously willing and able to prevent all evil. However, if God prevented evil by subverting man(kind)’s ability to choose (He) would destroy man. This would defeat (His) greater purpose which is to create a being capable of reciprocating love. Therefore God permits evil for the sake of man being able to reject it and choose good”* (RH)

      That just popped out of your head as rote propaganda - like steam from a kettle - a useless by-product. You have no evidence for it and it does not address Epicurus' position. “

      It certainly does “address Epicurus' position”. Epicurus is trying to discredit God but trips up by assuming that God (even in hypothetical) is like himself. My statement follows logically if God’s true nature and value is recognised or even hypothesised.

      “Furthermore, you are vainly implying that the creation of man somehow *perfects* God.”

      Don’t know how you figure that Malcolm. The creation of man demonstrates that God is as (He) claims to be - perfect Love.

      “In fact it would do the opposite since He has allegedly created an entity who has a "tendency to evil" [your words].”

      The ‘tendency to evil’ is a legacy from past evil (by ancestors) passed down through heredity. But don’t forget about the rational faculty and teaching about genuine goodness (i.e. revelation) which balances out that tendency and leaves man in freedom to choose.

      “Since, according to the myth, God had existed in a state of omniperfection for all eternity *before* the creation of man …..”

      What on earth is “omniperfection”?

      “He had no need of "reciprocating love.” “

      True, but we do (need to reciprocate it) or love could never become a part of us.

      “Love of Himself as an end in itself had been perfectly perfect for all eternity!”

      Love is only perfected(or in God's place -perfect) by going forth to others - that’s the nature of love. Love of oneself alone,“as an end in itself”, collapses in on itself and stifles.

      “He did not require a "greater purpose”!”

      It is God’s love for the human race, maintaining their ability to choose their own destiny by means of a sense of free-will, that is the purpose of our existence and the model for all love.

      “Thisworld *is* eternal!”

      If it were we wouldn’t have dying going on all over the place, would we? This world is not a self-sustaining world, nor did it create itself. It is a dependant world of time and space which implies limitation - hence not eternal.

      Delete
    12. MalcolmS6:17 AM

      RalphH: “"Furthermore, you are vainly implying that the creation of man somehow *perfects* God.” Don’t know how you figure that Malcolm"

      Well, let me explain, Ralph, but do pay attention as I won't repeat myself again. You are the one who claimed: "The creation of man demonstrates that God is as (He) claims to be - perfect Love." What you have ignored is that, according to the myth and prior to the alleged "creation," God was already *perfect.* You cannot get more perfect than that!

      However, the myth also declares that God created an entity which, in your words, "has a "tendency to evil" and He also created "matter" so God ended up far less perfect than prior to the creation! The world was far more perfect when it consisted only of the Divine than when it consisted of the Divine, man and matter.

      Get it!

      Delete
    13. MalcolmS11:30 PM

      RalphH: “The ‘tendency to evil’ is a legacy from past evil (by ancestors) passed down through heredity".

      In which case Adam had the ‘tendency to evil’ in his genes.

      Which, of course, must have been how God created him.

      So the Christian position that *man is evil by nature* reduces to your position after all your equivocations.

      Delete
    14. MalcolmS11:32 PM

      RalphH: “Love of oneself alone,“as an end in itself”, collapses in on itself and stifles"

      Which is just how [the mythical] God must have been for all eternity prior to the creation :)

      Delete
    15. MalcolmS11:36 PM

      RalphH: "“Thisworld *is* eternal!” If it were we wouldn’t have dying going on all over the place, would we?"

      Of course we would. All living entities are mortal. Eternal simply means *out of time.* It applies to existence as a whole. Existence exists *out* of time because time only exists *within* existence as a relationship between entities in motion. Living things always run out of time.

      "This world is not a self-sustaining world, nor did it create itself"

      This world is a self-sustaining world as it has always existed in one form or another, i.e., is eternal. I agree it didn't "create itself" since it has always existed.

      "It is a dependant world of time and space which implies limitation - hence not eternal"

      It's certainly limited as are all things which exist. They are limited by/to their nature. The world is both eternal and finite!

      Delete
    16. MalcolmS11:39 PM

      RalphH: “What on earth is “omniperfection”?

      Are there no bounds to your ignorance?

      Omniperfection means *all-perfect.*

      In the same way that omniscience means *all-knowing.*

      You're slipping Ralph!

      Delete
    17. RalphH 31/011:36 PM

      “Are there no bounds to your ignorance?

      Omniperfection means *all-perfect.*

      In the same way that omniscience means *all-knowing.*

      You're slipping Ralph!” (MalcolmS11:39 PM)

      My question Malcolm was because “omniperfection” incorporates a redundancy. Perfect already means/implies ‘all’. On the contrary omniscience and omnipotent (other words describing God need the ‘omni’ prefix. I suggest that whoever invented and incorporated the word (it’s not in all dictionaries by any means) was ignorant and that you display a degree of ignorance of language by using it.

      Delete
    18. RalphH 31/015:44 PM

      “You are the one who claimed: "The creation of man demonstrates that God is as (He) claims to be - perfect Love." What you have ignored is that, according to the myth and prior to the alleged "creation," God was already *perfect.* You cannot get more perfect than that!” (MalcolmS6:17 AM)

      Your confusion Malcolm is in placing God in a time zone. There is no “God WAS already *perfect.*”. It’s simply God IS perfect. There is no before and after creation for God - that’s the way we see it because we existence in creation. God is eternal. Eternal isn’t just a very long time. It’s a timeless state in which there is no past or future per se only the present/now. Eternal does not arise from time, time is a limitation of eternal.

      “However, the myth also declares that God created an entity which, in your words, "has a "tendency to evil" and He also created "matter" so God ended up far less perfect than prior to the creation!”

      I explained this. God created/s a being of choice with the ability to understand and connect with it’s creator (i.e. through rationality and free-choice in moral and spiritual things), thus attaining eternal life. When man(kind) refuses to acknowledge this gift or kicks it in the face he/she is inventing/creating evil (which is good that has been twisted and abused by being put to a selfish rather than an altruistic purpose).

      “The world was far more perfect when it consisted only of the Divine than when it consisted of the Divine, man and matter.”

      There is a minute skerrick of truth in this, in the sense that the only being capable of messing things up is man (because of his/her ability to choose to ultimate good or twist it into evil).

      However if you are looking at perfection, a world that includes all the good done through man and all the joy and happiness shared with the added bonus that these good choices open up and include eternal happiness (because this world is the seedbed of heaven) despite the temporal hurtful and destructive limitations of chosen evil, is far more prefect than a robotic one where there is no possibility at all of attaining eternal life (i.e. the atheistic concept).

      Delete
    19. MalcolmS7:23 PM

      RalphH: "My question Malcolm was because “omniperfection” incorporates a redundancy. Perfect already means/implies ‘all’"

      Not at all Ralph. My wife can quite properly say that "this dress is *perfect* for the occasion." She is not implying in any way that she is perfect in all her attributes. On the other hand, according to the myth, God was supposed to be perfect in all attributes, i.e., omniperfect!

      My point was simply to point out that *if* God, prior to the alleged "creation," was literally perfect, then, the creation of man and matter imperfected Him. That is the sense in which I have seen the expression omniperfect used and it is perfectly valid in that sense.

      Of course this is the point we have discussed before and which you keep evading. The rabbis of old grasped the fact that you cannot speak of God without contradicting yourself and forbade the faithful to do so. They were correct as I have demonstrated on numerous issues. Perhaps you should take a leaf out of their book!

      Delete
    20. MalcolmS9:43 PM

      RalphH: “However, the myth also declares that God created an entity which, in your words, "has a "tendency to evil" and He also created "matter" so God ended up far less perfect than prior to the creation!” I explained this"

      You most certainly did not! You never *explain* anything! Explanation consists of eliminating contradictions and you only ever add, or reinforce, contradictions.

      You are the one who let slip that man has a "tendency to evil" and then added that this was genetic. In other words your preposterous assertion is that God created a physical gene in Adam, to be inherited forever more, which was responsible for man's "tendency to evil" but that this God was still *perfect"! This, I submit, is the height of looniness on a par with cattle on Venus herded by stooped little men! You should check yourself into the nearest asylum forthwith.

      Delete
    21. MalcolmS9:47 PM

      RalphH: "“The world was far more perfect when it consisted only of the Divine than when it consisted of the Divine, man and matter.” There is a minute skerrick of truth in this"

      Thanks for the belated admission! Now to its corollary! What did this mythical pre-creation world of the Divine consist of? It consisted only of a God who was *Pure Consciousness.* Of what was He conscious? There was only one thing to be conscious of! HIMSELF!

      In other words this God, who had allegedly existed alone for all eternity, was an entity conscious only of Himself!

      Your alleged God, Ralph, was the most Perfectly *Selfish* Entity possible! Who was He [or you] to proclaim that selfishness is evil?

      Delete
    22. RalphH 01/0212:59 PM

      “*“However, the myth also declares that God created an entity which, in your words, "has a "tendency to evil” and He also created "matter" so God ended up far less perfect than prior to the creation!”* (MS) I explained this. (RH) ………… “You are the one who let slip that man has a "tendency to evil" and then added that this was genetic. In other words your preposterous assertion is that God created a physical gene in Adam, to be inherited forever more, which was responsible for man's "tendency to evil" but that this God was still *perfect”!” (MalcolmS9:43 PM)

      I didn’t ‘let anything slip’ Malcolm. I said exactly what I intended to say. You just haven’t understood, I’m thinking because it disagrees with what you believe. God did not create the tendency to evil. He created the ability to choose. Choice is imperative because only by choosing for him/herself does good or evil become part of the person (their character).

      It was man’s choice of evil that created the tendency to evil. A tendency is not deterministic (people have tendencies to various diseases that will never develop if certain lifestyles/triggers are avoided). That tendency is always balanced by the ability to learn and follow instruction else we would have no free-will.

      In short, contrary to your claim, man’s choice does not make God imperfect.



      “This, I submit, is the height of looniness on a par with cattle on Venus herded by stooped little men! You should check yourself into the nearest asylum forthwith.”

      If you’re going to throw this at me again, you could at least try to get it right. It’s Mercury not “Venus” and I have absolutely no recollection of “stooped little men/(herders)”. I think your charge of “looniness” is well overdue for an upgrade.

      Delete
    23. RalphH 01/021:35 PM

      “In other words this God, who had allegedly existed alone for all eternity, was an entity conscious only of Himself!

      Your alleged God, Ralph, was the most Perfectly *Selfish* Entity possible! Who was He [or you] to proclaim that selfishness is evil?” (MalcolmS9:47 PM)

      More time and space thinking about God Malcolm! It is tough to get past that but not impossible.

      Part (at least) of our disagreement is because of your, Randian definition of selfishness which is at odds with what others see selfishness as being. Awareness of self and a sense of self esteem are not what one usually thinks of as selfishness.

      Selfishness is thinking oneself more important than others and acting accordingly. It’s the opposite of sharing something that ideally should be learned in childhood. I recommend to you one of my favourite stories - ‘The Selfish Giant’ by Oscar Wilde.

      http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/SelGia.shtml

      Delete
    24. RalphH 01/024:40 PM

      “……. My wife can quite properly say that "this dress is *perfect* for the occasion." She is not implying in any way that she is perfect in all her attributes.” (MalcolmS7:23 PM)

      I agree that perfect can be used in any individual context taken as a whole e.g. your wife’s occasion or a particular attribute but if you just said your wife (in toto) was perfect, you would be including all things pertaining to her. I’m sure you wouldn’t think to add ‘omni’ to the perfect - because perfect says it all. Same with God when he is being spoken of in (His) totality.

      This doesn’t work for omnipotent. If one simply said God was ‘potent’/powerful it does not have the same meaning as ‘all powerful’ i.e. the being and source of all power.

      “My point was simply to point out that *if* God, prior to the alleged "creation," was literally perfect, then, the creation of man and matter imperfected Him. That is the sense in which I have seen the expression omniperfect used and it is perfectly valid in that sense.”

      I’m not sure where you might have heard such an idea but how does that change God. Are you a changed person when you create something? It’s merely an expression of your creativity. If creativity's one of your attributes you would rather be a changed person if you stifled it.

      “Of course this is the point we have discussed before and which you keep evading. The rabbis of old grasped the fact that you cannot speak of God without contradicting yourself and forbade the faithful to do so. They were correct as I have demonstrated on numerous issues. Perhaps you should take a leaf out of their book!”

      I don’t recall your ever “demonstrating this”. Where did you come up with the strange idea that ‘speaking with God is contradicting oneself’? Do you have a link to these “rabbis?

      Delete
    25. MalcolmS5:32 PM

      RalphH: "Part (at least) of our disagreement is because of your, Randian definition of selfishness which is at odds with what others see selfishness as being"

      So, what do you think my "definition of selfishness" is? I would suggest it's the same as anyone else's and is in any standard dictionary. It would apply as accurately to your pre-creation God [if He existed] as to anyone else.

      You are becoming rather prone to these mental ejaculations which in no way correspond with reality. Perhaps the time has come for a pilgrimage to visit the brethren on Venus (oops Mercury). You need to get out more.

      Delete
    26. MalcolmS5:35 PM

      RalphH: "It’s Mercury not “Venus” and I have absolutely no recollection of “stooped little men/(herders)”"

      Perhaps they were hiding when you were there? You can read all about them in the references I gave Mark!

      "I think your charge of “looniness” is well overdue for an upgrade"

      Fair enough! Will *absolute raving loony* suffice? :)

      Delete
    27. MalcolmS6:31 PM

      RalphH: "“My point was simply to point out that *if* God, prior to the alleged "creation," was literally perfect, then, the creation of man and matter imperfected Him" I’m not sure where you might have heard such an idea but how does that change God"

      The changes are obvious. Pre-creation God[the myth] was entirely[omni-] Self oriented, immutable[immovable] and Perfect. The Creationist God was *other oriented,* mutable and, therefore, imperfect. A Perfect God is necessarily immutable/changeless - if such a Being was to change in any way He would no longer be Perfect - He would have introduced space/time and all sorts of imperfections/evils in so doing. Space/time always implies change.

      "“Of course this is the point we have discussed before and which you keep evading. The rabbis of old grasped the fact that you cannot speak of God without contradicting yourself and forbade the faithful to do so" Where did you come up with the strange idea that ‘speaking with God is contradicting oneself’? Do you have a link to these “rabbis?"

      Don't misrepresent me Ralph. I did not say: "‘speaking WITH God is contradicting oneself’." I said you cannot: "speak OF God without contradicting yourself." I agree with the rabbis. As for a link, try reading the OT or any current Orthodox Jewish writings where God is written as G-d!

      Delete
    28. RalphH 01/028:44 PM

      “The changes are obvious. Pre-creation God[the myth] was entirely[omni-] Self oriented, immutable[immovable] and Perfect. The Creationist God was *other oriented,* mutable and, therefore, imperfect. A Perfect God is necessarily immutable/changeless - if such a Being was to change in any way He would no longer be Perfect - He would have introduced space/time and all sorts of imperfections/evils in so doing. Space/time always implies change.” (MalcolmS6:31 PM)

      Once again Malcolm you insist on placing God in a timeframe. God is eternal. (He) is not within creation where time and space exist. (He) is ‘the Creator’. God is always *other oriented* by (His) very nature (which is immutable/unchangeable Love). If God were immutable/unchangeable self-love (He) would never/could never have created. The potential and impetus to create is indelibly part of God’s immutable/unchangeable nature.

      “Don't misrepresent me Ralph. I did not say: "‘speaking WITH God is contradicting oneself’." I said you cannot: "speak OF God without contradicting yourself." I agree with the rabbis. As for a link, try reading the OT or any current Orthodox Jewish writings where God is written as G-d!”

      I accept my mistake (it was not misrepresentation). However I still ask, “Whence this idea of contradiction”? The reason for not writing (or speaking) the the name of the one true God (YHVH), was that is was considered so holy that speaking or writing it laid it open to abuse so lesser or more general names for God were used as substitutes.

      I’ve done a bit of general reading on the subject but have nowhere seen any suggestion of contradiction so where did you get it from?


      Delete
    29. MalcolmS10:55 PM

      RalphH: "Once again Malcolm you insist on placing God in a timeframe"

      I'm not in the business of "placing" God Ralph! I refer only to where He allegedly placed Himself, viz., the myth claims that existence changed from a pre-creation state to a creation state. You can waffle on until the angels fly home to roost, Ralph, but *that* is a change.

      "God is eternal. (He) is not within creation where time and space exist"

      He is when He is raping Mary, disguising Himself as a burning, talking bush or hurling pestilence on human beings! He is when His creation lasts six days and He rests on the seventh. Stop your lies and pretense Ralph.

      "God is always *other oriented* by (His) very nature (which is immutable/unchangeable Love)"

      "Always"? That's a long "time" Ralph :) In His pre-creation state that could only be immutable/unchangeable SELF-Love.

      "If God were immutable/unchangeable self-love (He) would never/could never have created"

      I agree! He didn't create. Existence was not created and does not require creation. Existence is eternal.

      "The potential and impetus to create is indelibly part of God’s immutable/unchangeable nature"

      A *potential* which transcends to an *actual* is a change dopey.

      “I accept my mistake (it was not misrepresentation). However I still ask, “Whence this idea of contradiction”?"

      I suggest you reread the above where I have systematically pointed to your contradiction whenever you have ascribed an attribute to God. It is inescapable.

      "I suggest The reason for not writing (or speaking) the the name of the one true God (YHVH), was that is was considered so holy that speaking or writing it laid it open to abuse so lesser or more general names for God were used as substitutes. I’ve done a bit of general reading on the subject but have nowhere seen any suggestion of contradiction so where did you get it from?"

      I shall ignore all the contradictions in that statement! I got it from a theology article in JWR [ http://www.jewishworldreview.com/ ] years ago which I read regularly as I quite like the articles on the ME by Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post. It is the easiest place for me to access her.

      Delete
    30. RalphH 03/022:14 PM

      “I'm not in the business of "placing" God Ralph! I refer only to where He allegedly placed Himself, viz., the myth claims that existence changed from a pre-creation state to a creation state. You can waffle on until the angels fly home to roost, Ralph, but *that* is a change.” (MalcolmS10:55 PM)

      You may not be in “the business” of doing so but by your literal interpretation of scripture, whether you believe in God or not, that’s what you do, even if it is only a hypothetical placement. You deny that there is any ‘world’ other than the physical so you have nowhere else to (hypothetically) place (Him).

      From this false premise you come up with nonsense like “raping Mary”, “(disguised) as a burning, talking bush”and “hurling pestilence” when nothing could be further from the truth.

      Nowhere does the Bible talk about a “pre-creation state” or of a “creation state” of God. That’s your assumption because you don’t understand the nature of God. It’s your choice whether or not you believe in God but choosing not to, hardly qualifies you to make a credible statement about the nature of God even though only hypothetically.

      “*”God is always *other oriented* by (His) very nature (which is immutable/unchangeable Love)”* (RH)

      "Always"? That's a long "time" Ralph :) In His pre-creation state that could only be immutable/unchangeable SELF-Love.”

      Always does not necessarily apply to time. It’s another way of saying that God never changes. (He) ‘appears’ to us to change because we are changing. An analogy: we appear to be moving when sitting in a stationary train when another train moves past us.

      “*”If God were immutable/unchangeable self-love (He) would never/could never have created”* (RH)

      “I agree! He didn't create. Existence was not created and does not require creation. Existence is eternal.”

      I welcome your agreement but it doesn’t follow from this line of argument that (He) “didn’t” create - because a hypothetical (note the “if”) cannot lead to a definitive, “(He) didn’t”. We’re not talking about “existence” being created, we’re talking about the creation of the natural/physical world, the objects of which obviously do not have eternal existence of themselves.

      “A *potential* which transcends to an *actual* is a change dopey.”

      In God’s case it’s not a change in nature, it’s a fulfilment, not from God’s perspective (God is not a receptor that needs to make choices - (He) is existence itself) but from ours. For God, unlimited by time and space, “potential” and “actual” are one. Whatever God wills, there is a way.

      “I suggest you reread the above where I have systematically pointed to your contradiction whenever you have ascribed an attribute to God. It is inescapable.”

      It all depends on interpretation. Where there appears to be a contradiction, the interpretation is wrong. If one has to mentally change God’s nature to use a literal interpretation, that interpretation is invalid.

      Delete
    31. MalcolmS11:07 PM

      RalphH: ".. your literal interpretation of scripture, whether you believe in God or not, that’s what you do, even if it is only a hypothetical placement. You deny that there is any ‘world’ other than the physical so you have nowhere else to (hypothetically) place (Him)"

      Let's get this straight, Ralph. I take your ramblings as you ascribe them and describe what would follow *if* they were true. I observe that they usually involve contradiction. That's it! Proving the existence of God is a problem you have yet to resolve. I simply point that fact out! Proof of the existence of God requires evidence. Arbitrary "revelations" from primitive goat herders do not qualify. I am not required to prove the nonexistence of a nonentity! Clearly there can be no evidence for same.

      "Nowhere does the Bible talk about a “pre-creation state” or of a “creation state” of God. That’s your assumption because you don’t understand the nature of God"

      Then I suggest you reread the Genesis myth. We know that man has existed for only a short period during the history of the universe. However, according to your personal myth, Adam was created by God, at a specific time and place[GOE], and God bequeathed him with a physical gene responsible for the inheritance of the attribute of a "tendency to evil" to be handed down to all future generations. That's not my position but is simply reproduced from your ramblings. Now, that involves a Divine Choice! Could not God have bequeathed Adam a gene for a "tendency to good"? If not, then, He was/is not omnipotent. Either way we are talking about possible *States of God.* So, according to the myth, He can and did "change." In fact the change necessarily involves at least an act of Will and *what* He Wills!

      Furthermore, according to the myth, this God of yours had some sort of fetishist, sexual relationship with the Virgin Mary resulting in the miraculous conception of... er... Himself, who, after a period in space/time, was born and named Jesus[also in space/time]. Apparently this spatial/temporal Jesus was His own Father and His own Son!

      Then, of course, there is the myth of the Jesus/God wandering in the desert, talking to Himself, being tempted by the devil! How a Perfect God can be *tempted* remains a mystery! No doubt you have a set of lies to deal with that but the point is that the myth embraces the existence of God in space/time who "changes" and you know it!

      “*”God is always *other oriented* by (His) very nature (which is immutable/unchangeable Love)”* (RH) ... In His pre-creation state that could only be immutable/unchangeable SELF-Love.”

      Another contradiction you can't resolve. SELF-Love is the *only* love possible in a reality in which only God exists. Laughingly you have no reason to deny such a Love either! You are the one claiming that we should all love God more than anything so why shouldn't He Love Himself? :)

      “We’re not talking about “existence” being created, we’re talking about the creation of the natural/physical world"

      What's the difference? Existence *is* the natural/physical world. At least until you prove there's something else!

      "“A *potential* which transcends to an *actual* is a change dopey.” In God’s case it’s not a change in nature, it’s a fulfilment"

      Then it's transcendence from nonfulfilment to fulfilment but that's still a change. There's no such thing as a fulfilment which does not arise in unfulfilment!

      "God is not a receptor that needs to make choices"

      According to the myth God's Will *is* His Choice!

      “If one has to mentally change God’s nature to use a literal interpretation, that interpretation is invalid"

      *God's nature* is precisely what you are incapable of determining or proving.

      Delete
    32. RalphH 04/021:45 AM

      “Let's get this straight, Ralph. I take your ramblings as you ascribe them and describe what would follow *if* they were true. I observe that they usually involve contradiction. That's it! Proving the existence of God is a problem you have yet to resolve. I simply point that fact out! Proof of the existence of God requires evidence. Arbitrary "revelations" from primitive goat herders do not qualify. I am not required to prove the nonexistence of a nonentity! Clearly there can be no evidence for same.” (MalcolmS11:07 PM)

      The “problem” Malcolm is the idea that the existence of God needs to be or could be proven scientifically. It can’t be because God is not in the world of nature. God is the Creator of that/this world - which places (Him) outside the world of nature/the world of time and space/the scientific realm.

      How do we know there is a creator? Answer: because we have a creation - all around us - a fact that is provable by science. One cannot have a creation without a creator. The next question is, “What is the nature of the creator?” It’s a big step to seeing the God of revelation/religion/the Bible as being the creator but it makes a lot more sense than believing that Nature (that needs to be created) could create itself. Of itself, Nature is constantly and irrevocably ‘running down’ to a more disordered state.

      “……… according to your personal myth, Adam was created by God, at a specific time and place[GOE], and God bequeathed him with a physical gene responsible for the inheritance of the attribute of a "tendency to evil" to be handed down to all future generations. That's not my position but is simply reproduced from your ramblings. Now, that involves a Divine Choice! Could not God have bequeathed Adam a gene for a "tendency to good"? If not, then, He was/is not omnipotent. Either way we are talking about possible *States of God.* So, according to the myth, He can and did "change." In fact the change necessarily involves at least an act of Will and *what* He Wills!”

      It's not my position either Malcolm so you have misunderstood me and imposed ideas on me that you have gotten from elsewhere. It was ever God’s will to create a being capable of becoming/choosing to become ‘in (His) image’. The only way (He) can create such a being is to gift it with free-will in spiritual/moral things. It also needs rationality to be able to understand how and why something is right and good. These two gifts provide the impetus for good.

      If the being chooses not to do the good but to reject it or twist it to serve a selfish end he/she has created evil - the tendency to which is passed on to it’s ancestors along with the rational and free-will faculties i.e. a “tendency to evil” is not “bequeathed” by God, it is chosen by man. Even so, it is not deterministic. It can be overcome by the application of reason and free-will.

      Why do you say, “According to your personal myth”? I don’t believe the GOE story is a myth, it’s an allegory - it’s not a creation story of the physical universe (there’s light on the first day but no sun, moon or stars till the fourth day). It’s a story about the recreation or regeneration of the human mind from being merely natural to becoming spiritual. Adam and Eve were not actual people but represented humankind/the humanness of humankind. (see Wiki - Adam - etymology)

      Delete
  5. Og of Ham2:30 PM

    Harry, why do you need consolation for death?, it's a gift. Think deeply and truly for a moment on the concept of eternal life, it's a horror. No Thanks. You're quite welcome to stick your head in the stained-glass paper bag of religion at any time if the light of reality gets to bright. It's the coward's way out though.
    Bugger the black dog of existentialism, with thorns you get roses.

    hmm...thinking, what about science curing death? how would the self-exalted ones then scare people into the death cult that exists as the base of all religions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MalcolmS5:11 PM

      Og: ".. thinking, what about science curing death"

      It won't give us eternal life :) I agree: who would want it.

      However, science has already dramatically expanded both the length and quality of life. Remember that life expectancy from birth in the Christian middle ages was 20 or so years.

      You are correct that *death* is the standard of value for Christianity.

      Delete
    2. Psalm 90:10

      "The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away."

      Amazing that, allegedly, thousands of years ago they were able to determine man's normal life span even though hardly anyone lived to that age in those days.
      In fact it was only ever 70 years for a brief period in the 20th century.
      It appears that some biblical translations may not be as accurate as they should be.

      Delete
    3. Og: Think deeply and truly for a moment on the concept of eternal life, it's a horror.

      Especially if, as Billy Connolly said, you had to spend it with 72 virgins. That’s not a reward. That’s a punishment. Give him one night with a fire-breathing whore instead.

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS5:58 PM

      Terry: "... 72 virgins. That’s not a reward. That’s a punishment. Give him one night with a fire-breathing whore instead"

      Hear! Hear! :)

      Delete
  6. Dick,

    The only answer you will ever need to this question:

    "Andres’ creations are simply stunning and knowing that these delicate creations are temporary somehow makes them even more beautiful."

    http://www.viralnova.com/beach-art/

    ReplyDelete
  7. MalcolmS6:17 AM

    [Part 1]

    RalphH: "The “problem” Malcolm is the idea that the existence of God needs to be or could be proven scientifically"

    Theism does not belong to science as I've pointed out on numerous occasions. Nor does it require a "scientific" proof. All the "proofs" I've seen have been philosophical and all have failed. *You* don't appear to even have one apparently.

    "It can’t be because God is not in the world of nature"

    I have just pointed out numerous examples of where the myth, *your* myth, claims that He *did* operate in nature. Is there no end to your dishonesty?

    "God is the Creator of that/this world - which places (Him) outside the world of nature/the world of time and space/the scientific realm"

    Existence is all there is. If God existed He could only be a *part* of existence. God is *not* the creator of existence since He cannot create Himself. Existence cannot be created. Creation can only occur *within* existence. Existence itself is both uncreated and eternal.

    "How do we know there is a creator? Answer: because we have a creation - all around us - a fact that is provable by science"

    Do you mind giving the scientific proof for which you said a few sentences ago that there was none?? You really couldn't lie straight in bed could you?

    "One cannot have a creation without a creator"

    Fallacy of begging the question. First you need to prove that existence was created. Which it clearly was not.

    "It’s a big step to seeing the God of revelation/religion/the Bible as being the creator but it makes a lot more sense than believing that Nature (that needs to be created) could create itself"

    Same false argument! "Nature" was not created. Nature *is* existence. There is nothing else. Nature is eternal. Don't confuse yourself Ralph! Existence is from the language of the philosopher and nature is from the language of the scientist but they refer to the same thing.

    "Of itself, Nature is constantly and irrevocably ‘running down’ to a more disordered state"

    False! You really are quite stupid. Nature is as causal and as orderly as it has ever been. Nature cannot be otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MalcolmS6:19 AM

      [Part 2]

      RalphH: "It was ever God’s will to create a being capable of becoming/choosing to become ‘in (His) image’"

      "Ever"? That could not be factual even if the God-myth existed! The point is that we know man has only existed for about 4 million years and you claim God is eternal. If the creation myth is true, then, He Willed man 4 million years ago - not for "ever"!! However, it's not true since we know that man evolved from other creatures according to the laws of nature and not by miraculous means. You sure know how to complicate your life Ralph!

      Observe another interesting contradiction you have created. If the God-myth is *Perfect* He is incapable of change - He would be truly immutable - or He would become imperfect! This would preclude Him from Creating OR Willing [the latter is a mental change] :)

      "The only way (He) can create such a being is to gift it with free-will in spiritual/moral things. It also needs rationality to be able to understand how and why something is right and good. These two gifts provide the impetus for good"

      Forget it Ralph! Everything he has man has by the grace of nature. The God-myth is redundant. Furthermore, man's free will *is* his reason. The faculty of free will *is* the faculty of reason. Observe that whenever you *think* you must volitionally focus your mind to avoid drift and keep doing so throughout the process. That volitional focus is your free will.

      "If the being chooses not to do the good but to reject it or twist it to serve a selfish end he/she has created evil"

      Complete rubbish. Ethics/morality is an objective requirement for the life of every individual human being - which means that ethics/morality is selfish. Man would require ethics even if he lived alone on a desert island.

      "the tendency to which is passed on to it’s ancestors along with the rational and free-will faculties i.e. a “tendency to evil” is not “bequeathed” by God, it is chosen by man"

      You are the one who claimed it was caused by a gene so, according to your myth, it is thoroughly deterministic and unavoidable.

      "It’s a story[GOE] about the recreation or regeneration of the human mind from being merely natural to becoming spiritual. Adam and Eve were not actual people but represented humankind/the humanness of humankind"

      Nonsense. Firstly, the secular human mind is already "spiritual" which simply means pertaining to consciousness. Mind is spiritual and brain is physical.

      Secondly, Adam's alleged sin was to "eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." In secular terms this means that his sin was to cease being a monkey[who could not know good/evil] and become a man who could know the difference between good and evil. That was the origin of the Christian myth that man was *evil by nature* - it was also the source of Christian *guilt* - one of the more disgusting of Christian ideas.

      Delete
    2. MalcolmS6:22 AM

      Oops. Sorry Ralph. Wrong spot. Twice!

      Delete
    3. RalphH 10/023:53 AM

      “Theism does not belong to science as I've pointed out on numerous occasions. Nor does it require a "scientific" proof. All the "proofs" I've seen have been philosophical and all have failed. *You* don't appear to even have one apparently.” (MalcolmS6:17 AM [Part 1])

      It’s not important or necessary to prove that God exists - God is ‘existence itself’/that which exists of itself - God is axiomatic. One either believes in God or substitutes something in (His) place (as yo seem to be doing with Nature).

      “I have just pointed out numerous examples of where the myth, *your* myth, claims that He *did* operate in nature. Is there no end to your dishonesty?”

      God operates in and through Nature but does not reside in/is not a ‘part’ of Nature.

      “Existence is all there is. If God existed He could only be a *part* of existence. God is *not* the creator of existence since He cannot create Himself. Existence cannot be created. Creation can only occur *within* existence. Existence itself is both uncreated and eternal.”

      Déjà vu Malcolm, there is a distinction between “Existence Itself” and “existence” that is dependent on something else. God (by definition) is ‘existence itself’ i.e. self-existence (“I AM who/that I AM” - Exodus 3:14) so cannot “be a *part* of existence” (where ‘existence’ is a dependent existence).

      "How do we know there is a creator? Answer: because we have a creation - all around us - a fact that is provable by science"

      “Do you mind giving the scientific proof for which you said a few sentences ago that there was none?? You really couldn't lie straight in bed could you?”

      I didn’t say there was no scientific proof of creation, I said there was no scientific proof of God.

      “*”One cannot have a creation without a creator”* (RH)

      Fallacy of begging the question. First you need to prove that existence was created. Which it clearly was not.”

      This would only be “begging the question.” if I assumed a creator to prove the creation. That is not what I did or suggested. I proved/suggested proving the existence of a creation scientifically. When this is done, the implication is that there is a creator. Existence Itself is obviously not created but those things that owe their existence to ‘existence itself’ are created.

      “Same false argument! "Nature" was not created. Nature *is* existence. There is nothing else. Nature is eternal. Don't confuse yourself Ralph! Existence is from the language of the philosopher and nature is from the language of the scientist but they refer to the same thing.”

      I think you might have some trouble finding a scientist (or philosopher) who thought that way Malcolm.

      “Nature is as causal and as orderly as it has ever been. Nature cannot be otherwise.”

      There are many intermediary causes within Nature but Nature is not eternal (i.e it has a beginning) and does not cause or create itself. Nature is causal and orderly because that’s the way it has been created.

      Delete
    4. RalphH 11/024:03 PM

      [Part 1]

      "Ever"? That could not be factual even if the God-myth existed! The point is that we know man has only existed for about 4 million years and you claim God is eternal. ……. However, it's not true since we know that man evolved from other creatures according to the laws of nature and not by miraculous means. ……” (MalcolmS6:19 AM [Part 2])

      One can’t juxtaposition “eternal” and a time span, Malcolm. They’re made of different stuff. If ‘man’ did evolve “according to the laws of nature”, these are God’s laws applied to the natural plane of life. So nothing “miraculous” there. What would be miraculous and unbelievable would be if this all ‘just happened’ without God.

      “….. If the God-myth is *Perfect* He is incapable of change - He would be truly immutable - or He would become imperfect! …..”

      You confuse doing with being. One does not become ‘imperfect’ or less perfect by creating. One only becomes less perfect by changing one’s character.

      “Forget it Ralph! Everything he has man has by the grace of (N)ature. The God-myth is redundant.”

      Now you’re giving Nature human qualities. Wonder why! Because you can sense that such a change is impossible without them?

      Furthermore, man's free will *is* his reason. The faculty of free will *is* the faculty of reason. Observe that whenever you *think* you must volitionally focus your mind to avoid drift and keep doing so throughout the process. That volitional focus is your free will.”

      Funny story Malcolm. The two work together and in tandem but they are not the same thing. The will, which is the essence of the being itself, can be for good or evil. The reason responds to and supports the will but it is only true reason if the will is for good.

      “*”If the being chooses not to do the good but to reject it or twist it to serve a selfish end he/she has created evil”* (RH)

      Complete rubbish. Ethics/morality is an objective requirement for the life of every individual human being - which means that ethics/morality is selfish. Man would require ethics even if he lived alone on a desert island.”

      Ethics/morality applies to every person/self but that doesn’t make it “selfish”. The purpose of ethics/morality is to foster good, just relations with or serve others. Ethics/morality that does not do this (i.e. exists only to serve self) is not ethical or moral.

      “You are the one who claimed it was caused by a gene so, according to your myth, it is thoroughly deterministic and unavoidable.”

      I did not claim that the ‘tendency to evil’ was “caused” by a gene. That’s your addition. I said it was ‘passed on’. A tendency is not “deterministic and unavoidable.” (An example would be the tendency to homosexuality i.e. choice is still involved).

      Delete
    5. RalphH 11/024:05 PM

      [Part 2]

      “*”It’s a story[GOE] about the recreation or regeneration of the human mind from being merely natural to becoming spiritual.* (RH)

      Nonsense. Firstly, the secular human mind is already "spiritual" which simply means pertaining to consciousness. Mind is spiritual and brain is physical.” (MalcolmS6:19 AM [Part 2])

      Mind is mid way between the body and the soul. It has two levels, that which pertains to the body and that which pertains to the soul. The ‘inner’ mind (commonly called the spirit) is spiritual receiving influx from the soul (our connection to God). The outer mind is natural receiving influx from the physical senses via the brain.

      The business of life is learning to order the mind so that the inner mind rules the outer mind which serves as the vehicle for speech and action in the world. The soul is not consciousness - it enables consciousness, firstly (during our earth-life) of the natural world and secondly of the spiritual world (the afterlife) when the earth-life has served it’s purpose.

      “Secondly, Adam's alleged sin was to "eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." In secular terms this means that his sin was to cease being a monkey[who could not know good/evil] and become a man who could know the difference between good and evil.”

      It’s not a sin to eat fruit. The fruit, like the whole story, is symbolic. The sin was to ignore the fruit of the Tree of Life (God’s instruction as to what is good) and to replace it with the ‘fruit’ of the Tree of (self-derived) knowledge of good and evil i.e to ignore the objective reality and decide (according to one’s natural desires for oneself) what is good (and evil).

      Don’t agree with your “monkey” idea. We don’t know for sure that mankind developed from a monkey ancestor but if they did it was through the implantation of the faculties of reason to understand what is right and good and the free-will to (from that knowledge) choose to implement them.

      “That was the origin of the Christian myth that man was *evil by nature* - it was also the source of Christian *guilt* - one of the more disgusting of Christian ideas.”

      That’s certainly not my idea. If “man” were “evil by nature” (or good for that matter), there would be absolutely no point in having reason and free-will. Having a ‘tendency to evil’ is by no means the same thing. A tendency is not deterministic, it leaves the door open for understanding and choice.

      “Guilt” has a purpose. It is to alert one to the fact that they have done something wrong. When one deals with the problem and corrects it, the guilt goes away. Wallowing in guilt (even if from a false idea of religion) or blaming oneself or others is counterproductive.

      Delete
    6. "(An example would be the tendency to homosexuality i.e. choice is still involved)."

      That's utter bullshit, but people do have a tendency to be arseholes; it's incredible how many people make that choice.

      "...it was through the implantation of the faculties of reason..." More evidence-free bullshit.

      "Wallowing in guilt (even if from a false idea of religion) or blaming oneself or others is counterproductive." Oh boy, something we can agree on - except for the notion of "a false idea of religion" - all you really mean is people's religion that you don't agree with. You have no evidence for a religion's falsehood or authenticity. Naturally you think your religious beliefs are the "truth" but then so does every religious person and no one has any evidence to support their position. Hence the bullshit of faith.

      Delete
    7. RalphH 11/026:14 PM

      “*”(An example would be the tendency to homosexuality i.e. choice is still involved).”* (RH)

      That's utter bullshit, but people do have a tendency to be arseholes; it's incredible how many people make that choice.” (Kate6:47 PM)

      You’re pretty heavy on the BS today Kate. So what do you consider BS - the tendency or the choice? You seem to accept my premise by giving your own example of a tendency and choice.

      "...it was through the implantation of the faculties of reason..." More evidence-free bullshit.”

      No animal has the ability to know right from wrong - in a moral/ethical way or the free-will to choose between them. Humans do - they are uniquely human capabilities. (If animals did have that ability they would be liable under the law.) So where do these capabilities come (or arise) from?

      "Wallowing in guilt (even if from a false idea of religion) or blaming oneself or others is counterproductive." (RH) Oh boy, something we can agree on - except for the notion of "a false idea of religion" - all you really mean is people's religion that you don't agree with. You have no evidence for a religion's falsehood or authenticity. Naturally you think your religious beliefs are the "truth" but then so does every religious person and no one has any evidence to support their position. Hence the bullshit of faith."

      Good that we agree about “guilt” but what about faith?. “Faith” is not BS. Everybody has “faith” - in many different and diverse things. Your negative statement is about religious faith, I suggest because you judge such faith in terms of individuals who claim to have religious faith yet act badly, rather than assess religious faith itself. There are true ideas of religion and there are false ideas of religion. They do not align with any particular group, organisation or tradition.

      There is truth everywhere people are sincerely trying to understand and follow God’s will. But there are also mistaken and twisted ideas of religion especially where people try to use it as a political, economic or social tool to serve themselves and their immediate group of friends to the exclusion of others.

      Delete
    8. MalcolmS11:10 PM

      RalphH: "There is truth everywhere people are sincerely trying to understand and follow God’s will"

      There you go again rushing to the defense of the 9/11 terrorists and the torturors of the Christian Inquisition.

      Faith is BS. Going by faith simply means going by your feelings and that does not lead to truth. Faith of Christians, Muslims or Satanists leads to the same intellectual dead end.

      Any idea what does lead to truth Ralph? No, didn't think so!

      Delete
    9. No animal has the ability to know right from wrong - in a moral/ethical way or the free-will to choose between them. Humans do - they are uniquely human capabilities.

      False

      (If animals did have that ability they would be liable under the law.)

      They are.
      http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20121004101553AAzsKgC
      http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120213102708AAt5f3n
      http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2013/12/14/Animal-Friends-puts-down-pit-bull-after-two-attacks/stories/201312140100

      See?

      Also Lol
      http://cabinetmagazine.org/issues/4/animalsontrial.php
      http://www.slate.com/articles/life/history/2013/02/medieval_animal_trials_why_they_re_not_quite_as_crazy_as_they_sound.html


      So where do these capabilities come (or arise) from?
      Theyre appear spontaneously and are reinforced by not resulting in the death of the exhibiting organism

      Everyone knows that... Get with the play Relfie

      Delete
    10. No animal has the ability to know right from wrong - in a moral/ethical way or the free-will to choose between them. Humans do - they are uniquely human capabilities.

      False

      (If animals did have that ability they would be liable under the law.)

      They are.
      http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20121004101553AAzsKgC
      http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120213102708AAt5f3n
      http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2013/12/14/Animal-Friends-puts-down-pit-bull-after-two-attacks/stories/201312140100

      See?

      Also Lol
      http://cabinetmagazine.org/issues/4/animalsontrial.php
      http://www.slate.com/articles/life/history/2013/02/medieval_animal_trials_why_they_re_not_quite_as_crazy_as_they_sound.html


      So where do these capabilities come (or arise) from?
      Theyre appear spontaneously and are reinforced by not resulting in the death of the exhibiting organism

      Everyone knows that... Get with the play Relfie

      Delete
    11. RalphH 13/026:29 AM

      “RalphH: *”There is truth everywhere people are sincerely trying to understand and follow God’s will”*

      There you go again rushing to the defense of the 9/11 terrorists and the torturors of the Christian Inquisition.” (MalcolmS11:10 PM)

      Don’t be ridiculous Malcolm, I would never ‘defend’ or excuse such action. It is completely contrary to the tenets of the two traditions involved - Islam and Christianity. Such people as those who committed these atrocities where not ruled by the love of their fellow man as commanded by their religions but by a sense of superiority and hatred for others. If ‘sincere’ these people were sincere to their perverted feelings not to the truths taught by their religions.

      They have completely ignored the teachings that show God to be loving, merciful and forgiving as well as just and have instead latched onto some obscure statement that has been taken out of context or interpreted literally (when it obviously should have been interpreted allegorically or spiritually) to blot out the real meaning and justify (to themselves), their abject hatred and contempt of those God has commanded them to love.

      “Faith is BS. Going by faith simply means going by your feelings and that does not lead to truth. Faith of Christians, Muslims or Satanists leads to the same intellectual dead end.”

      Faith (as I have explained before) is an essential ingredient in learning and believing the truth of anything (the more evidence one has of the truth of a proposition, the more faith one has in it) but more specifically of inner/spiritual things that are unknowable by means of the physical senses (which look outward - not inward).

      By lumping “Christians, Muslims or Satanists” together you show that you are not specifically against religion but against the idea that there is a higher plane of existence than Nature.

      “Any idea what does lead to truth Ralph? No, didn't think so!”

      I do know Malcolm, that what you consider ‘truth’, because it is confined to the world of Nature, only just skims the surface. Knowing ‘what’ does very little - it’s knowing ‘why’ that really counts - so that one can respond intellectually and actually (i.e. by action) to the knowledge gained.

      Delete
    12. MalcolmS5:44 PM

      RalphH: "By lumping “Christians, Muslims or Satanists” together you show that you are not specifically against religion but against the idea that there is a higher plane of existence than Nature"

      Actually, Ralph, existence/nature is all there is and you have demonstrated nothing else.

      Why I lumped together “Christians, Muslims or Satanists” was that they all claim knowledge on the basis of faith[feeling] - which does not lead to knowledge but only "belief." That is the reason that the 9/11 killers "believed" their actions would result in "eternal life" and the torturing Inquisitors "believed" their actions could "save the souls" of their victims.

      Reason is man's only means of knowledge. You're on the side of the loonies Ralph. Faith[feeling] only applies to other/lower animals which do not have a rational faculty.

      Delete
    13. MalcolmS6:15 PM

      RalphH: "I do know Malcolm, that what you consider ‘truth’, because it is confined to the world of Nature, only just skims the surface"

      The "surface" of *what* Ralph? The surface of the world you cannot validate, accept by rote and faith and simply churn out like an organ grinding monkey?

      I don't go by the faith of primitives and phonies.

      Delete
  8. Ralph, you're the one who's heavy on the bullshit - I just point it out.

    It is unfathomable, that you don't understand my position on homosexuality. Basically Ralph, we all make a choice about whether or not to have sex and which individual/s to have sex with. If we are true to our sexual orientation, we don't make a choice about the gender of the individuals, unless you're bi-sexual. Really Ralph, why do you struggle with the concept that the sex-lives of other people (assume I'm only referring to consenting adults) is not moral and it is not any of your buisness? Get your head out of other people's sex lives.

    Billy the Magic Cat has eloquently pointed out the flaws in your bullshit "No animal has the ability to know right from wrong" statement.

    "I suggest because you judge such faith in terms of individuals who claim to have religious faith yet act badly, rather than assess religious faith itself." Yet again you make bullshit assumptions about what I believe that do not resemble the truth and they are not supported by any comment I have ever made. I don't care if a person is good, bad or indifferent - if they believe in god/s then they suffer from the intellectual disability of the "bullshit of faith". If you believe in something that is not supported by a single shred of evidence then your faith is ruled by your gullibility and your desperation.

    I have no faith, but I do have trust "in many different and diverse things" and people - but that trust is earned based on my experience, the experience of others and/or by evidence. Faith requires belief when there is no evidence.

    "There is truth everywhere people are sincerely trying to understand and follow God’s will." Such delusion. If god exists, he is unknowable and his will is impossible to determine - the whole exercise of "trying to understand and follow God’s will" is both pointless and fraudulent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RalphH 14/026:32 PM

      “It is unfathomable, that you don't understand my position on homosexuality. Basically Ralph, we all make a choice about whether or not to have sex and which individual/s to have sex with. If we are true to our sexual orientation, we don't make a choice about the gender of the individuals, unless you're bi-sexual. Really Ralph, why do you struggle with the concept that the sex-lives of other people (assume I'm only referring to consenting adults) is not moral and it is not any of your buisness? Get your head out of other people's sex lives.” (Kate3:46 PM)

      Kate, your “position on homosexuality” doesn’t even begin to look at what homosexuality is, it’s simply feel//do. Granted that can also be the case with heterosexuality but if one looks deeper there can be seen to be real meaning and purpose behind the latter impetus. I suggest that although humans have animal bodies, they are much more than animals which merely respond to their impulses.

      If one is looking at the matter rationally, orientation, has no real impact because orientation/one’s feelings is/are not deterministic. As the rational faculty develops a choice needs to be made even where one responds positively to feelings. One may have sexual feelings towards a number of prospective partners but the human thing to do is to choose one. IOW choice is not a dirty word - everyone chooses.

      Other people’s individual sex lives is none of my business but the sort of sexual attitudes and activity they promote and hold up as perfectly OK is. Also the principle of being guided solely by one’s feelings is not a positive human trait that I want to see taught to our young people who are still forming their ideas.

      “Billy the Magic Cat has eloquently pointed out the flaws in your bullshit "No animal has the ability to know right from wrong" statement.”

      You’re joking! His first set of links didn’t apply. His second two merely showed how ignorant and silly people can be.

      "I don't care if a person is good, bad or indifferent - if they believe in god/s then they suffer from the intellectual disability of the "bullshit of faith”.”

      I hope you realise that that includes a immense number of really smart people.

      “If you believe in something that is not supported by a single shred of evidence then your faith is ruled by your gullibility and your desperation.”

      Not “a single shred of evidence”? There’s heaps of evidence. It’s only scientific/sensual evidence that is lacking and that for good reason - it doesn’t apply.

      “I have no faith, but I do have trust” ‘in many different and diverse things and people’ - but that trust is earned based on my experience, the experience of others and/or by evidence. Faith requires belief when there is no evidence.”

      The definition you have given for ‘faith’ only applies to blind faith. To say you “have no faith, but I do have trust” is a contradiction. If you trust on something or someone you have faith in it/them. I’m sure you also have faith in many things that you haven’t experienced simply because they make sense in the broader context of your knowledge.

      "If god exists, he is unknowable and his will is impossible to determine - the whole exercise of "trying to understand and follow God’s will" is both pointless and fraudulent.”

      If you believe that, it explains why you choose to be an atheist, but then, it’s not true. One can ‘know’ God and his ‘will’ (why else do we have a rational faculty). It’s just that our knowledge and capacity to respond, is limited, because we’re finite.

      Delete
    2. Ralph, your position on homosexuality is disturbing, repulsive and continues to demonstrate what a narrow-minded, ignorant bigot you chose to be. It is you who can't look at human sexuality rationally as demonstrated by this bullshit "but the human thing to do is to choose one". What on earth makes you think you have any authority to determine and dictate what "the human thing to do" is? To my mind you are not decent enough to earn the title of being "human". You parade your ignorance as fact and your hatred as moral superiority. You are just another homophobic bigot.

      Your misplaced morals and your false assumption that you have the only answers to others people's sex lives is just arrogant, malicious and completely misguided.

      What does this bullshit mean? "...but the sort of sexual attitudes and activity they promote and hold up as perfectly OK ..." You are a nasty, small-minded twat who is promoting lies and deception. Please direct me to the homosexual hotline promoting anything other than safe-sex and the fight for equality. Exactly what promotions are you talking about? What activity? What sexual attitudes?

      Delete
    3. "There’s heaps of evidence. It’s only scientific/sensual evidence that is lacking and that for good reason - it doesn’t apply."

      How convenient. Ralph you clearly don't understand the concept and meaning of evidence - or how very stupid your assertion is.

      Ralph, your explanations of god would be funny if it wasn't for the fact that they are also dangerous. As Malcolm has repeatedly pointed out, all we have is our senses and our ability to understand nature by using those senses. If there is anything outside of that, then we have no way of knowing it even exists let alone being able to understand it's will - even the assumption that it has a will is stupid because it is anthrpomorphising, of a sort. Your religion and your attempts people that you have a grasp on reality is fraudulent.

      "It’s just that our knowledge and capacity to respond, is limited, because we’re finite." Ah, so you agree that the notion of an afterlife is just bullshit - excellent.

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS10:13 PM

      RalphH: "I suggest that although humans have animal bodies, they are much more than animals which merely respond to their impulses"

      No, they are *rational animals* and their consciousness/"spirit" is just as thisworldly as their bodies. However, they have to exercise reason by choice/will.

      Unfortunately, your God regards this as man's great sin [Garden of Eden] whereas, in fact, it's his greatest glory!

      Time to give up your ignorant bigotry, Ralph, and "eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge."

      Delete
    5. RalphH 15/022:18 PM

      RalphH: "I suggest that although humans have animal bodies, they are much more than animals which merely respond to their impulses"

      “No, they are *rational animals* and their consciousness/"spirit" is just as thisworldly as their bodies. However, they have to exercise reason by choice/will.” (MalcolmS10:13 PM)

      “IMO *rational animals* is a contradiction Malcolm. What distinguishes the human is the rational faculty (animals just don’t have it) so it’s incorrect to classify humans with animals. Even though they have a similar physical body, their essential/their mind includes a uniquely higher level attuned to a higher level of reality. Consciousness (which is not the spirit but a function of the spirit) is only possible because of that higher level of reality.

      “Unfortunately, your God regards this as man's great sin [Garden of Eden] whereas, in fact, it's his greatest glory!”

      To “sin” is to ‘miss the mark’ or to deviate from the truth/the reality. No one sin is any ‘greater' than any other. Bad judgement is bad judgement although some may have far worse ramifications.

      The “sin” of the GOE was the belief (still extant today) that mankind could ignore Goodness Itself/the source of good i.e. God, and could work out and choose for him/herself what is good i.e. to make goodness and truth subjective/to make him/herself God.

      “Time to give up your ignorant bigotry, Ralph, and "eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge.””

      Calling me ignorant and bigoted is merely name calling in lieu of argument. I am neither, I just know stuff that you don’t.

      Delete
    6. MalcolmS6:29 AM

      RalphH: "“IMO *rational animals* is a contradiction Malcolm". What distinguishes the human is the rational faculty (animals just don’t have it) so it’s incorrect to classify humans with animals"

      That's a fundamental error demonstrating your ignorance of epistemology. The definition, *man is a rational animal,* dates back to Aristotle. Any definition consists of a genus[in this case 'animal'- the class of thing to which man belongs] and a differentia [in this case 'rational' - the attribute which differentiates it from other members of the genus]. All valid definitions take this form. If you still object to "animal," then, you should provide your own genus for man which you have not done!

      "Even though they have a similar physical body, their essential/their mind includes a uniquely higher level attuned to a higher level of reality. Consciousness (which is not the spirit but a function of the spirit) is only possible because of that higher level of reality"

      You fail to differentiate between the metaphysical and the epistemological. The fact that man's consciousness is "higher" than that of a dog[say] refers only to the fact that dog consciousness functions at the sensory/perceptual level whereas man's consciousness functions at the sensory/perceptual/conceptual[abstract] level. "Higher" does not refer to otherworldliness - only to the thisworldly efficacy of man's consciousness.

      There is no such thing as a "higher level of reality." The consciousness of a dog is just as *real* as a man's consciousness. An acorn is just as *real* as an oak tree. Even if your God existed[He doesn't] that would make Him no more *real* than the matter He created. You should learn to differentiate between the *what* and the *how* sometime!

      “No one sin is any ‘greater' than any other"

      So a child who steals 20 cents from his mother's purse is just as 'sinful' as Stalin who murders millions?? You get weirder by the day!

      "Bad judgement is bad judgement although some may have far worse ramifications"

      Bad judgement is an *error* - bad judgement is not evil!

      "The “sin” of the GOE was the belief (still extant today) that mankind could ignore Goodness Itself/the source of good i.e. God, and could work out and choose for him/herself what is good i.e. to make goodness and truth subjective/to make him/herself God"

      As stated in Genesis, the "sin" was to "eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge." Which means that man's "sin" was to start to think for himself as an act of volition instead of unthinkingly obeying the "will of God" like a monkey must!! I have no idea what that mythical being was that God allegedly created in the GOE, Ralph, - except that it was NOT rational, volitional, man!! Man came with the "eating."

      Delete
  9. "I hope you realise that that includes a immense number of really smart people."

    Yes, a lot of really smart people suffer from all sorts of mental health issues - it doesn't reduce their intelligence, but it may impact on their ability to reason and let go of ideas that provide false comfort.

    "I’m sure you also have faith in many things that you haven’t experienced simply because they make sense in the broader context of your knowledge." Your arrogance really knows no bounds does it? All these years of banter and you still haven't the first clue about me, yet you continue to profess assurance of my thoughts and actions based on words I have never written and behaviour I have never displayed. Your faith in your understanding of me is as misplaced as your faith in the existence of god.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ralph, I wonder what you're response will be to this... They explain, more eloquently than I can, about faith (and why I and they have none) and the cost of believing in god.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAuFJKQh83Y

      Delete
    2. RalphH 19/021:56 PM

      "Ralph, I wonder what you're response will be to this... They explain, more eloquently than I can, about faith (and why I and they have none) and the cost of believing in god.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAuFJKQh83Y "
      (Kate3:33 PM)

      Kate, I watched and listened to your link. With a bit of surfing I discovered that the main speaker was Matt Dillahunty (http://www.atheist-experience.com/people/matt_dillahunty/) a former fundamentalist Christian who has given up on Christianity and God. I suggest that he is still a fundamentalist because he still thinks like one.

      The concept of God that he presents (and rejects) - of ‘a grotesque monster’ who ‘punishes people for it’s own problems’ is an extremely irrational, foolish idea of God based on an extreme literal interpretation of the Bible/OT. I don’t and never have believed in any such God. I find it rather sad that he did for 20 odd years and think it’s a good thing that he no longer does.

      The question is, "Why did he completely toss out the idea of God? Why didn’t he look for a sensible, rational idea of God?" It’s actually there in the Bible (including the OT) - God is Love - fully demonstrated in the NT in the person of Jesus/God incarnate/God with us.

      MD didn’t find any ‘evidence that disproved the Bible’, he chose to stop believing in it because from a literal reading and understanding, he treated it (and still does) like a secular (scientific, historical, political, economic) textbook and from that perspective found it irrational. Of course it appears so if one treats it that way.

      Would one reject the moral and ethical lessons of stories like Aesop because animals talking and acting like humans is unscientific or because there is no accurate historical data about the man?

      MD has the same illogical concept of faith that I hear so often on this blog i.e. of believing that all faith is blind faith. It most certainly isn’t. He says he ‘trusts things that have earned his trust’ but fails to see that when one trusts, they have faith in the thing that they trust. Evidence does not displace faith, it strengthens and confirms it.

      By saying that he “trusts” he is actually acknowledging that he has faith - but, of course, he no longer has faith in God or the Bible (God’s Word/God speaking). MD’s faith is now in his own intelligence which he sees as superior to the wisdom of God.

      On religion, he now trusts his judgement based on his exclusively literal interpretation of the Bible. He now considers Christian teaching “poison” and ‘exclusive’ based, not on the exemplary and beautiful teachings and life of Christ but on the lives and example of people who claim to be Christ’s followers yet have failed miserably to live unto their mandate.

      The Christian argument is not helped by the caller (Mark) who, in condemning the panellists to hell under threat of God’s punishment, shows that he doesn’t have any real depth of understanding of Christ’s teachings (or God) or that hell is the result of the choice of evil. He is totally over-shadowed because he doesn’t seem to have any understanding or rational argument of why he is a believer and has trouble expressing what he does know.

      The other panellist, Jeff Lee, did little other than complain about being bullied by horrible ‘Christians’ (possibly with good reason) - fundamentalist/‘blind faith Christians’ can be pretty cruel, inflexible and foolish. But again, the question is, “Why doesn’t he look for the real God?” instead of complaining about small-minded people. IMO, both presenters are as close-minded as the ‘Christians’ they complain about. They unfortunately ‘can’t see the wood for the trees’.

      Delete
    3. Ah well, at least you watched it Ralph. That you "can't see the wood for trees" is the both the funniest and saddest thing about your response.

      You continue to display your own prejudiced and biased assumptions about people, their thoughts and beliefs that are not borne out by evidence (not surprising as the concept of evidence is totally foreign to you) and, in doing so, fail to see the extent of your own arrogance and ignorance.

      "It’s actually there in the Bible (including the OT) - God is Love - fully demonstrated in the NT in the person of Jesus/God incarnate/God with us." Another example of your failure to understand the concept of circular reasoning and how using such "reasoning" means you are incapable of understanding what a reasonable argument, or evidence, actually is.

      "MD didn’t find any ‘evidence that disproved the Bible’..." another display of your inability to understand how evidence works and where the onus of proving something actually lies.

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS9:31 PM

      RalphH: "MD has the same illogical concept of faith that I hear so often on this blog i.e. of believing that all faith is blind faith. It most certainly isn’t. He says he ‘trusts things that have earned his trust’ but fails to see that when one trusts, they have faith in the thing that they trust. Evidence does not displace faith, it strengthens and confirms it"

      What utter rubbish! All faith *is* blind faith including yours Ralph.

      Human beings have one means of knowledge: *reason based on evidence.* Faith does not lead to knowledge but, rather, the dead end of *belief in the absence of evidence.* Adding in "trust" changes nothing. You can trust what is rational but not that for which there is no evidence. You gain nothing with your pea and thimble trick of trust!

      When it comes to faith, Ralph, you can't pick up a turd by the clean end!

      Delete
    5. RalphH 20/022:40 PM

      “What utter rubbish! All faith *is* blind faith including yours Ralph.” (MalcolmS9:31 PM)

      If you were correct Malcolm (and I don’t for a moment think or believe that you are), why would we need the adjective “blind” to differentiate. Faith begins with children as something ‘borrowed’. We trust/have faith in something because we trust/have faith in those who tell or teach us. To begin with, it’s not a matter of evidence - it just makes sense in our current mental state/world (e.g. the ignorance and innocence of a child).

      Only if or when a conflict of belief arises do we need to look for ‘evidence’ but on moral and spiritual issues it can’t be scientific (or sensual) evidence because these are subjective issues - what we want feels good regardless of whether it is or not (we can be deluded by sensual pleasure when we are actually harming ourselves).

      “Human beings have one means of knowledge: *reason based on evidence.*”

      I can agree to that but “reason” is not confined to ‘sensual evidence’. IMO revelation by means of dreams, vision, perception and intuition also form a basis for reason , as does the text of claimed written revelation.

      “Faith does not lead to knowledge but, rather, the dead end of *belief in the absence of evidence.*”

      This is only what deluded faith leads to, not genuine faith which, as I said is strengthened and confirmed by ‘evidence’, both scientific and rational or reasoned evidence i.e. things that make sense in a broader context than the natural alone.


      “Adding in "trust" changes nothing.”

      “Trust” isn’t “added in”. Where there’s trust, there’s faith and where there’s faith there’s trust - it’s just the way it is.

      “You can trust what is rational but not that for which there is no evidence.”

      You can also set the parameters of evidence to suit yourself/your preconceived ideas - which is what you do Malcolm.

      “You gain nothing with your pea and thimble trick of trust!”

      No trick, faith is what it is (i.e. trust, confidence in something) - not what you want it to be to suit your ideology.

      “When it comes to faith, Ralph, you can't pick up a turd by the clean end!”

      That’s usually used with regard to political correctness. Faith is not a choice, but there is a choice as to what one has faith/trust in.

      Delete
    6. MalcolmS6:34 PM

      RalphH: "If you were correct Malcolm (and I don’t for a moment think or believe that you are), why would we need the adjective “blind” to differentiate"

      Exactly my point. There is no difference between "faith" and "blind faith" - in the same way as there is no difference between a turd and a smelly turd.

      "Faith begins with children as something ‘borrowed’. We trust/have faith in something because we trust/have faith in those who tell or teach us"

      Which, by your own admission, was what happened to you! Now, as an "adult," you still have the cognitive status of a child who has been mentally and propagandistically abused.

      "To begin with, it’s not a matter of evidence"

      *All* correct conclusions come from evidence - including the "spiritual." Man's rational mind *is* his spirit. NOT his "faith" which is only the stale bromides of his emotive, cognitively bereft childhood where the wings of his reason and knowledge should have grown.

      "Only if or when a conflict of belief arises do we need to look for ‘evidence’ but on moral and spiritual issues it can’t be scientific (or sensual) evidence because these are subjective issues"

      No, morality/ethics is a product of reason, is based on man's nature and is objective - although I accept that yours is subjective.

      "what we want feels good regardless of whether it is or not (we can be deluded by sensual pleasure when we are actually harming ourselves)"

      That's perfectly true for you since you have, by your own admission, abandoned reason in the name of faith. Your faith *is* your feelings.

      "“Human beings have one means of knowledge: *reason based on evidence.*” I can agree to that but “reason” is not confined to ‘sensual evidence’"

      I SAID *reason BASED on evidence.* Must you continue to misrepresent?

      "IMO revelation by means of dreams, vision, perception and intuition also form a basis for reason, as does the text of claimed written revelation"

      You use the same methodology as dipsomaniacs.

      "Where there’s trust, there’s faith and where there’s faith there’s trust - it’s just the way it is"

      You could have said "where there’s trust, there’s reason and where there’s reason there’s trust." Your position is a non sequitur.

      "“You can trust what is rational but not that for which there is no evidence.” You can also set the parameters of evidence to suit yourself/your preconceived ideas - which is what you do Malcolm"

      No, Ralph, I study epistemology.

      “Faith is not a choice, but there is a choice as to what one has faith/trust in"

      Faith is a choice - as is reason - and the choice is all yours. It has been so since your GOE Ralph - but, in my words, by the grace of reality.

      Delete
    7. RalphH 22/0212:55 PM

      [Part 1]

      “Exactly my point. There is no difference between "faith" and "blind faith" - in the same way as there is no difference between a turd and a smelly turd.” (MalcolmS6:34 PM)

      You’ve merely reiterated what you said before Malcolm. There is a huge difference between ‘seeing’ faith (faith informed by reason - which is what I talk about when I talk about faith) and “blind faith”, which is what you, inexplicably (or maybe prejudicially), see all faith to be.

      “Which, by your own admission, was what happened to you! Now, as an "adult," you still have the cognitive status of a child who has been mentally and propagandistically abused.”

      I implied that it applies to all children (because children do not have a developed rational faculty - that comes later) so it also applies to you. I, as an adult, no more “have the cognitive status of a child” than you do. The difference between us is that I test my faith using reason and allow it to be informed. You believe that faith becomes obsolete and is replaced by reason. I reckon that’s because you don’t really understand what faith is and believe (erroneously) that you can exist without it.

      “*All* correct conclusions come from evidence - including the "spiritual." Man's rational mind *is* his spirit. NOT his "faith" which is only the stale bromides of his emotive, cognitively bereft childhood where the wings of his reason and knowledge should have grown.”

      I don’t believe that “Man's rational mind *is* his spirit.” The “rational” is the highest level of the ‘natural mind” (the natural part of the mind), the spirit belongs to the higher, inner level of the mind. Our point of difference here is my belief in an inner spiritual word and your denial of it.

      “…. morality/ethics is a product of reason, is based on man's nature and is objective - although I accept that yours is subjective.”

      One can reason morally or immorally/ethically or unethically, depending on what one wants to be true. A faulty reason, captivated by a corrupted will, will produce a defective morality/ethics. How easy it is to think one is being “objective” when one’s thinking agrees with what one wants to be the case.

      Delete
    8. RalphH 22/0212:58 PM

      [Part 2]

      “…. since you have, by your own admission, abandoned reason in the name of faith.” (MalcolmS6:34 PM)

      I have never ‘admitted’ any such thing. I have always maintained the need for both faith and reason.

      “Your faith *is* your feelings.”

      Faith can be supported by feelings and/or a thought process. One can also, at times, see reasons why certain feelings cannot be relied on or trusted/be the basis of faith. One thing you miss is that at times reason itself can be suspect - when it is being used as a tool of the will.

      “I SAID *reason BASED on evidence.* Must you continue to misrepresent?”

      I didn’t “misrepresent you. I pointed out that there are different types of evidence (whether you accept them as evidence or not).

      “You use the same methodology as dipsomaniacs.”

      I wouldn’t have thought they had a “methodology”, they’re in the grip of an addiction.

      “You could have said "where there’s trust, there’s reason and where there’s reason there’s trust." Your position is a non sequitur.”

      That’s not necessarily true at all Malcolm. A child can trust/have faith in something/one but can’t as yet reason.

      “No, Ralph, I study epistemology.”

      The study of epistemology does not preclude someone from being affected by and indulging in preconceived ideas.

      “Faith is a choice - as is reason - and the choice is all yours. It has been so since your GOE Ralph - but, in my words, by the grace of reality.”

      IMO, there is no either/or where faith and reason are concerned. Both are essential if we are going to learn anything. We can’t wake up one morning and say, “I’m no longer going to have faith in anything!”

      Even if we knew nothing about scientific or spiritual principles we would have faith that the sun would come up tomorrow, that we wouldn’t just float off into space, that if we were nice to our fellow travellers the odds are that they’d respond in kind., etc. etc. Also, if we were not schooled in analytical thinking we would still think and reason in a simple way.

      I find it interesting that you talk of “the grace of reality” and on a previous thread, “the grace of Nature” - attributing human properties to things that, if one follows the secular humanist line, couldn’t possibly have such properties. Try as one might, one can’t really get away from the fact that there is a human type of will and purpose behind all reality.

      Delete
    9. Honestly? You two are like twins.
      It's frickin' hilarious!!!

      rofl....

      Delete
    10. MalcolmS11:21 PM

      No, it's not :)

      Delete
    11. MalcolmS5:33 AM

      BTW Ralph

      I note you have still not provided the 'genus' of your definition of man yet! As discussed at MalcolmS 6:29 AM above.

      Waiting... waiting...

      Delete
    12. Malcolm, don't hold your breath. I'm also waiting for Ralph to provide evidence that supports his vile suggestion that there is a gay lobby that goes about campaigning "the sort of sexual attitudes and activity they promote and hold up as perfectly OK". But Ralph, who claims to so decent, is a "hit and run" kinda guy. No evidence, no decency, no understanding; he is a coward who just makes makes digsusting comments about people his homophobia won't allow him to understand while hiding behind a perverted claim to being on the moral high ground - truly despicable, unscrupulous, inhuman and unethical behaviour.

      Delete
    13. MalcolmS6:26 PM

      No Kate I won't be holding my breath.

      I have just reread my copy of an exchange I had with Ralph in 2004 on the Canberra Times where he made false claims and arguments identical to those he is still making!

      Ralph is the victim of nonsense propaganda administered from birth which he now appears incapable of overthrowing.

      He claims to be an advocate of reason yet does not even know what definition consists of.

      Delete

Followers