Thursday, January 31, 2013

Christopher Hallquist's statment: No Good God arguments

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Have theology, Will Argue

Hallquist is a blogger, I can't find any credentials for him but he seems to have the attention of a lot of atheists. His blob is "the Uncredible Hallq." An atheist on my boards put up a file of some kind with an article by him in it, in which he says "there are no good God arguments."

I am unable to copy statements from it except by hand. So I have to just summarize what it says. Therefore I will just present a list of observations going down the page. I wont do all of it now but stop with enough to indicate the basis for this statement and its' debunking.

(1) there are so many and they differ as to which one's are the best.

(the source wont let me copy and paste the quote so you are going to look for statements in the source to back up these observations.

He argues that no matter what arguments you deal with some one will say he didn't deal with the best ones. that's not a valid reason to assert there are none.

(a) nothing about that proves that there are no good arguments, it's just as easily the case that there he's not listening to the best critics.

(b) there are obviously some arguments that have endured, the big five, most all theists will agree are the best. That is a slip shod and "weaselly" way out.

I've explained why where are as many arguments as there are individual believers.  The reason is becasue belief in God is more than just adding the fact of a being to the universe, it's a realization about the nature of being and one's place in it. It's a very personal first order kind of realization it's something you can't prove or argue about but once you have it you can't doubt it. That constitutions a category of knowledge that is totally alien to the atheist and which contracts and directly challenges their ideology of reductionism at it's core. See my essay on the matter.

(2) He quotes other atheist authorities saying the arguemnts are "flimsy (Dennett) but they really say which one's or why.

he quotes Dennett syaing some arguemnts should be laughed at, but ot which ones. that opens the door and gives permission to the atheist movement as a whole to mock and ridicule as they wish becuase any time they do so they can always say "he didn't specify so this one (whichever one he's mocking) must be it." All he's really doing is using argument form incredulity. which as I have pointed out before is the only real argument atheists have.

(3) now we come to the meat, he takes Bill O'Reilly's argument.

wow, we are going for the big guns. the great internationally famous expert on God and talking right-wing head Bill O'Reilly! wow! roll over Aristotle. Of course arguemnt is some drivel about "how could we luck out and come to exist?" Sort of a design argument. He's really taking on the big guns.

where's his criticism of Antiquarians? Where's his critique of Schleiemrmacher? Where is his critique of Hartshorne?

(4) He asserts that God arguments privilege the Hypothesis.

Now I've written endlessly on how atheists privilege their view point. they insist that the atheist assumption has to be the only way to think if you don't accept it then you are stupid you are a creationist and your privileging! this is all he's doing.

His reasoning on this is based upon an attempt to turn the tables and make criticisms of science as incomplete and unable to penetrate the realms of metaphysics into a God of gaps argument. What he has to be saying in orde to make this arguemnt is that if you don't privilege reductions and materialism in the form of scinece that he think thinks gives him the fortress of facts then you are automatically privileging God hypothesis. so faith can never be the standard, it has to be atheist thinking that is the standard then the argument has to disprove it.

that's just backwards reasoning. If he advances scinece as a means of explain away god then he must prove that science explains away all fa cites of reality, he can't assume that all other facets of reality are automatically suspect and only the materialist view is valid. He can't justify beginning from an atheist assumption.

what about starting from a neutral perspective? that seems to be a prospect that totally alludes this guy. Let's look at the biased stupidity with which this guy thinks:

"someone who spends all day thinking about weather the Trinity does or does not exist rather than Allah, or Thor or the flying spaghetti monster is more than half way to Christianity..." In other words Chrsitains are hopelessly stupid and you shouldn't even think about Christian stuff or your brains will rot and you'll be an idiot. Of course it just completely alludes him that someone who spends all day thinking about weather or not the Trinity exists, has thought about it much more than he has and might just have a good reason to think it does.

(5) of course he takes on Argument form design

that's always a popular one to mess with because they have some inherent flaws. I don't even us regular design arguments for that reason. He doesn't deal with any good source of the fine tuning argument.He does admit that writers like Clarke and Aquinas older writers avoid the problem he discusses. The problems he discusses are his own ignorance, such as "approaching something that sounds like God and stopping." this is the work of a man you does not understand the logical concept of identity or the way in which mutual exclusivity can establish identity. He's totally unaware of Spinoza's argument about the triangle or his version of the OA or of the way in which Hartshorne's modal argument establishes God's identity as necessary.

(6) he does try to deal with Ananias.

His major argument against Aquinas and Clarke is that believers today don't use their arguments. This is of cousre nonsense and his own ignorance becuase the work of Craig and Plantinga are based upon those early thinkers in big ways). If it were true that they don't use them it would not prove anything it's merely arguemnt form popularity. His statement was that there are no good God arguments I assume means that retro-actively, he doesn't mean there are none form the past that aren't used any more. He admits these don't have the disadvantages he's talked about they are just not understood by modern believers, which is hog wash. It's also irrelevant Hogwash.

He chalks it up to the idea that their assumptions aren't accepted anymore. That's not true either beaus the school or neo-thomism updated the assumptions of Aquinas and brought them into the 20th century. It has well been established that Thomistic logic could be used in modern thought and it would fit right in, adding certain categories no longer used but not contradicting the core of modern logic. One could could use Thomistic logic and do scinece and go to the moon with it.

When he actually tries to prove that Aquinas makes bad arguemnts it's obvious his standard is that it's a bad argument if it disproves some aspect of reality that he needs to justify atheism. Case in point Ananias' argument agaisnt infinite regress. Aquinas argues that causes which are crucial in the series being removed would mean the series no longer functions becuase the crucial link is missing.Hallquist argues that Aquinas is assuming causes are simultaneous with their effects. That's not really an issue. That has nothing to do with the success or failure of the argument, he does assume this based upon the possibility of an eternal contingency. one must assume eternal contingency (the universe contingent upon God) becuase we have no really knowledge that it's not mountainous with the cause.

For basically Hallquist just deciliters the arguments no good: "how does taking away the first cause in a finite chain prove there's something special about first causes?" Not knowing that odalisques him as having a right to discuss the argumetns. Obviously you have a finite chain and a first cause then removal of first cause would mean nothing would come after it, thus no chain. I think would make it pretty special. His ratioanl for it not being special is that if you remove a cause from the middle of the chain then all the stuff after it goes. that means the middle just as important as the end. Well that's only true if you think half a chain is no better than no chain at all. I would think that since half a chain is soemthing and no chain is nothing half a chain would be more important. But even so that' snot the issue. the issue is do we laud the first with honor becuase it's first? Or does it have a more important place in giving us the reaosn to think there has to be a creator?

From that point he starts attacking William Lane Craig. This is a very courtesy and shallow treatment of Aquinas. He doesn't' even grasp the basics of Thomistic thinking. IN fact he never states the arguments in a coherent way. In connecting it to Craig (who the atheist just love to bad mouth weather they understand him or not) he just creates the notion of guilt by association but of course never points out the crucial difference in Aquinas CA and Crag's which is that th latter is the Kalam arguemnt and the former is not. Thus Aquinas never has to make good on the founding assumption that "whatever begins to exist has to have a cause" and that's why Aquinas assumes cause and effect could be simultaneous (in the case of eternity). This is enough to show that the original statement is crap.

Hallquist's dealing with God argument is childish, shallow, foolish, armature and sloppy. He clearly has no background in the things he discusses. The statements there are no good God arguemnt is pure rubbish.

It's just what I"ve always said that atheist simply do not want to know the truth so they don't listen they just wont listen when we try to explain why we believe. When we beat them in argument they get angry becuase they can't stop it because they refuse to learn. The they just start making declarations which they can't back up bad mouthing arguments they don't understand.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Atheists whine if they don't get the advantage

Atheists whine about not getting the advantages. I've notice this before that they seem to consider logic an unfair trick. They resent God arguments because they think they are being somehow hatted by apologists saying "this is not logical" then think we manipulate lgoic to support our views. The actually like real argumentation is a trick.

Is Christianity incapable of defending itself on a level playing field?

I used to think that there was some sort of equality about debating Christians on their on turf. But now I realize it is not particularly challenging to fight in the minor leagues even if you have a handicap. What is the point? There is nothing to learn. Almost all Christian forums, blogs, and YouTube channels are rigged so that any challenge to there position is ignored or deleted. Christian talk radio is designed to stifle or misrepresent counter arguments.

The simple fact is, Christianity cannot survive open debate. The vast majority of open forums are dominated by atheists because it it so easy to fact-check anything these days.

Question: Is anyone aware of a Christian apologist who can handle his or her own without the handicap of a stacked deck? The closest I am aware of is William Lane Craig in the formal debate arena. And that is an embarrassment to atheists everywhere who continually fail to prepare for his handful of tricks (namedropping, claiming scientists don't understand philosophy, etc.)
 Quite Ironic because when I debated this guy: he went by the name "Blondie." he whined until I brought in an atheist to judge, givin myself a huge disadvantage because he said any Christan board would be unfair (he reufsed to go on carm so we went on my boards on the proviso that I had an atheist judge--in effect that I let him win). He whined his way into getting every advantage. He had to go negative and debate his thesis so that meant we would be using his martial that's he's talked about a million times, and his arguments, so I'm clearly at an even greater disadvantage. The topic had to be worded in such a way that he couldn't lose (something about some aspect of religion is irrational--like you can't find that somewhere if you look hard enough). Then he still argued in very stupid ways using a 100 year old article and trying ti disprove Lourdes miracles that had not yet hapepned by that article.

 In a word, no.

All the apologist has are rhetorical tricks and the near certain knowledge that most of his/her audience are to lazy to check the facts.

They also have an advantage in that they can hide in the maze of philosophy and sound very clever, while actually saying nothing of worth.

 he really does seem to be saying that we are cheating by being intellectual. t's unfair of us to your better educations and be logical in our arguments. Hide in the maze of philosophy is just a frank admission that it's over his head.

Friday, January 25, 2013

It just gets worse and worse

 Remember last time I talked about how the idiots on carm said I was stupid for liking theology. Like a fool I fed the trolls and angered by their ridicule I informed them that m y IQ is 142. Unfortunate my finger don't move as fast as my big mouth so I typed "42." Of cousre you can imagine what they have done with that. I tried to slouph it off at firt by using the hitcher hikers guide joke about 42. this is too good for them to let go. Then i got angry and said I wanted to give them a number they could count to. then they began saying things like this:


Hmm, did you read the post that held the quote in the OP? It appears that metacock was trying to boast about his intelligence, whilst insulting frikki and his intelligence. Tell me, do you consider metacrock to be a jackhole too? If not, why not? where's the difference in behaviours?
 The other guys says "you are stupid for liking theology" but I'm boasting because I say I'm not stupid?

Originally Posted by Metacrock View Post
that's ridiculously silly. IN this day and age to know nothing at all about dyslexia is stupid. to know about it and still write it off as laziness is inexcusable.

who is being lazy now? not to know anything about such a widely used concept.
shut your face. my sister has it. she struggles with it too. however, she takes her time and you cannot even tell. what is your excuse? the only reason i'm calling you out on this is that you boast so much about how much better you are than everyone else - when in fact, you're just an angry, lazy slob. you have such low self esteem that you spend your days here talking down to people, picking fights and playing the victim. wow, what a life you've created for yourself. No job, no kids, no wife ... where is the transformation in your life? if you're an example of what RE/ME can achieve, color me underwhelmed.


 "shut your face?" taking the high road of reason I see.

here's the problem genius, I made a typo and left out the 1 in 142. they were implying that I'm stupid to like theology so I did the logical thing. I showed that I'm proved not to be stupid by the official way what intelligence is detriment in our modern society. like it or not that's the way it is.

anyone who thinks that a typo is a reliable guide to ether intelligence or industry is an absolute fool. Just as anyone who think knowing theology is a sign of being stupid is a jackass.


 There's an automatic spell checker in every major browser. So, yeah, it does come down to lazy or stupid.

Its' numbers! the typo was 42 rather than 140. you have a spell check that would know to score that? what a stupid thing to say.

Drug star

he gives a link to the following:

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their mistakes.[1]
Actual competence may weaken self-confidence, as competent individuals may falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. David Dunning and Justin Kruger conclude, "the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others".[2]
It says "unskilled." This form of problem strikes those who are "unskilled." I have a feeling this guy wrote that himself (it's on wiki) and  he really means "undegreed" but it says unskilled. It's so ironic he doesn't even consider that it might be that he's the unskilled and I"m the competent one that has upset him. so Listed a few of my skills:

Ph.D. level work in history of ideas
Masters in theology
type 40 words a minute
play recorder (flute not tape)
draw real well and illustrated children's book
I can read
published academic journal
I know study methodology really well
I've written 3 books
debated in NFL and college (won 70%)
in youth played defensive tackle

It keeps on this way. I made a foolish typo and they treat it like a federal crime. Maybe they are all suffering form that deal.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Mob Rule Factor

An illiterate atheist, in fact one of the idiots who was involved in the plot to make it seem that I don't anything about Tillich, put up a post about the Paul study trying t make it seem that there's this vast correlation between good countries like Sweden where they take care of people and being an atheist. I put up a bunch of my stuff about the problems of the Paul study.

One thing led to another and the original poster, Sylar, began name calling and riduicling me: He follows a strategy he and his friends started during the Tillich thing when I really showed tehm up and they had nothing left to argue:

Saylar: Meta, the grownups are talking. Go back to the kiddie table.

They have been saying that any time I post something that has any intelligence to it. I put up the link to my stuff on Zuckerman and talked bout what's wrong with his data and he said that. I was P.Oed so I said:


 sorry Buckwheat that line wont work, now that a real professorially trained social scientist (me) is here. you armatures are going to have to shut up. someone who has been trained at the Ph.D. level is telling you are atheist ideology and propaganda is a bunch of BS.

You understand BS? giviing it too much credit I should say chicken ****.

 typical school boy, school yard bully stuff.
 antoher litlte solider of Dawkins comes into it:

 You are not a trained social scientist. You have a masters in theology and you could not even complete a PHD, that qualifies you to ask three big questions 1) Why are we here? 2) Who made us? 3) Would I like my latte to go?

Social scientist do actual research.


 boy are you ignorant. Not completing a Ph.D. doesn't mean you are not trained. The training doesn't just hover over your head until you get hte paper, ti's in there. I did everything required to get the Ph.D. except the last thing. All the course work, conferences, papers, publications it's all training and got all of it.

My Ph.D. was in history of ideas which is a social scinece, my BA was in sociology.

hey what did you do Ph.D. work in?

It does not show, I actually thought that you were a theologian, you know the spelling, the disjointed ideas, your disability and the RED CAPS!

 Brilliant hu? Goes right for the Dyslexia becuase he knows he can't take me on on equal terms and talk about social scineces. They always do that. Then I'm feeding the troll by now because I'm pissed.


trying to imply that spelling is part of intelligence shows that you don't know what intelligence is. spelling is not an intelligence issue. MY IQ 42 what the hell is yours is it higher than your shoe size?

I notice that you don't use social science parameters as the basis of your ridicule that would becasue YOU DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT DO YOU?

 Oh I see that you have a masters in theology. It really shows.

 shows what?If you had any really understanding you would know that theological training takes great intelligence and theolgoians are brilliant and it takes brains to be one. you can't read any of the threads we've done on Tillich and tell me you undersatnd anything that's being said.k

go back to your little troll board where other middle school kids are waiting to talk about who is dating whom in eight grad. we don't need little kids wandering in here who couldn't hold up their end of an intellectual conversational with a ninth greyer.

Dawkins realized that Christianity spread among the slaves and lower classes. so he theorized that what made it work was the more zeal than brains factor. then he raised up an argument of illiterate know nothing scum bags to invade the net and mock and ridicule Christan and conduct virtual lynchings of people much more intelligent then they are.

the new standard of course has it that if you know theology you are stupid. theology is stupid to know about makes you stupid, regardless how much brains it takes to undersatnd it.

you can't undersatnd it. you don't have what it takes and you never will. Your job as a solider for Dawkins to ridicule people who are smarter than you and help crate the mode rule factor.

Theology is really stupid. if you know theology you are really an idiot. I think anyone who read the theological stuff I post a few days abot about Tillich can see that it takes it take a fine education to be a theologian. you don''t  get a fine education by being an dumb ass most of these atheists don't have educations so they have no way of knowing. We all know Theology is an academic discipline that means its an intellectual subject and one must be an intellectual to excel at it. Only idiots don't know this.

 no these are not brilliant answers on my part this is not a significant exchange it's a third grade school boys waste of time. That's what the atheist movement thieves on. I think I have it right that Dawkins helped set this in motion becasue he feels Christianity made it by capitalizing upon the slave class ignronatce. that's probably true in the early histoyr. We also know form the martyerologies that they had a  lot upper class people too.

What's relevant is that these guys are still doing their tricks. Message boards are just the dumping ground for ingornace and stupidity. Many of the behaviors these people exhibit show the same totalitarian propaganda I've spotted all along. Vilifying the other side to the point that knowing theology proficiently is a sign of stupidity and a liability so that the atheist never has to be faced with the fact that he's full of it and his objections the faith are based upon ignorance.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Review of G.M. Woerlee' "Insights form Atheism"

.......Someone sent me a link informing me of a certain atheist website. I was actually grateful for the material to critique as I was looking for something more worthy than bunch of illiterates on a message board. This is the website of G.M. Woerlee, "insights form atheism." He tries to trade upon his background as an anesthesiologist. He spaeks as though this parepared him to know all things:

Many years spent as an anesthesiologist, regulating people's level of consciousness, heart and circulatory function, their reactions to extreme pain and stress, revealed many insights in the practical description of the actions of anesthetic drugs on the human body, as well as their use in managing the pain experienced by women in labor. Moreover, these same insights show how the functioning of the human body and natural laws both generate and confirm human beliefs in the immaterial pantheons and worlds preached by all religions.

.......Sorry I just can't buy that being an anesthesiologist makes one all knowing. I had a friend in sixth grade whose father was an anesthesiologist. He was a Christian and he didn't doubt the existence of God nor did he claim to be all knowing. Of course the opinionated Worelee trades in prejudices and acts as though his prejudices are insight. He falls prey to the usual atheist assertion that he understands why people believe and that through science he can clear up those reasons. He says: "In fact, believers in all religions have only faith to sustain their belief. But faith alone fades away unless it is supported by proofs supporting this belief; so there must be some sort of proof sustaining belief in religions. So where is this proof? What sustains religious belief?" Typical atheist straw man argument to chalk belief up to some form of imagination then arguments warranting belief become nothing more than some need to prove the imaginary. So the argument form incredulity is in there undermining any kind of proof the believer could advance. The problem is argument from incredulity is circular reasoning. It literally says "becuase I don't bleieve that proves it can't be true." It's like accusation proves guilt. Assuming that faith is merely imagination and using that to write off  proof is both circular reasoning and straw man argument. Faith is not imagining. Faith is not belief without reasons. See my article on Metacork's blog "Nature of Faith is Confusing to Modernity."
.......There's a pretty good indication that he doesn't really understand anything about religion. He has his opponent totally down graded and underestimated. He probalby just assume as a matter of course that religoius people stupid and therefore have stupid reasons for believing. His understanding is entirely rooted in the notion of empirical evidence and objectivity. He only understands belief in terms of the objectified physical evidence rooted in what can be seen:

The Christian Bible and the Islamic Koran tell us that the behaviour of people on this physical world determines the fate of their immaterial souls during the eternity their souls will exist after death. People not only believe in these things, but believe in them so intensely, that many are even willing to die for their belief in these things. Yet when you look at these beliefs rationally, you come to a number of very definite conclusions.
  • You cannot see, touch, smell, or detect the reality of this immaterial God, or gods.
  • You cannot see, touch, smell, or detect the reality of the immaterial soul, or the immaterial eternal consciousness preached by all religions.
  • You cannot see, touch, smell, or detect the reality of the immaterial demons, devils, angels, or all other entities listed in the Torah, Bible and Koran.
  • You cannot see, touch, smell, or detect the reality of the immaterial eternal life after death promised by all religions.
He's giving this as his understanding of why people believe, but it really makes his misunderstanding becuase everything he says is rooted in that. Even when he deals with more complex issues  such as existential self authentication and transformation power he still reduces it to "feelings" objected sense of the subjective. Of course like all atheists he disvalues the subjective tot he extent that it's reduced to mere "feelings."
.......Before getting to that I want to deal with his major issue, he seems to think that Near Death Experience is a major impetus for belief. It may be for him but I don't think it is for most people. I really think relatively few people ever think about that. He claims that is profession of putting to sleep gives him expert insight into NDE but I hardly think. I don't think there really are any experts expect those who have experienced it. But of course he talks like his profession gives him expertise in all things. NDE is far from cut and dried. There's no magic bullet evdience that proves it's true. It's not disproved either. The NDE argument that I make on my list of 42 God arguments was at one time the most read arguemnt on the list. It's old and outdated it had weaknesses even in it's best days, but it's still wroth reading. There are two major studies supporting the issue: One in the Sunday Telegraph article on my page,The study's authors, Dr. Peter Fenwick, a consultant neuropsychiatrist at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, and Dr. Sam Parnia, a clinical research fellow and registrar at Southampton hospital and one appearing in the Lancet at the end of the 90s. These two studies are must reads.
,,,,,,, In dealing with "feelings" (he means "religious experience") of cousre he is totally unaware of the evidence.

Belief in subjective reality: I know God is real, because I feel it is true...

Imagine you spin yourself around and around until you are very, very dizzy. You then lay on the ground and close your eyes. You feel the world is turning around you, or you feel you are spinning and the world is standing still.
You feel yourself spinning, or that the world is spinning around you. You believe intensely in one of these two choices, but an observer does not see you spinning, nor does an observer perceive themselves as spinning with the world around you. All an observer sees is a person lying on the ground with closed eyes. This illustrates the difference between subjective and objective experience. The subjective experience has no relation to the reality about you. It is an internally generated sensation without any relationship to the physical world in which you live. Here is an extreme example of an experience where there is a very large discrepancy between subjective and objective reality.
This is so pathetic becuase he has not even bothered to do any research on the nature of religious experience. He just assumes its analogous to some physical sensation such as spinning and that's all there is to it. It's the fact of its "subjective" nature that turns him off. He doesn't even understand the concept of inter-subjectivity. Just because some aspect of a situation is subjective doesn't mean that other people can't experience the same kind of thing. Inter-subjectivity is when more than one person has experiences that are so similar they form an analogy and thus create mutual understanding. Such is the case with mystical or religious or "peak" experience. The irony of it is there is a huge body of empirical research (well over 200 studies) that bear this out.[1] One of the major developments in the field is that of the M scale (Mysticism scale) invented by Ralph Hood Jr. University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The M scale provides us with a means of understanding objectively what is and what is not a valid religious experience, Once we understand that we can study the effects of it since it is no longer merely a matter of opinion as to what is what. One of the major findings in connection with the M scale has been that mystical experiences are universal in all times, places, cultures and faiths. Even though the doctrines associated with them differ the actual experiences themselves are the same.[2] For my page: (on religious a prior.):  defense of the M scale.

 Worlee goes on:
For example, a man believes he can fly without the aid of any machines. He jumps from a high building, and while falling, he thinks he is flying. He really does experience his fall as flight, because as he falls, he feels himself flying through the air. His sensations of flight prove the truth of his belief to him. But observers see something quite different. Observers see a man who leaps from a high building to fall to the ground below. Observers are neutral, while the man who believes he is flying really does experience his fall as flight. The belief system of this man does not correspond with physical reality, because the reality is that the man jumps and falls to the ground below, no matter how fervently he believes he is flying. His flight lasts as long as his fall. This is physical reality, and his belief system is a delusion.
The last two examples are of sensations resulting from normal body function, albeit with misinterpretation of the reality. However, abnormal body function can also generate very real and powerful sensations and visions. Consider the example of the divine hallucinations generated by tumours in the temporal lobes of the brain. Here is an example of a "conversion experience" of a patient with a tumor in a temporal lobe of his brain (Dewhurst 1970)
The patient's first religious experience occurred in St. Ebba's Hospital during photic stimulation. He had a vision in which he was in the cockpit of an aeroplane flying over a mountainous region of France. The aircraft gained altitude and brought him to a different land, a land of peace. He had no cares and no burdens. He felt that the power of God was upon him and was changing him for the better. (Case 3 in Dewurst 1970)
These experiences are real, but their interpretations as religious experiences are iinterpretations made without any reference to reality. And there are countless other subjective experiences, some of which provide apparent proof of the paranormal, of a soul, of life after death, of God, and of religion. Nonetheless, regardless of the sometimes intense and profound nature of these experiences, they constitute no proof of the reality of any religion.
.......Of course he's distorting the nature of religious experience to pretend that they are representative. This is basically a straw man argument because it's not what most who argue experience as a warrant for belief argue. He thinks the way in which the experiences are real have to do with the texture of the experience themselves and the thinks that is what the argument turns upon. He's just saying that the experincer finds it so real seeming but it's not based upon reality. Yet this is total misconception about the nature of religious experiences and it shows his incredible lack of research. The argument from the experience does not turn upon the intensity of the feeling. The reason the experience is "real" is that it has real effects and proves it's an experience of soemthing. Only real things have real effects. It's not merely a trick of the mind something is actually being experiences because it leaves a real effect. The experience can be traced in brain waves.  Here is a distillation of two of the major studies and the effects found upon the experincers.
Long-Term Effects


*Say their lives are more meaningful,
*think about meaning and purpose
*Know what purpose of life is
Meditate more
*Score higher on self-rated personal talents and capabilities
*Less likely to value material possessions, high pay, job security, fame, and having lots of friends
*Greater value on work for social change, solving social problems, helping needy
*Reflective, inner-directed, self-aware, self-confident life style


*Experience more productive of psychological health than illness
*Less authoritarian and dogmatic
*More assertive, imaginative, self-sufficient
*intelligent, relaxed
*High ego strength,
*relationships, symbolization, values,
*integration, allocentrism,
*psychological maturity,
*self-acceptance, self-worth,
*autonomy, authenticity, need for solitude,
*increased love and compassion

Because the studies have this kind of effect we can draw several conclusions. Upon these conclusions drawn from data the arguments turn:

I. The Arguments from Co-determniate.

Co-determinate: The co-determinate is like the Derridian trace, or like a fingerprint. It's the accompanying sign that is always found with the thing itself. In other words, like trailing the invisable man in the snow. You can't see the invisable man, but you can see his footprints, and wherever he is in the snow his prints will always follow.

We cannot produce direct observation of God, but we can find the "trace" or the co-determinate, the effects of God in the wrold.

The only question at that ponit is "How do we know this is the effect, or the accompanying sign of the divine? But that should be answere in the argument below. Here let us set out some general peramitors:

(1) The trace produced content with speicificually religious affects

(2)The affects led one to a renewed sense of divine relaity, are transformative of life goals and self actualization

(3) Cannot be accounted for by alteante cuasality or other means.

Argument itself:

(1)There are real affects from Mytical experince.

(2)These affects cannot be reduced to naturalistic cause and affect, bogus mental states or epiphenomena.

(3)Since the affects of Mystical consciousness are independent of other explaintions we should assume that they are genuine.

(4)Since mystical experince is usually experince of something, the Holy, the sacred some sort of greater trasncendent reality we should assume that the object is real since the affects or real, or that the affects are the result of some real higher reailty.

(5)The true measure of the reality of the co-dterminate is the transfomrative power of the affects.

II. Argument from Epistemic Judgement:

(1) No empirical evidence can prove the existence of the external world, other minds, or the reality of history, or other such basic things.

(2) We do not find this epistemological dilemma debilitating on a daily basis because we assume that if our experiences are consistent and regular than we can navigate in "reality" whether it is ultimately illusory of not.

(3) Consistency and regularity of personal experience is the key.

(4) religious experience can also be regular and consistent, perhaps not to the same degree, but in the same way.

(5) Inersubjective

RE of this type has a commonality shared by bleievers all over the world, in different times and diffrent places, just as the exeternal world seems to be perceived the same by everyone.

(6) Real and Lasting effects.

(7) therefore, we have as much justification for assuming religious belief based upon experince as for assuming the reality of the external world or the existence of other minds.

III. Universal Nature of Experience

.......The issues here are epistemological, they are about how we know what we know. They are not merely psychological or emotional so the argument about subjectivity has no place in the discussion. Not that subjective knowledge doesn't come int it, but the argument is not based the way the experience feels.

The Third argument is that from Universal nature of the experience. I urge the reader to read the essay in fn 2 for the details and data  defending this argument. The universal nature of the experiences not only prove the inter-subjective nature of the experience but they also indicate the experience of soemthing outside the human mind. This is so because religious belief is a cultural construct. It's based upon cultural systole, they can't be genetic. Cultural symbols are agriculturally constructed, they are not genetic, that there is a universal sense of the experience indicate something objective is being experienced.

[1] This is a list of studies that I have researched. There are near 200 of them and they all show the positive value of religious experience both in terms of transformation of the experience and in terms of disproving such allegations as a link ti mental illness. The list is on my site Religious A priori and is found here:
[2] Ralph Hood Jr. "The Common Core Study in the Thesis of Mysticism,"Where God and science meet,Westport, CT: Praeger. P, McNamar (Ed.) Vol. 3, pp.119-138
scroll to page 119 this is a preview on Google books so it doesn't have all the pages.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Was Paul Tillich Ant-Supernatural?

A certain group of atheists on CARM atheist board are trying to create the impression that I can't understand the things I read and that Paul Tillich is not only  not Christian but not positive toward the supernatural. The problem is mainly due to their lack of knowledge of the background that made up Tillich's thinking. They are reading Tillich as though he's an uninformed atheist cut off from the vast Knowledge that he had of theology coming out of European Lutheran background. I can't really blame them too much because if one is aware of the tradition of liberal European Christianity one might actually think the things he said are much different than he meant. The issue revolves around statements that he made to the effect hat he was anti-supernatural and didn't believe in miracles and didn't' believe in a God as a conscious being with a will. If the reader has read any of things I've written about Tillich over the years the reader will know that these allegations are more than half true,but not completely and not in the way they think.


"Look he in Tillich's own words.

"You approach something here that is fundamental to all my thinking — the antisupernaturalistic attitude" - Tillich (Ultimate concern - Tillich in Dialog).

I have diligently provided a series of Tillich's quotes and a series of assessments from scholars and you evade the topic and claim elsewhere to kick *** on this topic. That is your style to lose horribly and then come back and claim you wiped the floor.
He doesn't document it properly, the only real words of Tillich in that "quote" are  in quotation marks at the time. This makes laughable his claim to diligence.
.......My contention is that yes Tillich is opposed to something he calls "supernaturalism" but it's not the concept of the supernatural as it was originally introduced into Christianity by the thinker Tillich admired, Pseudo-Dionysus the areiopagite. It's the counterfeit notion of the supernatural that the enlightenment foisted upon the chruch as a straw man argument to disprove a way of thinking it didn't understand. Tillich does say radical things that are opposed to the modern evangelical Christianity, he was a liberal. He was a European nineteenth century German liberal with Hegelian influence who followed Schleiermacher. I've never denied that I've always known it. What I deny is that one can't take the major gist of Tillich view of God (being itself) and hold to it with a view that the ground of being is the origin of consciousness and that healing and other effects of supernatural (SN) are the result of God's working in the world. These are not contradictioanry positions even though they go further than Tillich back toward positons he didn't like. I do not have to the prophest of Tillich. I can disagree with him and I do disagree with him on certian things.
......In this essay  I stick to just the view of the supernatural and the working of miracles. Let's go to the source to the source where Skylurker bot this quote: a book called Ultimate Concern, Tillich in Dialogue by D.M. Brown.(1) Here is the original quotation in it's context:

Dr. Tillich: Now you touch on a problem which underlies everything, the problem of natural and supernatural. It has innumerable implications and is very difficult to simplify. In this special case, I do not deny the visionary experience and the whole scene, but if the inner voice Paul heard is called a "voice from Heaven," what does it mean? Did the earth stand in a certain relationship to the sun, in a particular position at that moment? Was the voice carried on a blinding ray? All these questions, if taken literally, are nonsense and have little to do with the meaning of the reality of that visionary experience. For the visionary experience was a certain reality. And I even speak of "breaking in," which has a supernatural sound but is not supernaturalism. You approach something here that is fundamental to all my thinking — the antisupernaturalistic attitude. If you would like to prepare yourself, I recommend the one section about reason and revelation in the first volume of my Systematic Theology, where I deal extensively with miracle, inspiration, ecstasy, and all these concepts, and try to interpret them in a nonsupernaturalistic — and that would mean also a nonsuperstitious — way.
 We see here the first indication that leads these bad readers astray. I call them bad readers because they don't do any study to find the background or the perspective he's coming to it from. They don't study theology they think they can just pick up one quote and know the world it comes out of without knowing anything about it. The last part there where he says he's going to do it in a "non-superstitious" way. So of course they assume O belief in God is superstition so that means he doesn't' believe in god. They further assume miracles is supernatural (is it?) and it's superstitious so he must mean he doesn't' believe it mean he doesn't believe in miracles becuase he does not believe  in the supernatural. That's all.In reality those three things, supernatural, miracle and superstition must be separated from each other. He does believe in supernatural, but in a certain reading of it, the original version not hte counterfeit. The counter is superstitious. His disbelief in miracles depends upon the understanding of miracles, because a certain kind of understanding is fine and other kind is what he's against. Not in this quote he says in speaking of Paul's voice from heaven that if it's literally from heaven "All these questions, if taken literally, are nonsense and have little to do with the meaning of the reality of that visionary experience" He says he values something he calls the visionary experience. He says the reality of it. It's real it's something he believes in. That's because the valid version of the SN is mystical experience. That's what Dionysus said. That was born out in the essay I did on Mathis Joseph Scheeben and the reading of him by Eugene R. Fairweather. That is very important to read because that lays out exactly what my view is. I don't have evidence that Tillich read Scheeben (2) but I see similar points he makes and similar phraseology he uses. For example the reference to "breaking in" above. Tillich says that "And I even speak of "breaking in," which has a supernatural sound but is not supernaturalism." That's exactly what Scheeben said, that supernatural is not "breaking into nature" but harmoniously working with nature. Read the essay please. It makes perfect sense for Tillich to say breaking in is not supernatrualism if one assumes he agrees with Scheeben, It makes no sense if he's some kind of sheep skin atheist because for the counterfeit version of SN that's what it is, it is breaking in and disrupting natural law. It appears to me then that this is what Tillich is really against, not the idea that the divine is causing some effect in the world but that that effect be understood in the right way. As I wrote the essay I link to above:

 Supernature is working in nature. It’s not breaking in unwelcome but is drawing the workings of nature to a higher level. Fairweather describes it as the “ground and end of nature.” In other words is the basis upon which nature comes to be and the goal toward which nature moves. Now it’s true that science removes the teleological from nature it doesn’t see it as moving toward a goal but that’s because it can’t consider anything beyond its own domain. Science is supposed to be empirical consideration of the natural realm and is supposed to keep its nose out of the business of commentary on metaphysics. Of course modern science does the opposite it become a form of metaphysics by infusing itself with philosophical assumptions and then declaring there is nothing beyond the natural/material realm.
 .......In the Dialogue book when the Moderator says he doesn't doesn't seem to believe in Christ's miracles Tillich get's into a dispute about the meaning of the term miracle.

Student: Well, in catechism in Sunday school, we learned that miracles imply a "suspension of the laws of nature." I suppose that is as good a definition as any.
Dr. Tillich: Where did you learn this? It is very interesting. Because this is precisely the idea which I fiercely combat in all my work, whenever I speak of these things. Was that really taught in your catechism, or by the Sunday-school teacher, who could not do better because she had learned it from another Sunday-school teacher who also could not do better?
 Note: he does not say "what I'm against is any idea of the SN." He says what he's against is what the student just said "suspension of the laws of nature." That is exactly what Scheeben and Fairweather are saying.SN is not opposing natural it's leading it and working with it. It makes perfect sense that Tillich would know that even if he didn't read Scheeben (I would bet he did) becuase he read Dionysus and the latter was a major influence upon him. It's any and all notions of the SN that he's oppossing but the phony version worked up in the enlightenment as a straw man against what they perceived as scholasticism.
......This leads to a very important moment in the dialogue where is sounds like Tillich is saying that he's oppossed to any idea that God would have an effect in the world, but he's not saying that at all:

Dr. Tillich: Now if you define a miracle like this, then I would simply say that this is a demonic distortion of the meaning of miracle in the New Testament. And it is distorted because it means that God has to destroy his creation in order to produce his salvation. And I call this demonic, because God is then split in himself and is unable to express himself through his creative power. In truth, of course, there are many things that are miraculous, literally "things to be astonished about," from mirari in Latin, to be astonished. And if you refrain from defining miracles in this distorted, actually demonic, way, we can begin to talk intelligently about them.
 .....The unwary might take that and say "O he's against anything to do with an effect of God in the world because  he calls it demonic. What he calls demonic is the idea that God must hang up the natural process of  cause and effect and natural law in order to have an effect. His whole idea of miracles hinges upon this concept. That God has to destroy creation to produce salvation is what he's calling the demonic idea. Not the idea that God has an effect in the world. We know form System 2 that what God has an effect upon in the world is "new creation" and that goes along with valuing the presence of God and the experience of God. So for Tillich salvation doesn't disrupt nature but completes it or makes it new, repairs it. That's the very concept of Scheeben is talking about. He could not have represented Scheeben better if he had read him (and I bet he did). I said in my essay:

Scheeben deals with the distinction between natural and supernatural faith. Throughout his writings we see this typified in terms of the tendency of the power of God to elevate humanity to a higher spiritual level. This means consciousness as well as habit. He speaks of “supernatural effects,” the effect that the pull of the supernatural has upon the natural. This is why it’s valid to think of the supernatural as an ontology, it’s a description of reality, or what is. Empirically that description tends toward the realization of human consciousness reaching to a higher level as a result of certain kinds of experiences. Scheeben expresses this in terms of “higher nature.” Super nature is the higher nature to which human nature is being elevated.
Not breaking in  or destroying nature but elevating it (in the form of the human nature) to a higher level. To Quote Fairweather:
If the lower nature is raised in all of these respects to the level of a higher nature, and especially if this nature modifies the lower nature so deeply and affects it so powerfully that the limits of possibility are reached; if God, purest light and mightiest fire, wishes through to permeate his creature with his energy, to flood it with brightness and warmth to transform it into his own splendor, to make the creature like the father of spirits and impart to it the fullness of his own divine life, if I say, the entire being of the soul is altered in the deepest recesses and in all its ramifications to the very last, not by annihilation, but by exaltation and transfiguration. Then we can affirm that a new higher nature has come to the lower nature, because it has been granted a participation in the essence of him to whom the higher nature properly belongs.(3)
.......One possible bridge bewteen Scheeben and  Tillich might be Frederich Schleiemacher. He is known as the "father of liberal theology." He was most famous for his concept of the feeling of utter dependence. Also known for his ethical theory. He was a big influence upon Tillich. Now Schleiermacher had an idea that was similar to those of Scheeben in certain ways, even though he was a protestant and Scheeben was a Catholic. In The History of Christian Thought in writing about Schleiermacher Tillich says that "I can tell you autobiographically that one of  my first scientific inquiries into theology... dealt with the concept of naturalism and super naturalism in the period before Schleiermacher. Out of this study I gained insight into the intricacies of the concept of nature in these discussions which has influenced my thinking."(4) That study almost certainly had to include Scheeben but if it did not then it did include Schleiermacher. This is almost a guarantee that he he at the works of the one of the two and that he thought in those terms. In his discretion the latter he refers to him as ant-supernaturlist. He says that Supernaturlsitic theology tried to save the tradition with the same tools which naturalism used in trying to destroy it. (5) What he's calling "supernaturalist theology" is not Dionysus although it may include Schebeen but it may not. He's talking about the counterfeit, or what i I call the counterfeit..  The tools naturalism used to destroy the tradition were reason, logic, scinece. The point is the tools he wants them to use he might call by different names but they amount to mystical experience, phenomenology and existentialism.Now he develops a crucial idea that of two concepts of nature: material and formal. Material is what we call "nature" rocks, trees, biology, formal is human nature. (6) 
.......Humanity belongs to both forms of nature, the material and the formal. He sees us has having a mind and a spirit. (7) He can't be totally against any verion of the SN if he believes in a spirit. Now here is the kicker that demonstrates he has this third way between naturism which rejects God and the phony superanturslim (although he never calls it "phony" but it's not the original version in Dionysus) which turns God into a big man in the sky and miracles into a destruction of the natural realm. The premise that must be granted and bracketed for now is that he is pro Schliemermacher and Pro Hegel. That wont be hard to prove if challenged. He says how can we have this realm that is above the human level of nature. "Does God interfere and if so in what sense?"(8) He says these are problems with which all theology has to deal. They were the problems of Hegel and Schleiermacher both of whom both of whom tried to develop a theology which transcended naturalism and supernatrualism."(9) He says modern theology has to deal with it too. Now if one reads this bit of the work  one will see him speaking of the Enlightenment concept of Harmony. Being a liberal he's fond of the enlightenment. He doesn't' see the enlightenment as a bad thing, neither do I. I speak of the "counterfeit SN" and Tillich speaks of that a "supernaturalism." He does not put all enlgithement thinknig in that category. For him as for Schleiermacher and Hegel the answer is a harmony between nature and Sueprnature and it's all harmonized in God who created the whole and is being itself. We are all harmoniously related to this eternal necessary aspect of being and deriving our being from it. As such it effects new creation, it repairs creation it doesn't suspend or destroy it.
......Any quotes the atheists quote by Tillich form the Dialogue book or any other has to be understood in this light. So he is not saying away with all concepts of the supernatural and God can never have any influence on the world. He makes that quite clear in the Dialogue book:

In truth, of course, there are many things that are miraculous, literally "things to be astonished about," from mirari in Latin, to be astonished. And if you refrain from defining miracles in this distorted, actually demonic, way, we can begin to talk intelligently about them....The first thing I want to state here is that only in a correlative relationship between the subjective and the objective sides of the experience can we speak of a miracle. This is the reason why Jesus declined when the Pharisees and the scribes asked him to perform a "show" miracle — the kind of magic trick we might watch at country fairs. They asked him to do this, and he refused. This expresses the fact that miracles, in the sense in which he was involved in them, are events which have a particular significance to the person who experiences them. That is the one fundamental statement. Miracles are subjective-objective, subject-object-oriented, always in correlation, and never comprehensible in any other way. Not merely subjective, they are not merely objective, either.(10)
He's clearly not denying miracles per se. He's denying a certain aspect of them or a view of them. Now I am not obligated to agree with Tillich on everything he says. I think we was working under limitations that kept him form seeing these things they way I do. For one thing the good Lourdes rules were only about 40 years old when he went to the conference with Einstein and that really shaped his thinking about scinece. For another thing he didn't have the charismatic movement or the M scale of W.T. Stace's theories (he may or may not have known about they were written i the 50s) but he never know of Ralph Hood's empirical work in confirming Stace. So we don't know what he would think about any of that.

(1)  Ultimate Concern, Tillich in Dialogue by D.M. Brown.
(2)  Matthias Joseph Scheeben, Nature and Grace, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2009 (paperback) originally unpublished  1856.
for Fairweather's article on Scheeben:  Eugene R. Fairweather, “Christianity and the Supernatural,” in New Theology no.1.  New York: Macmillian, Martin E. Marty and Dean G. Peerman ed. 1964. 235-256.
(3) Fairweather, quoting Scheeben, op cit. 30
(4) Paul Tillich, History of Christian Thought, 330.
(5) ibid
(6) ibid, 331
(7) ibid
(8) ibid, 332
(9) ibid 
(10) Brown  op cit.

Monday, January 14, 2013

What Have the Atheists Been Doing With Paul Tillich?


The other day I was answering the atheist attack on CARM that said I don't know anything about Tillich. In looking for online docs about him I found a remarkable thing: atheists are making use of Tillich in one way or another. They either try to reduce him to being a sort of cowardly atheist who couldn't actually admit he didn't believe in God, or they try to just assault his views of God straight out much as the CARM atheists have done for years against my arguments; that's not the image of God in the bible so it's unchristian. I really kind of feel that it's a mark of Tillich's growing popularity among theists and I like to kid myself into thinking I had a lot to do with it becuase of this blog. On the other there's enough of it going around that it's probably time to answer the assertions.
.......First of all another blogger Thomas Adams on  "Without Authority" writes "Was Paul Tillich An Atheist?" Of cousre that article was up in (March 9) 2009 before I ever talked about Tillich on this blog. O well. In any case he quotes some character named Lenard F. Wheat who says that "Tillich's chief claim to fame will be that he fooled a lot of people... Tillich is a complete atheist who lost his belief while completing his higher education. Intellectually he despises Christianity ..." He goes on to deal with Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris, atheist gurus, who write that the world of believers can be reduced to fundamentalists are closet atheists who dont have the guts to own up. Thus all the intelligent well educated believers are int he latter category so any true belief is stupidity and atheists don't have to listen to the more rational kind of theist. Having reduced all rational theism to atheism then of cousre Tillich falls in.
......Adams goes on:

As the quote at the top of this post shows, such atheists frequently take aim at Paul Tillich, who represents, for them, the epitome of the "atheist theologian." They've referred to Tillich's theology as "semantic hocus-pocus", "strictly bogus", a "bold masquerade", and "nonsensical hokum and claptrap". But do the charges stick? Was Paul Tillich really an atheist? The following quotes of his would seem to say yes:
"God does not exist. He is being-itself beyond essence and existence. Therefore to argue that God exists is to deny him."
"God is the symbol for God"
"The God of theism is dead"
 Apparently he saw atheists taking aim at Tillich back then, thus another cherished illusion is shattered. Still, I've seen a lot of them doing it recently this may a mark of Tillich's rising popularity, regardless of what produced it. Of course in the phrase that God does not exist Tillich is not saying there's no God. To think that he is saying that (in the recent may-lay on CARM some did try to argue this) is a classic mistake and shows immediately that one has not read Tillich. He uses the phrase "exist" in relation to contingent things only.So for Tillich existence is a lesser state than being and denotes dependence upon being. God is not contingent but is being itself. God demarcates the higher state upon which existing thins (which are contingent) depend.
.......An example of an Atheist taking on Tillich straight out is one I've covered on Atheistwatch before, the "Camels with Hammers" blog by  On December 21, 2011 he posted an article "The Impossible God of Paul Tillich."  The one thing that marked this blog when I reviewed it on AW was his ignorance. We see it in action:

Tillich says he’s a Christian.  But here it’s worth pointing out that Tillich’s “God” is so far from the God of the Bible (and traditional Christian theology) that it’s hard to take his claim of being Christian very seriously.  And Tillich has widely been criticized by Christians as offering a strange new theory of the divine.  Some might say that Tillich was a Christian atheist.  Anyway, here are some relevant points from Tillich:
1. God is being-itself.  Tillich wrote: “The being of God is being-itself.  The being of God cannot be understood as the existence of a being alongside others or above others. . . . Whenever infinite or unconditional power  and meaning are attributed to the highest being, it has ceased to be a being and has become being-itself.” (1951: 235).  And he affirms again that “God is being itself, not a being” (1951: 237).   Since God is not a being, Tillich famously affirms that God does not exist (1951: 205, 237).
2. God is the power of being.  Tillich says “the concept of being as being, or being-itself, points to the power inherent in everything, the power of resisting nonbeing.  Therefore, instead of saying that God is first of all being-itself, it is possible to say that he is the power of being in everything and above everything, the infinite power of being” (1951: 236)
3. God is transcendent.  Tillich affirms the transcendence of God when talks about God as being above all things.  He writes that God is “the power of being in everything and above everything”(1951: 236).  And he says that “As the power of being, God transcends every being and also the totality of beings – the world” (1951: 237).
 These are good quotes but he doesn't try to learn what they mean. These are all things I've said here on this blog. They are not hard to grasp if one does of background research, he doesn't. He assumes that these are just high tone words designed to hide his unbelief, the reason being this is not the Christian stuff Fincke learned when he was Christian.
.......Of course if he really doesn't know that much about it he would probably still be one. So all he's really telling us is that that doesn't know anything about the real Christian view of God held by the great theologians of the past because all he ever learned about was the usual fundamentalist Biblical literalism. He accuses Tillich of having to "pull himself back from the brink of paganism." That's becuase for Fincke the real Christian view expounded by the great theologians of the Orthodox church seems like paganism becuase he knows nothing about it. For example he makes the specific charge that Tillich is a pantheist. He attirbutes his escape from pantheism to belief in God's transcendence. As though some passage in the Bible say " thou shalt not be a pantheist" and any understanding of God as present in nature is pantheism and any theological point of view that separates Christianity from pantheism is some sort of trick. Fist of all what is he calling Pantheism? Pantheism is either the belief that God is the sum total of all things, or (old school) a personification of nature; nature as a force is worshiped as deity. Neither one of these options is implied in anything Tillich says.
 .......Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines Pantheism thus:"At its most general, pantheism may be understood positively as the view that God is identical with the cosmos, the view that there exists nothing which is outside of God, or else negatively as the rejection of any view that considers God as distinct from the universe." [1] The article goes on to say that philosophical opinion on the subject is too divided to be more specific. Yet if that is a valid interpretation than the transcendence issue would divide a pantheist form a non pantheist since the definition would say there's nothing outside of God, and saying that God is transcendent of all things would be the contrary.It is from Webster that I get my view that patheism sees God as nature, or the sum total of all things:
: a doctrine that equates God with the forces and laws of the universe
: the worship of all gods of different creeds, cults, or peoples indifferently; also : toleration of worship of all gods (as at certain periods of the Roman empire)
pan·the·ist noun[2]
 Certainly the second definition is not used anymore. The first one would not apply to Tilllich. Forces and laws of nature are seen as products of God's mind but not synonymous with God.
.......Another great jewel form Fincke that Tillich's God is impossible becuase it's impossible for God to be both immanent and transcendent:
For Tillich, God is both “the power of being in everything and above everything”.  I’d say that’s absurd – for Tillich, God is both immanent and transcendent.  But it’s impossible to be both immanent and transcendent.   To be sure, if Tillich wants to claim to remain within Christianity, then he’s got to affirm the transcendence of being-itself.  But it makes very little sense to do so.  Much of Tillich’s first volume of Systematic Theology looks like a pantheistic or pagan theology onto which a superficial layer of exhausted Christian ideology is painted.  That paint peels off easily.
This first phrase "the power of being in everything and above everything" is one of Tillcih's most profound and powerful concepts. Fincke tosses it aside as though it means nothing because he doesn't understand it. He does see that it implies transcendence but does he see that it really disproves his earlier notion? His comment about Tillich's Systematic vol 1 looking like a pantheism handbook truly reveals his ignorance because nothing could be less so. Tillich even has a section on why he's not pantheistic and he shows that Pantheism violates his basic canon and would reduce God to a thing in creation. In fact Tillich makes this same argument. It's the transcendent nature of God (which contradicts pantheism) that makes Tillich a panENtheist. God in and beyond creation.
.......Fricke merely demonstrates his ignorance of historical Christianity, as do all who try to argue that Tillich's notion is "not the Christian God." The basis of Christianity really formed up in the seven ecumenical coucils of the Orthodox chruch. Tillich's mission in life was to bring that era of theology into the modern world. His notions of God as being itself are not only echoed by the Orthodox church but in History of Christian Thought He grounds them in the Trinitarian doctrine of homoucisos.[3] Thus the great expositor of the Orthodox chruch to the west, Timothy Ware writes that the Orthodox understand God as being "on the order of being itself."[4]

 [1] Mander, William, "Pantheism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = .
[2] Merriam Webster's online Dictionary. URL:
[3] Paul Tillich, A History of Christian Thought. Touchstone Books 1972.
[4] Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church, Penguin books, 1963, 65

Friday, January 11, 2013

Atheists are Slave thinkers


On CARM we have a thread about something from nothing. This guy rued why why not? the Universe just popped into existence out of nothing and that's just as good as anything. He has a huge post and actually uses a bunch of references which is quite rare.

 For time-dependent processes with H(t) ≡ H0 + V (t) the scattering operator ˆ S has the form ˆ S = C0 : ˆ S0 eS :
where C0 is a normalization constant, eS describes creation and annihilation of particle–antiparticle pairs and their
scattering, and the exceptional part ˆ S0 describes creation and annihilation of single particles.

.......That is a sample.All it really means is he's trying to claim vacuum flux as proof of something from nothing. Atheists have been arguing this since before the late 90s when I came on the internet apologetic scene.I think they are starting to take my chiding seriously that I always doucment and they don't. None of the stuff quotes really supply any rel proof becuase there is none. I point this out.  I post a longer essay which is found on this blog about the Krauss book The Universe form Nothing and how it was debunked by David Albert. He proves that when physicists say "nothing" they don't mean real actual nothing they mean vacuum flux. That's like syaing the particles come out of more particles. So it' snot really noting the prior particles still require explanation (how did they come to be?). So really it's not proving much of anything. Then guy who did the original post starts to argue that this is something physicists say so you have to believe it. He didn't say that but he might as well have.

Originally Posted by boneso View Post
Says you Meta, how many physics doctorates do you have? How many physics papers have you published which have been well received by the scientific community?
David Albert has one. He ahs a doctorate in theoretical physics.

whether or not physicists believe in it is not the issue. there are physicists who believe in God some of them won the noble prize.


Of course you know better than everyone, after all you know better than Hawking, one of the most intelligent people on earth, all christians know better than all of the high IQ scientists, its weird how that works isn't it!

Meta:He's been discredited on that point, other physicists just as renown as he is believed in God.When I say he's been discredited I mean his book the Grand Design didn't take off it was exposed immediately for the publishers hype that it was. Hawking tried to argue it all comes down to gravity so we don't need God that did  not go over becasue two things became apparently:

(1) he didnt' say it the publisher did

(2) who made the gravity? or how'd it get here?

no physicists has the authority to tell you weahter or not God exits. they are not philosophers. they are not theologians they don't know the ultimate truth. you are just seeking authority figure to hide behind.

that proves you are not a free thinker. you are a slave and minion.

 Wait, wait  for it, you ant seen nothing yet!

 I appreciate your input but your views seem to be based on other peoples opinions on the matter, in this case David Albert. 

 Holy irony BATMAN! This is the guy who was just saying that I have to have physicists to back up my opinion[. which by the way I do. that's who is the 18 foot notes I use. so when I have the docs tthen I'm taking my opinion for other people. he on the other hand is original and an independent thinker even though he talks like we can't believe something if physicists don't give us permission. he also had a bunch of foot notes to the Op so the change that I take my views from others because I have 18 foot notes can be made against him too.

I am struggling to take it seriously now as i am worried that you have taken what David Albert has published as factual information. The mans publications are extremely vague and worded particularly casually. He fails to go into any depth in the hope that his writings can be read and understood by the layman, exact details are not something he feels neseccary to include in his work. He has even been known to have contradicting viewpoints from one publication to the next. Im sorry but if you have obtained your knowledge on this subject from David Albert, i cannot take it seriously. Try Matt Strassler or Hamlet Karo Avetissian.
 Of course he doesn't document any of this drivel. I doubt taht he knows who David Albert is. He teaches philosophy at Columbia, has a Ph.D. in theoretical phsyics, and trashed Krausse's book and was hailed by bloggers across the net as the victor. more more than one  blogger said "Albert own Krauss."

Look up any writer you will find people trashing him. Anyone who publishes much as a lot of jealous trolls saying stupid things about him. This guy of cousre doesn't bother to document any of the accusations.  Typical of the atheist slander machine to reach for the slander when he's backed in a corner.

 The brain washed lackies of the hate group just dont' know how to think. they are seeking God figure to hide behind who will give them permission to hold their beliefs and make them feel safe but they can't use the real God because they set themselves against him. Just in case some readers are tempted to think "O but if Christianity was valid there would be some physicists who believe it" there are many. Here are statements by some major physicists.

Fritz Shafer, nominated for Nobel Prize in Chemistry, University of Georgia, himself a Christian: "it is very rare that a physical scientists is truly an atheist."
Martin Rees at Cambridge: "The possibility of life as we know it depends upon a few basic values which are constants. And it is in some aspect remarkably sensitive to their heir numerical values. Nature does exhibit remarkable coincidences."
Arthur Schewhow, Nobel prize winner from Stanford, identifies himself as a Christian. "We are fortunate to have the Bible which tells us so much about God in widely accessible terms."
Charlie Towns Nobel prize winner: "The question of science seems to be unanswered if we explore from science alone. Thus I believe there is a need for some metaphysical or religious explanation. I believe in the concept of God an in his existence."
John Pokingham, theoretical physicist at Cambridge, left physics to become a minister. "I believe that God exists and has made himself known in Jesus Christ."
Allan Sandage, The world's greatest observational cosmologist , Caregie observatories won a prize given by Swedish parliament equivalent to Nobel prize (there is no Nobel prize for cosmology) became a Christian after being a scientist, "The nature of God is not found in any part of science, for that we must turn to the scriptures."

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Answering Benjamin Lusk's Comment

This was a comment made on the blog to the post "atheists who say they hate Christians."
Jan 31, 2010

Benjamin Lusk said...

I want to highlight the points that you highlighted, yourself, and dispute them. Unfortunately, my phone doesn't allow me to copy and paste (or not that I've discovered!), so I'll have to simply brush over each point before continuing.

Now, I know you're dyslexic, so don't take anything that I add in parenthesis as an attempt to make fun of you. It is not, I assure. I simply want to be clear on my understanding of how you phrased certain bits, and how I interpret it.
Ok I'll try to restrain my barbaric urges for revenge.

The first point that I make is attempting to gather what you're trying to accomplish as the writer here. I state that you're trying to make atheists out as being irrational and foolhardy.

You disagree by stating that atheists are "intelligent (people) who discovered that (religion) is real stupid and thought their way out". And also that they are "being pulled along by the force of a bandwagon that's not based on intellectual truths, but psychological motivation". 
On the bit about "they are intelligent people" I probably meant to say they are not just intelligent who discovered this about religion but they are being drug along by forces." Not to say that they are not intelligent but that their reason for being atheists, the real reason below the surfaces not just that they think its not intelligent but there's a psychological motivation. It seems as I get older dyslexia, poor eye sight, and typing to fast becuase my brain runs faster than my fingers, means that I leave words out sometimes.
 ..... I said there's a segment of the atheist community that's being pulled along by psychological motivations. I have always pointed out that it's not all atheist but a certain segment who operate like a hate group and exhibit cult-like tendencies and mocking and ridicule and seek to destroy Christianity. I can't help but wonder if certain atheist leaders haven't planed on it being this way. It is defiantly this way. This segment of the atheists community are a clear and present danger as they are an organized totalitarian group bent on the destruction of a valuable social institution. Of cousre that doesn't to all atheists.

I'll leave the first statement alone. The second one, I can't help but tear apart.

First and foremost, I want to see your degree in psychology if you're going to make a statement like that. I'd be real interested in knowing how your facts stack up to my brothers Masters in Psychology.That'd be a fun conversation.
 I don't need a degree in psychology per se to see that there is a growing body academic work which shows that atheism is motivated by psychological forces related to low self esteem. A similar and related concept, that of negative God image (that is those who see God as a monster and not as a positive good loving thing) do so in relation to their own self image. This latter group is demonstrated through a huge body of academic work going way back.

  Second, you want to say they are being led on by the force of a bandwagon? Give me a break! Religion is the biggest bandwagon out there. That is why people can convert so easily between religions, and organizations like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), succeed so easily for the weak minded. 
Yes but religion admits it's a movement. Atheism refuses to admit that ti's a movement. They not only balk at being told they have ideology (while saying the same things when you push the same buttons) but many of them exhibit a real phobia of admitting there's any organized movement at all. While I've shown gobs of world wide moneyed organization. See my article The Atheist movement and it's Organization. Then there's "Cracking the Jesus Myth Phony Scholarship Code." Perhaps the most telling is the article  on Center for Inquiry.  Who could forget "Institutionalizing Hate, International Blasphemy Day."

Do NOT get me wrong. For some people, Atheism is just a FAD to get in on. But for the general majority, Atheism is simply a realization or understanding of the basic truths. God can't be seen, touched, felt, smelled, or tasted. Therefore, God does not exist. Those are basic truths.
How can it not be  a movement if its a fad? Are you willing to admit that for those at least for whom it is a fad it's also movement? Perhaps if its a fad the fad has an ideology? The logic that says "God can't be seen, touched, felt, smell or tasted is poor logic. Atheists value scinece right? What scientific things can't be smelled, touched, seen, or tasted? Let's try some:

nuterios, can they be smelled, touched, seen or tasted?
dark matter?
big bang expansion?
Quantum particles?

Looks like most of the result of modern scinece can't fit your criteria for reality. We can't touch, taste, smell or see the laws of physics can we? Do you not believe there are laws of phsyics? God is the ground of being, the basis upon which the nature of exists rests. Why would something like that be amenable to our senses? You have bought into the notion that it's some sort of basic common sense logic that anything real has to exhibit these hard concrete qualities and yet the basis of reality that modern science teaches us to believe in doesn't fit your criteria.

Religion on the other bullies with threats of Satan and Hell to non-believers. Religions shun those who don't believe, making them feel alienated and hated in a culture that they belong in. How can you even justify saying Atheism is a bandwagon, when (for the most part), Atheists tend to simply ignore the subject of religion altogether? 
 While some religious people behave this way not all do. I don't believe in Satan. That's not a trait of liberal theology, which is mocked and ridiculed by atheists and hated by fundamentalist Christians. Atheists make ridiculous argument that liberal theology "enables" fundamentalism when in reality it's seen as satanic deception by funides and is the cure to being fundie. Besides that you are charging the belief system with an unfair bias in belief yet I'm charging atheists themselves with being bullies (although not all of them). That's a big difference becuase Chrsitians go around to all the atheist sites bothering them and making fun of them. Some may perhaps but not nearly on a scale that atheists do that. Christians believe they have to be nice to people while atheists rationalize being rude and mean so they can justify and keep doing it.

The second point that you tried to make when I offered Christians up as being cool-headed was that, "I never said that and I sure don't believe it. There is a dangerous element in Christianity, its' a more dangerous (one) than Atheism". Okay... so... why are you singling out Atheist when there is a greater evil to battle? Priorities.
You have kind of distorted that. Fist you didn't say Christians are cool-heaed as your own opinion you said taht as part of what you think I'm trying to prove.

you: "On the same side of that, you are suggesting that Christians are cool headed and peaceful by nature."
I did not deny that Christianity is more rational than atheism. I didn't say that it's more dangerous than atheism is either. I said the dangerous element in Christianity is more powerful than atheism. Not that it's more dangerous but that it's more powerful.

(1) I fight it too. In fact I lost about on average 50 readers per blog piece from all the pro-Obama pieces I wrote during the election. I don't care. I am willing to lose them all to say the truth.

(2) I think atheism is more dangerous. In the long run if you have God involved in your life you are still better off than if you don't even if you are in a totalitarian night mare. In other words I think either kind of extreme, fundie or atheism would lead to totalitarian night mare. I'd rather have a 1984 type society with God than without one. That doesn't mean want a totalitarian nightmare now, so don't say I do.

God is hope, and freedom, even if freedom is only inside you it's still more free with God than without him. Atheism is reductionism. You reduce humanity to the machine. I'm not saying all atheists want to do that I'm talking about totalitarian distopias. The worse of atheism was Stalin. the worst of Christian society was The Spanish inquisition. As Mick Jagger said. "the choice of cancer or polio." They would both be pretty bad so we need to work together to prevent either one.

Third: you're going to defend The Crusades? Honestly. Years of slaughtering innocent people because they believed in a brown God vs. a white one? Seriously? That is.perfectly acceptable? I supposed Hitler killing 4 million people was perfectly alright, as well, seeing as though he did it in the name of White Christianity.
Why would you equate minimizing their damage with defending them? When we had a Tornado in Dallas recently my sister called and said "are you guys ok?" I went right over our house. I said "Yes it didn't do hardly any damage int this area." Does that mean I was really saying 'It was great, we should have them more often?" I said you can't assert that crusades are some kind of hallmark of Christianity (they only had them in a short 200 year period a thousand years ago). You choose not define religion by the making of the red cross, the invention of he modern hospital, the YMCA, missions to the homeless, soup kitchens and so on. you choose to define it by crusades s though that's what reilgion always does. It does not. That's a rare one time event and it's not something they do all the time. Through in the religious wars of Europe even then it doesn't outweigh the massive good Christianity has done.

Moreover, Christianity is not Jesus. "Christianity" is a tool that God has used to spread Jesus' teachings, it's not the point of the gospel. The point of finding Jesus is not so you can join a group called "Christianity." The point of having a Christianity is os you can find Jesus. It get's off its message and becomes the tool of powerful interests form time to time but atheism did too. Look at communism. I was communist and I know what I'm talking about. Communism was proud of being atheist and they saw the destruction of religion as one of their main goals. Not to say that all atheists are communists of course. My point is it's the fallacy of guilt by association to try and tag Christianity by some negative event like the crusades and not by the positive things it's done.

Now onto the medical. Religion, in general, does not believe in The Theory of Evolution. Okay, that's cool. But to keep our children, our future scientists, from being able to learn and explore this theory does hurt medical science. The sooner we can figure out our ancestral chain, the sooner we can isolate Homosapien-specific genetic disorders and then repair them.
First, it's a rash statement to claim that "religions in general doesn't believe in evolution." that is just not true. It's not even true that most Chrsitians oppose it. It's certainly not true of religion in general because they lack the motivation. The major motivation for Chrsitains to oppose it is due to Genesis. Religions outside of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, don't really care about Genesis. The guy who headed the genome project is a Christian. Catholics have never had a problem with evolution. They have always been much more excepting of it. There's a problem in America which is suffering from backward thinking and poor education since the Reagan era. In that same period there's been an exodus of intelligent Chrsitains. A huge number of women left the states to work in the third world becuase the American chruch was o backward about women. Gallup Poll shows that 40% of Americans are Creation. Since America is 86% Christian that means an equal percentage and then  some are Chrsitians Christians who accept evolution or are undecided

And what about Stem cell research? The most promising medical discovery since penicillin. "I'm sorry, Mister Soldier man. You can never walk again, even though stem cells have proven to correct spinal damage!"
I had a friend who was Catholic and doing Ph.D. study for his doctorate in cell biology he said we don't have get stem cells from the unborn. Apparently we can get them from dead adults. That's related to an ethical issue about when humanity begins, not to religious belief per se. they are opposing stem cell use because the have a hang up that says "science is wrong." It's becuase they a thing about the unborn still being human life.

Now, the next point was funding to get criminals out of jail, or the best attorney is null and exagerrated. I give you that one except for one particular instance. Catholic priests. The Catholic church has fought every step of the way to keep RAPISTS, Sodomizers, and their child molesters out of prison. Argue that, I dare you. Oh, and please present evidence shoeing that the Columbine shooters shot someone because she was Christian. They killed themselves. Nice try.
January 6, 2013 2:02 PM
 That's not true either. A few years ago when that story got big the atheist were on the war path against Ben 16 alleging he must e child raper. I cold try to look some of those up for you I argued them out and fought tooth and nail and prevailed. I showed that Ben 16 led reforms to stop child molestation and to report it. There has been a move for reform even among the Priesthood. Only about 1% of the priests have been accused. Probably no more than 3% are guilty.

Again this is guilt by association. Catholics are half the Christians and Priests are a tiny percentage of Catholics. You are trying to blame religion itself. When we blame atheism for the crimes of communism, that's a fallacy. that is so unfair one must not do that. Can't you see its the same exactly logic? It  is. if you don't see that you dont' see any logic. Some people who ware this label do X, therefore, all people who wear this label are guilty of X and therefore the label itself  causes the doing of X. That's all crap.