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Ninth Doctor

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Everything posted by Ninth Doctor

  1. I suggest, ctrl y, you take this to another forum, here’s an entertaining thread for you to check out. George H. Smith, author of Atheism: The Case Against God is a regular there, and he may deign to give you some of the beatings (er, explanations) you need. There’s no rule there against what you’re wanting to do. I went through a similar period of questioning many years ago, though it was before (and as I was beginning) to explore Rand’s work, while you say you’ve read a great deal. BTW, I find that last part hard to believe, but I’m still taking you at your word. So, I have some sympathy for you.
  2. Any thoughts on the phenomenon of pious fraud? How about schizophrenia, particularly Jerusalem syndrome? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVUNPeCCRUw You need to learn to have fun talking to people like ctrl y. They've got the Templeton Foundation, the Discovery Institute, and plenty of other sources of funding, so this crap isn't going away. BTW, what does OP stand for?
  3. I attacked your root premise, sarcastically. Was I to continue on? This is why I asked him what flavor of Christian he is. Not all of them go for that virgin birth stuff. Stop talking sense, we’re trying to have some fun here!
  4. “Reducing concepts to reality”, instead of deriving (or forming) concepts from reality? The second approach is stultifying indeed, as it grants no leave to just make shit up. This was addressed to you, BTW.
  5. And also a side of curly fries. BTW, what flavor of Christian are you? My background is Catholic. Don't worry, if you're Greek Orthodox I'm not going to oppress you over filioque. Here's a picture of a reliquary I took in Europe, the Saint's finger (rather browned) is there in the middle, looks like he's flipping us the bird. He was San Benedetto of Dover, the patron saint of prostate exams.
  6. Here's a little historical thing to share, hope it's not too tangential:
  7. Then I'll have one coherent definition of God, please. And I'd like a side order of theodicy, when you get a chance.
  8. Oh come on! It is relevant to anyone trying to explain something to you. They have to gauge whether you’re ignorant, obtuse, or a troll, for instance.
  9. Must be set? By whom? How are they set? You’re wearing me out here. I’m not up for seeking out and retyping relevant passages, or for reformulating it in my own words from scratch right now. Maybe on a weekend. It seems dream_weaver has the searchable CD, from which it’s easy to cut and paste, so maybe he’ll do it. I see he's posted something on it already, ahead of me.
  10. I’m not familiar with what Hume wrote about the Cosmological argument, he’s chapter on miracles is useful, but that’s all I would probably ever cite him on. I didn’t say “we cannot reach any conclusions about the origin or development of the universe”, I did object to calling the laws of the universe “fine-tuned”, when there is no “out of tune” universe to compare to. It’s the only one we’ve got, the only one we’ve ever seen or studied, so what’s the point of saying it’s “fine-tuned”? I’m afraid your Swinburne quote turned immediately to gobbledygook, presumably he’s answering the (here unstated) objection of Hume. Who, BTW, couldn’t have addressed the fine-tuning argument, how could it have been stated yet? He was roughly contemporary with Newton himself. You said these were new arguments! Here’s a funny snippet of Neil DeGrasse Tyson talking about fine-tuning. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPLn9nv26NM&feature=related And a particular favorite, 666 arguments for the existence of God: http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/GodProof.htm Here’s number 25: ARGUMENT FROM INTERNET AUTHORITY (1) There is a website that successfully argues for the existence of God. (2) Here is the URL. (3) Therefore, God exists. Now seriously, please demonstrate for all of us that you understand what is meant by Primacy of Consciousness vs. Primacy of Existence. You have 251 posts on this forum, so I assume you have some knowledge of Objectivism. I could be wrong about that, and thus talked right past you in my earlier post. Another thing, the syllogism starts "Given the fine-tuning evidence...", for the reasons already stated this evidence is not given, so I didn't even bother trying to figure out the alphabet soup.
  11. 80 pages, you’ve got to be kidding! How about reducing it to a syllogism? I’ve heard the fine tuning argument from William Lane Craig in debates, there are lots of them on YouTube, Christopher Hitchens and Lawrence Krauss have been his opponents, among others. So I’m fairly familiar with it. I say, “fine tuning”, compared to what? Are there other universes Dr. Craig has checked, and compared to ours? Ones where the metaphorical knobs and switches have been set differently? Of course not. Further, he doesn’t show us a mechanism by which such values are set, or can be changed. He points to factors like the force of gravity, which is governed by Newton’s inverse square equation, strong and weak nuclear force, the speed of light etc. and claims they are arbitrary values, and then slips in the premise of Primacy of Consciousness by claiming, therefore, that these values must have been “set” by someone (God). To put it in Objectivist terms, he’s asserting that Identity and Causality prove Primacy of Consciousness. I don’t know if you have enough background in Objectivism to understand that, or if you know what is meant by Primacy of Existence, so I’ll leave it there for now. Is this the best argument you’ve struggled over? You made me think of St. Anselm earlier, which reminded me of a favorite argument for God (cue the ridicule music): “Plenty of morons’ books are published, because they’re convincing at first glance. An editor is not required to weed out the morons. If the Academy of Sciences doesn’t do it, why should he?” “Philosophers don’t either. Saint Anselm’s ontological argument is moronic, for example. God must exist because I can conceive Him as a being perfect in all ways, including existence. The saint confuses existence in thought with existence in reality.” “True, but Gaunilon’s refutation is moronic, too. I can think of an island in the sea even if the island doesn’t exist. He confuses thinking of the possible with thinking of the necessary.” “A duel between morons.” “Exactly. And God loves every minute of it. He chose to be unthinkable only to prove that Anselm and Gaunilon were morons. What a sublime purpose for creation, or, rather, for that act by which God willed Himself to be: to unmask cosmic moronism.” Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum, Chapter 10
  12. BTW you'll find George H. Smith's Atheism: The Case Against God available online for free. GHS posted the link himself, here: http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=10497&view=findpost&p=133253 He writes from an Objectivist perspective, cites Rand et al. Nathaniel Branden's The Concept of God from his NBI lectures has been published, and discusses the god question from the Objectivist perspective, all in one place. It's not a subject that's ever been of much interest to Objectivists, as dream_weaver notes. If you're going use one of these "new" arguments as a challenge, please focus on whatever is unique and new about them. I don't think anyone will be interested in typing out a refutation of St. Anselm (re the classic ontological argument). And brace yourself for ridicule.
  13. Then bring it on. Fire your best shot. I see ontological, teleological, cosmological, and ooh, looks like a variation on Kant's moral argument (oh yum), just from the names it looks like a lot of same old same old. A case has not been refuted until it has been stated at its strongest. Christopher Hitchens
  14. Ugh, I’m straining for a quote, and I’m almost positive it’s from Ayn Rand. When asked where did the universe come from, her answer was “Am I to answer you from outside the universe?” The question might have been "What is the purpose of the universe?"
  15. If you count Alexander the Great as Greek (he was actually Macedonian) then the military developments box ought to be checked. That is, if you're looking for a history of conquest. If you're looking for tactics and weapons, consider the Thermopylae story. As to economic developements, what would count? They traded, they produced. They used money instead of barter. OTOH they had slavery and a class system such that the educated looked down on those engaged in physical drudgery, so you don't see much improvement in practical technology. That's par for the course among the ancient civilizations.
  16. What's shocking about it? It's claiming that the Jews are in trouble because they, figuratively speaking, have acted like whores. Mainly by practicing or tolerating idolatry. It's one of the more colorful passages, but compared to the killing of the picking up sticks on the Sabbath guy, or the one commanding that any Jew that suggests a visit to an idolator's religious service (y'know, just to check it out), is to be killed instantly, well, Ezekiel's pretty much run of the mill.
  17. He doesn’t cover arbitrary assertions. The point is that Thomas assumes without argument that God is on the same level of plausibility as gremlins. This may seem the case to him, but certainly does not to most people. Missing the point. The analogy is not about plausibility, but arbitrariness. According to the naturalistic theory, reality is ultimately unconscious and impersonal; the theistic theory considers reality conscious and personal. Thus, from a theoretical point of view, the concepts of the cosmos are radically different. Occam’s Razor only takes effect when all other considerations are equal. … What we therefore have is not a situation in which the burden of proof is on one theory, namely theism. Rather, we have a situation to explain, the existence of the physical cosmos, and two theories by which to do so. First, he assumes the “existence of the physical cosmos” needs explaining, and that this is the job of philosophy. Does this mean that a caveman, or a bronze age city-state dweller, had to accept theistic explanations for existence, lacking, as he was, any kind of alternate, scientific narrative? Or could/should he be what Michael Shermer amusingly calls a militant agnostic: I don’t know, and neither do you! And is it so different today? We have explanations of a kind, but they’re incomplete. They may always be incomplete. That doesn’t give anyone license to just make shit up. And BTW, Occam’s Razor is an heuristic, it doesn’t prove anything. There’s nothing Objectivism-specific about how to answer this attempted monkey-shine, but it calls to mind William Lane Craig’s recent debate with Lawrence Krauss. Craig claimed that there was “evidence” for the existence of God, and his approach was a Bayesian probability argument. One of the elements he used was the (surely factual) assertion: the majority of New Testament scholars agree that the resurrection of Jesus was a historical event. I mainly bring up that detail because it’s so funny, talk about being obtuse. Hey, it gives me an idea, I’m going to consult a majority of Nostradamus scholars to help me pick lottery numbers. At least then the nonsense will have an expiration date on it.
  18. Where does he talk about arbitrary assertions? It’s 42 pages, so I started skimming once I saw that he wasn’t putting the main Objectivist argument first. I never did find it.
  19. That’s not a word. I checked. In the 1930’s the Austrian satirist Karl Kraus wrote “Hitler brings nothing to my mind”, perhaps better translated as “Hitler leaves me speechless”. I get the feeling that that’s your reaction to episode 3. Unfortunately, while episode 2 would probably go down well with some marijuana, episode 3 would definitely cause a bad trip. There was some interesting material, though. The suicide note of the guy who tried to consistently practice altruism was really something, especially coming after the buildup suggesting he was such a happy guy.
  20. I was just thinking how this program reminds me of James Burke’s Connections series, how it jumps around and elevates tenuous links between very different subjects. Burke’s programs are certainly worth watching and a lot of fun, they’re fast paced and he has a good personality. These Adam Curtis shows were just weird. Here’s the fifth part of episode 3, just start up the beginning of it and note what bubbly music he puts over such horrible imagery. It’s like, what if reality were a David Lynch movie. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haZ1SxruiqEhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcSvjw5R9yw&playnext=1&list=PL265D3468D14F0FDE
  21. I stated the relevant data points, of course there’s room for disagreement. I know a dyed in the wool Democrat who was saying Obama would never get the nomination, early in 2008. Because he is black. I kid you not. Ron Paul’s age is not the only strike against him, but I evaluate it as the tipping point to concluding that he can’t win. Neither the nomination nor the general election. This is coming up in the context of Gary Johnson, who is being excluded from debates just as Ron Paul was 4 years ago, when candidates with lower poll numbers were included and that fact was publicized. Now this is admittedly conspiratorial, but could it be that Ron Paul is being included now because he can’t win, thus sidelining the more libertarian wing of the Republican party? Or, more plausibly, because “they” can’t exclude Ron Paul again, but still won’t allow two such candidates on the debating platform?
  22. And here’s episode 3, the last one. Genocide in the Congo and Rwanda, Dian Fossey, AIDS, Richard Dawkins…what happened to the computers? The only connection I saw was that some raw materials are mined in Africa. Belgians are the bad guys this time. The “Chewbacca Defense” comes to mind. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IpxjE53bn4 P.S. There’s some really disturbing images of dead bodies. Like in a holocaust documentary. P.P.S. No Ayn Rand, she was only in episode one.
  23. It seems that all of this poster’s threads have been deleted, except this one. I expended some energy exposing his anti-semitic agenda, and am not happy to see my posts deleted along with his, though the decision is an understandable one. Anyway, I’m going to indulge in a parting shot, and let Christopher Hitchens do the talking for me. Zap to 45 seconds in.
  24. Ron Paul will be 77 on election day in 2012. Reagan was 69 when he was elected, and was (I believe) the oldest person yet elected President. You don’t believe Ron Paul’s age will be a great enough concern for voters? McCain was 72, and commentators made hay of the fact, especially after his unbelievable choice of running mate. I don’t believe I’m saying anything controversial here, Ron Paul’s age is a drawback for his candidacy, and I think it’s too great a drawback. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong.
  25. What context? You failed to communicate what you meant by “Muslim sense”, you merely linked to a piece of Arabic sounding music rendered with a pop drum beat. It didn’t have any complex harmonies, all that was notable was that it sounded out of tune according to the 12-tone, even tempered tuning method. I’ve been giving you the most charitable reading I can manage. I feel I’ve done what I came to do, answer your statements about Prokofiev. The bizarre non-sequiturs you’re engaging in, evoking Plato’s Cave and this pseudo-Chomskian claim about “some mathematical faculty”, it’s beyond my level of interest to engage further. However, it does call to mind Leonard Bernstein’s Harvard lectures, and since they’re freely available on YouTube, you might learn something.
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