Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Claim: Co-determinism fails as an argument.

This was put up on CARM by an atheist as an attack upon my argument from mystical experince.

The first observation I make is that calling it "c0-determinism" is just a way of saying he doesn't think it's logically valid. So he doesn't know what the concept has been used by real thinkers for generations. It goes back to Schleiermacher, probably before him. It also is also kin to what Derrida calls "the trace." So it has a long and honorable history it is not a fallacy. It's nothing more than a form of argument from sign.


I. What co-determinism is

From another forum: First, we establish that these transformational experiences are real. Anecdotal evidence abounds, AA has documented success with religious people, and many studies show that religious and spiritual lifestyles are correlated with increased life expectancy and quality of life. This correlation could be caused by religious experiences.
Second, we establish that the experience itself invokes religious themes (e.g. universal oneness, the ultimate, pure love, etc) in the thoughts of the people who have them.
Third, we note that they happen more often with religious people.
Finally, we can say that since the "God hypothesis" predicts these transformations and this phenomenon is found to be consistent with the prediction then this comprises rational warrant for belief.


Is this about right?
Metacrock's reply from that forum: "More or less. 350 studies are not anecdotal. "

So, above we have a short definition of co-determinism that we can work with.

Except I never called it an "ism." I think that's either changing the argument or at least casting a pol upon the concept as though it's some crack pot move.


Since Metacrock did not accuse the other poster of not understanding co-determinism we can conclude that this summation adequately encompasses it. Henceforth, when I refer to co-determinism, I will be referring to the above argument. Because Metacrock accepted it as accurate with only the changes of pointing out that there are (allegedly) 350 studies and that the studies are (allegedly) not anecdotal.
He's creating the illusion that this is all there is to the argument. That's part of it. It's not the whole argument in a nut shell.


We'll also be referring to co-determinism as "CD".

Moving on.

II. The fallacies
Before we delve into CD, we need to have a strong understanding of a few logical fallacies.

a. Appeal to belief

Appeal to Belief is a fallacy that has this general pattern:
  1. Most people believe that a claim, X, is true.
  2. Therefore X is true.
This line of "reasoning" is fallacious because the fact that many people believe a claim does not, in general, serve as evidence that the claim is true.

Example: "God must exist. After all, I just saw a poll that says 85% of all Americans believe in God."

He is creting the illusion that I"m actualy arguing this:

(1) there is no such fallacy!

there is no fallacy in any logic text book called "fallacy of bleief."

(2) I never made any such claim that "I believe it that proves it becasue I belief it."

he is trying to twist the argument from co-determinate, or the trace, into this mutated concept that its true because I believe it.

I said: It's rationally warranted, that means "I have good reason to believe this." do you see how this is not what he's selling?

What he said: "It's true becasue I believe it."

What I said: "I have a good reason to believe so I assert it's truth."

see the difference?

So, we know that believing a thing to be true isn't a reason to hold a thing as true. Certainly not a thing that's not based on popular opinion.
where does he get popular opinion in it? Why does he drag that into it? Where did I ever link the argument to popular opinion? He's merely building a straw man argument.


While a group of people may be able to determine through belief that mini-skirts are popular, no amount of belief will be able to prove that mini-skirts magically popped into being from dimension 7. Belief cannot determine things in the real world. We require additional evidence for that. Always.
Meta:He's still trying to promote the bait and switch that co-determinate equals truth by belief, believing it makes it true. I never said anything of the kind. What I have said is accepted logic used by major thinkers throughout the years. In fact it's used by everyone all the time for assessing cause and effect. It's nothing more than saying "I have a good reason to assume this, I can't prove it conclusively but my reasons are strong enough that I will assert it is true and assume it as an assumption until given other reasons to reject it."

we do this all the time and it is totally and absolutely different than asserting that it's true because it's believed. I said nothing about popularity. If you can't see the difference in these let me help you:

what's he's trying to sell would say that the only reason for believing is that you believe.

what I'm saying is that there are good reasons which are prior to belief and which are taken as the warrant (reason) for belief.

there is nothing illogical about that. It's totally different then what he's trying to sell you.

(1) We don't have a mechanism that shows lungs betting cancer from smoking tabaco. We really don't. the tabbaco companies are right about that. But the reason their attempt to argue that is laughable is because the statistical correlation is so tight that it's would stupid to deny a causal link even though we don't know what it is.

that is exactly analogs to what I'm saying. The causal link between religious experince, (the religious aspect of the experinces) and the result of having such experinces that makes people's lives better is very tight and backed by so many studies we can assume a causal link even though we can't prove it. Just we like we can't prove smoking causes cancer but we can assume it logically because of the tight correlation.

(2) Derrida's concept of the trace is that of the foot print in the snow. If something always accompanies something else then we can assume the first thing is a sing of the second.

......(a) the aura on neutrinos when they react with other partials. This is always there, so even though we do not have a picture of a neutrino even today, we can assume that the presence of the arura is an indication of a neutrino.

......(b) figerprints: we can assume someone was present in a place where his prints are found, even though we have no real observation of him there. Because we seldom find that one's finger prints are traveling alone and are found where the person was not.

this is very apt because the arguemnt is that these experiences are like the finger print of God. so even though we can't prove the actual presence of God, if we have logical reason to assume that his is like God's print we can assume that God is present.

to say it another way, if X is always present with Y, then we need not prove the presence of Y if we have the presence of X. This of course assumes that the assumption is correct, so this is what the argument will revolve around.

AT that level we just have to go on and have the arguments.


b. Appeal to popularity

The Appeal to Popularity has the following form:
  1. Most people approve of X (have favorable emotions towards X).
  2. Therefore X is true.
The basic idea is that a claim is accepted as being true simply because most people are favorably inclined towards the claim. More formally, the fact that most people have favorable emotions associated with the claim is substituted in place of actual evidence for the claim. A person falls prey to this fallacy if he accepts a claim as being true simply because most other people approve of the claim.

It is clearly fallacious to accept the approval of the majority as evidence for a claim. For example, suppose that a skilled speaker managed to get most people to absolutely love the claim that 1+1=3. It would still not be rational to accept this claim simply because most people approved of it. After all, mere approval is no substitute for a mathematical proof. At one time people approved of claims such as "the world is flat", "humans cannot survive at speeds greater than 25 miles per hour", "the sun revolves around the earth" but all these claims turned out to be false. This sort of "reasoning" is quite common and can be quite an effective persuasive device.

Since most humans tend to conform with the views of the majority, convincing a person that the majority approves of a claim is often an effective way to get him to accept it. Advertisers often use this tactic when they attempt to sell products by claiming that everyone uses and loves their products. In such cases they hope that people will accept the (purported) approval of others as a good reason to buy the product.

Meta: Of cousrse I have made no such claim. He is mistaking what I've said for such a calim, probaly on purpose, but maybe becasue he doesn't' understand ideas very well.

I think I know what argument he is mistaking, so we will see if this is the case.

Very simple: if a lot of people believe something, it doesn't mean that something is true. Just like the appeal to belief, we need additional evidence to prove a thing is true. What everyone believes simply isn't enough for obvious reasons.

I think he's confussing this with my argument that we can establish the sense of the numinous as the presence of God, or at least the indication of such based upon 50,000 years of history. The historical association that has always been made indicates we should understand this. Now he's apt to see that as appeal to popularity because he can't understand concepts.

this has nothing to do with popularity. It has everything to do with why religion exists> he is confusing appeal to popularity as a claim for a warrant for some idea with the notion of cultural constructs.

cultural constructs are not merely popularity, they are basis of how we understand the world. An analogy would be love of freedom for example. My argument would be all love freedom, this is universal throughout human civilization, freedom has always been a value. But Zharavic would say "this is just appeal to popularity." No it' s much deeper than popularity, tis' about the basic axiomatic values that all cultures accept, it's about how we know certain things in life, such as the meaning of languae the nature the concept of truth.

why do we value logic? We only value logic becuase cultures have found unvically that's very useful to construct rules of logic to appeal to as game theory would suggest. But I have a feeling that Z would not be able to understand the difference in game theroy and not takings seriously. O rthat he would not understand why aximoatic princpels are not appeal to popularity.

c. Special pleading

Special Pleading is a fallacy in which a person applies standards, principles, rules, etc. to others while taking herself (or those she has a special interest in) to be exempt, without providing adequate justification for the exemption. This sort of "reasoning" has the following form:
  1. Person A accepts standard(s) S and applies them to others in circumtance(s) C.
  2. Person A is in circumstance(s) C.
  3. Therefore A is exempt from S.
The person committing Special Pleading is claiming that he is exempt from certain principles or standards yet he provides no good reason for his exemption. That this sort of reasoning is fallacious is shown by the following extreme example:
  1. Barbara accepts that all murderers should be punished for their crimes.
  2. Although she murdered Bill, Barbara claims she is an exception because she really would not like going to prison.
  3. Therefore, the standard of punishing murderers should not be applied to her.
This is obviously a blatant case of special pleading. Since no one likes going to prison, this cannot justify the claim that Barbara alone should be exempt from punishment.
Special pleading can and do apply to phenomenon as well as people. For example, if I state "We'd need photographic evidence for Bigfoot and all monsters, but not the loch ness monster. The loch ness monster is real." I am creating a special pleading.

We cannot invoke special rules without establishing a valid reason first.

These fallacies are important because CD employs all three of them. This is part of why it fails. I'll demonstrate where in a few paragraphs.

Co-determinate is not a special set of rules that opporates only in this case. It's been used by many great thinkers form Schliermacher to Derrida, includer Peirce and others. Anyone who accepts arguments of corrolation and arguments form sign are accepting the co-determinate concept.

Now don't confuse that with some slip shod half backed attempt to use to proves something silly in order to show that it doesn't work. I find people doing this a lot and their taken on it usually truns upon misundertanding the new application.

Zharavic:III. Delusion
Humans are creatures of delusion.

People have an amazing ability to delude themselves. The most vivid example of this is the placebo effect. People who are convinced that they are on a particular drug sometimes exhibit the effects of that drug even though the chemicals aren't actually in their system. The placebo effect is a well established phenomenon.
Meta:Plecebo is not Delusion. this is proven over and over again. That Z thinks it's an illusion means that he does not understand placebo. I can show you evidence form the leading thinkers in the field saying "why can't we get people to undersand that palecobo is not a delusion?"

real healing takes palce from Placebos. the most recent theory is that there is a real link in the brain between central nerous system and he brain such that your mind really can effect your wellness.

this was proved by a guy at U. of Rochester in New York. He gave rats poisoned sweet water then took the poison out after a time. The rats continued to drkin the sugar water and they died. Their systems continued to react as though the poison was there. He won a major scinece prize for this as well.

Placebo is not a delusion. but it doesn't disprove the erligious expeirnce argument either.

essentually Placebo argument is misapplied because the things being heald by RE are psychological and not physiological. No data exists to show that placebo can apply to things other than physiological phenomena. AT best the use fo the term si a bad pun when applied to RE.

My chapter on Placebo and drugs will treat this argument apart. I don't want to put it up on a b.og or message baord now. I have to wait until its copywritted and if I find a publisher he may nt want to have the material published on the net before hand. so that is not a good idea. but you can take my word for it it will be worth wait to read it in the book.

In CD, people have experiences that have positive impacts on their lives. We refer to these as religious experiences (RE's). The argumentation behind CD excellently supports a version of the placebo effect wherein people have experiences that cause them to feel a certain way. Just like the placebo effect renders an effect without a drug, there is no evidence the subjects of CD are experiencing anything from an exterior source. They are having positive experiences which begin and end exclusively within their own minds. No one arguing in favor of CD has ever been able to point to any evidence of anything external.

(1) the statment that it supports a version of placebo is wrong. There is no link that has been demosntrated between medine and pshcyolgoical issues of personality. you cannot show a case where lack of assertiveness in life is cured by placebo. I mean it 's common sense that condiderence can be given though some illurary means, but that doesn't mean we have hard data to really prove that placebos can be used in this way.We also have a multiplicity of pycholgoical phenomena that are all beyond any sort of data of placebo. There is no data of any kind that placebo can create self actualization.

that's the main thing RE does. It makes one self actualized. But no data suggests this can be done with any sort of placebo effect.

(2) The assertion Z makes that you have to show an outside source is mistaken from start to finnish. Its' an assertion that the experineces are like little miralces. that is not an issue. no ever said this. the arguent does not turn on the expernice being a miracle. in fact it doesn't turn upon the actual experince itself at all, but upon the effect of having had it. To that exitent it doesn't even matter if it is accompanied by some form of nauralisitic mechnism.

(3) The argument all the researchers make is that drugs open pathways for nueral transmitters. Everyone agrees there. So those researchers who believe in God (a veritable army of researchers who actually beilev in some form of God support the mushroom reserach as a sing of God) none of these guys think that the chemicals form the mushrooms disprove God's involvemetn. why? because they are not saying it's a miralce. They saying made us such that we have chemical induced behaviors.

(4) the kind of people who do these studies are not christians for the most part. To the exent that they beileve in god (some are, some are even priests) they dno't believe in the big man in the sky of the fudnies. they are not concerned proving that god exists. they are only concenred with getting a deeper persective on God. They are not the least bit detered by muschroom or by seratonin or any of it.

(5) there is no data that shows any kind of placebo doing the things that RE does as an effect of having had the experince. You can't show in other respects. so there's no reason to assume it here.

We cannot discount the experiences that people have. Clearly, all these hundreds of people are feeling something. But we cannot presume or assume the origin of that feeling.
Meta: Yes we sure can. The reason we can is because the corrolation is so tight. If you can't show the brain chemistry having this effect in other respects, why should we assume it would have it just because it's accompaied by feelings of religious imagry?

Just as an individual can feel the effects of say... a painkiller without actually having taken the pain killer, the only sound conclusion we can draw from positive experience is that they are completely internal with no outside factor.

Meta: except for one little probelm. you dont' have any data to back it up. You cant' show that nural transmitter X has the same effect in non religous contexts taht it does in reatlion to the religous experince context. that means there's no reason to assuem that that chemical in and of itself is the cause. no data exits to back this assertion.

this is the same as saying to the example just given, there is no data to show that people feel the effects of this pain kiler.

the assertion in the analogy is fallacious too. Becaues there is no reason to believe that no sing of "external" factors would be an idication that god si not invovled. there is no estabishment of hte rule that God has to be detectable as an outside agent. Morover God might be an inside agent, if we are desinged in this matter.

I agree that there must be a distinction between God and not God in realation to these expeirnces or there's no point in talknig about it. But the data we have backing the arguement is the only data we have at all on any of it. In other words, the only correlation that exits is that between the aspects of religious experience and the outcomes. There are no studies demosntrating that nueral transmitters apart form religious experinces can produce these effects. Thus we should conclude that the conent of the experince is improatnt too. The conent is the presence of God. so there's no reason why we should not take it on face value that is ethe actaul presence of God. that is evidence of an outside agent as well.

this is a little fact that Z totally overlooks, all the experinces of thousands of subjects demontrate they had these effects in relation to Gods' presence, there is no data backing the idea of the effects without God's presnce, so we are warrante (have a good reason to assume that it is the presence of God and that would be an outside agent.

when he makes his argument about outside agents he's loaded the aruemet as a straw man to only reflect his ideas of what that agent would be like.

In other words, any implication in any form that they're coming from god is completely unsupported.

I just demonstrated that it is supported, and it is supported by 50,000 years of people feeling the sense of the numinous. It is not countered by one study. Not one single person no data at all to counter it.

Worse, such assumptions invoke the fallacies discussed above. People believing that god is intervening in their life doesn't prove that their good feelings have divine inspiration... no more so than a person on sugar pills can prove their improving condition is the result of the actual drug.

Meta: Here we see him do exactly what I knew he would do: bait and switch. He's trying to identify a perfectly valid assuption about warrants with the fallaicies that has never bothered to demosntrate fit my argumetns at all.

He asserts that since its' a fallacy to assert the truth of a propsition jsut becose one believes it or because the majority believe it, therefore, any kind of belief is a fallacy; so therefore, any assertions made invovling belief must be fallacious. But the problem is there's a setp missing in there that he neglects to deal with. The assertion of God's presence is not predicated upon merly the fact that we beileve in God, it's predictated upon the feelings of ;God's prsence, and the effects of having felt it. that means that all those people who bleieve become evidence. Because their belief is not just based upon believing it's based upon something very real, and he admits its real. He has the bop to show that there's a counter causality.

that's the trick he doesn't tumble to in the orignal arugment. he just cahlcks it up to fallacious reaosnsing which he doesn't understand and totally ignores the reasons upon which I predicated it.

Those reasons are clearly demonstrated in a huge body of work spannign four decades. the correlation tiself between the feeling of presents and the self actuliation as a result of the epeirnce is the predication and that is the warrant for belief. that is nto fallacious it has nothign to do wtih the fallacies discussed. it is evdience of an external agent.

So, the core of CD is built on the unsupported / fallacious assumption that good feelings people think are from god are actually from a divine origin of some kind. Since there's no support for this, we can discount it for what it is: delusion.
he's confussing the conclusion with the warrant.

there is nothing illogical about assuming that the experince one has is real and thus taking the conent of it seriously as it's predication. We do this all the time. WE see something, we it is real because we see it, then it's the skeptic's BOP to show that we mispercieved it. there is no prior burden to assume that our perceptions are wrong, and no evidence has been presented to back up the assertion that they are.

his logic amounts to this: placebo exists, placebo would answer the arguemnti f it applied, therefore it must apply so the argument is answered.

that is not logical.

He's also ignoring one little facit that I have spoken about and insisted upon all the time:

the effects are real, thus the experince can be assumed as real!

that doesn't match any of the fallacies he talks about.

(1) belief as preidcation to justfy beilef: this is not it since the preidcation here is the reality of the effects of the experince.

(2) delusion: if the effects are real it's not a delusion

(3) popualrity: its' not preducated upon popularity it's predicated upon the realtiy of the effects of the experince.

IV. Empiricism
Those who favor CD often point to studies that they believe support CD. Many of these studies are performed in a scientific manner and present their results in a form that is acceptable in academia.

Meta: they are all scientific. not one of them is not scientific. some of them are better than others, they are all scientific and all done by real actual academics.

However, since the core of CD is based on an unsupported assumption, these studies are ultimately impotent to prove that CD is anything but delusion.
this is just a bait and switch sicne none of arguments are based upon any of the fallacies he spoke of. He has done nothing but twist and misrpesent the nature of the arugments. He's made a bait and switch. He starts out a farily dencent understanding of the arugment, but slips in the fallacoius assertion that the arguemnts are prediated upon the fallacies when he knows very well they are not.

he never admits what they are precuated upon: the reality of the effects.

As we've established, no one is arguing that RE exist. No one is arguing that hundreds of people mentioned in these studies felt something. From the M scale, we can know they felt something extremely profound!
Meta: The studies don't assume a religious veiw point. they are not trying to prove that God exits. that's why they are objective and scientific. That doesn't mean their findings can't be applied that way.

a palpable feeilng of a presence is a sense of an exteranl agetns. Dont' forget the internal agent argument.

The problem is that none of these studies are delving into the origin of these feelings. They're concerned with studying what the feelings are, how intense they are, and the like. They are incapable of looking into where they come from and cannot delve into divine origin without invoking appeals to belief or popularity fallacies. I've read many of them and none do.

Meta:that's just why they are good stduies. they would be extremly silly studies to try and prove the existence of God or try and find the cause of such experinces. That's ludicrous. That's how they maintain their scentific integrity. But the same token, none ofhtem calim to have disproved God. None of them claim "there must be a non God orinted cause."

btw the M scale doesn't pretend to find God either. Hood is not a chrsitain. It only maeaures these experineces with respect to typologies.

The prevailing mentality is, "People believe that god / religion is causing their positive feelings (or change in lifestyle) so it's rational to believe god / religion is the cause." Imagine for a moment a doctor saying, "All these people who were never given drug X exhibited effects as though they were on drug X. Therefor, they were on drug X." No one would accept such a conclusion because it's contradictory. It ignores the fact that humans have a deep and powerful ability to delude themselves.
Meta:Here he has compeltey departed from what the studies say and what they talk about and he's inserting his own view of placebo effects and ignoring the findings.

Furthermore, some of the supporters of CD have a dubious attitude towards science. We've seen them lash out at the overall concept of science only to turn 180 degrees and attempt to claim the legitimacy that science offers.

Meta: man this guy has no understanding of the studies or who did them or what their attitudes are. He has not read a page of any study. He' totally making this up based upon is famous and constantly used assertions of steriotypes. He must think they are all done by Christians. as far as I can see none of them are.

his statement thaat they lash at science is totally unfounded. I mean I dare say this is nothing more than achildish bold faced lie. they do nothing of the sort and he had no evdience waht so ever. He is not basing this upon a single page of any study. he made it up or making one of his fmaous stupid assertions.

So, the empirical side of CD does nothing for the overall argument because it's unable to prove the most critical part; where these feelings come from.
Of course we have all seen in the past how Z does not understand the nature of scinece. He basically worships science as a God and he doesn't understand that it is limited entiroely to things that can be observed and measured.

Now whyw ould "where feelings come forom" be the most crucail part? why would they have to prove that? He's assuming that to be science they have provide all knoweldge of th subject because he thinks scinece is ;God and can disovoer all truth. The fact of the matter is the demsontrate exaclty what they need to for the claims that I make about them.

I say they show the effects of the experinces are real, they are transformative and thus real, and thus it is a rational warratn to assuem the cause is real. We assume the cause based the conent because the outcome is real. Just as we observe some phenomena and we find that the effects are real then we should assuem the observatin is real.

I think I see a dog. I find a dog turd and dog tracks where I saw the dog. why should I not assume it was really a dog? maybe ti was a Kote or something like a dog but not a dog, but why should I not assume its a dog until I have good reason not to?

V. Rational warrant
It's been made abundently clear from CD supporters

Meta: yea and hat a legion they are. where are these CD supporters? I'd like to meet them?

that CD does not prove there is a Christian god or a Jesus. Instead, it provides a rational warrant. This requires some scrutiny. What does that actually mean?

As near as I can tell, it means that it doesn't independently prove that Jesus/god exists. It allegedly proves that we have reason enough to believe that there is a god/Jesus. After all, where else could all those good feelings and RE's come from?

There are a few problems with the idea of a rational warrant.

Meta:so? Its still prima facie case. so it's your burden to prove its inadqute.

It's not a satisfactory position. It's very obvious that the supporters of CD want the experiences to be of divine origin.

meta; how superscious can you get? He's talking about this as though there aer thousands of peole around the coutnry, why I don'tk now. but really it's just me. I don't know what that's about. But be that as it may, of course that's I'm usignm it duh. are we not on a message board the existence of which si to argue about ;God? why in the hell would I be doing this?

that's a big duuuuUUUUUuuuuh!

Nor are they particularly eager to entertain other alternatives (such as this argument). So, if RE's don't support CD... if they aren't directly proving a Jesus/god... then what good are they? No. Furthermore, many theists use CD as a basis for belief in god/Jesus.

that isanother supercillious comment. essentually he's arguing since "they" (me) are not falling all over themselves (Myself) to embrace his explaintion this in itself is an indicmetn of my logic.

that is nothing more than the good old fasion plice tactic from before the days of Mirada rights when they charge people with suspecion. He's bascially saying "he's guilty of suspicion."

like so many of his argumements they wont work without the up front assertion that he has to be right and whims and prejdices are treu and his view point is axomic for all humanity.

What's really going on here?
Meta: well, basically, you are making an ass of youself. You are demonstrating your lack of knoweldge in logic and argument.

well he did ask.

CD has a lot of holes in it and doesn't actually prove what theists want it to prove.
Meta:when will you show us one?

what is the real reason for this pretsnese this is soem kind of major movement? show me one other person who argues this? can you document that any sort of group exists?

Yet, they still use it.
Meta who they? where? show me.

They cannot discount the hundreds of RE's even though they're very impotant to prove other than they're the product of delusion.

hu? this makes no sense. (btw there are thousands of subjects, probalby thousands of studies but I dont' care). This sentence just makes no sense. It starts by assuming that somehow all these major gaint movmenet of co-detemirntae people want to discount religious experince. that makes no sense at all.

then it assets taht he's prove something about them being delusions when actauly he admitted they were real, and he's proven nothin. he did not give one study or piece of data to back his view.

all he's done is assert a possiblity, and its' a possiblty that is contracted by the lack of data.

Since the effects are real ther's no reason to assume its delusion.

So, theists have come up with the idea of a "rational warrant". It allows them to evade the obvious problem that CD doesn't prove god while allowing them to keep touting it.

then he dreges up the pacebo thing again.


Let's look back at our placebo effect analogy.

"All these people who were never given drug X exhibited effects as though they were on drug X. Therefor, they were on drug X."

We know this statement is false. If we change it to read...

"All these people who were never given drug X exhibited effects as though they were on drug X. Therefor, they may have been on drug X."

It's tempting to believe this weaker assertion. Clearly, it's closer to truth than the stronger version. However, both of them are invalid & unsound. Neither one of them is true. Similarly, it's pointless to declare that CD gives us a rational warrant to believe anything other than lots of people have an experience.
Meta: this is nothing more than flying in the face of the data. more of Z[s mendacity.

he starts with the false assetion that I've somehow made a false calim taht cant' be born out. my only calim is preseisly demosntrated by the hundreds of studies, it is backed by scietnific evdience out the You know what?

that's the calim that thsoe who have experince X tend to have higher degrees of postive effects as a result of the experince than do those who do not have such experiences.

this fac is repeated over and ove again in studies of all kinds of methodoogy, cross culturally verified, longitudinal and so forth for four decades. This is as weel established as the link between smoking and cancer.

I extrapoloate certain conclusions from this fact but ti is a fact. Morover, he has no evidence to any degree to coutner it and he has not read a signle page of any study.

having demosntrated that he understands the arguent to a degree fair enough that I don't care to correct his misconceptions he then feels free to make fallacious assertions and insert bait and switch tactics which change the nature of the arugment so he's in effect lying about what it says. But he illicieted by endorsement of his understanding. So now he can make as though he really is honest about it but he's is being totally dishonest.

the simple fact of the matter is his assertion:
All these people who were never given drug X exhibited effects as though they were on drug X. Therefor, they may have been on drug X.

is not analogous to what the study claims. First of all, casting it in terms of a drug study is misleading because it sets up the assertion that this is some atuomatic thing that hast to have the same outcome. But then in the statment he ingores the fact that two groups are being compared. so he can assert that it's false, but what's fale? is it false that the people in the study had re? No, because they were measured by verious scales, usually the M scale. so that is proved. is it false that those who don't have those expeinrces have the same self actualiztaion? no, that's disproved by the data.

so what's the argument? It bears no relation to what he siad. he's merely omitting the comparision of two groups, one with the expeirnce to one without.

by saying "they may have been on drug X" I'm assuming he means I say 'they may have experinced God." But I don't say that. I day it's rational to assume they have given the reality of the consequences and how it fits what we can expect from expericing the divine.

His only retart is the retart of all atheits in all situations: "I refuse to bleieve that so therefore no one may assert soemthing I wouldn't assert."

sorry. (Oops).


Without evidence, we cannot in any way attribute CD to god/Jesus. A rational warrant is just another term for wishful thinking.

Meta: but this statment is totally fallacious because the whole point is that the studies are evdience. He will assert that we can' make a link from the experiences to God. But the link is the conent of the experince, the histircal association (as aximonatic consturcts, not populaity) and that is established by phenoemological apprhsino of 65,000 years. Given all of that we can certianly assert that the conent is religious, if the effects are real we can assume the content is a real reflection of the cause.

He mises the whole ponit of the term "detemrinate." It means the thing that goes with it. That's because these expeirnces go with beilef and they have since before we were homospiens. they are very reason have religion at all. there is simply no reason to assume otherwise.

that's the basis of the perdication of the experinces as being of God, the effects of the are the reason for assuing its real. he has no argument. he says nothing about that.


VI. Co-determinism fails
So co-determinsim fails as an argument. It's based on fallacies. It ignores the fact that people can delude themselves to the point of having physiological responses. It assumes phenomenon are connected to the divine without providing any evidence. And it uses a disingenuous weak conclusion.
Meta: posturing. I've already answered.

VII. Responding (CHALLENGE)
Lately, there has been too much bad blood on CARM. That ends with this thread.

If you've already begun replying, please erase it. No. Really. Erase everything you have.

Start over using the following house rules.

0. Obey all CARM rules. Period.
why? If the ruels weren't good enough for you when you kept insulting me all the time why are suddenly improtant now?

don't forget his lied repeatedly in this very post.

o yes it clearly does.

a. Nothing here requires advanced degrees or years of theological studies. No ad hominem responses will be accepted including implying that an individual doesn't have the proper background in a subject to fully understand it. Instead, all participants will demonstrate, being as specific as possible with examples from the thread, where an individual has failed to understand a particular argument and what the explanation is.

b. Re-read the argument. At absolutely no moment have I invoked any personal attack. I hold CD supporters in high esteem.
Meta: this is so sickening! WE all know he hates Chrsitians with all his heart. we all know he hates me with all his heart. Im the only CD supporter there is! there are no others. I'm it. there are some thinkers like Shleiermacher that use it but there is no body of people in the chruch that reads Schleiermacher. you have to go to semianry to even know he existed.

I guarontee Zharavic never heard of him so his claim is totally disengenous.

I hearby publically apologize for any insult, sleight, or hurtful statement to them in the past. This is a new beginning of debate on CARM and you will respect that by employing absolutely no personal attacks of any kind.
Meta; I"m willing to accept and stop insulting and to offer my own apologies but not just at the drop of a hat. I have to some good faith.

c. It is completely unacceptable to imply that an argument has "already been made" unless one links to that argument. This is a fresh start with fresh ideas. As such, all thread participants will make arguments in the thread. Claiming an argument was made elsewhere without linking to it is the same as not making an argument.

that's ridiculous. I'm dealing with a vast gody of wroik. it's absurd to think--hell Im writting a whole book just of this one argument! it's asurd to think I just whip out all the info I need at a moment's notice.

It's also unfair given as much work as I've done on this over the last several years, just to expect me to pretend I have not made the arguements.

see what atheits are?

here's a statment by one on carm:


Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 52
Reputation: 11
StSlade 11-20 points
And send him to school to learn how to spell. It always makes a much more convincing argument if you at least can reply with some level of i

do you not see they are nothing but little bigotted nazis who are so stupid they think spelling is a matter of intelligence? that's like thinking blacks are lazy.

the onlky reason he's saying is because I"m showing them up.

the guy before that said my page on Biblical inspriation was "quote mining" and another one said you never document anything." How can I be mining quotes and not doucment things? what you think I do wth the quotes I'm suppossedly mining?

they are nothing but prejudiced litlte mindless cretons who are brain washed by lying nazi websites.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Games Athesits Play

The games atheist play. I knew some atheists once who loved to play monopoly. They loved it so much they decided that atheism monopolizes science. I've also known many an atheist who loved doge ball. But then who doesn't sometimes? Hide and seek? No, atheists don't like seeking. They definitely do not like things being hidden. They like scrabble, where things are spelled out clearly and they control the vocabulary.

There are two things I find atheists doing on message boards that drive me up the wall.

(1) Assume no givens of any kind

(2) Confuse real logic with personal taste

The first one, assume no givens, I should say allow no givens. I've seen this in many forms. It's basically the idea that everything has to be totally proven. This tendency to demand that everything be proven is an outgrowth of their epistemology, which through going empiricism, and empiricism in a inductive, scientific sense. True empiricism in the old philosophical sense is not good enough. They demand total absolute proof of any assumption made. This is so extreme I find atheists asking me to prove the assumption that God is love. They will not accept the idea that this comes with the package of a Christian belief system or that it is empirically experienced my own sense of the presence of God.

But the ultimate example of this kind of thinking gone wild was seen a board the other dad (AARM--or RE-AARM) there was a thread called "why would God?" Meaning why would God allow pain and evil. So I began discussion on my soeteriolgoical drama idea, which begins by saying "here are the assumptions I make for this argument." This guy puts my word "assumption" in big blue font and says "you are just assuming!" Yes, chicken pie I know, that's what I said I was doing. Of the idea that all studies, arguments, treatuses, essays and any other sort of heuristic device employs assumptions, is foreign to this guy. Then he really took the cake, he says "This is circular reasoning, because you are assuming God!"

Now, friends, the name of the thread was "why would God?" So the thread assumes God from the get go, and to answer the thread is to assume God. Moreover, the question was about the belief system of Christianity. If you as a Christian believe that God is good, how can you explain that God allows pain, ect ect. The very nature of the question demands that anyone attempting to answer assume God in the answer. But this guy wants to argue that it's circular reasoning just to have a belief a prori. So not only will they not allow any sort of belief things must be proven form the outset, but they confuse this with logic to begin with. I was not making an argument to prove he existence of God. I was explicating my belief system. thus it should perfectly fair and understood that to explain beliefs I have to assume my belief.

But this response of the atheist also highlights the second problem, not understanding logic. How many times have I heard atheists say "your ideas are not logical," only to find that they have no clear idea of any logical rule violated. To them logic just "I like this" and illogical means "I don't like this." When accused of circular reasoning I always ask them to tell me what makes something circular reasoning. Nine times out of ten it turns out they confusing circular reasoning with saying something unproven. In direct response to this question (what is circular reasoning in my argument) the will say things like "we don't know what came before the big bang." This means my argument is circular because I'm making an assumption not based upon absolute evidence but speculation. When I point out that circular reasoning means the premise rests upon the conclusion of an argument, and none of my arguments do this, they just poo poo it like "O how can I be expected to keep track of all those rules." This makes the charge of "circular reasoning" pretty meaningless.

The idea that we know God exists because they Bible says so, and the Bible is the word of God so we can believe it, is a prefect example of circular reasoning. This is entirely because the premise (God exists) rests slap dabe upon the conclusion (God's existence is proven by the bible). The authority of the Bible comes from the thing in question, God. This is akin to begging the question. Circular reasoning is a lot like and is a form of question begging. The proof is based upon the thing in question, and the thing in question is proven by the proof that rests upon it.

None of my arguments have this quality. But what really gets me is these guys are not even assuming that unproven arguments are resting a premise upon a conclusion they are just using the term "circular reasoning" because they've heard it before and its sounds like a logical buzz to employ for the idea "I don't like this idea."

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Contradiction at the heart of atheism

On the one hand you tell me that laws of phsyics are just descriptive and they don't determine anything. On the other hand you say that there is natural world that extends beyond our space/time, presumably to anything physical? So you see the dichotomy of nature/spirit as phsyical, tangleable, visable vs "in" and "un" and "non" versions of these, intangeable, invisable, non phsyical.

But how can it be that "nature" extends all over existence beyond the realm of all we know to all other realms anywhere and yet there are no prescriptive physical laws? It seems to be that to be able say that you would have to have a set of laws that delimit what can happen. Otherwise how can you possably know there is not a universe in which all existence is immaterial?

Here are some quotes about Big bang cosmology. They are from major phyicists and some obscure phyicists and the major upshot of them is we have no physics to explian the big bang.

No Physics to explian something from nothing.

John Mather, NASA's principal investigator of the cosmic background radiation's spectral curve with the COBE satellite, stated: "We have equations that describe the transformation of one thing into another, but we have no equations whatever for creating space and time. And the concept doesn't even make sense, in English. So I don't think we have words or concepts to even think about creating something from nothing. And I certainly don't know of any work that seriously would explain it when it can't even state the concept."[John Mather, interview with Fred Heeren on May 11, 1994, cited in his book Show Me God (1998), Wheeling, IL, Searchlight Publications, p. 119-120.]

That is describing the excepted theory, that the universe seems to pop up from nothing, yet physicists just accept it and assume that its possible even with no physics to explian it. That is a total paradigm shift.

*Multiverse is unscientific metaphysics.

Sten Odenwald, Gaddard, Nasa: http://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry/ask/a11215.html

"yes there could be other universes out there, but they would be unobservable no matter how old our universe became...even infinitly old!! So, such universes have no meaning to science because there is no experiment we can perform to detect them."

John Mather, NASA's principal investigator of the cosmic background radiation's spectral curve with the COBE satellite, stated: "We have equations that describe the transformation of one thing into another, but we have no equations whatever for creating space and time. And the concept doesn't even make sense, in English. So I don't think we have words or concepts to even think about creating something from nothing. And I certainly don't know of any work that seriously would explain it when it can't even state the concept."[John Mather, interview with Fred Heeren on May 11, 1994, cited in his book Show Me God (1998), Wheeling, IL, Searchlight Publications, p. 119-120.]That is describing the excepted theory, that the universe seems to pop up from nothing, yet physicists just accept it and assume that its possible even with no physics to explian it. That is a total paradigm shift. "yes there could be other universes out there, but they would be unobservable no matter how old our universe became...even infinitly old!! So, such universes have no meaning to science because there is no experiment we can perform to detect them."
Some physicists, such as Oldenwald, are aware of this, but that doesn't stop the the materalists from continuing the assumption. So if it is religious metaphysics its bad, but if its metaphysics the materialist can use it's "ok."

We have no phsyics to explain the bb and yet you want to argue that know what it is and how works and that is material. dilemma

(1) if physical laws are not prescritive then you must expalin how everything can be the same all over all existence

(2) if phsycial laws are not prescritive

.....(a) beilevein miracles there no barrier to them

.....(b) it could be that some worlds are supernatrual. It's only if you have a delimiting set of laws that you can cleary define natural from supernatural (if you go by the degraded concept most of you try to defend)

Second dilemma

(1) if there is a phsyics to expalin bb then it's seems physical laws are prescritive

(2) if there is no physics to exapin it then it doesn't opporate by natural law we can well think of the bb as supernatural. Or even magic.

ATheism Vanishes

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Merriam-Websetr's Online dictionary


Main Entry:
athe·ism Listen to the pronunciation of atheism
Middle French athéisme, from athée atheist, from Greek atheos godless, from a- + theos god

1archaic : ungodliness , wickedness2 a: a disbelief in the existence of deity b: the doctrine that there is no deity

Atheists sure insist upon the notion that atheism is just a natural lack of belief in something, yet nothing could be further from the truth. Almost every dictionary definition before the 1990s said that Atheism was the rejection of belief in God.

Now most include two things (1) rejection (2) mere lack. Why? Because with he advent of the Internet age atheism got a new lease on life and was given this organizing tool, it began crowding out agnosticism. Agnosticism began to appear in the guise of "weak atheism." Then atheism became a mere lack of belief that sees itself as a natural default position. Atheists love to think that all people are born natural atheists, which is obviously disprove by the recent studies about brain structure and innate ideas of God.

Atheism has never been merely a lack of belief. If you were honest about what you really think, your behavior and tendencies, it always accompanies certain assumptions about the nature of the world, about naturalism and about physical laws.Atheism is clearly more than just the lack of a belief, which really should be called "agnosticism."

Among the many assumptions that go into atheist position is the one about a default assumption. Atheists like to tell themselves that since atheism is merely a lack of belief, babies are born with no belief, thus babies are born atheists. They like to say that because they are so overwhelmed by the general population that's the only way they can feel good about their numbers. Seriously, that's a joke, but really it is indicative of the notion of a "default" assumption. They think that since atheism is merely lack of belief then there must be a default, a position one falls back upon in the abases of proof, and that position is, of course, atheism since lack of proof should logically yield lack of belief--i.e. "atheism" in their view.

Of course the default assumption is undermined by the evidence on "God Pod" and other evidence which makes it clear that there is a religious instinct.

I've always thought the atheist default position was pretentious and presumptive, and designed by someone who just lionized atheism. But there should be a religious default position to the extent that there's no particular reason to assume naturalism over any other position. The world doesn't come to us wrapped in philosophical labels. We have to go to school and teach them, and most of the time they play on our prejudices. There's no reason to validate one over another form the outset.

But my religious a prior argument would argue that religion is not derivative from other disciplines but is a valid thing in itself own right. As such we can assume the properly basic nature of religious belief as a 'default" position

1) The notion of something from nothing violates basic assumptions of materialism

a. Materialism based upon cause and effect

Dictionary of Philosophy Anthony Flew, article on "Materialism"

"...The belief that everything that exists is ether matter or entirely dependent upon matter for its existence." Center For Theology and the Natural Sciences Contributed by: Dr. Christopher Southgate: God, Humanity and the Cosmos (T&T Clark, 1999) Is the Big Bang a Moment of Creation?

"...Beyond the Christian community there was even greater unease. One of the fundamental assumptions of modern science is that every physical event can be sufficiently explained solely in terms of preceding physical causes. Quite apart from its possible status as the moment of creation, the Big Bang singularity is an offense to this basic assumption. Thus some philosophers of science have opposed the very idea of the Big Bang as irrational and intestable."

b) Something from nothing contradicts materialism

Science and The Modern World, Alfred North Whitehead
NY: free Press, 1925, (1953) p. 76

"We are content with superficial orderings form diverse arbitrary starting points ... science which is employed in their development [modern thought] is based upon a philosophy which asserts that physical cessation is supreme, and which disjoints the physical cause from the final end. It is not popular to dwell upon the absolute contradiction here involved."[Whitehead was an atheist]

c) Causality was the basis upon which God was expelled from Modern Science

It was LaPlase's famous line "I have no need of that Hypothesis" [meaning God] Which turned the scientific world form believing (along with Newton and assuming that order in nature proved design) to unbelief on the principle that we don't' need God to explain the universe because we have independent naturalistic cause and effete. [Numbers, God and Nature]

2) Materialism Undermines Itself

a) Big Bang contradicts causality (see quotation above)

b) QM theory seems to contradict cause/effect relationship.

c) Rejection of final cause

3) Probabilistic Justification for assumption of Cause

We still have a huge justification for assuming causes inductively, since nothing in our experience is ever uncased. The mere fact that we can't see or find a cause isn't a proof that there isn't one.

4) Therefore, we have probabilistic justification for assuming Final cause

Thus, the basis upon which God was dismissed from scientific thought has been abandoned; the door to consideration of God is open again. The reliance upon naturalistic cause and effect in consideration of ultimate origins is shattered, but this does not make it rational to just assume that the universe pooped into existence with no cause. Since we have vast precedent for assuming cause and effect, we should continue to do so. But since naturalistic cause and effect seems unnecessary at the cosmic level, we should consider the probability of an ultimate necessary final cause.

I've been attacked by atheists saying that this position betrays modern science. But it is modern atheism that betrays modern science, because this position flows right out of a historically conscious take on materialism. The problem is atheist ear OT historically conscious. They have already abandoned the basic philosophical premises which took them into the modern world and which seemed to give them an edge over Christianity and religious thought, and most of them don't seem to care. Like my argument on "Materialism vanishes" I think modern atheism vanishes.
We don't have atheists anymore. What we relay have is a bunch of people with a default assumption for not having a belief.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Nothing LIke Atheist Incredulity

Here's a guy on a website trying to convene a bunch of know nothings, (I mean atheists) that there is documentation for miracles. I admit the claims are pretty wild. He actually has a site that claims an amputation grew back. But they don't really dismiss it for that reason. they dismiss it for no reason reason except that whenever he meets their burden of evidence they can keep coming up with more criteria.


Storm, there is an email address on there, email him, he will document it for you. I have another that has doctor's names and addresses on it, will post it. I put this on here because some said that there were no medically documented miracles.

This one has doctors names and addresses and ex rays.


Certainly, I would pray for someone who was dying.
post reply view bevrice's threads
Apr 5, 2007 @ 8:36 PM Medically documented Miracles

Posts: 6,409
This one has doctors names and addresses and ex rays.

This still doesn't make the documentation guidelines.
post reply view eastham's threads
Apr 5, 2007 @ 8:40 PM Medically documented Miracles

Posts: 11,144 It has ex rays, doctors names, doctor's notes. the works.

I found many Catholic ones that pass that test according to the Catholic church.
post reply view bevrice's threads
Apr 5, 2007 @ 8:42 PM Medically documented Miracles

Posts: 6,409 I don't care about the denomination, documentation means the ability to written up in peer-reviewed journals. Less than that is a testimonial and not documentation.
post reply view eastham's threads
Apr 5, 2007 @ 8:45 PM Medically documented Miracles

Posts: 5,601 And the Catholics have proven soooo reliable. I really wouldn't use them to validate ANYTHING.

Except of course, child abuse laws.
post reply view kjac's threads
Apr 5, 2007 @ 8:47 PM Medically documented Miracles

Posts: 695
Certainly, I would pray for someone who was dying.

But not help, typical.

Bev your a complete joke,I've read through that site and nowhere does any doctor in any medical reports state or confirm her leg has grown back. They did operate to remove spurs from the bone, but all the rest relates to other procedures and cover all the other illnesses and complaints she has. Certainly not a healthy women by any stretch of the imagination.

In other words Bev, its a fake, just like you nothing but deceit.

I found many Catholic ones that pass that test according to the Catholic church.

The catholic church, only requires 3 witnesses and doesn't need to include a medical doctor, but must include a representative of the church. The church has never been able to convince the scientific or medical profession that a medical miracle has happened, just the opposite.
post reply view stormbay's threads
Apr 5, 2007 @ 8:51 PM Medically documented Miracles

Posts: 6,400 Watta bout the Buddhists??????

post reply view 12knots' threads
Apr 5, 2007 @ 8:53 PM Medically documented Miracles

Posts: 11,144 Carole's Doctors

Dr. James F. Coy, M.D.
Sunstate Preventive Medicine Institute

310 Nesbit Street

Post Office Box 511315

Punta Gorda, Fl 33951-1315

(941) 575-8080

Dr. James F. Coy M.D. is now the physician in complete authority over all medical decisions regarding the creative miracle of completion of my left leg.

Dr. Kenneth Levy M.D.
Advanced Orthopedics Center

1641 Tamiami Trail

Suite 1

Port Charlotte, Fl. 33948

(941) 629-6262

Orthopedic Specialist since 1986, Dr. Levy amputated my left leg below the kneecap in 1995. In the year 2000, Dr. Levy documented that my amputated left leg is growing back and is a creative miracle from God. There is no other explanation! (Dr. Levy is now retired and no longer involved in my case.)

Dr. David S. Goris, CPO

American Board Certified Prosthetist Orthotist

Sonlife Prosthetics and Orthotics, Inc.

6111 Deltona Blvd.

Spring Hill, Fl. 34609

(352) 596-2257

Dr. Goris is the President of Sonlife with extensive experience in both Prosthetics and Orthotics. He received his bachelors degree from Calvin College in 1976 and went on to receive his degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics from Northwestern University in 1980. He is certified by the American Board for Certification and meets their requirements for continuing education on a yearly basis. Some of his most recent studies include custom prosthetic restoration and implementation of Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology. Dr. Goris also certifies that my leg is a creative miracle from God.

Dr. Harvey Tritel, MD, FAC

Florida Heart Associates

2675 Winkler Ave.

Suite 460

Fort Myers, Fl 33901

(941) 936-3896

My Cardiac Specialist since 1989. Please refer to documents in the book regarding this miracle.

Todd D. Nowell, O. D.

After-image Eye Care. P.A.

Spring Hill, Florida 34606

(941) 352-688-1102 Phone

Examination July 17, 2006 Vision 20-20

Click here to download the free book to learn more about the miracles.

Okay, storm, here you go, call them.

post reply view bevrice's threads
Apr 5, 2007 @ 8:55 PM Medically documented Miracles

Posts: 11,144 Buddha didn't believe in miracles.
post reply view bevrice's threads
Apr 5, 2007 @ 8:56 PM Medically documented Miracles

Posts: 6,400 Of course.

Nothing special about them. Kids play.

post reply view 12knots' threads
Apr 5, 2007 @ 8:56 PM Medically documented Miracles

Posts: 6,409 At least Storm, there is room built into the system for those who make the oppositive arguement. The opposing side must/should be represented. For example, Christopher Hitchens was interviewed and questioned extensively during discussion about Mother Theresa being cannonized.

Not so with Bev. That line was to make me expressly feel uncomfortable...not that it worked.
post reply view eastham's threads
Apr 6, 2007 @ 1:44 AM Medically documented Miracles

Posts: 11,144 Catholic miracles at Lourdeshttp://www.geocities.com/meta_crock/other/Miracles2.htm

Catholics always make sure their miracles are medically documented, you know.
They won't even call it a miracle unless it is. They have rigid rules.

[Edited on 4/6/2007 1:54 AM]
post reply view bevrice's threads
Apr 6, 2007 @ 2:16 AM Medically documented Miracles

Posts: 695 Bev there is no medically verifiable documents on either site, to support what you or they say, none whatsoever. If there were, then it could be accepted if the doctor states its a miracle but there is nothing. Believing the catholic church has any credibility is gullible in the extreme, when you see their history and the desperate efforts they go to in trying to lie, cheat and deceive their way out of anything they get caught out on.

Trolling to find evidence so desperately is not the sign of someone who knows their subject, just someone who clutches at straws without proper research. The sane of the world Bev, aren't as gullible and superstition as you.
post reply view stormbay's threads
Apr 6, 2007 @ 6:28 AM Medically documented Miracles

Posts: 11,144 not trolling, you have doctors you can check with and phone numbers.

The Catholic Church calls very few healings miracles, they have to be medically certified.

The claim for a miraculous cure is first examined by a medical board at the local level were it is claimed. The medical tribunal determines whether the disease was well-documented, had no hope of cure, that it is without any scientific explanation (no possible other causes, including the effects of medical care already received or spontaneous remission), and that it has continued (that is, it wasn't temporary). If it passes muster the decision is commited to a theological tribunal at the diocescan level.

The theological tribunal must determine whether it meets the criteria of a supernatural intervention. To be judged supernatural it must be beyond the power of created nature (including angels, good and bad). A disease might be caused by a fallen angel and then a "cure" result from the demon withdrawing his influence. The disease would remit with no explanation. For theologians, therefore, there is a clear preference for spontanous cures of terminal or otherwise hopeless cases: the person with MS, Parkinsons, tuberculosis, cancer, etc. who is cured from one moment to the next, with diseased tissue becoming healthy instantaneously. Since the angels (good or bad) cannot create tissue, such cures are evidently beyond their power. Cancer that remits, with healing resulting over time from the recuperative powers of the body, would not be conclusive.

After a positive finding at the local level, the case is sent to Rome where it goes though the same two-stop process with new scientific and theological experts.

I know of no such rigor being applied to claims of miracles outside the Catholic Chuch.

post reply view bevrice's threads
Apr 6, 2007 @ 9:04 AM Medically documented Miracles

Posts: 6,400 Science is the miracle maker.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Are Atheists Capable of Moral Thinking

Some atehists just seem unable to cope with the concepts of morality. Some even argue that God is at fault for their sins because he doesn't take free choice away from them. they want to be controlled like robots so they don't have face the responsibility of what they do. Here's a discussion I had with one on CARM:

Originally Posted by Metacrock View Post
according to my theory sin is a necessary risk if you want a moral universe. No risk of sin (because of free will) no moral universe. To have one means having endure the other.

Atheist:Ah I see, so God is directly responsible for sin in your theory. What purpose does sin or humanity exactly serve? Can God create something
people who choose to sin are responsible for sin. what should we call the failure to recognize this? the inability to understand ethical thinkng?

God took a risk that he had to take. I say again, taht he had to take had to take had to take.

you need not choose sin! get it?

more morally good then himself?

I can't understand this twisted logic. you are told God has to risk allowing youk to choose wrongly to get the good, but you choose. then you up and decide well it must be God's fault taht I chose wrongly. If he was on his toes he would stop me from choosing.

are you really so unable to take responsibility for what you do? then you turn around and want me to say that atheists are moral? in what sense are you moral if you can't be trusted with moral choices?

Atheist:Quote:can people sin in heaven?

I don't really know because I haven't been there. But I would say it's theoretically possible. But why would they? it's already pre selected and made up of people who chose to be good.

Atheist:Would you say that Heaven isn't entirely sin-free since the prospect of it still exists?

why would I say that. you see you are afraid to take responsibly and thus want you choices to be taken away form you as though you are child but moral people don't have to do that. since heaven has all moral people in it then we can assume no one sins.

When you say 'pre-selected', do you mean in a Calvinistic sense of "We are selected when we are born"?

no, when we get saved in live not when we are born. pre selected from the other end, form death.

Exaclty how much 'suffering' or 'life' does someone need to experience before they understand "Internalized Good Values"? Is there any difference between a kid who dies only experiencing a scraped knee or a very old man?

that's like asking how old do you have to be before you are mature.

like I said before. you can't get there without going through it. you can't cheat your way to experience. you have to do the work to get the experience.

Atheist:But God is it without going through it (which in some metaphysical lingo means he is actually above just having it). Why didn't God just do to humans what he is himself? He himself is able to abide by the "Internalized Good Values" without needing the experience of 'living' on earth. Why didn't he just create humans with that same trait?

Man I just don't understand what its so hard for atheists to understand these things. so clear to me. I tell you over and over God is the basis of what is good. ti's who he is, its base dupon his character. not ours. we don't have that charter. we have to acquire it God has it because he's god. he' perect he is it. why can't you understand that?


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

When first I launched Atheist Watch I brought out the seven stage model of hate group development used by the FBI. Now I trun to the first four stages, and I feel this is where hate group atheism (Dawkamentalists) are today:

The seven-stage hate model: The psychopathology of hate groups
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin/March 1, 2003
By John R. Schafer, MA and Joe Navarro, MA

Stage 1: The Haters Gather

Irrational haters seldom hate alone.10 They feel compelled, almost driven, to entreat others to hate asthey do. Peer validation bolsters a sense of self-worth and, at the same time, prevents introspection, which reveals personal insecurities.11 Further, individuals otherwise ineffective become empowered when they join groups, which also provide anonymity and diminished accountability.
Stage 2: The Hate Group Defines Itself

Hate groups form identities through symbols, rituals, and mythologies, which enhance the members' status and, at the same time, degrade the object of their hate. For example, skinhead groups may adopt the swastika, the iron cross, the Confederate flag, and other supremacist symbols. Group-specific symbols or clothing often differentiate hate groups. Group rituals, such as hand signals and secret greetings, further fortify members. Hate groups, especially skinhead groups, usually incorporate some form of self-sacrifice, which allows haters to willingly jeopardize their well-being for the greater good of the cause. Giving one's life to a cause provides the ultimate sense of value and worth to life.12 Skinheads often see themselves as soldiers in a race war.
Stage 3: The Hate Group Disparages the Target

Hate is the glue that binds haters to one another and to a common cause.13 By verbally debasing the object of their hate, haters enhance their self-image, as well as their group status. In skinhead groups, racist song lyrics and hate literature provide an environment wherein hate flourishes. In fact, researchers have found that the life span of aggressive impulses increases with ideation.14 In other words, the more often a person thinks about aggression, the greater the chance for aggressive behavior to occur. Thus, after constant verbal denigration, haters progress to the next more acrimonious stage.
Stage 4: The Hate Group Taunts the Target

Hate, by its nature, changes incrementally. Time cools the fire of hate, thus forcing the hater to look inward. To avoid introspection, haters use ever-increasing degrees of rhetoric and violence to maintain high levels of agitation. Taunts and offensive gestures serve this purpose. In this stage, skinheads typically shout racial slurs from moving cars or from afar. Nazi salutes and other hand signals often accompany racial epithets. Racist graffiti also begins to appear in areas where skinheads loiter. Most skinhead groups claim turf proximate to the neighborhoods in which they live. One study indicated that a majority of hate crimes occur when the hate target migrates through the hate group's turf.15

This is where we are now. The hate group has gathered and begun to taut the target. to avoid the cooling off of introspection they single out the symbols of their hate to attack.

NCJRS abstracts

In the second stage, the haters form an identity by using symbols, rituals, and mythology. During the third stage, the haters begin to verbally degrade the object of their hatred, thereby bolstering their self-image as a group. In the fourth stage, in order to maintain high levels of agitation and avoid introspection, the group begins to taunt its target, usually through the use of offensive gestures and racial slurs.

This is what happens on message boards every night on the internet.

Wikiepdia article on hate groups

Hate groups usually assert that the targets of their attacks are harmful to society. Hate groups generally propagate myths, narratives and rumours, playing upon fear, xenophobia, blame or jealousy, with the aim of harming individuals and groups they target, and inciting others to distrust or hate them. The ultimate aim of a hate group is commonly the delegitimization, elimination, and exclusion of groups, or the harm, deportation, or death of individuals. Hate groups often use their victims as scapegoats.

We see this on the net every night, every atheist message board is dominated by the charges that Hitler was a Christian, Christianity is bad for society, God ordered the wiping out of various people', the bogus social science studies like the Zuckerman pretend study that claims "atheist societies" are so much better than religious ones. And now we see the atheists attacking the symbol of their object of hatred, Christmas. A sign was put up at a radio station by atheists trying to destory the beuaty of Christmas. It was placed beside a nativity scene and it said the nativity scene was a myth. This is documented on Cnn.com/living "Missing Atheist Sign Found."

(CNN) -- An atheist sign criticizing Christianity that was erected alongside a Nativity scene was taken from the Legislative Building in Olympia, Washington, on Friday and later found in a ditch.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation had a placard up in the Legislative Building in Olympia, Washington.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation had a placard up in the Legislative Building in Olympia, Washington.
Click to view previous image
1 of 2
Click to view next image

An employee from country radio station KMPS-FM in Seattle told CNN the sign was dropped off at the station by someone who found it in a ditch.

"I thought it would be safe," Freedom From Religion Foundation co-founder Annie Laurie Gaylor told CNN earlier Friday. "It's always a shock when your sign is censored or stolen or mutilated. It's not something you get used to."

The sign, which celebrates the winter solstice, has had some residents and Christian organizations calling atheists Scrooges because they said it was attacking the celebration of Jesus Christ's birth.

"Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds," the sign from the Freedom From Religion Foundation says in part.

The sign, which was at the Legislative Building at 6:30 a.m. PT, was gone by 7:30 a.m., Gaylor said.

The incident will not stifle the group's message, Gaylor said. Before reports of the placard's recovery, she said a temporary sign with the same message would be placed in the building's Rotunda. Gaylor said a note would be attached saying, "Thou shalt not steal."
Don't Miss

* iReport.com: Over-the-top holiday displays?

"I guess they don't follow their own commandments," Gaylor said. "There's nothing out there with the atheist point of view, and now there is such a firestorm that we have the audacity to exist. And then [whoever took the sign] stifles our speech."

Gaylor said that police are checking security cameras pointed at the building's entrances and exits to see if they can see anyone stealing the sign.

"It's probably about 50 pounds, " Gaylor said. "My brother-in-law was huffing and puffing carrying it up the stairs. It's definitely not something you can stick under your arm or conceal."

The Washington State Patrol, which is handling the incident, could not be reached for comment.

Dan Barker, a former evangelical preacher and co-founder of the group, said it was important for atheists to see their viewpoints validated alongside everyone else's.

Barker said the display is especially important given that 25 percent of Washington state residents are unaffiliated with religion or do not believe in God. (A recent survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found 23 percent of Washingtonians said they were unaffiliated with a religion and 7 percent said they didn't believe in God.)

Atheists on message boards have said things like "O those evil nasty Christians destroying our poor little sign." But it doesn't dawn on them the sign is an act of hate because it says "you are not allowed to exist in the public square with me. I will not allow you to have your beliefs." Who the hell would get upset at Christmas? They are attacking love, peace, happiness, good toward men. But the reason is because the symbol of the hated target becomes a target for hate. This incident points up a full scale attack on Christmas that has been growing over the years. The symbol of faith as become the target of hate for those who despise faith.

from the same CNN article

"Most people think December is for Christians and view our signs as an intrusion, when actually it's the other way around," he said. "People have been celebrating the winter solstice long before Christmas. We see Christianity as the intruder, trying to steal the holiday from all of us humans."

The scene in Washington state is not unfamiliar. Barker has had signs in Madison, Wisconsin, for 13 years. The placard is often turned around so the message can't be seen, and one year, someone threw acid on it, forcing the group to encase it in Plexiglas.

In Washington, D.C., the American Humanist Association began a bus ad campaign this month questioning belief in God.

"Why believe in a God?" the advertisement asks. "Just be good for goodness sake."

That ad has caused the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to field hundreds of complaints, the group said, but it has heard just as much positive feedback, said Fred Edwords, the association's spokesman.

Edwords said the ad campaign, which features a shrugging Santa Claus, was not meant to attack Christmas but rather to reach out to an untapped audience.

Edwords maintains the campaign began in December mostly because the group had extra money left over for the year. The connection to Christmas is a coincidence, he said.

"There are a lot of people out there who don't know there are organizations like ours to serve their needs," Edwords said. "The thing is, to reach a minority group, in order to be heard, everyone in the room has to hear you, even when they don't want to."

The ad campaign, Edwords said, is to make people think. He said he doesn't expect to "convert" anyone.

But the Christian Coalition of America is urging members to oppose the advertisements.

"Although a number of humanists and atheists continue to attempt to rid God and Christmas from the public square, the American people are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts," Roberta Combs, the group's president said in a press release.

"We will ask our millions of supporters to call the city of Washington, D.C., and Congress to stop this un-Godly campaign."