Best of AW

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Atheists Attempt to Infur God's Non Existence From the Nature of Naturalism


An atheist on CARM makes this argument. He doesn't like me to quote him so I wont include his name. It's a public record, so I will quote it but I wont embrace him.

Through our observations of the cosmos we see that we are but one planet in a solar system of 8 planets is part of a larger galaxy which is in turn just one of billions of such galaxies. As well as all that there are some models of theoretical physics that point towards multiple universes! So why would a universe creating deity be interested in our small insignificant planet?

Moreover we know from biology that it took millions of years for life to develop by well understood mechanisms of evolutionary biology that the bodies that we currently have are just trade offs for certain abilities in terms of biology. So it seems that if a deity does exist and this isn't plausible from the argument above that he doesn't care about his creation at best as there are some serious design flaws in the human body. In terms of being "designed" to live long and just to survive the deity seems to care about beetles a great deal.

So do you still believe in a deity that cares about you personally?

Meta: This kind of argument has been made many times. James Still used to make it on sec web quite a lot. Richard Carrier has been known to make it. The argument is fraught with several bad assumptions that nullify it. One such assumption, probably the major one, is that it assumes we know what a universe designed by a caring God would look like. This is the same mistake the classical design argument makes. It assumes we know what a designed universe looks like with no inverse we know to have been designed to compare to it. This atheist is making the same mistake, he just makes it as a back up to his atheist views rather than as an argument for the existence f God.

Another perilous assumption made is that he pretends to know what God cares about. I thnk we have to assume that God cares about us to maintain a Christian tradition but that doesn't mean that we can assume that God would attach the same kinds of emotional feelings to al species. Why do you think we need to assume that we are the only intelligent beings God has created or that he created the whole thing for just us? why can't we assume that God set the principle of evolution in motion with the creation of sub atomic particles and allowed it to run as it would, creating a multiverse and perhaps giving it bias for bearing life.

God created the proceedings in such a way that it was possible for a complex creature who is capable of love to be produced in the universe over time as a result of evolution. Here we are. What's the big deal? The atheist assumes that caring = perfection That's a false assumption. Design flaws are not indications of not caring. Extinction is the natural process. That makes no more sense as an argument against God than dose arguing that death itself is an argument God. Extinction is not a moral issue, until humanity goes extinct it has not yet touched, to our knowledge, a species capable of understanding it. He's assuming a standard of concern for every species that he has no right to assume. God apparently values growth, change, progression and evolution too. The purpose of life seems to be to learn, to grow, to adapt, to progress. Allowing a species to go existinct, or making a huge universe with the possibility of many intelligent species are not any more indicative of not caring than is allowing one's child to make his own decisions and learn.

Then he makes the protestation that He has no biases and he's not making assumptions. Not making assumptions! really? He's the first totally objective and completely unbiased human in hsitory. To this he says he's just using empirical scinece to tell us the nature of the universe, and that nature excludes a caring creator. That seems to him like a defense but in reality he's only just admitted to my point about the design argument. As for the idea that he can use science objectively and just infer from the nature of things the nature of God's caring (which is that mistake I just mentioned) I said:

Meta:I can use empirical scinece all day and not try to draw conclusions about the original of the world from the way it looks on the surface. The mistake that we make in doing this is to say "I know what design looks like" since we have never seen a world that we know is or is not designed we don't know what it looks like. You make that very assumptions. you say "I know what the created world of a caring God looks like" you can't determine that based upon looking at the world that's like trying to find design based upon looking at the world with no undersigned to look at.

I also argue that

I have explained the reason that we live in a universe where God is not immediately obvious. I have expalined this in terms of the need to search for truth through personal understanding of our existential situation (understand "existential" in the Sartean and Kierkegaardian sense: private subjective reflection upon our own individual existences).

Until you answer that the look of the universe and the way its natural processes function is quite irrelevant. All you are doing is a bait and switch. you are answering the wrong questions and the pretending they are the right ones. This is encapsulated in my argument I call Soteriolgical Drama:

Basic assumptions

There are three basic assumptions that are hidden, or perhaps not so obivioius, but nevertheless must be dealt with here.

(1) The assumption that God wants a "moral universe" and that this value outweighs all others.

The idea that God wants a moral universe I take from my basic view of God and morality. Following in the footsteps of Joseph Fletcher (Situation Ethics) I assume that love is the background of the moral universe (this is also an Augustinian view). I also assume that there is a deeply ontological connection between love and Being. Axiomatically, in my view point, love is the basic impitus of Being itself. Thus, it seems reasonable to me that, if morality is an upshot of love, or if love motivates moral behavior, then the creation of a moral universe is essential.

(2) that internal "seeking" leads to greater internalization of values than forced compliance or complaisance that would be the result of intimidation.

That's a pretty fair assumption. We all know that people will a lot more to achieve a goal they truly beileve in than one they merely feel forced or obligated to follow but couldn't care less about.

(3)the the drama or the big mystery is the only way to accomplish that end.

The pursuit of the value system becomes a search of the heart for ultimate meaning,that ensures that people continue to seek it until it has been fully internalized.

The argument would look like this:

(1)God's purpose in creation: to create a Moral Universe, that is one in which free moral agents willingly choose the Good.

(2) Moral choice requires absolutely that choice be free (thus free will is necessitated).

(3) Allowance of free choices requires the risk that the chooser will make evil choices

(4)The possibility of evil choices is a risk God must run, thus the value of free outweighs all other considerations, since without there would be no moral universe and the purpose of creation would be thwarted.

This leaves the atheist in the position of demanding to know why God doesn't just tell everyone that he's there, and that he requires moral behavior, and what that entails. Thus there would be no mystery and people would be much less inclined to sin.

This is the point where Soteriological Drama figures into it. Argument on Soteriological Drama:

(5) Life is a "Drama" not for the sake of entertainment, but in the sense that a dramatic tension exists between our ordinary observations of life on a daily basis, and the ultiamte goals, ends and purposes for which we are on this earth.

(6) Clearly God wants us to seek on a level other than the obvious, daily, demonstrative level or he would have made the situation more plain to us

(7) We can assume that the reason for the "big mystery" is the internalization of choices. If God appeared to the world in open objective fashion and laid down the rules, we would probably all try to follow them, but we would not want to follow them. Thus our obedience would be lip service and not from the heart.

(8) therefore, God wants a heart felt response which is internationalized value system that comes through the search for existential answers; that search is phenomenological; introspective, internal, not amenable to ordinary demonstrative evidence.

In other words, we are part of a great drama and our actions and our dilemmas and our choices are all part of the way we respond to the situation as characters in a drama.

This theory also explains why God doesn't often regenerate limbs in healing the sick. That would be a dead giveaway. God creates criteria under which healing takes place, that criteria can't negate the overall plan of a search.
See the full argument where I present objections and answer them. See also my corollary Twelve Angry Stereotypes where I answer parodies of my argument made by atheists.

This explains why we have a world that doesn't look like it was created by a caring God. Yet the argument also ignores numerous reasons to interpret caring as designed into the chaos. For example the human ability to love. It's not as though atheists don't sell that short. Now to this he answered that I accuse him of making assumptions yet I'm making assumptions to. In fact I even clealry label part of my argument "assumptions." (see above). Yes, we can't avoid making assumptions of cousre. So I do make them. The trick is to make good assumptions not bad one's His assumptions are based upon the desire to show God up, mine are based upon what I feel is given me and required of the Christian tradition. I think assumptions can be defended as logical implications of the tradition itself, and based upon the character of Christ.

That's my most basic assumption that Christ behaved in a matter that illustrates for us God's true character.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

more resopnses that demontrate atheist can't cope with ideas

this is one of the major exchanges the other day that brought to senses after so many years and showed me that these guys are just farts in the wind and not worth wasting my time on. so I'm not going back. The woods are full atheist antics to talk about.

Originally Posted by hsmithson View Post
Proof is the wrong methodology.

that's why I jacked it down to warrant. you just gave away the sore. go good going. you just proved me right do not get that?

this is answering an argument by Mark UK


A fallacy is a fallacy, no matter what the "level" of the argument. For example, citing a "timeless void" when you haven't shown that such a thing is even possible.
he's trying to say that I canker prove there is a timeless. that just shows he doesn't understand the first thing about it.

It's an atheist argument genius!
why do you think Krauss calls his book a universe from nothing? That's the atheists position. no God, it just popped up out of nothing. that is Karuss's position, it was Stenger's position it's been most atheists positions.

when I say it can't happen I'm saying the atheist version of how things came to be can't be true. when he say I can't prove as valid he's actually saying I can't prove the atheist's postilion, not my own.

 remember last time they were trying to intimidate me so they said "this is an actual Ph.D. (the guy I was arguing with). being sarcastic and whemical I said "I'm a virtual Ph.D." they really acutely thought i was trying to claim to have a degree called "virtual Ph.D."

even after I explained they were being dull witted I was being witty they still tried to say that.

btw the thing about the timeless void they have made that mistake a million times. over years thousands of times I've argued "time can begging out of a timeless (therefore there must  be an eternal origin like God) they say "you can't prove there was ever a timeless void."

Originally Posted by ragarth View Post
To have a PhD is to be *given* an honor. You can't simply proclaim for yourself the honors that come with a doctorate.

I didn't. I said "virtual" apparently you don't know what the words means. there's a reason why they call the internet virtual reality. it's not realty. do you not understand that? I met every criteria for getting the Ph.D. but the last one so I deserve the honor. I had 4.0 for five years. I didn't get it becasue I had to help my parents. I don't give a **** what you think about that. I know what's true. you don't care about truth.

'Moreover I'm not proclaiming for myself the honor but the knowledge. I earned the knowledge from doing the work.


You are not deserving of the respect and privileges of having a doctorate, and claiming that you have a 'virtual' doctorate shows that you not only have no respect for atheists, but no respect for people who have actually earned their doctorates. 
dumbass!! you don't deserve the respect. you can keep your stupid respect I have the knowledge. you don't have it. this moron never went to graduate school or he would know better.
so because I fight back bullies who insult me then I don't deserve honor. you little phony you don't know **** about it. you dont' deserve a degree. I bet you don't have a would be incompetent in it if you did.

but he's not done yet, he's not to say some more stupid stuff.

Let me rephrase that. You did not earn a doctorate. You do not deserve the honors or respect that comes from having a doctorate. You may think you did the work to get one, but if that were true, then one would be given to you. You either did non-doctorate work, or the person evaluating you for your doctorate decided that you did not, as a matter of fact, do the work 
 what a dumb butthole. He just the extreme ignorance of his lack of knowledge about the graduate school process. "you didn't do you doctoral work or they would have given it to you." He's assuming that I was graded adamantly and made bad grades I did fail. I did not get bad grades I got good grades I have 4.0 semester after semester. I've told the little atheist zombies this time after time. I had to give studies to care fro my parent they were DY-9ng! you undersatnd dying? I had to change nappies. and wipe hist smash asses and bring them their pills and keep my mother frm wondering off (alzhiemers). I did for three years.

God gave me a Ph.D. in love for what did my parents. I proud of what I did for them. I essentially gve up the only change I had to accomplish anything to make their years happy. I proud of that I would do it again. that is not a failure. you are the failures because you stupid to understand anything.

If you did the work they would give the degree how stupid can you get?

that's stupid you are you really dumb? you really i the whole history of graduate school no one ever got shafted. that proves to me you were never in graduate school.It's not all uncommon to find people getting shafted. what a stupid irresponsible thing to say. only fool would believe it.

annother athist idiot:

To claim that you have a 'virtual' doctorate puts you lower than someone claiming to have a doctorate from a diploma mill.

not only did I not claim that but I also corrected your crass mistake. this is just shows how banal atheist are. you can't understand the concept of a coined term. what mellon head.I never said I had a degree called "vitrual Ph.D."


YOU ARE STUPID ENOUGH TO THINK THAT. WHAT A AN INTELLECTUAL WUSSY . only an idiot would think that. what a stupid person you are.

no wonder you don't believe in God. you just dont HAVE the intelligence to understand ideas.

virtual means almost or phony simulacra obviously I was saying that I almost got one it was sac ****** too boot, stupid.

the fool answers:

If you feel offended at being mocked for having your ever so special (nonexistent) doctorate, well, you deserve to be mocked. You haven't *earned* those honors. Quit pretending your more than you are.
you git. it's your stupidity that turned into a mock degree fool.

you also have this ridiulous idea of a degree and what knowlede is. I have the knolwde which all I calim to have becuase I did the work. I did most of it well becuase I made A's the whole way through.

Ph.D. is not a big honor that give you for doing your studies. it's a qualification it showed you are qualified to teach or practice in some field. I have the knoweldge for the qualification then deserve the honor. I failed getting didn't jump through the last couple of hoops, I chose to quite. they didn't kick me out. I quite.undestand stupid?

Friday, September 12, 2014

The inability of new athiesm to deal with ideas

It's truly pathetic that these guys can't think, at least not many of them. Even new atheists with Ph.D.s prove to be inept and illiterate. they are so shell shocked form losing God arguments, they must know they lose them all the time, that really can't cope with a real idea. Give them an argument they have not heard of and for which they are unprepared and they immediately fold. OF course they don't say "O we are folding" they try to cover it up by attacking the apolgist. As soon as they begin to attack you personally you know they are folding up. One can call them on it an really shut them downcompetley.

It doesn't really do any good because they dont' learn. What else can we do. An example form a lesson on CARM this very day.

I got tired the mounting use of the cliches "there's no proof for your god." So put down four arguments. These are arguments I've made before, some a lot, but the theme is these things they can't answer in God arguments.

God is real: what atheists keep coniently leaving out

Let's keep in mind that we are moving down the scale from the impossibly ridiculous "proof" which almost can't be had for anything, to rational warrant which makes more sense given the totally basic nature of God. God is too basic to reality to be given in the sense data, like the unified field or the laws of phsyics.

There are clues, correlates, co-determinate that atheists conveniently just leave out of all the discussions where they use the bromides about lack of proof. These are not "proofs" they are good reasons to think God is real.
Of course atheists wont even grant that level but that's ok we have demons-ted it they just want to forget it.

(1) religious experience agrees with the criteria we use to determine the reality of experiences; the criteria of epistemic judgement.

that criteria is:

promotes navigation in life or the world.

for each one of these it's been proved with empirical reserach that RE fits this criterion. Atheists want to ignore the implication that therefore it's rationally warranted to belief; sure becuase it fits the criteria we use to determine what's real. We should determine that it's real.

(2) Temporal beginning problem

Nothing can happen in a timeless void. there can be no change and no causation. If we begin form the process of nothing and assume something comes out of nothing then there is a violation of the basic law. Time is something so how could it ever get going out of a void of nothing?

If on the other hand we assume that there is some eternal necessary aspect of being that has always existed that gets everything else going at some point, that is basically a definition of God.

That's especially true when we consider Tillich's point that confronting our own temporal nature in the face of eternity evokes the sense of the numinous. So that means that if it is true that there has always been something that realization bring out of us the basic sense of God in an experiential fashion and thus offer a justifiable reaosn to beilef.

In fact nothing should ever actually come to be. The only way around this is to assume the suspension of the rules during some process of creation. What better than the author of the rules to suspend them? That implies a sense of mind an purpose in so doing.

(3) The depth of Being

Tillch says if you know being has depth you can't be an atheist. Depth means more to the nature of the case than just the surface level issue of weather or not something exists. So ti's not enough to say "we are here." the fact of it is there's more to being here than just the fact that we are here.

*the universal nature of truth.

* There's the modality of being (necessity and contingency)

* the sense of the numinous that arizes from the contrast between the temporal and the eternal.

(4) the explanatory nature of eternal necessary being (that that there is explanation for vacuum flux from where the first sub atomic particles emerge.
The response was pathetic. the attempt to actually answer the arguments was practically  nill. Then thye immediately took it to the personal.

Originally Posted by HillyBilly View Post
Therefore, the universe did not begin to exist. Therefore, God did not cause the universe to begin to exist. Therefore, a creator God does not exist.
you are obfuscating. you are willfully ignoring the bit about re-writing the rules. the problem extends to atheists too. you can't account for anything that would violate the rule.

the only thing that makes sense is a mind that can suspend the rule sin certain cases and put them back in other cases.

why a mind? becuase it can choose between a rational time to create vs a mere accident.

you also ignore 3 more arguments.

then they unpack the insults:


Oh Lord, how typically modest of you to state that you know something that no atheist knows!
And that third category: The Depth of Being! How convincing! Not at all designed to appeal to the feel-good notions of those who experience something called the Depth of Being, whereas the atheists can only experience the Shallowness of Being. Praise the Lord, for he has given us not only faith, but also the depth of being!
That's pretty insulting because i  didn't say anything about knowing more than atheists. He demonstrates his stupidity by not knowing Tillich's concepts when he sees them but reducing the sense of the numinous to "feeling good." that's like a mistake a third grader would make. he goes on:

But you are not done yet, are you? No, there is something called the "universal nature of truth". No need to explain it, but it just has to work in favor of belief in god, right?

In fact I have explained that several times. I've made teh argument many times.I went on to explain it here but he never mentioned it or responded to it.

then he says:

But wait, there's more! The modality of being! Oh boy! That's not the first cause argument blown out of the water by Kant, is it?
No it would not be. Making that mistakes marks him as an amateur who doesn't really understand the issues. Modal logic is accept by scinece and by everyone as valid. It's cussed in science. Modality means modal oppportors, necessity and contingency. that's related to first cause but it doesn't turn on the idea of first cause. More like vice versa. there are other uses of it and this is one. this is more a general sense. It's demonstrating the nature of depth rather than making a God argument per se. this is an example in a larger argument about the nature of depth in being. They don't follow this. they don't deal with it. the treat it like it's the ravings of a moron an attack me personally.

Mike D570:

It all rings very much like a Dr. Phil episode.
That is extremely insulting what an ass hole. is that called for? why can't he just answer the argument? Because he can't. I was angered and ask if he had ever a book. That led to anotehr response form his friend:

MikeD570 typically doesn't post in this pond. IIRC, he is an *actual* PhD. you might want to retract your insult, joe.

a Ph.D. oooo .I have to feel I'm wrong now. hu? a priest of Knowledge. I am pretty pissed now so I saracastically said:

I am a virtual Ph.D. I did everything required fo the programer for one bu oral dense and finish the diss. It 80% written.

if I see evidence that he knows wast he's talking about I will. but I don't see that now. tuis' pretty he just thinks he knows too much to read the material. 
 Of course atheits don't nkow anything about coining terms or speaking ff the cuff. so they assume this means I'm trying to claim there is an official degree called virtual P.h.D.


 There is no such thing as a virtual PhD. You continue to brag about your alleged storied academic accomplishments but in the end they don't mean that much - you can't even buy a cup of coffee with it. You clutch on to this like it were a security blanket. Where I work a MS is entry level so your MA is not very impressive.

Sinsaftersin speaks up an says:

 in MikeD570's defense - he didn't mention a PhD - I did.
and I did it because you did your usual "have you ever read a book; this is above your head; you're an idiot" nonsense.
it's rude and demeaning, especially in light of the fact that he actually *holds* a PhD. grow up, joe.

Damn right it's rude I meant to be rude. he attacked me for no reason at all. he did not understand the argument, he has no respect for them or any of the leaning that went into thinking about them becuase the atheist ideology has to assume it's the only form of knowledge and there's no possibility of Go or they have to fact that that they can't answer any God arguments.

they took the whole rest of the thread in that chidlish carping directly no one ever even tried to aswer the argunments.

 how can you make arguments when you have to start begging of ht alpha bet and justified your world view form the ground up just to make one point? they have no reason for claiming that there's is the only valid form of knowledge. the only thing they ever point to back it up is the fortress of facts. Of cousre that's self selective.

dumpas lackie with the Ph.D. says:

I'm kind of staggered by your arrogance to be honest. What on earth would you have done if you'd ever got to an actual defense and the external had DARED to disagree with you? You've no concept of discussion. You are right, we are wrong and if we dare suggest theology is a useless pursuit you explode into dyslexic rage.
First of all he started it all by coming out of the shoot with insults. then he claims I'm teh arrogant one when it was his freind who brought up that he has a   real Ph.D. rubnig it in that I don't. Obviously it wasn't because he disagreed but he showed utter contempt and his cohorts as well for my view by not even trying to deal with them as arguments.


this guy is some form of liberal Christian,  he tried to stand up for me by explaing that the detph fo being thign is Tillich it's not just feeling good.
I've only read bits and pieces of Tillich. I googled the phrase "depth of being," and it turns out that The Shaking of the Foundations is online here. I encourage one and all to read chapter 7, and perhaps we can discuss it.

I'll try to summarize: depth is a spatial metaphor for everything that is beyond the rote routines of daily life, received opinions, and the initial appearance of things.

This is fairly understandable, right? We're all intuitively aware that there's more to the world than meets the eye; things are not what they seem. For a hard physicalist, a table is not really four legs and a surface; it is actually an arrangement of something most truly described by physics. For some atheists, religious experience is not really religious experience, but actually the firing of neurons. The list of ways the world is not what it appears to be can go on forever: Animal Farm is not really a story about talking animals, but an allegory for Stalinism. This idea goes right back to the early days of philosophy, with Plato's cave, and mathematics, with the Pythagoreans.

Anytime you say X is not really this but is in fact thus, you're acknowledging depth, in some way. And when you ask yourself, what really matters, you are asking about the depth of being. And then,

"The name of this infinite and inexhaustible depth and ground of all being is God. That depth is what the word God means. And if that word has not much meaning for you, translate it, and speak of the depths of your life, of the source of your being, of your ultimate concern, of what you take seriously without any reservation. Perhaps, in order to do so, you must forget everything traditional that you have learned about God, perhaps even that word itself. For if you know that God means depth, you know much about Him. You cannot then call yourself an atheist or unbeliever. For you cannot think or say: Life has no depth! Life itself is shallow. Being itself is surface only. If you could say this in complete seriousness, you would be an atheist; but otherwise you are not. He who knows about depth knows about God."

Maybe your first response is to say "But that's not the Christian God." I vote: we leave aside that question and talk about the idea of depth itself.

Maybe we could summarize the Tillichian idea of atheism this way: atheism basically says "The world is the way it appears," or perhaps better, "There are no truths which, in themselves and aside from practical matters, are more important that the number of chairs in the room you're sitting in."

(And to be clear: I think that is an accurate characterization of the way many atheists speak, except sometimes about science)
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they just accuse Tillich of being a feel good guy, which showed they know nothing about him. they don't even have a concept of liberal theology.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Discussion with Athesis on Phenomenology And Method

Atheists are hung up on empirical knowledge. That’s why so many of them (not all by many) insist that we have no info about God, you can't verify God and so forth.

The whole game of atheist propaganda is oriented around the fortress of facts. The illusion that science is atheist enforcement and it gives unbelief the reality of objective fact but God was real there would be the same kind of fortress of facts around God. There's an obvious reason why that's not true. Or a couple of them:

(1) science is not a fortress of facts, atheism doesn't have it, it has a house of cards.

(2) God is not given in empirical data because he's too fundamental to reality to be an object of empirical investigation; just as the laws of physics can only be deduced form empirical data; even then only conjectured.

I begin my lectureship: God is real, get your head around it, with a discussion of theological method.

As I said, God cannot be the subject of empirical data because God is not given in sense data. That's because God is not just another object along side objects in creation. God is not just another thing, God is the basis of reality. That's like a fish scientist saying "they assigned me to study this thing called 'water' but I can't find any water." he says that because it never dawns on him that its' all around him, the medium in which he lives and he's always looking through it. he can't see the water because he's looking through it.

That's sort of the case with God because God is the basis of reality, the ground of Being. "in him we live and move and have our being." When we try to look at God and see him directly we look through him because in a sense he's the medium in which we live.

The only answer to this is to search for something else. We don't look for empirical evidence of God, we look for a "co-determinate." That is, we look for the signature of God, or to use a Derridian term the "trace of God." Like the aura of a neutrino. We can't photograph neutrinos directly but we have photographed their auras that are the reaction of Neutrinos with other particles. When you see that aura you know you have one.

But the trace of God has to be the result of a subjective or inter-subjective understanding. So rather than subject it to empirical means, we need allow the sense data to determine the categories under which we organize our thinking about God.

Schleiermacher was the originator of this kind of thinking (prior to Brentano who is attributed to be the inventor of Phenomenology). Here is Schleiermacher's take on God consciousness. We don't search for God in objective terms we search for "God consciousness."

A. Religion not Reducible to Knowledge or Ethics."

Schleiermacher, (1768-1834) in On Religion: Speeches to it's Cultured Despisers, and The Christian Faith, sets forth the view that religion is not reducible to knowledge or ethical systems. It is primarily a phenomenological apprehension of God consciousness through means of religious affections. Affections is a term not used much anymore, and it is easily confused with mere emotion. Sometimes Schleiermacher is understood as saying that "I become emotional when I pay and thus there must be an object of my emotional feelings." Though he does venture close to this position in one form of the argument, this is not exactly what he's saying.

In the earlier form of his argument he was saying that affections were indicative of a sense of God, but in the Christian Faith he argues that there is a greater sense of unity in the life world and a sense of the dependence of all things in the life world upon something higher.

What is this feeling of utter dependence? It is the sense of the unity in the life world and it's greater reliance upon a higher reality. It is not to be confused with the starry sky at night in the desert feeling, but is akin to it. I like to think about the feeling of being in my backyard late on a summer night, listening to the sounds of the freeway dying out and realizing a certain harmony in the life world and the sense that all of this exists because it stems form a higher thing. There is more to it than that but I don't have time to go into it. That's just a short hand for those of us to whom this is a new concept to get some sort of handle on it. Nor does” feeling" here mean "emotion" but it is connected to the religious affections. In the early version S. thought it was a correlate between the religious affections and God; God must be there because I can feel love for him when I pray to him. But that's not what it's saying in the better version.

B. Platonic background.

The basic assumptions Schleiermacher is making are Platonic. He believes that the feeling of utter dependence is the backdrop, the pre-given, pre-cognitive notion behind the ontological argument. IN other words, what Anselm tried to capture in his logical argument is felt by everyone, if they were honest, in a pre-cognitive way. In other words, before one thinks about it, it is this "feeling" of utter dependence. After one thinks it out and makes it into a logical argument it is the ontological argument.

C. Unity in the Life world.

"Life world," or Labenswelt is a term used in German philosophy. It implies the world of one's culturally constructed life, the "world" we 'live in.' Life as we experience it on a daily basis. The unity one senses in the life world is intuitive and unites the experiences and aspirations of the individual in a sense of integration and belonging in the world. As Heidigger says "a being in the world." Schleiermacher is saying that there is a special intuitive sense that everyone can grasp of this whole, this unity, being bound up with a higher reality, being dependent upon a higher unity. In other words, the "feeling" can be understood as an intuitive sense of "radical contingency" (in the sense of the above ontological arguments).

He goes on to say that the feeling is based upon the ontological principle as its theoretical background, but doesn’t' depend on the argument because it proceeds the argument as the pre-given pre-theoretical pre-cognitive realization of what Anslem sat down and thought about and turned into a rational argument: why has the fools said in his heart 'there is no God?' Why a fool? Because in the heart we know God. To deny this is to deny the most basic realization about reality.


 There goes that fear engine again.

 Originally Posted by Metacrock View Post

aw there's harm in smoking cigars and missing school, that's just stuff the grown ups want you to think. come on Pinocchio there are no consequences to what we do.
he haaaaw!

Yeppers. Science, is in fact a crucible where we burn away the BS until we are left with workable theories that we build a model of the universe around that we can function in.
in trying to be poetic you state it inarticulately. First of all, there is no scientific fact, theory, data or anything that disproves God. Secondly. you are not burning away anything, you are hypothesis testing. Thirdly what's left as "fact" is default, it's not always right. not the whole picture.

Science has no place disproving God. Who even bother? Why does it matter that science can't disprove God? It's a pointless exercise. If the God of Abraham could be falsified, then he, she or it would fit the model. But the God of Abraham cannot be falsified, so why waste time with it?

God can't be falsified becuase he's the basis of reality. for the same reason the laws of phsyics can't be falsified either. We only have to worry about falsification where there is empirical data.
let me make that clear, since God is beyond the empirical, that's a different domain, then the test of falsifiability does not apply. Can't use it because it can't be had in that instance.

I couldn't care less about Newton's occult beliefs. I meant show me how Gravity is as ambiguous as the God of Abraham. Falsifying God would be a good way to start. 

now you are just obfuscating. obviously that's a good example of something that is clearly real but we can falsify it or prove it or disprove it (I'm not even sure we have defined it).
There's a behavior that applies to everything solid but we don't know why. not really. the only good theory is ill defined.

Falsifying God is an impossibility God is not just a big man out in space somewhere. God is analogous to the laws of physics,God is the ground of all being. he;s not empirical. falsification doesn't apply

that would be like trying to falsify gravity. the the unified field. you can falsify various ideas about it but you can't get at the thing itself becuase it's too basic. like trying to falsify existence.

Originally Posted by Metacrock View Post
Atheists are hung up on empirical knowledge. That’s why so many of them (not all by many) insist that we have no info about God, you can't verify God and so forth.

The Pixie:

Yeah, what a nonsense that is. Imagine only accepting knowledge supported by evidence. What fools those atheists are! 
you know I'm right, there are tons of atheists who think that way. I can name several who have been on this board: Zaravhic, Hilly Billy I believe, Big Thinker.

The Pixie:

Be a theist and you can base your
knowledge on spooky mystical experiences of people in the bronze age. Woohoo.

mystical experiences are not "spooky." they have been validating by the M scale. you refuse to learn what they are. you still work on the assumption that anything religious is a priori stupids though you know nothing about it. you have not read a major theological theological work and you can't name a theologian. you are so sure because you have allowed yourself to be brain washed.

The whole game of atheist propaganda is oriented around the fortress of facts. The illusion that science is atheist enforcement and it gives unbelief the reality of objective fact but God was real there would be the same kind of fortress of facts around God. There's an obvious reason why that's not true. Or a couple of them:

(1) science is not a fortress of facts, atheism doesn't have it, it has a house of cards.

The Pixie:

So Newton's laws, the periodic table and all the rest of science, it is just nonsense, right Metacrock?
here we go waving the ignorance about again. you need to study the history of science. First of all nothing in those things disproves God. The periodic table pertains to empirical matters so we should expect to find empirical data. That doesn't mean there aren't other things that don't pertain to the empirical.

Newton's laws are not falsifiable and they are not empirical. you can't show empirical data that always us to watch the law of nature work. all we do is extrapolate by effects in an attempt to explain them. so what's happened is we disprove hypothesis and the best theory left, while not truth and proof is the best explanation and is assumed as fact.


(2) God is not given in empirical data because he's too fundamental to reality to be an object of empirical investigation; just as the laws of physics can only be deduced form empirical data; even then only conjectured.

The Pixie:
Good point. God is a fundamental, like the laws of physics.
yes, analogous to.

Oh, wait, the laws of
physic can be deduced from empirical evidence.

So can God! apparently you don't understand the meaning of the term "deduced." You cannot demonstrate the laws of phsyics, we don't even agree on what they are. by that I mean we can't agree upon what makes them "law-like" and weather or not they somehow have prescriptive sense of they are just descriptions of the way thing "tend to be."

Deduced dos not mean you are demonstrating it, it means you are extrapolating from behaviors of objects in the universe to conclude verification of ideas. you can't falsify those ideas very often. we can in some specific ways such as Michelson-Morley. That falisifies either but we can't the idea of physical laws themselves.

We can deduce God in the same manner as does the Cosmological arguemnt, Fine tuning argument and so on.

The Pixie:

Okay, God is like the laws of physics, only he is not really. I get it.

I didn't say that you are trying to muddle the issues.

this guy has a real bad habit of reading things this way. he come to absurd conclusions by taking the other guy's satements in the msot abarud way he can.

As I said, God cannot be the subject of empirical data because God is not given in sense data. That's because God is not just another object along side objects in creation. God is not just another thing, God is the basis of reality.

The Pixie:
If that were so then the empirical evidence for god would suffuse all through science.
obviously not since it doesn't work that way with the laws of phsyics.

The reality is that the the laws of science work fine without proposing God under-pinning them.
there is no such thing as the laws of science. you are setting up a straw man argument because I never said we need to appeal to God to know there are laws of phsyics. Actually, if laws of phsyics have any force of there own there is implied a mind or an ordering center that would imply God. We can deduce God form the laws of physics.

That's like a fish scientist saying "they assigned me to study this thing called 'water' but I can't find any water." he says that because it never dawns on him that its' all around him, the medium in which he lives and he's always looking through it. he can't see the water because he's looking through it.

The Pixie:
So like a human scientist trying to study air? 

you have such a profound talent for missing the point. I see from this example that it stems form thinking too literally. The point here is that we are too close to God to "see him." We are surrounded by god as the medium through which we live and move and have our being.

(actually human scientists could make that mistake and there was a time when they did).

so far you've missed the point the co-determinate that pertains to the idea of deducing God from the things in the world.

The only answer to this is to search for something else. We don't look for empirical evidence of God, we look for a "co-determinate." That is, we look for the signature of God, or to use a Derridian term the "trace of God." Like the aura of a neutrino. We can't photograph neutrinos directly but we have photographed their auras that are the reaction of Neutrinos with other particles. When you see that aura you know you have one.

The Pixie:
Right. So there is no empirical evidence for God, and here is how you go about find it.


what was that? that was the point zooming over your head. The co-determinate is empirical. God can be deduced form the co-determinant.

thus belief is warranted.

 Originally Posted by Metacrock View Post
no you don't get it. there's a distinction between theory and empirical knowledge. this especially so when I use the term demonstration. Since physical laws are based upon what we see the universe doing it's not accident that they match what is done. So it appears that it's verifying it. if the universe didn't do that it would falsify. but that's not the same thing as proving or demonstrating the truth behind physical law.

that is merely confirming that we were accurate in summing what we see in the universe. of cousre can't be 100% accurate so ther are other descriptions that might work better. that's not the same as demonstration of truth.
What on earth are you ranting about now? Let us pull this apart.

"there's a distinction between theory and empirical knowledge" Of course there is. But how is this relevant? It does not seem to relate to anything else in your post. Newton's first law comes from his observations, so is empirical knowledge.


No you are speaking at cross purposes. we do not have direct observation of natural laws. we have observations of the behavior of the universe in a certain way then we construe a law based upon the regularity of that behavior. We can't look at the law and say "here it is."

Monday, September 8, 2014

The unfair comparison of the fortress of facts to Christian world view.

just getting warmed up for return to blogging:

Atheists have entrenched into a strategy over the last few years, in place actually to disprove God arguments.That strategy I call "the fortress of facts." One can find atheists employing it on this board almost every day. It says science gives us a big pile of facts that disprove religion, but belief in God has no facts to commend it.

Rather than compare actual cases for or against God they only assert that scientific facts are themselves somehow a defeat for religion. They never spell out how that is.

Note the foundational assumption here is that science and religion are competing and the existence of the one crowds out the other. This prompts me to make the follow observations:

(1) propaganda agenda links facts without proof

They never actually get around to making real arguments about why the existence of scientific facts crowds out the existence of God. There is always the implication that this is so.

(2) empirical data is obvious and easy to get because atheist don't to string it together into a grand argument, such as "life is meaningful." they just pretend any fact is automatically beating reilgion.

they don't have a thesis to defend. all have to do is shower us with empirical data and assert that becuase they have this it somehow detracts in their minds form belie in god. Most of the time they dont' even pretend to say how that is.

(3) they never make good on the promise becuase they imply that the facts prove or disprove something but they never do.

(4) most scientific facts are neutral. They have no bearing on the existence of God one way or the other. There is no reason to assume that scientific facts in general and any more a defeat for religion then they are a victory.

(5) I've explained why proof for God can't be direct and empirical, although the co-determinate of god can be. They proceed to ignore that and keep making the assertion because they have no other weapon to use.

That's becuase God is too basic a concept to be a thing in creation. God is not given in sense data just as the laws of physics are not given in sense data. Yes we can see their implications but not the laws themselves. by the same token we see the implications of god, that's how we get God arguments.

They build the ideology on a house of cards and paint to look like a fortress of facts.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Julian Baggini Short Intoduction to Atheism.

 photo Julian_Baggini-_zps2a77b19e.jpg

There's a website called Arguing with Atheism. I know who does the sit but for some reason he doesn't include his name so I don't know if he wants the public to know. I'll honor what I imagine to be his wish for anonymity and just refer to the site itself. The point of the site is to carefully examine the very best sources of atheist thinking and to investigate the "better side" of atheism. The site takes this "better side" of atheism (the non hate group side, the real thinking core of the atheist community) and seeks to really understand their point of view; in so doing to test one's own belief.

The first project toward this end is a review and summary of a book by Julian Baggini called

Julian Baggini (editor of The Philospher Magazine)

Author Atheism a very short introduction.
Atheism a Very Short Introduction. Baggini is the editor of The Philosopher Magazine.

Baggini talks about his personal background, his childhood, his road to his current outlook. While he agrees with the usual self definitions of most atheists, the lack of belief in God, Baggini holds out for more than just the negation of a set of beliefs. This is will be important because Christianity is not just a set of beliefs, its not just adding information to the universe. But this phrase is used by the website to describe what Baggini tags onto the conventional definition of atheism:

But atheism is not merely or even principally a series of negations or denials; rather, it is a positive view of what the world consists of and the nature of human beings. At the core of atheism lies a commitment to naturalism, broadly construed as the assertion that “only the objects of the physical sciences-physics, chemistry and biology-exist.” (4) Atheists, however, are not necessarily committed to strong forms of physicalism such as eliminative materialism. The upshot of this description is that the evidence for atheism, according to Baggini, is not primarily counterevidence to the existence of God, but rather consists of the positive evidence for naturalism, broadly construed. This is an important move because it enables him to sidestep the interminable debates in philosophy of religion over the problem of evil, etc. and instead focus on the evidence for naturalism provided primarily by the sciences.

My first reaction to this novel approach is to wonder why reductionists, which Baggini clearly is, make such a big thing out of the little nub of being that's left after they go through tearing away everything in life that is worth living for, then declare the wonder and joy of this nub of a universe that's left. It's a ridiculous outlook. They lose the phenomena of all view points that don't cow tow to their ideology of reduction and then declare their view is the only one of substance because it's the only one standing after they get through stripping away the evdience for any other view. Their approach to hiding the evidence of other views is varied but basically boils down to circular reasoning. Baggini is no exception. The circular reasoning runs like this:

There can't be any evidence for the supernatural because evidence for the supernatural would contradict the ideology and the ideology must be right because science depends upon it. Science is the only form of knowledge, therefore, it has to be protected. Thus any evidence for the supernatural is automatically invalidated and thus must be dismissed.

Now there is no evdience for the supernatural(because any evdience for is automatically wrong since there can't be a supernatural) and that's why the supernatural must be false, therefore, the claims of the supernatural are a priori false. Thus we know there is no supernatural because all the claims for it keep getting dismissed, therefore, there is no evidence for the supernatural.

In Chapter 2 Baggini outlines the positive case for atheism he has in mind. He begins by outlining the components of a persuasive case for any particular point of view: evidence, arguments and rhetoric. The latter, however, can only make the case more persuasive, whether it is reasonable or not, so Baggini focuses on the first two.

Baggini demonstrates this tendency in the very first description of his argument. He sets out criteria whereby one can judge good evdience from bad. The first principle he lays out (this is according the Arguing with Atheism Website)is that anecdotal evdience is not good, evidence but be replicable and public. That is more people who see it the better. The more times it can be repeated the better. That's all find and good, but then it starts getting a little biased. He sets out the example of ice freezing. Of course this is something we all see so its' common, it' also trivial and doesn't have any bearing the question of God. But the image of rock solid science is offered to the reader's mind. What is religious believe contrasted with? The spontaneous combustion of dogs. Yes, dogs, burning up spontaneously.

So evidence that ice freezes at zero degrees centigrade, for example, is strong evidence because it is publicly and universally accessible, whereas the evidence for the spontaneous combustion of dogs is weak because it is anecdotal, that is “it relies upon the testimony of a single person relating one incident.”(13)

Obviously that is pretty anecdotal. So we have this daily event of making ice vs something the vast majority of people live their whole lives and never see. Now for those whose concept of religious experince is the parting of the read sea this may seem like a fair comparison. But there really is a lot more ordinary and available stuff going on God-wise than incendiary K nines.

He could contrast that with mystical experinces, because they are so common some researcher estimate they are had by one in four people. But then he would not be able to set up the premise that supernatural evidence is all anecdotal because mystical experince is demonstrated by 350 or more empirical studies over a four decade period. If you start factoring in studies on religious belief and participation and the effects on health you could have about 2000 studies, and most of them are very good scientific studies. But he would not be able to put up the image that atheists thrive on that "o there's no evidence for the supernatural" not one little bitty piece. Of course if you define the supernatural not as it is in the theology but as atheists want to see, as that which cannot happen because it contradicts reality, then of course there's no evidence for it.

Based on this criterion, Baggini’s contention is that “all the strong evidence tells in favor of atheism, and only weak evidence tells against it.” This is so because, as we saw earlier, in Baggini’s view the evidence for atheism is not merely or even primarily counter-evidence to the existence of God, but rather consists of the evidence for naturalism, broadly construed: “This is only evidence against God’s existence in a negative sense: that is to say, evidence for God’s existence will be found to be lacking and so we will be left with no reason to suppose he exists.” (16)

This move does not strike me as a particularly fair way to evaluate the claims of religious belief.First of all,it is slanted to deny the opportunity for the believer to present best evdience. It practically lays down a guideline if evdience for religious belief doesn't' such it doesn't count as real evdience. This clearly an exercise in begging the question. I will be very interested to see what he trying to analyze as "best evidence." I am so far not impressed because I see no mention of anything that really exists as evidence believers actually use. I suspect that the subtext to his guides are really the idea that science is the only form of knowledge and anything that doesn't count as empirical scientific view point is not admissible as evidence. Clearly this is a move aimed at disposing of the best evidence the believer has before the debate can begin because it compares two things that cannot be compared. God is not given in sense data so the nature of the physical world and sciences ability to discover the workings of the physical world can never be taken as proof against the existence of God. Those are also part of the believer's belief system, I don't know any believers who don't believe in the physical world. Thus he's just crossing categories. He's ruling out the best evdience before the debate starts.

I would term this move as a "trick," and this trick is grossly unfair becasue it's just trying to turn scientists only success (the production of scientific data) into a monopoly for atheist thought and deny the believer any recourse to scientific thought, thus creating the stigma that belief is unscientific. In reality the idea of comparing factual accounts of belief or unbelief to scientific rigor is a huge mistake. Not only do people research according to their biases but science is not a pristine march from ignorance to totally knowledge over the mountains of data. It's a cultural construct. It turns upon paradigm shifts. when the paradigm shifts the whole world turns over all the good little facts from the farmer paradigm become embarrassing old anatomies in the new one. This is why secular minded scientists and atheists have to be skeptical of supernatural effects because their paradigm rules out the supernatural a prori. In other words. it's not the result factual investigation but of ideology.Baggini is hip enough to have read Thomas Kuhn.

He knows that he's just skating over this stuff without even acknowledging it.Because the "cultural constructivist school" has said that science is a social or cultural construct (really the same thing) this has been understood to mean that "science is wrong," or "science doesn't work." He is not saying that Science doesn't work, but he is saying that science is not cumulative progress. The old image of the scientist faithfully stacking one fact upon another, facts patiently gathered from totally objective and therefore totally true observations, is old hat and has to be replaced. Sorry to break the news to the reductionists, but the concept of "progress" is, itself, a cultural construct. There is nothing in nature called "progress." That is a Western notion that comes to us through philosophy and is not strictly speaking, a scientific term. Scientists don't record in their experimental observations "I found the progress in my subject matter." Progress is social and cultural, and it is a relative notion. When we decide we are making progress it is always at the expense of someone elses notion of progress. Due to the nature of paradigm shifts, science does not stack up facts one upon another until x amount of progress is achieved. Science regularly wipes the slate clean and starts over on new paradigms and each new bust of "progress" has to be judged relative to many factors, such as it's social effects.

What then is the positive evidence for naturalism? Baggini uses the example of the nature of persons: the verdict of science is that human beings are mortal animals composed of biological bodies. This is what the atheist’s naturalism would lead her to expect. Any evidence to the contrary, i.e. that points to the existence of a disembodied immortal soul, is weak and anecdotal.

But you see by the nature of this statement, even this is the paraphrase of the guy with the website, the circular reasoning I've already described. He assumes from the outside without presenting any evidence that the believers evidence will be weak and anecdotal. He's also arguing against a straw man version of religious belief as the notion of an Immortal soul in the sense of the ghost in the machine is not indicative of modern Christian theology. This is not what modern Christian thinkers believe, it's an old fashioned verse designed to bring shame to believers. The assertion that the evidence for believe must be wrong and outmoded without knowing what it is is hilarious and I did predict it. The soul is not a Casper the friendly Ghost living inside you. Nor does the Bible tell us that it is. The Bible says that the soul is the life of the believer from the standpoint of the relationship with God. So we do not have souls, we are souls. what might live on after death, if anything, is consciousness, or mind. This is analogous to "spirit" in the Bible. Spirit = mind.

The notion that consciousness is reducible to brain chemistry and nothing that survives exists is totally un-demonstrated and flies in the face of a ton of good scientific evidence. A ton of data supports mind over body. There are basically three arguments:

(1) the hard problem

(2) Top down causality

(3) Veto Power.

There is a movement in property dualism led by David Chalmers, such scientific heavy weights as Penrose are on his side. There is no victory for the brain/mind functionalists yet, far from it. In fact this dichotomy hints at a much larger conceptual frame work that threatens to break open into a total paradigm shift. The handwriting is on the wall for materialism. Major scientific thinkers have already began to see consciousness as other than just some individualistic qualities in each individual person's head caused by brain chemistry and have begun to think of it as something broader, a basic property of nature that we share in, that we exhibit rather than just a side effect of the wiring in our heads.

this is a statement by Peter Russell who was a Cambridge physicists and student of Hawking. I've quoted it on this blog quite recently.

The 'Hard Problem' of Consciousness

The really hard problem-as David Chalmers, professor of philosophy at the University of Arizona, has said-is consciousness itself. Why should the complex processing of information in the brain lead to an inner experience? Why doesn't it all go on in the dark, without any subjective aspect? Why do we have any inner life at all?

This paradox-namely, the absolutely undeniable existence of human consciousness set against the complete absence of any satisfactory scientific account for it-suggests to me that something is seriously amiss with the contemporary scientific worldview. For a long time I could not put my finger on exactly what it was. Then suddenly, about four years ago on a flight back to San Francisco, I saw where the error lay.

If consciousness is not some emergent property of life, as Western science supposes, but is instead a primary quality of the cosmos-as fundamental as space, time, and matter, perhaps even more fundamental-then we arrive at a very different picture of reality. As far as our understanding of the material world goes, nothing much changes; but when it comes to our understanding of mind, we are led to a very different worldview indeed. I realized that the hard problem of consciousness was not a problem to be solved so much as the trigger that would, in time, push Western science into what the American philosopher Thomas Kuhn called a "paradigm shift."

The continued failure of science to make any appreciable headway into this fundamental problem suggests that, to date, all approaches may be on the wrong track. They are all based on the assumption that consciousness emerges from, or is dependent upon, the physical world of space, time, and matter. In one way or another they are trying to accommodate the anomaly of consciousness within a worldview that is intrinsically materialist. As happened with the medieval astronomers, who kept adding more and more epicycles to explain the anomalous motions of the planets, the underlying assumptions are seldom, if ever, questioned.

I now believe that rather than trying to explain consciousness in terms of the material world, we should be developing a new worldview in which consciousness is a fundamental component of reality. The key ingredients for this new paradigm-a "superparadigm"-are already in place. We need not wait for any new discoveries. All we need do is put various pieces of our existing knowledge together, and consider the new picture of reality that emerges.

Consciousness and Reality

Because the word "consciousness" can be used in so many different ways, confusion often arises around statements about its nature. The way I use the word is not in reference to a particular state of consciousness, or particular way of thinking, but to the faculty of consciousness itself-the capacity for inner experience, whatever the nature or degree of the experience.

A useful analogy is the image from a video projector. The projector shines light onto a screen, modifying the light so as to produce any one of an infinity of images. These images are like the perceptions, sensations, dreams, memories, thoughts, and feelings that we experience-what I call the "contents of consciousness." The light itself, without which no images would be possible, corresponds to the faculty of consciousness.

We know all the images on the screen are composed of this light, but we are not usually aware of the light itself; our attention is caught up in the images that appear and the stories they tell. In much the same way, we know we are conscious, but we are usually aware only of the many different experiences, thoughts, and feelings that appear in the mind. We are seldom aware of consciousness itself. Yet without this faculty there would be no experience of any kind.

The faculty of consciousness is one thing we all share, but what goes on in our consciousness, the content of our consciousness, varies widely. This is our personal reality, the reality we each know and experience. Most of the time, however, we forget that this is just our personal reality and think we are experiencing physical reality directly. We see the ground beneath our feet; we can pick up a rock, and throw it through the air; we feel the heat from a fire, and smell its burning wood. It feels as if we are in direct contact with the world "out there." But this is not so. The colors, textures, smells, and sounds we experience are not really "out there"; they are all images of reality constructed in the mind.

It was this aspect of perception that most caught my attention during my studies of experimental psychology (and amplified by my readings of the philosophy of Immanuel Kant). At that time, scientists were beginning to discover the ways in which the brain pieces together its perception of the world, and I was fascinated by the implications of these discoveries for the way we construct our picture of reality. It was clear that what we perceive and what is actually out there are two different things.

This, I know, runs counter to common sense. Right now you are aware of the pages in front of you, various objects around you, sensations in your own body, and sounds in the air. Even though you may understand that all of this is just your reconstruction of reality, it still seems as if you are having a direct perception of the physical world. And I am not suggesting you should try to see it otherwise. What is important for now is the understanding that all our experience is an image of reality constructed in the mind.

Rosenberg's 'liberal naturalism' [CS:JCS:3.1.77]:

"The question of scientific objectivity becomes more compelling when one considers that doubts about the reductive paradigm are by no means new. William James (1890), Charles Sherrington (1951), Erwin Schrodinger (1944, 1958), Karl Popper and John Eccles (1977)--among others--have insisted that the reductive view is inadequate to describe reality. This is not a fringe group. They are among the most thoughtful and highly honored philosophers and scientists of the past century. How is it that their deeply held and vividly expressed views have been so widely ignored? Is it not that we need to see the world as better organized than the evidence suggests?

"Appropriately, the most ambitious chapter of this section is the final one by Willis Harman. Is the conceptual framework of science sufficiently broad to encompass the phenomenon of consciousness, he asks, or must it be somehow enlarged to fit the facts of mental reality? Attempting an answer, he considers the degree to which science can claim to be objective and to what extent it is influenced by the culture in which it is immersed. Those who disagree might pause to consider the religious perspective from which modern science has emerged.

"There is reason to suppose that the roots of our bias toward determinism lie deeper in our cultural history than many are accustomed to suppose. Indeed, it is possible that this bias may even predate modern scientific methods. In his analysis of thirteenth-century European philosophy, Henry Adams (1904) archly observed: "Saint Thomas did not allow the Deity the right to contradict himself, which is one of Man's chief pleasures." One wonders to what extent reductive science has merely replaced Thomas's God with the theory of everything."

The brave atheist physicalist wishes to pretend that his side has total absolute triumph and the silly little religious view point is going "gluge gluge gluge" as it sinks into the sun lite waters of the ocean, but the truth of it is the paradigm shift is already underway. Materialism has vanished. I call my essay "Materialism Vanishes" but it is already gone. Atheists put a happy face on it and call it "phsyicalism" and say it's gotten better, but the truth of it is materialism is gone and it left behind a form of physicalism which incorporates all sorts of idea that just one hundred years ago would have been seen as magical thinking and nonsense. That essay I link to itself offers a wealth of first rate evdience for the supernatural.

Back to the review of Baggini we find more comparisons of non evidence to irrelevant psychical processes of nature that we all agree exist.

Mediums, for example, who claim to be able to communicate with the dead “are unreliable…no medium has ever been able to tell us something that proves beyond reasonable doubt that they are party to information from the ’spirit world’.” (19) Baggini rejects the burden of having to examine each and every possible case of evidence for life after death, because these cases can plausibly be explained by human gullibility and the emotional need to believe in an afterlife. Retreating to the claim that life after death has not been conclusively disproven is not a desirable move either, because many other beliefs which we think are patently absurd are also unfalsifiable.

That just beats the hell out of Christianity. I know so many theolgoians who base their world views on mediums. But notice he refuses to investigate on a case by case basis. I don't care about mediums but this also means that he wont investigate on a case by case basis when it comes to real sure enough God-miracles. That means he's just chucking best evdience without even examining it as I predicted he would. It's just part of that scientific double talk that amounts to circular reasoning; all the cases of claims for supernatural must be wrong because there can't be a supernatural since there's no evidence, we know there's no evdience because we can rule it out without examining it. He says the cases can be explain by human gullibility, but then he's just dumping the while class of evidence without examining it, begging the question that it's all gullibility. How does he know that? Because it violates his ideology so he can just assume so.

The existence (or lack thereof) of life after death contributes to an inductive case for atheistic naturalism: “The evidence of experience is that we live in a world governed by natural laws, that everything that happens in it is explained by natural phenomena.”

What is his assertion based upon? Upon mediums? Mediums can be swept aside without examining their claims, therefore, there's no life after death? This guy is a scientist? How does he know there is no life after death? Of course we are not dealing with his arguments directly, but the website is in capable hands and the one who does the site is very fair minded and I'm sure he's giving Baggini the best possible hearing.

Baggini also offers an argument to the best explanation, contrasting atheism as a worldview with other worldviews. Among the advantages of an atheistic worldview: 1) “It is simple in that it requires us to posit only the existence of the natural world,” whereas “alternatives also require us to posit the existence of an unobserved supernatural world”

I think it would come as a huge shock to most atheists I encounter that atheism is a world view. Most of them relish the arguemnt that its' merely the absence of belief thus freeing it from any responsibility to really explain the world.

2) “the naturalistic worldview…is also more coherent, because it has everything in the universe fitting into one scheme of being. Those who posit a supernatural realm have to explain how this realm and the natural one interact and coexist” 3) “Atheism has great explanatory power when it comes to the existence of divergent religious beliefs”, and so on.

This is an extremely troubling statement because as a world view based upon naturalism and nothing more he's leaving out all sorts of things that even other atheists had the sense to include, but he can't include them unless he's willing to admit that science is not the only form of knowledge. If he does admit that then he has to admit the best evdience of belief, which is philosophical,deductive, and/or phenomenological in nature. What he's leaving out is demonstrably among that which makes life wroth living and yet is naturalistic but inter-subjective and thus opens the door to other form of knowledge that are not naturalistic. I speak of things like Music, art, literature, philosophy, existentialism, phenomenology.

So we can summarize Baggini’s case for atheistic naturalism as follows: naturalism is inductively supported by the (strong) evidence we have for the regularity of the natural world and the fact that many if not all phenomena we observe have natural explanations, and is the best explanation for a variety of phenomena which are puzzling to the theist.

That there is a physical world and it can be studied scientifically is not in question. Therefore, any attempt to compare this to religious belief is mere a chimera. It has nothing to do with a religious view point.

There is a great deal of empriical evidence supporting the supernatural. But of course it depends upon the Peroper Understanding of the Sueprnatural because the atheist's notion of the supernatural as an unseen realm filled with ghosts and demons, angels and major power is the degraded false watered down version that is left in the wake of enlightenment reductionism and Reformation equicicalism. The great psychologist and social scientist Abraham Maslow equated the supernatural with ordinary psychology and he said:

Now that may be taken as a frank admission of a naturalistic psychological origin, except that it invovles a universal symbology which is not explicable through merely naturalistic means. How is it that all humans come to hold these same archetypical symbols? (For more on archetypes see Jesus Chrsit and Mythology page II) The "prematives" viewed and understood a sense of transformation which gave them an integration into the universe. This is crucial for human development. They sensed a power in the numenous, that is the origin of religion."

"In Appendix I and elsewhere in this essay, I have spoken of unitive perception, i.e., fusion of the B-realm with the D-realm, fusion of the eternal with the temporal, the sacred with the profane, etc. Someone has called this "the measureless gap between the poetic perception of reality and prosaic, unreal commonsense." Anyone who cannot perceive the sacred, the eternal, the symbolic, is simply blind to an aspect of reality, as I think I have amply demonstrated elsewhere (54), and in Appendix I, fromPeak Experience

--Abrham Maslow

He was not far wrong. Religious experince is an empirical example of the supernatural. It is exactly what the supernatural was suppossed to be according to Mathias Joheph Scheeben (Natural and Grace, 1865) the nature of God elevating human nature to the higher level.This is studied empirically and is demonstrated in 350 empirical studies. Some of the distillation of those studies can be seen on Doxa. There is fine scientific empriical evdience for Miracles at Lourdes but one must go on a case by case basis. This is what's so phony about Baggini's approach, becasue in denying case by case basis he's merely ruling out best evidence. The miracles committee uses strict rules,the committees seat the finest medical experts in Europe and even have skeptics on the committee. Best medical evidence is required and rules are designed to screen out remission.

But there's no point to any of this because the best evdience for belief is not empirical evdience at all but the realization of what what it means to be. For that one must face life holistically. The problem with Baggini's approach, and to the extent that he represents a form of atheism, the problem with atheism itself is that it resists a holistic approach to life. It's a reductionist approach. you can't holistically. This is the problem with the empiricist view, it ultimately destroys all forms of knowledge and reduces life to a dull set of facts that aren't worth knowing. The minute one begins thinking about what life means and what its for, the minute one begins thinking there must be something more than just this dull bombardment of atoms in the void,(I don't mean thinking of God I just mean thinking about art or music or what life exists, or why be alive or what is there to live for) one is transgressing, moving over the life of good scientific evdience into the dreaded no man's land of the horrible "subjective."

Belief in God is a realization of what it means to be. Denial of belief is a rejection of everything life is about and everything worth while about living. The reductionist view is an anti-life view.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

stupid atheist trick update

no sooner do  post the stuipd atheist trick then big thinker tops is.

Originally Posted by bigthinker View Post
No meta, it doesn't. The reason it doesn't is because there isn't a God for it to point to -God's existence is not established and it isn't a fact; it is a belief. It points to your belief in God (which is why it is confirmation bias).
 Your argument for God can't also be your evidence. In order to say something fits the description of what God is and therefore is God, you have to establish that God exists and you have to establish what God is. You haven't done that and neither has anyone else.

did he just say before you can make a God arguemnt you must first prove there's a God? what kind of stupidity is that?

 that's what an argument is BT an argument is evidence. to make a God arguemnt is to show evidence for God. tha'ts the name of the game it's the way it's always played.

He's saying that an argument for God si confirmation bias since God isn't proved to exist. but argument for for things are the proof. so he's saying you can't ever have a proof for god since God is not already proved.

isn't true of multi verse. or string? there can never be proof of those because they are not proved so any attempt at proving them is confirmation bias.