“But Who Created God?” an Atheist Fallacy?

MazeThe Christian is challenged to explain the universe or the apparent design in life. They say that God created it, but then the atheist responds, “But who created God?

Christian response #1

The most popular Christian response is probably to attempt to invalidate the question by saying that God is uncreated by definition.

The answer is that [“Who created God?”] does not even make sense. It is like asking, “What does blue smell like?” Blue is not in the category of things that have a smell, so the question itself is flawed. In the same way, God is not in the category of things that are created or caused. God is uncaused and uncreated—He simply exists. (Source)

God by definition is the uncreated creator of the universe, so the question “Who created God?” is illogical, just like “To whom is the bachelor married?” (Source)

So have we somehow used a definition to create God? Or at least argue for his existence? Hold that thought, because that reminds me of a joke.

It seems that there was a dairy farmer with a large herd who wanted to improve milk production. He contacted the local university, and they assigned three professors to the project. After a month, they presented their work.

The psychologist showed how changing the wall color inside the milking parlor and playing soothing music relaxed the cows and improved milk production.

The mechanical engineer suggested improved pumps on the milking machines. Quicker turnaround meant more time eating in the fields.

The physicist was the final expert. He went to the blackboard, picked up some chalk, and drew a large circle. “Consider a spherical cow entirely filled with milk.”

Your reaction to the physicist is my reaction to the two quotes above. Sure, we can define God as “the uncreated creator of the universe,” but if that definition is supposed to be an argument for this God, then you’re as disconnected from reality as the physicist.

Don’t pretend that you can sit back with your arms crossed as if you’ve justified your position in any way. Your religion may say that God was uncreated, but that is no answer in the real world. If “Who created God?” exposes an unsupported part of your argument, then come back after you have justified the claim that God was uncreated. Make it a conclusion, not a presupposition.

Before you say that the Bible confirms that God is eternal (for example, “The hope of eternal life, which God . . . promised before the beginning of time,” Titus 1:2), remember that “the Bible says so” is theology, not evidence.

Response #2

Here’s an interesting angle:

As a logical refutation against God as creator and designer of the universe, the who created God question completely misrepresents philosophy of science. This is because, in order to recognize an explanation as the best, you do not have to be able to explain the explanation. In order to say that A caused B, you do not have to be able to explain where A came from. (Source)

So what are you saying? Are you admitting that you can’t explain where A (God) came from? If the ordinary questions (“Where did it come from?” or “How long has it been around?”) can’t be answered in an ordinary way, you don’t just assert that; you give evidence to justify it.

The typical response at this point is to argue that God is the unmoved First Mover or the necessary being required to create the first contingent being, but these philosophical approaches aren’t useful at the frontier of science. Science does have questions about the origin of the universe, but it has also answered many questions. Religion, by contrast, has taught us nothing about science.

Let’s return to that last source.

In order to say that A caused B, you do not have to be able to explain where A came from. For example if we came across a pit of ashes in a field, we would be justified in inferring that there was a fire, even if we had no idea whatsoever where the fire came from or what caused it.

Answer 1: Instead of a fire, I’d prefer to explain the ashes by a wizard. You’ll say, “But where did the wizard come from?” Sorry, that question is out of bounds and can’t be used to cast doubt on my explanation. Remember that you don’t need the explanation of the explanation.

Answer 2: I’ll accept fire as a reasonable explanation for ashes because fire is common and we know it creates ashes. Now tell me why I should find God’s actions in the world as familiar as those of fire.

Fires are common and unsurprising, but there is no good evidence for a supernatural anything (in particular, creators of universes). See the difference? Don’t draw a parallel between something common (fire) and something so uncommonly uncommon as to be nonexistent (God).

Response #3

A final response attempts to shore up the claim that God was uncreated. One Christian blog responded by saying that everyone says that the ultimate cause was uncaused and that if this challenge knocks down the Christian worldview, it knocks them all down. Atheists are living in glass houses when they demand justification for an uncaused beginning.

The problem, of course, is that there is no scientific consensus about the origin of the universe that says that it was uncaused. And when there is a consensus, it will be based on evidence.

Unlike how Christianity makes its conclusions about the questions of nature.

(See also: How Does the Kalam Cosmological Argument Suck? Let Me Count the Ways.”)

Science continues to replace
God-filled gaps in our understanding
with all-natural ingredients.
And since we don’t need God
to explain the existence of the nature of the universe,
 we don’t need God, period.
— Mitch Stokes, paraphrasing an atheist argument

Image credit: Tim Green, flickr, CC

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  • See Noevo

    “The typical response at this point is to argue that God is the unmoved First Mover or the necessary being required to create the first contingent being, but these philosophical approaches aren’t useful at the frontier of science.”

    So what? I mean, who the hell ever said philosophy was meant to be science?
    Not me.
    They’re two different things. Or haven’t you heard?

    But where is the *scientific proof* that science is the *only* valid means of understanding reality?

    • Herald Newman

      Not the only valid means, just the only one that we know of that is reliable. Come up with a more reliable method and I’ll use that one.

      • See Noevo

        Me: “But where is the *scientific proof* that science is the *only* valid means of understanding reality?”

        You: “Not the only valid means, just the only one that we know of
        that is reliable. Come up with a more reliable method and I’ll use that one.”

        Well, science is certainly not always reliable.
        Or aren’t you aware of scientific frauds,
        and the frequent overturning of long-held scientific “truths and “consensus, and the pathetic record of “peer-review”,
        and the out of control pandemic of publicized “science” studies that turn out to be UN-reproducible?

        But as to other methods of understanding reality, how about logic? And related philosophy?
        How about morality?
        Or even music, art, literature?

        • Pofarmer

          Or aren’t you aware of scientific frauds,

          And who exposes them?

          and the frequent overturning of long-held scientific “truths and “consensus,

          And yet we continuously see convergence on issues.

          ,i>and the pathetic record of “peer-review”

          And who disputes the record?

          how about logic

          Logic is fine as far as it goes, but it can’t check it’s own answers. See the paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise for an example.

          And related philosophy

          Ditto the above for philosophy. Philosophy is only as good as it’s premises, and the only way to check it’s premises is by induction, aka , the scientific method, otherwise philosophy is as likely to lead you down a rabbit hole as through the door of a correct answer.

          How about morality?
          Or even music, art, literature?

          These seem to be a complete category error.

        • See Noevo

          Me: “Or aren’t you aware of scientific frauds”

          You: “And who exposes them?”

          Oh, please, you, don’t try the old “But science is SELF-CORRECTING!”

          News flash: EVERY field is self-correcting, not just
          science. The truth will out EVERYWHERE.
          ………..
          Me: “and the frequent overturning of long-held scientific
          “truths and “consensus”

          You: “And yet we continuously see convergence on issues.”

          Until the convergence goes away. In the meantime, going
          along with the convergence pays well.
          ………..
          Me: “and the pathetic record of “peer-review””

          You: “And who disputes the record?”

          The embarrassed science community itself.
          You really need to get out more.
          ……………..
          Me: “how about logic”

          You: “Logic is fine as far as it goes, but it can’t check
          it’s own answers.”

          If that’s so, then I suppose neither can science.
          …..
          Me: “And related philosophy”

          You: “Ditto the above for philosophy.”

          If you want to insist that, say, an effect doesn’t need to
          have a cause, go ahead. It’s a free country.
          But please take your crap elsewhere.
          …………..
          Me: “How about morality? Or even music, art, literature?”

          You: “These seem to be a complete category error.”

          You seem to be a complete goner.

        • Michael Neville

          You not only hate the evolution you don’t understand, you hate science in general. Reality must be really frightening for you to hate it so much.

        • Jim Jones

          News flash: Any field that is self-correcting is based on and uses science. That’s why chemistry is scientific and astrology is not.

        • See Noevo

          Keep drinking the Kool-Aid, Jimbo. How warm is it in Guyana now?

        • Myna

          Flagged for being an unmitigated asshole.

        • MNb

          Relatively cold – the Guyana’s (I live in one of them) are at the beginning of one of the two wet seasons.

        • aikidaves

          News flash: EVERY field is self-correcting, not just science. The truth will out EVERYWHERE.

          If theology/religion is self-correcting, why are there over 4200 religions and tens of thousands of Christian sects in the world today? Shouldn’t they self-correct so that they converge, rather than diverge?

        • See Noevo

          Me: “News flash: EVERY field is self-correcting, not just
          science. The truth will out EVERYWHERE.”

          You: “If theology/religion is self-correcting, why are there
          over 4200 religions and tens of thousands of Christian sects in the world today? Shouldn’t they self-correct so that they converge, rather than diverge?”

          Now THAT is a rather refreshing question in this otherwise malodorous materialistic miasma of a blog!

          I thank you, aikidaves.

          Firstly, I was thinking generally of the trial & error
          process every human being in any field invariably engages in. You think you may be doing something right, find out eventually that it’s not, and try to learn from your mistake and then correct/improve. The fault finding can come from yourself or from others you work with or *from others you compete with*. One example of *that
          last bit* could be a historian who publishes a work, which other historians in the same particular field later find errors in. They publicly point out the errors to protect the integrity and reputation of their field of scholarship (and also to ding the standing of one of their competitors for the limelight).
          Another example, and a hot topic of late, could be major media outlets such as the Washington Post, MSNBC, etc. pushing fake news. Fairly quickly (but not quickly enough) the fake is exposed as such by others in the media (and, yes, with some possible help from those outside). Anyway, further examples are limitless.

          Secondly, getting a little closer to the point of your question, *some* fields are so big and complex that self-correction becomes
          problematic. Take for instance economics. I’ve heard it said, and I believe it, that if you get 10 economics PhDs in a room you’ll get 10 different opinions of the causes and solutions for this or that macro (or even micro) economic problem. For example, even today economists have conflicting interpretations/explanations of the causes of the Great Depression and particularly over whether the actions taken by the Federal government hindered or helped the economy’s recovery from it.

          But with theology/religion, you’re talking about subject
          matter infinitely bigger and more complex than, say, economics. You’re talking about more than the labyrinthine economy of a country or globe, you’re talking about ultimate reality, and the reason for and meaning of the universe and our lives.
          THE BIGGEST questions.

          So, not unexpectedly, self-correction (toward the truth) in
          theology/religion becomes problematic also. It’s problematic especially given the obvious fact that, if there be a God, He has not come down to earth and gotten in each and every person’s face and told him/her in an undeniable and uniform way what the truth is.
          I’ve sometimes wondered why Jesus didn’t come down to
          earth in a *blaze of glory* that was seen somehow by every person on earth. It would have been great PR and sure as hell would have made the conversion of sinners in all nations a lot easier.

          But instead He chose the *exact opposite* kind of entrée.
          And thirty three years later He *assigns the world-wide spread* of the Good News, the Gospel, to a small, rag-tag group of blue-collar workers in a tiny, obscure occupied land. (I swear you just can’t make this kind of stuff up!)

          But that’s the way He did it.

          His life and His Gospel and His plan for spreading that
          Gospel, were rather radical. Consequently, conflict with existing religions and belief systems would be expected. Some people would accept His truth, but many would not. Hence, the thousands of religions you noted.

          As to the tens of thousands of *Christian* sects, the story
          is not exactly the same, but it is similar.
          These sects *appear to accept* Jesus as their Lord, yet, remarkably, they do *not accept* the method by which their Lord chose to reveal His truth.
          That is, they don’t accept His Church (cf. Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 3:10; 1 Timothy 3:15).
          There’s only one way to be the one, true Church. But there are, as you say, “tens of thousands” of ways to *not* be the one, true Church.

          Earlier, I said “EVERY field is self-correcting, not just science.
          The truth will out EVERYWHERE.”
          But I didn’t specify WHEN the truth will out.
          In other less complicated fields, the timing of the exposure of errors and the outing of the truth tends to be near-term. In the biggest, most complex fields, like theology/religion, the timing can be much longer. But the truth WILL out, eventually.

          You’ll see.

        • aikidaves

          Funny you should mention economics. I have a degree in that field and have done a small (and unimportant) amount of original research in it. The issue in macroeconomics isn’t so much the complexity of it, but the difficulty in conducting controlled experiments. Economists agree on what the factors that influence the economy are, but it’s difficult to determine at any given time which ones predominate over the others. Everyone agrees that the trade wars started by the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, the tightening of credit caused by bank losses in the financial panics and bankruptcies, and the Keynesian contractions caused by major governments trying to balance their budgets in the face of major drops in revenue were all contributing factors, but in the absence of similar circumstances it is difficult to decide which of these is the predominate issue and what the best hindsight solution would have been.

          So, faced with requests for policy recommendations, economists respond more like engineers, coming up with alternate solutions to address the problems that they think predominate, while knowing they’re never going to be the best solutions. Most of them would provide some benefit, however, if they are ever properly implemented.

          Back to the main issue. So, your contention is that EVENTUALLY the one, true Church will become evident to everyone.

          In the meantime, what happens to everyone who doesn’t recognize this church as the one, true Church? I won’t presume to answer for you, since I know Christians differ mightily on this point, as they do on so many others. However, it seems to me that unless your god has some plan to ‘save’ all these people after their deaths, he must not care very much about them (I should probably say us), since he could make everything clear to everyone and he has not done so. If your god is of the type to damn everyone who doesn’t believe in him in the correct manner, that doesn’t sound very fair. If he’s not, then it seems to me that not harming others and waiting for the truth to come out makes more sense than latching on to a belief system that can’t be demonstrated to be correct.

          I have a Hindu friend who’s a devout worshipper of Lord Rama. His arguments for his god’s truth are just as compelling to me as any Christian’s arguments for Christ. Of course, that’s not very compelling to me, since I see no objective evidence to accept either one. I’m curious how you respond to that.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          When economists make a discovery or teach us something new about the world, I would think they’d have used scientific methods to get there.

        • MNb

          “The issue in macroeconomics isn’t so much the complexity of it, but the difficulty in conducting controlled experiments.”
          That applies to cosmological research (the origin of our Universe) as well.
          Another problem is that lots of economists seem to suck at methodology. Of course that doesn’t apply to the good ones; for instance

          https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41588.Money

          is as thorough and rigid as the best texts on physics. It immediately falsifies SN’s point.

        • aikidaves

          Agreed, although I will point out that cosmologists aren’t often expected to produce policy recommendations for their field, hence my previous analogy to engineering. Many economists do much better at explaining the past than they do at deciding how to direct the future, although all too many of them have difficulty communicating with non-experts, even when they know what they’re talking about.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Many economists do much better at explaining the past than they do at
          deciding how to direct the future, although all too many of them have
          difficulty communicating with non-experts, even when they know what
          they’re talking about.

          having merely dipped my toe into economics a couple of times [academically speaking], i’ve sometimes thought there should be sub-titles like ‘economologist’, ‘econometrician’, ‘economologue’, ‘economogogue’, and so on.

        • See Noevo

          “In the meantime, what happens to everyone who doesn’t
          recognize this church as the one, true Church?”

          I think it *might* break down as follows:
          – Those who DO recognize this church as the one, true Church,
          *but yet refuse to enter it and abide by its teaching* – Hell.

          – Those who DO recognize this church as the one, true Church, AND enter or remain in it AND abide by its teaching – Heaven.

          – Those who do NOT recognize this church as the one, true Church (or do not even know of its existence) – Mixed bag.

          Regarding that “mixed bag”, not even the Church knows the
          fate of those outside the Church. Only God knows. But the Church can say the following:
          “”Outside the Church there is no salvation” – How
          are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body…
          Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a
          sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.”
          ….
          “If your god is of the type to damn everyone who doesn’t
          believe in him in the correct manner, that doesn’t sound very fair.”

          I can understand that sentiment.
          However, I *think* what you *really* are getting at might be the
          proposition that
          ‘I can’t imagine the possibility of Hell, therefore, it doesn’t exist.’

          If so, I think you would agree that, as an unprovable human
          proposition, it may be right, or it may be wrong.

          I just had a related thought and I’ll throw it out here:
          If there be a God of the universe, He would be one,
          absolutely “extreme” being.
          The granting of *extreme* rewards (i.e. Heaven) and
          sentencing of *extreme* punishments (i.e. Hell) would seem to be consistent with the nature of an *extreme* being.
          …………..
          “If he’s not, then it seems to me that not harming others
          and waiting for the truth to come out makes more sense than latching on to a belief system that can’t be demonstrated to be correct.”

          If you’re looking for a demonstration from me or God Himself
          that the Catholic Church is correct, you won’t be getting it.
          “When the crowds were increasing, he began to say,
          “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah.
          For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nin’eveh, so will the Son of man be to this generation.” [Luke 11:29-30]

          If you dismiss THE ULTIMATE ‘demonstration of correctness’,
          the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, you will get no other demonstration.
          ……….
          “I have a Hindu friend who’s a devout worshipper of Lord
          Rama. His arguments for his god’s truth are just as compelling to me as any Christian’s arguments for Christ. Of course, that’s not very compelling to me, since I see no objective evidence to accept either one. I’m curious how you respond to that.”

          If history shows many people willingly being martyred for
          refusing to deny their witness of the physical, bodily resurrection of Lord Rama, I’d be interested in hearing more about it.
          I’m curious how you respond to that.

        • Joslyn Renfrey

          “- Those who DO recognize this church as the one, true Church,
          *but yet refuse to enter it and abide by its teaching* – Hell.”

          I guess that makes you one of the hellbound too, since you, like 97% of all men, masturbate, thus committing mortal sin…

        • aikidaves

          ‘I can’t imagine the possibility of Hell, therefore, it doesn’t exist.’

          This is not my position. I see no objective evidence that there’s any afterlife, i.e. no continuation of human consciousness after the death of the human brain. I also see no objective evidence for the resurrection of a physical body in which a particular human’s consciousness is recreated. Consequently, I have no reason to accept either heaven or hell as places where I might find myself. Demonstrate first that one or both of these afterlife possibilties are real, and then we can get on to whether there are one or more places where we might end up after death, what these places are like, how we reach them, and whether there are one or more supernatural beings that determine who goes where.

          re: extreme being

          So, extreme understanding and fairness are not attributes of such a being, I take it? Infinite punishment for a finite error does not strike me as just, and I see no reason to worship a being that would assert that it is.

          If you dismiss THE ULTIMATE ‘demonstration of correctness’,
          the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, you will get no other demonstration.

          Why should I believe this? What evidence can you present that the crucial events, such as this alleged resurrection, actually happened? I’ve read the Bible. I’ve also read Bulfinch’s Mythology. I can’t say that one seemed any more plausible than the other, since they both lack adequate supporting evidence.

          If history shows many people willingly being martyred for
          refusing to deny their witness of the physical, bodily resurrection of Lord Rama, I’d be interested in hearing more about it.

          Trying to impose the myth you prefer over the myth that the Hindus accept does not make yours more valid or theirs less valid to a neutral observer. Many Hindus have been willingly martyred, according to their histories, just as many Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, and other believers have. Christians have no monopoly on that. You believe their reasons are invalid because you think you’re right. They believe your reasons are invalid for the same reason. I see no evidential reason to make a choice between you, consequently I don’t believe either of you.

        • See Noevo

          ‘I can’t imagine the possibility of Hell, therefore, it doesn’t exist.’

          You: “This is not my position.”

          OK. But you agree then, that Hell may exist.
          ………..
          “Demonstrate first that one or both of these afterlife
          possibilties are real…”

          I will attempt to do so after you demonstrate that Alexander
          the Great and Julius Caesar were real.
          ………….
          “So, extreme understanding and fairness are not attributes
          of such a being, I take it? Infinite punishment for a finite error does not
          strike me as just, and I see no reason to worship a being that would assert that it is.”

          Extreme understanding and fairness as attributes of the
          extreme being? Sounds reasonable.

          But how about an extreme understanding *of* fairness? Yes,
          that, too.

          His understanding of fairness may be different, and higher,
          than ours. That wouldn’t be surprising. Because even *our* (you and me) understanding of fairness may be different.
          For example, you’re probably a liberal/progressive who joins in the cry that “The rich should pay their *fair* share!”
          Yet, remarkably, you never define what “fair” is. But even if you
          did, I’ll betcha it’s a significantly different definition than mine.
          (And God’s may be different still.)
          …………..
          “Trying to impose the myth you prefer over the myth that the
          Hindus accept does not make yours more valid or theirs less valid to a neutral observer. Many Hindus have been willingly martyred, according to their histories, just as many Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, and other believers have. Christians have no monopoly on that.”

          Apples and oranges.
          Maybe I’ll explain further after you answer on Alexander and Julius.

        • aikidaves

          But you agree then, that Hell may exist.

          So might the dragon in Carl Sagan’s garage and the Invisible Pink Unicorn standing here by my elbow.

          I will attempt to do so after you demonstrate that Alexander
          the Great and Julius Caesar were real.

          I haven’t asserted that they were. I don’t see how this is relevant. Care to clarify?

          For example, you’re probably a liberal/progressive

          Actually, I’m an evidence-based centrist. I believe policies should be based on scientific analysis of past policies and adjustments made based on monitoring results. I avoid nebulous terms like ‘fair share’, as they don’t have any scientific basis.

          Apples and oranges.

          Christian apples vs. Hindu oranges, eh? You haven’t provided a basis for choosing, any more than my Hindu friend has. I’ll just stick with my atheist trail mix for now, thanks.

        • TheNuszAbides

          I’ve read the Bible. I’ve also read Bulfinch’s Mythology.

          a bookworm from the age of 3, i grew up getting rapidly bored with every foray into the Bible (even the replica 1611 KJV which as a child i adored for its ‘oldness’), but positively devouring any mythology presented as mythology … and getting even more stuck into fantasy roleplaying games. these were outlets for far more imaginative, complex and/or nuanced takes on supernatural elements.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          But with theology/religion, you’re talking about subject
          matter infinitely bigger and more complex than, say, economics. You’re talking about more than the labyrinthine economy of a country or globe, you’re talking about ultimate reality, and the reason for and meaning of the universe and our lives.
          THE BIGGEST questions.

          Why does it take an atheist to point out to the theist the attributes of God? God is involved in the theology question; not so much in economics. You say that theology is a complex mess? Well, yeah–it’s invented by people. If God were involved, he’d clear it all up for us.

          It’s almost like there’s no god at all.

        • See Noevo

          “God is involved in the theology question; not so much in
          economics. You say that theology is a complex mess? Well, yeah–it’s invented by people. If God were involved, he’d clear it all up for us.”

          Economics *also* is a complex mess. And “Well, yeah–it’s
          invented by people.”

          Why does it take a theist to point out to the atheist that
          *every* field of study is invented by people?
          And why should I need to point out to you that if God cleared
          *everything* all up for us, we’d fully have the mind of God?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Why does it take a theist to point out to the atheist that
          *every* field of study is invented by people?

          You’ve convinced me! All fields, including theology, are invented by people.

          My work here is done …

        • Kodie

          Theology is fiction, and cannot be self-correcting. People all over the world believe what they want to believe, whether it makes sense or not, and deny reality in doing so, or ignore large parts of reality in favor of a constructed fiction, or are made to be suspicious of reality because it conflicts with their favorite fiction.

          Theology is a subject outside of real fields of study. It’s like everyone all over the world dividing themselves up by their favorite tv show, and developing ideologies based on their tv show’s universe, canon, protagonists, etc. Most tv shows seem to be based in a realistic world, but if you pay attention to even so-called “reality” shows, what you see is not entirely what happened and may be edited in such a way to make it seem like something more exciting happened than actually did. The realistic elements of a tv show that you recognize, for example, people have names, people have families, they may live in a city that exists in real life, they have jobs that exist, may use technology that doesn’t… but seems to. One of the shows I used to watch regularly, Elementary, features a modern Sherlock Holmes in New York City, what’s wrong with that? For starters, they live in a world where people have never read or heard of a character named Sherlock Holmes before. Another show I’m thinking of is Family Guy, and there’s a lot wrong with that show, but we’re supposed to believe anyway that a family dog is not just a dog but can talk, drive, and hook up with human women. Brian isn’t the only cartoon animal who is anthropomorphic in his own world (see Bugs Bunny or Mickey Mouse), but seems to be the only dog in Quahog with human abilities while remaining obviously a dog.

          Anyway, while many fans of many shows discuss episodes and progression of their favorite shows among themselves, very few are delusional enough to believe the things on the shows they watch are really happening or that the actors aren’t different people than the characters they play. Even people who have no other interests and are consumed in their fandom know that their show isn’t real life. They can talk about Brian Griffin as though a talking pet dog is normal and expected without going outside and expecting other dogs to talk and live semi-human lives, and if they happen to meet someone who introduces themselves as “Sherlock Holmes”, they’re going to say “like the detective, ha ha?” Maybe that person believes they are the character, or maybe their parents had a weird sense of humor, but you’re going to recognize the name from literature.

          This is what I think of theology. It is not a subject that is getting clearer or more defined over time. It is fiction that is being taken seriously, and people are dividing themselves over their favorite version and pretending the bible has actual clues that need to be worked out in a logical puzzle until god appears. Meanwhile, god is still a fictional character. The people all over the world who take it seriously are real, and believing whatever your personal favorite version is real does have an effect on the real world. God does not, he is still fictional.

        • See Noevo

          500+ words down the drain.

        • Kodie

          Sorry you are illiterate, but you can still sign up for help in your town or city.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Cuz they went over your head? Thanks for your honesty.

        • TheNuszAbides

          may be edited in such a way to make it seem like something more exciting happened than actually did

          this gets my vote for MANDATORY WARNING LABEL ON ALL PUBLISHED SCRIPTURE

        • Pofarmer

          But with theology/religion, you’re talking about subject
          matter infinitely bigger and more complex than, say, economics.

          That’s because you’re selling made up stuff about made up stuff. The possibilities are literally endless.

          To loosely Quote Einstein, “The difference between Genius and ignorance is that Genius has limits.”

        • TheNuszAbides

          made up stuff about made up stuff. The possibilities are literally endless.

          because of this factor i’m fairly sure that my more-or-less lifelong fascination with theatre and roleplaying games inadvertently helped me with the gradual divorce from theism. character studies in particular are a great way to deprogram the worst of the in-group/out-group shenanigans (and to [meta]celebrate the positive sort!).

        • MNb

          “But with theology/religion, you’re talking about subject
          matter infinitely bigger and more complex than, say, economics.”
          There is no god. It can’t get simple than that.

        • Philmonomer

          But instead He chose the *exact opposite* kind of entrée. And thirty three years later He *assigns the world-wide spread* of the Good News, the Gospel, to a small, rag-tag group of blue-collar workers in a tiny, obscure occupied land. (I swear you just can’t make this kind of stuff up!)

          But that’s the way He did it.

          The “exact opposite” kind of entree looks exactly like I’d expect to see if the whole thing was organically man-made, no God involved. We see a small group of initial believers (of something), who over time, manage to convince others. LIke the Mormons, like the Muslims, like the Bahai.

          Let’s assume Jesus really did rise from the dead, and his goal was to convince the Jews. Why wouldn’t he march right down to the temple, and convert thousands at once? Show himself to the same Jewish leaders who wanted him killed? Mass public demonstrations, where the stories lived for generations and generations?

          The truth is that none of that happened. Instead, we get resurrection stories that look like they should be debunked on Snopes. (Because that’s what they were–urban legends.)

        • See Noevo

          “Let’s assume Jesus really did rise from the dead, and his
          goal was to convince the Jews. Why wouldn’t he march right down to the temple, and convert thousands at once? Show himself to the same Jewish leaders who wanted him killed? Mass public demonstrations, where the stories lived for generations and generations?”

          I’m not sure what you mean by the last sentence. *Without* mass public demonstrations, the “stories” *have* lived for generations and generations – two thousand years and counting.

          Also, Jesus *did* show himself to at least one of the same
          Jewish leaders who wanted him killed – Paul.

        • adam

          “I’m not sure what you mean by the last sentence. *Without* mass public
          demonstrations, the “stories” *have* lived for generations and
          generations – two thousand years and counting.”

          Yes, like Spiderman the STORY lives on,

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b8e21f4f245797969c0947a765da8794c812826b9b5e6d1a040a884b1ee550af.jpg

        • Philmonomer

          I’m not sure what you mean by the last sentence.

          I mean stories of spectacular events–where the resurrected Jesus appeared to the Jewish leaders themselves, and half of them converted on the spot (as this was the man they had crucified a week earlier). Or the resurrected Jesus personally going to the temple, and converting half the people there. Creating thousands of followers where ever he went among the Jews.

          *Without* mass public demonstrations, the “stories” *have* lived for generations and generations – two thousand years and counting.

          As I said, the spread of Christianity was more or less like the spread of other religions. But the spectacular nature of the resurrected Jesus stories is what I am talking about here. The stories aren’t particularly spectacular. They sound like urban legends you might get in your email box. I suspect had you tracked them down at the time (if that were even possible), you’d find the stories to be effervescent–popping and blowing away in the wind.

          Also, Jesus *did* show himself to at least one of the same Jewish leaders who wanted him killed – Paul.

          That’s not what I am talking about.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          the spread of Christianity was more or less like the spread of other religions.

          And much less than some. After the death of Jesus, they could only pull together 120 people who’d been “believers.”

          Sathya Sai Baba (d. 2011) could raise the dead and be in 2 places at once, and he died with millions of followers.

        • Philmonomer

          I was unaware of Sathya Sai Baba. Fascinating.

          Bob, do you know of a central place to look up such people? (Wikipedia or something similar? )

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Here’s a list of avatar claimants that links to other lists (messiah claimants, etc.):

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_avatar_claimants

        • Ignorant Amos

          Also, Jesus *did* show himself to at least one of the same Jewish leaders who wanted him killed – Paul.

          Nope. Paul had a vision, or so he claimed. Loads of people claimed to have seen Elvis after he had died, that’s not the same as Elvis showing himself to those people. Where do you get that Paul was a Jewish leader and that he wanted to kill Jesus?

          Yeah…I know See Noevo is on the naughty step and can’t reply, but that will irk the clown even more than if he was able to reply.

        • Philmonomer

          His life and His Gospel and His plan for spreading that Gospel, were rather radical.

          Huh? They strike me as entirely conventional. Indeed, more or less the exact same way many other religions came to be.

        • See Noevo

          “Conventional”? We’ll have to disagree.

          But I’m confident we could agree on what I said immediately following:
          “… conflict with existing religions and belief systems would
          be expected. Some people would accept His truth, but many would not. Hence, the thousands of religions you noted.”

        • adam

          “… conflict with existing religions and belief systems would
          be expected. Some people would accept His truth, but many would not. Hence, the thousands of religions you noted.”

          Nope, in the STORY, Satan and all his Angels know the truth and yet dont create their own versions of said God.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/151925a51e6a55d5bd1418d3a12f8fa99b39d9a82fb1f8468f8e6fcd942470f3.jpg

        • Philmonomer

          “… conflict with existing religions and belief systems would
          be expected.”

          Of course I think conflict with existing religions and belief systems would be expected. Religion is man-made, and any specific religion competes with others as to the “true” nature of reality.

          Some people would accept His truth, but many would not. Hence, the thousands of religions you noted.

          I think the most better explanation that there are thousands of religions is because there are thousands of ideas on the proper way to live life. And those ideas get filtered through evolution (some ideas are innate) and environment.

          If you think the way in which God brought his message naturally led to thousands of religions, then it seems like God chose a really poor way for Him to bring his message. (Surely he could have devised a better way?) Indeed, his way, makes it look like it is just another religion.

          I feel like if I ever have to answer for my skepticism some day, God will understand. After all, he used a really poor way to delivery his message.

        • adam
        • adam

          ” (I swear you just can’t make this kind of stuff up!)”

          Certainly, you can and people did.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/878b8e07d2b942087c85ac234890ad18b3e8f811594bc275918c5d05cbe88467.jpg

        • Philmonomer

          Another example, and a hot topic of late, could be major media outlets
          such as the Washington Post, MSNBC, etc. pushing fake news.

          I’m pretty sure those outlets don’t publish fake news. That is, they don’t simply make up “news” stories in order to get more clicks online.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          EVERY field is self-correcting, not just
          science. The truth will out EVERYWHERE.

          Oh? Take theology.

          Go.

        • See Noevo

          Me: “EVERY field is self-correcting, not just science. The truth will out EVERYWHERE.

          You: “Oh? Take theology. Go.”

          See my response to aikidaves below.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          going along with the convergence [on science] pays well.

          Bazinga! Nice one, bra. Don’t get me started on all those scientists on the take. I mean “science” is as corrupt as a third world police department, amirite?!

          Computers? Cell phones? Quantum physics?? I mean can anybody believe this nonsense? When was the last time science told us one goddamn new thing about reality??

          If Newtonian physics was good enough for Isaac frikkin’ Newton, it’s good enough for me.

        • See Noevo

          Me: “Until the convergence goes away. In the meantime, going
          along with the convergence pays well.”

          You: “Bazinga! Nice one, bra. Don’t get me started on all those
          scientists on the take. I mean “science” is as corrupt as a third
          world police department, amirite?!”

          Well, if you’re an evolution denier/skeptic trying to get a
          job in *any* university biology department or a (anthropogenic) “global warming” denier trying to get a job in *any* university or news climatology department, yeah.
          ………..
          “Computers? Cell phones? Quantum physics?? I mean can
          anybody believe this nonsense? When was the last time science told us one goddamn new thing about reality??”

          Well, gee, Bob, science tells us new things, and even
          valuable things, all the time. I like science very much.
          So, shame on you, Bob. You should like science, too!

          I just don’t like “junk” science. Just as I don’t like fake news.

        • Herald Newman

          > Well, if you’re an evolution denier/skeptic trying to get
          > a job in *any* university biology department

          Getting a job in a university means that you’re expected to get papers published in scientific journals. Trying to publish evolution denying papers is pretty much impossible unless you publish with Journal of Creation. Nobody in biology takes evolution deniers seriously because they are dead wrong!

          > or a (anthropogenic) “global warming” denier trying
          > to get a job in *any* university or news climatology
          > department, yeah.

          The experts agree that climate change is happening, and that CO2, mostly from human sources, is the culprit. The evidence for this is pretty hard to deny. Just like evolution, the model is incomplete, but the model is good enough that to say it’s completely wrong, without justification, is insane. Denying objective reality as a scientist is a good way to tell your employers that you’re not a good scientist.

          > I just don’t like “junk” science.

          The problem is that what you think of as “junk” is actually legit, you just think it’s junk because you hold an irrational bias against it. Climate change, and evolution, are real. You would have us say that because there are details that we are uncertain about that the whole model is crap and needs to be thrown out.

        • See Noevo

          “The problem is that what you think of as “junk”
          is actually legit, you just think it’s junk because you hold an irrational bias
          against it. Climate change, and evolution, are real. You would have us say that
          because there are details that we are uncertain about that the whole model is
          crap and needs to be thrown out.”

          Regarding the climate change “model”, some excerpts from a
          column in a national newspaper yesterday:

          “Kara Alaimo, an assistant professor of public relations at
          Hofstra University, in a Bloomberg News oped this week stated that Exxon sells
          a product that “scientists have proven threatens the continuation of human life
          on earth”—an idiotic statement that no scientist would make and yet is the kind
          of thing that passes uncontested these days.

          Which is ironic since the science has just started to get
          interesting again.

          In its latest report, issued in 2013, the Intergovernmental
          Panel on Climate Change expanded the range of uncertainty regarding future
          warming— and in the direction of less warming.

          It abandoned its central forecast, in its 2007 report, of 3
          degrees Centigrade of warming. Now it issues no central forecast.

          It said in 2007 that a warming as slight as 1.5 degrees was
          “very unlikely.” Now it puts the bottom stop at 1 degree.

          The latest climate models are backing off on the size of
          “climate sensitivity.” This implies climate change will be smaller and less
          severe than earlier estimates.

          Even less noticed, it implies a higher, more astronomical
          cost for avoiding any given amount of warming.

          If climate sensitivity is high, you might have to avoid only
          50% of future emissions to avoid 2 degrees of warming. If climate sensitivity
          is low, as increasingly seems the case, you might have to avoid 100% of future
          emissions to avoid just 0.5 degrees of warming.

          Don’t expect to hear about this in the mainstream media for
          a decade or so, and then only because today’s editors and reporters have
          retired. The climate reporting industry has long since given itself over to
          propaganda rather than actually reporting on climate science.

          The larger lesson here isn’t about climate change. It’s
          about democratic sclerosis. It’s about the endless multiplication of vested
          interests that taxpayers and consumers are forced to support in our supposedly
          free society.”

          Regarding the evolution “model”, or may I say the “mountain
          of evidence”, for you to say the “details” are “uncertain” is the understatement
          of the day. As an evolution believer of some thirty years duration, I was
          shocked to find that when I actually looked at *any* of the “rocks” making up
          that mountain, I discovered they weren’t “rocks” at all, but rather less than
          pebbles at best, and more often dust blowing away.

          I’ll even show you! But I need your cooperation. Provide for me here your ONE, favorite, weightiest
          “rock” from the evolutionary “mountain of evidence.” That is, *one* article on *one*
          aspect of evolution, and again, ideally your favorite. Let’s see what you got.

          After I demonstrate it’s less than a pebble at best, we
          might have time to deal with another, your second-stringer.

          HIT ME, Herald!

        • TheMarsCydonia

          I offered how many times to hit you with a “rock” if you only answered one question honestly?
          But you always preferred to run away.

          So about it? Will you do your usual cowardly liar bit and run away again? Or do you actually want a rock?

        • Herald Newman

          Others have presented you the evidence you ask for. You categorically reject everything. I won’t waste my time.

        • See Noevo

          “Others have presented you the evidence you ask for. You
          categorically reject everything. I won’t waste my time.”

          “Categorically”?
          No. I’ve rejected every “evidence” presented thus far and
          *explained why* the “evidence” was anywhere from unconvincing to ludicrous. So far, I recall only three people who actually tested me. One was on antibiotic-resistant bacteria, one was on poaching’s effect on elephant tusks, and one was on the “starlight problem.”

          I don’t remember if you tried presenting anything.
          If you have, I’ve shown why it’s bogus.
          If you haven’t, well, I guess you’re in the pride
          with Bob, the Cowardly Lion.

        • Michael Neville

          No. I’ve rejected every “evidence” presented thus far and *explained why* the “evidence” was anywhere from unconvincing to ludicrous.

          This is a complete and total LIE! Which isn’t surprising since you are a manipulative liar. I gave you a detailed summary of how Staphylococcus aureus evolved resistance to different antibiotics and your rebuttal was “it’s still bacteria.” When I explained that it became modified bacteria your further rebuttal was to insult me.

          No, liar, you haven’t explained anything about evolution other than you don’t like it because you’re ignorant about science and philosophy.

        • See Noevo

          You’re special, Michael the Modified Bacteria Neville.

        • Michael Neville

          See, that’s exactly what I mean, liar. You don’t rebut me, you try to insult me and, as usual for you, fail.

        • Kodie

          If you think you have a good argument, you don’t need someone to tell you anything. You can just post it like a fucking adult.

        • adam
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          the Intergovernmental
          Panel on Climate Change expanded the range of uncertainty regarding future
          warming— and in the direction of less warming.

          So? Since when is the IPCC a reliable source from your perspective?

          The latest IPCC report makes these projections:

          Further warming will continue if emissions of greenhouse gases continue.

          The global surface temperature increase by the end of the 21st century is likely to exceed 1.5 °C relative to the 1850 to 1900 period for most scenarios, and is likely to exceed 2.0 °C for many scenarios

          The global water cycle will change, with increases in disparity between wet and dry regions, as well as wet and dry seasons, with some regional exceptions.

          The oceans will continue to warm, with heat extending to the deep ocean, affecting circulation patterns.
          Decreases are very likely in Arctic sea ice cover, Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover, and global glacier volume

          Global mean sea level will continue to rise at a rate very likely to exceed the rate of the past four decades
          Changes in climate will cause an increase in the rate of CO2 production. Increased uptake by the oceans will increase the acidification of the oceans.

          Future surface temperatures will be largely determined by cumulative CO2, which means climate change will continue even if CO2 emissions are stopped.

          The terms “very likely,” etc. are defined in the link.

        • See Noevo

          “So? Since when is the IPCC a reliable source from your
          perspective?”

          It’s never been a reliable source from my perspective but it
          IS a reliable source from the Left’s perspective.

          Probably the primary point here is that the IPCC perspective is based on *fallible models* – models which have proven so untrustworthy that they even fail to predict *current* conditions based on past data.
          …………….
          “The latest IPCC report makes these projections:
          “The global water cycle will change, with increases in
          disparity between wet and dry regions, as well as wet and dry seasons, with some regional exceptions.”

          I want the IPCC models to definitively explain why caveman
          factories and SUVs caused this:
          “As little as 6,000 years ago, the vast Sahara Desert was
          covered in grassland that received plenty of rainfall, but shifts in the
          world’s weather patterns abruptly transformed the vegetated region into some of the driest land on Earth.”
          https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161130141053.htm
          …………..
          IPCC: “Decreases are very likely in Arctic sea ice cover,
          Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover, and global glacier volume”

          Were Professors Wadhams and Maslowski on the IPCC? Maybe
          not. Anyway…

          “… in 2007 Prof Wadhams [of Cambridge University ] predicted
          that sea ice would be lost by 2013 after levels fell 27 per cent in a single year. However by 2013 ice levels were actually 25 per cent higher than they had been six years before. In 2012, following another record low Prof Wadhams [of the Naval Postgraduate School] changed his prediction to 2016. The view was
          supported by Prof Maslowski…”
          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/10/07/experts-said-arctic-sea-ice-would-melt-entirely-by-september-201/

          Hey, what about the ANTarctic?
          ……………
          “Global mean sea level will continue to rise at a rate very
          likely to exceed the rate of the past four decades”

          And if you live in Manhattan, I’m sorry for you.
          Sigh. We hardly knew ye!
          [Warning: This video is rated SJ (scary junk)]

          http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/scott-whitlock/2015/06/12/flashback-abcs-08-prediction-nyc-under-water-climate-change-june
          ……………..
          Whew!!!
          (Oh, sorry. I just emitted some more dangerous gas.
          I’ll try to Whew! less in the dark future.)

        • Ignorant Amos

          I was just reading up on that earlier in order to reply to thon eejit and then I caught maself on and thought “WTF am a doing?” The fool doesn’t even realise that AR5 didn’t come out until 2014…only WG1 was released in September and the A in AR means Assessment based on the latest data from the most recent studies. Someone who doesn’t get evolution has no chance with understanding the science behind AGW.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The terms “very likely,” etc. are defined in the link.

          For those that don’t do links…”very likely” equates to 90-100% probability.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Well, if you’re an evolution denier/skeptic trying to get a
          job in *any* university biology department or a (anthropogenic) “global warming” denier trying to get a job in *any* university or news climatology department, yeah.

          You called this a “malodorous materialistic miasma of a blog,” and this is your contribution to the discussion?

          Yeah, and proponents of astrology don’t do well in astronomy departments. Or alchemists in chemistry. Don’t expect an apology.

          I just don’t like “junk” science. Just as I don’t like fake news.

          How do you decide what’s junk science? Take evolution, for example. The people who understand the evidence says it’s not . . . but you say that it is? Who gives a shit about your evaluation of a field you don’t understand?

        • Myna

          Who gives a shit about your evaluation of a field you don’t understand?

          Amen, amen and amen again.

        • See Noevo

          “How do you decide what’s junk science? Take evolution, for
          example.”

          By looking at the science, the scientists’ evidence supporting their evolutionary conclusion.
          And it’s quite easy to see that it’s junk.

          I’d demonstrate the junkiness, but unfortunately, I’d need
          your cooperation.
          You’ve already shown that you won’t cooperate.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So evolution is obviously junk science, just cuz. OK, that’s about middling for the arguments in favor of Creationism I’ve heard. Good for you.

          I am curious to know, however, how big your dick must be if you declare that you can see the truth or falsity in fields in which you’re not even an expert. I guess that’s just more God acting in mysterious ways if he’s filled you in.

          How far does this omniscience extend? Just science, or do you have clearsight in other areas?

        • See Noevo

          “So evolution is obviously junk science, just cuz.”

          No. Not “just cuz.”
          I can *demonstrate* why it’s junk.
          But again, I’ll need your cooperation.
          But you won’t cooperate, just cuz.

          Just cuz you’re Bob, the Cowardly Lion.

        • Herald Newman

          Why do you need any cooperation to demonstrate that evolution is false? If it’s false, it’s objective, and the evidence will speak for itself.

        • See Noevo

          “Why do you need any cooperation to demonstrate that
          evolution is false? If it’s false, it’s objective, and the evidence will speak for itself.”

          My position is that ALL of it is junk. Every bit of it.
          But I don’t, and you don’t, have the time to address *every*, single, solitary piece of “evidence” that makes up the supposed “mountain.”
          But I certainly have time to address ONE piece.

          But I don’t want to be accused of cherry-picking.
          So, I need *your* cooperation because I want that ONE piece
          to come from YOU. Ideally, I’d like it to be your best, your Precious.

          Try selling me your Precious.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iz-8CSa9xj8

        • Herald Newman

          > Try selling me your Precious.

          I’m not out to sell evolution. I simply don’t understand why people reject it, given that most of those who reject it seem to have no significant understanding of the material.

          Often the claims are along the lines of what you have presented, namely a massive conspiracy where everyone is just going with the flow because it pays well.

          If you think it’s false, and you know better than the scientists, prove it.

        • See Noevo

          Me: “Try selling me your Precious.”

          You: “I’m not out to sell evolution.”

          All the more reason why I don’t buy it.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          There is only one reason you don’t buy it, cowardly liar. And we all know what it is but you keep on trying to fool us like you’re fooling yourself. You won’t succeed.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Jesus Christ! Does this guy even know what evidence and argument are?

          You’re a waste of space. If your goal is to strengthen the stereotype of Christians having false bravado and not a lot else, you’re doing great.

        • See Noevo

          “If your goal is to strengthen the stereotype of Christians
          having false bravado and not a lot else, you’re doing great.”

          False bravado? Prove it, science man. You can’t.

          The cowardly lion won’t dare to call what he falsely claims
          is my bluff.
          Just cuz he’s a cowardly lion.

          Little pussy.

        • Joslyn Renfrey

          Are you sure you’re not projecting your own cowardice, little pussy?
          You’re gonna burn in hell for fiddling with your dick, little pussy.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Lots of dick swinging and absolutely zero evidence. What fun! We’ll have to do this again sometime.

          You’re doing your side no favors by strengthening this stereotype.

        • Joslyn Renfrey

          Indeed, he is a masturdebator.

        • See Noevo

          “… absolutely zero evidence.”

          Right.
          Absolutely zero evidence from Bob, the Cowardly Lion.
          All roar. No bite.

        • Michael Neville

          You’ve given us absolutely zero evidence for any of your assertions. You’ve said a couple of times that you could give us evidence but you haven’t. So why don’t you just admit that you’re lying as usual and you don’t have any evidence? It’s what we know already.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So why don’t you just admit that you’re lying as usual and you don’t have any evidence?

          Because the imbecile enjoys being a trolling dogs dick…simples.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Hey, I’ve got a deal for you. You contribute to the conversation (that is, in contrast to the schoolyard-taunt level that you have dropped to at the moment) or I ban your ass.

          Sound good?

        • See Noevo

          “Hey, I’ve got a deal for you. You contribute to the conversation (that is, in contrast to the schoolyard-taunt level that you have
          dropped to at the moment) or I ban your ass.
          Sound good?”

          Sounds good, sir!

          Let’s have a conversation. But not conversation about the
          consensus. We both agree there is a consensus, and that a consensus has no necessary relationship to the truth.

          And let’s not have a conversation about the mountain of
          evidence for evolution, for that’s too much to digest in one sitting or even many sittings.

          Let’s take baby steps. But actually a big baby-step.
          Specifically, let’s have a conversation about your one,
          favorite, weightiest rock from that mountain.

          Sound good?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Sound good?

          Nope. Rather than jump into a bizarre morass of SN-defined hoops, I think I’ll give everyone an early Christmas present and put you in timeout.

          Buh-bye.

        • adam
        • adam
        • adam
        • Kodie

          Go fuck yourself already, you useless illiterate dummy.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “One piece”! I loved it before, and I love it now! Everyone has to dance to SN’s drum. Gotta have that arbitrary hurdle of merit.

          Ooh, pick me! Can I be in your club?

        • TheMarsCydonia

          But why don’t you cherry pick, cowardly liar? PICK ONE rock of evolution, the one that wounded your feelings the most and tell us why you need to deny it.

          But of course, we all know you won’t.

        • adam
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Heck yeah. I don’t want to stand in the unrelenting onslaught of your brilliant insights. My flimsy worldview would crumble.

          But just for everyone else’s amusement, barf them out anyway. Give us your onslaught. Obviously, my primitive mind is closed to their brilliance, but that’s no reason not to enlighten those who have ears to hear.

        • See Noevo

          “My flimsy worldview would crumble.”

          No. IS crumbling.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Another broadside!

          For the love of God, stop the onslaught of powerful argument and evidence!

        • adam
        • TheMarsCydonia

          You can demonstrate why it’s junk, but you won’t, because just cuz.

          Just because you’re a cowardly liar who only fools himself.

        • adam

          “I can *demonstrate* why it’s junk. ”

          But you obviously cant in front of educated people.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/831e274b356c03b8778b1d9672b8ab244560e2fda7a4cd57b0436d5bda02694f.jpg

        • Michael Neville

          I can *demonstrate* why it’s junk.

          Then why don’t you? My guess is because you’re just lying that you can because if you could then you would have done so.

        • adam

          Why is dishonesty such a necessary part of apologetics.

        • See Noevo

          Me: “I can *demonstrate* why it’s junk.”

          You: “Then why don’t you?”

          I already have, for you.
          You proudly stepped up to the plate and took your *one best* swing.
          And you missed.

          Or don’t you remember, Michael, the *Modified Bacteria* Neville?

          You’re done.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          What you demonstrated was a complete ignorance of evolution.

          Creationism, where the complete ignorance of a cowardly liar counts has a hit.

          Well, at least you do benefit creationism in some way: you show that Ken Ham could be worse.

        • Kodie

          Just because a dummy like you is powerfully resistant to information doesn’t mean Michael Neville “missed”. You remain an uniformed dumbass troll.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nope. You made a pigs arse of yerself and display how much you don’t know about a subject you claimed to be well read on…that’s not the same as MN missing ya knobhead.

        • Michael Neville

          Saying “they’re still bacteria” doesn’t rebut evolved antibiotic resistance. So we’re still waiting for your “demonstration”. But we know it’s not coming because you don’t understand evolution well enough to even attempt to show it’s “junk”. We all know this, “we” includes you, liar.

        • Ignorant Amos

          What co-operation do you need to demonstrate the folly of evolution.

          Don’t start the “give me your ONE best argument” fuckwittery again. Just put up or shut ta fuck up and piss off.

          I vote if ya don’t stop all your mindwankery and ante up, then your being here is worse than worthless and Bob should banhammer your knuckle dragging, waste of space, arse.

        • adam

          “What co-operation do you need to demonstrate the folly of evolution.”

          Well you have to accept Creationism as fact, first.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6865a4cce3282762d39ccbf755e5a9a9ac316fdc6eeed7b3093b367aedf73658.jpg

        • MNb

          “I can *demonstrate* why it’s junk.”
          And every time I saw you trying you failed.

        • Kodie

          Can you just post something or do you have to be spoon-fed so you can reject every effort to try to keep you honest? Do we have to beg you, is that what you like, huh, begging, oh pleeeeease, plesssase just give me what I gotta have, you attention whore.

        • adam
        • Kodie

          An evolution denier or climate change denier hasn’t done any science, so why should they be employed anywhere and taken to be credible sources? You don’t love science, you are an idiot.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Newtonian physics was good enough for Isaac frikkin’ Newton

          not to mention Arianism!

        • Donalbain

          How exactly is theology self correcting? When did “truth” win in that field?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The map of world religions shows the problem with SN’s thinking.

          http://media.web.britannica.com/eb-media/31/3731-004-ACD90CA6.gif

        • See Noevo

          See my response to aikidaves below.

        • MNb

          “News flash: EVERY field is self-correcting, not just
          science. The truth will out EVERYWHERE.”
          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          You mentioned yourself the Lord of the Rings and the “lessons/ messages of morality” it contains.
          Well, the first three Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (also three books),

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chronicles_of_Thomas_Covenant

          which are modeled after LotR (to such an extent that it’s almost a parody) contains “lessons/ messages of morality” that directly conflict with those of LotR (that’s the point).
          If the method you mentioned, literature, is self correcting one of them must be false. Please tell me how literature corrects itself using these two books as an example.
          If you don’t we’ll take it as “I can’t and just made a claim as hollow as an empty barrel”.

        • Joe

          News flash: EVERY field is self-correcting, not just
          science. The truth will out EVERYWHERE.

          So why hasn’t Genesis been updated in light of current scientific knowledge? Or even thousands-of-years-old scientific knowledge?

        • adam

          “News flash: EVERY field is self-correcting, not just
          science. The truth will out EVERYWHERE.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/04570f3531aa4e675333fdcce29973e95d6ad5b518125333d607badb96b99c03.png

        • Ignorant Amos

          But please take your crap elsewhere.

          SPPPOOOOOIIIIINNNNGGGG!

        • TheNuszAbides

          otherwise philosophy is as likely to lead you down a rabbit hole as through the door of a correct answer.

          i suspect this is why i have been enjoying Nietzsche [in particular] less as i come to appreciate science/skepticism more.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          But as to other methods of understanding reality, how about logic? And related philosophy?
          How about morality?
          Or even music, art, literature?

          Science discovered the Higgs boson in 2016. The scientific community isn’t fragmented here–they’re unified in saying that this was indeed discovered.

          There’s an example from science. Pick an example from your not-science fields and show us what you have in mind.

        • See Noevo

          “Science discovered the Higgs boson in 2016. The scientific
          community isn’t fragmented here–they’re unified in saying that this was indeed discovered. There’s an example from science. Pick an example from your not-science fields and show us what you have in mind.”

          OK.
          People discovered the world of the “Lord of the Rings” in 1937.
          The world community isn’t fragmented here–they’re unified in saying that this was indeed a work of fiction and unified in seeing it had lessons/messages of morality in it.
          There’s an example from literature.
          Great, meaningful literature. In fact, so great they even made big-budget movies of it seen by millions of people.

          Will they be making any movies about the Higgs boson?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So you just vomit up some words, and that’s your answer?

          Since you don’t care to contribute something useful to the conversation, I’ll simply point out that, in response to the Higgs boson discover by science, you point out that literature can make up shit.

          Remember, you were talking about “methods of understanding reality.” If you’re saying that literature can help illuminate reality in new ways, OK, but if this approach to understanding reality is supposed to be the same kind of thing as the Higgs boson, then we’re clearly talking past each other.

        • See Noevo

          “So you just vomit up some words, and that’s your answer?
          … Remember, you were talking about “methods of
          understanding reality.” If you’re saying that literature can help
          illuminate reality in new ways, OK, but if this approach to understanding
          reality is supposed to be the same kind of thing as the Higgs boson, then we’re clearly talking past each other.”

          I think if I was forced to watch a hypothetical movie about
          the Higgs boson instead of “Lord of the Rings”, I’d vomit.

        • Kodie

          You must have to be careful not to drown in your own lake of drool. You are beyond stupid and seem to be really proud of it. Why are you bothering us with your little pet turd ideas?

        • Carol Lynn

          Yeah, but Lord of the Rings was not *universally* approved as literature and the opinions on the movies are still very divided. I know it is indeed possible to find people who are experts in literature who have not read the Lord of the Rings or who have read it and consider it fantasy garbage and not literature at all.

          and um… ‘making a movie’ about something is your standard of ‘worthy’. You know movies are only made to make money, right?

        • MNb

          Actually literary criticism, which produced regarding LotR the things you mention, uses the scientific method.
          However it cannot determine whether those lessons/ messages of morality are correct or incorrect. You actually confirmed what BobS argued.

        • Joe

          Will they be making any movies about the Higgs boson?

          I hear Adam Sandler is trying to sell a script where he plays a middle-aged Higgs Boson that never graduated college, so he has to go back to his old Alma-mater. With hilarious results.

        • MNb

          “Well, science is certainly not always reliable.”
          No.
          But when it comes to producing knowledge and understanding none of the other methods you mention is reliable ever.
          For instance you mention logic.
          The conclusions derived by means of logic – better: deduction – are only as reliable as the assumptions they are based upon. And logic doesn’t have the means to determine the reliability of those assumptions. You say Pythagoras’ Theorem is a reliable conclusion arrived at by means of logic alone? It’s very easy for any mathematician to disprove it. He/she only needs to change one single of Euclides’ axiomata.
          This applies to every single conclusion arrived at by means of logic alone.

        • Joe

          Well, science is certainly not always reliable.
          Or aren’t you aware of scientific frauds,

          The only scientific frauds we’re aware of were uncovered by re-applying the scientific method to them. Your as-yet-unnamed alternative method hasn’t been used once.

    • Michael Neville

      So what? I mean, who the hell ever said philosophy was meant to be science?
      Not me.

      Of course you’re ignoring the point that science used to be called natural philosophy and that many philosophers of science consider science to be a branch of philosophy. But then you’ve never let mere facts and logic interfere with your lies and ignorance.

    • Jim Jones

      > But where is the *scientific proof* that science is the *only* valid means of understanding reality?

      Name another and prove your claim.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      But where is the *scientific proof* that science is the *only* valid means of understanding reality?

      I’ll settle for evidence. Identify your not-science means for understanding reality and sell it to us.

      • See Noevo

        Me: “But where is the *scientific proof* that science is the *only* valid means of understanding reality?”

        You: “I’ll settle for evidence. Identify your not-science means for understanding reality and sell it to us.”

        I had a dream, clear as day, about XYZ about a week ago.

        It is a fact, as true as my own existence.
        Where is your scientific evidence that this is in fact true?
        Identify your scientific means and sell it to me.

        • Herald Newman

          The problem with the proposition “I dreamed about XYZ last week” is that we have no current means to unlock what’s stored inside your brain. It is, at least today, an non-falsifiable claim. All I can do is take you at your word that your experience is true. Without being able to present concrete, objective, evidence, your claim is pretty much worthless.

          Now, if we ever do get that capability to unlock human memory, you can be pretty damned sure that it will be because science has given us a sufficient understanding of how the brain works.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Furthermore, “I had a dream about XYZ” is a very flimsy statement. SN may be earnest in his claim, but memory and dreams are fuzzy things.

        • Pofarmer

          And we know, via Thomas Paine and others, that dreams or “revelations” are not a legitimate way of knowing things, even if they are real. I can’t access somebody elses revelations, only their interpretations of them. Even if they are real, are they seeing them correctly? How do we know? How can we verify? It’s insanity.

        • adam

          “And we know, via Thomas Paine and others, that dreams or “revelations” are not a legitimate way of knowing things, ”

          No shit.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/576b5354eb99d2993f45ae1c298d7ea1beb6be63a081a92e69a99632f9b856b3.jpg

        • See Noevo

          “Without being able to present concrete, objective,
          evidence, your claim is pretty much worthless.”

          To *science* it’s worthless. Science is unable to deal with
          a fact, an objective truth, the knowledge of which is accurately captured by humans (i.e. me).

          Yes, to science my dream is worthless, for it is beyond the bounds of science.
          But it’s *not* worthless to me, and it is *real.*

        • MNb

          “accurately captured by humans (i.e. me).”
          Are you noble or even divine, that you refer to yourself in the plural form “humans?
          No?
          That’s the problem.
          The correct formulation would be

          “accurately captured by one single human (i.e. me).”
          And that’s exactly the problem HN is talking about.

        • Herald Newman

          > Science is unable to deal with a fact, an objective truth,
          > the knowledge of which is accurately captured by humans
          > (i.e. me).

          The problem is that your experiences are not objective facts. They are subjective, because they live inside your brain.

          > But it’s *not* worthless to me, and it is *real.*

          I never said otherwise. What you value is subjective.

        • See Noevo

          “The problem is that your experiences are not objective facts.”

          The problem, for you at least, is that you except as *real*
          *only* “objective” facts as judged by the scientific method.

        • Kodie

          Sure as hell believe actual scientists over some dope attention whore on the internet.

        • Kodie

          Calm down, it was just a dream. Nobody cares.

        • adam

          “Yes, to science my dream is worthless, for it is beyond the bounds of science. ”

          Only currently, much progress is being made in reading peoples brains.

          “But it’s *not* worthless to me, and it is *real.*”

          Not necessarily, it could EASILY be a false memory you CREATED.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Of course it is real to you, so what?

          Ever heard of Last Thursdayism?

        • Myna

          LoL, I had to look that up! http://www.last-thursday.org/

          Fabulous!

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Heretic! It’s Last Tuesdayism!

          I think someone is bound for Last Tuesdayism’s nicely warm bath of treacle. Forever.

        • Joe

          we have no current means to unlock what’s stored inside your brain.

          I think we should be thankful for small mercies.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It is, at least today, an non-falsifiable claim. All I can do is take you at your word that your experience is true. Without being able to present concrete, objective, evidence, your claim is pretty much worthless.

          If See Noevo said he dreamt XYZ last week, where XYZ happened to be all six wining numbers on this weeks upcoming lottery…it could still only be considered as a 1 in 45,057,474 guess and not a fact as true as his own existence for the reasons being explained to See Noevo.

        • Joe

          I had a dream, clear as day, about XYZ about a week ago.

          It is a fact, as true as my own existence.
          Where is your scientific evidence that this is in fact true?

          No idea. Now, using your alternative method, show us how this is true.

        • Kodie

          “Who gives a fuck” is the correct response to whatever you claim to have had a dream about. We all have had dreams and having had a dream is not really a fantastic claim that we will need to prove or disprove you dreamed what you claim you dreamed. It doesn’t affect anyone outside of you, and nobody cares if you really dreamed it or you made it up.

          So, who gives a fuck?

        • adam

          “I had a dream, clear as day, about XYZ about a week ago.

          It is a fact, as true as my own existence.
          Where is your scientific evidence that this is in fact true?
          Identify your scientific means and sell it to me.”

          Not a fact at all

          Could EASILY be a false memory, you’ve created.

          “Understanding that suggestive practices can promote false beliefs and false memories for childhood events is important in many settings (e.g.,psychotherapeutic, medical, and legal). The generalisability of findings from memory implantation studies has been questioned due to variability in estimates across studies. ” http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/eknqdpMRxPUWscxXJzxk/full

    • MNb

      Easy.
      The scientific method is the only one that can decide between two conflicting hypotheses. The first known example (to me) is Tycho Brahe collecting observations to decide between geocentrism and heliocentrism (actually he sought to confirm a compromise).
      Philosophy lacks that as people who actually have a basic understanding of philosophy have known since Descartes and Hume.

  • Doubting Thomas

    And if I add “….also having wings” to the definition of swine then pigs can fly.

    The problem is that definitions are descriptive and not prescriptive. This concept is hard to understand for groups of people who think words have magical powers.

    • DeathWarmedOver

      That didn’t work for ostriches, chickens or penguins. 😉

  • Comrade Carrot-Blog Vegetarian

    “Who created God” was a response to the “classic” or unrefined formulation of the cosmological argument. If it’s true that everything which exists has a cause for its existence, it’s appropriate to question the utility of God as an explanation for the existence of, say, the universe.

    Theists have an excuse for pulling this statement out of its context…it makes atheists look uninformed.

    What atheists have no excuse for, however, is making themselves look uniformed by pulling the statement out of its context.

    • M. Solange O’Brien

      No one did. Thanks for playing.

      • Comrade Carrot-Blog Vegetarian

        That’s false. I’ve watched them do it, in person.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          Really? Then I’ll agree they weren’t being very logical.

        • Comrade Carrot-Blog Vegetarian

          Yep. I’ve seen theists make a case for why morality requires the existence of God, and an atheist respond to that argument by asking who created God.

          It’s become so common a response among atheists that some atheists rattle it off as a standard objection to theism in general, without even thinking about it. It pains me because theists often seize on their carelessness (who could blame them?) and I come away feeling very embarrassed for the atheist.

          It’s become a minor pet-peeve of mine, since there’s no reason for atheists to expose themselves in this way…it’s too easy to avoid doing so :-)

    • TheNuszAbides

      making themselves look uniformed

      uniforms surely aren’t difficult to come by, either 😉

  • Sophia Sadek

    There is no need to ask who created the Christian deity. It was fabricated in the image of Caesar by corrupt bishops during the fourth century.

  • Pofarmer

    See Nuevo is suddently aping Mark Sibley.

    • Myna

      With rare, rare exception, they each begin to eventually ape each other.

    • Doubting Thomas

      I’ve been dealing with Mark for years on a message board related to our jobs. He is definitely not one to aspire to when it comes to debating tactics.

      • Pofarmer

        Is he that dumb everywhere?

        • Doubting Thomas

          I wouldn’t necessarily call him dumb. I would say that he has an incredible ability to make horrible analogies, write long rambling responses that are unrelated to the actual comment, misunderstand or misrepresent what others say, and avoid answering questions. These traits are common among Christians, he just excels at them with an impressively clueless abandon.

  • KarlUdy

    Bob,

    I’m not sure if you misunderstand theists on this point or not.

    I think it is perfectly fine for the question “Who made God?” to be asked. It is not an invalid question. A simple answer to the question is that God is eternal in nature, and so needs no cause to explain his being.

    However, some questioners are actually asking “What was the cause behind whatever is proposed as the cause for the universe?” (for which “God” is often used as a shorthand).

    The issue that can be run into here is that of an infinite regress. (What was the cause behind the cause for the cause for … the cause for the universe.)

    At some point you either need to settle on something that exists uncaused or try to defend an infinite regress. Most theists propose an uncaused being at the first step (ie an uncaused God created the universe), although some (eg some gnostics) have more steps. The most common atheist approaches to this seem to be to either propose the universe as the uncaused first cause, or a multiverse. A multiverse on its own is not sufficient explanation though, it just punts the problem out one step, and then we need to work out whether the multiverse can exist uncaused, or what caused it.

    • Michael Neville

      The most common atheist approaches to this seem to be to either propose the universe as the uncaused first cause, or a multiverse.

      Actually if pressed most atheists will answer “I don’t know.” It’s mainly theists who say that the Cause of the Universe™ is a god or gods. Christians go further and say, “the universe was created by an Iron Age Middle Eastern tribal god called Yahweh who’s also omniscient, omnipotent and various other omnis”. While philosophical arguments are given for the the theist stand, the only argument given for Yahweh being the creator is a 2500 year old creation myth some Hebrew priests stole from the Babylonians.

      • KarlUdy

        Now if you want to go down the “explain your explanation” route, perhaps you’d like to explain your rationale for believing:

        the only argument given for Yahweh being the creator is a 2500 year old creation myth some Hebrew priests stole from the Babylonians.

        • Michael Neville

          Because for years I’ve been talking to Christians, you know, people who believe in a god named Jesus and another god named Yahweh and a third god named The Spook and pretend they’re all the same god even thought the Christians themselves admit that it makes no sense to believe in this stuff but they do anyway and also that Yahweh created the universe as explained in Genesis Chapter 1 and in a different way as explained in Genesis Chapter 2 but really that’s what happened unless it’s all a metaphor but real Christians don’t believe either story is a metaphor unless they’re non-creationist Christians then it is a metaphor and it’s a mess, metaphorically speaking, but really that’s how it happened unless it didn’t but both chapters of Genesis were written some 2500 years ago by Hebrew priests during the Babylonian Exile and the stories were originally two different Babylonian creation myths.

          There, was that a good explanation for you? I can go into further detail if you really want me to.

        • KarlUdy

          both chapters of Genesis were written some 2500 years ago by Hebrew priests during the Babylonian Exile and the stories were originally two different Babylonian creation myths.

          Interesting. Why do you believe this?

        • Michael Neville

          Okay, you want details. It’s generally regarded that the Torah (do you know what that is?) was written in Babylon during the exile. Liberal Biblical scholars (this one for instance) say that Genesis was based in part on Babylonian myths:

          … is an attempt to briefly identify some of the Ancient Near Eastern Motifs and Myths from which the Hebrews apparently borrowed, adapted, and reworked in the Book of Genesis (more specifically Genesis 1-11).

          It is my understanding that Genesis’ motifs and characters, God, Adam, Eve, the Serpent, and Noah, are adaptations and transformations of characters and events occurring in earlier Near Eastern Myths. In some cases several characters and motifs from different myths have been brought together and amalgamated into Genesis’ stories.

          The many points of similarity between the two traditions is conclusive proof that one story was derived from the other (or that both were derived from a still older original).

        • TheNuszAbides

          i’m sure i’ll need to borrow that excellent nutshell at some point.

    • Jack Baynes

      If God doesn’t need a creator, then we can ignore theist’s claim that the universe needs a creator.

      • KarlUdy

        Perhaps, but don’t be surprised to discover that proposing the sort of universe that is uncaused may turn out to be problematic.

        • Pofarmer

          Why?

        • Susan

          Why?

          Crickets.

        • TheNuszAbides

          c’mon, it’s Karl. he likes to slip a vague understatement into all his jabs, so all kinds of strings can be attached and he’s never obligated to answer for them all.

          in this case, though, all he has to mean by ‘problematic’ is ‘problematic inside the heads of anyone who finds it important to cling to superstitions on which their fantasy meta-substrate supposedly depends’.

          EDIT: of course a few someone elses already nailed it, and Joe in fewer words.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          If quantum events don’t always need causes and the universe was a quantum event …

        • MNb

          Why is an unexplained god any less problematic than unexplained quantum fields (or something similar)? I’d say it’s more problematic, because

          1) it introduces an extra but unnecessary entity;
          2) that extra entity cannot be researched;
          3) that extra entity doesn’t add anything to our understanding of our reality;
          4) if that extra entity is immaterial it cannot interact with our natural reality.

          No single of these four points applies to quantum fields.
          That’s science vs. religion 4 – 0.

        • Kevin K

          It’s not at all “problematic”. In fact, many models propose just that. Because the issue of “causality” is an outgrowth of Newtonian physics and Einstein’s general relativity principles – both of which “break down” as you approach Planck time.

          You’re making an assertion that causality must be the same in the pre-Planck time as it is in the post-inflationary period (today). I’m afraid…again…you’re going to have to supply evidence that’s the case. I assume your advanced degree in theoretical physics will come in handy.

        • Joe

          proposing the sort of universe that is uncaused may turn out to be problematic.

          It doesn’t seem problematic at all, apart from if you have a predisposed belief in a creator God, and you need to fit that in somewhere.

    • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

      Do you know offhand how they support their specific deity being this eternal and necessary being Karl?

    • Kevin K

      A simple answer to the question is that God is eternal in nature, and so needs no cause to explain his being.

      EVIDENCE REQUIRED!!!!

      That’s the whole **expletive deleted** point of the **expletive deleted** post.

      You’re making an assertion. PROVE IT.

    • crden

      Actually, my “What is the cause?” answer is generally “I don’t know, but I’m also not sure that there has to be a cause because at some point you hit infinite regress in requiring a cause for anything.” I also don’t quite buy the story that just because x caused y, x gives a rip about what happens to y, interferes in its workings, or is necessarily the only example of x’s around.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Physics says that there may be uncaused events all over the place. The universe, by the same thinking, may be uncaused.

      The problem with the God hypothesis is that it’s just a rephrasing of the question. You didn’t get there by evidence.

      • MNb

        For the argument it’s better to replace “cause” by “explanation”. Then the first cause becomes first explanation.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Interesting. But if you’re trying to explain the electron that comes out of a decaying nucleus, by the Copenhagen interpretation, you can only point to statistics and probabilities, right?

        • MNb

          Of course. But then we are talking about what happens in our natural reality, not about the nature of scientific theories. “God explains our natural reality” is not entirely the same as “God caused our natural reality” – the first is broader. Karl Udy seemed to talk about the first one. Technically he hasn’t excluded a dice playing god yet. Of course we all know that he wants to, so I’m not saying you’re wrong, not at all. What I’m saying is that you technically speaking don’t entirely address what he wrote.

      • Kevin K

        I was going to address this earlier…physicists appear to use the word “cause” or “causality” in an imprecise manner. The fact that a radioactive isotope decays in an “uncaused” manner doesn’t actually violate the principle of “causality”…at least according to my reading of it. Which I’m more-than-happy to defer to an actual-and-real theoretical physicist.

        From what I understand, isotopes decay as a result of their unstable atomic structure…it’s the “when” that we can’t predict with any certainty for any individual atom. But when an atom does decay, its “cause” is the inherent unstable structure. It’s gonna happen, and that’s the reason why. So, an uncaused event does not violate “causality”.

        There are some quantum effects that appear to violate “causality” in physics — but this is controversial and has to do with quantum entanglement, action at a distance, and information being communicated at faster-than-light speeds (or backwards in time).

        I know Michio Kaku states that virtual particles are “uncaused” — but I’m not sure they violate the “causality” principle, either.

        It’s confusing, and I blame their inability to speak in plain language rather than their usual formulas.

        • MNb

          “physicists appear to use the word “cause” or “causality” in an imprecise manner.”
          What’s imprecise about “cause means every time X happens it results in Y”? That’s what for instance F = m*a expresses. It postulates a correlation of 100%.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I hear the “principle of causation” (everything has a cause, I guess?) tossed around from a philosophical standpoint, but that seems irrelevant when talking about quantum mechanics.

          When billiard ball B was speeds away, that’s because billiard ball A hit it. That was the cause. When an electron flies out of the nucleus because it decayed, what caused the electron? There is no equivalent; there is no billiard ball A. All we can say is that it was just its time, and we can give the probability for understanding the likelihood (or rate) of future electrons in the same mass of radioactive material.

        • Joe

          What was the real cause of billiard ball B speeding away though? Ball A hitting it, or the cue hitting ball A which caused it to move? Or the person manipulating the cue? Or the fact that the person had a desire to play billiards that day (without said desire, ball B would never have been hit).

          That’s another way of looking at this argument. Things are part of causal chains stretching back to the beginning of time. The argument then is: what was the first cause? Anything else is window dressing in the argument.

          It also points to determinism, which is an anathema to the Christian worldview.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I think we’re on the same page, but in the case of quantum mechanical causes, we’re not looking at the start of a long change of causes; we’re saying that there was no cause right here. There is no chain.

        • Joe

          Well, my point was more of an aside, you’re correct that causal chains don’t always apply on a quantum level.

          One point that I’d like to make is that a quantum events can be said to have a cause: the conditions that exist to bring them about.

          The cause of a virtual particle is a quantum field. The cause of radioactive decay is an unstable nucleus. The difference is that theists insist that the cause is both intentional and happens at a precise moment in time.

          God decided to create the universe and made it happen at t=0, is what they’re really trying to imply. Of course, just saying things have a cause gets you nowhere near this claim.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          But this seems to define two very different kinds of causes. When billiard ball B flies away, the cause (ball A hitting it) happened right before. Same for the dent in my fender.

          But a neutron being absorbed by a nucleus to create a radioactive nucleus that will, 10 seconds later, decay is a very different kind of “cause.”

          I guess all I’m saying is, let’s not conflate these two.

        • Joe

          guess all I’m saying is, let’s not conflate these two.

          All I’m saying is: Be careful, because theists often do. I’ve had my ‘virtual particle’ example of an ‘uncaused cause’ rejected by an apologist because, according to them, it did have a cause – vacuum energy.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’d just point them to the Wikipedia article on the Copenhagen interpretation.

        • TheNuszAbides

          quantum events can be said to have a cause: the conditions that exist to bring them about.

          i’ve gotten this impression and wondered how careful the wording has to be. presumably there’s a solid case somewhere that a cause can be an emergent property?

        • Joe

          I only mentioned that because I ran into a theist that pulled me up on the subject. It’s really a semantic issue, where theists insist on an intentional cause at time decided upon by an entity (God).

        • Greg G.

          Some types of nuclei decay at faster rates than others. So some states delay nuclear decay. The only uranium nuclei that have decayed today are ones that have been stable for billions of years. How can that be a cause of the nuclear decay?

        • Joe

          They were never stable, they just didn’t decay.

          The cause is instability in the nucleus (too many neutrons). The effect, well, that happens at an unspecified future time.

        • Greg G.

          Too few neutrons and the nucleus would decay even more rapidly. The neutrons stabilize the nucleus. The instability allows decay but it doesn’t cause it.

        • TheNuszAbides

          oh yes, sounds familiar–like the smuggling in of assumptions in questions like “why are we here?” in which “why” can either have the theist interpretation of superconscious intent/purpose or the naturalist interpretation of evidence/mechanics (more clear as “how” than “why”).

        • MNb

          You’ve changed the meaning of the word “cause” – what theists mean with it is the traditional meaning. There’s nothing wrong with that per se; what’s wrong is to abuse the ambiguity.

        • Kevin K

          The crux of the issue is two different meanings of the term “cause”. One a colloquial one, and the other a specific one. Much like the word “theory”.

          The cause of probabilistic events in physics is the inherent state of the object(s) subject to it. A radioisotope on one end or an incipient universe on the other.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I think we’re on the same page, though is that really a “cause”? “Things decay when they’re radioactive” is a cause, but it’s very different from the direct cause in the billiard ball case. My understanding is that even within the physics community, decay is (by the Copenhagen interpretation) considered causeless.

        • Kevin K

          That’s the line between classical physics and quantum physics, I think. I just did a look around and did not find anything that definitively declared radioactive decay violated causality.

          But, as always, I’m happy to defer to an actual, real theoretical physicist (not some engineer who studied physics, FWIW).

          Also finding that the Copenhagen interpretation is falling somewhat out of favor these days. So, maybe the cat is either dead or not-dead after all.

    • MNb

      “A simple answer to the question is that God is eternal in nature, and so needs no cause to explain his being.”
      Then what prevents me from giving the even simpler answer that quantum fields are eternal in nature and so don’t need any explanation? Why aren’t quantum fields on their own a sufficient explanation, while some unidentified god is? You write “it just punts the problem out one step” – why does this apply to quantum fields and not to any unidentified god? That’s something apologists never seem to consider.
      If some unidentified god can exist unexplained so can quantum fields.

      When it comes to explanations (an infinite chain of cause and effect totally is possible – it may be circular for instance) I reject infinite regress, but just for practical reasons.

    • Joe

      A simple answer to the question is that God is eternal in nature, and so needs no cause to explain his being

      That’s a hypothesis, not an answer. Why must we work out the nature of a multiverse, yet we can just assume things about gods?

    • Richard Cranium

      Re: “At some point you either need to settle on something that exists uncaused or try to defend an infinite regress.”

      A third option is admitting that no one really knows.

    • Doubting Thomas

      “However, some questioners are actually asking “What was the cause behind
      whatever is proposed as the cause for the universe?” (for which “God”
      is often used as a shorthand).”

      This is simply another attempt to smuggle god into existence through an unknown. Why, even if the universe was “caused,” would god necessarily be that cause or the cause behind the cause? Why couldn’t the cause of the universe have been caused by an unthinking or non-supernatural force?

      It’s an unwarranted conclusion based on theist’s desire to have evidence for their faith.

      • TheNuszAbides

        desire to have evidence for their faith

        or as seems more likely to me, desire to fabricate yet another excuse to dismiss/ignore atheism/atheists.

    • adam

      What was God’s first thought?

    • Michael Neville

      I have seen a line of argument that time started when the universe was 1X10^-43 seconds old. Seems more reasonable than “there’s this critter who wasn’t created who created the universe”.

  • ZenDruid

    Who created every god, goddess, demon, angel and sundry supernatural entity known to history?

    A type of person known as a “hack storyteller.”

    • TheNuszAbides

      but who did it first?

      … the ur-Hack.

  • Jack Baynes

    And I think in most cases where you ask the question “Where did these ashes come from?” you’d also be interested in “Where did the fire that made these ashes come from?”

  • Ameribear

    The argument from motion states that everything that is changing is changed by something else (reduced from potentiality to actuality) through an essentially
    ordered causal series which cannot not have a primary or first cause. (ie) An infinite number of rail cars coupled together will never be able to move themselves. Since every element in an essentially ordered causal series is a combination of potentiality and actuality the first cause of it all can only be pure actuality. This is NOT arguing for who or what created the universe but that the universe is held in existence on a moment by moment basis here and now through essentially ordered causal series’ that cannot regress infinitely.

    • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

      What is it arguing for, if not what created the universe? I also do not know what “pure actuality” is.

      • Myna

        I also do not know what “pure actuality” is.

        No one does. That’s Chopra speak. Or Tolle or any number of Alices in woo-land talk.

      • Ameribear

        Aquinas in the first way is not arguing for what created the universe, he is arguing that the essentially ordered causal series that sustains the universe in existence on a moment by moment basis by logical necessity must
        terminate in a primary or first cause. Your right in that in the physical reality we live in we cannot know what pure actuality is. Just like we cannot know the rest of the attributes the other four ways arrive at by the same logical necessity. This is why God cannot be one more being among other beings nor can he be composed of the same matter as His creation.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          So the words describe something we can never know? What do they mean in that case?

        • Ameribear

          They mean that you cannot even in principle empirically prove the existence of God because God is neither comprised of the same stuff as His creation nor is He just one more being among others.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          It can be proven by reason I take it though. Yet isn’t this all based on empirical observation itself? That things are moved by other things etc.? I’m not sure how you arrive at the “pure actuality” from this, especially when it still isn’t clear what it means to me.

        • Ameribear

          All objects of our physical cosmos are composites of matter and form and are therefore also composites of potentiality and actuality. No
          physical object can actualize its own potential to assume a different form or state. Its potential to do so must be actualized by something outside of it. An essentially ordered causal series is the result of a chain of potentialities being reduced to actualities simultaneously as when a musician plays an instrument. When the first or primary cause is removed, the series stops. If an essentially ordered causal series is present, the first cause by logical necessity must also be present even though we may have no sensory proof of it. If you pulled up to a railroad crossing as a train was passing by the movement of the cars before
          you proves there is a locomotive even though you didn’t see or hear it because you know none of the cars can move themselves.

          Yes we can empirically observe that the cosmos functions as the
          result of an immense number of essentially ordered causal series’ but logical necessity enables us to also know that such a series cannot occur without a first cause. Since things in the cosmos are all composites of potentiality and actuality we know that an infinite chain of composites is impossible so the first cause has to be pure actuality which means it won’t be found within the cosmos. Forgive me for being so long winded but proper understanding of the argument requires understanding some important terms and distinctions.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          Why can’t they actualize themselves?

          How do we know causation is not infinite?

          Most importantly, how do we know this first cause, if it exists, is God?

        • Ameribear

          Why can’t they actualize themselves?

          There is simply no self-contained ability in the nature of physical objects to actualize themselves.

          How do we know causation is not infinite?

          There are two types of causal series. Accidentally ordered, which
          knocking over a series of dominoes is an example of and essentially
          ordered, which is like a moving train or when someone plays a musical
          instrument. An accidentally ordered causal series theoretically could
          have infinite regress but an essentially ordered causal series cannot. The reason is that an essentially ordered series is held in existence only as long as whatever it’s first cause is continues to act on it. When the musician stops playing the music stops at the same moment. Like I said before, if the effects of an essentially ordered causal series are present there has to be a first cause acting on it to hold it in existence on a moment by moment basis even if you have no sensory perception of the first cause.

          Most importantly, how do we know this first cause, if it exists, is God?

          Aquinas’ arguments describe ordinary experiences in uncommon terms
          and reach conclusions in uncommon terms. Pure actuality, essence
          identical to existence, necessary being and so on. These terms are
          what the arguments necessitate but they don’t describe anything
          within our physical reality. Further metaphysical demonstrations are
          needed to prove the divine attributes. These arguments are not meant
          to be stand alone proofs for the existence of God either. They’re
          summaries of themes that are elaborated on in the rest of Aquinas’
          writings.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          How do you know they can’t actualize themselves? Does this mean a particle can’t be “self-moving” and so on?

          I find these terms very difficult to understand.

        • MNb

          “All objects of our physical cosmos are composites of matter and form and are therefore also composites of potentiality and actuality.”
          Non-sequitur. We don’t need any potentiality and actuality to describe matter and form.
          Worse: nonsensical physics.
          All objects of our physical cosmos are composites of

          http://cdn.zmescience.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/higgs-elementary-particles.gif
          Potentiality and actuality are meaningless for elementary particles.

        • Michael Neville

          So what’s this “god stuff” that God is made of? Can we detect it in any way, shape or form? Or are gods just a figment of the imagination made up out of exactly nothing?

        • Ameribear

          You are asserting that what is empirically verifiable is the only true from of knowledge and that anything that cannot be empirically verified should be rejected. You are now faced with dilemma of empirically verifying that statement which cannot be done and therefore it should be rejected.

        • Michael Neville

          If you’ve got some other way to show that gods exist other than empirical evidence then tell us what it is. That’s the trouble with you goddists, you whine that atheists are so mean as to insist on evidence for the make-believe imaginary critters you worships but can’t come up with any other kind of evidence either.

          So, what’s this “god stuff” that your god is made out of? You don’t know and you don’t have a clue about what it might be. But you’re absolutely sure that it exists even thought there’s zip point shit evidence that it does. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, I’m asking YOU, Ameribear, to expand on YOUR statement “God is neither comprised of the same stuff as His creation nor is He just one more being among others.”

        • Ameribear

          That’s the trouble with you goddists, you whine that atheists are so mean as to insist on evidence for the make-believe imaginary critters you worships (sic) but can’t come up with any other kind of evidence either.

          That’s the trouble with you God deniers, you’re such bloated, self-aggrandizing gas bags that God could suspend you over the pit of hell by your short hairs and you’d still deny him.

          Why don’t you cut the BS and admit you really aren’t interested in any evidence. Judging by the evidence you’ve offered in our previous exchanges and in so many of the other verbal dog piles with your name on them that I’ve stepped in around here, the only thing you’re interested in is being a nescient gascon towards anyone who hasn’t bought into your fatalist tripe. In the mean time may I offer you some suggestions as to what you can do with your demands for evidence?

        • TheNuszAbides

          (sic)

          well that’s rich. look to the beam in “you’re” own eye before slinging [sic]s on the mote in MN’s. and using “gascon” sets you apart from ‘bloated, self-aggrandizing gas bags’? looks like since your last foray you’ve continued imagining you have better things to do than get over yourself.

        • MNb

          That’s not a dilemma – a dilemma is a problem offering two possibilities, neither of which is unambiguously acceptable or preferable.
          You only offer one possibility and it’s totally acceptable.

          Plus “what is empirically verifiable is the only true from of knowledge” is just your strawman version of scientism.
          The scientific method rests on two pillars. One is indeed induction, ie, what is empirically verifiable. The other is deduction, resulting in theories that accurately describe collected empirical data. It’s the combination that allows us to gain knowledge.
          Like MN wrote – if you’ve got some other reliable method you’re invited. Scientism is just the inductional conclusion that there is not such a method. This is the proper formulation; it’s totally consistent with the scientific method and hence not self-refuting.

        • adam

          Which make perfect sense of an IMAGINARY character created out of human IMAGINATION.

        • Joe

          Your right in that in the physical reality we live in we cannot know what pure actuality is

          Nor can we even come up with a viable hypothesis. So we drop it and the models of the universe work just fine.

        • Ameribear

          Then you are stating that reality is only comprised of what is empirically provable.

        • Joe

          That’s what we know of reality as of this very moment. To say otherwise is just speculation.

        • Michael Neville

          Exactly. Imaginary critters like gods cannot be empirically proven and therefore are not part of reality. Welcome to the basis for atheism.

        • Ameribear

          You are advocating scientism which is self-refuting.

        • Michael Neville

          So you have empirical proof of gods? Trot it out or admit that your blather about “scientism” came straight out of your rosy-red rectum.

        • MNb

          Scientism is only self-refuting in the strawman version of apologists like you.

        • MNb

          Nothing is empirically provable. Thanks for demonstrating that you don’t understand science.

    • Ficino

      Hi Ameribear, is there a typo in what you wrote? Don’t you mean that the argument from motion “states that everything that is changing is changed by something else (reduced from potentiality to actuality) through an essentially ordered causal series which [must] have a primary or first cause”?

      And of course, among Thomas’ 5 Ways, the first way is the argument from motion, and the second is the argument from first cause. I think they do pretty much the same work, but “motion/mover” is the term in the 1st Way and “cause/s” in the second. I assume you’re just simplifying.

      • Ameribear

        Cannot not have a first cause is saying the same thing as must have s first cause. Sorry for the confusion.

    • MNb

      “An infinite number of rail cars coupled together will never be able to move themselves.”
      The big mistake here is that this statement assumes movement – specifically velocity – is absolute. It isn’t. If we have an infinite number of rail cars and I walk next to it the cars move relatively to me, because nothing prevents me from putting me in the centre of the inertial frame of reference.

      • Ameribear

        No, the rail cars are not moving as you walk past them, they’re still motionless. Their potential to be in motion has not yet been actualized by your walking past them. The act of walking past them however, is yet another example of an essentially ordered causal series.

        • Michael Neville

          You’re missing MNb’s argument. Him walking by rail cars makes them move relative to him. An observer who can only see MNb and the rail cars can tell they’re moving relative to each other but cannot tell which is moving, either MNb, the rail cars or both.

        • MNb

          Repeating your error does nothing to remedy it.
          Movement – specifically velocity – is not absolute, but relative to an inertial frame of reference. Saying that I walk next to a rail car is the same as saying that the rail car moves next to me. There is no reason to put the car iso me in the centre of the inertial frame of reference.
          Regarding movement the whole actuality/ potentiality thing is Aristotelean physics that has been outdated for at least 400 years. It’s hence a very bad idea to build any philosophical argument on it. It rejects the Three Laws of Newton.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inertial_frame_of_reference
          http://newt.phys.unsw.edu.au/einsteinlight/jw/module1_Inertial.htm
          https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/spacetime-iframes/

          Especially the latter:

          “A “frame of reference” is a standard relative to which motion and rest may be measured; any set of points or objects that are at rest relative to one another enables us, in principle, to describe the relative motions of bodies.”
          You can say “the rail car is at rest relative to me”, I say “I am at rest relative to the rail car hence the car is moving”. That applies to an infinite chain of rail cars just the same. Hence this

          “An infinite number of rail cars coupled together will never be able to move themselves.”
          is just wrong.
          Of course you can reformulate your comment in terms of acceleration (ie change of motion) but then BobS’ blogpost fully applies.

        • Ameribear

          Saying that I walk next to a rail car is the same as saying that the rail car moves next to me. There is no reason to put the car iso me in the centre of the inertial frame of reference.

          Whatever is in motion is by definition only moving because there’s a force acting on it. Your walking next to a stationary object only gives you the perception that it’s in motion.

          Regarding movement the whole actuality/ potentiality thing is Aristotelean physics that has been outdated for at least 400 years. It’s hence a very bad idea to build any philosophical argument on it. It rejects the Three Laws of Newton.

          Newtons laws state that an object will either remain at rest or in motion until an external force is exerted on it. Hence no object can change it’s own state without something else acting on it. Since You claim that actuality and potentiality are based on outdated physics and therefore no longer apply then provide an example of something that can change
          itself from one form or state to another with no outside forces acting on it.

        • Michael Neville

          provide an example of something that can change itself from one form or state to another with no outside forces acting on it.

          Virtual particle creation

          But while the virtual particles are briefly part of our world they can interact with other particles, and that leads to a number of tests of the quantum-mechanical predictions about virtual particles. The first test was understood in the late 1940s. In a hydrogen atom an electron and a proton are bound together by photons (the quanta of the electromagnetic field). Every photon will spend some time as a virtual electron plus its antiparticle, the virtual positron, since this is allowed by quantum mechanics as described above. The hydrogen atom has two energy levels that coincidentally seem to have the same energy. But when the atom is in one of those levels it interacts differently with the virtual electron and positron than when it is in the other, so their energies are shifted a tiny bit because of those interactions. That shift was measured by Willis Lamb and the Lamb shift was born, for which a Nobel Prize was eventually awarded.

        • Ameribear

          Virtual particles require a quantum field in order to come into and out of existence and therefore have a cause. Dr. Stephen Barr takes your argument apart in the video.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhgoAQgnz88

        • MNb

          Stephen Barr is a quack who misrepresents quantum physics. But it’s no surprise that an ignorant like you, who continues to confuse velocity and acceleration, buys his crap.

          “Virtual particles require a quantum field in order to come into and out of existence and therefore have a cause.”
          Causality in physics means: A causes B when A happens in time immediately before B and there is a 100% correlation between A and B. That’s what Newton’s Second Law expresses: F = m*a means a change of velocity caused by a force. There is a 100% correlation between force F and acceleration a and F is acted upon immediately before the acceleration happens.
          There is no such relation between quantum fields and virtual particles. Virtual particles sometimes happen, sometimes not. Hence it’s meaningless, if not a straightforward lie to say that quantum fields cause virtual particles.
          However I grant you that it’s possible to reformulate the Cosmological Argument in probabilistic terms (that’s what virtual particles are about). Then you argue for a gambling god and as Einstein already realized (“God doesn’t play dice”) that refutes all versions of the abrahamistic god.

          Hint for the day: try to understand what you’re talking about before you begin to discuss physics with an experienced teacher physics.

        • MNb

          “Whatever is in motion is by definition only moving because there’s a force acting on it.”
          Totally wrong.

          http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/newtlaws/Lesson-1/Newton-s-First-Law

          “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction (underlined by me) unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”
          Congratulations. Your understanding of physics is outdated for almost 350 years.

          “Hence no object can change it’s own state without something else acting on it.”
          That’s a non-sequitur that only shows you don’t understand the difference between velocity and acceleration. You contradict yourself. First you write that by definition something else must act on an object for that object to be moving (which is wrong) and now you talk about change of motion, for which it indeed is required that something else acts on it.

          However that infinite chain of rail cars of you is just moving:

          “An infinite number of rail cars coupled together will never be able to move themselves.”
          They are – as long at their velocity remains constant. And then what I wrote applies: saying that I move with regard to those cars is the same as saying that those cars move with regard to me. Hence your statement is wrong.

          “Since You claim that actuality and potentiality are based on outdated physics and therefore no longer apply then provide an example of something that can change
          itself from one form or state to another with no outside forces acting on it.”
          Another non-sequitur. What my claim means is that actuality and potentiality are meaningless in Classical Mechanics (as formulated by Galileo and Newton). You won’t find those terms in any textbook on the subject. And I know what I’m talking about: I’ve been teaching physics since 1989.
          Plus you again are contradicting yourself. Your infinite chain of rail cars do not need to change from one state to another to keep on moving – they just need to keep their velocity constant and that means that no force acts upon them. Even worse – this does not only apply to an infinite number of rail cars, it also applies to a single rail car.

          http://www.schoolphysics.co.uk/age14-16/Mechanics/Motion/text/Equations_of_motion/index.html

          Point 1: Non accelerated motion – that is motion at a constant velocity
          Whether it’s a single car or an infinite number, as long as nothing external acts on it/them they keep their motion at a constant velocity. Hence it’s totally possible that the car(s) move by themselves.
          You simply don’t understand your own argument and you won’t as long as you don’t understand the difference between motion (constant velocity) and change of motion (non-constant velocity). For the latter it’s meaningless to talk about potentiality and actuality.

          Thus far I’m neglecting Modern Physics. Michael N underneath is completely right, but by now I’m sure that that stuff will fly way above your medieval head.

        • Ameribear

          “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction (underlined by me) unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”

          In my previous post I said “Newtons laws state that an object will either remain at rest or in motion until an external force is exerted on it. Hence no object can change it’s own state without something else acting on it.” How is that any different than what you just said?

          You contradict yourself. First you write that by definition something else must act on an object for that object to be moving (which is wrong)

          An object needs an external force acting on it to get it moving if it is at rest. That’s exactly what I just said and what Newtons law says. Why is that wrong?

          and now you talk about change of motion, for which it indeed is required that something else acts on it.

          Ok so you agree with the premise of my earlier statement that no object can move itself or change it’s motion regardless of whether it’s moving or at rest. True or False?

          They are – as long at their velocity remains constant.

          One rail car or any number of rail cars at rest need an external force to act on them to get them moving. If no external force acts on them then they will remain at rest. Is that true or false?

          And then what I wrote applies: saying that I move with regard to those cars is the same as saying that those cars move with regard to me. Hence your statement is wrong.

          So if you are walking past said rail cars with no external force acting on them so they are at rest and not moving how can they be moving?

          What my claim means is that actuality and potentiality are meaningless in Classical Mechanics (as formulated by Galileo and Newton). You won’t find those terms in any textbook on the subject. And I know what I’m talking about: I’ve been teaching physics since 1989.

          So you’re saying that an object at rest is not actually at rest and has no potentiality to be in motion. An object in motion is not actually in motion and has no potential to be at rest.

          Point 1: Non accelerated motion – that is motion at a constant velocity Whether it’s a single car or an infinite number, as long
          as nothing external acts on it/them they keep their motion at a
          constant velocity. Hence it’s totally possible that the car(s) move
          by themselves.

          But they still required an external force acting on them to get them in motion in the first place didn’t they? Once they are in motion they still need some force to keep them in motion because if it went away gravity would take over and the cars would stop. Isn’t that correct?

        • TheNuszAbides

          well at least you’re slightly closer to treating him like the instructor he actually is, and slightly farther from assuming your dismissals will shut down anyone ‘foolish’ enough to be openly atheist.
          unfortunately you’re still desperate to salvage a fraction of your comments as technically accurate (and inevitably/interminably tweakable enough to reaffirm Thomist adoration) rather than acknowledge anything remotely resembling error on your part. again i hope against hope that you take a fresh stab at getting over yourself. your pretense that you humble yourself before The LORD does not translate to humility in the here-and-now. and i understand that many Catholics [e.g. but in particular] are perfectly proud of this fact. but you know what’s been said about pride, i suppose — and probably imagine that you have better protection against its temptations than us gas bags. how hilarious.

  • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

    One cosmological argument says there can’t be an infinite chain of causes, and thus a first cause which caused all the rest. They usually claim this is God. Of course the problem with this is mostly the conclusion I think. Even if you grant that something can’t go on forever, this “first cause” need not be God. Indeed the Epicureans used more or less the same reasoning to say that matter is the “first cause” and must exist necessarily. Opposing a creator, they pointed out that an all-powerful being would have no need to create anything else as anything that they desired would be instantly theirs, making this a less probable scenario. Polytheists might also chime in to then ask why just one “first cause” has to exist as well, etc. Aristotle, who first coined the argument, didn’t think of this first cause as a God that should be worshiped, or resembling the all-powerful, all-good God of classical theism (it seems he was a kind of deist, as were the Epicureans).

    • Ficino

      Cool. I’m not sure how your qualification, “kind of deist,” is meant to work. Strictly speaking, I don’t think Aristotle can be called a kind of deist in the modern sense, because he held that motion is both eternal and constant. His first mover continually is the first cause of all movement – not only at the beginning to jumpstart the process. Aristotle doesn’t have a “wind up the watch and let it start ticking” model of the first mover. Ari’s FM is a sustainer at every moment. But perhaps this is all familiar and it’s what you meant.

      Although in Metaphysics Lambda and Physics VIII we read of “the” first mover, if I recall correctly, in the De Caelo there turn out to be either 47 or 55 first movers.

      ———–

      adding: I just noticed Ameribear’s below. I think Ameribear and I are saying the same thing, though there may be a typo in A’s post. ?

      • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

        Well, that may have been a poor description. I’m not well versed in Aristotle, but my understanding is that to him God didn’t intervene into with human affairs, simply sustaining things as you say (that is, no miracles). Thus a “kind of” deist, though again that may not be the best descriptor. It may be I’m way off though.

        • Ficino

          Yes, agreed. It probably has to do with one’s definition of deist. I am used to seeing deist defined as a god who gets things started and then does nothing. Aristotle’s god keeps doing stuff, i.e. sustaining, though that god has no direct interaction with or knowledge of individuals.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          Looking into this more, some deists seem to think God does intervene, they just reject revelation for knowing he exists. I guess this is a broader definition than it seems.

        • John Hodges

          That is how Deists are commonly described BY THEISTS, but if you read Thomas Paine, THE AGE OF REASON

    • Kevin K

      Of course, my “first cause” is aliens. Like god, only with spaceships.

      • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

        So what’s the difference, if they are really an “uncaused cause”?

        • Kevin K

          They’re interdimensional beings. Their role in the multiverse is to create new universes and to mop up the old ones when they’re done.

          At one point, I was convinced that the aliens were interdimensional alien monkeys who shat the universe into being out of their red monkey butts. And you could find evidence of this via the “red shift” of galactic motion.

          It’s a fun game to play with theists. Sagan’s dragon.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          Okay, where do you think they came from?

        • adam

          It is obvious,
          they are outside of time.

        • Kevin K

          Eternal and timeless. With spaceships.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Space Ponies did it ya Philistine!

        • adam

          Magic.

    • Ameribear

      Keep in mind that Aquinas is not arguing the same point as the KCM. He never argued that the universe had to to have a starting point at some point in the past.
      He is arguing that the chain of causes necessary to sustain the universe on a moment by moment basis is essentially ordered and therefore cannot extend infinitely into the past. The term necessary used by Aquinas specifically means permanent or everlasting. Understanding his arguments can’t really be done piecemeal. You have
      to gain a thorough understanding of all the terms and how they fit together.

      • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

        Yes, they are different.

        I’m coming to understand that about him.

      • MNb

        Thomas of Aquino was still wrong. The model of a pulsating Universe shows can contain a chain of causes that extends infinitely into the past. If Thomas of Aquino had spend a few thoughts on circles he might have realized it.
        Plus of course the first cause, if we accept linearity, still doesn’t need to be any god.

        • Ameribear

          I don’t think you understand the argument.

          Did you read my reply to the last post you made in our previous discussion. I’d appreciate your feedback on it.

        • Pofarmer

          If I may be so bold. Who cares? Nowhere in modern cosmology does Aquinas come into play.

        • Ameribear

          What is your understanding of his arguments and how do they support that claim?

        • Pofarmer

          Show me one place in modern cosmology where Aquinas ideas are referenced.

        • Ameribear

          According to the definition of cosmology the study of various characteristics
          such as parts, elements, laws, causality etc. should reference plenty of what Aquinas points out in his arguments. How can you not consider concepts of matter, form, causality, or necessity when studying the cosmos? Things are changing all the time and understanding why that happens permeates the study of the cosmos.

        • adam

          So where is MAGIC a constituent of cosmology?

        • Ameribear

          So where is magic a constituent of anything Aquinas has written?

        • Kodie

          I am going to regret getting into the middle of this, but why do people believe in god… I mean think about it. They can’t believe nature arose without a creator, well go back to the beginning. How does god figure into the creation of everything besides magic? You can’t explain the method, you can’t explain anything about god without invoking magic. You can’t hide behind Aquinas and pretend magic isn’t part of it. You use god as a full explanation without examining it. That’s dopey!

        • Ameribear

          I’m not hiding behind anything. If you understand magic to be a part of it then explain specifically where Aquinas invokes magic in any of his arguments.

        • Kodie

          How does Aquinas explain how the world began, out of what, from what, via what action? It’s up to you to square that with reality.

        • Ameribear

          Aquinas never argued that the world had a beginning in time. Admit that you clearly haven’t taken the time to understand what he’s arguing for.

        • Susan

          Aquinas never argued that the world had a beginning in time.

          Kodie didn’t ask how the world began in time. She asked you how Aquinas explains how the world began, out of what, from what, via what action?

          Here is your opportunity to explain what Aquinas has to say on the matter.

          What are the odds you’ll do so without insisting she read The Five Ways and/or Feser? Not very good is my guess.

          Cosmologists and philosophers overwhelmingly disregard Aquinas. As they disregard earth, wind and fire as an explanatory model.

          Why do you think that is?

          Admit that you haven’t taken the time to understand what he’s arguing for.

          What is he arguing for?

        • Ameribear

          Kodie didn’t ask how the world began in time. She asked you how Aquinas explains how the world began, out of what, from what, via what action?

          Asking how the world began presupposes that at some point in the distant past the world did not exist. None of Aquinas’ arguments specifically address whether or not the word had a beginning in time or the specific details of how it began to exist.

          Cosmologists and philosophers overwhelmingly disregard Aquinas. As they disregard earth, wind and fire as an explanatory model. Why do you think that is?

          Ok, since I’ve asked others here to explain why that is and no one as yet has, why don’t you go ahead and tell me why you believe that is.

          What is he arguing for?

          In the most general terms I can think of he’s primarily arguing that the physical reality we observe around us is highly contingent on a specific type of causal series holding it in existence on a moment by moment basis, and that the causal series keeping everything in existence by logical necessity must have a first cause outside of it acting on it from
          outside of it.

        • Kodie

          I don’t give a shit, actually. You’re the one with the imaginary friend.

        • Ameribear

          And your the one who’s even more incapable of making your case than you accuse us of being.

        • Kodie

          The world had a beginning in time. Just because Aquinas never addressed it (as you claim) doesn’t fucking matter.

        • adam

          Kodie covers it quite well.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The soul.

        • TheNuszAbides

          cue retcon machine: “if you read Thom’s statements as cleverly vague allegory of [insert any finding/model of cosmology, genetics, neuroscience, et al.] then he continues to come off as super-insightful! ah, what a Great Mind!”

        • Pofarmer

          I’ll take that as a “I don’t have anything, so let me just spit something up.”

        • Ignorant Amos

          What? Aquinas isn’t required reading for a career in cosmology? How can that be?

        • Ameribear

          I’ll take that as a “I’ve never bothered to take the time to actually grasp anything Aquinas has written so I’ll just blow you off”

        • Pofarmer

          I can grasp it fine. Can you grasp the fact that Thomistic ideas of causality don’t have any place in modern cosmology? Read some science.

        • TheNuszAbides

          welcome to the Ameribear Elitism Preservation Machine.

        • MNb

          “How can you not consider ….”
          Good question – and one totally irrelevant for Pofarmer’s request. The point is that Thomas Aquino’s concepts about them at best don’t play any role in modern cosmology.

        • Ameribear

          The fact that you so blithely toss them off as irrelevant is proof positive that you have never bothered to actually attempt to understand them. Nothing in any of your replies to my posts has come anywhere near
          refuting them. If anything you’ve just confirmed them.

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          Our dear apologist loses his comprehensive reading skills. Or he/she begins to lie.
          I didn’t write “irrelevant”.
          I wrote “irrelevant for Pofarmer’s request“, something I backed up and you prefer to ignore.
          What’s more – I didn’t even try to refute them.
          Pofarmer requested

          “Show me one place in modern cosmology where Aquinas ideas are referenced.”
          You didn’t.
          Because you can’t.
          Because Aquino’s ideas are irrelevant for modern cosmology.
          Which was Pofarmer’s point.
          Which I pointed out.
          Which you lamely try to duck.
          And again the question rises: is this apologist stupid or lying? Both perhaps?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Again the question rises: is this apologist stupid or lying? Both perhaps?

          Just par for the course around here these days.

        • adam

          “is this apologist stupid or lying? ”

          Everything after the word ‘apologist’ is redundant.

        • TheNuszAbides

          it’s certainly fair to grant that without more comprehensive/conclusive fMRI findings we can’t easily separate the stupid type from the dishonest type. (which is charitably assuming that they do not always overlap. i mean, C.S. Lewis may have had blind spots but he weren’t no moron.)

        • adam

          ” C.S. Lewis may have had blind spots but he weren’t no moron”

          I do find belief in MAGIC as moronic.

        • Ameribear

          Because Aquino’s ideas are irrelevant for modern cosmology.

          Then explain what they are and why they’re irrelevant.

          When modern cosmology studies the cosmos it does while totally neglecting what Thomas of Aquino wrote about those concepts.

          Then demonstrate that you have a proper understanding of what Aquinas wrote and why the modern study of cosmology disregards it.

        • MNb

          No my silly friend, today I don’t feel like giving a lecture for free. You are the one who brought up Thomas of Aquino, not me. You are the one who thinks he is relevant. Remember? You began to talk about the (K)CM and what the Italian guy had to do with it. In case you have forgotten: C means Cosmological. Cosmology is a branch of Modern Physics these days – Big Bang and stuff. So you are the one who has to answer Pofarmer’s question first:

          “Show me one place in modern cosmology where Aquinas ideas are referenced.”

          You are even sillier thinking that I’ll fall for your silly evasive trick. That’s because you make another silly mistake. Unlike you assume I don’t feel any urge to prove a silly guy like you that I have a proper understanding of what Thomas of Aquino wrote. I care exactly zilch of what you think of me.
          Your evasive cheapo actually confirms that you’re not capable of answering Pofarmer’s request. Because there is no such one place in Modern Cosmology where the ideas of Thomas of Aquino are referenced. And that shows those ideas are irrelevant. Hence there is no need to explain why.
          But let me give you a hint, in the unlikely case you are genuinely interested: Aristoteles, what the great Stagyrian meant for Thomas of Aquino and what he means (nothing) for Modern Physics, including Cosmology. Have fun! Or not, it’s just the same to me.

          Above you wrote:

          “Did you read my reply to the last post you made in our previous discussion. I’d appreciate your feedback on it.”
          I replied with the request to provide a link, because I have no idea anymore what discussion and what reply of yours. Or wouldn’t you appreciate it anymore?

        • adam

          “The fact that you so blithely toss them off as irrelevant is proof positive that you have never bothered to actually attempt to understand them.”

          No it’s proof positive of your idiocy and false pride.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/be20eada2b37de3b894e21e212219efb332ad17f65d067662b58455f5a644fd6.gif

        • Ameribear

          So you can’t answer the question and now you’re trying to change the subject. What’s that proof of?

        • MNb

          Fortunately what you think bears as little relevance as what I think. So shrug.
          What last post and what previous discussion? A link would have been helpful.

        • Dys

          Aquinas is essentially arguing for God as a necessary being, based on the assumption that the universe is not self-sustaining, so that God must be the sustaining cause for the universe.

          MNb is stating that pulsating models of the universe demonstrates that the universe is self-sufficient itself, removing the need for any god to sustain it.

        • Ameribear

          Aquinas is essentially arguing for God as a necessary being,

          Do you understand exactly what Aquinas means by necessary and the context he uses that term in?

          based on the assumption that the universe is not self-sustaining, so that God must be the sustaining cause for the universe.

          Nothing in any of Aquinas’ arguments is based on any “assumptions”. Have you really taken the time to gain a proper understanding of them?

          MNb is stating that pulsating models of the universe demonstrates that the universe is self-sufficient itself, removing the need for any god to sustain it.

          Which is another baseless assertion without specifically showing why that’s true.

        • Dys

          Do you understand exactly what Aquinas means by necessary and the context he uses that term in?

          Yes. Do you?

          Nothing in any of Aquinas’ arguments is based on any “assumptions”.

          Every argument has to make some assumptions, either explicitly or implicitly (often in the form of axioms). Declaring otherwise makes it abundantly clear that you’re nowhere near as informed as you want others to believe you are. Stop condescending, it’s not working when you make such basic errors.

          Which is another baseless assertion without specifically showing why that’s true.

          Then it’s just as baseless to insist that God is a necessary being for the same reason. You can’t have it both ways.

        • Ameribear

          Yes. Do you?

          Then tell me specifically what he defines a necessary being as.

          Every argument has to make some assumptions, either explicitly or implicitly (often in the form of axioms).

          That isn’t true. There are plenty of arguments that demand necessary conclusions based on observed evidence.

          Then it’s just as baseless to assert that God is a necessary being for the same reason. You can’t have it both ways.

          Then explain exactly what Aquinas means by a necessary being and explain the context he uses that term in in his arguments or admit that you really don’t understand what he’s talking about.

        • Dys

          Remember when anyone here decided you were any kind of authority on anything?

          Me neither. Your demands are summarily rejected, especially since you’re the one arguing for Aquinas in the first place. Don’t argue by assertion – it’s lazy.

          Also, you’re still completely wrong about arguments not requiring assumptions. Even observed evidence relies on certain assumptions about reality. You’re continuing to demonstrate that you’re simply not the philosophy and logic expert you want people to believe you are.

        • Ameribear

          Don’t argue by assertion – it’s lazy.

          Then it’s just as baseless to assert that God is a necessary being for the same reason. You can’t have it both ways.

          You made the assertion above. I am simply asking you if you understand what Aquinas defines as a “necessary being” because it makes a difference in whether or not your assertion is true.

          You also echoed an assertion that MNb made about a pulsating universe model proving that the universe is self sustaining and thereby disproves Aquinas’ arguments. In order to make that assertion you would have to have a pretty good understanding of Aquinas arguments which would also require understanding the definitions of the terms underpinning them which is something that has yet to be demonstrated.

        • MNb

          Still wants to take up the role of teacher …… without doing any explanation.
          Yup – it’s lazy that you refuse to do the work yourself, ie show that the arguments of Thomas of Aquinas do not contradict a pulsating universe model, that his understanding of causality does not conflict with Modern Physics etc. By now I don’t expect anymore that you will even try.
          Just asserting and behaving like a condescending, arrogant, superior intellect without any further do is so much easier.

        • Ameribear

          Still wants to take up the role of teacher …… without doing any explanation. Yup – it’s lazy that you refuse to do the work yourself, ie show that the arguments of Thomas of Aquinas do not contradict a pulsating universe model, that his understanding of causality does not conflict with Modern Physics etc. By now I don’t expect anymore that you will even try.

          It was you who made that specific assertion without any supporting explanation to begin with. You are making the claim that such a model does refute Aquinas’ understanding of causality which means you must have a clear understanding of Aquinas’ argument from contingency and how this model you present disproves it. Since you haven’t specifically shown that, I’m betting you don’t have a clue.

          Just asserting and behaving like a condescending, arrogant, superior intellect without any further do is so much easier.

          At least you’ve demonstrated you know how to do that well.

        • MNb

          Since you stick to your arrogance and don’t try to show how Thomas of Aquino’s understanding of causality does not contradict with Modern Physics – which is your claim and also have demonstrated that you don’t understand how deduction works (by asking if deductional arguments without assumptions are impossible) it’s obvious that you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.
          Plus you miss the point. You are the one who keeps on talking about deep understanding. You are the one who keeps on demanding us to show it. Hence you are the one who appoints himself as teacher, authority. You refuse to do any explanation of what Aquino means with causality but demands us to do so.
          Without any qualification. Plus you are also have shown you’re not trustworthy. Combined with your arrogance your trick becomes obvious. Chances are high that whatever we bring up about Aquino you are going to abuse your self-appointed authority to dismiss it as shallow, incorrect and poor.
          Nobody here is going to fall for it.

          “At least you’ve demonstrated you know how to do that well.”
          I treat you like you treat me. So thanks for confirming what I wrote.

        • Ameribear

          It doesn’t so much contradict all the Cosmological Arguments. It makes god’s act of creation superfluous. It the model is correct the Universe just is. That you don’t get this, but keep on talking about contradictions, is another reason to reject your self-appointed authority.

          I’m assuming you mean “if” the model is correct.

          How convenient. You simply assert the universe as a brute fact
          without any explanation as to why that is and by inserting the big
          “if” in there you admit you really don’t know if your model is true. You also refer to God’s act of creation being rendered superfluous which only confirms your cluelessness because no where in any of Aquinas’ writings does he argue that the universe must have had a starting point in the past. Whether or not the universe had a beginning in time is completely immaterial to all of Aquinas’ arguments.

          If you understood how arguments worked you would
          explain what Thomas of Aquino meant with causality.

          It’s called an essentially ordered causal series. A series whose
          members have no ability in and of themselves to cause anything hence they can only cause as they are being caused. A series that only exists on a moment by moment basis as long as there is a primary cause acting on it at all times and ceases to exist the moment it’s primary cause stops.

          if Thomas of Aquino meant with causality something else than Modern Physics it might very well be the case that his meaning was incorrect, which also leads to a failure of his version of the CA.

          If you believe he’s arguing that the cosmos had a beginning at
          some point in the past ala the KCA then my suspicions about you are confirmed and you really don’t know what your talking about. Aquinas never made any cosmological arguments of that sort.

        • Susan

          It’s called an essentially ordered causal series. A series whose
          members have no ability in and of themselves to cause anything hence they can only cause as they are being caused. A series that only exists on a moment by moment basis as long as there is a primary cause acting on it at all times and ceases to exist the moment it’s primary cause stops.

          You’ve shown no reason to accept that reality works like this.

          Nor have you defined “cause”.

          You simply assert the universe as a brute fact
          without any explanation as to why that is

          He very clearly said (accounting for the typo) that “if” the model is correct, the Universe is a brute fact. The explanation is in the model.

          He did not assert that the model is correct. Even you noticed this.

          by inserting the big
          “if” in there you admit you really don’t know if your model is true.

          Exactly. But it is a plausible model that leaves you with no “necessary” being. Aquinas’s argument is not a proof which is what it claims to be.

          If you believe he’s arguing that the cosmos had a beginning at some point in the past ala the KCA

          Nothing in MNb’s comment suggested that. Which is why he didn’t put a “K” in front of the “CA”.

          You seem to be saying that the Cosmos requires a primary “cause” “acting” on it at all “times” and you haven’t done a thing to make that credible. In that sense, it’s a cosmological argument. MNb said nothing about time.

          You are using the standard catholic incantation of “You don’t understand Aquinas” which looks exactly like someone telling someone working in the field of germ theory that “they don’t understand the four humours”.

          What is it we don’t understand?

        • Ignorant Amos

          You are using the standard catholic apolegetics incantation of “You don’t understand Aquinas” which looks exactly like someone telling someone working in the field of germ theory that “They don’t understand the four humours”.

          That goatskin Feser has made a career out of telling everyone they don’t understand Aquinas…at least not like Feser does.

        • Pofarmer

          And they don’t, but who cares? Aquinas is irrelevant in all but Catholic Theology. A Catholic relative of mine took umbrage at this when I pointed out that what he was calling “Philosophy” aka Catholic natural Theology, based on Aquinas, was actually theology and not philosophy and isn’t found anywhere in modern philosophy, either.

        • Ameribear

          You’ve shown no reason to accept that reality works like this. Nor have you defined “cause”.

          Aquinas defines change as something being reduced from potentiality to actuality and notes that nothing can actualize it’s own potentialities. Potentialities are actualized only by something else that has had its potentialities actualized. If you believe reality doesn’t operate like this then provide proof that there is something within our physical cosmos that has within it’s nature the ability to change itself.

          He very clearly said (accounting for the typo) that “if” the model is correct, the universe is a brute fact. The explanation is in the model.

          If pigs had wings we’d all be carrying our umbrellas around with
          us everyday. According to that logic I can posit any other model of
          the universe to support any other claims and state the same thing.

          Exactly. But it is a plausible model that leaves you with no “necessary” being. Aquinas’s argument is not a proof which is what it claims to be.

          He nor anyone else here has failed to show they understand what Aquinas’ meant by a necessary being and the context he used the term
          in let alone demonstrate that a speculative model invalidates anything Aquinas has written. Still waiting.

          Nothing in MNb’s comment suggested that. Which
          is why he didn’t put a “K” in front of the “CA”.

          You seem to be saying that the Cosmos requires a primary “cause”
          “acting” on it at all “times”. In that sense,
          it’s a cosmological argument. MNb said nothing about
          time.

          You’re right, you could define them as cosmological arguments just
          not the same specific type as the KCA. The one thing everyone seems
          to get wrong about Aquinas’ five ways is that he’s arguing that the
          universe had to have a beginning in time which he is clearly not
          doing.

          You are using the standard catholic apolegetics incantation of “You don’t understand Aquinas” which looks exactly like someone telling someone working in the field of germ theory that they “don’t understand the four humours”.

          What is it we don’t understand?

          The difference between an accidentally ordered causal series and
          an essentially ordered causal series, the act/potency distinction,
          hylemorphism, essence and existence, what he means by necessary, what he means by moved, what he means by first, what an efficient cause is…

        • Pofarmer

          Potentialities are actualized only by something else that has had its potentialities actualized.

          Except, especially in the case of Quantum mechanics we know that this doesn’t hold.

          If you believe reality doesn’t operate like this then provide proof that
          there is something within our physical cosmos that has within it’s
          nature the ability to change itself.

          What does that even mean? Gravity changes objects motion all the time. Aquinas wouldn’t have understood anything about Gravity or conservation of energy, for instance.

          Look, you’ve taken a very early attempt at understanding the Universe and for some reasion(theolgy, cough, cough) you believe it’s still relevant. It’s not.

          He nor anyone else here has failed to show they understand what Aquinas’
          meant by a necessary being and the context he used the term
          in let alone demonstrate that a speculative model invalidates anything Aquinas has written.

          Once again, point me to any modern argument or model where this is relevant. If not, STFD and STFU.

          The difference between an accidentally ordered causal series and
          an essentially ordered causal series, the act/potency distinction,
          hylemorphism,
          essence and existence, what he means by necessary, what he means by
          moved, what he means by first, what an efficient cause is

          Is all COMPLETELY FUCKING IRRELEVANT TO MODERN SCIENCE. essence and existance aren’t even useful. Move on.

        • Ameribear

          What does that even mean? Gravity changes objects motion all the time. Aquinas wouldn’t have understood anything about Gravity or conservation of energy, for instance.

          Exactly Aquinas’ point. Nothing changes itself, even matter and
          energy change form because of something else acting on them.

          Look, you’ve taken a very early attempt at
          understanding the Universe and for some reasion(theolgy, cough,
          cough) you believe it’s still relevant. It’s not.

          Please show me where the theology is in this.

          <Is all COMPLETELY FUCKING IRRELEVANT TO MODERN SCIENCE.
          essence and existence aren't even useful. Move on.

          It’s completely relevant because nothing gets built unless an immaterial concept is joined to an act of creation. Aquinas’ is describing stuff that goes on all the time, just not in terms normally used.

        • Pofarmer

          just not in terms normally used. relevant. FIFY.

        • Susan

          Aquinas defines change as something being reduced from potentiality to actuality and notes that nothing can actualize it’s own potentialities

          Give us an example. It’s not going to be acorns and oak trees, is it?

          If you believe reality doesn’t operate like this then provide proof that there is something within our physical cosmos that has within it’s nature the ability to change itself.

          No. You have to prove that everything necessarily conforms to this vague terminology or you don’t have a “proof”. And you need to nail down your terms. Acorns and oak trees aren’t going to tell us much about relativity, for instance, or quantum fields.

          If pigs had wings, we’d all be carrying our umbrellas around with us every day.

          Well, exactly. This goes for your necessary being model.

          He nor anyone else here has failed to show they understand what Aquinas’ meant by a necessary being and the context he used the term

          Oh, yawn. No one understands Aquinas except those catholics who claim he has definitively defined Yahwehjesus into existence.

          No one takes Aquinas’s model seriously any more except for catholics who think they have themselves a “proof”. I have suffered through the tedium of “the hand pushing the stick” and countless other Aquinian bits that don’t pan out in reality. For years. No matter how thoroughly Aquinas is taken apart, there is always a person at the end claiming that it’s because “you don’t understand Aquinas”.

          Somehow Ameribear does, though. And knows that he has a “proof” that has been there since the thirteenth century despite the fact that no cosmologists and almost no philosophers take the argument seriously.

        • Ameribear

          Give us an example. It’s not going to be acorns and oak trees, is it?

          Look around, anything made of matter has the potential to be changed into some other form. Ice into liquids or gas, wood into ashes or furniture or a guitar. The potential of any object to change can never be actualized by the object itself. Why is that so hard to grasp?

          No. You have to prove that everything necessarily conforms to this vague terminology or you don’t have a “proof”. And you need to nail down your terms. Acorns and oak trees aren’t going to tell us much about relativity, for instance, or quantum fields.

          Nothing in Aquinas’ terminology is vague. His definitions are not the same as what modern readers think they are but they aren’t anything out of the ordinary. I have yet to see a refutation of the 5 ways that actually gets the definitions of the terms right.

          Well, exactly. This goes for your necessary being model.

          It is not a model. This is metaphysics not regular physics and the fact that you suck at grasping is not my problem.

          Oh, yawn. No one understands Aquinas except those catholics who claim he has definitively defined Yahwehjesus into existence. No one takes Aquinas’s model seriously any more except for catholics who think they have themselves a “proof”. I have suffered through the tedium of “the hand pushing the stick” and countless other
          Aquinian bits that don’t pan out in reality. For years. No matter how
          thoroughly Aquinas is taken apart, there is always a person at the
          end claiming that it’s because “you don’t understand Aquinas”.

          Oh yawn no one understands science except those atheists who think
          they have proven God out of existence. I have suffered through the
          tedium of “science proves there is no God” and countless other fairy tales that don’t pan out in reality. For years no matter how thoroughly God’s existence is shown to never be a matter of science there’s always a person at the end claiming that it’s because “you don’t understand science”.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Aquinas! Now there’s a guy who will be an asset at the frontier of science.

        • Pofarmer

          But this is metaphysics Bob, not regulat physics, so it’s double plus frickin special.

        • Pofarmer

          This is metaphysics not regular physics

          Once again, show me the application to modern cosmology.

          Also, it’s not that God has been proven out of existence, it’s just that the concept doesn’t become necesary in science………anywhere.

        • Ameribear

          So by your definition science is the only source of true knowledge.

        • Pofarmer

          Science is the only method we’ve developed for reliable knowledge. I’d go that far. Science itself doesn’t claim to be “true”.

        • Ameribear

          Then by your logic only scientific knowledge can be deemed reliable.

        • Michael Neville

          Yes, you got it. Science is reliable, religious myths and stories are not. You see, science goes out of its way to check its data, question its conclusions, and accepts nothing as final. Religion literally makes things up as it goes along without regard to coherence, accuracy and even honesty.

        • Ameribear

          You’ve confused metaphysics with religion. Metaphysics is not a specifically religious disciple, it can be applied to anything.

        • Michael Neville

          Any confusion is solely on your part. I’m talking about religion, specifically that it all comes out of priests’, preachers’, pastors’, and pontiffs’ rectums.

        • Pofarmer

          Science is the most reliable way that we’ve yet found to describe the world around us. It used to be Natural Philosophy up until about 500 years or so ago. There may yet come something more reliable.

        • Kodie

          Science is interested in studying reality, not your favorite fictional character. I really don’t know why you’re here.

        • Susan

          I really don’t know why you’re here.

          To tell us about Aquinas and Natural Law.

          ‘Cause Aquinas and Natural Law.

          He’s a catholic delivery system. Not interested in the least in checking his work.

          Just dropping off the catholic newsletter.

        • Kodie

          Some people feel compelled to try their best to convert atheists, but others just seem too bitter for that. Why don’t atheists get this, it’s so simple? Yeah, sure, it’s simple, but is it correct?

        • Ameribear

          I’m here to tell you that science is completely incapable of capturing the entirety of reality and to believe that it can is pure dogma.

        • Kodie

          But you must realize by now, nobody here is buying your shit just because you’re convinced of it.

        • Ameribear

          That’s perfectly acceptable because I’m not buying yours just because you’re convinced of it.

        • Michael Neville

          But the difference is that you came here to try to peddle your shit. We didn’t seek you out and force you to come, you showed up all by yourself, without adult supervision. So the burden of evidence is on you. So far you’re not making any sales.

        • Ameribear

          Neither are you.

        • Myna

          Neither are you.

          But Michael N. is not attempting to peddle his position. You are by coming here. That’s the difference.

        • CanuckAmuck

          Just like you recently came to Hemant’s blog, to try to peddle your anti-vaccine shit. Except when you found no takers there, you got petulant and deleted all your posts. How intellectually craven is that?

        • Myna

          I was not peddling any anti-vaccination position. I was asking if it were not reasonable to listen to what RFK Jr. had to say from his position. And yes, I deleted my posts, because that is what I chose to do to avoid any further misunderstanding. I had my own children vaccinated, but that does not mean I was not interested in the man’s position or to ask whether any final assessment on correlations had been made. I concede that perhaps I did not articulate myself well and so just deleted and stepped away.

          [ed.]

        • CanuckAmuck

          I was asking if it were not reasonable to listen to what RFK Jr. had to say from his position

          No you didn’t, you regurgitated all the hackneyed anti-vaxxer talking points. If you really said what you claim you did above (which you didn’t), you would have gotten different responses – to the effect that you were making an Argument from Authority fallacy.

          I deleted my posts, because that is what I chose to do to avoid any further misunderstanding

          Leaving entire threads worth of comments with no context. You know what else works to alleviate misunderstandings? Actually explaining your position.

        • Myna

          I have said I articulated my position poorly. The misguided phrase on my end was saying the verdict was not in. What’s done, however wrongly, is done and I own it. It’s not the end of the world.

        • CanuckAmuck

          You only “owning” it here and now because you got called out. If you really meant to “own” it you would have said something then and there.

          No, it’s not the end of the world, but your lack of character was apparent.

        • Myna

          You’re too late. I’ve already apologized on the discussion in question.

        • CanuckAmuck

          Which you never would have, otherwise.

        • Myna

          If you say, so it is. Neither of us, it appears, has any evidence to contradict the other. I was offline after the incident, but did think about it. If it makes you feel righteous to take credit for all your efforts to chase my error in judgement down, well, that’s what it does, I suppose. If you want the final word, you can have that as well. It makes no difference to me.

        • MNb

          Thanks for making your point and making me understand that Myna is not perfect.
          Could you move on now?
          It gets boring.
          Quickly.

        • Ameribear

          Everyone here over the course of a discussion is attempting to peddle a position. That’s what the forums are for.

        • Susan

          Everyone here over the course of a discussion is attempting to peddle a position.

          I spend time in these discussions because I live in a culture where snake oil salesmen in robes and pointy hats are allowed to sell snake oil to children and adults alike with very few constraints.

          I’m here to explain to them and to others who have questions about their snake oil claims why I’m not buying their snake oil

          That’s what the forums are for.

          I thought they were discussion forums. Not trade shows.

          (Nice attempt to shift the burden, though. The old “world view” strategy. As though scientology and science are just “world views”, wares that are being flogged.)

        • MNb

          That’s because he, very unlike you, already has sold he had in stock.

        • Michael Neville

          Maybe not to you but you’re so godsoaked that you refuse to even consider that your god is just a figment of the imagination.

        • Michael Neville

          Science does a whole lot better job describing reality than some theological bullshit priests pulled out of their asses centuries ago. What has religion done to improve our understanding of reality? If your answer is anything besides nothing then you’re wrong.

        • Pofarmer

          Interesting. So what do you think is the ” entirety of reality” that science can’t “capture”?

        • Ameribear

          Questions like why is it in the nature of anything to behave the way it does. Newtons laws show objects cannot change their state but says nothing about why they can’t. Mathematics can be used to describe things like triangles or springs but cannot measure or grasp the essence of triangularity or springness (not springiness).

        • Pofarmer

          What to fuck does the “essence of springness” have to do with anything?

          “Newtons laws show objects cannot change their state but says nothing about why they can’t.”

          You make the mistake of reading intentions into things that have none. That’s O.k. It’s a human evolutionary bias.

        • epeeist

          I’m here to tell you that science is completely incapable of capturing the entirety of reality

          Fine, let’s accept that for the moment.

          Now how much of reality does theism or Aquinas’ works capture?

          Let’s take a simple example. Imagine you are stood on the edge of a cliff, you throw a stone from a height of 10m above a flat beach at an upward angle of 30 degrees with a velocity of 10m/s. How long before it hits the ground?

          Now given Newton’s laws of motion plus the initial conditions specified above then this isn’t difficult (to be technical we use Hempel’s ideas on deductive-nomological covering laws).

          Over to you, lets see your explanation from Aquinas.

        • Greg G.

          Science is incapable of capturing the entirety of your fantasies but it might be able to help with your confusion between your fantasies and reality.

        • adam

          “I’m here to tell you that science is completely incapable of capturing the entirety of reality”

          Like with your “God”, telling us is insubstantial.

          Demonstrate what you claim is true.

        • Paul B. Lot

          I’m here to tell you that science is completely incapable of capturing the entirety of reality

          That’s an interesting claim, what evidence/logic do you offer in support of it?


          to believe that it can is pure dogma

          “Dogma” as in “a strong belief handed down by an authority figure”? “Dogma” as in “what actually happens in religious communities”?

          I suppose if your first claim were true, it would be possible for some to nevertheless believe so [because they were told to by an authority figure], rather than [because they had good Bayesian reasons to] …

          I just can’t for the life of me imagine who that authority figure would be in this hypothetical. I’m not aware of any prominent scientists/atheists who preach about the future where [science will completely capture the entirety of reality].

        • adam

          Science explains the entirely of reality very well.

          Religion, relies on dishonesty.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/48f64686cc56c93e340da908278a26b5ca4234795178a430344b7c7698c95824.jpg

        • MNb

          That might very well the case. Unfortunately for you matters stand even worse with your beloved metaphysics.
          See, science rests on two pillars: deduction (applied to assumptions like the Three Laws of Newton) and induction (applied to experiments and other observations).
          Metaphysics only rests on deduction. It doesn’t use experiments and observations by definition. So if anything it’s even more incapable of science of capturing etc.
          Thanks for effectively undermining your own metaphysical research of the god-question.

        • Ameribear

          Metaphysics only rests on deduction. It doesn’t use experiments and observations by definition.

          That’s because it deals in the immaterial. Reality is not made up of only what is material regardless of how much you deny it.

          So if anything it’s even more incapable of science of capturing etc.

          Materialism is incoherent BS. Science will never, ever be able to capture the entirety of reality and any attempt to try it is pure stupidity. Your insistence on simply dismissing anything you feeble materialist brain refuses to absorb drives a stake through the heart of your entire pathetic facade.

        • Susan

          That’s because it deals in the immaterial.

          Let me get this straight. You are asserting the understandably naive observations of the material world of a thirteenth century monk and think you can extrapolate ontological claims from those understandably naive observations.

          When called on it, you accuse us all of being materialists.

          You point at the material world (“Look around”) as justification for your terrible arguments but pretend that observations of the material world are irrelevant.

          Your insistence on simply dismissing anything you feeble materialist brain refuses to absorb drives a stake through the heart of your entire pathetic facade.

          No one simply dismissed anything. It was explained in many ways why your proclamations aren’t accepted.

          Also, it’s hilarious that someone like you, who has given no impression of being particularly smart or thougtful would have the audacity to tell MNb that he has a feeble brain.

        • Pofarmer

          Also, it’s hilarious that someone like you, who has given no impression
          of being particularly smart or thougtful would have the audacity to tell
          MNb that he has a feeble brain.

          But he understands Aquinas?! Maybe, he hasn’t particularly demonstrated that, either.

        • Susan

          But he understands Aquinas?! Maybe, he hasn’t particularly demonstrated that, either.

          Well, he did use the words “triangularity” and “springness”. How much more Aquinarian does it get?

          Take a coherent concept, stick a prefix on the end and claim that you have captured an “essence” in a mayonnaise jar as though it added anything to the discussion.

          I just did it with Aquinarian.

          Let’s play the essence game.

          That is to say, let’s engage in the playfulness of the gamularity of essentialness.

        • Pofarmer

          Science will never, ever be able to capture the entirety of reality and any attempt to try it is pure stupidity.

          Words fail me.

        • Susan

          Materialism is incoherent BS.

          What IS materialism, Ameribear? Which definition of it are you accusing MNb of subscribing to? Once you’ve provided the definition and shown that MNb subscribes to it, show why it is “BS”.

          Science will never, ever be able to capture the entirety of reality

          Maybe not. Who claims it will? No one. You claim it won’t without justification.

          Any attempt to try it is pure stupidity.

          Let’s see. The results of science have given germ theory where your religion provides demon theory. Gravity where your religion provides angel theory. Evolution where your religion provided Adam and Eve and Noah. Geology where your religion gave us a six-day creation. The list goes on and on.

          The best your religion does is tell its followers that it’s up to them if they’d like to accept the findings of germ theory, gravity, evolution, geology, etc. But it insists that it’s useless stories are still literally true.

          Not only will your religion never, ever be able to capture the entirety of reality in any way you can demonstrate, it failed repeatedly to explain how anything works and at its intellectual best, furiously tries to retrofit its mythology onto what science has discovered.

          At its worst, it is fine with catholics rejecting scientific findings as long as they adhere to the dogma of the RCC.

          Its claims are outrageous from top to bottom.

          Unlike the provisional and highly reliable models that science produces.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Materialism is incoherent BS. Science will never, ever be able to capture the entirety of reality and any attempt to try it is pure stupidity.

          But metaphysics will fill in the gaps? Explain this to me more. I’ve never heard of metaphysics ever informing us of anything new–that is, teaching us something new about reality. Show me where it has. And if it hasn’t, what good is it?

        • Susan

          metaphysics

          I don’t think that word means what he thinks it means.

        • epeeist

          Reality is not made up of only what is material regardless of how much you deny it.

          Really? Got evidence?

        • MNb

          “That’s because it deals in the immaterial.”
          So there is one thing you can do well: kicking in open doors. But even this is only partly correct. Metaphysics also deals with the material.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysics#Metaphysics_in_science

          philsci-archive.pitt.edu/1674/1/Scientific_Metaphysics.doc

          You might like to use that one next time when an atheist expresses his/her dislike of metaphysics.

          Thanks for neglecting my main point: if science is completely incapable of capturing the entirety of reality things stand even worse with your beloved metaphysics. So much for your “profound understanding”.

          “Reality is not made up of only what is material regardless of how much you deny it.”
          That’s your problem, not mine.

          http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/scientific-experiments/occams-razor.htm

          “More than material” doesn’t explain anything, correct claims about “more than material” can’t be separated from incorrect ones, “more than material” doesn’t add anything to our understanding, as your own railcar analogy confirmed. Instead it tends to hilarious misunderstanding of our material reality. So call me totally unsurprised that you never even try to justify your jump from our concrete world to a divine one.

          In the meantime you have become a joke – a funny one, that I’ll admit – with your bigtalk about “profound understanding of metaphysics”.
          You began with the time-independent Cosmological Argument of Thomas of Aquino.
          Then you turned to Aristoteles’ time dependent Prime Mover, implying Kalam.
          When I pointed you out that Aristoteles has been dismissed since 350 years you turned to the Prime Motion Changer (a step forward – you’re not entirely devoid of learning skills), still using Kalam.
          When I pointed you out that your argument that nothing can change itself is factually wrong (instable atoms decay all by themselves) you turned to the First Explanation (dropping Kalam again), leaning towards a Transcendental Argument.

          xhttps://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/129/Moving_the_Goalposts

          Of course, dishonest as you are, you never admitted it. You a researcher of metaphysics, striving to a profound understanding? Don’t think so. You’re an apologist, aka a seeker for lame excuses.

          But hey – thanks for confirming my suspicion that your arrogant masquerade as the arbiter of profound understanding only serves to hide the vacuity of your thinking. You suggested me to shove the pulsating universe model into a place you didn’t dare to specify. The farts my ass produce are more profound that any of your comments. Like this:

          “(1)Materialism is incoherent BS. (2)Science will never, ever be able to capture the entirety of reality and any attempt to try it is pure stupidity. (3)Your insistence on simply dismissing anything you feeble materialist brain refuses to absorb drives a stake through the heart of your entire pathetic façade.”

          (1) is up to you to demonstrate.
          (2) I already addressed – twice now. I don’t try to capture the entirety of reality. Science is far more modest than you – it tries to capture more and more of that reality bit by bit, always realizing how much is left.

          “The more you know, the more you realize how much you don’t know. The less you know, the more you think you know…”
          The second half fully applies to you.
          (3) And as a result you stop making sense. Not unsurprising again, but still: shrug. It’s nothing but exposed ignorance and lack of understanding hidden by more arrogant big talk.

        • adam

          “I’m here to tell you that science is completely incapable of capturing
          the entirety of reality and to believe that it can is pure dogma.”

          Then demonstrate such

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/04570f3531aa4e675333fdcce29973e95d6ad5b518125333d607badb96b99c03.png

        • Rudy R

          Do you have a better method in capturing reality? BTW, the scientific community at large has NEVER claimed to capture the entirety of reality. Only theists do that.

        • Ameribear

          Reality is physical and metaphysical. Both science and metaphysics together are necessary to capture the entirety of reality. I do not advocate one over the other.

        • Pofarmer

          But not all metaphysics are created equal in that regard.

        • epeeist

          But not all metaphysics are created equal in that regard.

          Well yes, how does one decide between two metaphysical positions? Let’s take eliminativism, property dualism and epiphenomenalism as a few examples of metaphysical positions in the philosophy of mind. How do we decide which, if any, is the best explanation and whether it is true?

        • MNb

          Yup, you do. You have rejected several scientific conclusions specifically because you need to to maintain your metaphysical arguments. Plus you carefully neglect my explanation that if science isn’t capable of capturing the entirey of reality metaphysics damn sure isn’t.

        • epeeist

          Reality is physical and metaphysical.

          “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means”

        • Ignorant Amos

          He never did explain his definition of “contingency” that should be employed in the conversation either.

        • Rudy R

          I agree. You’ve argued for a metaphysical explanation for a god, but do you have any empirical evidence to support your argument?

        • Ameribear

          The whole point of a metaphysical demonstration for the existence of God is to show that God is not a material being so asking for empirical evidence is a category error.

        • Rudy R

          So you are a Deist, because your god’s actions do not manifest in the material world.

        • Ameribear

          No I am a Catholic. I’m not trying to be sarcastic but do you understand the point I made about God being immaterial?

        • Rudy R

          I understand that a Catholic would believe in Aquinas’ metaphysical argument for a god’s existence. After all, he is their sainted philosopher. But Aristotle introduced potentiality and actuality a millenia before Aquinas, so he’s not quite the genius Catholics claim.

        • Ameribear

          The arguments Aquinas presents are not intended to address any of the divine attributes associated with the christian God. Those are arrived at via other lines of reasoning. Which arguments for a christian God are you referring to?

        • Rudy R

          Exactly. He basically argues for a Deist god. And like I stated before, the Christian god requires empirical evidence.

          There are Christian arguments, but in the main, they don’t have empirical evidence to justify such claims.

        • Ameribear

          Please explain how you’ve come the the conclusion that the christian God requires empirical evidence.

        • Susan

          Please explain how you’ve come to the conclusion that the christian God requires empirical evidence.

          What is the
          christian God and how do you support it?

          If you have an argument that doesn’t appeal at some point to empirical evidence, what is it? It’s not Aquinas.

          So what is it?

        • Rudy R

          Because Christianity has a set of divine attributes associated with the Christian God that go beyond the argument for a Deist god. God created the world because he wanted to share his love and Jesus is God. As a Catholic, how did you come to know these claims? Through pure reasoning? Or was it the Bible, which would be subject to the precepts of evidentiary exploration?

        • Ameribear

          Because Christianity has claimed a set of divine attributes associated
          with the Christian God that demand investigation beyond pure reasoning.

          Ok, how would you go about investigating the divine attributes?

          God created the world because he wanted to share his love and Jesus is God.

          False. God created the world for the same reason he entered it in human form, because He is Love.

          As a Catholic, did you not come to know these claims from the Bible?

          Um, no. I learned them through first hand experience, the scriptures simply verified or put into words what I already learned elsewhere.

          Wouldn’t the Bible be subject to empirical demonstration?

          For the believer, empirical demonstration isn’t necessary.

        • Rudy R

          God created the world for the same reason he entered it in human form, because He is Love.

          That claim would need empirical evidence. It’s just making shit up without out.

          Um, no. I learned them through first hand experience, the scriptures simply verified or put into words what I already learned elsewhere.

          What exactly was this first hand experience? And what is the words in the scripture that verified this experience?

          For the believer, empirical demonstration isn’t necessary.

          In other words faith, which is the excuse people give for believing something when they don’t have a good reason.

        • Ameribear

          That claim would need empirical evidence.

          No it needs a thorough grounding in all the subjects you’d never understand or acknowledge are valid.

          What exactly was this first hand experience? And what is the words in the scripture that verified this experience? Show the empirical evidence.
          That’s how you rationalize it when you don’t have empirical evidence. I’m sure you’d plaster it all over the combox if you had it.

          Your incessant demands for empirical evidence continues to prove your uninterested in coming to any real understanding of what Christians
          mean by the term God. God could hang you over the pit of hell by your ankles and you’d still figure out a way to deny Him.

        • Pofarmer

          No it needs a thorough grounding in all the subjects you’d never understand or acknowledge are valid.

          First you would have to demonstrate said validity. Your track record ain’t too good.

          continues to prove your uninterested in coming to any real understanding of what Christians
          mean by the term God.

          Christians mean all kinds of things by the term “God”. Unfortunately, some of them are mutually exclusive.

          God could hang you over the pit of hell by your ankles and you’d still figure out a way to deny Him.

          That would be a neat trick, but the threat makes you an asshole. Asshole.

        • MNb

          No grounding is ever thorough enough. Just reject the assumptions it’s based on and you’re left with empty hands. By definition you don’t have a method to find out if those assumptions are correct or incorrect.

          “For the believer, empirical demonstration isn’t necessary.”
          Then all your attempts to rescue the Cosmological Argument are unnecessary as well, as that one tries to derive a conclusion from empirical demonstrations indeed. It shows your dishonesty that you at one hand says that empirical demonstrations aren’t necessary and at the other hand exactly do that to convince us that there must be a god.

          “God could hang you over the pit of hell by your ankles and you’d still figure out a way to deny Him.”
          Actually I can tell you exactly how your god not only can convince me that he does exist but also that he is a christian version. And the bar is very low assuming his omnipotence, omnivolence etc. etc.

        • Greg G.

          Your incessant demands for empirical evidence continues to prove your uninterested in coming to any real understanding of what Christians
          mean by the term God. God could hang you over the pit of hell by your ankles and you’d still figure out a way to deny Him.

          Christians often point to the creation as evidence of a creator. Christians tout answered prayers as evidence of God’s existence (and probably a testament to their faith). I have heard Christians tout finding car keys and a nearby parking spot as such evidence. That is nothing but confirmation bias. If you accept any old evidence uncritically, you can believe anything. When you reach a conclusion about one religion, then you reject the same evidence for another religion.

          We don’t accept claims uncritically. It is foolish to do so. We expect any religion to provide good unambiguous evidence for their claims. If a religion had any, surely it would have been presented. If there was good unambiguous evidence, I would not be an atheist.

          Since all religions make equally preposterous claims, and they all cannot be correct, we can assume they are all equally incorrect.

        • Paul B. Lot

          I don’t know about you, but this essay explores a premise which, were it true, I would accept as evidence for the existence of a god:

          http://www.fullmoon.nu/articles/art.php?id=tal

        • Greg G.

          I think you brought that to my attention a while back. That would do it for me, too. Why can’t God do that for everybody? Can’t omnipresence be in another 7.5 billion places at once?

        • Paul B. Lot

          Well, if he appeared like that, it would be “manipulative” don’t you know?

        • Greg G.

          Faith isn’t valid without confirmation bias as its source.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I just scanned it, but I’m wondering: how do you differentiate God from an alien from a civilization a million years more advanced than ours?

        • Paul B. Lot

          A fair point.

          Which is why I went with “a god” vs “God”.

          The “metaphysical ground of being” is logically impossible to prove.

          There’s always the chance that another matroyska doll is slightly bigger or “groundier”.

          A god, though, one who made *this* universe, one who could count the stars in the sky and the number of hairs on every head…of that I could easily be convinced.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So then an alien would be a “god.”

          I can see that.

        • Susan

          Which is why I went with “a god” vs “God”

          This is why I’m an igtheist. Why call it a god?

          “God” is such a useless word.

          It’s a word so subject to equivocation that it drives me crazy.

          This is why it’s so important to ask what someone is claiming and how they support it. It avoids the “god” trap.

          The god described in that story is not infinite, nor omnipotent/omiscient/omnibenevolent.

          So, not what Ameribear is talking about at all.
          For me, it’s just an agent that far outweighs my capablities and knowledge.

          In which case, why can’t we just say “an agent that has these particular attributes and leave the word “god” out of it entirely.

          Then, of course we would require evidence. I know you put it forward as evidence you would accept for that “god” but I can’t concede the description “god” because it has so little to do with what Ameribear means when he describes his unevidenced god.

        • Kodie

          ‘What makes you so certain that I don’t?’

          ‘Because’, he said, ‘ I am god – and you are
          not afraid of me’

          Well now I am!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Some Christians ya mean? There’s a reason why there is 45,000+ flavours of the cult. You do realise that there are atheist Christians, right?

        • Michael Neville

          Your incessant demands for empirical evidence continues to prove your uninterested in coming to any real understanding of what Christians mean by the term God.

          You’re continuing to show that you don’t have any empirical evidence and you know you don’t have any. If you did have any evidence you’d be throwing it in our faces. Instead, you’re whining that we’re asking for empirical evidence.

        • Greg G.
          Because Christianity has claimed a set of divine attributes associated with the Christian God that demand investigation beyond pure reasoning.

          Ok, how would you go about investigating the divine attributes?

          You need a method that can distinguish imagination from reality. Inter-subjective empirical evidence is the only reliable method humans have to do this.

          The warm, fuzzy feeling in your belly works for any religion, so it is not reliable. Assuming an anthology of writings is true is not reliable.

          If you think answered prayer is a divine attribute, you do a double-blind study (to eliminate any bias) to test the outcome of prayers. The Templeton Foundation did such a study on intercessory prayer but the inter-subjective empirical evidence showed no effect. But we know confirmation bias can fool people into believing that sort of thing.

          If you think that omnipotence and omnibenevolence are divine attributes, then there should be no unnecessary suffering. But there is unnecessary suffering, so at least one of those two are not divine attributes. The lack of either of those attributes explains the intercessory prayer failure.

          For the believer, empirical demonstration isn’t necessary.

          It is necessary if the believer is interested in believing ideas that are reliable.

        • Ameribear

          You need a method that can distinguish imagination from reality. Inter-subjective empirical evidence is the only reliable method humans have to do this.

          BS! Your trying to find out if plastic exists using a metal detector.

          The warm, fuzzy feeling in your belly works for any religion, so it is not reliable. Assuming an anthology of writings is true is not reliable.

          Then it’s good thing that warm and fuzzy feelings aren’t what I base my faith life on. It’s not a good thing (and not surprising) that you’ve displayed typical atheist ignorance when it comes to matters of faith.

          If you think answered prayer is a divine attribute, you do a double-blind study (to eliminate any bias) to test the outcome of prayers. The Templeton Foundation did such a study on intercessory
          prayer but the inter-subjective empirical evidence showed no effect. But we know confirmation bias can fool people into believing that sort of thing.

          Answered pray is not a divine attribute. A prayer that goes unanswered
          is also an answer. You don’t realize how silly you look thinking man possesses the ability to get God to do his bidding.

          If you think that omnipotence and omnibenevolence are divine attributes, then there should be no unnecessary suffering. But there is unnecessary suffering, so at least one of those two are not divine attributes. The lack of either of those attributes explains the intercessory prayer failure.

          It never occurs to you that God, by virtue of the fact that He Is all powerful, can and does use everything, including suffering, to
          accomplish his will.

          It is necessary if the believer is interested in believing ideas that are reliable.

          Translation: It is necessary if the believer is interested in believing ideas that atheists have deemed the only ones that are reliable.

        • Pofarmer

          BS! Your trying to find out if plastic exists using a metal detector.

          So you have a method then? AWESOME! Let’s have it.

          that you’ve displayed typical atheist ignorance when it comes to matters of faith.

          Try not to be a fuckin asshole. Many of us have been Christians. Even Catholics.

          Is all powerful, can and does use everything, including suffering, to
          accomplish his will.

          If he is omnipotent and omnibenevolent and and omniscient, then suffering isn’t necessary. Pick which one you’d like to do away with and we can talk.

          It is necessary if the believer is interested in believing ideas that atheists have deemed the only ones that are reliable.

          Everyone. Why don’t other religions believe your claims either? If you believe in divine revelation, you really outta be a Mormon.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Your trying to find out if plastic exists using a metal detector.

          Homonyms aside, this is clever.

          you’ve displayed typical atheist ignorance when it comes to matters of faith.

          You do realize that most atheists in the US used to be Christian? If “typical” is what you’re going for, atheists are typically well versed in Christian claims. And indeed they do better than the average Christians on bible knowledge tests.

          A prayer that goes unanswered
          is also an answer.

          Which is just what you’d say if you were trying to apologize for a god that didn’t exist.

          You don’t realize how silly you look thinking man possesses the ability to get God to do his bidding.

          Read your Bible. Jesus makes clear that this is indeed how it works.

          It never occurs to you that God, by virtue of the fact that He Is all powerful, can and does use everything, including suffering, to
          accomplish his will.

          Show us that God exists, and this argument would work. Until then, you’re simply assuming your conclusion.

          Translation: It is necessary if the believer is interested in believing ideas that atheists have deemed the only ones that are reliable.

          Faith is a reliable means to the truth? Show us.

        • Ameribear

          You do realize that most atheists in the US used to be Christian? If “typical” is
          what you’re going for, atheists are typically well versed in Christian claims. And indeed they do better than the average Christians on bible knowledge tests.

          It becomes abundantly clear in the light of statements like those that some atheists are not as well versed as others.

          Which is just what you’d say if you were trying to apologize for a god that didn’t
          exist.

          Do you presume every prayer prayed by every believer obligates God to answer it? Why do you think it’s unreasonable for a request to go unanswered?

          Read your Bible. Jesus makes clear that this is indeed how it works.

          Read yours starting with the 25th chapter of Matthew. Jesus makes it clear that this isn’t how it
          works.

          Show us that God exists, and this argument would work. Until then, you’re simply
          assuming your conclusion.

          Suffering can have positive outcomes. Enduring difficulties and tough times produces character and endurance. Military basic training I a great example of that and I speak from experience. There’s no assumptions here.

          For the believer, empirical demonstration isn’t necessary.

          It is necessary if the believer is interested in believing ideas that are reliable.

          Faith is a reliable means to the truth? Show us.

          Insistence on empirical evidence means that he’s deemed the only ideas that are reliable are materialist. Making such a demand requires first empirically proving reality consists solely of the material.

        • Greg G.

          It becomes abundantly clear in the light of statements like those that some atheists are not as well versed as others.

          How many versions of Christianity are you familiar with? We deal with many.

          Do you presume every prayer prayed by every believer obligates God to answer it? Why do you think it’s unreasonable for a request to go unanswered?

          If only one could have the faith of a mustard seed…

          Read yours starting with the 25th chapter of Matthew. Jesus makes it clear that this isn’t how it
          works.

          The great big book of multiple choice? Matthew 25 consists of The Parable of the Ten Maidens, Matthew 25:1-13, The Parable of the Pounds, Matthew 25:14-30, and The Last Judgement, Matthew 25:31-26. All of those parables present God as a nasty piece of work, not the type of entity I would want to be stuck with for eternity. Matthew makes “gnashing teeth” seem to be not such a bad thing.

          Suffering can have positive outcomes. Enduring difficulties and tough times produces character and endurance. Military basic training I a great example of that and I speak from experience. There’s no assumptions here.

          With omnipotence, not suffering should have the same outcomes, which makes the suffering completely unnecessary and nothing but a choice made by the omnipotence from a complete lack of empathy, which makes your god a sadistic monster.

          Insistence on empirical evidence means that he’s deemed the only ideas that are reliable are materialist. Making such a demand requires first empirically proving reality consists solely of the material.

          But the realm of imagination is not reliable at all where it has no connection to empirical evidence. Empirical evidence allows one to separate reality from the imagination. One doesn’t have to prove that “reality consists solely of the material”. One only has to observe that things that cannot be demonstrated by empirical evidence, cannot be distinguished from imagination. If you cannot distinguish other parts of reality from imagination, you cannot determine what is reliable. You can pretend to know about other parts of reality but when you pretend that you are not pretending, you are a fool.

        • Pofarmer

          Empirical evidence allows one to separate reality from the imagination.
          One doesn’t have to prove that “reality consists solely of the
          material”. One only has to observe that things that cannot be
          demonstrated by empirical evidence, cannot be distinguished from
          imagination. If you cannot distinguish other parts of reality from
          imagination, you cannot determine what is reliable.

          Ameribear needs to read this over, and over,and over, until he Groks it.

        • Ameribear

          How many versions of Christianity are you familiar with? We deal with many.

          That is the unfortunate fruit of the reformation.

          The great big book of multiple choice? Matthew 25 consists of The Parable of the Ten Maidens, Matthew 25:1-13, The
          Parable of the Pounds, Matthew 25:14-30, and The Last Judgement, Matthew 25:31-26. All of those parables present God as a nasty piece of work, not the type of entity I would want to be stuck with for eternity. Matthew makes “gnashing teeth” seem to be not such a bad thing.

          All three of those parables make it clear that the believer is the one who is given a specific task and will be held accountable for getting the job done.

          With omnipotence, not suffering should have the same outcomes, which makes the suffering completely unnecessary and
          nothing but a choice made by the omnipotence from a complete lack of empathy, which makes your god a sadistic monster

          Then go get a degree in theology and philosophy and present a thesis on why your opinion is the right one, otherwise your just spouting uninformed conjecture.

          But the realm of imagination is not reliable at all where it has no connection to empirical evidence. Empirical evidence allows one to separate reality from the imagination.

          So now your claiming that anything that cannot be quantified is imaginary. Is truth, beauty, justice, fairness, or talent, imaginary. Tell
          me how to empirically measure the beauty of a painted or sculpted or composed masterpiece. Your forcing the application of scientific methods of measurement into the role of explaining the whole of reality which it will never be able to do. Even scientific data has to be interpreted philosophically. You keep falling into the error of only having a hammer and trying to figure out how to make the rest of the world into a nail.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That is the unfortunate fruit of the reformation.

          Seriously? You can’t be that ignorant and naive surely?

          There were many forms of Christianity before 1500. Indeed, in the first few centuries of global Christianity one could appropriately speak of Christianities. Gnostic Christians, Donatist Christians, Pelagian Christians, Arian Christians, Monophysite or Jacobite Christians, Nestorian Christians, Coptic Christians, Montanist Christians – and more – populated the religious landscape of the first several centuries following the earliest communities that gathered around Jesus and the stories about Jesus.

          The Waldensians were a proto-Protestant Christian group centuries before the Reformation.

          The movement originated in the late twelfth century as the Poor Men of Lyons, a band organized by Peter Waldo, a wealthy merchant who gave away his property around 1173, preaching apostolic poverty as the way to perfection. Waldensian teachings quickly came into conflict with the Catholic Church. By 1215, the Waldensians were declared heretical and subject to intense persecution; the group was nearly annihilated in the seventeenth century and were confronted with organized and generalized discrimination in the centuries that followed.

          That’s just one example among many.

        • MNb

          Ah, you beat me to it with a solid 17 minutes.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          How many Cathars were massacred? Estimates range from 200K to 1 million.

          The Albigensian Crusade against them was “one of the most conclusive cases of genocide in religious history”. (Wikipedia)

          Praise God.

        • Ameribear

          With the exception of the Copts, every one of the sects you listed were declared heretical and remain so to this day. That means they weren’t christian because they willfully chose to separate themselves by denying what the Church has taught from it’s inception. The Original church had a hierarchy, a teaching authority, and was given the task of safeguarding its original teachings which it continues to do to this day.

        • Pofarmer

          Those groups considered themselves Christian. You don’t get to pull a No True Scotsman here. There was no such thing as one Original Church. That’s the point.

        • Ignorant Amos

          With the exception of the Copts, every one of the sects you listed were declared heretical and remain so to this day.

          Ah, the old No True Scotsman Fallacy.

          Heretics are still Christians, didn’t you know that?

          Your catechism 817-818 says…

          817 In fact, “in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church – for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame.” 269 The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ’s Body – here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism 270 – do not occur without human sin:

          Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes. Where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity, from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers. 271

          818 “However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church.”272

          You really don’t see the problem here, do ya?

          Christian heretics are just Christians whose belief or opinion run contrary to orthodox, Christian doctrine. aka Catholicism. But also, other Christian doctrines view Catholicism as heretical.

          That means they weren’t christian because they willfully chose to separate themselves by denying what the Church has taught from it’s inception.

          No it doesn’t. And you don’t get to say because your lot weren’t even the first originals.

          The Original church had a hierarchy, a teaching authority, and was given the task of safeguarding its original teachings which it continues to do to this day.

          I know you probably believe that, because that’s what you’ve been taught, but nah….a loada ballix.

        • adam

          “The Original church had a hierarchy, a teaching authority, and was given
          the task of safeguarding its original teachings which it continues to
          do to this day.”

          Not so much….

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dc554b74af68425056b8a4228b7f09490a1e80f6c6bf14f85bbce2e8015a0bfb.jpg

        • Greg G.

          Origen is considered a church father by the Catholic Church but not a saint. He was declared heretical a few centuries later as the Church’s position changed on subjects Origen had written about.

        • adam

          “every one of the sects you listed were declared heretical”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b44c99f495406f1f80b97716ec7951aa63f124a9698cbfc51f2758edfdb3404d.jpg

          Jesus is SO LUCKLY to have found you….

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          With the exception of the Copts, every one of the sects you listed were declared heretical

          According to you, maybe. So what? Maybe you’re a heretic in their eyes. There is no objective agreed-to standard for Christianity.

          That’s the point–that’s why we’ve mentioned the 45,000 Christian denominations. Can you possibly not see the problem? What kind of god would inspire a book that’s so malleable?

        • MNb

          Aha! Brilliant logic. You give catholic orthodoxy the authority to decide who is christian and who is not and then conclude that there is only one version of christianity: orthodox catholicism. The protestant denominations resulting from the Reformation were also heretical.
          Never mind that this makes your remark

          “That is the unfortunate fruit of the reformation”
          totally void.
          Never mind that your profound metaphysical understanding this time consists of a fine combination of a Circular Argument and a No Real Christian Fallacy.

        • Michael Neville

          Why should I believe you that every sect other than yours is heretical when all of the rest of them say, sometimes quite vehemently, exactly the same thing about your sect?

        • Kodie

          “Its original teachings” – given from whom the task of safeguarding ? What are you imagining? Who are THEY to declare something “heretical”? That’s what’s totally fucked up about why your religion has so many denominations. Every one thinks they have any authority.

        • MNb

          “That is the unfortunate fruit of the reformation”
          Nonsense. Schisms have been common since christianity became state religion in the Roman Empire. Your Church Fathers had to deal with donatism, manichaeism, arianism, pelagianism and a bit later nestorianism.
          So you not only suck at physics but also at history. Quelle surprise.

          “You keep falling into the error of only having a hammer and trying to figure out how to make the rest of the world into a nail.”
          That may be the case, but you don’t have an instrument at all. In your own words: all metaphysics you produced in the end is nothing but “spouting conjecture”. The one time you tried to ground it in physics you got the latter totally wrong and even began to lie about it.
          But you remain invited to present us an instrument that works where Greg G’s hammer fails, even if you thus far haven’t even tried.

        • Greg G.

          That is the unfortunate fruit of the reformation.

          We see great differences in Christianity in the second century with the Docetics and the Gnostics, and several others. The fourth century councils were trying to find common ground. The Reformation was caused by differences of opinion.

          All three of those parables make it clear that the believer is the one who is given a specific task and will be held accountable for getting the job done.

          The Parable of the Ten Maidens, Matthew 25:1-13, is about five who happened to be ready when the groom came and five who were not. If the groom had come earlier when the five were out getting ready, it would have been the other five who went to the feast.

          The Parable of the Pounds, Matthew 25:14-30, has two with some ability and one with less ability receiving an amount of money. The master apparently knew their abilities yet somehow he blames the one with least knowledge for the lack of knowledge instead of using it as a teaching moment.

          They all conflict with Paul’s theology of faith instead of works. It is the great big book of multiple choice. That is why there are 45K denominations.

          Then go get a degree in theology and philosophy and present a thesis on why your opinion is the right one, otherwise your just spouting uninformed conjecture.

          Thank you for admitting that you can’t address the problem. It is basically Epicurus’ Problem of Evil with “suffering” substituted for “evil”. Epicurus lived centuries before Christianity. I have seen an apologist with multiple advanced degrees in philosophy and theology try to address the Problem of Evil but can’t even express it correctly so that only a straw man is addressed. If the Problem of Evil doesn’t keep you up at night as a theist, you don’t understand the Problem of Evil.

          So now your claiming that anything that cannot be quantified is imaginary. Is truth, beauty, justice, fairness, or talent, imaginary.

          Sigh. I did not say “anything that cannot be quantified is imaginary.”

          How do we recognize talent? I saw recently that a world famous violinist played on a violin worth a few million dollars in a subway in a city where he had played a concert for a few hundred dollars per ticket. and collected $32. Most people didn’t recognize his talent. It’s a matter of perception and opinion.

          How do we recognize beauty? Isn’t that in the eye of the beholder? A matter of opinion? I think my wife is more beautiful than your wife. Is that the truth? It depends on who you ask.

          Justice and fairness are often a matter of perspective. Have you seen the video of the monkey that would retrieve a rock for a piece of cucumber until she saw another monkey get a grape for retrieving a rock? The second monkey didn’t mind.

          Truth is most reliably judged by inter-subjective means.

          Tell me how to empirically measure the beauty of a painted or sculpted or composed masterpiece.

          Which is more beautiful, a real painting or a hypothetical painting? How do you tell the difference between them? One you can imagine and look at while the other you can only imagine. You need some way to distinguish between the two. That is what you are not recognizing. You are not distinguishing what is real from what you have only imagined.

          Religious beliefs are not like the real painting. They are like a hypothetical painting.

          You keep falling into the error of only having a hammer and trying to figure out how to make the rest of the world into a nail.

          It hurts a lot less when you are holding an actual nail between your fingers when you hammer it than when you cannot or will not distinguish between an actual nail and an imaginary nail. It hurts a lot when you try to drive a nail with invisible qualities that can only be seen by faith.

        • Susan

          It hurts a lot when you try to drive a nail with invisible qualities that can only be seen by faith.

          :-)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Do you presume every prayer prayed by every believer obligates God to answer it?

          Not me. But Jesus did. I’m sure you’ve read the half-dozen or so mentions of prayer by Jesus in the New Testament. He makes clear that it’s pretty powerful.

          Why do you think it’s unreasonable for a request to go unanswered?

          Who cares what I think? I’m talking about what Jesus says.

          Read yours starting with the 25th chapter of Matthew. Jesus makes it clear that this isn’t how it
          works.

          The parable of the sheep and the goats? Honestly, that’s one of my favorite parts in the Bible, and not for snarky reasons. Unfortunately for the typical Christian position, Jesus makes clear that you don’t get into the kingdom by faith; you get there by being a good person—that is, by works.

          I see no connection with prayer.

          But if we’re looking for Jesus’s promises for prayer in the Bible: “I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” (John 16:23–4).

          Now, some might be thinking that there are caveats or hyperbole or something else going on. I say some might, because I know that doesn’t include you, because you actually know your Bible. A few verses later, we read: “Then Jesus’s disciples said, ‘Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech’” (:29).

          Suffering can have positive outcomes.

          True, but now you’re speaking like an atheist. We have no alternative but to find the silver linings. You, on the other hand, have Jesus at your elbow.

          For the believer, empirical demonstration isn’t necessary.

          Ask the believer who’s doubting. I think he could do with a little evidence. And this position doesn’t do much for recruitment if you just use belief to carry you across that Gulf of No Evidence.

          Insistence on empirical evidence means that he’s deemed the only ideas that are reliable are materialist. Making such a demand requires first empirically proving reality consists solely of the material.

          Cute but not convincing. Why did God give us a rational mind? Maybe to ask questions and not believe bullshit.

          Or is your belief system too fragile to withstand scrutiny?

        • Ameribear

          Not me. But Jesus did. I’m sure you’ve read the half-dozen or so mentions of prayer by Jesus in the New Testament. He makes clear that it’s pretty powerful.

          True enough but he also makes it clear that one must pray in union with the will of God in ones life. I can’t just expect God to answer every prayer I pray because I prayed it.

          The parable of the sheep and the goats? Honestly, that’s one of my favorite parts in the Bible, and not for snarky reasons. Unfortunately for the typical Christian position, Jesus makes clear that you don’t get into the kingdom by faith; you get there by being a good person—that is, by works.

          He makes it clear that you get in by both faith and works. See James 2:22-24. That chapter also contains the parable of the unfaithful servant the point of which is the one who wishes to serve God will be given a job to do along with and expectation of accountability at some point. The sheep and the goats were also given jobs to do and the ones who didn’t do it will suffer the consequences for it. The Christian faith has never been about bending God’s will towards ourselves. It’s the other way around.

          But if we’re looking for Jesus’s promises for prayer in the Bible: “I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” (John 16:23–4).

          Only as long as it is something that is in union with His will. Mat 7:21 comes to mind right away and I know there are others.

          True, but now you’re speaking like an atheist. We have no alternative but to find the silver linings. You, on the other hand, have Jesus at your elbow.

          How is pointing out the fact that suffering can have a positive outcome become an atheist mindset? Having Jesus at my elbow does not get me off the hook.

          Ask the believer who’s doubting. I think he could do with a little evidence. And this position doesn’t do much for recruitment if you just use belief to carry you across that Gulf of No Evidence.

          Doubts are a very real part of the Christian life and many believers struggle against them. Through perseverance ultimately the evidence becomes apparent over time.

          Cute but not convincing. Why did God give us a rational mind? Maybe to ask questions and not believe bullshit. Or is your belief system too fragile to withstand scrutiny?

          That task applies to both of us doesn’t it?

        • Susan

          he also makes it clear that one must pray in union with the will of God in ones life.

          How does one know that one has prayed in union with the will of God?

          Only as long as it is something that is in union with His will.

          How does one know they have done that?

          If you can’t distinguish “God” from imaginary things, making claims about its will is problematic.

          Through perseverance ultimately the evidence becomes apparent over time.

          What evidence?

        • Pofarmer

          Evidence of self delusion? Cognitive dissonance perhaps?

        • Susan

          Evidence of self delusion? Cognitive dissonance perhaps?

          It seems reasonable to provisionally assume that until he can provide a reason not to.

          We keep asking him to and so far, nothing.

        • Pofarmer

          How can Amerbear not see he just declared prayer pointless?

        • Susan

          How can Amerbear not see he just declared prayer pointless?

          Faith.

          The sort of faith he wouldn’t accept from a scientologist or from a Choprahite or from a Mormon.

          He’s catholic so he provides a lot of terrible arguments he calls reason but when those arguments show how empty they are, he accuses us of being “materialists”. He claims that no evidence would convince us in the same breath that he insists that his off-the-rack deity doesn’t require evidence.

          Also, he states that the evidence becomes apparent over time.

          Prayer produces no results discernible from me praying to a mailbox but in his case, he is praying in union with the will of “God” and in my case, I would just be making empty gestures at a mailbox.

          It boggles the mind.

          In short, it’s true because it’s true because it’s true because it’s true.

          Stupid atheists.

        • TheNuszAbides

          his off-the-rack deity

          oh dear, i hadn’t spotted that one before.
          what a beautiful burn, on multiple levels.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          True enough but he also makes it clear that one must pray in union with the will of God in ones life.

          “Makes it clear”? Sure isn’t clear to me. If you’re saying that you can find a caveat here or there, OK, I’ll buy that. But there are places (like the one I quoted) where, in context, prayer always works. Or so Jesus claims, anyway.

          He makes it clear that you get in by both faith and works. See James 2:22-24.

          That’s not how it works. You don’t get to put several passages together and say, “There. That’s what the complete story is.” A single passage, taken in context, from the frikkin’ Bible, should stand alone. That you must amend it means that you know what I know—the Bible makes some unsubstantiatable claims. Only by tweaking them in various ways can you hammer them to fit reality.

          Shouldn’t it be the other way around? You hammer your view of reality to fit the Bible?

          The Christian faith has never been about bending God’s will towards ourselves. It’s the other way around.

          Ignoring the bold promises of what God will do through prayer.

          Only as long as it is something that is in union with His will. Mat 7:21 comes to mind right away and I know there are others.

          Poor Jesus! Too stupid to get something coherent out the first time, so that people like you have to tell us what he really meant. I have days like that. (And I imagine Donald Trump will have an entire presidential term like that.)

          How is pointing out the fact that suffering can have a positive outcome become an atheist mindset?

          Because giving an exclusively naturalistic answer is what atheists have to do. You, on the other hand, can weave Jesus into the story. He’s standing right next to you all the time, after all.

          Doubts are a very real part of the Christian life and many believers struggle against them. Through perseverance ultimately the evidence becomes apparent over time.

          Through study (and reading the Bible honestly) makes atheists out of Christians.

          “Cute but not convincing. Why did God give us a rational mind? Maybe to ask questions and not believe bullshit. Or is your belief system too fragile to withstand scrutiny?”
          That task applies to both of us doesn’t it?

          I don’t think so. I’m delighted to follow the evidence. Christians often must hide from its light (just one popular example: picking and choosing their science so that they can reject evolution).

        • Ameribear

          That’s not how it works. You don’t get to put several
          passages together and say, “There. That’s what the complete story is.” A
          single passage, taken in context, from the frikkin’ Bible, should stand
          alone.

          Ah, no. You don’t get to cherry pick the passages that fit your
          interpretation. The bible is a collection of writings and tearing single
          passages out to suit your views is taking them out of the context of the
          entirety of the bible. There’s no contradiction in putting passages together to gain a fuller understanding.

          That you must amend it means that you know what I
          know—the Bible makes some unsubstantiatable claims. Only by tweaking them in various ways can you hammer them to fit reality.

          Anyone who wishes to tweak the scriptures to fit reality does so outside of any authority other than his own and therefore I get to reject it. You say the bible says this, he says the bible says that, she says it says something else.

          Shouldn’t it be the other way around? You hammer your
          view of reality to fit the Bible?

          The scriptures are one set of guidelines and are intended to be used in
          context with other things for the proper formation of the believer.

          I don’t think so. I’m delighted to follow the evidence.
          Christians often must hide from its light (just one popular example: picking and choosing their science so that they can reject evolution).

          You demand a skeptical view of anything immaterial while ignoring all the flaws in your own dogmatic viewpoint.

        • Kodie

          Everyone who reads the bible interprets it – what makes you think Christians, any Christians have the correct version of cherrypicking? I tend to take into account how much bullshit it positively has in it, that they are just fictional, mythical stories that somehow inspired 45,000 cults to form. That’s too many cults. Christianity is not reality-based, it’s wish-based.

        • adam
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You don’t get to cherry pick the passages that fit your
          interpretation.

          I’m not cherry picking in that I’m taking words out of context. I’m taking them very much in their context, it’s just that there are different contexts in different books written by different authors. No, you don’t get to take one verse here and pair it with this verse (but not that verse) from somewhere else in the Bible to make the Bible dance to your tune.

          If you want to say that the Bible is inconsistent, I’m with you.

          taking them out of the context of the
          entirety of the bible.

          It’s a bizarre book in which an honest interpretation of a passage can’t be used without understanding the entire book. God must’ve been quite the idiot to not be able to get his message out no better than that.

          Anyone who wishes to tweak the scriptures to fit reality does so outside of any authority other than his own and therefore I get to reject it.

          Sure, reject away. Just make sure that you’re not part of the problem.

          You’re taking various verses and giving me your interpretation. Some other honest Christian does the same thing, but the interpretation is different. Who’s right?

          You demand a skeptical view of anything immaterial while ignoring all the flaws in your own dogmatic viewpoint.

          Are there flaws? Is it dogmatic? Show me.

        • Greg G.

          There’s no contradiction in putting passages together to gain a fuller understanding.

          The Jews did that for centuries and called it “midrash”. It seems to me that is what one group did to invent Christianity from Isaiah, Psalms, Deuteronomy, and other prophets.

          But taking words from one true sentence and combining them with words from another true sentence does not guarantee that the combination will be a true sentence nor does recombining words from two false sentences mean that the result will be a false sentence. You need to base your evaluation on real evidence to distinguish what you only imagine from what is actually real.

        • Pofarmer

          Holy shit Dude.

          True enough but he also makes it clear that one must pray in union with
          the will of God in ones life. I can’t just expect God to answer every
          prayer I pray because I prayed it.

          If God has a divine plan for each
          of us, then he had a divine plan for Hitler too. It is when you stop to
          think about it deeply that the contradictions hit you.

          Now let’s imagine that you say a prayer in this sort of universe. What
          difference does it make? God has his plan, and that plan is running down
          its track like a freight train. ……. The idea of a “plan” makes the idea of a
          “prayer-answering relationship with God” a contradiction, doesn’t it?
          Yet Christians seem to attach themselves to both ideas, despite the
          irresolvable problem the two ideas create.

          http://godisimaginary.com/i6.htm

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So then, “Please make my child well” isn’t a good prayer. “Please help me align myself with your wishes” is a good prayer.

          But even that’s not right. Who knows whether God wants you aligned or not?

          That just leaves, “Your will be done,” which in Christian belief must simply be a tautology.

          So then why pray?

          When you try to help Christians out, you get something that is more sensible, and yet this doesn’t match up with what Jesus actually said in the NT. It’s almost like the entire thing is bullshit.

        • Dys

          You’re just as well off praying to Joe Pesci.

        • Pofarmer

          Your will he done, was my last prayer as a Christian, when I realized I couldn’t either detect or change Gods will anyway.

        • Greg G.

          True enough but he also makes it clear that one must pray in union with the will of God in ones life.

          Prayer only works if you guess what was going to happen anyway.

        • Susan

          Insistence on empirical evidence means that he’s deemed the only ideas that are reliable are materialist. Making such a demand requires first empirically proving reality consists solely of the material.

          We all (including you) know that the material exists. You are claiming that something else exists without justifying that claim.

          We keep asking you for a reliable methodology for evaluating your claim and you haven’t provided one. That is not us insisting that there can’t be one. It is just us pointing out that so far you haven’t provided one.

          As for your point about suffering, it shows callous disregard for all the gratuitous suffering that exists and has long existed on our planet.

          Enduring difficulties and tough times produces character and endurance

          Tell that to a Harlequin baby or to a baby deer being devoured by predators. There is nothing more sickening than christian rationalizations of suffering.

        • MNb

          “Show us” doesn’t necessarily refer to “empirical evidence” only. Indeed we think empirical evidence and induction the only way to test theories and hypotheses, but if you’ve developed another way that can be applied to your supposed immaterial reality you’re invited to teach us.
          Remarkably enough no single apologist even has even tried. That’s a very strong argument for atheism.

          “Making such a demand requires first empirically proving reality consists solely of the material.”
          Our profound metaphysicist doesn’t even get what materialism says. You’re asking us to set up a circular argument, silly.
          Observation: the only method that yields reliable conclusions is the scientific one, which includes empirical testing. From that observation the provisional and tentative conclusion is that the only existing reality is the reality to which the scientific method applies. It’s totally consistent with that scientific method that there is room for you to show us wrong – Popper’s Falsification Principle applies here as well. You remain invited.

        • Ameribear

          Observation: the only method that yields reliable conclusions is the scientific one, which includes empirical testing.

          In an earlier post I seem to recall you declaring that you can’t empirically prove anything.

          From that observation the provisional and tentative conclusion is that the only existing reality is the reality to which the scientific method applies.

          You keep denying the metaphysical while making metaphysical claims which proves you clearly suck at grasping it. That’s like saying that since metal is the only thing my detector picks up the only thing that exists is metal. The absurdity of that statement is monumental.

        • Greg G.

          In an earlier post I seem to recall you declaring that you can’t empirically prove anything.

          Do you understand that there is a difference between “reliable conclusions” and “absolute certainty”? That’s why MNb never says empirical testing or the scientific method yields absolute certainty.

          You keep denying the metaphysical while making metaphysical claims which proves you clearly suck at grasping it.

          He isn’t saying that the metaphysical doesn’t exist, he says it is “the provisional and tentative conclusion”. That means all you have to do is produce evidence to the contrary. You seem to know that you cannot.

          That’s like saying that since metal is the only thing my detector picks up the only thing that exists is metal.

          It is more like you saying there is no possible detector that can detect what I don’t want you to disprove. Many tests can be proposed but you will find a way to reject the results.

          The absurdity of that statement is monumental.

          Then why do you keep using it?

        • Ameribear

          Do you understand that there is a difference between “reliable conclusions” and “absolute certainty”? That’s why MNb never says empirical testing or the scientific method yields absolute certainty.

          Metaphysics can be used to arrive at exactly the same things so science cannot be the sole source of true knowledge.

          He isn’t saying that the metaphysical doesn’t exist, he says it is “the provisional and tentative conclusion”. That means all you have to do is produce evidence to the contrary. You seem to know that you cannot.

          He is making a metaphysical claim that cannot be proven or verified scientifically. You are the ones who have the task of using only science to prove your scientistic (not scientific) claim that the only true source of knowledge is scientific or empirical.

          It is more like you saying there is no possible detector that can detect what I don’t want you to disprove. Many tests can be proposed but you will find a way to reject the results.

          No, that is exactly what you are doing.

        • Greg G.

          Metaphysics can be used to arrive at exactly the same things so science cannot be the sole source of true knowledge.

          Probably, but metaphysics can be used to arrive at anything your imagination can arrive at with no way to distinguish which is true knowledge, so it is nothing but a source of supposed knowledge. The greatest barrier to true knowledge is supposed knowledge.

          He is making a metaphysical claim that cannot be proven or verified scientifically. You are the ones who have the task of using only science to prove your scientistic (not scientific) claim that the only true source of knowledge is scientific or empirical.

          The human imagination is capable of contriving concepts that are impervious to empirical testing. That means science is incapable of evaluating such a claim. It is not anybody’s job to try to disprove your imagination. You need to be able to distinguish imagination from reality. Simply calling the imaginary concepts you wish to believe “metaphysics” is not a valid method of making the necessary distinctions. The fact that you need the word “metaphysics” to distinguish the concept from physics is a clue that it is not actually physics.

          I telepathically asked the monster why he was hiding under my bed. He telepathically said he was afraid of the monster in the closet. Did I imagine that or did I recall a telepathically repressed memory? Physics can’t address the question but metaphysics could justify either a “yes” or a “no” answer.

          Shame on whoever has instilled a fear in you that you have to come up with these scenarios in order to be comfortable with death, if that is your motivation for believing in things that can only be imagined.

          It is more like you saying there is no possible detector that can detect what I don’t want you to disprove. Many tests can be proposed but you will find a way to reject the results.

          No, that is exactly what you are doing.

          Then suggest a plausible test.

          We are both saying that there is no possible detector that can detect what you don’t want disproved nor one that can detect what you want to believe. I am pointing out that goes for a whole realm of imaginary concepts that cannot be rationally distinguished between correct or incorrect because the detectors are impossible.

          You claim to know things that can only be known through something called metaphysics. You’ve made dozens of posts insisting that there are real things only knowable through metaphysics but you have never offered a method to distinguish a thought of imagination from a thought of metaphysics.

        • epeeist

          Metaphysics can be used to arrive at exactly the same things so science cannot be the sole source of true knowledge.

          And yet as we have seen your preferred metaphysics is unable to handle even the simplest of scientific scenarios except in the most trivial and vacuous way.

        • Greg G.

          My metaphysics can produce every combination of numbers that the Megamillions and Powerball lotteries can produce. Unfortunately, my metaphysics cannot distinguish which combinations are worth putting my money on nor even the combinations I could break even with.

          I am really hoping that Ameribear will reveal what is missing in my metaphysics. If I could break even, I might enjoy gambling. After all, I enjoy Sudoku but I wouldn’t if I wasn’t breaking even.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Metaphysics can be used to arrive at exactly the same things so science cannot be the sole source of true knowledge

          Demonstrate its power. Tell us something that metaphysics (not science) told us.

        • MNb

          You’re mean (and hence I upvoted you). You very well know that metaphysics by definition can’t use empirical evidence to cross examine its claims and that thus far there is no other way developed.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          But does Ameribear?

        • MNb

          “Metaphysics can be used to arrive at exactly the same things”
          Of course. Change the presuppositions and you can arrive at anything you want. The problem is that metaphysics doesn’t have a method to find out which presuppositions are correct and which ones aren’t. Not that a liar like you will ever try.

          “You are the ones who have the task of using only science to prove your scientistic (not scientific) claim that the only true source of knowledge is scientific or empirical.”
          I object the word “true”. You know that, because I have told you so several times and Greg G has explained it to you as well. “True” the way you use it implies absolute certainty, a claim you very well know I have never made.
          Otherwise it’s easy. I observe that no single metaphysicist ever has been able to present a reliable method that is capable of separating correct claims from incorrect ones. I also observe that every single apologist (and also all other dualists) I ask to do so dodges this problem. So I have the hypothesis (metaphysics and other sources can’t provide knowledge because of specified reasons) and the empirical evidence (nobody who claims “other forms of knowledge” has ever tried to meet that challenge). According to scientific standards that justifies the conclusion, without claiming absolute certainty.
          You remain invited to present your methodology – BobS asked you basically the same underneath. Every time you neglect or dodge this invitation you add evidence that confirms the hypothesis.
          This is basically the same as the hypothesis “time travel is impossible”. Build a time machine that works and I’ll have to drop it. Until then I maintain my hypothesis. That’s how science works.

        • Michael Neville

          Metaphysics can be used to arrive at exactly the same things so science cannot be the sole source of true knowledge.

          Give an example of something that metaphysics has determined and which is probably true.

          Metaphysics is saying whatever bullshit the metaphysician wants at any particular time. “God exists” is as much a metaphysical claim as “God doesn’t exist.” According to the logical law (actually axiom) of contradiction, one of these claims is not true. Therefore metaphysics cannot be used to determine the existence of God. Similar arguments can be made for all metaphysical claims. So we’re left with the conclusion that metaphysics is basically worthless for determining truth or falsity of anything.

        • MNb

          Our profound metaphysical thinker doesn’t understand that “to prove” is not synonymous with “to draw reliable conclusions” and hence doesn’t understand that “I seem to recall …” doesn’t contradict what I wrote at all.

          “keep denying the metaphysical”
          Plus you’re lying. I keep on denying the immaterial, the supernatural, the transcendental. That’s not the same as the metaphysical, which is a meaningless term the way you use it. The only meaningful way is “set of metaphysical assumptions necessary to understand our natural, material reality”, which does not require an immaterial, supernatural, transcendental reality at all. But of course by now I cannot expect anymore that you make a serious effort to address what I actually stand for, not after your repeated stupidities regarding movement and your refusal to learn from them.
          Still for the sake of completeness:

          philsci-archive.pitt.edu/1674/1/Scientific_Metaphysics.doc

          “while making metaphysical claims which proves you clearly suck at grasping it.”
          Perhaps – but you suck at grasping physics the moment you try to pull off metaphysics, “proving” that you suck at both. You confirm this immediately with

          “That’s like saying that since metal is the only thing my detector picks up the only thing that exists is metal. The absurdity of that statement is monumental”
          Indeed – but for an entirely different reason. Your detector belongs to our material, natural reality. Using this as an analogy to “detect” an immaterial, supernatural, transcendental reality is monumentally absurd indeed. It’s as stupid as Paley’s False Watchmaker’s Analogy – ie you have (unsurprisingly) descended to the stupid, ignorant, dishonest level of evolution deniers.

          In the meantime you remain invited to present another method but the scientific one to research a supposed supernatural, immaterial, transcendental reality. It’s telling though that you in this comment haven’t even tried. You implicitly admit that you don’t have one and hence that we are justified to reject every single conclusion and claim you make about it.

        • Ameribear

          I keep on denying the immaterial, the supernatural, the transcendental. That’s not the same as the metaphysical, which is a meaningless term the way you use it. The only meaningful way is “set of metaphysical assumptions necessary to understand our natural, material reality”, which does not require an immaterial, supernatural, transcendental reality at all.

          You deny the immaterial, the supernatural, the transcendental and then turn around and say “set of metaphysical assumptions necessary to understand our natural, material reality”. You deny the immaterial exists and then you want to use the very means to demonstrate that it does exist to try to explain that it doesn’t exist. You keep stepping in your own
          intellectual dog piles.

          But of course by now I cannot expect anymore that you make a serious effort to address what I actually stand for, not after your repeated stupidities regarding movement and your refusal to learn from them.

          But of course by now I cannot expect anymore that you make a serious effort to address what I actually stand for, not after your repeated stupidities regarding metaphysics and your refusal to learn from them.

          Your detector belongs to our material, natural reality. Using this as an analogy to “detect” an immaterial, supernatural, transcendental reality is monumentally absurd indeed.

          Once again all you’re left with is flailing about trying to make everything you’ve denied or failed to grasp resemble the only thing you can grasp. You keep swinging that hammer hoping one day you’ll actually build something with it.

          In the meantime you remain invited to present another method but the scientific one to research a supposed supernatural, immaterial, transcendental reality. It’s telling though that you in this comment haven’t even tried. You implicitly admit that you don’t have one and hence that we are justified to reject every single conclusion and claim you make about it.

          The fact that you’ve failed to grasp even the most rudimentary aspects of it is not the fault of the method. The fact that you keep making metaphysical claims about the natures of things with absolutely nothing to support them means I am justified in rejecting every single conclusion and claim you make about them.

        • Susan

          You deny the immaterial, the supernatural, the transcendental and then turn around and say “set of metaphysical assumptions necessary to understand our natural, material reality”

          Because metaphysics doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it means. Catholics have a different word for everything and a different definition (without justification) for many fundamental terms.

          MNb is trying to explain to you that “meta”physics is not necessarily a meaningless term but you don’t get to assert that your definition is meaningful without demonstrating that it is meaningful. I’m sure MNb will correct me if I’m wrong about this as he’s as happy to correct an atheist as he is a catholic.

          You deny the immaterial exists and then you want to use the very means to demonstrate that it does exist to try to explain that it doesn’t exist.

          You haven’t used metaphysics to demonstrate that it does exist. You’ve simply asserted that it exists ’cause “metaphysics”. MNb hasn’t stepped in any dogpile except the one in your imagination.

          not after your repeated stupidities regarding metaphysics and your refusal to learn from them.

          Please research the term “metaphysics” and then show us what MNb has refused to learn.

          The fact that you’ve failed to grasp even the most rudimentary aspects of it is not the fault of the method.

          What rudimentary aspects has MNb failed to grasp? He has explained in detail the problems with the models from which you extrapolate your claims.

          The fact that you keep making metaphysical claims about the natures of things with absolutely nothing to support them

          This looks very much like what you’ve been doing. Not at all like what MNb has done. Again, I urge you to research the term “metaphysics” before you make statements like this.

          You keep swinging that hammer hoping one day you’ll actually build something with it.

          From where I sit, you have built exactly nothing demonstrable. You have provided no reliable tool to build anything no matter how often and how honestly and how frankly people ask you to.

          You claim to have an immaterial plastic detector but you haven’t shown anyone how it detects immaterial plastic.

          In case you don’t bother to click on the link I provided, here is the opening paragraph:

          Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy investigating the fundamental nature of being and the world that encompasses it.[1] Metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions:[2]

          1) Ultimately, what is there?
          2) What is it like?

          .

        • Ameribear

          MNb is trying to explain to you that “meta”physics is not necessarily a meaningless term but you don’t get to assert that your definition is meaningful without demonstrating that it is meaningful.

          From the wikipedia page you provided the link to.
          “Thereafter, metaphysics denoted philosophical inquiry of a non-empirical character into the nature of existence.” and “Metaphysics
          continues asking “why” where science leaves off.”

          You haven’t used metaphysics to demonstrate that it does exist. You’ve simply asserted that it exists ’cause “metaphysics”. MNb
          hasn’t stepped in any dogpile except the one in your imagination.

          I made the attempt but both you and MNb failed to grasp my point.

          Please research the term “metaphysics” and then show us what MNb has refused to learn.

          The same things you have.

          What rudimentary aspects has MNb failed to grasp? He has explained in detail the problems with the models from which you extrapolate your claims.

          No he hasn’t. He has continually made metaphysical claims about
          the natures of things while denying the existence of the very things
          he’s making the claims about. Totally incoherent.

          This looks very much like what you’ve been doing. Not at all like what MNb has done. Again, I urge you to research the term “metaphysics” before you make statements like this.

          I urge you to reread the very article you posted the link to in order to understand what I’ve been trying to say. Particularly the chapter entitled “Metaphysics in science.”

          From where I sit, you have built exactly nothing demonstrable. You have provided no reliable tool to build anything no matter how often and how honestly and how frankly people ask you to.

          The failure of “some” to grasp the evidence is not the fault of the method.

          You claim to have an immaterial plastic detector but you haven’t shown anyone how it detects immaterial plastic.

          Again from the article you linked to. Emphasis mine:
          “There are two broad conceptions about what “world” is studied by metaphysics. The strong, classical view assumes that THE OBJECTS STUDIED BY METAPHYSICS EXIST INDEPENDENTLY OF ANY OBSERVER so that the subject is the most fundamental of all sciences.”

          Excellent article BTW. Thanks for the link.

        • Greg G.

          From the wikipedia page you provided the link to.
          “Thereafter, metaphysics denoted philosophical inquiry of a non-empirical character into the nature of existence.” and “Metaphysics
          continues asking “why” where science leaves off.”

          Science leaves off where unverifiable imagination begins.

          Again from the article you linked to. Emphasis mine:
          “There are two broad conceptions about what “world” is studied by metaphysics. The strong, classical view assumes that THE OBJECTS STUDIED BY METAPHYSICS EXIST INDEPENDENTLY OF ANY OBSERVER so that the subject is the most fundamental of all sciences.”

          What “objects studied by metaphysics exist independently of any observer” but are not shown to exist through physics? Such objects would be wholly dependent on the imagination of the metaphysical observer.

        • Ameribear

          Scientific inquiry presupposes many immaterial things about the natures of what it studies. The nature of the physical cosmos is to be objective and external to the minds of scientists, that it is governed by causal regularities and that the nature of the human intellect is that it can enable us to uncover and accurately describe these regularities. Are these things measurable using the scientific method? Are they dependent on the imagination of the metaphysical observer? How are you going to establish that scientific knowledge is the only reliable form without them? How about human nature and rights? Does science have anything to say about these? Are they imaginary?

        • Pofarmer

          The things you list as pressupositiions are actually conclusions.

        • epeeist

          Scientific inquiry presupposes many immaterial things about the natures of what it studies.

          Does it? Examples please.

          The nature of the physical cosmos is to be objective and external to the minds of scientists

          Given your background you should have some position as to the existence of abstract objects.

        • MNb

          Nope. You presuppose without any back up that those presuppositions are immaterial. They aren’t.

          “Are these things measurable using the scientific method?”
          No. That doesn’t mean they are immaterial. Funny how you claim we think science is perfect but now yourself demand science to be perfect.

          “How are you going to establish that scientific knowledge is the only reliable form without them?”
          By observing that thus far and specifically you haven’t developed another reliable form and haven’t even tried.

          “How about human nature and rights?”
          That’s opinion, not knowledge.

          “Does science have anything to say about these?”
          Yes – that one of the first attempts to define them happened after the French Revolution.

          “Are they imaginary?”
          Depends on how you define imagination. But still by no means it follows that they are immaterial.

        • Greg G.

          Scientific inquiry presupposes many immaterial things about the natures of what it studies.

          What are you calling “immaterial”? What things do you think are “presupposed”. Scientists might hypothesize some particle and propose a way to test the hypothesis that would falsify it. If the hypothesis passes, the particle would be accepted provisionally until another test falsified it. How do you get presupposition out of that?

          The nature of the physical cosmos is to be objective and external to the minds of scientists, that it is governed by causal regularities and that the nature of the human intellect is that it can enable us to uncover and accurately describe these regularities. Are these things measurable using the scientific method?

          If the regularities were not measurable by the scientific method, we would not know they were regularities.

          Are they dependent on the imagination of the metaphysical observer?

          If they are measured by objective means, they are not dependent on the imagination of a physical observer. If something cannot be detected by definition of a metaphysical “non-observer”, then it is imaginary, except in the case of an infinitesimal improbable guess. You cannot show that your metaphysical beliefs are more reliable than a Hindu metaphysicist or a Muslim metaphysicist. It’s nothing but guesswork and wishful thinking. If it wasn’t guesswork, you wouldn’t have to rename it “metaphysics”.

          How are you going to establish that scientific knowledge is the only reliable form without them?

          No other method has been proposed that produces as reliable results as the scientific method. What you want to believe has never even approached reliabilty. The methods a metaphysicist uses can produce anything at all with no way to evaluate whether it is right or reliable.

          But as soon as there is a method that is more reliable than the scientific method, I’m switching to it.

          How about human nature and rights? Does science have anything to say about these? Are they imaginary?

          Human nature can be investigated by empirical observation and testing, so yes, science has something to say about that.

          Rights are a concept or set of concepts that can be invented by a mind. A metaphor can be invented by a mind. A concept of an immaterial god can be invented by a mind. An immaterial god cannot be invented by a mind.

          If an immaterial god can affect a universe, the effects should be measurable by scientific methods. If you feel you must define your god so that no results can be measured by science, you have no actual way of knowing that, so you know you are imagining that god.

        • MNb

          “He has continually made metaphysical claims about
          the natures of things while denying the existence of the very things he’s making the claims about.”
          Only because you systematically lie about what my metaphysical claims are.

          “THE OBJECTS STUDIED BY METAPHYSICS EXIST INDEPENDENTLY OF ANY OBSERVER”
          If they exist. You by no means have demonstrated that immaterial things do exist. Adding this

          “The failure of “some” to grasp the evidence”
          makes you the one who is incoherent – evidence always is material. So you claim to have material observations backing up the existence of immaterial things.

        • Ameribear

          Only because you systematically lie about what my metaphysical claims are.

          Since you deny the immaterial exists you also must believe the
          means by which they are proven either doesn’t exist or if it does
          then it’s of no use yet you also state you have made metaphysical
          claims.

          evidence always is material. The universe just
          is. The only reliable form of knowledge is scientific.

          You have now made three distinct metaphysical claims about the
          natures of three different things with no explanation as to why they
          are. All three of these things evidence, the universe, knowledge have
          an immaterial nature (just like everything else) that you make
          reference to while at the same time denying the immaterial exists.

        • Pofarmer

          So rather than bitch. Why don’t you prove something. This is beyond ridiculous. Tell us, for example, why your brand of metaphysical knowledge makes reliable claims, and what is your method to know? Perhaps you could explain to us the immaterial nature of the universe? Perhaps you cold explain how knowledge exists without human minds? Go for it, sport.

        • Susan

          You have now made three distinct metaphysical claims about the
          natures of three different things with no explanation as to why they
          are.

          MNb said:

          1) Evidence is always material.

          Give us an example of evidence that isn’t material.

          2) you claim to have material observations backing up the existence of immaterial things.

          You do. You have since you got here.

          It doesn’t matter whether MNb’s claims are “metaphysical” or not. How you categorize them is irrelevant as you’ve shown no interest in metaphysics outside of the catholic definition which is just a fancy way of special pleading.

          You make claims that you can’t back up.

          In one breath, you say “Look around.”

          In the next, “No evidence is required.”

          Make up your mind.

        • MNb

          “Since you deny the immaterial exists you also must believe the means by which they are proven either doesn’t exist or if it does then it’s of no use yet you also state you have made metaphysical claims”
          Good job confusing again the immaterial and the metaphysical. This time it leads to total nonsense.
          Again: a claim like “there is no god” is a metaphysical one. It can’t be researched by science. Again: “prove” in this context is a meaningless word; I don’t pretend to have the absolute 100% certain eternal neverchanging truth. But let me be charitable and replace it by “argued for”. The means I use to argue for “there is no god” totally exist within our material reality.
          As long as you don’t make a serious effort to represent correctly what I write (and thus keep on lying) you’ll keep on looking ridiculous. And indeed:

          “All three of these things evidence, the universe, knowledge have an immaterial nature”
          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          Evidence by definition is found in our material reality.
          Our universe consists of matter and energy and hence is totally material.
          Knowledge consists of thoughts and hence depends on material things like human brains, paper and computers.
          You’ve totally lost it. I may suck at metaphysics; your comments about metaphysics are steadily going downhill.

        • Ameribear

          Again: a claim like “there is no god” is a metaphysical one. It can’t be researched by science.

          No, that’s a statement of belief that is based on something else.

          The means I use to argue for “there is no god” totally exist within our material reality.

          The means you use to argue with have to be interpreted. You can’t
          say there is no God because matter. The arguments used to prove or disprove anything are metaphysical demonstrations.

          Evidence by definition is found in our material reality. But make my day and tell me how a dug up fossil has an immaterial nature.

          What does a fossil have that makes it a fossil? Fossil is a genus that is divided into species. There is something about it that makes it both an individual species and part of a larger set as well. A fossil is also a composite of form and matter.

          Knowledge consists of thoughts and hence depends on material things like human brains, paper and computers. It’s silly
          to call knowledge immaterial. No universe, no matter and energy, no human brains, no paper, no computers, no knowledge.

          Knowledge requires and assumes a properly functioning human brain being able to absorb and understand information that is being passed to it from an outside source. Knowledge doesn’t have to rely on paper of computers to exist because they are only external means of storing and transmitting the knowledge we have already stored in our minds. Paper and computers have nothing in their natures that imparts knowledge in and of themselves. Knowledge does involve thought and thought is immaterial. The knowledge of something is not a part of that thing. Would something like the Pythagorean theorem still be true if every mind capable of grasping it suddenly went out of existence? When you
          think about the Pythagorean theorem are you thinking about your own version or copy of it while I’m thinking about my own version or copy, or are we thinking of the exact same theorem?

        • MNb

          “No, that’s a statement of belief that is based on something else.”
          No, it’s a statement of non-belief and that something else it’s based upon is metaphysics, so the statement is also metaphysics.

          https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/metaphysics/

          “If metaphysics now considers a wider range of problems than those studied in Aristotle’s Metaphysics, those original problems continue to belong to its subject-matter.”

          “Aristotle identifies the subject-matter of first philosophy as “being as such”, and, in another as “first causes”.
          You yourself maintain that your god is a (or the) first cause, so my contradiction belongs to metaphysics as well.

          “You can’t say there is no God because matter.”
          I don’t say that, stupid liar. I say

          1. matter/energy is all there is;
          2. your god doesn’t consist of matter/energy;
          3. hence god doesn’t exist.

          That’s valid logic. Statement 2 is confirmed by you, your church and many other believers. Statement 1 is the topic to be discussed, but because of your stupid lies we haven’t got around to it yet.

          “The arguments used to prove or disprove anything are metaphysical demonstrations.”
          Nonsense in the most literal meaning of the word. The Michelson/Morley experiment of 1887 disproves Newtonian Mechanics. Their demonstration is not metaphysical by definition – it’s scientific.

          “What does a fossil have that makes it a fossil?”

          Not the things you subsequently mention. Thanks for demonstrating how much you suck at science once again.

          “Fossil is a genus that is divided into species.”

          No, it isn’t. Genus and species are nothing but nomenclature – language to order both fossils and living entities. Language is either spoken, ie consists of sound or is written down. In both cases it’s material.

          “There is something about it that makes it both an individual species and part of a larger set as well.”
          Yeah – some material features.

          “A fossil is also a composite of form and matter.”
          Form is material and matter – gasp! – is material too.

          “Knowledge requires and assumes a properly functioning human brain being able to absorb and understand information that is being passed to it from an outside source.”
          Information is material. That’s why it can be measured. Mathematicians can show you how.

          “Knowledge doesn’t have to rely on paper of computers to exist because they are only external means of storing”
          Show me knowledge without means of storing. You can’t, because once again you run into the fundamental problem: how does something immaterial interact with something material.

          “and transmitting the knowledge we have already stored in our minds.”
          Which means that minds are material.

          “Paper and computers have nothing in their natures that imparts knowledge in and of themselves.”
          No. But that’s only half of the story. What do you humans do? Arrange paper and computers. With material means and following material procedures.

          “Would something like the Pythagorean theorem still be true if every mind capable of grasping it suddenly went out of existence?”
          And you suck at math as well. Pythagorean Theorem is not true. It’s a deductional conclusion from the five Euclidean axiomata. Change one (the fifth if I remember correctly) and it’s false as I can demonstrate with one simple example.
          And we cannot establish the truth of those axiomata but by using empirical evidence, so we’re back at materialism again. That’s one reason to reject Platonic idealism. Another one is that saying that the Pythagorean Theorem is true without conscious (material) minds to understand it is meaningless. Math is a language and language is material.

          “Knowledge does involve thought and thought is immaterial.”
          Yep, you totally suck at science.
          Neurobiologists can measure human thoughts. That’s how in up to 75% of the cases they know what your decision will be before you realize it yourself.
          Anyhow, show me a thought without a brain, without paper or without any other material medium and I’m all with you. Until then your argument is just circular:
          Thoughts are immaterial, the immaterial domain exists, in this domain reside thoughts and that “proves” that thoughts are immaterial.
          Let me specify my request.
          1. Show me how immaterial thoughts interact with the material brain, which means are used and which procedures are followed. These means and procedures must be immaterial as well or thoughts cease become material by definition.
          2. Tell me what the assumption that thoughts are immaterial adds to our understanding of the human mind. Note: in my dictionary mind is material – namely that part that depends on the material brain. If you want to talk about an immaterial component you must call it soul. I’m not going to compromise here; that would mean allowing you to use ambiguous language to your advantage.
          3. Tell me which method you use to separate correct claims about thoughts from incorrect ones. That method (like your locomotive analogy) cannot be a scientific one, because that only would confirm that thoughts are material.
          Oh wait – I have asked you the latter many times already. You never even try to answer. Because there is no answer. And that implies assuming an immaterial reality is superfluous, leads to additional problems and results in incoherence. Those are very good reasons to deny an immaterial reality.
          You may like to learn that 30 years I actually did assume an immaterial reality. Slowly recognizing that it’s baked air made me gradually abandoning it and limiting metaphysics to our material reality. Btw that’s called using Ockham’s Razor.

        • Ameribear

          Wow, when you admitted you sucked at metaphysics you weren’t kidding.

          I have reached the point where I don’t have the time nor can I muster enough concern to bother refuting the verbal diarrhea you just expended
          so much energy to spew. I do however, owe you and others here a debt of
          gratitude for your contributions to strengthening my faith and confirming that what I already believed about atheism is true. I’m looking forward to your imminent demise with even more glee.

        • Paul B. Lot

          I have reached the point where I don’t have the time

          Ah, excellent. Our prayers have been answered.


          I do however, owe you and others here a debt of
          gratitude for your contributions to strengthening my faith and confirming that what I already believed about atheism is true.

          When (or more likely if) you ever get the courage up again to talk to people willing to challenge your poorly-thought-out beliefs, perhaps you will care to address yourself to some of the many questions you skirted while you were here. This one might be a good place to start.

          In the meantime (likely forever, given the level of intellectual honesty you’ve displayed so far), let me just take this moment to reciprocate your “thanks” – it’s always nice to see one’s stereotypes of believers reinforced as beautifully as you’ve done here. :)


          I’m looking forward to your imminent demise with even more glee.

          Likewise! However I will point out the irony in [the believer] – commanded by “God” to “love” his enemies – telling [the non-believer] that his “demise” will be an occasion for “glee”…

          the leopard cannot change his spots, much less the chickenshit believer.

          Cheers!

        • adam

          ” I’m looking forward to your imminent demise with even more glee.”

          which is of course, THE problem….

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f6edead041781202f80c75d015d387e6cc53a861b9cb5dd846e0f4dd40a5805a.jpg

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Does Christianity simply collect assholes who say hateful stuff like Ameribear did, or does Christianity encourage that belief on them.

          Enquiring minds want to know.

        • MNb

          My experience is that apologists take it so hard when discussions don’t go their way that threatening with hell becomes their petty revenge.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Excellent questions. It would be nice if they’d face up to them.

        • Verbose Stoic

          I’m not sure if I count as an “apologist”, but I am definitely a dualist, so let me take a crack at it:

          1) How does a supposed supernatural entity interact with our material reality?

          The more important questions are a) if that supernatural entity exists and b) if it does interact with material reality. If these can be established, then there is some mechanism for this and we just need to figure out what that is, and if they can’t be established then we have no reason to worry about such a mechanism. My basic answer would be direct causal link, but the details of that would still need to be worked out.

          2) What does dualism explain that cannot be explained on materialism (your “metaphysical/ supernatural evidence” question is a variation on it)?

          The question really needs to be expressed as “best explained by dualism” than “cannot be explained by materialism”. My big one for dualism is that materialist theories of mind can’t explain the qualities of qualia — actual experiences — and even more damningly always make conscious experience epiphenomenal, which to me is a consequence that I’d need a lot more evidence than we have to accept. On the flip side, the oft-cited argument of mind-altering drugs or substances is not a problem for interactionist dualism, which asserts that mind can impact brain and brain can impact mind causally. This form of dualism has existed and been prominent at least as far back as Descartes (he clearly was an interactionist dualist).

          3) How do you separate correct claims about the immaterial from incorrect ones?

          I’m not sure why you think this would be fundamentally problematic for any form of inquiry other than a specifically naturalistic science. The methods of philosophy and everyday reasoning — neither of which assume naturalism — would work fine. And heck, even empiricism could be used since it isn’t inherently naturalistic. With things like the mind, you can’t use science’s presumed “third-person view” … but since consciousness’ primary defining properties are first person anyway, that’s a given unless you want to ignore what consciousness actually IS.

        • Greg G.

          1) Plato had the same question and came up with the Logos. Philo adapted Platonic philosophy to Judaism and wrote about a version of the Logos. The Gospel of John made that into Jesus.

          But you didn’t answer the question. You can’t even show that a supernatural entity interacts with the universe.

          2) I think too much is made of qualia. If it was supernatural, why are we oblivious to so much that goes on around us? There is so much light and sound that are beyond our capability to even detect, yet we filter out much of what we see and hear because we lack the capacity to consume it all. Our sense of smell is atrocious compared to most land mammals. Even what we recall can be shown to be faulty. The limited qualia we experience is best explained by the limitations of reality.

          3) Is God the essence of all being, a powerful beard, a South American tree frog, or like a banana? Empirical observations tend to refute supernatural claims with natural effects so the supernatural excludes any ability of empirical means to investigate it. It is how the term “supernatural” is derived. Since no empirical means are capable of answering any part of the question, it cannot be used. So how do you confirm or deny any one of the parts of the question as a truth claim? The first three have believers while I made up the banana but I don’t know that nobody thinks that. (Ray Comfort used to argue the banana was evidence for God until it was explained to him that the modern banana is man-made through agriculture.) But how do the “essence of all being” groups know that the “omnipotence with a beard” is wrong and vice versa?

          These questions are no more answerable than any other question contrived to be impossible for empirical evaluation. We cannot know that Russell’s Teapot does not exist without sending a satellite to the other side of the sun and doing a search. But we cannot even do that for many contrived imagined things including the Divine Banana.

        • Verbose Stoic

          But you didn’t answer the question. You can’t even show that a supernatural entity interacts with the universe.

          My answer is that until we establish whether or not there are supernatural entities that interact with the material world — or, at least, that that is the best explanation for certain phenomena — not only do we have no reason to investigate such a mechanism, it would be IMPOSSIBLE to investigate such a mechanism. It would be like trying to figure out the mechanism by which a laser could burn a hole in an object without knowing if lasers actually exist and can burn holes in objects. Thus, the only time this question becomes at all valid is if the materialist insists that there can be no such possible mechanism by definition. But that’s something they’d have to establish. Is that what you or MNb are going for here?

          I think too much is made of qualia. If it was supernatural, why are we oblivious to so much that goes on around us?

          The argument is that qualia exists — we have experiences and those experiences have properties — and that the properties that qualia seems to have are not ones that fit into the definition of material, and so qualia is best explained as being something immaterial. No one is positing that just because qualia would be immaterial — or possibly supernatural; please don’t conflate the two — that our senses would be some kind of super senses able to tell everything and be totally independent of the physical senses. So this objection about qualia doesn’t address anything about what qualia actually is or why it’s relevant to the material/immaterial discussion.

          Empirical observations tend to refute supernatural claims with natural effects so the supernatural excludes any ability of empirical means to investigate it. It is how the term “supernatural” is derived.

          No, some supernatural claims argue that empiricism cannot be used to investigate them. Sometimes that happens after empirical evidence refutes it. More often, however, empirical investigation is eliminated philosophically from the start or those who claim that a specific supernatural claim exists point out that the purported empirical refutation doesn’t refute their theory. There is nothing in empiricism, either in theory or practice, that rules out immaterial objects a priori. In fact, one of the early empiricists — Berkeley — insisted that matter didn’t exist precisely BECAUSE he could not empirically observe matter.

          So how do you confirm or deny any one of the parts of the question as a truth claim?

          I look at the evidence and the arguments, just like I wolud for anything else. I can dismiss a priori anything that is known to be merely invented — like the FSM — and anything that no evidence outside that person’s imagination is given for. To return to the better example for immaterial — mind — the evidence is my own experiences of consciousness, which means that _I_ have evidence for it, and I know that _I_ am not inventing that either (I really am having those experiences). Again, I don’t see how this is different from anything else except that if science presumes natural/material things are the only things that exist we might not be able to use science for them. Oh, well. We can still use any of its methods that are appropriate even if we can’t be said to using “science” because of those presumptions.

        • Greg G.

          My answer is that until we establish whether or not there are supernatural entities that interact with the material world — or, at least, that that is the best explanation for certain phenomena — not only do we have no reason to investigate such a mechanism, it would be IMPOSSIBLE to investigate such a mechanism.

          If there are certain phenomenon that cannot be explained by the then current understanding of physics, when do you decide the cause is supernatural? It would always be too soon for that. The demon-theory of disease led to ineffective treatments and prevented research that might have led to what actually causes disease. But if the phenomenon is explained, it is no longer thought to be possibly supernatural.

          So this objection about qualia doesn’t address anything about what qualia actually is or why it’s relevant to the material/immaterial discussion.

          Imaginary things are immaterial. You haven’t shown that qualia is not just the imagination filling in the blanks.

          The brain has signal channels made of matter. The greater the cross-section of the signal channel, the more reliable the signal, but the higher the energy cost to operate, greater weight and the more cranial space devoted just to them. The narrower their diameter, the greater the signal corruption. Natural selection is an excellent method to optimize between the constraints. Signal channels that are fairly reliable can allow space for error-correction neurons to compensate for some errors, but even that cannot replicate the original signals. This can account for optical illusions, illusions of free will, creativity, and illusions of qualia, too.

          I agree with the next paragraph except that “immaterial objects” would be a contradiction in terms.

          To return to the better example for immaterial — mind — the evidence is my own experiences of consciousness, which means that _I_ have evidence for it, and I know that _I_ am not inventing that either (I really am having those experiences).

          The mind is what the brain does. It is a process. Vision is what the eyes and the visual center of the brain do. It is immaterial but it is not an object. Memories are stored by making physical changes in the brain. Short-term memory is thought to work like the after image of the eye while long term memories are created by chemical reactions of proteins making connections to other cells. Drugs that block the action of those proteins prevent long term memories from forming. Recalling a memory affects the chemical bonds, too. They are developing a therapy for PTSD where such drugs are administered and the patient is asked to recall the experience which results in weakened memories of them.

          We have a fear response to certain experiences. But we also have a fear response to bad dreams. The brain reacts the same way to either. One is a real situation and one is purely imaginary.

          If one has an idea about a supernatural thingie, how does one distinguish whether the thingie is a supernatural thingie or just an imaginary concept of a supernatural thingie? How would you know that it wasn’t just an error-correction of a corrupted thought that went awry?

        • Verbose Stoic

          If there are certain phenomenon that cannot be explained by the then current understanding of physics, when do you decide the cause is supernatural? It would always be too soon for that.

          Which is why we generally DON’T do that. That a phenomena is supernatural is determined based on an analysis of its purported properties. Whether it is the best explanation or not is based on an examination of the evidence and the competing theories. To return to mind, our experience of phenomenal experience and qualia appears to have properties that contradict what properties it ought to have if it was material, and the materialist explanations don’t address qualia and phenomenal experience, often LEAVE THEM OUT, and even if they include them make them epiphenomenal, which further contradicts our experiences. Material explanations have a long way to go before they can tough interactionist dualist ones …

          The demon-theory of disease led to ineffective treatments and prevented research that might have led to what actually causes disease. But if the phenomenon is explained, it is no longer thought to be possibly supernatural.

          Only because the explanation turns out to be one that is clearly material/physical/natural. Again, if we really found that a god Thor caused lightning, would we call that a natural explanation?

          Imaginary things are immaterial. You haven’t shown that qualia is not just the imagination filling in the blanks.

          Qualia are the elements of imagination; they are the components of all of our conscious experiences. They CANNOT be us imagining anything because they are, in fact, the building blocks of imagination … and experience itself. While we can doubt whether or not that tree with green leaves that we are looking at really has green leaves, we cannot deny that we are having a green experience. So you can argue that our experience of green misleads us as to whether or not our mental experiences reflect a physical thing, but you cannot argue that our mental experiences are just imaginary. In a sense, they are, but not in a sense that allows us to deny their reality.

          If one has an idea about a supernatural thingie, how does one distinguish whether the thingie is a supernatural thingie or just an imaginary concept of a supernatural thingie? How would you know that it wasn’t just an error-correction of a corrupted thought that went awry?

          Isn’t this the same question as “If I’m experiencing a tree right now, how do I know that that tree is really there and not a dream or a hallucination?” Which is a question that you don’t want to push too far, as doing so would, in fact, kill science.

        • Greg G.

          Which is why we generally DON’T do that.

          But you are doing exactly that with your qualia argument. If qualia is supernatural, it should not be affected by material. Many drugs affect our perception of qualia by interacting with the chemical pathways of brain chemistry. Qualia changes as the body ages. How does the supernatural age? YOu are jumping to a conclusion too early.

          Again, if we really found that a god Thor caused lightning, would we call that a natural explanation?

          It depends on whether Thor was natural or supernatural. There would always be the question of whether Thor was supernatural or just more tecnologically advanced. But if there was a way to show that Thor was supernatural, then you would have a reason to believe in the supernatural. Until then, you are commiting the fallacy of Argument from Ignorance.

          Qualia are the elements of imagination; they are the components of all of our conscious experiences. They CANNOT be us imagining anything because they are, in fact, the building blocks of imagination … and experience itself.

          There are natural explanations that are better than that. I just explained how the “building blocks of imagination” would come from imperfect signal channels and imperfect error correction attempts in the physical brain.

          While we can doubt whether or not that tree with green leaves that we are looking at really has green leaves, we cannot deny that we are having a green experience.

          My experience of green is more vivid with my right eye than with my left eye. I reckon it is due to a different balance of cones and rods. But I do not know that the color system I experience is like yours. We use the same word because the pigments in our eyes are similar so they react the same to the wavelengths of light, but we do not know that our visual centers in the brain produce the same palette of colors. Your green might look like my orange to you but you would stll call it green. We agree on the names of colors that our retinas respond to because it has an objective element we can relate to.

          Isn’t this the same question as “If I’m experiencing a tree right now, how do I know that that tree is really there and not a dream or a hallucination?” Which is a question that you don’t want to push too far, as doing so would, in fact, kill science.

          It is not at all the same question. A solipsistic argument is meaningless. We can apply objective methods to distinguish whether it is a tree for any meaningful definition of knowledge. You have no objective method to distinguish whether the idea of a thingie is a supernatural thingie or just an imaginary concept of a supernatural thingie.

        • Verbose Stoic

          But you are doing exactly that with your qualia argument. If qualia is supernatural, it should not be affected by material.

          Nope. My qualia argument is that qualia exists and has properties that don’t seem to be material. The dualism I favour is interactionist dualism, which asserts that the mind and brain are separate entities but that there’s a causal hook-up between the two, so that one can causally impact the other and vice versa. Of course, any dualism that denied that the brain state can impact phenomenal experience would be proven wrong by the evidence. and by the evidence we had at least as far back as Descartes (jaundice, for example, proves that physical state can impact mental experience). As that part is not in doubt, either you’d have to demonstrate that the physical is all there is — and run into the issues with the properties of qualia and with epiphenomenalism — or argue that there can be no such causal connection, which would require argumentation and, for naturalists/scientists/anti-philosophicals argumentation that isn’t just conceptual/definitional, but instead is empirical.

          Either way, there is no reason for an interactionist dualist to, at least right now, agree that an immaterial mind and a material body can’t interact. The theory, in fact, not only accepts that they can, but insists that they do.

          It depends on whether Thor was natural or supernatural.

          As stated, Thor would be proven to be a GOD. That would be supernatural by definition, no?

          But if there was a way to show that Thor was supernatural, then you would have a reason to believe in the supernatural. Until then, you are commiting the fallacy of Argument from Ignorance.

          Except for every supernatural/immaterial/non-physical thing I assert, I’m arguing why experience suggests that it is that way. That’s not an Argument from Ignorance. The only time I get close is when I point out that the materialist explanations don’t have anything close to a reasonable explanation right now. But it’s perfectly reasonable to reply to those who claim that a supernatural claim is to be dismissed because they have acceptable natural explanations that they don’t have that yet. I don’t do that for lightning because they DO have those explanations. I do that for qualia because they DON’T.

          There are natural explanations that are better than that. I just explained how the “building blocks of imagination” would come from imperfect signal channels and imperfect error correction attempts in the physical brain.

          How does that produce ACTUAL EXPERIENCES? Are you suggesting that if they were perfect, we would have no experiences at all? Because that seems to be false; the better our faculties are the deeper and more vivid our experiences are. For example, I have poor eyesight, and with correction I get full experiences, whereas I get none of that without correction.

          So, again, how do this mechanisms produce experiences with the qualities we perceive them to have?

          But I do not know that the color system I experience is like yours.

          Yes, but I don’t see how you agreeing that these experiences are, in fact, utterly personal helps in claiming that they are material and/or that science can actually get at what they are.

          We agree on the names of colors that our retinas respond to because it has an objective element we can relate to.

          Which is that they differentiate themselves from other experiences in similar and consistent enough ways that we can at least agree that experiences of that sort can be called “green” while the others can be called “red”. However, if I am having what you would call an “orange” experience there and you are having a “green” experience, the fact remains that we are both having experiences. Those experiences are full of qualia, and it is the properties of that that I am talking about.

          You have no objective method to distinguish whether the idea of a thingie is a supernatural thingie or just an imaginary concept of a supernatural thingie.

          Okay, then if it isn’t just “You might not be experiencing what you think you are” then what do you mean by “imaginary concept of a supernatural thingie”? It seems to me that to be in error here either I’m not having the experiences I think I’m having, or I’m interpreting what they imply incorrectly. But I’m still experiencing things, particularly when it comes to qualia. Outside of those two possibilities, what could your imaginary concept be?

        • Pofarmer

          The theory, in fact, not only accepts that they can, but insists that they do.

          With no good evidence.

          or I’m interpreting what they imply incorrectly.

          Yep.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          3. I don’t see how you’ve addressed the question. You know how science works–you have a hypothesis, and you try to find counterexamples. Or you have two hypotheses and find which one is better supported by evidence. But how would metaphysics or philosophy find the truth in some other way? Maybe you can provide an example.

        • Verbose Stoic

          I find your definition of science overly broad, so you’d have to answer the question of whether or not you think that science, by your definition, excludes immaterial/supernatural explanations by definition or not (or even says that it will only accept them if NO natural/material explanation can be found). If it doesn’t, then we use science. If it does, then we can use philosophy, which has access to every possible method of gaining knowledge but makes few if any assumptions by definition, and so would not preclude immaterial or supernatural explanations.

          So if your definition of science includes philosophy, then we use science. If it doesn’t, then the difference is in the assumptions and if/how we test hypotheses.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          you’d have to answer the question of whether or not you think that science, by your definition, excludes immaterial/supernatural explanations by definition or not

          What is “supernatural”? If it’s “that which is outside natural,” then x-rays could be argued to have been supernatural until we observed them. Then “natural” became larger to take them in.

          Is there evidence for the supernatural? Then I question why we’d call it “supernatural” anymore.

          If it does, then we can use philosophy, which has access to every possible method of gaining knowledge but makes few if any assumptions by definition, and so would not preclude immaterial or supernatural explanations.

          And I’m still stuck on what good philosophy alone (that is: not physics, not chemistry, etc.) is for reliably discovering new things about reality. Give me an example.

        • Verbose Stoic

          What is “supernatural”? If it’s “that which is outside natural,” then x-rays could be argued to have been supernatural until we observed them. Then “natural” became larger to take them in.

          Is there evidence for the supernatural? Then I question why we’d call it “supernatural” anymore.

          It might be best to start from immaterial and material here. It is not a problem for the immaterialist if we can’t tell the difference between what is material and what isn’t. The materialist and science really have to know what it means for something to be material. And if they expand the definition of material every time they find out that something exists, then that can at best be seen to invalidate any argument that an entity can’t exist because it wouldn’t be material — because as soon as it was proven to exist that wouldn’t be true by definition — and at worst can be seen as a dirty trick attempting to immunize the materialist from ever being wrong. All the immaterialist is going in any of these cases is pointing out that the entity under examination doesn’t seem to fit the definition of material.

          The same thing can be said for physical vs non-physical. If science can’t tell what it means for things to be physical, then it can’t say that non-physical things can’t exist. All the dualist is pointing out is that by the currently accepted definition of physical, this things seems non-physical.

          Thus, we can apply that to the natural/supernatural debate as well. It’s a little harder to nail down “natural”, but again the naturalist really needs to have some idea of what it means for an entity to be natural. If they don’t, then there is no reason for them to slice out purportedly supernatural entities and preferring purportedly natural entities as an explanation; all they’d be saying is that those supposed natural entities better fit their own presuppositions than those supposed supernatural ones. And if they DO have an idea of what it means to be natural, then someone proposing a supernatural entity is merely saying that by that definition of natural this explanation doesn’t fit, and it’s the explanation that best fits the evidence. And if the naturalist insists on calling anything that exists natural and adjusting the definition to do that, then they are pulling a trick to maintain their insistence that the supernatural doesn’t exist, and for my part I’d simply point out that that merely means that if I prove the existence of that “supernatural” entity the naturalist would have to accept everything that they refused to accept and would just be calling it “natural”. So, in the case of mind, they would accept that it isn’t brain, but that that doesn’t make it “immaterial”. I could live with that [grin].

        • Greg G.

          that science, by your definition, excludes immaterial/supernatural explanations by definition or not

          It’s the definitions of “supernatural” and “immaterial” that exclude science as they are contrived to protect the concept from scientific investigation. If something is thought to be supernatural but can actually be investigated naturally, they lose the tag of “supernatural”. Lightning would be such an example.

        • MNb

          “If these can be established, then there is some mechanism for this”
          It works the other way around as well. If no mechanism can’t be established that’s one reason to tentatively conclude that there is no supernatural reality. Plus VS – you’re not the ultimate arbiter of which questions are important and which aren’t.

          “if they can’t be established then we have no reason to worry about such a mechanism.”
          You don’t decide for me what I worry about and what I don’t worry about, thank you very much. If they can’t be established the tentative conclusion is valid that there are no such mechanisms, that the supernatural doesn’t have any impact on our natural reality and that hence we can shrug it off.

          “My basic answer would be direct causal link.”
          Uh uh. Not nearly enough and way too vague. When I hammer a nail in the wall I can explain you into detail, even down to molecular level what happens. It’s only fair to ask a similar clarity for interactions of supernatural entities with our natural reality. Or perhaps you prefer a double standard?

          “materialist theories of mind can’t explain the qualities of qualia”
          Perhaps. However jumping from this to “Gotcha! Dualism!” without any further do is nothing but another variation of the God of the Gaps. So I don’t buy your “The question really needs to be expressed as” either simply because dualism doesn’t offer an explanation at all. It just issues decrees.

          “I’m not sure why you think this would be fundamentally problematic for any form of inquiry other than a specifically naturalistic science.”
          So the Law of Non-Contradiction doesn’t matter for your supposed supernatural reality? Christians say Jesus was divine, jews and muslims say no, he wasn’t. The question obviously is not for science (there is no such thing as unnaturalistic science). I want, like many others, you to tell me how you determine who is right. Some believers say “ah, who cares, anything goes, as long as you believe”. That didn’t satisfy me even when I was 13.

          “With things like the mind, you can’t use science’s presumed “third-person view”
          Neurobiologists who in up to 75% of the cases can predict your decision before you become aware of it demonstrate that you’re wrong.

          “unless you want to ignore what consciousness actually IS”
          Nobody knows what consciousness actually IS and that specifically includes you, because it’s an ill-defined term and nobody agrees. So shrug.

        • Verbose Stoic

          It works the other way around as well. If no mechanism can’t be established that’s one reason to tentatively conclude that there is no supernatural reality.

          Only if you can argue that due to the nature of the natural and supernatural that no such mechanism is possible, or at least that it’s reasonable to believe that no such mechanism is possible. So you can’t just demand that someone toss you a mechanism for these things in general and if they can’t it’s reasonable for you to believe that no immaterial or supernatural things exist, especially since the mechanism might be different for different things.

          Plus VS – you’re not the ultimate arbiter of which questions are important and which aren’t.

          Neither are you. I argued for why those are the more important questions. You did not. Thus, if anyone is presenting themselves as the ultimate arbiter, it’s you, not me.

          You don’t decide for me what I worry about and what I don’t worry about, thank you very much.

          Well, if you want to worry about figuring out precise details of the causal mechanisms of things you don’t even know exist, then that’s fine. Just don’t insist that anyone who doesn’t follow you down that rabbit hole is dodging your questions in a way that suggests what they are doing is invalid. If you get to decide what’s important to you, so do they, and refusing to answer a question until after they get other questions answered isn’t unreasonable in that situation.

          Uh uh. Not nearly enough and way too vague. When I hammer a nail in the wall I can explain you into detail, even down to molecular level what happens. It’s only fair to ask a similar clarity for interactions of supernatural entities with our natural reality. Or perhaps you prefer a double standard?

          And I’ll tell you that as soon as we have instances of figurative supernatural hammers pounding in figurative natural nails to examine and study to determine that mechanism. There’s no way to determine what mechanism such interactions might use without being able to examine instances of such interactions. I could speculate about it (one might be that energy is not actually material as presumed, which means that it is common between the two, which eliminates the causal issue while potentially introducing other issues) but that would mere speculation … and thus I suspect that if I did try this you’d dismiss it as just that and demand that I show evidence that such mechanisms actually exist, meaning that if I follow you on this you can keep flipping between demands such that they can never be satisfied. No thanks.

          First, let’s find out if something immaterial can and needs to exist. THEN we can worry about mechanism. You are free to argue that no such mechanism CAN exist, and if you pull it off then you can rule out immaterial/supernatural things … but you can’t insist that if I don’t give you a specific mechanism that IN GENERAL shows it can happen that therefore it is reasonable to think that it can’t happen even if immaterial/supernatural explanations might be the best ones if we don’t just assume this mechanism can’t happen.

          So I don’t buy your “The question really needs to be expressed as” either simply because dualism doesn’t offer an explanation at all.

          Materialist explanations have NO explanation for why the qualities of qualia don’t seem to be material. Dualist explanations have one: it’s because they AREN’T material. They are, in that sense, arguments of the form “The stick looks like it bends when we put it into water because it DOES bend when we put it into water”. The explanation could be wrong, but the onus is on the person insisting that the experience is misleading to give arguments for why notwithstanding the experiences that explanation is wrong. We have that for sticks in water. We don’t have that for qualia being material.

          So the Law of Non-Contradiction doesn’t matter for your supposed supernatural reality? Christians say Jesus was divine, jews and muslims say no, he wasn’t.

          Some people think the world is round, some people think it’s flat. Therefore, by the Law of Non-Contradiction, there is no way for us to find an answer to whether “The world is round” is a true or false proposition.

          The right way to go here is to say that there is a right answer to the question, and that at least one of those groups are wrong (and, as an atheist, you would definitely want to allow that it might be BOTH). So I’m not sure what the Law of Non-Contradiction has to do with anything here.

          The question obviously is not for science (there is no such thing as unnaturalistic science). I want, like many others, you to tell me how you determine who is right.

          As I said, if science can’t do it by definition then it is the standards of every day reasoning and philosophy that come into play here. Philosophy can use any method science uses and ones that science can’t — science was originally natural philosophy — and every day reasoning requires less hypothesis testing and, again, assumes less than science would here. So, again, I’m not sure why you think this is fundamentally problematic for anything except your version of science … unless you want to insist that the only way to answer any question is through naturalistic science, which would preclude these things by mere stipulation (which is not a good way to go about learning the truth).

          So, can science EVER accept an immaterial/supernatural explanation, or not? If it can, then we can use science where appropriate. If it can’t, then the formal approach is philosophy and the informal approach is every day reasoning, since they both can use scientific methods where appropriate, non-scientific ones where appropriate, and don’t make a material/naturalistic presumption.

          Neurobiologists who in up to 75% of the cases can predict your decision before you become aware of it demonstrate that you’re wrong.

          1) They can’t actually do that. They can do it for questions like “Which random number are you going to choose?” (out of, I think, two choices) but they can’t do that for, say, what am I going to order for lunch while reading the menu. Thus, they can’t do it for things that aren’t random decisions, and it seems reasonable that randomization in the brain is done like it is for a computer: offload it to the hardware to pick something. Knowing the clock of a computer, we can predict what random number it will choose, and so the same thing would apply to random choices made by the brain. That doesn’t apply to conscious, deliberate decisions.

          2) I’m not talking about being able to predict what choice is made. I’m talking about the details of qualia and phenomenal experience. Neurologists can tell that you ARE in pain, but can’t say what pain feels like to you without relating it to what THEY feel when they are in pain. That makes the properties of qualia critically first person.

          Nobody knows what consciousness actually IS and that specifically includes you, because it’s an ill-defined term and nobody agrees. So shrug.

          So you have no idea how to tell when you are conscious vs when you are unconscious? How disturbing that must be for you.

          It is somewhat ludricrous to suggest that you could be conscious and yet not having any sort of phenomenal experience or experience of qualia, thus those things are critically important to consciousness, and thus the properties of those things critically define consciousness. Feel free to argue otherwise.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Philosophy can use any method science uses and ones that science can’t

          And this is where I’m stuck (ignore if you’ve already addressed this in my earlier comment): what are these methods, and what good are they? Give me an example of something new about nature that we learned only through philosophy.

          “Philosophy” is defined different ways. Some might say that Heisenberg was doing philosophy when he came up with his uncertainty principle. Or Godel when he did his incompleteness theorem. But this was a physicist doing physics and a mathematician doing math. I need to see a philosopher doing philosophy making these breakthroughs.

        • Verbose Stoic

          In the beginning, philosophy was generally a field that tried to determine the truth value of any propositions that HAD a truth value (and even if specific propositions had truth values). Under the rubric, both mathematics and science were EXPLICITLY philosophy, with science being formally “natural philosophy”. Because philosophy tends to, as I said, not make any presuppositions — any part of a philosophical argument is up for debate, even things like if there is even an external, objective world at all — natural philosophy splintered into science because the empirical assumption and scientific method work best for it, and science would be cluttered up with all the questions of “So how do you know that your sense experiences are giving you any idea of reality at all?”. So it presupposes that. What this mostly left for philosophy was conceptual analysis, which mathematics also falls into … but, in general, philosophy is actually after right answers. and there are no right answers in mathematics, only ones that are consistent with a specific mathematical system and set of premises. Again, mathematics would be cluttered by constant questions about why they can assume those premises in their number systems, so they just dropped out and did their own thing.

          So, to the extent that your examples are conceptual questions as opposed to things derived from direct empirical experience or from the premises of a defined number system, it is to that extent that they ought to really be called philosophy vs the other two fields. I’m not taking a stand on that one way or another.

          So, what at least in modern times would be an example of what philosophy can say about the world is anything that follows from a pure conceptual analysis, so something like if you can have a dog that can’t bark (which seems to be true) or if you can have a square circle (which seems to be false). It also would be able to investigate anything that fits into the cracks, like for example the existence of something that we can’t do empirical analysis on (so a thing that must exist conceptually, for example, or if any such thing can or must exist). So if science has a naturalistic presumption, whether or not something exists that is not supernatural or if the best explanation for a certain phenomena would be supernatural would have to devolve to philosophy, and the question of whether or not science can ever accept the existence of something supernatural or a supernatural explanation is also philosophy, not science.

          To be honest, I want to discover new things about reality using everyday reasoning — because it’s faster — and validate that with science. For things like that, philosophy only need get involved if we need to validate it beyond everyday reasoning and science can’t validate it for whatever reason.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          This is getting close to a deepity—where philosophy is true, it’s trivial, and where it’s profound, it’s wrong.

          if you can have a dog that can’t bark (which seems to be true) or if you can have a square circle (which seems to be false).

          You test these claims against reality to find out whether they’re true or false. And we’re back to evidence again.

          if science has a naturalistic presumption, whether or not something exists that is not supernatural or if the best explanation for a certain phenomena would be supernatural would have to devolve to philosophy

          And here again I’m having a hard time imagining something that philosophy tells us exists but science can’t because of lack of evidence. Who would care?

        • Verbose Stoic

          This is getting close to a deepity—where philosophy is true, it’s trivial, and where it’s profound, it’s wrong.

          I presume that you’ll be using PHILOSOPHY to demonstrate that deepity [grin].

          This is an important point here: there are true propositions that we care about the truth value of that are conceptual or that don’t fit well into any other discipline. It’s these propositions that philosophy examines.

          You test these claims against reality to find out whether they’re true or false. And we’re back to evidence again.

          You can’t test them that way:

          a) Imagine that you come across an animal that has all of the traits of a dog but can’t bark. How do you decide whether or not it’s a dog empirically or by testing it against reality? How do you decide if it’s a dog that can’t bark or not a dog BECAUSE it can’t bark? Any criteria you might use to settle the question is a philosophical one, even if you decide that there are no such things as natural kinds and so all of our classifications are just ones we invent for our own convenience (which has its own philosophical and even theological consequences, but I digress). So, how would you test this against reality?

          b) You can’t argue that because you’ve never SEEN a square circle that therefore it doesn’t and/or can’t exist. We eliminate square circles logically; it is impossible for something to have the properties of a square and of a circle at the same time because those properties are contradictory. How would you propose to test that logical conclusion against reality?

          And here again I’m having a hard time imagining something that philosophy tells us exists but science can’t because of lack of evidence. Who would care?

          The issue wasn’t over lack of evidence. If science is only rejecting a specific supernatural claim because the evidence really IS stronger for the natural explanation, that’s perfectly fine. The issue is over whether science PRESUMES the natural and thus a priori eliminates supernatural explanations. If it does, then it’s ill-equipped to examine cases where a supernatural explanation might be the better explanation and thus we need to pass it off to something that doesn’t make that presumption. In short, if science will take ANY natural explanation no matter how far-fetched or unsupported by the evidence over a supernatural explanation, then we cannot trust science when it says that they have a better natural explanation, especially since we can pretty much ALWAYS find a natural explanation if we try hard enough (which wouldn’t make it right or evidenced).

          For propositions about, let’s say, empirical reality, philosophy is more than willing to leave that up to science, as science is better at that than philosophy is. Philosophers will use scientific results and even do science where it helps them with their projects. However, if we hit cases where for some reason science’s method can’t work, philosophy will generally be able to get in there and do the work science can’t. This is not a denigration of science unless you think that science can do absolutely everything you could ever want to know, which itself is not a proposition that science can answer.

        • epeeist

          We eliminate square circles logically; it is impossible for something to have the properties of a square and of a circle at the same time because those properties are contradictory.

          Someone who hasn’t heard of Chebyshev norms.

          However, if we hit cases where for some reason science’s method can’t work, philosophy will generally be able to get in there and do the work science can’t.

          To paraphrase Peter Imwagen (from his Metaphysics) there are no philosophical facts, no philosophical answers. Which is why philosophers can’t agree amongst themselves as to what, for example, constitutes a knowledge claim or perceptual experience.

        • Verbose Stoic

          Which is why philosophers can’t agree amongst themselves as to what, for example, constitutes a knowledge claim or perceptual experience.

          I’ll take that comment more seriously when science — or anything else — does a better job with those questions without simply stipulating “This is right and must not be challenged!”.

        • epeeist

          without simply stipulating “This is right and must not be challenged!”.

          It might be difficult to challenge some of the findings of science, scientists are after all human with all the frailties this implies. But though I have come across people who make this claim they rarely turn out to be scientists.

        • Verbose Stoic

          The point I’m making here is not a denigration of science, but mostly pointing out that the reason philosophers haven’t answered the questions is that they actually have to justify their claims on those matters and those justifications always run into problems. The scientists that get the most sanctimonious about philosophy’s failures tend to be ones who insist that the obvious answer — or the one they favour — is obviously right and get upset when people point out that their answer isn’t that obvious. Without being able to say “Shut up and accept this as the right answer!” science isn’t going to get any further on those questions than philosophy does.

        • adam

          ” “Shut up and accept this as the right answer!” science isn’t going to get any further on those questions than philosophy does.”

          Science doesnt do that, science has facts.

          You are thinking about religion, who says shut up and accept that MAGIC is the right answer.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/57d8812041d27bff15f48eb5ac5edd1f3cb26a8df7bfd55a8bae3b5a093d53c8.jpg

        • epeeist

          they actually have to justify their claims on those matters and those justifications always run into problems.

          Which is one of the reasons that some philosophers, Quine would be a good example, argue for a naturalised epistemology and rationality and incorporating some of the methodology of science into philosophy (take the example of Bayesians used as one possible way of grounding knowledge).

          The scientists that get the most sanctimonious about philosophy’s failures tend to be ones who insist that the obvious answer…

          It’s an interesting claim, but you don’t appear to have justified it.

        • Verbose Stoic

          Which is one of the reasons that some philosophers, Quine would be a good example, argue for a naturalised epistemology and rationality and incorporating some of the methodology of science into philosophy (take the example of Bayesians used as one possible way of grounding knowledge).

          True, but those models tend to fail in similar ways to the philosophical ones they are trying to replace.

          It’s an interesting claim, but you don’t appear to have justified it.

          Sam Harris and Krauss, for starters.

          Note that I’m not saying that ALL or even MOST scientists do that. But some of the scientists who are the biggest detractors of philosophy tend to very quickly reveal that they know little about it and end up asserting that the obviously right answer is one that philosophers came up with long ago and found problems with. Ethics is the big one, with most of the scientific approaches being some form of Utilitarianism while they blythely ignore its rather famous issues.

        • Greg G.

          I’ll take that comment more seriously when science — or anything else — does a better job with those questions without simply stipulating “This is right and must not be challenged!”.

          You really do not understand science. Science is provisional. It gives the best explanation for the current observations. It changes when new information becomes available. If science said it was right and must not be challenged, it would stop. That science has been so successful shows that it is beneficial even when it is shown to be less than 100% correct.

          Perhaps you are intimidated by science because it is so effective while your supernatural claims have a 0% success rate.

        • Verbose Stoic

          You really do not understand science. Science is provisional. It gives the best explanation for the current observations. It changes when new information becomes available.

          If by which you mean that science is never going to say “This is just the right answer and you can’t question or presumptions” then the meat of my reply was entirely that then it can’t answer the questions any better than philosophy can. I am indeed aware that science doesn’t typically say that … but some scientists who opine on philosophical questions DO and think it’s a valid way to do philosophy (Sam Harris on ethics, Krauss on “Something from nothing”, Coyne on free will ,etc). But any science that doesn’t just use presumptions will not come to any more of an agreement on these issues than philosophy does. Unless you think otherwise.

          Perhaps you are intimidated by science because it is so effective while your supernatural claims have a 0% success rate.

          Dammit, Greg, I’m a philosopher not a theologian [grin]!

          I also have a science background, too, so intimidated by science, I am not. My whole point — poorly phrased, but clarified TWICE now — was that the issue with philosophy’s dealing with those questions was NOT a failure with the philosophical method, but was instead a reflection of how hard it is to justify answers to those questions unless you presume things that philosophy — and any reasonable system — will demand you justify.

        • adam

          ” then the meat of my reply was entirely that then it can’t answer the questions any better than philosophy can.”

          Really?

          Then why isnt philosophy used to increase food production, make computers and technology, heat and cool our houses, fly us to the moon and beyond?

        • epeeist

          If by which you mean that science is never going to say “This is just the right answer and you can’t question or presumptions” then the meat of my reply was entirely that then it can’t answer the questions any better than philosophy can.

          So you are saying that the methodology of science is no better than rational justification? And you are doing this using some kind of device that under the covers relies on quantum mechanics, one of the theories that has been most critically tested and has a huge amount of evidential backing.

        • Verbose Stoic

          So you are saying that the methodology of science is no better than rational justification?

          At those specific questions mentioned in the quote YOU provided, yes. I don’t see philosophers disagreeing all that much over the details of computer science, do you?

        • epeeist

          .At those specific questions mentioned in the quote YOU provided, yes.

          So let’s talk about reliability. Can you provide one example in philosophy which has generated knowledge as reliable as that of quantum mechanics?

          I don’t see philosophers disagreeing all that much over the details of computer science, do you?

          *cough* John Searle *cough*, *cough* multiple realisability *cough*.

        • Verbose Stoic

          So let’s talk about reliability. Can you provide one example in philosophy which has generated knowledge as reliable as that of quantum mechanics?

          The scientific method and what it entails.

          *cough* John Searle *cough*, *cough* multiple realisability *cough*.

          I fail to see how that contradicts what I said. Details, please.

        • epeeist

          The scientific method and what it entails.

          Well that gave me a chuckle. Of course one can argue that insofar as there is a “scientific method” then its progenitor was a statesman and lawyer not a philosopher.

          You have nothing else? You want to bask in the reflected glory of the reliability of science and claim it (and only it) for philosophy?

          I fail to see how that contradicts what I said.

          Well Searle certainly seems to take issue with with one of subjects been tackled by computer scientists, namely artificial intelligence. And there are no arguments as to whether it is possible for minds to be realised on other mediums than brains and the reductionism this implies?

        • Verbose Stoic

          You have nothing else? You want to bask in the reflected glory of the reliability of science and claim it (and only it) for philosophy?

          You asked for one. That’s a pretty big one, wouldn’t you agree?

          Well Searle certainly seems to take issue with with one of subjects been tackled by computer scientists, namely artificial intelligence.

          He took issue with the claim that a syntactic engine could do semantic processing, and argued that semantic processing is what’s required for intelligence. That’s certainly a valid philosophical discussion. He DIDN’T argue that you couldn’t build a syntactic engine that could process Chinese in that way and give the proper responses, and in fact his thought experiment assumes that you could.

          And there are no arguments as to whether it is possible for minds to be realised on other mediums than brains and the reductionism this implies?

          Again, that’s a long-standing philosophical question, and not one that Computer Science, as a whole, really addresses, even with connectionist systems.

        • Verbose Stoic

          I’m not really directing this at you, but this is a good comment to go off on a rant about, so here goes:

          Why in the world does everyone reply to an attempt to defend philosophy’s record with PHILOSOPHICAL questions by bringing up science’s record with SCIENTIFIC questions? First, if those are two different types of problems we’d need to see how science deals with those sorts of questions, which is precisely what I did. Second, it’s not a good defense of science’s ability to address philosophical questions to say that it’s had success with other questions. Yes, it has. FFS, I even flat-out SAID in a reply to Bob that philosophy doesn’t generally challenge science on scientific questions, and instead uses it and its results where necessary. SCIENCE IS GREAT AT SCIENTIFIC QUESTIONS! Got that? Happy now? If you want a scientific question answered, go to science. But how in the world would that justify that you go to science for PHILOSOPHICAL questions? If philosophy and science are different domains, then you’d go to philosophy for philosophical questions and science for scientific questions. It’s not a shot at the size of science’s figurative penis to limit it to precisely the sorts of questions that science has traditionally been able to answer really, really well, which are precisely those questions that keep getting referenced and that I NEVER CHALLENGED OR DENIED. FFS take that chip off your shoulder; just because someone doesn’t think science can answer all questions doesn’t mean they think science can’t answer ANY or that philosophy is BETTER than science in some way. Sheesh.

          Rant done.

        • adam

          ” SCIENCE IS GREAT AT SCIENTIFIC QUESTIONS!”

          You mean like material reality?

          So what is ‘great’ at supernatural questions?

        • Pofarmer

          Why?

          Take the example of Achilles and the Tortoise. When Philosophy can’t answer a question, even one that seems obviously wrong at first blush, then why should we trust it for questions to which science doesn’t yet have an answer? Same goes for metaphysics, generally.

        • Verbose Stoic

          So, let’s take that case. It’s clear that philosophers knew that he would, in fact, overtake the Tortoise. But the argument looked like it should work. The “scientific” approach here would be to conclude that it doesn’t work and we can ignore it. The “philosophical” approach would be to try to figure out why it DOESN’T work. And it turns out that the reason it doesn’t work is a very interesting mathematical result. In short, at the end of the day we thus knew not only that it DIDN’T work, but also WHY it didn’t work.

          For things that we can’t test directly, you might be skeptical about any particular philosophical result. However, especially with advances in philosophy spawned by the same sorts of considerations that led to the rise of science AND science itself, particular philosophical results WILL ask if we can assume that, say, the Tortoise can’t be overtaken just from that argument alone. Thus, if there actually ever gets to BE a philosophical consensus on similar issues, then you can feel reasonably confident that the obvious counters have been addressed.

          Which is also one reason why philosophical consensus is harder to come by: philosophy challenges itself constantly on anything that might cause there to be an issue, and won’t declare things settled until they truly are beyond a reasonable doubt. Science is the field that is willing to go out on a limb with provisional data and then quietly rewrite all the theories when it discovers that it got everything wrong [grin].

        • Pofarmer

          “at the end of the day we thus knew not only that it DIDN’T work, but also WHY it didn’t work.”

          “At the end of the Day”, was a couple hundred years, if memory serves, and basically a new branch of mathematics. Lol.

          And, now C’mon, don’t act like philosophy doesn’t come up with novel theories that don’t work. Positivism, substance dualism, all kinds of philosophical positions fail at one point or another. The problem is that you can’t really tell where most of them fail, except where they intersect with data. Right now there’s certainly a lively debate on consciousness, for instance, but this certainly isn’t a question that philosophy is going to answer by itself.

        • Verbose Stoic

          “At the end of the Day”, was a couple hundred years, if memory serves, and basically a new branch of mathematics. Lol.

          And how long did it take science to come up with relativity? Some questions are harder, and require advancement in other areas to settle.

          And, now C’mon, don’t act like philosophy doesn’t come up with novel theories that don’t work. Positivism, substance dualism, all kinds of philosophical positions fail at one point or another. The problem is that you can’t really tell where most of them fail, except where they intersect with data.

          I have never claimed that philosophy had no errors. But, just as with science, in general philosophy corrects its own errors. It is interesting, for example, that you use positivism as an example when that was refuted not by scientific or empirical data, but a conceptual argument that it was self-defeating: positivists could not use empirical data to justify their own statement, and so at a minimum could never claim it true.

          Right now there’s certainly a lively debate on consciousness, for instance, but this certainly isn’t a question that philosophy is going to answer by itself.

          Philosophy hasn’t been TRYING to answer it by itself for at least decades if not centuries, or even longer. Philosophy is not exclusive; if it argues that science won’t help to solve a certain question, it’s NOT because it considers science “icky” or something, but instead because either a) they’ve looked at the question and noted that it isn’t one science can answer or b) they’ve tried science and it doesn’t work … and usually it’s actually both,

          So no one is claiming that we’ll solve consciousness purely with philosophy. I’m not sure where you got that idea from; it certainly wasn’t from ME.

        • Greg G.

          For things that we can’t test directly, you might be skeptical about any particular philosophical result.

          We should be skeptical of any particular philosophical result that cannot be tested. Philosophical results are limited by the imagination, so you must be able to determine that which is real from the imaginary. Philosophical and mathematical models can describe realities we do not exist in. Empirical testing can help eliminate the models that do not describe the reality we are in.

        • Verbose Stoic

          Philosophy is generally pretty good at telling possible worlds from actual worlds, if for no other reason than for anything that we can test directly philosophy generally says to go out and look. It’s been a long time since philosophers argued against going to look at something that we can indeed look at and instead deriving it from first principles.

        • Pofarmer

          Then why, in much of this thread, are you arguing for something (duality) that we apparently can’t test and that even you admit can’t be demonstrated?

        • Verbose Stoic

          Because my argument is actually that, for example, the best current explanation for mind is that it’s something that is not brain and is immaterial. “Looking”, though, entails or at least includes introspection on the qualities of our mental experiences, which neuroscience, for example, leaves out most of the time.

        • Pofarmer

          This simply seems like another “Gaps” argument.

        • adam

          “This simply seems like another “Gaps” argument.”

          Yes, Gaps in VS’s knowledge and understanding of anatomy.

          We already understand with brain damage and drugs that you can easily change the mind by changing its physical and chemical properties.

        • Susan

          Because my argument is actually that, for example, the best current explanation for mind is that it’s something that is not brain and is immaterial

          Then, provide the explanation.

        • Ignorant Amos

          How does one lose ones mind if it is immaterial?

        • adam

          By depending on “Faith”, or is this a trick question?

        • Pofarmer

          It goes further than that. If there is an immaterial mind seperate from the body, how does it connect to the mind? How come we don’t short circuit and connect to someone else’s mind? Do dogs and cats have immaterial minds? Why don’t we accidentally connect to their minds? Sorry, but every piece of actual evidence points to the mind being 100% a physical phonomena.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Immaterial tether?

          Where do these people think the mind resides? How does it stay there? I mean, what binds it to the physical brain? The whole idea sounds ludicrous to me.

        • Pofarmer

          I agree and yet it’s a perfectly valid philosophical position.

        • adam

          “Where do these people think the mind resides? ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e71894366d405a2560c124d806904b75ddf8371641ab58bc4449b6c60b966fb8.jpg

          Come on, THINK about who you are talking about.

        • adam

          “Because my argument is actually that, for example, the best current explanation for mind is that it’s something that is not brain and is immaterial.”

          how do you explain the minds of Alzhiemers patients and those with physical brain damage. Gage’s brain damage so changed his ‘mind’ that friends saw him as no longer Gage.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phineas_Gage

          Phineas P. Gage (1823 – May 21, 1860) was an American railroad construction foreman remembered for his improbable[B1]:19 survival of an accident in which a large iron rod was driven completely through his head, destroying much of his brain’s left frontal lobe, and for that injury’s reported effects on his personality and behavior over the remaining twelve years of his life—​​effects sufficiently profound (for a time at least) that friends saw him as “no longer Gage.” [H]:14

        • Verbose Stoic

          how do you explain the minds of Alzhiemers patients and those with physical brain damage. Gage’s brain damage so changed his ‘mind’ that friends saw him as no longer Gage.

          Interactonist dualism notes that the causation between mind and brain is two-way. Thus, changing mind can change brain and changing brain can change mind. For Alzheimer’s cases, that deals primarily with memory, and we already know that memory is definitely associated with the physical (and, to use a computer example, it is likely that mind uses the physical hardware of the brain to store memories while embodied, and thus if that hardware fails would still, while embodied, assume that the memories are there and thus return a “Forgot” status if it can’t find them.) For Gage, a lot of his differences had to do with impulses and personal behaviour, again things that we might learn to do “automatically”, which would like be a hardware response.

          As I said above, interactionist dualism also not only can handle brain state changes, but in fact implies that brain state changes will indeed impact mental states. Materialism has yet to be able to handle the case of mental state changes impacting brain state changes, since it must assume that the two are, in fact, always the same thing.

        • adam

          ” For Alzheimer’s cases, that deals primarily with memory, ”

          IIRC the memory isnt damaged, but the processing is.

          The same with Gage.

          These are functions of MIND.

          “As I said above, interactionist dualism also not only can handle brain
          state changes, but in fact implies that brain state changes will indeed
          impact mental states. ”

          How can they not, being one of the same.

          interactionist dualism has yet to be able to handle the case of mental state changes impacting
          brain state changes, since it must assume that the two are, in fact,
          always separate.

        • adam

          And what about drugs, drugs alter the mind, how is that possible if the mind is immaterial?

          http://www.bing.com/search?q=dmt&pc=cosp&ptag=C3N13ABE91C7D8F5&form=CONBDF&conlogo=CT3210127

        • Paul B. Lot

          As I said above, interactionist dualism also not only can handle brain state changes, but in fact implies that brain state changes will indeed impact mental states. Materialism has yet to be able to handle the case of mental state changes impacting brain state changes, since it must assume that the two are, in fact, always the same thing.

          Hmm, there seems to be some misunderstanding here – especially regarding the bolded sentence.

          Materialist are not precluded from meaningfully talking about [the mind] vs [the brain] simply because we believe that they’re both material phenomena.

          They’re two different generalizations which are maximally effective at two different levels of granularity – like all other scientific categorizations.

          “Materialsim has yet to be able to handle the case of [the polar ice caps], since it must assume that [the polar ice caps and H20] are, in fact, always the same thing.”

          That sentence ^^^^ doesn’t make much sense, does it? There’s no reason that [the physical nature of both H20 and polar ice caps] should preclude us from talking about both or either or the overlap between the categories, eh?

          Same with your assertion about [Materialists on Mind/Brain].

          [The mind] is thought of as [the time-dependent and geometry-dependent and electro-chemical-gradient-dependent pattern which comprises the flow of information through the various mental subsystems].

          [The brain] is thought of as [the cells and tissues and blood vessels and chemicals and hormones and glands which comprise the CNS from the base of the skull on up].

          Both are physical.

          Both are real, emergent phenomena.

          The Venn Diagram of each overlaps to some extent, and given the context of any specific discussion in which the terms find themselves, one might be more apt or precise or germane than the other; but they don’t preclude one another in any way.

          You seem to believe that there’s a tension present which does not exist.

        • MNb

          Just proclaiming “it’s something that is not brain and is immaterial” is not providing an explanation.
          The salto mortale from “neuroscience leaves out X” to “not brain and immaterial” is just another gaps argument indeed.

        • adam

          “Because my argument is actually that, for example, the best current
          explanation for mind is that it’s something that is not brain and is
          immaterial. ”

          How is this the best current explanation when you cant demonstrate the immaterial? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d360dbdac4554ea3d3a53fbe596125243d1ef0a144d7640eebf3f98f77e896e7.jpg

        • epeeist

          the best current explanation for mind is that it’s something that is not brain and is immaterial

          Well it’s the best providing an immaterial realm actually exists and it is possible for something that resides there to interact with the material.

          To take some simple counter-arguments:

          1. If mind is non-material then how does a particular mind, which is without extension uniquely associate itself with a particular human brain?

          2. How does a non-material mind affect the physical? As an example, how does a mental command to take a parry translate into the physical act of moving my arm? How does the interaction work?

          3. I take the occasional glass of whisky, if I take more then my mental capacity becomes affected, a similar effect would take place if I took psychotropic drugs. Specific brain lesions are known to be associated with specific mental effects, how is this possible?

          4. It would seem that brain function is involved with physical effects. So why is the non-material specifically targeted at the mind? Brain cells and other cells are little different from each other, in fact it would seem that neurons can be grown from stem cells in exactly the same way as other cells. So why is the brain somehow special?

          In addition to this we have a large number of neurons in our gut (the enteric nervous system), is there a gut mind corresponding to gut neurons?

          5. As an extension to this, do other animals besides ourselves have a non-material mind? If so, why do my friend’s dogs seem to have a lower intelligence than me?

          6. Finally, what are the implications for other branches of science. For example, where does the energy come from for the interaction between the non-material mind and the physical brain? Is energy conserved, or is the claim that Noether’s theorem is false and that energy is not conserved. What are the implications for, say, QFT, of Noether’s theorem being false?

        • adam

          Very nice!

        • epeeist

          Very nice!

          Thanks very much, I’m here all week. Try the veal.

          Seriously though, if you have read anything on the philosophy of mind then you would realise why the large majority of philosophers are not substance dualists.

          It is difficult enough to be a property or predicate dualist.

        • Greg G.

          Why in the world does everyone reply to an attempt to defend philosophy’s record with PHILOSOPHICAL questions by bringing up science’s record with SCIENTIFIC questions?

          Because science gives an example of how to answer questions of real or unreal.

        • Kodie

          Well, to be fair, you can’t just challenge science. Scientists already did the work to establish their theories as the most correct, so in order to challenge it, so will you.

        • Greg G.

          Science is a child of philosophy that has a method to answer questions that it can answer and has had more success in a few thousand years than the rest of philosophy in a few thousand years.

          The philosophical method will fail when it tries to answer questions that it cannot answer. It needs a method to distinguish imaginary supernatural ideas from real supernatural ideas. The failure is that the supernatural is defined as impervious to empirical investigation so it is indistinguishable from imagination.

        • MNb

          “that then it can’t answer the questions any better than philosophy can. I am indeed aware that science doesn’t typically say that”
          A nice non-sequitur and moreover a dishonest one. You are very aware that science uses both deduction and induction, while philosophy almost exclusively uses the first. Using both is more reliable than using one. The fact that you can use a computer and internet to discuss things with completely unknowns confirms that. Philosophy, let alone theology, never has accomplished something even vaguely comparable.
          So shrug.

        • Verbose Stoic

          You are very aware that science uses both deduction and induction, while philosophy almost exclusively uses the first. Using both is more reliable than using one.

          1) That’s flat-out false. See “naturalized” fields of philosophy for a prime example of philosophical positions that explicitly use SCIENCE, and thus all of its properties. Also, scientific evidence has always been used in philosophy whenever appropriate, which then would be hypo-thetico deductive. Fuzzy logic is also heavily used in philosophy of mind because deductive logic fails. Additionally, philosophy uses folk psychology in philosophy of mind. It only uses deduction where that is required or necessary.

          2) That using both is necessary more reliable is ALSO false. Adding induction to strictly conceptual claims or even to universal generalizations at best adds nothing and at worst confuses the issue (leading to fallacious arguments like that if you haven’t seen something that is an argument against the existence of something in the face of counter arguments). If anything can be said about philosophy’s method, it is that what method to use to answer questions is also something that needs to be justified. This means that it will, ideally, always use the right methods for each question, which science’s insistence on a set method may.

          3) Moreover, many argue that science DOESN’T use deduction or induction, but instead uses ABDUCTION. Thus even if you were correct about the combination being more reliable, it’s arguable that science doesn’t even use it.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The issue is over whether science PRESUMES the natural and thus a priori eliminates supernatural explanations. If it does, then it’s ill-equipped to examine cases where a supernatural explanation might be the better explanation and thus we need to pass it off to something that doesn’t make that presumption.

          Thanks for your thoughts, but this doesn’t do much for me. I need an example. Maybe you’re saying that there isn’t one but that in principle philosophy has something to add.

          My argument isn’t with philosophy (Plantinga defines it as “thinking hard about a problem,” for example, so by that definition, it’s useful and ubiquitous). It’s the idea that philosophers add to our knowledge of reality.

        • Verbose Stoic

          I’m really not sure what your focus on “knowledge of reality” is aiming at. I know I’ve said and think I’ve said to you that philosophy is leaving empirical research to the scientists, because their method is optimized to do that and science is in fact very good at it. Modern philosophy focuses on questions like ethics and epistemology, and the various “Philosophy of … ” fields. Do you think that there can’t be useful knowledge claims about those fields, or do you think that science is more capable OF making knowledge claims in those fields? Remember, saying “There are no propositions with truth values in these fields” is ITSELF a proposition that needs a truth value and so would have to be demonstrated.

          But as for an example, take Cognitive Science, perhaps. Philosophy — specifically Philosophy of Mind — was and is uniquely suited to contribute to and even in some sense found Cognitive Science. First, mind critically involves a first-person viewpoint, while science avoids the first-person viewpoint and prefers the third-person. Since philosophy doesn’t ignore the third-person viewpoint OR science, it is nicely positioned to incorporate first- and third-person viewpoints in examining mind. Second, philosophy traditionally has taken all fields and all ways of getting knowledge and used those results to try to figure out those questions. Thus, it is interdisciplinary by nature, and so will pretty much automatically bring in all relevant fields when necessary. It ought to be no surprise to anyone familiar at all with philosophy that neuroscience has been a key point of interest in Philosophy of Mind for almost as long as it has been able to produce any results worth considering.

          This ties, then, back to the original question. Philosophy is not limited in its methods by presumptions, and so can evaluate a potential explanation or approach based solely on how much sense it makes for that particularly phenomena, as opposed to whether it fits into some sort of traditional or presumed method. Also, philosophy will incorporate all data for all fields that might be relevant, which sciences, for example, don’t do as readily (even among relatively close sciences). It will not and makes no attempt to usurp the positions of those other fields, but is useful when those fields are either blocked by their own presumptions or when the phenomena bridges multiple fields, for no other reason than philosophy feels entitled to dive into the data from any field if it thinks it is useful.

        • Michael Neville

          The problem that many people have with philosophy is all the bad philosophers who spout their nonsense. Sokal’s hoax showed some major flaws in postmodernism. Epistemic relativism is a a simple and basic issue in epistemology which asks how do we know we know the universe or objective reality? The postmoderns like Jacques Derrida and Richard Rorty are threatening not only the standards of determining objective knowledge but the scientific enterprise itself. When Kenneth Gergen writes things like “the validity of theoretical propositions in the sciences is in no way affected by factual evidence” then people like me see philosophers as attacking science rather than critiquing it.

          Then there’s the almost impenetrable obscurantist jargon that many philosophers throw not only into their own journals but in articles and books for the general public.

          Alvin Plantinga is supposedly a first rate philosopher (interestingly, he’s a religious philosophy professor at Notre Dame and a Protestant). I read one of his essays attacking naturalism, which he despises. Unfortunately Plantinga sneered at a strawman version of evolution and misused statistics to show his point. Can one be surprised that I don’t hold him in high regard?

        • MNb

          “Any criteria you might use to settle the question is a philosophical one”

          “philosophy will generally be able to get in there and do the work science can’t.”
          Nope. Philosophy can’t. Philosophy only can speculate. That’s why philosophers, unlike scientists, are infamously incapable of reaching consensus, unless the speculations are firmly rooted in science.
          That’s not a denigration of philosophy. I just don’t expect more of it than it can provide. Apologists tend to do so – and fall flat on their face.

        • Verbose Stoic

          Nope. Philosophy can’t. Philosophy only can speculate.

          Empiricism is a philosophical viewpoint. Science started as natural philosophy. Are you then claiming that philosophy cannot use elements that have been part of it and that it has never repudiated?

        • MNb

          “Only if you can argue …..”
          Nope. The observation that nobody thus far has been able to develop a method is enough. I don’t need to argue either that “due to the nature of the natural it’s impossible to exceed the speed of light” before accepting Relativiy.
          It’s simple and straight. You wrote you are a dualist. That implies the claim about the supernatural: that there is such a thing. To find out if that claim is correct you need a method. No method, void claim.

          “I argued for ….”
          No. You just decreed. A decree is not an argument. And indeed I’m the ultimate arbiter of what I write about, only limited by BobS. I don’t tell you what to write about either. It’s telling that you don’t recognize the difference. Because I remember you I am surprised, but you display here a misplaced feeling of superiority that seems to be typical for believers.
          But my main beef is that you try to get inclusive with your talk about “we should do this or that”. That’s an appeal to emotion. Unfortunately I’m quite antisocial and even more so on internet, so it never works.
          If you present a serious argument you can formulate it without such an appeal. If you I immediately don’t take the argument seriously. Swallow or choke on it, that’s up to you.

          “Just don’t insist …”
          I don’t. If you don’t want to write about it, feel free to neglect it.

          “So you have no idea ….”
          That non-sequitur is entirely yours and way below the level you displayed at Jason Rosenhouse’s blog.

        • Verbose Stoic

          The observation that nobody thus far has been able to develop a method is enough. I don’t need to argue either that “due to the nature of the natural it’s impossible to exceed the speed of light” before accepting Relativiy.

          That proposition is a consequence of the Theory of Relativity, and while we haven’t tested that specific proposition the evidence suggests that the Theory of Relativity is correct and therefore that that proposition is likely the case. So, no, you AREN’T deriving that proposition from not finding anything that can exceed the speed of light, but instead from a well-supported theory. The same thing would apply to the causal mechanism of a purported supernatural/immaterial/non-physical thing: if the evidence supports its existence, then there IS such a method, and we don’t need to go out and test and even prove what that method is to know that there is one, and so that the initial question you asked can’t work against the existence of those sorts of things.

          Further on you suggest that you use “reasoning” (eventually the “every day” version) as your method. I assume you mean deduction, ie accepting some axiomata, presuppositions or whatever you want to call them and logically deriving conclusions from them.

          Nope. As I pointed out to Bob, that’s what mathematics does, and philosophy rejects that because it always wants to justify the presuppositions. In short, philosophy has and accepts NO presuppositions (it even asks whether or not the statement “I think, therefore I am” is justified). What that means is that philosophy can use induction, deduction, abduction, Bayesian reasoning, the intentionalist stance, faith, or whatever else you might think where appropriate, as long as you can justify that that method IS appropriate, which is why it fills in when science is eliminated because of a presupposition. Everyday reasoning is a different method, and is closer to science … but drops the hypothesis testing in favour of speed. So, for example, if we are considering whether or not someone had seen a ghost, science would want repetitive hypothesis testing, everyday reasoning would see if the evidence fits into the Web of Belief, and philosophy would start by asking what the best method for determining if that was a ghost, or if ghosts exist, would be.

          So, no, I’m NOT using deduction. In fact, as I explained for consciousness, the arguments I make rely from base empirical evidence: the empirical evidence of our experiences of mind and their details.

          When writing that you’re a dualist you can’t use empirical data and hence induction by definition.

          Why not? As I’ve already said in another comment, empiricism does not presume materialism/physicalism/naturalism? Berkeley, for example, was both an empiricist and an idealist, and derived his idealism from empiricism. He was wrong, but that does not mean that empiricism is necessarily material. And even Descartes was a rationalist only because of the fact that we KNOW our senses can deceive us and so are unreliable. He wanted to started from principles that were certain and then build in and justify our sense experiences on that basis. This assumed that knowledge had to be certain to be knowledge, which is a stance epistemology has now — rightly, in my opinion — rejected. So I fail to see why I can’t use empirical data and induction where they are appropriate and reliable enough, even to come to the conclusion that an immaterial/non-physical/supernatural entity exists.

          No. You just decreed. A decree is not an argument.

          No, YOU decreed, I ARGUED. To restate the argument:

          If no supernatural/immaterial/non-physical entities are known to exist, then the method by which they might interact with the material world is irrelevant speculation. And if at least one supernatural/immaterial/non-physical entity is known to exist, then we know that such things can — and at least one does — exist and therefore the question is irrelevant to the broad question. Thus, the question only matters if you want to assert that no such mechanism is possible (as, in fact, many people have done).

          That’s an argument for why the more important question is whether or not such an interacting supernatural/immaterial/non-physical entity exists. I’m still waiting for any reason to think that your question is the more relevant or important.

          But my main beef is that you try to get inclusive with your talk about “we should do this or that”. That’s an appeal to emotion. Unfortunately I’m quite antisocial and even more so on internet, so it never works.

          You are reading too much into that specific phrasing and so, by your own admission, reacting to it emotionally. Why don’t you ignore that and look at the reason why I said that we should do that, which is an argument for why that approach actually gets us somewhere in the debate? Rejecting the arguments on the basis that you feel socially manipulated is just as much an appeal to emotion as you purport my arguments are.

          I don’t. If you don’t want to write about it, feel free to neglect it. That’s also up to you.

          So, do you accept that my response is reasonable but just not the one that would most interest you? Given that, is it safe to say that my response is not an indication of a specific argumentative failure on my part, but is instead simply a difference in focus? Or are you going to stick with the implication that if I can’t or don’t want to answer those questions that it represents a critical weakness in my position? Because if it’s the latter, then I’m perfectly within my bounds to point out why I don’t think it is and ask that you justify your contention that it is beyond it being what you want answered.

        • Pofarmer

          If no
          supernatural/immaterial/non-physical entities are known to exist, then
          the method by which they might interact with the material world is
          irrelevant speculation. And if at least one
          supernatural/immaterial/non-physical entity is known to exist, then we
          know that such things can — and at least one does — exist and
          therefore the question is irrelevant to the broad question. Thus, the
          question only matters if you want to assert that no such mechanism is
          possible (as, in fact, many people have done).

          That’s an argument
          for why the more important question is whether or not such an
          interacting supernatural/immaterial/non-physical entity exists. I’m
          still waiting for any reason to think that your question is the more
          relevant or important.

          If you determined that a supernatural/immaterial entity existed, and were in error, how would you know?

        • Verbose Stoic

          The same way I’d know if I determined that a specific NATURAL/MATERIAL entity existed and was in error: eventually, the evidence would reveal that another explanation was the better one for that specific case.

        • Pofarmer

          What evidence? How do you have evidence of an immaterial entity?

        • Verbose Stoic

          Let’s use the example of ghosts. If someone saw a ghost, do you not think that them having that experience would count as evidence for it, as long as they could rule out other explanations? Or do you think that if we got any reliable evidence for ghosts they would have to be material by definition?

        • Pofarmer

          How would someone see something that’s immaterial?

        • Verbose Stoic

          You are either presuming that empirical means material, or that there is no possible causal mechanism between the immaterial and the material. The first is flat-out false, and the second you’d need to justify. Also, if ghosts could have all of the traits we ascribe to them — dead spirits, appear and disappear at will, can move through walls, etc — but had to be material by definition because they interact with us I’d say that the ghost theorist wins. If you want to insist that anything that exists has to be material, go for it … but then you can’t claim that ghost explanations, for example, would be less plausible because they are purportedly “immaterial” or “supernatural”. By your definition, they could only be that until we know they existed.

        • Ignorant Amos

          What do ghosts wear?

        • epeeist

          Even more interesting, given that the earth is rotating, orbiting the sun, moving within and along with the galaxy then how do ghosts stay in the same place?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Oh that’s a physics question way above any competance I could wish to demonstrate.

          Anyone might think we are trying to trip VS up with these important details in regard to this nonsense he is writing.

        • Greg G.

          Ghosts are subject to gravity. Dark matter is composed of ghosts that have been released from their home planet.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Thanks.

        • Susan

          What do ghosts wear?

          Either white sheets or historical clothing. Or often, you don’t see them but they communicate through a lightbulb burning out and a funny noise you can’t identify.

          Ye of little faith.

        • Pofarmer

          I’m not presuming anything. I’m asking you to make your case and provide your definitions. So far, not so great.

          or that there is no possible causal mechanism between the immaterial and the material.

          If there is a causal mechanism, what is it?

          If you want to insist that anything that exists has to be material, go for it …

          You are the one attempting to make the case that immaterial things “exist”. Don’t make me whip out Jefferson on you.

          but then you can’t claim that ghost explanations, for example, would be
          less plausible because they are purportedly “immaterial” or
          “supernatural”.

          Yeah, not getting this one.

          By your definition, they could only be that until we know they existed.

          And we’ve come full circle to “How would we know that something immaterial exists?”

          Suck less.

        • adam

          So how would someone see something like – dead spirits.

          How do dead spirits activate the cones and rods of the human eye to be seen?

        • Greg G.

          Did you know that dead spirits can’t be seen in a mirror?

        • adam

          No, I didnt.

        • Susan

          You are either presuming that empirical means material

          No. I am not presuming it. You are free to provide a method of empiricism that does not appeal to something material.

          The first is flat-out false.

          Then, you will happy to explain an empirical method that doesn’t appeal at some point to the material.

          The second, you’d need to justify.

          You’ll have to show a causal connection between the “immaterial” and the material. If you can’t,, I am justified in not accepting a claim that says there is. It is a provisional position open to more persuasive models/ new data. I don’t have to justify non-acceptance of a vague claim if you can’t explain what you’re claiming and how you can support it.

          If you want to claim that anything that exists has to be material, go for it.

          You don’t deny that a material reality exists. If you’d like to suggest that you can construct reliable well-defined models that show something that isn’t material exists, go for it.

          By your definition, they could only be that until we know they existed.

          Nice work picking something you can’t demonstrate exists and giving us heck about the implications of our non-acceptance of the claim.
          .

        • Verbose Stoic

          You’ll have to show a causal connection between the “immaterial” and the material. If you can’t,, I am justified in not accepting a claim that says there is. It is a provisional position open to more persuasive models/ new data.

          You are perfectly free to believe that the immaterial cannot interact with the material, and that nothing immaterial can possibly exist. I have never argued otherwise. But unless you KNOW that, your belief has no bearing on what it is reasonable for ME to believe. And I see no reason to think that causation cannot cover both of those realms IF AN IMMATERIAL REALM EXISTS.

          So, are you trying to argue that MY belief is unreasonable, or that yours IS reasonable or at least acceptable? I concede the latter, but not the former.

        • Pofarmer

          What we are trying to do, generally, is get you to explain how you support your belief.

        • Michael Neville

          So give an example of the immaterial interacting with the material. For that matter, show how we can possible detect the immaterial if we only have material methods to use.

          You can believe anything you like. But if you can’t show reasonable reason to support those beliefs then don’t be surprised if your beliefs get criticized.

        • Susan

          No method, then?

        • MNb

          “The first is flat-out false”
          That either-or of you is a false dilemma. How do we collect empirical data? By using our senses: ear, tongue, skin, eye and nose. Senses are thoroughly material. So we’re back at the second.

          “the second you need to justify”
          Eeeehhhh – shifting the burden of proof. Your level has decreased since Jason Rosenhouse’s blog. You are the one who postulates a supernatural reality. You are the one who postulates that that reality contains entities capable of interacting with our material reality. You are the one who claims explanatory power.
          Then you are the one who must demonstrate that explanatory power and must begin with demonstrating how such interaction takes place. We just notice that you are incapable of doing so – that nobody has succeeded. We also notice that every single interaction with our material reality we are aware of (Herman Philipse uses the famous example of “God loves you”) is also material. So our tentative conclusion is obvious – there is no supernatural reality.
          Just like Evolution Theory can be shown wrong by one example of say a Cambrian rabbit you can show us wrong by giving one example. Thus far you’ve failed. Like here.

          “If someone saw a ghost”
          Seeing happens by means of lights. So if someone sees a ghost he/she absorbs photons with his/her eyes, which travel between the ghost and those eyes. Those photons come from the ghost.
          How is an immaterial ghost supposed to emit totally material photons, of which even the mass can determined?
          Thanks for confirming Philipse by confirming that assuming a supernatural entity interacting with our natural reality is incoherent. And personally I think incoherence an excellent reason to reject a concept.
          But you remain invited to provide examples.

        • Verbose Stoic

          That either-or of you is a false dilemma. How do we collect empirical data? By using our senses: ear, tongue, skin, eye and nose. Senses are thoroughly material.

          Empiricism only says that we have to learn through sense experiences primarily, and — to contrast it with rationalism — not by pure deductive reasoning. There is nothing in empiricism that says that the objects causing those sense experiences have to be material and can’t be immaterial. Thus, you cannot argue that empiricism IN PRINCIPLE cannot be used to study immaterial objects. And so we only end up at the second because that’s the argument YOU are trying to make. You have accepted — or at least not actually argued against — the idea that if the immaterial could indeed causally impact the material, then we could use empiricism to study the immaterial, but are then arguing that by definition the immaterial cannot causally impact the material (specifically, sense organs).

          So if that’s the claim you want to make, then it would be best for you to make it. But arguing that sense organs are material and so cannot be impacted by the immaterial is merely assuming your conclusion.

          Then you are the one who must demonstrate that explanatory power and must begin with demonstrating how such interaction takes place.

          I agree with the former but not the latter. For the former, I have outlined why I believe that, as an example, an immaterial mind has more explanatory power than a material one. You’ve ignored all of that and attempted to counter with a purported problem — impacts of a changing brain state on mind — that interactionist dualism has not only already solved, but which is in fact a CONSEQUENCE of the theory. For the latter, I maintain that it is IMPOSSIBLE to determine what method the immaterial uses to causally impact the material until we have an example to study first, and so deny that it is reasonable or rational to insist that that must be done FIRST, before establishing that the most reasonable — at least current — explanation for a phenomena is an immaterial entity. Since you clearly disagree that the most reasonable explanation for mind is that it is immaterial, it seems reasonable for me to try to settle that first.

          Moreover, I even GAVE you a possible way they could interact, which you ignored. Which was that while we think energy is material, energy, instead is FUNDAMENTAL, and thus applies to both realms. Since it cannot be created nor destroyed, this means that it shares some properties that we at least thought might mean that something is not material, and those very properties suggest that it is a fundamental thing in the universe. And as soon as the immaterial domain has energy, then it has causal powers.

          Now, when I suggested this, I pointed out that it was speculation and that surely you didn’t just want that. So then the question is why you’d want me to speculate about the purported causal properties of entities that you don’t accept exist yet.

          Seeing happens by means of lights. So if someone sees a ghost he/she absorbs photons with his/her eyes, which travel between the ghost and those eyes. Those photons come from the ghost.
          How is an immaterial ghost supposed to emit totally material photons, of which even the mass can determined?

          To see objects, it isn’t the case that they “emit” them, but rather that they reflect and/or absorb them. While that may sound like nitpicking, it’s actually important here: all a ghost would need to do is reflect at least some bandwidths of light. And that itself is assuming that if a ghost is a disembodied mind it isn’t just directly manipulating the neurons to produce that visual image, which is what I commented is how an immaterial mind would interact with the brain. Thus, you’d have to be assuming that the ghost — as an immaterial object — can’t interact with the material world. But I see no reason to accept that, and thus insist that IF we could see or see ghosts that would not make them material by definition. If you disagree, feel free to provide some reason to think that you are right that that would be the case.

          Thanks for confirming Philipse by confirming that assuming a supernatural entity interacting with our natural reality is incoherent. And personally I think incoherence an excellent reason to reject a concept.
          But you remain invited to provide examples.

          I have read much of that work by Philipse, and commented in detail on it (you can find it on my blog). With regards to that incoherence argument, the problem is that he does exactly what you do: ASSUMES that the immaterial cannot interact with the material and then uses that to claim that an immaterial object that has to interact with a material object is incoherent. But you cannot prove incoherence by assuming your conclusion, nor can you use induction — everything I’ve seen interacting with the material so far has been material — to demonstrate that claim, at least to the level required to demonstrate incoherence. Thus, again, I maintain that there is no necessary incoherence in immaterial objects that interact with material ones. If you disagree, you need to give some kind of argument that isn’t a logical fallacy.

        • epeeist

          If someone saw a ghost

          Rather begging the question don’t you think?

        • Ignorant Amos

          I want to know what method the person claiming to see the ghost, uses to rule out all other explanations for the experience of seeing the ghost.

          I mean, what method would they use to rule out an hallucination for example?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Let’s use the example of ghosts. If someone saw a ghost, do you not think that them having that experience would count as evidence for it, as long as they could rule out other explanations?

          Whaaaa? Seriously?

          If someone claimed they saw a ghost, do you not think that them having that experience would count as evidence for it, as long as they could rule out other explanations?

          FTFY….the answer is NO. Until such time as there is empirical evidence for the existence of ghosts. Folk can make such claims all they like, but it is still woo woo. Ghosts don’t exist.

          Or do you think that if we got any reliable evidence for ghosts they would have to be material by definition?

          They would have to be material by definition.

        • adam

          “or does Christianity encourage that belief on them.”

          Asshole God, asshole followers.
          It’s built into the system by assholes for assholes.

        • MNb

          “I do however, owe you and others here a debt of
          gratitude for your contributions to strengthening my faith.”
          You’re welcome, as faith is just all that’s left for you.

        • Ameribear

          You lecturing me about metaphysics is about as laughable as it gets. You may not realize it but you are proof positive that God can use even those who deny him to accomplish his will. Our exchange has been one of the
          most rewarding I’ve ever had because even though you’re too dense to realize it, you’ve proven Aquinas was right. I sincerely do appreciate your willingness to share your knowledge of physics but take my advice and don’t quit your day job.

        • adam

          “You lecturing me about metaphysics is about as laughable as it gets. ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/62da10177de8c12d9feedf1a0ff3d448ed929feef887a1192640edb3a8a15953.jpg

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          ?? But you’ve been lecturing us about metaphysics and haven’t shown us a single thing that it’s good for. Does it provide truth? Give us an example and show why we should think this metaphysically derived claim is likely the truth.

        • Ameribear

          I’ve attempted with two individuals here to explain the differences
          between the two types of causal series which is crucial to understanding
          Aquinas’ argument but all I got was denial. I also pointed out on a number of occasions that claims were being made regarding the nature of specific things with no supporting arguments. I also brought up the form/matter and act/potency distinctions but no one seems to have much interest in trying to understand my explanations.

        • Paul B. Lot

          I also brought up the form/matter and act/potency distinctions but no one seems to have much interest in trying to understand my explanations.

          This hardly seems like a fair characterization, given our our conversation, but I’ll grant you that it petered out.

          I failed to respond to the most recent comment you left me in that chain 23 days ago, let me do so now.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Philosophical mumbo jumbo doesn’t help my tiny brain. Give me examples where philosophy or metaphysics have taught us something new about reality. Y’know, like science does.

        • Ameribear

          Are the raw results of scientific inquiry self explanatory or do they require interpretation? A/T philosophy may or may not be the preferred method of interpreting raw data but some form of philosophical perspective still has to be used.

        • Susan

          Are the raw results of scientific inquiry self explanatory or do they require interpretation?

          It requires interpretation. In that sense, philosophy is not dead.

          A/T metaphysics may or may not be the preferred method of interpreting raw data

          It clearly is not. Give me an example of scientific understanding that used A/T metaphysics to interpret the data. NOT an example of retrofitting A/T metaphysics to insist it is relevant to scientific understanding.

          Some form of philosophical perspective still has to be used

          Not A/T metaphysics.

          Let me rephrase Bob’s question.

          Give me an example where philsophy or metaph

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I don’t think your last sentence came through.

        • Susan

          Thanks. Hit the wrong key. Edited within seconds so I didn’t have to paste on one of those tedious

          =====

          Edit:

          thingies.

        • Susan

          I also brought up the form/matter and act/potency distinctions but no one seems to have much interest in trying to understand my explanations.

          No one here seems to accept your explanations. You haven’t explained anything. Despite requests that you do so. You still haven’t addressed epeeist’s questions.

          Nor acknowledged MNb’s points about probabllity.

          I just asked Andrew G. at Estranged Notions if i could directly quote him and he gave me permission.

          http://outshine-the-sun.blogspot.ca/2017/02/estranged-notions-do-extraordinary.html#comment-3138065474

          one of the most fundamental principles of Aristotelian causation—that nothing can go from potential to actual without something already actual causing it to do so—predicts exactly the wrong things at the level of quantum mechanics, where the rule is more like “every potential (i.e. transition not absolutely forbidden) becomes actual with nonzero probability

          Respond or don’t. But responding with “you suck at metaphysics” as you routinely respond to MNb won’t win your position any points.

        • Ameribear

          every potential (i.e. transition not absolutely forbidden) becomes actual with nonzero probability

          OK so it sounds like first off the presence of potentiality and actuality still exists and is acknowledged. I need some assistance grasping the precise definition of probability here. (calling MNb). Are you saying that probability is what predicts a specific change on a scale between zero and one? What does “transition not absolutely forbidden” mean?

        • Greg G.

          A “transition not absolutely forbidden” means one that has a probability of zero.

        • Ameribear

          Thank you.

        • Susan

          A “transition not absolutely forbidden” means on that has a probabilty of zero.”

          Wouldn’t it mean that it has a probability greater than zero?

        • Greg G.

          Yes, thank you. I obviously left a or two out. I think it is now oll korekt.

        • Susan

          OK so it sounds like first off the presence of potentiality and actuality still exists and is acknowledged

          I don’t know what you mean here. He seems to be responding to the terminology. Not “acknowledging” it as particularly relevant, just addressing what Thomists claim. Anyway, you can take that up with Andrew.

          What does “transition not absolutely forbidden” mean?

          A probability greater than zero, I would think.

          How do you get “that nothing can go from potential to actual without something already actual causing it to do so” on a quantum level?

          Define cause.. Be specific.

        • http://outshine-the-sun.blogspot.com/ Andrew G.

          A transition is absolutely forbidden if it would violate an exact conservation law, such as the conservation of charge or energy. (Transitions may be merely “forbidden” if they violate an approximate conservation law; this simply means that their probability is much lower than would otherwise be the case.)

          For example the decay products of the free neutron must contain equal numbers of positive and negative charges and must have a smaller total mass than the neutron. The free proton can’t decay into a neutron because the neutron has more mass. But inside an atomic nucleus, neutrons might be stable because there is no lower-energy state accessible, and protons might be unstable if decaying to a neutron would result in a more strongly bound state (which would have lower mass on account of having a greater, i.e. more negative, binding energy).

          I only used the term “potential” there because I was already engaged in discussion of Thomistic metaphysics. That (for example) the free neutron decays into proton+electron+antineutrino is clearly a change, therefore in A-T metaphysics it must be the actualization of a potential.

          (I have an account, not yet fully written up, of A-T potentiality/actuality that dissolves it completely: in short, the macro-scale examples of “potentials” usually given are in fact better explained as counterfactuals, while at the quantum scale, something much more like A-T potentiality really exists, but is always and only self-actualizing (probabilistically). Therefore the A-T account of proportionate causation is false or empty at both scales, and “unmoved mover” arguments fail because (on this view) change is fundamental and stability is only the result of conservation laws.)

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          You sound like an empty barrel, to use a Dutch proverb.
          Let’s recapitulate a bit. You said Thomas of Aquino didn’t need a time element and demonstrated it with an analogy that totally introduced that time element.
          When I pointed out that Modern Physics has replaced causality by probabilism you asked a few questions (pretty good ones for sure) and then bailed out because you didn’t like the consequences.
          Oh – and I asked you three questions, some of them several times. Unlike Verbose Stoic you never even tried to answer them.
          Take my advise above and never ever try use your badly outdated metaphysics (a poor man’s version of Aristoteles plus a whiff of Plato) to say something about math, physics or biology. The results are invariably ridiculous. Or don’t and keep on entertaining us.

        • Ameribear

          Let’s recapitulate a bit. You said Thomas of Aquino didn’t need a time element and demonstrated it with an analogy that totally introduced that time element.

          You still failed to grasp the points I was trying to illustrate with that analogy.

          When I pointed out that Modern Physics has replaced causality by probabilism you asked a few questions (pretty good ones
          for sure) and then bailed out because you didn’t like the consequences.

          You still failed to grasp the specific type of causality I was trying to illustrate. There are more than one kind.

          You did help me to rephrase my statements to make them fit better with Newtons laws but you never disproved the main point Aquinas makes which is that nothing changes itself.

        • Pofarmer

          you’ve proven Aquinas was right.

          Do go on.

        • Otto

          “You may not realize it but you are proof positive that God can use even those who deny him to accomplish his will.”

          Ahh the old…’heads I win, tails you lose’ game.

        • epeeist

          You lecturing me about metaphysics is about as laughable as it gets.

          And yet you abandoned conversations where it was obvious that A/T metaphysics was simply not up to the task. And remember this was in one of the simplest possible scientific scenarios.

        • Greg G.

          I do however, owe you and others here a debt of
          gratitude for your contributions to strengthening my faith

          Any pretense that your religion had a basis in reason was shredded. You have nothing left but faith.

        • Ameribear

          Any pretense that your religion disguised as a lack of religion has a basis in reason was shredded long before you were born. You have nothing left but delusion.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Having one’s deepest-held beliefs challenged is a painful process – not everyone’s ego is up to the challenge of withstanding it.

          My empathy circuits are firing watching you wriggle.

        • Kodie

          Your bitter tears are noted.

        • adam

          “You have nothing left but delusion.”

          Says the poster who believes in MAGIC.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/04570f3531aa4e675333fdcce29973e95d6ad5b518125333d607badb96b99c03.png

        • Greg G.

          How do you know it was shredded long before I was born? Why haven’t you brought any of this to my attention? Why was everything you presented annihilated? Were you intentionally holding back because you were “looking forward to your imminent demise with even more glee”?

        • Susan

          I have reached the point where I don’t have the time nor can I muster enough concern to bother refuting the verbal diarrhea you just expended

          Translation: I can’t answer your questions so I will call them verbal diarrhea and accuse MNb (and others here) of “sucking” at “metaphysics”.

          The standard Emperor’s New Clothes response.

          I do however, owe you and others here a debt of
          gratitude for your contributions to strengthening my faith and confirming that what I already believed about atheism is true

          In the meantime, you were unable to show that you had any grasp of what “metaphysics” can broadly mean, you were unable to show an understanding in the subjects of science you based your “metaphysics” on.

          And you were unable to respond intelligibly to many simple questions on the subject of metaphysics (which MNb quoted from a reliable philosophy page), many of which were repeated.

          Your confirmation bias is noted as is your disinterest in challenging your own assumptions.

          The RCC says it. You believe it.

          That’s good enough for you. But not very interesting to people who see no reason to accept claims which are no more impressive than all the other supernatural claims you dismiss without blinking an eye.

          I’m looking forward to your imminent demise with even more glee.

          As it’s Disqus (which is the dog’s breakfast), it’s possible that I missed a comment in which MNb said he’s looking forward to your imminent demise. But I can’t find it. Anywhere.

          If you said it without prompting, it is a lovely example of christian love.

          Even if you said it based on MNb’s prompting, it’s a lovely example of christian love.

          You have no case. You’ve made that obvious. You’ve made no metaphysical strides because you haven’t checked your work. If you had checked your work, you would have answers to at least most of the questions.

          You have answers for none of them.

          And now you’re running away.

          I am not “grateful” that you have done this. It’s just another example of apologists for catholicyahwehjesus throwing a tantrum when their logic fails and their evidence is close to nil, indistinguishable from countless other nonsense human claims.

          It’s just more evidence that you have nothing but castles built on air.

          If you had something, I would have been interested.

          But you don’t.

          and confirming that what I believe about atheism is true

          I don’t believe you when you say that catholicyahwehjesus explains everything, let alone anything.

          Get back to us when you can answer some simple questions without special pleading.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’m looking forward to your imminent demise with even more glee.

          “Imminent demise”? Like when? God must really like you, since all the other Christians keep saying that no one can know cuz it’s a secret.

          “even more glee”? Most Christians keep their hatred to themselves, not wanting to ruin the pretense that they’re loving people. Good for you for putting your cards on the table.

        • Ameribear

          I did not mean his, yours or anyone else’s personal demise, only that of your movement. I bear no hatred nor malice against anyone here and I apologize for not being more specific. Thank you for allowing me to post
          here.

        • adam

          “I did not mean his, yours or anyone else’s personal demise, only that of your movement.”

          Why so interestied in his ‘movement’, what do you hope to find?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/65b51a914367249f1fd520e931d29188c14c827b7462e26b4f1560c5ae20d920.jpg

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          It’s debatable whether atheism is a movement. Maybe you meant “worldview.”

          Thank you for allowing me to post here.

          You’re welcome to post here as long as you’re civil and provide interesting and thoughtful comments and critiques.

        • Ameribear

          Worldview works, I just meant no one in particular.

        • MNb

          Apologies not accepted because you didn’t do me any harm. As for the demise of atheism you won’t have much reason to rejoice, I’m afraid. I’m Dutch. More than half of my compatriots are unbelievers.
          As for movement – I’m not a member of anything. I’m just MNb. So that’s another reason to shrug off your wish.

        • adam

          “I do however, owe you and others here a debt of
          gratitude for your contributions to strengthening my faith ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b12fa1635e121ebbb3409640826d721ba93278771f0064bd133804faa3f01397.png

          Of course you need MORE wishful thinking after finding out the wishful thinking you had, is bullshit.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b4daa8eb8f6cdde7dc6cef1fd33a8d0acc554ea42510fdbeea6ee4c3b3b5a9c2.jpg

          Of course, they could have just upped your meds, though….

        • Pofarmer

          I’m looking forward to your imminent demise with even more glee.

          Fell the love. Asshole.

        • Otto

          Wow…just wow.

          I wouldn’t wish an “imminent demise” on my worst enemy, much less take glee in it.

          I guess that is part of why I am no longer a Catholic…like you.

        • Ameribear

          I was referring to the worldview in general and not to any specific member of this or any other forum.

          I hope all is well with you and yours in the new year.

        • Otto

          “I’m looking forward to your imminent demise with even more glee.”

          Umm…ok. Funny way to phrase that. If you say such a thing to a person that is physically in the same room with you do you think there is any chance at all that what you now say is your intent will be what they perceive?

        • Ameribear

          In the case of how I phrased that statement, probably not which is why I need to be more careful about how I say things in the future.

        • Pofarmer

          Be a shame to let the veil slip.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Pity then that it is Catholicism that is the worldview that is currently going down the toilet and taking your Thomistic woo woo with it…and to that complete demise, I certainly look forward to.

        • Ameribear

          The Roman empire couldn’t do it, The Ottoman Turks couldn’t do it, The French revolution couldn’t do it. The Bolshevik revolution couldn’t do it, The third Reich couldn’t do it. When Christ promised “the gates of hell will not prevail against it” He meant what He said. Our numbers have and will continue to fluctuate throughout history but you’ll never be rid of us.

        • Michael Neville

          The Third Reich was almost entirely Catholics and Lutherans. Learn some history.

        • Pofarmer

          Metaphysically they are trees, or something. I dunno, it’s complicated.

        • Ameribear

          BS! The third Reich was born of a nationalist socialist movement that the Catholic Church vehemently opposed and many Catholics died in nazi death camps. You learn some history.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Just give us a little more time. :)

          No, but seriously – the RCC will (one can hope for the good of humanity) fade into the background of global influences, but I doubt it could ever be 100% extinguished.

          For the same reason that I doubt we will ever be rid of Nazism or Islam – memes only die when they are ignored, and it’ll be a long long time before anyone ignores these ideas.

          Further, these ideas will always exist in textual format, like a dormant virus ready to be re-awakened.

          Will we never be rid of you? Who knows – but if Valtrex commercials have taught me anything, it’s that life can be managed even with a chronic disease.

        • Ameribear

          No, but seriously – the RCC will (one can hope for the good of humanity) fade into the background of global influences, but I doubt it could ever be 100% extinguished.

          Secularism (one can hope for the good of humanity) will be tossed onto the scrap heap of history and when it is, it will be at the hands of the church. Just like everyone else who opposed her.

          For the same reason that I doubt we will ever be rid of Nazism or Islam – memes only die when they are ignored, and it’ll be a long long time before anyone ignores these ideas.

          None of the most brutal, blood thirsty, tyrannical regimes in history have succeeded in destroying the church. I will concede that at the present time her influence and numbers have dwindled in the presence of the spirit of consumerism that has overtaken the west and our own self-inflicted wounds but all of that is certainly subject to change.

          Will we never be rid of you?

          Never.

        • Kodie

          Secularism protects you. You don’t want it to fail.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Secularism (one can hope for the good of humanity) will be tossed onto the scrap heap of history and when it is, it will be at the hands of the church. Just like everyone else who opposed her.

          You seem to imagine that there is one Christian church. It’s fragmented just like all other manmade religions.

          And you imagine the your church will remain, unlike all the others. What makes yours special? Just magic?

        • Ameribear

          You seem to imagine that there is one Christian church. It’s fragmented just like all other manmade religions.

          There is still only one Catholic church and it’s the only church that can trace it’s roots back to the first century. The writings of the early church fathers clearly show that the beliefs, practices, and structure of the first century church were distinctly Catholic.

          And you imagine the your church will remain, unlike all the others. What makes yours special? Just magic?

          It’s the one Christ founded and the one whom He personally promised would never be destroyed nor permanently diverted from its original mission. You may very well wish to dispute these claims but then you’d have to explain why, in spite of several systematic attempts to eradicate it, the Church is still here 2000 years later just as He promised it would be.

        • Michael Neville

          It’s the one Christ founded and the one whom He personally promised would never be destroyed nor permanently diverted from its original mission.

          I’m not surprised that the Catholic Church’s could not be diverted from its original mission, raping children.

        • Pofarmer

          “When Jesus said “Suffer the little Children unto me.” He probably didn’t mean it like THAT!”

        • Ameribear

          Nor am I surprised that you can’t be diverted from your original mission of being so intellectually torpid.

        • Michael Neville

          Nothing like a good ad hominem to try to divert attention from your child raping cult.

          So why do you support an organization whose official policy is to protect child rapists? Does it give you pleasure knowing that priests are raping children and bishops are aiding and abetting those priests? In short, why do you remain a member of an obviously immoral organization?

        • Ameribear

          You’ve made these absolute asinine assertions before with absolutely no proof. The fact that you continue to do so proves my description of you is dead on.

        • Michael Neville

          The fact that you don’t even bother to try to rebut my arguments but instead throw ad hominems around proves that you don’t have any rebuttal.

          Face it, your cult is a immoral organization which supports and protects child rapists. What do you have to say about that? Or are you just going to insult me again for pointing out how the “highest moral authority on Earth” is actually quite immoral??

        • Ameribear

          I don’t need to waste my time refuting your baseless, bigoted and prejudiced antagonisms. You are no different that any of your
          predecessors all of whom fill the dust bin of history which is exactly where you and your ilk are headed while the church you so love to hate rolls on through time long after your gone just like it always has.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          while the church you so love to hate rolls on through time long after your gone just like it always has.

          Sounds like you have some inside information. Make an interesting, testable prediction. Otherwise, it’s just bluster.

          And I’m not sure what you’re saying. That the Christian church will still be here in 100 years? I think even your hateful atheist friends here would agree with that.

        • Ameribear

          Sounds like you have some inside information. Make an interesting, testable prediction. Otherwise, it’s just bluster.

          It’s been true for the last two millenia.

          And I’m not sure what you’re saying. That the Christian church will still be here in 100 years? I think even your hateful atheist friends here would agree with that.

          It will be here until Christ returns to claim what is rightfully His regardless of how long that takes.

          I really don’t believe anyone here is hateful.

        • Michael Neville

          Baseless? It’s quite well known that some Catholic priests are child rapists. But you are right in one respect. Your church has been supporting and protecting child rapists for centuries. It’s almost a sacrament with you guys.

          Grand Jury finds 50 priests raped hundreds of children.

          There will never be any real justice for the victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests in and around Philadelphia; at least not in the sense that even one of the 50 serial rapists will ever be punished. In those cases, the wheels of justice not only did not turn slowly, they didn’t turn at all because the Church concealed the crimes and protected the rapists. However, according to a grand jury report released Tuesday; “Hundreds of children in western Pennsylvania were sexually assaulted by 50 Roman Catholic priests over four decades while the diocese’ Catholic bishops covered up their actions.”

        • epeeist

          Grand Jury finds 50 priests raped hundreds of children

          And that is just in Philadelphia. Presumably Ameribear will pooh-pooh similar cases of abuse in Australia or the Ryan Report and Murphy Report in Ireland. Other examples are available.

        • Ameribear

          You continue to make the baseless claim that it is the OFFICIAL POLICY of the Catholic Church to protect sexual predators. The responsibility of the priest abuse scandal rests in the hands of the INDIVIDUALS ACTING ON THEIR OWN WHO PERPETRATED IT. Nowhere was it ever DECLARED TO BE THE OFFICIAL POLICY OF THE CHURCH TO ALLOW IT.

        • Michael Neville

          I see. You’re claiming that it wasn’t official policy for bishops to protect child raping priests. The mere fact that every bishop, without exception, did it didn’t make it official. It was just a custom. A difference that makes no difference is no difference.

          At least you’ve backed off of pretending that the Catholic Church isn’t well known as the home for child rapists. So what’s it like belonging to a cult with the reputation for having many child rapists? Does it make you proud to be a Catholic, knowing that your priest might be a child rapist? What are you personally doing to stop child raping priests? I know, you’re whining about people like me who point out the rapists you call “Father”.

        • Ameribear

          The mere fact that every bishop, without exception, did it didn’t make it official. It was just a custom. A difference that makes no difference is no difference.

          Congratulations, your abject intellectual bankruptcy is on full display as usual and you’ve reached a new low in it.

          At least you’ve backed off of pretending that the Catholic Church isn’t well known as the home for child rapists.

          I’ve never denied the horrors of that scandal and I’ll never back off of calling out bigoted, prejudiced, baboons like you for what you are.

          So what’s it like belonging to a cult with the reputation for having many child rapists? Does it make you proud to be a Catholic, knowing that your priest might be a child rapist? What are you personally doing to stop child raping priests? I know, you’re whining about people like me who point out the rapists you call “Father”.

          So what’s it like belonging to a cult with the reputation for having so many genocidal communists? Does it make you proud to be an atheist, knowing that your leaders are plotting mass murder? What are you personally doing to stop the pending systematic extermination of every living being who refuses to buy your fatalistic tripe? I know, you’re whining about people like me who point out the homicidal maniacs you harbor in your ranks.

        • Michael Neville

          So while you admit that your child rapist cult is a child rapist cult, you personally do nothing to either stop the child rapists nor do you disassociate yourself from your child rapist cult. Instead you feebly toss out fallacies like ad hominem and tu quoque in a vain attempt to distract others from noticing that you embrace a cult which practices and even encourages the rape of children. And somehow it’s my fault that the Catholic Church has a well founded reputation for child rape.

        • Ameribear

          So while you admit that you have zero evidence to back up your baseless claims you further expose yourself as a bigoted charlatan who doesn’t have a clue as to what he’s talking about. Instead you go on repeating your lies and thereby proving that neither you nor your recycled marxist horse crap can ever be taken seriously and are most assuredly doomed to extinction
          in the near future.

        • Michael Neville

          Marxism does not mean “something my political masters have told me is bad.” Marxism is an economic system which has nothing to do with atheism. Incidentally, I am not a Marxist. And if Marxism is “most assuredly doomed to extinction” then we can hope for the same end to your child-raping cult.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The tripe being peddled on this forum is yours….but keep going, it is amusing to watch you making an arse of yerself.

        • Pofarmer

          What a Maroon.

        • adam
        • Pofarmer

          So what’s it like belonging to a cult with the reputation for having so many genocidal communists?

          There are communists here? Who knew.

          Does it make you proud to be an atheist, knowing that your leaders are plotting mass murder?

          Which leaders would those be?

          What are you personally doing to stop the pending systematic
          extermination of every living being who refuses to buy your fatalistic
          tripe?

          Not even sure how to respond to such idiocy.

          I know, you’re whining about people like me who point out the homicidal maniacs you harbor in your ranks.

          Name em, we’ll get right on it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ameribar is away with the fairies.

        • Paul B. Lot

          So what’s it like belonging to a cult with the reputation for having so many genocidal communists? Does it make you proud to be an atheist, knowing that your leaders are plotting mass murder?

          Lol, wut?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOHgrnaTxk0&feature=youtu.be&t=781

          https://youtu.be/3rPIi-f0a7Y?t=6049

        • adam

          “Does it make you proud to be an atheist, knowing that your leaders are plotting mass murder? ”

          Hmmm, not atheists plotting the end of the world:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cdf1945c329723ddbb7c03a5aa7c5a3ef1bae3c5f93caabe7aed79f438227c78.jpg

        • Greg G.

          So what’s it like belonging to a cult with the reputation for having so many genocidal communists? Does it make you proud to be an atheist, knowing that your leaders are plotting mass murder?

          It is interesting that your response to a question about child rape is to try to minimize it and divert inquiry about it by bringing up mass murder.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Susan

          So what’s it like belonging to a cult with the reputation for having so many genocidal communists?

          I don’t believe you. Because you have provided no reason to believe you. That doesn’t put me in a cult. Stalin (et al) have more in common with you and your church, in the sense that they all seem to emanate from unsupported ideologies than either have in common with my position. I think you are both demonstrably wrong.

          I am an igtheist. But if you ask me if I’m a theist, then I would tell you that no. I am atheist.

          Knowing that your leaders are plotting mass murder?

          I don’t have any leaders who are plotting mass murder.

          What are you personally doing to stop the pending systematic extermination of every living being who refuses to buy your fatalistic tripe?

          The RCC peddles fatalistic tripe. It sells castles built on clouds. Without justification. It’s indifference to most living beings never ceases to amaze and disgust me.

          I know, you’re whining about people like me who point out the homicidal maniacs you harbor in your ranks.

          I don’t harbor homicidal maniacs in my ranks. Not believing in catholicyahwehjesus does nothing for homicidal maniacs.

          Supporting the RCC (because of unsupported claims about the existence of catholicyahwehjesus and loyally adhering to its political structure) does support the rape of children.

          Because when it comes to protecting living beings or protecting the reputation of the catholic church, the RCC has always made clear that its reputation takes precedence.

        • Ameribear

          If you really believe that’s true then by applying your twisted, bigoted
          logic, supporting the worldview of atheism does support the systematic
          elimination of anyone who disagrees with atheism. Your view is borne of bigotry and hatred and betrays all the humanistic BS atheists go around spouting.

          The fact that so many of you engage in it so frequently places you squarely as an enemy of the church (a title you’ll no doubt wear with honor) and squarely on the path to extinction because that’s what has happened to every other enterprise in history that believed the same things about the church as you do.

        • Paul B. Lot

          a title you’ll no doubt wear with honor

          Finally, you’ve said something worth noting and upvoting un-ironically.

          Cheers!

        • BlackMamba44

          “supporting the worldview of atheism does support the systematic elimination of anyone who disagrees with atheism.”

          “squarely on the path to extinction because that’s what has happened to every other enterprise in history that believed the same things about the church as you do.”

          LOL. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d601a6316d13e84345ee7d943099765da093b02764e7fb1c02bb448f7b24138a.jpg

        • Ameribear

          I see you think no differently than the anyone else around here. Enjoy your pint.

        • BlackMamba44

          I think lots of things differently than others around here – but you don’t know me so you wouldn’t know that. You just happen to be on an atheist blog.

        • Susan

          If you really believe that

          Be more specific. I typed a few things. Believe what?

          then by applying your twisted, bigoted logic, supporting the worldview of atheism does support the systematic elimination of anyone who disagress with atheism.

          I don’t believe you when you claim that catholicyahwehjesus explains everything, let alone anything and you see a logical connection between that and systematically eliminating anyone who disagrees with me?

          (I really shouldn’t be wasting my time here trying to reason with you. I’m late for my Systematic Elimination of Anyone Who Disagrees With Me meeting. But you’ve piqued my curiosity. I’m dying to see you show a logical connection instead of pretending that you’ve shown one. I’ll tell them I had to stop for gas. )

          Your view is borne of bigotry and hatred

          No, it isn’t. If you’re going to make that accusation, back it up.

          betrays all the humanistic BS atheists go around spouting.

          Not all atheists are humanists. I’d even say that I’m not a humanist because I’m more of an earthlingist. Humanism is so narrow. But I’m curious about which aspects of humanism you consider BS.

          places you squarely as an enemy of the church (a title you’ll no doubt wear with honor)

          Depending on how you define “enemy”.

          squarely on the path to extinction because that’s what has happened to every other enterprise in history that believed the same things about the church as you do.

          Which is what? That I don’t believe you? Most people don’t believe you. Non-catholicyahwehjesus ideas certainly haven’t gone extinct. They seem to be thriving in numerous ways.

        • Paul B. Lot

          I’m late for my Systematic Elimination of Anyone Who Disagrees With Me meeting.

          Shit! That was tonight?

        • Susan

          Shit! That was tonight?

          Just as well that you didn’t show up. Remember that movie that you thought was a cinematic triumph and I thought it was Hollywood goo?

          My boys were waiting for you outside.

        • Pofarmer

          What is it about Catholics that make so many of them get so downright mean when they hit upon someone who doesn’t buy their crap and says so?

        • Susan

          What is it about Catholics that make so many of them get so downright mean when they hit upon someone who doesn’t buy their crap and says so?

          Cognitive dissonance/ anyone who disagrees is acting on Satan’s behalf and the church foretold it.

          What’s frustrating is that they provide no reason to buy their crap.

          They just know it’s Truth and that anyone who doesn’t buy it is being deceived by Satan.

          Sadly, you and I are thoroughly familiar with this position in real life.

        • Pofarmer

          Yeah, but look at them though. They overtook a bunch of Pagan religions that were mainly just “Meh” about whatever you wanted to believe. They haven’t persisted because they have the most truth, in many cases is sure as hell looks like they persisted because they were the most willing to use violence.

        • Susan

          were most willing to use violence.

          Were most successful in using violence and then countless other tricks.

          All they have when confronted outside of all those tricks is special pleading.

          At least, they live in a day and age when there are places in which they can be confronted. Not like the good old days so many catlicks long for.

          I just got called an “enemy” for explaining that I don’t buy their claims.

          And for mentioning that the systemic abuse of children is a problem that emanates from the church putting their reputation before the wellbeing of living beings.

        • Pofarmer

          And for mentioning that the systemic abuse of children is a problem that
          emanates from the church putting their reputation before the wellbeing
          of living beings.

          Well the Chuch must be continued! To cause someone to doubt is a Grave Sin!!!!! Raping kidoo’s, not so much.

        • Ameribear

          Be more specific. I typed a few things. Believe what?

          From your previous post :

          “Supporting the RCC (because of unsupported claims about the existence of catholicyahwehjesus and loyally adhering to its political structure) does support the rape of children.”

          I don’t believe you when you claim that catholicyahwehjesus explains everything, let alone anything and you see a logical connection between that and systematically eliminating anyone who disagrees with me?

          My point (and I’m not surprised you completely missed it) is that your belief that supporting the RCC supports child rape is as baseless and bigoted as me or anyone else claiming that supporting atheism supports genocidal communism.

          No, it isn’t. If you’re going to make that accusation,
          back it up.

          You made the accusation that supporting the RCC supports child rape first. You back it up.

          Humanism is so narrow. But I’m curious about which aspects of humanism you consider BS.

          All the insistence on inclusivity, tolerance, and acceptance applies to
          everyone except those who don’t agree with you.

          Depending on how you define “enemy”.

          Anyone who goes around making prejudiced, bigoted accusation about those they disagree with.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You made the accusation that supporting the RCC supports child rape first. You back it up.

          Let’s try an analogy. Say you supported a football team and discovered that a number of the players were raping children and the management team were covering it up and protecting the player from prosecution, would you continue to support that team, attend matches, and buy merchandise?

          I would like to think your answer would be a big NO.

          Catholics with a conscience are leaving the RCC and they cite their number one reason for doing so as….

          1. The sex abuse crisis

          Byron and Zech asked ex-Catholics to cite their main reason for leaving: “If you could communicate directly with the bishop, what would you say?”

          The most common answer: the church’s inadequate response to clergy sex abuse. “The bishop’s refusal to list pedophile priests on the diocesan Web site and his non-support of the effort to lift the statute of limitations for bringing sexual abuses cases forward in the courts” did it for me, one man said, according to the report.

          Several respondents said they had been victims of sexual abuse by church leadership.

          Ya see, to us lot…and more to the point, a considerable number more than a couple of Catholics…being part of a group that can do the things the RCC has done, is a bit rum, and tantamount to giving succour to an insidious organisation.

        • Ameribear

          Your narrative of the Church is bigoted and unsupported. See my
          reply to Susan.

          Examples of people leaving the church because of what they think of the clerical abuse scandal is not proof that your bigoted and prejudiced narrative is true. Once again you the only thing you’re good at proving is that you don’t know what your talking about.

        • epeeist

          Examples of people leaving the church

          In your discussions with me you have said that once baptised a Catholic then you remain a Catholic whatever you do.

          So are these people leaving the church or not?

        • Ameribear

          In your discussions with me you have said that once baptised a Catholic then you remain a Catholic whatever you do.

          I said no such thing. I said baptism makes you a Catholic in the earliest stages of development and that becoming a full Catholic requires several years of catechesis and three more sacraments.

          So are these people leaving the church or not?

          The leadership of this sect has willfully chosen to deny the authority of the Pope, to separate himself from the one church the Pope is the visible head of, and to substitute himself as the authority in the place of the authority he rejects. They are therefore just another protestant denomination that never bothered to change their name.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I seen it. It doesn’t support what you think it supports.

          Catholic clerics and laypeople abuse/abused children…FACT.

          The Roman Catholic Church as an institution systemically facilitated child abuse by moving pervert clerics where they avoided the authorities and continued the abuse…FACT.

          The RCC as an institution has systemically stymied investigations by secular agencies interested in bringing perpetrators to justice…FACT.

          The RCC prides itself in being the one true faith with a mandate from YahwehJesus to claim to be the pinnacle of virtue and moral principles…FACT.

          The RCC has failed at the later…FACT.

          People are leaving the RCC because of all this is a FACT.

          Now demonstrate that making such claims is both bigoted and unsupported?

          Government investigations have produced reports that demonstrate my position as just, and the RCC has admitted what they have done…so you can take your protestations and just fuck away off.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Another fact that is just as incredible is that if the RCC had initially jumped on this issue with the appropriate outrage, they could’ve cooperated with authorities, taken their lumps, paid out settlements as soon as possible (when they would’ve been small) rather than as late as possible, instituted new policies so that bad apples got culled ruthlessly and quickly, and recovered so that they’d be in much better shape financially and reputationally today.

          C’mon, this isn’t hard. And the RCC imagines that they have something to teach us about morality?

        • Ignorant Amos

          They were in far too deep. This fiasco has been going on for centuries. Which was fine when they had the control they once enjoyed and people were shit scared of kicking back.

          People ain’t shit scared anymore and the RCC know it.

        • Kodie

          I don’t understand the church doing nothing much at all over this. Priests take vows of chastity, and they obviously violated their vows. This is not like the rest of us, they claim to have moral authority. They set rules, and their punishments are severe, at least as far as belonging to the church are – they could have excommunicated every single one that came up, or defrocked immediately, and even without reporting these fuckers to the authorities, you know what will happen if you fuck with the Catholic Church. You know if you wish to stand for them and belong to them, the rules you must follow. They could have exacted repercussions and still covered it up, as far as I can tell. What ex-priest would come forward and tell the world they are a pedophile and that the Catholic church did nothing about it as far as the law? Turning them over to the rest of the world, where they didn’t stand such a chance of being forgiven and protected, taking away their status as a revered and trusted and child-friendly sort of persona in the community, or for fuck’s sake, even creating a prison for them in Vatican City where they could probably do whatever they wanted to them.

          I don’t understand at all that a religious organization tolerates this heinous behavior, and when rumors swirled, there were congregants rallied around their new priest to get his next chance and, how prestigious to have your son picked to be an altar boy because that’s apparently not an easy gig? It’s an honor you don’t refuse?

          These are the same people who fear homosexuals, condemn homosexuality, and equate homosexual men with pedophiles. Why do they think priests are somehow not the pedophiles? Well, they’re not teaching boys to be gay, per se. Why do they accept that the church strongly suggests we accept them? Because what is the alternative, to leave the church they’ve been brainwashed to believe is the one and only true church despite any remarks or criticisms? They are idolaters. They have been brainwashed that priests are superhuman and may fail but underneath that, taking vows is a very difficult sacrifice, and keeping them means it’s ok to cheat as long as it’s only with young boys and not with grown women or other priests. I have to also think there’s a lot we didn’t used to accept as true, one of which is, that boys or men can’t really be violated sexually. I even think we might have focused, as a society, too much emphasis on priests being dirty rapist perverts, and not really as much on how devastating sexual assault is on a boy. Of course when it’s girls, they blame the girls for dressing or acting too temptingly, and what man, even a priest, teacher, or coach can control their loins.

          But with their idea that sexual intercourse is for married couples only, they also seem to have not been at all concerned with any underage unmarried fucking, by priests or from priests at all. I feel like their entire defense has had to have been that adult problems are adult problems and children are resilient or don’t remember or don’t carry grudges, and adult problems cannot stem from childhood traumas because they come from demonic possession instead.

          Approaching the breaking of rules or the accusations or the behaviors of trauma victims or the leaving the church or attacking the church or the expecting the church to pay some reparations for the victims is all just demon talk. Teens with emotional issues or drug abuse or homosexual tendencies, or paying the pedophilia forward or being sexually prolific, rebellious, hedonistic, etc., must come from demons. The church stands solid against that demon shit, and is completely utterly forgiveable to fuck a child once in a while …. I mean given the coverups, the church has to admit and it doesn’t want to that sexuality is a human function that they chose to relax in the most perverted ways instead of normal adult ways.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          One wonders how things would be if they simply allowed priests to marry.

        • Ameribear

          FACT: 4 percent of the 110,000 priests active between 1950 and 1992 had been accused of sexual misconduct involving children. So the crap you and Mr. Neville keep spewing about every priest and bishop being guilty of it is beyond moronic.

          FACT: That letter you numbskulls keep posting as your supposed proof wasn’t secret and had precisely nothing to do specifically with the clerical abuse scandal. When you actually consult a canon lawyer (someone who knows what the hell he’s talking about) you find out the CDF letter had as one important aim, to settle certain procedural questions among canonists as to which canonical crimes are “reserved” to CDF per 1983 CIC 1362, that is, which ecclesiastical offenses are considered serious enough that Rome itself could adjudicate the case instead of allowing the normal canons on penal jurisdiction to operate (e.g., 1983 CIC 1408, 1412). These canons were on the books long before the clergy sexual abuse crisis erupted, but their interpretation had been disputed. The purpose of that CDF letter was to clear up much of the confusion. MONUMENTAL FAIL ON YOUR PART!

          FACT: 80% of clergy sex abuse involved post pubescent teens, not pre pubescent children. So, the phrase child raping cult all you genocidal
          communists keep throwing out is complete BS.

          FACT: Accusations of sexual misconduct among Catholic clergy has fallen to record lows far below the rate of secular institutions. In
          a body of 77 million people, contemporaneous accusations of abuse
          against Catholic clergy in the United States are very rare, recently
          averaging only 8 allegations deemed “credible” by review boards each year.

          FACT: The Catholic Church’s record of aggressive and proactive protective measures is unparalleled in any organization today. Since the beginning of the abuse crisis, the Catholic Church:

          has instituted a “zero tolerance” policy in which any credibly accused priest is immediately removed from ministry. Law enforcement is also notified;

          has trained over 5 million children in giving them skills to protect them from abuse;

          has trained over 2 million adults, including 99 percent of all priests, in recognizing signs of abuse;

          has conducted over 2 million background checks, including those in the intensified screening process for aspiring seminarians and priests;

          has installed “Victim Assistance Coordinators” in every diocese, “assuring victims that they will be heard”;

          has conducted annual independent audits of all dioceses to monitor compliance with the groundbreaking 2002 Charter for Protection of Children and Young People;

          has instituted in all dioceses abuse review boards – often composed of child welfare experts, child psychologists, and abuse experts – to examine any claims of abuse against priests.

          No other organization even comes close to implementing the measures the Catholic Church has taken to protect children in its care. In this regard, the Catholic Church in the 21st century is the model for other institutions to follow in the safeguarding of youth.

          So once again you’ve proven quite adept at living up to you moniker. You do not know what the hell you’re talking about.

        • Greg G.

          You should really stop trying to polish this turd. You are only stirring up the stink.

          FACT: 4 percent of the 110,000 priests active between 1950 and 1992 had been accused of sexual misconduct involving children.

          But the Catholic Church was very good at laying guilt trips on people to hush them up so we should not think that the number of guilty priests was only 4%.

          FACT: 80% of clergy sex abuse involved post pubescent teens, not pre pubescent children.

          Oh, that makes it so much better. It is still rape.

          FACT: Accusations of sexual misconduct among Catholic clergy has fallen to record lows far below the rate of secular institutions. In
          a body of 77 million people, contemporaneous accusations of abuse
          against Catholic clergy in the United States are very rare, recently
          averaging only 8 allegations deemed “credible” by review boards each year.

          Review boards? Why not the police?

          FACT: The Catholic Church’s record of aggressive and proactive protective measures is unparalleled in any organization today. Since the beginning of the abuse crisis, the Catholic Church:

          The beginning? This has been going on for a thousand years or more. But that sounds like spin. There are many examples of guilty priests being sent to a new city with unsuspecting potential victims and parents.

          No other organization even comes close to implementing the measures the Catholic Church has taken to protect children in its care. In this regard, the Catholic Church in the 21st century is the model for other institutions to follow in the safeguarding of youth.

          Good for them. Why did it take so many centuries and only put into effect after multiples of lawsuits? Why don’t they report the crimes like other institutions do?

        • Pofarmer

          I think it’s over 4 percent. But it’s not four percent were accused. It’s that whatever percent was deemed credible-by the Church. They know this because of the Church’s own records. How, imagine if say, 5 percent of GM car salesman were credibly accused of raping kids. Do you think there would be a Chevrolet dealer left open in the country?

        • Ignorant Amos

          If ya want a wee bit of a laugh in an otherwise very serious subject, read this….

          http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Challenging-the-John-Jay-Report-Marci-Hamilton-05-27-2011

        • Ameribear

          But the Catholic Church was very good at laying guilt
          trips on people to hush them up so we should not think that the number of guilty priests was only 4%.

          If you‘ve got evidence that it’s something else then provide it.

          Review boards? Why not the police?

          Because review boards determine if the charges are valid first.

          The beginning? This has been going on for a thousand years or more

          Then provide evidence that what you claim is true.

          Good for them. Why did it take so many centuries and only
          put into effect after multiples of lawsuits? Why don’t they report the crimes like other institutions do?

          They certainly should have before. They do report the crimes and they’re
          doing a better job of protecting kids then most secular institutions.

        • Ignorant Amos

          But the Catholic Church was very good at laying guilt trips on people to hush them up so we should not think that the number of guilty priests was only 4%.

          If you‘ve got evidence that it’s something else then provide it.

          Yeah, that’s already been dealt with.

          Review boards? Why not the police?

          Because review boards determine if the charges are valid first.

          Yeah, we’ve all been there already…it didn’t work before. I think I’ll just prefer to go with the secular authorities in order to decide whether the charges are valid or not. Rather than trust a lot of self-serving, dirty, lying, untrustworthy, bastards. Thank you very much all the same. NOT!

          The beginning? This has been going on for a thousand years or more

          Then provide evidence that what you claim is true.

          Yeah, that’s been dealt with.

          They certainly should have before.

          They should never have needed to have if they are genuinely Gods reps on Earth…and YahwehJesus could’ve seen to it. I really don’t think the RCC is what it thinks it is.

          They do report the crimes and they’re
          doing a better job of protecting kids then most secular institutions.

          How the fuck do you know such a thing. Are you privy to some source of info no one else is? Because if you are, cite it, otherwise youare just pulling more crap outta yer arse.

        • adam

          “Because review boards determine if the charges are valid first. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c7b26fa63bd62710b5b0bda13321c325b5f32009b7ac947dd6169bdc88c7b54d.jpg

        • Greg G.

          If you‘ve got evidence that it’s something else then provide it.

          Perpetrators and victims of abuse were sometimes pressured into silence with the threat of excommunication to keep them in line. The footnote for that leads to Catholic Priest child abuse. Read that and stop embarrassing yourself by asking for evidence for this stuff.

          Because review boards determine if the charges are valid first.

          Are you sure they aren’t to see if the Church can get out of it?

          Then provide evidence that what you claim is true.

          That has been provided to you by IA.

          They certainly should have before. They do report the crimes and they’re
          doing a better job of protecting kids then most secular institutions.

          Secular institutions do not move suspected sex offenders to other areas of the country or a different country without notifying the new place of the person’s history.

          Don’t ask. You have already been provided evidence for this. If you aren’t going to read it, why ask? You can do the research yourself by typing it into a search engine as easily as typing it into a post. It would be less embarrassing for you that way.

        • Ameribear

          The document cited in the page you linked to was not used nor intended to pressure anyone with excommunication to be quiet. See the link titled “much ado about not much” in my previous reply to IA.

          Are you sure they aren’t to see if the Church can get out
          of it?

          No. It’s to determine if the charges being made can be substantiated.

          That has been provided to you by IA.

          No it hasn’t. Show me proof that it has been going on for “thousands of years”.

          Secular institutions do not move suspected sex offenders
          to other areas of the country or a different country without notifying the new place of the person’s history.

          Recent reports on sexual abuse in public schools show they have a far worse problem than the church.

        • adam
        • BlackMamba44
        • Ignorant Amos

          No it hasn’t. Show me proof that it has been going on for “thousands of years”.

          Don’t be a dick…no one said it has been going on for “thousands of years”…try and apply a bit of reading comprehension, there’s a good child.

          The term used was, “This has been going on for a thousand years or more.”, dufus.

          Liber Gomorrhianus

          The Liber Gomorrhianus (Book of Gomorrah) is a book published by Saint Peter Damian around 1051 AD. It is treatise on the vices of the clergy, principally sodomy, and the need for reform.

          Around 1051 a book was needed to outline the ongoing vices in which debauched clergy were engaged.

          In this, Petrus Damiani made an attack on homosexual practices, mutual masturbation, copulation between the thighs, anal copulation and solitary masturbation, as subversive disruptions against the moral order occasioned by the madness associated with an excess of lust. He was especially indignant about priests having sexual relationships with adolescent boys.He singles out superiors who, due to excessive and misplaced piety, have been lax in their duty to uphold church discipline. He opposes the ordination of those who engage in homosexual sex and wants those already ordained dismissed from Holy Orders. Those who misuse the sacraments to defile boys are treated with particular contempt.

          Again, it is telling that you chose to nit-pick this embarrassing detail rather than let it blow over.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Recent reports on sexual abuse in public schools show they have a far worse problem than the church.

          That may well be the case, a citation would be nice. But that is not the point.

          You said…

          …they’re doing a better job of protecting kids then most secular institutions…

          Without providing any evidence. And it is a climb down from your initial claim.

          You said…

          No other organization even comes close to implementing the measures the Catholic Church has taken to protect children in its care. In this regard, the Catholic Church in the 21st century is the model for other institutions to follow in the safeguarding of youth.

          Which again you just asserted without evidence, and which is a loada ballix anyway.

        • BlackMamba44

          Recent reports on sexual abuse in public schools show they have a far worse problem than the church.

          Sexual abuse in PUBLIC schools are more likely to reach the PUBLIC.

          In Churches, not so much. They tend to cover it up.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          another example of how the church–which flatters itself that it has important moral lessons to defend and teach–loses to ordinary people doing the right thing.

        • Pofarmer

          Not to mention that it’s a lie to begin with.

        • adam
        • Pofarmer

          https://www.amazon.com/Sex-Priests-Secret-Codes-Catholic/dp/1566252652/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1487806886&sr=8-2&keywords=sexual+abuse+in+the+catholic+church

          Recent reports on sexual abuse in public schools show they have a far worse problem than the church.

          Except the statistics that have been gathered, such as they are, show conclusively that then don’t, not even close. Not within an order of magnitude.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Not even when it comes from the mouth of a Canon lawyer…

          The Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, a Catholic priest in the Dominican order, was asked in 2002 to do research for the church on whether its current leadership had ever had notice of sexual abuse of children by clergy.

          “When I started the research, I found that it goes back to the fourth century at least, and that there is extensive evidence,” Father Doyle said in a recent telephone interview from California.

          In the mid-1980s, Father Doyle wrote a memo to his church superiors warning them that “irreparable financial and spiritual damage” was imminent if they did not make a serious effort to deal with the problem of clerical sexual abuse.

          “The church hierarchy has shown itself incapable, rather than unwilling, to respond to the clerical sexual abuse crisis since the 1980s,” he said. “There is good will on the part of many within the system, but they’ve been so caught up or formed by a system that tells them that what is most important is the image of the institutional church, because that really is the church. And the destructiveness of that system to the church and its supporters certainly has been evident over the past 20 years.”

          The frank-talking priest, who has five master’s degrees, testified before the Ohio Legislature earlier this year in support of Senate Bill 17, which extended the statutes of limitations for victims to file lawsuits.

          He said today’s group of Catholic bishops “is the worst crop of bishops in contemporary memory” because their goal throughout the abuse crisis has been “to protect the institution as they see it. They have not shown any evidence of wanting to fully understand what happens to the people that are abused – their spiritual devastation, their concept of God and the church.

          “The bishops are trying hard to convince the public that the crisis is all over. They’re saying, ‘Look at what we’ve done: We’ve set up the National Review Board, and diocesan review boards.’ The only reason this has happened is because they were forced to do it by the victims and the public,” Father Doyle said. “If they were not forced, they would go back to the way it was.”

          “Something is wrong when we put our own image and our security above the welfare of the victims,” Father Doyle said.

          Who is Father Doyle?

          Doyle also holds a Pontifical Licentiate in Canon Law from St. Paul University, and a Pontifical Doctorate in Canon Law from Catholic University of America. Doyle also served as an officer in the United States Air Force from 1986 to 2004. Doyle has taught at several universities and seminaries, including Catholic Theological Union, Catholic University of America, and the Midwestern Tribunal Institute of Mundelein Seminary. Doyle also held several positions in Catholic dioceses. He served as a Tribunal Judge for the Archdiocese of Chicago, Diocese of Scranton, the Diocese of Pensacola/Tallahassee, the Archdiocese of Military Services, and the Diocese of Lafayette in Indiana. He served as the Advocate and Defender of the Bond for the Archdiocese of Chicago.

          Doyle is a columnist for the National Catholic Reporter. His work with clergy abuse survivors has been featured in the documentary Deliver Us From Evil, in Robert Kaiser’s book Whistle: Fr. Doyle’s Steadfast Witness for Victims of Clerical Abuse, and on PBS’s show Frontline episode Secrets of the Vatican.

          Hardly a biased source, but then no one likes a whistle blower.

          Ameribear is in total denial…or he’s a pervert priest protector, or both.

        • Pofarmer

          And this crop of Bishops has also been busy influencing our lawmakers and laws.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s the problem. I could understand that being the case in Ireland, the RCC and the government went like a hand in a glove…although no any more thank fuck, but in a country that prides itself in having church/state separation this is a feckin’ travesty.

        • Pofarmer

          but in a country that prides itself in having church/state separation this is a feckin’ travesty.>

          Yes it is. Folks are perverting “religious freedom” to mean the freedom to force their religious beliefs onto you.

        • Pofarmer

          Also, I think the ignorant fuck has got me blocked, so he’ll never see it. I seem to have that effect on Catholics.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Fuck’im….if he has got ya blocked, he is typical of his sort and an ignorant fuck all right.

          There are bigger fish to fry than someone with their head in a bucket of sand with fingers in their ears going “la la la laala lala lal la la laaa”…others here are interested. I must get my hands on that book ya linked to, btw.

        • Pofarmer

          I almost bought it once, but haven’t. I wonder how it would go with my wifes copy of “Rediscover Jesus” by Mathew Kelly as Coffee table companions?

          Yeah, my life is complicated.

        • Ignorant Amos

          LOL….get it on Kindle….cheap as chips at £2.99…and it can be yer dirty little secret.

        • adam
        • Ignorant Amos

          You are in denial me auld cock-sparrow…

          Sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by Catholic clergy burst onto the American scene in 1984. Revelations about such abuse since then have confirmed that this tragedy is not limited to the U.S. Catholic Church, nor is it a new phenomenon that grew out of so-called secularizing trends of the late twentieth century. By reviewing a collection of documents from official and unofficial sources from 60 CE to the present, this book demonstrates that sexual abuse of minors is a deep-seated problem that spans the Church’s history.

          The three distinguished authors have served as experts and consultants in over 1,000 cases of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy, and have collectively spent over 70 years of official service within the church.

          https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sex-Priests-Secret-Codes-Catholic-ebook/dp/B01JTH9ARS/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487864039&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=Sex%2C+Priests%2C+and+Secret+Codes%3A+The+Catholic+Church%27s+2%2C000+Year+Paper+Trail+of+Sexual+Abuse+Hardcover+%E2%80%93+March+29%2C+2006

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          the crap you and Mr. Neville keep spewing about every priest and bishop being guilty of it is beyond moronic.

          I haven’t been following, so I don’t know what those guys have been saying. But far more than just the guys with their dicks in their hands are a problem. The bureaucrats who helped perpetuate the problem when they could’ve shut it down are also part of the problem.

          80% of clergy sex abuse involved post pubescent teens, not pre pubescent children. So, the phrase child raping cult all you genocidal
          communists keep throwing out is complete BS.

          Who—that is a monumental fail! Raping kids after they’re 12 is no problem at all, right?

          The Catholic Church’s record of aggressive and proactive protective measures is unparalleled in any organization today. Since the beginning of the abuse crisis, the Catholic Church:
          has instituted a “zero tolerance” policy in which any credibly accused priest is immediately removed from ministry. Law enforcement is also notified;

          And yet exactly the opposite is the widely held view. I wonder where the truth lies. Can you help clarify?

        • Ignorant Amos

          The bureaucrats who helped perpetuate the problem when they could’ve shut it down are also part of the problem.

          Apparently not. Apparently that is all “fake news” according to Ameribear.

          You should be following it…Ameribear is the epitome of how low a Catholic will go and to what lengths in order to make excuses for the debauched behaviour of the institution and its members, ergo supporting Greg’s assertion of tacit support. Ya couldn’t make it up.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And now Milo Yiannopoulos seems to be a supporter of the beleaguered Catholics. How nice to see Catholics and Protestants reach cross the aisle to share common ground on important issues like child fucking!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Both sides have their fair share of child fuckers, so I can see the safety in numbers approach being employed in a sort of “Big Christian” manner.

          In other news….which Ameribear will probably cite as fake because he is living in a clueless bubble….

          Christian Brothers ‘will disappear from Australia’ because of ageing membership

          A Christian Brothers’ leader has said the Catholic order will disappear from Australia in the coming decades.

          Oceania provincial leader Peter Clinch said on Wednesday that the country’s youngest Christian brother was in his 50s and the order no longer sought applicants for its novitiate.

          He was asked whether he thought the Christian Brothers would become nothing more than a “brand” on schools run by lay people in 30 to 40 years.

          “I don’t think even the brand will be there,” he told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney.

          Peter Carroll, Marist Brothers provincial, said his order was also ageing and receiving few candidates.

          https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/feb/22/christian-brothers-will-disappear-from-australia-because-of-ageing-membership

        • epeeist

          Christian Brothers ‘will disappear from Australia’ because of ageing membership

          It isn’t just in Australia though is it. How many seminaries left in Ireland (North and South) and how many priests do they ordain? Is this sufficient to replace those who are retiring or dying?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Tis true…as you and I have both posted evidence of in other discussions on the matter more than once in the past.

          I put that info up because it is from today’s news, but you make the point very well, there is a crisis with manning in the RCC just about everywhere.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Irish priests’ group to discuss vocation crisis with bishops

          “We talked to them about the crisis in vocations. We quoted statistics from their own website. We explained in graphic terms that in 10 to 15 to 20 years time Irish priests – apart from a tiny cadre of aged individuals – would have virtually disappeared.”

          http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/religion-and-beliefs/irish-priests-group-to-discuss-vocation-crisis-with-bishops-1.2652657

          Clergy in crisis: Forget Father Ted… Ireland is running out of priests

          When the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, solemnly ordained this year’s crop of new priests in his diocese last month, he called them all by their first names.

          This did not involve any great feat of memory on his part since there were, after all, only three of them. Michael, Richard and Dan are the only newly ordained priests for Dublin’s million-plus Catholics.

          http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/clergy-in-crisis-forget-father-ted-ireland-is-running-out-of-priests-913326.html

          More “fake news” for Ameribear to peruse in his undying Catholicism mindset.

        • epeeist

          More “fake news” for Ameribear to peruse in his undying Catholicism mindset.

          “It doesn’t matter, It doesn’t matter, It doesn’t matter. The RCC will survive for ever” (despite its ever decreasing numbers in the developed world).

          An aphorism I have used before, “In science if the evidence contradicts the theory then the theory is wrong. In religion if the evidence contradicts the dogma then the evidence is wrong.

        • Ignorant Amos

          In religion if the evidence contradicts the dogma then the evidence is wrong.

          Sounds like something I’ve heard that cretin William Lane Craig state.

          Poor Ameribear is in denial…a popular thesis among the mass ignorant at a time just a matter of 600 years ago, was that the Earth was flat and that the Sun circumnavigated the Earth…nowadays it is only the bug nutty bat shit crazy that have anything to do with such nonsense. Those sort of people haven’t completely gone away, but their numbers are negligible and they are more to be pitied than humoured. One day Catholicism will be every bit as kwerky.

        • Susan

          important issues like child fucking

          Child raping. I know the phrase “child fucking” implicitly describes “child raping” but respectfully, there are catholic apologists who don’t make that connection.

          “Fuck” is too gentle a word. The use of which they’ll take offense at. Tragically, more offense than they take at the raping of a child.

          It’s rape. It’s rape. It’s rape.

          Child raping.

          =====

          Edit; To link video.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHRDfut2Vx0

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Point taken. Also to your point, Yiannopoulos was talking about statutory rape, and mere “fucking” might imply that it was morally OK or that all parties were on board.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ya see where I am it’s different.

          The word “rape” is seen as less specific because it includes other forms of sexual assault and abuse.

          Child fucking is more direct, I know it, you know it, and the pervert protecting apologist knows it and they don’t like it. That’s not to say other forms of sexual assault and abuse should be ignored of course. But they don’t like “child fuckers” because it is terse, and direct, and uses a “naughty word”, and no one is in any doubt about what it implies…where rape can be hand waved off because it might not refer to penetration. It has become so vague a word that some jurisdictions have removed the word rape from the legislation altogether. Women can’t commit rape in some jurisdictions for example.

          Michigan Statutes for the first degree felony, section 520b, “(1) A person is guilty of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree if he or she engages in sexual penetration of another person.”, or in England and Wales, Section 1 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 “1. A person (A) commits an offence if – (a) he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person…” – although in this case women are still not capable of committing rape.

          In the end it all comes down to consent. That’s where the Catholic Clergy start there weaseling and their fucked up thinking processes allows them to believe they are doing nothing wrong. The fault lies with everything else, from the victims themselves, to the 60’s pop culture. No remorse is demonstrated by the dirty bastards.

          I guess it’s horses for courses.

        • Susan

          Good point.

          I’d settle for child fucking rapists.

        • Pofarmer

          Nice compromise.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Now that covers all bases.

          If only I wasn’t such a lazy fecker.

        • Ignorant Amos

          FACT: 4 percent of the 110,000 priests active between 1950 and 1992 had been accused of sexual misconduct involving children.

          Stop cherry picking data and get up to date you pervert protector. From the U.S.Conference of Catholic Bishops…

          As of May 20, 2016, information published by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) indicates that the conference has counted 6,528 clerics “not implausibly” and “credibly” accused of sexually abusing minors in the period 1950 through June 30, 2015, with several gaps. Out of a total of 116,153 priests who have worked in those years, this latest number represents 5.6% of the priests.

          If that source can be trusted…given the history, I doubt it. And that only counts the perv’s in the U.S.,not world wide, where many have been secreted out of the way where they can be further protected.

          So the crap you and Mr. Neville keep spewing about every priest and bishop being guilty of it is beyond moronic.

          Well it might be us being moronic if Mr. Neville and I had made such a claim, as it is, it is your moronic straw man, so pah!

        • Ignorant Amos

          FACT: That letter you numbskulls keep posting as your supposed proof wasn’t secret and had precisely nothing to do specifically with the clerical abuse scandal.

          Not just us, the worlds media and the justice for victims organisations too. Oh, and the courts, don’t forget the courts.

          Yes, I am well aware that pervert protectorswho haven’t a clue what they are talking about are making your silly and obnoxious claim, still the memo is the memo, and only pervert protectors see it as you see it.

          The problem is that not one source making the contrary claim to your silly interpretation has been taken up on slander by the RCC. Now you want me to believe that all the sources claiming, erroneously in your opinion, the memo was a confidential letter instructing Bishops on what action to be taken with abusive clerics, yet didn’t bother to get their legal departments to check out the legalities of such a claim? Wise ta fuck up. You are the numbskull for ignoring the elephant in the room and protecting pervs.

          When you actually consult a canon lawyer (someone who knows what the hell he’s talking about) you find out the CDF letter had as one important aim, to settle certain procedural questions among canonists as to which canonical crimes are “reserved” to CDF per 1983 CIC 1362, that is, which ecclesiastical offenses are considered serious enough that Rome itself could adjudicate the case instead of allowing the normal canons on penal jurisdiction to operate (e.g., 1983 CIC 1408, 1412).

          Indeed, secular lawyers, what ta fuck do they know about the law of the land and when it should be applied, when it’s all about the canon law?

          Wouldn’t it be handy to have a canon lawyer given his expert assessment from a canon law perspective? If only we had one of those.

          Oh, wait a wee minute….

          Father John Beal, professor of canon law at the Catholic University of America, gave an oral deposition under oath on 8 April last year in which he admitted to Shea that the letter extended the church’s jurisdiction and control over sexual assault crimes.

          A two bit Father not high enough…what about the guy that co-signed the letter?

          The Ratzinger letter was co-signed by Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone who gave an interview two years ago in which he hinted at the church’s opposition to allowing outside agencies to investigate abuse claims.

          ‘In my opinion, the demand that a bishop be obligated to contact the police in order to denounce a priest who has admitted the offence of paedophilia is unfounded,’ Bertone said.

          Not a secret document you say…

          A spokeswoman in the Vatican press office declined to comment when told about the contents of the letter. ‘This is not a public document, so we would not talk about it,’ she said.

          You are living in Cloud Cuckoo Land Ameribear.

          These canons were on the books long before the clergy sexual abuse crisis erupted, but their interpretation had been disputed. The purpose of that CDF letter was to clear up much of the confusion.

          Are you fuckin’ serious? The clergy sexual abuse crisis has been part of the RCC make-up since the get go. Well before the canon laws you cite.You are putting the cart before the horse.

          http://www.crusadeagainstclergyabuse.com/htm/AShortHistory.htm#_ftn4

          Check out the of “Book of Gomorrah”, authored by a monk called Peter Damian, published in 1051…

          Among St. Peter Damian’s most famous writings is his lengthy treatise, Letter 31, the Book of Gomorrah (Liber Gomorrhianus), containing the most extensive treatment and condemnation by any Church Father of clerical pederasty and homosexual practices.

          His manly discourse on the vice of sodomy in general and clerical homosexuality and pederasty in particular, is written in a plain and forthright style that makes it quite readable and easy to understand.

          Pederasty is as old as sin. Catholic clerics doing it also, no doubt.

          But you think Diocesan Bishops with canon lawyers on staff needed a memo to tell them what thy should already know? Are Catholic Bishops that retarded? Aren’t they up to speed on their catechism, specifically number 2389?

          2389 Connected to incest is any sexual abuse perpetrated by adults on children or adolescents entrusted to their care. The offense is compounded by the scandalous harm done to the physical and moral integrity of the young, who will remain scarred by it all their lives; and the violation of responsibility for their upbringing.

          Strike that, obviously they are, they must think they are above what applies to everyone else. Which is exactly the problem.

          Daniel Shea, the lawyer for the two alleged victims who discovered the letter, said: ‘It speaks for itself. You have to ask: why do you not start the clock ticking until the kid turns 18? It’s an obstruction of justice.’

          Shea criticised the order that abuse allegations should be investigated only in secret tribunals. ‘They are imposing procedures and secrecy on these cases. If law enforcement agencies find out about the case, they can deal with it. But you can’t investigate a case if you never find out about it. If you can manage to keep it secret for 18 years plus 10 the priest will get away with it,’ Shea added.

          https://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/apr/24/children.childprotection

          MONUMENTAL FAIL ON YOUR PART!

          You have no idea how much of a pervert protecting fuckwit you are, have you?

        • Ignorant Amos

          FACT: 80% of clergy sex abuse involved post pubescent teens, not pre pubescent children. So, the phrase child raping cult all you genocidal communists keep throwing out is complete BS.

          Oh, well…that makes it all okay then. Do you even realise how much of a pervert protecting obnoxious piece of shite such a comment makes you out to be?

          But bravo anyway for demonstrating the depths you will dive to in order to defend your child fucking priests.

          You realise you have opened yourself up for a fully loaded question?

          So, ephebophilia is okay then?

          If the answer is no, why bring it up? It is an non sequitur to the discussion and you are a cretin for raising it.

          It your answer is yes, then you are further demonstrating my opinion on you and still being a cretin for raising it.

          But let’s take a look at this erroneous fuckwittery anyway.

          The term childhood is non-specific and can imply a varying range of years in human development. Developmentally and biologically, it refers to the period between infancy and adulthood. In common terms, childhood is considered to start from birth. Some consider childhood as a concept of play and innocence which ends at adolescence. In the legal systems of many countries, there is an age of majority when childhood officially ends and a person legally becomes an adult. The age ranges anywhere from 15 to 21, with 18 being the most common.

          Post-pubescent means after puberty, it doesn’t necessarily mean adult. The child fuckers fucking children in this range are fucking children that have reached puberty, i.e. 15-17 for girls and 16-17 for boys, generally.

          They are still children, which is why it is still classed as child abuse.

          But even then, your figures are cherry picked to suit your pervy protecting attitude.

          In Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention, Cimbolic & Cartor (2006) noted that because of the large share of post-pubescent male minors among cleric victims there is need to further study the differential variables related to ephebophile versus pedophile offenders. Cartor, Cimbolic & Tallon (2008) found that 6 percent of the cleric offenders in the John Jay Report are pedophiles; 32 percent ephebophiles, 15 percent 11 & 12 year olds only (both male and female), 20 percent indiscriminate, and 27 percent mildly indiscriminate. They also found distinct differences between the pedophile and ephebophile groups. They reported that there may be “another group of offenders who are more indiscriminate in victim choice and represent a more heterogeneous, but still a distinct offender category” and suggested further research to determine “specific variables that are unique to this group and can differentiate these offenders from pedophile and ephebophile offenders” so as to improve the identification and treatment of both offenders and victims.

          That’ll be the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Report commissioned by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. You now the one you used for your cherry picked data?

          Here’s what the John Jay Report actually reported…

          The John Jay report found that 81% of the victims were male; and of all the victims, 22% were younger than age 10, 51% were between the ages of 11 and 14, and 27% were between the ages of 15 and 17 years.

          So you are still lying to protect perverted child fucking priests..dirt bag.

          Table 4.3.2 VICTIM’S AGE AT FIRST INSTANCE OF ABUSE

          http://www.bishop-accountability.org/reports/2004_02_27_JohnJay/images/T_4_3_02.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          FACT: Accusations of sexual misconduct among Catholic clergy has fallen to record lows far below the rate of secular institutions. In a body of 77 million people, contemporaneous accusations of abuse
          against Catholic clergy in the United States are very rare, recently averaging only 8 allegations deemed “credible” by review boards each year.

          So fucking what, even if that is indeed a fact, which I doubt given your inability to produce facts with an remote sense of accuracy. Even 8 is 8 too many. You pervert protecting “whataboutery” here is another non sequitur in this debate and your slanderous accusations at myself and Mr. Neville. So pah!

        • Ignorant Amos

          FACT: The Catholic Church’s record of aggressive and proactive protective measures is unparalleled in any organization today.

          What a loada ballix.

          It has only imposed any measures because it has been caught with its pants down shoving its divine cock into little boys anuses….among other debaucheries.

          It has only imposed any measures because the edifice is potentially crashing down about its ears in world opinion.

          It has only imposed any measures because if it didn’t it has the potential to be bankrupted paying out huge sums in compensation because of its in actions.

          blockquote>Since the beginning of the abuse crisis, the Catholic Church:

          has instituted a “zero tolerance” policy in which any credibly accused priest is immediately removed from ministry. Law enforcement is also notified;

          Shoulda had it already. Cunts for not.

          has trained over 5 million children in giving them skills to protect them from abuse;

          Damned decent of them, what?

          “Here’s some training so you know what to do if a priest tries to fuck ya”

          So 5 million kids know what to do, what about the millions that don’t?

          has trained over 2 million adults, including 99 percent of all priests, in recognizing signs of abuse;

          This shite is getting more entertaining by the minute. Who the fuck needs training in recognising the signs of abuse? Do priests not already know fucking kids is wrong? Do you think instruction is going to stop paedophile priests is going to stop them from abusing? It had little effect in the past ya clown.

          has conducted over 2 million background checks, including those in the intensified screening process for aspiring seminarians and priests;

          Brilliant…like the secular organisations already carry out ya mean?

          How does that work for someone entering the seminary with no history of child abuse? Is it a question on an application form that a potential priest is bond to answer with godly conviction.

          has installed “Victim Assistance Coordinators” in every diocese, “assuring victims that they will be heard”;

          Well, that’s a given since they haven’t much choice these days…since secular authorities have already taken up that mantle and are by far and away much more efficient.

          has conducted annual independent audits of all dioceses to monitor compliance with the groundbreaking 2002 Charter for Protection of Children and Young People;

          has instituted in all dioceses abuse review boards – often composed of child welfare experts, child psychologists, and abuse experts – to examine any claims of abuse against priests.

          Blah! blah! blah! blah!….who gives a fuck? The secular authorities should be the first port of call for anyone who has been sexually abused. All thisafter the horse has bolted bullshit might impress the likes of you, the rest of us, not so much. But it is all irrelevant to this discussion and your erroneous ad hom insinuations.

        • Ignorant Amos

          No other organization even comes close to implementing the measures the Catholic Church has taken to protect children in its care. In this regard, the Catholic Church in the 21st century is the model for other institutions to follow in the safeguarding of youth.

          I’ve news for you, you are talking absolute shite.

          http://www.safeworkers.co.uk/criminalbackgroundchecks.html

          But anyway…all of your screed changes nothing to refute the my comment you are replying to…so pah!

        • Ignorant Amos

          So once again you’ve proven quite adept at living up to you moniker.

          Why don’t you try refuting what I actually wrote in my comment instead of being an ignorant prick and attacking arguments I never made? Ya can’t, that’s why. Run along ya pervert protector.

          You do not know what the hell you’re talking about.

          When I know as little as you, then I’ll start to panic…but in the meantime, pah!

        • adam
        • Ignorant Amos

          FACT: 4 percent of the 110,000 priests active between 1950 and 1992 had been accused of sexual misconduct involving children. So the crap you and Mr. Neville keep spewing about every priest and bishop being guilty of it is beyond moronic.

          What about these facts….

          Data released at the start of the present royal commission hearing indicated 22% of Christian Brother members between 1950 and 2010 were alleged sexual abusers.

          And what did they do about it?

          The royal commission heard protocols about what to do with a member found to be a sexual abuser differed among the male Catholic religious orders.

          Carroll said known abusers among the Marist Brothers were subject to ministry restrictions and supervision, while Clinch said his order would ask a member to leave or recommend him for dismissal if the public perception of him was too strong.

          https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/feb/22/christian-brothers-will-disappear-from-australia-because-of-ageing-membership

          Certainly not get the police involved though.

        • Ameribear

          That statistic was for the Church in the U.S.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah, I know…and you’d know too if ya bothered yer arse reading my initial reply where I should that it is an obsolete statistic.

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/but_who_created_god_an_atheist_fallacy/#comment-3167012525

          The point of the o/p in today’s Guardian reference Australia is, contra to your myopic view, that the Catholic Church operates outside the U.S. and in some of those places, believe it or not, their track record is even worse than in the U.S., Ireland also being one of those places.

          I’m sickly amused that you chose to nit-pick statistics like it actually goes some way to alleviate responsibility with some kind of mitigation. It doesn’t. What it does show is how far you are prepared to deflect the issue.

        • Michael Neville

          I haven’t claimed that all or even most priests are child rapists. I’m aware that there will be sexual predators in any large group of people. What I have claimed is that the Catholic Church condones and approves of those minority of priests who are child rapists. This is because instead of reporting those priests to the proper civil authorities, the bishops moved those priests around from parish to parish, diocese to diocese and even country to country. Obviously the prestige and dignity of the Catholic Church was more important to the hierarchy than the welfare of children.

        • Greg G.

          The Catholic Church isn’t really interested in making child rape go away, they only want to make the complaints about child rape go away.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Or not come out into the open in the first place.

        • Ameribear

          What I have claimed is that the Catholic Church condones and approves of those minority of priests who are child rapists

          Then atheists condone and approve of genocide.

          This is because instead of reporting those priests to the
          proper civil authorities, the bishops moved those priests around from parish to parish, diocese to diocese and even country to country.

          You are inferring from the actions of some bishops that every bishop is guilty of moving deviant priests instead of reporting them to the authorities which you have no proof of.

        • Kodie

          If we have no incidents of reporting abusers from inside the Catholic Church, what would you infer? That is how the organization conducted itself. On the other hand, atheists don’t have a policy or an organization demonstrating for us how to behave, who to obey, telling us to forgive, etc. You are entirely without excuse not to condemn the church for condoning child molestation and rape.

        • Ameribear

          I absolutely condemn the individuals in the church who are guilty of those acts and those individuals who are guilty of covering it up in the strongest terms.

        • Kodie

          That would be all of them.

        • adam
        • adam

          “You are inferring from the actions of some bishops that every bishop is
          guilty of moving deviant priests instead of reporting them to the
          authorities which you have no proof of.”

          No, just that it was systemic

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/374216f2e0b3eec0b3ca6e44550ffe46cb7a5c39f3ef3ac4234d19295d6e933d.jpg

        • Michael Neville

          I haven’t seen any atheists supporting and protecting genocidal people, moving them from place to place and not informing the authorities. On the other hand, there are a shitload of bishops moving child raping priests from parish to parish, diocese to diocese and country to country to hide them from the authorities. So you’re lying when you say atheists condone and support genocidal perpetrators in the same way that the Catholic Child-rapist Cult condones and supports child rapists.

          How many bishops have reported child raping clergy? Be specific. Give evidence that there are some moral bishops in your immoral cult. Or admit that you’re lying in a vain attempt to absolve your child-rapist cult from its proven support and protection of child rapists.

          Ameribear, you just won’t accept the FACT that your church is not the moral cult you like to think it is. I have nothing but contempt for you remaining a member of a group which claims to be the moral authority on Earth while acting in a completely and obviously immoral manner.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          bishops moving child raping priests from parish to parish

          I understand the impulse to defend the church’s “good” name, but why wouldn’t the obvious course of action be to force the priest out? Priests can leave the priesthood any time they choose. This compounds the crime (though perhaps compounding this crime is not possible).

        • Pofarmer

          but why wouldn’t the obvious course of action be to force the priest out?M

          Indoctrination, from an early age. At whatever level they believe their own bullshit. They are the descendents of the Apostles of Christ! Performing miracles! Healing the sick! Ministering to the Downtrodden! They’ve been bound to Christ! Except when they do really heinous stuff, then they’re just sinners like the rest of us lowly worms.

          Fuckers.

        • Pofarmer

          Uhm, the Church never punished any of those Bishops. And it has moved some to the Vatican so they can avoid punishment.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Then atheists condone and approve of genocide.

          Which atheists are condoning and approving of what genocides?

          The Catholic condones those pervert priests remaining in the establishment by the actions, or lack thereof, by the institution. Which would be bad enough, but the institution was pro-actively striven to hide the the abuse scandal by all and any means possible.

          You are inferring from the actions of some bishops that every bishop is guilty of moving deviant priests instead of reporting them to the authorities which you have no proof of.

          Nope..that’s a lie. What we/I am saying, is that those bishops that knew about the problem, which is them all, and did nothing nor said anything about it, are all complicit in what went on, for which the are indeed. That there is in evidence.

        • Ameribear

          From a post you made 12 days ago.

          I see. You’re claiming that it wasn’t official policy for
          bishops to protect child raping priests. The mere fact that every
          bishop, without exception, did it didn’t make it official. It was just a
          custom. A difference that makes no difference is no difference.

          This is what I was referring to.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So this will be easy for you then. Name a bishop that was outspoken about the child fucking rapist clerics in their midst?

          Just one, then we can change the statement to read most….one bishop, just one bishop who put his head above the parapet and was critical of the RCC’s ongoing cover-up of the abuse scandal going on all around them.

          It should be fairly simple to name one, no?

        • Kodie

          I have to wonder if there actually were anyone in the Catholic Church who disappeared mysteriously, either. You know, when they can move a pedophile priest to another area of the world, there’s a built-in excuse why nobody asks whatever happened to this or that one. I am just wondering, I’m not claiming that’s actually the case.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It’s a valid point…it would be easy enough for an accident to befall someone who was not toeing the party line. The logistics are there complete with an easy way to dispose of such an individual who was being awkward.

          The fuckers were able to do it easily enough with babies, children, and young single mothers.

          I wouldn’t doubt it has been done in the past, if not the near recent past.

        • Ignorant Amos

          In the meantime…..

          Pope Francis lambasts Catholic bishops who helped cover up child abuse

          Pontiff makes strongest condemnation yet of paedophile priests and senior clergy who obfuscated rather than punished

          All bishops, added the pope, must exercise “the utmost care” in order to protect minors. “And they will be held accountable,” he warned.

          He [Lombardi] rejected accusations that the event was nothing more than a publicity stunt, saying he was “not surprised” that some people could not understand the “positive intentions” of either Francis or Benedict XVI, who met with abuse victims on several occasions.

          Here’s the rub though, both Francis and Benedict XVI never said a dicky bird until they were in the big seat, but both certainly were aware of what was happening prior to becoming Pope.

        • Michael Neville

          I was responding to your claim:

          So the crap you and Mr. Neville keep spewing about every priest and bishop being guilty of it is beyond moronic.

          I never said that every priest was a pedophile. As for the bishops, name one who reported pedophile priests to the cops. Both of us know that you can’t.

        • Ameribear

          Since you are the one making the claim that every single Catholic bishop is guilty of covering up for abusive priests then you are the one who is going to have to back that up. In order for that claim to have any veracity, you are going to have to provide documented, itemized evidence by name and diocese that EACH AND EVERY catholic bishop was credibly accused, convicted and forced to make restitution for it.

        • Susan

          Since you are the one making the claim

          Your double standards are noted. For instance, you claimed that humanism is BS but have never backed it up.
          You claim that A/T metaphysics is the metaphysics but your support for that claim has been feeble. You claim that.yer church will reign for eternity, that my statement that the church places its reputation before the well-being of living beings is borne of bigotry, that only your links are reliable interpretations of your particular version of teh bible and on and on and on…

          You made a series of statements in response to IA in which you mirrored his “FACT” layout and you did nothing to support those facts.

          IA supported his.

          Sadly, we can point to countless bishops and higher ups who covered up child raping, protected the rapists (and the church’s reputation) and sent them to rape more children, and you can’t point to a single bishop who blew the whistle. Not a single one. Doesn’t that bother you?

          It took OUTSIDE authorities to move your authorities to act, to move a church with great political and financial power to stop its policy of protecting child rape.

          You can’t point to a single bishop who stood up for the children. We can point to an awful lot of bishops who protected the rapist, not the children.

          Granted, MN has made a statement that requires impeccable evidence.

          I prefer to point at a hierarchy with tremendous cultural, financial and political power and point out that their methods thwarted secular methods that protected children. And to note that you can’t provide a single bishop who went against those methods.

          And also that you insist that people who disagree with you meet the highest possible standards, while the standards you are expected to meet seem to be non-existent.

          What is bullshit about humanist claims, Ameribear?

          I’d like an answer. You made the claim.

        • Michael Neville

          Let’s start with Bernard Cardinal Law, Archbishop of Boston who, rather than answering a subpoena to appear before a grand jury to talk about how he moved priests from parish to parish instead of reporting them to the police, fled to the Vatican. This was a fucking cardinal, a “prince of the church.” Fr. John Geoghan molested 130 children and Law kept moving him around. Incidentally the subpoena is still open.

          When you show me a bishop who turned over pedophile priests to the police then I’ll change my attitude. The lack of bishops reporting child rapists to the proper authorities is quite noticeable and I’m not the only person who’s noticed it.

          Just face the fact that your church condones child rape. Why else would the bishops not do the MORAL thing and stop the child rapists from raping?

        • Pofarmer

          It’s a lot better than that. Every diocese in the U.S. except 10 had verified instances of sexual abuse by a priest. So, unless it was some weird coincidence that all 10 were in one are served by one Bishop, then that means that every Bishop in the U.S. pretty much had to have at least one abusive priest during his tenure. Reports by Bishops to the police? Well, let’s look at the recent case of a Bishop in Kansas City MO, who got to serve some jail time for not reporting a Priest that he knew was MAKING child pornography. Who finally reported him? A guy that was hired to work on the Priests computer.

        • Greg G.

          So, unless it was some weird coincidence that all 10 were in one are served by one Bishop, then that means that every Bishop in the U.S. pretty much had to have at least one abusive priest during his tenure.

          That would imply that the one also had at least one case but the bishop was able to cover it up better.

        • MNb

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joannes_Gijsen

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Vangheluwe

          Both protected by RCC for decades.
          But hey! Jesus has forgiven them, so fuck the victims.

        • Michael Neville

          The Vatican told Irish bishops not to report abuse.

          A newly revealed 1997 letter from the Vatican warned Ireland’s Catholic bishops not to report all suspected child-abuse cases to police — a disclosure that victims groups described as “the smoking gun” needed to show that the Vatican enforced a worldwide culture of cover-up.

          The letter, obtained by Irish broadcasters RTE and provided to The Associated Press, documents the Vatican’s rejection of a 1996 Irish church initiative to begin helping police identify pedophile priests following Ireland’s first wave of publicly disclosed lawsuits.

          The letter undermines persistent Vatican claims, particularly when seeking to defend itself in U.S. lawsuits, that the church in Rome never instructed local bishops to withhold evidence or suspicion of crimes from police. It instead emphasizes the church’s right to handle all child-abuse allegations, and determine punishments, in house rather than hand that power to civil authorities.

          http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/illogicopedia/images/5/55/Gnu_smoke.png/revision/latest?cb=20080620132750

          The smoking gnu!

        • Ameribear

          Ok that’s one bishop out of 269 in the U.S. and countless others in virtually every nation on the planet. Until you come up with the only level of evidence that can irrefutably support your claim that every bishop is guilty of enabling the sexual abuse of children then your the one who’s lying.

        • Michael Neville

          I’m not lying, you just don’t want to admit that your cult condones child rape. I’ve given my evidence, it’s time for you to show all the bishops who did report their child rapists to the civil authorities.

        • Ameribear

          You have offered zero evidence expressly backing up your claim that every
          bishop without exception enabled the sexual abuse of children. If this is an inaccurate understanding of what you said then please clarify. Until then the burden of proof remains on you.

        • Michael Neville

          You’re right, I haven’t provided evidence that EVERY bishop protects and supports child rapists. So I retract the claim. I admit that there may be one or two bishops in remote dioceses who act in a moral manner. But until Cardinal Law returns to Boston to answer his subpoena then I maintain that there are bishops who are willing to support child rapists.

          There, are you happy now? I’ve said that not every member of the Child Rapist Cult is an active and enthusiastic supporter of child rape. Just some of them like Cardinal Law.

        • Greg G.

          The Vatican has sentenced Cardinal Law to a lifetime of prayer. His prayer is “Please don’t send me back to Boston!”

        • Ignorant Amos

          Catholic leader says not ‘remotely enough’ supervision to prevent child sexual abuse

          The fuckers in the RCC are still supporting these paedophiles financially, even though the child fucking rapists have fell off the radar and the Church cannot be sure they are not still at their work.

          “I can’t pretend we have remotely sufficient supervision for me to be assured that they are not misbehaving again,” he told the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse in Sydney. “I have puzzled about it this now for several years.”

          https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/feb/24/catholic-leader-says-not-remotely-enough-supervision-to-prevent-child-sexual-abuse

        • Ignorant Amos

          Cardinal George Pell is cowering under the bed in the Vatican too.

          On today’s news, the latest page in the episode is unfolding.

          IICSA child sex abuse inquiry public hearings under way

          Former child migrants are to give “very emotional accounts” about the physical and sexual abuse they faced, the first public hearing in the independent inquiry into historical child abuse in England and Wales has been told.

          Thousands of British children were sent to Australia and other parts of the British Empire up to 1974.

          The children, she said, were sent without consent of parents, wrongly told they were orphans, and denied basic details about their family backgrounds during their future lives.

          The abuse that some of the children sent abroad were said to have suffered included “torture, rape and slavery”, Ms Weereratne said.

          The abuse that some of the children sent abroad were said to have suffered included “torture, rape and slavery”, Ms Weereratne said.

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39099778

        • Ameribear

          Then we are in agreement. Below are links answering you challenge to find at least one bishop who did the right thing along with many, many others who did the same.

          http://www.catholicwhistleblowers.com/

          http://bishopaccountability.org/Whistleblowers/

          http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/skylstad-names-priests-accused-of-sexual-abuse

        • Michael Neville

          No, we’re not in agreement. But I’m not going to waste another couple of weeks trying to explain to you why we’re not. You’ve won a minor victory, except for the fact that Cardinal Law is still not answering the subpoena about why he protected a child rapist priest for years.

        • Ignorant Amos

          He hasn’t won that minor victory yet.

          I haven’t seen an example of one single bishop who bubbled to the secular authorities about the systemic cover-up going on in the RCC.

          The two examples Ameribear has offered up are woefully inadequate…so the best he can have is the jury is still out.

          The secret Vatican letter to ALL bishops from Ratzinger says tome what they were to do, not what they should do.

        • Susan

          Just had a look at your bishopaccountability.org link.

          I encourage everyone to read it. It looks terrible for your position. It’s a nightmare.

          I found one bishop. One. If there are more, please provide them. I’m not doing your homework for you.

          During his ten years as auxiliary bishop in Boston, D’Arcy wrote letters to his superiors objecting to the assignments of four priests – John Geoghan, Thomas Forry, Richard Buntel, and Robert Meffan – who since have been accused publicly of child sexual abuse. In 1983, he informed Bishop Daily that Buntel was believed to have problems with alcohol and drug use and that he was called a “pothead” by young people in the parish. In 1984, he alerted the newly arrived Bernard Law of Geoghan’s history of molesting young boys. Soon after his second letter to Law, the archbishop transferred D’Arcy to South Bend IN against his wishes. D’Arcy’s fruitless warnings came to light in 2002, when the archdiocese was forced to make public more than 100 priest files. Although his letters today provide an important paper trail, proving notice, D’Arcy did not publicly criticize the church’s handling of child molesters, and there is no indication that he ever reported allegations to the police. D’Arcy died Feb

          That you don’t see the problem here is mindboggling.

          A lot of Revs. Dreadful stories.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ameribear doesn’t do his due diligence…see my comment below at… http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/12/created-god-atheist-fallacy/#comment-3179466638

        • Susan

          You were more thorough than I and I saw your response just after I posted mine.

          I only scratched the surface because it was immediately clear that Ameribear doesn’t do his due diligence and I didn’t have the stomach to be as thorough as you are.

          Ameribear should really read up on the issue. He could begin by reading his own links.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ameribear should really read up on the issue. He could begin by reading his own links.

          It’s because I bothered to read his links that it took me so long. His links weren’t the smoking gun he thought they were.

          I can’t understand why it is so hard for him to produce a bona fide, dyed-in-the-wool, pukka example of a godly Bishop who thought less of his own skin and the Churches reputation, than that of the poor wretches they have betrayed with their morally reprehensible shenanigans. Oh, wait, yes I can. They are all a bunch of self-serving lying immoral bastards.

          I’m already au fait with bishopsaccountability.org and that auld goatskin Skylstad and the not-so-bold Darcy, though.

        • adam

          ” He could begin by reading his own links.”

          You mean like Luke?

          this seems to be an unseemly problem for Liars for Jesus.

        • Ignorant Amos

          http://www.catholicwhistleblow

          Great source by the way.

          But it doesn’t support the position that Bishops blew the whistle. Unless I missed something?

          Through the numerous responses we have received since our Catholic Whistleblowers website became public, it has become evident that there are many Catholics who want to see some decisive action to protect our children from harm. Since the Dallas Charter, bishops have made repeated promises to do better, but cover-ups have continued right up to the present day. When bishops shield abusive priests instead of immediately taking action to remove them from ministry, one abuser can have multiple victims. That is not acceptable! It’s not just the abusers who should be removed. Every bishop who fails to protect children from abusers should also be removed from office. That, however, is easier said than done! Many heroic individuals have been trying for years to get their bishops to care more about the wellbeing of children than they do about their reputations, and they have been badly maligned every step of the way.

          Next…

          http://bishopaccountability.or

          Another great source which I’m already familiar with.

          Yay…Bishop Darcy!!!!

          But alas…no cigar…from the linked page…

          Although his letters today provide an important paper trail, proving notice, D’Arcy did not publicly criticize the church’s handling of child molesters, and there is no indication that he ever reported allegations to the police. D’Arcy died Feb. 3, 2013

          Telling tales in-house is not part of the remit.

          http://www.yourlawyer.com/arti

          Crap source.

          Ah yes, the tale of Bishop William S. Skylstad, himself accused of child abuse in the sixties.

          At the link it’s claimed by retired Judge Thompson that the COMMITTEE informed the police.

          In your source link the Bishop claims they spoke up in public, because the names were all ready out there in the news media and cited in legal lawsuits, so it would be unrealistic to withhold them any longer.

          From the actual letter the Bishop sent to the police…

          After personal reflection and consultation with advisors including the Diocesan Review Board, I am releasing the names of the following Diocesan priests incardinated in the Spokane Diocese who have been accused of sexual abuse of minors: James O’Malley (1989), Theodore Bradley (2002), Art Mertens (1989), and Reinard Beaver (1983). The year next to their names indicates the year they were removed from public ministry. These four have been removed from priestly ministry in accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People adopted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on June 15, 2002.

          In addition, two former priests accused of sexual abuse resigned from ministry: Patrick J. O’Donnell (1985) and Bernard Oosterman (1980).

          All the alleged abuse incidents occurred at least fifteen years ago and action was taken to remove these men from ministry when the Diocese became aware of the allegations. These cases have been turned over to local law enforcement authorities.

          http://www.bishop-accountability.org/usccb/natureandscope/dioceses/spokanewa.htm

          Wait a wee minute. So the diocese knew about abusive priests in 1980, 1983, 1985, 1989 x 2, and 2002? Skylstad became Bishop of Spokane in 1990…WTF?

          Colour me unimpressed.

          This is the Bishop who as an alleged abusing priest…

          Starting in 1974 Skylstad had been pastor at a parish where the other priest was Father Patrick O’Donnell. It was later alleged by some of O’Donnell’s victims that they had informed then-Father Skylstad in the 1970s that they were being abused by Father O’Donnell.

          Hmmmm! not the whistleblower you fancy him to be.

          Now you had a perfectly good source for Bishop Skylstad without going to such extremes of a dopey we backwater lawsite, in your previous bishopsaccountability.org site.

          http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/Skylstad_William_S.htm

          The abuse claim against Skylstad…

          http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2006/03_04/2006_03_08_USAToday_WomanAccuses.htm

          So you have one Bishop who told other clergy about his misgivings…whoppee-fucking-dooo…and another who only spoke up when the news had already made it to the public domain and whose track record leaves a lot to be deired.

          Incidentally…Skylstad “retired” on gardening leave in 2010. Suspect indeed.

          You will need to try harder Ameribear…epic fail this time.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You need to wise ta fuck up and stop making yerself looking like a rotten fucking cunt on this issue.

          When the establishment is admitting it was criminally negligent it is time to concede you are wrong.

          ‘Criminally negligent’: Catholic archbishops criticise church’s handling of abuse scandal

          Australia’s most senior Catholic leaders have conceded that the church’s handling of the child sexual abuse crisis was “hopelessly inadequate”, had catastrophic consequences, and amounted to “criminal negligence”.

          Perth archbishop, Timothy Costelloe, said a major cause of the abuse complaints and the abysmal response to complaints was the leadership’s belief in the “untouchability of the church”, which filtered down to bishops and priests.

          “The church in a sense saw itself as a law unto itself; that it was somehow or other so special and so unique, and in a sense so important, that it stood aside from the normal things that would be a part of any other body,” Costelloe said.

          Here’s a right fucking clincher on how self absorbed your rotten Church is…

          Furness asked Hart why the embezzlement of money by priests, which was also a crime, would have attracted significant punishments, while child sexual abuse did not.

          “I think it might have been the thing that wasn’t spoken about, it was so far out of their consciousness,” Hart said.

          No one could believe that a priest would commit such crimes, he said: “That illustrates the mindset, it doesn’t excuse it, but it illustrates what the mindset was… and that’s a serious failure of responsibility.”

          https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/feb/23/criminally-negligent-catholic-archbishops-criticse-churchs-handling-of-abuse-scandal

          Child abuse was historically endemic within the Church…the RCC had been untouchable for so long they thought it their God given right…until the shite eventually hit the fan that is.

        • Ameribear

          When the establishment is admitting it was criminally negligent it is time to concede you are wrong.

          Wrong about what? I never denied that members of the church are
          guilty of crap loads of malfeasance. I never denied nor made any excuses for the wrongdoing committed by criminal elements that have
          wormed their way into the hierarchy. There’s no excuse for it and I’m
          very happy it’s been exposed. I don’t for a minute think all of it
          has been weeded out yet either.

          Child abuse was historically endemic within the Church…the RCC had been untouchable for so long they thought it their God given right…until the shite eventually hit the fan that is.

          I would agree that it’s been endemic with too many members and that those member clearly thought they were untouchable.

          What I object to is the painting of every single lay catholic, priest, bishop, and pope with the same brush. It is an accurate statement (admitted to by Francis himself) to say that there is corruption in the ranks of the clergy just like there is corruption in the ranks of just about every other public institution out there. But it is entirely inaccurate to say the “Church” is corrupt. We were warned well ahead of time that this would happen by Christ himself and His words were proven true time and again throughout history. Christ never promised everyone in the church would get it nor that the church would always be held in high esteem. In spite of the egregious acts committed by way to many scumbags in our ranks the real work of the church will continue.

          http://www.catholicwhistleblowers.com/

          http://bishopaccountability.org/Whistleblowers/

          http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/skylstad-names-priests-accused-of-sexual-abuse

        • Ignorant Amos

          Wrong about what?

          Wrong about the systemic culpability of the Bishops in the institution that is the Roman Catholic Church and how deep it ran with their cover-up and internal movement of abusing priests thus enabling further victims at the hands of said priests. Wrong about the morality of such human pieces of shite.

          What I object to is the painting of every single lay catholic, priest, bishop, and pope with the same brush.

          Yeah, nice strawman. Ya see nobody here is stupid enough to be doing that, so pah!

          Those here that you are in discourse with her have been debating this subject long enough to know such an accusation is ridiculous. So why don’t you try addressing the charge being made and not the charge you’ve invented in your head that we have levelled?

          It is an accurate statement (admitted to by Francis himself) to say that there is corruption in the ranks of the clergy just like there is corruption in the ranks of just about every other public institution out there.

          No one here is arguing against that. Pope Francis really hasn’t much of an option than to admit such either. The giant elephant in the room isn’t the child abuse per se, though bad enough as that is in an institution that prides itself in the example of moral virtue on earth, full of Gods most righteous. Your god couldn’t pick its nose if ya want my opinion. No, the issue is what did the institution do about its problem? For centuries? That’s the part you are struggling to come to terms with and in which you are in denial.

          But it is entirely inaccurate to say the “Church” is corrupt.

          The fucking Church was corrupt way before the child sex abuse scandal broke. When an organisation carries on the way the RCC does, it is corrupt. At least the Mafia had a more decent code of conduct, as corrupt and fucked up as it is.

          We were warned well ahead of time that this would happen by Christ himself and His words were proven true time and again throughout history. Christ never promised everyone in the church would get it nor that the church would always be held in high esteem. In spite of the egregious acts committed by way to many scumbags in our ranks the real work of the church will continue.

          I could give zero fucks about your religious bullshit fuckwittery. I’m living in the here and now, where children are being raped and abused by a loada dirty auld bastards who up until recently were beyond reproach because the organisation allowed it to be that way. And your continued apologising and excusing the institutional cover-up in the face of all the evidence is part of the problem, not the solution.

          Your links I took apart elsewhere.

        • Ameribear

          Wrong about the systemic culpability of the Bishops in the institution that is the Roman Catholic Church and how deep it ran with their cover-up and internal movement of abusing priests thus enabling further victims at the hands of said priests. Wrong about the morality of such human pieces of shite.

          When did I ever make any excuses for their behavior or their morality?

          Those here that you are in discourse with her have been debating this subject long enough to know such an accusation is ridiculous. So why don’t you try addressing the charge being made and not the charge you’ve invented in your head that we have levelled?

          I have addressed the charge. Those who are/were guilty are despicable worms and deserve what they got and what’s coming to them.

          No, the issue is what did the institution do
          about its problem? For centuries? That’s the part you are struggling
          to come to terms with and in which you are in denial.

          I am not struggling with nor denying anything.

          The Church was corrupt way before the child sex abuse scandal broke. When an organisation carries on the way the RCC does, it is corrupt.

          No the church isn’t corrupt. You don’t get that because you keep making the same stupid mistake of thinking that the church and it’s members are the same thing and they’re not. You admitted earlier that no one here is painting all Catholics with the same brush. Since it’s true that there are far, far more good, holy, selfless men and women doing the proper work of the church that no one ever hears about, that proves the church isn’t corrupt. Corruption has managed to worm it’s way into some members of the church today just like it has throughout history which is what Christ warned us about when He was here. In the mean time you’ll keep making the same fatal assumption that the church is a human institution when it isn’t. You can spare me your feckless denials of the non-existence of the divine because the presence of the church here and now proves you’re wrong just like it proved all of your predecessors were wrong. Efforts to destroy the church have been and will continue to be attempted from without and from within. In the end the only thing you and they will have in common is that you’ve all failed.

        • Paul B. Lot

          No the church isn’t corrupt. You don’t get that because you keep making the same stupid mistake of thinking that the church and it’s members are the same thing and they’re not.

          Nonsense. I mean, sure: there’s also the records of what other people have said and done and the institutional inertia that comes with same, but that’s the totality of your “church”. [The current members and the current consequences of their actions] combined with [the memory of prior members and the consequences of their actions].

          As far as I can tell your claim to the contrary has no weight of evidence behind it, and is therefore trivial to discount.


          Since it’s true that there are far, far more good, holy, selfless men and women doing the proper work of the church that no one ever hears about, that proves the church isn’t corrupt.

          If “no one ever hears about” these droves, these myriad, these legion “holy” people, then you have no evidence to support your claim.

          Again: dismissed.


          you’ll keep making the same fatal assumption that the church is a human institution when it isn’t

          1) Clearly we should assume it is, until you provide good reasons to the contrary.
          2) Your choice of words betrays you: clearly you wish your beliefs weren’t impotent…..but they are.

          “Fatal”? No, not fatal: fruitful.

        • adam
        • Pofarmer

          Can we conclude that Ameribear is a genuinely horrible person yet?

        • adam
        • Ameribear

          Nonsense. I mean, sure: there’s also the records of
          what other people have said and done and the institutional inertia that
          comes with same, but that’s the totality of your “church”. [The
          current members and the current consequences of their actions] combined with [the memory of prior members and the consequences of their actions].

          As far as I can tell your claim to the contrary has no weight of evidence
          behind it, and is therefore trivial to discount.

          If that’s what you think makes up the church, and I’m not surprised you believe that, then your understanding of what makes up the Church is so woefully inept it’s cringe-worthy. That’s like saying a 747 is nothing more than some aluminum panels pop-riveted together.

          If “no one ever hears about” these droves, these myriad, these legion “holy” people, then you have no evidence to support your claim.

          There are an estimated 1.2 billion Catholics in the world today. In
          comparison the percentage of Catholics who have been found guilty of corruption is very small. The vast majority of catholic clergy and laity faithfully live out their vocations every day while no one pays any attention to them which is how it’s supposed to work. Deny all you want. We’re all around you doing our jobs and living our lives every day.

          Clearly we should assume it is, until you provide good
          reasons to the contrary.

          Then go ahead and assume all you want. You and this current effort to scrub the world of religion are going to end up in the same place as everyone who assumed the same thing in the past.

          Your choice of words betrays you: clearly you wish your
          beliefs weren’t impotent…..but they are.

          Clearly you wish my beliefs were impotent but they aren’t which you, like everyone else will eventually find out is true. Fatal is an apt description.

        • Paul B. Lot

          your understanding of what makes up the Church is so woefully inept it’s cringe-worthy

          😀 Not at all, my dear.

          First of all, “inept” was an inept choice of words – if I believe something incorrect about the composition of your “church” then I am ignorant, not un-skilled.

          Secondly, and as it happens, I have a fairly good idea of what you believe your pancake-breakfast organization is comprised of, that is: I am not ignorant of the stories you tell yourself. But, like mature adults do with all fantastical stories, I withold my assent until given good reasons to agree.

          Followers of the “catholic” cult have given me no such reasons.


          That’s like saying a 747 is nothing more than some aluminum panels pop-riveted together.

          Is it, though? A 747 is also comprised of miles of electrical wiring, for example: https://sciencebasedlife.wordpress.com/2011/07/25/extreme-engineering-the-boeing-747/

          Of what else is your obsessive-compulsive book club comprised?


          The vast majority of catholic clergy and laity faithfully live out their vocations every day while no one pays any attention to them which is how it’s supposed to work.

          So your evidence in support of your assertion is that there is no evidence, and that’s “how it’s supposed to work”.

          I have an invisible pink unicorn which shits pure water vapor. I can show you no evidence to support my assertion that it exists, because that’s how it’s supposed to work.


          Then go ahead and assume all you want.

          Well, now that I have your blessing, I suppose I can continue to ignore foolish-sounding-assertions, until and unless I’m given good reasons to believe them, and feel good about it.


          You and this current effort to scrub the world of religion are going to end up in the same place as everyone who assumed the same thing in the past.

          Lol, this is true. I, like all other humans before me, will die and my atoms and molecules will be recycled into Sol-3’s ecosystem.


          Clearly you wish my beliefs were impotent but they aren’t which you, like everyone else will eventually find out is true.

          In the past, people who believed what you do were important, they made laws, they executed people, they burned people.

          Now you’re playing a “my dad can beat up your dad” game on the internet through comboxes.

          “Impotent” is exactly right! :)

        • Susan

          Darn it!

          I wish there were some way to award you extra points for the phrase “pancake-breakfast organization”.

        • Paul B. Lot

          😀

        • Ameribear

          Secondly, and as it happens, I have a fairly good idea of
          what you believe your pancake-breakfast organization is comprised of,
          that is:

          If what you posted earlier was it then you haven’t got a clue.

          But, like mature adults do with all fantastical stories, I
          withhold my assent until given good reasons to agree.

          Followers of the “catholic” cult have given me no such reasons.

          You, like everyone else, will eventually get your reasons.

          Is it, though? A 747 is also comprised of
          miles of electrical wiring, for example:

          Score another missed point.

          So your evidence in support of your assertion is that
          there is no evidence, and that’s “how it’s supposed to work”.

          No, my point was that the majority of good, faithful, Catholics living out
          their vocations don’t go around drawing attention to themselves nor does anyone else make a big deal of them. It’s only the minority of rotten SOB’s who call themselves Catholic that get all the press.

          Well, now that I have your blessing, I suppose I can
          continue to ignore foolish-sounding-assertions, until and unless I’m given good reasons to believe them, and feel good about it.

          You are perfectly free to go on living and believing and ignoring anything
          you want and as I stated earlier you’ll, eventually have your reasons.

          Lol, this is true. I, like all other humans before me,
          will die and my atoms and molecules will be recycled into Sol-3’s ecosystem.

          You will also find out that it’s the rest of you that doesn’t decompose.

          In the past, people who believed what you do were
          important, they made laws, they executed people, they burned people.

          In the past people who believed what you do tortured and murdered people who believed what I do.

          Now you’re playing a “my dad can beat up your
          dad” game on the internet through comboxes.

          You can call it that if you like but for me it serves a higher purpose.

          “Impotent” is exactly right! :)

          It’s an apt description of everyone who’s tried to destroy or divert the church.

        • adam

          “In the past people who believed what you do tortured and murdered people who believed what I do.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cd298430ec0142a27d3b4df489113b880b74231c62c045d6d9b1effe70165e2d.jpg

        • adam

          “In the past people who believed what you do tortured and murdered people who believed what I do.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d1654cec4d7bdfc5815c6b9ef09072fa6927e487d55584f4fe6e1d58ca356e26.png

        • adam

          “In the past people who believed what you do tortured and murdered people who believed what I do.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/313481fa3e8ce33ff64380b39f5c19ce4961cf61edf8a0e6b6e31f1e363600b4.jpg

        • adam

          “In the past people who believed what you do tortured and murdered people who believed what I do.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fbee2ae71608c49ff6cd3778051384d5ac950eab0a8c65082bd7d40a20822ade.jpg

        • Paul B. Lot

          If what you posted earlier was it then you haven’t got a clue.

          Let’s play an analogy game to try to understand this, eh? Let’s pretend that you and I are walking down the street, and let’s say we see a child holding a balloon.

          Let grant that in the child’s mind the balloon is a giant zeppelin, and the kid is having fun pretending to be a old and grizzled zeppelin pilot from WWI. Let’s call this [understanding A].

          From our point of view, of course, we simply see a child holding a balloon. Let’s call this [understanding B]

          Now.

          Let’s say that you turn to me and talk about the scenario we are both seeing, and you speak about is from [understanding B], that is, if you talk about seeing a child playing with a balloon.

          If I turn to you and say, “No, @Ameribear:disqus, that’s not a child and a balloon, that’s a decorated veteran directing a dirigible. If you think it’s a child holding a balloon, then you haven’t got a clue.”

          That’s you and I talking about the RCC, only our roles are flip-flopped.

          The fact that I enumerated the [understanding B] to you about your over-produced town hall meetings does not mean that I don’t know that you pretend that [understanding A] is true.


          You, like everyone else, will eventually get your reasons.

          I’m sorry, but that’s not good enough. You sound exactly like a follower of Mohammed or a Wodin worshiper or a practitioner of woo-woo flavor xyz.

          If you have evidence to support your assertions, I’ll consider it. Otherwise your ramblings are inconsequential.


          No, my point was that the majority of good, faithful, Catholics living out their vocations

          What evidence do you have to support the claim that a majority of your fellow cultists live out “their vocations” in the way you describe?

          If the answer is “none”, then I’m afraid this is just another throw-away assertion.


          You are perfectly free to go on living and believing and ignoring anything you want and as I stated earlier you’ll, eventually have your reasons.

          And as I said earlier, I’m both grateful for your permission, and yet also compelled to point out that if the best you have is “eventually”, then you are impotent. :)


          You will also find out that it’s the rest of you that doesn’t decompose.

          Now, that’s a very interesting claim. What evidence do you have to support the claim that part of me won’t “decompose”?


          In the past people who believed what you do tortured and murdered people who believed what I do.

          Two points:

          1) You are at a disadvantage in this dialogue. (Well, in your entire life too, but let’s be narrowly specific to this conversation.)
          I know most of what you believe (or what you are supposed to believe, as-told-to-you by your spiritual masters), but you do not know what I believe.

          2) Tu quoque isn’t going to help you. Stick to the original point: it used to be the case that the RCC and it’s elite had real power in the world. Ever heard of Mary, Queen of Scots?

          Now they largely do not.

          That’s the what I’m talking about; the current limpness of your religious tradition.


          You can call it that if you like but for me it serves a higher purpose.

          Lol.


          It’s an apt description of everyone who’s tried to destroy or divert the church.

          Don’t you get it yet? No one has to try to do anything to it; your cult is going to die all on its own. :)

        • Ameribear

          If you have evidence to support your assertions, I’ll consider it. Otherwise your ramblings are inconsequential.

          I’m convinced that neither the most air-tight arguments nor irrefutable lines of reasoning will ever be sufficient in yours (or anyone else’ here) case and honestly it really doesn’t matter to me if you do or don’t believe me. You, just like everyone else, will eventually have your evidence.

          I know most of what you believe (or what you are supposed to believe, as-told-to-you by your spiritual masters), but you do not know what I believe.

          Don’t you get it yet? No one has to try to do anything to it; your cult is going to die all on its own.

          I look at things through the lens and perspective of the two millenia old church and in that light what’s going at this moment between
          believers and non believers is just another day at the office. There
          are profound differences in the way people like you and I see things
          and those differences have never really changed through the years. In the context of the scriptures, history and the writings of the saints, what’s happening in and to the church at this moment in her history is necessary and she will be vindicated as a result of it. In that same context statements like the one you made above have been echoed by all those who’ve hated us up and down the centuries and ring as hollow today as they’ve ever been in the past. Hearing you repeat them over and over again is one of the greatest reassurances I have that I’m not the one who doesn’t get it.

        • Michael Neville

          I’m convinced that neither the most air-tight arguments nor irrefutable lines of reasoning will ever be sufficient in yours (or anyone else’ here) case and honestly it really doesn’t matter to me if you do or don’t believe me.

          Bring out some of these “most air-tight arguments” and “irrefutable lines of reasoning” and we’ll see just how porous and rebutable they are. Remember, the regulars on this blog have been exposed to many arguments and we’ve had practice in answering them. But maybe you’ll surprise us by giving some new argument we’ve never seen before.

          You, just like everyone else, will eventually have your evidence.

          Threats won’t win you any points here. No matter how nicely it’s worded, the threat of Hell is still a threat and threats are inherently vicious things. I suggest you refrain from this line of argument, it will not be well received.

        • Susan

          threats are inherently vicious things.

          So far, Ameribear’s threats are empty. That’s the point.

          He can’t defend his position so he threatens us with the consequences of the position he can’t defend.

          RCC apologetics rely on imaginary threats.

          Don’t worry. My Immaterial Snowflake Fairies will get him in the end.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Not before he is trampled under the hooves of my stampeding Space Ponies though.

        • Ameribear

          Be honest and admit you’re really not interested in any evidence. The utter
          contempt you express for religion and the religious gives you away and
          seriously undermines your case.

          That statement was not made as a threat. God could reveal himself to you while you’re still living. That chip on your shoulder doesn’t do you any favors either.

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          It remains funny how believers like you go against their own favourite Holy Book. What did you write again when confronted with evidence, on this very page?

          “I still believe that the number of actual
          practicing Catholics out numbers those guilty of malfeasance.”
          And no evidence can make you reject your belief, like no evidence can make you believe that your beloved locomotive analogy has been dismissed by physics since long.
          Log and splinter, Ameribear.

        • Ameribear

          If what you’ve offered here counts as evidence, then I’m the one who’s
          laughing (and I am). The Physics gestapo (aka MNb) actually supported both my analogy and the premises of Aquinas without even realizing it so bedankt.

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          Yup, Ameribear – I totally supported you flatly wrong idea that motion according to Newton needs a cause. Not.
          The evidence I presented consisted of Newton’s Three Laws, which totally make clear that motion does not need a cause. Excellent idea to laugh at them. Not.
          I also showed that Modern Physics totally supports causality a la Thomas of Aquino. Not – the two are mutually exclusive.
          But granted – you have learned to use a Dutch word correctly. For someone whose thinking and lies are as poor as yours that’s quite an achievement.

        • Ameribear

          The evidence I presented consisted of Newton’s Three Laws,
          which totally make clear that motion does not need a cause.

          Which I never disputed.

          Excellent idea to laugh at them.

          Not at them, at you.

          I also showed that Modern Physics totally supports
          causality a la Thomas of Aquino. Not – the two are mutually exclusive.

          You still completely failed to grasp and even outright denied what Aquinas
          is talking about. I’m Still laughing.

        • Paul B. Lot

          I’m Still laughing.

          I have absolutely ZERO doubt that you are, in fact, laughing to yourself:

          Dunning and Kruger proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:[4]

          fail to recognize their own lack of skill
          fail to recognize the extent of their inadequacy
          fail to accurately gauge skill in others

        • MNb

          You’re a liar. On behalf of Thomas of Aquino and Aristoteles you maintained that motion needs a cause. According to the Laws of Newton (especially the first one) it doesn’t.
          That’s what I wrote. So if you laugh at me you laugh at Newton.

          Thomas of Aquino on behalf of Aristoteles thought that motion needs a cause. It doesn’t.
          I even amended your beloved Cosmological Argument version Aquino in such a way that it agreed with Newtonian Mechanics, because you were incapable to do it yourself. I showed you that you need to introduce a time element (which Aquino did without), which in the end requires Kalam, which you began to deny.
          Make my day. Let’s do it all over again. And let’s specifically discuss the meaning of “causality” according to physics. That will be even more fun, given you’re consistently totally wrong about physics.
          Stupid liar. Now you’re laughing at yourself.

        • Ameribear

          You’re a liar. On behalf of Thomas of Aquino and Aristoteles you maintained that motion needs a cause. According to the Laws of Newton (especially the first one) it doesn’t.

          Is the following from NASA’s website correct?

          “Newton’s first law states that every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force. This is normally taken as the definition of inertia. The key point here is that if there is no net force acting on an object (if all the external forces cancel each other out) then the object will maintain a constant velocity. If that velocity is zero, then the object remains at rest. If an external force is applied, the velocity will change because of the force.”

          I showed you that you need to introduce a time element (which Aquino did without),

          Which you did because you didn’t grasp the specific type of causal series Aquinas is talking about.

          which in the end requires Kalam, which you began
          to deny.

          KCA is arguing that the universe had to have a beginning in time while none of Aquinas’ five ways are concerned with that. The other thing that keeps getting overlooked it that when Aquinas uses the term motion, he’s referring to change in general, not specifically
          physical movement.

          Make my day. Let’s do it all over again. And let’s specifically discuss the meaning of “causality” according to physics. That will be even more fun, given you’re consistently totally wrong about physics.

          If we can agree to maintain a civil tone I’m all for it. I grasp the
          basics of physics fairly well and I do appreciate you giving me the
          benefit of your knowledge.

        • Greg G.

          Is the following from NASA’s website correct?

          Yes, it’s correct. Why do you assume an object would be stationary when it was created? Newton’s laws don’t address that. If you have one object in otherwise empty space, is it moving? How do you know? If you have two objects in otherwise empty space and they are not moving with respect to the other, are they stationary or just moving at the same velocity? If they are moving with respect to one another, which one is moving or are they both moving? How do you know?

        • Ameribear

          This is
          entirely beside the point. In the context of the argument from motion
          the main premise is that whatever is moved (changed) must be moved by
          something outside itself.

        • Greg G.

          Not if it has always been moving. That’s the point.

          Movement is relative.

        • Ameribear

          Even if
          something has always been moving it still requires something outside
          itself to change its velocity or direction. Again, physical motion is
          not being singled out, motion in the context of the argument is just
          another word for change.

        • epeeist

          The Physics gestapo (aka MNb) actually supported both my analogy and the premises of Aquinas without even realizing it so bedankt.

          We have done this, you couldn’t produce anything other than the vacuous when trying to formulate the simplest of scientific examples in A/T terms.

          EDIT: Oh, and it isn’t just MNb who is a physicist.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It would appear that Ameribear is engaging in that age old tradition that theists love to engage in commonly known as leaving a subject for a sufficient enough time and then return to it after learning fuck all previously, while …

          http://got2run4me.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Reset.jpg

        • Ameribear

          Glad to hear it. I’m all about learning so don’t hesitate to jump in.

        • Susan

          Be honest and admit you’re really not interested in any evidence.

          Be honest and admit that you don’t have any.

        • adam

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3641484758a605f709b7a067bee6bed3f832a3ee135e160e4a32b93e19bfabd3.png

          It’s not MIchael for whom evidence wouldnt make a difference.

          But you’ve got NOTHING, but ‘wait until you die’?

          How CHILDISH.

        • Michael Neville

          You’re right, I’m not interested in the “evidence” that Christian apologists give us. It’s always same-old same-old. I can answer presuppositional arguments like the transcendental arguments (there are several), objective morality, and “logic comes from God” without breaking a sweat. The fine tuning argument, complexity of life and the watchmaker arguments are so simplistic they can be dismissed with a paragraph or two. The old “the Bible is the word of God because the Bible says it’s the word of God” argument is laughable and I laugh at it. Testimonial evidence is true for the person holding the testimony, not for anyone else. The ontological argument is a semantics argument, which its originator, Anselm, admitted after being prodded by Gaunilo of Marmoutier (Gödel’s, Plantinga’s and Craig’s modifications don’t fix this problem). In short, I’ve heard the arguments and been unconvinced.

          I don’t have contempt for religion, I have contempt for certain sects, like your anti-humanist, misogynist, homophobic, child-raping cult. You’re confusing my contempt for specifics with a contempt for the general, which I don’t actually have. I have no problem with people who go to church on Sunday, say grace before meals, and try to live as good a life as they can without imposing on others. I disdain theists who try to impose their beliefs on non-believers. Catholic-controlled hospitals will not provide abortion and contraceptive services because your cult’s celibate, male bachelor leaders have decided that God thinks those are icky. That’s just one example of why I have contempt for your cult.

          I also despise creationists who want to replace science education with teaching religious mythology. I despise Daesh (aka ISIS) for killing people because they’re not fundamentalist Sunnis. I despise fundamentalists who use religious excuses for bullying GLBTs.

          That statement was not made as a threat.

          Sure sounded like a threat and it’s a threat that Christians like you have been using for years against any unbelievers, not just atheists. But if you say it wasn’t a threat then I’ll accept that it wasn’t meant as one.

          God could reveal himself to you while you’re still living.

          How does a figment of someone else’s imagination reveal itself?

          That chip on your shoulder doesn’t do you any favors either.

          Sorry if I don’t hold child rapist apologists in high regard.

        • Ameribear

          Yawn. I’ve
          heard every one of your pathetic refutations most of which are
          against straw men. You continually accuse Christians of forcing their
          beliefs on others while you’re blissfully ignorant of your own
          fascist practices. I unlike you, don’t need to hold any contempt
          against atheists or atheism because I’m supremely confident it’s
          going to collapse on it’s own as a result of it’s own intellectual
          and moral bankruptcy. And when it does, the Church will still be here
          saying “I told you so.”

        • Michael Neville

          Sure my refutations are against strawmen. That’s all you Christian apologists ever present. As for calling me a fascist, eat shit motherfucker. When all you can do to refute me is call me names, then we both know that you don’t actually have any refutations.

          As for atheism collapsing, if the people arguing against it are ignorant, stupid people like you, it’s not surprising that the fastest growing religious group in the US is atheists.

        • Ameribear

          As for atheism collapsing, if people who are arguing for it are intellectually lazy and bigoted like you then it’s only a matter of time.

        • Paul B. Lot

          intellectually lazy and bigoted like you

          We are presented with a potent case of projection. 😛

        • adam

          Yep, atheism is dropping like…………

          Oh, wait.

          Once the authoritarian arm of religion is limited in it’s ability to FORCE compliance – atheism has literally taken off.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fac33cc480ffe2f934c4b8cf61aab1b2ddc226eacb787482ffa146e83ab923bb.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/823930bc86706b05bfb5c9cbc89370ff3e7bb0537a79e97fcbf7918df17d64ef.jpg

        • Greg G.

          I have been using Lovecraft’s idea since you posted the meme recently. Thanks.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Spoiiiinnnnggg! Oh how the irony stings.

          But by your very own logic, atheism has no chance of collapsing.

          Atheism is as old as humanity. Many groups have come along and tried to quell it in that time, including Catholicism.

          But it is still here and thriving. Untold numbers of various “belief in deity worldviews” have been and gone, and yet non-belief in the existence of gods prevails.

          Hoist by yer own petard me thinks.

        • Michael Neville

          I’m getting really tired of you whining about me being fascistic and bigoted. You don’t like how I don’t have a high regard for your anti-humanistic, misogynist, homophobic, child-raping cult. Live with it because until your cult decides that people are more important than your church, I will continue to disdain it.

          You’re hardly one to accuse anyone else of being intellectually lazy. I haven’t seen you even try to defend your church. All you do is whine about how nobody here respects it.

        • Ameribear

          I’m getting really tired of you whining about me being
          fascistic and bigoted.

          Since all you’ve done is make totally asinine claims about the church and
          the faith with no proof for them I call it as I see it. If you don’t like it
          then you live with it.

        • Michael Neville

          You are honestly saying the Catholic Church isn’t notorious for child raping clergy and for bishops supporting and protecting the child rapists? If that’s what you’re saying then you’re blind, pig ignorant or lying out of your ass. So which is it?

          And I can certainly show how the Catholic Church is anti-humanist. Until quite recently it had an official policy of supporting and protecting child rapists because the dignity and prestige of the fucking church was more important to the Vatican than the welfare of children. I won’t go into how “Saint” Mother Teresa gloried in the suffering of the poor in her “clinics” nor how professional virgins think they know anything about sexual relations of married couples.

          Your cult is homophobic by not allowing homosexuals to be ordained. Pope Frankie himself has condemned transsexuals as “unnatural” which shows how “caring” he is for one of the most discriminated against segments of humanity.

          Your cult will continue to be misogynist as long as having a vagina is automatically disqualifying for the priesthood.

          There, I’ve given proof of how your church acts towards human beings. Deny it or fuck off. Your choice.

        • Ameribear

          You are honestly saying the Catholic Church isn’t notorious for child raping clergy and for bishops supporting and protecting the child rapists?

          I am saying that a minority of very bad clergy are guilty of the sexual abuse of minors and not “The Church”

          Until quite recently it had an official policy of supporting and protecting child rapists because the dignity and prestige of the fucking church was more important to the Vatican than the welfare of children.

          Once again you’re the one lying out of your ass because you haven’t come up with diddly to prove that accusation.

          There, I’ve given proof of how your church acts towards human beings.

          No, you’ve given proof that you’re an ignorant, bigoted, lying sack of BS. You’ve also done a fine job of reinforcing my hope and belief
          that people who think like you are the vanguard of atheism. Because if you are, you’re headed over the cliff faster that you realize.

        • Michael Neville

          I am saying that a minority of very bad clergy are guilty of the sexual abuse of minors and not “The Church”

          Not to mention the very bad bishops (with one or two minor exceptions) who supported, protected and condoned those very bad priests.

          The problem is that if the bishops had done the legal and moral thing of reporting those “very bad clergy” to the authorities then the Catholic Church would not have a reputation of being a bunch of child rapists. But since the bishops like your buddy Cardinal Law moved the “very bad clergy” around to fresh hunting grounds instead of doing the legal and moral thing, then when people found out what the bishops (except for a tiny minority) were doing, then your church got a well deserved, almost universal reputation for being a bunch of child rapists and child rapist defenders.

          Once again you’re the one lying out of your ass because you haven’t come up with diddly to prove that accusation.

          I did not make up the FACT that your church had an official policy of protecting child rapists. When he was in charge of the Inquisition (now renamed the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) Benny Ratzi (he was Joey Ratzi at the time) sent out a letter:

          In 2001, Pope John Paul II placed this department in charge of the investigation of child rape and torture by Catholic priests. In May of that year, Ratzinger issued a confidential letter to every bishop. In it, he reminded them of the extreme gravity of a certain crime. But that crime was the reporting of the rape and torture. The accusations, intoned Ratzinger, were only treatable within the church’s own exclusive jurisdiction. Any sharing of the evidence with legal authorities or the press was utterly forbidden. Charges were to be investigated “in the most secretive way … restrained by a perpetual silence … and everyone … is to observe the strictest secret which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office … under the penalty of excommunication.” (My italics). Nobody has yet been excommunicated for the rape and torture of children, but exposing the offense could get you into serious trouble. And this is the church that warns us against moral relativism

          There’s corroboration here So suck it, motherfucker. Your church had an official policy of NOT informing the proper authorities about the child rapists in its midst.

          I notice you didn’t even try to defend your cult’s anti-humanism, misogyny and homophobia. Instead you went straight to ad hominem because both of us know you can’t defend it.

        • Ameribear

          I have told
          you before that letter you keep citing had nothing to do with the sex
          abuse scandal but I shouldn’t be surprised given your rank
          intellectual laziness you didn’t get it. You can suck
          it you lying sack of crap!

          http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/religion-and-philosophy/apologetics/a-response-to-christopher-hitchens-the-great-catholic-coverup-with-references.html

          Scroll down to
          much ado about not much.

          http://www.canonlaw.info/blogarch05.htm

          I have no need
          to defend anything my church teaches against the likes of brain dead
          troglodytes because like I said before, your a shallow, ignorant,
          bigoted asshat who’s spectacularly proven beyond all doubt that you
          aren’t interested in anything but your own ego and your next bottle
          of rotgut.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Let me get this straight. You offer two Catholic sources in defence of Catholics not doing any wrong in the “secret” letter sent out to EVERY bishop in the world? And you don’t think that we might be suspicious?

          Cases of this kind are subject to the pontifical secret.

          Read the fucking letter ya moron…only a fucking imbecile could read the bloody thing in the way your apologising pieces of shite want to slew it.

          http://www.bishop-accountability.org/resources/resource-files/churchdocs/EpistulaEnglish.htm

          Father John Beal, professor of canon law at the Catholic University of America, gave an oral deposition under oath on 8 April last year in which he admitted to Shea that the letter extended the church’s jurisdiction and control over sexual assault crimes.

          The Ratzinger letter was co-signed by Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone who gave an interview two years ago in which he hinted at the church’s opposition to allowing outside agencies to investigate abuse claims.

          ‘In my opinion, the demand that a bishop be obligated to contact the police in order to denounce a priest who has admitted the offence of paedophilia is unfounded,’ Bertone said.

          Shea criticised the order that abuse allegations should be investigated only in secret tribunals. ‘They are imposing procedures and secrecy on these cases. If law enforcement agencies find out about the case, they can deal with it. But you can’t investigate a case if you never find out about it. If you can manage to keep it secret for 18 years plus 10 the priest will get away with it,’ Shea added.

          A spokeswoman in the Vatican press office declined to comment when told about the contents of the letter. ‘This is not a public document, so we would not talk about it,’ she said.

          A professor in Canon Law and the co-signatory of the letter in an interview, hardly biased sources…along with the lawyers for victims and media outlets, disagree…you are in denial.

          The list of the “few” child abuse enabling bishops.

          http://www.bishop-accountability.org/resources/resource-files/databases/DallasMorningNewsBishops.htm

          Bishops who don’t seem to understand the rules…are they really that thick as fuck…or did the rules say “secret”?

        • Ameribear

          Let me get this straight. You offer two Catholic sources in defence of Catholics not doing any wrong in the “secret” letter sent out to EVERY bishop in the world? And you don’t think that we might be suspicious?

          Let me get this straight. You’re referring to a letter as secret when the letter has been POSTED ON THE VATICAN’S WEBSITE FOR YEARS.

          Read the fucking letter ya moron…only a fucking imbecile could read the bloody thing in the way your apologising pieces of shite want to slew it.

          Read the explanation by the canon lawyer Ignorant Amos! Only bigots like you and MN would try to make a conspiracy out of something you know absolutely nothing about.

          First, the CDF letter is so secret that it’s been POSTED ON THE VATICAN’S WEBSITE FOR SOME TIME NOW. I noticed it months ago. It’s in Latin because it is addressed to all the bishops of the world, and it is common Vatican practice to send out important communications in one common language rather than in umpteen vernacular versions. For those whose Latin is rusty, some versions of the CDF letter include links to websites that translate Latin vocabulary.

          Second, the CDF letter had as one important aim TO SETTLE CERTAIN PROCEDURAL QUESTIONS AMONG CANONISTS AS TO WHICH CRIMES ARE RESERVED TO CDF per 1983 CIC 1362, that is, which ecclesiastical offenses are considered serious enough that Rome itself could adjudicate the case instead of allowing the normal canons on penal jurisdiction to operate (e.g., 1983 CIC 1408, 1412). THESE CANONS WERE ON THE BOOKS LONG BEFORE THE CLERGY SEX ABUSE CRISIS ERUPTED BUT THIER INTERPRETATION HAD BEEN DISPUTED. CDF’S LETTER CLEARED UP MUCH OF THE CONFUSION.

          Third, in extending jurisdiction over these cases to 10 years past the alleged victim’s 18th birthday, CDF ACTUALLY INCREASED THE AMOUNT OF TIMETHAT CHURCH OFFICIALS HAD TO PROSECUTE THESE OFFENSES. Before CDF’s letter, canonical prosecutions were complicated by unduly short statutes of limitations—the very same problem, by the way, that state prosecutions encountered in many pedophilia cases. CDF WAS HARDLY OBSTRUCTIG JUSTICE, IT WAS TRYING TO MAKE JUSTICE MORE AVAILABLE.

          Fourth, keep in mind that most ecclesiastical crimes are not crimes under civil law, and that the Church obviously legislates for the majority of cases she encounters. For most canonical offenses, then, secrecy in criminal matters (1983 CIC 1455, 1717) accomplishes several goods: 1) protecting the integrity of the investigation; 2) shielding victims from untimely or unwanted exposure; 3) protecting accused, especially the wrongly accused, from devastating publicity; and so on. Need I say that numerous civil authorities conduct secret investigations for exactly the same kinds of reasons? More importantly, though, NOTHING WHATSOEVER IN CDF’S LETTER PREVENTS OR DISCOURAGES VICTIMS FROM GOING TO THE POLICE, PIVATE ATTORNEYS, OR EVEN THE PRESS WITH THIER STORIES.CDF, it seems, has a lot to learn about how to obstruct justice.

          Of course, a few ecclesiastical crimes are also crimes under civil law. Where two great powers overlap in a very serious matter, as happens when Church and state are confronted with evidence of child sexual abuse by priests, genuine legal and procedural questions can arise. Again, there is nothing new here. Working out the best manner of accommodating the rights and duties of both systems might require some discussion, but there are no insurmountable obstacles to doing just that. In the meantime, the process is not helped by plaintiffs’ attorneys hurling accusations of medieval secrecy at Church leaders. +++

          This is nothing more than a routine procedural clarification regarding canon laws that had been on the books for years and bigots like you come along and see Ratzinger, sex abuse and secret on the same page and you think you’ve exposed something big. All you’ve done is make a colossal fool of yourself. Good job continuing to hold up the atheist standard for knowing what the hell your talking about.

        • Michael Neville

          Pope may be backsliding on paedophile crackdown, Catholic official says

          Sullivan, who has led the Australian church’s response to the four-year child sex abuse royal commission, points to recent developments in Rome.

          Pope Francis has told bishops around the world to adhere to a zero-tolerance policy for clergy who sexually abuse children but has reportedly reduced sanctions against some offending priests.

          “You have to seriously wonder whether this isn’t the Pope backsliding on what has been a strong and determined crackdown on offending priests and the circumstances that allowed abuse to take place,” he said.

          Sullivan said another concerning development was the resignation of Irish clerical abuse survivor and advocate Marie Collins from the Vatican’s child protection commission, citing resistance from the Vatican.

          You keep talking about how your cult will continue to thrive. Well, that may not be true:

          “If the church in Australia doesn’t see continuous, concerted change from our leaders driven and backed by an active and demanding Catholic community, then our church as a religion will become a marginalised rump, stripped of credibility and relevance, left to preach to an ever ageing congregation with eyes on an ever dimming hereafter.”

        • Ameribear

          You
          keep talking about how your cult will continue to thrive. Well, that
          may not be true:

          All of this
          will be purged from the church in due time. Evil has infiltrated our
          ranks before and has lost, what’s going on now is no different. The
          Church will never be destroyed.

        • Greg G.

          I am saying that a minority of very bad clergy are guilty of the sexual abuse of minors and not “The Church”

          But the minority of guilty priests still means that a majority of bishops had to deal with the issue. When forced to do something, they made one parish happy by removing him but then the guilty priest was moved to an unsuspecting parish. There are reports of priests and bishops committing the crime for centuries.. The bishops were not dealing with a unique issue. They acted according to a common practice. That is an institutional problem.

        • Pofarmer

          Yes, this absolutely was “The Church”

        • Ameribear

          No, that is a
          problem with the individuals who are guilty of the crimes. If it’ an
          institutional problem in the church then it’s an institutional
          problem in every public and private institution that handles
          children.

        • Greg G.

          No, that is a
          problem with the individuals who are guilty of the crimes.

          It is also a problem with the individuals who cover up the crimes by moving the guilty party to other locations, including moving them to places with no extradition treaty. It’s an institutional problem when it is common practice.

          If it’ an
          institutional problem in the church then it’s an institutional
          problem in every public and private institution that handles
          children.

          Other institutions may have their own problems but they are not following orders from the Vatican. The Church is not taking the high moral ground. Why do you keep trying to make this point? Comparing the Church to the worst human behaviors only makes the Church look even worse.

        • Ameribear

          It
          is also a problem with the individuals who cover up the crimes by
          moving the guilty party to other locations, including moving them to
          places with no extradition treaty. It’s an institutional problem when
          it is common practice.

          I agree that
          it is a problem with the individuals. If it’s common practice, it’s a
          cultural problem.

          The
          Church is not taking the high moral ground. Why do you keep trying to
          make this point? Comparing the Church to the worst human behaviors
          only makes the Church look even worse.

          There’s a
          difference between the church and it’s members. The church has
          consistently taught the right thing regarding this issue but the
          fault lies with the errant members who willfully chose disobedience.

        • Greg G.

          There’s a
          difference between the church and it’s members. The church has
          consistently taught the right thing regarding this issue but the
          fault lies with the errant members who willfully chose disobedience.

          But the “obedient” thing is not the right thing. The obedient thing is to cover up the crime. You have seen the letter from Ratzinger. You would rather play willfully stupid than be honest with yourself.

        • Pofarmer

          Did the Church not continually teach to cover it up? They teach that causing someone to waver in faith is a greater sin than child rape, for fucks sake.

        • Ameribear

          The obedient thing is the right thing, it’s the only thing. Obedience has to be to the teachings of the church first even if it means disobedience to ones superiors. Any one who had any knowledge or even suspicion of clerical predatory practices should have gone to the police even if their pastor, bishop or even the Pope told them not to. The letter you’re referring wasn’t secret and had nothing to do with the sex abuse scandal. See the links if you haven’t already seen them in my previous replies.

          http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/religion-and-philosophy/apologetics/a-response-to-christopher-hitchens-the-great-catholic-coverup-with-references.html

          Scroll down to much ado about not much.

          http://www.canonlaw.info/blogarch05.htm

        • Greg G.

          Any one who had any knowledge or even suspicion of clerical predatory practices should have gone to the police even if their pastor, bishop or even the Pope told them not to.

          We agree on that. How many bishops did that? How many cardinals did that? Why isn’t Cardinal Law in jail instead of in the Vatican?

          From http://disq.us/url?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.canonlaw.info%2Fblogarch05.htm%3AA0eAlDxpo0OTaPRnGpCqTam0L8g&cuid=2306652

          More importantly, though, nothing whatsoever in CDF’s letter prevents or discourages victims (or their parents) from going to the police, private attorneys, or even the press with their stories. CDF, it seems, has a lot to learn about how to obstruct justice.

          So, it gives lots of instructions but says nothing about going to the cops as being an option.

            Of course, a few ecclesiastical crimes are also crimes under civil law. Where two great powers overlap in a very serious matter, as happens when Church and state are confronted with evidence of child sexual abuse by priests, genuine legal and procedural questions can arise. Again, there is nothing new here. Working out the best manner of accommodating the rights and duties of both systems might require some discussion, but there are no insurmountable obstacles to doing just that. In the meantime, the process is not helped by plaintiffs’ attorneys hurling accusations of medieval secrecy at Church leaders.

          This is the problem. Like you say, the Church should stay out of it and turn it over to the police, but the Church has to interfere.

          The links you give are defending the practice against what you are saying.

        • Ameribear

          The church has her own judicial system for handling the internal issues that pertain to enforcing the rules and regulations of practicing the faith. The review process could be for violations of liturgical practices for instance or it could be for more serious matters. Secrecy is necessary in some matters to protect the parties involved until legitimate guilt is established, (civil courts do the same thing) but it is never supposed to be used to cover up legitimate law breaking on the part of church clergy. The teachings and rules are right, the actions of the offenders are wrong.

        • epeeist

          The church has her own judicial system for handling the internal issues that pertain to enforcing the rules and regulations of practicing the faith

          If as a fencing coach I was to abuse a child or vulnerable adult then I would be subject to the civil and criminal law of my country.

          Why should religion have its own private legislative system when it comes to abuse?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          It’s an obvious point, but thanks for making it. I’ve never understood how the church’s keeping this stuff quiet isn’t itself a criminal offense.

          When state and church collide, the church loses. Maybe they should read the Constitution to see where laws actually come from.

        • epeeist

          It’s an obvious point, but thanks for making it.

          I was refereeing at a tournament last weekend (it is relevant, honest). I had to give a fencer a black card when he threw a tantrum (and his mask and foil) after losing.

          Now this is a rule that can be promulgated by the international ruling body, nothing to do with anything outside the sport. If the RCC wants to make similar rules, for example that all priests should be celibate, then this concerns nobody outside their club.

          But in the case of child abuse then this is a civil and criminal matter and canon law cannot be allowed to override it.

          Let’s consider the case of one Catholic stealing from another. The church wouldn’t be allowed to try this by canon law, why should we allow them to try abuse cases using their private legal system?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’m still confused about how priests/bishops who interfered with the US legal system haven’t been prosecuted for it.

        • epeeist

          I’m still confused about how priests/bishops who interfered with the US legal system haven’t been prosecuted for it.

          For some reason the RCC is privileged over other organisations, I can’t think why.

          As it is my comment about Catholics stealing from one another was wrong. It would seem they get to have their own rules on that as well.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Why should religion have its own private legislative system when it comes to abuse?

          So they can keep the “it’s not a secret” a secret.

        • epeeist

          Well yes, it’s all about privilege isn’t it (privi-lege, private law).

        • Ameribear

          Because there are internal rules and regulations governing the practice of
          the faith. If a priest or bishop goes around spreading teachings or practices that are contrary to what the church teaches, the churches judicial system is in place to a) determine guilt and b) to disciple or laicize the offender if necessary. No civil court would ever concern themselves with internal church matters regarding the practice of the faith.

          If the offender is charged with a civil crime, the churches judicial system is there to determine if the charges are legitimate. If the charges are found to be legitimate the church hierarchy is duty bound to fully cooperate with civil authorities in seeing to it that justice is served in the matter. The churches judicial system is not there to supplant legitimate civil authority.

        • Pofarmer

          Except in cases where the Church admitted that the charges were legitimate, and even paid money to the defendants, as it were, they never turned the offending party over to the civil authorities. Not once that I’m aware of. That has continued up until a minimum of 2010 or so, when a Bishop in Kansas City was convicted of covering up a Priest in MO making child pornography.

        • epeeist

          Because there are internal rules and regulations governing the practice of the faith.

          But child abuse is a civil and criminal affair, why should canon law override the civil law where this is so.

          If the offender is charged with a civil crime, the churches judicial system is there to determine if the charges are legitimate.

          So effectively you are saying that canon law overrides the civil law.

          Let’s take a slightly different scenario. Let us suppose that a Catholic priest robs a parishioner. Are you going to argue that the church authorities should investigate this rather than the police?

        • Ignorant Amos

          This is what happens….not looking too good for Ameribears position….

          EXCLUSIVE: Bronx priest stole more than $1M from two NYC churches, used the cash on wild S&M romance with beefy boyfriend: lawsuit

          The suit was filed by parishioners from St. Frances de Chantal Church in Throgs Neck, where Miqueli remains the pastor, and from his old church, St. Francis Cabrini, on Roosevelt Island.

          “These charges of theft and misconduct have been made for at least 10 years,” said lawyer Michael Dowd, who represents the two parishes.

          “It is unbelievable that the diocese can’t come to a conclusion about the misconduct of Miqueli when there is money missing that may be a million dollars.”

          Zwilling offered no suggestion as to how Miqueli — on his modest pastor’s salary of $2,545 a month — could rack up a brokerage account and savings of almost $900,000, as alleged in the suit.

          http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx-priest-sued-allegedly-stealing-1m-churches-article-1.2462101

        • Ameribear

          But child abuse is a civil and criminal affair, why should canon law override the civil law where this is so.

          I just stated that canon law deals with internal church affairs. It is never supposed to over ride civil authority in clearly criminal actions.

          So effectively you are saying that canon law overrides the civil law.

          No! That is exactly the opposite of what I said. Where did you get that from?

          Let’s take a slightly different scenario. Let us suppose that a Catholic priest robs a parishioner. Are you going to argue that the church authorities should investigate this rather than the police?

          The church authorities need to determine if the charges are legitimate just like the authorities in any civil institution do. If
          they are found to be legitimate, church authorities are bound by
          canon law to follow all civil reporting laws when the allegation concerns the sexual abuse of minors and to cooperate with civil authorities in their own investigations.

        • epeeist

          No! That is exactly the opposite of what I said. Where did you get that from?

          You said “If the offender is charged with a civil crime, the churches judicial system is there to determine if the charges are legitimate.”. In other words, the church’s judicial system makes a decision as to whether the charge for a civil crime is legitimate.

          The church authorities need to determine if the charges are legitimate

          And again you are saying that the church’s judicial system makes a decision as to whether the charge for a civil crime is legitimate.

          just like the authorities in any civil institution do.

          Do they? The documented process for child abuse in sports across the UK is to report the allegations to the police and/or social services directly or for the welfare officer (local or national dependent on circumstances) to report it to the above authorities. Apart from extremely minor occurrences the sports authorities have no remit to investigate.

        • Ameribear

          You said “If the offender is charged with a civil crime, the
          churches judicial system is there to determine if the charges are
          legitimate.”. In other words, the church’s judicial system makes a decision as to whether the charge for a civil crime is legitimate.

          Church authorities conducting an investigation to determine if an individual is guilty of a civil crime is not the same thing as overriding civil
          law with canon law. Like I said, if the church’s investigation determines the civil charges are legitimate, church authorities are bound by canon law follow civil reporting laws and cooperate with civil investigations.

          And again you are saying that the church’s judicial system makes a decision as to whether the charge for a civil crime is legitimate.

          Yes they do and if so they must report their findings to civil authorities.

          Apart from extremely minor occurrences the sports authorities have no remit to investigate.

          Sports authorities are not bound by a code of internal sports laws. If a
          church investigation finds that a member of the clergy is guilty of a civil crime there are canon laws that dictate how that effects his status in the church. Serious crimes incur internal church penalties as well. The church pronounces that a member of the clergy found guilty of civil crimes is no longer fit to carry out the duties he was given at ordination and is stripped of all clerical duties and titles and excommunicated as well.

        • Bruce Gorton

          They are over-riding the law. They are basically saying that they don’t have to report their priests fucking children (as just one example) if they don’t want to.

          The internal investigation is merely a means of deciding if they want to or not.

          It is not for the church to make the decision about how ‘legitimate’ the claims are, it is for the civil authorities. The church has thoroughly demonstrated that it cannot be trusted with that decision.

        • Ameribear

          They are over-riding the law. They are basically saying that they don’t have to report their priests fucking children (as just one example) if they don’t want to.

          No they’re not. Maybe you came to this thread late because I stated earlier the Church’s code of canon law very clearly states the exact opposite.

          The internal investigation is merely a means of deciding if they want to or not.

          No it isn’t. The church has a vested interest in determining the guilt or innocence of her clergy.

          It is not for the church to make the decision about how ‘legitimate’ the claims are, it is for the civil authorities.

          No one is prevented by the church from going to the civil authorities themselves. The civil authorities are free to conduct their own investigation and the church is bound by canon law to fully cooperate.

          The church has thoroughly demonstrated that it cannot be trusted with that decision.

          Some members have demonstrated that they cannot be trusted with that decision. That much is true.

        • Pofarmer

          The church has a vested interest in determining the guilt or innocence of her clergy.

          For the nth time. Why were priests who were found guilty by the Church not remanded to Authorities? Ever, that we can tell.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Why were priests who were found guilty by the Church not remanded to Authorities?

          Either the canon law isn’t what Ameribear is insisting it is, or the his beloved Church is ignoring it, either way Ameribear is talking absolute bollocks.

        • Ameribear

          Because the individuals who were supposed to see to it willfully chose not to which means those individuals were in violation of both canon and civil law.

        • Pofarmer

          I’m sorry. You’re talking Bishops and ArchBishops here. Perhaps you could quote the Canon law.

        • Greg G.

          But they were unanimous in making the same decision. Either the church doesn’t actually teach that canon and civil law apply to bishops and cardinals or it teaches them to not turn priests over to civil law.

          It really looks like there is no god that guides their actions and reactions. It looks like the Bride of Christ is just their bullshit. It’s just a bunch of human beings seeing how much money they can accumulate and they try to minimize bad publicity.

        • Ameribear

          But they were unanimous in making the same decision.
          Either the church doesn’t actually teach that canon and civil law apply to bishops and cardinals or it teaches them to not turn priests over to civil law.

          That isn’t true and canon law is very clear on this.

          It really looks like there is no god that guides their
          actions and reactions. It looks like the Bride of Christ is just their
          bullshit. It’s just a bunch of human beings seeing how much money they can accumulate and they try to minimize bad publicity.

          Yes it does look like there is no God that guides the actions of THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE. The bride of Christ is made up of over a billion members and is one of the largest charitable organizations on the planet. You’re claiming every member of the church is guilty of this kind of behavior based on the behavior of a handful of its members. There’s no more basis for that than there is for me to accuse every atheist of being a genocidal communist based on the fact that other known atheists were guilty of being one.

          I have read your latest reply and will post my response to it tomorrow.

        • Paul B. Lot

          You’re claiming every member of the church is guilty of this kind of behavior based on the behavior of a hand ful of its members. There’s no more basis for that than there is for me to accuse every atheist of being a genocidal communist based on the fact that other known atheists were guilty of being one.

          Your complaints about [our complaints] would have more merit, it seems to me, if [our complaints] were about [priests molesting kids].

          They are not, however, about that. Or, at least, not just that.

          Of course some percentage, x, of priests will be guilty of such behavior (given that there’s nothing special about priests or your cult in principle – fundamentally you’re all just humans with odd beliefs (although some of those beliefs will have some effects on the numbers, I imagine), I don’t know of any good reasons why we should expect anything else from the individual cult members other than to follow closely the general-population’s trend-line for predatory behavior).

          That’s not the major issue. I mean, sure, it’s a bit ironic given how self-righteous and vindictive most of you are, but it’s not statistically surprising.

          But you seem to be responding to [our complaints] as if they were about that, about your cult being statistically surprising. They are not.

          [Our complaints] are about [the institutional response] to [the unsurprising statistical reality] of your predatory pedophiles.

          Where is Cardinal Law?

        • Ameribear

          [Our complaints] are about [the institutional response] to [the unsurprising statistical reality] of your predatory pedophiles.

          The Catholic Church’s record of aggressive and proactive
          protective measures is unparalleled in any organization today. Since the beginning of the abuse crisis, the Catholic Church:

          has instituted a “zero tolerance” policy in which any credibly accused priest is immediately removed from ministry. Law enforcement is also notified;

          has trained over 5 million children in giving them skills to protect them from abuse;

          has trained over 2 million adults, including 99 percent of all priests, in recognizing signs of abuse;

          has conducted over 2 million background checks, including those in the intensified screening process for aspiring seminarians and priests;

          has installed “Victim Assistance Coordinators” in every diocese, “assuring victims that they will be heard”;

          has conducted annual independent audits of all dioceses to monitor compliance with the groundbreaking 2002 Charter for Protection of Children and Young People;

          has instituted in all dioceses abuse review boards – often composed of child welfare experts, child psychologists, and abuse experts – to examine any claims of abuse against priests.

          No other organization even comes close to implementing the measures the Catholic Church has taken to protect children in its care. In this regard, the Catholic Church in the 21st century is the model for other institutions to follow in the safeguarding of youth.

          My complaints against you are that you’re still incredibly intellectually lazy.

        • Paul B. Lot

          The Catholic Church’s record of aggressive and proactive protective measures is unparalleled in any organization today….No other organization even comes close to implementing the measures the Catholic Church has taken to protect children in its care.

          I believe that you believe this – but I don’t care that you believe it.

          Why not?

          Because trust was broken. Do you understand what that does? The RCC/catholics swore that they were the font of god’s goodness and grace, and used that sacred trust to fuck children, then lie about it, then destroy the lives of those who spoke up, then engaged in enormous, institution-wide coverups costing millions of dollars.

          Oh, but….NOW they’ve stopped? Maybe. But you want me to take your/the RCC’s word for it?

          Fahgeddaboudit.

          Maybe if you had some well-known 3rd party institution with a proven/transparent track record of investigating enormous, global, corrupt organizations AND keeping them honest for the long haul, maybe then trust could start to be rebuilt.

          But you screeching at us, here in comboxes….you think that’s going to help? :)

          In this regard, the Catholic Church in the 21st century is the model for other institutions to follow in the safeguarding of youth.

          My complaints against you are that you’re still incredibly intellectually lazy.

          Let’s examine who is actually being lazy here, shall we?

          Did I describe our complaints as being [there aren’t enough anti-rape/pro-victim programs instituted in the rcc in 2017]?

          No. I said:

          [Our complaints] are about [the institutional response] to [the unsurprising statistical reality] of your predatory pedophiles.

          While I can concede that my comment wasn’t as precise as possible, and thus might have been able to give you the impression that I give a shit that cramped, poorly lit, basement offices in each diocese might now have a poster three-quarters tacked to the wall which says “Raping Kids is Bad, M’Kay. If a priest tries to touch you, it’s okay to say ‘no'”…..but I do not, in fact, give a shit.

          Our complaints, as far as I understand them, are about [the institutional response was] – for decades.

          Did you notice that, or did your intellectual laziness get in the way?

          Oh, and one other thing: “Where is Cardinal Law?”

        • Ameribear

          You, like many here are attempting and failing to push a narrative that is complete B.S. You’ve completely ignored the distinctions I’ve been
          making and press on in your group think just like the good little goose stepping moron you are. You’ll never bother to take the time to
          understand what the size and scope of the crisis actually was and the
          impact all the changes that have been made to address the problem
          have had today. If you did, you’d find out that the term intellectually lazy fits you and your ilk to a tee. Based on the torpidity and lack of intellectual honesty I’ve witnessed here, all of this serves to only deepen my confidence that atheism is headed down the sewer of history faster than you think.

          You know as well as I do where Cardinal Law is.

        • Michael Neville

          Paul explained in some detail what our complaints about the Catholic Church’s coverups of pedophile rape and you keep saying that your cult has changed sometime in the last few years. So what? Cardinal Law is still hiding from a subpoena in the Vatican with Pope Frankie’s blessing.

          And if you think atheism is dying because of your church’s support and protection of child rapists then you’re even more deluded than the average Catholic. And that’s pretty deluded.

        • Susan

          You, like many here are continuing to push a narrative that is complete BS.

          What narrative is that? What BS is that?

          You’ve completely ignored the distinctions I’ve been making.

          More accurately, many people here have been very specific about the problems with what you claim are distinctions.

          The rest is just more of your empty bravado. You accuse your interlocutors of all manner of things you can’t support and tell them that people who believe your particular flavour of superstitious nonsense will triumph (without justifying your claim) and that people who don’t believe it will lose.

          Your predictions about the future are based in your unjustified superstitious beliefs. So, they are meaningless.

          You know as well as I do where Cardinal Law is.

          Yes. I couldn’t have said that better myself.

          But you can’t even bring yourself to type the answer. The full political, legal and financial power of the RCC is protecting him from secular authorities.

          He protected child rapists and now your bride-of-christ is protecting him from that.

          Individuals, my arse. They are only individuals when it suits you. And they are “the church” when it suits you.

        • Ameribear

          What narrative is that? What BS is that?

          The narrative that clerical sex abuse happened on a far larger scale than it did and that the entire church is corrupt.

          More accurately, many people here have been very specific about the problems with what you claim are distinctions.

          No you haven’t. You’ve kept pushing the same baseless, asinine assertions which only serve to expose your total lack of intellectual honesty and your personal animus towards the Church.

          You accuse your interlocutors of all manner of things you can’t support

          Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

          and tell them that people who believe your particular flavour of superstitious nonsense will triumph (without justifying your claim) and that people who don’t believe it will lose.

          If you don’t count virtually every tyrannical regime in history that have attempted and failed to destroy the church then you’re right, there is no justification for that claim. Heck, even the ones on the inside haven’t been able to destroy it either.

          Your predictions about the future are based in your unjustified superstitious beliefs. So, they are meaningless.

          No, there based on the 100% failure rate of everyone whose ever tried it.

          But you can’t even bring yourself to type the answer. The full political, legal and financial power of the RCC is protecting him from secular authorities. He protected child rapists and now your bride-of-christ is protecting him from that.

          Cardinal Law should be made to face the full consequences of his actions. If he’s really guilty and responsible why hasn’t he ever been charged with a crime?

        • Pofarmer

          Records show every diocese in the U.S. Save 10. Every Bishop simply had to know, they couldn’t avoid it. You might have missed the kerfluffle going on in Australia, and now Cardinal Pell. That’s not a small scale.

        • Susan

          The narrative that clerical sex abuse happened on a far larger scale than it did

          Where did we claim that it happened on a far larger scale thant it did? Please. Right click on the the time stamp and copy/paste it into the the combox on your next comment.

          and that the entire church is corrupt

          I am not suggesting that my very decent catholic neighbours who live two doors down are raping children. I am pointing out that the institution of the RCC has used their political, social and financial power to cover up child rape and it took secular responses to hold them accountable. That is, the response of the RCC power structure was to protect their reputation and move child rapists to other parishes until the law stepped in.

          No you haven’t. You’ve kept pushing the same baseless, asinine assertions which only serve to expose your total lack of intellectual honesty and your personal animus towards the Church

          Nope. Sadly, this is disqus. But I leave it to the lurker to evaluate the evidence.

          Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

          Yes. Let’s talk about that.

          If you don’t count virtually every tyrannical regime in history that have attempted and failed to destroy the church then you’re right, there is no justification for that claim.

          But catholicism seems to have thrived where it had ample time to be a tyrannical regime and take foothold in a culture. The rest is cultural repetition. . Where wars are won, ideologies persist. Because they are passed on

          The fact seems to be that it cannot support the claims it makes when challenged. In a world where one can safely challenge those claims, they do not hold up.

          Cardinal Law should be made to face the full consequences of his actions. If he’s really guilty and responsible why hasn’t he ever been charged with a crime?

          Lawyers. Money. Power.

          The accusations began to receive wide publicity in the late 1980s. Many of these involve cases in which a figure was accused of abuse for decades; such allegations were frequently made by adults or older youths years after the abuse occurred. Cases have also been brought against members of the Catholic hierarchy who covered up sex abuse allegations onset on seminary formations,[5] and through moving allegedly abusive priests to other parishes, where abuse sometimes continued.

          Really? Cardinal Law clearly moved child rapists around and he’s been rewarded and protected by the RCC despite doing so.

          Moral authority, my arse.

          You have been trained to divorce “the church” from “the real actions of the RCC” and no one here is buying it.

          You can provide no evidence for Yahwehjesus.

          All we have are humans with political power protecting people who protect child rapists from doing so.

          That there are good catholics is not evidence of the claims of the RCC.

          There are good people who believe in homeopathy.

          The consequences of wrong beliefs based on special pleading are obvious.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Moral authority, my arse.

          Love it.

        • Michael Neville

          Cardinal Law should be made to face the full consequences of his actions. If he’s really guilty and responsible why hasn’t he ever been charged with a crime?

          Obviously you don’t know what the purpose of a grand jury is. They hold hearings to determine if a crime has been committed. In the case of Cardinal Law he’s to appear before a grand jury to answer questions about his dealings with Fr. John Geoghan and other convicted clerical pedophiles. He hasn’t been charged with a crime because instead of cooperating with the authorities investigating possible crimes he fled to Rome. He could be charged with failing to comply with a subpoena but he would have to return to the US for that charge to be prosecuted.

          So Law hasn’t be tried or convicted of anything because he’s a fugitive from justice.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Cardinal Law, three Popes, and the Vatican are making you look like an arse.

          A source familiar with the investigation says state police from the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly delivered Law’s subpoena to his Boston residence last Friday. Law left for Washington that day and later flew to Rome to confer with Vatican officials about the sex abuse crisis.

          http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=90980&page=1

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Pofarmer

          What does the UN say?

          The UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) said the Vatican should “immediately remove” all clergy who are known or suspected child abusers.

          In
          a strongly worded report, it lambasted the Holy See’s “practice of
          offenders’ mobility”, referring to the transfer of child abusers from
          parish to parish within countries, and sometimes abroad.

          It
          complained that the Holy See had not acknowledged the extent of crimes
          committed and had not taken the measures necessary to address cases of
          child sexual abuse and to protect children.

          What do the victims say?

          Image copyright
          AFP

          Image caption

          Many campaigners feel the Vatican has been dragging its feet

          Victims’ groups have responded to almost every move by the Vatican with scepticism.

          Reacting to the UN report in February, Barbara Blaine, the president of Snap (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), said it was clear that the Vatican had put the reputation of Church officials above protection of children.

          “Despite
          all the rhetoric from Pope Francis and Vatican officials, they refuse
          to take action that will make this stop.” she said.

          http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-25757218

        • Greg G.

          That isn’t true and canon law is very clear on this.

          You haven’t shown us an example of a guilty priest being turned over to the local authorities despite being asked repeatedly. If you don’t know of any, then you cannot say it isn’t true. I have to assume that if there was a case of it happening, you would have produced it by now.

          If nobody is following canon law, it is just words on paper.

          You’re claiming every member of the church is guilty of this kind of behavior based on the behavior of a handful of its members.

          Bullshit! At most, every member of the church is guilty of collusion after the fact. But not doing anything about it is wrong. The church would call it a sin of omission, wouldn’t it? If a billion Catholics spoke out against letting sexual predators be sent to other parishes and bishops abetting them, the leadership would follow.

          Where are Cardinal Law and Cardinal Pell?

        • Susan

          Yes it does look like there is no God that guides the actions of THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE.

          Nor any God who is guiding those who are indirectly responsible.

          Truth be told, it doesn’t look like there is any God at all. Just superstitious beliefs and those are a dime a dozen among humans. But that’s almost another issue.

          The bride of Christ is made up of over a billion members

          Based on what statistics? Do you count the child rapists and those who cover up child rape in those numbers? Do you count me in those numbers even though it is a lot of silly nonsense as far as I’m concerned but you have my baptism certificate on file?

          one of the largest charitable organizations on the planet.

          That is a standard catholic claim but it’s never defined and supported.

          You’re claiming that every member of the church is guilty of this kind of behaviour

          No one has claimed that and you continue to say that we do.

          based on the the behaviour of a handful of its members.

          A handful? A HANDFUL? A HANDFUL??!!

          That would be funny if it weren’t so contemptible.

        • Ameribear

          Nor any God who is guiding those who are indirectly
          responsible.

          And whom in your estimation might those be?

          Truth be told, it doesn’t look like there is any God at all. Just superstitious beliefs and those are a dime a dozen among humans. But that’s almost another issue.

          God could dangle you over the pit of hell by your ankles and you’d still figure out a way to deny Him.

          Based on what statistics?

          http://www.pewforum.org/2013/02/13/the-global-catholic-population/

          Do you count the child rapists and those who cover up child rape in those numbers? Do you count me in those numbers even though it is a lot of silly nonsense as far as I’m concerned but you have my baptism certificate on file?

          You and everyone else here continually to associate anyone who is
          catholic with the sexual abuse of children and thereby expose
          yourselves as shallow, intellectually lazy, bigots. If I applied that
          same mindset to you I would be accusing every atheist of supporting genocide.

          That is a standard catholic claim but it’s never defined and supported.

          Forbes lists Catholic Charities alone at #5. When you factor in all the catholic hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages, and food pantries it’s probably a lot closer to #1.

          https://www.forbes.com/lists/2005/14/Revenue_1.html

          No one has claimed that and you continue to say that we do.

          From
          Paul B. Lott
          “The RCC/catholics swore that they were the font of god’s goodness and grace, and used that sacred trust to fuck children, then lie about it, then destroy the lives of those who spoke up, then engaged in enormous, institution-wide coverups costing millions of dollars.”

          From
          Greg G.
          “At most, every member of the church is guilty of collusion after the
          fact.”

          “It looks like the Bride of Christ is just their bullshit. It’s just a
          bunch of human beings seeing how much money they can accumulate and they try to minimize bad publicity.”

          From
          Pofarmer
          “The Church is culpable by it’s actions and it’s inactions.”

          “but are parishioners not overwhelmingly encouraged to keep all manner of proverbial skeletons confined to confessional or otherwise primarily or initially confide in priests any question regarding anyone’s moral behavior?”

          From
          Ignorant Amos
          “Except that everyone ignores that canon law…that is the facts.”

          “Why, if it was in the Churches interest to sort this all out, were clerics at all levels everywhere flaunting this canon law that you imagine dictates they do otherwise?”

          “Your beloved institution was/is corrupt from the top down.”

          This is what it so pervasive about the pack mentality here. Catholic is never going to be defined by any of you as anything but the clerical sex abuse scandal. Your basing your judgment of the entire
          institution on the actions of 4 to 5 percent of it’s members. Shall we apply that same standard to atheists? That being said I wish to reassert in the strongest possible terms that I make no excuses for nor do I defend any individual priest or bishop responsible for these crimes.

          You’ll never, ever stop to consider the fact that in spite of this the work of the church goes on as it has through the centuries because of the vast majority of Catholics out there doing their jobs helping everyone, everywhere of all beliefs every day.

        • Susan

          And whom in your estimate might those be?

          People who make excuses for child rapists and for those in power who used their considerable financial, political and social power to protect child rapists.

          To begin with.

          God could dangle you over the pit of hell by your ankles

          But it hasn’t. Maybe because it doesn’t exist?

          and you’d still figure out a way to deny him

          I don’t generally expend energy denying things that exist. Why do you think I do so now?

          The fact is you have provided no reason to accept your claims. You just repeat the sort of arguments that mormons accept from other mormons, that muslims accept from other muslims, and that catholics accept from other catholics.

          That is, you begin with your conclusion and assume bad faith on the part of people who don’t accept your claims and you don’t acknowledge the problems with your lack of support for those claims.

          http://www.pewforum.org/2013/02/13/the-global-catholic-population/

          But you didn’t answer my questions. Are you counting child rapists in your numbers but ditching them when it’s inconvenient? Are you counting me in your numbers and ditching me when it’s inconvenient?

          You are showing a demographic of a shifting foothold in catholic numbers. “Remarkably stable” doesn’t seem remarkable.

          If I applied that
          same mindset to you I would be accusing every atheist of supporting genocide.

          This is false. Show me where I am supporting an institution that uses its considerable financial, political and cultural power to cover up child rape and protect individuals who rape children.

          Or where I am doing the same for genocide.

          It’s not the same at all.

          Forbes lists Catholic Charities alone at #5.

          Your link went nowhere. I made an effort, not much of one but more than you made. I found this. .

          1. Forbes.com

          Fans of the Forbes magazine may not realize that Forbes.com has very little to do with the official publication. The articles on Forbes.com are not written or even edited by the writers of the magazine. Instead, they are contributed by writers from around the world. Contributors to the website write their own articles and submit them in exchange for royalty payments. None of the facts within the articles are checked and editors do not modify the contributions in any way. Incredibly, Forbes remains one of the most popular business news websites despite this lack of overall quality control.

          Also, this.

          So, number nine on my first few peruses of supports for your claim. Again, you seem to be someone flailing about, assuming your claims are supported without investigating their support. ‘Cause you know it’s true.

          I’m only halfway through your comment and I’m exhausted.

          I expect you to ignore the problems with your claims (once again), to accuse me of things I haven’t done (again) and to fail to support your claims in any substantial way (again) and then to claim victory.

          Because that’s a pattern.

          You repeat apologetics and they don’t add up to anything.

          I’ve probably bored half the readers to death by going this far.

          And you will just claim victory, despite your habitual errors.

        • Ameribear

          People who make excuses for child rapists and for those in power who used their considerable financial, political and social power to protect child rapists.

          So are you accusing me of being indirectly responsible?

          But it hasn’t. Maybe because it doesn’t exist?…I don’t generally expend energy denying things that exist. Why do you think I do so now?

          You keep missing the point. You clearly demonstrate you’re either not open to ANY evidence for God’s existence and/or just plain to dense to understand even the basics.

          That is, you begin with your conclusion and assume bad faith on the part of people who don’t accept your claims and you don’t acknowledge the problems with your lack of support for those claims.

          I don’t need to assume bad faith on the part of people who don’t accept the Church’s claims. Bad faith is your stock and trade.

          But you didn’t answer my questions. Are you counting child rapists in your numbers but ditching them when it’s inconvenient? Are you counting me in your numbers and ditching me when it’s inconvenient?

          Anyone who claims to be a Catholic cannot legitimately hold on to that claim without conforming their life to what the church teaches. Obviously those guilty of committing or abetting sexual crimes (or an crime for that matter) nor those who deny the existence of God to begin with cannot be considered Catholic.

          This is false. Show me where I am supporting an institution that uses its considerable financial, political and cultural power to cover up child rape and protect individuals who rape children….Or where I am doing the same for genocide.

          It’s not the same at all.

          Pay attention while I make my point again. You have defined what
          it means to be catholic and the catholic church by the actions of
          about 4 to 6 percent of the church’s members. If I applied that same standard to atheism I would be defining almost all of you as
          genocidal Marxists based on the actions of a small percentage of
          atheists in the previous century. Got it? You are the virtuoso of
          missed points.

          considerable financial, political and cultural power

          Lets stop and consider the single talking point you keep regurgitating. According to CARA the Catholic Church ran 549
          hospitals in the U.S. that served 87.7 million patients last year.
          CARA estimates Catholic Charities served over 8 million people last year at a value of over 3.6 billion dollars. Catholic relief services annual report claims it helped 107 million people in 2015. This is just a small sliver of what the church uses most of its “financial, political and cultural power” for. For the likes of you however, none of this matters because the Catholic Church by her very presence and work in the world today proves you’re on the wrong side of history.

          http://cara.georgetown.edu/frequently-requested-church-statistics/

          http://annualreport.crs.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/CRS_AR_2015.pdf

          http://www.staycatholic.com/the_good_catholics_do.htm

        • Susan

          You keep missing the point.

          You love to tell people this but they keep addressing your points and your points don’t stand up.

          You clearly demonstrate you’re not open to ANY evidence for God Yahwehjesus’s existence

          But I keep asking you for evidence and you don’t provide it

          and/or just too dense to understand the basics

          Funny. Your church wasn’t worried about my cognitive abilities when I was seven and they were pouring nonsense into my head.

          What evidence/basics have you or your church provided that I am either too closed or too dense to take seriously?

          What separates your claims from mormon claims or astrological claims or Deepak Chopra claims as far as credibility?

          I don’t need to assume bad faith on the part of people who don’t accept the Church’s claims. Bad faith is your stock and trade.

          That looks exactly like an assumption of bad faith. Now, show us our bad faith. (Hint: Not accepting your claims is not a demonstration of bad faith unless you can provide a good reason to accept them.)

          Catholics run hospitals and orphanages. If you want to act like the running of such things is purely charitable when catholics do it, and there is no profit in it, then I’ll have to disagree with you.

          We have seen catholic hospitals let women die rather than violate the rules set forth by men who claim to speak on behalf of an unevidenced agent, catholic orphanages let children go without homes rather than let homosexuals raise them and so many institutions called “charities” abuse and manipulate the vulnerable.

          If you want to talk about “charity”, please be specific. This umbrella claim that the RCC is one of the largest charities in the world is fast-talking.

          I note that you didn’t acknowledge that your number #5 claim by Forbes turned out to be a #9 claim and that your link to Forbes was a dud and that you didn’t respond to the credibility of internet Forbes.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Your church wasn’t worried about my cognitive abilities when I was seven and they were pouring nonsense into my head.

          +many


          Catholics run hospitals and orphanages.

          ….as did/does:

          Nazi Germany
          Stalin’s USSR
          Mao’s China
          Cuba
          Hezbollah

          I wonder if @Ameribear:disqus thinks that proves their goodness, too.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Pay attention while I make my point again. You have defined what it means to be catholic and the catholic church by the actions of about 4 to 6 percent of the church’s members….You are the virtuoso of
          missed points.

          Oh my god, the irony of your incompetence. (Btw, sidenote: have you ever heard of “Dunning Kruger”?)

          No, what you’ve described is not accurate.

          We’ve been “defining” the Roman Catholic Church’s adminstration/hierarchy/institutional policies by how they reacted to the fact that that (roughly-average) of their “in persona christi” dress-wearers’ actions.

          You keep missing that point.

          Like a virtuoso.


          If I applied that same standard to atheism I would be defining almost all of you as genocidal Marxists based on the actions of a small percentage of
          atheists in the previous century. Got it?

          The “Marxist” (more appropriate to call them what they *actually* were: Stalinist/Maoist/Khmer Rouge) regimes never a) represented the concept of [atheism], nor b) conduced their genocides because atheism.

          The same is not true of the hierarchy of the RCC. It does, in fact, represent – nay is identical with – “catholics”, and the actions it takes are, by definition, done because “catholic”.

          So while I know that you want to draw an equivalency there, because it serves your purpose and you’re too dishonest and/or undisciplined to stop yourself, none exists in the real world.

          Got it?


          Bad faith is your stock and trade.

          *Stock in trade.

          https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stock%E2%80%93in%E2%80%93trade

        • epeeist

          Incidentally given previous claims by Ameribear that once a Catholic always a Catholic (even if one identifies as atheist) then presumably these guys must be Catholic.

        • Ameribear

          The “Marxist” (more appropriate to call them what they *actually* were: Stalinist/Maoist/Khmer Rouge) regimes never a) represented the concept of [atheism], nor b) conduced their genocides because atheism.

          So you expect me to believe that atheism had no factor in all the genocide committed over the last century or so…

          The same is not true of the hierarchy of the RCC. It does, in fact, represent – nay is identical with – “catholics”, and
          the actions it takes are, by definition, done because “catholic”.

          …and that the catholic faith of the priests and bishops involved in the clerical sex abuse scandal did have a factor in their actions…

          So while I know that you want to draw an equivalency there, because it serves your purpose and you’re too dishonest and/or undisciplined to stop yourself, none exists in the real world.

          …and then you have the temerity to call me dishonest and undisciplined.

          Your level of hypocrisy and intellectual bankruptcy is beyond
          comprehension but statistically you’re probably right up there with your peers.

        • Pofarmer

          Are you really this stupid? Give up already. You’ve lost, and lost, and lost, and lost. There is nothing left here for you to salvage. You should have stuck to metaphysical woo, but you lost that too.

        • Susan

          So you expect me to believe that atheism had no factor in all this genocide committed over the last century or so..

          Believe what you’d like. But until you show a connection, between not believeing in a god (gods) and its role in genocide, no one’s buying it.