Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Eclipse of "Daylight Atheism"

Atheist blogger Adam Lee posted a Blog: http://bigthink.com/daylight-atheism/my-questions-for-leah-libresco with questions directed at former Atheist Leah Libresco. 


As a former Atheist myself I too had similar questions. Questioning begins the journey towards truth. Here are my answers (in black) to Mr Lee's questions (in blue).






<<1. Why a person? Even if you believe that morality is, to use Leah's words, "some kind of Platonic form, remote from the plane that humans exist on"... how do you get from there to the belief that morality is embodied by a person? What evidence or chain of reasoning leads you to conclude that morality isn't just a set of impersonal, self-existent principles or laws, like mathematics, but a conscious being who has thoughts, desires, preferences and emotions that are analogous to the thoughts, desires, preferences and emotions of human beings?
>>

Sacerdotus replies:

All human beings have a conscience. To date, no Atheist or over zealous evolutionist has been able to determine why a conscience exists specifically in human beings and how it developed, biologically speaking. Some assume that the conscience developed as a safety mechanism; however, why did only human beings develop this feature? If it did develop gradually by trial and error, then how many tries did primitive man take before realizing what right and wrong were? How many times did primitive man have to murder each other until it realized that murder was not beneficial to the survival of the species and therefore immoral?

Lee requests Libresco for evidence for her claims but fails to provide any for his claim that morality are "self-existent principles." How can anything "self exist?" He fails to address this. His own words hint at morality being a person that is absolute, or as he writes: "self-existent principles." 

 He also erroneously assumes that mathematics is self existent. Mathematics is merely abstract language created by man that describes the quantitative and qualitative properties of matter in a particular state in space and time. In other words, it is a means by which man measures and defines the form of matter as it exists in space and time.




<<2. Why Roman Catholicism? I see no way to get to the conclusion that morality is a person, but even if you did, how do you then justify the vastly larger step of asserting that this person is identical with the concept of God as commonly believed in by one particular religion out of all the countless thousands of religions on this planet? In other words, why choose Roman Catholicism specifically, rather than deism, Quakerism, Unitarianism, or any other religion? Taking this step requires you to assent to a huge list of factual propositions, none of which, so far as I can see, can possibly be deduced even if we take the personhood of morality as a starting axiom.
Here are some of the ones that I can name off the top of my head:
  • God is omnipotent
  • God is omniscient
  • God is not made of matter or energy
  • God is the creator of the universe
  • God is male
  • God is three persons in one
  • One of the three persons of God was incarnated as a human being, was conceived without sex, suffered death by crucifixion as a vicarious punishment for the collective sins of humanity, was resurrected three days later and ascended to heaven, from where he will eventually return to impose judgement on all human beings
  • God listens and responds to prayer, sometimes by miraculously suspending the laws of nature in the petitioner's favor
  • People have immaterial souls that embody their memories and personality traits and that survive the physical deaths of their bodies
  • People's souls live only one mortal life before passing on to an afterlife of either eternal reward or eternal suffering, which is decided principally by whether a person genuinely believed the other items on this list
  • Some deceased people are "saints" who may be persuaded to intercede with God on our behalf for certain types of requests
  • God's will for human beings is most truly embodied by a particular denomination of Christianity, the Catholic church, which is led by a man who has the power to speak infallibly on God's behalf whenever he chooses to invoke it
  • Catholic priests, and Catholic priests only, have the supernatural power to perform a special ceremony in which ordinary bread and wine are miraculously transformed into God's flesh and blood without changing in any detectable way, and God wishes believers to consume these items on a regular basis in an act of ritual cannibalism
  • Only men are permitted to become priests, bishops, cardinals and popes
  • Priests must be celibate and should not marry
  • God does not supply conclusive proof for the other items on this list because faith and obedience are more virtuous than reasoning based on evidence
This list could go on and on. What evidence or chain of reasoning leads you to believe that all, or any, of these things are true? (I take Leah's declaration of Catholicism as evidence that she now believes some or most of these. If she rejects most of them, then what information is conveyed by her calling herself a Catholic?)>>


Sacerdotus replies:

I have asked myself the same question. Others have asked me the same. My response is that God is God regardless of how man defines Him. The underlining trend among religion is that there is a Creator or a First Cause. No matter what religion one is, there is only ONE Creator observing the one who practices the religion as well as the one that does not. 

God transcends human intellect and perception. That being said, man can only define God in the capacity that his/her mind allows it.  Hence, some cultures have a plurality of gods with each representing a quality of the one or main god.  This is true in every day life in every society.  For example, the mother figure. We all have a mother. There is no getting around this fact. We all describe or define our mother in different ways. Regardless of those many ways, the function remains: she is the mother. The same applies with God. No matter what name man gives God or how many gods man believes comprises the divine essence, the trend remains that there is a god. 

As for any of the ideas listed by Lee being possible, the answer is yes. IF one believes in a God that has no limits, wrote the laws of the universe, then nothing shall be impossible for this God.
In my journey towards Faith, Catholicism spoke to me more rationally than the other religions I've studied. I'm sure Leah Libresco knows what I'm talking about. Catholicism is the only Faith that does use Reason. 

The Scientific Method was developed by a Franciscan Friar named Roger Bacon. The "Big Bang" theory was formulated by a catholic priest named Monsignor Georges Lemaitre. Science practically as we know it exists because of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has its own scientific institutions. No other religion can claim this. Faith is not opposed to Reason. I never understood why Atheists attempt to hold claim to Reason and Science when in fact the Church formulated them as we know them today. It was the Catholic Church who created hospitals, and universities. The cap and gowns used in graduations originate from the priest's cassock and biretta! 

Without the Catholic Church, society would not be as advanced as it is now. The Church laid the foundation for civilization as we know it. During the age of exploration, missionaries educated the natives and brought back their knowledge to Europe. One such example is that of Franciscan Placide Tempels who wrote about Bantu Philosophy. I can go on and on, but we all get the point of how valuable the Church has been to societies throughout the globe and in every time period.

<<3. What about the bad stuff? Neither the Bible nor the Catholic church sets an enviable moral example, as I know Leah is aware. There are verses which endorseappalling violence, including more than one instance of divinely sanctioned genocide. There are verses which explicitly sanction slavery, which endorse thelesser worth of women, which command us to murder friends and loved ones of different religions. The Catholic church considers this book to be, at the very least, the most perfect, admirable and unsurpassable book on earth. Is this an assessment with which Leah now agrees?
And then there are the missteps in the church's own history, which cast considerable doubt on its claim to be a moral exemplar. There's the infamous Index of Forbidden Books, in which church authorities for several centuries presumed to instruct the entire Western world on which ideas could not be expressed. There are the popes who sanctioned the slave trade. There was the period of centuries in which the church said that theocracy was the only legitimate form of government (which lasted until 1906 at least). If the Catholic church had any privileged access to the true source of morality, are these the outcomes we'd expect? Through the centuries, has the church as a whole been noticeably more peaceful, more ethical or more compassionate than any non-Catholic society around them?>>


Sacerdotus replies:
I touched on this issue in my blog http://sacerdotvs.blogspot.com/2011/11/evil-bible.html. Lee here shows his ignorance of what the Bible really is.  This is typical of Atheists.  The Bible is God's Word, or how God has ordered/shaped human history in order to achieve the salvation of it. The stories or verses that seem to be violent must be understood in context. One cannot read the Bible as if it were happening in one's current time. 

It is important for a reader to know the situation surrounding particular verses, the intention of the author, and how it should apply to the salvific mission of God. Laws that seem to promote violence reflect the culture and justice that existed at the time those laws were written. For example, the US Constitution was created to protect debt holders in the newly formed States. Are we now in 2012 going to condemn the Constitution because it was created to be "pro-1%?" It would be absurd to think that. 

The Bible can be used to justify practically anything. During Slave times in America, both Abolitionists and Slave Holders cited verses that "supported" their ideas. However, a serious reader of Scripture would read verses carefully and put him/herself in the situation from which the verse originated. Slavery in Scripture is not the same as Slavery in America. Ideas regarding women and justice in Scripture reflect on the ideas that existed at the time.

Moreover, the Church has never done evil; rather, people IN the Church have misrepresented her. We cannot attack the entire institution based on the flaws of her members. Yes, there have been and are Catholics who have done evil and/or things in poor judgment either for ambitious reasons, or just due to ignorance. To discredit the Catholic Church because of fallen human nature is unfair.


<<4. No, seriously, what about the bad stuff? In the modern day, the Catholic church continues to be an influential enemy of moral progress worldwide. Its relentless anti-gay bigotry has extended the denial of equal marriage rights to same-sex couples. It's closed adoption agencies because it would rather see children remain orphans than place them with gay couples. Its pseudoscientific scare-mongering about the efficacy of condoms has almost certainly caused millions of people in poor, uneducated regions of the world to die from AIDS and other STDs. Its opposition to safe, legal contraception and abortion has likewise caused the deaths of millions of women, and its advocacy against family planning contributes to whole societies being trapped in grim cycles of self-perpetuating poverty. And then, of course, there's the still-unfolding sex abuse scandal, in which a worldwide network of bishops conspired together for decades to protect child rapists, cover up their crimes, and intimidate their victims into silence, ensuring that said predators could rape and molest a far larger number of children than they'd have otherwise been able to.
Whether or not Leah agrees with any of these policies, I want to hear how she responds to the charge that by supporting the church - either with her money, or simply with her very public declaration of allegiance - she thereby makes herself complicit in them.
The Catholic church is hardly the only institution in the world that's done evil, of course, but there's a significant and obvious moral difference between an authoritarian church and other kinds of institutions. If you became a citizen of a democratic country, you could fairly claim that you wanted to use your vote for positive change. But the church isn't a democracy; it's run by men who select their own successors, and ordinary Catholics have no voice in its governance.
And all the evidence of the last few years shows an accelerating conservative trend, as the church authorities increasingly crack down on independent thought and silence or oust the people who dissent. Now of all times, when progressive people are leaving Catholicism in droves, what persuades you that this organization is the one whose banner you most want to carry?>>


Sacerdotus replies:

The things Lee lists are immoral. The Catholic Church can never approve of so-called "Gay Marriage," nor can it approve of the abuse of the act of sex and human life. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman. This union brings about offspring that continues a society. Homosexual couples cannot provide this naturally. It is irrational to equate a natural male and female union which allows for reproduction with that of a same sex one that does not.  It is a social construct that attempts to equate itself to the natural union between one man and one woman. If the Church or society allows so-called "Gay Marriage," then where do we draw the line? Polygamists will want to marry their multiple partners. Pedophiles are currently requesting the same equal rights the LGBT community is requesting. They both use "love" as a defense and reason for their push for "marriage rights." (http://sacerdotvs.blogspot.com/2011/10/pedophilia-rights.html)


The Church does not use any pseudo science in regards to condoms and contraception. Producers of these items list their effectiveness and side affect on their labels! Condoms do not protect anyone 100%. Anyone who believes that putting on this device will save them from STD infection is delusional. Moreover, studies have shown that condoms are not alleviating the increases of HIV infection and pregnancy. I have blogs here linking to journals with the statistics. (http://sacerdotvs.blogspot.com/2011/11/let-kids-be-kids.html

Abortion harms women more than anything else. It causes both physical and psychological harm. Moreover, killing an unborn child can never be equated to medicine. Polls are showing that the Pro Abortion movement is losing ground. More and more people are leaning towards Pro-Life views. Abortion can never be moral because it is the intentional killing of a human life. It puts mother against child. It degrades humanity into a mere commodity that one can either chose to have exist or have killed.  (http://www.journalofpsychiatricresearch.com/article/S0022-3956(08)00238-0/abstract) (http://sacerdotvs.blogspot.com/2011/10/prochoice-debunked.html

The sex abuse scandals are small compared to the general society. Sexual abuse occurs more among families than with priests. The Catholic Church never mandated anyone to abuse minors or protect criminals. These are unfortunately the consequences of the culture and understanding at the time the crime was committed. In many instances, psychologists informed bishops that priests were cured and fit for ministry. Moreover, some law officials gave advice that was directed to find mutual agreement among both parties instead of going to trial. This is done in many court settings today. How many times have lawyers of both parties settle out of court?

The scandals of the Church exist due to the progressive infiltration that has attempted to bring her down. So-called "free thought" and "liberty" ran rampant after Vatican II. This dissent opened up the door for the scandals we see today. When one loses sight of the moral teachings of the Church, then anything can and will happen. Imagine if the Constitution were open to free interpretation instead of interpretation by the courts. There would be a disaster in America. The Vatican is cracking down on this and it has nothing to do with conservatism, but rather, orthodoxy. There is no need to add to what Jesus and the Apostles taught.


<<5. What advice do you have for atheists? Last, but certainly not least, I'm intensely curious as to Leah in her new position would say to those of us who are still atheists. Would you counsel us to repent and convert for the sake of our immortal souls? Do you think we're fine as we are? Do you think that atheism is ever a rational or reasonable worldview?>>

Sacerdotus replies:

My advice as a former Atheist is to try it before knocking it. Have an open mind. A true rationalist/scientist would begin with a hypothesis and then test it. Atheism is quick to reject God and Faith without even making a hypothesis and putting it to the test. 

 See my blogs for more info:


I would personally counsel Atheists to rationalize the reality that nothing cannot produce something. The order in this universe cannot be coincidental. No mathematician has ever proposed a statistical probability that shows how the universe came to be in the way that it did for the mere fact that it is impossible. 

I don't think Atheists are fine in the sense of how they limit their ability to reason. In my opinion, Atheism is a fraud. For far too long I relied on its false understanding of logic. Its pretense and irrational conclusions. Its narrow view of science and disconnection from common sense. It is a placebo for the contrarian. An appeasement for those who are angry with God or religion.



20 comments:

  1. On Daylight's Atheism blog someone replied to a comment I posted:

    <>




    Sacerdotus replies:


    {(1) "Some assume that the conscience developed as a safety mechanism; however, why did only human beings develop this feature?"

    Who says no other animals have a conscience, or something similar?}


    Well zoologists, biologists and psychologists who work with non-human animals (humans are animals too) have found no evidence of a conscience.
    Non-human animals operate on instinct. Their brains do not allow for a conscience or even the capacity to reason to exist. I invite you to enter a lion's den and observe if the Lion's deliberate whether to feast on you or not. :)

    {(2) "How many times did primitive man have to murder each other until it realized that murder was not beneficial to the survival of the species and there for immoral?"

    Who says immoral = not beneficial to the survival of the species?}


    Well we just saw the answer to that in the verdict given to Jerry Sandusky. How can immorality serve humanity? The answer is that it does not. Behavior that causes harm is not beneficial to any species. Hence we have laws that protect human beings and non human animals.


    {(3 "I would personally counsel Atheists to rationalize the reality that nothing cannot produce something."

    I don't believe atheists take that position. Often the people who talk about the "nothing" that creates something really mean some sort of medium or system with quantum fluctuations, and so therefore not really nothing. They use the word 'nothing' because it is the easiest way to describe it.}


    Not true. Before the "Big Bang" there was "nothing." Space, time and matter began to exist at the point of the explosion. So "nothing" is understood as the absence of space, time, matter and entropy.



    {(4) "The order in this universe cannot be coincidental."

    What "order"? Why not? And who ever said it is a coincidence?}


    The order found in the universe. Everything in this universe is ordered in a particular manner that is composed of "order" and "disorder" or entropy. The coincidental factor is implied in the suggestion of "chance."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your ignorance of the history of science is appalling !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So is your lack of evidence supporting your accusation, but who is keeping score? :) In all seriousness, what I have written is supported by science.

      Delete
  3. "The sex abuse scandals are small compared to the general society. Sexual abuse occurs more among families than with priests."
    ***TRANSLATION: "Raping a few children isn't as bad as the rest of the world raping bunches of them."

    "The Catholic Church never mandated anyone to abuse minors or protect criminals."
    ****TRANSLATION: "What's the big deal? It's not like the church actually TOLD the priests and brothers to sodomize those boys."

    "These are unfortunately the consequences of the culture and understanding at the time the crime was committed."
    ****TRANSLATION: "And besides, it wasn't the priest's fault! Society made them do it!"

    "In many instances, psychologists informed bishops that priests were cured and fit for ministry. Moreover, some law officials gave advice that was directed to find mutual agreement among both parties instead of going to trial."
    ****TRANSLATION: "Plus 'experts' told us not to worry about it, so we didn't. What's wrong with that?"

    "The scandals of the Church exist due to the progressive infiltration that has attempted to bring her down."
    ****TRANSLATION: "None of that child abuse was the fault of church. After all, the church is infallible. This has been a conspiracy by evil progressives infiltrating our ranks. We were framed!!!"

    Sir, any time you devote a paragraph to rationalizing the systematic abuse of children, you loose all credibility. You should question who you are as a human being because I find your justifications appalling!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. **** Translation: Straw man fallacy and Ad hominem. :)

      All joking aside, your comment shows you have read my post through the filter of anger and because of that, you have misinterpreted it.



      ###***TRANSLATION: "Raping a few children isn't as bad as the rest of the world raping bunches of them."*###

      I was merely stating what the statistics say. Abuse occurs less in the Church than in the family. I agree that one abuse is one too much, but I have to stick by the statistics.



      ###****TRANSLATION: "What's the big deal? It's not like the church actually TOLD the priests and brothers to sodomize those boys." ###

      You are correct. The Church never told anyone to abuse anyone. Anti-Catholics often hold the ignorant idea that the Church is some sort of child-abusing organization. This is far from the truth.


      ###****TRANSLATION: "And besides, it wasn't the priest's fault! Society made them do it!"###


      Actually, you misread what I wrote. At the time most abuse cases occurred, psychology and law enforcement officials had weak knowledge and policies that dealt with the issue. (Benjamin Karplan, The Sexual Offender and His Offences)


      ###****TRANSLATION: "Plus 'experts' told us not to worry about it, so we didn't. What's wrong with that?"###

      This was the case in many Dioceses. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2005_01_06/2005_05_25_Guccione_ReportsShow.htm


      ###****TRANSLATION: "None of that child abuse was the fault of church. After all, the church is infallible. This has been a conspiracy by evil progressives infiltrating our ranks. We were framed!!!"###


      This is true. The Church has no fault. Being a child abuser is not on the job description forms in the Church. Some individuals in the Church are at fault, not the Church. See the John Jay report regarding this.


      "Sir, any time you devote a paragraph to rationalizing the systematic abuse of children, you loose all credibility. You should question who you are as a human being because I find your justifications appalling!"

      There is no systematic abuse of children in the Church. This is all in your misinformed mind. I invite you to read the documents from every diocese and see for yourself. I won't ask you to question your humanity, but rather, question your objectivity and quantitative skills.

      Delete
  4. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but it appears as if your entire belief system is based upon the idea that something cannot come from nothing. But what if it can? Better yet, what if there is something that just "is”? Of course, your first instinct would be to call this eternal substance "god”, but why? Because it does something you cannot do, i.e., exist eternally? This may sound like a theistic (rather than atheistic) point, but just because there's no current evidence of something that can exist forever (theoretically, there are some jellyfish which never die of natural causes), doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s impossible. This goes for the idea of a god as well. My point is, you don’t know and I don’t either. Will we know someday? Maybe, but for us to find out, we will need people in the scientific community (which ultimately relies on some acquiescence from society as a whole) willing to work with what we do know, yet still capable of keeping an open mind about what we do not know. Point being, we cannot rely on axiomatic ideas such as “something cannot come from nothing” if we truly wish to understand the nature of our existence.
    To touch on something of lesser significance, consider what I’ve proposed thus far and think about the likelihood of a god with the characteristics suggested in any religion. For simplicity’s sake, let’s focus on Christianity. Here, even though we ultimately do not know whether there is a god or not, Christianity states this: there is a god; there is one god; the one god is male; this one, male god has human traits; this god created everything, including heaven and hell; god is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent; god answers prayers and performs miracles (i.e. he created the universe, so he can also defy its laws), and of course this list could go on for days. The point is, there is an enormous “leap of faith” going on when you acknowledge that you’re part of this (or any) religion. I agree with your proposed use of the scientific method, or as you say, to create a hypothesis (god) and test it. But if you do this, you cannot possibly conclude that your hypothesis is true. There simply isn’t enough evidence. The only thing you can’t do is rule god out; it’s a possibility – nothing more. I understand your concern with the big bang theory, but for something to be labeled a theory means that it has withstood the scrutiny which your god hypothesis did not. Concededly, the big bang theory only explains the creation of the universe and not, necessarily, everything (given god could have been the “first mover”). However, just because something could be the case doesn’t really mean anything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're forgiven. :) All joking aside, it is funny you have mentioned this. I had a similar discussion on Twitter over the weekend.

      If something does come from nothing without an external sentient cause, then life, existence, the laws of physics would not make sense. It is like the Statue of Liberty appearing on Ellis island fully constructed just on its own.

      The "is" you mention would be God because of the fact that it is the cause of the universe and therefore supreme compared to everything within the universe. Actually there is something that exists forever and that is energy. Energy as it exists now is eternal.

      We don't know, that is why we call it Faith and Belief. As a Catholic, I say "I believe" in God in the Creed. We never say, "I know" because we really don't know. We have not made the full "connection" to God for it to go from "believe" to "know."

      For example, Let's say there is a young guy about 15. He is growing, hormones going wild. He sees a nice looking girl and she looks back and smiles. This happens throughout the year. They even say hi to each other as they pass through the halls but never sit down to chat. Now will the young man say, "I know she likes me" or will he tell his friends, "I believe she might like me?" Most likely he will say the latter.

      He will not find out if the girl does like him unless he gets close to her and communicates in a manner that is more interactive than merely hi/bye and cute smiles here and there. We on Earth who believe are the young kid. We sense God in our lives, but He is not fully revealed to us as how He really is. We still have the "veil" or "dark view" as 1 Cor. 13:12 says. However, Belief doesn't mean we are not aware. The kid in my analogy is aware of the girl but not fully connected with her.

      Christianity does not teach God as a male. Yes Jesus took on a human male form, but God as Father Son Holy Spirit does not have gender.

      Delete
    2. Part II


      A "God hypothesis" can be proven as true. In my post critiquing Agnostic Rosa Rubicondior's idea of evidence, I state that evidence can be anything to anyone. For example Physics. We can never "grab" particles and put them in a lab. What we do is use math and then collide particles, those collisions bring about charges that we then label as such and such particle. The same with black holes. There is no way we can obtain tactile evidence of black holes. All we have are math equations and photos from the Hubble telescope showing light disappearing. If Physicists ever bring a black hole to a lab rest assured that will be the last time they have experimented!

      So evidence of God is out there. Some use thought experiments or philosophy, some use math, others use Physics and other forms of science to show intelligent design. The problem is, will people accept it or just brush it off.

      I always found it awkward that as an Atheist and student of Physics I had to accept that there are sub atomic particles without ever seeing one myself. In reality, no one has. A machine detects their charges and we assume they are there based on those charges. This week a big announcement will be made regarding the Higgs Boson or the "God particle." I think they finally found it.

      Again, the idea of it came from mathematics and the little we learned from colliding protons. So basically what I'm saying is that we don't need to have a living walking dinosaur to know they existed. To a believer, nature and everything in it is evidence of a very intelligent designer. For example, let's say you're an astronaut. You travel to the galaxy Andromeda and find a planet like Earth. You land and find buildings or a town. Your first conclusion will be, "there was/is life here." You will not say, "oh these buildings must have appeared here over the centuries on their own and from nothing."

      Science is not out to prove or disprove God. Its only purpose is to learn about nature.

      Delete
  5. Girl/boy analogy
    The boy can see the girl and hear her say hi/bye, so he at least knows she exists. He believes she may like him because of the human senses. God does nothing via the human senses. Sure, there are nutcases out there that think they have religious experiences, but it’s just as likely they’re so jacked up on God that their suffering from hallucinations. Surely you can appreciate the immense power the mind has in manipulating reality. So powerful – in fact – that if you’re trying to communicate with an imaginary man in the sky, you just might imagine he is communicating back. This brings me to intelligent design.

    Intelligent design
    This is the last great hope for religion, claiming that the world is so complex that it must have been designed by something superior and that something is ultimately God. This type of thinking is no different than the caveman seeing fire, the Greek hearing thunder, or the Indian looking at nature and claiming God because at one point in time they could not explain such complexity. Science will continue to struggle against this pernicious way of thinking until they’re able to explain the first mover, or an alternative to it, because you people will never stop hanging onto that next little thread of pathetic hope. Lastly, I’d like to very quickly comment on the use of different types of evidence.

    I agree that evidence can come in various ways, but philosophy is not proof of anything. Philosophy is just a WAY of thinking; philosophy does not offer proof. Evidence, by its very nature, has to come in a form which we can ascertain. Since our human senses are our only ways to ascertain anything, human senses become our only medium for understanding what’s real in the world. You can determine a particle exists by mathematical calculation. I want to see God’s mathematical calculation. If religious folk have a problem with that, I suggest they pick up a calculator; I’m not going to live in purgatory because others choose to BELIEVE in something they cannot provide any inkling of evidence for.

    As for Andromeda, the intelligent person would say “Wow, that’s unique. I bet it took a long time. We should analyze these structures and see how they came into existence.” Unfortunately, God and Life are not analogous to each other. You’re saying God (a THING, albeit with supernatural abilities and intelligence) is the same as life (a STATE OF BEING). The more appropriate analogy would be God and a hypothetical human life form I will call John. I would not assume John built this structure on Andromeda just because it is there. Anyone could have built it; John is just one possibility. I couldn’t even assume a human built it; it could have been some other type of life form. So not only can we not prove John built it, we can’t even prove a human built it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Girl/Boy Analogy
    Your claims cannot be verified. No one can test the internal state of others. You rely on prejudice and misinformation regarding personal experiences to make claims. The mind cannot manipulate reality. This is not the Matrix movie with the "spoon bending." My analogy was meant to describe the remoteness of the relationship between God and man.

    Intelligent design
    Intelligent design is a concept that is rational. Nothing can take form without cause, intent and order. Order cannot occur unless intelligence is involved. For example, putting books in alphabetical order can only take place with an intelligence who organizes it in that order. Today's discovery of the Higgs Boson shows that even among the tiniest of particles there is order. Every thing is set into motion in such a way that allows it to function. I cannot go into detail here because of limits, but will in another blog. Science will never be able to explain everything. Even explanations bring about more questions.

    I disagree. Philosophy allows the mind to rationalize without limits. Thinking is the first step to finding answers. The problem with your idea of evidence is the same as with Rosa's. It is narrow. As I stated before, evidence can be anything to anyone. Reread the blog again as I go into detail there :http://sacerdotvs.blogspot.com/2012/06/rosa-rubicondior-evidence-gaffe.html

    Mathematics is a creation of man. It is abstract language that defines properties of things within their spatial and temporal limits. It is not perfect. Physicists all the time formulate equations that within a year are disproved by others and then in another year proven again. Purgatory is a state, not a place. It is a state of purification.

    No intelligent person who sees buildings will conclude that they came into existence on their own. Logic would dictate that those structures are not natural and are "man/alien-made." What you're describing is like Columbus landing in the west and discovering Taino villages and then saying that they "took along time and we should therefore analyze to see how they came into existence." Any rational person would automatically conclude that there is life or was life there who built the village.

    God IS life. Everything exists because of God. WE are God's thoughts. He is the one that is living, we are His imagination, so to speak. However, that was not the point I was trying to make with Andromeda. The analogy deals with empirical evidence of intelligent design. In your analogy, we cannot prove John built it. You say "anyone could have built it," that is the key phrase. The reality that "SOMEONE" built it is what intelligent design argues. The order, aesthetics, mathematics behind any building found on another world automatically show that there was an intelligence behind it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Buildings on Andromeda
    I think you're missing my point. God may "be" life, but life is a state of being and god is a thing. In my more accurate analogy, god = John. I would not assume John (God) built all these buildings, it could have been anything else, such as Frank(intelligent Man), or Archimedes(intelligent Alien). My hypo is a bit silly, but it also conveys a point: God is only ONE possibility of SOMETHING which could have constructed something resembling intelligence. The difference is, Frank and Archimedes may have had to evolve over millions or billions of years before they developed the capacity for creating complex structures. Granted, a human building a structure is intelligence at work, but when life on a planet evolves over 3 BILLION years, that's not proof of intelligence at all. The problem with your analogy, besides it being a non sequitur, is that it promotes naivety.

    Philosophy
    Philosophy has given is evidence and proof to the extent that it has given us the ability to reason and use logic.

    Higgs Boson
    you write: "Today's discovery of the Higgs Boson shows that even among the tiniest of particles there is order. Every thing is set into motion in such a way that allows it to function."

    I think you missed the point here as well. The Higgs Boson explains WHY there is order in the universe. Being a so-called man of physics, I will not elaborate on this point for fear of it being superfluous. Although intelligent designers will comfort themselves with the thought that, "well, God is still responsible for the creation of the Big Bang and the Higgs Boson", this should have been a sad day for you guys because it ruins the "God is why we have order in the universe" argument. But there is still hope, you can still say God created the Big Bang, and when science figures that out, you can say God created the thing that created the Big Bang. Heck, when science figures out the thing that created the Big Bang, you can still resort to saying God created the thing that created the thing that created the Big Bang.

    Intelligent design is very seductive because, no matter what, you have an explanation for your existence. God is supposedly revealed through the very thing which goes further and further to prove Him false. Science spends all its time and energy explaining why things work the way they do, and intelligent design reclines in the La-Z-Boy and explains nothing, simply retorting "yep, God did that too."

    REQUEST FOR MORE INFORMATION
    Here's my problem. You know what I believe because I'm an atheist. If you don't, then I'll state it again. I do not BELIEVE there is a God, but I think there is still a chance something exists (or existed) which would resemble a God. It could be something eternal, or it could be something that existed once but does so no longer. But I know nothing about what you believe.

    Therefore, I suggest you respond or write an article about what your beliefs are. I would suggest answering questions such as your upbringing, why you were an atheist, why you converted to Catholicism, and why you believe in intelligent design. I would also like to know if you believe in Evolution or the Big Bang (I've been working under the assumption that you do). Do you take the Bible literally, figuratively, or both, and if both, which parts and why? Do you see the problem here? When you choose a particular denomination within a particular religion there are a lot of assumptions that go along with that. To me, you do not seem Catholic at all, so please explain. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (Buildings on Andromeda I think you're missing my point. God may "be" life, but life is a state of being and god is a thing.)


      No, God is not a thing. God is absolute personhood. If God stops thinking of you – you will disappear into nothing. Think of it this way. You are a character in God’s version of the “Sims” game. 


      (In my more accurate analogy, god = John. I would not assume John (God) built all these buildings, it could have been anything else, such as Frank(intelligent Man), or Archimedes(intelligent Alien). My hypo is a bit silly, but it also conveys a point: God is only ONE possibility of SOMETHING which could have constructed something resembling intelligence. The difference is, Frank and Archimedes may have had to evolve over millions or billions of years before they developed the capacity for creating complex structures. Granted, a human building a structure is intelligence at work, but when life on a planet evolves over 3 BILLION years, that's not proof of intelligence at all.)


      Again, the point of my analogy is basically summed up in your words: “granted, a human building a structure is intelligence at work…). The way this universe is built shows design whether we want to call it that or not. Scientists of course will not say “God did it” because they are not out to preach but to learn how things work. If we all say “God did it” then why bother learning about them? God gave us minds for a reason. He wants us to learn study and grow.

      Life could have evolved, galaxies could have formed in a way to support life just like ours; however, the bottom line is that these things cannot occur by chance. Think about it. We have this huge galaxy with one planet which is perfectly situated in the “goldilock’s zone.” This planet has a magnetic field protecting life on it. The field is generated by the movement of the core within the planet. In a sense, this planet is like the Star Ship Enterprise with a shield around it.

      Life evolved, but human beings only have the HAR1 gene that allows for better more advanced brain function. Do you think all of this happened by coincidence or by chance? That would be an illogical assessment. This planet, this galaxy shows order. Order can only exist when intelligence is behind it. Intelligence can only exist if a person or living being exists to possess it and demonstrate it. Intelligence is something that is unique. Take the “Chinese room” for example. It was a thought experiment presented by John Searle which describes why intelligence is unique to human beings and computers cannot truly develop it despite showing it to a certain extent.

      (The problem with your analogy, besides it being a non sequitur, is that it promotes naivety.)

      It does not promote naivety because it highlights that discovering buildings on an Alien planet is evidence of intelligent designers. Even today, some claim the Pyramids were designed by Aliens! Our minds rationalize the sensory input of architecture as having its origin in an intelligent mind capable of producing it.

      (Philosophy Philosophy has given is evidence and proof to the extent that it has given us the ability to reason and use logic.)

      Philosophy is very important. This is why it is required for every degree. It develops critical thinking skills that allow us to question everything, even “evidence.”

      Delete
    2. (Higgs Boson you write: "Today's discovery of the Higgs Boson shows that even among the tiniest of particles there is order. Every thing is set into motion in such a way that allows it to function." I think you missed the point here as well. The Higgs Boson explains WHY there is order in the universe.)

      The Higgs Boson is particle that gives mass to everything. It is basically the “air” that keeps a balloon inflated, so to speak.


      (Being a so-called man of physics, I will not elaborate on this point for fear of it being superfluous. Although intelligent designers will comfort themselves with the thought that, "well, God is still responsible for the creation of the Big Bang and the Higgs Boson", this should have been a sad day for you guys because it ruins the "God is why we have order in the universe" argument.)


      No no no, this does not ruin anything. Actually it helps intelligent design. The more we look the more we see the puzzle. Puzzles can only come into existence because an intelligent person designed it. You will not find a puzzle in nature like you would in a toy shop. God will ultimately be responsible for everything because the Higgs Boson et al did not exist prior to the big bang. We are only learning things as they exist now; we still have a long way to go. Science will never be able to answer everything.

      (But there is still hope, you can still say God created the Big Bang, and when science figures that out, you can say God created the thing that created the Big Bang. Heck, when science figures out the thing that created the Big Bang, you can still resort to saying God created the thing that created the thing that created the Big Bang.)

      Again, God will always end up the ultimate first cause, first mover. There is no way getting around this. Science can only learn what is tangible to it. We cannot learn about events prior to the big bang because we can never go to that point where no space, time and matter existed. We can only speculate based on how particles operate with one another and the effects of collision. Time travel is in discussion now among physicists. However, this idea is still far fetched because time exists post big bang so if we do develop a time machine, how can it go to a point where no time exists?

      (Intelligent design is very seductive because, no matter what, you have an explanation for your existence. God is supposedly revealed through the very thing which goes further and further to prove Him false. Science spends all its time and energy explaining why things work the way they do, and intelligent design reclines in the La-Z-Boy and explains nothing, simply retorting "yep, God did that too." )


      That is not true. Intelligent design just shows that there is a Logos behind everything. Learning how things work does not mean those things do not have a creator. Learning how a baby functions does not mean we have disproved the baby has a mother and father as its origin. Suppose I can go back in time and show people from Jesus’ time a Rolex watch. I take it apart and show them how it works and why it works. This does not mean the watch does not have a creator (Rolex). It only means that I know how it works and why it works.

      Delete
    3. (REQUEST FOR MORE INFORMATION Here's my problem. You know what I believe because I'm an atheist. If you don't, then I'll state it again. I do not BELIEVE there is a God, but I think there is still a chance something exists (or existed) which would resemble a God. It could be something eternal, or it could be something that existed once but does so no longer. But I know nothing about what you believe.)

      That is Agnosticism not Atheism. Atheism is – There is no God. End of story. Not, “maybe there is or maybe there was…” If there was something that existed before that resembled God then that something would still exists now. It would be above nature or “supernatural” and therefore not bound by the laws we are bound by.


      (Therefore, I suggest you respond or write an article about what your beliefs are. I would suggest answering questions such as your upbringing, why you were an atheist, why you converted to Catholicism, and why you believe in intelligent design. I would also like to know if you believe in Evolution or the Big Bang (I've been working under the assumption that you do). Do you take the Bible literally, figuratively, or both, and if both, which parts and why? Do you see the problem here? )

      I will answer all this in another post with more detail. Basically I was an Atheist, no religious upbringing. Physics and other sciences, including Philosophy opened my mind to God; after studying different faiths, visiting their services, Catholicism spoke to my rational mind more. Doing charity work then opened my heart to God.

      I believe in Evolution and the Big Bang. The Big Bang was formulated by a Catholic priest by the way. I do not take the Bible literally because it was never meant to be taken as such. Some parts of the Old Testament and Revelation have to be read carefully and not taken literally. There is no problem in this. Even our Constitution cannot be taken literally.

      (When you choose a particular denomination within a particular religion there are a lot of assumptions that go along with that. To me, you do not seem Catholic at all, so please explain. Thanks.)

      A study of history would show that Catholicism is the sole holder of original Christian beliefs. It traces its roots back to Christ and the Apostles themselves. Everything else is man made. Prior to the Schism and Reformation, the Catholic Church existed undisturbed. Catholicism also predates Islam.

      Delete
  8. Plenty of animals have conscious thoughts. Ever watch an ape solve a problem using a tool? Heck even rats can some simple reasoning processes to get through mazes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is due to conditioning, not conscious thinking in the sense that human beings do it.

      Delete
  9. ''Atheism is – There is no God.''

    Atheism is There is NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE to suggest there is a god.



    ReplyDelete
  10. Calling one's self an "ex-atheist" is like calling one's self an "ex-non-smoker": none of what you say and write suggests, in any measurable interpretation of reason, that you possessed the critical thinking, moral scrutiny and intellectual honesty that would indicate that your views have changed from what they are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your comment is irrelevant to the blog post. It seems like you just wanted to vent your frustration instead of making an actual point. I was not aware that you possess supernatural powers that allow you to know who is an 'ex-atheist' and who is not. You make yourself look like an idiot by posting such nonsense. Atheism is a fallacious doctrine that is incompatible with reason. The reason you are having trouble identifying critical thinking, moral scrutiny and intellectual honesty is because you are commenting via an atheist filter. Your bias tendency does not allow you to think clearly and make rational assessments. This is your problem, not mine.

      Delete

Thank you for reading and for your comment. All comments are subject to approval. They must be free of vulgarity, ad hominem and must be relevant to the blog posting subject matter.

Labels

Catholic Church (473) God (320) Atheism (252) Jesus (217) Jesus Christ (215) Bible (180) Pope Francis (166) Atheist (153) LGBT (132) Science (123) Liturgy of the Word (106) Christianity (88) Rosa Rubicondior (77) Pope Benedict XVI (73) Abortion (71) Gay (66) Prayer (56) President Obama (56) Physics (46) Philosophy (43) Vatican (39) Christian (38) Christmas (34) Blessed Virgin Mary (33) New York City (33) Psychology (32) Women (29) Biology (28) Liturgy (28) Politics (28) Baseball (26) Religious Freedom (24) Pope John Paul II (21) Space (21) Holy Eucharist (19) NYPD (19) Pro Abortion (19) Supreme Court (19) priests (19) Evil (18) Child Abuse (17) Pro Choice (17) Donald Trump (16) Evangelization (16) First Amendment (16) Police (16) Protestant (16) Death (14) Health (14) Astrophysics (13) Christ (13) Marriage (12) Priesthood (12) Blog (11) Pedophilia (11) Racism (11) Illegal Immigrants (10) Poverty (10) Apologetics (9) Muslims (9) Theology (9) Vatican II (9) Autism (8) Divine Mercy (8) Human Rights (8) Personhood (8) September 11 (8) Big Bang Theory (7) Condoms (7) David Viviano (7) Easter Sunday (7) Ellif_dwulfe (7) Evidence (7) Gender Theory (7) Gospel (7) Jewish (7) academia (7) Barack Obama (6) Humanism (6) Morality (6) Pentecostals (6) Traditionalists (6) Babies (5) Cognitive Psychology (5) Cyber Bullying (5) NY Yankees (5) Spiritual Life (5) The Walking Dead (5) Angels (4) CUNY (4) Donations (4) Ephebophilia (4) Eucharist (4) Gender Dysphoria Disorder (4) Holy Trinity (4) Podcast (4) Pope Pius XII (4) Evangelicals (3) Hispanics (3) Massimo Pigliucci (3) Pluto (3) Pope John XXIII (3) Sacraments (3) Baby Jesus (2) Dan Arel (2) Death penalty (2) Encyclical (2) Founding Fathers (2) Freeatheism (2) Hell (2) Oxfam (2) Penn Jillette (2) Pew Research Center (2) Plenary Indulgence (2) Catholic Bloggers (1) Cursillo (1) Dan Savage (1) Divine Providence (1) Eastern Orthodox (1) Fear The Walking Dead (1) Pentecostales (1) Pope Paul VI (1)