Sunday, August 1, 2010

While you’re web surfing…

Tuomas Tahko reviews Lee Smolin’s The Trouble With Physics.

There’s high culture and then there’s pop culture, and every conservative knows which is better, right? Not so fast. Brandon Watson of Siris fame offers us some useful reminders here and here.

At Prosblogion, Trent Dougherty hails the revival of Aristotelian philosophy.

Cardinal Ratzinger on the Mass after Vatican II: A reminder from Ite ad Thomam.

Austin Ruse at The Catholic Thing wonders whether Christopher Hitchens will convert. I won’t hold my breath. (HT: Bill Vallicella)

Some sexy talk from James Chastek over at Just Thomism.

(Now, who do you think will get the most hits from this post? No need to thank me, James…)

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'll never be able to understand
the mindsets of modern-day "intellectuals" like Christopher Hitchens. How can a man who's clearly had a hefty amount of higher English education and learning in general emerge from that background as nothing more than an empty rhetorician? How can he completely fail to notice that the majority of what he says -particularly on the topics of "religion," morality, and the existence of God- is just pure sophistry? He is an example par excellence of why the completion of a logic course should be mandatory for obtaining a high school diploma. In any case, as a fellow human being, I hope he recovers from his cancer.

By the way, Dr. Feser, I recently finished your book on Locke, and it was one of the most interesting books on political philosophy that I'd ever read, primarily because (1)the writing wasn't dry, and (2) you didn't make the gross mistake of disconnecting the political theory from its underlying metaphysical theory and failing to stress how the coherence of the former ultimately depends on the coherence of the latter (why is there this attitude amongst philosophers that metaphysics is somehow irrelevant to the practical aspects of life?). Still, much of my current thinking on politics has unfortunately been shaped by modernist attitudes, and, in an effort to reorient my thinking (which was prompted by your final line that, today, "one must either be a radical or a reactionary"), I have to ask myself the following: What would a government in particular or a political philosophy in general based on the old metaphysical tradition of real essentialism look like today? Are there any good books or articles that explore this theme?

Anonymous said...

You might also be interested on Damon Linker's use of Aristotle notion of happiness in the discussion of whether parenting makes us happy:
http://www.tnr.com/blog/damon-linker/76603/the-misery-the-modern-parent

Just Thinking said...

Nice post, Anon

“why is there this attitude amongst philosophers that metaphysics is somehow irrelevant to the practical aspects of life?”

This is because ‘Down with metaphysics!’ is mantra one for anal-istic philosophy.

“What would a government in particular or a political philosophy in general based on the old metaphysical tradition of real essentialism look like today? Are there any good books or articles that explore this theme?”

I am thinking - the Vatican?

hype said...

Prayers going out to Hitchens.
I can't imagine what kind of thoughts have to be in the mind of someone with a disease that could very well be fatal.

Even if he never changes, I hope he truly feels comforted by the fact that those he mocks care about him deeply.... and I don't mean that in any sneering manner.
I've wronged enough people in my life and continue to do so, I could only hope that in my last hours they'd be willing to forgive me.

We could all use that kind of compassion.

Tom said...

Don't mean to be rude dude, but your photo looks like one of those charlatan mystics, or a seedy magician.

Edward Feser said...

Tom,

Many thanks for that extremely worthwhile comment. This is why I blog, folks!

Tom said...

Ah, now that we have lured the man out from behind the veil of wordsmithing:

I cannot see Hitchens 'converting' either. Do you think there is one particular, specific reason why this is so? I am quite interested in your thoughts.

Anon, although I cannot provide any data to substantiate it, I think that the higher the IQ, the lower the 'faith' factor. In fact I'm quite sure I did actually see some data a while back which supported this correlation.

My critique of the photo still stands by the way. I see no reason not to mention it.

PatrickH said...

Ed, you do look very, uh, intense in that photo. Intensity is good, but your photo does come across as just a bit...hardcore.

Just sayin' is all. Your blog is one of my daily visits. I'll keep coming no matter what your pic gives across.

So...love you man! Luvs ya!

Just don't hate me, okay?

Edward Feser said...

Tom and Patrick,

No problemo. A friend of mine once told me the photo looked "sinister." A student told me she just laughed when she saw it. See, that's the point -- scare 'em or amuse 'em, just don't bore 'em.

Re: Hitchens, my thinking is this. Some people hate God because they feel let down by Him -- He didn't cure this illness or save that job or what have you. But some people hate Him because they hate the very idea of an ultimate authority to whom they are answerable. I'd wager that more death-bed conversions come from the first group than from the second. And Hitchens is surely in the second.

Tom said...

Thanks Edward, I certainly don't see 'sinister'.

From what you are saying it would seem that the people who 'hate' god are believers who feel let down. They don't actually stop believing.

Atheists don't hate god - that's a scurrilous attempt at blind-siding by godbots - we don't believe there is anything to apply 'hate' to.

If you are a god-hater, you are not atheist.

What atheists hate is some of the acts which are perpetrated in the name of god.

Anonymous said...

If you are a god-hater, you are not atheist.

Yep. Many so-called atheists are in fact anything but. Good observation about atheist's numerous inconsistencies!

Tom said...

I'll buy into your game Anonymous, what are these numerous inconsistencies you allege of atheists? Apart from the one about 'false' atheists.

hype said...

Tom you said:

"Atheists don't hate god - that's a scurrilous attempt at blind-siding by godbots - we don't believe there is anything to apply 'hate' to."

I don't buy this, Tom.
Your comment "godbots" is an insult to a person who believes in God. You may think that you're truly this cool, calculated stoic who just seems the concept of God as irrelevant. But you certainly don't talk that way. You say you don't hate, yet, you're unable to voice your view without tossing a "godbot".

"What atheists hate is some of the acts which are perpetrated in the name of god."

Wait.... before you said " we don't believe there is anything to apply 'hate' to." now this?
Acts which are perpetrated in the name of god? Before you seemed to say that this was nothing even worth applying hate to. But, that nonsensical concept "God" is drawing your ire towards those who act in accord with it.
That doesn't make sense.

Also, with such a cool, calculated method.... why even distinguish "Acts which are perpetrated in the name of god" (again, that concept you think doesn't even warrant an emotional response) from"acts which are perpetrated because people just do them"?

You do hate God as well as have alot of scorn directed at believers in God. And you don't even do a good job at hiding it when that appears to be your expressed interest (your none emotional reaction to the concept 'God') in a blog forum. Because even in that blog forum inconsistencies in your position surface and emotional moorings come lose when you say "godbots".

hype said...

Tom

"I'll buy into your game Anonymous, what are these numerous inconsistencies you allege of atheists? Apart from the one about 'false' atheists."

Well, for one (to state again) you had to distinguish acts perpetrated in the name of God from just bad acts that a person does.
And, given your worldview, I'd be interested in how you would account for the intentions behind the actions that lead people to act in this negative way.
A person who can't truly chose one option over another - reducing their beliefs, desires, intentions to the firing of neurons. And yet you find some reason to scorn the actions of "godbots". That's an inconsistency, Tom.... and a big one.

You're being parasitic on notions that your worldview doesn't allow. And then using those ideas/notions to point back and mock those who actually do have a foundation to support ideas of free will, beliefs, intentions.

Brandon said...

Tom,

It's a mistake to generalize about atheists, simpliciter, because they aren't a unified group; atheists are atheists for many different reasons, and, indeed, the reasons why one person is an atheist will often be inconsistent with the reasons why another person is an atheist. Thus whether or not any atheists are 'god-haters' would have to be determined by looking at actual groups of atheists, not by appealing to general principles.

But setting that aside, all that is required for something to be loved or hated is that it be an intentional object to which one might have an emotional response, not that it be judged to exist; this is why people can be found who love and hate fictional characters. Indeed, inability to respond emotionally to fictional characters, even though you know they do not exist, would be a sign of either cognitive or emotional disability, one that would impede reading literature, for instance (which often plays on our very capacity to love and hate fictional characters even though we know very well that they do not exist -- George Eliot famously does a masterful job of this in Romola; many readers find themselves loving Tito and then hating them, and the sign of Eliot's literary brilliance is that Tito's character does not fundamentally change at all, and some of the same traits that seemed lovable to begin with turn out to be odious in the end). While no doubt there are people who are atheists and have the sort of mental deficiency you are suggesting, I am very certain that not all atheists are mentally deficient in this way.

Tom said...

I read a lot of opinion and the usual diatribe of misrepresentation of what I actually said in your response Hype.

I use the terms 'godbots' or 'god-smitten' because I get bored with the repeated assertions of atheism being a faith and atheists deifying themselves in place of god. And every 'proof' ever supplied is 'god is real because the bible says so and the bible is the word of god so it is true'.

'You say you don't hate,' - no I didn't.

'Before you seemed to say that this was nothing even worth applying hate to' - no I didn't. My ire is not drawn towards any god. I said I hate acts perpetrated by men on their claimed authority of a deity which they claim exists. I don't believe it exists but I certainly believe that they use that as an excuse or reason for their acts.

'...why even distinguish...' - Because they use 'god' as an excuse. It is about them.

Your last paragraph in your first segment is no more than subjective assertions.

'...you had to distinguish acts perpetrated in the name of God from just bad acts that a person does.' - and in what way does this actually demonstrate inconsistencies of atheists?

'...a foundation to support ideas of free will...' - you're kidding, right?

Brandon, all I am simply saying is that any emotion aimed at an actual deity itself precludes the true application of the term atheist. Therefore true atheists are not 'god-haters'. I possess no emotional response to any 'god'. That's the point.

Brandon said...

Brandon, all I am simply saying is that any emotion aimed at an actual deity itself precludes the true application of the term atheist. Therefore true atheists are not 'god-haters'. I possess no emotional response to any 'god'. That's the point.

And, again, this could make sense as a criterial principle of atheism only atheism implied a mentally deficiency, which, contrary to what you keep insisting, it obviously does not. The label 'atheism' indicates a judgment of nonexistence; it does not indicate an inability to think of and emotionally respond to objects of thought. An atheist having an emotional response when thinking about God no more ceases to be an atheist than a disbeliever in fairies would cease to be a disbeliever in fairies on liking or disliking Gloriana or Oberon when she thinks about them. Such emotional responses don't require any belief in the existence of the object of thought; they just require properly functioning emotional and cognitive systems, and investment of attention at least of the level people typically put into a story. Because of this there is no way to say that such an emotional response "precludes the true application of the term atheist", since it always remains a psychological possibility -- unless, of course, you are deciding simply to make up your own meaning of the term in True-Scotsman fashion, in which case your argument is irrelevant to the claims to which it was responding.

Tom said...

I do see your point Brandon. I could contemplate god the way I could contemplate a sixty foot long, rainbow coloured rolls royce with real working legs instead of wheels.

I still maintain my original statement which was that it takes a believer to hate god whilst atheists don't. There's just no point. Would I hate the rolls royce because it doesn't walk over to me and toss me it's keys? I doubt it.

hype said...

"I read a lot of opinion and the usual diatribe of misrepresentation of what I actually said in your response Hype."

More rhetoric from Tom.
Scoring points only works when others play that game. I addressed inconsistencies in your post.


"I use the terms 'godbots' or 'god-smitten' because I get bored with the repeated assertions of atheism being a faith and atheists deifying themselves in place of god. And every 'proof' ever supplied is 'god is real because the bible says so and the bible is the word of god so it is true'."

I dont' think it's because you get bored. I think it's because you're very much emotionally invested and you're turning to rhetorical games.
Also, "ever 'proof' ever"..... You're kidding, right?
But not to just leave it there. I find this to be an incredibly short-sighted response. You don't like caricatures of atheists so what do you do? You make a caricature of theists.


"'You say you don't hate,' - no I didn't."
Let's see Tom:
"we don't believe there is anything to apply 'hate' to."
and
"If you are a god-hater, you are not atheist."

I'm sticking with your inconsistency, Tom. You clearly hate God.

Tom, you said:

"no I didn't. My ire is not drawn towards any god. I said I hate acts perpetrated by men on their claimed authority of a deity which they claim exists. I don't believe it exists but I certainly believe that they use that as an excuse or reason for their acts."

And I'm saying, on your worldview, whatever is the root of those acts perpetrated by man is ultimately meaningless. Since you don't believe God exists - people doing these bad acts (regardless of their reason) are all the same. You're making an arbitrary distinction.
More telling, on your worldview you have no standard by which to gage good actions and bad actions.... a standard that ultimately doesn't just boil down to personal preference. You like the Vikings, they like the Packers. It's tantamount to that.

Tom said:

"'...a foundation to support ideas of free will...' - you're kidding, right?"

No Tom, I'm not kidding.
You can't consistently account for the existence of desires, intentions, and notions of 'true choice' that people may engage in.
Opposed to me explaining it again, maybe you'd care to say how it is that a consistent atheist can account for intentions, free-will, desires.

hype said...

"I do see your point Brandon. I could contemplate god the way I could contemplate a sixty foot long, rainbow coloured rolls royce with real working legs instead of wheels."

Or, you could try to do this with out sneering contempt for all things God.
I really don't get how you can't read your posts and not see them oozing with contempt. Again, even when you think you're not acting that way.... you're going well overboard.


"I still maintain my original statement which was that it takes a believer to hate god whilst atheists don't."


And you earlier said to me "Your last paragraph in your first segment is no more than subjective assertions."
Clearly your comment about atheists is just a 'subjective assertion'. Unless you're going to maintain that people like Hitchens, Dawkins, Onfry, Stenger are not 'real atheists'. I'm stunned you don't see the "no true Scotmans fallacy" in this.


"There's just no point. Would I hate the rolls royce because it doesn't walk over to me and toss me it's keys? I doubt it."

No, but if you felt the Rolls Royce inspired believers in a manner that God inspires believers you certainly would. Your whole existence on this forum as been one big tribute to that fact.
But again, This is nothing more than a subjective assertion.

But more, it's stupid to actually think the existence of a transcendent creator of the universe - necessary cause for all contingent things - is similar to this childish rolls royce example you keep rolling out.

It shows your maturity to the topic in general.

Tom said...

From both the length and the content of your responses Hype, I get the distinct impression that it is you who displays emotional investment.

You continue to extrapolate my simple statements and direct them towards that which you wish to include.

'ever, proof, ever' - no not kidding.

With the diversity of faiths multiplied by the extreme diversity of the followers of each faith, I think it caricatures itself.

'I'm sticking with your inconsistency, Tom. You clearly hate God.' - no inconsistency, I was referring to the concept of deity, not everything. I thought 'Atheists don't hate god - that's a scurrilous attempt at blind-siding by godbots - we don't believe there is anything to apply 'hate' to.' made sense as a sentence, obviously not.

Just because I do not believe in deities does not prevent others from 'genuinely' or maliciously doing so and then perpetrating acts in the name of whatever deity they claim to represent.

'More telling, on your worldview you have no standard by which to gauge good actions and bad actions' - pure, unadulterated piffle! Next you'll claim the the church founded science and marriage!

'Opposed to me explaining it again' - you haven't yet, all I've seen are subjective assertions.

I feel as much hatred towards god or the rolls royce as I did towards the tooth fairy when I lost 4 teeth six months ago and found no money under my pillow. Can you guess just how much hatred that was Hype?

'...a transcendent creator of the universe - necessary cause for all contingent things...' - this says it all. There is no arguing science, physics or history with you because you just excluded yourself from any factual discussion. And then you speak of maturity?

Maybe I'm wrong about the 'perfect storm' of atheism. After all, 'you and I are both atheists, I just believe in one less god than you do.' or perhaps 'once you have worked out why you disregard the gods of other faiths, you'll know why I disregard yours'.

Anonymous said...

"you and I are both atheists, I just believe in one less god than you do.' or perhaps 'once you have worked out why you disregard the gods of other faiths, you'll know why I disregard yours"

Actually, I'm a Christian with respect to the gods of other religions, not an atheist, since exclusivity is already an inherent part of my particular worldview. Furthermore, an atheist is by definition someone who makes the universally quantified claim that there is no God. I don't fit that definition, so I'm not in any sense an atheist.

"this says it all. There is no arguing science, physics or history with you because you just excluded yourself from any factual discussion. And then you speak of maturity?"

There are metaphysical facts as well as scientific and historical facts. To fail to see this is to fail to fully grasp reality.


And as for the whole "toothfairy" shtick...we have good evidence to think that the toothfairy, santa claus, leprechauns, the lockness monster, etc., do not exist, because if they did, we would expect to observe certain events in the phenomenal world that are characteristic of them. we don't see these events, so these are arguments against those entities. absence of evidence is evidence of absence. but in the case of, say, God, aliens, multiple universes, etc., absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, for obvious reasons.

Brandon said...

I still maintain my original statement which was that it takes a believer to hate god whilst atheists don't. There's just no point. Would I hate the rolls royce because it doesn't walk over to me and toss me it's keys? I doubt it.

Again, this is not very difficult: the reason you don't feel much of an emotional response is simply because you have no reason to engage with the Rolls Royce because you simply made up a physical description arbitrarily rather than giving it a story and character you find interesting, i.e., in which you can have narrative engagement. When dealing with something like God, the stories already come with the idea, so the only question, beyond mental deficiency, is whether one takes an interest in them as stories. Whether "atheists don't hate God" would have to be determined by looking at actual atheists, not by appeal to the a priori principles you keep arbitrarily asserting.

Moreover, you went well beyond claiming "it takes a believer to hate god whilst atheists don't"; you claimed it was impossible for any atheists to have any emotional response to God because such an emotional response would show that they are not atheists. This attempt to put yourself up as Pope of atheism, using the power of the keys to adjudicate who gets to count and who doesn't regardless of whether they actually believe that God exists, and who gets to dicate to them whether their actions have a point or not, is insulting and nonsensical.

Tom said...

Absence of evidence is evidence of absence for the tooth fairy but not for god? For obvious reasons, what might they be?

Brandon, I find nothing evidential in your assertions at all. In fact your most accurate gambit is that I don't feel emotional about the rolls royce because I have no reason to engage with it. Same applies to the concept of god.

'the Pope of atheism'? - what a shallow jibe. I'm not the one who defined atheism as 'an absence of belief in a deity'. What a sad little diatribe!

If you have 'an absence of belief in a deity' you cannot feel hatred towards it, plain and simple.

Mencius said...

Tom here is a one man Internet atheist drinking game. You've got: "One god away," warmed over logical positivism, sociological boasting without citations, and endless putzing about semantics. If he appeals to Ockham's razor, take another shot. If he says "diatribe" again, finish your drink!

hype said...

Tom:

"What a sad little diatribe!"

Any chance you can quit saying that? I know you're fond of "subjective assertions".... but how about you address Brandon's actual point?

Tom said...

I did Hype:

'...I don't feel emotional about the rolls royce because I have no reason to engage with it. Same applies to the concept of god.

'If you have 'an absence of belief in a deity' you cannot feel hatred towards it, plain and simple.'

When your responses are subjective and non-evidential they are diatribes.

Brandon said...

Tom, I have no idea what you mean when you say "I find nothing evidential in your assertions at all." This is not a normal way of talking, so I don't know what it is you are not finding. Is it evidence? (But I already pointed out that your claim is inconsistent with actual experiences of fiction.) Do you mean that my claims are inconsistent with your own claim? I have no clue what you mean. You need to be more specific.

If you have 'an absence of belief in a deity' you cannot feel hatred towards it, plain and simple.

Again, as I have already pointed out, this is demonstrably false. People have an absence of belief in fictional characters, and feel love, hatred, etc. toward them all the time. This is a well-known phenomenon. Pretending it doesn't exist is not a reasonable response, and is a sign you have no interest in actual evidence.

The question of whether atheism is "absence of a belief in deity" is, in other words, simply beside the point. People respond emotionally to intentional objects; this is independent of any judgment about existence. You have done nothing to show that this is false. Likewise, you didn't merely define atheism as the absence of belief in deity; you defined it as having no emotional response on thinking about God or gods because one lacks belief in them. That's not the same thing.

The 'Pope of atheism' jibe may or may not be shallow; but you were the one who was claiming to have the criterion for identifying who was a true atheist or not, independent of what people actually claimed to be. It's a pretty common response to people who make True-Scotsman-style arguments like you were making. Or are you denying that you claimed that, even if someone insisted that they did not believe that God existed, if they had an emotional response when thinking about God that "precludes the true application of the term atheist"?

Anonymous said...

If atheism is "an absence of belief in a deity," then my cat is an atheist. so too are the birds and the bees and the rocks and the trees.

Tom said...

The constant attempts to obfuscate the simplicity of this debate are getting tedious.

It's pure logic. If you do not believe there are any deities, you cannot feel hatred towards any deities. Alluding to fictional characters and our 'emotional' responses to them doesn't really help. How much real, genuine and ongoing hatred would you feel for say...The Joker? Would you blog about it? Would you apply your time and energy against him?

More logic. If you feel hatred towards any deities, you must possess at least a modicum of belief in them; therefore you do not meet the dictionary definition of an atheist.

Perhaps you need to ask them Anonymous.

Brandon said...

If that's what you think logic is, it's not surprising your comments make no sense; that is not logic but simply Tom's arbitrary assertions about psychology. The extent or durability of one's emotional response is, again, irrelevant; the only thing that is relevant is whether there can be an emotional response when thinking of something that doesn't exist, which you keep denying without actually giving any argument for the claim.

As I've pointed out we do feel emotional responses to things we don't think exist, like fictional characters; in fact, an inability to do so is usually sign of a serious emotional defect. I'm not sure at all from your comment what it is you think bloggers do; nobody I know spends time blogging about their feelings of hatred even of actually existing people, and nobody I know is so pathological about their hatred of anyone that they "apply your time and energy against him" unless by that you mean that they spend time criticizing them -- which people do for fictional characters all the time. An example, since you seem not to have most people's capacity to engage emotionally with fiction. The capacity of people to have emotional responses to fictional characters, ranging from infatuation to hatred to sympathy, is so well documented that there is even a standard name in philosophy and psychology for it: the paradox of fiction, which is one label for precisely this, that we have emotional responses to things we know don't actually exist. There are whole books devoted to the cognitive science, philosophy, and practical applications of it, like Suzanne Keen's Empathy and the Novel. And if we can have emotional responses to fictional characters we can have emotional responses to gods we don't believe in; and, indeed, it's not difficult to find at least some atheists who do, because they have the same response to certain religious stories as they do to certain kinds of fiction.

As for the Joker, I don't hate the Joker, so that's a bad example; precisely the point of the Joker is that, as usually conceived, he's a bit cartoonish and quite clever, which means that one gives him more leeway than one otherwise would. I despise Tito Melema, though, and admire Romola; feel sympathy for Fanny and distaste for Mrs. Norris; I don't like Achilles but do like Hector; I find Sir Percival tiresome and I like Sir Bors a lot; I dislike Milton's Mammon more than his Satan; I like Will more than Lyra; I have a thorough revulsion for most of the people in Justine, including Justine herself, and I do mean revulsion. And yes, if it comes up in conversation I can grow quite heated about these things; it rarely does, but then there is rarely anyone going around insisting firmly on the moral good qualities of Tito or Hurpin, isn't there? Nobody preaching the values of Uriah Heep, no churches raised to Justine, no televangelists condemning the heresies of those who prefer Hector to Achilles, no disputes between the lovers of Lilliput (which I very much dislike) and the lovers of the Houyhnhnmn (whom I like quite a bit), in short, nothing to bring it up much. Some atheists are in that situation with regard to God. Others are not.

Tom said...

I do wish you would stop extrapolating Brandon. Dragging nefarious issues into the debate does not provide evidence. And you seem to have a subjective view of what logic is, which is of itself, illogical.

I was responding to the statement 'some people hate god'.

Yes people can feel emotions in regards to fictional characters, I already said that. But to what extent? Surely a deep and abiding hatred which they act upon would be indicative of 'sign of a serious emotional defect'? And that's the point.

My comments in regards to blogs and energy was a possibly poor attempt to explain that I argue with people of faith, I argue with anti-choicers, I argue with creationists, I argue about the veracity of the bible. I don't argue with any deity.

Any anger, ire, debates or criticisms I get involved in are in relation to human beings. I don't argue 'god didn't say that, he said this', I haven't prayed to god and been let down. I don't think god has acted in any way that impacts on me in any way.

Perhaps you need to look up the definition of 'atheist' for yourself.

hype said...

Tom,
how old are you?
Just curious. Because the way you talk reminds me of how I used to talk when I thought I was wow'ing people with "smart sounding stuff".

You might mock because I'm focusing on your tone and not the substance. But there really is no substance to what you've said - at least not with respects to making your point more clear.

Josh said...

Please quit responding to him. I'd rather you guys discuss your hatred of the Joker; I think it would be much more worthwhile for building character ha ha.

Tom said...

Nice to see that you aren't just adding more ribbons to the may-pole as it goes round and round Hype.

Tone eh? The tone I have detected from my erstwhile debaters is one of anger and frustration. My tone has possibly tended towards the mocking.

How could I possibly make my point more clear. It is my opponents who ramble on with side issues, nefarious correlations and invalid analogies.

You cannot maintain true and lasting hatred, and directed efforts derived from such, against something that you do not believe exists.

The clear definition of atheism is a total non-belief in the existence of any deities.

Therefore, atheists cannot possess true and ongoing, actionable, hatred against any supposed deities.

The only possible modicum of any potential consideration beyond this is Brandon's point about fictional characters.

Even then, the requisite level of 'hatred' is rather moot unless you do suffer from some sort of emotional problem.

There's nothing particularly 'smart' about it. It is logical and clearly defined.

Is all this not clear and straight forward enough for you?

hype said...

Is all this not clear and straight forward enough for you?

Sure...
But it's still wrong and certainly not logical.

Tone eh? The tone I have detected from my erstwhile debaters is one of anger and frustration.

Well, in all honesty, I'd say it's more bemusement at your stupidity but if you prefer to see it as anger and frustration that's fine.


You cannot maintain true and lasting hatred, and directed efforts derived from such, against something that you do not believe exists.

Okay, so just so I have this right an atheist is now able to have hatred at God... just not "true and lasting".
I'm just trying to keep up with the goalposts, Tom.

hype said...

Tom,

For many years I've worked with children who had various degrees of autism and asperger's syndrome.
It doesn't take much in the way of education to do this - a simple B.A. in psych will do. I started doing it while I was in college.
I've actually stayed in contact with some of the kids (who are no longer kids).
Usually this is with more of the high functioning child. Some of the children who were lower functioning have more adaptive behaviors now, but just not enough to carry on much of a meaningful conversation (bi-laterally).

You wouldn't be stunned to find out that many at the higher end of the spectrum are kind of bitter. They see (and have seen) that people treat them differently. As opposed to the lower end, these at the higher end have been very much aware of the fact.
Some of the higher end kids you'd never know they had it... it comes across in a very subtle form (but, that can vary depending on the stress in their environment).

Well anyway, these higher functioning kids (adults now) have a very detached and somewhat sneering tone when they email me.
We get along (I think.... why else would they stay in contact?) but their 'method of conduct' usually alienates others from them. I can't think of many times that the reason for the contact hasn't been because of something that pissed them off. They know that I'll chat back with them (hey, I think I just found out why the stay in contact).
They're pretty bright people. Good command on the language and are very able to phrase insults in a manner that are biting enough to make me think "wow, that's different."
But their interpersonal skills are terrible (one of the symptoms of that spectrum of syndromes that really never leaves).


I don't think I'd be too far off in my guess that you have asperger's syndrome.
The way you respond on here is almost exactly the way some of my conversations with my ex-'therapants' turn out. Especially around 2007-2008 when I noted to my myspace account that I had converted to Catholicism. You should have seen some of the comments, Tom. I think you would have been right at home.

Tom said...

Ha ha, that's funny. An attempt at psychoanalysis as a replacement for argument. As for tone, at each response from you I am more and more amused. All you've done is disagree with logic and fail to come up with any argument against it.

No moving goalposts. I stand by my statements about true atheists not having hatred of any deity.

My mild relenting on Brandon's behalf was only in relation to fictional characters. This is because they can be 'read', seen' and/or 'heard'. This does not apply to any supposed deity.

We would not 'hate' an evil character of fiction just from the authors describing them to us. Unless maybe we had emotive communication issues, like aspergers perhaps.

If you can't recognize pure logic, perhaps you spent too much time with those kiddies?

Hype said...

Well, not every psychoanalysis is a failed psychoanalysis.
Call it whatever you'd like to, Tom.
I think it's spot on though.

Tom said...

You are most eminently entitled to your opinion Hype.

Just like you believe in deity/ies and I don't.

I am sure there are many things on which we would agree and that we both like.

Hype said...

Good point, Tom.