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What the New Atheists Don’t See by Theodore Dalrymple
Posted: 10 November 2007 09:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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mahahaha - 11 November 2007 12:34 AM

By the same token, Truth is not absolute from any individual human frame of reference, but relative to the observer. Therefore Absolute Truth does not exist as such - it transcends existence.

And therefore neither you nor anybody else can possess it.  And finally, therefore, your insistence that you can and do is dangerous, because it could enable you and your ilk, as it does the Islamists, to devalue, dehumanize and marginalize the lives of others who are not in your frame of reference.

That is not consistent with what it means to live in a democratic and indeed civilized society.

Are you sure about this? Because you sound sure. One might even venture to say that what you are proposing is true. I mean true for everybody and always. Actually I think the truth of your statement would make it impossible for its contrary to be true. What kind of truth is always true for everyone? Oh yeah.. I think we call that absolute truth. There is no absolute truth I thought.. The circle is unbroken.

What does this absolute statement allow you and your ilk to do? Gulag? Gas Chamber? Guillotine? I know that this is all relative to this observer.

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Posted: 11 November 2007 05:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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If you are unable to distinguish between a statement which is true and Absolute Truth, you are beyond hope.

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“Believe those who seek the truth; doubt those who find it”—Andre Gide

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Posted: 11 November 2007 05:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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mahahaha - 11 November 2007 10:11 AM

If you are unable to distinguish between a statement which is true and Absolute Truth, you are beyond hope.

Nicely put.

“The circle is unbroken. . . .” Oh no—I’m confused now. Do I adhere to ancient guesswork or to modern methods to get my fix of evil? Frank, faith in ancient tales, when that faith is strong enough, is dangerous to those without similar faith. Are you going to argue with that?

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Posted: 11 November 2007 08:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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Good. We all agree, you (homunculus and mahahaha), me and Thomas Aquinas. We all say we can know what is true yet we because of our human limitations, we cannot know absolute truth. In Christian Theology this has always been the case and this is why we refer to many things as mysteries. (The mystery of the Trinity, the mystery of the Eucahrist, the mystery of the Hypostatic union, the mystery of the Incarnation I can go on but you get the point) These are not mysteries to be solved but mysteries to be contemplated. So when I say Christianity is true, I am not saying I have absolute knowledge of God, or that I personally know the absolute truth. Instead I am claiming as true the doctrine that the absolute truth has revealed himself to man through Christ. I am limited in understanding this mystery and I do not claim to understand the absolute truth per se. So I am saying that Christianity is true and it is the path to contemplating the absolute truth. Not knowing but entering into the mystery. Rave on John Donne

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Posted: 11 November 2007 09:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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frankr - 11 November 2007 01:20 PM

Good. We all agree, you (homunculus and mahahaha), me and Thomas Aquinas. We all say we can know what is true yet we because of our human limitations, we cannot know absolute truth. In Christian Theology this has always been the case and this is why we refer to many things as mysteries. (The mystery of the Trinity, the mystery of the Eucahrist, the mystery of the Hypostatic union, the mystery of the Incarnation I can go on but you get the point) These are not mysteries to be solved but mysteries to be contemplated. So when I say Christianity is true, I am not saying I have absolute knowledge of God, or that I personally know the absolute truth. Instead I am claiming as true the doctrine that the absolute truth has revealed himself to man through Christ. I am limited in understanding this mystery and I do not claim to understand the absolute truth per se. So I am saying that Christianity is true and it is the path to contemplating the absolute truth. Not knowing but entering into the mystery. Rave on John Donne

And I agree with you, except for you to say:  “Christianity is true and it is the path to contemplating the absolute truth” contradicts everything you have said and is not a true statement.

The only logically consistent, and true, way to phrase this is:  “Christianity is true and it is a path to contemplating the absolute truth, [relative to frankr and others].”

Here on earth, you cannot set the terms for the Truth.  To attempt to do so is to erect a metaphorical Tower of Babel and to commit blasphemy by presuming to put a limit on interpreting, here on earth, the Absoltute Truth/God, which/who cannot be known.

You are free to interpret Christianity in your limited and exoteric way, but not to impose that interpretation on others by prostelizing and trying to take over our schools and government.  That misinterpretation of your religion is intolerable.

If you continue to do so, it WILL get ugly, because the majority of the US public is now completely sick and tired of it, and the waste, pain, death and destruction is has caused.  The US and the rest of the civilized world can fight the Muslims without the “help” of Christian fanatics, thank you very much.

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Posted: 11 November 2007 10:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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You best pray to the absolute truth, that no one can say anything about, that there are Christians to fight your battles with radical Islam. If the all truth is equal indoctrination that goes on in public schools and government persists, we do not stand a chance. The metaphysical mush espoused in the public square as well as in the public schools is equivalent to Rodney king’s plea. “why can’t we just get along. The only leader in the west who is making an intellectual case against terrorism and radical islam is Benedict (wsee Regensburg) There is no such argument from the neo atheist who paint the suicide bomber and the quaker with the same brush stroke.

If Christianity is true in what she claims then it is the path to the absolute truth. “I am the light and the truth, no comes to the father except through me.”

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Posted: 11 November 2007 02:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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mahahaha - 10 November 2007 05:11 PM

  Most atheists would fall into the category of fair minded libertarians, who would permit worship, practice, belief in virtually anything, so long as it does not result in violence to others and remains in the privacy of a church, home or sanctuary -  which is where religion belongs. 

However, atheists have a legitimate concern when those believers, in their misguided zeal and mania, insist upon prostelitizing and imposing their beliefs on others and into government, foreign and domestic policy, schools, etc.

Unfortunately when confronted with true believers Mahahaha’s statement in the first paragraph becomes a suicide note of sorts.

It occurs to me that religious people are never really in stasis. They either are in the process of losing their faith and hanging on to a tradition or an increasingly vague notion or they are becoming more enthusiastic in their belief.
It has been said that the true believer is never satisfied until everyone bows the knee.
For me, I will happily live together with lunatics of all stripe right after the majority of us have acquired the habit of consistently calling these people what they are: lunatics. And then they can huddle in their basements and sacrifice goats and chant to Isis all they want.
Many countries have already accomplished this, we here in the US still have a way to go.

The fact that Islam is currently more destructive than Christianity shouldn’t lull us into a false sense of security.
A false belief is a false belief and we need our collective wits to deal with a host of problems if we want this human experiment to go on for a while.

Lastly, it is absurd to praise Christianity for not having burned anybody for a while. This is like praising a serial killer for the lobotomy he has received.

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“You know I’m born to lose, and gambling is for fools.
But that’s the way I like it baby, I don’t want to live forever.”

From the autobiography of A.A.Mills, ‘The passage of time, according to an estranged, casual tyrant.’

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Posted: 11 November 2007 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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QED

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Posted: 11 November 2007 04:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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frankr - 11 November 2007 08:08 PM

QED

Quite Excellent Didactic ?

Quality Expose of Delusion ?

Quasi Enlightening Diatribe ?

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“You know I’m born to lose, and gambling is for fools.
But that’s the way I like it baby, I don’t want to live forever.”

From the autobiography of A.A.Mills, ‘The passage of time, according to an estranged, casual tyrant.’

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Posted: 11 November 2007 06:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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frankr - 11 November 2007 03:16 PM

If Christianity is true in what she claims then it is the path to the absolute truth. “I am the light and the truth, no comes to the father except through me.”

frank, did it ever occur to you that the universe in which we exist, which you posit was created out of nothing by God, is so utterly and incomprehensively vast in terms of both time and space, that from the frame of reference of, let’s say, Andromeda, which is 2.5 million light years away from earth, that the birth of the historical Jesus Christ has not even occured yet?

What does that do to your simple minded, comic book level of understanding of who or what the “ME” may represent in your paraphrase of the famous John 14:6 quotation (which was written decades after the death of the historical Jesus by person or persons unknown or in dispute)?

Is your God so limited in His scope that His only manifestion was a single historical event at a certain point in human history in an obscure place on this tiny planet.  Do you have ANY appreciation of how utterly insignificant human history is in terms of the entire cosmos?  How can you presume to so diminish the awesome (in the true sense of the word), incomprehensible, infintessimal, vastness of a God would could create and sustain a universe so immense, so vast, so complicated, so perfect…? 

You Christian fundamentalists are a hoot.  Do you realize that by elevating the historical Jesus (the son of Man, dude) to the level you do, that you are nothing more than a common, primitive idolitor.  Did it ever occur to you that “Christ” and “Me” may mean something far, far deeper, more universal, larger, than some mere historical human being?

I suggest to you that there is much, much, much more going on in this universe than you know, and you won’t “get it” simply by believing out of context translations of something that some man, who put his pants on one leg at a time just like you, me, Buddha, the Dalai Lama, and everybody else, past present and future, may or may not have said or meant.

Clearly, I must be bored stiff to be dumb enough to try to argue with a true believer like you.  Screw this.  Time for a beer.

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Posted: 11 November 2007 09:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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Your comments kind of crack me up mahaha. I was simply stating the claims of Christianity. I understand you do not buy into them. You buy into something more something greater something very much like the Force. I don’t think lucas can write dialogue never mind religious doctrine.

Your comments also reminded me of scripture. This is not meant to convert and I usually do not quote scripture in this forum but I thought you sounded very much like the psalmist (could be King David but it really doesn’t matter)

Psalm 8

For the leader; “upon the gittith.” A psalm of David.

O LORD, our Lord, how awesome is your name through all the earth! You have set your majesty above the heavens!
Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have drawn a defense against your foes, to silence enemy and avenger.
When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you set in place—
What are humans that you are mindful of them, mere mortals that you care for them?

Yet you have made them little less than a god, crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them rule over the works of your hands, put all things at their feet:
All sheep and oxen, even the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
O LORD, our Lord, how awesome is your name through all the earth!

Take heart! You are just like the psalmists. There is nothing new under the sun

[ Edited: 11 November 2007 09:12 PM by frankr]
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Posted: 12 November 2007 06:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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The only think new about “the new atheists” is a willingness to be open about it, to come out of the closet. Sam Harris never claimed to have come up with any new arguments for atheism.

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“The three great rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty, but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”

- George Sutherland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1921.

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Posted: 12 November 2007 05:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you set in place—
What are humans that you are mindful of them, mere mortals that you care for them?

Hi Frankr:

When these words were written by person or persons unknown, Hebrew cosmology consisted of a dome, or “firmament” over the (flat) earth to which the stars, sun and moon were affixed permanently, so the earth could rotate somehow below them making’s night and day.  Of course the “firmament” was not very firm, for at one time on God’s command hatches opened in it admitting great torrents of water which had somehow been stored above, in order to flood the earth to a depth of at least five miles.

Is that your rebuttal?  How pitiful indeed, you used to do a lot better.

How can christianity all be true?  It is so darn contradictory. The fable above is believed by probably half the christians in the country, while the rest think it’s false.  How can they both be right?  If you don’t buy the old fables, like genesis, what purpose did jesus really serve?  No original sin, no redemption needed.

Glad to see many still here, even you Frank.

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Posted: 12 November 2007 08:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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hampsteadpete - 12 November 2007 10:56 PM

When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you set in place—
What are humans that you are mindful of them, mere mortals that you care for them?

Hi Frankr:

When these words were written by person or persons unknown, Hebrew cosmology consisted of a dome, or “firmament” over the (flat) earth to which the stars, sun and moon were affixed permanently, so the earth could rotate somehow below them making’s night and day.  Of course the “firmament” was not very firm, for at one time on God’s command hatches opened in it admitting great torrents of water which had somehow been stored above, in order to flood the earth to a depth of at least five miles.

Is that your rebuttal?  How pitiful indeed, you used to do a lot better.

How can christianity all be true?  It is so darn contradictory. The fable above is believed by probably half the christians in the country, while the rest think it’s false.  How can they both be right?  If you don’t buy the old fables, like genesis, what purpose did jesus really serve?  No original sin, no redemption needed.

Glad to see many still here, even you Frank.

I missed you Pete, but don’t you think it ironic that the wonder of mahahaha ir mirrored in the words of the psalmist. I am not turning to the ancient hebrew for their knowledge of the stars. I am pointing out that the truth of man’s unique place in the world has been contemplated for as long as men have been around. Now you can say that man is not unique and be blind to the differences. You can say tha man is unique and point to evolution, or you can say man is unique and he was purposely created that way. I like option three. It is the paradigm that answers the most questions. I know you are partial to two but I think two either ends up one or three. You become a materialist or evolution becaomes a religion.

Good to hear from you again Pete. I hope the market aint killing you in NC. I know it is hurting here in VA

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Posted: 13 November 2007 05:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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You become a materialist or evolution becaomes a religion.

Ah, the favorite fall back of the frustrated creationist.  I’m not accusing you of this, Frank, as you didn’t directly say it, but it’s so common today it’s a discussion by itself.

In my view, folks who feel evolution is a religion have little or no appreciation of how high the mountain of evidence really is, and how well evolution is supported not only in biology but in all the other sciences as well.  Measure this against absolutely no evidence for the other side, and you don’t have a religion, you have common sense.

Tonight on PBS, NOVA will air a two-hour documentary on the Dover trial, during which ID was laid out for the whole world to see what a complete fraud it is.  The results don’t prove evolution (although they go a long way) but what they do do is expose the lengths to which those who favor the other side will go to achieve their goal of eliminating science from the public schools.

I’m sure you are not in that camp, Frank, but any support of creationism furthers the cause of the Discovery folks.  If you really think evolution is a religion, pick up a couple of copies of “Nature” or “Science” and watch careers rise and fall with the ebb and flow of new data, supporting and conflicting with so-called “evolutionary dogma.”  You will soon find there IS no dogma.

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