Reason vs. Faith!

Reader Scott Hemmons sends in this photo for you to ponder:

For the record, I don't think faith and reason are mutually exclusive.

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  • ||

    Perhaps not mutually exclusive but in what sort of backwater region must you live in order for you to drive by, read that, and say, "Wow, that's so profound! Honey, tell the kids, from here on out: NO MORE THINKING!"?

  • Adderall Apocalypse||

    indeed... what is the message of the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" other than curiosity is a sin?

  • jtuf||

    Reason and faith are mutually exclusive, but I would not call them enemies. Every time you use reason, you need to have faith in whatever axioms you base your reason on. Faith alone is not enough, unless you want to be an automaton. I can't imagine any clergy would actually want a flock devoid of reason. It would just get annoying to have congregants keep calling to ask for their next instruction.

  • ||

    Axioms just are; they require no faith, because the concept faith, or any other concept or concrete, presupposes axioms. Without the axioms of existence, consciousness and identity, no one could exist or have consciousness, or be any kind of entity that could hold concepts or sensory data from which all concepts obtain their origin.

    Axioms are axiomatic, i.e. requiring no proof or faith, because proving anything or having faith in anything requires axioms.

    As for a clergy wanting to abolish reason, they would have to supply some "reasons" in the form of "concepts" for doing so. In the process of attempting to shut down reason, they have to contradict themselves by employing it, their own and that of their victims. It's a match made "in heaven."

    It's the old "I want my cake and eat it too" syndrome. If you doubt there are victims, I refer you to this last week's headlines about the Roman Catholic Church and some nasty cake eating.

  • ||

    indeed... what is the message of the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" other than curiosity is a sin?

    I got the allegory, but I think it's more the fact that Adam and Eve were tempted and ignored G-d's words than the fact that knowledge itself is evil.

  • ||

    er, assertion that knowledge is evil.

  • ||

    'Course if I saw the pastor I'd say, "Drink!"

  • Taktix®||

    At least they're finally admitting it. That's the step 1 of 12, right?

  • ||

    Raivo Pommer-estonia-www.google.ee

    raimo1@hot.ee

    SPANIEN banken krise
    Caja Castilla krise


    Sie hatte am Sonntag bekannt gegeben, die Verbindlichkeiten der Caja Castilla-La Mancha mit neun Milliarden Euro zu garantieren und einen Zwangsverwalter eingesetzt zu haben. Hintergrund ist einerseits ein fehlgeschlagener Übernahmeversuch des Unternehmens, andererseits machen sich immer mehr die Folgen der Finanz- und Wirtschaftskrise in Spanien bemerkbar.

    Spanien profitierte bis vor wenigen Monaten von einem Kredit finanzierten Immobilienboom. Er wurde unter anderem ausgelöst von der europäischen Währungsunion. Sie hatte im Rahmen des Konvergenzprozesses an den Kapitalmärkten zu zuvor ungewohnt tiefen Zinsen geführt und auf diese Weise Immobilieninvestitionen beflügelt. Die einsetzende Eigendynamik beflügelte die Konjunktur des Landes, sorgte für eine gute Stimmung und verleitete immer mehr In- und Ausländer dazu, bei steigenden Preisen Immobilien zu erwerben.

  • ray||

    Religious people are the greatest enemy that faith has, as long as people in general judge the merits of a concept/topic by the assholes that are it's adherents.

  • TofuSushi||

    religionists should not be allowed to advertise within sight of a public place. Seperation of church and state is settled law and in black and white in the constitution.

  • ||

    @ TofuSushi:

    The Separation Clause applies to objects on display on public property. The church is (probably) private and, therefore, the clause does not apply.

    OTOH, a few more deep, insightful, highly intellectual zingers on signs like this one and the faithful will start thinking "And I have been thinking that this dipshit's advice has value?" all on their own. Then the Sep Clause will be just something we tell the grandkids about.

  • ||

    Every time you use reason, you need to have faith in whatever axioms you base your reason on.

    I have faith in a new and different set of axioms each day, just to keep things interesting.

  • robc||

    For the record, I don't think faith and reason are mutually exclusive.

    As a baptist, I say ditto. In fact, I think they go together. I cant have faith in something that doesnt also make rational sense. Faith goes beyond where reason can get you, but it cant contradict it.

  • robc||

    what is the message of the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" other than curiosity is a sin?

    If you eat this fruit, you become a protector.

  • ||

    "I cant have faith in something that doesnt also make rational sense."

    Does somebody dying for your sins and all you have to do is accept that sacrifice on faith and you will go to heaven make rational sense?

  • ||

    The sad fact a lot of these people don't realize is that were it not for people like Martin Luther et. al. exercising reason along with courage, Protestant denominations probably wouldn't exist.

  • ||

    "what is the message of the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" other than curiosity is a sin?"

    It shows a very insecure god who doesn't want us to know as much as he does.

  • Tym||

    Tell that to Thomas Aquinas.

  • ||

    "The sad fact a lot of these people don't realize is that were it not for people like Martin Luther et. al. exercising reason along with courage, Protestant denominations probably wouldn't exist."

    Luther was also a big influence on Hitler with his anti-semitism.

  • anarch||

    The message on the sign is unintelligible at any level without the reader's employing reason.

  • ||

    "Tell that to Thomas Aquinas."

    Tym?

  • ||

    Well done, TofuSushi. You've gotten intelligent rebuttals from different posters in at least two separate threads, a sign of effective spoof trolling.

  • ||

    "If you eat this fruit, you become a protector."

    What does this mean?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Every time you use reason, you need to have faith in whatever axioms you base your reason on.

    Why? Isn't it possible that the axioms are self-evident, in that reliance on them necessarily demands that you recognize them as valid?

  • ||

    "Every time you use reason, you need to have faith in whatever axioms you base your reason on."

    Not if the reason is based on empiracism.

  • robc||

    bookworm,

    What does this mean?

    It means you dont read enough Larry Niven.

  • ||

    The message on the sign is unintelligible at any level without the reader's employing reason.

    Good point. And also, since reason is all that separates us from "the beasts", that makes me think of the Genesis story on a different level. W/out eating the fruit, Adam & Eve couldn't've been culpable because they couldn't have "known" they were sinning. Their shame came after the fact, making the whole thing a bit of a paradox.

  • robc||

    bookworm,

    Does somebody dying for your sins and all you have to do is accept that sacrifice on faith and you will go to heaven make rational sense?

    Sure, you have to accept some axioms, probably on faith, but it follows from them.

    I guess they are (simplifying):

    Sin requires a blood sacrifice
    Sin is the state of separation from God.
    Hell/Heaven are permanent separation/togetherness with God states.
    Humans have an immortal soul.

    There are probably some more little details, but from those it pretty much follows.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Sin requires a blood sacrifice

    Which doesn't make sense at all; the only reason sin requires this is because God requires it, and he can change his mind at any time.

  • ||

    Of course, in Genesis, the two were on one level already elevated above the rest of G-d's creatures for some reason (because G-d already knew they were gonna eat the fruit?). Also, since I'm pretty sure progress is impossible without reason, does this make technology the enemy of faith?

  • robc||

    Art-POG,

    Think of Adam & Eve as children and it makes sense. They might not have realized the consequences of their actions, but they understood following orders and knew enough right/wrong to obey and know they were disobeying.

    An 8 year old may not understand the consequences of not taking candy from strangers, but they understand enough the concept of rules following. And punishment for not following them.

  • Taktix®||

    Art-P.O.G.,

    Careful not type out the word "God" lest ye be smited by the fuzzie wuzzies, or some such...

  • The Angry Optimist||

    I'm pretty sure progress is impossible without reason, does this make technology the enemy of faith?

    The sign is actually (and ironically) the logical conclusion of Christianity: that all things which flow from reason and toil are unnecessary. See "The Lesson of the Lillies".

  • robc||

    Which doesn't make sense at all

    Its an axiom. Axioms dont have to necessarily make sense.

    the only reason sin requires this is because God requires it, and he can change his mind at any time

    Can he? Or are the rules set in stone upon creation?

    Actually, since God is outside time (IMO), the phrase "at any time" makes no sense. Any decision made is made at all time points simultaneously. Time is a part of the construct of the universe, God is outside it.

  • ||

    It needs to be said that most religious people would not agree with that sign. Sometimes I'm not sure whether most atheists would agree with a sign saying that faith was the enemy of reason, though.

  • TofuSushi||

    robc,

    How is god outside time when man created both?

  • ||

    "what is the message of the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" other than curiosity is a sin?"

    Once they ate the fruit of the tree Adam and Eve became God like moral creatures. Before they were merely animals. The point of the allegory is that the human monopoly on understanding and knowledge puts us above the beasts but requires us to act morally.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Can he?

    Contained within the concept of "omnipotence", I would say "yes".

    Any decision made is made at all time points simultaneously.

    God can say "from now on"...he doesn't have to reside out of time or have his decisions apply to all points in time, if he does not so choose.

  • ||

    "knowledge of good and evil" == "decision of what is good and evil".

    The latter is a better translation of the Hebrew.

    It also makes sense since God obviously didn't think Adam and Eve being naked was evil, yet they decided it was and did the fig leaf thang.

  • economist||

    The Protestant minister finds himself in agreement with Ayn Rand on one point.

  • Barry W Obama||

    "Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has"

    You tell em brother!

  • economist||

    robc,
    I'm not sure I agree with your assertion that an axiom need not make sense. Isn't part of the definition of an axiom that it is self-evident and makes sense by its very nature?

  • ||

    Why? Isn't it possible that the axioms are self-evident, in that reliance on them necessarily demands that you recognize them as valid?

    That's a cop-out. A bible-thumper could claim that the fact that Jesus died for their sins is "self-evident" too.

  • robc||

    TAO,

    True on both points.

    That said, maybe there is a good reason a blood sacrifice for sin is required. Its clearly a symbolic act (although not for the specific lamb/dove/goat/Jesus). If I were omniscient, maybe it would be obvious why. :)

    I think that is where faith comes in. This axiom, which is neither rational nor irrational, may actually be rational if I understood more.

    Heck, as Ive grown older, things that didnt make sense to me in the past make sense now. That is what knowledge is all about, making sense of the world, right?

    Just because I cant explain why sin requires a blood sacrifice, doesnt make it not so. Once again, this is the point where faith comes in.

  • economist||

    In general, I don't consider faith (or religion), an "enemy" of reason. In any case, the confident assertion that there is no God/higher power/divine principle etc. is in itself a statement of faith, so atheists can't claim a monopoly on reason.

  • ||

    Isn't part of the definition of an axiom that it is self-evident and makes sense by its very nature?

    As judged by whom? 250 years ago it was self-evident to any European that blacks were inferior. Let's not flatter ourselves into thinking we alone in history are devoid of biases that distort our thinking.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    A bible-thumper could claim that the fact that Jesus died for their sins is "self-evident" too.

    Not if they assert the omnipotence of God, they cannot.

    you can't just stretch the concept of self-evident to mean "I can argue what I want"...it actually has to be self-evident, or contained within the argumentation or anything you say.

  • ||

    I have a question that people at church aren't comfortable discussing but it seems relevant to me. Yes, in fact I am a troll at church as well.

    Could Jesus have sinned. Not did he, but could he?

  • ||

    The sad fact a lot of these people don't realize is that were it not for people like Martin Luther et. al. exercising reason along with courage, Protestant denominations probably wouldn't exist.



    Hah! Wow. Guess who said "Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has." That's right, Martin Luther himself.

    Here's the full quote:

    ""Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but - more frequently than not - struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God" -Martin Luther

  • ||

    Once they ate the fruit of the tree Adam and Eve became God like moral creatures. Before they were merely animals.

    No. God created man in his image before the fall and gave Adam mastery over all the animals and the power to name them. All before he ate the forbidden fruit.

  • economist||

    "That's a cop-out. A bible-thumper could claim that the fact that Jesus died for their sins is 'self-evident' too."

    No, because that is a fact about a specific event that we cannot know about. It makes intuitive sense to say that an object is itself and cannot be something that is not itself, that if a=b and b=c, that a=c, but it is not in anyway obvious that if someone is crucified, they submitted to it to pay for the sins of all humanity. That is a statement of faith.

  • robc||

    Isn't part of the definition of an axiom that it is self-evident and makes sense by its very nature?

    I dont think so. I think an axiom, by its nature, can lead to false conclusions. But, it itself, doesnt have to necessaryily by self-evident. It has to be, by its nature, not false*.

    I intentional used "not false" instead of true there. All axioms must be true, but Im not sure they must obviously be true. An axiom may not be provable, but must not be able to be disproved.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    That said, maybe there is a good reason a blood sacrifice for sin is required.

    Any reason God would use to justify needing a blood sacrifice is undermined by his omnipotence; an all-powerful being doesn't need anything...he can't even desire anything!

  • economist||

    Martin Luther didn't preach reason. He preached a different brand of faith.

  • ||

    you can't just stretch the concept of self-evident to mean "I can argue what I want"...it actually has to be self-evident, or contained within the argumentation or anything you say.

    Who gets to be the judge of what is self-evident though? You're basically saying that Jesus dying for our sins isn't self-evident because it isn't self-evident.

    (I agree that it's not self-evident, but I also think the very concept of "self-evidentness" has no place in reasonable discourse)

  • economist||

    All this philosophical argumentation gives me a headache. I'm going to go snipe at TofuSushi.

    I'm tired today.

  • robc||

    Could Jesus have sinned. Not did he, but could he?

    I think so. Im not sure why the discomfort level with this question. I think the temptation in the desert is proof he could have sinned. Would the devil waste his time tempting someone who couldnt sin? Why would the story appear in the gospels if it wasnt possible?

    Even Jesus prayers at Gethsemane(right place?) makes it clear he had a choice to make - to follow thru or not.

  • economist||

    On second thought, maybe I'll stay here. Arguing with a spoof troll is as fruitful as LoneWhacker's favorite activity.

  • ||

    "Actually, since God is outside time (IMO), the phrase "at any time" makes no sense. Any decision made is made at all time points simultaneously. Time is a part of the construct of the universe, God is outside it."

    I think you are confusing God with Dr. Manhattan.

  • robc||

    can lead to false

    CANNOT. CANNOT. stupid lack of preview button.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    crimethink - like economist said, certain things are self-evident or we're all just engaging in retard babble.

    For one, that we exist is self-evident.
    Two, we are conscious beings.
    Three, a law of identity is needed, that is A is either B or not B, not both.

  • economist||

    robc,
    Wait a minute, I thought you were Catholic? Or am I thinking of a different poster?

  • economist||

    mantooth,
    In the Watchmen graphic novel, Dr. Manhattan specifically denies the idea that he is God.

  • robc||

    It is self-evident that using the Preview button is a waste of time.

  • robc||

    economist,

    I use the word fuck a lot and homebrew beer, so clearly Im a southern baptist. Duh.

  • economist||

    AO,
    Dr. Ferris says that Robert Stadler's work proved that reason is obsolete.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Im not sure why the discomfort level with this question.

    The Euthyphro problem. Is it sin because God hates it or does God hate it because it is sin?

    One shows that God is not omnipotent (sin exists outside of God, and that's why it's sin) and the other shows God to be the arbiter of what is sin and therefore cannot be a sinner himself (because what he does cannot, by definition, be sinful).

    If Jesus = God, and God = arbiter of sin, then Jesus =/= sin.

  • economist||

    robc,
    Except I have friends who are Catholic and do those same things.

  • robc||

    economist,

    Except I have friends who are Catholic and do those same things.

    Wooooooosh. Yeah, that was the joke.

    The SBC and I have a complicated relationship.

  • economist||

    AO,
    From what I understand of the Christian perspective (of the more cerebral variety), God is an eminently reasonable being, and thus is not omnipotent in that He cannot engage in a logical contradiction, because that would go against His own nature.

    Not saying I agree with that view, just putting it out there.

  • ||

    For one, that we exist is self-evident.
    Two, we are conscious beings.
    Three, a law of identity is needed, that is A is either B or not B, not both.

    These are good axioms. I suppose to try to refute any of them leads immediately to paradox.

  • robc||

    TAO,

    But Jesus was also man.

    And man has the capability of sin.

    Ergo....

    I tend to avoid these kind of logic arguments with relation to these kinds of things because Im not sure we have the tools to properly encompass the complicated nature of God/Jesus/Man.

  • ||

    Every time you use reason, you need to have faith in whatever axioms you base your reason on.

    I hope not. I would hope that science is as adept at questioing the axioms as it is in building reasonable conclusions based on them. Faith is a blind assumption about the nature of the universe in areas that are unknowable. Where the faithful run into problems is when they make blind (wrong) assumptions about the universe in areas that are not only knowable - but well understood by science. And then hold onto them despite overwhelming evidence.

  • ||

    The Bible has prophesy of Jesus coming and his sinless life. If He sinned, it would negate those prophesies. He may have felt temptation but for Him to live up to the prophesy, sin was not possible.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Im not sure we have the tools to properly encompass the complicated nature of God/Jesus/Man.

    And whose fault is that :P ? I never understood why God sets us up for systemic and categorical failure.

    "Here you go, Man, here are some lustful urges which are nigh-on impossible to suppress...but YOU BETTER DO IT ANYWAY"

  • ||

    For one, that we exist is self-evident.
    Two, we are conscious beings.
    Three, a law of identity is needed, that is A is either B or not B, not both.



    Those are actually definitions of "exist", "conscious", and "is".

    Certainly the axioms libertarianism is based on, e.g. that all humans are created equal, are not as widely held as those you offer.

  • ||

    Not that it matters all that much, but I think the sign is probably fake.

    Anyone have a verification / second pic?

  • Taktix®||

    I'm sorry, but "faith" in this context is mutually exclusive from reason. In this sense, faith is the willful denial of reason.

    Saying you believe something you can't prove for the sake of believing is the enemy reason...

  • ||

    Southern Baptists are against pre-marital sex.

    They worry it may lead to dancing.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Libertarianism doesn't hold that all humans are created equal, crimethink. Libertarians believe government should treat people AS IF they were created equal, because to do otherwise would be an unconscionable and capricious use of force against disfavored groups and in favor of the group in control.

    Those are actually definitions of "exist", "conscious", and "is".

    Just so, but it's useful to state them as sentences...kinda hard to argue about those definitions if you don't accept them as true, isn't it? And keep in mind that the "is" is not a linguistic tautology but a ontological construct.

  • ||

    "I think so. Im not sure why the discomfort level with this question. I think the temptation in the desert is proof he could have sinned. Would the devil waste his time tempting someone who couldnt sin? Why would the story appear in the gospels if it wasnt possible?"

    As if everything in the Gospels is true!

  • ||

    One shows that God is not omnipotent (sin exists outside of God, and that's why it's sin)

    God is still omnipotent. He just delegated his power of free will to us humans. He could have made humans to be robots who automatically did as he wished, but instead he chose to create us with the ability to love (and thus necessarily with the ability to sin).

  • robc||

    Why should you never take two southern baptists fishing?

    They complain about you drinking beer the whole time.

    Who should you never take one southern baptist fishing?

    He will drink all your beer.

  • Luke 11:29||

    This is an evil generation: they seek a sign.

  • economist||

    bookworm,
    I think robc was arguing that the Christian conception of God is self-consistent.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    He just delegated his power of free will to us humans.

    How free is it if you can take it back any time you want?

    It's just irrational to try to make sense of the internal "logic" of the Christian system. An all-powerful God is bound to sacrifice his Son for the sins (as defined by God) that humans are destined to commit (because that's how God wanted it), even though God could just wave his hand and declare "Sins Forgiven"?

    It's nonsense.

  • ||

    An atheist, I know far too many rational, intelligent and deep thinking folks who are theists to say that reason and faith are mutually exclusive.

    Of course I'm right and they're wrong. They would hopefully say the same about me.

  • economist||

    robc,
    What's the point of fishing without beer?

  • dhex||

    "And whose fault is that :P ? I never understood why God sets us up for systemic and categorical failure."

    this discussion makes a lot more sense if you think of god as a very old toddler playing with an ant farm. after a while you'd have to keep putting constraints on your play or it would get boring and repetitive. alternately if you pull back a bit, the ant farm was dropped in the grass somewhere and the ants escaped.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    J sub - it's not that they are mutually exclusive in individual person "X", it's that they are mutually exclusive systems of thought.

  • robc||

    The Bible has prophesy of Jesus coming and his sinless life. If He sinned, it would negate those prophesies. He may have felt temptation but for Him to live up to the prophesy, sin was not possible.

    Yes, but if we accept

    1. God is outside time
    2. God gave the prophesies to the prophets

    Then it still follows. He already knew that Jesus wouldnt sin.

    This leads back to the whole "An omniscient, omnipotent God makes free will impossible" argument. To which, my answer is "bullshit!".

    Of course, I dont see free will and predestination as contradictory either, so there ya go.

    Speaking of which, a weird belief of mine: The wave-particle duality of light was created by God as a metaphor so that we could understand the nature of the duality of free will and predestination.

  • economist||

    For me, the catching of fish is always secondary in fishing. I always think the primary purpose should be to drink and tell off-color jokes.

  • Jeff P||

    That sign utilizes written language, 24-hour time, use of names as identifiers, and recognition that faith can be organized and codified into a religion. It explicitly mentions "training classes," inplying that knowledge can be conveyed from one entity to another. The statement itself is based on the concept that two abstracts can be in opposition to each other. The sign is composed of stone and plastic, utilizes modern graphics, and I assume it lights up electrically.

    None of the above are the result of faith.
    Damning reason is not simply propaganda, it is the height of hypocrisy. Anyone who firmly and unequivically believes the statement on that sign does not qualify as a sentient being and has invalidated their place in the human race.

  • ||

    Theological arguments have always struck me as about as important as argueing whether the 85 bears could have beaten the 72 dolphins.

  • robc||

    Oops, sorry, misstated my own belief, let me try again:

    The wave-particle duality of light was created by God as a metaphor so that I, robc, could understand the nature of the duality of free will and predestination.

    And people think objectivists are egotists. :)

  • dhex||

    bears can always defeat any number of dolphins. bears can swim. dolphins can't fight on land worth shit.

  • robc||

    domo,

    Theological arguments have always struck me as about as important as argueing whether the 85 bears could have beaten the 72 dolphins.

    Theological arguments are not nearly that important.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    domo - that's because you see them as relatively simple, which is correct but basic truths like "existence precedes consciousness" escapes most people.

    You didn't think "HOPE" was the word of 2008 for nothing, did you? We have a whole mess of social metaphysicians who are convinced that if we BELIEVE enough, we can change human nature and repeal the laws of supply and demand.

  • ||

    How free is it if you can take it back any time you want?

    Exactly. He chose to create us in a way that prevented him from taking our free will away, ever. Without this it would be impossible for us to love. (Note that plagues and threats of hellfire do not take away free will; you still have the choice even in the face of these things).

  • ||

    "ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, . . . and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about" (I Kings 7:23).

    pi=3? Case closed.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    what about a Bear Holding a Shark? UNSTOPPABLE.

  • Jeff P||

    Once dated a girl who named her breasts Faith & Reason.

  • robc||

    He chose to create us in a way that prevented him from taking our free will away

    More importantly, Yes, God can microwave a burrito so hot that even he cant eat it.

  • ||

    Speaking of which, a weird belief of mine: The wave-particle duality of light was created by God as a metaphor so that we could understand the nature of the duality of free will and predestination.

    Interesting. A neat idea. And I will say that no matter how much science discovers, nature still seems wondrous but this might have a lot to do with the epistemological limitations of the human psyche, but...

  • robc||

    Team America,

    Sigh. Pi is 3, to one significant digit. And really, when a temple engineer in 4-digit BC need any more significant digits than that?

    One of my higher level math profs declared all constants, including Pi, to be equal to 1 for the entire class.

  • ||

    TAO - I think it's because I see them as relatively irrellevant. They are simply only because you can't test or prove anything about them, therefore almost anything you can imagine can be true. It's so much mental masturbation.

  • ||

    what about a Bear Holding a Shark? UNSTOPPABLE.

    Should be the symbol on Rainbow Puppyland's flag.

  • ||

    It's so much mental masturbation.

    I wouldn't dog you for preferring phenomenology to metaphysics.

  • ||

    "It's so much mental masturbation."

    Is that what causes post nasal drip?

  • anarch||

    Fill in the Blanks:

    Reading a Hit-and-Run thread about theology is like ______ing a ________ about _________.

  • Taktix®||

    I think the temptation in the desert is proof he could have sinned.

    Horus was not a sinner, he was the son of Ra!

    Oh wait, I'm about 1200 years too early... my bad...

    (Yes, many of Jesus's "accomplishments" were attributed to Horus 1200 years previous, such as curing the sick, rasing the dead, teptation in the desert, walking on water, and virgin birth...)

  • robc||

    anarch,

    I cant fit "surprisingly civil" into your blanks.

  • ||

    land worth shit

    Is this about the subprime bust or about Kelo?

  • ||

    < /i >

  • robc||

    Taktix,

    Interestingly, and paraphrased poorly by me, the fact that Jesus matched many of the God as man mythos was one of the reasons CS Lewis thought christianity might be true.

  • EJM||

    I really would like to hear what the pastor at this church would have to say about the (original) Bereans.

  • anarch||

    robc,

    Reading a Hit-and-Run thread about theology is like finding surprisingly civil liberties.

  • ||

    (Yes, many of Jesus's "accomplishments" were attributed to Horus 1200 years previous, such as curing the sick, rasing the dead, teptation in the desert, walking on water, and virgin birth...)

    Maybe Santa knew that Jesus was coming eventually so he influenced earlier peoples into making up similar stories to discredit the real one.

  • ||

    "Note that plagues and threats of hellfire do not take away free will; you still have the choice even in the face of these things"

    Who would knowingly commit or resign themselves to going to hell?

    Also, supposedly God is omiscient. If he could see in the future, why would he create people knowing that they would go to hell? It shows that free will is more important to God than keeping us out of hell. What kind of loving god is that?

  • ||

    "Maybe Santa knew that Jesus was coming eventually so he influenced earlier peoples into making up similar stories to discredit the real one."

    Believe it or not, that's the very argument the church fathers used except they blamed Satan istead of Santa or did you mean Satan and just transposed a couple of letters?

  • ||

    robc:

    Malt does more than Milton can....

    Them trappist monks could brew some beer, I tell you what.

    Kevin
    (Thoroughgoing heathen)

  • Churchlady||

    Satan=Santa: same letters, ever seen them in the same place? How conveeenient...

  • ||

    "Interestingly, and paraphrased poorly by me, the fact that Jesus matched many of the God as man mythos was one of the reasons CS Lewis thought christianity might be true."

    That doesn't make sense. Using Occam's Razor, the most logical explanation is that the people who invented the Jesus myth used other gods as models for Jesus.

  • economist||

    I need my pills, dammit!

  • Taktix®||

    Maybe Santa knew that Jesus was coming eventually so he influenced earlier peoples into making up similar stories to discredit the real one.

    Obviously, it's the God-Santa testing us...

  • Churchlady||

    Occam's Razor is just a fancy name for what devil worshipers use to shave their naughty bits.

  • SouthParkFan||

    I expect, of course, that Kyle will rise from the debt and bring about a thousand years of economic prosperity and double-digit growth.

  • economist||

    Wasn't Occam a monk?

  • Warty||

    Occam's Razor is just a fancy name for what devil worshipers use to shave their naughty bits.

    No, it's a unique weapon in Fallout 3. Dumbass.

  • Taktix®||

    All Hail the God-Santa!

  • Churchlady||

    warty, obviously your name denotes the problems you are having with your naughty bits. Sinner.

  • Abdul||

    Once dated a girl who named her breasts Faith & Reason.

    In this context, the sign makes more sense.

  • ||

    FWIW, I appreciate the civility of the discourse on the subject at hand.

  • Sean||

    I'm a pro, and take it from me - this image has been photoshopped!

  • EJM||

    I might as well also mention Isaiah 1:18. ;)

  • ||

    "This is an evil generation: they seek a sign."

    And what's so evil about seeking a sign? More counter-logical tripe from the Bible.

  • ||

    Warty,

    I caved and bought Fallout 3 this weekend.

  • ||

    Pro Libertate,

    Go to the Deathclaw Sanctuary after you get the dart gun. There is a unique gatling laser in the pool of blood at the bottom. (Bring a lot of bottlecap mines.)

  • robc||

    That doesn't make sense. Using Occam's Razor, the most logical explanation is that the people who invented the Jesus myth used other gods as models for Jesus.

    I think his argument was along the lines of "there are a bunch of similar stories, IF one is true, isnt it more likely to be one of the similar ones and not something completely different?" I think his concept was that all cultures had a connection with God and via prophecy or whatever would have some essence of the truth, even if not the complete idea. Enough so they could recognize the truth when it happened.

    Not saying I necessarily agree.

    Interestingly, it contradicts the Santa idea above, in that this is God planting the idea, not to discredit the actual one, but to grant it more credence.

  • ||

    Spent half my philosophy major in theology classes. What a stupid waste of time.

    Hey let's invent a concept out of thin air then spend our lives debating the nature of it.

  • ||

    "Just because I cant explain why sin requires a blood sacrifice, doesnt make it not so. Once again, this is the point where faith comes in."

    But why is it necessary to have faith in that, Robc? Just because you want to believe it's true or just because you were brought up to believe it's true?

  • ||

    I was always pretty sure that uptight Summers bee-yotch was my greatest enemy.

  • ||

    @robc

    "And really, when a temple engineer in 4-digit BC need any more significant digits than that?"

    Bigger sigh.

    Even in 4-digit BC, 5% is significant. Also, the fraction should have been expressed as 31/10, which has the correct denominator.

    30 is simply wrong, even in 4-digit BC, you're going to be off by more than a cubit every time.

    In 2000 BC Babylonians used 25/8. Not only is the value 10x better, but you also get nice values for semi, quarter and 8th-circles (and is exactly representable in IEEE-754 floats!).

    So, the Bible was wrong AND impractical even in 4-digit BC. Therefore, the biblical god is a retard.

    To paraphrase Obi-wan Kenobi:

    Who is the greater retard? The retard or the retard who follows him?

    Case closed.

  • ||

    "I think his argument was along the lines of "there are a bunch of similar stories, IF one is true, isnt it more likely to be one of the similar ones and not something completely different?" I think his concept was that all cultures had a connection with God and via prophecy or whatever would have some essence of the truth, even if not the complete idea. Enough so they could recognize the truth when it happened."

    Again, using Occam's razor, it makes more sense that man created these myths than that a spiritual being without physical neurons could think and plant ideas in human brains. How does spirit work on matter?

  • ||

    T A, so to solidify your sarcasm, your paraphrasing a fictional character from a galaxy far far away.

    mmmmmmkay

  • ||

    Admittedly, I didnt wade through all 130+ comments, but just stopped by to add my 2 cents on what I'm sure has degenerated into a religious debate. This sign is 100% correct. Reason is the enemy of faith because faith directly contradicts reason. Faith is the belief in things you have no proof of. Otherwise it would simply be "knowing". Any area where there is faith, IMO, it should simply be admitted that there is not enough information for a conclusion, and therefore one should not be made.

    If you have a reason to believe something, believe it. Otherwise, don't, or at least admit that you don't know.

  • robc||

    25/8 is also wrong.

    It is less wrong, but still wrong.

    I would make the jewish numerological argument but
    1. I dont buy it
    2. I dont know it well enough to make.

    You could probably google it though :)

    Also, the fraction should have been expressed as 31/10, which has the correct denominator.

    No fraction is expressed. A measure of the circumference to one significant digit is given. It is 30. That is absolutely correct (to 1 sig digit). Considering their measuring tools, I think giving 2 significant digits (31 cubits) would have been, by the methods I learned, technically incorrect.

    Heck, 30 +/- 10 cubits is probably the proper way to list it, and has the benefit of being exactly right. :)

  • ||

    "I got the allegory, but I think it's more the fact that Adam and Eve were tempted and ignored G-d's words than the fact that knowledge itself is evil."

    Why would God even have such a rule as not to eat a certain fruit? Just to have an arbitrary rule?

  • Taktix®||

    Reading a Hit-and-Run thread about theology is like...

    ...beating a retard about grammar errors.

  • robc||

    Anyway, I think my point is that those that criticize 30 cubits would criticize 31 cubits for not being 31 and 2 fifths cubits and would criticize 31.4 cubits for not being 31.4159 cubits and etc.

    Then again, if the state of IN or where ever decided to declare PI to be 3.14 I would mock them.

  • robc||

    bookworm,

    Read Perelandra. In it, the "Adam & Eve" of Venus are forbidden from spending a night on any of the permanent islands (there are permanent and floating islands - the science of Venus is way off :) ), It seems to be an arbitrary rule but actually makes sense later on, but had they violated it, they never would have understood the reason for the rule.

  • ed||

    you need to have faith in whatever axioms you base your reason on

    Incorrect. Axioms exist independently of your personal irrationalism.

  • ||

    "Humans have an immortal soul."

    The mind is a product of the brain. When the brain is dead and the neurons are no longer working to generate thought, how can the mind continue to exist?

  • robc||

    bookworm,

    I dont see anywhere in the quoted portion mentioning the mind.

    I make no claims of knowledge about the soul, other than the immortal bit.

  • ||

    If the soul persists, and the mind does not - does the soul know the difference? Why would I care, if my mind does not?

  • ||

    "An 8 year old may not understand the consequences of not taking candy from strangers, but they understand enough the concept of rules following. And punishment for not following them."

    But Robc, isn't it best to tell people why something is wrong than to expect people to follow a rule just because "I said so"?

  • ||

    Science discovered a long time ago that the body functions just fine without the help of an invisible life force. Sadly that probably means you aren't going to the great libertopia in the sky.

  • ||

    "I dont see anywhere in the quoted portion mentioning the mind.

    I make no claims of knowledge about the soul, other than the immortal bit."

    What is the difference between a mind and a soul? I think they're one and the same.

  • ||

    Oh, I assumed they were talking about this and this.

  • Right Wing Realist||

    I see reason has now proclaimed itself friendly to brain-dead, knee-jerk militant atheist sentiment. How refreshing.

  • ||

    Right Wing Realist,

    If they started being all Jesusy how could we tell them apart from Republicans?

  • ||

    I see reason has now proclaimed itself friendly to brain-dead, knee-jerk militant atheist sentiment. How refreshing.

    Better that than brain dead, dogmatic, militant puritanism with a hypocritical moral crusader edge.

  • John Sabotta||

    Syme smoked thoughtfully, and looked at him with interest. Gregory went on.

    "The history of the thing might amuse you," he said. "When first I became one of the New Anarchists I tried all kinds of respectable disguises. I dressed up as a bishop. I read up all about bishops in our anarchist pamphlets, in Superstition the Vampire and Priests of Prey. I certainly understood from them that bishops are strange and terrible old men keeping a cruel secret from mankind. I was misinformed. When on my first appearing in episcopal gaiters in a drawing-room I cried out in a voice of thunder, 'Down! down! presumptuous human reason!' they found out in some way that I was not a bishop at all. I was nabbed at once.
    - G.K. Chesterton, THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY

  • ||

    domoarrigato-

    Speak for yourself-I love the '72 Dolphins vs. the '85 Bears debate. You try telling Jim Mandich, Bob Griese, Larry Little, Jim Lnager, Paul Warfield, Eugene Mercury Morris, Jim Kiick, Larry Czonka, Vern Den Herder, Manny Fernandez, Bob Matheson, Curtis Johnson, Tim Foley, Jake Scott, Dick Anderson, Nick Buoniconni, Mike Kolen, Earl Morrall and Don Shula that the argument is not important.

    My view? '72 Dolphins. They remain the gold standard for single season team sports excellence. They did not lose. They did not give up 38 points in a game as did the '85 Bears to the Dolphins in that great Monday Night game. The clincher? The '72 Dolphins did it with a back-up quarterback. That is why the '07 Patriots, in my opinion, were never going to match the '72 Dolphins.

  • ||

    The '72 Dolphins get my vote, too.

  • ||

    Pro Lib-

    Aren't you a Chicago guy? If you are, good for you for being objective.

  • ||

    the 72 dolphins were the UNDERDOG going into the bowl - clearly at the time they were perceived as beatable, even if they ended up winning. just to play devils advocate. Since I really dont give a shit.

  • ||

    meh, I don't get into baseball

  • robc||

    If they started being all Jesusy how could we tell them apart from Republicans?

    The pot smoking. Duh.

  • ||

    and the repubs are more tolerant of differing ideas

  • ||

    domoarrigato-

    You are right-the Skins were the favorite to win SB VII.

  • ||

    @robc

    "Anyway, I think my point is that those that criticize 30 cubits would criticize 31 cubits for not being 31 and 2 fifths cubits and would criticize 31.4 cubits for not being 31.4159 cubits and etc."

    No. The criticism is that the biblical god doesn't even know pi/4 = 1/1 - 1/3 + 1/5 - 1/7 + ... and doesn't let the individuals decide how many terms are required.

    So, e.g. in financial matters, as soon as the difference is less than a cent, no more terms are necessary.

    In the 15th century AD Madhava was able to figure out the formula using reason.

    CASE CLOSED!

  • ||

    I am most assuredly not a Chicago guy. I just went to law school there. Being from Tampa, I'm a Tampa guy.

  • lunchstealer||

    Faith has sucked ever since Gillespie took over. I'm totally cancelling my subscription.

  • Anne Keckler | ACSM Certified ||

    As a baptist, I say ditto. In fact, I think they go together. I cant have faith in something that doesnt also make rational sense.

    An omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omnipresent guy in the sky who created everything from scratch, can hear our telepathic messages to him, impregnated a virgin so he could come to earth as a human, raised someone from the dead, resurrected himself from the dead, and then rose into heaven, all without leaving any kind of proof other than the contradictory writings of some cultists a hundred years later, doesn't sound very rational to me.

  • ||

    Anne, you spoke of God as "an omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omnipresent guy in the sky" --
    for what it's worth, the Catholic tradition (and the same would go for the various Protestant traditions, the Eastern Orthodox Churches, Judaism, etc.) does not see God as a "guy in the sky": there are a number of objections classical theology and philosophy would have to that description, the most important being that underlying that description is a conception of God as a being among other beings, albeit a "supreme being." That's not how Catholicism (or Christianity in general, or Judaism, etc.) sees God: God is not a being among beings, but Being itself -- all other beings are an analogy to God's being, and only exist by sharing/participating in God's being. I.e., God does not "exist," God is existence. To put it another way, God is not on the same "playing field" as the universe as a "guy in the sky" would be; God creates and sustains the playing field.

    The "God" you speak of is not the God the Judeo-Christian tradition preaches. And really, we can never really fully comprehend God -- if we could, He/She wouldn't be God. (That's another thing, for Catholicism, God is neither male nor female -- though the language we use for God, whether feminine pronouns can legitimately be used, etc., is a topic of controversy in many Christian communities). God is not an "object" within the horizon of our knowledge: rather, God is that horizon. (I'm drawing on Karl Rahner here.)

    When we deepen our understanding of God like this (to the extent that's possible), it becomes somewhat easier to understand creatio ex nihilo (as you put it, "creating everything from scratch"), as well as prayer.

    Catholic theology holds that although there are some things about God and the world's relation to God that we can know by reason alone, there are other things that we could never know unless God revealed them -- and, that God has in fact revealed certain things in revealing Himself in salvation history, the culmination of which is Christ's Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection, and the sending of the Holy Spirit. Catholic theology would readily grant that many of the things you ridicule (e.g., Christ's virgin birth, the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity, the Resurrection, the Ascension, etc.) go BEYOND what reason alone can tell us, but would say that they do not CONTRADICT what reason tells. Faith/reason tells us more than reason can tell us, but does not contradict what reason tells us.

    A virgin birth goes beyond reason, but not AGAINST reason. First, put aside the idea of God "impregnating" Mary -- that's not what the doctrine of the virgin birth is. Rather, it is the idea that the triune God created within Mary's womb, from Mary's flesh, the human body of Jesus, which, with Jesus's human soul created ex nihilo, is hypostatically united to the Logos/Word of the Father, i.e., the Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son. If one grants that God is self-subsistent, necessary being -- utterly simple, eternal, infinite, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, immutable, etc. -- and that the universe is contingent being / participated being created ex nihilo by God freely and not of necessity (indeed, God IS the creative act; God is "pure act")... if one grants all of this (and much of it can be reached through reason alone in metaphysics/philosophy), then it is not UNREASONABLE to believe that God may create the humanity of Jesus within Mary's womb. It is not unreasonable to believe that God may raise someone from the dead. You said that this happened "without leaving any proof other than the contradictory writings of some cultists a hundred years later" -- first, what proof other than human testimony could there be? Indeed, most events within history cannot be "proven" other than by human testimony. Second, the first Christian writings are those of St. Paul, and they date not a hundred years later, but rather about twenty or thirty years. You say that the writings are contradictory, and indeed there are contradictions, of which Christian theologians from the earliest centuries have always been aware -- it would be futile for me to attempt to summarize what biblical scholarship/exegesis and theology would say about those contradictions and how they don't really matter, etc.

    Anyway, I'm tired of writing this; enough for now. ;)

  • Anne Keckler | ACSM Certified ||

    robc:
    the fact that Jesus matched many of the God as man mythos was one of the reasons CS Lewis thought christianity might be true

    I guess it didn't occur to him at all that Jesus was just another myth, like those prior to him?

  • ||

    "If they started being all Jesusy how could we tell them apart from Republicans?"

    A leftist aquaintance of mine once told me that libertarians are only thinking Republicans.

  • Anne Keckler | ACSM Certified ||

    robc,

    Can you define "soul," and tell me how you have knowledge of it?

  • robc||

    I guess it didn't occur to him at all that Jesus was just another myth, like those prior to him?

    I guess you dont know much about CS Lewis.

  • Sam Grove||

    I have great faith in my ability to reason.

  • ||

    30 is simply wrong, even in 4-digit BC, you're going to be off by more than a cubit every time.

    In 2000 BC Babylonians used 25/8. Not only is the value 10x better, but you also get nice values for semi, quarter and 8th-circles (and is exactly representable in IEEE-754 floats!).

    So, the Bible was wrong AND impractical even in 4-digit BC. Therefore, the biblical god is a retard.



    I don't have to believe that the Bible's mathematical computations are correct, so it really doesn't matter to me, but isn't it possible that the object was "round" but not perfectly circular? Even if it was just barely an ellipse, it's possible that the "diameter" measurement was actually along the long axis of the ellipse, which would explain how you could get "10 across and 30 around".

  • ||

    I don't know if a religious person has ever been convinced by rational arguments to stop believing. It's as if they MUST figure it out for themselves at a young age. Believe something long enough and you have to stick with it or feel like you've been played. No one is willing to admit they're wrong about something they argued in favor of for that long.

  • ||

    Nick,

    That seems to be the case. I see my conversion to atheism as inevitable (I was curious especially about science and a heavy reader anyway; I'd come to the conclusion eventually), but I wonder how I'd turn out if I hadn't come to it by 8th grade.

    On the other hand, many friendly debates with my mother changed her into an atheist well into her 40s.

  • ||

    To me, the evidence that an argument is rational is if those you argue against do not attack your argument directly on it's merits, but instead attack you, the sanity and behavior of your group, or use self-fulfillment or circular reasoning as their counter argument (my favorite -- the Bible says the Bible is right).

  • ||

    @crimethink

    To compute the circumference of an ellipse you'll also need to know the eccentricity (or the short axis) and the complete elliptic integral of the second kind.

    There are better ways to make the biblical value 'fit':

    Earth is (approximately) spherical, so the distance on the surface of the Earth from north to south pole is half way around so we get pi=2!

    Therefore, for _some_ earthly cubit between 0km and 20.000km, you will actually end up with 10 across and 30 around!

    Of course, this explanation is about as useful as a busted clock that shows the right time twice a day. And of course you'll also have to define the biblical 'flat' as 'not flat' to make this an argument at all, but I'm certain robc can tell you why this is OK.

    CASE CLOSED, DAMMIT!

  • Craig||

    Maybe the sign is talking about this website, or Reason magazine....

  • Craig||

    It shows that free will is more important to God than keeping us out of hell. What kind of loving god is that?

    One that loves freedom more than the nanny state!

  • ||

    To compute the circumference of an ellipse you'll also need to know the eccentricity (or the short axis) and the complete elliptic integral of the second kind.

    That may be, but we certainly know that it's less than the circumference of a circle with a diameter equal to the long axis. So if the long axis was 10, the circumference of the ellipse will be between 20 and 31.45926... exclusive. It wouldn't take much eccentricity to drop it to 30, and I seriously doubt how advanced Judaean quality control was at the time.

  • Jesus||

    Wow. I've just entered a no pussy zone.

    Religious goons, and Libertarians complicating a rather simple subject. You can't get any further away from a whore house than that.

  • ||

    Maybe the sign is talking about this website, or Reason magazine....

    That's why I would've told Pastor Lindsey to "Drink!" That and I like springing internet/movie drinking game logic on people in real life to mess with them.

  • Anon||

    It's a shoop!

  • Saul of Tarsus||

    No one is willing to admit they're wrong about something they argued in favor of for that long.

    Uh...

  • perilisk||

    "indeed... what is the message of the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" other than curiosity is a sin?"

    That even under divine justice, "actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea" applies?

  • ||

    For what it's worth, as a Catholic, I'd like to point out that Catholic theology would strongly reject such a division and antithesis between faith and reason. St. Thomas Aquinas speaks of how faith/revelation goes above reason but doesn't contradict it; Pope John Paul II Paul II wrote an encyclical on the topic ("Fides et Ratio" -- "Faith and Reason"); the examples would be countless. The idea is that if faith and reason appear to be in conflict, then we've either reasoned incorrectly, or we've misunderstood revelation, or some combination of the two. I imagine many won't really care for my comments here or will express criticisms of Catholicism, the Catholic Church, the Catholic tradition, etc., but regardless of whether you like or dislike Catholicism, I thought it might be helpful to clarify what it says on the topic. Many Protestant strands of Christianity would probably agree, although some Protestant strands of Christianity would be more distrustful of reason, etc.

  • mbt||

    hi,
    everybody, take your time and a little bit.eardzfgfdhgz

  • wizard of oz books||

    With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

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