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AqAd's Achievements

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  1. "Given the number of people who can't receive transfusions based on religious objections, this could be very helpful." Actually, there aren't that many, at least here in the West. I think that Seventh-Day Adventists and a few other fringe groups have an objection to transfusions, but they're a tiny percentage (of Christians, at least---I'm not sure if Hinduism or other Eastern religions have similar groups with this aversion to blood transfusions).
  2. So you are saying that a person such as Hugh Hefner is living a "terribly sad life"? He doesn't seem to think he is. Can you give me some kind of objective evidence that proves he is sad?
  3. "Where a Christian tends to beleive the world is fallen and worthless; jews, in my understanding, tend to try and make the world a better place." Tikkun, Orthodox Christianity is no different than orthodox Judaism in its view of the world as good, worthy, and meaningful (after all, God made it), though fallen. That there are Manichaen-like strains of heterodox Christianity out there does not affect that---just thought you should know before you go on making generalizations.
  4. "I think it's time for you to move on to a suitable hole somewhere." Do you honestly think that that's an adequate and rational response?
  5. SoftwareNerd, You wrote: "However, if UFO abductees are not delusional, I do not know who could be called delusional." Hah! I'm in agreement with you on this one...some years back, while working late on a job that often required my working late hours to complete, I happened to tune into Art Bell on the radio. (There's not much else on late at night, what can I say...) Over a period of some nights here was a parade of various UFO-believing types. I would say that some probably were in need of psychiatric care, while some seemed to be making a living in this particular niche. All of which brought to mind the famous quote (often attributed to Chesterton, though incorrectly so): "When men stop believing in God they don't believe in nothing; they believe in anything".
  6. Bold Standard, You wrote: "I submit that, since the Dark Ages, Christians have claimed that various illnesses, physical and psychological, were the direct result of Demonic influences." What are you basing this on? The "Dark Ages" are, as defined by objective historians, that period of time roughly between 410 (when the Roman Empire collapsed) and about 900, when Europe began to get back on its feet. "Since" the Dark Ages, Christian scientists moved forward: between the twelfth and the fourteenth centuries about forty universities were founded in Europe, partly by private initiative, partly by princes or popes, in most cases by the combined efforts of both together with the members of the university. To many of the professors' chairs, ecclesiastical benefices were applied by the popes without other obligation than that of teaching science. If you're claiming that Christians believed that illness wasn't worth studying because it was due to demonic influences, you're simply ignoring the advances in science and medicine that were made by Christians. Use facts, if you desire credibility. Hal, I tend to agree. The events of Fatima in 1917 are also interesting: it seems unusual, to say the least, that 70,000 people (including agnostics and atheists) would have been subject to a mass delusion at the same time.
  7. "Doesn't the pope oppose to stem cell research?" No, only embryonic stem cell research (because the embryos are destroyed for the research). There is nothing unethical, in Catholic theology, in stem cell research using umbilical cord blood or adult stem cells.
  8. "In TVOR, Rand wrote: "The recipient of a public scholarship is morally justified only so long as he regards it as restitution and opposes all forms of welfare statism"." In other words then, it's the state of mind that determines whether or not this act is morally justified. Objectively, of course, there is no difference between a parasite taking public money or an Objectivist taking public money: in either case, public money is taken. The way a person regards the act is too subjective a criterion, in my opinion. Demetrius, you stated: "So, in practice, calculate the money taken from you to support the "welfare state", add interest and this is the amount you should be comfortable receiving from the state for restitution. In the meantime, you should continue to oppose and vote against the welfare state. This is not hypocrisy." I agree with you---as long as you have had taxes taken from you, it is not hypocrisy to want to get that money back while at the same time voting against the welfare state. However, in the case of public scholarships or, in the case of drawing unemployment when you haven't put that much in, the situation does become hypocrisy. Saying that "my parents paid in" is a cop out, in my mind: you aren't automatically entitled to money your parents put in. This is merely rationalization, an effort to get around having to put your money where one's mouth is. Either you can support yourself on your own without government assistance, or you can't. Thinking that an act is wrong for others because they don't have a proper sense of life, but it's OK for you because you do have a proper sense of life, is too subjective a criterion to effectively judge an act with.
  9. Thanks, SoftwareNerd. That clarifies it.
  10. Felipe, You stated, "Funny, I never knew that using Aquinas's five ways was equivalent to using reason and logic." Yes, they are. If you disagree, point out the specific logical errors in the syllogisms. You asked, "Maybe I should stop using reason and logic and use Aquinas's five ways more often?" There's no conflict between his arguments and logic. So yes, read more Aquinas. You might just learn something. You wrote: "Regarding your "caused things need causes" statement, there is no support for the assertion." How about simple observation? Everything I see does not contain within itself the ability to cause itself to come into being. They are all caused. Provide evidence of a sense-perceptible entity that is not caused, but causes itself to come into being (which involves the logical impossibility of preceding itself). There is absolutely no support for your assertion that finite entities just spring themselves into being. You stated: "I think you are raping the law of causality and it's had enough." I haven't referred to any "law of causality". I have stated the very simple, common-sense, and logical observation that caused entities require causes. I would have thought this was obvious from observation. You stated, "In your application of this principle, you are inventing some super-entity that miraculously causes "matter" to exist." Again, I have not referred to the "law of causality", or applied its principles. I'm relying on common sense and logic. You stated, "The statement "all finite things in existence" has already identified everything that exists". No, it identifies all finite things. You are making the unsupported assertion that the infinite does not exist. Since we can conceptualize infinity (infinite progression of numbers, etc), are you saying that such concepts do not exist? I'll have to get to the rest of your post later. Again, I'd appreciate continuing this discussion via private message, as it is a more profitable use of my time (that is, I know you will get them, which I have no assurance of here).
  11. SoftwareNerd, No, I don't agree that Allen denies the existence of reality and truth. In an earlier post he states, "I Believe that reality exists and that I am a part of it". Though Allen and I would probably disagree in many areas, he does point out some weaknesses in the claim of objectivity in Objectivism. Gabriel, you stated: "That valid axioms cannot be proved does not mean that they do not have a rational explanation (that's your erroneous assumption). Therefore, it does not follow that their acceptance is based on faith". That's essentially the point I make in reply to the assertion that belief in God is based on faith alone. Felipe, You wrote: "Are you not able to argue on your own two feet? Do you need Aquinas and his 'five ways' to prove your point? Can't you state your case simply using reason and logic?" I don't feel the need to re-invent the wheel and the internal combustion engine every time I choose to drive a car. Aquinas' arguments do use reason and logic. You stated, "Your entire argument is based on this false assertion that existence needs a cause." No, my assertion is that caused things (i.e., matter) need a cause. If astronauts found a computer on the moon, they wouldn't assume that it just created itself: they would know, by logic and simple common sense, that it was made and put there. You wrote: "One more time, second verse same as the first: the universe refers to everything that exists, so to say that "something caused the universe" is a gross contradiction." The universe consists of all finite entities that exist. It is not a contradiction to posit that the finite universe was caused.
  12. Mister Swig, Let me try to address your assertions one by one---this might take a while, so try to be patient. You wrote: "But what about the real point of that specific sentence: that, to the Catholic, this ability to think in opposition to God is an indication of Original Sin? You conveniently bypassed that part." I didn't "bypass" it, I disagreed with the premise that Catholics think that. You might forget: I am a Catholic. The "ability to think in opposition to God" is not, as you claim, an indication of Original Sin but is a logical consequence of free will. Free will entails the freedom to reject God. You stated, "You may not believe that such evil, scheming people could exist in the Church. I do. You may not believe that Christianity is a deliberately evil system. I do, and I'm trying to prove it." Well, you'll just have to try a bit harder, as I'm not persuaded. But I'm enjoying your efforts. As for the existence of "evil, scheming people" existing in the Church, why, I believe that. It's a fact of life. But to suggest that these people are responsible for "concept of concupiscence" is not plausible. The Church has existed far longer than any other institution in the West, and false concepts tend to fall away with the passage of time. In any case, the concept of concupiscence pre-dates the Church, coming as it does from Judaism. You wrote: "Your simple disbelief, however, is not an argument. You have done nothing to prove my theory impossible. Thus, it stands as a theory. I don't claim to have proven it yet, but I do claim to have presented some evidence to support it--evidence which you simply refuse to consider." You can propose any theory, no matter how fantastic, and it's likely that no one could "prove" that it's impossible. So that particular "argument" doesn't say much. History, however, doesn't support your theory: as I mentioned, the concept of concupiscence predates the Church, and is a concept shared by many of the world's religions. Thus, the idea of a few evil and scheming Church members concocting this concept is not plausible. You wrote: "AqAd, you are the one claiming the existence of concupiscence. Yet you have offered no proof of its existence." Humans do not have perfectly strong wills and perfect intellects, but instead show a range of capabilities in those areas. The idea that people are perfect, and always choose rationally, is not supported by observation. Concupisence is simply the recognition that man is not perfect in these areas: his concept of what is good and wise is not always in accord with reality, and man tends to pursue lesser values in his search for happiness, for a variety of reasons that correspond to defects in will and intellect. This is simply what is called "concupiscence". Observation of man indicates its existence. You wrote: "I am now offering evidence and theories for your Church's evil nature, and still all you can do is demand more quotes from the Catechism? Why don't you deal with the quotes and reasoning I've already provided? " You haven't offered any evidence, but have simply given your opinion. The quotes you have provided (thank you) don't say what you claim they do, and I don't see "reasoning"---I see your opinion. This does not constitute a reasoned, logical argument. I've got to run--I'll answer more later if I have time.
  13. Felipe, "You can't keep dancing around the cold brick wall of reality headed straight for you"? Shzeesh...no need to be melodramatic. I see no reason to "Throw Aquinas and his "five ways" out the window". His "First Cause" states, as can be ascertained by reason, that finite entities need causes. Scientific observation does not support the idea that matter can cause itself to come into existence---it is caused. Nor can there logically be an infinite regression of causes. There needs to be, logically, an uncaused cause: an entity that has as part of its identity "being"---existence---itself. "Reality" includes this entity. Science also shows us, at both the macro and micro level, that there are specific "laws" which govern the physical universe. In other words, design, not randomness. The existence of universals also indicates a reality that is not measurable by merely scientific means. Objective truth means "existing outside of mind". If the human mind is simply the result of random chance, then any theory or philosophy a human comes up with is purely subjective. Self-awareness (consciousness) is not necessary for survival, as no other animal has it, yet they survive. How does consciousness evolve from non-consciousness, and why? What is the purpose of consciousness? Reality exists regardless of your ability to perceive, measure, or acknowledge it. Reason and faith are simply two different ways of perceiving reality. You did not give me an example of how they contradict (they can't).
  14. Felipe, You asked, "If there weren't mischaracterizations regarding Catholic doctrine, would you have a reason to be here?" Yes. As I stated in a much earlier post, I came here because I am discussing Objectivism with an Objectivist acquaintance. Since it's been years since I studied Objectivism, I figured I would read posts on various topics here to re-acquaint myself with the philosophy. (It is very frustrating, as you no doubt know, to spend time discussing anything with someone who has misconceptions of the subject at hand. I wished to avoid that, and so far it's been useful.) As for the rest of your post, I agree with your assertions. However, the existence of God can be arrived at by reason, by observing facts of reality. And yes, this is what Aquinas sets out in his "five ways". The belief in God is reasonable. Is faith required at some point? Yes, I'm not denying that. But reason and faith do not contradict one another.
  15. Capitalism Forever, You made my point for me: man is not evil, though he can choose to be so. This is what Catholicism teaches. Felipe, You stated: Speaking of childishness, complaining about the administrative actions taken against you in public is like Johnny complaining to the Joneses about how his parents never let him watch late-night TV." That's a fair charge---my apologies for whining. Won't happen again. You wrote: "Speaking of your presence here, you've not defended either of two major claims you've made during your stay--that faith does not contradict reason and that God exists--instead you've chosen to discuss the details of Catholic doctrine for days on end." I've been asked a number of times what is my purpose here. In addition to my main purpose which I have already stated, I also stated that I was not here to argue against Objectivism (which would indeed be a violation of forum rules), but would correct mischaracterizations that I see of Catholicism. That is the only reason why I have chosen to discuss "details of Catholic doctrine for days on end." If forum members here would not state mischaracterizations regarding Catholic doctrine, I will not have to discuss those details. As for the two topics you wish to discuss: I am curious: why do you wish to exclude Aquinas? I see no reason to, as it was my study of Aquinas (among others) that made a theist out of this atheist. Nor have I seen any reason to assume, as you do, that faith and reason are in opposition: they are simply two ways of discovering truth, and truth cannot contradict itself. Perhaps a better way of starting such a discussion would be for you to give me an example of what you perceive to be such a conflict.
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