Wednesday, December 18, 2013

New Pew Study: Atheism NOT Increasing in World Population

  photo 01_groups_zps9705e0f9.png
 Pie chart: Pew Study

Recently I put up an article about a study that showed that atheism had was now at 13%of the world population. Now I find another study to call that one into question. That would be the Pew Study on Global Religious Landscape. I had reason to doubt the first study, which was done by an organization calling itself Gallup International. Its' not affiliated with the Gallup Poll in America. Here's why I doubted it:

(1)  the study was done by the rouge Gallop international which is a company started by people who were kicked out the real Gallup organization.

(2) they assumed northern Eruope is heavily atheist and Greely's study shows it's not. now a new study shows it's not. We will see the new study  smashes the myth of Northern Eruope as atheist strong hold.

(3) they also assumed Japan was 70% atheist, In many other studies Japan is 80% Buddhist. That just doesn't add up becuase even though atheists try to claim all Buddhists as atheists Buddhists have told me that ti's only in America that that thinking makes sense and that real Asian Buddhists would never accept being called atheists. Besides what sense does it make to think of "atheist" in the conventional sense we know when dealing with a culture that thinks of deity in such a radically different way than we do. If any of you have studied eastern religion you know what I mean.

The New study shows 16% unaffiliated with any religion.

Worldwide, more than eight-in-ten people identify with a religious group. A comprehensive demographic study of more than 230 countries and territories conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life estimates that there are 5.8 billion religiously affiliated adults and children around the globe, representing 84% of the 2010 world population of 6.9 billion.

 The demographic study – based on analysis of more than 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers – finds 2.2 billion Christians (32% of the world’s population), 1.6 billion Muslims (23%), 1 billion Hindus (15%), nearly 500 million Buddhists (7%) and 14 million Jews (0.2%) around the world as of 2010. In addition, more than 400 million people (6%) practice various folk or traditional religions, including African traditional religions, Chinese folk religions, Native American religions and Australian aboriginal religions. An estimated 58 million people – slightly less than 1% of the global population – belong to other religions, including the Baha’i faith, Jainism, Sikhism, Shintoism, Taoism, Tenrikyo, Wicca and Zoroastrianism, to mention just a few.1
At the same time, the new study by the Pew Forum also finds that roughly one-in-six people around the globe (1.1 billion, or 16%) have no religious affiliation. This makes the unaffiliated the third-largest religious group worldwide, behind Christians and Muslims, and about equal in size to the world’s Catholic population. Surveys indicate that many of the unaffiliated hold some religious or spiritual beliefs (such as belief in God or a universal spirit) even though they do not identify with a particular faith. (See Religiously Unaffiliated.)

The unaffiliated includes those who believe in God. It doesn't say what percentage believe in God so it could be only 3% thus 16% unaffiliated and 13% of those atheist with 3% believers in God. The study doesn't say but there are reasons to think this is not the case. The best one is that the statistic of 16% tallies with the old data from,* they said half the unaffiliated believed in God. There's no real reason to think that changed if the 16% over all figure didn't change. Moreover, the Pew study lists percentages of atheists in each area and show for individual counties what percentage believe in God, "belief in God or a higher power is shared by 7% of Chinese unaffiliated adults, 30% of French unaffiliated adults and 68% of unaffiliated U.S. adults. ." On a world map showing distribution where a given religion is majority it shows for all of Europe Christianity is the majority although for Northern Eruope barely so. The majority of unaffiliated live in Asia-Pacific region  because of China. which due to the communist history has the most atheists. "The religiously unaffiliated are heavily concentrated in Asia and the Pacific, where more than three-quarters (76%) of the world’s unaffiliated population resides. The remainder is in Europe (12%), North America (5%), Latin America and the Caribbean (4%), sub-Saharan Africa (2%) and the Middle East and North Africa (less than 1%)." That's interesting because it puts unaffiliated at 12% in Europe, which according to many atheists sources such as Zuckerman is counted as "the atheist countries." That tally s with Greely who puts hard core atheism at no more than 10% in Norway. Of cousre fora ll of Europe the unaffiliated percentage is smaller than it may be for any particular country. This is unaffiliated so some of them believe in God. The study doesn't delineate atheists much at all.

 photo rel_pie.gif
Pie chart:

Monday, December 16, 2013

Arguments vs. Facts


I keep hearing this really dumb idea that "we don't want arguments we want facts that prove things." They seem to have adopted this tactic as a new mantra along with "there's no proof for your God." It reminds me of one of my favorite Monty Python things about the "argument clinic." "Argument is an intellectual process by which one lays out a logical heuristic in favor of a proposition, not the automatic gain saying of anything he other fellow says." "Yes it is." Sounds like CARM. I wonder if people who make this distinction between argument and facts understand what argument is.

The problem is, as with all English words, there many meanings and they are determined by context. When logicians say "argument" they mean something as different in the context of logic from when a historian says "argument" as Black Adder from real history. In general when we have people making arguments for the existence of God, the context in which this discussion arises, they are usually going to be people who have read William Lane Craig or Plantinga, and who are given to the emulation of philosophers and philosophical thinking. In that context the definition is going to be closer to that of the "straight man" (Michael Palin) in the Python sketch linked above; the heuristic supporting a logical proposition.

Many atheists speak as though this is just BS, it's just like saying "I deem that X = Y because I like X, and it has sanctifying grace and it reminds me of my geography teacher in eighth grade." Of course they just skip right over the fact that many such arguemnts are attempts to plug scientific facts into propositions confirming belief in God. I have had three major arguments spanning huge threads about the fine tuning argument. In the first one atheists went 40 posts wit out saying anything more substantial than "that's no good, that's not scinece, I don't like that." Every single post I made was about scientific facts, most of them were quoting a scientist named Andre Linde (on Doxa) who is an atheist but you took Fine tuning seriously enough to write an article several years ago (Scientific American, Oct 97) listing many of the more obvious problems facing the formation of life in the early development of our universe.

This argument is all about facts, it contains thousands of facts. Of course their reaction to it was something "this is stupid. this doesn't prove anything." I have a feeling that what they mean by "a fact that proves something" is something DNA. They want to find God's fingerprint or hair sample, but it has to be so obvious the it can't be questioned. Of cousre they can always question. Like the EPCEP thing, it's just another excuse to raise the bar as soon as the request facts are produced. The fact that half of my God arguemnts turn upon scientific facts (in my list of 42 arguments) doesn't even mean anything to them. What they really want is a done deal, something they can't even begin to question that totally prove it so they are forced to believe and they can't possibly be mistaken.

The idea that you have a fact that proves soemthing and you don't have to make an argument to show how it proves something is ludicrous. That's arguments are, they are connecting links that move from evidence to conclusion and explain things.Arguments are not tricks or emotional tirades that seek to lul one into a frame of mind apart form facts. Arguments can be based upon logic, they don't have to be based upon empirical evidence, but you can't make empirical evidence "prove" something without making an argument.Even if you could somehow pull back the curtain of reality and see God at the controls, so to speak, you would still have to make an argument that this si God and these are the controls that govern the universe, just pulling back the veil itself wouldn't do it.

The only potions atheists embrace are those shaped by arguments. They think that when they say "there's no proof for your God so I have no rational reason to believe" that they are making a statement of fact that needs no elucidation and is transparent when spoken. In point of fact that in itself is an argument.All the atheists potions are the result of argument and not of facts.
Science data is not self explainable or self revealing. It only means something when you shape into an argument and make it mean something.

Facts do not announce themselves as such. Nature is not festooned with little tags that say things like "scientific data, by nature." "This is a scientific fact." There is no scientific data until we transform qulia into data by the process of scientific study. No one just stduies raw data by itself. Economists don't collect dates on coins in the economy, sociologists don't count the number of bricks in housing projects, geologists don't count the grains of sand on the shore, then let it go at that rejoicing that they have found scientific facts. Data is put into context of "meaning" through interpretation. Data always must be interpreted and the complexity of the world means there can be more than one interpretation. This is a very simplistic source but I think anyone naive enough to think that scinece is just a pile of facts needs this level of simplicity:

Understanding Science: How
Science Really Works.

Evaluating an idea in light of the evidence should be simple, right? Either the results match the expectations generated by the idea (thus, supporting it) or they don't (thus, refuting it). Sometimes the process is relatively simple (e.g., drilling into a coral atoll either reveals a thick layer of coral or a thin veneer), but often it is not. The real world is messy and complex, and often, interpreting the evidence relating to an idea is not so clear-cut. To complicate things further, we often have to weigh multiple lines of evidence that are all relevant to the validity of a particular idea.
This is raw data, but what does it mean?
Tests typically generate what scientists think of as raw data — unaltered observations, descriptions, or measurements — but those must be analyzed and interpreted. Data become evidence only when they have been interpreted in a way that reflects on the accuracy or inaccuracy of a scientific idea. For example, an investigation of the evolutionary relationships among crustaceans, insects, millipedes, spiders, and their relatives might tell us the genetic sequence of a particular gene for each organism. This is raw data, but what does it mean? A long series of the As, Ts, Gs, and Cs that make up genetic sequences don't, by themselves, tell us whether insects are more closely related to crustaceans or to spiders. Instead, those data must be analyzed through statistical calculations, tabulations, and/or visual representations. In this case, a biologist might begin to analyze the genetic data by aligning the different sequences, highlighting similarities and differences, and performing calculations to compare the different sequences. Only then can she interpret the results and figure out whether or not they support the hypothesis that insects are more closely related to crustaceans than to spiders.
That process contains a number steps that are not only very similar to argument but that also require argument when interpretations vary. Just interpreting data requires a form of argument sense one is making a connection from sign to conclusion based upon a logical association involving a claim. In the argumentation theory of Stephen Toulmin data is part of the grounds or a claim. The warrant links data and other grounds to a claim, legitimizing the claim by showing the grounds to be relevant. The warrant may be explicit or unspoken and implicit. It answers the question 'Why does that data mean your claim is true?' That process is just like the process through which one assertions the significance of any given data in hypothesis testing.

On a more sophisticated level we can see that entire scientific project rests upon "paradigms" which in effect are arguments. Science changes when the paradigm is no longer able to adsorb and explain or dismiss anomalies that cause us to question the paradigm. This is part of the thory of Thomas S. Kuhn. Kuhn was the biggest name in history/philosophy of scinece for several decades, even beating Popper (the 60s-90s). When the Postmodern project fell apart in the 90's Kuhn went down with the ship even he was only tangentially related to Postmodernism. I think we can argue that Kuhn's fortunes have risen again as I predicted at the time they would. I see much more Kuhn related material, he's still in universities. One such class is that of Professor Frank Pajares, Emory University. He prepares an online study guide and his summary of Kuhn's first chapter in Structures of Scientific Revolutions runs as follows:

Kuhn begins by formulating some assumptions that lay the foundation for subsequent discussion and by briefly outlining the key contentions of the book.
  1. A scientific community cannot practice its trade without some set of received beliefs (p. 4).
    1. These beliefs form the foundation of the "educational initiation that prepares and licenses the student for professional practice" (5).
    2. The nature of the "rigorous and rigid" preparation helps ensure that the received beliefs exert a "deep hold" on the student's mind.
  2. Normal science "is predicated on the assumption that the scientific community knows what the world is like" (5)—scientists take great pains to defend that assumption.
  3. To this end, "normal science often suppresses fundamental novelties because they are necessarily subversive of its basic commitments" (5).
  4. Research is "a strenuous and devoted attempt to force nature into the conceptual boxes supplied by professional education" (5).
  5. A shift in professional commitments to shared assumptions takes place when an anomaly "subverts the existing tradition of scientific practice" (6). These shifts are what Kuhn describes as scientific revolutions—"the tradition-shattering complements to the tradition-bound activity of normal science" (6).
    1. New assumptions (paradigms/theories) require the reconstruction of prior assumptions and the reevaluation of prior facts. This is difficult and time consuming. It is also strongly resisted by the established community.
    2. When a shift takes place, "a scientist's world is qualitatively transformed [and] quantitatively enriched by fundamental novelties of either fact or theory" (7).

In other words science is like a status quo of a governmental regime or one might liken it unto the negative in policy debate round, it is the status quo, the way we view the world. If it is going to change it must do so because it can no longer answer crucial questions (absorb anomalies) that must be answered to continue to assume the received view of the world. Kuhn himself tells us:

"scientific revolutions are here taken to be those non-cumulative developmental episodes replaced in whole or in part by a new one..." (Thomas kuhn The Structure of scientific Revolutions, 92). "The choice [between paradigms] is not and cannot be determined merely by the evaluative procedures characteristic of normal science, for these depend in part upon a particular paradigm, and that paradigm is at issue. When paradigms enter as they must into a debate about paradigm choice, their role is necessarily circular. Each group uses it's own paradigm to argue in that paradigm's defense...the status of the circular argument is only that of persuasion. It cannot be made logically or even probabilistically compelling for those who refuse to step into the circle." The Structure of Scientific Revolutions(94)In section X we shall discover how closely the view of science as cumulative is entangled with a dominate epistemology that takes knowledge to be a construction placed directly upon raw sense data by the mind. And in section XI we shall examine the strong support provided to the same historiographic scheme by the techniques of effective science pedagogy. Nevertheless, despite the immense plausibility of that ideal image, there is increasing reason to wonder whether it can possibly be an image of science. After the pre-paradgim period the assimilation of all new theories and of almost all new sorts of phenomena has demanded the destruction of a prior paradigm and a consequent conflict between competing schools of scientific thought. Cumulative anticipation of unanticipated novelties proves to be an almost nonexistent exception to the rule of scientific development.The man who takes historic fact seriously must suspect that science does not tend toward the ideal that our image of its cumulativeness has suggested. Perhaps it is another sort of enterprise. [ Structures...92-94]
(see my entire summary of Kuhn Here)
The simplistic concept that science is a pile of facts that prove the truth of all reality as long as we peruse the proper scientific methods is just a fantasy. There is no neat simplistic choice between fact and argument. Expecting to test the validity of God belief on the basis of the belief to conform to the norms of scientific is equally stupid. This is why I do not argue for the existence of God. All of my arguments I bill as "rational warrant for belief" simply becuase God is beyond empirical data. It would be as absurd to expect to prove god empirically as it would be to prove reality itself empirically. If you remember what I've said in the past about basic epistemology, that cannot be done. No one has. The only thing that was every produced along those lines is a epistemological judgment based upon warrant. Every time I argue it out with atheists to this point they say proudly and triumphantly "I can rest assured with a very good implication of what I know based upon the probability suggested by empirical data." I love to deflate that line when I say "that's what I get with my God arguments."

That's all they have to do, all we need is a rational warrant becasue the gap there between absolute certainty and warrant, which even the atheists admit they can't fill, that's the gap one leaps over in a leap of faith. The atheist has just admitted he leaps over it too. So the big fortress of facts that seems so assuring in atheist rhetoric is really just propaganda sloganeering.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Atheists show their true research ability

 This is from a series I'm doing on disproving the big block of BS that Royce uses against the M scale and my 200 studies. After regaling them with all this material which they could not answer, they began saying things like "you digging it deeper." be sure and read all of this then look at their reactions to follow.

IV. Criticism 4

this is no 4 in the big blog of Royce's propaganda he runs against Hood and the M scale. It's disproved empirically. all you have to do is read the study. If you read the study you see they do not agree with Katz but with Hood.

Francis Vincet Anthony, Carl Sterkins, Chris AM Hermans.

A comparative Study of Mystical Experience Among Christian, Muslim, and Hindu Students,

"Our findings also point to the limitations of Hood’s Mysticism Scale (already foreseen by him) when it comes to comparing totally heterogeneous religions such as Semitic and Eastern religions (Hinduism and Buddhism). Finally, we think that the major theoretical problem with regard to mysticism still stands: Is there a core structure of mystical experience or does it imply diversity? In order to answer this fundamental question, we need more comparative research among members of different religions in different geographical contexts."
From page 107:

This statement is far from saying that the M scale is bad or that it doesn't' work. These guys do not think they have disproved the M scale, they think they have improved it.

[ (1) they are merely denying the common core--Hood proves otherwise. they also admit Hood is aware of the criticism.

(2) their position is not necessarily opposed to mystical experience]

"Hood developed a Mysticism Scale based on the theoretical work of Stace. The scale was tested by Hood and others in a comparative perspective. Using an abridged version of Hood’s Mysticism Scale, we join the debatewith a study of a much larger number of Christian, Muslim, and Hindu respondents (1,920 college students)living in Tamil Nadu, India. Our empirical analysis yields a moderately reliable model of mystical experience that permits comparison between the three religious traditions. We argue for the usefulness of a comparative model of vertical mysticism that combines with the complementary common characteristics of noetic quality and ineffability. Vertical mysticism has a revelatory, ineffable character and is comparable in the experience of adherents of the Christian, Islamic, and Hindu traditions."

(3) They use an abridged version

"Using an abridged version of Hood’s Mysticism Scale, we join the debate with a study of a much larger number of Christian, Muslim, and Hindu respondents (1,920 college students)living in Tamil Nadu, India. Our empirical analysis yields a moderately reliable model of mystical experience that permits comparison between the three religious traditions. We argue for the usefulness of a comparative model of vertical mysticism that combines with the complementary common characteristics of noetic quality and ineffability. Vertical mysticism has a revelatory, ineffable character and is comparable in the experience of adherents of the Christian, Islamic, and Hindu traditions."

they point out Hood's scale is proved empirically:

"The measurement instrument is based on Hood’s Mysticism Scale.This scale has been proven empirically to be acceptable in diverse cultural contexts and religious traditions (Hill and Hood1999; Holm 1982; Hood 1975; Hood et al. 2001)."

(4) they claim they better results with a bigger sample but not that M scale doesn't work

"We argue for the usefulness of a comparative model of vertical mysticism that combines with the complementary common characteristics of noetic qualityand ineffability. Vertical mysticism has a revelatory, ineffable character and is comparable in the experience of adherents of the Christian, Islamic, and Hindu tradition"

[that's essentially admitting that the M scale is useful]

(5) not only is their view not anti-M scale it's pro mystical and they have quibbles with the particulars of Stace and Hood from within the realm of msytical fandom.

"In our view this state of unity belongs to the realm of mystical consciousness and not so much to that of interpretation. Empirical research supports the claim that mystical consciousness and its interpretation can be relatively independent (cf. Hood and Williamson 2000)" note on that quote the use Hood to support their finding"

(6) their own instrument study is based upon the M scale and they say the M scale is proved to be acceptable:

"The measurement instrument is based on Hood’s Mysticism Scale.This scale has been proven empirically to be acceptable in diverse cultural contexts and religious traditions (Hill and Hood1999; Holm 1982; Hood 1975; Hood et al. 2001)."

then it lists other studies that come to that conclusion.

(7) The above statement was put over as "a devastating" criticism of the M scale but is actually in favor of it. The person quoting didn't know what he is reading.

The quote says two major things: (a) the major problem of mysticism is the core structure, the common thesis is what they mean. (b) "Limitations" they say with the M scale, not that it's totally wrong but that it's limited. in what? in "when it comes to comparing totally heterogeneous religions such as Semitic and Eastern religions (Hinduism and Buddhism)." In other words it limited in comparing two totally different kinds of cultures in two different languages with different religions. Gee really? Limited hu? The common core is a major issue. This would be like saying "weather or not god exists is still a major questoin." That's like saying a criticism of Hawking's work on time is that it doesn't solve the riddle of why we exist. This is big stuff, how much can we expet one study to do.

Hood has proved the common core thesis with empirical research. when they take the names out and the doctrines out and just look at the descriptions of the experience, they are the same. that is a common core. Hood documents this in his artilce that is in the McNamara book:

Ralph Hood Jr. “The Common Core Thesis in the Study of Mysticism.” In Where God and Science Meet: How Brain and Evolutionary Studies Alter Our Understanding of Religion. Patrick Mcnamara ed. West Port CT: Prager Publications, 2006, 119-235.

Google books on line version: URL visited 8/20/2012

I've put these studies up time and time again, no one every read them or looked at them:

The M scale developed by Hood has been validated by many studies in cross cultural context, while Greely’s Gallop Poll questions have been used both cross culturally and longitudinally.

The two major exceptions to the lack of shared instrumentation are the mysticism scale by Hood (1975) which has been used in quite a number of studies by Hood and others, and the repeated use of certain questions in survey research by Greeley and the Gallop Organization over a sixteen year period.

Holm (1982) “mysticism and intense experiences” demonstrates another level of cross-cultural validation.

Method: The author translated into Swedish several Hood scales designed to measure mystical experiences. The items describing religious experiences drawn from William James, on Hood’s (1970) Religious Episode Experience Measure (REEM) with narratives taken from Nordic anthologies. Eighteen teachers of religion and psychology each administered the scales to 6-9 persons.

Findings: The study replicated most of Hood’s findings with the same instruments. “The results of our empirical study of mysticism in a Finnish-Swedish environment largely coincide with Hood’s results in an American environment…The cross-cultural testing that some of Hood’s methods have received as a result of our research on another continuant and in another linguistic area means that the results have received a wider range of applications.

Holm (1982) presented a Swedish M scale administered to 122 Swedish “informants.” Factor I correlated best to non Christian profiles, while factor II worked best with those who had Christian assumptions. Holm accounts for a general mysticism factor and general religious factor. This parallels earlier research in Sweden (Solderblom—see Holm 82, 275-76) .
The M scale has been validated with Iranian Muslims.
In a mostly Christian American sample (N = 1,379), confirmatory factor analysis of Hood's (1975) Mysticism Scale verified the existence of Stace's (1960) introvertive and extrovertive dimensions of mystical phenomenology along with a separate interpretation factor. A second study confirmed the presence of these three factors in not only another group of Americans (N = 188), but also a sample of Iranian Muslims (N = 185). Relationships of the introvertive and extrovertive factors with the interpretation factor were essentially identical across these two cultures, but the Americans displayed a stronger association between the two phenomenology factors. In both samples, the interpretation factor correlated positively with an intrinsic and negatively with an extrinsic religious orientation, and the introvertive factor predicted psychological dysfunction. Associations of the interpretation factor with relative mental health appeared only in the Iranians. These data offered general support for Stace's phenomenology of mysticism, although the ineffability he linked with interpretation proved to be as much or even more a feature of the introvertive experience, as hypothesized by Hood.

The M Scale in Relation to other measurement scores.

The over all result demonstrates the superiority of Hood’s model (and Stace’s categories) over other models. “Thus empirically there is strong support to claim that as opporationalized from Stace’s criteria mystical experience is identical as measured across diverse samples, whether expressed in “neutral language” or with either “God” or “Christ” references.” M Scale has been correlated to scores on standardized personality measures in two studies. In 1985 Hood found that the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) “did not correlate with the M Scale. Different correlations of factors between factors I and II were compatible with non pathological interpretations of mysticism.” The score for the MMPI applies to people who are apt to lie or present themselves in a favorable light to their own advantage. But Hood argues that high scores on factor II (religious) may be due to the fact that traditional religious people are less likely to engage in deviant behavior. Thus the score doesn’t apply to them.
Spanos and Moretti (1988) directly correlated M scale scores with Tellegen and Atkinson absorption scale.

Ibid, 324
Ralph Hood Jr., W.P. Williamson. “An empirical test of the unity thesis: The structure of mystical descriptors in various faith samples.” Journal of Christianity and Psychology, 19, (2000) 222-244.
R.W. Hood, Jr., N.Ghorbani, P.J. Waston, et al “Dimensions of the Mysticism Scale: Confirming the Three Factor Structure in the United States and Iran.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 40 (2001) 691-705.
R.K.C. Forman, Mysticism, Mind, Consciousness. Albany: State University of New York Press, (1999) 20-30.
F.S. Brainard, Reality and Mystical Experience, Unvisited Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. (2000). See also D.Loy, Nonduality: A Study in Comparative Philosophy. Amherst, New York: Humanities Press.
David Lukoff and Francis G. Lu. “Transpersonal Psychology Research Review Topic: Mystical Experience.” The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, vol. 20, no.2 (1988) 161
Spilka et al, 326
Dimensions of the Mysticism Scale: Confirming the Three-Factor Structure in the United States and Iran. Hood, Ralph W. Jr., Ghorbani, Nima, Watson, P.J., Ghramaleki, Ahad Framarz, Bing, Mark N., Davison, H. Kristl, Morris, Ronald J., and Williamson, W. Paul. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 40:4 (2001) 691-705
Spilka and Hood, 324.

Anthony does not say that M scale fails to sort out a true mystical experience form a false one. that's the only thing my arguments claim about it.

 Atheist Reactions


 Originally Posted by Metacrock View Post
I'm going to add this study to the 200. Now I have 201.

sinafter sin says:
'the "200" number is made up anyways. whooopeeee.'

I counted them. why is it  made up? He's never bothered to look at the big which I've linked to time and time again. It is a conservative ball park figure.


 Meta, you continually ignore criticism of your point of view, and chug on as if the criticism wasn't even made. You make unsupported claims, and use references that in NO WAY support your claims, and continue to pretend that they do. You refuse to show your sources. You backpedal in the worst way.

You have zero standing whatsoever to accuse anyone of academic dishonesty - EVER.

 Unsupported claims. I have the studies. I looked up all the studies sin his block then research the stuff again them. Look at how many studies I have down there and he says "unsupported." I did the research for the 200 studies. Unsupported!

 on the same thread:

 Hey Meta,

D'ya wanna borrow that shovel again?
 another guy put me on ignore.

 Originally Posted by maybrick View Post
I don't even need to read the thread you are talking about to know you have this backwards.

Don't confuse me with the facts. I don't need to read the material my mind is made up.

so I'm so totally dishonest becuase I have this huge body empirical studies that they refuse to read, but they know they are so bad.

my views are so flimsy becuase they unsupported. that means Royce doesn't' accept them. forge the 200 studies in academic journals they are no good becuase Royce says so.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Atheists sink to new record depth of Stupidity. film now

Hey this BT guy really is one of the stupidest people I've ever dealt with. I know that's uncharitable but given their bullying attitude, he has one too, I think it's called for to that say so. Now he's actually admitting he doesn't' know what begging the question means, but he's still convinced I'm doing it!

here's where he finally admits he doesn't know what ciruclar reasoning is:

first of all begging the question is a form of circular reasoning. If he is begging the question he's reasonnig in a circle. You are begging the question when you assert the position you are defending as a means of proving thta popstion. So when he says "I know God doesnt' exist because God is imaginary" he's just saying I know there's no God becuase there's no God.

Originally Posted by bigthinker View Post
What is the circle?
See if you can present my position accurately. It shouldn't be hard.
 It's quite a challenge but I'll tyr to bear up. I take this to be  frank admission that he doesn't' know what ciruclar reasoning is.
It only took like 30 posts to get you to even wonder what it is.

again, (I said it every single time I made the charge I've expalined it)

circular is when you put the conclusion in the place of the premise. you reason form your conclusion that means you don't try to prove it you just assert as though it's already proven.

In argument we reason from premise to conclusion. we say "My premise is X from this i learn Y."

for example premise "a loving god would not allow pain and evil."

that's the premise now we reason about it:

"yet we have evil int he world."

then we draw a conclusion

"thus the conclusion I draw from this is that there is not a loving God."

you are not doing that. you start with the last part "there is no loing God" you just assume it's the case you don't try to prove it or defend or show how you know it's true.

(1) how do you know there is no God?

(2) how do you know the stuff I've talked about is not proof?

all you so is say my stuff is circular but you know it's not. you didn't know what that was so it wasn't a real charge.

you have no valid argument against my views. you have not defended your own.

I can't believe he says this but he does. this is copying his words:

Originally Posted by bigthinker View Post
Sure, my conclusion IS NOT there is no God. My conclusion is that your God is (must be based on your failure to demonstrate otherwise) imaginary.

that's the same thing genius. the only reason God could possibly be imaginary is if he's not real. So saying that is just another way of saying "there is no God."


Whatever "God talk" is, is question begging (for example). 
whatever it is hu? You don't even know what it is but whatever it is it's gotta be question begging right? why? If you don't know what it is how do you know that?

(not knowing what God talk is just supreme stupidity--that's the phrase the use in philosophy proving he's never read any).

He's just miroring what I say aping it. that's proved in the next brilliant witticism he utters:


Also, your arguments rely on your position that "God must exist". -Which is also question begging.

since you don't know what begging the question is how do you know that? you are just aping back things I"ve said without knowing what they mean.

 He doesn't know what it is but whatever it is I'm doing it.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Classic Exchange on Existence of God, "Big Thinker" Deserves Big Reality

  photo 23464516.jpg

Originally Posted by bigthinker View Post
I don't think you understand what evidence is.
I understand that the atheist brain washers have created a standard of evidence that's designed to make belief look bad and to make you feel that atheism = scinece, when in fact it's really anti-scientific. thus when you have 200 empirical studies form peer reviewed journals telling you something you just decide they are all bad without reading one of them--horribly unscientific!

you don't know what evidence is. You have reduced all forms of evidence to just the ones that help your view. that's the big atheist trick with evdience and facts.

You have not presented evidence of the existence of God
yea I have. you have not answered any of it. I showed three issues.

I beat the fu out of you on the 200 studies on the Cosmological arguemnt. you are just calmed up as though you said "I refuse to accept that this is meaningful. I will not bleieve regardless of the evidence."


The 200 studies deal with belief, not the existence of God. No one is questioning if people believe in God.
They don't deal with Belief they deal with experience. the experience of God. Of course that's what the argument is about so I don't base my argument on that premise. I'm arguing for the validity of the statement. They data from the studies suggest its' right.

You say that because your God is imaginary.
Is expecting gravity to hold you on earth an absurd level of evidence for gravity? 
you have made up that god is imaginary I disproved that nonsense slogan on several occasions. you just refused to look at the logic. The concept of God is that of a reality. So the concept is not imaginary like Superman is imaginary. We have a dispute about reality like any such dispute, such as wave particle, or steady state vs. big bang and so on.

the scientists who supported steady state did not call big bang "imaginary" just becuase they thought it was unreal. you are just using that term to make it sound worse.

The difference between sub atomic particles and your God is that sub atomic particles are objectively detectable; their presence or absence can be factually determined. Your God cannot.
they are not actually. that's why we don't have direct pictures of them. they are only detectable by judging their effects upon other particles and that's exactly the case with God.

Because there is no evidence that God exists any other way. And all the evidence (your studies, for example) indicate that God is imaginary. 

that's obviously an exaggerated statement. nothing about the 200 studies that makes God seem imaginary. The 200 studies make God seem real. So that's obviously a false statement. Since that's not the case then I do have evidence:

*200 studies

*can't get soemthing form nothing

*effect of God talk on the brain

*temporal beginning argument.

you can't answer any of them.

Of course not, you are blinded by your bias.

I say you are imagining it. But it doesn't matter because you can't demonstrate that you aren't merely imagining it. 

Yes, even Andrew Newberg says that the God n the brain stuff proves there is soemthing, it's not just imagination. the 200 studies prove because the effects are real and they are measurable.

you are just begging the question again.

First of all, I have zero evidence that your life changed -personal claims are not evidence.
yes they are evidence they are well documented the 200 studies document them. most of the 200 have some form of documentation that backs that arguemnt.

Second, there is no evidence that the cause of your change was God.
This is circular. 

as much evdience smoking causes cancer and it's of the same nature.
[this means it's a correlation but a tight one.]

Talk about God -or imagining God talking to you is not the same as the existence of God. You are confusing the two. 

I never said anything about God talking to me. I said explicitly mystical experience is not about God talking to you.

Show me a timeless void. 

you guys will never learn. you have to support the timeless void. the only alternative to that is eternal necessary being and that's God. If you don't accept a timeless void you already accept the basic conditions that prove God must exist.

It would require a greater re-write of the rules for your God to exist. 

it wouldn't require any becuase God doesn't exist by rules. God makes the rules he's not the result rules.

there are physical laws at that point (beyond singularity) to say no this or that. It's no good trying to say God doesn't measure up to the rules he doesn't have to.

its imaginary. There is no evidence that your god is not imaginary.

I just gave you some
Holy Question begging Batman! that's exactly what the word means. Perfect example!

Those aren't even arguments for the existence of God...They are examples of question begging and circular reasoning. 

He says that right after his own question begging where he demands that God is imaginary and taht I've given no evdience right after I game some.

prove it. show me they are. your arguemnts are always question begging. you show me how this is question begging.

Meta, I'm not insulted by your incorrect assertions and interpretations of reality.

I'm not trying to insult you. I do actually like you.

Except that God IS imaginary. You imagine God. 

prove it. so far you have not answered a single argument. again you don't understated what begging the question is. you are asserting that all the stuff I point to as evdience has to be not evdience because you assert the begging of the question. you are making your conclusion into your premise. that's circular reasoning. Question begging is a from of circular reasoning.

And you have zero evidence that God is not imaginary, in fact, all of your studies and all your so-called arguments support my position.

I don't have to prove Go dis not imaginary. you made the claim you must prove he is. I have no reasons to think he is. I have reason to think he's real and you can't answer them.

existence is not determined by argument, existence is determined by evidence.

argument discloses truth. Discovering subatomic particles didn't make the particles happen because they argued for them. the arguments helped them make the discovery.

 Originally Posted by bigthinker View Post
On the contrary, you are the one who denies the reality of God while I embrace it. God is an idea that you have. There is no evidence to the contrary.
you dont' even know what the idea of God is. It's not that of an imaginary anything. Its' of a real thing.. that's just proof that you are begging you can't even admit that we actually believe soemthing that we do believe.

my idea of the old South land life building that used to Grace the Dallas sky line is not that of an imaginary building it's the idea of real building that used to exit. It may still but you can't see it from a distance anymore. My idea of Superman is that of a being that I know is fictional. It's the idea of real being of cousre, but I know it's factional so the overarching idea of it is not that of a real being but of a fictional being. The immediate suspended disbelief idea is of a real super powered hero but the uber idea is that of a fictional character.

Your 200 studies don't deal with God, they deal with what people think.
The soul is imaginary. It doesn't have a cost beyond your emotional attachment to the idea.

sure, that's the co determinate. that's like saying 'these so called fingerprint things are not the actual fingers of the criminal they only represent places where the criminal touched, therefore, there is no criminal."

 Originally Posted by bigthinker View Post
I admit that you believe something. I admit that you have an idea of God. What you do not seem to have is the God itself. And you don't acknowledge the difference between the thing and the idea of the thing.

Of course I do. you are begging the question. I see that the presence I feel when I pray and the doing of the effect when my prayers are answered; the doer of the deeds I speak of in my arguments. there has to be one. you just say "that can't be God because he's not real." that's begging the question.

You have a memory of something that actually existed. Your memory is the idea. The thing (the building) no longer exists -although it once existed. The existence of the building was not contingent upon your idea of it, it existed independently from your imagination and was objectively detectable by others -even by others who could not see it, didn't have an idea of it etc.

God is not contingent upon my idea of him. If he was I could not have been saved because I had no idea of God. I was an atheist.
see how he's begging the question? He's asserting that point that he defends in order to use it as evidence in its own defense. He assumes the idea of God is contingent upon my imagining it without even having a way to know that. Irony of ironies look what he says next!

How is that different from me knowing that your God is fictional?

you don't know it you are begging the question. I know God is real because I see the co-determinate.

Superman is an idea, just as god is an idea. The building you remember may have actually existed -or perhaps it still does. The building existed as more than just an idea -whereas Superman and God exist only as ideas.

this obviously question begging. you dogmatically assert that God si in the category with superman. for me he's not. YOU HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE THAT GOD IS JUST AN IDEA. YOU HAVE NO WAY TO KNOW THAT. YOU ASSUME IT, THAT'S QUESTION BEGGING! THAT'S WHAT QUESTION BEGGING IS!!!!
I couldn't make this more obvious if I invented it myself.

The difference is that fingerprints actually exist -they are (actual) evidence of a person. You are using imaginary evidence to support your belief in an imaginary character.

the effects of God exits. the effects of having the experiences, the experiences themselves. the temporal conditions in the temperate arguemnt all of hat stuff exits. the presence I feel exists it's real. It's something I feel.

Try to find real evidence -something other people can objectively investigate.

The God on the brain thing is objective. In Sagons movie why didn't they say "well there's a mathematical code in DNA that tells us how to open a worm hole but it cant' be alisen it's a coincidence?" Same deal. we have a signal written into our DNA when we hear God talk about brains light up. When we sense God's presence our lives are fixed up.

that' real it's objective. with the ability to distinguish between fake and real mystical experience the M scales gives us an objectivity in studying the effects of God.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

As Night Follow Day: When you think Athesits can't get any stupider

  photo Famous252520Vietnam252520War252520photo252520of252520Vietnamese252520children25255B325255D_zps0323965c.png
We had to destroy the Village to save it

When I was a kid back in the 60s we had a joke: Americans say they are happier than ever, man those guys don't know how miserable they are. That joke was all purpose it worked any time you were wrong about something, the group you wanted to save actually didn't need saving. Americans say they are happier than ever, they are miserable hey don't know how unhappy they really are.

Now the atheists on CARM are trying to argue that Chrsitans are addicted to feeling good! How's that for admitting that your way of life has failed? Write off cronic depression on the assumption that "happy people are stupid."

Originally Posted by Whateverman View Post
On the face of it, it's a laughable idea that Christians are addicted to feeling good.

Still, when I see broadcasts by the mega churches or old-school Pentecostal sermons or gospel preaching in the black churches, I can't help but seeing people who appear to crave the feelings/emotions of such events. I can even see the desire for "feeling" in my sister's family (who are Baha'is).

As I thought about this idea (inspired by Tom Bailey's thread), I noticed that people in general also like to go see comedians (for example), and wondered if this was equivalent. I'm not sure it is, but perhaps I'm wrong.

So anyway, what's your opinion? Are theists "addicted" to the feelings religious worship brings? If so, is this similar to the way people crave laughter, or fear (ie. scary movies) or euphoria (ie. good live music)?

Stupid people don't realize that being happy makes you depressed! Or they don't know how miserable they are. He's just trying to write off the fact the Christian way of life works, Christians are less likely to be depressed or have mental problems.While atheists hate themselves.

they all go down the page "Yes I think you are right."

Their way of life does not make them happy and they can't admit it. Everyone has emotions and feelings and the mature thing is to recogize and control your feelings. Denying that you have them is not healthy.

Oddly enough on the same day Royce brings up an old controversy where I quoted an article by a psychiatrist saying that nonspiritual person is the sick soul.

Dr. Jorge W.F. Amaro, Ph.D., Head psychology dept. Sao Paulo


a) Unbeliever is the Sick Soul

"A non spiritualized person is a sick person, even if she doesn't show any symptom described by traditional medicine. The supernatural and the sacredness result from an elaboration on the function of omnipotence by the mind and can be found both in atheist and religious people. It is an existential function in humankind and the uses each one makes of it will be the measure for one's understanding."
pretty appropriate.



"Nowadays there are many who do not agree with the notion that religious behavior a priori implies a neurotic state to be decoded and eliminated by analysis (exorcism). That reductionism based on the first works by Freud is currently under review. The psychotherapist should be limited to observing the uses their clients make of the representations of the image of God in their subjective world, that is, the uses of the function of omnipotence. Among the several authors that subscribe to this position are Odilon de Mello Franco (12), .... W. R. Bion (2), one of the most notable contemporary psychoanalysts, ..."

[sources sited by Amaro BION, W. R. Atenção e interpretação (Attention and interpretation). Rio de Janeiro: Imago, 1973.

MELLO FRANCO, O. de. Religious experience and psychoanalysis: from man-as-god to man-with-god. Int. J. of Psychoanalysis (1998) 79,]

c) This relationship is so strong it led to the creation of a whole discipline in psychology; transactionalism

Neilson on Maslow


"One outgrowth of Maslow's work is what has become known as Transpersonal Psychology, in which the focus is on the spiritual well-being of individuals, and values are advocated steadfastly. Transpersonal psychologists seek to blend Eastern religion (Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.) or Western (Christian, Jewish or Moslem) mysticism with a form of modern psychology. Frequently, the transpersonal psychologist rejects psychology's adoption of various scientific methods used in the natural sciences."
"The influence of the transpersonal movement remains small, but there is evidence that it is growing. I suspect that most psychologists would agree with Maslow that much of psychology -- including the psychology of religion -- needs an improved theoretical foundation."

3) Religion is positive factor in physical health.

"Doctrors find Power of faith hard to ignore
By Usha Lee McFarling
Knight Ridder News Service
(Dec. 23, 1998)

"Some suspect that the benefits of faith and churchgoing largely boil down to having social support — a factor that, by itself, has been shown to improve health. But the health effects of religion can't wholly be explained by social support. If, for example, you compare people who aren't religious with people who gather regularly for more secular reasons, the religious group is healthier. In Israel, studies comparing religious with secular kibbutzim showed the religious communes were healthier."Is this all a social effect you could get from going to the bridge club? It doesn't seem that way," said Koenig, who directs Duke's Center for the Study of Religion/Spirituality and Health .Another popular explanation for the link between religion and health is sin avoidance."

"The religious might be healthier because they are less likely to smoke, drink and engage in risky sex and more likely to wear seat belts.But when studies control for those factors, say by comparing religious nonsmokers with nonreligious nonsmokers, the religious factors still stand out. Compare smokers who are religious with those who are not and the churchgoing smokers have blood pressure as low as nonsmokers. "If you're a smoker, make sure you get your butt in church," said Larson, who conducted the smoking study."

see also: he Faith Factor: An Annotated Bibliography of Systematic Reviews And Clinical Research on Spiritual Subjects Vol. II, David B. Larson M.D., Natiional Institute for Health Research Dec. 1993 For data on a many studies which support this conclusion.

4) Religion is the most powerful Factor in well being.

Poloma and Pendelton The Faith Factor: An Annotated Bibliography of Systematic Reviews And Clinical Research on Spiritual Subjects Vol. II, David B. Larson M.D., Natiional Institute for Health Research Dec. 1993, p. 3290.


"The authors found that religious satisfaction was the most powerful predicter of existential well being. The degree to which an individual felt close to God was the most important factor in terms of existential well-being. While frequency of prayer contributed to general life satisfaction and personal happiness. As a result of their study the authors concluded that it would be important to look at a combindation of religious items, including prayer, religionship with God, and other measures of religious experince to begin to adequately clearlify the associations of religious committment with general well-being."

(5) Greater happiness

Religion and Happiness

by Michael E. Nielsen, PhD

Many people expect religion to bring them happiness. Does this actually seem to be the case? Are religious people happier than nonreligious people? And if so, why might this be?

Researchers have been intrigued by such questions. Most studies have simply asked people how happy they are, although studies also may use scales that try to measure happiness more subtly than that. In general, researchers who have a large sample of people in their study tend to limit their measurement of happiness to just one or two questions, and researchers who have fewer numbers of people use several items or scales to measure happiness.

What do they find? In a nutshell, they find that people who are involved in religion also report greater levels of happiness than do those who are not religious. For example, one study involved over 160,000 people in Europe. Among weekly churchgoers, 85% reported being "very satisfied" with life, but this number reduced to 77% among those who never went to church (Inglehart, 1990). This kind of pattern is typical -- religious involvement is associated with modest increases in happiness

Argyle, M., and Hills, P. (2000). Religious experiences and their relations with happiness and personality. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 10, 157-172.

Inglehart, R. (1990). Culture shift in advanced industrial society. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Nielsen, M. E. (1998). An assessment of religious conflicts and their resolutions. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 37, 181-190.

Nielsen again:

In the days before research boards reviewed research proposals before the studies were conducted, Pahnke devised an experiment to induce people to have a religious experience. On a Good Friday, when they were to meditate in a chapel for 2.5 hours, twenty theology students were given either psilocybin or a placebo. The students who were given the psilocybin reported intense religious experiences, as you might imagine. Their levels of happiness also were significantly greater than the control group reported. But what is especially interesting is that these effects remained 6 months after the experiment, as the psilocybin group reported more "persistent and positive changes" in their attitudes to life than did the placebo group.

Pahnke, W. H. (1966). Drugs and mysticism. International Journal of Parapsychology, 8, 295-314.

That reminds me of the kind of thinking saturized in Vietnam war by  a cartoon the caption of which was "we had to destroy the village to save it." We are keeping form being commies but they all had to die to stay free. The same kind of thinking becuase it's like saying "the cure is worse than the disease" but you do it anyway becuase you will be  free of the disease.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Stupid atheist tricks: Now I'v see it all, The super bowl of atheist tricks


 Hieronymus Bosch's great paiting "the ship of fools."

Some times there comes a message board event so stupid you just have to stop and say "this is the limit!"

Originally Posted by HillyBilly View Post
Can verbs love? Can they know? Can they be jealous? Can they be morally perfect?

Yes our most horrible fears are realized, this idiot thinks that statements like "god is love" and "God is being itself" make God into a linguistic verb and nothing else. He insists its a direct quote from me but of cousre what's he's ignoring is the fac that I don't think loved reduces to a verb. Love is more than just the act of loving. Being itself is not a verb at all.It's a noun perhaps an adjectival noun.

Originally Posted by NotAnAtheist View Post
Theology flies in the face of experience? Or rather, theology can fly in the face of experience?
I admit the knowledge generated by science does as well, so experience isn't the end-all-be-all of epistemology. Still, the problem I have with theology (as you've described it) is that there's no checks and balances. If something theological flies in the face of experience - who are you, puny mortal, to question it?

first hand experience is what epistemology is. modern scientific induction has changed the meaning of the term to a ideological construct.

In exchange with silly Billy:

I never said verbs have minds or that they think. I did not say God is a verb.

you have misinterpreted me.(I'm mocking Royce because that's what he keeps saying)

Hilly  Billy
Nope, it's a direct quote unchanged. If you click on the blue box with the double arrows, you'll be directed to the post where you said that.

The problem is we his understanding of what direct quotes are. he claims he's making direct quote when he's intprriting what hey think I mean. I see this is the case because he tried to claim that it's the consquence of the logic of my satment. so in other word he doesn't know what  a direct quote is.

 Originally Posted by HillyBilly View Post
Actually, you have both said that God is being itself and that being is a verb. By the transitive property of identity, you said God is a verb.

 Nope I didn't say God is verb. that just shows you don't understand ideas. you can' pull that broken transitive BS that means nothing. all that means you can't argue fairly.

 Originally Posted by Metacrock View Post
Nope I didn't say God is verb. that just shows you don't understand ideas. you can' pull that broken transitive BS that means nothing. all that means you can't argue fairly.
Hilly Billy?
Logic is unfair now?

Yea I really said logic is unfair. I also logic is an idiot. at least one of them is.

Originally Posted by Metacrock View Post
direct quotes are nto made in vacuums they are made in contexts. you took this one out.
 Hilly Billy
I did no such thing.

I never said God is  verb.

he says:

Hilly Billy

 It is a fact of logic that identity is transitive.

that doesn't mean that I said God is a verb, dumb ass.

Now, believe it or not we come to the really stupid one. Hilly Billy makes an argument of supreme stupidity makes an obvious mistake on the middle of it and the can't see that he made it.

Hilly Billy

 Here is an argument. This argument is nothing but premises from Metacrock and certain moves in logic. This is playing off of an argument that we had a few days ago where he kept trying to trape me into admitting that God could zaup us into perfection so there need be no suffering.I was trying to show that we wouldn't learn anything so it wouldn't be as good. So he's goign to prove logically that God could do it. He also thinks that God is just amplified humanity, so if God is perfect then we can be perfect too.

1) If something is morally perfect, then it has free will. [from Metacrock]
2) God is morally perfect. [from Metacrock]
3) There exists at least one thing which is morally perfect. [existential instantiation]
4) Said thing has free will. [modus ponens 1, 3]
5) There exists at least one thing which is morally perfect and has free will. [conjunction 3, 4]
6) If something is the case, then it is possible that it is the case. [theorem of modal logic]
7) Beings with moral perfection and free will are possible. [modus ponens 5, 6]
8) If something is possible, God can create it. [from Metacrock]
9) Therefore, God can create morally perfect beings with free will. [modus ponens 7,8]

The only premises here are (1), (2), and (8). Those all come from Metacrock. The rest of the lines are just allowable moves in logic. Is this argument sound?

He dances around this for while maintaining that I'm so stupid I don't see but this absolute totally logical can't deny it. He's confused sound with vaid this is not what sound is.

Originally Posted by Metacrock View Post
My answer to this is that free is necessary in order to have a moral universe. Moral universe is based upon love, therefore, since love requires growth through experience then moral perfection takes time.

Hilly Billy
So, now you claim God didn't start out loving?


 Originally Posted by Metacrock View Post
what in the name of God would possess you to think that I said that?
Hilly Billy
You said being loving requires time. You can't just start that way. Hence, God couldn't have started that way. Unless, of course, you think God could have started that way, in which case, per a similar argument to the OP, God could have created humans so that they started out loving him.

 He thinks like God like man. So he totally ignores the fact that we are not divine and we can't be perfect as God is perfect. that was part of the previous discussion he ignores it completely.

Hilly Billy

 It's a conclusion, and it's not that humans must be that way, but that they could be that way. It follows from your premises exactly how I said it does.

 The problem is it does not follow from  my premises because he's re arranged them and taken them out of context so they don't mean the same thing.

Hilly Billy:

Actually, it's you who doesn't understand even the basics of Metaphysics. And even said "I do not understand a single position I took on any of those issues. but you have spent some time reading up on it I just barely remember what they were about".

 Here is my exposition of his argument I'll show the basic mistake.

1) If something is morally perfect, then it has free will. [from Metacrock]

one thing

2) God is morally perfect. [from Metacrock]

one thing

3) There exists at least one thing which is morally perfect. [existential instantiation]

one thing!

4) Said thing has free will. [modus ponens 1, 3]

thing = 1. one thing.

5) There exists at least one thing which is morally perfect and has free will. [conjunction 3, 4]

one ever loving thing!

6) If something is the case, then it is possible that it is the case. [theorem of modal logic]

possible for ONE THING not all things.

7) Beings with moral perfection and free will are possible. [modus ponens 5, 6]


that's S = plural. more than one thing.

you only proved one thing. You can't assert that just because one thing is perfect and has free will that more than one thing would.

8) If something is possible, God can create it. [from Metacrock]

you did not prove the plurality is possible.

9) Therefore, God can create morally perfect beings with free will. [modus ponens 7,8]

NOPE doesn't follow

see the problem? He only proves that God can have free will and make moral decisions and be perfect not that we can. He's making an unfounded assumption that we can be like God. He never states that explicitly so it's a hidden premise.

 HillyBilly;5037949]Here is an argument. This argument is nothing but premises from Metacrock and certain moves in logic.

1) If something is morally perfect, then it has free will. [from Metacrock]
I never said that.I said moral decision making demands free will. that has nothing to do with perfection per se, it also apply to any kind of moral regardless of perfect or not.

2) God is morally perfect. [from Metacrock]
ok acceptable

3) There exists at least one thing which is morally perfect. [existential instantiation]
tautological: not deduced it's just repeated.

4) Said thing has free will. [modus ponens 1, 3]
in the moral decisions made, yes, ok.

5) There exists at least one thing which is morally perfect and has free will. [conjunction 3, 4]
yes one thing, God

6) If something is the case, then it is possible that it is the case. [theorem of modal logic]
tautology and thus unnecessary step

7) Beings with moral perfection and free will are possible. [modus ponens 5, 6]
no, doesn't follow. one thing is not a plurality.

8) If something is possible, God can create it. [from Metacrock]
yea ok, you have not proved that it's possible for humans to be morally perfect!

9) Therefore, God can create morally perfect beings with free will. [modus ponens 7,8]
you are just complete ignoring the issues that I prove when we had this nonsense before. you do not listen. you are not saying a word not a word about the arguemnt that made that day they totally destroyed this nonsense.

this is a silly argument, you don't half the steps you made. the concision doesn't follow from the preises and it's totally ignoring the issues that did make before.

The only premises here are (1), (2), and (8). Those all come from Metacrock. The rest of the lines are just allowable moves in logic. Is this argument sound?

the way you reason about it is illogical and your conclusions are totally illogical.

(1) you draw the conclusion that moral perfection is possible in a plurality when the premises you draw from only speak of "one thing."

(2) You have NOT proved that moral perfection is possible in humans. then you draw the conclusion that it is. then argue that God should be able to create it. you did nothing to prove that.

(3) your logic says "God can be morally perfect. therefore it's possible for something to so, that means humans can be so."

stop the machine it doesn't' mean that.

your arguments are really dishonest and unfair. you make things that I didn't say. you indulge in all sort of fallacious reasoning like affirming the consequent. The conclusions you arrive at dont' even follow logically.

I also think you confuse sound with valid. You seem to think what makes it sound is the way it's derived from previous assumptions. that is not the case. Actually the soundless of arguments is a lot harder to pin down.

here is how I dealt with it on my blog. This is taken form the discussion I had with him before. He ignores every bit of it including the part about we can't be perfect.

 A poster on CARM "HillyBilly" (aka SillyBilly) is trying to bring in standard atheist contradiction argument against moral perfection. His argument:

My reasoning is direct and simple enough that even a child could understand it.

1) If something is morally perfect, then it has free will. [from YOU]
2) God is morally perfect. [from YOU]
3) There exists at least one thing which is morally perfect. [existential instantiation]
4) Said thing has free will. [modus ponens 1, 3)
5) There exists at least one thing which is morally perfect and has free will. [conjunction 3, 4]
6) If something is the case, then it is possible that it is the case. [theorem of modal logic]
7) Beings with moral perfection and free will are possible. [modus ponens 5, 6]
8) If something is possible, God can create it. [from YOU]
9) Therefore, God can create morally perfect beings with free will. [modus ponens 7,8]

See? It's a deductive consequence of nothing but premises from you and from the rules of logic. If you deny it, you are contradicting yourself.

 In other words the point of it all is that since moral perfection and free will don't contradict then we could side step sin and just have moral perfection and free will but without sin and all the bad implications of it. My answer to this is that free is necessary in order to have a moral universe. Moral universe is based upon love, therefore, since love requires growth through experience then moral perfection takes time. Being a mature state of agape (love) moral perfection the development of moral perfection requires experience and pain. It's not something we can be "zapped" into. Yes, I believe that God is limited to logical necessity, he can't make square circles because square circles are a contradiction in terms. So is the idea of moral perfection without love and experience is a contradiction in terms. Thus being morally perfect, if we are granted it at all, takes time and experience in life.

I don't believe that we are meant to match God's moral perfection. Jesus says "be ye perfect as your father in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48). The problem is that "perfect" is a bad translation. The word in that passage is telos from tello meaning ""to set out for a definite point or goal." The word telos itself is defined as defined by Strong's:

5056 télos (a neuter noun) – properly, consummation (the end-goal, purpose), such as closure with all its results.
[This root (tel-) means "reaching the end (aim)." It is well-illustrated with the old pirate's telescope, unfolding (extending out) one stage at a time to function at full-strength (capacity effectiveness).][1]
So the end goal or purpose to which something is meant to move is the concept. Thus he's not saying "I command you to have the very save level of moral excellence that God has," but rather "be all that you are meant to be." Being all we are meant to be, in terms of moral perfection, would mean love. Love requires sacrifice, giving, compassion, forgiving, bearing with the pain of others. You can't do that in a vacuum without living among other people. Just to have the experience of that put into our heads without actually going through it and learning from it would defeat the process of learning and it would not be real love. Love requries that we actually love. To love because you are programed to love is not love.

It's much like the philosophical zombie argument. Without actually growing through the process of dealing with others in real life one would be a philosophical zombie; one would seem outwardly exactly like the end product and one might even have false memories of it but it wouldn't be real love. It wouldn't be real free will because then the agent would not have chosen to love but would just be carrying out the commands of a program. So the idea that God will just zap us into perfection is a pipe dream and would not work. That means to have a moral universe we just live in the real world and be put in situations to make real choices.

Thus it is necessary for a moral universe, that is a universe in which free will agents make moral decisions and willingly choose the good, one must risk the possibility of choosing wrongly. Free will is essential to love and moral perfection.

Then in the issue of perfection we are not required to be god-like. We are not going to be put on a level with God. We have our own telos that is the human telos; the goal or end point that we are meant to grow into, the level of love that is humanly possible.

The Christian free will defense says that God has to risk all the bad by giving us free will because love and moral decision making require free will. the atheist says we can side step the unpleasant choice of actually choosing wrongly just by God zapping us into perfection and we can still have free will. I say that is making philosophical zobmies who have not actually learned to love but merely carrying out programing.

There's a lot we can learn from this thinking even without the free will/Theodicy busienss. We can learn the difficulty of love and how hard it is to actually go through the process of learning to be what God meant us to be. In so dong we must learn that it's impossible without God's grace. That's part of the lesson, learning to rely on God.

 I swear they are getting stupider. They so desperate to win they don't read anything, they don't even read the answers in a given thread. They say any BS they think of and they assume their answers are so perfect and so brilliant they don't even need to extend.