Monday, July 2, 2012

Answering Atheism in Australia

The Catholic Adult Education Centre of the Archdiocese of Sydney is kindly hosting me for a week-long speaking tour from July 23 - 29.  You can find more information here and a YouTube promo here.


  1. Congratulations. Quite an honor.

  2. Tell me, please, that this will be recorded in some way.

  3. Can't wait to have you here. It'll be great to finally meet you.

  4. Disappointing you won't be visiting Melbourne.

  5. You sure are getting around, Ed. I'm glad to see it. I'm seeing the ideas you outline in TLS spread more and more, and your name pops up in place after place.

  6. Best of luck, Fese'y!!

  7. The Doc

    is movin' on up

    like a croc

    in a cup

  8. I will repeat myself: In the 50's my St. Joseph College ethics book author, Fr Higgins, said, "Some day some young man is going to rediscover metaphysics." I think you may be the fulfillment of this "prophecy".

  9. Would be great to see you in the UK some time Ed!

  10. So are you like the William Lane Craig of classical theism?

  11. Both institutional monotheistic creationist-religion and institutional atheism/scientism want and actively seek to rule the entire human world, by means of globally-extended and rigorously exclusive institutional power.

    In order to further that purpose, the various competitive traditions of monotheistic creationist-religion are constantly engaged in highly publicized dramatic shouting matches or pseudo-debates with the advocates of institutional atheism/scientism.

    The creationist/rationalist debate is a public theatre of ego-based power-games, which pretend to be Truth's own arena of ideas, but which, in fact, is a grossly and merely exotericaly dramatized theatre of primitive and irreconcilable confrontation between what is essentially two kinds of very fixed PRE-VERBAL brain-and-nervous-system-patterned structures of human development, or psycho-physical adaptation.

    Generally the brain-and-nervous-system-patterned fixed ideas of the advocates of creationist religion are direct extensions of infantile and childish dependency patterning. God as an extension of mommy and daddy.

    By contrast the patterning and fixed ideas of atheist/rationalists are direct extensions of adolescent independence patterning.

    In effect they are dramatizing an adolescent ambiguity towards and a refusal to acknowledge the existent of the mommy-daddy "God" of their childhood. A "God" which quite clearly does not exist. They have yet to grow into their full adult maturity.

  12. Because you have not taken death fully into account your philosophy, "theology" and presumed metaphysics are full of untrust, distrust and fear. Which is to say that all of your propositions are humourless, loveless, Godless, Ecstasyless, Blissless.

    Ecstasy requires unconditional trust and the utter acceptance of death!

    Put in another way you are deeply committed to, and actively being a sinner. Sin is the worst cancer in the universe. It is the worst sickness. It is the most horrific disease. Its implications cover the entirety of everyone's life. The world is filled with its symptoms and reeks with its torments and potentials, coming from all directions, most of which people cannot even see.

    Even and especially in the midst of their giving learned talks/lectures on countering atheism. Or having written "authoritative" books on the Last Superstition.

  13. Sue,

    1. If you would like the low-down from someone on the inside, read Frank Schaeffer's Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back.

    2. If you would like an expansion to the binary view of the matter, and to be exposed to a little something of the A-T treatment of the general subject from a post-childhood, post-adolescent perspective, you'll not be ill-served by starting with, say, comments by Sobieksi in the prior post.

    3. If you are interested in a psychoanalytic approach to matters, then you might be interested in the following from the Jewish atheist Sigmund Freud (see A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis): "The common characteristic of all [sexual] that they have abandoned reproduction as their aim. We term sexual activity perverse when it has renounced the aim of reproduction and follows the pursuit of pleasure as an independent goal. And so you realize that the turning point in the development of sexual life lies in its subjugation to the purpose of reproduction. Everything this side of the turning point, everything that has given up this purpose and serves the pursuit of pleasure alone, must carry the term 'perverse' and as such be regarded with contempt."


  14. 4. If you believe that pre-verbal things exist, you may appreciate the idea that non-verbal things, of necessity, likewise exist. Consider, for example:

    a. "'Thinking with pictures' is an essential strand in the intellectual history of technological development." -- Eugene S. Ferguson

    b. "Primary process thought is, by definition, alogical thought. Primary process utilizes images and nonverbal processing. [Roger] Penrose accurately pointed out that much creative thinking is nonverbal and is in the form of images. He was speaking specifically about the realm of mathematics, but it is true of many other disciplines as well." -- Sandra Walker Russ

    c. "I am convinced that people whose work involves thought as opposed to talk do their best thinking without words, using what I call Non-verbal Thought (NVT). To me, the idea that mathematicians, artists and chess players think in words while they are working productively is preposterous." -- Peter Chatterton

    d. "The words or the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought. The psychical entities which seem to serve as elements of thought are certain signs and more or less clear images which can be 'voluntarily' reproduced and combined... Conventional words or other signs have to be sought for laboriously only in a second stage, when the mentioned associative play is sufficiently established and can be reproduced at will." -- Albert Einstein

    e. "It is...a serious drawback to me in writing, and still more in explaining myself, that I do not so easily think in words as otherwise. It often happens that after being hard at work, and having arrived at results that are perfectly clear and satisfactory to myself, when I try to express them in language I feel I must begin by putting myself on another intellectual plane. I have to translate my thoughts into a language that does not run very evenly with them. I therefore waste a vast deal of time seeking for appropriate words and phrases, and am conscious, when required to speak on a sudden, of being often very obscure through mere verbal maladroitness, and not through want of clearness of perception." -- Frances Galton

    f. "I insist that words are totally absent from my mind when I really think and I shall completely align my case with Galton's in the sense that even after reading or hearing a question, every word disappears at the very moment I am beginning to think it over; words do not reappear in my consciousness before I have accomplished or given up the research, just as happened to Galton; and I fully agree with Schopenhauer when he writes, 'Thoughts die the moment they are embodied by words.'" -- Jacques Hadamard

    g. "I do not mean to suggest that all mathematical relations can be perceived directly as 'obvious' if they are visualized the right way--or merely that they can always be perceived in some other way that is immediate to our intuitions. Far from it. Some mathematical relations require long chains of reasoning before they can be perceived with certainty. But the object of mathematical proof is, in effect, to provide such chains of reasoning where each step is indeed something that can be perceived as obvious. Consequently, the endpoint of the reasoning is something that must be accepted as true, even though it may not, in itself be at all obvious." -- Roger Penrose

    5. And if you would like to dismiss and reject rather than consider what is above--the preceding remarks, I mean--that too is doable. In fact, it may be the easier of the two things to do.

  15. Sue -

    'A "God" which quite clearly does not exist'.

    Your fixed atheist idea is a direct extension of adolescent independence patterning.

  16. Glenn,

    Don't cast pearls before swine!

  17. She could be some other form of theist though.

    Just pay attention to how she is only talking about monotheism and the sky daddy concept... although I swear I never confused G*d with dad.

  18. Just wondering what very "fixed PRE-VERBAL brain-and-nervous-system-patterned structures of human development" are compelling Sue to comment hear sounding like the Post-Modern Essay Generator.

  19. "Because you have not taken death fully into account your philosophy, "theology" and presumed metaphysics are full of untrust, distrust and fear. Which is to say that all of your propositions are humourless, loveless, Godless, Ecstasyless, Blissless."

    Try not to knock over the vase ...

  20. Sue strikes me as an advocate of Ken Wilber's "Spectrum of Consciousness". In this "Neo-Perennialist" schema, traditional religion is transcended by atheo-rationalism which is then transcended by a more "mature" spirituality without its "mythic" content. Am I warm?

  21. "Ecstasy requires unconditional trust and the utter acceptance of death!"

    Charles Manson said that back in the 1970s, but most atheism has now evolved to Hitler-Dahmer pragmatism, but with---Surprise!---no way to explain the supervisory assumptions that implicitly prop up any argument for it.