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Chris Hedges: I Don’t Believe in Atheists

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Posted on May 23, 2007
Chris Hedges
Truthdig / Todd Wilkinson

Chris Hedges reads from his essay at the Truthdig debate “Religion, Politics and the End of the World” on May 22, 2007.

By Chris Hedges

Editor’s Note: On Tuesday night, Chris Hedges and Sam Harris debated “Religion, Politics and the End of the World.” The following is Hedges’ opening statement, in which he argues that Harris and other critics of faith have mistakenly blamed religion for the ills of the world, when the true danger lies in the human heart and its capacity for evil. Click here for full debate coverage.

Sam Harris has conflated faith with tribalism.  His book is an attack not on faith but on a system of being and believing that is dangerous and incompatible with the open society.  He attacks superstition, a belief in magic and the childish notion of an anthropomorphic God that is characteristic of the tribe, of the closed society.  He calls this religion.  I do not. 

What he fails to grasp is not simply the meaning of faith—something I will address later—but the supreme importance of the monotheistic traditions in creating the concept of the individual.  This individualism—the belief that we can exist as distinct beings from the tribe, or the crowd, and that we are called on as individuals to make moral decisions that at times defy the clamor of the tribe or the nation—is a gift of the Abrahamic faiths.  This sense of individual responsibility is coupled with the constant injunctions in Islam, Judaism and Christianity for a deep altruism.  And this laid the foundations for the open society.  This individualism is the central doctrine and most important contribution of monotheism.  We are enjoined, after all, to love our neighbor, not our tribe.  This empowerment of individual conscience is the starting point of the great ethical systems of our civilization.  The prophets—and here I would include Jesus—helped institutionalize dissent and criticism.  They initiated the separation of powers.  They reminded us that culture and society were not the sole prerogative of the powerful, that freedom and indeed the religious life required us to often oppose and defy those in authority.  This is a distinctly anti-tribal outlook.  Immanuel Kant built his ethics upon this radical individualism.  And Kant’s injunction to “always recognize that human individuals are ends, and do not use them as mere means” runs in a direct line from the Christian Gospels.  Karl Popper rightly pointed out in the first volume of “The Open Society and Its Enemies,” when he writes about this creation of the individual as set against the crowd, that “There is no other thought which has been so powerful in the moral development of man” (P. 102, Vol. 1).  These religions set free the critical powers of humankind.  They broke with the older Greek and Roman traditions that gods and destiny ruled human fate—a belief that when challenged by Socrates saw him condemned to death.  They offered up the possibility that human beings, although limited by circumstances and simple human weaknesses, could shape and give direction to society.  And most important, individuals could give direction to their own lives.

Human communication directly shapes the quality of a culture.  These believers were being asked to embrace an abstract, universal deity.  This deity could not be captured in pictures, statues or any concrete, iconographic form.  God exists in the word and through the word, an unprecedented conception in the ancient world that required the highest order of abstract thinking.  “In the beginning,” the Gospel of John reads, “was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  This is why the second of the Ten Commandments prohibits Israelites from making concrete images of God. “Iconography thus became blasphemy,” Neil Postman writes, “so that a new kind of God could enter a culture.”

God is a human concept.  God is the name we give to our belief that life has meaning, one that transcends the world’s chaos, randomness and cruelty.  To argue about whether God exists or does not exist is futile.  The question is not whether God exists.  The question is whether we concern ourselves with, or are utterly indifferent to, the sanctity and ultimate transcendence of human existence.  God is that mysterious force—and you can give it many names as other religions do—which works upon us and through us to seek and achieve truth, beauty and goodness.  God is perhaps best understood as our ultimate concern, that in which we should place our highest hopes, confidence and trust.  In Exodus God says, by way of identification, “I am that I am.”  It is probably more accurately translated: “I will be what I will be.”  God is better understood as verb rather than a noun.  God is not an asserted existence but a process accomplishing itself.  And God is inescapable.  It is the life force that sustains, transforms and defines all existence.  The name of God is laden, thanks to our religious institutions and the numerous tyrants, charlatans and demagogues these institutions produced, with so much baggage and imagery that it is hard for us to see the intent behind the concept.  All societies and cultures have struggled to give words to describe these forces.  It is why Freud avoided writing about the phenomenon of love.
 
Faith allows us to trust, rather, in human compassion, even in a cruel and morally neutral universe.  This is not faith in magic, not faith in church doctrine or church hierarchy, but faith in simple human kindness.  It is only by holding on to the sanctity of each individual, each human life, only by placing our faith in the tiny, insignificant acts of compassion and kindness, that we survive as a community and as a human being.  And these small acts of kindness are deeply feared and subversive to institutional religious and political authorities.  The Russian novelist Vasily Grossman wrote in “Life and Fate”:

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I have seen that it is not man who is impotent in the struggle against evil, but the power of evil that is impotent in the struggle against man.  The powerlessness of kindness, of senseless kindness, is the secret of its immortality.  It can never be conquered.  The more stupid, the more senseless, the more helpless it may seem, the vaster it is.  Evil is impotent before it.  The prophets, religious teachers, reformers, social and political leaders are impotent before it.  This dumb, blind love is man’s meaning.

Human history is not the battle of good struggling to overcome evil.  It is a battle fought by a great evil struggling to crush a small kernel of human kindness.  But if what is human in human beings has not been destroyed even now, then evil will never conquer.


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By Arun, March 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris,

Thank you for these words. I’m someone who has been
torn between the ‘worlds’ of faith and science for
awhile now, because both, on their extreme ends,
seemed exactly the same to me. The same cars with the
same engines, but with different sponsors on their
exteriors; people who love to objectify their
opponents and hate them, and then live off praise
from those who agree with them.

There’s really no way to show my appreciation of your words through this little text box. Thank you so much!

When I was researching, I found this quote by Bruce Lee. It feels like what you have been saying.

“Truth has no path. Truth is living, and therefore, changing. It has no resting place, no form, no organized institution, no philosophy.”

Report this

By Noah, August 2, 2008 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris,

Thank you for inspiring others to do what is right and to do their best to love.  I know that recently, I myself have fallen into the trap of hatred, as the Mexican immigrants in my town are hostile to others, and I blamed them for it.  But I do now see the fault in this attitude, and that I must think about why they are angry, and the injustices done to them by America.  It’s alot more challenging to uphold your ideals in the face of adversity like this, but I will do what I can.  Again, thank you for your sobering words.

Report this

By jIM h., April 28, 2008 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

————————HELLO ROBERT SCHEER;

—————THIS SITE HAS A BUGS IN IT!

YOU MUST ADD THE YEAR, AND BRING IT UP TO DATE!

————YEAR SHOULD BE 2008, MONTH APRIL!

——————-SITE NOT UP-TO-DATE!

———————FIX IT!—————-NOW

IF YOU DO NOT FIX THE DATEE, AND BRING IT UP-TO-DATE, I AM NOT INTERESTED IN COMMENTING FURTHER!

AND NO ONE ELSE WILL! DAY, AND YEAR MUST BE INCLUDED!

Report this

By Fritzwilliam, April 28, 2008 at 11:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris Hedges, you do exactly what you criticize others for doing: taking a simple problem and making it complicated. Humans are not inherently evil—they’re inherently stupid. Everything you see and describe in your supposed anthology on the human condition leaves out one overriding (and the only) answer to the question, “Why do humans behave and believe as they do?” and it’s this: The human animal is subintelligent. Furthermore, as to whether or not there is a Darwinian connection, which you deny as the basic thesis of Dawkins and others. . .there is. The connection is the ongoing intellectual evolution of the species known as Homo Sapiens. When the species has developed sufficiently in the gray matter sense, all your talking points will become as dust on the forgotten books on all the forgotten bookshelves of the past.

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By Melanie Stephan, September 6, 2007 at 8:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hi Jim,  At times I get mad at the World to, but who are you really mad at?  Are you mad at God or at Christians with twisted beliefs?  God is not as evil as you make him out to be.  Now some of these so called Christians are not going to Heaven either.  That is why God has returned to set the record straight.  Just google my name and you can find what he had to say in August 2007.  If you can’t do that much you can remain ignorant.

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By Jim H., August 28, 2007 at 8:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

——————HELLO ROBERT SCHEER;

—————THIS SITE HAS A BUG IN IT!


———————FIX IT!—————-NOW

Report this

By Melanie Stephan, August 27, 2007 at 9:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You can read more of what God had to say during the month of Aug. 2007, on this website [url=“http://nonprophet.typepad.com/nonprophet/2005/08/are_you_going_t.html”
rel=“nofollow”] Non-Prophet, Are you going to Hell? [/url]  Melanie also gives PROOF that God
made contact on this site.  The proof is in the story of 3 famous people Mike Douglas, Merv
Griffin and Nancy Reagan.  I hope you get it.  God went to a lot of trouble to get his message
out.  He is also worried about all of his creations. That means he thinks about you too.

Report this

By Jim H., August 16, 2007 at 9:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 95312

samanthastevens

Samantha Says: “Could you two please take your bickering off the site and reserve it for people who actually want to discuss the content???”

I Say: If you mind your own personal business, and get to some point about what it is you wish to discuss, you are welcome!

We who are ‘here’ do not need advice, nor idiotic suggestions from you, or anyone else who is only intent upon being critical, for the sake of being critical!

If you do not like what is written, you do not have to read it!

Writewhat you want, and read what you want!  And we ‘all’ shall continue to do as we did before your arrival!

If you do not like this, I suggest you go jump in a lake!

Ciao, Jim H.

Report this

By Jim H., August 16, 2007 at 9:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 89596

straight_talk_11

You say:“—- why not apply that to consciousness?” (?)
I say:What?  Do you have the faintest idea what consciousness is?)

And you say: “—-I ask if you believe in magic fables—-”.(?) 
I say: Your mind is warped!  You are the ‘professor’ of makebelieve “fairytales”!

So, after demonstrating your childish naivet’e, you revert to your delusionary stance regarding any serious discussion of facts.

And after these multiple ‘faux pas’ ‘you’ have the utmost ‘gall’ to suggest that it is ‘I’ who is: “—-totally unworthy of any serious debate.” (?) You are NUTS!  CRAZY!

I say: “conscioness is a ‘human trait’!  So, it ‘is’ the result of “EVOLUTION!” NATURALLY!
Which is without a doubt included in “Mass/Energy never disappear, Ever were, ever here”!
Therefore, you are contradicting your stated:  “No argument.”(?) which I say, amounts to a lie, implied, or otherwise!

DICTIONARY
consciousness:  The state or condition of being conscious.
A sense of one’s personal or collective identity,

In your “more complete quote” you talk gibberish fairytales stuff, which is your ‘wont’! And not suprising to us, who ‘know’ the extent of your delusions regarding anything in the ‘real’ world!

DON’T YOU KNOW:
Religion, Judaism, Christianity, etc.; result from ‘conjectured’ outpourings of
charlatans and imbeciles who believed the World was flat?
‘Christianity” derives from the “Jewish” “Judaism” which dates back a mere 4,200 years. Before that, “God” was a “Myth” of “Mythology” used to describe every type horror fears, dangers, and horrible, destructive, and incomprehensible evils!

Isn’t it therefore scornfully ironic that the term “God” has been so twisted by those rotten crooks to supposedly mean something completely opposite?
And , aren’t you an idiot to believe the ‘charade’?

THE BIBLE?
“Here’s a book that was ‘supposedly’ dictated by the “Creator” of the universe (?) and it describes all kinds of miracles, but, none of the authors of the book ‘witnessed’ any of the events; and, ‘they’ wrote the book a hundred years after it was ‘supposedly’ dictated by the “Creator” of the universe(?) and, after all the events in question ‘supposedly’ occurred.”
“Rational people could never accept that implausable story as fact!”
(From “The End Of Faith” By Sam Harris) 

Mass/energy never disappear
Ever were ever here!
With nothing to ‘create’, a “so-called “Creator-God”
is an impossible superfluous nonentity!
J.H. 5/8/07
 
THE ORIGIN OF NATURE
Beginning is never found but keep an ear to the ground
Accept the word of a friend there’s no beginning or end
Natures origin for instance is ceaselessness Existence
The worst form of child abuse is warping of the mind!
JH 8/29/06

Report this

By samanthastevens, August 15, 2007 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Could you two please take your bickering off the site and reserve it for people who actually want to discuss the content???  You make it very difficult to navigate through your personal vendettas against each other and read something substantial.  Thank you!

Report this

By Jim H., July 26, 2007 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 89857

straight_talk_11

You say :Jim H., “—-You continue to twist everything I say—-.”

I say: You are LYING AGAIN!  I have quoted your WORDS EXACTLY!   

True: I have not shown interest in your attempt to distract with spin, and have only quoted excerpts, but I have ‘highlighted, copied and pasted’ ‘your words’ so, ‘they ‘are’ ‘your’ words! 

In your “more complete quote” you talk gibberish, fairytales stuff, which is your ‘wont’! And not suprising to us, who ‘know’ the extent of your delusions regarding anything in the ‘real’ world!

More reasons to PROVE you are totally incompetent regarding debating, and unable to be serious about anything except an imaginary “God”, and constantly digressing from the subject.

And, with your tenacious stance regarding your warped and deluded view of reality you are un-fit to debate an eighth grader about the weather!

Get Help!

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By straight_talk_11, July 26, 2007 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

Jim H., you have your own special brand of “reasoning” that complies with no known principles of logic. You continue to twist everything I say by applying bits of it totally out of context. I don’t even know whether your brain is capable of holding anything in it long enough to understand what context means. You call everyone around you insane, yet your ranting posts make me wonder which hospital you’re in. So forget it, OK? That ought to be easy for you, since by the end of any sentence you’ve already forgotten what the first part said.

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By Jim H., July 26, 2007 at 8:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 89596

straight_talk_11

You say:“—- why not apply that to consciousness?”
And you say: “—-I ask if you believe in magic fables—-.(?)
So, after demonstrating your childish naivet’e, you revert to your delusionary stance regarding any serious discussion of facts.

And after these multiple ‘faux pas’ ‘you’ have the utmost ‘gall’ to suggest that it is ‘I’ who is: “—-totally unworthy of any serious debate.” (?)  You are NUTS!

I say: “conscioness is a ‘human trait’!  So, it ‘is’ the result of “EVOLUTION!”  NATURALLY!
Which is without a doubt included in “Mass/Energy never disappear, Ever were, ever here”!
Therefore, you are contradicting your stated:  “No argument.”(?) which I say, amounts to a lie, implied, or otherwise!

DICTIONARY
consciousness:  The state or condition of being conscious.
A sense of one’s personal or collective identity,

In your “more complete quote” you talk gibberish fairytales stuff, which is your ‘wont’! And not suprising to us, who ‘know’ the extent of your delusions regarding anything in the ‘real’ world!

DON’T YOU KNOW:
Religion, Judaism, Christianity, etc.; result from ‘conjectured’ outpourings of
charlatans and imbeciles who believed the World was flat?
‘Christianity” derives from the “Jewish” “Judaism” which dates back a mere 4,200 years. Before that, “God” was a “Myth” of “Mythology” used to describe every type horror fears, dangers, and horrible, destructive, and incomprehensible evils!

Isn’t it therefore scornfully ironic that the term “God” has been so twisted by those rotten crooks to supposedly mean something completely opposite?
And , aren’t you an idiot to believe the ‘charade’?

THE BIBLE?
“Here’s a book that was ‘supposedly’ dictated by the “Creator” of the universe (?) and it describes all kinds of miracles people claim they witnessed, but, none of the authors of the book ‘witnessed’ any of the events; and, ‘they’ wrote the book a hundred years after it was ‘supposedly’ dictated by the “Creator” of the universe(?) and, after all the events in question ‘supposedly’ occurred.”
“Rational people could never accept that implausable story as fact!

Report this

By straight_talk_11, July 25, 2007 at 9:05 pm Link to this comment

To Jim H.:

Quoting myself in 88415:

“No argument. So why not apply that to consciousness? You know matter and energy didn’t come from nothing. Maybe consciousness didn’t either. Or do you believe in magical fables that say it just popped up out of nowhere through evolutionary process somehow?”


Jim H., in the more COMPLETE quote above anyone (but you, apparently) can see that I am talking about consciousness when I ask if you believe in magic fables that say it (CONSCIOUSNESS) just popped up out of nowhere. Over and over you have proven yourself to be totally unworthy of any serious debate.

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By Jim H., July 25, 2007 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 88974
straight_talk_11 et al. 

First you qouted me:
“Mass/Energy never disapear
Ever were,ever here”

To ‘this’ you said:  “No argument.”(?)

‘Then’, you said:“Or, do you believe—-it just popped up out of nowhere—-.”(?)

I say this is ‘questioning’ what I have stated very succinctly! And, it is a contradiction of “No argument.”(?) which I say, amounts to a lie, implied, or otherwise!

Regarding your ‘conceptual’ “God”:

How did you come to believe such stuff?
Who told you about it?
Someone infected your brain with that infectious plague-like disease!
And you have been delusional like a cocaine addict, ever since!
Riding on a cloud, avoiding harsh reality, with a Myth for companionship!
Why do you, and, why should anyone else, believe, in your fairytale “God”?
Why do you believe something never proved?
If you only believe it because other fools do, and it comes from a “book” just like like “Little Orphan Annie”
Why don’t you insist “Little Orphan Annie” is also real? Aren’t they both unproven makebelieve fairytale characters, like your farcical “Jesus”? 

You ‘talk’ about an IMPOSSIBLE “BEGINNING”?  That never happened! 
You cite a filthy, slimy cesspool of sick pornography called “The “Bible” !
And ‘name’ a MAKEBELIEVE FAIRYTALE CREATOR! You call “God”?
Why?  There is not one iota of truth, or proof, to support that lie!
Can’t you admit you have been a patsy sap, brainwashed by other fools?
Wake up and “REPENT”?
If you have the minutest bit of ETHICAL, OR MORAL DECENCY left,
beneath the cancerous religion-delusion abscesses of your brain,
and would sincerely want to benefit mankind, you will ‘go’ “cold turkey”
get that ugly felonious monkey off your back, and do everything you
can to atone for all the minds you have destroyed and wasted with the
lies you have perpetrated, and promoted in behalf of those felonious
criminal charlatans who enslave, rape and rob children, and make
them into manipulated mindless robots like you, that your progeny will suffer from.
Those rotten rats will soon dominate the entire World with their “Theocracy”!
 
“God” is a conjecture, the “Universe” is fact!
Mass/energy never disappear
Ever were ever here!
J.H. 5/8/07
With nothing to ‘create’, a “so-called “Creator-God”
is an impossible superfluous nonentity!
If you postulate “God” always was? 
This trabslates to:
“The Universe always was!”
Because: “God” is conjecture!
The Universe is fact!

Report this

By straight_talk_11, July 23, 2007 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment

Quoting Jim H. who is quoting excerpts from me:

But, then, in “the rest of-(your)- post” you immediately said: “—-matter and energy didn’t come from nothing—-.” “Or do you believe—- it just popped up out of nowhere—-.”
Which questions, and contradicts “no argument”, and amounts to a bold faced lie!  Because, you are asserting there once was nothing!
——

How, after stating that it doesn’t, then asking, “or do you believe” that it does, contradict what I said? It CONFIRMS what you said, YOU DINGBAT!!! Where do I assert that there once was nothing. The whole post says there was never nothing. God always was, consciousness always was, matter and energy always were. THAT’S WHAT IT SAYS!!! EVEN IN YOUR QUOTE IT SAYS THAT!!!!

It says matter and energy DIDN’T come from nothing, just like you say it doesn’t! It DOES NOT POP UP FROM NOTHING, JUST LIKE YOU SAY IT DOESN’T! IT WAS ALWAYS THERE!!!! And I say it was always there and that I don’t believe God created the universe at some particular time in the past, but that it was always and ever will be! And I say that I believe God continually creates the universe, and have said in previous posts that the laws of nature, in my opinion, are aspects of God’s intelligence.

Then later, I ask if you believe CONSCIOUSNESS just pops up from nothing. I am no longer talking about energy and matter and I made that clear in the post. I say it’s just as stupid and without foundation to say that consciousness pops up from nothing as it is to say energy and matter do.

IN OTHER WORDS, I agree that energy and matter were always there and in the same way, consciousness was also always there. I agree with you and attempt to show that you should agree with me that just as matter was always there and doesn’t come from nothing, so was consciousness always there and doesn’t come from nothing.

How in Sam’s Hill could you mess up your reading SO, SO BADLY EVEN AFTER I CORRECT IT? HOW? HOW? HOW?

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By Jim H., July 22, 2007 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 88584

straight_talk_11

Why do you have so much difficulty understanding YOUR very own words YOU write?

I say: It is true that you said: “No argument.”(?)

But, then, in “the rest of-(your)- post”  you immediately said: “—-matter and energy didn’t come from nothing—-.”  “Or do you believe—- it just popped up out of nowhere—-.”
Which questions, and contradicts “no argument”, and amounts to a bold faced lie!  Because, you are asserting there once was nothing!

When you say, “I agree with you, and, then disagree, ‘THAT’ IS A LIE!

And the rest of that post is gobbledygook garbage! 

There is no question that you are DELUSIONAL, and that somewhere sometime you were mesmerized, or indoctrinated into believing that asinine notion about some kind “Supreme ‘Being’, which you decided to redesign to better fit your own idea of what a makebelieve farcical “God” should be!  And apparently, you are still in the process of ‘perfecting’ your new design!  You can’t face “Cold Turkey” renunciation!

It seems as though you may be coming to your senses slowly, but you are having a problem facing the fact that for so long, when you thought you were a brilliant example of humanity, you became enslaved to the idea, and enamored by the belief and a mental image of “God”, which you now realize was all a lie and a fantasy, that you should have seen through long ago. So, naturally, it is a shock to your ego, and stirs a slow burning sensation up your spine into your head, to finally accept that you have been a patsy, and a chump!

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By straight_talk_11, July 21, 2007 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment

In case you never heard the expression before, dingy, “no argument” means I have no argument with that. And if you know how to read the rest, it underscores that meaning. If nothing else told your ailing brain what that expression meant, the rest of my post should have. No wonder you don’t get my arguments. You don’t get much of anything at all in life, do you?

Then you call me a liar because I said I agree with you? Just where do you get off, bozo?

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By Jim H., July 21, 2007 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RE:88522

straight_talk_11

You say: “Can’t you see I’m agreeing with you,—-”(?)  THIS IS A LIE!

In your “88415” Post,  You said: Quoting me

“Mass/energy never disappear
  Ever were ever here!”
  Jim H.

And, you said: “No argument.”(?)

Then, you contradict YOURSELF, AND, ME!

When you say: “—-You(?) know (?)‘matter’ (?)and energy(?) didn’t come from nothing.—-”(?)

THIS IS AN ABSURD CONTRADICTION!    And, ‘THIS’ IS NOT “AGREEING WITH ME!”       

It’s just Another lie!  And you cannot even READ your own writing!

For your edification, “matter” is included in the ‘terms’ “Mass/Energy” which has always been extant in the Universe!

And I said: “—-THERE NEVER, NEVER WAS ‘NOTHING’!

Got That? “Mass/Energy Never disappear Ever were Ever here”!

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By straight_talk_11, July 21, 2007 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

Quote from Jim H. quoting me:
“No argument.——You know matter and energy didn’t come from nothing.” (?)

Can’t you see I’m agreeing with you, you id**t? I’m saying they always were there. I state this even more specifically further below in the same comment. Who is it who can’t read? Wow, man!

I even reinforce that agreement with you to say I don’t believe God created the universe sometime in the past, but that He continually creates it. I don’t believe the universe began at 12:00 AM, Standard Big Bang Time. Many physicists don’t either. They think there are more than one big bang and our big bang was not the beginning of the universe.

Quit telling me I don’t know how to read when your assumptions that I’m disagreeing with you are so stupidly strong that you don’t even notice when I agree. What kind of blithering *#)^%! am I dealing with?????

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By Jim H., July 20, 2007 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

88415

straight_talk_11

You quote: “Mass/energy never disappear
Ever were ever here!”
- Jim H.

Then, you say: “No argument.——You know matter and energy didn’t come from nothing.” (?) 

I say “matter and energy ALWAYS WERE!    THERE NEVER, NEVER WAS ‘NOTHING’ !!!!!!!!!!!!

I say: Now! you cannot even read!  Or you cannot comprehend a very edifying and succinct message!

The words describe the Universe we live in!

They say: “Mass/Energy never disappear!  Got That?  ALWAYS HERE, NEVER DISAPPEAR!

The next line which no doubt you did not read says: (referring to the prior words) “Ever were ever here”.

Now, if Mass and/or Energy were ‘ALWAYS’ here, then there NEVER was NOTHING!    Idiot!

The rest of your ridiculous asinine diatribe that rambles on about other mindless conceptions you dizzy your mind with, are not worth more than this!

Please, address your tortuous words, and quests for salvation to your confessor, and leave me out of your thoughts?

Mass/energy never disappear
Ever were ever here!
J.H. 5/8/07
With nothing to ‘create’, a “so-called “Creator-God”
is an impossible superfluous nonentity!

THE ORIGIN OF NATURE
  Beginning is never found but keep an ear to the ground
  Accept the word of a friend there’s no beginning or end
Natures origin for instance is ceaselessness Existence
The worst form of child abuse is warping of the mind!
JH 8/29/06

Report this

By straight_talk_11, July 20, 2007 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment

“Mass/energy never disappear
Ever were ever here!”
- Jim H.

No argument. So why not apply that to consciousness? You know matter and energy didn’t come from nothing. Maybe consciousness didn’t either. Or do you believe in magical fables that say it just popped up out of nowhere through evolutionary process somehow? How do you know that God’s body is not the cosmos and that “it” (the cosmic body) isn’t a lot more comprehensively conscious than your little body? And if it isn’t, why is your little body conscious? Why do you think consciousness has to be always obvious in such a localized way as in the case of a human body?

I, as well as many physicists, do not believe in a beginning of time either, as I think is correctly implied at the end of your quote “...ever were here”. If there is such a beginning, what time was it when time began? It’s a little weird to postulate a beginning for time.

So you might guess rightly from this that I don’t think God created the universe at some point in time, much less in six earth days, resting on the seventh (oops, more blasphemy?). I think he perpetually generates the entire universe, and I’m not even sure that time is real in any ultimate sense, just as many physicists are beginning to suspect. It may just be an illusory by-product of the recursion responsible for diversity generation through symmetry breaking within the fundamental field that is the unity underlying all physical phenomena.

So I guess you think that kind of thinking came from being brainwashed by religious zealots? Try again, pal! It didn’t come from atheistic scientists either, did it? So maybe some people actually know how to think for themselves, yet believe in the existence of God! What a radical idea, huh?! And maybe a lot of atheists just swallow others’ thoughtless mindset that automatically sees anything not immediately apparent on the surface of life as unreal.

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By Jim H., July 20, 2007 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:88354

straight_talk_

You say:“My beliefs are the consequence of my own experience—-”(?) Belief in a Supreme—-Intelligence—-does not require brain washing”(?)  (Not true!)  (Another lie!)

Absurd! At some time in your past ‘someone’ mentioned “God” to you!  And, you were “BRAINWASHED”!

I say: Unless you INVENTED the idea of a “God”, which you did Not!, you, at some time, have been “brainwashed” into believing in something called “God” which apparently, ‘you’ decided to re-invent!

I say: “Belief in a Supreme Intelligence”, which you admit you only “postulate”, guess!, is absurd!
There is absolutely no ‘reasoning’ behind ‘such’ “postulating”!  It’s mere conjecture, speculation,etc.!

You mention: Supreme Conscious”(?) (ABSURD!  This is an un-provable absurdity! Ridiculous!)

You mention:“Supreme—-Intelligence”(?) (ABSURD another un-provable absurdity! Ridiculous!)

You say: “I have demonstrated my postulates are not speculative—-”(?)  (WRONG!) (ANOTHER LIE!)

I say: that statement is another LIE! ‘You know’ that ALL POSTULATES are GUESSES! STABS IN THE DARK! CONJECTURE! IMAGINATION! DREAMS! WILD HOPES! 

YOU HAVE ADMITTED IT BY SAYING: “POSTULATES ARE UNPROVEABLE”!  DON’T YOU REMEMBER?

AND,  ‘ALL’ “POSTULATES” ARE “SPECULATIVE”!  WAKE UP!

If you are going to keep up you repetitive lying, don’t address Jim H. anymore.

You are not proving anything to me!  I have got your number!, and I am convinced that, in addition to all your pschycotic delusions, the rest of your mind has finally snapped, and you no longer can distinguish between postulates and facts, or right and wrong, or truth and lies, so, go ‘chin’ with some other citizens of your make believe, fairyland world, where all will agree with you, and enjoy the pleasure of your ignorance!

Mass/energy never disappear
Ever were ever here!
J.H. 5/8/07
With nothing to ‘create’, a “so-called “Creator-God”
is an impossible superfluous nonentity!

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By straight_talk_11, July 20, 2007 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

Jim H., thank you for being at least in a semi-communicable mode in your response to my last post. I accept your partial apology even though the insulting aspects of your style have not completely abated.

I ask humbly that you consider these simple points:

1) My beliefs would be considered blasphemy by most who you seem to assume have brainwashed me with their fables.

2) I clearly do not tow their party line, no matter what the religion.

3) My beliefs are the consequence of my own experience and empirical observations combined with my best understanding of science and mathematics and the structure of nature and natural phenomena.

4) Belief in a Supreme and Conscious Intelligence underlying the cosmos does not require any brainwashing from any external source. It is no less reasonable, and in fact, I believe more reasonable, than the opposite assumption.

5) The existence of a Supreme and Conscious Intelligence and the non-existence of such a God are both assumptions.

6) There is no argument that does not ultimately rest on postulates.

7) Not all postulates are created equal. Some are reasonable inferences based on observable reality, including the abstract structures we call theory deduced from multiple observations, and others are just purely speculative.

8) I have amply demonstrated that my postulates are not purely speculative and that they are at least as reasonable as their negations.

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By Jim H., July 19, 2007 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 88063

straight_talk_11

You Say: “—-your posts regarding postulates, etc.(re)—-science, mathematics,—-”(?)

I say, ‘you’ are the “postulates” proponent!  I, being an inventor, must keep MY postulates secret; until I protect the ‘end product’ by patent!

And, I have not discussed mathmatics, here; so, you continnue to spin, away from the subject at hand!

I suppose I owe you an apology for believing you are one of those criminal charlatan Evangelical crooks who ravage little kids after convincing them it is the only way they can be granted grace for the “sin” (whatever that means) they were “born’ with”!

But, I have never before known of someone who was ‘not’ a “member of Clergy” that spent so much effort, and wrenched out so much perverted diatribe in an effort to support such tenuous assertions about a makebelieve, fairytale symbol of ones insanity.

And, after all our ebb, and flow of disagreeing verbiage, I can only wonder who, or what is responsible for doing such a masterful job of ‘inducting’ you into the army of imberciles that the ‘Godist’ religious minions epitomize. You appear so ‘addicted’ to that scheme, that I think of those little Muslim kids that thrill at the opportunity to die in an act of MURDERING non-believers, to prove they know better!

Your apparent bewitchment appears so strong that I have no doubt if we were living in earlier times here in the USA, you would try to have me “pilloried” or stoned to death, as a heretic!  Such is the depth of your ‘bigotry’, and conviction that a “postulate”, guess, is far better than any established proven fact!

A fully sane, reasonable person would totally reject your “God” if for no other reason than that ‘it’ required absolute bigotry, and rejection and repugnance for one’s fellow man, who did not accept this farce!      Such a dividing influence is the antithisis of the harmonious uniting indivisibility, our nation is meant to be!

Mass/energy never disappear
Ever were ever here!
JH 5/8/07
With nothing to ‘create’, a “so-called “Creator-God”
is an impossible superfluous nonentity!

THE ORIGIN OF NATURE
Beginning is never found but keep an ear to the ground
Accept the word of a friend there’s no beginning or end
Natures origin for instance is ceaselessness Existence
The worst form of child abuse is warping of the mind!
JH 8/29/06

If anything ever was
It is what you see
Not what may be!
JH 7/19/07

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By straight_talk_11, July 19, 2007 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

You call me a liar and then talk as if I were clergy with a congregation. I have never been clergy. Do not plan to be. I have never made a penny peddling religious beliefs of any kind. So you quit lying. And your posts regarding postulates, etc. are pure, uncomprehending idiocy recognizable by anyone with even a minimal understand of science, mathematics, or any other such logically rigorous discipline no matter what your age.

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By Jim H., July 18, 2007 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:87740

Rev. straight? talk Dr. of Div.

You say: “Jim H., you’re apparently—-about 8 years—-.”(?)

I say: Doesn’t this sort of a statement ‘exclaim’ a limitation of a writer’s reasoning powers?

Regardless of how outlandish, illogical, incorrect, or critical that any and all posts addressed to you, “straight(?) talk, appear to you; no one in their right ‘mind’ could ever imagine ANY “8 year old” capable of dealing those death blows to your ego, and your preposterous asinine lying attempts to deceive everyone, that have been incorporated into these pages!

It only remains to be said, that you like many other fools before you, are, by that absurd remark making an hebetudinous, unsucessful effort to stifle the truth by attempting to “discredit the messenger”!

But, I have no doubt that many 8 year olds would laugh you out of sight, if they were not suffering from the same insane delusions you are so sick with!

Haven’t you stolen enough from your flock of innocents, and fools?  Why not stop all the lies, and try somehow to ‘atone’ for all the ‘rotteness’ you have caused those whose lives you have ‘destroyed’, and their progeny, who will also suffer, as the result of the branding, mesmerizing, indoctrination you have used to enslave, and warp their forebears minds with your absurd delusions?  You people all belong in jail!
At your very next Church meeting, tell your flock that you “have discovered the truth”; that “there is no such thing as a “God”,” and that you have been lying just to swindle all the money you could squeeze out of them, so that you could live like a rich person, and enjoy the pleasures that only money can provide.

Your nose must be elongating like Pinnochio’s!  Check your mirror when you next powder it!

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By straight_talk_11, July 18, 2007 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

Jim H., you’re apparently either about 8 years old or you’re an idiot.

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By Jim H., July 17, 2007 at 10:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 87567 &  87571

Rev. straight_talk_11

You are like a broken record, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat absurdities!

I have repeatedly pointed out to you what, ‘even you’ have admitted, i.e., that “postulates” are worthless! guesses in this context!  You cannot use postulates to PROVE anything TO ME! 
Use postulates to attempt to arrive at a sensible intelligent PROVABLE FACT, then, present the fact!
If you cannot understand this, go immediately to the last school you attended and ask for your money back, or sue them, you are a partially educated illiterate, and a danger to all!   

You are extremely confused!  You have ADMITTED as much by saying “postulates cannot be proven”,and then asking me to: “show where my postulates are wrong?”  (Your words!)

If all you have is postulates, which I have said again, again and you have ADMITTED, “do not prove anything”, then you are a fool not to realize what you are saying!
By your own statement, you are accepting a “POSTULATE” whch “cannot be proven”, as a reason, or fact for believing a figment of your own (postulate, guess, imagination)!

Then to ask someone to argue against the insanity of that kind of assertion, a “guess”, is to ask for company in your own little corner of your insane world!  Which ‘I’ refuse to join!
Simply stated: YOU’RE NUTS!

You talk about “logic” but you are illogical! You need to have someone read back to you several of your posts so you may come to realize how very illogical your ridiculous persistance in offering postulated guesses as proof of something!

Though “postulated” guesses are used to help arrive at what may become a valid conclusion, they of themselves, do not PROVE ANYTHING!

And I do not wish to debate the possible validity of an idiot’s “postulated” guesses!

Instead of babbling a diatribe about the relativivity of postulates to logical deductions,
use the information to PROVE SOMETHING!

I don’t need that info, you do! so follow it, to it’s “logical” conclusion, and see if you can come up with anything other than your inane, asinine, farcical conception of a delusion!

Haven’t you stolen enough from your flock of innocents, and fools?  Why not stop all the lies, and try somehow to ‘atone’ for all the rotteness you have caused those whose lives you have touched, and their
progeny, who will also suffer as the result of the branding, mesmerizing, indoctrination you have used to warp their forebears minds?  You people all belong in jail!

At your very next Church meeting, tell your flock that you have discovered the truth; that there is no such thing as a “God”, and that you have been lying just to swindle all the money you could squeeze out of them, so that you could live like a rich person, and enjoy the plelasures that only money can provide.

And stop snooping into my personal privacy!  Your nose is elongating like Pinnochio’s!

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By straight_talk_11, July 17, 2007 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment

Jim H., you don’t seem to understand the most elementary things concerning induction, deduction, logic, or the construction of intellectual models we call theories. Physical science and mathematical systems originally start from hypotheses that may eventually become the axioms, premises, or postulates (all of which terms are essentially synonymous) upon which evolving theories and mathematical systems are based.

If you can do better than this, show the world how.

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By straight_talk_11, July 17, 2007 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment

RE: 87315 by Jim H. on 7/16 at 6:18 pm

Quoting Jim H:

You say:”—-(No) readers—- have—-critiqued—- my postulates (claims)—-?

This is but another audacious lie!

I have repeatedly said, or implied, that your “postulate” (claimed) (’Godist’ ) “Creator God” or other conceptual idea of “God” you may have, is an absurd!, makebelieve fairytale tool of charlatans like you, used to enslave innocent children, and fools!  Prove otherwise! 

End quote

So here we have the proof of what I’ve said. You respond to my statement that no readers have intelligently critiqued my statements and that you respond only by repeating opposing statements without showing why my postulates are ill-founded or why my logic is flawed.

You claim in the above statement to have done so, but once more you only repeat opposing viewpoints. That is not a critique of my postulates or my logic. You attack me for admitting that my logic is founded on certain postulates. Do you understand that all logic has to start from postulates? Do you understand that neither you or anyone else can ever avoid that simple fact?

How old are you, anyway? You don’t want to seem to answer that question. Maybe you would have to lie, which would make you what you’re calling me…a liar?

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By Jim H., July 16, 2007 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 87274

Rev. Stray;

You are telling too many lies, and it’s all in your inane and idiotic posts for everyone to see! 

You have said: “I have given compelling reasons—-?”    AN OUTRIGHT LIE!

You have also said: “I think there are—-compelling reasons”(?)  THIS PROVES YOU’RE A LIAR!

I say: ‘That’ statement “—-think there are—-reasons”, says it all!  It means: you have not “given—-reasons!    And, PROVES YOU’RE A LIAR!

Then, You say: “You have not shown WHY my postulates(?) are ‘unreasonable’ or unfounded.”
I say: Who cares about your “Postulates”  ‘they’ are ‘NOT’ “REASONS”!    You are lying when calling them reasons!

Then you ‘ADMIT’: “Postulates are not provable—-.”(!)  (Your own words!)  Stop “postulating”!

I have repeatedly said, or implied you can not provide one iota of proof, or a valid reason for your invented makebelieve fairytales “God”!

How can you lie so much, and so often, and then keep teling lie after lie in an attempt to support all the rest of your repeated lies, without knowing that you are doing it? 
You say:”—-(No) readers—- have—-critiqued—- my postulates (claims)—-?

This is but another audacious lie! 

I have repeatedly said, or implied, that your “postulate” (claimed) (’Godist’ ) “Creator God” or other conceptual idea of “God” you may have, is an absurd!, makebelieve fairytale tool of charlatans like you, used to enslave innocent children, and fools!  Prove otherwise! 

Where, from whom, or how did you ever come to imagine such a stupid idea?

Your problem is that ‘you’ have accepted (without proof) something that neither you, nor anyone else, can prove ever existed, and, based on your HALUCINATORY acceptance of a virtual “pig-in-a-poke” you want others to believe what you absolutely, have no valid reason for believing!

If you were the least bit HONEST, and serious, about truth, you would endeavor to find a valid reason for your surrender to such an overpowering addiction, that has caused your outlandish renunciation of sanity in favor of a benumbing, fawning delusionary idolatry that has deprived you of your innate reasoning!

WHY do you believe this great lie? 

Where’s the evidence?

How did you first come to believe in this illusory, chimerical conception?

Who told you about such a ‘thing’ ?

What made you accept that person’s ‘word’ about ‘it’?

If after a very thorough research, you came to realize that what you have accepted as true, and believed in for so long, was beyond any doubt whatsoever, totally incompatable with reason, or fact; do you believe you have the mental power to withstand the the hurtful shock to your ego, that admitting to yourself would cause, from knowing you have been a victim, a patsy, and a fool, to have ever believed the lies that caught you so unprepared to deal with it, from the very first?

“POSTULATES” do not prove anything, and are totally worthless as PROOF for anything at all!

You have said: (Outlandishly!) “—-God—-“creates(?) from within—-”(?)

I say: Prove it! What does your delusion of “God” create?

Aren’t you sensible enough to realize that what cannot be proven, is not fact, but folly? And that claims are worthless unless supported by facts, PROOF!

You say: “Postulates” are not provable.”(!) (Your words!)   

So, why, when you admit ‘they’ are ‘worthless’, do you ask someone: to “show- why, (your) “postulates” are unreasonable or unfounded.”(?)  (worthlesss!)

Not proveable, means: guesswork, speculation, conjecture, infer, suppose, surmize, suggest, imply, hint, intimate, unfounded, without reason, fallacious, containing fundamental errors in reasoning: false, illogical, invalid, sophistic, specious, spurious, deceptive, delusive, ‘delusory’, illusive, illusory, unsound, misleading,  assumption, ‘postulate’, without ‘proof’, judgment, estimate, or opinion arrived at by ‘guessing’, and implauseable!

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By Jim H., July 16, 2007 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 87274

Rev. Stray;

You have said: “I have given compelling reasons—-?”  THIS IS AN OUTRIGHT LIE!

You have also said: “I ‘think’ there are—-compelling reasons”(?)  THIS PROVES YOU ARE A LIAR!

Then, You say: “You have not shown WHY my postulates(?) are ‘unreasonable’ or unfounded.”
I say: Who cares about your “Postulates”  ‘they’ are ‘NOT’ “REASONS”!    So, you are lying when calling them reasons!

Then you ADMIT: “Postulates are not provable, of course.”(!)  (Your own words!) 

I say: I am not concerned with your idiotic claims, “postulates”!    Stop “postulating”!

I have repeatedly said, or implied you can not provide one iota of proof, or a valid reason for your invented makebelieve fairytales “God”!

How can you lie so much, and so often, and then keep teling lie after lie in an attempt to support all the rest of your repeated lies, without knowing that you are doing it? 
You say:”—-(No) readers—- have—-critiqued—- my postulates (claims)—-?

This is but another audacious lie! 

I have repeatedly said, or implied, that your “postulate” (claimed) (’Godist’ ) “Creator God” or other conceptual idea of “God” you may have, is an absurd!, makebelieve fairytale tool of charlatans like you, used to enslave innocent children, and fools!  Prove otherwise! 

Where, from whom, or how did you ever come to imagine such a stupid idea?

Your problem is that ‘you’ have accepted (without proof) something that neither you, nor anyone else, can prove ever existed, and, based on your HALUCINATORY acceptance of a virtual “pig-in-a-poke” you want others to believe what you absolutely, have no valid reason for believing!

If you were the least bit HONEST, and serious, about truth, you would endeavor to find a valid reason for your surrender to such an overpowering addiction, that has caused your outlandish renunciation of sanity in favor of a benumbing, fawning delusionary idolatry that has deprived you of your innate reasoning!

WHY do you believe this great lie? 

Where’s the evidence?

How did you first come to believe in this illusory, chimerical conception?

Who told you about such a ‘thing’ ?

What made you accept that person’s ‘word’ about ‘it’?

If after a very thorough research, you came to realize that what you have accepted as true, and believed in for so long, was beyond any doubt whatsoever, totally incompatable with reason, or fact; do you believe you have the mental power to withstand the the hurtful shock to your ego, that admitting to yourself would cause, from knowing you have been a victim, a patsy, and a fool, to have ever believed the lies that caught you so unprepared to deal with it, from the very first?

Aren’t you sensible enough to realize that what cannot be proven, is not fact, but folly?

And “POSTULATES” do not prove anything, and are totally worthless as PROOF for anything at all!

You have said: (Outlandishly!) “—-God—-“creates(?) from within—-”(?)

I say: Prove it! What does your delusion of “God” create?

I say: Why don’t you attempt to prove the validity of your assertions?

Where’s the evidence?

How did you first come to believe in this apparently illusory, chimerical conception?

Who told you about such a ‘thing’ ?

What made you accept that person’s ‘word’ about ‘it’?

If after a very thorough research, you came to realize that what you have accepted as true and believed in for so long, was beyond any doubt whatsoever, totally incompatable with reason, or fact, do you believe you have the mental power to withstand the the hurtful shock to your ego, that admitting to yourself would cause that you have been a victim, a patsy, and a fool to have ever believed the lies that caught you so unprepared to deal with it from the very first?

Aren’t you sensible enough to realize that claims are worthless unless supported by facts, PROOF!

You say: “Postulates” are not provable.”(!) (Your words!)

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By straight_talk_11, July 16, 2007 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

Jim H., again, you have failed to say anything useful. You just call me a liar and make stupid statements of opinion you’ve made before. You do not direct your attention to anything I’ve said other than to state a contrary opinion, which is utterly useless. You have not ever shown WHY my postulates are unreasonable or unfounded. You have not shown WHERE my logic is invalid. You have simply stated an opposite opinion and attached unfounded labels, just as you’re doing in this last silly post of yours.

Postulates are not provable, of course. But there is no body of intellectual thought that does not start from postulates. The rest comes from logical deduction of what the postulates imply. You should know this just from plane geometry and the postulates of Euclid. This is stuff we used to study in the tenth grade and I assume is still being taught in high school.

I’m repeating material from my earlier posts here:

The postulates of Euclidean geometry are well-founded in terms of their empirical usefulness and because they are easily verifiable by empirical induction that can be replicated by anyone who wishes to bother. Even so, they are not “true” in any final sense, but turn out to be a special case of more general Riemannian geometry. There is no intellectual model that is ultimately provable in the sense you demand and every model has to have the fundamental, axiomatic assumptions based on observable utility we call postulates.

How old are you, anyway? Your comments have no intellectual content worthy of a teenager, much less an adult.

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By Jim H., July 15, 2007 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 87091&  87095  

straight_talk_11

You say: “—-‘MORE’ (?) compelling reasons—-?”  “—-they’re already here.” “—-I have (offered) compelling reasons—-” (?)

I say: LIAR! You have not cited even ONE!    Liar!

I Say: You are a ‘disgusting’ LIAR! You have not offered even ONE REASON! for any one to accept your so called, absurd “POSTULATES”!

A “postulate” is a CLAIM!    It is ‘NOT’ a REASON!

DICTIONARY:  postulate
To make a claim (?)
To assume(?) or assert(?)  .

YOU HAVE SAID: (these are your own words)  “I think there are—-compelling reasons”(?) 

I say:That statement (think) says it all!      IT PROVES YOU ARE A LIAR!

Even a dope like you should know that “think” there is a reason, is NOT stating a REASON!

And it shows that you have not provided even one (1) “REASON”! 

Not even one (1) reason in all of your critically bigoted babbling attempt to “prove” the un -proveable!

Not one (1) reason to support your ceaseless lies! 

How can you lie so much, and so often, and then keep teling lie after lie in an attempt to support all the rest of your repeated lies, without knowing what you are doing? 

You say:”—-(No) readers—- have—-critiqued—- my postulates (claims)—-?

This is but another audacious lie! 

I have repeatedly said, or implied, that your “postulate” (claimed) (‘Godist’ ) “Creator God” or other conceptual idea of “God” you may have, is an absurd!, makebelieve fairytale tool of charlatans like you, used to enslave innocent children, and fools !

Prove otherwise! 

Where, from whom, or how did you ever come to imagine such a stupid idea?

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By straight_talk_11, July 15, 2007 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

#86700 by nahida on 7/13 at 2:03 pm

Dear Nahida,

Thank you for your kind and well-spoken words. I agree with you on the psychological need for atheists to deny the existence of a Supreme and Conscious Intelligence. They have proved over and over for any objective, intelligent reader what you say about the insufficiency of logic and well founded postulates to open their minds to the possibilities they deny. My motivation is to sharpen my wits. In the course of the interactions here I have been forced to evolve deeper, subtler, and more explicit levels of insight into the issues under consideration. It has been an intellectually stimulating experience as well as very informative concerning the nature of the atheist mindset.

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By straight_talk_11, July 15, 2007 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

To Jim H. and anyone else who wishes to view a few of my posts that contain the essence of all of them:

78054
75798
75796
79023
79418

Any intelligent, objective reader will find that no responses to my posts have intelligently critiqued their reasoning or challenged the postulates underlying them in a way that would demonstrate that they are conceptually incompatible with observed principles in physics, mathematics, or artificial intelligence.

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By straight_talk_11, July 15, 2007 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

You say: “I think there are—-compelling reasons(?) to postulate the existence of God—-”(?)

What?  What?  No more “certainty”?  Am I finally penetrating that denseness?  Maybe there’s hope?

Why not elucidate?

What are those “—-compelling reasons—-?
- Jim H.

I said they’re already here. Just go back and read my previous posts. There are plenty of them. They’ve already addressed everything you’ve said.

I’m not asking you to prove the unprovable. I’m just pointing out that we have two options, to postulate that a Supreme and Conscious Intelligence exists or does not exist. I have already supported my opinion that there are more compelling reasons to postulate the existence of such a God than there are not to do so. I used solid lines of reasoning that no one here has taken the time to INTELLIGENTLY criticize by taking them apart step by step and showing where they’re wrong.

So why do you ask me to elucidate in your response to a post that clearly stated that I didn’t wish to repeat previous posts AGAIN! I’ve already done that too many times just to make things easier, but it’s a lot of work.

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By Jim H., July 13, 2007 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:86700

Rev. nahida

Thanks for reading my posts, and your (free) critique. Don’t mess up your ‘Alb’ with sputtering spittle.

You say: “received—-unfounded(?) accusations of irrationality, insanity and believing in fairy tale stories;—-”(?)

I say: You must be a drug addict!  No one in their right mind would lie so OUTRAGEOUSLY!

I say: “Accusations” of irrationality, insanity, and believing in fairy tale stories—-“are extremely ACCURATE! when discussing someones ‘belief’, or ‘faith’ in something totally falsle, absolutely impossible to prove, a figment of a charlatan’s evil criminal mind, and the delusional symbol that induces people like you to be the asinine blowhard verbose bigot you are.

If you wish someone to believe in your ‘Godish’ fetish, all you need do is present some ‘proof’ that such a ‘thing’  ‘IS’ REAL!, and not a makebelieve, fairytales, device, used to lure innocents, and imbeciles ‘like you’ into a form of slavery to an irrational conception of life, and a world of mindless delusion that causes the type of bigoted agressive attacking misstatements, and a ‘pedantic’ attermpt to demean, belittle, and insult the intelligence of someone who is by far, light years, your mental superior!

YOU ARE TOTALLY CONFUSED!  ‘YOU’ ‘IDIOTS’ ARE THE BELIEVERS!

We, The rational ones!  who accuse ‘you’ criminal idiots of lying and chicancery, and warping innocent children’s minds with your schemes are the NON-BELIEVERS! 

Sane, rational, people do not ask, nor expect others to PROVE the non -existance of “santa Clause’. the “Tooth Fairy” “Mickey Mouse” or other makebelieve, fairytales entities such as a “Creator-God” and “little Orphan Annie”!

Sane, rational people KNOW these are comic, or farcical conceptions, and do not, nor have they ever existed except in the minds of storybook writers!  Or, in the case of the “Creator-God”, in the ‘heads’ of all you, the DELUDED ‘MINDLESS’!

Don’t demand others to prove you are a liar!  The proof is in your absurd twisted assertions!

You talk about “logic”!  Isn’t it logical to you that what does not exist does not need to be proven not to exist?

Your problem is that ‘you’ have accepted (without proof) something that neither you, nor anyone else, can prove ever existed, and, based on your acceptance of a virtual “pig-in-a-poke” you want others to believe what you have absolutely no valid reason for believing!

If you were the least bit HONEST, and serious, about truth, you would endeavor to find a valid reason for your surrender to such an overpowering addiction, that has caused your outlandish renunciation of sanity in favor of a benumbing, fawning idolatry that has deprived you of you innate reasoning!

I say: Why don’t you attempt to prove (or, disprove) the validity of your assertions?

WHY do you believe this great lie? 

Where’s the evidence?

How did you first come to believe in this illusory, chimerical conception?

Who told you about such a ‘thing’ ?

What made you accept that person’s ‘word’ about ‘it’?

If after a very thorough research, you came to realize that what you have accepted as true, and believed in for so long, was beyond any doubt whatsoever, totally incompatable with reason, or fact; do you believe you have the mental power to withstand the the hurtful shock to your ego, that admitting to yourself would cause, from knowing you have been a victim, a patsy, and a fool, to have ever believed the lies that caught you so unprepared to deal with it, from the very first?

Aren’t you sensible enough to realize that what cannot be proven, is not fact, but folly?

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By DSA, July 13, 2007 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Happy Friday to All!

Why can’t our dear, great world leaders spend the abundant resources we are gifted with toward the welfare of all mankind… instead of on these destructive wars?

The turmoil you see and hear in Afghanistan and present day Pakistan was not seen or heard of during one era in their history… and that was when the Buddhist leaders ran those countries…  Their only secret was the belief in nonviolence and respect for all life.

Why are the present day Devout/Faithful so angry, confused and destructive?

Wishing everyone a fun weekend,

With love,

DSA

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nahida's avatar

By nahida, July 13, 2007 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

Dear straight_talk_11,

I am impressed with your mannerism, and intellectual aptitude.
I would like also to congratulate you for your endurance, tolerance, and integrity that you displayed all through your dialogue (one sided as it may be, as all you’ve ever received was personal attacks and unfounded accusations of irrationality, insanity and believing in fairy tale stories; which –incidentally- is the only argument that I’ve ever got from debating with hardcore atheists).


One point that I would like to share with you is that with fundamentalist atheists the problem does not lie in the deficiency in reasoning and the absence of evidence with regards to the possibility of the existence of a Creator. 

The core of the problem with them is not intellectual, as they have no logical basis for the assertion of non-existence of a Creator…

It is not possible to prove a negative -logically speaking- and it is impossible to refute the possibility of the existence of a Creator also.

Yet, they adamantly refuse even to accept the “possibility” of the existence of a Creator, let alone examining evidences that support this hypothesis; a stance that no honest rational person would ever take, for the simple reason of the “impossibility of proving this hypothesis”, and the inability and unfeasibility of providing evidence to support their “belief”; for none can ever be found.

It would be much more logical and scientifically valid if they argued as agnostics rather that affirmative atheists, but it seems that even that position is unacceptable to their emotionally charged responses.

It is not an intellectual issue with them, it’s rather a psychological one; and it’s an emotional blockage.

Defying all logic, they will not even consider the possibility!

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By Jim H., July 13, 2007 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 86657, 86687

straight_talk_11

You say: “You can’t prove God doesn’t exist.” (?)  THIS IS ANOTHER OF YOUR ‘PEARLS!

Is it your custom to require people to prove the non-existance of things ‘not existing’?

Your delusion is much deeper than I could have believed!

I have provided you with the means to resolve all your dilemma while retaing a portion of your sanity, and a ‘piece’ of your ‘split’ personality; but you instead are attempting to sidestep the issue by asking ‘me’ to “disprove” ‘for you’, the ‘un-proven!

No one ‘in their right mind’ would EVER ask someone to PROVE that a ‘conjectured’ image, or makebelieve fairytales character does not exist!

No one ‘in their right mind’ would expect someone to prove the unproven!

No one ‘in their right mind’ would ask someone to ‘prove’ there is no “Santa Claus”!

No one ‘in their right mind’  would ask someone to prove their is no “Tooth Fairy”!

No one ‘in their right mind would ask someone to prove their is no “God”!

Have you ever had any success proving ‘anything at all’ that never existed, does not exist?

If so, What formula did you use? And please tell us ‘all’, just ‘what’ ,‘you’ proved never existed?

I am insisting that: “something is NOT TRUE, that cannot be proven TO BE TRUE”! 

This is a statement of ‘fact’ that no one ‘in their right mind’ would question or ask to be proven!

If there is absolutely no evidence for the ‘existance’ of something, there certainly is no ‘evidence’, nor need their be for the ‘non-existance’ thereof!

You say: “I think there are—-compelling reasons(?) to postulate the existence of God—-”(?)

What?  What?  No more “certainty”?  Am I finally penetrating that denseness?  Maybe there’s hope?

Why not elucidate?

What are those “—-compelling reasons—-?

In your “Continued from previous post” You say: “People have challenged my opinions—-(by) “make”-ing broad statements of disagreement.”

I say: “Broad statements” of unsubstansiated assertions about non-existing ‘entities’ that belie facts,
are best answered by “broad statements” correcting the both the insideous delusionary farcical assertions, and the narrowmindedness of the asserter!

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By straight_talk_11, July 13, 2007 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

Continued from previous post:

People have challenged my opinions both in terms of modern physical theory and artificial intelligence. I have made every attempt to make my arguments very clear with step by step reasoning. This makes it quite available for analysis and critiques, but no one here has done anything more than make broad statements of disagreement.

Any time I ask for specific critiques of my reasoning, I do not get a cogently reasoned critique that attacks my reasoning at specific points at which whoever it is feels there is some weakness. I just get more broad statements of disagreements, silly blather about insanity or fairy tales, with no sound counterarguments that have anything to do with what I’ve said.

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By straight_talk_11, July 13, 2007 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

“Don’t you realize that only an imbercile would keep insisting that somethiing was true that could not be proven so?
“Where’s the evidence?
“What are you hiding?”
#86521 by Jim H

Why don’t you ask yourself these questions? You can’t prove God doesn’t exist. In previous posts I’ve already done a very thorough job of showing why I think it there are more compelling reasons to postulate the existence of God than not. You haven’t done that. You just assert opinions. You don’t show where my reasoning is flawed.

You don’t even show that you have the slightest understanding of my reasoning. Don’t say I don’t have any. I have plenty and it’s all here. On the other hand, I have virtually no reasoning on your part to attempt to understand. Assertions without support are not amenable to any kind of analysis.

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By Jim H,, July 12, 2007 at 11:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

86253

straight_talk_11

You say: “—-Supreme and Conscious Intelligence—-(I) call Him God(?)

I say: Why don’t you attempt to prove the validity of your assertions?

Don’t you realize that only an imbercile would keep insisting that somethiing was true that could not be proven so? 

Where’s the evidence?

What are you hiding?

How did you first come to believe in this apparently illusory, chimerical conception?

Who told you about such a ‘thing’ ?

What made you accept that person’s ‘word’ about ‘it’?

If after a very thorough research, you came to realize that what you have accepted as true and believed in for so long, was beyond any doubt whatsoever, totally incompatable with reason, or fact, do you believe you have the mental power to withstand the the hurtful shock to your ego, that admitting to yourself would cause that you have been a victim, a patsy, and a fool to have ever believed the lies that caught you so unprepared to deal with it from the very first?

Aren’t you sensible enough to realize that what cannot be proven, is not fact, but folly?

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By Jim H., July 12, 2007 at 8:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 86261

Stray Talker

You say: “—-define—-terms—-”(?)  (MORE DELUSIONS!)

I say: re-writing the dictionary, is not “defining” ones “terms”!

Dictionary words ‘do’ have definite meanings!

Have someone, (not one of your religious fanatical delusional friends) explain the difference between “defining” a “term” and using a word that is a well-“defined” dictionary term!    IN A DICTIONARY!

You then will find that your attempt at re-definition and altering the meaning of a word thereby, is so ‘far fetched’ that only a fool could imagine or conceive of any connection between your ‘meaning’ and fact!

So much for your so called idea of “communication”?

Then, you say:”—-your beliefs are different.”(?)        (Certainly different from your DILUSIONS!) 

I say: ‘this’ is another of your idiotic assertions and remarks!

Aside from the fact that ‘you know’ that ‘I’ “believe” ‘you’ are: a delirious, delusional, fanaticlly religious charlatan who hypnotizes and indoctrinates innocent children and fools into that criminal ponzi-racketeering, swindling, infectious plague-like disease of ‘Godism’; and, that I despise all of you who are responsible for warping the minds of those little innocent children who are often the victims of proselytising paedophile pastors, ministers, priests, and others of ‘your’ ILK, ‘YOU’ ‘DO NOT’ KNOW WHAT ‘I’ “BELIEVE”!

And, except for those who are also, delusional like you; from merely reading some of my postings here, only a fool would speculate that I am “narrow-minded”!

Do you also believe that in addition to denyiing your “Godist idea”, that those who deny the existance of “Santa Claus”, and the “Tooth Fairy” are therefore “narrow minded”?

Perhaps YOUR mind is too, too, broad, if it is the cause of your halucinations!

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By Jim H., July 12, 2007 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:86314

Melanie Stephan

What, if anything are you ‘personally’ doing to enlighten the world about the EVILS caused by the propagation of the criminal ponzi-like racketeering scheme ‘Religion’, that indoctrinates, and enslaves innocent childrlen and fools and converts them to shills to proslytize and spread their infectious plalgue-like disease that causes delusional thinking, and an absurd child-like fairytale conception of the world that is a constant threat to those of us who live in the ‘real’ world and are ceaselessly threatened by their illogical bigotry?
As you know, the farcical “Godist” figure they idolize is merely a tool of the rotten charlatans that rape little kids; and, the word “God”, during Mythological times actually referred to every type of horror and evil the world knew of at that time. Isn’t it therefore horrifically ironic that what once represented the worst sort of evil; some idiots, now use to frighten little kids with; only they tell them (the evil) “God” is “Great”?

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By Jim H., July 12, 2007 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:86253  

Stray Talker;

You say: “—- atheists—-define “God” (who) “doesn’t exist”.(?)

I say: Wow!  Do you really mean it?  You say “God doesn’t exist”?  Have you finally seen the light?

But, there you go again, lying! lying! lying!  MORE OF YOUR DELUSIONS!

I say:  SECULAR NON-BELIEVERS, “ATHEISTS” DO NOT MAKE UP DEFINITIONS!

Why do you so strenously refuse to acknowledge the validity of DICTIONARY definitions that are accepted by literate people throught the entire world, instead of repeatedly insideously attempting to insinuate your simple minded conceptions of word meanings, that are so far fetched, noone but you, know what they mean?

You say:”—-intelligence operating in the cosmos—-” This is just another of your quirky ideas of a definitiion, which in no way presents the least bit of evidence to PROVE such a ridiculous outrageous THING!

Realists, people who reject lies about un-proven assertions, including ‘your’ “God”; ‘however’ YOU re-define ‘it; call ‘it’ what it absolutely IS, a FARCE!  If you want to accept, and refer to this as a ‘new’ definition, you are welcome to. I call it a valid description of what you apparently deem a “Creator” of some ridiculous undefineable sort except to your deluded excuse for a mind!

As I have said before, you need a pschiatrist!  Get help! before you get any worse, maybe it’s not too late?
And you might save the lives of some of those kids you otherwise would ‘screw-up’ with your delusionary criminal propaganda!  REPENT! GET THAT ‘GODIST’ MONKEY OFF YOUR BACK!

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By DSA, July 12, 2007 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Greetings Everyone!

Thanks for your input on the subject of Faith!

As we are currently experiencing great dangers and conflicts largely due to Faith, it is mandatory that the free thinkers speak up and make their voices heard. 

Reasoning does not seem to be a concern of the devout.  All they generally expect is just to believe what they say and join their path… It does not matter how destructive the consequences can be…

In reality, all I experienced in this life was just the constant interactions with mankind.  The rest I see… is our beautiful planet with its abundant natural resources and beauty.

While I’m here, I would love to enjoy every moment of this human experience as a free soul, a free spirit.  I do not wish to be burdened with Faith while this life of mine lasts…

When it is time to leave, I will leave it with immense gratitude for the privileges I have enjoyed.  What happens next is to be seen… or may never be seen…

In-the-meantime, I end this note with love & best wishes to all,

DSA

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By Melanie Stephan, July 12, 2007 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is an important message. Please read and pass it along. I have a message to tell you about
Revelation. The message is from God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost respectively sent in the Spring of 2006. It is about the meaning of First is Last and Last is First . The message is this: In the morning I go to Heaven. In the afternoon I live my life. In the evening I die, death. What does this mean? In other words this means Birth is Last and Last is Birth. To understand this don’t think from point A to point B. Think of this as a continous circle of life. Birth, Life, Death, Birth. God also said that Judgment will be before Birth in Heaven. As birth on Earth is painful so will birth in Heaven. It is possible that this message was delivered by one of God’s Angels. Yes, God has recently made contact and he sent a messenger. Spread this message along, just like a chain letter. Tell two people. OH, one more thing of interest. Did you know that Mike Douglas dies on his birthday.  Melanie Stephan

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By straight_talk_11, July 12, 2007 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

RE: #85320 by Jim H. on 7/09 at 8:21 am -

Quoting:
First, You are doiing [sic] your ‘damnedest’ trying to re-define “FAITH”?

Any body of writings that discusses abstract concepts such as “faith” has not only the right, but the obligation to define its terms. To act as if this were some kind of irrational ruse to win an argument is utterly stupid. The objective is to communicate, not rave and rant with mindless restatements of opinion that add no value to a discussion.

If there is to be communication, when someone takes the trouble to define their terms, we need to accept them. Acting as if all words have a rigidly absolute meaning is a fundamentalist mindset applied to language. That’s exactly what’s wrong with the mindset that characterizes the religious right in this country, and they are indeed dangerous, and lethally so as I’ve stated before. You are no less dangerous only because your beliefs are different. Narrow literal-mindedness is indeed a dangerous disease.

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By straight_talk_11, July 12, 2007 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

To all, including Jim H., who insist on being atheists who have a right to define God for theists, then argue that He doesn’t exist:

I think it makes sense for anyone who believes in a Supreme and Conscious Intelligence as the ultimate, highest intelligence operating in the cosmos to call Him God. Of course, you can always define a God you don’t believe in and then ridicule anyone on that basis who says s/he believes there is a God.

If you think I’m alone in my definition, and you quote scripture from some particular religion to support your contention that my God doesn’t fit that religion’s concept of God, you’re being partisan to a particular religion. That’s an odd position to take as an atheist, isn’t it?

The fact is, my definition fits very well within the Eastern spiritual traditions. I find much more affinity with them than I do with western religion. There are tons of us theists who fit in this category, so please quit telling us we have to believe in one of your atheist-authored predefinitions or we too are atheists. What transparently specious logic!!!

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By Rossinator, July 11, 2007 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment

This essay is the work of a man who does not believe in God, yet can’t bring himself to fully admit it.  Mr. Hedges has thus redefined God as something completely abstract and ill-defined, so that it can not be refuted, as there is no substance to refute.  While cherry-picking a few lines of the Bible to support this nonsensical position, the essay predictably descends into ridiculousness.  For example, Mr. Hedges says, “individualism ... is a gift of the Abrahamic faiths”.  What book does he think is he reading?  In the Old Testament, God demands complete obedience, and ruthlessly stamps out any hint of individualism or free thought.

To Chris Hedges, and those who agree with his essay: you say you don’t believe in atheists?  You ARE atheists.  Get over it.

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By Jim H., July 11, 2007 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

COPY
NOTE: This was first sent to several MENSA email addresses including “National, International, Australia.

RE: “Mensa’s goals”
“Mensa has three stated purposes: to identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity;
to encourage research in the nature, characteristics, and uses of intelligence; (?)
and to promote stimulating intellectual and social opportunities for its members.”
—————————————————————————

Hello You-all; With the above stated aims in mind,
What, if anything is MENSA and their Members doing to enlighten the world about the EVILS caused by the propagation of the criminal ponzi-like racketeering scheme ‘Religion’, that indoctrinates, and enslaves innocent childrlen and fools and converts them to shills to proslytize and spread their infectious plalgue-like disease that causes delusional thinking, and an absurd child-like fairytale conception of the world that is a constant threat to those of us who live in the ‘real’ world and are ceaselessly threatened by their illogical bigotry?

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By Jim H., July 11, 2007 at 11:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 85807

Rt. Rev. Stray Talk Dr. Div.

There you go again!  REINVENTING “GOD”!  You are DELUSIONAL! You are suffering from Bipolar, Multiple Personality Disorder!

You say: “—-not all believers in “God” are irrational—-(?)      THIS IS AN OUTRIGHT LIE!

I say, DELUSIONAL ‘IS’ IRRATIONAL!  AND BELIEVING THE UN-PROVABLE ‘IS’ DELUSIONAL!

You say: I believe in—-(what) I call God—-something—-(noone) else gets to define. (?) 

I say: NOW YOU ADMIT(?) ‘YOU’ ‘ARE’ “REINVENTING” “GOD”!    You are DELUSIONAL! 

I say: Making up your own ‘little’ (“God”) world; is playing games, makebelieve, fairytales; and when you believe it is REALITY(?) you are seriously mentally disturbed, and a big danger to yourself, your family, and all others you may come in contact with, or influence in any way at all, including any here, who give any credence to anything you write!

You say: “—- there are a—-bunch of us theists who don’t fit(?)—-preconceptions of who we are.” (MISFITS!)

I say: In this statement (directly above this) you have stated a fact!
It is almost impossible to imagine the lengths to which some imberciles or reprehensible people will go, to perpetuate such an obvious bogus criminal scheme that is represented by a word once used to describe every type of horror, and evil.

And I, for one, am thunderstruck that the ‘World Intellectual Community’ has not, and does not, completely expose all you criminally fraudulent scheming swindlers, for the true debauchers, and destroyers of our Democratic, and Human Society, that is so obvious ‘you are’, to anyone who is not distracted from, or beholden to you-all!

And, ‘I’ “hope” ‘you’ ‘get’ ‘it’!  In the end!

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By straight_talk_11, July 10, 2007 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

To Doug L: Huh?

To Jim H.: I believe in a Supreme and Conscious Intelligence that I call God and Who is part of nature and not outside it or “supernatural” except in the sense of extremely and ultimately natural, at the top of nature’s hierarchical structure. What I think about who God is and what S/He is like is not something you or anyone else gets to define.

A central point I’ve been making all along and few of you ever seem to get is that not all believers in God are irrational, bible-thumping creationists who can’t even except the incontrovertible fact of evolution. When you realize that one out of five Americans believe the sun revolves around the earth according to one survey, it’s less difficult to understand how such people can exist. But there are a whole bunch of us theists who don’t fit your preconceptions of who we are. I hope you get that.

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By Doug L, July 10, 2007 at 12:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Refering to straight_talk_11 #84850

I made a simple comment.  From that you have made some rather bizarre conclusions about me.  Looks like you’re trying to pick a fight.  I’m not interested.  Jim H seems to be handling you just fine.

Anyway, I’ll take Harris over Hedges any day.  Many others have made better points than I could make as for why this is true.

And don’t take it so personally.

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By Jim H., July 9, 2007 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 83666   Hello DSA;
Thank you for your good ‘thoughts’ about Sam Harris, See: http://www.truthdig. com/report/item/20070529_sam_harris_fights_back/

He too, like Rushdie, has taunted a gigantic man-eating octopus, and must take many precautions to prevent a repeat of the Madalyn Murray O’Hair debacle that the “Religious “faithful” fanatics do a dance of joy over! 
Although I too am thankful for “The End of Faith”, I believe no one has come within a ‘light year’ of pointing to, or discussing the ‘epic’ proportions of the ever broadening destructive criminal influence, evil intentions, designs and calamitous results of the Religious “Faith” Organization’s unwavering pursuit of total Theocratic domination our once Democratic, USA, and the entire World!
How many people can even imagine: any ‘one’ organization of any kind, that can, and does accumulate, free from taxes, every day, more money, including donations of taxpayers hard earned funds that are contributed to them by G. W. Bush’s “Faith”-based” operations, than any other company, business, or other type of honest enterprise in the world, accumulates in one month? 
And, how many people can even imagine: the amount of influence all this ill gotten wealth is able to purchase?
Through the use of all type “Holding Companies” and many other similar methods of hiding ownership, the Religious Organizations own, or control a major portion of all Media, including newspapers, radio stations, publishing houses, television stations, and, many Congressmen, and Senators, plus G. W. Bush, and Dick Chaney!
These same Religious “Faith” Organizations have repeatedly caused our ‘bigoted’ Congress, and ‘bigoted’ US Supreme Court, to deny, and violate many parts of our US Constitution, and The Bill Of Rights!
These same Religious “Faith” Organizations have repeatedly supported, and influenced the installation of G.W. Bush a ‘bigot’, and Military Deserter, into the White House!
These same Religious “Faith” Organizations continually object to, and repeatedly violate the Constitutional Law: “Separation of Church and State!
These same Religious “Faith” Organizations repeatedly deny “woman’s rights”!
These same Religious “Faith” Organizations use the “Pulpit” to electioneer and promote religious bigot candidates for elective office, and use big bushels of their money lucre to help this happen!
These same Religious “Faith” Organizations also use bundles of money to pay lobbyists, and influence all Congressional actions that are destructive of our Democratic way of life and detrimental to all US citizens!
These same Religious “Faith” Organizations fight against any and all means of limiting family size, including medicines that prevent childbirth, because without innocent children to brainwash, mesmerize, brand, and indoctrinate into their fantasy world of ‘Godism’ their Religious Organizations would soon ‘dry up’ and go out of business!
Of course this is but a mere minute insight into the monstrous behemoth the ‘Ponzi-like’ racketeering Religious “Faith” Organizations embody and represent, and the perpetual horrific infectious plague-like disease they are ever more widely spreading every hour of every day through the means of newspapers, radio, and television, and even door-to-door-proselytising!

And, if we secularists, the rational ‘ones’, don’t soon confront this war on sanity and reason, before long, if it is not already too late, we will be surrounded, smothered and inundated by the horrible putrid dung these Religious “Faith” Organizations are everyday filling the airwaves, and earthly environment with!

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By Jim H., July 9, 2007 at 9:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

85222

Rev. ‘STRAY’ Talk, Dr. of Divinity, and Proselytizing Preacher

So! You’re at it again?

First, You are doiing your ‘damnedest’ trying to re-define “FAITH”?

Dictionary:

FAITH: Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence!


And you’re are trying a ‘new tack’? Another ‘AFFRONT’ at RE-INVENTING a lost-cause farcical “God”?

You say: “Not all theists consider God as “supernatural”.(?)    This is an outright lie!

Dictionary:
GOD:  An image of a “supernatural” being; an idol.(!)

“If you don’t realize this, you are dangerous to both yourself, and the rest of humanity!”

And, anyone who thinks, or ‘pretends’ otherwise, is either an imbercile, an escapee from a ‘Nuthouse’, or a thieving charlatan (like you?) seeking to perpetuate the schemes and tricks used to prey on, and enslave innocent children, and fools (like you?), give them ‘inferiorty complexes, and compel them to kneel and
plea for ‘grace’ for their “sins” (whatever that means) which often is only granted in return for criminal
sexual perversion.

You say a/o imply: ‘in effect’, “It is) “My personal view—- (that)  God (did not) “create” “nature” “from outside of nature”!      “—-not a “supernatural” agent acting from outside.”
(Rather; once “nature” existed? “God”, as a “fully natural(?) ‘abstraction’ (?) within nature”, ‘THEN’, ‘CREATED’ nature”(?)  (and all the the rest of everything?)

With your ‘warped’ and ‘twisted’ method of making asinine deductions, your mental numbness has accidently finally brought you closer to the ‘actual’ TRUTH!
The absurdity of imagining that ANY ‘THING’ was ever required to CREATE what already, and ALWAYS EXISTED!
Mass/energy never disappear
Ever were ever here!
J.H. 5/8/07
WITH NOTHING TO CREATE A ‘SO-CALLED’ CREATOR-GOD
IS AN IMPOSSIBLE SUPERFLUOUS NONETITY!

You are SICK, and getting SICKER! You had better see a Psychiatrist!

I am by now ‘MORE CONVINCED’ you are one of the ilk of that gang of criminals: Falwell, Haggard, Pat Robertson, Jerry Brown, James Dobson, the Pope, etc. etc. who LIE, and steal money from little kids, and convert them through mesmerizing, branding, indoctrination into automaton shills for spreading your rotten cancer of the mind disease to other little childrens minds so they all become robotic donaters of money to sate your filthy, slimy insatiable greed!

Why else would you lie so much? And keep insisting that FARCE IS FACT?

You certainly KNOW that “God” is a farcical tool of rotten crooks! And that it was originally used to describe every type and sort of evil in mythology, the forerunner of all religions!
And that “there NEVER, was a BEGINNING”, thus no “first cause” “Creator God”!

It might help your weak and distorted conception of the world to dwell on the question that: if there WAS a so called “Creator God”, who, or what CREATED the “Creator God”,? And, Who or what created that which created the one that created the “Creator God”?  And IF you say that “God” ALWAYS WAS”? Then you are in fact describing the UNIVERSE! That “ALWAYS WAS”!

Wake up! And stop lying! You cannot fool sensible people who have not caught that discease.

And I am certain most others here realize you are just another of those ‘lying crooks’ who seek to hypnotise and enslave more little kids so as to do dirty things to them!

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By straight_talk_11, July 8, 2007 at 9:10 pm Link to this comment

Short addendum to my last post:

Not all theists consider God as “supernatural”. My answer to Stenger’s thesis referenced in one of my earlier comments challenged his assumption that God had to be looked at as an agent acting from outside of nature to create it. My personal view, as expressed repeatedly in my previous posts, is that He represents the ultimate level of abstraction within nature, and as such is fully natural and not a supernatural agent acting from outside.

I also expressed my view that magic and the supernatural always represent the projection of ignorance. By that I mean that what you don’t understand is magic to you. However that’s not reality, but rather a projection of your own making. Nineteenth-century magicians exploited the ignorance of the masses concerning electricity and magnetism for a long time before they became common household phenomena.

For a long time people thought flight was impossible, too, and anyone who thought it was possible and worked toward it was considered a fool who believed in fairy tales. This was another projection of ignorance, and I place atheists in this category.

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By straight_talk_11, July 8, 2007 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment

For all commenters:

The word “faith” translated from the Greek “pistis” as used in the New Testament does not refer to a simple belief in an idea or blind acceptance of dogma. To use faith in this way is common to many Christians’ concept of faith, but it represents a fundamental misunderstanding of it.

The Greek noun translated as faith is “pistis”. The verb for “to believe” is “pistevo”. According to Strong’s Greek Dictionary this verb means: to have faith in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing (i.e. credit; by implication, to entrust, trust, believe, commit, put in trust with someone). Greek noun “pistis” means persuasion (i.e., credence; moral conviction, assurance).

However, in Christian theology “faith” is a term used to imply the assurance and absolute trust that comes from direct knowledge, and is anything but blind. In Peter II, Chapter 1, Peter addresses his readers as “the ones who have obtained an equally honorable faith with us” (1:1). He uses the word faith to describe those who have been born of the Spirit of God and are under God’s influence and persuasion. In this and the following verses (1:2-4), Peter emphasizes that those who have faith are partakers of God’s divine nature (1:4), and of “His divine power”.

All this implies something vastly more significant than a simple, naïve belief in something (e.g., that Jesus was the Messiah). It implies metánoia, and metánoia is an essential component of genuine faith in Christian theology:

Greek “metánoia”: change of mind, repentance; a profound, usually spiritual, transformation; conversion; spiritual conversion or awakening; change of heart, fundamental change of character.

All the above is implicit in the Greek word “gnosis”. While the literal translation for this word is “knowledge”, it implies knowledge through deep “insight” or the equivalent of “enlightenment” in some spiritual traditions. Rather than purely an intellectual understanding then, it is wisdom or a “KNOWLEDGE of the heart” (as opposed to mere emotionalism). It is a deep and complete comprehension that reconciles reason with intuition.

So gnosis has nothing to do with intellectual understanding or communication with God, but represents direct, personal, individual insight into the spiritual nature of the cosmos. Rather than rational knowledge ABOUT God, it constitutes direct, experiential knowledge OF God that is supreme, above any other kind of knowledge.

Gnosis is chiefly associated with those branches of early Christianity consequently designated today as the gnostic sects. These were considered from the earliest times by many to be heretical sects, even though Jesus himself may well have been a (pre-Christian) gnostic Jew.

The gnostic sects were later thrown out of official Catholicism when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman empire under Emperor Constantine, who was shrewd enough politically to realize that this widespread, popular religion was a common denominator of great power that could be used to glue his empire together.

The natural charisma intrinsic to those who were true gnostics having genuine spiritual insight represented a threat to his political goals rather than a means to realize them. He chose the administrative clerics (bureaucrats with correspondingly little if any spiritual insight) to run things instead. (The modern term “clergy” derives from cleric and clerical). It suited his purposes much better to establish an authoritarian priesthood that could receive sinners with a perpetual need for forgiveness, a priesthood uniquely imbued with the power to grant sinners absolution rather than foster, as advocated by the gnostics, the genuine personal growth in spiritual insight that granted intrinsic inner spiritual authority to the individual.

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By Jim H., July 8, 2007 at 11:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 84377

To: Mister Maani;  “Evangelical Minister”—- to the poor(?)

You say: “Faith deals with—-the “super”-natural world.”

I say: “Supernatural” is an oxymoron!

Nature is ‘superb’, but, there is NOTHING ‘BEYOND’ “NATURAL”!

“Supernatural” is the realm of fakers, and criminal ‘charlatans’ who sell “Pigs in a poke” saying: ” Trust me!

There is absolutely nothing better than, or “super” to the natural world!

I say “supernatural” “Faith” is unnatural!  And ‘Godism’ is ‘Blind Faith’ in an unnatural superfluous nonentity!

And those who believe in the “supernatural”, and ‘Godism’ are ‘blind’ to the “facts of NATURAL life”!

Dictionary: supernatural (?) 
Outside the natural world.(!)
A power that violates natural forces.(!)
Of or relating to a deity.(!)         

You say: “I VEHEMENTLY oppose ANY attempt by “religion” to foist on—-anyone—-explanations
(about Godism)—-which do not stand up to the scientific method.” (?)  LIES!  LIES!  LIES!

As an “Evangelical Minister”, ‘Proselytizing-Preacher ‘YOU’ ARE always “FOIST"ING upon all within earshot your lying “explanations”—-[about ‘Godism’]  which do not stand up to the scientific method.”(!) So you are an admitted liar!

You say: “—-my mother—-rabidly atheist—-invites me to discussion-s—-(at) CSI—-(secular meetings)—-her “ulterior motive” is—-”(?)  (No doubt an effort to mend your mind! And startle you back to reality!)

You say: “—-my mother, while—-not understanding or accepting my faith—-”.

(Has no alternative but to HUMOR her once sane, but now, the victim of a warped mind, daughter, with whom she is making an effort to bring her back to reality while avoiding insulting, or offending, her once cute little innocent girl, who has somehow strayed from the ‘straight and narrow’ path of natural reality and is the unsuspecting victim of criminal charlatan thieves who may any day convince her to make an oath of poverty,  then be compelled to give up all her worldly possessions to those thieves!)

Think!  How would you react to a daughter who renounced sanity, in favor of an ‘addiction, to something you knew was the most evil force on the face of the earth?

What could you possibly do to ‘win her back’ without alienating her, and losing her altogether?

Your mother is smart enough to realize that; just as you are reacting to the information, and criticism provided by some of us here, you would be just as adamant and resentful if ‘she’ were to say, or imply
that you are an asinine fool to believe, or have “faith” in, a make-believe, fairytales assertion of charlatan thieves that there is such a thing as a “Creator-God”!

The very least you should do if you have any respect for the integrity of your ‘highly intelligent’ mother, is, to, ask her to tell you why she is an atheist, and why she does not believe in the “God” you believe in!

You say:”—only true God…” makes an awful lot of presumptions—-”

You have said: “I am an Evangelical Minister” (!)

So! You therefore believe “There is only one True God!”

And, according to ‘your’ “faith”, “anyone who denies “God” is, in ‘your’ “faith” a “mortal sinner”!

I do not know why you would call this a “sarcastic”, “presumptuous” “accusation”!

And why do you say: “—- (the above) has no application in my life and faith.” (?)

PS: I am an Associate Member of CSI, a Member of CFI, and a subscriber of both Skeptical Inquirer, and Free Inquiry!    But I haven’t seen you at any of the meetings?

Are you a momma’s boy?

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By Jim H., July 7, 2007 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 84756

Doug L

You say :“Chris Hedges has taken religious double talk to a new level of insanity.  That’s all there is to his rant.”

I say: BRAVO! You are so very right!  Please read on:

Re: Chris Hedges: “I don’t Believe in Atheists”

Chris Hedges is ‘off his rocker’!

Hedges says: “Sam Harris has conflated faith with tribalism. 

I say: Blind “faith” is the fuel of religious tribalism!  FAITH ‘is’ “conflated” with the “tribalism” of religion!

I say: Sam Harris wrote about the destructive “faith” of religious fanatics!

Dictionary
“faith”: Belief without logical proof or material evidence.(!)
The body of dogma of a religion:
A set of principles or beliefs.

Dictionary
“conflate”: To bring together
To combine into one whole. (RELIGIOUS CONGREGATION!)

Dictionary
“tribalism”: The organization, culture, or “beliefs” of a tribe.(!) (GODISM!)

Dictionary
“tribe”: A group of people sharing an interest, or habit.(!) (RELIGION!)

Dictionary
“monotheism”: The doctrine or belief that there is only one God.(!) (Godism!)

Hedges says: “What he (Harris) fails to grasp is not simply the meaning of faith(?)— but the supreme importance of the monotheistic traditions in creating the concept of the individual.”(?) 
(This is an absurd lie!)

I say: “Monotheism” “faith” in “God”, enslaves; and absolutely destroys “the the concept of the individual”! 

I say:Hedges begins his statement with ranting accusations and outlandish lies!  And then, in order to support his atrocious lies, he raves on, and on with a stream of ‘mumbo-jumbo’ doubletalk that creates the impresssion he is so fanatically addicted to the idea of a “Creator-God” that where he sees increasing opposition to the gigantic ‘spoof’ from ever more ‘quarters, he decided he would try his hand at ‘re-inventing ‘God”.

And, like so many before him, he fails!  So much for his farcical ridiculous self-destructive diatatribe!

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By straight_talk_11, July 7, 2007 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

Re:#84756 by Doug L on 7/07 at 5:44 am

“Chris Hedges has taken religious double talk to a new level of insanity.  That’s all there is to his rant.”

It doesn’t take much thought to make a blanket, meaningless statement like this. Why don’t you be specific? Just admit that you’re clueless about some particular point, or if there are too many, pick some that you think are good examples. And don’t just pick samples and do the same silly thing with them again.

Make clear what it is you think is wrong with them, or what you don’t understand about them, instead of saying they’re meaningless. Calling someone insane without making a specific point is not only a very specious tactic that sounds like you’re just looking for a pat on the back from others who just as mindlessly agree, but it looks suspiciously like classical projection.

People who live in a flat world will never understand what people in a three-dimensional world are talking about, know matter how clear the latter make their points. So why say somebody else is talking nonsense when the simple truth is you just plain don’t get it? Why don’t you make a sincere attempt to understand first, if such a thing is indeed possible, then make your criticisms. Unintelligibility can easily be a problem with the receiver rather than with the transmitter.

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By Doug L, July 7, 2007 at 6:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris Hedges has taken religious double talk to a new level of insanity.  That’s all there is to his rant.

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By straight_talk_11, June 28, 2007 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

Please, somebody, throw this jerk (Jim H.) out!

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By Jim H., June 28, 2007 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: 81965

Rt. Rev. Stray Words Dr. Div.

You say:”—-Tooth fairies and Santa Clauses are—- fictional—-”!   

And, to your question: “—-Do-(es—- ‘that’  put them in a separate class from an idea(?) (NO!)—-(an absurd, false conception, “idea” of another make-believe fairytale character)—-of a Supreme—-(being)?”  (NO!) 

I say, ABSOLUTLEY NOT!  ‘THEY’ ARE ONE AND THE SAME ! BOTH, MAKE BELIEVE FAIRYTALE MENTAL CONCOCTIONS!  “IDEAS”!

If you don’t realize this, you are dangerous to both yourself, and the rest of humanity!

And, anyone who thinks, or ‘pretends’ otherwise, is either an imbercile, an escapee from a ‘Nuthouse’, or a thieving charlatan (like you?) seeking to perpetuate the schemes and tricks used to prey on, and enslave innocent children, and fools (like you?), give them ‘inferiorty complexes, and compel them to kneel and plea for ‘grace’ for their “sins” (whatever that means) which often is only granted in return for criminal
sexual perversion.

Then: you ‘spout’ about “—-Conscious Intelligence—-”(?)

I say: “Conscious Intelligence” is a HUMAN ATTRIBUTE!  FAKE things, like dolls, Santa Claus, Mickey Mouse, make-believe “Creator God”, Porky Pig, Mortimer Snerd and Charlie McCarthy do not have either “Conscious"ness, or “Intelligence”!

You are SICK, and getting SICKER! You had better see a Psychiatrist!

I am by now CONVINCED you are one of the ilk of that gang of criminals Falwell, Haggard, Pat Robertson, Jerry Brown, James Dobson, the Pope, etc. etc.  who steal money from little kids, and convert them through mesmerizing, branding, indoctrination into automaton shills for spreading your rotten cancer of the mind disease to other little childrens minds so they all become robotic donaters of money to sate your filthy, slimy insatiable greed!

Why else would you lie so much? And keep insisting that FARCE IS FACT?

You certainly KNOW that “God” is a farcical tool of rotten crooks! And that it was originally used to describe every type and sort of evil in mythology, the forerunner of all religions!
And that “there NEVER, was a BEGINNING”, thus no “first cause” “Creator God”!

It might help your weak and distorted conception of the world to dwell on the question that: if there WAS a so called “Creator God”, who, or what CREATED the “Creator God”,? And, Who or what created that which created the one that created the “Creator God”?  And IF you say that “God” ALWAYS WAS”? Then you are in fact describing the UNIVERSE! That “ALWAYS WAS”!

Wake up! And stop lying! You cannot fool sensible people who have not caught that discease.

And I am certain most others here realize you are just another of those lying crooks who seek to hypnotise and enslave more little kids so as to dirty things to them!

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By straight_talk_11, June 27, 2007 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment

“Do you also believe in the ‘Tooth Fairy’ ‘as existing’? And ‘Santa Claus’ ‘as existing’?”
- Jim H.

What’s wrong, raver and ranter, worse than the worst funny-mentalist preacher? I already covered that, but you wouldn’t be aware of that, would you? Can’t read? Can’t bring any discrimination to the table…ability to distinguish concepts that are in principle light years apart?

Tooth fairies and Santa Clauses are concepts that don’t pretend to be anything other than local objects of perception, fictional as they are. Do you think that just might put them in a separate class from the idea of a Supreme and Conscious Intelligence operating globally at the highest order of abstraction and fulfilling the primary, cosmically comprehensive role as the highest-order intelligence from which all abstract fields emanate?

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By straight_talk_11, June 26, 2007 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

Doering, you keep saying I don’t get it. But I show you that I get it and you don’t even get that. You don’t get what the sources you cite say. You don’t see their implications. You say you get it because you agree. You say I don’t get because I don’t. That’s totally invalid logic!

I don’t say you don’t get my points because you don’t agree. I say that because you clearly don’t have a clue concerning what the positions are that you’re disagreeing with. Show me that this is true of what I say about your sources. Show me how I fail to understand, not how I fail to accept. Then show me where my critique of their thinking based on their apparently tacit false premises is wrong.

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By straight_talk_11, June 26, 2007 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

“Oh really? The flaws in their reasoning?...”
- Doering

Just want to demonstrate to all readers how some atheists bow down and worship the thoughts of others as infallible, just as some Catholics actually believe the pope is. Think for yourself Doering! You’re not a machine, even if you think you are.

I told you, you have done nothing so far but quote others’ thoughts or simply disagree with mine and restate your borrowed opinions. I even used one of your posts as a clear example with my comments interspersed showing specifically how each comment was either a quote, a reference to someone else’s thinking, a simple restatement of personal opinion without any rational support of your own, or a transparent rhetorical attempt to ridicule my thoughts.

Those whose thoughts you worship would be at least intelligent enough to respond to mine on their own terms and with their own thinking.

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By Jim H., June 26, 2007 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rev: stray_ talk (?)

You say: “—-God as existing—-.”(?) “He creates(?) from within it—-”(?)

Do you also believe in the “Tooth Fairy” “as existing”? And “Santa Claus” “as existing”?

Your asinine assertions about a farcical “creation” of backward illiterate ‘aboriginal’ prehistoric hominids, who named every fearful and horrifying evil “God”, is insanely comical, coming from an ‘adult’(?) in the Computer accessable information age of the Twenty First Century!

You must be “Brain Dead”!  Or, the infectious ‘plague-like’ disease has warped, and twisted whatever ‘bit’ of brain you ever had into an upside-down knot, so that you ‘see’ and imagine things to ‘be’ the ‘wacky’ way they appear to an upside down-backward nut-case!

For any who are able to read this below, there never, never was a “Beginning”! Or, the need for- any so called

“First Cause” “Creator God”!  It’ a Fact!

Mass/energy never disappear
Ever were ever here!
J.H. 5/8/07

Without something to ‘create! a “so-called “Creator-God”
is an impossibel superfluous nonentity!

Conservation of Mass/Energy     E=mc2
  1.The Universe contains an infinite amount of matter and energy.
    We cannot create nor can we destroy matter or energy. 
2.Matter can be changed in form, or state.
3. Energy can be changed in form.
4. We change matter to energy and energy to
matter never diminishing the totality. 
  ———————————————————
THE ORIGIN OF NATURE
  Beginning is never found but keep an ear to the ground
  Accept the word of a friend there’s no beginning or end
Natures origin for instance is ceaselessness Existence
The worst form of child abuse is warping of the mind!
JH 8/29/06

P.S. Don;t worry about “consciousness”, you don’t have any!

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By straight_talk_11, June 26, 2007 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

Time and memory are inseparably linked concepts. Time is one vector within four-dimensional space-time in General Relativity and in more recent theories it’s a vector within many more than four dimensions. Richard Feynman showed that time flows backwards in antimatter, so it should be clear that time is not any kind of ultimate reality or the highest-order abstraction. It is, however, an abstraction and you can’t define it without circularity unless you are a theoretical physicist who merely defines it as one dimension within a higher-order reality of greater dimensionality.

As an interesting side note, some physicists are beginning to suspect that time does not actually exist. It may be an illusion generated by the recursion implicit in remembering. Even the etymology of “remember” is interesting in this regard. Sometimes human language reflects profound intuitive understand as well as sometimes profound ignorance.

Since time and memory are inseparably linked, this directly implies that memory is not as fundamental as consciousness, since time is an abstract object of consciousness and memory consists of nothing more than stored perceptions of objects, including thoughts. Thoughts are not consciousness. Thoughts exist within consciousness and are objects of it just like any other percept. However, consciousness does not exist as separate from anything since it is implicit in existence itself, underlying everything, with everything implicit in it and it in everything.

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By straight_talk_11, June 26, 2007 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

Correction on my last post (81402) in which I state Stenger as having posited a supernatural god separate from nature. I meant to say he hypothesizes such a god and then shows physics to be self-sufficient and explainable, even the anthropic coincidences, without any necessary recourse to any outside agent. The flaw is that it’s not necessary nor reasonable to posit God as existing outside nature as a separate agent creating it. He creates from within it, is not supernatural but fully natural and represents the highest level of abstraction within it.

Dennet is right that the so-called Cartesian theater is an unnecessary assumption for precisely the same reason. We do not have to presume consciousness to be separate from the rest of nature. His problem is that instead of seeing consciousness as a field phenomenon and therefore primary, and the physical aspects of its manifestation just like particles generated within fluctuating fields as secondary, he reverses things.

Dennett is another brilliant man with a keen intellect losing sight of the big picture. He correctly eliminates dualism by viewing consciousness as not located specifically anywhere within its biological counterpart in the brain, but a global phenomenon associated with its overall functionality. Biologists now know that it cannot even be restricted to the brain, since our awareness is radically effected by hormonal shifts in the endocrine system and other factors as well.

This association of consciousness with global functionality not associated with any specific part of it is what any physicist would call a field phenomenon. But fields are the primary, higher-order realities and not the bits and pieces within them. That’s why we can decide to drink a glass of water and all the bits and pieces obey our wishes. Dennett correctly eliminates the dualism and then commits the fundamental error of conceptually attempting to force explanatory power backwards from local, specific, and concrete to global, general, and abstract. As I’ve stated over and over, nothing, absolutely NOTHING in nature or in human thought (just one part of nature) fits this paradigm.

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By straight_talk_11, June 25, 2007 at 10:24 pm Link to this comment

“Oh really? The flaws in their reasoning? Then don’t bother with me, writeMinsky and Dennett.”
- Doering

If they did bother to give me the time of day, I would get much better arguments from them than I’m getting from you. I did writeStenger, because his arguments were much better than yours, but had a major flaw that I pointed out to him. He’s not giving me the time of day so far, so by default that is roughly equivalent to getting nothing sensible from you, I suppose. You’ll likely say that it’s because my thinking is so inferior they just won’t bother. That’s because you’re not an independent thinker, but simply worship the thinking of others.

Experts in AI are not necessarily experts in physics or cosmology. They’re stuck in their narrow fields and in their special-case, classical paradigm. It’s obvious from the way they develop their ideas, flawed at the level of their tacit premises of which they seem to be blissfully unaware.

Continuity of consciousness is implicit in the idea that it is fundamental and axiomatic, so you shouldn’t have to ask if you understand the implications of anything you read from my posts. How that comes down to the individual level is another question, and I don’t have clear ideas about that, so I can’t defend it and won’t try.

I can only say that physics constructs field theory to explain particles and particle behavior and not the reverse. Particles are explained as fluctuations within fields. Fields are an example of abstraction that is rigorously physical, that have precisely predictable effects, and so are just as real if not more so than particles, since the latter are generated from within them and by them. This is a hard-core physical demonstration of the higher order of reality fields represent. They are abstract, they are demonstrable only by their effects, and they are not magic, not “ooga-booga”, and they are not “supernatural”.

Neither is consciousness. Neither can it be generated by advanced structures built up from the atomic level of thinking machinery such as the Post-Turing machine, even though it naturally demonstrates the atomic level of recursion essential to information processing even at a level in thinking machines that is the equivalent of elementary particles.

In other words, consciousness can be viewed as a field phenomenon. It is possible that fields at some subtle level not accounted for so far by physical theory survive physical death. There is a lot of evidence for the existence of biological fields, although that concept is not accepted by mainstream biologists so far, precisely because too many of them are stuck in the special-case, nineteenth-century classical paradigm that afflicted physics before Planck and Einstein. It still afflicts other disciplines like AI and even physicists who conceptually violate the very theories they use and teach with a logically incompatible dualistic view of matter and consciousness that is even physically untenable. Dennet got that part right, at least.

So even physicists like Stenger who are familiar with modern, non-classical physics are still stuck in that paradigm when it gets right down to the nitty-gritty of everyday existence. He posits a supernatural god apart from nature instead of including God as the ultimate level of abstractions within nature. These people have a split brain that is illogically capable of entertaining integrated, unifying theories while they continue to conceptually fragment their personal reality with some kind of off-brand dualism.

I did address Minsky and don’t have the time right now, but will address Dennet also. If you can think for yourself, why do you need them to make your case? If you understand their ideas and their implications, then why can’t you interact intelligently with my points instead of just quoting them and asking others to read them?

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By Norman Doering, June 25, 2007 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

straight_talk_11 wrote:

Now your repeating that I’m clueless about arguments from people like Minsky, Daniel Dennet, et al. Did you read my last posts? I show the flaws in their reasoning.

Oh really? The flaws in their reasoning? Then don’t bother with me, writeMinsky and Dennett.

I think they’ll tell you that you’re just assuming your conclusion… if they bother to give you the time of day.

And I repeat my questions:

1) What kind of consciousness could you have without any memory what-so-ever?

If none, then memory is more fundamental than consciousness.

2) Do you think your consciousness will survive your death?

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By straight_talk_11, June 25, 2007 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

Doering, come on now! You know that post of mine that dissected your post showed a lot of nothing from you, just repeating your view, and my post elaborated exactly what form your statements used to say nothing more than what you believed and to say nothing that countered intelligently what I had said.

Now your repeating that I’m clueless about arguments from people like Minsky, Daniel Dennet, et al. Did you read my last posts? I show the flaws in their reasoning. They are not gods. I don’t blindly accept their reasoning because they mad major contributions to AI.

I talked about the atomic level of AI as embodied in the Post-Turing machine and discussed its recursive quality, etc. I stated my objections to Strong-AI and told you why I had them. Instead of addressing those “why’s” you just start BSing again. You haven’t cut to any chase yet and you’re apparently clueless concerning your failure to do so.

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By Norman Doering, June 23, 2007 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In post #80722 straight_talk_11 wrote:

Well, I notice you ignore my posts that used one of your posts as an example of how to say nothing beyond dogmatically repeating your own views, which is precisely what you have accused me of doing. So much for that, huh?!?

Dogmatically repeating my own views? I said you’re not going to get it, and you didn’t. Let’s consider what straight_talk_11 skipped over from my post:

It would be hard to even start a discussion of modern ideas about consciousness and its relationship to AI unless you had some understanding of Alan Turing’s ideas about the Turing Test.

It would be hard to discuss the role of neural nets without talking about the first ones, like the perceptron. Then learn about how Minsky and Papert proved there were classes of patterns that a perceptron couoldn’t distinguish.

What you don’t get is that there is real math and real science and real engineering that goes far beyond your introspective sophistry. It’s not dogmatic when I’m reporting on real science and engineering—science contradicts your views and I’ve got links that demonstrate it.

There were links in my post that would take you to websites that described more. Go back and click on the word “perceptron.” The perceptron was the first attempt to model how the neurons in the brain’s neural network produce everything we consider mind, including consciousness. They got it wrong—but they’ve improved now. Today we have the Blue Brain project, an attempt to create a biologically accurate, functional model of the brain.

We know that these neural nets store our memories, hell we’ve even got cyborged neurons on computer chips storing information.  Now where would your consciousness be without memory? What would your self-awareness be like if you had utterly no memory? Consciousness is not fundamental, it’s made of component parts and memory is one of them.

Another component part of consciousness is the pattern classification schemes that define what we can remember and be aware of. A perceptron could never have achieved consciousness because it could never create a scheme for representing a self to be aware of. It couldn’t classify (and remember) itself as a pattern.

Consciousness requires a physical neural system to have memory and pattern recognition. The brain is a systems that can be altered just like we can alter neural nets, and indeed, take a drug like LSD and your consciouness will be altered. Suffer brain damage and you could wind up like someone in Oliver Sacks’ book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.

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By Norman Doering, June 23, 2007 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In post #80733 straight_talk_11 wrote:

... the behaviorist argument that consciousness is an illusion. If it is an illusion, who is it that is deluded by it? Illusion is meaningless absent awareness, and so awareness as an illusion constitutes self-negating circularity also.

You don’t pay attention.

Back in post #79105 I wrote:

That unity of consciousness is an illusion. We know it because of experiments like Michael Gazzaniga’s split brain research.

Your concept of consciousness is an illusion. But to say it’s an illusion doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, it means that consciousness is not what it seems to be.

There is something we can call consciousness, in fact a lot of things, but like the illusion that the earth is the center of the universe and the sun revolves around you—things are not quite what they seem. Did you ever bother to find out who Michael Gazzaniga was or learn anything about his split brain research?

Let’s cut to the chase and get you to admit what you really want to believe. You wrote:

We have arrived at an issue so fundamental that it becomes meaningless to even conceive of its negation.

You don’t want to conceive of your own negation, do you? Isn’t that what you’re trying to believe in? You want to believe that when you die your consciousness will continue. That’s when the real negation of meaning happens for you.

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By straight_talk_11, June 23, 2007 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment

Continued:

For example, what could non-existence mean? Think about non-existence. Try to conceive of it. If nothing existed, meaning could not exist, and this meaninglessness would have to apply as well to non-existence. It is in principle logically untenable that existence could not exist, since it constitutes self-negating circularity just as its corollary does in the behaviorist argument that consciousness is an illusion. If it is an illusion, who is it that is deluded by it? Illusion is meaningless absent awareness, and so awareness as an illusion constitutes self-negating circularity also. It is an equally untenable corollary of any attempt to negate existence.

We have arrived at an issue so fundamental that it becomes meaningless to even conceive of its negation. One point many here seem to keep missing is that this is an excellent test for what is fundamental and what is not:

If it is indefinable without circularity, especially if its negation constitutes self-negating circularity, it is indeed fundamental and not a roach or a car or any other object, which noun itself (object) always involves a relational connection with something other than itself within the realm (all that exists) characterized by existence. Existence is self-sufficiently tautological. It does not need to refer or connect to anything but itself to exist.

But what about its connection to the things that exist? Existence is a concept so fundamental it characterizes everything and is indigenous to everything and everything to it. Notice that I didn’t say everything ELSE, which would be meaningless, since existence cannot exist apart from anything and nothing apart from it. Consciousness has this same nature. It cannot be conceived as separate from existence, but is instead implicit in it. Both are axiomatic, fundamental, and functionally identical.

Some atheistic physicists go to great lengths to use physical theory to prove that there is no God. Some of the arguments (e.g., Victor A. Stenger’s) seem very potent and convincing until you realize that they are positing God as an agent separate and outside of nature and natural law as a creator. This probably is indeed the view of most western religions, but it is not the eastern view nor is it mine.

You may recall also that I have discussed consciousness as the essential ingredient for converting data into meaningful information. Consciousness represents abstract completeness as a holographically local reflection of abstract cosmic lawfulness, thereby lending the context essential to the meaningfulness of data. Functionalism in Strong AI (artificial intelligence) is a vain effort to force explanatory power backwards from the local, special-case, incompleteness of diverse, finite sets of concrete data points in physical structure to the global, abstract, unifying completeness intrinsic to existence and consciousness. Eastern spiritual paths use the concepts of Pure Being and Pure Consciousness synonymously for good reason.

It is local, special-case perception that is illusory and not consciousness/existence. There is no such thing as things. Even elementary particles are generated from the fluctuations within fields.  Materialism is stuck in the error of a special-case classical view because it tries to generate the abstract fields from the things instead of viewing the things as generated in the abstract fields. It is the corollary of trying to force explanatory power backwards from local to global, from concrete and specific to abstract and general.

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By straight_talk_11, June 23, 2007 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment

Quoting Doering in 80067 who was quoting and responding to me:

“straight_talk_11, in post #79870, wrote:

  *[Falsely assumes my ignorance of who these men were as if I should fall down and worship them as writers of holy scripture.]

Well, if you know their work why are you missing the point?”
- Doering

Then later in the same post:
”No system can be self-aware, (part of my definition of consciousness), without having some scheme for representing a self to be aware of, therefore no system can be conscious unless it has a functionalist scheme for representing itself.” you’re not going to get it. To you it would be just some tautology full of terms who’s meaning you didn’t grasp. You’re not going to have any idea what kind of representational schemes exist or even what representational scheme is. You’re not going to know what functionalism is or anything.
- Doering

Well, I notice you ignore my posts that used one of your posts as an example of how to say nothing beyond dogmatically repeating your own views, which is precisely what you have accused me of doing. So much for that, huh?!?

I’m not missing the point. There are flaws in their views that I point out below. Also, I didn’t say I know their work, Doering. I know something about what they contributed and who they were generally in that regard. Computer science is not my field, but I am a reasonably knowledgeable person who has some feel for the subject as a former engineer in analog electronics (not digital), some minimal exposure to programming high level language, a lot of experience with command line systems (especially DOS), and a lot of experience programming sophisticated HP scientific programmables.

I have enough understanding of what a Turing machine is to know that it can be reduced further to a more algorithmically atomic level developed by Post; what is now called the Post-Turing machine. I also know that it is fundamentally an example of algorithmic recursion, which is a very important point.

I do want to congratulate you on one point, and that is you have recognized the importance of recursion (at least implicitly if not explicitly) in your attempt to characterize consciousness with the term “self-aware”. Of course, as a defining characteristic this is circular, since “awareness” is simply a synonym for consciousness.

However, I’m separating this out, because it is an essential point:

I will take the next step and make things more explicit by stating that a fundamental property of consciousness is that it is self-referent just as the most elementary embodiment of Turing’s principle also is algorithmically in the Post-Turing machine. Self-referent is simply an adjective that both avoids circularity and represents one way of stating that recursion is a fundamental property of both consciousness and of an atomic (i.e., irreducible) level of potential thinking machines.

Now, do you recall that I showed in detail how it is physically obvious, intellectually inevitably clear that cosmic evolution is an intrinsically recursive process? I have also stated that consciousness is a fundamental, axiomatic attribute of existence itself. It is self-evidently meaningless to speak of existence that is not self-referent, since existence is so irreducible as a concept that it must refer to itself tautologically in order to exist. Tautology is, after all, the most reliable of all logical principles. It is also the most elementary example of self-reference.

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By Norman Doering, June 22, 2007 at 7:54 am Link to this comment
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Alan in post #80387:

As an ex military intelligence officer, I’d far rather rely on systematic opinion polls of Muslim attitudes towards jihad and suicide bombings. They tell a far different story than the koran quote above. Such polls tell me how many people actually believe in this “kill the infidels” insanity and think it justified. The numbers are not comforting.

What systematic opinion polls do you have access to?

There was an article called “The myth of Muslim support for terror” that claimed:

Americans are more approving of terrorist attacks against civilians than any major Muslim country except for Nigeria.

The survey, conducted in December 2006 by the University of Maryland’s prestigious Program on International Public Attitudes, shows that only 46 percent of Americans think that “bombing and other attacks intentionally aimed at civilians” are “never justified,” while 24 percent believe these attacks are “often or sometimes justified.”

I found the wording suspicious and blogged on it:
A Terror Free Tomorrow?

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By Alan, June 22, 2007 at 7:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Norman: 
  Thank you for providing a clear demonstration of my point, if unintentionally.
  Indeed Hedges might very well say that “very few Muslims want to kill you and point to a passage in the Koran: ‘Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth has been made clear from error. Whoever rejects false worship and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows all things.’ [The Koran: Sûrah al-Baqarah: 256]”
  As an ex military intelligence officer, I’d far rather rely on systematic opinion polls of Muslim attitudes towards jihad and suicide bombings. They tell a far different story than the koran quote above. Such polls tell me how many people actually believe in this “kill the infidels” insanity and think it justified. The numbers are not comforting.
  And it was some goofy old books that made them this way, and made fundamentaist Chrsitiasn the way THEY are. If that is the root of their behavior, some kind of systemic intellectual (or other) herbicide is badly needed.
  Quoting old works of fiction—-whether the koran or the bible or bible-era books that were rejected for pubication (written by men who themselves sought largely power) and actually thinking it to be a basis for lending credibility (in this discussion here) is to miss the point. For Hedges or anyone to quote such science fiction and think it credible, or even germain, is, itself an act of faith that my cranial synapses tell me to reject.
    We’re not talking merely theology here, in my view. We’re talking self defense and survival. Decisions of that magnitude need to be made on reliable, verifiable information, not works of fiction, no matter how many millions of people want to believe in it or have done so in the past.

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By Jim H., June 21, 2007 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:80317, 80277

Why don’t you two long-winded semi-unconcious blabbermouths take a vacation, and stop ‘hogging’ the ‘board’?

Have you no shame? Can’t you afford “Instant Email?

This is not the proper place for personal chats about the garbage you people pretend to know so much about. The very least you should do is make an effort to talk some sense, and relate it to the subject of this Report!
Seven 7 consecutive comments?
And thirteen 13 consecutive comments?

Is’nt that some kind of “sin”? You had better see your confessor!
But watch his hands!

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By straight_talk_11, June 21, 2007 at 10:46 pm Link to this comment

RE: Deoring in 80277 quoting me:

straight_talk_11, in post #79882, wrote:

  *[Personal opinion merely stating a naïve assumption that because consciousness and intelligence were not locally obvious they were not globally present or implicit in the structure of the cosmos or the natural laws governing it.]

Man, are you serious? You’ve got to be kidding? If you think anything you’ve said here addresses in even the least intelligent and comprehending way what I said in that quote, you are indeed a lost cause. Your fragmented thought processes take consciousness as being in the same class as just any old specific, local object of perception?

You fail to see the general character of something like consciousness and generalize roaches to cosmic comprehensiveness? You just defined operationally what I’m up against here much more eloquently than I ever could have. Your ability to generalize is impressive in ways not totally becoming to you, to put it relatively kindly, and that’s the whole problem with atheism, man: heads locked inside little local, special-case barrels.

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By straight_talk_11, June 21, 2007 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

Cat, I like your contributions as I’ve stated earlier. You make good points and keep things more civil than I at times. I get frustrated with the injustice of accusations coming from the very people who represent the worst examples of those same accusations and sometimes let that come out in language that is sharper than necessary.

One thing, though. Why do you say we cannot love ideas? Certainly love of ideas is not romantic love or something that has sexual components, at least not in my experience. : ) However, I think there can be a deep love of ideas. Philosophy has as its roots the love (philo) of wisdom (sophos), and wisdom is expressed in terms of ideas. Ideas do not have to be cold, dead things. They have life in the creative minds of original thinkers. I just ask that you be careful. I’m essentially on your side of the issues under consideration here.

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By Norman Doering, June 21, 2007 at 8:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

straight_talk_11, in post #79882, wrote:

*[Personal opinion merely stating a naïve assumption that because consciousness and intelligence were not locally obvious they were not globally present or implicit in the structure of the cosmos or the natural laws governing it.]

Amazing how many things would have to be “implicit in the structure of the cosmos,” roaches, ebola, cars, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” Marilyn Manson, Polyester Pantsuits, “Porky’s Revenge,” Sam Harris, etc.. After all, if the universe were not exactly the way it was then the universe would never have produced Marilyn Manson or bubble wrap.

Obviously it has to be some attribute of humans that’s so special to the universe, after all look at our place in it—sitting here like a bit of scum on a tiny speck of sand in this vast cosmos. We’re the end product of a few billion years of evolution—but wait, there’s a few billion years or more left. We’re not the end.

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By Norman Doering, June 21, 2007 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Alan, in post #80155, wrote:

That’s where Sam Harris comes in. His essential point, in my opinion, is that a sufficiently large number of people are driven by a set of beliefs to kill others, and I fear that includes me.

I’m sure that Chris Hedges would take issue with some of the unqualified statements you made because using phrases like “sufficiently large number” can be misleading. A large enough number to justify what? Hedges would say that very few Muslims want to kill you and point to a passage in the Koran: “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth has been made clear from error. Whoever rejects false worship and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows all things.” [The Koran: Sûrah al-Baqarah: 256]

Of course, it also says:

Allah is an enemy to unbelievers. - Sura 2:98

On unbelievers is the curse of Allah. - Sura 2:161

Slay them wherever ye find them and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. - 2:191

The Bible can be used in a similar way, convince people that Christianity teaches its followers to kill witches and stone to death disobedient children. Just quote chapter and verse all the scripture that supports it. Yet you don’t see that happening, Christians don’t take those passages all that seriously.

There is obviously some truth to Hedges position because if there really were a lot of Muslims who wanted to wreck havoc on us enough to ruin their own lives there’d be a lot more terrorist incidents. It’s been years since we’ve had an attack on our soil.

On the other hand, no one is turning over Osama bin Laden. He must have a lot of local help and support where ever he is.

Sam Harris’s gift to us is that he accurately points out that this urge to kill me comes from a set of thoughts that does not and can not withstand the rigors of logical, rational thought (meaning we can’t reason with them).

Logical, rational thought isn’t enough. You’d probably need something like psychoanalysis to get under the surface and find out why they believe what they believe.

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By Alan, June 21, 2007 at 3:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Norman (and others): 
  I am not sure this discussion, centered on “faith” really gets us where we need to go. I think the issue is power, and what motivates certain segments of mankind to seek both totalitarian and subtle power over others. That’s where Sam Harris comes in. His essential point, in my opinion, is that a sufficiently large number of people are driven by a set of beliefs to kill others, and I fear that includes me. Thus, in self defense, it behooves me to try to understand what drives them and how they acquired these thoughts. It isn’t enough, in my mind, to debate whether their thoughts are based on silly legends or grounded in mystical faith. At the end of the debate, I am still in their AK-47 sights. It’s enought to know that they have these thoughts, at all, and that enough of these folks are willing to act on them.
  Sam Harris’s gift to us is that he accurately points out that this urge to kill me comes from a set of thoughts that does not and can not withstand the rigors of logical, rational thought (meaning we can’t reason with them). It is a set of thoughts based on their trust of old-time documents, social pressure to behave as though they believes, and fervent hope that these bizarre thoughts might actually be true, and all of that enforced by dictatoral religious zealots who will kill you, too, if you proclaim disbelief (e.g., “infidel”) or, if female, look at a male incorrectly.
  I am not much interested in Chris Hedges’s learned opinions or his unfortunate brushes with death (and whatever epiphanies they yielded in his head). To me that is all academic tea-talk intended to make him sound more erudite and credible—-sort of like John McCain leaning on his being shot down over Vietnam as proof of his military smarts or foreign policy expertise. It’s a non sequitur.
  I needed to know that there are people ready to kill me simply because I think differently than they do, need to understand them enough to beg forgiveness and take remedial action if I have in some way offended them, and have a right to defend myself from them if they persist in behavior (rational or irrational) dedicated to my death. (And knowing it is irrational pretty much takes discussion and negotiation off the table as remedial tools). 
  And for that, I thank Sam Harris and hope his wake-up call is heard loud and clear by millions more.
  However, I am strongly opposed to the Iraq War and even the Afghan invasion… but that is a topic for another day.

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By Norman Doering, June 21, 2007 at 11:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

straight_talk_11, in post #79870, wrote:

*[Falsely assumes my ignorance of who these men were as if I should fall down and worship them as writers of holy scripture.]

Well, if you know their work why are you missing the point?

It would be hard to even start a discussion of modern ideas about consciousness and its relationship to AI unless you had some understanding of Alan Turing’s ideas about the Turing Test.

It would be hard to discuss the role of neural nets without talking about the first ones, like the perceptron. Then learn about how Minsky and Papert proved there were classes of patterns that a perceptron couoldn’t distinguish.

It’s important because my own ideas build on theirs. If I say: “No system can be self-aware, (part of my definition of consciousness), without having some scheme for representing a self to be aware of, therefore no system can be conscious unless it has a functionalist scheme for representing itself.” you’re not going to get it. To you it would be just some tautology full of terms who’s meaning you didn’t grasp. You’re not going to have any idea what kind of representational schemes exist or even what representational scheme is. You’re not going to know what functionalism is or anything.

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By Norman Doering, June 21, 2007 at 7:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Alan, in post #79711, wrote:

I would posit that the physics professor who exclaimed, “Now THAT is faith!” used the wrong word. It wasn’t faith. It was fact, based upon replicable, scientific evidence.

You have a point, we live with those kinds of easy physics facts everyday. But the replication of some scientific experiments we have to take on trust, or “faith.”

I can study a pendulum easily, but I can’t replicate experiments done on billion dollar particle accelerators, yet I trust them.

Astronauts sit on top of huge firecrackers that have been known to blow up on occasion for short trips into space. We take expensive drugs on the say-so of our doctors. We have a faith in science and scientists that goes beyond our everyday experience.

“The priests used to say that faith can move mountains, and nobody believed them. Today the scientists say that they can level mountains, and nobody doubts them.”—Joseph Campbell

Yet I don’t trust everyone who calls themself a scientist. Parapsychologists claim to be scientists, claim replicable, scientific evidence, and yet I doubt them. I have this blog where I’ve been digging into some of the psi experiments that Deepak Chopra thinks support his woo-woo ideas about consciousness:

Chopra woo-woo 1
Chopra woo-woo 2
Chopra woo-woo 3

Faith, on the other hand, is demonstrated by the NYC pedestrian who, upon seeing the traffic signal change in his favor, steps off the curb and proceeds to walk across the boulevard despite the knowledge that a garbage truck is still bearing down at him at 45 miles per hour. Thus faith becomes the intentional abandonment of reason in the face of some imagined authority or daydream.

I don’t think the word “faith” has to mean an intentional abandonment of reason. It’s only because of the way religious people have taken over that word that it has begun to imply such a thing.

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By straight_talk_11, June 20, 2007 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment

Continued. See comment 79870 for beginning of this demonstration.

And not until evolution created the first nervous system and then a brain did anything resembling consciousness exist. The potential was there, but the first living creatures were unconscious.
- Doering

*[Personal opinion merely stating a naïve assumption that because consciousness and intelligence were not locally obvious they were not globally present or implicit in the structure of the cosmos or the natural laws governing it.]

You’re using sophistry about consciousness to justify a Mentally antropic God.
- Doering

*[Statement of opinion that it is sophistry without showing why. I do state clearly that consciousness anywhere implies consciousness globally implicit in the laws that govern evolution. I give solid reasons for this opinion that are not simply quotes of others’ opinions, including the logical inconsistency of “something from nothing” implied in the assumption that a consciously sterile universe can give birth to conscious organisms.]

Mentally antropic God: Projecting your own human attributes onto non-human things (even the entire cosmos). It has nothing to do with whether god has a penis or arms or a white beard. It’s about projecting your mental attributes onto something that doesn’t have it.

*[Quoting authority on a definition used in stating a personal opinion without support. Defining terms used in stating an opinion is not support of the opinion.]

Saying something like, as Hedges does, “we can’t know God’s will,” assumes God has a will. Will is one human mental attribute being projected by that statement.

*[Statement of opinion with no supporting argument. How do we know God doesn’t have a will? Why can’t we consider the laws of nature His will? Doering says nothing here except that he disagrees.]

*[All this is from someone who has the nerve to accuse me of sophistry. He has said absolutely nothing here that is more than personal opinion, implicit bowing to those he perceives as great authorities on cosmology because they were pioneers in the field of artificial intelligence, and quotes that define terms he used only in more statements of opinion. Doering’s post is clearly and unarguably pure dogma, stubborn repetition of opinions without supporting them. “He that accuseth…”]

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archeon of thrace's avatar

By archeon of thrace, June 20, 2007 at 10:53 pm Link to this comment

All belief is founded on assumptions.
In particular, the belief in a supreme being (god if you will).  In general, religion.

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By straight_talk_11, June 20, 2007 at 10:46 pm Link to this comment

Continued. See comment 79870 for beginning of this demonstration.

The first thing we have to do is start defining terms:

Consciousness: Self-aware, knowing you know, subjective experience, the opposite of UNconscious.
- Doering

*[Full of circularity and reference to our common experience without defining it, but only pointing to it. Fundamental, axiomatic attributes intrinsic to existence itself are not definable without circularity and/or reference to personal experience, synonyms and antonyms that buy us nothing, etc. Try to define space or time and you will find the same problem.]

To say, as you do, that “consciousness is an axiomatic, fundamental property of existence itself” makes about as much sense as saying “car-ness is an axiomatic, fundamental property of existence itself.” It’s not exactly untrue—it’s just incredibly misleading. And the false lead takes you toward Deepak Chopra’s woo-woo.
- Doering

*[Statement of opinion with no argument to support it. The analogy is bogus. He uses a completely local, non-global, anything-but-fundamental physical object that can easily be defined in terms of other physical objects, its function, and purpose. Try that with consciousness, space, or time. Describing the purpose and function of time or space inevitably involves their meaning without having defined them and is thus also circular. He compares me with Chopra in a transparent rhetorical attempt to discredit me by association.]

Cars didn’t exist until the first one was built. Before that there was only a potential for cars to exist, a possibility for them to exist. What existed before them was metals that had to be mined and machined, rubber that had to be tapped from a tree or synthed in a factory, etc.. Things moved before there were cars. Things rolled before there were cars. But not until there was a horse drawn carriage did the concept of a fuel burning (horse’s metabolism) human steered vehicle with wheels exist; something new under the sun, but not entirely new—just a combination never put together before.
- Doering

*[More verbiage on cars with no intelligible purpose in support of his thesis.]

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By straight_talk_11, June 20, 2007 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment

Let me illustrate for everyone what I meant in the last post for those who simply can’t get it any other way. I’m going to use a reply to one of my posts by Norman Doering. His reply contains both my comments and his responses. These credits are indicated with a dash and the source’s name. My descriptive comments on his responses appear in square brackets in separate paragraphs preceded by an asterisk. I challenge any atheist here to show me any replies to me you’ve made that do not have similarly vacuous content.

straight_talk_11, in post #79418, wrote:

He [Minsky] just implies it, buried in a complex flurry of technical verbosity, which makes its reality as an arbitrary assumption less obvious to those who are easily confused. This is precisely what you people have been accusing me of doing. He never justifies the assumption.
- Straight

Arbitrary assumption? Do you even know who Marvin Minsky is?
- Doering

*[Doesn’t attempt to establish that it is not an arbitrary assumption. Just implies that I have a lot of nerve to challenge the thinking of such an authority.]

Do you know what he is talking about when he notes “cybernetics” and people like Alan Turing? The computer you are using to read this post is built on the foundations established by cybernetics and people like Minsky and Turing. The programs and hardware you are using were called AI once, now it’s just computer technology. AI has moved on.
- Doering

*[Falsely assumes my ignorance of who these men were as if I should fall down and worship them as writers of holy scripture.]

And tell me what is wrong with these ideas. If they’re sophistry, don’t just tell me that. SHOW ME SPECIFICALLY WHERE THE FLAWS ARE!!!
- Straight

You really don’t know?
- Doering

*[Transparently meaningless polemic gesture)

He makes the assumption that somehow the experience of consciousness arises from complexity of process, BUT NOWHERE DOES HE MAKE SENSE OF THAT ASSUMPTION OR DEFEND IT INTELLIGENTLY
- Straight

Not just any complexity of process, a very specific kind of process and one we already know a hell of a lot about. True, he doesn’t say much about it there, but if you knew about things like cybernetics and what those people were doing no one would have to explain.
- Doering

*[Falsely assumes my ignorance because of my oversight in not having qualified complexity in just the right way as just the right kind of complexity.]

Continued in next post…

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By straight_talk_11, June 20, 2007 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment

General statement to all:

Coherent, well-conceived arguments are appropriate in a true debate. Dogma is not. Unfortunately, many here are incapable of distinguishing them, since experience in constructing well-conceived arguments is essential to their recognition. Before I leave this discussion, I would like to see at least one atheist here who demonstrates an ability to take what anyone else says and show that they can interact with it in some way that is more profound than simply agreeing or disagreeing with it or quoting someone else’s thoughts. Just citing some perceived authority to corroborate your own position or to attack someone else’s is quite uninteresting…has no depth.

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By straight_talk_11, June 20, 2007 at 9:01 pm Link to this comment

Jonathon, I do not fear the unbelievers. They sharpen my wits. That’s why I’m here and don’t really find my time wasted even if they never get it.

You should understand, however, that this is not a billboard designed for advertisements promoting spiritual paths. It is a debate that ideally serves the purpose of stimulating independent thought concerning the issues under consideration.

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By straight_talk_11, June 20, 2007 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

Doering, do you read my comments with a sincere intention of understanding my position, or are you doing what is typical of most people? If you’re typical, you’re just sifting through what I’ve said in a hunt for any isolated piece that you can jump on with all fours and attempt to rip apart. You never show me you understood even the bits and pieces.

The difference between data and their significance exists only in our awareness. Awareness and meaningfulness are mutually implicit, fully interdependent. Meaning is always context-dependent. Consciousness is global, and so provides the contextual basis for the meaningfulness of local data. It locates their role in the context of its own abstract completeness. It is this abstract completeness implicit in consciousness that allows the construction of theoretically unifying models. It is the only reason scientists can intellectually reverse engineer nature in effect to construct such models.

This function constitutes an operative definition of awareness. Physics looks at certain aspects of quantum phenomena as intrinsically unpredictable and therefore sees a deterministic view of them as meaningless in principle. This is precisely because quanta represent conceptually limit-case isolation and so by definition are context-free with respect to their unpredictable aspects.

Such conceptual meaninglessness cannot exist except in the context of meaningfulness. On a cosmic scale this begs the crucial question of how a consciously sterile universe could give birth to meaningfulness. How and why should anyone wish to postulate such a consciously discontinuous, fractured cosmic scenario, pessimistic in the most ultimately meaningful sense? (Please pardon the irony.)

I see atheism as born of an antiquated, nineteenth-century classical perspective unwittingly projected from local, special-case perception of objects as separate, solid “things” and a concomitant view of human beings and their awareness as separate and fundamentally distinct from the rest of the cosmos. I further see such a self-contradictory intellectual schism as the product of a fundamental lack in the integration of personal awareness.

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By straight_talk_11, June 20, 2007 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment

Doering, I know who Minsky, Turing, etc. are. It cuts no mustard with me except my admiration for their intellects. What you don’t understand is intellectual ability is not the whole story. The intellect has to be served by its own integration. Brilliant minds can be mentally disturbed. Intellect doesn’t buy what you seem to think it does. It can be fragmented and self-contradictory on a fundamental level and still function brilliantly in a particular specialty.

You assume a lot of ignorance. You make no sense. You see nothing and will never see anything until you gain some integration in your fragmented awareness and consequent intellectual schism. You ASSUME, as do they, that just the right kind of complexity will somehow manufacture awareness for us. You worship Minsky, Turing, et al as authorities because they were such experts in their fields? Your question implies that I should be bowing down to whatever they say like you do. You’re thumping your bible, which is the top of their heads.

Do you know what the word “holographic” means? I’ve explained it here. Did you get it? A holographic structure for the cosmos is gaining favor in theoretical physics for its potential elegance in solving the quantum gravity problem. Do you understand that holograms contain the entire image in each subsection of the film?

Do you understand that evolution from the big bang through first and second-generation stars until human life emerges is recursive? You plug up one hole in your intellectual dike at a time, but have to unplug another one to do it and you don’t even notice you’re doing that. The whole manner of your discourse reveals a fundamental inability to integrate information into a coherent, unified whole. Your arguments are not integrated and you fail to see anything but isolated bits and pieces of mine because your mind can’t put it all together into one piece.

Too bad! I think I’m wasting my time.

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By jonathan, June 20, 2007 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment

We need not fear the non believers; it is the religious fanatics that will kill us and our entire family, with no more feeling or remorse than one would have for a fish, or a roach.  1st Samuel chapter 29 verse 5 - King Saul killed his thousands, and King David, his tens of thousands, for profit - killed them, because they were Non Believers. (because they were refusing to add their wealth, to “The Treasures of Zion”.We need not fear the non believers; it is the religious fanatics that will kill us and our entire family, with no more feeling or remorse than one would have for a fish, or a roach.  1st Samuel chapter 29 verse 5 - King Saul killed his thousands, and King David, his tens of thousands, for profit - killed them, because they were Non Believers. (because they were refusing to add their wealth, to “The Treasures of Zion”.
Hebrews celebrated the killings by playing and dancing and chanting songs, in the streets, chanting; King Saul, killed his thousands, and King David, his tens of thousands!
Brings to mind the horrors of “The Holocaust” in that, two wrongs, do not make a right! We think of “The Holocaust,” remorseful, in that, millions have been put to death, for profit. (not only Jews) This! Is the Way of all Military Conflicts.
Theosophy, means; deep studies of religions.  Knowledge and understanding can pave the way to justice and World Peace.
We must encourage tolerance, for the beliefs of others, encourage, studies, by Comparison, reconfigure the facts, increase Scientific rationale, with intelligent, reasonable understanding, to pinpoint the source of all religions and continue peacefully with freedom and tolerance. (if the Fanatics let us). A recent poll determined that we have 47 Million Atheists in the United States alone.
Revelations chapter 1 verse 26 says; to him who overcomes, I will give power over all nations. The collection of “The Treasures of Zion” had one single purpose – the Financial control of all the world’s nations; It is clear, they make plenty of bones about it.
R

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By jonathan, June 20, 2007 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment

Mithra               Theosophy - page 1 of 9

Mithra & Persian/Roman Sun God and Aton, son, of the Sun God  
       

The religion of Mithra was the most popular religion, before during and after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.. The exact ending of the Millennium is questionable!. It is now - 2005 AD. History denotes, that at the beginning of the fourth century, Theodosius the great, changed the course of history by declaring that the religion of Jesus Christ,  was to be the states duly recognized religion. He intended to dismiss all the Hindu, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman Gods and Goddesses. Once more attempting (like it had been attempted many times previous) to establish state recognition of one single God - this time – Jesus Christ and yahweh-God-Jehova. The Patriarchal idea was borrowed from a Greek philosophy, there had to be a Supreme Being somewhere, a God, Father of all the others. As/per “The Encyclopedia Americana” Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, form “the trinity” of the Hindu religion. This’ idea, was borrowed from a previous, religious idea. At one time, these were three different Hindu deities. Their rival claims were met, by making them three different forms of the one “supreme God.”  (The Hindu Holy Trinity) Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva.
As/per “The Mahabharata” (another bible) Vishnu, is the personification of the Sun, the supreme power of all Gods. Including, the God of War!  In eternal presence, Vishnu, is the maker, of Heaven and Earth. Otherwise, (Mother Nature) as we know “Mother Nature” in scientific fact! Brahma, is the creator of the Cosmic Universe. Brahma means – divine universal knowledge.
The idea of the Holy Trinity, had been established for centuries, based on the studies of Astronomy, linked to Astrology, drafted from the belief in the constellation of Orion, and the three stars of Orion’s belt; as being Holy Divine and Godly.
Amos chapter 5 verse 8 says; The Seven Stars of Orion also named Betelgeuse,(from there, Jews). Seven! Is the Jewish perfect number; “Smyrna” is the First, of Seven Churches; Seven seals, Seven horns, Seven eyes, are the Seven Spirits of God in the Jewish religion. Supposedly the seven spirits/angels, are the Seven Governors, of the religious (non govt.) Federal Reserve Board. 
The entire “World’s control and finance strategy” derives, from the Seven Churches, which are in Asia Minor. The First Church, is Smyrna - such as the First National Bank or the First State Bank or the First anything Bank. such as, the First Baptist Church or the First Methodist Church, or the First Christian church or The First anything Church.  Because, Money is the answer to all things.
Revelations chapter 2 says; Pergamus-North,  Ephesus-South,  Four others-East - to the Middle East’s interior.  Ancient peoples called Hebrews “The People of the book! To enforce their ideas, Hebrews wrote, that the “Pentateuch” the First five books of the Holy Bible, are “five fingers of God’s hand.” Inadvertently admitting that it was they!  Not God - who wrote the historical records & references, in The Holy Bible. Especially those about the “seven stars” in the constellation of Orion, being the Seven Angels and Seven Spirits and Seven Churches. Revelations chapter 1 verse 20 says; The seven stars of Orion (in the constellation of Orion ) are the Angels of the seven churches. Observe; the Seven Governors, managing the unconstitutional non govt. “Federal Reserve Board!  (the Seven Spirits of God – the Seven stars of “Orion.”
( For what other purpose, did King David need!  The “Treasures of Zion.”

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