Next guy who advances a position without a reason: lero

Today’s theme seems to be the champions of Catholicism who have mysteriously found my blog this last week.  Here’s lero.

her brilliance is hardly surprising, the most intelligent people that have roamed the earth have been firm believers (newton, copernico, einstein, even galileo with the pope conflict, planck, gauss, pascal, mendeliev, pitagoras, st. augustine was the most brilliant student in 3rd century greece……….)

the existence of God is pretty logical, as St. Thomas Aquinas, another bright mind of history, exposed

he would have debates with atheists,which would go:
- St. Thomas speaks
- St. Thomas listens
- St. Thomas give “better” atheist arguments than the ones they would give
- St. Thomas counterarguments his own “atheist” arguments

You’ve got to be kidding me.

When you force people into belief under pain of death for centuries, such that the population must identify as Catholic or die, you can’t be too shocked when many of the most brilliant people in society identify as Catholic.  Surely you don’t believe their intellect or their achievements had shit to do with their Catholicism, do you?  What’s more, if higher intellect leads people to Catholicism, why the need to threaten brilliant people with death for unbelief or for espousing conclusions that ran contra to church doctrine as the Catholic church did for centuries?

A good example would be Galileo.  You’re seriously using him as an example of how the church nurtures brilliance?  You know they excommunicated him and confined him to house arrest for expressing ideas contra to church doctrine (in this case, that the earth was not the center of the universe).  In this case they were actually nice to Galileo (by Catholic standards anyway) because he had powerful friends in the church.  Ordinarily they would’ve just killed him like they did so many other scholars who made similar speculations.  And this is the basis for your case that Catholicism doesn’t squelch the fruits of intellect?  Are you high?

And Einstein was a Catholic?  Horseshit.  You’re either lying hoping I wouldn’t catch you, which is extremely lame; or you didn’t do your research before spouting off, which is slightly less lame, but still pretty lame.

Then we get, “the existence of god is pretty logical.”  You know what we don’t get?  Wait for it…

A SINGLE FUCKING REASON TO ACCEPT THAT!  Someone rose from the dead 2,000 years ago, walked on water, and our crackers and wine turn into flesh and blood under the proper ritual…and we’re supposed to accept that as logical on your word, without a single argument to support it?

All we got from you was that St. Thomas pwned atheists back in the day.  If he pwned them so hard, why don’t you grace us with one of his arguments so we can stand in awe?

  • anteprepro

    “The existence of God is pretty logical. So, instead of logically proving God’s existence, here’s an appeal to authority.”

  • http://faehnri.ch/ eric

    “pitagoras” Don’t usually see that spelling of Pythagoras. He wasn’t Catholic, he made his own religion.

  • http://www.atheist-faq.com Jasper of Maine

    It’s logical because of reasons

    • http://peopleofpublictransport.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

      I counter your reasons with refutations. Hah!

      • http://www.madartlab.com Victor

        I counter your refutations with louder REASONS.

        • lordshipmayhem

          AND I COUNTER YOUR REFUTATIONS WITH THE HOLY CAPS LOCK!!1!eleventy!!

          • http://www.atheist-faq.com Jasper of Maine

            Dudes, chill. I got this.

            The answer is – you gotta have faith.

    • F

      I reject your reality and substitute Adam Savage’s.

  • Jeremy Shaffer

    All we got from you was that St. Thomas pwned atheists back in the day. If he pwned them so hard, why don’t you grace us with one of his arguments so we can stand in awe?

    That would be because Aquinas’s only real argument was the fact that the church could have you killed should you disagree, which is largely unavailable to Catholics today.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      Plus: that version of events was written by the Catholics, after they barbecued the nonbelievers.

  • http://www.thelosersleague.com theschwa

    1. the existence of God is pretty logical
    2. ???
    3. profit! (prophet?)

    • http://reasonableconversation.wordpress.com Kaoru Negisa

      This made me laugh. And may have ruined my computer keyboard from spitting water up on it.

    • John Horstman

      I’d revise 3 to just be “Prophet!” as it forms the meta-joke without explaining it, and not explaining the joke tends to be funnier. Brilliant construction, theschwa.

      • http://reasonableconversation.wordpress.com Kaoru Negisa

        That’s a good way to go, too, but the addition of the question mark and the parentheses is what made it hilarious for me in the same way that question marks after “The End” in old B movies is hilarious by virtue of how serious it takes itself. But that’s just me.

  • http://medusas-mirror.blogspot.ca/ Fionnabhair

    If I remember my Aquinas correctly, he supported the cosmological argument, which, like all the other arguments I’ve heard “proving” the existence of a god, has been refuted. I believe he rejected the ontological argument, though, so at least he wasn’t a total idiot when it comes to theology.

    • http://reasonableconversation.wordpress.com Kaoru Negisa

      Moreover, I’m not so sure being able to outargue people in a time when it was likely his opponent was less educated than him due to most education coming from the Church is something to brag about. Much like an adult bragging about beating up a child. Sure, you can put a third grader on his or her ass, but wait until they’re 26 and try it then.

  • Mr.Kosta

    “pitagoras” Don’t usually see that spelling of Pythagoras. He wasn’t Catholic, he made his own religion.

    Maybe he’s from a Spanish speaking region (Catholicism is pretty strong in latin America, and still has some following here in Spain). In Spanish Pyhtagoras is written “Pitágoras”

  • Coragyps

    Planck and Gauss were “firm believers?” Maybe firm Deists, I suppose, but does that count with Mr Aquinas?

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/crommunist Crommunist

      No, it’s just that they believed, and also worked out a lot and watched their diets scrupulously.

      Mmmm… firm.

      • http://reasonableconversation.wordpress.com Kaoru Negisa

        In that case, I’ll take two.

    • F

      And Newton. What a mainstreamly devout guy.

  • CJO

    pitagoras, st. augustine was the most brilliant student in 3rd century greece

    Ah, the smug ignorance. Augustine, first of all, lived in the 4th and 5th centuries. He never set foot in Greece, was almost certainly a native speaker of Latin, and lived most of his life in Roman North Africa with a stint at Rome and then Milan. His world was the Roman world, not “greece”, and not even part of the Roman empire that was especially Greek culturally.

    And “pitagoras” is this guy a moron? (rhetorical question)

    I mean, a semi-legendary pagan mystic supports his beliefs, how?

  • http://peternothnagle.com Peter N

    Regarding lero’s honor roll of historical luminaries — he didn’t actually say they were all Catholics, but “firm believers”.

    Here’s the thing: I’m quite certain that in addition to their great contributions to human knowledge, each of them believed some really wacky things that have since been disproved. Those things that they discovered and taught, which we still hold to be true, are validated by observation and experiment. Those things they believed through tradition, revelation, and authority, not so much.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      each of them believed some really wacky things that have since been disproved.

      I hear that Newton, Copernicus, Galileo, Pascal, Mendeliev, Pitagoras, and Augustine all refused to believe in either quantum mechanics or relativity.

      • NightRaith

        I see what you did there…

  • JamesM

    When did Thomas Aquinas debate atheists? I have debated with various philosophists and theological nutjobs on reddit the merits of Aquinas’ arguments, which is not that hard. Aquinas was pre-scientific and argued for a aristotelian cosmology. Hell, Aquinas’ arguments are pretty much just aristotelian metaphysics slightly modified to shoe horn Jesus.

  • anteprepro

    When did Thomas Aquinas debate atheists?

    Here’s what Aquinas did, in writing: Present arguments, present counter-arguments that he may have been given (by laymen or experts, atheists or fellow theists, I have no idea), refine those counter-arguments to be “better”, and then counter the counter arguments. All in the same written work. I sincerely doubt that we have records of Aquinas in an actual verbal debate, as lero suggests when he phrases Aquinas style of WRITTEN argumentation in this fashion.

  • baal

    Didn’t Aquinas assert that the Greek Myths prefigured later Christianity and had deeeeeep xtian meaning?

    I stopped paying attention to anything about him and his arguments about that point. The Greek Myths were(are) Greek! Being pre-xtian means exactly that. The xtians don’t get to say the Greek Myths espoused xtian meaning. So far as there is any relationship it only goes the other direction.

  • Leo

    And Einstein was a Catholic?

    OK, JT, I would suggest turning down the frustration a notch…I know, I know! It’s hard when you’re dealing with such stupidity. From the quote you posted, though, I didn’t see this person as saying that. Rather, ze seems to be pointing out that Einstein believed in a god. That’s still likely horseshit and, even if it weren’t, there’s still the common problem of the people listed believing in different concepts of god(s).

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1468751142 Kevin

      “It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.” — Albert Einstein.

      And…

      “The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

  • Charles Sullivan

    Are you sure Galileo was excommunicated? I don’t think he was.

  • John Eberhard

    “It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.”
    Albert Einstein, in a letter March 24, 1954; from Albert Einstein the Human Side, Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, eds., Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981, p. 43.
    http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/quotes_einstein.html

    • Michaelyn

      Ramen!

  • Za-zen

    Catholics are great.

    All the smart people believed in god………. At a time when people still didn’t know shit about how the world actually works, where the main people who held the keys to the acquisiton and dispensing of knowledge where the same fucking people who were getting rich selling get out of hell passes

    Besides that you are are christendom centric nitwit…….. A lot of smart people in the history of humanity came from places like, ummmm, i don’t know…… China, which had an advanced society when your ancestors where shouting uga bugga and waving their sticks at the moon. People in China didn’t exactly buy into the whole jesus is god bullshit, now did they.

    Please embrace the whole history of humanity rather than just your limited corner…… For starters try Yi Jing (the book of changes). Confucius didn’t need to limit his mind with any infantile notion of a personal god, nor did the buddha, take a look at the Tao Te Ching which is the key work with Taoism…… That’s enough to get your head opened to the fact that your little belief system is one of the most paltry humankind spewed out.

  • John Eberhard

    Galileo was NOT excommunicated. He was threatened with torture by the Inquisition. The sentence imposed did not include excommunication, but he was required to “abjure, curse and detest” those opinions (namely that the Sun lies motionless at the center of the universe, that the Earth is not at its center and moves, and that one may hold and defend an opinion as probable after it has been declared contrary to Holy Scripture) and was placed under house arrest for the term of his life. Also,his offending work Dialogue was banned; and in an action not announced at the trial, publication of any of his works was forbidden, including any he might write in the future. Galileo was also ordered to read the seven penitential psalms once a week for the next three years.

    On 31 October 1992, Pope John Paul II expressed regret for how the Galileo affair was handled, and issued a declaration acknowledging the errors committed by the Catholic Church tribunal that judged the scientific positions of Galileo Galilei.

  • NotAProphet

    Wait! What!? You’re telling me that in a time when pretty much everyone was religious, or professed to be on pain of mortal/physical/social punishment, that some great minds professed to be too?

    Whoah, checkmate to you it seems!

  • Yellow Thursday

    - St. Thomas give “better” atheist arguments than the ones they would give
    - St. Thomas counterarguments his own “atheist” arguments

    I read this as:
    “St. Thomas misrepresents the atheist viewpoint.
    St. Thomas defeats the atheist strawman.”

    • anteprepro

      I read this as:
      “St. Thomas misrepresents the atheist viewpoint.
      St. Thomas defeats the atheist strawman.”

      I’m not sure if that is true. However, I too am generally suspicious of someone trying to make their opponent’s arguments “better”.

      Anyway, if it makes you feel better, considering the context of Aquinas “debating” atheists (I mention it above), it is likely that the atheist viewpoint he is dealing with is already bordering on strawman before he even gets to the “bettering” stage.

  • jnorris

    Yo lero: What branch of the Roman Catholic Church did Newton and Einstein belong to?

  • tfkreference

    The church’s side of the Galileo incident (as presented in a high school textbook) is that Galileo hadn’t sufficiently supported his work, and he went public with it instead of bringing more evidence to the astronomers at the Vatican. Basically, “it’s only a theory” meets cold fusion meets the Wizard of Oz.

    This argument seems very post hoc, but is there anything valid in it? (I wish I had the time to research the academic literature on this–I’m hoping that someone here already has.)

    • anteprepro

      Here’s what wikipedia has to say on the subject. I’ve bolded the portions that suggest the offense wasn’t about Galileo having insufficient evidence:

      For the next several years Galileo stayed well away from the controversy. He revived his project of writing a book on the subject, encouraged by the election of Cardinal Maffeo Barberini as Pope Urban VIII in 1623. Barberini was a friend and admirer of Galileo, and had opposed the condemnation of Galileo in 1616. The book, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, was published in 1632, with formal authorization from the Inquisition and papal permission…

      Earlier, Pope Urban VIII had personally asked Galileo to give arguments for and against heliocentrism in the book, and to be careful not to advocate heliocentrism . He made another request, that his own views on the matter be included in Galileo’s book. Only the latter of those requests was fulfilled by Galileo. Whether unknowingly or deliberately, Simplicio, the defender of the Aristotelian Geocentric view in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, was often caught in his own errors and sometimes came across as a fool. Indeed, although Galileo states in the preface of his book that the character is named after a famous Aristotelian philosopher (Simplicius in Latin, Simplicio in Italian), the name “Simplicio” in Italian also has the connotation of “simpleton”.[56] This portrayal of Simplicio made Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems appear as an advocacy book: an attack on Aristotelian geocentrism and defence of the Copernican theory . Unfortunately for his relationship with the Pope, Galileo put the words of Urban VIII into the mouth of Simplicio. Most historians agree Galileo did not act out of malice and felt blindsided by the reaction to his book.[57] However, the Pope did not take the suspected public ridicule lightly, nor the Copernican advocacy . Galileo had alienated one of his biggest and most powerful supporters, the Pope, and was called to Rome to defend his writings.

      In September 1632, Galileo was ordered to come to Rome to stand trial, where he finally arrived in February 1633. Throughout his trial Galileo steadfastly maintained that since 1616 he had faithfully kept his promise not to hold any of the condemned opinions, and initially he denied even defending them. However, he was eventually persuaded to admit that, contrary to his true intention, a reader of his Dialogue could well have obtained the impression that it was intended to be a defence of Copernicanism . In view of Galileo’s rather implausible denial that he had ever held Copernican ideas after 1616 or ever intended to defend them in the Dialogue, his final interrogation, in July 1633, concluded with his being threatened with torture if he did not tell the truth , but he maintained his denial despite the threat.[58] The sentence of the Inquisition was delivered on June 22. It was in three essential parts:

      - Galileo was found “vehemently suspect of heresy”, namely of having held the opinions that the Sun lies motionless at the centre of the universe, that the Earth is not at its centre and moves, and that one may hold and defend an opinion as probable after it has been declared contrary to Holy Scripture. He was required to “abjure, curse and detest” those opinions. [59]

      -He was sentenced to formal imprisonment at the pleasure of the Inquisition.[60] On the following day this was commuted to house arrest, which he remained under for the rest of his life.

      - His offending Dialogue was banned; and in an action not announced at the trial, publication of any of his works was forbidden, including any he might write in the future.

      Galileo’s “crime” was advocating/defending heliocentrism and insulting the Pope, not doing so without sufficient evidence. If apologists of the church are trying to spin it as if the Church was just skeptical, then I wish them the best of luck in explaining why the church threatened to torture Galileo over the matter of Galileo presenting opinions without having the proper amount of evidentiary support. It’s pure revisionism.

    • hotshoe

      The short answer is you’re right, it’s post hoc.

      The longer answer is the Unholy Motherfucking Church is lying as usual, as they have been for two thousand years, ever since that conman Saul of Tarsus realized that preaching “Jesus” to the hicks would be a better living than whatever his prior schtick had been.

      Galileo had been given explicit permission from Pope Urban to publish his astronomical theory, on condition that he give arguments against heliocentrism as well as for it. The pope specifically requested that some of his [Urban's] ideas be included by Galileo in the book. In fact, Galileo’s only fault was a political one – that in his book he put the anti-heliocentric pope’s ideas into the voice of Simplicio. Enemies of Galileo whispered in the pope’s ear that Galileo was slandering him by calling him “Simpleton”. Galileo probably should have known better to begin with, but as a man of art and science rather than politics, he may have been genuinely ignorant of the implications.

      If Galileo’s sentence had been just about “taking it to the public instead of the Vatican astronomers”, then it wouldn’t have taken the Raping Children Church nearly four centuries of public-scientific truth to get over their snit about it. Those boys in red sure can hold a grudge.

      I gather from your mention of “presented in high school textbook” that you went to a religious high school. My sympathies. I hope you’ve fully recovered !

      Poor Leah. What a shame that she’s fallen into their cesspit now.

    • tfkreference

      Thanks for the perspectives–the charges themselves are strong evidence against the “only a theory” argument (and citing wikipedia on its own doesn’t carry much weight–but it’s a great place to start).

      Yeah, the church has been using the Gish Gallop since the beginning (as a grad student in rhetoric, I read Augustine and my favorite of his lines was “If the prose seems less than eloquent, you probably don’t understand it”–a very Catholic perspective). One good thing about Catholic schools, though, is that they teach evolution–and if the biology teacher is good, they ignore the church’s footnote about the soul.

      • anteprepro

        (and citing wikipedia on its own doesn’t carry much weight–but it’s a great place to start).

        Maybe for research papers, it is something to be skeptical of aside from using it as a starting point. When you just want to fact-check a piece of high school-level information, however, wikipedia can generally be trusted. It should be considered innocent of inaccuracies until proven guilty on such simple topics. And besides, a wikipedia citation (itself with its own citations) is always infinitely better than no citation.

    • tfkreference

      @anteprepro: I hope you didn’t take my comment as critical of your citation of Wikipedia–I really meant to explain why I didn’t look it up myself (and to compliment your gloss on the entry).

      • anteprepro

        @anteprepro: I hope you didn’t take my comment as critical of your citation of Wikipedia–I really meant to explain why I didn’t look it up myself (and to compliment your gloss on the entry).

        No worries. I actually took it as a mild criticism of wikipedia itself, which I just wanted to address since it is rather common to subject wikipedia to a tad more scrutiny than I think is warranted. Sorry if I came off as defensive. Just felt the need to defend wikipedia’s good name, lol. (And now I suddenly feel like I am an evangelist. That’s pretty trippy.)

  • anthrosciguy

    - St. Thomas give “better” atheist arguments than the ones they would give
    - St. Thomas counterarguments his own “atheist” arguments

    A wonderfully concise exposition of the strawmanning process.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X