Thursday, February 5, 2009

Let's talk about sex, baby

And the potential result of sex... an unwanted pregnancy.

This is the best off-the-cuff post on abortion that I've read in a long time.

It was put up over at the AFA Forum by His Noodly Appendage. The thread has been a fascinating rehash of the same old arguments because the "pro-life" side is actually being presented by an atheist. *mind boggles* The pro-life stance is in italics, His Noodly Appendage's reply in plain font.



~~~~~~~~~~
Okay, my three cents.

On what grounds might we consider abortion to be morally wrong?

It's infanticide - the taking of a new life!

Sperm are alive. Ova are alive. Therefore, life does not start at conception, and abortion is not killing 'new life'. The cells are just the mother's own cells, that started dividing madly after being reprogrammed by a passing sperm.

Can you say HPV?

But if nature is left to take its course, this will result in a new, separate human being!

Leave me in a room with Serena Williams and Parminder Nagra, let nature take its course, and there'll be babies all over the place. Would it be wrong for them to intervene?

(I'd actually be very happy with a 'yes' here )

A percentage of the time, leaving nature to take its course will result only in death of the mother, or in a stillbirth/miscarriage. Net gain: 0. Can someone explain why we have to do this the hard, horrible way, and why the mother gets the short straw?

But the unborn child is innocent! It's not their fault!

Do people have the right to defend themselves from a mentally incompetent attacker? If a severely retarded individual attempted to stab you in the uterus, and you had no recourse but to shoot them, would you be ethically justified in doing so, or would it be wrong because they were 'innocent'?

But the unborn child has so much more life ahead of them, they deserve a chance!

So older people have no right to defend themselves against younger people, now?

But life-threatening cases are rare. Most of the time, both survive.

Okay - do you have the right to defend yourself from rape?

Nine MONTHS of rape?

I can think of few more hideous forms of torture than forced birth.

Especially when that birth (and the pregnancy preceding it) were the result of sexual abuse.

Imagine it. Growing inside you like a fucking tumour. Taking over your body, sucking the very calcium out of your bones, wrecking your menstrual cycle (okay, I can't directly imagine that), doing weird things to your genitals, to your breasts, leaving you nauseous and heaving your guts out day after day, hypersensitive to the slightest odour, suffering horrible sciatica so that every waddling step is pain, swelling and stretching your belly to the point of pain and beyond, reducing your bladder capacity to a thimbleful and squeezing other internal organs out of the way, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, dietary restrictions, bugger-all chance of restoring a normal sex life for the duration, and perhaps the worst, fucking your emotions with a cheesegrater, leaving you crying and buffeted by waves of feelings you can't predict or even understand, forcing you to fall in love with it, though not precluding hate, in a bizarre and hideous form of Stockholm Syndrome.

Part of your rapist living inside you (and indeed, kicking you in the belly), for NINE FUCKING MONTHS, 24/7.

And then there's the birth - hours of indescribable agony, with a likelihood of getting torn halfway from vagina to rectum, urethra damage, spinal damage, torn pelvic ligaments - or having your uterus cut open to preclude these.

And of course, once it's out, a wash of hormones further betraying your emotions into loving that which has abused you so.

You want to know the last word in final soul-destroying humiliation?

For those that want it, the symptoms can be worth the result, and the emotional vortex only reinforces the happiness therefrom.

For those that don't, just as with sex, it's a whole 'nother story.

Even without an initial rape, a truly unwanted pregnancy isn't something I'd wish on my own worst enemy. And if someone were to kill to avoid that, I'd support them every step of the way. Even if I counted a cluster of cells smaller than the amount you scrape off the inside of your cheek when eating a piece of toast as 'human', even if I saw no difference between that and an adult or child, I'd still support it.

But foetuses are people!

You think so? Here's a test:

You're in a fertility clinic that has just caught on fire. The place is really going up. At one end of a long hallway is a rack of petri dishes with newly-fertilised embryos. At the other is a three-year-old child. By the look of things, you'll only be able to save one or the other before the roof caves in.

Which do you leave to burn?

Well. If she didn't want to get pregnant, she shouldn't have had sex.

And if she didn't want to get raped, she shouldn't have worn those clothes, right?

Bugger that. That's just leftover patriarchal crap. As Serenity said, choosing to have sex is choosing to have sex. Choosing to get pregnant is an entirely unrelated decision.

That'll do for now , I think.

Of course, that being said, I probably would have issues with someone choosing to abort (except under truly dire circumstances) at say, 39.5 weeks. If you've kept it that long, you've pretty much taken responsibility for it already - you've accepted the role of parent, and as such, it counts as your child.

Where do I draw the line? I don't, really. It's a smear of cells at the beginning, and a baby at the end. In between, there are only shades of grey.

~~~~~~~~~~
Special thanks to His Noodly Appendage for the thoughtful read!! :D

36 comments:

uzza said...

gods, your tumor analogy is a classic Shakespeare couldn't have beat. I've argued that way myself, but now I'm going to copy your description and shamelessly plagarize. (if that's ok)

Fiery said...

:) Help yourself! I'll let His Noodly Appendage know how much you liked it as well. Glad to see you back! :D

Makarios said...

A blogger shared these words of atheist wisdom with me.

“Human beings are all valuable - as long as they are valued by others.”

From an atheist’s perspective, truer words were never spoken.

‘Humans have value as long as someone values them,’ and the rest can be, and are thrown away by the tens of millions on a yearly basis.

February 7 / 09 - MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- A doctor's license was revoked Friday in the case of a teenager who planned to have an abortion but instead gave birth to a baby she says was killed when clinic staffers put it into a plastic bag and threw it in the trash. The baby’s mother alleges in her suit that "she witnessed the murder of her daughter" and said she "sustained severe emotional distress, shock and psychic trauma which have resulted in discernible bodily injury."

A clinic co-owner entered the room and used a pair of shears to cut the baby's umbilical cord, the suit said. She "then scooped up the baby and placed the live baby, placenta and afterbirth in a red plastic biohazard bag, which she sealed, and then threw bag and the baby in a trash can."

So the baby, whom the mother didn’t value one second before, suddenly became valuable when she could see it one second later. What wasn’t murder to her one second before, felt like murder one second later. What became murder for the mother, was not murder to the clinic workers. Subjective morality. This is the life that atheists want for you and for me.

"Eugenic sterilization is an urgent need . We must prevent multiplication of this bad stock." Margaret Sanger, Birth Control Review.

The unwanted, the inconvenient, the undervalued, the ugly, the poor, the wretched, the pitiful. The most helpless and hopeless of our world are by and large left to the vultures. All the people that Jesus told us to serve as though they were our superior, those of an atheistic mind-set discard as being beyond useless.

From conception to natural death, Christians believe that all humans have value.

"Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race." Margaret Sanger. Woman, Morality, and Birth Control. New York: New York Publishing Co.

Christians find it repugnant when atheists ridicule and mock those who love others not in spite of, but because of their wretchedness. Atheists however see no problem with their inverted value system because their faith system advances the human species by getting rid of the weak and unwanted.

"Eugenics is the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems. Margaret Sanger. "The Eugenic Value of Birth Control." Birth Control Review

"The life growing in me is just a useless blob." Lizaveta

Unlike atheists, those who work in Mission Hospitals, Shelters, Orphanages, Food Distribution Programs etc. actually value the humble, the meek, the weak and the rejected.

“Human beings are all valuable - as long as they are valued by others.”

If there is one sentence that summarizes the atheistic world-view, that might well be the most succinct.

Richard said...

Human beings are all valuable - as long as they are valued by others.

How revoltingly obnoxious!! Such a view is the vomit of intellectual vultures, waiting for the next independent mind to die.

By its logic, a man must spend his entire life pandering to others in the hope of being given some scrap of praise or appreciation. Only then can he have any self-esteem. It is the very stuff of teenage suicide.

No, it is far worse, ...it is the exact notion that produced
— the gas chambers of Auschwitz (others did not like Jews) — the Gulags of Russia (you were not living for other Russians),
— the starvation of 30 million Ukrainians so that other Russians could have bread
— the starvation of at least as many Chinese so that other Chinese could have iron.

Yes, that's the *communist* atheists' version of human value, but the religious version is no better.

It says, "Human beings are all valuable if they serve all God's children- because the flying spaghetti monster, God, says so.” In this system, an individual has to appeal to the omnipotent, imaginary being of psychotics! Except that actually means he must believe his life is only worth something because the psychotics say so! "What, he doesn't believe in our God. Stone the evil infidel, break him on the rack, shun him, ridicule him." Sick, SICK SICK.

By that moral code, no amount of reason, achievement or productivity is a value, unless it is for others or unless others patronizingly assert that it is. This is the wicked morality of altruism... you are nothing unless you live for others.

What of the caveman who returns from hunting to find his entire tribe has been slaughtered (ladies, just switch genders here). He finds the body of his wife, the startlingly wonderful cave girl that he would have died to save. Wracked with grief he finds, beneath her corpse, their lovely girl child. She has her mother's eyes, lips & hair, and she is alive! What now?

He loves that child, and now she is all that remains of the woman he believed he could not live without. He hunts and gathers like crazy. He finds and improves shelter so they are safe from predators & marauders. He clumsily develops ways to make clothing against the cold.

Values are those things for which one acts to gain or keep. He acts to care for himself & the child that is HIS greatest value. [Note that he is still the first value here —without himself he could not value the child.] Knowing he won't live forever, he teaches the child to live the same way, always selfishly ensuring that their highest values, their lives and happiness, will be sustained. He succeeds.

That caveman acted morally and selfishly, and with each success he can be proud of himself regardless of, and completely without, the praise of others. Even his child's appreciation was not WHY he did it, though that (later) appreciation is a definite justice. He did it because he loved HIS life and his wife. His child embodied both.

That man was NOT defined by the fawning or snarling minds that may have surrounded him. The slow progress of civilization has been towards escape from such bonds.

Altruism, for all its glowing chatter, pits men against each other. While a man's natural need to survive and be happy demands selfishness, under altruism he must reverse Nature, and struggle to reward and care for ...others. If he does not comply, he faces rebuke from those others, who come to him claiming their 'need' is all that is required for him to give to them that which he has created. "Give up" to what? To those who have not created. In a culture of altruist morality, a man must be suspicious of every other that approaches him; will they demand yet another tax on his life and his happiness?

~~~~

Why did I include the child?

Because other people can be a value to a rational and selfish mind. He may care for family or friends, or even complete strangers, depending on how such care may effect his life. He will care for them as he chooses, but will not do so from the self-destructive code that is altruism. No other man has a right to demand otherwise.

Ask yourself whether you would rather be helped because you were the most worthless whining thing your altruist benefactor could find, or because a rational man recognized you as a significant value?

Makarios said...

Fydor - I thought perhaps you'd died. Oh well . . .

"Human beings are all valuable if they serve all God's children- because the flying spaghetti monster, God, says so.”

God values you so much that He died for you even though you maintain the stance of an enemy. He loves you with an altruistic love to such a degree that you're going to have to step over His dead body just to force your way into hell.
================

"or because a rational man recognized you as a significant value?"

In the atheist faith system, if you believe you have one unit of worth and your neighbour says you have no worth, your neigbour is just as correct as you are. The best that you can hope for is that you're more powerful than your neighbour. In the atheist belief system worth and value are nothing but arbitrary attributes doled out in a whimsical and convoluted value system, a system where one second you have no value and the next second you may or may not have value. It all depends on the more powerful individual's or community's likes or dislikes.
Good luck with that.

Richard said...

Wow It's Macaroni.

Fydor???

You're kidding!! The irony is astounding.

Fydor, the ignorant caregiver [religious adviser] to Bova [his helpless dupe], is unaware of how thoroughly he poisons her.

[We can disregard The High Evolutionary for now. To those who are lost, this whole metaphor is a reference to a Marvel Comic.]

Macaroni, let me be the first to tell you that Exodus is your priest. Be not surprised. But, let's go one step further ...only you can kill Rakkus, and so release Fydor (who is far more you than me), and save dear Bova.

Macaroni, the Higher Knowledge of the Atheists on this blog, cannot be fooled by Exodus's subterfuge, as you, Fydor, have been fooled.

You, Macaroni, wrote, (but I substituted all reference to God with Warner Brother's "Foghorn Leghorn" )
"Foghorn Leghorn values you so much that Foghorn died for you even though you maintain the stance of an enemy. Foghorn loves you with an altruistic love to such a degree that you're going to have to step over Foghorn's dead body just to force your way into hell [sic]".

As for God, "I say, I say, BOY... here it is!"

Hey Sh_th__d, more of your *human* babies are killed by miscarriage than ever survive. Your God is about as competent as Foghorn's God. F'off.

The rest of your argument is stolen from every other religious anti-abortionist: that is, who gives a F__k about the life of the mother, MAKE HER A SLAVE TO HER UTERUS, FOR GOD. How sick.

"Christians find it repugnant when atheists ridicule and mock those who love others not in spite of, but because of their wretchedness.

Yes, we do. Let's not progress for the sake of the greatness of humanity, let's demoralize all who want humanity to advance, for the sake of the most (fucking) wretched. Gee, I already said that Macaroni, you waste of skin.

Macaroni, if you understood ANYTHING about human beings you would never dare say,
"Atheists however see no problem with their inverted value system because their faith system advances the human species by getting rid of the weak and unwanted."

Only through productive effort can humans live well & advance. It is the understandng that when mankind works, mankind survives. It is not a matter of dismissing the weak, it is a matter of offering them a value to their lives, in return for a justifiable compensation for the effort it took to offer them that value in the first place. Your recipe is death.

If men do not take advantage of opportunies to advance, why should someone who does, limit themselves for ther sake? If they mindlessly demand more, while offering nothing in return, they deserve nothing.

The choice is theirs.

~~~~

Margaret Sanger is an idiot. Don't even bother going there.

~~~~

You wrote, "Unlike atheists, those who work in Mission Hospitals, Shelters, Orphanages, Food Distribution Programs etc. actually value the humble, the meek, the weak and the rejected."

Well I already addressed that. Charity can deal with some of it, but when it becomes an obligation, the 'need' always expands until the productive cannot begin to provide. Let 'em die, because their numbers increased in exact proportion to the success of their scam. Your morality sets them up for exactly that failure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

~~~~
Macaroni, your post of 5:51 demonstrates such an egregious lack of principle that it is no wonder that some 200 million humans were massacred (under communism) for your view. You are, in spirit, if not in law, a genocidal murderer. I cheer your ideological death.

Makarios said...

Even when I was a child I thought comics and those who read them were ridiculous. I have no idea what you’re referring to. I on the other hand am referring to the man of whom you remind me. Fyodor Karamazov, from Dostoyevsky’s The Brother’s Karamazov. I know he comes in paper back but I'm not sure about comic book. Too bad, you my enjoy him
==============

Communism?

I suppose you agree with Dawkins, “Individual atheists may do evil things but they don’t do evil things in the name of religion.”

No, atheists do evil because their atheism spawns a seething hatred for religion as demonstrated by Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Honecker, Castro, Ho, Marx, Engels, Lenin, Kim, Ceausescu and virtually every atheist that blogs about religion including Fyodor here. The point of their agendas is, ‘Religion is harmful. Get rid of it and everything will begin to move toward civil society.’ Marx and Engels put it bluntly, “Abolish all religion and all morality.”

The fallacy in the belief that peace will reign if religion is dismantled is seen in the fact that in the Chinese invasion of Tibet, the October Revolution, the Russian Civil War, the Sino-Indian War, the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia, the Chinese Civil War and other conflicts around the globe, both past and present, religion is nowhere to be seen while atheism is front and centre.

Neither Richard Dawkins nor Fyodor simply cannot bring themselves to admit that atheism was the driving force from which atheists, directing governments made up exclusively of atheists was obsessed with spreading anti-God propaganda, and specialized in the murder of millions of believers.

Atheist Soviet rulers systematically and efficiently destroyed the majority of churches and killed the majority of religious leaders during a period from 1918 - 1941. This was not individual atheists perpetrating evil. This was individual atheists doing evil in the name of atheism. They were perpetrating evil, all according to the atheist agenda to eliminate religion from society.

Now atheists, including this clown I'm conversing with tonight would have you believe that it was due to communism that Christians were savagely killed and imprisoned.

Hmm, let’s see.
Communism is in direct conflict with Christianity?

Atheism is in direct conflict with Christianity?

Gee, I wonder which is the most obviously antagonistic toward the concept of God?

Because it is so absurd, I can only assume that Dawkins and Karamazov finds the following amusing. When he’s confronted with the atrocities done in the name of atheism, Dawkins says with a straight face, “Well, Stalin also had a mustache. Maybe we should blame the deaths on that.”

Pathetic and pitiful more correctly describes Dawkins’ attempt to confuse the obvious.

Like Russian atheists before him, in “Letter to a Christian Nation” Harris bemoans, “the failure of our schools to announce the death of God in a way that each generation can understand.” He even goes on to say that some ideas are so dangerous that people may need to be killed simply for having those ideas. If you don’t see this as a dangerously secular idea, you are not an observer of history.

The fact is that in the 20th century, a third of the world saw atheists pronounce the death of God on billboards, in schools, government controlled publications, over the radio and in secret jails where torture was used in an attempt to force Christians to deny their faith. As in today’s atheist China, secret worship services in homes, warehouses, and even groups meeting in the forests and fields were forcibly broken up. Those who attended were beaten or killed or taken to reeducation camps, never to be seen again. In the 20th century, over a hundred million people have been killed under the banner of atheism in it’s hatred of God and those who worship Him. This pattern continues to this very day and there is no reason to expect that atheists who possess the needed power will stop anytime soon.
=============

“Advanced”
Yes, aren’t we ever advanced. Remember the atheist promise when we were told that the combination of wide-spread, higher education and stupendous wealth would bring us emotional health and relational well-being. Skyrocketing depression, rampant anxiety and never before seen levels of suicide among the educated and wealthy have proven the lie in that claim as well.

And of course we can’t forget the utopia promised to us by social darwinists like yourself, Sanger and Hitler. In our "advanced" society even those who are opposed to it, are forced to financially support the extermination of the most defenseless people in our society, all in an attempt to hide the guilt, fear and corrupt self-love of the more powerful segment.

Don’t get me wrong brother Karamazov. I’m strongly pro-choice. Dear God how I wish that people would exercise, not their right, but their obligation to choose whether or not to have a child, BEFORE conception, not after. But, being responsible would kill the romance of the affair, or the drunken sexual encounter, so we kill the babies instead.

Of course Fiery and the blob of cells that she was forced to carry in her womb on at least two occassions might of been conceived under less than ideal conditions. What's the answer? Kill the children. Two of our seven adopted children were conceived during a rape. And you - YOU - you social darwinist would like to see them dead.

Richard said...

Macaroni, YOU wrote Fydor, & now want it to be Fyodor. FkWt!

You do not know me well enough for me to "remind" you of anyone... but then drawing conclusions on little or no information is one of your strong points. Naturally, it doesn't work.

E.g. on my childhood reading you somehow failed to identify that before I was fourteen I had read, to name a few: The Robe, The Bible (skipping pages and pages of who begat whom), Ben Hur, QBVII, The Source, TaiPan, Sacajawea.

By fifteen I became an agnostic, though secretly so because my father is a lay preacher in the Anglican church. It was not until I understood the epistemology of Objectivism that I gained the understanding that properly rejects theism.

Dawkins's and his ilk still have not achieved that understanding. If you were more alert to Dawkins's arguments you would know that he does not fully reject God —he thinks that so long as God cannot be scientifically falsified then God might exist. He has not grasped that arbitrary assertions mean nothing, literally NOTHING.

An assertion must arise from known, real world information, and from that germ of evidence must subsequently be PROVEN TO exist. By Dawkins's thinking, the Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause, Leprechauns might also exist.

Richard said...

“Individual atheists may do evil things but they don’t do evil things in the name of religion.”

If you understood what atheism is, then you would agree with Dawkins too. As I say below, atheism only means "no god". It does not mean anything else. Thus atheists can adopt all sorts of other beliefs, which may or may not conflict with relgious beliefs. (See below.)

Your list of Communist killers was not a list of men who killed solely to destroy relgion. They were the ultimate altruists: dictators ...they demand sacrfice to others, but most of all sacrifice to themselves. Marx and Engels may have said they wanted to abolish morality, but they were advocates of altruism: "from each according to his ability to each according to his need".

How did that come about. One has to know a little philosophical history.

Marx was a student of Hegel. Hegel spent his formative years as an orthodox Christian. Though Hegel eventually rejected the idea of a singular God, he continued to think in terms of something Greater, suggesting it was the Collective mass of humanity. Hegel even believed that a sort of heavenly utopia would be possible if the Collective acted uniformly to eliminate all strife from human life. Marx picked up on that same Judeo-Christian faith in altruism and in suffering now to achieve future happiness. It was most clearly manifested in Russia's recurrent Five Year Plans to economic 'heaven' (and similar Chinese plans).

Communism, its morality of altruism, and all the killers you name, were spawned out of your religion. Make no mistake, Communism is merely a secular version of Christianity:
"Call nothing your own, but let everything be yours in common.
Food and clothing shall be distrbuted... according to each one's need.
"
That's your Christian St. Augustine (400AD), preceding Karl Marx by 1500 yrears!

Now let's revisit atheism. Just as believers in God, Jahweh, Allah etc. include peaceful people they also include violent killers, quite a few believing they are acting towards a some sort of peace under God.

The same is mix of peaceful vs violent can be found among atheists, but there is one crucialdifference...atheism only means "no God". Atheism has no other credo that can be used to build violence. Such a credo, for atheists, can only come from other belief systems (such as Marxism). The hundred million killed were not killed under the banner of atheism, but under the banner of Collectivism... the replacement of irrational belief in "God" with an equally irrational belief in "The People." Religion IS the credo that creates violence in its name, and switching that belief to the "The People" produced the same result. Communists knew who their closest philosophical enemy was, and acted against it. Hitler's Nazis (the National Socialist Workers Party) also knew who their closest enemies were, and first acted against the German commnists. Then they moved to eliminating Jews and not a few Christians.

Macaroni, if you do not see the dangers of religion then you are not an observer of the present, let alone of history. The Islamofascists are the modern version of Medieval Christians. The latter became more peaceful in direct proportion to how it was watered down by secular beliefs.

LOL...you wrote of the 20th C, "secret jails where torture was used in an attempt to force Christians to deny their faith.", as if the Medieval Inquistions, all condoned by the various Popes, never took place.

Imagine how vicious such inquistions would be using 20th C technology... they would be just like the Communists!

Richard said...

As a biologist and atheist, I flatly reject the very idea of Social Darwinism. It is an irrational interpretation of both Darwinian Evolution, and of the proper Nature of Man. Sure, many men act on Social Darwinism, and its variations, but their understanding is no more rational than belief in God or The Collective.

Man's best nature lies in uncoerced trade, by mutual consent to mutual benefit. Better traders may be wealthier than poorer traders, but poorer traders still benefit. That is how America's poor became enormously rich in comparison to even the upper middle class in all other political systems.

Man is a conceptual being. The more rational an individual man is, the more he lives by the best tool nature gave him for his survival.

"Man’s unique reward, however, is that while animals survive by adjusting themselves to their background, man survives by adjusting his background to himself. If a drought strikes them, animals perish—man builds irrigation canals; if a flood strikes them, animals perish—man builds dams; if a carnivorous pack attacks them animals perish—man writes the Constitution of the United States." Ayn Rand

Irrational men in irrational cultures suffer:
— the Christian Dark Ages of Europe,
— Muslim caliphates of today and the past,
— Communist nations/dictatorships, — tribal/aboriginal cultures and so forth. It is in those mystical/collectivist cultures that something resembling Neitzchean 'survival of the fittest' could be said to occur. It is in those cultures that men behave as "a carnivorous pack" attacking their fellow man.

Johnny said...

From an atheist’s perspective, truer words were never spoken.

WHY do we have to keep explaining to you twonks that atheists only have one thing in common? By definition?
*atheist - someone who denies the existence of god
*atheist - A person who does not believe that deities exist; one who lacks belief in gods
*atheism - the belief that there is no God
*atheism - rejecting any belief in gods
*atheist - one who believes that there is no deity or higher power

So how on earth do you know what my or any other atheists opinion on abortion is?? There is not an atheist handbook there is not an atheist manifesto or an atheist bible there is only the denial of god FULL STOP!! You do realise there are atheists who are pro life? And believe it or not malakarios there are pro choice christians too OH MY!!

And the rest of your posts are the same sort of emotive, assumptive, ill informed drivel!!

"Know your enemy well enough
And you will pity them instead" -
In The Brothers Karamazov
That's what Dostoyevsky said;
And pity soon will turn to love
Is what Jesus Christ once knew:
They both changed their minds the day
They met a fundamentalist crew.

Richard said...

It gets a bit tough to write perspectives that are new to regular visitors of this blog. I hope the above at least partially achieves that.

Obviously we have no hope of altering Macaroni's concerted and sinful irrationality. Nonetheless, like Reg Golb (Glob), Macaroni's accusations, rants, misconceptions and patent stupidity do provide source material. Sometimes it's a good release just to crap on them. :-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oh Great. Just as I type this, I see Johnny has added something.

This is a bit like the Newfies (or other victims of ethnic jokes) on an airplane...

Shortly after take off smoke comes from the outer right (starboard) engine. They notice that the pilot shuts it off and announces that passengers need not be concerned, the flight will be delayed by only 15 minutes.

Ten minutes later, the pilot announces that the inner port engine has failed and the flight will now be delayed by 45 minutes. The Newfies grumble... they have family waiting in St. John's.

Another ten minutes passes whereupon the pilot announces that the outer port engine has also failed, but that the plane can still be flown at a lower altitude. The flight will be delayed by 90 minutes.

One Newfie is particularly annoyed. "Damn it! If that last engine goes, we'll be up here all day!"

I might be here all day! ,-)

Richard said...

Ah, good. Johnny tackled Macaroon's abortion nonsense, which I did not. Well done John.

BTW, rather like Shakespeare, who was a terrific writer but had a dreadful view of Man as a victim of fate, Dostoyevky was a terrific writer, but had a terrible view of Mankind. In The Brothers Karamzov people are cynical, irrational, predatory, irresponsible, mooching, resentful, filthy etc etc.

No wonder Macaroon referenced it.

Richard said...

BTW, If anyone is interested, I wrote a short bit against Social Darwinism here. I could not find it at first.

I provide examples of how mutual trade helps the poor (reductions in the cost of cell phones, etc.)

I point out that a thousand Mother Theresas (her essence captured here) could not do so much for so many, as have Intel, Microsoft and the plethora of cell phone providers. No product we depend upon to improve our lives came from religious faith, period.

I also make a related point as to why socialism looks good at first, but soon does greater harm to the very people it purports to help.

Cheers!

Makarios said...

“he thinks that so long as God cannot be scientifically falsified then God might exist.”

Well, that’s partly right. He also allows for God as long as God evolved.
==========

“An assertion must arise from known, real world information,”

Mmm, wouldn’t that be nice? It would clean up a lot of junk on both sides of the argument.
============

“atheism only means "no God".”

Yes but wouldn’t you agree that there are moral implications to believing we come from nothing, by nothing and we’re going to nothing?
===========

“under the banner of Collectivism”

But isn’t that the basis of the atheist value system - socio-biologically and community based?
===========

“Macaroni, if you do not see the dangers of religion then you are not an observer of the present”

Well, see here is where I have a problem. What atheists consistently do is either load up some atrocity from a millennia ago or point to some Islamic terrorist action and then say religion is dangerous, but the words that come out of their mouths are Christianity is dangerous.

To get rid of Jesus’ followers, atheists say “religion” is dangerous. And when I say but Christians don’t do that, the atheist will bring up some abortion doctor killer. Granted there have been nut cases in the “present” but certainly not anywhere compared to the number of functional atheists (those who live as though God does not exist) that fill our prisons by the tens of thousands. Regardless I don’t want to get into some kind of numbers contest. You seem to be in a reasonable mood today so I’m confident that you’ll agree that Christianity does not portray defendable acts of violence.
=============

“LOL...you wrote of the 20th C, "secret jails where torture was used in an attempt to force Christians to deny their faith.", as if the Medieval Inquistions, all condoned by the various Popes, never took place."

Yes and? Does the latter mean that the former never happened? In their time, Soviet atheists killed more people in two months than Christians did in 500 years of Inquisitions and Witch burnings and the like. I’m not condoning what took place, but it should be kept in perspective. Evil happens under many and varied banners. It's more disgusting when done in the name of religion but that doesn't mean that it's only done in the name of religion.
=============

“Man is a conceptual being. The more rational an individual man is, the more he lives by the best tool nature gave him for his survival.”

No doubt. And as long as his needs are being met or exceeded, all goes fairly well. Let needs be in short supply however and our true nature becomes significantly less than what you and I desire.
============

“WHY do we have to keep explaining to you twonks that atheists only have one thing in common?”

If that’s the case John how do you explain these numbers? This is from a study done by someone at the U of Alberta. I’m sure you’ve seen them before or at least studies with similar results. Obviously the respondents were asked to rate the importance of these characteristics. Richard, you will be pleased to note that most atheists agree with you that giving of themselves, their time and their money rates pretty low. But if all atheism means is “no god” then why are these results so consistent across time, race, culture, class, ect.?
Kindness (Theists 88%, Atheists: 75%),
Courtesy (Theists 81%, Atheists 71%),
Concern for others (Theists 82%, Atheists 63%),
Politeness (Theists 77%, Atheists 65%),
Friendliness (Theists 79%, Atheists 74%), and
Generosity (Theists 67%, Atheists 37%).
=========

“You do realise there are atheists who are pro life?”

Fiery thinks that a pro life atheist is an anomaly, by far and away the exception. I think she’s right. Are you pro life John? Do you find the tearing of babies limb from limb intolerable?
==========

“No product we depend upon to improve our lives came from religious faith, period.”

Except love for the unlovable, but what atheist cares about them? You might not like the term social darwinism Fyodor by you live it with gusto.
=============

“there is only the denial of god FULL STOP!!”

I think you stopped a little early. You forgot the dogmatic beliefs of the atheist faith.
Richard Dawkins is one of the most dogmatic atheists currently on planet earth. So strident is his atheism that he’s called a “fundamentalist” in a pejorative sense even by other atheists. Now, when I use the term Dogma, I mean: Something held as an established opinion. Of course the main tenet, as you agree, of atheism is that there is no God. It may seem like a small point, but by that standard alone it is wrong to say that atheism holds no dogmatic beliefs. And if that were all to the atheist’s belief system then I suppose I should be writing about something else. But that isn’t all.

In a kind of “If you can’t beat em - join em” scenario, a shared atheist doctrine resembling very much the themes of religion has been congealing quickly in the last year. Along with atheist conferences and atheist schools of indoctrination popping up, some of them operating on Sunday mornings, that atheism isn’t clearly a faith-based philosophy will, in a short while be an indefensible stance to take. So, to the Dogma of atheism:
1)“Better by far to embrace the hard truth . . .”
Here Carl Sagan is instructing younger atheists what their attitude should be in the face of atheism’s hopelessness.

2)“We must develop expressions of awe and wonder regarding the workings of the Universe.” Carolyn Porco, Richard Dawkins.

This is now standard and expected fair when atheists are describing, to who ever will listen, what awesome individuals they are and how they will turn the next generation in to wonderful individuals as well.

3) All atheists must get out there and begin doing good works.

We’ve heard the now familiar call to all atheists to become good citizens. An example of this tenet can be found in the instruction for all atheists to donate blood during the World Day of Prayer. This demand that you become a good person is in contrast to the standard atheist attitude that was clearly sounded in a recent atheist blog when a young man, lamented, “Can’t I just fuck around and watch tv in the evening if I want to?”

4) No religion tells us what to do.

Only slaves feel enslaved and no one reacts negatively to rules, guidelines and authority more strongly than the immature, self-centred atheist. Simply hearing the word “God” used in a non negative manner makes atheists like Michael Newdow react like cockroaches scurrying from a freshly lit light bulb. Atheists feel stifled and imprisoned by the mere existence of religion.

The next six points of atheist dogma deal with one subject but are voiced in detailed point form because there is no room for misinterpretation in this part of the atheist belief system.

5) Nothing positive regarding God can be mentioned in the presence of children.

It is not science per se, not even evolution as such, but a special brand of anti-God-Darwinism that atheists want to be taught in the schools. A belief in God must be removed from ALL children’s minds. As Richard Dawkins preaches, “Faith is one of the world’s great evils, comparable to the small-pox virus but harder to eradicate.” The real reason that atheists want the exclusive teaching of evolution in schools is not just that atheists see it as being scientific but that they deem it to be anti-religion. Dawkins again, “Religion is capable of driving people to such dangerous folly that faith seems to me to qualify as a kind of mental illness.”

6) Teaching Christianity is harmful, even abusive to children.
Christopher Hitchens writes, “How can we ever know how many children had their psychological and physical lives irreparably maimed by the compulsory inculcation of faith?” The atheist answer? Inculcate all children with atheist beliefs; beliefs that go hand-in-glove with "no God."

7) Christian Children are not the property of their parents.

Daniel Dennett, “How much do we regard children as being the property of their parents? Should [Christian parents] be free to impose their beliefs on their children?”
Again, the atheist answer is to impose atheist beliefs upon not just their children but upon everyone’s children.

8) Atheists know best what children need to learn.

Christopher Hitchens suggests that atheists become the defenders of the world’s children, “Parents don’t literally own their children . . . [Christian parents] ought to be held accountable by outsiders (read atheists, perhaps the drunken Hitchens himself) for their guardianship, which does imply that outsiders have a right to interfere.”

9) Christian parents have no right to teach their children about Jesus.

Psychologist Nicholas Humphrey, “ [Christian] Parents, have no god-given license to enculturate their children in whatever way they choose . . . to bring them up in an atmosphere of dogma . . . or to insist they follow the straight and narrow paths of their own faith.”

While totally ignoring a Christian’s God-given mandate to raise up our children in the fear of the Lord, I’ve personally experienced this developing atheist dogma from an atheist blogger. His stated hope is that our children will be taken from us to keep them from being taught about Christianity. This of course implies the hope that someone else will raise our children and teach them the tenets of his faith.

10) Children must be taught a reverence for science.

Well, respect - yes, but reverence?

11) The universe is the single exception to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

True, no atheist would dare to openly state h/her beliefs this way. Yet, this is exactly what modern atheists in the field of origins are proposing. Even though the Borde-Guth-Vilinkin theorem shows conclusively that any expanding universe has a definitive space / time boundary, atheist scientists continue to bring forth proposal after proposal that attempts to circumvent this law.

12) No Miracles!

While the universe came into being by a force that operated outside the Laws of Physics, and while this is a working definition of a miracle, in atheist dogma, No Miracles Are Allowed Or Possible. As Lee Smolin says, “Must all of our scientific understanding of the world really come down to a mythological intelligence . . . [that] wills matter into being? It seems to me that the only possible name for such an observer is God, and that the theory is to be criticized as being unlikely on these grounds.”

13) It is a given that humans would eventually evolve in conditions present on primordial earth.

Atheists believe that against literally impossible odds, it is no accident that our kind of life finds itself on earth.

14) Evolution is such a powerful force that life is now, even as we speak, coming into being on other planets and/or in other universes.

15) Material and natural reality is all that exists.

16) Science has proven that God cannot exist. Atheist High Priest Dawkins is beginning to bend on this one as even he can no longer deny that the cause of the Big Bang, presents a strong case for a “Deist” type of God. Nevertheless, the majority of hardliners still hold that >

17) Because God cannot be discovered through scientific inquiry, God does not exist.

“Modern science directly implies that the world is organised strictly in accordance with deterministic principles of chance. There are no purposive principles whatsoever in nature. There are no gods and no designing forces rationally detectable.” William Provine.

18) Any knowledge that does not conform to materialism and naturalism will not be allowed into the discussion.

Isn’t that amazing? Atheist scientists actually want to live with an a priori rejection of evidence, if that evidence does not fit the atheist scientist’s world-view. And even if that unacceptable evidence leads to a resolution of a given problem, to the atheist mind, it’s better to do without a resolution to the problem. While remaining slaves to the thinking with which they were born, atheists dare to call themselves free-thinkers. Pure delusion.

19) Reason and scientific inquiry can tell us all that we need to know and all that we can know.

20) Atheists are smarter than anyone who believes in God.

21) There is no “I” to the human animal. We are a mass of cells and neurons that operate according to the Laws of Nature.

As atheist actor Woody Allen stated in his defence after it was discovered that he was having sex with his daughter, “That heart wants what it wants. Who can understand it?”

22) Death is the end.

23) There is no cosmic purpose.

24) There is no Divine justice or reward.

25) Free will is an illusion.

26) Evil and suffering prove that God does not exist.

27) Living by these Beliefs, Tenets and Dogma of the atheist faith is emancipating.

The following individual best describes today’s modern atheist:
S/He is a lonely, intrepid figure, deprived of cosmic hope, abandoned to h/his own wits, navigating h/her way through the heavens, pitting h/herself against the unknown, refusing to accept the tyrannical sovereignty of God, rebelling against the divine decree, and determined to build out of h/his own resources a rival empire devoted to happiness in the here and now.

This of course is Milton’s description of satan in “Paradise Lost.”

In closing, it may need to be explained that any given atheist might say, “I don’t agree that this or that point is dogmatic atheism.” So what? Show me a member of any religion who doesn’t claim the right to disagree on some points.

Richard said...

Markarios, how better it would have been if you had arrived with the tone and intellect of that long argument. It is as if an entirely different person was writing... and thanks! to whomever he is (kidding).

The problem is that your response is so darned long. As I read it, and I did with care, I saw how your view of atheism is as influenced by the general mass of atheists as my view is influenced by the general mass of religionists. In essentials, I am certain that ALL religionists have NO basis for their beliefs. That said I am confident that a FEW atheists DO have a basis for their view. Other atheists are as messed up, in dozens of different ways, as religionists.

Clearly a fisking of what you have written would result too much verbiage, so the need here is to cut to essentials.

I will have to give that some thought, because your take is different from others that have commented here. I must also credit you with showing, for the first time, a breadth of knowledge on the subject that massively out does such fundies as RegGolb.

The problem for me is to address key essentials in such a way as to resolve the lesser issues you raise without explicitly addressing each one. I am not entirely sure I can do it, as there are so many. The challenge is interesting, all the same.

Markarios, please observe that serious argument, rather than insult, sneering, and derogation make for a much much more interesting discussion!

Pls see my next comment.

Makarios said...

“That said I am confident that a FEW atheists DO have a basis for their view.”

Instead of taking up space on Fiery’s blog, I’ve posted a comment, or I will post one shortly at my place that I think shows that atheists have absolutely no basis for believing what they claim and every basis, or at least a very good basis for believing what I think is true. If you would be so kind, we could continue this at a place that is pristine and virtually undisturbed, i.e., makarios-makarios.blogspot.com

Richard said...

Markarios, Fiery has, awesomely, installed Google Site Search (GSS) at this blog. To use it one need only go to the BOTTOM of the Home or article/post page. GSS is NOT on the Blogger comment input pages.

Note that the GSS results are also only shown at the BOTTOM of the page it produces.

So, you could conduct a GSS for "Richard +RNA" and you would find both my comments concerning RNA (as part of the inorganic origin of Life on Earth) and the comments of those who addressed my explanation.

To save you wasted effort, and as part of our present discussion, please examine these earlier comments.

On the very first inorganic steps to cells.

On the early role of RNA in the inorganic genesis of life.

On the role of induction in grasping Evolution.

On how Evolution operates.

It is way to big a job to sort these links into a coherent order, for which I apologize.

On Origins by RnB

On Origins by RnB

On Origins by RnB

Richard said...

Atheism

1. Atheism does not say, "we come from nothing, by nothing and we’re going to nothing?"
Atheism just means "not theist"! That said, if by "nothing", you mean inanimate materials with only DNA threads between generations then, yes, many atheists (me) see that as a very important & GOOD thing.

2. Atheism does not, as you suggest, have a "value system - socio-biologically and community based"
Atheists are just "not theist"?! That's it.

Whatever other beliefs or principles outspoken atheists may hold, they do NOT arise from atheism itself. There are many secular beliefs atheists can choose among, for metaphysics, for epistemology, for ethics, for politics and for aesthetics.

Some choices are horrendous... such as the Existentialism of Sartre & Kierkegaard, or the Epistemology of Noam Chomsky, or the Ethics of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the Politics of Marx, or the intellectual 'profundity' (that's sarcasm) of Jackson Pollock's aesthetics.

The field for rational choice is, for some, enormous. My personal goal, in Reason & Reality, is to discover the actual, to distinguish the fundamental from the derivative, to reject the subjective & the arbitrary. What remains is a narrow field, a field that at times is difficult to identify, but it is a guide to the Right and the Good.

There are many more ideas than those of the narrow list that hews to imaginary (supernatural) beliefs. Look at those other ideas. Compare them with what you presently accept. Seek Truth, not blind faith.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Subjectivity and Violence:

Subjective beliefs are, by definition, at odds with Reality. Therefore, differences of subjective belief cannot be settled by reality's impartial facts.

It follows that, when one person or group's subjective belief entails the manipulation of unwilling others, the latter are going to resist. Thus it, immediately becomes a matter of force. Then all that remains is how far the enforcement and resistance will escalate.

The above applies to all religions, as well as to many other matters.


Subjectivity & Religion

A mind that accepts subjective notions as Real, is open to holding still other subjective beliefs as real. Children are trained to believe in Santa Clause (through Christmas Stockings etc.); afterall, surely they can trust their parents to show them honest ideas! With that, they become more susceptible to believing in a god (Jehovah, Allah, Vishnu), and to the idea that every conception entails the Holy infusion of "life into a zygote. Then, that a blessed (pun intended) cracker *literally* turns into the meat of Jesus. Then, that Infidels can be freely killed, and that apostate Muslims should be stoned to death.

It is NOT religion that prevents the above trend, it is the Reason of The (Western) Enlightenment. The value of objective reason was first identified by Aristotle, was lost among barbarism and Christianity, then recovered by Aquinas, Bacon** et al., was politically advanced by John Locke, and fully validated by Ayn Rand.

**That Christians rediscovered Aristotle is NOT a credit to Christianity, but it is a credit to those Christians who challenged Christian doctrine, and brought reason into Christianity a little bit at a time.


Johnny has not yet replied on Markarios's challenge on the following figures.
Kindness (Theists 88%, Atheists: 75%),
Courtesy (Theists 81%, Atheists 71%),
Concern 4 others (Theists 82%, Atheists 63%),
Politeness (Theists 77%, Atheists 65%),
Friendliness (Theists 79%, Atheists 74%), and
Generosity (Theists 67%, Atheists 37%).

My 'take' is that the very question is disingenuous. It presumes the moral values inherent in those six terms should also apply to atheists, and then seeks to castigate atheists for not adhering to them. If the theist view is false, it is, why should atheists be judged by it?? This argument is pure, "holier than thou", despicable and craven, theist arrogance.

Here is a similar point that makes no such presumptions:
Intellectual Honesty (Theists 0%, Atheists 78%)

The percentage for Theists is inescapable. The second percentage I made up. If Richard Dawkins is any indication, the latter percentage should be a lot lower.

~~~~
Markarios wrote, "...tearing a baby limb from limb"

Keeeerhist, I have to comment on this. Abortion is NOT tearing a baby limb from limb. A baby is something that has been born. A foetus is a part of the woman's body; it is her choice if she wants to be a mother, if she wants her fetus to become a baby, or not!

Let's be honest (what else is really there?). The definition of baby, presented at the link, includes "fetus" as part of the meaning of baby, but this a subterfuge of the anti-abortionists, who deliberately use the term "baby" in place of "fetus" to elicit a mother's *emotion* (not reason), in order to further their goals!

~~~~

Markarios now lists 27 points.... Keeeerhist!

Makarios said...

Oh Richard, are you serious? How ironic is this that you, the rational, logical atheist is inventing baseless, from a scientific bases, mythologies of how life arose while I am making claims based solely on scientific laws and facts.

Richard, I only looked at the first link to which you referred me, and you sound just like Richard Dawkins “Once the vital ingredient - some kind of genetic molecule - is in place, true Darwinian natural selection can follow.”

Well yes, but just saying it doesn't make it happen. I am really, really struggling not to get all snarky again. Humanity is profoundly stupid and absurd but your proposition that inanimate organic and inorganic molecules "evolved" into strings of DNA / RNA takes it to a whole new level.

For atheists - ATHEISTS! to resort to these kinds of tactics shows, how desperate they are to avoid the logical conclusions of current scientific evidence.

Science has never observed your proposition. It's never been verified or replicated. Yet you expect intelligent people to go along with the suggestion, “Let's just say that it was so and all will be well. Let’s not worry ourselves with how the vital ingredient got into place. It’s only the single most important step in all of biology. Let’s just skip along to the wonders of evolution shall we?”

That won’t do Richard. Not for people who value science over philosophy and not even for we Christian dullards. You probably agree with Dawkins' next statement, you maybe even claim it as your own, "As a lover of truth, I am suspicious of strongly held beliefs that are unsupported by evidence.” What a joke - for both of you.

That’s a comment that you two level at Christians but obviously live out in your own lives.

Now, if you love watching someone attempt to beat the odds, forget Las Vegas or Monte Carlo. It’s far more entertaining to let atheists explain how life came about. To put the modern atheist’s supposition on origins in perspective, an atheist astronomer has calculated the following regarding our coming into being.

Stephen Hawking has calculated that the odds of a life supporting universe such as ours, with it’s exquisitely finely tuned constants and quantities coming into being by chance or by accident to be
1 chance in 10,00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000.

There should be 1,260 zeros in there. (Think about that for a few moments, Fyodor. It’s important!)

I'm assuming that Hawking is even more intelligent that you, yet he says, "If all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the Earth were possible universes, and only one of those grains of sand was a universe that allowed for the existence of intelligent life, then that one grain of sand is the universe we inhabit.

And while Hawking has said, “It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us,” not only his but Richard Dawkins’ and apparently your atheist bias forces you guys to continue a seemingly endless search for an explanation to our existence that excludes Creator God.

Not to be outdone by Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins and Fyodor here propose that the following all came about via random chance.

There are eighty different types of amino acids.
Only twenty of them are found in living organisms.

According to evolutionary biologists, out of the eighty amino acids (that evolved from absolutely dead matter, remember, inert gases to be exact):
. The exact correct collection of amino acids were able to isolate themselves.

According to evolutionary biologists, these amino acids linked themselves together:
. In just the right sequence in order to produce protein molecules.

Without any intelligence guiding the process, all the possible combinations regarding the beginnings of life just fell into place. Not only that but, as Fyodor and Dawkins both know, other molecules tend to react more readily with amino acids than amino acids react with each other.

How did those extraneous molecules get eliminated? Just luck? Just time plus luck? Does Fyodor have an answer? No, he doesn’t. Perhaps that’s why it irritates him so much when he meets Christians who appear to do the same thing. We tend to despise in others the flaws that we are dimly aware of in our own lives. Nevertheless, does it matter to him that he doesn’t have an answer? Apparently not.

As improbable as a coded molecule simply appearing out of lifeless gases is, a coded molecule is not all that you need to make life. That “vital ingredient - that genetic molecule” being in place so that natural selection can follow is LIGHT YEARS from getting your first protein molecule.

My question is, does that fact matter to you? And if not, why not?

Richard Dawkins tells you without the flicker of a smile, and expects you to believe that this has happened not just once, which is implausible enough, but a billion times.

It’s like a blindfolded person reaching into a basket full of one billion letters from all the language groups in the world and coming up with a sentence that says, in only one language -

“Atheists are gullible. They will grasp at the most preposterous claim. As long as it excludes Creator God.”

Not only must this person get all the right letters for the right words. The grammar must be correct. The punctuation must be correct. The spacing must be proper. Remember of course the letters might come out of the basket upside down, or backwards or they might simply be the wrong letters.

The letters in the above three sentences represent the amino acids that have to be put together in just the right manner to make a protein molecule. In pure cynicism or sheer desperation Fyodor thinks that you, the fool that he imagines you to be, will not have any problem with this. But that’s just first step.

. Creating one protein molecule doesn’t mean that you’ve created life.

. As a result, neither does it mean that you have the ability to replicate.

. Now you have to bring together a collection of protein molecules -

. Roughly two hundred protein molecules with just the right functions are needed to get a typical living cell.

Now we can begin to see why Richard Dawkins’ (and probably Fyodor's as well), new hypothesis is a call for infinite universes. The odds of non life turning into life, accidentally, in just one universe even within an infinite time frame is infinitely impossible. In the desperate atheist mind-set, if you have enough universes where this might happen, well, it just “logically” increases your odds that the impossible might become possible. I don’t know what Oy Vey means but I think that it might fit here. Anyhow -

This of course, proposed by Darwin and upheld by people like Fyodor here requires the theory of helpful mutations.

Daniel Dennett says that mutations don’t occur even once in a trillion “copyings.” And we need not just any mutation but helpful mutations. Geneticist Giuseppe Sermonti says, “[Mutation] effect in all instances is to demolish. Transgressions of the kind needed by Darwinian evolution have never been documented.” After all, with many millions of mutations in over a century of highly controlled laboratory work with the fruit fly, science has totally failed to show that helpful mutations would occur frequently enough to go from one cell to us in an eternity.

Perhaps atheists are suggesting that trillions of “helpful” mutations actually come about easier in the wild than in the lab? As long as Dawkins’ followers are naive enough to keep buying his books he'll keep churning out absurd thoughts one after another.

Now, we must remember that the guiding principle in assembling all these pieces is DNA. In a classic understatement, our two Richards say, “all that’s needed” is DNA / RNA.

Not unlike those who used to believe that maggots “spontaneously” arose from covered heaps of garbage, and thus proved that God did not exist, DNA is what Fyodor says spontaneously arose from completely dead matter. Here’s a few important points about DNA.

. Every cell of every plant and animal has to have a DNA molecule.
. DNA works hand in glove with RNA to direct the correct sequencing of amino acids.
. It’s able to do this through biochemical instructions (the information) that are encoded on the DNA. Dawkins’ “vital ingredient” is a code written in a four-letter chemical alphabet whose letters are combined in various sequences to form words, sentences and paragraphs. All the instructions needed to guide the functioning of the cell, including the ability to replicate, Fyodor, are written in that DNA code. In fact this code works just like the letters of our alphabet, to form what we want to say.

But this isn’t just a sentence or even a thousand sentences. Whatever put these directions into the cell had a lot to say. In fact each single microscopic cell in the human body contains more information than is contained in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

. It can only be bigotry, atheist chauvinism and ultra scientism that causes Fyodor to refuse to ask, “Who programmed the cell with its digital code? Who gave it the capacity to make copies of itself? Who made a universe with the laws that could produce mankind? What is the ultimate explanation for why reality is structured in this way and not another?”

Richard, you insist that the “evolution” from non life to life operates according to principles of time and chance. Yet you neglect the fact that it also depends on the exquisitely finely tuned laws of a universe that itself is not the product of time and chance. Perhaps you believe that Fiery’s readers are too dull of mind to think about that. Or perhaps you yourself fall into that category.

Where did this DNA come from and how did it come into being are important questions because the making of DNA makes the development of a protein cell look like child’s play. Both DNA and RNA are extremely complicated, yet Fyodor would have you believe that DNA appeared out of inert gas and for that to happen, all it took was lots & lots of time.

Why then, when the synthesis of key building blocks for DNA and RNA have NEVER been successfully created except under highly implausible conditions, why would you have us believe that it could come about in the hostile conditions of early earth? I think it’s because you’re a fool. Your hypotheses, your mythologies arise due solely to your rabid hatred for Christianity.

Klaus Dose of the Institute for Biochemistry in Mainz, Germany said, “The difficulties in synthesizing DNA and RNA are at present beyond our imagination.” Since atheist scientists are nothing if not imaginative, that statement says a lot.

As Nobel Prize-winner Sir Francis Crick said, “The origin of life appears to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to be satisfied to get it going.”

So here we have the belief system of the Fyodor and his friend Richard Dawkins, both atheists who say they have no need of faith. Here's two buddies who say that they're sceptical of any strongly held beliefs in the absence of evidence. Yet Fyodor and Dawkins confidently boast that life began:
. When biopolymers (such as proteins) became assembled
. With only the right building blocks (amino acids)
. And only the correct isomers (left-handed amino acids)
. Joined with only the correct peptide bonds
. In only the correct sequence.

How does this come about by accident? Fyodor says “mutation” as though simply saying the word solves the problem. Anyone who questions the people at this blog is immediately called a “Creationist” which in the atheist’s mind renders the questioner intellectually impotent. As Richard Dawkins recently said, “Thinking is anathema to religion.” Meanwhile Fyodor gazes into the heavens and proclaims “Lots of Galaxies? Problem solved!”

Citing Dawkins as a prime example, and I think he could include you along with Dawkins, Fyodor, atheist mathematician Hubert Yockey writes, “People who do not understand probability often say that extremely improbable events occur frequently.”

Ignoring simple chemistry and hoping no one will notice, Fyodor also glibly ignores, Omne Vivum ex vivo - “Life can only come from life.”

NOTHING that has taken place in scientific inquiry has done anything to realistically suggest, much less prove that it can be any other way.

Richard said...

Markarios,

I rejoined this thread because you suddenly showed the ability to actually generate a somewhat worthy argument. I even commented on how it makes things much more interesting for all concerned.

Now you have stooped back to your initial lowbrow debating methods.
E.g. Quoting Dawkins, announcing that I "probably agree" with him, and then refuting Dawkins is a rather snotty version of The Fallacy of the Straw Man. Generally the Dawkins quotations you offer come without context, which makes rational evaluation hopeless. Dropping context is another form of Logical Fallacy. These are particularly egregious failurs when you know that I don't agree with Dawkins.

Before posting, you could cut your arguments by 1/2 to 2/3rds without significantly harming the important points you seek to launch. Heck, just removing the sneers and smears would reduce the verbiage by nearly a 1/4.

I am still attempting a reasonably tight response to your 27 point list in your comment of February 8, 2009 4:53 PM.

Without reading your whole post on Evolution, the next comment is to put your numbers into perspective.

Richard said...

I hope this is useful to visitors of the AtheistHomeSchooler's website. If I comment on anything on Markarios's site, it will also appear here. It is morally wrong to simply drop this blog & begin contributing to another's blog, & its different audience

~~~

Markarios,

The Universe is Everything there is. The word "Universe" means, literally, "One Everything".

Everything IS everything. It necessarily includes your God (if you can prove His existence), and allows for nothing else outside of it. It is everything!

If you do not accept that meaning, then no discussion is possible.

Why?

Because, in rejecting that meaning of "Universe", you are rejecting the notion that words address specific things... and are arguing that a word means only what you, individually, wish it to mean. As such, my meaning becomes irrelevant, & you get to decree that I am a peon to the vagaries of your mind's linguistic whim. As your peon, I have to believe what you believe, ...or else! (See my earlier comment about subjective views that necessarily lead to physical violence.)

If we are to be intellectual equals, a concept must refer to something specific and real, else, no debate is possible.

"Everything there is" clearly includes your God, claims to multiple universes, or to objects presumed to be outside the Universe, before (such as your God), or after, the Universe.

That is, the term refers to all the exceptions to the Universe that people try to invent!

They are rationalizing (pseudo-reasoning), they take the concept "Universe", and then try to subordinate it to something they claim is non-Universe. (Intellectually this is called Stealing a Concept: using an idea in what amounts to an effort to destroy its proper meaning.) Star Trek and not a few physicists love doing this.


~~~~

As I have said elsewhere, the Universe is, completely and absolutely timeless and without location. It has no beginning, no size and no position.

Why?

Re: "location"
- Where could 'everything' be, if not in the Universe? What is it beside, under or above? Spatially speaking, the Universe is just there, with all its 'stuff'! That's it, that's all.

Re: "time"
— Time is merely a measure of motion.
A year is a full orbit of the Earth about the Sun.
A day is a single rotation of Earth about its axis.
An hour is one 24th of that rotation.
Etc.

All our clocks, and electron orbits of a cesium atom, simply *parallel* that essential movement.

Time is nothing less than a standard of measurement of human actions, as matched against the unalterable movements of the Earth's rotation and orbit. Motion exists, but Time ONLY exists in the human mind, as a concept. Time is NOT a dimension, except on graphs and in mathematics (tools of mans mind).
The motion of objects can only occur within the Universe. There can be no such thing as motion without the Universe. There can be no such thing as time, where there is no motion which men wish to measure.

The same is true of distance. Distance is a human concept measuring the spatial relationship between two or more objects' positions. Remove the universe and Distance (length, width, height) vanishes too.

If you fully understand the foregoing, you can grasp that the Universe has NO time, and has NO location!! It just is.

From the above, it follows that the Universe, or at least its most fundamental particles (whatever they may be), are eternal —they are independent of time!

That is, the Universe possesses, only one characteristic in common with your imaginary god —it is Eternal. That means the fundamental components of the Universe are also eternal or their could be NO Universe.

The difference is that the Universe, and its fundamental particles, quite clearly exist, whereas God is a figment of the irrational imaginations of (primitive) Man.

HumbleHumanity said...

I don't want to distract the debate. But your comments on time seemed a bit off to me, but maybe it is over my head.

"Motion exists, but Time ONLY exists in the human mind, as a concept."

I agree that only humans grasp the concept of time, but time actually exists. Time "passes" for an animal, a plant, a rock. It is a real concept, it is in the universe, so I think it is real. We define it, certainly, but it is what it is outside our definition.
Time passed before man was created or evolved.

Richard said...

Now that the nature of the Universe is a bit more clear, particularly, the impossibility of a God, we are in a better position to judge issues of Life's origins.

Calculations, such as the one Markarios presented, by Stephen Hawking, and those by Richard Dawkins, entail certain very fundamental, but false, claims.

The most notable fundamentals they seek to use entail the size and duration of the Universe.

They accept the same notions, as Markarios posted on his blog, that the Universe had to have had a beginning, and therefore an "age" and a "size". These 'ages' and 'sizes' of the Universe are calculated by scientists who at some level, even as atheists, accept a Genesis notion of the Universe. The common pseudo-scientific Genesis is The Big Bang.

While some extended math calculations in physics point backwards to some cataclysm, there are other ways that the data they start with may have arisen.

One, that I think more plausible, is that there is a cycling of matter. Matter dispersed in space coalesces due to gravity, until a Black Hole forms. Black Holes have a calculable lifespan that is within a few powers of ten of the age of Universe calculations. Then the Black Hole blows up, scattering matter across billions of light years of space.

Over Eternity, background cosmic radiation observations would only go so far back in 'time'. Similarly, "expanding universe' evidence would also be detectable, but would actually be spreading Black Hole matter. It will be interesting what physics determines in 50 to 100 yrs.

Returning to the main argument (repeating a key point in my previous comment). The fundamental particles or puffs of matter, of which all entities in the Universe are made, are eternal. They can neither go out of existence nor come into existence, because nothing can come from Nothing.

The Big Bang and Higher Being arguments do nothing to explain those puffs. They simply introduces an infinite regression: ...what made the Higher Being/Big Bang, and what made that which made the Higher Being/Big Bang, etc. Nor do they do anything to explain the Origin of Life

Thus the Hawking/Dawkins type of calculations are spurious from the very start. No matter how many zeroes they may present, they have to start with the faulty notion of a fixed size and a fixed age of something that has no limit and no beginning!

****

The Inorganic Origin of Life

This too is a bit of a numbers game, but the numbers have a basis in Reality. Yes, speculation is required, but they are founded in known facts that consistently integrate with one another, without invoking the inexplicable machinations of an imaginary consciousness.

Few people grasp how the numbers, 'here on Earth', are positive for Life, though similar to Hawking's number's fantastic size. They are based on natural values from more specific, reasonable observations. That is, they are "down to Earth".

First, I would like to introduce readers here to the unbelievable quantity of the most primitive organisms on Earth, viruses.

(Some argue that, although viruses consist of a complex coat surrounding RNA or DNA, they are not truly alive. Their view actually supports the following explanation.) First, consider the enormity of viral abundance:

Science News reports:

"Scientists knew that each milliliter of ocean water holds about 50 million virus particles and that those organisms kill 20 percent of the bacteria in the ocean every day (SN: 7/12/2003, p. 26: http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20030712/bob9.asp). In the process, viruses move gene sequences from one bacterium to another, speeding evolution and turning some bacteria virulent."

That viral count per milliliter (a.k.a. "cubic centimeter") of water is 5 * 10^7. How many virus particles are there, in total, in the oceans?

The amount of water in the oceans alone is 1,310,302 (that's 1.3 * 10^6) cubic Kilometers.

Converting to milliliters (shown below), we get 1.3 * 10^18 ml of water in the oceans.

[There is a caveat here: does that water include virus particles or not? This matters because the particles do take up some percent of the total volume.]

Multiplying into that volume of water, the number of virus particles per ml, we find there are 6.5 * 10^25 viruses in today's oceans alone (that is 65 followed by 25 zeroes!!). How does this relate to the inorganic origin of life on Earth?

The Earth's surface temperatures cooled to an 'habitable' level about 4.6 billion years ago. There was almost no oxygen, and lots of carbon dioxide, sulfur and nitrogen compounds.

It took about 1.4 billion(!) years for the first bacteria to emerge.
That period is called the Precambrian Era. We have fossil records from the very end of that Era proving the bacteria existed, in the complete ABSENCE of higher organisms.

Based on knowledge of chemistry, organic structures, and Precambrian ocean conditions, the first pseudo-organisms were probably RNA containing lipid micro-bubbles.

To understand the inorganic origin of life, one must know that RNA strands are capable of self replication when simply in the presence of RNA nucleotide units. Due to the chemical nature of the atmosphere, of the ocean, and the rampant lightning storms, RNA nucleotide units were necessarily abundant in the Precambrian oceans.

With all those early compounds in the ocean, it would be foaming like crazy, with bubbles of all sizes accumulating at every downwind obstacle. Small bubbles would be suspended in the water —like the fat particles suspended in milk).

After a few million years, both the RNA and the micro-bubbles would have been incredibly abundant. Perhaps not quite as numerous as today's oceanic viruses, but could easily have been 5 million per ml, perhaps more, in the top 100m of water. They would necessarily be 'jostling together' in oceanic waves and currents, throughout that time.

Consider how many billions of times per day all those bubbles and RNA molecules would mingle and collide, break and re-form? Suppose it took 10 million years to reach a sufficient density for such coalescing to occur with any frequency. That is only 0.7% of the time before bacteria emerged.

That is, over the 3,650,000,000 days of that ten million year period, where trillions of collisions are occurring daily and you can grasp that the absolute number of such interactions is truly "astronomical". If you do not think that is a large enough expanse of time, how about 100 million years? That is still only 7% of the period of time before bacteria appeared!

It is no great leap to grasp that some of the RNA in those gazillions of micro-bubbles can act as an enzyme to form both itself and other compounds. Compounds that can strengthen the bubble walls, which protects the very RNA that made it. Combinations of compounds would be accidentally 'tried', and some would further the survival of these proto-cells.

One of the greatest achievements, in the next 93% of the time before bacteria appear, is consistent self-replication (which viruses clearly accomplish). It only takes ONE bubble, among trillions and trillions, to have a consistent means of replication, (by division) for its type to rapidly dominate the lipid bubble world. Now, these replicating bubbles serve as a new, higher level substrate for the next inorganic, steps towards life, by natural chemical selection.

The above covers the primary difficulties in understanding the inorganic origin of life on Earth. Subsequent steps are details of the natural selection of particular forms of these lipid bubbles. Eventually, a new kind of Evolutionary substrate would develop... a shift from RNA to DNA (RNA plays a role in DNA formation), and the first bacteria like cell appears. It has no nucleus, but its structure is such that it processes energy to further its cellular process, and it builds itself. It lives.

So there are two explanations for how life on Earth came to be.

A) We have observable truths of chemical, physical, geological biological conditions and clear knowledge of the time scales involved. That is, we have a LOT of evidence, that integrates together, suggesting that some sort of self-replicating pseudo-life can emerge inorganically.

B) We have the argument that begins with the conclusino that "everything is made", and therefore advances to "Something must have made the Universe" and Life. That Something, we are then simply told, in utter disregard of the previous sentence, was just there, eternally. At best, the argument says that out of Nothing a SuperSkyFairy appeared, readymade to create more 'stuff' out of Nothing, to create 'life' out of nothing, all because the Fairy apparently felt like it. The Fairy was also readymade to be superior to everything.

Just which explanation is the more absurd?



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Basic calculations of virus count:

ONE cubic Km is 1 million (10^6) cubic meters and one cubic meter is 1 million (10^6) cubic centimeters. The original cubic km must be multiplied by 10^6 * 10^6 (that means adding the exponents.)

We now have the oceans as containing approx. 1.3 * 10^18 ml.

Within each of those milliliters are 50 million viruses.

So (5 * 10^7) viruses *(1.3 x 10^18) ml = 6.5 * 10^25 viruses

Richard said...

Hi HumbleHumanity,

It seems that time passes for a rock or plant etc. because our familiarity with time is so deeply automatized in our subsconscious.

When something moves from A to B, we see it move and sense a transition of, what we call, "time". But if you can grasp that time is only a measure of motion, as I described, then you can perhaps see that your observing mind (with all its internal chemical/physiological motions) is comparing that motion with ...the mechanisms of your own awareness. Particularly, your own awareness of motion.

As the car rolls down your drive way, you can raise your hand to scratch your head, say. Your hand likely moved to your head in a shorter period than the car took to get to the bottom of the driveway. Instant comparison of motions! A child, when first learning to catch a ball has to learn how fast to move, depending on how fast the ball is moving. S/he learns co-ordinate motion long long before s/he has any grasp of "time" (usually by several years).

Keep in mind that motion entails a transition of something across a given amount of space, in relation to something else.

A growing plant, or eroding rock, involves the motion of particles, down to molecules, atoms and even subatomic particles. WE measure its 'movements' against our own movement, and we use the orbit (years) and spin (days) of the Earth as our standard.

Similarly, mankind uses a ruler (meter-stick, say) to measure spatial distance. Just as the ruler is itself a standard instance of spatial distance, so our clocks' seconds, minutes, hours etc. are standard instances of motion.

The Universe is a place of motion, not of minutes (Time), just as it is a place of spatially distributed matter, not of meters (Length, or Distance).

I hope that helps. It took me a while ;-) (some twenty years ago) to get my head around it. Now it is "as plain as the nose on my face", as they say.

Richard said...

I still haven't waded thru all of Markarios's 1260 zeroes comment, but I happened to spot this:

"[Stephen Hawking says] 'If all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the Earth were possible universes, and only one of those grains of sand was a universe that allowed for the existence of intelligent life, then that one grain of sand is the universe we inhabit.']

Right... trillions of "All There Is's".

Think for yourself, folks.

Makarios said...

“It is morally wrong to simply drop this blog & begin contributing to another's blog, & its different audience”

How do you figure that? Is there a list somewhere of what we must and must not do; a list that we’re somehow obligated to pay attention to?
===========

“Now that the nature of the Universe is a bit more clear, particularly, the impossibility of a God, we are in a better position to judge issues of Life's origins.”

What??? Oh Richard. You really are too much. No wonder your wives keep divorcing you.

I have this very clear picture of you sitting, perhaps at this very moment, on your mother’s couch in your little white jockey shorts (probably with a skid stain in the back) watching cartoons, reading comic books while you eat your Cornflakes. And every once in awhile you have this incredible “insight” into the workings of the world. And you imagine it's your responsibility to share this counter intuitive insight with others or else you’ll be violating some type of moral law.

All we can hope for is that Stephen Hawking happens by Fiery's blog often enough so he can finally stumble upon Fyodor's Theory of Everything.

Look, you can keep on posting here for the benefit of mankind if you wish but I’m not even reading beyond this point.

Good luck Fyodor.

Richard said...

Is there anything else in this thread that might interest others?

The conversation started here, on Fiery's blog, with Fiery's visitors as participants/contributors. Imagine two people at your dinner party are, shall we say, leading the conversation, but others are listening. Abruptly, one says, "Lets leave and continue this somewhere else." Up they get and walk out.

Well, I would much rather stay here at the "dinner party" Fiery initiated, than dismiss her role as unimportant and just leave. Add to that the glaring fact that Markarios is one fucked up mind, he's hardly something to follow out of a good party. I'd have to take a bath to get rid of the dirty feeling I'd have were I to contribute to his blog.

Note that Markarios apparently has no argument left, so he leaves all he has left: crude and puerile insults, further exposing his real character. Nothing like deflating a self-inflated moron by having him stare into the vacuum of his own mind.

His behavior is also consistent with my point above, that when a mind insists on subjective whim over reason, his final efforts, to justify his beliefs, are to
insult/shout-down his perceived opponent,
run away, or resort to
physical force
(or some combination).

The greatest sin a man can commit against himself is to evade reality.

Richard said...

Science vs SkyFairy

Some Origin of Life arguments do suggest certain amino acids were avaiable in greater abundance, and may have led to early proteins. Some have gone on to suggest a catalyzed process that enabled a kind of reverse reaction that lead to RNA.

Some of Markarios's sources, for the quotations he provides, are clearly selections from uninformed, cherry-picking, Creationist authors. There have been huge numbers of clear, well reported, mutations in the last 100 yrs, some of which were very definitely helpful to the organism.

Molecular biology has done a fabulous job of identifying evolutionary changes going back to the earliest bacteria, and showing a step by step progression in the complexity of the DNA. They are steadily discovering that the DNA development matches the branching tree of species-evolution, all within the large Linnean Classification system biologists use. Where classification doubts existed, and molecular biologists examined the DNA involved, the clarifications became irrefutable.

It gets downright funny when Markarios writes,
"Omne Vivum ex vivo - “Life can only come from life.”
while ignoring the 2300 year old Greek understanding that
"nihilo ex nihilo - from nothing, nothing". What a dope.

Of course, none of the evolution issues are as simplistic or as arbitrary as Markarios glibly complains. However, it is quite fun that he then, equally glibly, argues that a SkyFairy is the only -|snerk|- rational possibility!

A SkyFairy is so 'rational' to Markarios, that he does not even believe he has to present the statistical chance of such a SkyFairy appearing out of Nothing. I wonder if he would retort that the probability is exactly 1/1, because "God doesn't play dice".

Richard said...

God is a Prick.

I have taken a look at Markarios's 27 points. Most are not worthy of comment to regulars here... they are various Straw Man accusations taking one atheist's foolish remarks and applying them to all atheists, and criticisms based on incorrectly understood principles. Touching on a few, then:

#11 The universe is the single exception to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

Markarios states this as an absurd atheist view.... and is therefore saying that the Universe IS subject to the 2nd Law. Never mind that the 2nd Law describes events pertaining to the physical matter of the Unive!

Evidently Markarios, and many physicists, think this Law also applies OUTSIDE THE UNIVERSE. i guess Hawking's "cupboard of trillions of Universes" is going to get really disorganized. [His Mum will have to send him to bed without his dinner!]

Then there is the small matter of gravity, which DOES bring matter into a certain order. Then of course there are Black Holes that, in all likelihood, compress matter until it is nothing more than those fundamental particles. When their density is too great for gravity to continue confining them, off they go in a huge billion-light-year expansion and restructuring. It's enough to make your hair stand on end.

15) Material and natural reality is all that exists.

Theist Markarios objects to this. So what is the alternative?? Oh, right.. non-material and unnatural reality. So, the theists find it reasonable to judge reality's things (and their attributes, actions & relationships) on the basis of UNreal and NONmaterial things. Talk about irrational whim!

21) There is no “I” to the human animal. We are a mass of cells and neurons that operate according to the Laws of Nature.

The "I" Markarios wants is a holy soul, but while a Man does have a non-spiritual soul, an "I", he can give up his soul to others. "Others" can be such authority figures as Popes, priests and witch doctors, or collectivist politicians and dictators, who will lead them to the next economic nirvanah 'somehow' (e.g. Obama).

Yes!, to these:
22) Death is the end.

23) There is no cosmic purpose.

24) There is no Divine justice or reward.

Exactly.... so get on and live well, —as an honest, just, rational, independent, productive, proud of your integrity, human being— now. Note how Markarios has blown all seven virtues.

25) Free will is an illusion.
... Mankind decidedly has free will! ...else why would atheists even try debating with theists... without free will, theists could not help their stupid selves to get rid of ghosts from 2,000+ years ago. Debate would be pointless.

26) Evil and suffering prove that God does not exist.
...Well, I don't think that, but I do think that the evil and suffering that God's book recommends —to his tribal followers— prove that he is one heck of a despicable creature. If he were to appear before me, I would seriously consider spitting in his face for being such an:
*- emotionally shallow (I need little people to love me),
*- intellectually weak (I know, I will only reveal myself to lone losers), and
*- viciously manipulative (hey, let's kill all the Egyptian first born!)
*- etc.

What a PRICK.

Johnny said...

Fucking hell look away for a second and the equivalent of war and peace is written!!

Top work Rich, both on what you have written and your perserverence, you're a better man than me gunga din!!

Must comment on a couple of things though even though the malakas claims not to be reading anymore-

But if all atheism means is “no god” then why are these results so consistent across time, race, culture, class, ect.?
Kindness (Theists 88%, Atheists: 75%),
Courtesy (Theists 81%, Atheists 71%),
Concern for others (Theists 82%, Atheists 63%),
Politeness (Theists 77%, Atheists 65%),
Friendliness (Theists 79%, Atheists 74%), and
Generosity (Theists 67%, Atheists 37%).


Studies like this mean absolutely fuck all as Homer so eloquently put it "you can come up with statistics to prove anything -- fourfteen percent of all people know that." There are so many other variables to start with on why people show any of these attributes, you yourself rod have neither been kind, courteous, caring of others, polite, friendly or generous here have you? And I fail to see how on earth it has anything to do on whether there is a god or not!! You fucking blather on about how great christians are because they love the retched bla bla and all you do is show us how much of a cunt you really are eg:

What??? Oh Richard. You really are too much. No wonder your wives keep divorcing you.

I have this very clear picture of you sitting, perhaps at this very moment, on your mother’s couch in your little white jockey shorts (probably with a skid stain in the back) watching cartoons, reading comic books while you eat your Cornflakes. And every once in awhile you have this incredible “insight” into the workings of the world. And you imagine it's your responsibility to share this counter intuitive insight with others or else you’ll be violating some type of moral law.


Lovely sweet loving christian you are or is that pure arsehole, like jebus and satan I often get those two mixed up.

No way malakas do I think tearing babies limb from limb is ok, read what Richard said about that!

Material and natural reality is all that exists.

Absolutely correct malaka, how can something "exist" without substance? Time does not exist humble humanity it is not made of anything just like ideas don't exist, dreams don't exist, thoughts don't exist except as chemical and electrical impulses in our physical bodies. Spirits, ghosts gods don't exist, indeed can't exist without some sort of physical property.

Richard said...

Nice one Johnny, and thanks.

You and I might want to debate this one, depending on what you actually mean:

"Time does not exist humble humanity it is not made of anything just like ideas don't exist, dreams don't exist, thoughts don't exist except as chemical and electrical impulses in our physical bodies."


Consciousness clearly has some sort Identity, just as do actions (running, burning) attributes (green, tall) or relationships (beside John, married). Consciousness is a type of action —of the mind (whatever that actually is). Consciousness does exist.

What consciousness works on *internally* might be called the "contents of consciousness".

I would argue that those contents are indeed real and do exist, or we wouldn't be talking, but they are not substantives (not substance). They are more like actions or relationships.


So, I would disagree with the above quotation, in that thoughts (which includes Time & dreams, even emotions) DO exist, but only as actions of mind.

By the way, HumbleHumanity (I dislike that moniker), there is a term for taking an idea and acting (&/or arguing) that it exists apart from the human mind. The term is "reification".

E.g. the Pythagoreans were so hooked on numerical relations that they believed all numbers (say 57, or pi, etc) actually existed in the Universe apart from Man.

Most people today reify Time, confusing it with the motions that do exist in the Universe. They take that for granted, not grasping that time, as a measure of motion, is only a mental action: a concept, a content of consciousness.

The forgoing is NOT, properly, why the Universe has no beginning or end. How could motion be measured if there were no objects? Since the Universe is Everything there is, it is impossible to step out of, and to say it "began" or "ended". The immediate, and absurd, question would be "began" in relation to WHAT?

The entire notion of the Universe beginning or ending is "barking batshit", to echo the eloquence of uzza.

Johnny said...

Rich hi mate, don't think it's going to be much of a debate.

I agree that those actions (running, burning) attributes (green,tall) etc have some sort of reality, however I would say that those things are only semantic extensions of things that have metaphysical extensions in reality ie. they are attributes of things that exist but do not in themselves exist, that is, as you say, have no substance.

In philosophy those things are known as qualia, as I am sure you know.

My point was to dismiss the notion that things like time, thoughts, ideas are not real of themselves, that spirits, ghosts and gods don't exist at all unless they are made of material.

I think of it this way, imagine a vaccuum, by defenition there is nothing in a vaccuum. If we put gas, liquid or solid into a space that is a vaccuum it ceases to be a vaccuum. You cannot put green into a vaccuum or running or tall or 57 or the pain of a toothache for that matter, it doesn't make sense.

Something that is nothing is no thing it does not exist.

Couldn't agree more about what you say about time, it is only a measure of motion/change, there are some philosophers who claim otherwise, notably Sydney Shoemaker, John McTaggart also had some very interesting ideas about time.

Indeed motion could not be measured if there were no things, completely intuitive. Motion is relative so it cannot measured if there is only one thing too.

HumbleHumanity said...

I have been mulling over you attempt to explain time as only a concept. I just can't disagree more. I only have a certain amount of time to live, to parent my daughter, to be a husband. That value is diminishing. It is real. It is less today then yesterday.
Sorry.

Richard said...

HH,

No need to say "sorry" —what a difference from Macaroni!, I understand that "Time" is a weird thing to wrestle with, but I have seen no better explanation,

I presented Time as NOT being a dimension or quality of the Universe. I suggested Time is Man's mental (conceptual) measurement of the motion of objects in the Universe. I suggest that "Time" is akin to "Length", ...just as "Hour" is akin to a "Meter".

HH, it is here your understanding balked, and you pointed out, "I only have a certain amount of time to live". I want more! You then spoke of being a husband and parent within that time limit, whatever it may be. Quite so. Me too. Your doubt, and its sensible expression, is an understandably and worthy concern, when one considers what "Time" actually is.

I suggest that your view of "life span" need not change, but to understand what "life span" means, we DO have to look at the nature of motion.

1)
A rock falling to Earth only has so long to fall. It traverses a certain (vertical) distance at a certain speed, then 'thud' (if in soft dirt), it stops. Relative to the Earth, the rock only had so much available range of motion.

2)
A battery operates by the chemical reactions that establish a voltage difference. Connect the terminals through some device, and the electrons move from the negative terminal to the positive terminal.

The chemical reaction is the motion of subatomic particles (electrons, protons). The first electron zips through the conductor from a state of higher chemical energy to a lower state of chemical energy. Then that "fall" ends. The electron has ended its available range of motion.

But in the battery there are millions of electrons ready to "fall". When they have all fallen, they're done. They have 'used up' their available range of motion; so that's the "life" of the battery!

So here's the point...

Human physiology is a similar progression through the chemical pathways differ, there are lifetime changes, DNA shifts (through puberty, menopause, etc.), responses to stress (could even be diet), as well as mistakes & diseases.

When the progression reaches its end, it's done!.

This is not, in any way, sad, empty, or Existentialist. To the contrary, it is brilliant that we have that progression, and can do so much over that period!

The life progression for N. Americans, and most Western nations, is about 80 full orbits of the Earth around the Sun. We call it Life Expectancy.

So, here's another perspective. If your physiology moves for those 80 orbits, but you are doing it on Venus, your life would be 130 orbits, of the Sun! You could still call those orbits "years". Your sense of the passage of time would be a bit more detailed because your life would be divided into 130 units instead of 80. That is quite comparable to using degrees Fahrenheit instead of degrees Celsius —see how "degrees" are similar to "orbits". However you choose to measure it, your physiology exists only as long as its motions last.

So what is the fundamental rule? It is the pace or motion of your, very human, physiology, whether on Earth, Venus or Neptune (FYI, one Neptune orbit takes 165 Earth years!). Wherever you are, your physiology determines that your life span can only be ~80 Earth orbits. That is, your physiology is what it is, and is NOT a matter of "time", ...except in the sense of Time as an abstraction from motion (see next section).


~~

Here's the issue put in terms of how thinking works:

Technically, in philosophy, Time is an "abstract" concept.

The process of abstraction involves the mental separation of an attribute from the existent (thing) that possesses it. That is, we can talk about the color green (the attribute), without referring to any particular green thing. But, we must not forget, as most people do, that green can only occur as the color of something, such as grass or leaves.

Similarly, we can talk about "running" without specifying a particular man or woman, or an animal. We can use the term "running" without reference to a particular stream or machine! That is, "running" is an action abstracted from the actor.

Moving to Time, one "year" is the abstraction of a single instance of the continuous motion of the Earth around the sun. One could ask, "Where does that year really begin and end?", but it really does not matter.

The only reason Mankind was able to draw such an imaginary line, was because the Earth's axis of spin is tilted relative to the plane of its orbit. Result: day length, and seasons, that follow an observable, repeating cycle. How could Man have come up with a "year" if there were no such cycle evident to his senses?

Similarly, a "day" is one of the many rotations of Earth. "Day" is abstracted from those otherwise unbroken, axial rotations of the Earth. To us, a "day" IS broken, because WE humans move along with the Earth's surface, and so we experience ~12 hour periods of light, and then dark. There would be no "day" if one side of the Earth ALWAYS faced the Sun ...much as one side of the Moon always faces Earth.

The scale of those movements is useful to Men. Indeed, breaking those two periods, orbit-year and rotation-day, into equal portions helps us plan our lives better. So we have months and hours/minutes/seconds, as secondary concepts formed by sub-division.

However you view it, year and day are still concepts of motion, i.e., of the motion of the two largest and most important celestial objects in the range of Mankind's conscious minds: the Earth and Sun.

The duration of your physiology —the abstract concept of "Life Expectancy"— is just another issue of so many successful motions.

To put it in macabre terms:

"How fast is the tumor growing, doctor?"

"You have six months."

That equals half an orbit. Don't waste it.

Richard said...

Hey Johnny, nearly missed your comment/reply. S'all good!

I love the vacuum angle... good one. I may have to adopt it!

One thing that I get a kick from, is the fact that Space is not Nothing, and Not a vacuum. That sets quite a few people to scratching their heads, though I dare say it's easier than grasping that Time is only mental.