Statesboro, GA, USA
"I can't know." Isn’t the clarion call of Theologians, at least as far as I hear it - To me it sounds too often like “I don’t want to know.”
How appropriate it is to have dialogue with you so close to Christmas!
Remember that atheists and theists (particularly of the Christian kind) disagree on what constitutes true knowledge. Both would say that the other doesn't want to know, what the other constitutes as the real thing. Wish fulfillment can go both ways. Atheists will always say that theists believe in God because they secretly fear absolute death and the dismantling of their humanity. Theists will say that atheists fear judgment day and the implications of an authoritative being of sublime holiness and purity, and so try to "wish" that knowledge away too.
But in speaking of true science which is always descriptive, and not the atheistic philosophy which has parasitically attached itself to scientific theories of late, why should theologians "not want to know"?
I don't believe the science behind Neo-Darwinism is convincing. But we've already had the discussion before, that evolutionary science doesn't do away with the need for God ... unless of course you want to deify nature and become a pantheist of some sort.
It’s a necessary evil if you wish to believe in the existance of an all powerful and all knowing god. Unfortunately if such a god exists free will doesn’t,
It's a necssary condition (evil wouldn't make sense here) if you wish to believe in a purely naturalistic scheme. If God is all powerful, that means he's bound to slavishly control all things? An omnipotent God couldn't give a degree of real freedom, and still get his will accomplished?
it isn’t the process of determinism that disallows free will, it is the act of successfully determining a future effect that holds that particular honour.
What exactly do you mean by "determining a future effect"? How would such undermine freewill, while naturalistic determinism itself (one set of physical circumstances necessarily leading to another, including the cortex of the brain) would not?
I’m responding to you, out of respect for your site ownership, and what I perceive and hope is your more serious educational background in these subjects, compared to what I would call the average amateur poet posting in this thread. That may sound condescending, but I’m just being honest.
I'm just seriously not interested in giving people here an intro to Philosophy class, or intro to cognitive neuroscience class....3 paragraphs of typing at a time.
If Dennett is your only example of serious philosophy then you are being pretentious in the extreme.
When you made your comment about Descarte solving the problem of epistemology in a naturlistic scheme, I responded by bringing to your attention an entire tradition of Philosophy that sprung up later which tends to deny your glib dismissal, and mentioned many philosophers who have been remembered far beyond their death (I'm honestly not sure that Daniel Dennett is in this category, as far as philosophy goes), and you've said nothing about philosophy.
You're right it is condescending, and matters very little how honest you are to your own feelings, if you don't care to share with us your philosophical knowledge, but keep reminding us how you need to educate all of us in these fields.
I myself suspect I know more of philosophy than you, because of the way you wave it away with statements about how you don't have time to share with those who are ignorant. But it would be arrogant for me to claim it as certainly so, until you talk and share something more than "Get Daniel Dennet's book for Christmas, and call me when you're educated".
At least you could share some of Dennet's philsophical ideas, as I did of Lewis (which you didn't respond to either, except to whisk the Oxford Don away as a 'simpleton'). Quote him and comment if you wish, and allow for rebuttal. Put his ideas in your own mouth and show me that you know where he's coming from.
You all want to knock big, bad VB, with his fancy sounding words, and smug scientific knowlege, off his high horse...yeah...I get it...well, you're gonna have to do better than what I've seen here.
Not content to bear the reproach of insulting just one person?
I wonder how we would hold intelligent, autonomous agents responsible for things in ‘indeterministic’ “bizarro theist universe”? …A mythical place where magical, invisible spirits and demons, on a moment notice, invade bodies, and control minds, and make people fall down writhe around on the floor and speak in tongues?
Rather than answer the question posed by Ron about the problems with complete determinism, you have chosen to misrepresent Christian Theism. I'll explain.
Miracles, though incredible, are only incredible against a backdrop of regularity. God has made a lawful universe. Even Einstein felt strongly that his theories of relativism did not undermine order and purpose which is evident all around us. Miracles only suggest that there are exceptions, or higher laws if you will. The very fact that scientists say our origins come from a banging singularity where the laws of nature break down, ought to suggest the sheer possibility of wiggle room here. So then, the question becomes about particular miracles in either an experiential or a historical way. The question of whether the resurrection of Jesus Christ really happened, for example, is one to be considered not on sheer philosophy, but on historical veracity. For example, does the martyrdom and severe persecution of many (which isn't disputed) who would have known that the resurrection was a sham, make good historical or psychological sense?
Much more can be said along these lines. But what I wanted to emphasize is that miracles are miracles by virtue of irregularity and rarity. And so to recite a list of them to prove a theistic universe would be a "Bizzaro" universe without law or stability is more than a little misguided.
(I’m sure that’s perfectly moral by the way…slaughtering your enemy…every last women and infant…as long as god told you to…right Stephan?)
Actually that is right. "If" is a key word. I maintain that God has the prerogative to judge sin and impute death as he sees fit.
Still, its also important to remember that the Old Testament represents an incomplete revelation, predominated by the Severity of Law and punishment (though mercy was not totally absent, it was not the focal point). The New Testament does change things. Divine evolution if you prefer. Not evolution of God, mind you, whose character does not change, but of his dispensational approach with a humanity that does.
You see the problem is Ron, I’m well educated on Christianity, Philosophy and Science…
No, the problem is, you haven't demonstrated it.
I’m guessing most of the faithful Christians on this site haven’t even read the whole bible.
Why would you guess that? And why are you 'guessing' anyway? Not a very scientific approach is it?
I, for one, have read the entire Bible. What's that got to do with it?
As opposed to the morally bankrupt salvation theology of Christianity where you aren’t held responsible for ANYTHING you’ve done or do, if you click your heals together 3 times and say ‘forgive me Jesus’....can I have my pleasant eternal life now?
This lets me know that it is you who have not read the bible. Honestly, if you think salvation is nothing more than a get-someone-off-the-hook clause, where things like repentance and restitution are not required, you've invented your own caricature. Study how divine forgiveness doesn't annul earthly consequences, especially in the life of David, and get back to me. Then we'll look at what the New Testament says about the nature of the forgiveness of sins, and whether it is simply a get-out-of-jail-free card, and nothing more.
Took you a long time growing up to program it all as well, I have no delusions that I’m gonna deprogram it in the least in these exchanges, nor do I care to…just chatting.
Nor can your philosophy explain why one program would even be "better" than another, except by appeals to survival-value which is pending and would be very much a faith-like statement for you.
Could be wrong, but I suppose that's why you add that you don't care. Besides the detached-poet-bard stance is so very cool.
You do accept the theory of evolution as the best explanation for the history and diversity of life on this planet…don’t you Ron? Guess I forgot to check with Stephan as well…
I think the question really is how much of "evolution" someone accepts. I don't think it speaks into origins at all, though some mean something like "atheistic naturalism" when they say evolution. If we know the Earth to be very old, then the amount of time for repicating life is small indeed. C.S. Lewis and Dinesh D'Souza are two Christian apologists who had no problem believing in Darwinism. And while I don't accept the theory of Common Descent (because I simply think the evidence isn't there), I don't have a problem with those who do. I don't think evolution would remove the need for God. As G.K. Chesterton once said, a slow miracle is still a miracle.
I've dodge no questions, nor have I expressed any ideas about any 'philosophy of ethics'
How bout I quote you?
"Will I ever find the answer,
To life’s existential quiz?
Or perhaps I fear to speak it;
‘There is no ought, there only is’
What about The Sneferitzle Flaghintude?
Hey....Isn't that the tiny gland in the brain where the 'will' and the 'spirit' interface with the neurons and chemicals and the rest of the boring and mundane brain stuff?
Nah, I think its the name of the hoped-for biological mechanism for the reproduction and survival of non-replicating entities that eventually became alive in the primordial soup.
Or is it the name for the infinitude of other universes invoked by those who won't admit that our own universe is specified and fine tuned for our existence?
Sorry if your continuous stream of contumelies has made me a little frisky in return. Hope you know its all good-natured.
(and guys, please spell my real name right. Brad, it's been what 10 years or so?
[This message has been edited by Stephanos (12-18-2008 12:03 AM).]