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7/28/2002                                                                                       View Comments

GOD

The Xtian god sees everyone in either one of two catagories: saved or unsaved. Without even going into the reasoning behind the need for salvation itself, look at the relationship god has with these groups. For the saved, HE demands unquestioning obedience and submission, to the point of expecting you to kill your own child if he tells you to (AKA: Issac and Abraham). These are the people HE likes.

For the rest - about 90% of the population by fundie standards, maybe more - it's unimagineable pain and anguish for all of eternity, without hope of an end. Watching just one little girl die at the hands of a psycho is small time for GOD. HE likes dealing with entire nations, and ultimately, species.

Insofar as how Xtians themselves see it, well, here is the drill as I see it: "We're the ones that are saved, we're on God's Christmas list, so we get goodies (provided we don't think we really deserve them, or at least say we don't). Then, we go home to be with the Lord and He gives us all kinds of even better shit while we stand around the throne telling Him what a great guy He is for ever and ever. The rest of the world is damned anyway for not listening to the obvious truth of our evangelizing, so while I claim that I weep and cry for them, really it comes down to, 'screw them all' ".

While spouting the mantra that God is Love and we should all love one another, in reality God only loves HIS CHOSEN FEW. The majority of humanity is nothing more than a trophy to ruthlessly display HIS WRATH for all eternity.

Isn't that sick?

26 comments:

steven said...

A brief assertion i would like to propose and discuss: creation of some form must have occurred at some point in time, in that the past cannot predate the present infinitely. If the past never ceases to go backward from any point in it noted; if there is never a point at which you cannot state, "There was a point in time before this," then there must have been a point of origin of time. Time itself created and set in motion. Otherwise, we are forever lost in the infinite past, and the present and future are impossible points to ever reach.

Steven said...

A brief assertion i would like to propose and discuss: creation of some form must have occurred at some point in time, in that the past cannot predate the present infinitely. If the past never ceases to go backward from any point in it noted; if there is never a point at which you cannot state, "There was a point in time before this," then there must have been a point of origin of time. Time itself created and set in motion. Otherwise, we are forever lost in the infinite past, and the present and future are impossible points to ever reach.

Astreja said...

Steven: "Creation of some form must have occurred at some point in time, in that the past cannot predate the present infinitely."

Unless, of course, it's your own god we're discussing. According to many Christian apologists, your god's "past" does predate the present infinitely. Even though there's no physical proof of its existence, we're expected to believe that it created the universe but was not itself created.

You can't have it both ways; pick one.

By the way, what does your assertion have to do with the original post concerning the psychotic wrath of the Christian god?

boomSLANG said...

"Cause", as in the alleged "creation" of our little earth and our little solar system....no, wait, I mean "cause", as in the cause of 125 BILLION known gallaxies, is a process that takes place in time. To deliberate and then to "cause" something, is temporal. That means that if "time" had a starting point, then so did "God". That means that "God" must've been "caused", as well(if a "God" exists). Even a six yr old child asks: "Mommy...who created God?"

At that point, the brainwashing may, or may not, begin.

Steven said...

Thank you, Astreja, for your comments. You stated:

“Unless, of course, it's your own god we're discussing. According to many Christian apologists, your god's "past" does predate the present infinitely. Even though there's no physical proof of its existence, we're expected to believe that it created the universe but was not itself created.

You can't have it both ways; pick one.”

Firstly, I would like to point out that I am not a Christian, so any inference to my God being that one described by Christian apologists would be an error. My particular beliefs fall closest in line with that of deism. However, I am not so biased about the concepts of that particular system that I have any trouble detaching my ego from those points to discuss critically any subject in contradiction to them, even so far as playing “devil’s advocate” to help ensure I am not entertaining a biased view. I only mention this in order to avoid any time you or others would spend here in assumption, and then basing your responses to me upon that assumption, as you had.

Now, you state a contradiction of terms in your second sentence. It would be better, I think, and in order to avoid confusion, to term “present infinity” as “current state of the progression of infinite time” or simply “time infinite.” The idea of “present” is actually non-existent, for there is no point at which you could say “now” which could not be divided severally. Then, one of these new isolated points, say a nanosecond, could be divided further, and then each divided point isolated into, say, a picosecond, and so on, until we reach what is known as “Planck time,” or 5.4×10?44 s. However, even this, theoretically, could be split into smaller units of time, ad infinitum. So, there is no such thing as “now,” but rather, the “present” is only the constant flux of time being separated from immediate future into immediate past.

You stated that according to many Christian apologists (I am curious as to what quotes could be provided) my God’s past does predate time infinite. You claimed then that there is no proof of His existence, assumed I thought you and all were expected to believe in Him even in light of this lack of “proof,” (please excuse the pronoun, but it is most conducive for this discussion, I believe) stated then that there is an obvious contradiction, and that I must choose one of the opposing sides to become my new perspective. If I am incorrect to have inferred your words just so, please let me know. Assuming that I have done so correctly, you have already concluded a number of things about your understanding of the being known as “God.” For one, you have chosen to believe that time itself (that continuous flux mentioned earlier) is itself impossible to have been designed, created and set in motion. I hold that it is not erroneous to believe this is possible for a supreme being, whose attributes and power are conceivably outside altogether of the realm of mortal thought/ space/ time. If we are trapped within the confines of matter and space and thermodynamics, we must conclude that we are also trapped within the framework of thought allowed by these conditions. However, it is illogical to assume that the one possible to have designed it all is Himself trapped in that very scheme. Such a stance is quite mythological, and reflects such sentiments as that brought forth in Homer’s The Iliad. Therefore I do not see a contradiction, and I certainly do not hold the opinion that anyone should be expected to believe in God.

“By the way, what does your assertion have to do with the original post concerning the psychotic wrath of the Christian god?”

Nothing. However, after reading the great resentments put forth above, while at the same time and in many other places on this site, reading these same person’s points as holding to the belief in atheism, I saw a very interesting contradiction of sorts, including such passionate sentiments towards what they suppose to be a fictional character, and thought this a good place to address what I conceive to be the largest problem atheism has to overcome, and that is time itself.

To Boomslang, thank you also for your comments, however sardonic they appear, as I have found they usually do on this site. You stated:

"Cause", as in the alleged "creation" of our little earth and our little solar system....no, wait, I mean "cause", as in the cause of 125 BILLION known gallaxies, is a process that takes place in time. To deliberate and then to "cause" something, is temporal. That means that if "time" had a starting point, then so did "God". That means that "God" must've been "caused", as well(if a "God" exists). Even a six yr old child asks: "Mommy...who created God?"

Actually, “effect” is more accurately labeled to be the alleged “creation.” However, here you drew what you supposed to be a logical conclusion (correct me if I am wrong), that God must have had forethought, and then chose at a point in time of that forethought to “create,” and therefore God, at least the common conception of “God,” is Himself trapped in the confines of time. The problem here is that you, like Astreja, are attempting to refute an archaic concept of God, and thinking that as you do, you are proving there is no God at all. There is little doubt that the common personification of God is incorrect, however, it is illogical, and even arrogant, to then assume because you cannot conceive of a being beyond that limited depiction, then there must be none at all. But in fact, you are true to a point, that in line with and confined to natural associations and simplifications brought through human conceptions, there is no God, as there is no being whose attributes could coincide with these, and then somehow, and while being confined to them, have pre-existed them and brought them forth. However, your premise is faulty, and hence, so is your conclusion.

boomSLANG said...

..after reading the great resentments put forth above, while at the same time and in many other places on this site, reading these same person’s points as holding to the belief in atheism, I saw a very interesting contradiction of sorts, including such passionate sentiments towards what they suppose to be a fictional character, and thought this a good place to address what I conceive to be the largest problem atheism has to overcome, and that is time itself.

Steven,

Just to be clear, I don't claim to "know" whether a non-personal "deity" exists, or not, because it cannot be known. I merely don't have a belief in such a thing. It's that simple. Moreover, if it is you who claims that such a non-personal entity exists, then two things: 1) The burden of providing objective evidence for the existance of such an "entity" falls in the lap of the one making the claim, and 2) even if you do have objective evidence of such an "entity", it is immaterial to me, as it won't effect my life one way, or the other. Why should it? If said entity is "non-personal", then we can conclude that it's not a "being", thus, we can logically say that "it" cannot relate to "beings", nor can we relate to "it". In other words: It's absolutely NOT the Christian Biblegod. Furthermore, on the subject of personal deities..i.e.."Christ"; "Allah"; "Ra"; "Thor", etc, etc...I can say that none of those deities exist with as much certainty as we can say that "square circles" don't exist.

If you'd like to discuss abiogenesis, that's a diferent ball of wax. Notwithstanding, who created whatever "deity" you believe in? I think that's where we're at.

Thanks.

Steven said...

Spontaneous generation most probably violates the law of entropy; however, I would like to hear your thoughts on it, and why you believe it does not.

“…if it is you who claims that such a non-personal entity exists, then two things: 1) The burden of providing objective evidence for the existance of such an "entity" falls in the lap of the one making the claim, and 2) even if you do have objective evidence of such an "entity", it is immaterial to me, as it won't effect my life one way, or the other. Why should it?”

I suppose then that any further discussion with you about this topic would be fruitless. In effect, you are saying, “Prove it! And even when you do, I won’t care!”

Jim Arvo said...

Steven, I see you continue to churn out turgid prose at an alarming rate. Now you seem to fancy yourself a scientist, or maybe a philosopher. Here are a few snippets, drawn somewhat at random from your musings, followed by some brief responses. (I don't have all day to spend responding point by point.)

Steven: "...creation of some form must have occurred at some point in time,..."

You've already employed presuppositions and used undefined terms. What, exactly, do you mean by "creation"? Why must it have "occurred at some point in time"? That phrasing is probably nonsensical when applied to the Big Bang, for example.

Steven: "...if there is never a point at which you cannot state, "There was a point in time before this," then there must have been a point of origin of time."

This is all armchair speculation based on nothing more than naive intuition. As I've pointed out enumerable times at this site, when it comes to cosmology it's virtually impossible to even ask a meaningful question let alone arrive at some deep insight by consulting your intuition about terrestrial events. Case in point: you naturally assume absolute time that is totally ordered. This needn't be the case. One proposal by Hawking is that time more closely resembles the complex plane than the real line.

Steven: "...I am not so biased about the concepts of that particular system that I have any trouble detaching my ego from those points to discuss critically any subject in contradiction to them, even so far as playing “devil’s advocate” to help ensure I am not entertaining a biased view."

Steven, I hate to break this to you, but most reasonably intelligent adults can play "devil's advocate"; there's nothing unusual about that ability, at least not around here. As for "detaching" your ego, I've yet to be convinced of that. In fact, I sense an overwhelming influence of ego in your posts. Maybe it's just the bombastic and stilted phrasing, but you definitely have a firmly-attached ego my friend.

Steven: "The idea of “present” is actually non-existent, for there is no point at which you could say “now” which could not be divided severally...."

That time can be divided "severally" has no bearing whatsoever on whether the concept of "present" is well defined. By your very argument, there are no real numbers in the continuum, as each number can be divided "severally". Your argument is nonsense.

Steven: "...The problem here is that you, like Astreja, are attempting to refute an archaic concept of God, and thinking that as you do, you are proving there is no God at all. There is little doubt that the common personification of God is incorrect, however, it is illogical, and even arrogant, to then assume because you cannot conceive of a being beyond that limited depiction, then there must be none at all.... in line with and confined to natural associations and simplifications brought through human conceptions, there is no God, as there is no being whose attributes could coincide with these, and then somehow, and while being confined to them, have pre-existed them and brought them forth. However, your premise is faulty, and hence, so is your conclusion."

That's a lot of claptrap, Steven. You again hurl accusations of arrogance when it is you who exudes it. Just look at that puffed-up tangle you just wrote! Most people just assert that god is outside space and time, which is far more concise, not to mention more polite.

Steven: "Spontaneous generation most probably violates the law of entropy;..."

No doubt you're referring to the second law of thermodynamics (which is often phrased in terms of entropy). No, it does not rule out spontaneous generation any more than it rules out the growth of an embryo or a crystal. All it asserts is that the *total* entropy of a system increases over time; living systems operate far from equilibrium, which means that there can be *local* decreases in entropy, provided they are offset by larger external increases. Self-assembling molecules, for example, cause a local decrease in entropy by increasing the entropy of water molecules surrounding them.

.:webmaster:. said...

Turgid prose

My phrase of the day! Thanks!

Jim Arvo said...

Webmaster said "Turgid prose My phrase of the day! Thanks!"

You're welcome. I calls 'em as I sees 'em.

boomSLANG said...

I suppose then that any further discussion with you about this topic would be fruitless. In effect, you are saying, “Prove it! And even when you do, I won’t care!”

Lol...well I'll be dipped in Holy shit!...that's exactly what I'm saying! You make the claim--you prove the claim. Then---when/if you can prove that a non-personal/supernatural entity exists, maybe you, or any other Deist, would like to answer my original question: "Why should I(care)?"

(Hopefully any answer provided has nothing to do with any "Holy" document, because said documents revolve around "personal" deities...i.e.."Thor", "Allah", "El", "Jebus", "Muhammad", "Toth", etc. etc.)

Steven said...

Jim! Thank you for your response, although I am somewhat sorry you have decided to label my “prose” as “turgid.” And further felt the inclination to insult me as pretending to be what I am not. Well, I shall forgive you of this lack of self-control, especially in that it only exudes insipience. You stated:

”You've already employed presuppositions and used undefined terms. What, exactly, do you mean by "creation"? Why must it have "occurred at some point in time"? That phrasing is probably nonsensical when applied to the Big Bang, for example.”

Well, the Big Bang is admittedly by scientists, only a theory, and perhaps quite a lose one at that, although you seem here to wish it to be a certainty, as you state my idea faulty when applied to it. What exactly I mean by “creation,” includes all matter, time, and space. I have actually already stated this, but you may have been too repulsed by my turgidity to recall. The notion of it having had to have “occurred at some point in time,” refers to what is known as “first cause.” All effects occurring in matter/ time/ space are the result of some previous “cause,” or the combination of several causes. Therefore, while tracing backward one must conclude that there was a “first cause,” which began it all. This is because there cannot possibly have been an infinite string of causes, in that, like concerning time, we would forever be lost backward in these causes, and will never have reached what is currently happening. This first cause could be God’s initial setting in motion of the universe with its laws, and I believe it is.

I stated: "...if there is never a point at which you cannot state, "There was a point in time before this," then there must have been a point of origin of time."

You replied:

”This is all armchair speculation based on nothing more than naive intuition. As I've pointed out enumerable times at this site, when it comes to cosmology it's virtually impossible to even ask a meaningful question let alone arrive at some deep insight by consulting your intuition about terrestrial events. Case in point: you naturally assume absolute time that is totally ordered. This needn't be the case. One proposal by Hawking is that time more closely resembles the complex plane than the real line.”

May I suggest that here your choice of prose is quite turgid. “Enumerable,” indeed. And with this, you try dismissing my statement by calling it, with utmost turgidity and arrogant dismissal, “armchair speculation based on nothing more than naïve intuition.” Now, the concept time being a constant is so obvious, that I suppose it could be called intuition; however, it is also very easy to prove. Even if there is some hypothesis to the contrary, it is nothing more than that, and although it certainly should not be discarded on such grounds, it also should not be given so much credence as you have given it above. The far more likely and tested concept of time being a constant, should at least be given some consideration by you.

I stated: "...I am not so biased about the concepts of that particular system that I have any trouble detaching my ego from those points to discuss critically any subject in contradiction to them, even so far as playing “devil’s advocate” to help ensure I am not entertaining a biased view."

You replied:

”Steven, I hate to break this to you, but most reasonably intelligent adults can play "devil's advocate"; there's nothing unusual about that ability, at least not around here. As for "detaching" your ego, I've yet to be convinced of that. In fact, I sense an overwhelming influence of ego in your posts. Maybe it's just the bombastic and stilted phrasing, but you definitely have a firmly-attached ego my friend.”

I am quite warmed by your stating me as your friend. Although we have not met, I do not mind this at all, and even welcome it. However, I am compelled to think you may perhaps be disingenuous by giving me such a title. Yes, and further, what is “bombastic” and “stilted” is certainly this paragraph, coupled with your last one. Now, I must also say that taking my above quote entirely out of its context could potentially lead one to assume I am “egotistical.” However, the concept of the “ego” in this instance would be elementary, and by diversion, my point of stating the ego here is altogether missed. I was saying, in context, that what I believe to be most probable, is “up for grabs,” so to speak, and I do not hold so closely to it that I align my concept of “self” with it. I am able to detach myself from it, even to the extent of arguing against those very beliefs. I am conscious of doing so, to help ensure that I am not holding to a biased view. I am sure I do not do this perfectly, but it is my earnest goal. If it has appeared to you much to the contrary, then I submit that this is because I have had to reply to direct contentions brought against those same views. I do not mind this at all, but I find your accusation to be an oversimplification of the facts.

“Steven: "The idea of “present” is actually non-existent, for there is no point at which you could say “now” which could not be divided severally...."

That time can be divided "severally" has no bearing whatsoever on whether the concept of "present" is well defined. By your very argument, there are no real numbers in the continuum, as each number can be divided "severally". Your argument is nonsense.”

Again, my remarks are taken out of context. You ignore altogether the fact that in many instances I used the term “present,” as of course it is the best term to describe that flux. I was taking contention rather to the term used, “present infinity,” as being a contradiction, and if you feel I was incorrect to do so, I would be happy to hear you reasoning as to why. Furthermore, connecting this concept that there is no “now,” with the idea that there are no real numbers in the continuum, simply because they can each one be divided severally, or four ways, is fallacious. However, I do contend that there is no such thing as a perfect, “round number,” but that it is only a theoretical approximate, with nothing in nature resembling the concept. Whether you have decided that this is nonsense is your own opinion, which you are entitled to, of course.

“Steven: "...The problem here is that you, like Astreja, are attempting to refute an archaic concept of God, and thinking that as you do, you are proving there is no God at all. There is little doubt that the common personification of God is incorrect, however, it is illogical, and even arrogant, to then assume because you cannot conceive of a being beyond that limited depiction, then there must be none at all.... in line with and confined to natural associations and simplifications brought through human conceptions, there is no God, as there is no being whose attributes could coincide with these, and then somehow, and while being confined to them, have pre-existed them and brought them forth. However, your premise is faulty, and hence, so is your conclusion."

That's a lot of claptrap, Steven. You again hurl accusations of arrogance when it is you who exudes it. Just look at that puffed-up tangle you just wrote! Most people just assert that god is outside space and time, which is far more concise, not to mention more polite.”

I ask you and others to please forgive my quoting nearly your entire post! But I suppose I feel the same as you did, that what charges you have made require a response. Now, I must say that this is the third time you have taken me out of context, which of course is necessary, as you cannot quote the entire context always, but here, as well as in the other two instances; you use that to misinterpret what I meant. It was necessary to draw out the concept that I believed God exists outside of time and space, using connections to the concepts which I viewed to be illogical in Astreja and Boomslang’s posts. They were portraying clearly in their writing that they viewed the archaic notion of God to be existent within, and confined to matters of time and space, and then proceeded to prove this as illogical. Of course, it is illogical, but so was the archaic concept of God, and therefore I felt it necessary to extrapolate the idea. Although it seemed a puffed-up tangle of accusational arrogance to you, I felt it necessary to state what I did to fully prove my point.

“Steven: "Spontaneous generation most probably violates the law of entropy;..."

No doubt you're referring to the second law of thermodynamics (which is often phrased in terms of entropy). No, it does not rule out spontaneous generation any more than it rules out the growth of an embryo or a crystal. All it asserts is that the *total* entropy of a system increases over time; living systems operate far from equilibrium, which means that there can be *local* decreases in entropy, provided they are offset by larger external increases. Self-assembling molecules, for example, cause a local decrease in entropy by increasing the entropy of water molecules surrounding them.”

Firstly, the idea of order present in the formation of a crystal, or ice, is actually an example of entropy. But I concede that we are not speaking of a closed system when regarding Earth. However, the second law makes the idea of “spontaneous generation,” resulting eventually in the plethora of species today, highly unlikely, even over so great a period of time as “billions of years.” Also, what it takes for an embryo to form is not spontaneous, but rather the result of genetics at work. This is more a proof of design than of abiogenesis. The likelihood that spontaneous generation could occur is impossible in the face of the law of entropy, which it would consistently have to overcome by pure chance in an open system, in that the probability of such a thing is so slim as to make it a theoretical impossibility. This is not to mention the many other problems faced when asserting such a theory, which originally was advocated by Aristotle, who believed mice simply appeared in hay and maggots in rancid meat; problems such as the vast amount of missing links in the fossil record. Is it at least a very slim, extremely improbable possibility, however? Yes! And if this is enough for you and others to accept it as your view of what most likely occurred in your opinion, then so be it, but for me, the problems this theory—nay, this hypothesis has to overcome are too great to consider it a viable option. Currently, the most probable explanation of the origin of life is that of first cause, which I deem to be God. Where exactly this first cause appeared, which is exactly where time itself most likely commenced, is certainly unknown to me. However metaphysic it is, I do not think it wise to dismiss the notions of God and creation, merely because of the difficulty in finding a way to prove “He” as an entity exists. Furthermore, I find it perfectly logical to reason the notion of a first cause, and to call this “God.”

To Webmaster, I am sorry to find that you are so happy to have now in your arsenal of insults a new phrase with which to batter those who “get on your nerves.” I assert that such immaturity, especially when coming from the director of affairs here, will do far more harm than good, and therefore find your motivations to be selfish and narrowminded.

Steven said...

Boomslang, i must admit that i am beginning to like you!

boomSLANG said...

Evidence, Stevie boy...evidence, mmm'k?...NOT things like--- there's some "wisdom" in the Holy Bible, so don't throw the baby out with the bath water, therefore God exists; not evolution is "only a theory", so then "Creation"..i.e.."magic" MUST be true, therefore God exists; not you don't agree with me, so you are "ignorant", therefore God exists; not you guys are "anti-christian", and I don't like the way you debate, therefore, God exists; not Hi...I'm pro-christian doctrine, but "not" a Christian...no, in fact I'm a Deist, and I know there was a first cause, and I like calling that cause "God". So God does exist, so...so...so, um...so...so, uhhh.......


SO? lol

freeman said...

boomSLANG,
As a borderline Deist (leaning atheist), I have never before someone who called themselves a deist throwup so much christianity! When I became a Deist some 25 years ago, I disregarded anything that came from the bible as "truth". To me, the "creator" was the big bang, not something which created the bang. All things come from the bang, therefore it is the "creator". No intelligence needed nor required, just is. The "creator" is energy, nothing more.

Agin, Steve, how do you spout so much christianity and claim to be a deist? The two are incompatible!

.:webmaster:. said...

Steve,

Regardless of my general maturity level, in your estimation, I still want to be filled in on the point of your lengthy posts.

Care to enlighten? Because, frankly, I 'm mystified. Perhaps you could condescend to someone below your level?

boomSLANG said...

Hello Freeman,

Yes, I've been wondering the same thing, myself...... well, I think we all have. I think you know as well as I, that this is the typical "first cause = Christian biblegod" gag, and as usual, it's all dressed up with no where to go. lol. I, as well as the rest of us, am still waiting, too.

"SO?"

Jim Arvo said...

Here we go again...

Steven: "And [you, Jim] further felt the inclination to insult me as pretending to be what I am not. Well, I shall forgive you of this lack of self-control, especially in that it only exudes insipience."

I neither request nor require your forgiveness. I think you portray yourself as being many things you are not: humble, open-minded, objective, etc. As I said before, I find that loathsome.

Yet again you trot out the "lack of self-control" canard. I've chosen my words carefully and purposefully. You have no knowledge as to my level of self-control; you simply assume that my pointed criticism must be specious. As for insipience, well, I agree wholeheartedly that it applies to one of us.

Steven: "Well, the Big Bang is admittedly by scientists, only a theory, and perhaps quite a lose one at that, although you seem here to wish it to be a certainty,..."

No, that's your interpretation. I have never once, here or elsewhere, referred to it as a certainty. My point is that your ideas are based on nothing more than naive folk-physics. Modern theories, even if incorrect in detail or in whole, make it quite clear how useless armchair speculation is (unless, of course, it is used as a vehicle to pose an interesting hypothesis--that's another discussion).

Steven: "The notion of it having had to have “occurred at some point in time,” refers to what is known as “first cause.” All effects occurring in matter/ time/ space are the result of some previous “cause,” or the combination of several causes. Therefore, while tracing backward one must conclude that there was a “first cause,” which began it all."

I say it again, that is pure armchair speculation, and it's extraordinarily naive. Even your assertion that all effects require a cause is nothing more than a quaint 19'th century assumption. According to what we know today, it is false. This is perhaps the most direct indication of how utterly useless naive intuition is when divorced from experiment.

Steven: "This is because there cannot possibly have been an infinite string of causes,..."

Your entire argument is predicated on word play and thought experiments. You apparently believe that you can simulate the entire universe in your imagination, and running backwards in time to boot. That is the height of naiveté. If you could do that, Steven, and actually reach verifiably correct conclusions, there are any number of prestigious endowed chairs at universities that could be yours.

Steven: "This first cause could be God’s initial setting in motion of the universe with its laws, and I believe it is."

That's a completely unfounded assertion. You are welcome to that belief, but since you've indulged so much uncritical speculation to arrive at it, ignored conflicting evidence from 20'th century physics, and provided no evidence whatsoever (not even the admission that any is needed), I reject your explanation as purely fanciful.

Steve: "May I suggest that here your choice of prose is quite turgid. “Enumerable,” indeed."

My choice of prose? Interesting choice of words. Was the meaning of "enumerable" not clear?

Steven: "And with this, you try dismissing my statement by calling it, with utmost turgidity and arrogant dismissal, “armchair speculation based on nothing more than naïve intuition.”"

But that is precisely what it is. Do you care to refute my assessment? Sorry, Steven, but I think this has gotten to be rather ridiculous. I chose my words carefully and I think they are completely apt and descriptive. Armchair speculation means speculation that is based solely on thought experiments, with no appreciation for the role of experiment. (Some people refer to it more derisively as "contemplating one's navel.") It could not be a more apt description of your argument.

Steven: "Now, the concept time being a constant is so obvious, that I suppose it could be called intuition; however, it is also very easy to prove. Even if there is some hypothesis to the contrary, it is nothing more than that, and although it certainly should not be discarded on such grounds, it also should not be given so much credence as you have given it above. The far more likely and tested concept of time being a constant, should at least be given some consideration by you."

You're grasping at straws now. I regard all scientific theories as provisional, without exception. A theory is only as good as its supporting evidence, which may be ephemeral. If you insist on painting my remarks as black and white, or implying certainty, then you wrestle a straw man. I have no idea what you mean by time being "a constant", nor what would count as evidence for this assertion. If you care to clarify, please do.

Steven: "I am quite warmed by your stating me as your friend.... However, I am compelled to think you may perhaps be disingenuous by giving me such a title."

It's called sarcasm, just like your remark about being "warmed." Suppose I said "That's brilliant, Steven!" when it was clear I totally disagreed. That too would be sarcasm. Occasionally I resort to sarcasm and/or humor when a discussion has become very tedious and repetitious (as this one has).

Steven: "Yes, and further, what is “bombastic” and “stilted” is certainly this paragraph, coupled with your last one."

That was very predictable. I'll gladly compare my explanations, side-by-side, with yours.

As for your use of the word "ego", I understood you perfectly. You were touting yourself as "objective" in that you have minimal emotional attachment to the arguments at hand, with the implication that you can therefore weigh both sides equally (or nearly so). Was that not your meaning? I asserted the contrary: that you do indeed seem to have a rather strong emotional attachment--I said that because you've been very quick to level accusations, quick to dismiss what others say to you or to nitpick, and you cling to some very peculiar arguments (i.e. that we hastily reject everything in the Bible) that are tangential at best.

Steven: "Again, my remarks are taken out of context." [This with regard to my criticism of Steven's argument that "The idea of “present” is actually non-existent, for there is no point at which you could say “now” which could not be divided severally."]

Nope. I don't think so. You clearly took issue with the use of the word "present", in its colloquial sense, and offered a specious argument as to why such does not exist. Yes, you substituted the bizarre phrase "present infinity" or "time infinite", for "present", but that didn't help your argument one bit. It's still a muddle. Moving on...

Steven: "Furthermore, connecting this concept that there is no “now,” with the idea that there are no real numbers in the continuum, simply because they can each one be divided severally, or four ways, is fallacious."

The most common meaning of "severally" is "in turn", or "sequentially". In the context that you used it, you clearly meant that each moment in time could be divided (or cut into smaller pieces) without end, which you even illustrated with an example. Your implication was that this somehow negated the concept of a present moment. It no more negates that concept that it negates the concept of a real number. I'll say it again; your argument is nonsense.

Steven: "It was necessary to draw out the concept that I believed God exists outside of time and space, using connections to the concepts which I viewed to be illogical in Astreja and Boomslang’s posts....Although it seemed a puffed-up tangle of accusational arrogance to you, I felt it necessary to state what I did to fully prove my point."

If god exists outside of space and time, then assuming otherwise to disprove him is fallacious. I honestly don't see what is so difficult about that statement. I also don't see the necessity of calling someone arrogant simply because they make an assumption that you disagree with, particularly when you seem to have no evidence for your position. Simply asserting that there is something outside space and time does not make your case. In fact, I'm not sure the concept is even meaningful.

Steven: "...the idea of order present in the formation of a crystal, or ice, is actually an example of entropy."

Please look up entropy. Your statement is patently false if you mean to imply that crystal growth results in an increase of entropy.

Steven: "...the second law makes the idea of “spontaneous generation,” resulting eventually in the plethora of species today, highly unlikely, even over so great a period of time as “billions of years.”"

Steven, I argue with a lot of people here about science. I can tell quite quickly when someone is not conversant in the ideas or methods of science, and it's rarely worth my time to try to educate them (although I occasionally still try). By many of your comments, it's very clear to me that you have little background in science; that's not an indictment, it's simply an observation. No matter how you try to spin it, Steven, SLT (second law of thermodynamics) is far too coarse a principle to have any bearing on evolution in the large. It is routinely employed at the molecular level, with regard to self-assembly for example, but attempting to use it to refute evolution is like trying to use conservation of energy (FLT) to analyze the global economy. It makes absolutely no sense.

Steven: "Also, what it takes for an embryo to form is not spontaneous, but rather the result of genetics at work..."

Genetics was irrelevant to my point, as I was speaking explicitly about SLT. An embryo could not grow, nor could a crystal, if not for local *decreases* in entropy. If evolution were impossible on those grounds, then so to would myriad processes around us that we observe every day. Hence, that line of reasoning is fallacious.

Steven: "This is more a proof of design than of abiogenesis."

And what do you offer to support that assertion? SLT is completely silent on the matter of abiogenesis.

Steven: "The likelihood that spontaneous generation could occur is impossible in the face of the law of entropy,..."

That is 100% rubbish. Please look up entropy and learn a little about thermodynamics before making any more groundless assertions like that. They are a waste of time.

Steven: "...which it would consistently have to overcome by pure chance in an open system, in that the probability of such a thing is so slim as to make it a theoretical impossibility."

You clearly have no idea what you're talking about here. What probability are you speaking of? How do you compute or approximate that probability? What are the priors? How did you estimate the priors?

Steven: "This is not to mention the many other problems faced when asserting such a theory, which originally was advocated by Aristotle, who believed mice simply appeared in hay and maggots in rancid meat;..."

Aristotle's ideas are a red herring here. They have no bearing at all on the modern synthesis of evolutionary ideas.

Steven: "...problems such as the vast amount of missing links in the fossil record..."

Are you even aware of how many have been identified? Do you know how many transitional forms should be present if current ideas about evolution are correct? Here's a challenge to you, Steven. Can you please list for me what the major lines of evidence are that support the theory of evolution? If you are objective, that should be an easy matter for you, no?

Steven: "Currently, the most probable explanation of the origin of life is that of first cause, which I deem to be God."

You *deem* it to be god? Good grief, Steven. Do you even read what you're writing? If you mean your mythical "first cause" is "god" by definition, then it's a vacuous statement. If you mean something more, then you need evidence.

Steven: "Furthermore, I find it perfectly logical to reason the notion of a first cause, and to call this “God.”"

Well, okay then. The rest of us will just continue to stick with ideas that have some supporting evidence, and simply admit ignorance about those things for which there is neither confirming nor disconfirming evidence. Shall we just leave it at that?

Steven to Webmaster: "...and [I] therefore find your motivations to be selfish and narrowminded."

Here's another possibility, Steven. Perhaps you are bent on demonstrating your superior "objectivity" and "knowledge" here (for what reason I cannot fathom), with little regard for the actual integrity of your arguments or for the evidence that supports them. Perhaps these characteristics, along with your longwinded tortured prose, make you very annoying to us, which invites harsh (but largely accurate) critiques of your posts. As you cannot accept this criticism (due to cognitive dissonance) you lash out at those who have seen through your flimsy arguments.

There. Now we have two rival hypotheses that explain the same behavior. Of the two, I favor the second.

Warnepiece said...

I enjoy the discourse, exchange of ideas, and opinions on this website. My apologies if someone has already made this point but reading Steven’s numerous postings is visually and mentally painful. Not for his ideas, (that’s another story) but for the long winded and ponderous way he presents his point of view. Steven spends WAY TO MUCH time with his thesaurus and thinks far too highly of what he writes. Since he seems to like referencing that thesaurus, maybe he should check out the meaning of the words ostentatious and pompous.

Jim Arvo said...

The Pie Shop: A Play in Three Acts (more or less)

The cast:

D: The owner of Dave's Pie Shop.
J: A patron of Dave's Pie Shop.
S: A former patron of another shop who professes to neither like nor dislike dung pies.

Act I:

(A sunny morning inside Dave's Pie Shop. S enters the shop, where J is engaged with other patrons.)

S: I wish to speak to the owner so that I may eruditely instruct him on the virtues of humility and dissuade him from further traumatizing the patrons of other pie shops. The patrons of this very shop are guilty of assorted misdemeanors and disrespect, if not outright crimes against humanity, by abridging the fundamental rights of others in a childish and insulting manner. Please summon him post haste that I may admonish him.

J: Excuse me, but who are you talking to? We were in the middle of assisting a fellow patron who is gagging on a bit of pie from the shop next door; one of the many pie shops on this very block selling dung pies.

S: Ah, that is the very act of disrespect of which I speak! The hostility emanating from the patrons here is alarming and is the very source of the trauma afflicting the patrons of other fine pie shops. Do not be so hasty as to dismiss my words; heed my admonitions and desist in this childish behavior at once.

J: Who are you again?

S: I am an unbiased observer. You see, I nether like nor dislike dung pies, although I shall disclose that in a prior state of my existence, as an impressionable youth, I did partake of said pies, albeit for an abbreviated period of time, for I rapidly discovered that my predilections were not completely commensurate with their ingredients. Forthwith, I exclusively confined my consumption to the most delicious Galilean cherries extracted therefrom. This state of affairs bestows upon my person the esteemed privilege of being an exemplary arbitrator, if not an absolute arbiter, in this dispute among pie shops, as I am undeniably objective in this matter, not to mention humble and honest to a fault.

J: So you once ate dung pies, but now you eat only the cherries stuck in them--the ones imported from Gaillile--and you present yourself as something of a referee? I suppose that would explain the striped shirt and the whistle.

S: My garb is neither here nor there. If you were to further insinuate that my appearance is highly objectionable, and to do so with vitriol, then I should have no recourse but to deem you most arrogant and condescending.

J: Why are you here again?

S: Was my statement not perspicuous? I shall be happy to repeat selected passages of my previous monologs, word-for-word, if you so desire. Ask me thrice and I shall. They consist in particularly fine phrases, each correct in every aspect, as I adjudge from the vantage point of complete objectivity.

J: Um... No thanks. You say we're traumatizing the patrons of the other pie shops? How is that? We simply do not like to eat dung pies, with or without cherries.

S: You see, you betray your deep bias and hostility in that very remark! Not once have you extolled the virtues of Galilean cherries! You simply turn up your nose and arrogantly dismiss the very delicious nature of Galilean cherries. Have you no compassion for the patrons of other pie shops? Do you insist on ignoring my admonitions?

J: I have nothing at all against cherries. In fact, I'm rather fond of them. However, I prefer not to dig them out of dung. Since the imported Galilean variety are pre-baked into dung pies, I instead avail myself of various far eastern cherries and the many varieties that are grown locally. They're all quite delicious, and good for you too.

S: Why do you irrationally reject Galilean cherries? Yet again you refuse to explicitly state that Galilean cherries are "Most Delicious", which means you are biased and not at all objective. Since I neither like nor dislike dung pies, I am in a position of authority, not to mention humility. I am very sensitive to the plight of those who consume prodigious quantities of Galilean cherries, dung and all. Why do you insist on traumatizing them so! You are arrogant indeed.

J: Are we somehow being unfair to those who insist on eating dung pies? Are we obliged to eat them too?

S: Still railing against Galilean cherries I see. Do you not grasp how rude you are to the patrons who enter this shop offering you a slice a dung pie?

J: You mean like that lady the other day who threatened to torch the place? Or the guy who said he hopes the shop goes out of business because the patrons here don't like dung pies? Or the one who stormed out when we offered him some locally-grown cherries? (Actually, there have been quite a few of those.)

(Just then, the owner arrives.)

D: Can I help you sir?

S: Ah yes, you must be the owner of this reprehensible establishment. Where is your banner, good sir? I do not see it displayed conspicuously in your window.

D: Banner? What banner?

S: The banner that reads "Galilean cherries are MOST DELICIOUS!"

D: We don't sell Galilean cherries here, as they come pre-baked in dung pies. None of our patrons can stand dung, so we use other types of cherries in the pies instead; some from trees much older and more mature than the ones in Galilee. Now, we have nothing against Galilean cherries at all; in fact, some of them are quite fine.

S: Then repeat after me. Galilean cherries are Most Delicious. Galilean cherries are MOST DELICIOUS! Why do you arrogantly ignore the admonitions of a humble objective observer?

D: Perhaps you missed the sign on the door. It says that patrons of this shop do not eat dung pies, do not advocate that others eat dung pies, and have many good reasons for avoiding dung pies. It's the dung we object to. It smells offensive to us, and after researching it extensively, it turns out that it has no nutritional value whatsoever. If you like dung, there are dozens of other shops on this very block that will be happy to serve it to you. If you *don't* like dung, then this shop offers some respite. After all, many of our patrons were force fed dung pies when they were young, and they are now quite upset by the very smell of it. So, you see, this has very little to do with Galilean cherries at all. Can I see you to the door?

J: Wait, wait! I'm having trouble understanding your position. Let me ask you this. If I like doughnuts, would it be reasonable for me to drive across town to Sue's Bagel Shop, walk in, and tell her she's being insensitive to my tastes, and that she ought to put a banner in her window saying "Doughnuts are MOST DELICIOUS"?

S: Your statement is the epitome of convoluted prose, and I deem you quite arrogant. If the aforementioned proprietor does not readily and publicly proclaim your right to promulgate your preordained preference for the aforementioned foodstuffs, and further insults your lineage and threatens you with a deadly weapon, then yes you would most certainly have every right to insist she practice greater self-control, as do the patrons of my former pie shop.

J: I really thought that was a fairly straightforward question. And who said anything about a weapon? By the way, can you give us some tips on talking like that? It's very impressive.

S: With utmost humility I will share with you some of my closely guarded secrets. First and foremost, it's a very fine practice, and one I have taken to a high art, to, in the middle of an explanation or other exposition of ideas, embed, not to the exclusion of the very origin or the terminus, but verily distributed throughout, various particles of speech such as when taken in toto produce a single, and nary more than that, perspicuous idea that is perhaps better expressed by an utterance consisting of, let us say, no more than perhaps a dozen syllables.

J: So, avoid simplicity.

S: It is to be eschewed at all costs, as it is very arrogant and condescending, and runs the grave danger of communicating a thought in such a manner as its meaning is laid bare, thereby making it vulnerable to counterpoint by individuals harboring various biases. For its most pleasant effect on the ear, the construction and deployment of hideously inverted sentences I shall at a later time instruct you on.

J: I'll bet you have some interesting views on science too. Can you explain entropy to me?

(End of Act I)

.:webmaster:. said...

J,

Absolutely hilarious.




My stomach hurts now!

J. C. Samuelson said...

Steven,

I don't have anything of substance to add, as Jim has answered you far more effectively than I could ever have. Nonetheless, I'd like to add my two cents on one topic in particular.

No one disputes your familiarity with Webster, but as impressive as your vocabulary is it is a major obstacle to communication. A bit of economy would suit you as well, because in 22 pages worth of material (11,569 words) posted on two different threads, you've managed to demonstrate only three ideas (all three are matters of opinion only):

1. You think most of us are rude, and should be nicer to those who think we're going to hell.

2. You think we should take your advice because the Bible contains some wisdom.

3. You think you are an unbiased, objective observer.

There are other ideas you've communicated unintentionally, but there's no reason to be rude and enumerate them for you. I wouldn't want to offend anyone's delicate sensibilities. After all, as you say we must be careful of the psychological make-up of the individuals with whom we speak.

Jim,

That was the funniest damn thing I've read in a long time. Thanks!

Cheers!

Steven said...

Thank you, Jim for such a direct rebuke, given in such hilarious and brilliant portrayal! I am only responding now to say that no continuance of this discussion by me would be effectual, as it is clear both to myself and others that you have stated the better points, and backed them up with a greater understanding of science and philosophy than myself, and therefore I concede the argument to you. But I enjoyed it thoroughly, thank you! I look forward to reading everyone's posts in the near future.

boomSLANG said...

Affirmative, James Arvo.... no continuance would be effectual. Your recalcitrancy to comply in a manner that is in agreement with my own worldview, compounded with a distasteful generalship, has lead me to conclude that the entity known as "God", is absolutely subsistant. Thank you all, and God bless you.

ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jim Arvo said...

Steven,

You just did something that is as rare as hen's teeth around here; you graciously conceded. For that I sincerely commend you. I fully expected to be crticized for evading numerous points and blatantly exaggerating others in my little satire (if not being a bit cruel). But you chose not to do that.

You know, there is one thing I'm disappointed about, though. Now there will be no Act II or Act III. I'm sure you're disappointed about that too. :-)

Steven said...

haha, yeah, i am a bit disappointed! perhaps in the future it will evolve afterall =]. Well, i appreciate your remark, and i really do look forward to more discussion on the various aspects of religion, science and society, and perhaps even throw around some suggestions you and others may have regarding what best course of action can be taken to help bridge the divide between truth and superstition. Best Regards!