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Passions in Poetry

Applying Solomon's Razor to Dawkins

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Stephanos
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0 posted 05-11-2014 01:26 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

"We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further."  (Richard Dawkins- The God Delusion)


Isn't this an absurd argument? ...like saying that a celibate is the same as a faithful lover, except that he rejects just one woman more?


"There is a sense in which two and two are four, the plane of ledgers and cashbooks – on which these propositions are approximately sound. But if you rise from that plane to a loftier one, You will find at once that they are untenable.  it is obviously untrue that half-a-baby and half-a-baby make a baby.  Let the sword do its deadly work.  The two halves of a baby make no baby at all.  On this higher plane of human sentiment and experience, the laws of mathematics collapse completely.  When a man distributes his wealth among his children, he gives to each a part, but when a woman distributes her love among her children, she gives it all to each. No man who has once fallen in love will ever be persuaded that one and one are only two.  He looks at her, and feels that one plus one would be a million.  No happy couple into the sweet shelter of whose home a little child has come will ever be convinced that two and one are only three.  Life has been enriched a thousandfold by the addition of that one little life to theirs. And I am certain that no pair from whose clinging and protecting arms their treasure has been snatched will find comfort in the assurance that one from three leaves two.  In the great crises of life one’s faith in figures breaks down hopelessly."  (F.W. Boreham- the Sword of Solomon)


[This message has been edited by Stephanos (05-11-2014 02:10 AM).]

Essorant
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1 posted 05-11-2014 10:01 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Hi Stephanos,

Yes, I find it very absurd, and disappointing coming from someone of his level of intelligence.

His statement is also a bit like saying "We are all anarchists toward most kinds of governments that societies have ever believed in.   Some of us just go one government further (i.e don't believe in any kind of government)"

 
Ron
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2 posted 05-11-2014 10:30 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Isn't this an absurd argument?

It is, Stephen, but not, I think, for the reason you espouse. Indeed, I believe you and Dawkins are both making almost exactly the same mistake.

Hint: Atheism, celibacy, and pregnancy all have something in common.

quote:
"There is a sense in which two and two are four, the plane of ledgers and cashbooks – on which these propositions are approximately sound."

Perhaps it would be wise, then, not to confuse the two planes (nor assume one is loftier than the other).

The confusion here isn't over math, but rather over language. For example, a father can, indeed, distribute his wealth. A mother, however, doesn't really distribute her love. Giving your love to someone is just a euphemism, a figure of speech, that shouldn't be confused with the more literal meaning of giving or distributing.

Which isn't to say there aren't nonetheless some interesting parallels. For example, the set of Natural Numbers is infinite. If you take away (distribute or give) all of the odd numbers, the remaining set will still be infinite.

quote:
"In the great crises of life one’s faith in figures breaks down hopelessly."

Mathematics is a tool. As is reason. And just as one shouldn't use a saw to drive a nail, one shouldn't expect tools of the mind to necessarily work effectively with matters of the heart. I think it's interesting to note, in this sentence of Boreham's, that it isn't figures that break down hopelessly, but rather a person's faith. In which case, I would have to say the faith, be it in math or miracles, was quite possibly misplaced.
Stephanos
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3 posted 05-13-2014 12:25 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron, Perhaps you're right that we're making the same kind of argument, assuming that his "just one more" statement is poetry in mathematical language, or a statement about the nature of God as "ordinary". (Albeit my argument would be that God is extraordinary).  But then again, I've found the so-called "New Atheists" like Dawkins are the ones who claim that it is logic and hard science that supports their case.  I can at least point out the inconsistency of such a romantic notion as atheism being passed off as a logical sequence.  :-)

Oh and what exactly do atheism, celibacy, and pregnancy have in common?  I'm half expecting a punch line.  ;-)
Ron
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4 posted 05-13-2014 02:54 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Oh and what exactly do atheism, celibacy, and pregnancy have in common?  I'm half expecting a punch line.

As well you might.

Sorry, it's an old joke and apparently old enough you youngun's haven't heard it. The punch line is one can't be just a little bit pregnant. One either is or one isn't. Similarly, the very definitions of atheism and celibacy preclude going one god further or one woman more. Such arguments are, as you say, absurd, if only because they attempt to redefine the meanings of the words.

Some states of being fall on a continuum. Atheism, celibacy, and pregnancy clearly don't.
Stephanos
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5 posted 05-14-2014 11:00 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I'm 42 years old.  Ron called me a youngun.  I got happy!  Lol
P.U Stinkenbaum
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6 posted 05-26-2017 11:37 PM       View Profile for P.U Stinkenbaum   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for P.U Stinkenbaum

quote:
"I'm 42 years old.  Ron called me a youngun.  I got happy"!
Yep! All that 'experience', yet some of those old guys still judge books by their 'covers' Stephanos (possibly your photo).  

Hey! I called Ron an "old guy"! I wonder if he's "happy" about it!  




Just out looking for the real me...
 
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