Debate Religion Here

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1,467 Responses to Debate Religion Here

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  1. Sinclair Davidson

    Because he comes in each time as a new threadster with new details making a sensible comment on a thread and I approve the new person. He then makes a few sensible comments about the place and then makes a beeline to where ever he really wants to comment and runs amok. The only way to permanently stop him is to have full registration for all threadsters (a lot of work) or no new threadsters.

  2. Jarrah

    “Alan Border walks on water!”

    Nah, Boon’s 50+ beers in a single flight is a miracle.

  3. dover_beach

    sfb:

    I see other people in the blogosphere have formed the same opinion as me:
    ….
    (As the comment following says, this presumably should refer to “Thomistic metaphysics”, but is otherwise correct.)

    LOL. You’ve found someone on the blogosphere that, firstly, doesn’t like someone else (what a surprise!), and secondly, has mistaken an Augustinian metaphysic for a Thomistic one, but you’re happy to wave away that misunderstanding as not diminishing his philosophical judgement.

    Could you enlighten me as to why, if Feser and the modern Thomists are so compellingly correct, have they not laid waste to modern philosophy and convinced everyone that, “hey, obviously, Aristotle was right all along!”

    Intellectual and ideological inertia; Feser’s latest post points to almost insuperable problems for the existing materialist metaphysical framework that is being recognized by atheists like Nagel and Noe themselves. There are signs of movement however. In metaphysics, as well, people like Cartwright, Fine, and Mumford are doing sterling work in an Aristotelian vein and they’re not Thomists. In ethics, Aristotle has already returned with a vengeance; just look at the virtue ethics of the last half century.

  4. dover_beach

    sfb (again):

    Just in case anyone thinks I am making it up when criticising d-b for his lofty “if only people would understand what ‘soul’ really means from a Aristotlean/Thomist viewpoint”, I offer this critique from Thomistic sympathetic looking website:
    ….
    If anyone finds this completely convincing, well, you’re living in Feser-land.

    This form of argument is sfb’s MO in its totality. He doesn’t actually engage in what is being argued from either the proponent’s or critic’s PoV. He just finds an argument somewhere on the blogosphere, here, from a so-called “Thomistic sympathetic looking website”, and thinks that is the end of the argument. At best, we could say this is intellectual lazy.

    So far as the argument is concerned, that blogger seems to misunderstand that the human being shares the same nutritive and sensible aspects of the soul that the animal does. The only difference is that in respect of the rational. And those aspects that are shared are in fact lost with the death of the body.

    BTW, Feser’s latest post is actually a good summary of Aquinas on the soul that points to certain difficulties that Noe thinks his fellow materialists are simply not facing squarely.

  5. dover_beach

    It is.

    You are a very well-read man in several areas. Your ignorance of biology, however, keeps tripping you up.

    I’m sorry, Jarrah, but you are being absurd. I’m not sure what you think that wiki link to ‘isolated’ brains demonstrated apart from some evident desperation on your part to end the argument. As for my ignorance of biology, I’m knowledgeable enough to recognize the difference between a sperm/ova and a zygote/fetus.

  6. wreckage

    I’m knowledgeable enough to recognize the difference between a sperm/ova and a zygote/fetus.

    I think the “Sperm have the POTENTIAL to be humans too, mathematically speaking!” side-track was one of the low points of biological-science literacy, globally, since the late 1700′s. And it wasn’t d-b who tried it on.

  7. Jarrah

    “I’m not sure what you think that wiki link to ‘isolated’ brains demonstrated”

    That brains are separable from bodies, and that therefore the mind (which resides in the brain) doesn’t require the body, and that therefore personhood doesn’t require the whole organism. I would have thought that was obvious, given our discussion.

    “I’m knowledgeable enough to recognize the difference between a sperm/ova and a zygote/fetus”

    Yes, but that’s about your limit. You don’t know about DNA mutations, you don’t know about brain isolation or head transplants, you don’t know about brain development (zygotes are wilful intellectuals, according to you!), you don’t know about fetus in fetu, you don’t know about anencephaly, you don’t know about monozygotic twinning. That would all be fine, except when these are brought up to counter your arguments that derive from medieval understandings about biology, you misunderstand them or ignore them.

    “I think the “Sperm have the POTENTIAL to be humans too, mathematically speaking!” side-track was one of the low points of biological-science literacy, globally, since the late 1700′s. And it wasn’t d-b who tried it on.”

    Dover’s potentiality argument relies on contingent conditions for actualisation. I simply pointed out that the same applies to sperm. Strictly speaking, this is correct. I acknowledge his argument takes as a starting point the individuated human organism, but from a potentiality perspective, that’s arbitrary. I don’t hound him on it because I think it’s a philosophical dead end.

  8. wreckage

    I think his point is that an embryo can, a sperm can’t. I think the two of you are arguing different points in that respect.

  9. steve from brisbane

    So far as the argument is concerned, that blogger seems to misunderstand that the human being shares the same nutritive and sensible aspects of the soul that the animal does. The only difference is that in respect of the rational. And those aspects that are shared are in fact lost with the death of the body.

    Why don’t you start talking in practicalities that people can follow? You originally made a bleat in this thread about wanting people to understand souls in an Aristotlean/Thomist sense, as if that sorted everything out.

    So, tell us it means, exactly, in the following situations: a near full term pregnancy ends in miscarriage. Surviving soul or not?

    Person born with severe intellectual disability, never exhibits much in the way of rationality at all: surviving soul or not?

    A smart person suffers severe brain damage and lives out the last 5 years in a substantially vegetative state: what does that mean for a soul?

    The point of my argument is not to say that the idea of after life survival is false; it’s to get you to admit that you and Aristotle and Feser did not have everything worked out on metaphysical matters.

  10. Jarrah

    “I think his point is that an embryo can, a sperm can’t.”

    An embryo can, given the right contingent conditions. The takedown of all potentiality arguments is that, given the right contingent conditions, so can basically every human cell. Thus ‘potential’ is a philosophical cul de sac.

    Dover likes to pretend that the contingent conditions for embryonic development are merely natural fulfilment of latent capacities (hence his assertion that they’re wilful intellectuals, in essence if not actuality). Guess what – the inherent capacity of sperm is to fertilise ova. Therefore any argument based on potential can’t stop at the zygote. Logical extensions from there rapidly become a sidebar in the over-arching argument for pre-destination, and suddenly we’re in pointless philosophical no-man’s land. No thanks.

  11. Jarrah

    This is all a distraction. Let me take it back to basics.

    What do we value about people? Why do you love your partner, like your friends, admire your heroes? Because they have a complete human body? No. Any sane person will not love/like/admire someone any less because they are not a whole organism. If they lose a toe, a leg, your feelings won’t change.

    Why? Why do the toe and the leg not matter? Because the person you care about is not in the toe or the leg. They’re not in the eye or ear either, nor any bodily part… except one – the brain.

    Why? Because it is the brain that contains the mind, thoughts and feelings, hopes and dreams, a sense of self and a capacity to interact with other minds. THIS is what we care about, THIS is what has moral worth, THIS is what has rights.

    A mind gives personhood, nothing else. Without a mind, there is no YOU.

  12. Gab

    A mind gives personhood, nothing else. Without a mind, there is no YOU.

    So pregnant women who love their unborn baby are what, crazy?

  13. Jarrah

    “So pregnant women who love their unborn baby are what, crazy?”

    No. However, you elide ‘unborn baby’ with all the various stages of fetal development. No woman can even know she’s pregnant until a while after fertilisation, so they can’t love it from conception. If a mother’s love is the metric we should use, then my theory holds up better than, say, dover_beach’s or JamesK’s.

    “Location of the mind remains a mystery”

    I get satisfaction from knowing you’re still reading my comments after so many vows to cease doing so :)

    But unfortunately you didn’t read your link – the debate is where in the brain the mind resides (or that ‘where’ might be the wrong question to ask).

    As ever, my contention that a functioning brain is a prerequisite for personhood is only reinforced by people’s attempts to disprove it.

  14. Gab

    No woman can even know she’s pregnant until a while after fertilisation, so they can’t love it from conception.

    You were not talking about conception so why are you changing the focus now? Bait & switch. You were on about not loving someone unless and until they had a personality. That was your only proviso. Clearly you are wrong.

    But unfortunately you didn’t read your link – the debate is where in the brain the mind resides (or that ‘where’ might be the wrong question to ask).

    The article looks at three out the four regions of the brain not functioning and yet the subject still had a “personality”.

    So when his team heard about patient R, who had lost brain tissue including the chunks of the three ‘self-awareness’ regions following a viral infection, they immediately thought he could help set the record straight.
    Not a zombie

    According to the models based on neuroimaging, says Rudrauf, “patients with no insula should be like zombies”.

    But patient R displays a strong concept of selfhood.According to the models based on neuroimaging, says Rudrauf, “patients with no insula should be like zombies”.

    And people with half a brain (physically) still have a personality. And yet, the mind still cannot be located. No brain, no personality obviously, dead. However, to say that one cannot love someone that does not have a personality is silly. Let’s take the other end of the scale. Do you suddenly stop loving someone because they become comatose and unresponsive?

    As ever, my contention that a functioning brain is a prerequisite for personhood is only reinforced by people’s attempts to disprove it.

    As ever, your ego is larger than your brain.

    I get satisfaction from knowing you’re still reading my comments after so many vows to cease doing so

    There’s that ego again.

  15. Gab

    Hemispherectomies – sometimes involve the right side of the brain being removed and sometimes the left. Yet in each case the personality remains intact.

  16. So pregnant women who love their unborn baby are what, crazy?

    That’s ridiculous. Everyone knows that all women are incontrovertibly sane and rational.

  17. Jarrah

    “You were on about not loving someone unless and until they had a personality.”

    That’s a deliberate misrepresentation. I never said a word about “not loving unless and until”, nor personality. I said that, given a person, what do we care about?

    “And people with half a brain (physically) still have a personality. And yet, the mind still cannot be located. No brain, no personality obviously, dead.”

    How is half a brain equal to no brain, Gab?

    “Do you suddenly stop loving someone because they become comatose and unresponsive?”

    Suddenly? No. Feelings aren’t a light switch. You don’t suddenly stop having feelings of love when someone dies either. Some people love their pets, even their cars (or so I’ve heard).

    You’ve got the wrong end of the stick. I never suggested we can’t love/like/admire/value things other than humans with functioning brains.

  18. John H.

    Location of the mind remains a mystery

    It is a mistake to think the mind is in the brain. The mind is the organism in interaction with the environment. It is more a process than a thing. The mind by definition cannot be in this inert thing tucked away somewhere, it is always the move, if it isn’t moving, it isn”t there.

  19. John H.

    Location of the mind remains a mystery

    It is a mistake to think the mind is in the brain. The mind is the organism in interaction with the environment. It is more a set of processes in constant flux than a thing. The mind by definition cannot be in this inert thing tucked away somewhere, it is always the move, if it isn’t moving, it isn”t there.

  20. wreckage

    Guess what – the inherent capacity of sperm is to fertilise ova. Therefore any argument based on potential can’t stop at the zygote.

    Inherent potential. The sperm cannot grow into a human/person. The zygote can. All it needs is a compatible environment. So you are fundamentally misunderstanding d-b’s argument, by confusing it with a mathematical one. By the purely mathematical argument we would have to regard any given atom as a human being, since it might eventually be incorporated into one.

    The sperm alone doesn’t have the cellular machinery required, a zygote does. You’re too eager to declare d-b’s argument unsound on grounds of reductio ad absurdum. According to your premise you don’t need to do that; at any stage that the embryo can’t support consciousness or a near-fit for consciousness, it isn’t a person.

  21. wreckage

    It is a mistake to think the mind is in the brain. The mind is the organism in interaction with the environment. It is more a process than a thing. The mind by definition cannot be in this inert thing tucked away somewhere, it is always the move, if it isn’t moving, it isn”t there.

    Which means defining it is a wriggly proposition; hence I have a degree of unease regarding the idea that the presence of consciousness (or a near fit concept of some kind) is more-or-less the definition of “person”.

  22. Jarrah

    The time waiting for this thread to load makes even me wish for an NBN connection. Dearest Professor Davidson, may we have another?

  23. Jarrah

    “All it needs is a compatible environment.”

    Yes, and all a sperm needs is an ovum. You say the zygote can. Sure, it can if. If certain conditions are met, it will grow into a person. Waddaya know, the exact same applies to sperm.

    “By the purely mathematical argument we would have to regard any given atom as a human being, since it might eventually be incorporated into one.”

    Exactly why I think the potentiality argument is bunk!

  24. wreckage

    Seems to load OK for me. Mind you, I’m not on satellite anymore *shudder*

  25. Jarrah

    “It is a mistake to think the mind is in the brain.”

    No, it isn’t.

    “The mind is the organism in interaction with the environment.”

    Maybe. I’d say that’s more like consciousness than the mind, but even if you were closer to the mark, such interaction is predominantly mediated by the brain.

    “The mind by definition cannot be in this inert thing tucked away somewhere”

    Who said anything about the brain being inert? Who could say such a thing, given the nature of the brain?

  26. wreckage

    No, he’s arguing inherent potential. No addition or transformation of itself is needed by the fertilised ovum. The sperm by contrast must pair, self-destructively, with an un-fertilised ova.

    The fertilised ovum can, if nothing external to it prevents it from doing so. The sperm cannot without meeting something external to itself, detonating internally to that something, and having its DNA pair with that something, whereafter it’s 50% -or-thereabouts- of the DNA may set about self-replicating, using the cellular machinery of the ovum to do so, and only in conjunction with that ~50% DNA it did not contribute.

    Really, it’s a pretty clear argument. Sperm can’t divide into two identical sperm, which then divide again, and then by process of division and specialisation eventually become president. Fertlised ova can. All they need is the right environment. Please don’t tell me that sperm can in the right environment, that being the ovum; they are destroyed by “the right environment” (ovum); unless they are destroyed they can’t deliver their payload of DNA.

    I am not even sure why this is an argument. Why is this an argument? It’s so stupid I feel foolish even pointing out that it’s fundamentally, factually wrong.

  27. Token

    That’s ridiculous. Everyone knows that all women are incontrovertibly sane and rational.

    Based upon what I have learned from the advertising industry, all men are meathead and boymen and women are always sane and rational.

  28. John H.

    Maybe. I’d say that’s more like consciousness than the mind, but even if you were closer to the mark, such interaction is predominantly mediated by the brain.

    I’d say you’re still looking for that little man. This just came in my inbox.

    http://www.newscientist.com/special/self?cmpid=NLC|NSNS|2013-2502-GLOBAL|specialself&utm_medium=NLC&utm_source=NSNS&utm_content=specialself

    The Great Illusion of the Self.

  29. wreckage

    I personally think that the “self is an illusion” crowd are deluded. If there is no self, there is nothing to be fooled by the illusion. Certainly there are aspects of self that are not precisely as we intuit them, but that is irrelevant.

    Basically this is an attempt to solve the mind-body problem by pretending that part of it (mind) doesn’t exist, and even that not by demonstrating that it doesn’t exist but by picking away at problems with the intuitive notions of how, when and why it exists.

  30. wreckage

    Based upon what I have learned from the advertising industry, all men are meathead and boymen and women are always sane and rational.

    If you look at stuff like Everyone Loves Raymond, does it strike you that it’s actually very, very successful men pissing on the battlers?

    And that almost none of them have any actual problems?

  31. jupes

    If you look at stuff like Everyone Loves Raymond, does it strike you that it’s actually very, very successful men pissing on the battlers?

    Nope.

    I strikes me as a comedy about an Italian-American family.

  32. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    The potentiality argument is not a particularly useful one. A woman’s body is part of the deal. That zygote has to implant or fail. Many fail and fall down the uterus and out (you know where) and some occasionally fail spectacularly, by implanting in the fallopian tubes or even the body cavity, causing a medical emergency for the mother and inevitable death for the zygote anyway (except a few rare documented cases of extra-uterine delivery?). The uterus provides the conditions for expression of potentiality and thus implantation is where I draw the most sensible, if theologically less neat, line.

  33. wreckage

    I don’t think I can argue that a pregnancy starts before implantation, nor that the whole deal isn’t complex and intertwined, I’m just showing how d_b’s argument on inherent potential cannot apply to sperm. And technically he’s arguing philosophy, not that I’m picking a fight about it or anything :)

    I’m mostly picking at jarrah’s argument because I have trouble with specific parts of its internal logic and implications, not because I expect him to agree with me.

  34. It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.
    — Robert Heinlein

    My Catallaxy Liberty Quote this morning.

  35. JamesK

    The uterus provides the conditions for expression of potentiality and thus implantation is where I draw the most sensible, if theologically less neat, line.

    About a third of blastrocyts that do implant end in mis-carriage, Lizzie.

    If blastocysts are estimated using a supersensitive b-hCG measure (to include pre-implantation blastocysts) are used two thirds fail.

    So roughly one third of all blastocysts die before implantation, one third after implantation and a third survive to delivery.

    The mother’s uterus isn’t the arbiter of potentiality, the individuated organism called the blastocyst is – and it’s forerunner: the singled cell fertilised ovum.

  36. Rabz

    Noticed this little gem from Dalrymple over on the jan caro thread:

    One of the things that makes islam (or, more accurately, islamism) attractive to young westernised muslim men is the opportunity it gives them to dominate women.

    In a nutshell. There is no other reason.

  37. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    The mother’s uterus isn’t the arbiter of potentiality, the individuated organism called the blastocyst is – and it’s forerunner: the singled cell fertilised ovum.

    The uterus will allow to develop (by providing a satisfactory place for) those whom it wishes to develop, James (I’m putting an ‘agency’ in here I know; but religious people put ‘agency’ in also, restricting it entirely to something ‘inherent’ in the blastocyst). The uterus is not ‘uninvolved’. The uterus, and the women who owns it, is in partnership with the zygote/embryo.

    A philosophy that excludes the woman and her body from the occasion just doesn’t ring true to me. Perhaps that is why I find surrogacy in motherhood (transfer of another woman’s fertilised egg) such a difficult thing.

    When you are a woman there is another way of experiencing and thinking about conception to that of men.

  38. JamesK

    The uterus will allow to develop (by providing a satisfactory place for) those whom it wishes to develop, James (I’m putting an ‘agency’ in here I know; but religious people put ‘agency’ in also, restricting it entirely to something ‘inherent’ in the blastocyst). The uterus is not ‘uninvolved’. The uterus, and the women who owns it, is in partnership with the zygote/embryo.

    Forgive the irony but they are just motherhood statements Lizzie.

    Gestation occurs in the mother’s womb and that is as it should be and it’s magical time for mums.

    But as an abstraction, blastocysts can and do grow in a man-made medium up to a point.

    And it’s not beyond unimaginable that the embryo/blastoccyst could develop for much longer by artificial means – possibly even to maturity – a womb/placenta could be fed by an artifical heart pump in the laboratory the way Vice-President Dick Cheney was kept alive for nearly a year before his successful heart transplant.

    There is much research in this area.

    For that gestating human though it makes not a jot of difference as to whether it is individuated or not because it already is.

    In other words, the womb is utterly irrelevant as to question of whether the embryo is an individuated or not.

    Now if your argument is that the mother has the right to kill that individuated human being because it’s her womb and it’s not her fault that individuated human being can’t survive without it then go ahead and make that argument.

    Just don’t pretend that the uterus magically bestows rights on the blastocyst because it clearly doesn’t.

    It follows the mother wouldn’t have the moral right to kill the blastocyst after implantation but could magically (and guilt-free) pre-implantation

  39. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    It follows the mother wouldn’t have the moral right to kill the blastocyst after implantation but could magically (and guilt-free) pre-implantation

    I think that is exactly what most women do feel, James. Once we are pregnant, then full moral issues arise. Before that, it is shady territory, full of all sorts of ambiguities, and that is why it is such a contested arena. Nor have we any wish to be defined out of our own being through the development of artificial uteri. Reproduction will always be amenable to interventions and inhuman fantasies about the denial of parenthood and the dismissal of motherhood. Where one draws the line at intervention matters, and I draw it at implantation.

    Theologians can theologise about blastocysts, but women deal in pregnancies that have some chance of turning into babies.

    To call that a ‘motherhood’ statement is rather understating the case.

  40. JamesK

    I think that is exactly what most women do feel, James

    ‘Feelings’ are irrelevant to ethics and morality Lizzie.

    Feeling and intention dominate over results and consequential thinking.

    Feelings are not just an inadequate guide to ethical behaviour, they are a misleading and corrupting guide to behaviour.

    Leftism as an ideology depends on feelings as a guide.

    But women have no more excuse than men in that regard.

  41. ‘Feelings’ are irrelevant to ethics and morality Lizzie.

    Especially the feelings of women, as far as most religions are concerned.

  42. dover_beach

    Jarrah:

    That brains are separable from bodies, and that therefore the mind (which resides in the brain) doesn’t require the body, and that therefore personhood doesn’t require the whole organism. I would have thought that was obvious, given our discussion.

    Except that there was never any ‘isolation’ of the brain. There was never a single example where the brain was isolated and yet retained personhood. There was no example of a brain developing personhood isolated from the component parts of an organic or artificial body.

    Yes, but that’s about your limit. You don’t know about DNA mutations, you don’t know about brain isolation or head transplants, you don’t know about brain development (zygotes are wilful intellectuals, according to you!), you don’t know about fetus in fetu, you don’t know about anencephaly, you don’t know about monozygotic twinning. That would all be fine, except when these are brought up to counter your arguments that derive from medieval understandings about biology, you misunderstand them or ignore them.

    I never said “zygotes are wilful intellectuals”, I said they enjoyed the powers of intellect and will. They do, in precisely the sense in which infants enjoy the power of locomotion. As for fetus in fetu, anencephaly, or twinning, I am aware of these, I’m just not sure of their relevance to the issue of abortion. You seem to think they are some sort of talisman for reasons unknown. BTW, I’m not sure what any of those has to do with any medieval understanding of biology since each of them falls within the period before the so-called ‘quickening’ and since I’m not promoting any such understanding your claim seems off-point.

    Dover’s potentiality argument relies on contingent conditions for actualisation. I simply pointed out that the same applies to sperm. Strictly speaking, this is correct. I acknowledge his argument takes as a starting point the individuated human organism, but from a potentiality perspective, that’s arbitrary. I don’t hound him on it because I think it’s a philosophical dead end.

    Not at all. That would be like saying that, since a comatose person, who cannot, until he wakens (contingent condition), actualize person-hood, should not be considered a person. But if it is enough that s/he be a potential person, that is something that at some future time can actually exhibit the powers of intellect and will, then you have allowed potentiality through the door, and then you can have no principled reason to deny potential personhood to the zygote or fetus. The contingent conditions here are really no different to those to which the same organism is subject to at later stages of maturity anyway; namely, to the extent that intrinsic or extrinsic factors do not impede the natural development of that organism, then person-hood will ensue.

    An embryo can, given the right contingent conditions. The takedown of all potentiality arguments is that, given the right contingent conditions, so can basically every human cell. Thus ‘potential’ is a philosophical cul de sac.

    Absurd. Leaving aside the problematic use of ”potentiality’ here, the problem is that the embryo, zygote, or fetus is categorically different to a human cell that may potentially be fabricated so as to give rise to a human being. How so? It just is that individuated human organism that we all began as and whose DNA is identical to our own.

    Dover likes to pretend that the contingent conditions for embryonic development are merely natural fulfilment of latent capacities (hence his assertion that they’re wilful intellectuals, in essence if not actuality). Guess what – the inherent capacity of sperm is to fertilise ova. Therefore any argument based on potential can’t stop at the zygote.

    Of course they can. The sperm and ova are not an individuated human being. The potentiality we are speaking of relates to an actually existing individuated human organism. Above you are not speaking of the inherent capacity of such an individuated human organism at any of its developmental stages, but of the inherent capacities of sperm and ova that are destroyed during the process of fertilization.

    What do we value about people? Why do you love your partner, like your friends, admire your heroes? Because they have a complete human body? No. Any sane person will not love/like/admire someone any less because they are not a whole organism. If they lose a toe, a leg, your feelings won’t change.

    Why? Why do the toe and the leg not matter? Because the person you care about is not in the toe or the leg. They’re not in the eye or ear either, nor any bodily part… except one – the brain.

    Why? Because it is the brain that contains the mind, thoughts and feelings, hopes and dreams, a sense of self and a capacity to interact with other minds. THIS is what we care about, THIS is what has moral worth, THIS is what has rights.

    A mind gives personhood, nothing else. Without a mind, there is no YOU.

    Whoever said that personhood required a complete human body? No one. It certainly does require a body though. It certainly requires the requisite sensory organs that can engage in the ordeal of consciousness. It will certainly require other bodies with brains that reciprocally engage with that organism in such a way that they learn to interact and communicate with each other. And so on. BTW, I notice above the very casual slip from mind to brain as that thing which is the locus of moral worth. But given that the brain is only potentially the organ that will contain the mind – unless you’re saying that the mind appears coevally with the brain – and this can only depend on contingent conditions not supervening, then why have you spent so much time above pretending that potentiality is a ‘cul-de-sac’ and ‘dead-end’ when you are employing it here in your own argument?

    N.B. I’m happy enough to continue only the last section of the argument from herein given how long this comment has become.

  43. dover_beach

    sfb:

    So, tell us it means, exactly, in the following situations: a near full term pregnancy ends in miscarriage. Surviving soul or not?

    Person born with severe intellectual disability, never exhibits much in the way of rationality at all: surviving soul or not?

    A smart person suffers severe brain damage and lives out the last 5 years in a substantially vegetative state: what does that mean for a soul?

    The rational soul survives in each instance.

    The point of my argument is not to say that the idea of after life survival is false; it’s to get you to admit that you and Aristotle and Feser did not have everything worked out on metaphysical matters.

    So you were just bleating.

  44. Jarrah

    “A philosophy that excludes the woman and her body from the occasion just doesn’t ring true to me.”

    Well said, Lizzie.

  45. JamesK

    Well said, Lizzie.

    Emotional and not actually true.

    Which is why a twit like Jarrah lurves it

  46. JamesK

    Especially the feelings of women, as far as most religions are concerned.

    Not just a mere fuckwit but a regularly gratuitous fuckwit.

  47. dover_beach

    Lizzie:

    The uterus provides the conditions for expression of potentiality

    I’m not sure what the point of your argument is, Lizzie. It’s certainly true that implantation is biologically important but I’m not sure why it is morally important. By this I mean, I’m not sure why destroying the zygote before implantation would be morally licit but not afterwards. It seems to me that the feelings of the mother to the zygote/fetus/ child are not the determinants of either’s moral worth or of her moral obligations towards either.

  48. dover_beach

    A philosophy that excludes the woman and her body from the occasion just doesn’t ring true to me.

    I agree. But a woman and her body are not excluded from the occasion by the philosophy in question.

  49. wreckage

    Once we are pregnant, then full moral issues arise. Before that, it is shady territory, full of all sorts of ambiguities, and that is why it is such a contested arena.

    That’s a perfectly reasonable statement.

  50. wreckage

    Jarrah, as a side issue, we certainly do consider human meat – dismembered, dead, or so on, to have some moral standing. Nobody would suggest using human embryos as cheap protein, for example. So you’re wrong to assert that there is zero issue in the absence of a mind. Comments?

  51. JamesK

    That’s a perfectly reasonable statement.

    It’s not based on ethics or morality but a feeling.

    So moral conduct based on feelings is now “reasonable”, wreckage?

  52. dover_beach

    Yes, I’d like wreckage to explain what he thinks is its reasonableness too. For instance, I’d like to know what ‘partial’ moral issues are as opposed to a ‘full’ ones; a statement confounded by the use of ‘shady’ and ‘ambiguous’ qualifiers in the next sentence. Or why implantation and not conception is morally significant. Neither seems to be morally significant so far as the feelings of a large number of mothers is concerned, given abortion after implantation, so why here? Given these differences in ‘feelings’, I don’t think feelings are going to answer such questions, only reasons can.

  53. Jarrah

    “There was never a single example where the brain was isolated and yet retained personhood.”

    Probably because they didn’t use human brains. Did you even read the material??

    “There was no example of a brain developing personhood isolated from the component parts of an organic or artificial body.”

    So just because the physical experiment is impossible to get past ethics boards, the thought experiment doesn’t apply? You’re straying into an ontological minefield.

    “As for fetus in fetu, anencephaly, or twinning, I am aware of these, I’m just not sure of their relevance to the issue of abortion.”

    Fetus in fetu and anencephaly provide concrete examples of humanity without personhood, thus destroying your insistence that one requires the other. Feel free to explore this issue.

    “That would be like saying that, since a comatose person, who cannot, until he wakens (contingent condition), actualize person-hood, should not be considered a person.”

    No, it wouldn’t. You are placing talismanic importance on actualisation, for reasons unknown.

    “to the extent that intrinsic or extrinsic factors do not impede the natural development of that organism, then person-hood will ensue.”

    Precisely my point – if x doesn’t occur, then personhood doesn’t either. That you elevate certain circumstances above others is arbitrary. Once this line of argument is accepted, there’s no logical end to it.

    “How so? It just is that individuated human organism that we all began as and whose DNA is identical to our own.”

    Actually, it’s not. You acquire mutations through cell division after fertilisation. Identical? No. Very, very, very similar? Yes. But that is a minor point, from my perspective.

    “The potentiality we are speaking of relates to an actually existing individuated human organism.”

    Except you have no reason, through the potentiality argument, to stop at the individuated human organism.

    “Whoever said that personhood required a complete human body? No one. It certainly does require a body though. It certainly requires the requisite sensory organs that can engage in the ordeal of consciousness.”

    In that case, you believe that the brain plus a minimum level of environmental awareness equals consciousness. A scrap of skin with pressure sensors is apparently enough!

    What if we have electrode feeding sensory information in place of natural senses? Your requirements are met (and you still haven’t articulated why they are necessary, but whatever), but my minimum of a functioning brain remains intact.

    “unless you’re saying that the mind appears coevally with the brain”

    That’s exactly what I’m saying.

  54. Jarrah

    “Jarrah, as a side issue, we certainly do consider human meat – dismembered, dead, or so on, to have some moral standing. Nobody would suggest using human embryos as cheap protein, for example. ”

    You’re confusing the disgust instinct with an acknowledgement of moral standing.

  55. wreckage

    You’re assuming there is no overlap between disgust and morality, and mistaking disgust for an instinct. It’s largely cultural.

  56. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    It’s certainly true that implantation is biologically important but I’m not sure why it is morally important.

    Because a human pregnancy has started, with its full social and moral significance. A child is a possible result. I do have respect for life and its struggle for continuance, and once life has got as far as clinging to a uterus, that’s good enough for me to be very respectful.

    My respect for life also means I respect not fooling around with it in ways that show disrespect for things quintessentially human, like motherhood and fatherhood, and creating advanced embryos ex-utero from blastocysts, although I support IVF for married heterosexual couples (my views on same-sex marriage are well known here). I believe too that morality is very much concerned with feelings and emotions and that it is a cheap shot to bring ‘leftism’ into the discussion of these. Human emotions, including religous ones, are at the very core of our humanity. Reason alone has many blind alleys and some of them are well demonstrated on this thread.

    I base my morality on what I observe and what I have experienced and what I feel, which all strongly contribute to what I reason to be right and good. That my resultant ‘intuitions’ may not concur with Roman Catholic Church doctrine about blastocysts is not my concern, but yours. I still think life is an inexplicable miracle, and that the extraordinary experience of pregnancy is something no man can ever fully comprehend, so much so that many see it as secondary and unimportant. Pregnancy is a moral state, and cannot be argued away as some sort of ‘carrier’ condition alone.

  57. JamesK

    I base my morality on what I observe and what I have experienced and what I feel, which all strongly contribute to what I reason to be right and good

    You feel it to be right and then you reason it to be right (or wrong)?

    No.No.No.No.No.No.Nooooo, Lizzie!!!!

    You have correctly identified this as a moral issue and then championed how you feel as a guiding light.

    Rationalising what you feel is presumably only to feel better how you already feel.

    It’s a recipe for disaster

    Aquinas said that our nature invariably dictates “good is to be done and pursued and evil is to be avoided” but our feelings are unreliable as a guide (what feels good is often not good) and therefore we must use practical reason, in order to discover precepts of the Natural Law (or the true good).

  58. wreckage

    Aquinas said that our nature invariably dictates “good is to be done and pursued and evil is to be avoided” but our feelings are unreliable as a guide (what feels good is often not good) and therefore we must use practical reason, in order to discover precepts of the Natural Law (or the true good).

    Sam Harris agrees, at least in part. Odd, no?

    But feelings and social matters do matter to morality!

  59. JamesK

    Sam Harris agrees, at least in part. Odd, no?

    But feelings and social matters do matter to morality!

    1. You haven’t answered the question I put to your last unsupported assertion, wreckage

    2. So what if Sam Harris agrees and what is so odd about agreeing with what is patently true?

    3. What’s with the exclamation mark?

  60. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    No.No.No.No.No.No.Nooooo, Lizzie!!!!

    I am sad to offend you, James, and appear so ‘wrong-headed’ (Just an emotional woman, though? Or is that too ‘below the belt’, as it were?). I know also Dover that we have discussed how in medieval theology there were no arguments about angels on the head of a pin. (Cynically, I might say that they just exist today about blastocysts and I know that will horrify you because it strikes at some core of your feelings about what is sacred, your reasoning, as you would claim, so I apologise for offending them both). But your theology is not satisfactory for me, handed out presumptively through ‘thought’ alone.

    It is not a question of something ‘anterior’, James, of putting carts before horses etc. One makes a judgement on the basis of what one knows, which includes one’s emotions and feelings. This is not ‘rationalising’ what you feel. It is allowing that you do feel and recognising that the fact that you do feel has some significance. This you then need to analyse in its full social, cultural and moral significance in the light of what we know of human evolution, of human capacities, and of experiential ‘truths’. Given that we must respond to our own self-interrogation, why should ‘practical reason’ exclude emotions in the consideration of moral actions and purpose? I do not believe that it can and I do not believe that morality can be reduced to a simple search for ‘natural law’.

    our feelings are unreliable as a guide (what feels good is often not good)

    And what ‘reasons well’ is often not good, too. Depends who is doing the ‘reasoning’ and for what purpose. Boiling people in oil once reasoned well to some.

    Seeking ‘natural law’ is well and good, but it is not the only way to a moral framework nor indeed to a personal understanding of and reverence for the human condition in all of its mystery. In many ways it is a spectacularly ‘Western’ religious approach to the issues (not surprising given the context within which Aquinas was writing) and also one that seeks ‘authoritative’ guidance (again, not surprising) rather than a personal awareness of something greater than one’s own understanding and thus inexplicable (in my book, anyway).

    I do not at all expect you to agree with me: how could you, given your premises? So I won’t continue this discussion. Feel free to discuss between yourselves and with others how feeble is my mind and my thinking. (No, that is unfair to you; I like and respect you both too much to throw such femi-nasties and the issue is not one of gender at all. :) )

  61. JamesK

    I am sad to offend you, James,

    You would never offend me Lizzie.

    My premise is that emotions/feelings are niot just a wholly unreliable guide for morality but potentially a hugely negative one.

    I didn’t just leave it as a mindless assertion but made the case.

    But there is nothing inherently bad or good about feelings.

    Emotions energise us for good or ill.

    Emotion is the Life Force exuberant.

    Practical and theoretical reason (and/or prayer and meditation) are the true guides of right and wrong.

  62. candy

    Babies bond with their mother in pregnancy and the separation could be a bit cruel perhaps. I wonder if there is some confusing imprint on their pscyhe, their soul and also knowing they wouldn’t have had life without a cash transaction to a gestational carrier.
    Perhaps it means nothing in the scheme of things but.

  63. .

    This thread is pointless.

    The marriage thread has a point, but no one cares.

    How can you “debate” religion. It’s like debating if Swans or Collingwood are better.

    Either they are all shit or they are all shit bar one. You are not going to persuade someone into giving up a belief set, such as Geelong is a lovely place with a worthwhile football team to follow.

  64. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Candy, I agree, surrogacy is a very disturbing moral trend in our society. It is terrible for women.

    Thanks too, sweet James.

    ps. Doomlord, pray please, can we have a new thread for Religion now? This one is taking forever to load. As we know, religion is forever, but thread loading should not be. :)

  65. JamesK

    You are not going to persuade someone into giving up a belief set, such as Geelong is a lovely place with a worthwhile football team to follow.

    So in the flea’s brain ‘belief’ that Geelong is a lovely place is equivalent to faith in God.

  66. .

    Talk to a Geelong supporter.

  67. .

    Ah James. Still making out you’re not a Christian but believing in the Christian religion and God is the greatest thing society can do.

    Yet you have the temerity to insult someone else’s intelligence.

    Fuck off.

  68. JamesK

    Talk to a Geelong supporter.

    I am a Geelong supporter but Geelong itself isn’t a lovely place imho.

    The Bellarine Peninsula however is.

  69. JamesK

    Ah James. Still making out you’re not a Christian

    I’m not “making out” anything flea.

    I’m not a Christian but I do believe/have-faith in God.

    We know the flea is a dunce but really that’s not overly difficult even for the twerps of this world.

  70. JamesK

    ps. Doomlord, pray please, can we have a new thread for Religion now? This one is taking forever to load. As we know, religion is forever, but thread loading should not be. :)

    The looney radical secularists on this thread would be praying for a new thread too Lizzie.

    They’ve been smashed to smithereens on this one and would be glad to see the back of it anew in order to try on the same bs all over again anew.

  71. .

    You’re a deist then.

    Clearly my comment stands – some bogan from Geelong (James K) has issued a fatwa against me.

  72. JamesK

    You’re a deist then.

    Not really.

    ‘Deist’ and ‘theist’ can be understood to mean different things so are functionally useless as precise terms unless defined at the beginning of an essay where the terms are used freaquently.

    I have an inner knowing of God or faith or belief.

    It requires discipline, time and effort.

    P’haps that’s why you find it all so difficult.

  73. .

    Which would mean, you are a Deist.

  74. ‘Deist’ and ‘theist’ can be understood to mean different things […] unless defined[.]

    you are a Deist.

    Come, let us define our terms, and then we may use the words with a fair degree of precision.
    A Theist believes in the existence of a god or gods, especially in a god or gods with whom human beings might have a personal relationship. A theist who believes in only one personal god is a monotheist.
    A Deist believes in the existence of a non-interventionist, creator god.
    If you can have a relationship with one god, and one god only, you’re a monotheist; if you believe, particularly on the basis of reason, that there must be a distant, supreme being you’re a deist.

  75. Adrien

    So do any of you ‘deists’, ‘theists’, orthodox followers of Whatever and ‘Satanic fellows of the Diabolical Teddy Bear’ actually have, like, ‘faith’? Or is it just what you write in the available box when filling out your visa application?

  76. I have an inner knowing of God or faith or belief.

    Sounds like he did peyote once and worked it all out.

  77. Adrien

    I am a Geelong supporter

    That so fully makes sense.

  78. JamesK

    liar-steve®:

    I have an inner knowing of God or faith or belief.

    Sounds like he did peyote once and worked it all out.

    My very next sentence:

    It requires discipline, time and effort.

    It’s not just liar-steve®’s inane idiocy but the combination with profound ignorance that sets this vulgar fabulist apart

  79. candy

    It’s not un-macho to say you believe in God, JamesK, it’s rather nice.

  80. JamesK

    It’s not un-macho to say you believe in God, JamesK, it’s rather nice.

    Thanks Candy you big sweetie.

    I used the other terms to differentiate my “belief” in God from the flea’s “belief set, such as Geelong is a lovely place with a worthwhile football team to follow”at 5 Mar 13 at 11:42 am”.

  81. Adrien

    I have an inner knowing

    You should get an operation.

    of God or faith or belief.

    Or fashion sense or music taste or opinions on the nuclear freeze or your conviction that Chuck Norris really is the best of the 80s Action Stars. Perhaps your preferred ice cream flavour. Perchance a touch of Small Time Napoleon Syndrome.

    In which case get some medication when you’re in hospital having your internal knowing removed.

  82. stackja

    Japanese dad dies sheltering daughter

    Okada was hunched over his daughter, cradling her in his arms and apparently using his body and a warehouse wall to provide shelter, the Yomiuri said.
    He had taken his jacket off to give to the child, a broadcaster said.
    Rescuers said she was weeping weakly in his arms, the paper said.
    The young girl was taken to hospital where she was found to have no serious injuries.
    Her father was officially pronounced dead by doctors at the same institution near their home at Yubetsu on Hokkaido.

  83. .

    I have an inner knowing of God or faith or belief.

    Sounds like he did peyote once and worked it all out.

    Even when you are trying to be rebellious, you’re a repressed, sexually obsessed square, Steve.

  84. Jarrah

    “You’re assuming there is no overlap between disgust and morality, and mistaking disgust for an instinct. It’s largely cultural.”

    Both fair points.

  85. Japanese dad dies sheltering daughter

    Filthy, immoral atheists.

  86. JamesK

    Filthy, immoral atheists.

    Have you been drinking again Yobbo?

  87. OK, I’ll move on from the “peyote” theory of JamesK’s inner knowledge of God to the “he’s a disciplined meditator” theory.

    Well I would, except meditation is supposed to lead to a calm, peaceful, compassionate and loving outlook on the world. Which are all antonyms for how James’ personality presents here.

    Of course, I suppose, one could say “you should have met before he took up meditation!”

  88. JamesK

    OK, I’ll move on from the “peyote” theory of JamesK’s inner knowledge of God to the “he’s a disciplined meditator” theory.

    Less than 4 hours later and he’s still an inane twit.

    News at 11.

  89. JamesK

    Inspirational story of humanity.

    Not your drinking Yobbo – the Japanese 54 yo widower father and fisherman who put his life on the line for his only daughter and sadly paid the ultimate price

  90. Where did that atheist fisherman get his morality from James?

  91. JamesK

    Where did that atheist fisherman get his morality from James?

    Not that the premise of question isn’t puerile but how you know he was an atheist, Yobbo?

  92. candy

    Yobbo it’s just what parents do – to protect their young

  93. But how do they know to do that without god telling them to?

  94. JamesK

    Because he is Japanese.

    That’s a non-sequitur.

  95. candy

    That’s a good question Yobbo I believe it is God and nature’s design. I didn’t want to say that ‘cos I know we think differently in this respect and I wanted to be respectful of that.

  96. candy

    sorry Mr Moderator mis-typed my email address again!

  97. James: Japan is the 2nd most atheist country in the world after China. Less than 10% of the country are religious believers.

    So there’s a 9/10 chance the guy described is an atheist.

  98. JamesK

    James: Japan is the 2nd most atheist country in the world after China. Less than 10% of the country are religious believers.

    So there’s a 9/10 chance the guy described is an atheist.

    Rubbish.

    Most Japanese are Shinto-Buddhists.

    They may have no personal religion in the western sense but that doesn’t mean they are overwhelmingly atheists.

    In fact in many ways the question of a personal God is meaningless or in a deeper sense unintelligible to them.

    Their own child has been their mother and father in at least one life.

    The primordial buddha ground-state consciousness or noumenon gives rise to the phenomenal universe of Samara and the life cycle.

    That primordial Buddha or Clear Light Ground of Being could be loosely likened to ‘God’ or ‘Heaven’ in Buddhist terms.

    When fully realised the only purpose of the personal soul to return to this existence is to bless other souls and help diminish their individual suffering (ie suffering for the souls of others as Christ did on the Cross – the fully realised don’t suffer except physical pain because they know attachment to the personal desire is the root of suffering and is a delusion – or in Christian terms: “Know the Truth and the Truth will set you free”)

  99. wreckage

    Ancestor worship is not theistic and therefore not religious.

    Well…. okay. I guess if Yobbo says so.

    d-b, I think I explained my point in brief later down the thread. If it’s not clear I will try to explain it a bit better. Basically: intuition and reason.

  100. Shinto is an animist religion, but most Japanese do not follow it. They attend Shinto temples, but they do so for cultural and traditional reasons rather than for worship.

    Buddhism is non-theistic.

    Most Japanese are not religious in any sense, despite describing themselves as Buddhist/Daoist/Shinto. The same goes for China and Taiwan. All 3 countries are majority atheist.

    It is entirely possible to be a Buddhist or Daoist and an atheist at the same time. And this accurately describes most people in China and Japan.

  101. .

    I thought Japanese even do the whole Christian wedding thing on top of all of that.

    My understanding is that Japanese see religion as basically a bit of fun and not their business – if there is an afterlife etc, it will work out as they are mostly decent people.

  102. They like western weddings with the white dress and all that. It’s quite fashionable in Japan now.

    There’s a big underground industry in pretend priests in Japan. Any westerner can claim to be a priest and perform wedding ceremonies.

  103. JamesK

    *yawn*

    The twits speak

  104. wreckage

    Yeah just observing that there’s a difference between atheist and strict materialist, whereas is the Western context they tend to be treated as the same thing.

  105. .

    James doesn’t like anyone who isn’t a Deist commenting about Christianity in non Christian countries. It’s bigotry! I tells ya!

    The poor dear.

  106. JamesK

    Pack mentality is strong among the twits

  107. Nuke Gray

    Candy, stay away from the yobboes! You want to be careful who you’re seen with, or talking to!

  108. Adrien

    Their own child has been their mother and father in at least one life.

    I’ll give you a hundred bucks if you can find ten Japanese people who believe that. I reckon you’re the new Bird Jimmmy. Do work in a factory?

  109. Adrien

    Speaking of which, and seeing how this is the religion post, I went to see Bird’s blog after being away and permanently banned for so long. Log on and it’s:

    If a Jewish lecturer starts lying to his students and implying that there is something called “space-time” ought we not arrest them?

    “Space-time” is a Jewish lie.

    Far out.

  110. http://www.gallup.com/poll/155003/hold-creationist-view-human-origins.aspx

    Only 5% of US republicans believe Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. 58% believe the human species is less than 10,000 years old.

  111. wreckage

    Creationists to the left of me, Marxists to the right, here I am – stuck in the middle with you.

  112. On ABCNews24’s coverage of the papal conclave, Dr Paul Collins—the ABC’s favourite former RC priest, and their first call for theological or religious expertise—explained that “Romans have seen 260 papal elections”!
    Even supposing that some remarkably long-lived Romans had seen all 110 papal elections, twenty-eight of them, including five in Perugia and five even farther away in Avignon, were held outside of Rome.

  113. Abu Chowdah

    Ah James. Still making out you’re not a Christian but believing in the Christian religion and God is the greatest thing society can do.
    Yet you have the temerity to insult someone else’s intelligence.
    Fuck off.

    James really is shit, isn’t he. Clearly a catholic but too chickenshit to admit it.

    Shit. Just… Shit.

    From now on he shall be known as shitman or C-man.

  114. JamesK

    James really is shit, isn’t he. Clearly a catholic but too chickenshit to admit it.

    Shit. Just… Shit.

    From now on he shall be known as shitman or C-man.

    Abudhabby-the-bigot is as turd-centric as liar-steve™

  115. Abu Chowdah

    Another lame riposte from C-man.

    Congrats on the new Pope, my catholic buddy.

  116. Nuke Gray

    Wreckage, by definition, Marxists would be to the left of a normal person, and Creationists seem to be conservatives, so you must be facing the wrong way. I suggest you turn around. Or, if even Marxists are to the right of you, you might be a hard-left sort of person, not suitable for these pages.

  117. jupes

    Why did God invent cancer?

    Doesn’t he love us?

  118. To help us get to heaven faster.

  119. Nuke Gray

    As I read in the book “Insights for the age of Aquarius”, Blessed shall be the translators, for they shall decide what is right. Amen!

  120. .

    If a Jewish lecturer starts lying to his students and implying that there is something called “space-time” ought we not arrest them?

    “Space-time” is a Jewish lie.

    Far out.

    Adrien

    I’m shocked and chagrined you didn’t use the CRM-114 discriminator on “Jimmy” and out him as Bird from the get go.

    I lapsed elsehwere yesterday as well. When he started dribbling about ‘da joos’ I knew it was Bird.

    I agree though, it is very, very, far out. We ought to lock up jewish teachers if they suggest space time exists. Okay. Because Bird has disproven relativity and thinks he can write a Christian New testament with “no Jewish roots”.

    Might be a bit hard to overcome stuff like “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them”.

  121. wreckage

    Well Dot, he also thinks Christianity is a hoax. No, a sophisticated counter-meme designed to nullify Judaism by making approximately 2,344,591,050 people worship a Jew and revere the Ten Commandments.

    Nuke, the cadence worked better with the original song. Did you know it was a parody? The original song, I mean.

  122. stackja

    The Gospel According to Saint Matthew

    28:5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
    28:6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

  123. nilk

    Amen, Stack. I’m listening to Bach’s St. Matthaus Passion. It’s got to be one of the most beautiful pieces written.

    Ever.

  124. Rudiau

    When Men Forsake God, Tyranny Always Follows
    By Chris Banescu

    The prophetic words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn resonate like thunder across the history of man.

    “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”

    Godlessness is always the first step to the concentration camp. Tragically, that same process is now at work in America and many other parts of the world. Too many refuse to see it or believe it.

    God and His moral laws have been progressively erased from our public and educational institutions, to be replaced with all manner of delusion, perversion, corruption, violence, decadence, and insanity.

    It is no coincidence that advocates and followers of Fascism, Nazism, and Communism — all secular, immoral, atheistic, and godless ideologies — enslaved and murdered the greatest number of people in the history of mankind. All produced some of the most cruel, violent, and evil tyrants this world has ever known — despots who persecuted their own citizens, slaughtered the innocent, destroyed their own people, and brought calamities to other nations. All subjugated the liberty and property of men to the absolute power and control of the state. All were enemies of God and blasphemers of His Holy Scriptures. All viciously persecuted the most devout and religious members of their societies, primarily the religious Christians and Jews who righteously and faithfully followed the Lord.

    This is the lesson the 20th century expended so much blood to teach us. It appears that without a marked change in course, the Western world is going to have to learn it again.

  125. Rudiau

    A view from the other side.

    The Fourth Devil
    By Paul Shlichta

    There’s an old legend about three devils that sounds like “The Apprentice.” The boss devil (whom you can easily imagine as Donald Trump) assigns to three junior tempters the task of increasing the traffic of damned souls into Hell.

    The first devil tries to persuade people that “there’s no God.” He gets a meager flow of rather tough souls and is “fired” — a term that has a very special meaning in Hell. The second tries suggesting that God is too nice to damn anybody: “there’s no Hell.” He gets a slightly larger catch of limp souls and is also “fired”. The third gets a flood of tasty damnees and wins his apprenticeship by whispering, “there is a God and there is a Hell and you’d better repent — tomorrow. There’s no hurry.”

    Using the same method C.S. Lewis alluded to at the beginning of The Screwtape Letters, I discovered that the legend is true but outdated. Recently, a fourth devil, who took the trouble to get an MBA at Harvard, has emerged as the brightest falling star in Hell. As he explained in his sales pitch to the boss devil: …

    continue

  126. Abu Chowdah

    Analysis of the bible. Each red arc links to a contradiction.

  127. wreckage

    There are atheist shoes? Are they as awful as those WWJD bracelets?

  128. stackja

    The Gospel According to Saint John

    20:26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
    20:27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
    20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God.
    20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

  129. Abu Chowdah

    blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

    Is blessed the right word for such behaviour?

  130. wreckage

    Blessed isn’t a word for behaviour.

  131. stackja

    Is blessed the right word for such behaviour?

    Blessed isn’t a word for behaviour.

    Behaviour based on true faith is blessed. Regardless of the outcome.

  132. Abu Chowdah

    Behaviour based on true faith is blessed. Regardless of the outcome.

    Well I’ll be blessed. If you say so. Me, I’m not so sure. A lot of people who died on September 11, 2001 might also disagree with you.

    Blessed isn’t a word for behaviour.

    So it was the wrong word, then.

  133. stackja

    Well I’ll be blessed. If you say so. Me, I’m not so sure. A lot of people who died on September 11, 2001 might also disagree with you.

    God alone knows at the moment. We may ask them later. When we meet.

  134. Abu Chowdah

    And you were so sure of yourself earlier. When did this self-doubt emerge?

  135. dover_beach

    Behaviour based on true faith is blessed. Regardless of the outcome.

    Well I’ll be blessed. If you say so. Me, I’m not so sure. A lot of people who died on September 11, 2001 might also disagree with you.

    You missed the qualifer, Abu.

  136. Abu Chowdah

    Haha, nice one Dover!

  137. dover_beach

    I know! But, look, the sense of ‘true’ I had in mind above was ‘genuine’. And given what you were arguing only this weekend, you yourself can recognize people of genuine faith that are easily distinguishable from men like Atta.

  138. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Some individuals I have know have suddenly ‘caught’ faith, rather like a virus.

    Why haven’t I caught ‘faith’? Genuine question.

  139. Abu Chowdah

    You’re more rational than most people, Lizzie. A stronger intellectual immune system at work there, lass.

  140. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Perhaps Abu. But the few I am thinking of were very rational intellectuals too. Something at some stage of their lives happened to their understanding and something called ‘faith’ went zing and locked in with no apparent precipitating factors apart from an epiphany. I am still waiting. :)

  141. Abu Chowdah

    Perhaps all the red wine over a lifetime ate away their resistance to foolishness?

  142. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Well, Abu, I am certainly getting fairly advanced in the red wine stakes but obviously not far enough along yet.

    Sinc – this thread is terminal. Religion thread Mark 2 would be welcome and eager others may return then. My computer baulks at loading this one now and has a frozen hissy fit at the size of the task. Explanation lies either in the limits of a three-year old computer in iterative overdrive or else a malign deity is exacting some revenge. Or both, I guess. (I am ever the agnostic). Lizzie.

  143. dover_beach

    I think you may be confusing rational for cynical, Abu.

  144. dover_beach

    Other way around.

  145. Jarrah

    “Something at some stage of their lives happened to their understanding and something called ‘faith’ went zing and locked in with no apparent precipitating factors apart from an epiphany.”

    Years ago I watched Denton’s documentary ‘God On My Side’. Every evangelical Christian he interviewed who had had one of those epiphanies – ie been ‘born again’ – had found faith whilst undergoing deep emotional or psychological trauma.

  146. Aliice

    I have not caught faith lizzie either and havent had that moment of epiphany except while watching a doco on the history of europe over milleniums and watching each layer of extinct life forms molecules and atoms etc end up in a layer of bedrock or perfectly preserved, sans life in things like amber, and suddenly thought

    whatever makes us think we are going anywhere except there?

    Agnostic too. There are just too many gods available in history and now to just choose one.
    I do have friends or at least one friend who is totally smitten though and attends a lot of masses and church meetings now. My own very religious cathloic grandmother gave it up, deeply disappointed, when it was the government and not the piest who came to tell her the oldest of four sons was shot down in WW2.

    To her irish mind, it was the priests job and the shock of him not being there to give that terrible news to her first was too much for her to cope with.

  147. dover_beach

    There are just too many gods available in history and now to just choose one.

    Ah, the one god further argument. Probably one of the worst ‘arguments’ going around.

  148. wreckage

    To her irish mind, it was the priests job and the shock of him not being there to give that terrible news to her first was too much for her to cope with.

    Did she realise that it was the government’s fault, not the priest’s?

    As for me; plenty of trauma, no epiphany. Although Ed Feser’s explanation of the nature of God within his formulation of “Classical Theism” was close.

    The Christians I know, probably due to cultural or historical blah blah blah, are all average or above-average intelligence, professionals and businessmen. I find it confusing when people try to take statistics drawn from illiterate urban and rural slums in the USA and apply them to Australia.

  149. Abu Chowdah

    Wow, Dover. Lame link. Embarrassing.

  150. dover_beach

    Wow, Dover. Lame link. Embarrassing.

    Abu, you need more than just bluster.

  151. .

    Years ago I watched Denton’s documentary ‘God On My Side’. Every evangelical Christian he interviewed who had had one of those epiphanies – ie been ‘born again’ – had found faith whilst undergoing deep emotional or psychological trauma.

    You expect people to find God when they’re rooting Penthouse models two at a time, coked up to the eyeballs, on a pile of $100 notes?

    Where do you expect people to find faith Jarrah? After they’ve done an MA on English lit?

    My own very religious cathloic grandmother gave it up, deeply disappointed, when it was the government and not the piest who came to tell her the oldest of four sons was shot down in WW2.

    You’re an idiot, Alice. The Catholic church doesn’t run the fucking RAAF.

  152. .

    Alice

    Remember this

    You are too stupid to be a concern troll. Now fuck off.

  153. Jarrah

    “Where do you expect people to find faith Jarrah?”

    Generally, it’s indoctrination as a child. That explains 95% or similar of religious faith.

    Interesting recent study found the type of god you believe in might be related to your mental health.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23572240?dopt=Abstract

    Belief in a punitive God was positively associated with four psychiatric symptoms, while belief in a benevolent God was negatively associated with four psychiatric symptoms, controlling for demographic characteristics, religiousness, and strength of belief in God. Belief in a deistic God and one’s overall belief in God were not significantly related to any psychiatric symptoms.

  154. Jarrah

    “Ah, the one god further argument. Probably one of the worst ‘arguments’ going around.”

    Vallicella argues from analogy. Unfortunately for him, the analogies fail. Philosophies and ideals have quantitative differences. We can’t know if gods do, because we can’t perceive or prove anything about them. They are all equal in this sense. Therefore any form of rejection of one god is going to be equally valid for any other god.

  155. dover_beach

    “Where do you expect people to find faith Jarrah?”

    Generally, it’s indoctrination as a child. That explains 95% or similar of religious faith.

    Let us ask the same question on a different topic:

    Where do you expect to find beliefs in atoms?

    Generally, it’s indoctrination as a child. That explains 95% or similar of beliefs about the form of matter.

    In other words, the vast majority of people’s views on a whole range of subjects simply reflect what they may have been taught as a child. What this has to do with the correctness of any particular belief is anyone’s guess.

  156. dover_beach

    Vallicella argues from analogy. Unfortunately for him, the analogies fail. Philosophies and ideals have quantitative differences. We can’t know if gods do, because we can’t perceive or prove anything about them.

    I’m not sure what difference you’re proposing here. There are clear philosophical differences between classical theism and theistic personalism or deism or polytheism, and so on. Why the reference to ‘quantitative’ differences? What quantitative difference is there between idealism, realism, or nominalism? And in what way is this difference absent from the varieties of theism above?

  157. Jarrah

    “In other words, the vast majority of people’s views on a whole range of subjects simply reflect what they may have been taught as a child.”

    Absolutely true.

    “What this has to do with the correctness of any particular belief is anyone’s guess.”

    Religion is alone in that it’s a belief immune from testing for correctness.

  158. nilk

    Apologies for mucking up the tags.

  159. Jarrah

    “There are clear philosophical differences between classical theism and theistic personalism or deism or polytheism, and so on.”

    You, Vallicella and I did not mention isms. The topic was gods. Which are imaginary beings, and all equally so.

  160. candy

    Faith is innate, not actually “caught”.

    Nilk,
    I found “I can only imagine” on your blog. It is a lovely song.

  161. dover_beach

    Religion is alone in that it’s a belief immune from testing for correctness.

    Really, people have never been persuaded by argument to convert, or to lose a particular religious belief or to return to one? That is just emprically false. Oh, and an argument similar to the one you have above with the qualification I just made couldn’t be leveled at philosphical or political beliefs?

    You, Vallicella and I did not mention isms. The topic was gods. Which are imaginary beings, and all equally so.

    And I suppose Democritus proposed the existence of atoms by not mentioning an ism; they were merely imaginary beings, and as equally imaginary as all previous conceptions of matter, according to you, anyone. Do you really imagine that MavPhil was talking about god or gods extricated from some metaphysical background? Incredible.

  162. Abu Chowdah

    Wow, Dover. Lame link. Embarrassing.
    Abu, you need more than just bluster.

    He reframes the point about your religion being x + 1, where x is a very large number indeed.

    Let’s be clear: the onus is on the believer to explain why x + 1 is more valid/credible/believable than x. It’s an impossible argument to make and hence the sophistry employed at the link.

    Embarrassing but not surprising. No believer can make the case.

  163. nilk

    Candy, while I find a lot of “christian” music to be wishy-washy, I do like that band. They are called MercyMe and have some really nice songs.

    Much better than a lot of the crap around these days.

  164. nilk @ 12 Apr 13 at 12:55 pm

    Beautiful!

  165. wreckage

    There are only about four deities in the history of religion that are in any way similar to the God of Christianity; most are superheroes without leotards.

    An infinite existence underpinning a rational universe is not characteristic of all gods ever; maybe the Zoroastrians, Judaism (whence derives Christianity and Islam) and the unnamed God that the Greek philosophers cooked up but nobody worshipped.

    So depending on the religious background of the individual theist or deist in our culture, there are at most two other similar beings they don’t believe in.

    Atheism in the West is specifically about disbelief in that category of being. Trying to argue that you also don’t believe in a bunch of things that in our culture are not even regarded as being in-principle divine does not lend weight to your argument.

    If the little tidbit of argument has meant “You can’t prove the existence of God” then it would have said that. Instead it makes a pointless attempt to generalise into a “rule” an idea that you’ve just said isn’t worth arguing.

    Hell, maybe you read it differently. Dover’s link is unrelated to your reading of it in that case.

  166. wreckage

    (And of course if you posit a common origin for Zoroastrianism and Judaism, or attribute the Greek philosopher’s God with the origins of monotheism in Judaism or vice versa, you’re down to 2… or even 1.)

  167. Abu Chowdah

    Atheism in the West is specifically about disbelief in that category of being. Trying to argue that you also don’t believe in a bunch of things that in our culture are not even regarded as being in-principle divine does not lend weight to your argument.

    “I don’t have to refute any other fictional deities because I only believe in my own deity and those others are all bullshit, unlike mine, who is totally real.”

    Right. Got it.

  168. wreckage

    Now you’re saying that to defend any religion I must defend all of them. So for example if I believed in some sort of divinity responsible for kicking off the Big Bang, I would also have to believe in Gaweeba, the Cupcake God, who sneaks into people’s houses at night and poops out cupcakes, whereby all cupcakes originate.

    And, extending the logic only a little further, your perfectly reasonable, indeed irrefutable argument that cupcakes simply don’t and can’t come into being via being squeezed out a butt-hole would constitute a thorough refutation of absolutely everything else you happened to not believe in.

  169. nilk

    Thanks, Grigory. :)

    And Abu, when it comes to atheism in the West, in my experience the eastern belief systems tend to be ignored, or rarely commented upon.

    It is christianity that comes in for the biggest kicking, with islam a very close second amongst atheists of my acquaintance.

    It’s only in specific anti-jihadi circles that I’ve found islam outweighs christianity for atheists, and again the Eastern religions are given little weight.

    Lots of people prefer to call themselves “spiritual”.

  170. Abu Chowdah

    Now you’re saying that to defend any religion I must defend all of them. So for example if I believed in some sort of divinity responsible for kicking off the Big Bang, I would also have to believe in Gaweeba, the Cupcake God, who sneaks into people’s houses at night and poops out cupcakes, whereby all cupcakes originate.

    To put it simply, you need to convince me that your man made mythology is less risible than someone else’s man made mythology.

    The fact that you consider all other mythologies risible is hypocritical icing on the cake.

    Of course, you don’t literally need to convince me of anything. Believe what you want – I just find the hypocrisy amusing. If, however, your objective is to convince an atheist that your creed deserves special respect, then you have some work cut out for you.

  171. Fisky

    Now you’re saying that to defend any religion I must defend all of them. So for example if I believed in some sort of divinity responsible for kicking off the Big Bang, I would also have to believe in Gaweeba, the Cupcake God, who sneaks into people’s houses at night and poops out cupcakes, whereby all cupcakes originate.

    I know lots of people who are animists or adherents of folk religion, who believe in all kinds of superstitious things, earth gods and what have you. Why should their beliefs be any less valid than yours?

  172. wreckage

    If, however, your objective is to convince an atheist that your creed deserves special respect

    No, rest assured, not my intent.

  173. wreckage

    Why should their beliefs be any less valid than yours?

    Again, you seem to be saying that I must believe everything if I fail to disbelieve everything that you disbelieve; which was exactly my objection.

    I just find the hypocrisy amusing.

    What hypocrisy? You are arguing that everything you don’t believe is equally risible. Moreover you’re arguing that any single thing you don’t believe in is logically and irrefutably as foolish as anything else you don’t believe in. And now if a person believes any one thing but not any one other it’s hypocrisy?

    I’m sorry, but you are being absurd; not because of what you believe or don’t, but just because you’re being absurd. And if you think you don’t believe a single false thing then you’re deluded as well. After all, any false belief is risible, right?

    Or only false beliefs that other people have on other subjects than interest you. I suppose since we’re being fairly liberal with the word “hypocrisy” I should throw it back at ya…

  174. hzhousewife

    Thanks nilk for the mercyme tip. I like Mumford & Sons a lot. I like the ABC’s program “The Rythym Devine” too, it has introduced me to music I never would seek out for myself, and which I enjoy a great deal, and I am not at all religious. I will be very sorry when the ABC is deleted, because aside from its political bias, it really does offer me personally a lot of pleasure.

  175. hzhousewife

    sorry can’t spell rhythm, two glasses of wine listening to that Marr man will do it to ya !

  176. Abu Chowdah

    No, rest assured, not my intent.

    Okay, conversation over.

  177. Abu Chowdah

    Why should their beliefs be any less valid than yours?
    Again, you seem to be saying that I must believe everything if I fail to disbelieve everything that you disbelieve; which was exactly my objection.
    I just find the hypocrisy amusing.
    What hypocrisy? You are arguing that everything you don’t believe is equally risible. Moreover you’re arguing that any single thing you don’t believe in is logically and irrefutably as foolish as anything else you don’t believe in. And now if a person believes any one thing but not any one other it’s hypocrisy?
    I’m sorry, but you are being absurd; not because of what you believe or don’t, but just because you’re being absurd. And if you think you don’t believe a single false thing then you’re deluded as well. After all, any false belief is risible, right?
    Or only false beliefs that other people have on other subjects than interest you. I suppose since we’re being fairly liberal with the word “hypocrisy” I should throw it back at ya…

    I thought you bowed out?

  178. wreckage

    I’m notoriously inconsistent like that, Abu.

  179. wreckage

    No, rest assured, not my intent.

    Wait, you thought that was bowing out? No. The non/existence of Cheewub has no bearing on the non/existence of Jesus, nor vice-versa. No “special respect” is required.

    Look, the “one god less” meme may be marvelous fun at big Atheist get-togethers, and be a delight and affirmation to the non-believer, but it’s no more a good argument than a rousing chorus of “Onwards Christian Soldiers” is.

  180. Abu Chowdah

    Well, here we are. And yes it’s not an argument. (And no I have no idea what goes on at atheist conventions – probably as tiresome as an Antioch weekend).

    So, I agree it’s not an argument, just an observation. Interesting though that it provokes so many straw men, as in the link which heralded my renewed interest.

    Night, night.

  181. nilk

    For catholics in Brissie.


    Congregation of the Oratory in formation to be established within Brisbane by 2016

    For the last two years, a new initiative for the Church in Australia has been quietly and slowly developing behind the scenes. It has now reached a significant early milestone with this first public announcement released today.

    With the permission and support of Archbishop Mark Coleridge, a Congregation of the Oratory in formation is to be established within the Archdiocese of Brisbane by early 2016 and perhaps earlier during 2015.

    The Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri is a “Society of Apostolic life” founded under the guidance of the Confederation of the Oratory (based in Rome) and with the permission of the local Ordinary. An Oratory provides an opportunity for priests to live their vocation in a more structured community than is typically experienced by diocesan priests, but with more flexibility than a religious order. Above all, it is a community of charity in the spirit of St. Philip Neri, the “joyful saint”.

    Something to look forward to. :)

  182. Metropole

    Having been continuously developed by man over several millennia of civilised life, religions have come to reflect many dimensions of the human condition – wisdom, meanness, morality, ignorance, love, bigotry. Let’s preserve the good and discard the bad. Modern science has well and truly trounced all religions as a source of knowledge and truth, but it cannot decide what is right. The moral sense has mysterious origins in the depths of our being. But one thing is sure: sound moral calculations require sound epistemological ones.

  183. wreckage

    Wel Abu we’re in roughly 60% agreement; so that’s close enough for government work.

    I’d say science is the best way of coming to sound conclusions based on observable data concerning material phenomena. As such it is useful when discussing morality as well; sometimes material outcomes are the deciding factor.

  184. stackja

    But one thing is sure: sound moral calculations require sound epistemological ones.

    God alone knows.

    Alfred Lord Tennyson – “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.”

  185. stackja

    George Beverly Shea, Billy Graham’s Singer, Dies at 104

  186. jupes

    CL posted this on the NoDIS thread:

    As I had occasion to mention here once before, Morris West wrote a book called the Clowns of God . Jesus returned to earth, some accepted Him, some didn’t. Jesus is at a school for children with Down syndrome when, as He holds a little girl, He says:

    ‘I know what you are thinking. You need a sign. What better one could I give but to make this little one whole and new? I could do it, but I will not. I am the Lord and not a conjurer. I gave this mite a gift I denied to all of you — eternal innocence. To you she looks imperfect — but to me she is flawless, like the bud that dies unopened or the fledgling that falls from the nest to be devoured by ants. She will never offend me, as all of you have done. She will never pervert or destroy the work of my Father’s hands. She is necessary to you. She will evoke the kindness that will keep you human. Her infirmity will prompt you to gratitude for your own good fortune … More! She will remind you every day that I am who I am, that my ways are not yours, and that the smallest dust mite whirled in the darkest spaces does not fall out of my hand … I have chosen you. You have not chosen me. This little one is my sign to you. Treasure her!’ “

    Hmmmm. OK. Apart from the contradictory statement about ‘your own good fortune’ that explains Downs Syndrome. But how would Jesus explain the many other inventions of God such as:

    Hair lip?
    Colon cancer?
    Skin cancer?
    Leukemia?
    Spina Bifida?
    Multiple Sclerosis?
    Siamese twins?
    Leprosy?
    Death itself?

  187. jrm

    Religion is alone in that it’s a belief immune from testing for correctness.

    No it’s not alone. Atheism is at least as much of a faith position as theism.

  188. jrm

    But how would Jesus explain the many other inventions of God …

    What makes you think disorders are inventions of God?

  189. dover_beach

    Apart from the contradictory statement about ‘your own good fortune’

    Nothing contradictory.

    that explains Downs Syndrome. But how would Jesus explain the many other inventions of God such as:…Death itself?

    Really? Ever heard of eternal life? So internal inconsistency isn’t going to work, jupes.

  190. nilk, Iron Bogan

    Question for the catholics here – can anyone point me to a recent ruling on the compatibility (or lack thereof) of catholicism and freemasonry? I’ve a mate who considers himself Trad Catholic, yet he’s also a mason.

    I’ve told him it’s near enough to instant self-excommunication, but he swears blind that the ruling against catholics being masons was lifted back in the 90s.

    I found this from 1985 but nothing later so far.

  191. jupes

    What makes you think disorders are inventions of God?

    God created everything. Diseases exist, therefore God must have created them. If he didn’t who did?

    Nothing contradictory.

    On the one hand he is saying the downs syndrome child is ‘perfect’, on the other hand he is saying that people without downs syndrome have ‘good fortune’. That’s contradictory.

    Ever heard of eternal life?

    Well yes. But not on Earth. I mean after all, didn’t Jesus die for our sins?

    God invented death on Earth. What a horrible thing to do.

  192. jrm

    If he didn’t who did?

    Have you heard of genetic entropy?

  193. David

    nilk I am not a Catholic but certainly a Freemason. Several members of the Lodge I belong to are practicing Catholics and we recently had a Catholic Priest address a Masonic function on charitable works they were involved in. Doesn’t answer your question directly but it would seem that the old anti-Masonic bit with the Catholic Church has gone down the gurgler. The original problem was, I believe, that in the 18th Century many of the most strident critics of the refusal of the Catholic Church to accept or acknowledge the principles of The Age of Enlightenment were Masons.

  194. nilk, Iron Bogan

    Thanks, David.

    I know that there are Catholics who consider themselves Masons but either don’t know or don’t agree that it is forbidden by the Church.

    There are also plenty of Catholics who disagree with the celibate orders, so there’s a lot of ignorance out there.

    I was wondering if anyone could point me to a specific document from the Vatican that lifted the ban on being a Mason.

  195. dover_beach

    Well yes. But not on Earth. I mean after all, didn’t Jesus die for our sins?

    God invented death on Earth. What a horrible thing to do.

    What a silly set of statements; you should have stopped at “well yes”, rather than saying yes and then in so many words concluding, no.

  196. jupes

    What a silly set of statements; you should have stopped at “well yes”, rather than saying yes and then in so many words concluding, no.

    Well no, I mean yes.

    Those statements certainly are silly. But that is what Christians believe.

  197. dover_beach

    No, those statements are not what Christians think. You granted that human beings were immortal, so far as Christianity is concerned, and than said, but God invented death on earth, which, so far as Christianity is concerned only means the physical death of the body, not the death of the person. I’m not sure why anyone should think this horrible?

  198. jupes

    I’m not sure why anyone should think this horrible?

    LOL.

    So you think murder shouldn’t be punished?

  199. dover_beach

    LOL.

    So you think murder shouldn’t be punished?

    Another silly statement.

  200. jupes

    … death on earth, which, so far as Christianity is concerned only means the physical death of the body, not the death of the person. I’m not sure why anyone should think this horrible?

    Ok dover, I think it’s horrible because I quite enjoy my life here and don’t want it to end. And I’m not alone in this. All societies – even those that believe in heaven – have penalties for bringing life to a premature end. I’m willing to bet that even you aren’t too keen for your life to end here either.

    Despite this you state that you can’t see why death is horrible. But if you really believed that death wasn’t horrible, then surely murder would be of no consequence and certainly not a crime. Hence my comment.

    What is silly is the way you have to tie yourself in knots to justify how the being that invented death and disease actually loves us. How can inflicting death and disease upon us be an act of love FFS?

  201. dover_beach

    jupes, if anyone is tying themselves in knots it is yourself. It doesn’t follow, given the Christian view, that since the soul persists even following death that murder would be of no consequence. Your statement that since death is not the end, it follows that murder is not then a wrong, is just silly on its face. It would be like arguing that since sleep is perfectly natural, it follows that slipping someone a roofie is not a wrong either.

    to justify how the being that invented death and disease actually loves us. How can inflicting death and disease upon us be an act of love FFS?

    Neither requires justification. They must be experienced by all living beings that are composites of form and matter. If you like feeling the warmth of the sun on your face, the bitter taste of an ale, and so on, you have also to experience disease and death.

  202. jupes

    If you like feeling the warmth of the sun on your face, the bitter taste of an ale, and so on, you have also to experience disease and death.

    Utter, utter rubbish. Why FFS? Read that quote again.

    If that was true, then that’s only because God made it that way. What sort of a sick, twisted mind could come up with rules like that?

  203. dover_beach

    You are right that God has indeed made it that way. In my the quote above, I wrongly asserted that the current situation persists, however, it doesn’t in the Christian view as the ‘world to come’ is in fact different. Here human beings will regain the composite form that was lost in death; however, it will be perfected. So, yes, disease and death are indeed contingently a part of this world but not of the ‘world to come’. But does this mean that the Being that created and sustains such a world is a “sick, twisted mind”? No, since firstly, according to the Christian view, death and disease entered the world through human disobedience, secondly, death and disease are neither the end nor the greatest part of human existence, and lastly, the life of the ‘world to come’ is open to all if they choose it. So, there is none of the internal inconsistency you claim.

  204. jupes

    You are right that God has indeed made it that way.

    So you are cool with God creating disease – all of them – and death. Way to love someone God. Imagine what he would create if he hated us. Maybe a place where people were kept in pain the equivalent to being burnt to death, for eternity … oh wait …

    … according to the Christian view, death and disease entered the world through human disobedience …

    Oh right. So I have to suffer malaria now because 10,000 years ago, someone who was a few hours old was fooled by a talking snake and ate an apple. Yea, that makes sense.

    … lastly, the life of the ‘world to come’ is open to all if they choose it.

    Or, to put it another way, if you aren’t really happy with God, who’s responsible for giving you lung cancer and killing members of your family while still young, then better show some gratitude or you will spend eternity in Hell.

    No worries dover, I’m really feeling the love of God now.

  205. jrm

    No, God didn’t create disease. He created everything “very good”.

  206. stackja

    Will ‘euthanasia’ die for a lack of ‘clients’?
    Abortion at the beginning and now the ‘elite’ want euthanasia towards the end and ‘ssmarriage in between. What next? Worship of trees, mountains, and the sky.
    Now is that ‘Greenism’?

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