Thursday, April 14, 2011

The “one god further” objection

A reader calls attention to Bill Vallicella’s reply to what might be called the “one god further” objection to theism.  Bill sums up the objection as follows:

The idea, I take it, is that all gods are on a par, and so, given that everyone is an atheist with respect to some gods, one may as well make a clean sweep and be an atheist with respect to all gods. You don't believe in Zeus or in a celestial teapot. Then why do you believe in the God of Isaac, Abraham, and Jacob?

Or as the Common Sense Atheism blog used to proclaim proudly on its masthead:

When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

I see that that blog has now removed this one-liner, which is perhaps a sign that intellectual progress is possible even among New Atheist types.  Because while your average “Internet Infidel” seems to regard the “one god further” objection as devastatingly clever, it is in fact embarrassingly inept, a sign of the extreme decadence into which secularist “thought” has fallen in the Age of Dawkins. 

Suppose someone skeptical about Euclidean geometry said:

When you understand why you regard all the particular triangles you’ve observed as having sides that are less than perfectly straight, you will understand why I regard Euclidean plane triangles as such to have sides that are less than perfectly straight.

Or suppose a critic of Platonism said:

When you understand why you regard the things of ordinary experience as in various ways imperfect or less than fully good instances of their kinds, you will understand why I regard Plato’s Form of the Good as being less than fully good.

Would these count as devastating objections to Euclidean geometry and Platonism?  Would they serve as fitting mottos for blogs devoted to “Common Sense Anti-Euclideanism” or “Common Sense Anti-Platonism”?  Obviously not.  They would demonstrate only that the speaker didn’t have the slightest clue what the hell he was talking about.

The “one god further” objection is no better than these stupid “objections” would be.  The “Common Sense Anti-Euclidean” objection supposes that the concept of a triangle as defined in textbooks of Euclidean geometry is merely one triangle alongside all the others that one comes across in traffic signs, dinner bells, and the like, only invisible and better drawn.  But of course, that is not what it is at all.  What the textbooks describe is not a triangle, not even an especially well-drawn one, but rather (Euclidean) triangularity itself, and the triangles one comes across in everyday experience are defective precisely because they fail to conform to the standard it represents.  The “Common Sense Anti-Platonism” objection supposes that the Form of the Good is merely one more or less perfect or imperfect instance of some class or category alongside the other instances, albeit an especially impressive one.  But of course, that is not what it is at all.  The Form of the Good doesn’t have goodness in some more or less incomplete way; rather, it just is goodness, participation in which determines the degree of goodness had by things which do have goodness only in some more or less incomplete way.  Similarly, the “Common Sense Atheist” or “one god further” objection supposes that the God of classical theism is merely one further superhuman being alongside others who have found worshippers – Thor, Zeus, Quetzalcoatl, and so forth – only a superhuman being of even greater power, knowledge, and goodness than these other deities have.  But of course, that is not what God is at all.  He is not “a being” alongside other beings, not even an especially impressive one, but rather Being Itself or Pure Actuality, that from which all mere “beings” (including Thor, Zeus, and Quetzalcoatl, if they existed) derive the limited actuality or existence they possess.  Neither does He “have” power, knowledge, goodness, and the like; rather, He is power, knowledge, and goodness (where the “participation” relation in Plato’s theory of Forms is transformed by the classical theist into a relation between created things and their uncaused cause, in light of the doctrine of divine simplicity – and also thereby transformed, by Thomists anyway, into a kind of efficient-causal relation). 

Note that the “Common Sense Anti-Platonist” objection is a silly objection whether or not one accepts Platonism, and that the “Common Sense Anti-Euclidean” objection would be a silly objection whether or not one accepted Euclidean geometry.  In the same way, the “Common Sense Atheist” or “one god further” objection would be a silly objection even if one had other grounds for rejecting classical theism.  In all three cases, the objections represent a failure to understand even the fundamentals of the position one is attacking.

It is no good replying that lots of ordinary religious people conceive of God in all sorts of crude ways at odds with the sophisticated philosophical theology developed by classical theists – ways that make of God something like a glorified Thor or Zeus.  The “man on the street” also believes all sorts of silly things about science – that Darwinism claims that monkeys gave birth to human beings, say, or that molecules are made up of little balls and sticks.  But it would be preposterous for someone to pretend he had landed a blow against Darwinism or modern chemistry by attacking these silly straw men.  Similarly, what matters in evaluating classical theism is not what your Grandpa or your Pastor Bob have to say about it, but rather what serious thinkers like Aristotle, Plotinus, Athanasius, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Avicenna, Averroes, Maimonides, and countless others have to say. 

Nor would it be any good to insist that the “one god further” objection is significant at least as a reply to the more anthropomorphic “theistic personalist” conception of God that has replaced the classical theist conception in the thinking of many modern theologians and philosophers of religion.  For one thing, most theistic personalists, though they depart in significant (and in my view disastrous) ways from classical theism, are still committed to a far more sophisticated conception of God than purveyors of the “one god further” objection take as their preferred target.  (Comparing God to the Flying Spaghetti Monster is not a serious reply to a theistic personalist like Plantinga or Swinburne.)  More importantly, purveyors of this objection take themselves to be presenting a serious criticism of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and philosophical theism as such – not merely of this or that modern representative of these views – and the historically mainstream tradition in these religions and in philosophical theology is classical theist, not theistic personalist.  Hence to fail to address the classical theist conception of God is ipso facto to fail seriously to address the claims of these traditions.  In particular, unless one has made a serious study of philosophical theology as it has been developed within the Neo-Platonic, Aristotelian, Thomistic and other Scholastic traditions, one’s understanding of traditional Christian, Jewish, and Islamic theology, not to mention philosophical theism, is simply infantile.

Needless to say, your typical “Internet Infidel” or “New Atheist” is entirely innocent of knowledge of these traditions.  Nor is he much interested in finding out what they really have to say – he prefers to spend his time coming up with ever more elaborate rationalizations for refusing to find out.  But like the Myers Shuffle (the secularist rationalization du jour), the “one god further” objection has this much going for it: It is an infallible indicator that one is not dealing with a serious or well-informed skeptic.

[For readers who are interested in learning about classical theism, I have defended it at length in my books The Last Superstition and Aquinas.  I have also had reason to discuss it in several earlier posts, which deal with such issues as divine simplicity, the relationship between classical theism and theistic personalism, and the relevance of the classical theistic understanding of God to issues concerning morality and the problem of evil.  See, for example:







Please read at least the posts linked to before commenting critically on what I’ve written in this one, since I would rather not have to repeat things I’ve said elsewhere.]

241 comments:

1 – 200 of 241   Newer›   Newest»
Leo Carton Mollica said...

Thanks for the great post. I'm glad to know that the Common Sense Atheist has at last pulled off that irritatingly smug masthead of his.

It's not really related, but thanks for putting up the existential inertia article notice.

Crude said...

A great post.

But if I understand right, the CSA guy is a singularitarian who believes that we must invest massive resources into ensuring we develop ethical artificial intelligence lest the coming computer-mind overlords we are fated to spawn will be hostile rather than benevolent, making our future look much more like the thing from "I Have No Mouth Yet I Must Scream" or "Terminator" than the Supreme Intelligence in charge of Marvel's Kree race.

Which, really, seems closer to Zeus-style paganism or polytheism than most beliefs.

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for an excellent article! By the way, I'm happy to announce that I'll be receiving two of your books next month as gifts from my sister in Chicago - she ordered The Last Superstition and also Aquinas online and she got them last week, and she'll be sending them to me next month. :-)

~ Mark

Ismael said...

I guess the main flaw of this is the very first assumption:
"The idea, I take it, is that all gods are on a par"

The funny think is that several theist philosophers used it somewhat against atheists and, philosopher Peter Kreeft, I think, said (something like):
I agree with atheists, I also do not believe the god(s) they refute.

Assuming that all ideas of god (or God) 'are on par' without investigating carefully the reasons for such ideas is lunacy.


Absurdly, one might apply this principle to Evolution Theory.

A creationist might indeed say:
Since all the Evolution theories are on the par, and some or another is an anti-evolutionist in respect to some theories, one may as well make a clean sweep and be an anti-evolutionist with respect to all evolutionary theories

Of course a biologist will say such argument will be loony and the person making it, raving mad... and it would indeed be so!

---

The “man on the street” also believes all sorts of silly things about science – that Darwinism claims that monkeys gave birth to human beings, say, or that molecules are made up of little balls and sticks. But it would be preposterous for someone to pretend he had landed a blow against Darwinism or modern chemistry by attacking these silly straw men.

I can vouch for that, as a physicist.

I do not know about the 'man on the street'... but the 'common man on the forums'... even science forums, have very poor understanding of even the mere basics of modern physics (i.e. quantum mechanics and Co.)... yet that does not stop them do debate Superstring Theory, Many World Interpretation and the lot.
(I blame newspapers and pop-science writers for this: often instead of sticking to the facts they do speculative science in their books, sheesh)

The irony is that while an atheist is ‘super-skeptical’ regarding the existence of God, or the notion that the Historical Jesus is the same as the Christ, they are quite gullible in many other notions. Often I see them rebuke Christianity with extreme skepticism, and embrace alternative (and truly unhistorical and idiotic) theories at face value… or accept weird conspiracy theories… or assume aliens are watching us… etc... etc...

Truly an unfair case of ‘double- standards’.

Bobby Bambino said...

The one god less objection is also an attempt to trivialize theism by turning it into a silly little math game. "I just believe in one less god than you do." - the idea that the difference of 1 isn't such a big deal.

Well, if we want to play this little math game, I believe in one God and the atheist believes in 0 gods, and thus I believe in infinitely times many more gods than the atheist does. So now all of a sudden, it is a big deal. Better for the skeptic to stick with an actual objection to theism.

Anonymous said...

It can also be said that not all gods or their followers care about conversions. Mayan gods did not care if you converted to their faith, if you were a POW you were to be executed, conversion or not. You were not even asked to convert. I think the same can be said of the vast majority of mythological god figures and many current alternative religions. Buddhists don't insist on you converting to Buddhism. Hindus don't go door to door prosyletising their faith. If those deieties do not want me and their followers aren't compelled to convert me or at least try to persuade me, then that deiety does not really fall into the realm of possible choices. Most of these ancient cults have died out anyway, surely if Thor was in charge some remnant would have remained behind to spread his word, if that is what he even wanted, and it's doubtful that he wanted that.

One Brow said...

Sionce a Eucliedian triangle and an notion of "good" are creations of men, I fully approve of this post comparing the God of classical theism to them.

Brandon said...

Sionce a Eucliedian triangle and an notion of "good" are creations of men, I fully approve of this post comparing the God of classical theism to them.

Since the post doesn't compare the God of classical theism to a Euclidean triangle or a notion of good, but an argument about the God with an argument about the Euclidean triangle and an argument about the Form of the Good, you might want to read a little more closely.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ed, it's me from the previous post. I'm the guy who linked to Dr. Vallicela's blog.

Glad that you found it valuable. This is a very nice post that adds the A-T "touch" to the rejoinder. I'll bookmark it because I see this objection too often on the Internet.

Cheers, and may the Lord be with you.

BenYachov said...

The problem is the Gnu'Atheists all have these one size fits all simple minded polemics they get from the four horsemen.

They can't even comprehend the idea that...well they might be accidentally be correct about the non-existence of God, but are rocking some lame arse arguments for that alleged truth.

They are typical fundamentalists. Persons who hold their invalid arguments sacrosanct even above & at the expense of their ultimate conclusion which they should value.

Case in point. If Dawkins wants to overthrow Classic Theism & Christianity he has to prove, not disprove the existence of the ultimate boeing 747 deity.

Since if such an entity existed then YHWH by definition could not have created the Universe.

Anonymous said...

The one god less objection is so silly, one could use the same kind of objection to make it look like no one wrote Shakespeare's works! (whose authorship some believe is questionable, with up to 70 proposed candidates). One could say he only believes in one less author! :-)

~ Mark

One Brow said...

Brandon said...
Since the post doesn't compare the God of classical theism to a Euclidean triangle or a notion of good, but an argument about the God with an argument about the Euclidean triangle and an argument about the Form of the Good, you might want to read a little more closely.

Thank you very much for making that correction for me, Brandon. I find my enthusiam for the argument undimmed by it. I'm completely in favor of pointing out that arguments in favor of God have a strong resemblence to arguemnts in favor of (other) man-made ideas.

Billy Blue Boots said...

I'm completely in favor of pointing out that arguments in favor of God have a strong resemblence to arguemnts in favor of (other) man-made ideas.

So are there no good arguments against God? If the metaphysical nature of it is unbreachable by human minds then it would cut back the other way too.

Billy Blue Boots said...

The more I think of it, the more ironic One Brows comment is.

We're addressing one "snippy" poorly thought position against God "One God Further" and how do you reply, One Brow? With a "snippy" poorly thought position.

One Brows "One Argument Further" objection.

M.B. said...

Man invented triangularity, One Brow? Huh, maybe that's why some cultures never developed wheels -- they hadn't invented circularity yet. I gotta say, I'd definitely like to have seen what the moon looked like before mankind invented a shape for it to be.

Leo Carton Mollica said...

One Brow:

Since the arguments in question are not arguments for the existence of God, the Good, or Euclidean triangles, you might want to rethink your reading of the post once more.

One Brow said...

So are there no good arguments against God?

You can make good arguments against depictions of God/a god/gods that entail specific behaviors. I know of no good arguments against the deist God that don't presuppose some sort of personality trait.

One Brow said...

M.B. said...
Man invented triangularity, One Brow?

No, just Euclidean triangles.

One Brow said...

Leo Carton Mollica said...
Since the arguments in question are not arguments for the existence of God, the Good, or Euclidean triangles, you might want to rethink your reading of the post once more.

I appreciate your repeating of Brandon's point, and thank you for it. I believe my already-corrected version is visible in this thread.

Chris said...

C'mon, 'one god further' isn't intended as an argument against god - it's just a witty (or not) quip or piece of rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

C'mon, 'one god further' isn't intended as an argument against god - it's just a witty (or not) quip or piece of rhetoric.

Except that INAs (Internet Nerd Atheists) use it as such.

Joe said...

I love onebrows response: thanks for pointing why my argument is fallacious, but I still like it. It shows the true problem of modern civilization. God has not gone away and the arguments for God are still valid, but people have CHOSEN, irrationally to live as if there was no God.

Leo Carton Mollica said...

I appreciate your repeating of Brandon's point, and thank you for it. I believe my already-corrected version is visible in this thread.

I confess that I do not know to what you refer

Anonymous said...

I'm unable to make any sense of this "We are all atheists with respect to gods X,Y, and Z" notion peddled around by these New Atheist types.

Two reasons:

1) I am a Christian with respect to the supernatural beings of other religions, not an atheist. Exclusivity is already inherent within and immediately implied by the group label.


2) Additionally, an "atheist" is one who makes the universally quantified statement, "For all entities X that constitute reality, there is no X such that X=God, where 'God' here denotes the being delineated by any sort of philosophical theism, not the being described by a particular world religion (after all, atheism and theism are philosophical positions, not religious ones)." On this definition, a theist is in no sense whatsoever an atheist.

Anonymous said...

I find my enthusiam for the argument undimmed by it.

OB's enthusiasm for shallow, inaccurate pseudo-arguments is undiminished? I find my surprise lacking.

Anonymous said...

The one thing that is worth responding to from that Common Sense Atheism post is the supposed double standard that we have as Christians towards miraculous claims outside Christianity:

"We all use this reasoning with regard to every religion and every area of life – except our own dogma. The same Christians who reject the Hindu milk miracle (which was attested by thousands of living witnesses, written about in hundreds of surviving original documents, and captured on video) will happily accept the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (which was attested by a few ancient dead writers, from whom we have no original documents or video evidence).

A Christian may read in the Muslim scriptures that Mohammad flew on a winged horse, and he will dismiss it. He may laugh when he reads the Roman historian Suetonius say that Caesar Augustus ascended into heaven after he died. But he reads in an ancient book that Mary gave virgin birth to a man-god who walked on water, died, came back to life, and flew off into the sky – and he believes."

mtraven said...

He is not “a being” alongside other beings, not even an especially impressive one, but rather Being Itself or Pure Actuality...

If that was what people actually meant by "god", than atheists would not have any objection to it. Who could disbelieve in Being Itself?

The problem is that "god" is used to mean both that, and a supernatural but anthropomorphic being that has all kinds of quasi-human emotions like anger and love, and enacts moral laws, hands down judgements, etc. It is that latter kind of god that ticks people off, especially when he is invoked as a weapon of behavioral control and political influence.

This argument is made at greater length here.

I sort of agree with you about New Atheists though. They only focus on the stupid aspects of religion, in order to attack it, and so make themselves rather stupid in the process. But if you fight with them, the same thing will happen to you.

curious cuber said...

Joe said
God has not gone away and the arguments for God are still valid, but people have CHOSEN, irrationally to live as if there was no God.

Who has taken the irrational position? Atheists or theists? I have heard each 'side' refer to the other 'side' as irrational. Even at lunch (I am a math teacher) the art teacher said that my non-belief in ghosts was irrational. Irrationality is not subjective. If you are a believer and I am not, why is my position irrational? I really do try to see both sides of the arguments with as little emotion and bias attached as I can. You are correct though in saying that I have chosen to apply the claims I make.

One Brow said...

Anonymous said...
Except that INAs (Internet Nerd Atheists) use it as such.

You will find the inappropriate use of arguments on all points fo the belief spectrum. So many people believe what they choose, and grasp any argument to support it.

One Brow said...

Leo Carton Mollica said...
I confess that I do not know to what you refer

I did your post too hastily, and so soon after Brandond connected them to a larger degree than was warranted. My apologies.

Leo Carton Mollica said...
Since the arguments in question are not arguments for the existence of God, the Good, or Euclidean triangles, you might want to rethink your reading of the post once more.

First, why do you think you directed this post to the responder to an idea, rather than the originator of that idea? Why it too emotionally difficult for you to direct to Brandon, so you chose a target you can more easily correct? No answer needed, just something for you to think about.

Second, I suppose it is true that countering an objection against is different from supporting an argument in favor. This particular post was more of a countering post than a supporting post. Well noted.

None of that really changes the substance of my point. The very nature of the arguments for classical theism are similar to those for Euclidean triangle because classical theism pictures a God as the ultimate expression, an ideal, just as a Euclidean triangle is. The Euclidean triangle is still a creation of men.

One Brow said...

Anonymous said...
OB's enthusiasm for shallow, inaccurate pseudo-arguments is undiminished? I find my surprise lacking.

I thank you for presenting such an important, substantive comment, highlighted by a refusal to bother spelling out my name.

Joe said...

@ curious cuber

It is irrational as a human to reject truth and accept falsehood because you "like" it better, for whatever reason that might be.

Billy Blue Boots said...

One Brow, you correctly voiced issues with StopCallingMeShirley on the other thread - thinking confidence and rhetoric are the same as knowledge, but you're doing the same thing here.
You're quibbling over things that are besides the point.
I'd like to say that you're missing the point entirely, but I do think you're much wiser and intelligent for that. I think you know dang well what you are doing. And it's no different from what you called StopCallingMeShirley on.

One Brow said...

Billy Blue Boots,

I just don't take the "one more god" argument seriously enought to engage in a serious discussion over it, I suppose, so my comments here have been light-hearted and somewhat tongue-in-cheek. I apologize if that misled you in some way.

curious cuber said...

@ Joe
It is irrational as a human to reject truth and accept falsehood because you "like" it better, for whatever reason that might be.

I agree. The problem I see though is: which position is the true one and which is the false one? Can a rigorous study of philosophy of mind and religion tell me what the true position is? If that is what it takes then I will take philosophy courses. (It really interests me anyways) If it were this easy, everyone would be majoring in philosophy.

Billy Blue Boots said...

I just don't take the "one more god" argument seriously enought to engage in a serious discussion over it, I suppose, so my comments here have been light-hearted and somewhat tongue-in-cheek. I apologize if that misled you in some way.

Didn't really misled me, just let me see some of your character on display.
If you think it's such a pointless endeavor why not abstain all together? Unless you think that trollish behavior is suitable - especially when others seem to think it's a worthy point of discussion.

Anonymous said...

As a Christian I'm not exactly an atheist about other people's gods--I think they sense that God exists, but are very confused about His nature. Which is not surprising. People know something intuitively about the laws of mechanics, but their beliefs are usually a mixture of Aristotle, late medieval impetus theorists and a little bit (often very little) of Newton.

Joe said...

@curious cuber

i don't think anyone needs to take philosophy courses to figure some of the basic things out. In fact, not taking philosophy courses is the best option available for most people in college. Unless of course you want to become or are already a Marxist, atheist, materialist, liberal, or whatever else most of the teachers consider themselves.

Joe said...

does anyone know what comic the thor picture is from?

TheOFloinn said...

mtraven said...
If that [God=Being Itself] was what people actually meant by "god", than atheists would not have any objection to it. Who could disbelieve in Being Itself?

The problem is that "god" is used to mean both that, and a supernatural but anthropomorphic being....

TOF
Sure, and people use "atom" to mean little bb's whipping around a cluster of baryonic balls.

But once the necessary existence of a Purely Actual being is demonstrated, a being with which you claim no problem, much else follows like toppling dominoes. One simple example: There can be only one such being. (If there were two, one would lack a power or attribute possessed by the other. But to lack something is to be in potency toward it, and a being of Pure Act is not in potency toward anything. Modus tollens, in good Popperian fashion.)

Thus, there cannot be other Gods, although there can be other divine creatures, gods [lower case], extraterrestrials, superbeings, and so on.

This does not follow from, say, Zeus or Thor. That is, there is nothing in the stories of either one that establish him as a being of Pure Act. Thus, "Thor" does not automatically exclude others of his ilk, whereas "I AM" [i.e., Existence Itself] does so exclude other beings like itself.

Hope this helps.

mtraven said...

I rather like William Burroughs' take on it:

Consider the One God Universe: OGU. The spirit recoils in horror from such a deadly impasse. He is all-powerful and all-knowing. Because He can do everything, He can do nothing, since the act of doing demands opposition. He knows everything, so there is nothing for Him to learn. He can't go anywhere, since He is already fucking everywhere, like cowshit in Calcutta.

The OGU is a pre-recorded universe of which He is the recorder. It's a flat, thermodynamic universe, since it has no friction by definition. So He invents friction and conflict, pain, fear, sickness, famine, war, old age and Death.

His OGU is running down like an old clock. Takes more and more to make fewer and fewer Energy Units of Sek, as we call it in the trade.

The Magical Universe, MU, is a universe of many gods, often in conflict. So the paradox of an all-powerful, all-knowing God who permits suffering, evil and death, does not arise.

djindra said...

One Brow,

You wrote, "Since a Euclidean triangle and an notion of "good" are creations of men, I fully approve of this post comparing the God of classical theism to them."

At least that's on more solid ground than Feser's post.

When is an essentialist not an essentialist? When it's inconvenient.

Feser should take his own advice. He should try to aim at the opposition's arguments. Of course that's difficult to do in Feser's case. He's a moving target. He wants us to aim at this mysterious cloud called "pure actuality." But that nonsense is a waste of time. The bull's eye is politics. And the medium is religion. Ultimately his god creates a church and reveals moral law through books and Popes.

Today Feser says his god is magically exempt from any comparison to like deities -- even though it is essentially the Egyptian concept of Ra. And like Judas denying Jesus, today he claims his god is nothing like the god of the Bible -- the god that wrestles with men. But the story will change at Sunday Mass. And on election day this "pure actuality" will find itself in the voting booth as a serpent tempting us to vote the party line.

No, Feser's god is much more than "pure actuality." It's pure chameleon -- an ideological shapeshifter.

djindra said...

"When you understand why you regard all the particular triangles you’ve observed as having sides that are less than perfectly straight, you will understand why I regard Euclidean plane triangles as such to have sides that are less than perfectly straight."

Sure, there is no such thing as a perfectly straight line. That is a theoretical concept. It does not exist. So all Feser does with this bad analogy is demonstrate that his concept of a pure god is a more perfect theoretical concept, and only using his quirky idea of what a "perfect" god might be. It does not demonstrate anything more than that. Okay, he believes his concept is more perfect as a concept. So what? This is completely irrelevant to the crucial question. Why is his concept of a god more likely to be true than another's "less perfect" (according to Feser's standard) concept of god. I don't doubt Feser can imagine a more "perfect" god according to his subjective standard. That is not the issue.

TheOFloinn said...

djindra and onebrow are evidently not mathematicians. Pure conceptualism, alas.

djindra said...

TheOFloinn,

It beats a platonic realism which isn't required, btw, for mathematics.

TheOFloinn said...

Ah, but does it beat Aristotelian realism? And does conceptualism resolve its own internal contradictions? Inquiring minds want to know.

djindra said...

TheOFloinn,

Does any variation of the supernatural framework we call realism survive basic issues of credulity? Skeptical minds want evidence. Evidence is handmaiden to knowledge.

BenYachov said...

One Brow for all his flaws, equivocations, sophistry, misreadings and misunderstandings at least has read TLS and other writings by Feser.

Unlike the troll djindra who hasn't read a thing and yet acts as if he knows it all.

You need to fess up djindra and admit you don't know Aristotle from a hole in the head.

BenYachov said...

>Ah, but does it beat Aristotelian realism? And does conceptualism resolve its own internal contradictions? Inquiring minds want to know.

Yeh djindra didn't read the discussion in TLS on the differences between conceptualism, nominalism & realism. Nor the part about the difference between Plato's strong realism vs Aristotle's moderate realism.

None of this makes sense to him. It's over his head.

Add to that the fact he is a dogmatic advocate of Scientism/Positivism who rejects philosophy you have the makings of the typical knuckle dragging Gnu'Atheist.

"Gods" for him are Anthropomorphic entities alone. He has neither the intellect or the education to conceive of them in any other fashion.

You are wasting you time asking intelligent questions of him.

curious cuber said...

@ Joe
Unless of course you want to become or are already a Marxist, atheist, materialist, liberal, or whatever else most of the teachers consider themselves.

Herein lies a problem I have always had: labels. When students ask what it is I believe, I have a difficult time answering them because their definition of God is so narrowly defined by their parents' religion. I do not like to label myself as a liberal or atheist because it is not entirely accurate. I do not doubt probabilities and possiblities. I just want to come the truth. When I was a Christian, I did not feel it was the truth. I read the bible, then I left Christianity. Now I am on a quest for knowledge - sucking up everything I can. If this leads me to God then so be it.

You cannot assume that seeking knowledge will make you a Marxist or atheist or materialist.

Billy Blue Boots said...

Evidence is handmaiden to knowledge.

Maybe the handmaiden to facts (various facts) but not knowledge.

djindra said...

BenYachov,

If you've read any of my comments it should be obvious even to you that I have read many of Feser's generous posts. Does he change his mind in TLS?

Feser's teachings on conceptualism, nominalism & realism are not the last word. I'm not really interested in how he wants to label himself or others. Those labels aren't relevant to his post above. Those arguments are poorly thought through no matter how he affixes labels.

Your accusation that I'm a Positivist is ignorant. I have never and will never make the claim that the sentence, "Grace Kelly is beautiful" lacks meaning or truth content.

Your accusation that I think gods are anthropomorphic is your invention. I claim there is no evidence of *any* supernatural thing, That includes anthropomorphic as well non-anthropomorphic concepts of gods. And it includes this "final cause" essence of matter as well as "the Force", faith-healing, mental spoon bending, revelation and telepathy.

TheOFloinn said...

When I was a Christian, I did not feel it was the truth.

This is a common postmodern malady, the triumph of the will over the intellect. Jacques Barzun noted already in the 1950s that "I feel that..." was replacing "I think that..." in normal discourse. The old Christian emphasis on logic and reason, which survived the collapse of philosophy, has not survived the collapse of the Modern Ages.

BenYachov said...

>If you've read any of my comments it should be obvious even to you that I have read many of Feser's generous posts.

No it is not obvious. What is obvious is you still don't know what you are talking about and you are still trying to fake it.

For example you wrote: "Does any variation of the supernatural framework we call realism..."

Realism is the view that Universals, Numbers and/or Propositions exist objectively, apart from the human mind and distinct from any material or physical features of the world. This in contrast from Nominalism which denies universals are real or conceptualism which acknowledges they are real but exist only in the mind.
See pages 39-41 in TLS.

What does any of this have to do with the supernatural? An Atheist Objectivist is a realist in some senses & he doesn't believe in the supernatural.

>Feser's teachings on conceptualism, nominalism & realism are not the last word.

Rather you clearly don't know what they are nor have you read Feser carefully if at all.

You are so full of shit it's not funny. Do your homework Chuckles or stop wasting our time.

BenYachov said...

BTW I luv this contradiction.

"Your accusation that I'm a Positivist is ignorant."

vs

"I claim there is no evidence of *any* supernatural thing,"

Only Positivists demand empirical evidence for purely philosophical propositions.

You are ignorant. Go bother some Young Earth Creationists they are more in your league both emotionally and intellectually.

Anonymous said...

I claim there is no evidence of *any* supernatural thing

You can claim whatever you want, with whatever coked up version of "evidence" you please, as you rant and rave about how people vote. This is all politics for you, you've made that much clear.

But your arguments are sorely lacking. But that's okay, because most of the time you don't even bother offering them. You just rant and accuse and do the sophistry thing. Poorly.

BenYachov said...

>But your arguments are sorely lacking. But that's okay, because most of the time you don't even bother offering them. You just rant and accuse and do the sophistry thing. Poorly.

The above is the essence of djindra
a fellow who thinks philosophy is just arguing politics by other means.

What a tool!

curious cuber said...

@ The OFloinn

The old Christian emphasis on logic and reason, which survived the collapse of philosophy, has not survived the collapse of the Modern Ages.

Since when has an emphasis on logic and reason been the trademark of Christianity?

Philosophy has collapsed?

djindra said...

BenYachov,

"Only Positivists demand empirical evidence for purely philosophical propositions."

Notice that I didn't limit the evidence to the strictly empirical. But you don't seem to understand what Positivism is anyway. It must be a slur you throw around without any understanding. Are you familiar with the fact that all squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares? I don't deny empirical evidence is preferred before going on a wild metaphysical goose chase. But Positivism is more than that.

BenYachov said...

So basically djindra you are a positivist who doesn't want to own the label. Your like the crazy religious Fundamentalist I once debated who said to me "I don't believe in Sola Scriptura I just believe all infallible doctrine must be found in the Bible only."

Yeh it's the same thing.

>I don't deny empirical evidence is preferred before going on a wild metaphysical goose chase. But Positivism is more than that.

No that's pretty much Positivism.

This is a fun tangent all your backpedaling and equivocating but in the end you STILL don't understand Aristotle from a hole in the head!

BenYachov said...

>I have never and will never make the claim that the sentence, "Grace Kelly is beautiful" lacks meaning or truth content.

Rather it lacks scientific content and thus it is scientifically meaningless and thus meaningless. Because only scientific truth is meaningful via scientism/positivism.

Beauty is only conceptual and subjective in Positivism(not scientific) and has no meaning outside of the individual's preferences & the Positivist says the same about religion.

Wow category mistake much?

TheOFloinn said...

curious cuber:
Since when has an emphasis on logic and reason been the trademark of Christianity?

TOF
Since Macrina, Basil, Augustine, Adelard of Bath, William of Conches, Eriugena, John of Salisbury, Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, Robert Grosseteste, Theodoric of Fribourg, Roger Bacon, Peter Peregrinus, Thomas Bradwardine, Jean Buridan, Nicholas Oresme, Nicholas of Cusa, Christoph Clavius, Christoph Scheiner, Matteo Ricci, Adam Schall, usw. For details see Edward Grant, God and Reason in the Middle Ages.

djindra said...

BenYachov,

"Beauty is only conceptual and subjective in Positivism(not scientific) and has no meaning outside of the individual's preferences..."

But I don't agree with that statement. Beauty is not *only* conceptual. It is not *only* subjective. And the same goes for morality. So it looks like you should agree I am not a Positivist.

djindra said...

BenYachov,

"The above is the essence of djindra a fellow who thinks philosophy is just arguing politics by other means."

Not all philosophy. This philosophy. Again, think rectangles and squares.

djindra said...

BenYachov,

"An Atheist Objectivist is a realist in some senses & he doesn't believe in the supernatural."

Yes, he might. Karma is supernatural. Astrology is supernatural. And Forms are supernatural. They are above and distinct from the natural, material world. But I doubt many Atheist Objectivists drop in here.

TheOFloinn said...

I think there may be some confusion between "natural" and "physical."

BenYachov said...

>And Forms are supernatural.

Atheist Physicist Roger Penrose is a self proclaimed realist who places the Platonic realm at the Planck scale. How is that believing in the supernatural?

You just really have no idea what you are talking about? Do you? It's one embarrassing ignorant post after another.....

Stupider then when you claimed Aquinas was a Mechanist.

>They are above and distinct from the natural, material world.

Penrose is a naturalist as well.

I told you to stop faking it. You clearly don't know what you are talking about.

>But I doubt many Atheist Objectivists drop in here.

I wish they would then the Objectivists plus BDK plus a few others smart Atheists I could mention would raise the collective Atheist IQ here to post-Singularity levels.

That would be a true intellectual challenge.

Then again I might be underestimating the enormous brain drag of your curve busting low brow contributions djindra.

I'm done with you. It's like playing a video game in godmode. It's fun at first but over time it gets old quick.

djindra said...

Feser's god is "Being Itself or Pure Actuality, that from which all mere 'beings' (including Thor, Zeus, and Quetzalcoatl, if they existed) derive the limited actuality or existence they possess."

Not quite. Zeus was son of Cronus who was born of Gaia (mother nature) and Uranus (conceived by chaos). Feser's creation myth demands "being itself / pure actuality" as the ultimate stuff of God. But some Ancient Greeks might scoff at the idea. First, "pure being" is poorly defined. Second, and most significantly, it's not inherently different from "pure chaos," the stuff of Uranus.

Many so-called polytheists might have similar objections.

TheOFloinn said...

Ouranos was the sky. See Hesiod.

djindra said...

BenYachov,

"Atheist Physicist Roger Penrose is a self proclaimed realist who places the Platonic realm at the Planck scale. How is that believing in the supernatural?"

Platonic Forms are supernatural. And Plato used them to eventually support his notion of God. Did you know atheists often disagree?

"Penrose is a naturalist as well."

Naturalists can be theists. They can believe in ESP or Forms.

"...when you claimed Aquinas was a Mechanist."

You do like to misrepresent. I said, and I provided textual evidence to support, that Aquinas was as much a mechanist as Paley. What you obviously want to ignore was my purpose. That was not to show Aquinas was a mechanist. It was to show he and Paley were not all that much different. If one is a mechanist, so is the other.

Bye. You never were much of a challenge. Those who regularly resort to ad hominems never are.

BenYachov said...

>Many so-called polytheists might have similar objections.

It's like watching every character on every sitcom who plays the show's resident idiot (accept without godbelief)......

Education is dead in America.

BenYachov said...

>Platonic Forms are supernatural. And Plato used them to eventually support his notion of God.

It's a real shame when Siblings reproduce together. The above "thinking" is the result.

djindra said...

"what matters in evaluating classical theism is not what your Grandpa or your Pastor Bob have to say about it, but rather what serious thinkers like Aristotle, Plotinus, Athanasius, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Avicenna, Averroes, Maimonides, and countless others have to say. "

This seems to presuppose classical theism is more relevant than Pastor Bob's theism. What criteria does Feser use to evaluate this relevancy? Why should a non-theist agree with him? Why should an atheist even consider classical theism over Pastor Bob's when it's Pastor Bob who makes the most noise and has the most fervent followers? Feser seems to have an egocentric view of the dispute. More than likely there is a good reason why atheists don't argue specifically against the classical theistic case. A person cannot take every variation of an ideology into account. If Richard Dawkins addresses Pastor Bob's theism, it's because Pastor Bob is a creationist and is much more relevant to issues related to evolution. Classical theism seems to be uninterested in attacking evolution so why should Dawkins waste time on it?

That's the way the world works. It doesn't care much about you until you make yourself relevant.

djindra said...

BenYachov,

You have made yourself irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

What criteria does Feser use to evaluate this relevancy?

I suppose he could start with the faiths where classical theism is explicitly relevant doctrinally, such as in Catholicism - not exactly a small bunch.

This is pathetic, djindra. You may as well argue that Ken Ham and others are arguing against evolution as believed by village atheists, and thus it isn't fair to answer their criticisms by defending evolution as conceived by Ken Miller or Eugenie Scott.

If Richard Dawkins addresses Pastor Bob's theism

He doesn't even do that credibly. "Pastor Bob" is himself a caricature, imaginary. Dawkins is a philosophical and theological rube, to the point where people now have to imagine people for him to rail against. "Okay, so Dawkins' arguments suck and don't apply to the traditional concepts of God. But I bet they apply to someone's! That's who he's going after!"

Platonic Forms are supernatural.

Naturalists can be theists. They can believe in ESP or Forms.

Wow. In the same comment. Talk about caricatures.

BenYachov said...

>You have made yourself irrelevant.

But you OTOH have never been relevant in the first place.

You can't be a Has-been if you are a never was.

Anonymous said...

By the way, anyone notice the inanity of DJ claiming that Dawkins never meant to take aim at classical theism, only this imaginary "Pastor Bob's" conception of God... ignoring that Dawkins brings up and dismisses Aquinas' Five Ways? And one of Feser's points is that Dawkins makes it clear he has no idea what Aquinas is even talking about?

Just admit it, DJ. The New Atheists are inept. Of course, you just got finished saying that a person can be a naturalist and believe in the supernatural, so what are the odds you'd be able to notice obvious truth.

BenYachov said...

>By the way, anyone notice the inanity of DJ claiming that Dawkins never meant to take aim at classical theism.....


djindra said the following to me in the HEAD ID WINS TAILS YOU LOSE thread.

"Maybe you think I should make Dawkin's arguments. You've implied that. But I am not Dawkins and I've never read him.....

Some advice if you are going to lie don't be forgetful.

Eric said...

"If Richard Dawkins addresses Pastor Bob's theism, it's because Pastor Bob is a creationist and is much more relevant to issues related to evolution. Classical theism seems to be uninterested in attacking evolution so why should Dawkins waste time on it?"

Perhaps because he wrote a book titled "The God Delusion," not "Pastor Bob's God Delusion," in which he claims to have formulated an argument that demonstrates that *god* -- not Pastor Bob's god -- almost certainly doesn't exist.

"This seems to presuppose classical theism is more relevant than Pastor Bob's theism. What criteria does Feser use to evaluate this relevancy?"

Imagine someone saying, "But this seems to presuppose that Dawkins's understanding of evolutionary theory is more relevant than that of the guy who believes in evolution, but thinks we evolved from monkeys. What criteria does Dawkins use to evaluate this relevance?" The answer is the basically same: the arguments.

"Naturalists can be theists. They can believe in ESP or Forms."

Naturalists cannot be theists. Naturalism entails atheism, though atheism doesn't entail naturalism.

"Today Feser says his god is magically exempt from any comparison to like deities -- even though it is essentially the Egyptian concept of Ra."

Oh my. If I had read this comment *first*, I wouldn't have bothered with the replies above. But, since I've already written them out...

djindra said...

Eric,

"If I had read this comment *first*, I wouldn't have bothered with the replies above."

I guess you'd rather accept the Christian and Jewish propaganda about the ancient Egyptian religion.

"Naturalists cannot be theists."

Yet historically there have been plenty of Christian naturalists. How do you explain this contradiction?

"What criteria does Dawkins use to evaluate this relevance? The answer is the basically same: the arguments."

Apples and oranges. Dawkins certainly would not evaluate claims about evolution based on metaphysical speculation. He would base "arguments" on physical evidence. He might make predictions, but he would do so understanding the predictions must agree with future physical evidence or the predictions are mere speculation. Dawkins has objective criteria. Pastor Bob's criteria is subjective and dubious at best. If Pastor Bob wants to make himself relevant in the field of evolution he must use Dawkins' criteria.

djindra said...

Anonymous,

"ignoring that Dawkins brings up and dismisses Aquinas' Five Ways?"

As I recall, Feser and others here dismissed the "Five Ways" as unimportant and not particularly representative of Aquinas views. But that doesn't stop Pastor Bob and his clan from using the "Five Ways." They do it very often. I've had many disputes with those followers on those ways. So it's easy for me to understand why Dawkins would address those five ways as Pastor Bob understands and uses them, not as Aquinas supposedly understood them.

djindra said...

BenYachov,

I have never read Richard Dawkins. Why would you suspect I'm lying about that? What have I said here that leads you to believe otherwise?

djindra said...

Anonymous,

"I suppose he could start with the faiths where classical theism is explicitly relevant doctrinally, such as in Catholicism - not exactly a small bunch."

-- and I assume that criteria is irrelevant as far as Ken Ham is concerned. So why would Dawkins use it since the Ken Hams of the world are Dawkins primary target?


"You may as well argue that Ken Ham and others are arguing against evolution as believed by village atheists, and thus it isn't fair to answer their criticisms by defending evolution as conceived by Ken Miller or Eugenie Scott."

How does the village atheist's notion of evolution differ from Eugenie Scott?

djindra said...

Anonymous,

"'Pastor Bob' is himself a caricature, imaginary."

Of course. The "New Atheist" is also a caricature. Paley was represented in caricature in an earlier thread. And Aquinas himself is being represented in a kind of caricature by Feser.

BenYachov said...

>I have never read Richard Dawkins.

Then your claims about what he meant to take aim at are meaningless.

You are not a liar you are simply an idiot who thinks he can comment on the writings of people (Dawkins, Paley. Aquinas Feser etc) whom he has never read.

Idiot!

How are you NOT a actual stereotype of the typical New Atheist?

Perhaps to throw rational Atheists a bone we should conclude you are a closet Religious Fundamentalist who has come here to confirm our prejudices about the New Atheists by acting like a first class Jackass?

OTOH maybe you really are what you seem. An incoherent, irrational village Atheist type.

Tragic!

BenYachov said...

>Dawkins certainly would not evaluate claims about evolution based on metaphysical speculation.

Chuckles the Clown somehow knows all this in spite of just saying "I have never read Richard Dawkins.".

Idiot!

BenYachov said...

>As I recall, Feser and others here dismissed the "Five Ways" as unimportant and not particularly representative of Aquinas views.

Who said this & where is your documentation Chuckles?

The whole theme of Feser's book TLS is that the Five Ways are as important as ever?

He defends 3 of the Five Ways in the TLS and all Five ways in AQUINAS.

You sir are a nutcase!
Wow you are a total idiot!

TheOFloinn said...

Why should a non-theist agree with [Feser, anent classical theism]?

He need not do so. But if all he does is vanquish fundamentalism and naive literalism, who cares? We already know that. If such is the target, this is the wrong shootin' range. Such arguments have no traction here.

TheOFloinn said...

DJ
Yet historically there have been plenty of Christian naturalists. How do you explain this contradiction?

TOF
Simple. You are equivocating on the term "naturalist."

DJ
Dawkins certainly would not evaluate claims about evolution based on metaphysical speculation.

TOF
Yet most theories of evolution [genetics excepted] are metaphysical speculations.

TheOFloinn said...

DJ
I have never read Richard Dawkins. Why would you suspect I'm lying about that?

TOF
It's not the lying about that is absurd, but that based on having never read him you feel qualified to instruct us that he was not dismissing God as such, but only the fundamentalist concept of Pastor Bob.

Anonymous said...

Don Jindra writes:

"The bull's eye is politics. And the medium is religion. Ultimately his god creates a church and reveals moral law through books and Popes."


Finally, the crux of the matter. Religion, it appears, functions as an impediment to properly enlightened social planning and management.


Atheism, as simple disbelief, merely is what it is. It's the collectivist's social solidarity pimping done in its name - using it as a major premise - that is so annoying.

TheOFloinn said...

Anon
Finally, the crux of the matter. Religion, it appears, functions as an impediment to properly enlightened social planning and management.

TOF
Yes. As Mussolini once said, "Everything within the State; nothing outside the State; nothing against the State."

One Brow said...

Billy Blue Boots said...
Didn't really misled me, just let me see some of your character on display.

I never try to hide who I am.

If you think it's such a pointless endeavor why not abstain all together?

What endeavor do I think is pointless here? Usin the "one more god" argument? It seems Dr. Feser would agree that is a pointless argument.

Unless you think that trollish behavior is suitable - especially when others seem to think it's a worthy point of discussion.

Can you be a good philosopher witout a ready sense of humor? Humor maintains perspective and keeps us out of the occasional abysses. Sorry, but I don't see injecting such humor from time to time as trolling. Of course, should Dr. feser so declare humor as trolling for his blog, I'll try to keep it tamped down in the future.

One Brow said...

TheOFloinn said...
djindra and onebrow are evidently not mathematicians. Pure conceptualism, alas.

TheOFloinn evidentdently does not know a thing about mathematics, the philosophy of mathematics, or the politeness of spelling a name properly, alas. I'll be happy to help, if you like.

TheOFloinn said...

OB
TheOFloinn evidentdently does not know a thing about mathematics, the philosophy of mathematics

TOF
Perhaps they will revoke my masters degree and rescind my theorem! And then more than thirty years practice in applied statistics. Forsooth!

One Brow said...

No doubt all those who think that last comment was trolling will come up with a significant justification for differentiating it from the comment of TheOFloinn.

One Brow said...

TheOFloinn said...
Perhaps they will revoke my masters degree and rescind my theorem! And then more than thirty years practice in applied statistics. Forsooth!

Should they revoke mine, instead? Although I have not worked in applied statistics, but applied set theory (aka databases).

One Brow said...

BenYachov said...
One Brow for all his flaws, equivocations, sophistry, misreadings and misunderstandings

I also fully acknowledge tyhe existence of the first, fourth, and fifth, and actively try to improve upon them. I fully acknowledge that BenYachov may have encountered what he hinestly interpreted at the second and third, although such interpretations require an intent on my part I don't see him being able to accurately discern, an intent's existence that I do not see in myself.

BenYachov said...

>although such interpretations require an intent on my part.

Or maybe you do it unconsciously?

Still you are light years ahead of Chuckles who is shameless at this point in his efforts to fake knowing about Thomism while confessing he hasn't read anything about it.

So go in peace. But keep out of trouble I'll be watching.

djindra said...

BenYachov,

Me: "As I recall, Feser and others here dismissed the "Five Ways" as unimportant and not particularly representative of Aquinas views."

You: "Who said this & where is your documentation..."

I looked it up. January 29, 2011 11:16 AM post by Feser in "The brutal facts about Keith Parsons" -- "Aquinas takes God's existence to be self-evident in itself but not self-evident to us given the way our intellects work. That is why he thinks we need to arrive at God's existence via causal arguments, and why he rejects Anselm's argument."

Now I could be wrong but within the context of the comments I took this to mean Feser thought Aquinas was offering those five "proofs" for the benefit of those who wouldn't see the "truth" in any other way. This implies Aquinas didn't view them as proofs. He viewed them more like salutary myths. And I don't necessarily disagree with Feser's assessment. I mean, who can say for sure? Aquinas doesn't dwell on them. He spends much more time discussing angels. So I doubt the proofs were very important to Aquinas, personally. But I think Pastor Bob would disagree because he likes to hug onto those proofs.

TheOFloinn said...

djindra
Now I could be wrong...

TOF
You are.

BenYachov said...

To bad for Chuckles the Clown I stumbled across his asinine performance on the "The brutal facts about Keith Parsons" post.

Here is what he left out.

Now, this is an extremely well-known fact about Aquinas's natural theology. Anyone who actually knew anything about Aquinas would know this. But, here and elsewhere, instead of doing your homework, you toss off some criticism you pulled out of your hat on the basis of what you thought you could piece together from a few combox remarks.

Really, this is a waste of time. Arguing with people like you is like arguing with someone who thinks that chemists literally believe that molecules are tiny wooden balls held together by sticks, and offers snarky challenges to anyone who disagrees to prove to him otherwise. You don't know what you are talking about and you don't care to know. You are embarrassing yourself and wasting my time.

As to your insinuation that my problem with Parsons is that he doesn't agree with Aquinas et al., this is just yet another typical village atheist ad hominem. As I've made clear several times now, my beef with Parsons is that he dismissed an entire field of inquiry as a "fraud" and as intellectually unserious while at the same time showing that he did not know what the historically most important writers actually said. If he had merely expressed disagreement with those writers, without the clueless dismissal, I wouldn't have written my original post and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

djindra said...

TheOFloinn,

"You are equivocating on the term 'naturalist.'"

It's a minor point, but I don't think I am. Historically the naturalist label did not connote a strictly materialist "world-view." It still doesn't in my mind. I know terms do tend to change over the years. It could be I'm not fashionable.

"Yet most theories of evolution [genetics excepted] are metaphysical speculations."

I think they are more than that. It's not as if evolution lacks physical evidence. But maybe you are suggesting something more -- that the mere demand for physical evidence is based on metaphysical speculation? If so, that's a bigger can of worms.

BenYachov said...

Feser nowhere in that post even hints at the idea that the "Five Ways" are unimportant and not particularly representative of Aquinas views.

That is dishonest willful misrepresentation on your part!

Why are you here shithead?

You need to admit you don't know what you are talking about.

I can forgive honest stupidity. I am guilty of it myself. But willful stupidity....I am only flesh and blood I have no patience or mercy for such tom foolery!

Cut it out!

BenYachov said...

BTW here is the rest of what Feser said that Chuckles left out.

In two parts
Now, this is an extremely well-known fact about Aquinas's natural theology. Anyone who actually knew anything about Aquinas would know this. But, here and elsewhere, instead of doing your homework, you toss off some criticism you pulled out of your hat on the basis of what you thought you could piece together from a few combox remarks.

Really, this is a waste of time. Arguing with people like you is like arguing with someone who thinks that chemists literally believe that molecules are tiny wooden balls held together by sticks, and offers snarky challenges to anyone who disagrees to prove to him otherwise. You don't know what you are talking about and you don't care to know. You are embarrassing yourself and wasting my time.

BenYachov said...

PART 2
As to your insinuation that my problem with Parsons is that he doesn't agree with Aquinas et al., this is just yet another typical village atheist ad hominem. As I've made clear several times now, my beef with Parsons is that he dismissed an entire field of inquiry as a "fraud" and as intellectually unserious while at the same time showing that he did not know what the historically most important writers actually said. If he had merely expressed disagreement with those writers, without the clueless dismissal, I wouldn't have written my original post and we wouldn't be having this discussion. END QUOTe

BenYachov said...

That was back in January.

It seems Chuckles hasn't changed his tactics or learned from his mistakes.

djindra said...

Anonymous,

"Religion, it appears, functions as an impediment to properly enlightened social planning and management."

That was more-or-less the sentiment behind Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor. The religious right certainly wants to use religion in its schemes for social planning. Some Straussian neocons do also, taking Plato's Republic as a model. But let's not pigeon-hole it.

"It's the collectivist's social solidarity pimping done in its name - using it as a major premise - that is so annoying."

For once we almost agree, except I would group all collectivists under the same umbrella -- both atheistic and theistic.

BenYachov said...

>Now I could be wrong but within the context of the comments I took this to mean Feser thought Aquinas was offering those five "proofs" for the benefit of those who wouldn't see the "truth" in any other way.

No Aquinas was critiquing the Ontological Argument by Anselm.

It's f-ing obvious!

>This implies Aquinas didn't view them as proofs. He viewed them more like salutary myths.

You just read you own shit into things and make them say what you want? That is called Eisegesis. Maybe you might want to try a little Exegesis.

Academics are an applied science. They are not about what you subjectively feel. I thought you Atheist types where all about the sciences? Well that's one Myth busted someone should call Adam Savage and Jamie about that one.

djindra said...

BenYachov,

"my beef with Parsons is that ... he did not know what the historically most important writers actually said."

It's kind of silly to parse out meaning on an author's very site, but I think Feser is clear on this. Parsons takes portions of Aquinas at face value without trying to understand the full meaning of the man. In that context, the "five proofs" simply by themselves are not the full meaning of the man. Maybe Feser will correct one of us on his intended meaning.

BenYachov said...

>And I don't necessarily disagree with Feser's assessment. I mean, who can say for sure?

Well we have in this corner Feser who is a PhD in Philosophy. Ex-Atheist who knows Atheist philosophical arguments better than you & has done an objective study of Aquinas and then there is you a village Atheist who has done no reading on the subject whatsoever but wants to act as if his opinion matters on this subject.

Gee I don't know who to choose.......


>Aquinas doesn't dwell on them. He spends much more time discussing angels.

You know know this even thought you haven't read Aquinas. Gotcha!

> So I doubt the proofs were very important to Aquinas, personally. But I think Pastor Bob would disagree because he likes to hug onto those proofs.

You really base all your beliefs on your feelings don't you?

BenYachov said...

>It's kind of silly to parse out meaning on an author's very site,

I caught you in another lie. Stop making a further fool of yourself.

BenYachov said...

BTW Feser clearly doesn't want to talk to you because (if you could read plain english) you are clearly a waste of his time. What you missed that part?

Do you homework.

djindra said...

BenYachov,

"BTW Feser clearly doesn't want to talk to you because (if you could read plain english) you are clearly a waste of his time."

I *am* a waste of his time but not for the reason you suspect.

BenYachov said...

>I *am* a waste of his time but not for the reason you suspect.

What are you really "J" the idiot who was banned?

djindra said...

BenYachov,

"You know know this even thought you haven't read Aquinas. Gotcha!"

You are amusing. You make baseless accusations enough times and through repetition you start believing them.

djindra said...

BenYachov,

"Academics are an applied science. They are not about what you subjectively feel."

That's just plainly wrong. Try suffering through some of the feminist texts. Much of philosophy is not much better. I would classify Nietzsche as a feeler. And did you ever sit through an English Lit class? With a leftist teacher? I rest my case.

BenYachov said...

>You make baseless accusations enough times and through repetition...

The above is called Chutzpa..

BenYachov said...

>That's just plainly wrong. Try suffering through some of the feminist texts.

I have. Wimmin's Studies are not Academics.

>Much of philosophy is not much better.

Modern Philosophy yes....that's the Point of TLS. I've experienced that as well.

>I would classify Nietzsche as a feeler.

All Existentialist Atheist or Theist are anti-rationalists. Thought Ayn Rand is an anomaly mixing Nietzsche with Aristotle. The later being the only good part of her philosophy.

>And did you ever sit through an English Lit class? With a leftist teacher? I rest my case.

Yes I have and none of that is Academics that is merely being an undergraduate.

djindra said...

BenYachov,.

"To bad for Chuckles the Clown I stumbled across his asinine performance on the "The brutal facts about Keith Parsons" post."

You "stumbled" upon it after I pointed you directly at it.

Me: "You make baseless accusations enough times and through repetition..."

You: "The above is called Chutzpa.. "

I'll make a note of that. From now on I'll refer to these as the Chutzpa fallacy.

BenYachov said...

>You "stumbled" upon it after I pointed you directly at it.

No I saw it a few days ago. Since I read this blog very carefully(unlike some of us).

Duke of Earl said...

As a friend of mine observed in regards to this "argument."

"When you understand why you reject all other non-theistic philosophies, you will understand why I reject yours."

Alternatively.

"You are almost as much a theist as I am, there are a myriad of non-theistic philosophies which you reject, I just reject one more."

Anonymous said...

Don Jindra wrote:

"The bull's eye is politics. And the medium is religion. Ultimately his god creates a church and reveals moral law through books and Popes."


I wrote in resaponse:
"Finally, the crux of the matter. Religion, it appears, functions as an impediment to properly enlightened social planning and management.


Jindra replied:

"That was more-or-less the sentiment behind Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor. The religious right certainly wants to use religion in its schemes for social planning. Some Straussian neocons do also, taking Plato's Republic as a model. But let's not pigeon-hole it."

I now remark:
Having previously taken a quick look at your relatively unattended blogs, Don Jindra and Conquackery, I note that you have referenced "Straussians" more than once. Apparently your reading of Strauss has convinced you that his disciples are proponents of the "Noble Lie" or some other such doctrine.


Now in at least a second relatively recent reference on Feser's site, you refer to Strauss by saying that "Some Straussian neocons" take Plato's Republic as model.

Who? Are you actually arguing with Feser's National Review article, "Leo Strauss 101"?

One Brow said...

Duke of Earl said...
"You are almost as much a theist as I am, there are a myriad of non-theistic philosophies which you reject, I just reject one more."

Cute, but one quick rejoinder would be that absent any theistic and atheistic philosophies, a person is still an athiest.

Duke of Earl said...

No, he's an agnostic.

Actually he might not be anything at all.

Is it even possible to be alive and not have a philosophy?

djindra said...

Anonymous,

"Are you actually arguing with Feser's National Review article, 'Leo Strauss 101'?"

No. Not directly anyway. When I looked up this blog in January I wondered why I had it in my old notes as a place to check-out. It struck me later that it was because of that NR article. I had stumbled across it in my research on Strauss. I try to make a point of investigating Strauss apologists. (Yes, contrary to the accusations, I really do try to research my subject.)

Is Feser a closet Straussian? I'm not sure. In some ways he fits, especially in the quasi-Straussian Richard Neuhaus mold. And it struck me a few days ago that this "Aristotelian-Thomistic" philosophy would be an apt vehicle for a Straussian. The name itself could be a clever inside joke. There are hardly two better names for packaging a supposed resolution between Athens and Jerusalem.

But I'm not arguing with that article (although I do think it was a whitewash.). I have been arguing with theists online for 20 years, long before I ever heard of Strauss. These issues are important to me -- to us all. I don't fault Feser for going after ID. For the most part ID gives Christianity a black eye. I'm not sure Feser is much of an improvement though. Why should I care about a religion I reject? Well, I do care but that's another story.

Anonymous said...

No, he's an agnostic.

Actually he might not be anything at all.


This is correct. Atheism is a position that entails an explicit rejection of the idea of God. As such, it depends on that idea to assert itself, otherwise it simply wouldn't even be, at all.

I find this funny because some guys like to argue that "we are all born atheists." Come on, an infant is neither a theist nor an atheist. He's just an infant. Not having an idea of God is far from being epistemically equivalent to rejecting the idea of God.

Is it even possible to be alive and not have a philosophy?

I don't think you want to open this can of worms. Animism, some argue, develops naturally. It is pretty much a human thing.

BenYachov said...

>I find this funny because some guys like to argue that "we are all born atheists."

Newborn Persons who lack the ability to reason are "atheists" and yet somehow that is a good argument for Atheism?

Yeh that argument is wack.

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, me, wrote:

"Are you actually arguing with Feser's National Review article, 'Leo Strauss 101'?"

Djindra replied

"No. Not directly anyway. When I looked up this blog in January I wondered why I had it in my old notes as a place to check-out. It struck me later that it was because of that NR article. I had stumbled across it in my research on Strauss. I try to make a point of investigating Strauss apologists. (Yes, contrary to the accusations, I really do try to research my subject.)

Is Feser a closet Straussian? I'm not sure. In some ways he fits, especially in the quasi-Straussian Richard Neuhaus mold. And it struck me a few days ago that this "Aristotelian-Thomistic" philosophy would be an apt vehicle for a Straussian. The name itself could be a clever inside joke. There are hardly two better names for packaging a supposed resolution between Athens and Jerusalem.

But I'm not arguing with that article (although I do think it was a whitewash.). I have been arguing with theists online for 20 years, long before I ever heard of Strauss. These issues are important to me -- to us all. I don't fault Feser for going after ID. For the most part ID gives Christianity a black eye. I'm not sure Feser is much of an improvement though. Why should I care about a religion I reject? Well, I do care but that's another story."



Ok, that pretty much explains what you are up to here, as I had surmised in an earlier thread.

Your interest is in the political consequences of a refutation of Feser's worldview.



" ... I do care but that's another story"

That's not just tipping your hand. That, on the basis of what you have said in this thread and in another, is not another story, but is instead the very story, of your activities.

It probably hinges on your view that morality should (ought?) not be understood as grounded in any extrinsically referential sense; and you see Strauss as representing an intellectual affront to that position.

I read with interest a recent rebuttal of Noam Chomsky's universal language theory, which some kinds of secularists have increasingly hung their hats on as a kind of substitute shared human essence to replace older and discarded "metaphysically" based notions. Seems even atheists cannot resist the comfort of the blessing of essences however wan, as they try and explain why they are entitled to intraspecifc regard...

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v472/n7342/full/472136a.html



"I try to make a point of investigating Strauss apologists."


Lucky for all of us there is not a bureau dedicated to that. Why don't you write something up about the rationale for that project of yours, and post it on your Conquackery site?

When you have finished you can link to it. That would be a more forthright approach than the current one, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

During a reply to Djindra I made a reference to Chomsky.

Although my comment has not appeared and properly may not - since it is in fact off topic - it occurs to me that I may have made an unthinking reference to something along the lines of "universal language" instead of "universal grammar".

If either of these messages show, I apologize for the slip.

BenYachov said...

>Is Feser a closet Straussian? I'm not sure. In some ways he fits, especially in the quasi-Straussian Richard Neuhaus mold.

I have no idea what djindra is talking about here.

Therefore I have no opinion on it for or against!

You see, that's how it's done jerkoff.

If you don't understand something or have not read up on a topic you don't act as if know anything about.

You certainly don't offer any opinions on the matter. You just ignore it or you research it and then form an opinion.

It's not hard.

One Brow said...

Duke of Earl said...
No, he's an agnostic.

If the person thinks there is evidence either way, or that the existence of gods is inherently unknowable, they are agnostic. If they lack belief, they are atheists, regardless of whether they assert non-existence or not.

Is it even possible to be alive and not have a philosophy?

I think it's possible to have no philosophy regarding God/a god/gods.

One Brow said...

Anonymous said...
This is correct. Atheism is a position that entails an explicit rejection of the idea of God. As such, it depends on that idea to assert itself, otherwise it simply wouldn't even be, at all.

How kind of you to both conflate two different points of view and determine what is the correct version thereof for we atheists. Still, I must refuse such kindness. I make no rejection of God, because I have no solid reason to say God does not exist.

Anonymous said...

How kind of you to both conflate two different points of view and determine what is the correct version thereof for we atheists. Still, I must refuse such kindness.

LOL joke's on you, 'cause you did the same thing one post above.

You better be trollin'.

djindra said...

Anonymous,

"It probably hinges on your view that morality should (ought?) not be understood as grounded in any extrinsically referential sense; and you see Strauss as representing an intellectual affront to that position."

My distaste for Strauss is not about morality. I'd say he was more of an amoral philosopher than a moral one. And I don't consider an extrinsic reference for morality to be an intellectual affront -- in principle. I have nothing against that idea -- again, in principle. A moral code that was as sure and accessible as gravity would surely make things easier. But a "wise" man's authority, force of will and/or force of arms does not count as a legitimate extrinsic reference, IMO.

In regard to Chomsky, thanks for the link. Anything that takes Chomsky down a notch is good (although I'm not sure this really does). I have no respect for the man -- not his politics, not his linguistics. I hope one day his theories are buried with Freud's bad ideas. I'm more and more optimistic they will.

However I do think we as humans do have an intrinsic moral sense, and one that is not infinitely malleable. I have no problem with people -- even priests and philosophers -- trying to uncover the workings of that moral sense. I have no problem with anyone who argues for, or describes, a better way of life. In fact, I hope people do just that.

If that was all A-T philosophy was trying to do, I'd clap from the sidelines. But I do not think that is what it is about. A "final cause" within each of us has dangerous implication, particularly if some outside body considers it their right or duty to decide what the "final cause" is.

I do intend to blog more. But I get a great benefit in discussing ideas with people. Ultimately there's no better test and no better way of forcing us to look hard at things.

One Brow said...

Anonymous said...
LOL joke's on you, 'cause you did the same thing one post above.

I used the same name for different notions of agnosticism, but I did not conflate the two notions. That is, unless you believe that merely using the same name means you think they are the same thing.

machinephilosophy said...

Atheistic criteria are already God-level. Atheists are silent about the status and implications of their own criteria. Theists have to bring it up, to show just how selective atheists are about which ultimate assumptions get rejected as God-level and which ones get implicitly swept behind the curtain but nevertheless used as ultimate arbiters of universally-quantified claims and arguments, like some kind of abstract mind-god dictating all thoughts about the total. That's why they mirror the stereotypes they deride, as fundy-thumpers of an invisible friend of absolute neo-moralistic mind commandments.

On atheism, reason is no more inferentially efficacious than a bullet in the head, as Mao, Stalin, and other atheist rulers clearly admitted through the actions they resorted to last century.

Anonymous said...


I used the same name for different notions of agnosticism, but I did not conflate the two notions. That is, unless you believe that merely using the same name means you think they are the same thing.


You know, there's this thing called specification. People use it to qualify things like "this type of X" or "that type of Y."

Also you're boring. I'm going to smoke a bowl instead.

BenYachov said...

>If that was all A-T philosophy was trying to do, I'd clap from the sidelines. But I do not think that is what it is about. A "final cause" within each of us has dangerous implication, particularly if some outside body considers it their right or duty to decide what the "final cause" is.

No doubt you are one of those weirdos who believes Bush was behind 911, there was a secret gunman on the grassy knoll and Obama was born in Kenya.

No wonder you misread Aquinas, Aristotle & Feser. You are blinded by your weird political conspiracy theories.

Myself I don't believe in conspiracy theories. I believe the world is really that boring. So embrace the boredom.

Anonymous said...

machinephilosophy said...

Atheistic criteria are already God-level. Atheists are silent about the status and implications of their own criteria. Theists have to bring it up, to show just how selective atheists are about which ultimate assumptions get rejected as God-level and which ones get implicitly swept behind the curtain but nevertheless used as ultimate arbiters of universally-quantified claims and arguments, like some kind of abstract mind-god dictating all thoughts about the total. That's why they mirror the stereotypes they deride, as fundy-thumpers of an invisible friend of absolute neo-moralistic mind commandments.

On atheism, reason is no more inferentially efficacious than a bullet in the head, as Mao, Stalin, and other atheist rulers clearly admitted through the actions they resorted to last century."



It's an interesting theme we have seen played out recently with Sam Harris; who in debate proclaimed regarding his "objective" atheist morality, that all you had to do in order to see the sense of it, was to assume that it was wrong for sentient beings to suffer in the worst possible way. And that this would be obvious to anyone who cared, and if you didn't care, then you should.

Whizzz: round and round and round


As you undoubtedly know from the tone of your remarks, Marx, writing in the EPM, famously thought he was banishing metaphysics from the realm of socially useful discourse, and, properly confining man's mind on the real business of man, which he saw as man.

Although "hermeneuticist" disciples of his sideways historical approach into the analysis of human existence within his dialectically wobbling cosmic egg, may differ on the utility of "the method", all he himself did in the way of banishing metaphysics was to create one, albeit anti-supernatural, of his own.

Just as you said: Grandly broom it out the front door, and then let in around back, when you think no one is looking. Give it a different name and hope no one notices.

Step2 said...

My simple objection is based on the rather stark differences between the god of classical theism, who theoretically is represented by all three main monotheistic religions, and the god of the Old Testament who drowns the world, commands genocide, condones polygamy and slavery, and also kills the illegitimate infant son of King David.

djindra said...

BenYachov,

"No doubt you are one of those weirdos who believes Bush was behind 911, there was a secret gunman on the grassy knoll and Obama was born in Kenya."

Nope.

OTOH, do you suppose atheism has dangerous implications? How about communism, liberalism, socialism, utilitarianism, behaviorism, authoritarianism, individualism, existentialism, etc..?.

I'll bet practically everyone on earth believes at least one ideology or ism has dangerous implications.

djindra said...

"all [Marx] himself did in the way of banishing metaphysics was to create one, albeit anti-supernatural, of his own."

We sort of agree on that. Marx created a political religion. (When I tell religionists this they usually gasp in horror.) However it does not follow that all atheists do the same.

djindra said...

"It's an interesting theme we have seen played out recently with Sam Harris; who in debate proclaimed regarding his "objective" atheist morality, that all you had to do in order to see the sense of it, was to assume that it was wrong for sentient beings to suffer in the worst possible way. And that this would be obvious to anyone who cared, and if you didn't care, then you should."

I wouldn't call it "objective" but I would call it biological. It's hard to find objective reasons why we have two eyes instead of three. And it's hard to find objective reasons why we react to certain situations like we do. But virtually all of us do react to certain things in certain, predictable ways. And we react instantly, no contemplation or consultation required.

djindra said...

machinephilosophy said: "On atheism, reason is no more inferentially efficacious than a bullet in the head, as Mao, Stalin, and other atheist rulers clearly admitted through the actions they resorted to last century."

Rather than respond to this directly I'll just mention that evidently I'm not the only one here who thinks this is about politics.

BenYachov said...

>OTOH, do you suppose atheism has dangerous implications? How about communism, liberalism, socialism, utilitarianism, behaviorism, authoritarianism, individualism, existentialism, etc..?.

I believe unrepentant sin & the willful rejection of reason in favor of emotion has dangerous implications.

I also believe idiots who equivocate between a specific unrelated philosophical concept (i.e. Final Causality) and general political ideologies are unreasonable.


>I'll bet practically everyone on earth believes at least one ideology or ism has dangerous implications.

Yeh I reject philosophical idealism(i.e. the mind causes existence) but I don't see what that has to do with the abolition of property rights? I reject the Mechanistic view that nature contains only two eminent causes not four but I don't see what that has to do with the rights of the individual?

It seems to me only uneducated philosophically incompetent chuckleheads(i.e. fundie New Atheists) see philosophy as nothing more that politics by other means.

Morons!

TheOFloinn said...

However I do think we as humans do have an intrinsic moral sense, and one that is not infinitely malleable.

Sure, but you're just parroting Catholic theology.

TheOFloinn said...

Marx created a political religion. (When I tell religionists this they usually gasp in horror.) However it does not follow that all atheists do the same.

Marx would also have gasped in horror. Atheists other than Marx might not because that enables them to deny that Marxism was an atheist political philosophy. Come to that, logicians might also gasp in horror. Certainly, when you tell Darwinists that Darwinism is a socio-political religion, they too gasp in horror.(*) All that is really necessary is that you redefine "religion" in a tendentious manner so as to "prove" the point, then drop the new definition like a hot potato as soon as it is used against you.

BenYachov said...

So Marxism is a religion but Atheism in general is not a religion? It's just an absence of gods-belief?

Ladies and Gentlemen may I present Chucklehead 1st Class djindra.

Master of the Fallacy of Equivocation!


Really son. Do your homework. One doesn't have to believe in any gods to see you are so full of shit.

One Brow said...

BenYachov said...
So Marxism is a religion

Actually, the term was "politcal religion", or a set of political beliefs followed like a religion. After all, did marxism ever offer any evidence it was workable, or a serious metaphysical position? It seems to me people took it on faith.

but Atheism in general is not a religion?

Under what standard definiton of religion does atheism qualify?

It's just an absence of gods-belief?

Yes.

Master of the Fallacy of Equivocation!

You mean, better than confalting "poltical religion" with "religion"? Better than taking a process you explicitly say is not simultaneous, and referring to as being simultaneous nine times in five pages of a book?

BenYachov said...

>Actually, the term was "politcal religion", or a set of political beliefs followed like a religion. After all, did marxism ever offer any evidence it was workable, or a serious metaphysical position? It seems to me people took it on faith.

Then One Brow your kneejerk Skepticism is a religion and Republicanism and Liberal Democratics are a religion.

>Under what standard definiton of religion does atheism qualify?

Define what you mean by religion first. Besides I don't define Atheism as a religion anymore than I define Theism as a religion.

>>It's just an absence of gods-belief?

>Yes.

Then Theism is an absence of "no-god" belief.

>You mean, better than confalting "poltical religion" with "religion"?

Says the guy who once Equivocated "Color is an expansive property" with "Light absorption properties in glass are an expansive property"?

>Better than taking a process you explicitly say is not simultaneous, and referring to as being simultaneous nine times in five pages of a book?

You lost me here what are you blathering about?

BenYachov said...

>Better than taking a process you explicitly say is not simultaneous, and referring to as being simultaneous nine times in five pages of a book?

OTO if the above is a reference to
this.

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2009/07/beguiled-by-scientism.html

Might I suggest you fail to grasp the difference between equivocation vs analogy.

BenYachov said...

>Actually, the term was "politcal religion", or a set of political beliefs followed like a religion.

So Marx got his ideas there was no God and that history was evolving toward socialism as a revelation from God?

Who knew?

BenYachov said...

>After all, did marxism ever offer any evidence it was workable, or a serious metaphysical position?

Not being a student of the history of socialism I couldn't tell ya.

>It seems to me people took it on faith.

But how does that make it a religion? Sure some religions hold to Fideism but others (like Catholicism) condemn it as a heresy.

So I'm not getting the religion angle????

BenYachov said...

>After all, did marxism ever offer any evidence it was....a serious metaphysical position?

How is marxism a metaphysical position? It contains a metaphysical component. Materialism but not all it components have to do with materialism.

Which then begs the question is then not materialism a religion? If not then why not?

djindra said...

TheOFloinn & BenYachov,

The idea that Marxist communism is a political religion is not original with me. It's long been noted. A good overview was presented by Murray N. Rothbard in "Karl Marx as Religious Eschatologist." For an earlier rendering you could read Nikolai Berdyaev's "The Russian Revolution." Here's a sample:

"Communism comes forward claiming to be a new religion, and it requires great stores of religious energy and great strength of religious faith if it is to be put in practice. And precisely because Communism is itself a religion it persecutes all religions and will have no religious toleration. Communistic atheism has nothing in common with laicism and liberalism. It looks upon itself as the only true religion and will suffer no other to live alongside of it. It demands religious adoration of the proletariat as the chosen people of God ; it deifies a social collectivity called to supplant God and man. The social collectivity is the one and only criterion of moral judgments and acts ; it contains and expresses all justice and truth. Communism creates a new morality which is neither Christian nor humanitarian. It has its orthodox theology and sets up its own cult (the cult of Lenin, for instance), its own symbols, its own feasts, its " red baptisms " and " red funerals." It has its own dogmatic system, obligatory for all, and its catechism ; it exposes heresies and excommunicates heretics."

Of course Marx would gasp in horror at this. But Marx was consistently in error.

So I note the teleological dimension of Marxism. It had dangerous implications. I don't think the teleological dimension of A-T philosophy is quite so dangerous at the moment but neither is it totally benign.

BenYachov said...

>I don't think the teleological dimension of A-T philosophy is quite so dangerous at the moment but neither is it totally benign.

It isn't anything. You are just a paranoid fruitcake reading into things stuff that is not there based on your lack of education.

djindra said...

BenYachov,

"You are just a paranoid fruitcake reading into things stuff that is not there based on your lack of education."

Yet this blog is devoted to the strange idea that modernity is dangerous.

BenYachov said...

>Yet this blog is devoted to the strange idea that modernity is dangerous.

Nonsense! It teaches modern philosophy is wrong & classical philosophy is correct and it gives excellent philosophical arguments to back up that claim.

You are a conspiracy fruitbat & a pathological liar who refuses to read other points of view for fear it will challenge his preconceptions.

TheOFloinn said...

Okay. So "I don't like religion" plus "I don't like Communism" must equal "Communism is religion."

This has the smack of something obvious dressed up in pretension. "Everyone gotta believe in something." If not a transcendent God, then a view of the godless workers' paradise on earth. If not that, then the Prophet Rand; or perhaps Darwin. Or the Race, or the Nation. But not everything zealous and enthusiastic, nor every movement in which the follower feels himself a participant in something larger than himself, is a religion in any way more than an analogous usage of the term.

Some people are religiously devoted to the New York Yankees or the Chicago Cubs.

Once the term is used broadly enough it ceases to have distinctive meaning. However, this particular usage is only intended to duck the fact that Marxist Communism is an atheist ideology and "prove" by redefinition that it is (whew!) a "religion" after all. At that point, the redefinition is dropped and not used when examining Objectivism, Darwinism, or the Chicago Cubs.
+ + +
So I note the teleological dimension of Marxism. It had dangerous implications. I don't think the teleological dimension of A-T philosophy is quite so dangerous at the moment but neither is it totally benign.

You (and probably Rothbard) do not understand what telos is. It is simply a feature of the natural world, along with matter, form, and agency.

TheOFloinn said...

Yet this blog is devoted to the strange idea that modernity is dangerous.

You only say that because Moderns have massacred millions of their fellow citizens, conducted world-wide wars, invented nerve gasses, and nuked entire cities out of existence.

It won't matter. The Modern Ages have been collapsing for the past hundred years or so. How much fun the Postmodern Age will be remains to be seen. Moderns won't like it, not one bit.

djindra said...

TheOFloinn,

"Okay. So 'I don't like religion' plus 'I don't like Communism' must equal 'Communism is religion.'"

You completely missed the fact that Berdyaev is a religionist.

djindra said...

TheOFloinn,

"Once the term is used broadly enough it ceases to have distinctive meaning."

I agree. But it does not follow that this is what Rothbard, Berdyaev, and the many others who have noticed the same religious nature of communism are using the term "religion" broadly. I would not say liberalism and conservatism are like a religion for example (although both have religious adherents).

TheOFloinn said...

"Once the term is used broadly enough it ceases to have distinctive meaning."

I agree. But it does not follow that this is what Rothbard, Berdyaev, and the many others who have noticed the same religious nature of communism are using the term "religion" broadly. I would not say liberalism and conservatism are like a religion for example (although both have religious adherents).


Dude, you're demonstrating my point. Is stamp collecting a religion? What about cat-owners? Cubs fans preparing for their annual Ragnarok? If what you or Rothbard mean is "devotion" and "faithfulness" or "zeal" or "participation in something larger than myself," there are perfectly good English terms available. The analogous use of "religious" may be a useful imagery; but we mustn't confuse the image with the reality.

djindra said...

TheOFloinn,

"Dude, you're demonstrating my point. Is stamp collecting a religion? What about cat-owners? Cubs fans preparing for their annual Ragnarok?"

Actually you're demonstrating my point. None of those are a religion. Virtually nobody treats stamp collecting as an article of faith. They don't construct a worldview around those hobbies. They don't create social policies or define moral laws. They don't consider the hobby larger than themselves. They don't try to convert the masses to the hobby as if it ultimately would make a difference.

djindra said...

TheOFloinn,

"The Modern Ages have been collapsing for the past hundred years or so."

You seriously believe that? Why?

TheOFloinn said...

Not every stamp collector; but neither do many communists, nor even church-goers. But there is many a hobbyist who centers his entire life around that hobby, and interprets everything in his life, wittingly or not, in terms of that hobby.

+ + +
TheOFloinn: "The Modern Ages have been collapsing for the past hundred years or so."

djindra:
You seriously believe that? Why?

TOF
Because every single one of the markers of the Modern Ages has been in decline or transformation. It takes us way off topic, though. Lukacs gives a good summary in his 1970 book The Passing of the Modern Age.

Meanwhile, in a nod to the actual topic, we might consider that the argument being refuted is one that fails to distinguish between zero and nothing.

Anonymous said...

Blogger TheOFloinn said...

" 'Marx created a political religion. (When I tell religionists this they usually gasp in horror.) However it does not follow that all atheists do the same.'

Marx would also have gasped in horror. Atheists other than Marx might not because that enables them to deny that Marxism was an atheist political philosophy. Come to that, logicians might also gasp in horror. Certainly, when you tell Darwinists that Darwinism is a socio-political religion, they too gasp in horror.(*) All that is really necessary is that you redefine "religion" in a tendentious manner so as to "prove" the point, then drop the new definition like a hot potato as soon as it is used against you."


The "religious" aspect of these kind of atheistic creeds taken generally - and the original humanist manifesto is a creed that is self-definitionally "religious" - is revealed when the disciples of the creed begin demanding universal human allegiance to the beliefs, and social conformity with certain behavioral prescriptions and moral duties they or their experts supposedly drive from their metaphysical insights.

[http://www.americanhumanist.org/Who_We_Are/About_Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_I]

They believe they have gained an understanding of the ultimate reality; or what what passes for the ultimate reality as far as it is available to be known to mankind.

Thus in my view, while Marxism as an economic analysis of Capitalism is not a religion, Marx did create a metaphysical postulate concerning the evolutionary nature of the universe with "moral" (of some kind) implications. The total knowledge-enclosure of man within a reflexively evolving universe, and the notion of man's place in it taken as the consciousness of the inorganic body, informed the development of ideological Marxism, and made it more than just a political theory which one was morally free to associate or disassociate with. No demurrers are accepted.

Some people, and I get the impression Marx was by assumption one of them, seem to view metaphysics as a kind of philosophically veiled supernaturalism, and to therefore imagine that they can/could spin materialist doctrines about the ultimate nature of reality without getting "metaphysical".

The "hermeneutical modesty" of the modern marxian practitioner as to questions concerning whether this line of thinking is actually "materialist" - I have run into people who have argued Marx was not a "materialist" as we understand the term - seems to me to be a later apologetical, if not merely polemically motivated, development.

Anonymous said...

April 21, 2011 7:15 PM
Blogger djindra said...

" 'It's an interesting theme we have seen played out recently with Sam Harris; who in debate proclaimed regarding his "objective" atheist morality, that all you had to do in order to see the sense of it, was to assume that it was wrong for sentient beings to suffer in the worst possible way. And that this would be obvious to anyone who cared, and if you didn't care, then you should.'

I wouldn't call it "objective" but I would call it biological. It's hard to find objective reasons why we have two eyes instead of three. And it's hard to find objective reasons why we react to certain situations like we do. But virtually all of us do react to certain things in certain, predictable ways. And we react instantly, no contemplation or consultation required."

If it is a biological artifact that can be submitted to public scrutiny, and exists and affects us whether we acknowledge it or not, I am not sure how it could not be at least merely objective.

But what Harris was trying to abolish is the is/ought distinction created by a previous generation of his predecessors in seizen.

However, although we could probably prove for example, and contrary to Mead, that some common moral sensibility in found in all presently existing men, this finding would not logically entail in a 'nonteleological' (and I know my use of the term is risky in this forum) environment, that heeding this sense was somehow obligatory.

I am assuming here that an Aristotelian biological teleology, and virtue as excellence, is simply ruled out of court as being irrelevant to the kind of moral argument nonAritotelian modern social progressives wish to make.

One Brow said...

BenYachov said...
Then One Brow your kneejerk Skepticism is a religion

Under what defintion of religion? Is there one in this list?

and Republicanism and Liberal Democratics are a religion.

Under the same rubric as Marxism being a political religion? I would agree.

Besides I don't define Atheism as a religion anymore than I define Theism as a religion.

Agreed.

Says the guy who once Equivocated "Color is an expansive property" with "Light absorption properties in glass are an expansive property"?

When I make an error and it is pointed out to me, I acknowledge and correct it, as I did in that thread. It this your way of acknlowledging you equivocated?

OTO if the above is a reference to this.

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2009/07/beguiled-by-scientism.html


That is a discussion on the part of TLS to which I was referring.

Might I suggest you fail to grasp the difference between equivocation vs analogy.

An analogy is likening a chain of essentially ordered causes to a series of rail cars. Calling the events in such a chain "simultaneous" is not only wrong, as Unbeguiled pointed out, but also beside the point, as Dr. Feser pointed out. When you use a word that is both wrong and irrelevant to a process as the primary description of that process, that is not an analogy.

So Marx got his ideas there was no God and that history was evolving toward socialism as a revelation from God?

There is no requirment an actual God is involved in any of the definitons of "religion" at the linked site, much less in a term like "political religion".

So I'm not getting the religion angle????

Sometimes an adjective changes the base meaning of a word. Articficial sweetner is still a sweetner, but artificial leather is not leather.

Which then begs the question is then not materialism a religion? If not then why not?

Which of the usual definitions would materialism fit under? If none, what alternate definition would you propose?

BenYachov said...

>Under what defintion of religion? Is there one in this list?

Yes but they are not extensive & they certainly don't apply to political ideologies.

>agreed

Good.

>When I make an error and it is pointed out to me, I acknowledge and correct it, as I did in that thread.

After some teeth pulling you did.
I will begrudgingly admit you are improving a wee bit.

>It this your way of acknlowledging you equivocated?

Actually I'm mocking djindra. If I am equivocating I am doing so for the purpose of satire. Since he doesn't want to treat the subject matter seriously. Or differentiate between Philosophy, Religion or politics. I think he conflates all three.

>Calling the events in such a chain "simultaneous" is not only wrong, as Unbeguiled pointed out,

Rather Unbeguiled(like you) can't get over his Scientism. Feser was making a metaphysical demonstration on change not a description of physics. Feser already answered UB in the link I provide merely repeating UB's unfounded error doesn't help you.
His meltdown speaks for itself.

>When you use a word that is both wrong and irrelevant to a process as the primary description of that process, that is not an analogy.

A process is a physical activity. What part of metaphysical demonstration do ye & UB not understand?

Still (metaphorically) conflating color with light absorption I see.

BenYachov said...

>There is no requirment an actual God is involved in any of the definitons of "religion" at the linked site, much less in a term like "political religion".

The last definition is rather broad and can be applied to anything including Atheism, Skepticism or any ism in general.

>Sometimes an adjective changes the base meaning of a word. Articficial sweetner is still a sweetner, but artificial leather is not leather.

Agreed in which case it is wrong for dj to conflate traditional religion with political ideology.

>Which of the usual definitions would materialism fit under? If none, what alternate definition would you propose?

A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

The cause of championing the principle of materialism could be a religion.

BenYachov said...

Of course I can forgive conflating religion with politics. I get pissed off with people conflating it with philosophy.

BenYachov said...

"The series is 'essentially ordered' because the later members of the series, having no independent power of motion on their own, derive the fact of their motion and their ability to move other things from the first member, in this case the hand." (TLS, p. 93)

Feser is trying to discuss the origin of the change, He is not claiming these physical process all happen at once sans time. I got that when I first read it. So what is UB's malfunction?

djindra said...

TheOFloinn,

I'll put The Passing of the Modern Age on my list of books to investigate. Thanks for the tip. It looks to be similar to José Ortega y Gasset's The Revolt of the Masses. Elitists have been disparaging the common man for a long time. But the common man keeps pulling through anyway. So I don't put much confidence in the pessimists. Overall, I think the future looks pretty good and mostly modern. You and I must be looking at different markers.

djindra said...

BenYachov,

"Actually I'm mocking djindra. If I am equivocating I am doing so for the purpose of satire. Since he doesn't want to treat the subject matter seriously. Or differentiate between Philosophy, Religion or politics. I think he conflates all three."

Ever heard of The Moral Majority? The Christian Coalition? Liberation Theology? How about Francis Schaeffer? Or even Plato?

If you don't think philosophy, religion and politics have been conflated throughout history (as well as in recent times) you haven't been paying attention.

djindra said...

Anonymous,

"If it is a biological artifact that can be submitted to public scrutiny, and exists and affects us whether we acknowledge it or not, I am not sure how it could not be at least merely objective."

Of course, the behavior can be objectively observed. But the reasons behind it are not so easily observed or prescribed. If Harris is trying to deny behavioral "ought" then I strongly disagree with him. I ought to protect my family. I know it's hard to find an "objective" bigger-than-man reason for this but I don't really see this as a problem.. Most people do want to, and think they ought to protect their family. I don't think they wait for philosophic "truth" or theological "revelation" to do so.

TheOFloinn said...

I notice you have managed to mischaracterize the book already. That must be a record of sorts.

I don't want to impose on Dr. Feser, but here's one marker: The Modern Ages were the Age of Europe. They did not run past Transylvania or across the Mediterranean. The term modern appeared first in the 1500s about the same time as European became a noun for a person. During the Modern Ages, Europeans went out from their continent bringing their civilized culture to all the primitive corners of the globe. By 1900 India, Indonesia, Burma, most of Africa, and the Middle East was ruled by Europeans or their descendants. By 1970 none of it was, and the colonies began to colonize Europe. After the mutual suicide pact of 1914-1945 the air went out of the European Thing. That is one marker.

I may one day blog on it in its fullness; but for now all we have are some rough draft scraps:
http://tofspot.blogspot.com/2010/10/autumn-of-modern-ages.html
http://m-francis.livejournal.com/171684.html
http://m-francis.livejournal.com/141193.html

And that's all I will digress in this venue.

One Brow said...

BenYachov said...
Feser is trying to discuss the origin of the change, He is not claiming these physical process all happen at once sans time. I got that when I first read it.

I agree. His use of "simultaneous" to describe such a series is both off-point and inaccurate.

So what is UB's malfunction?

He had the temerity to assume that when Dr. Feser used "simultaneous" to describe the series nine times in five pages, that was actually because the choice was significant and accurate. We know better, right?

TheOFloinn said...

His use of "simultaneous" to describe such a series is both off-point and inaccurate.

Not if you keep your tenses straight. Present progressive. Not instantaneous present. That there may be a ramp-up or a ramp-down is not important to the point. Hence, the golf club is swinging while the hand is moving. These are simultaneous even if not instantaneous, even if the hand is compressible enough that it begins-to-move infinitesimally just before the golf club begins-to-move.

BenYachov said...

>Ever heard of The Moral Majority? The Christian Coalition? Liberation Theology? How about Francis Schaeffer? Or even Plato?

That groups of religious persons participate in politics does not equal religion being nothing more than a branch of mere politics.

>If you don't think philosophy, religion and politics have been conflated throughout history (as well as in recent times) you haven't been paying attention.

This issue isn't chuckleheads who have historically conflated them. It is the folly of sub-intelligent illiterate morons who can't distinguish between them. That would be you sir.

BenYachov said...

>I agree. His use of "simultaneous" to describe such a series is both off-point and inaccurate.

I made no such claim. I see your inability to read plain English continues to inhibit you.

>He had the temerity to assume that when Dr. Feser used "simultaneous" to describe the series nine times in five pages, that was actually because the choice was significant and accurate. We know better, right?

TheOFloinn as given you your answer. UB misreading cannot be defended by any rational person. Only a sophist who equivocates at the drop of a hat will do so. Obviously motivated by some tribal desire to defend a fellow Atheist at all costs.

UB distortion & willful misreading is unreasonable and on the level of your equivocating the true proposition that Color is an expansive property with the false proposition that light absorption properties in glass are an expansive property.

It clearly takes one idiot who can't read English to defend another.

Anonymous said...

Blogger djindra said...

Anonymous,

"If it is a biological artifact that can be submitted to public scrutiny, and exists and affects us whether we acknowledge it or not, I am not sure how it could not be at least merely objective."

Of course, the behavior can be objectively observed. But the reasons behind it are not so easily observed or prescribed. If Harris is trying to deny behavioral "ought" then I strongly disagree with him. I ought to protect my family. I know it's hard to find an "objective" bigger-than-man reason for this but I don't really see this as a problem.. Most people do want to, and think they ought to protect their family. I don't think they wait for philosophic "truth" or theological "revelation" to do so."


Harris is trying to salvage a connection his philosophical kind have been on record as opposing since the days of Ayer's, "Language, Truth and Logic"; and possibly before.

Harris' point is that he thinks it is in some sense an objective behavioral ought, based on the capacity of conscious, or maybe sentient others', potential for suffering pain or misery.

You are simply describing a phenomenon that is more or less universal, and which may or may not remain so, and just is what it is; and leaving it at that.

Which is fine.

It just implies nothing in the way of larger duties not related to judgments of relative utility.

One Brow said...

One Brow; His use of "simultaneous" to describe such a series is both off-point and inaccurate.

TheOFloinn: Not if you keep your tenses straight. Present progressive. Not instantaneous present.


Your referring to the tenses of an adjective, and distinguishing between "present progressive" and "instantaneous progressive"? How can I consider such a conversation to be serious? Adjective can be intensified or moderated, but they don't have tenses.

That there may be a ramp-up or a ramp-down is not important to the point. Hence, the golf club is swinging while the hand is moving. These are simultaneous even if not instantaneous, even if the hand is compressible enough that it begins-to-move infinitesimally just before the golf club begins-to-move.

Meaning that, if the hand moves for a brief enough periof of time, it's movement is temporally disconnected from the club movement, and not simultaneous. Because there is a time lag between the act of the hand on the club base and the act of the club head on the ball in any chain where you follow through an instance of the specific level of energy being transferred. We agree completely, except for the equivocation.

BenYachov said...

Everybody with an IQ over three understood what Feser was saying.

That it seems excludes UB & OB.

One Brow said...

BenYachov said...
I made no such claim.

I inferred your obvious implication.

I see your inability to read plain English continues to inhibit you.

It's not my fault if you dislike the implicaitons of your words.

TheOFloinn as given you your answer.

I'm still chuckling at it.

UB misreading cannot be defended by any rational person.

I don't find your determination of what a rational person can or cannot defend to be particularly authoritative.

Only a sophist who equivocates at the drop of a hat will do so.

I agree it's much easier to attack people who point out that you should call things simultaneous with are not actually simultaneous, when said simultaneity is not even relevant. The term "sophist" is excellent for such tactics, allowing you to avoid the substance of the conversations.

Obviously motivated by some tribal desire to defend a fellow Atheist at all costs.

Projections that large belong in theaters.

UB distortion & willful misreading is unreasonable

So, when Dr. Feser refers to instrumentality once, and simultaneity nine times in discussing the sequence, to you it is entirely the fault of the reader in assuming that the quantitatively domninant is the qualitatively important term. I just call that (at the most charitable) poor writing.

and on the level of your equivocating

Another excellent way of dodging a surrent point of discussion is to bring up past points of discussion in order to insinuate 'If a person was wrong then, how can he be right now?' Do you think that tactic will work, or just make it look like you have no argument?

One Brow said...

BenYachov said...
Everybody with an IQ over three understood what Feser was saying.

That it seems excludes UB & OB.


Unless, you note that in paragraph 6 of part 5 of my review of TLS, I pointed out this exact deficiency in Dr. Feser's writing. Of course, that would require you to actually read, BenYachov.

BenYachov said...

>Your referring to the tenses of an adjective, and distinguishing between "present progressive" and "instantaneous progressive"? How can I consider such a conversation to be serious?

It makes perfect sense when applied to the sentence "the golf club is swinging while the hand is moving."

Ordinary persons would know this. Fundie Atheist hairspliting chuckleheads who can't read plain English might have trouble with it.

>Adjective can be intensified or moderated, but they don't have tenses.

I don't see what that has to do with anything? The adjective "simultaneous" is appropriate here to describe the sentence. Of course Feser was making a metaphysical explaination not an explaination of physics. Which as we all know is beyond your limited intelligence.

But if we excepted your's & UB's weird legalism then there is no such thing as a "simultaneous" action since the mechanisms in any action all come together in time and are never in the strict sense instantaneous.

BenYachov said...

>I inferred your obvious implication.

That is you read into it a meaning you wanted it to have even thought there was no context to even suggest it.

Much like what you are doing with Feser now & in the past.

Why should anyone take your idiot blather seriously then?

Clearly you are not arguing in good faith. Which is your norm.

TheOFloinn said...

Your referring to the tenses of an adjective, and distinguishing between "present progressive" and "instantaneous progressive"? How can I consider such a conversation to be serious?

Because the sophist has little imagination and fails to realize that the tenses are of the verbs while the adjective "simultaneous" is an attempt to grasp the concurrent operation of the verbs: synapses firing, nerves signaling, muscles contracting, arm swinging, hand gripping and moving, golf club swinging. All these things happen concurrently, simultaneously over the same time frame. To kvetch that there may be time lags or ramp-ups at the beginning of each is to entirely miss the point and confuse "simultaneous" with "instantaneous."

BenYachov said...

>'If a person was wrong then, how can he be right now?'

You where not right then & you are not right now.

But if you ad hoc insist the adjective "simultaneous" must be equivocated with the adjective "instantaneous" then it is just as when you equivocated "color" with "light absorption property".

You where being a sophist then & you are being one now.

One Brow said...

BenYachov said...
It makes perfect sense when applied to the sentence "the golf club is swinging while the hand is moving."

Such sentence does not have the power to impart tenses to adjectives.

Ordinary persons would know this.

"Ordinary people" know tenses have adjectives? Funny, ordiary English teachers don't seem to know this.

Fundie Atheist hairspliting chuckleheads who can't read plain English might have trouble with it.

I think insulting people is a one way to distract from your complete lack of an ability to support your argument. Do you think it will be effective?

I don't see what that has to do with anything? The adjective "simultaneous" is appropriate here to describe the sentence.

Just not the essentially ordered causes the sentence is intended to illustrate.

Of course Feser was making a metaphysical explaination not an explaination of physics.

Actually, Dr. Feser is usin a contrary-to-fact physical description to make an admitted (by Dr. Feser) irrelevant description of said physical event while depicting it's metaphysical properties.

Which as we all know is beyond your limited intelligence.

You know, maybe you should keep throwing out insults to distract from the complete lack of substantiation you present. Do you think that's likely to make a sufficient distraction?

But if we excepted your's & UB's weird legalism then there is no such thing as a "simultaneous" action since the mechanisms in any action all come together in time and are never in the strict sense instantaneous.

I'm not surprised when you "except" anything whose source you don't like.

Besides, whether the events are simutaneous or not in an essentially ordered causal series is irrelevant, so why should it matter that the depiction is inappropriate? Are Dr. Feser's writing skills to scrosanct that you can't just say 'He put that badly'?

One Brow said...

BenYachov said...
That is you read into it a meaning you wanted it to have even thought there was no context to even suggest it.

Obvious implications require a context now?

Much like what you are doing with Feser now & in the past.

It's my fault that he used an irrelevant description nine times (twice with italics) compared to once with the accurate?

Why should anyone take your idiot blather seriously then?

Because I don't insult opponents when I have no substantive argument?

Clearly you are not arguing in good faith. Which is your norm.

Casual dimissal of an argument you can't refute is an excellent tactic. I'm sure no one will notice it.

BenYachov said...

>Such sentence does not have the power to impart tenses to adjectives.

I wasn't arguing adjectives have tenses. You are still reading imaginary meanings into my writings like you do with Feser.

Such dishonesty on your part to distract from your weak arguments is becoming tedious.

One Brow said...

BenYachov said...
You where not right then & you are not right now.

I find your determination of such to have no merit, based on your response.

But if you ad hoc insist the adjective "simultaneous" must be equivocated with the adjective "instantaneous"

Simultaneous refers to the identical time frame of two events. Instantaneous refers the the length of a period of time. Pretending the latter is some version of the former is sophistry on your part, not mine.

Funnily enough, I'd agree that transfer of activation along an essentially ordered causal series was instantaneous, even though it results in non-simutaneity. But then, I'm using the words for what they actually mean.

then it is just as when you equivocated "color" with "light absorption property".

For a poster who asserted that the true color of something depended on using the correct light level, you seem awfully eager to bring that conversation up. Why?

You where being a sophist then & you are being one now.

I think tossing out a vague declaration, not backed up by any particular demonstration of said sophistry, is an excellent way to distract from your refusal to use standard definitions for words. Do you think that will work?

One Brow said...

I wasn't arguing adjectives have tenses.

Yes, it turned out your actual argument was even worse.

BenYachov said...

>I'm not surprised when you "except" anything whose source you don't like.

My spellign suucks. I don't care. I have never pretended otherwise.

>Besides, whether the events are simutaneous or not in an essentially ordered causal series is irrelevant,

Backpeddling alert!

> so why should it matter that the depiction is inappropriate?

It's perfectly appropriate unless you dogmatically define simultaneous (watch your own spelling mistakes before you correct mine jerkoff) to mean instantaneous. Which is what you are doing here and it is clear Feser didn't mean that at all.

>Are Dr. Feser's writing skills to scrosanct that you can't just say 'He put that badly'?

Of course not. But your analysis is clearly wrong.

BenYachov said...

>Yes, it turned out your actual argument was even worse.

I should be confident you now understand my actual argument why?

Because of the superior reading comprehension skills you have displayed so far?

Of course!!!!

One Brow said...

TheOFloinn said...
Because the sophist ...

Do you think tossing out insults randomly has been working for BenYachov? Do you think it will work better for you?

... has little imagination and fails to realize that the tenses are of the verbs while the adjective "simultaneous" is an attempt to grasp the concurrent operation of the verbs:

Then you agree an adjective has no tenses? Good start.

synapses firing, nerves signaling, muscles contracting, arm swinging, hand gripping and moving, golf club swinging. All these things happen concurrently, simultaneously over the same time frame.

Did you know World War I and World War II happened simultaneously (over the same time frame)?

Yes, that is patent nonsense, absolutely. It's not even sophistry, because sophistry requires using words correctly. You and I know the events are not actually concurrent, but sequential in time. Further, concurrency in not even relevant to nature of an essentially ordered cause. Yet, you cling to the description like a pit bull. It makes me curious why you need an irrelevant description to be true so strongly.

To kvetch that there may be time lags or ramp-ups at the beginning of each is to entirely miss the point and confuse "simultaneous" with "instantaneous."

See, I would say that confusing "simultaneous" with "instantaneous" means confusing a description of events with a description of a time period. But then, I'm using English.

BenYachov said...

>Simultaneous refers to the identical time frame of two events.

Then your argument fails since the activities described by Feser just have to happen in the same "time frame". Which they clearly do.

A Time frame is a period during which something takes place. It could be a minute, a second a nano-second etc...

So you lose.

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