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Metacrock's Blog

working every hour God sends to oppose the machinations of the Evil Trump!

Updated: 2018-01-19T07:27:33.887-08:00


Religious a priori


Argument:(1) Scineitifc reductionism loses phenomena by re-defining the nature of sense data and quailia.(2)There are other ways of Knowing than scinetific induction(3) Religious truth is apprehended phenomenoloigcally, thus religion is not a scientific issue and cannot be subjected to a materialist critque(4) Religion is not derived from other disciplines or endeavors but is a approch to understanding in its own rightTherefore, religious belief is justified on its own terms and not according to the dictates or other disciplinesIn my dealings with atheist in debate and dialogue I find that they are often very committed to an empiricist view point. Over and over again I hear the refrain "you can't show one single unequivocal demonstration of scientific data that proves a God exists." This is not a criticism. It's perfectly understandable; science has become the umpire of reality. It is to scientific demonstration that we appear for a large swath of questions concerning the nature of reality. The problem is that the reliance upon empiricism has led to forgetfulness about the basis of other types of questions. We have forgotten that essentially science is metaphysics, as such it is just one of many approach that can be derived from analytical reasoning, empiricism, rationalism, phenomonology and other approaches.Problem with EmpiricismIs empirical evidence the best or only true form of knowledge? This is an apologetics question because it bears upon the arguments for the existence of God.Is lack of empirical evidence, if there is a lack, a draw back for God arguments?I deny that there is a lack, but it has to be put in the proper context. That will come in future threads, for this one I will bracket that answer and just assume there no really good empirical evidence (even though I think there is).I will ague that empiricism is not true source of knowledge by itself and logic is more important.True empirical evidence in a philosophical sense means exact first hand observation. In science it doesn't really mean that, it implies a more truncated process. Consider this, we drop two balls of different size from a tower. Do they fall the same rate or the bigger one falls faster? They are supposed to fall at the same rate, right? To say we have empirical proof, in the litteral sense of the term we would have to observe every single time two balls are dropped for asl ong as the tower exists. We would have to sit for thousnds of years and observe millions of drops and then we couldn't say it was truely empirical because we might have missed one.That's impractical for science so we cheat with inductive reasoning. We make assumptions of probability. We say we observed this 40,000 times, that's a tight correlation, so we will assume there is a regularity in the universe that causes it to work this way every time. We make a statistical correlation. Like the surgeon general saying that smoking causes cancer. The tobacco companies were really right, they read their Hume, there was no observation fo cause and effect, because we never observe cause and effect. But the correlation was so tight we assume cause and effect.The ultimate example is Hume's billiard balls. Hume says we do not see the cause of the ball being made to move, we only really see one ball stop and the other start. But this happens every time we watch, so we assume that the tight corrolation gives us causality.The naturalistic metaphysician assumes that all of nature works this way. A tight correlation is as good as a cause. So when we observe only naturalistic causes we can assume there is nothing beyond naturalism. The problem is many phenomena can fall between the cracks. One might go one's whole life never seeing a miraculous event, but that doesn't mean someone else doesn't observe such things. All the atheist can say is "I have never seen this" but I can say "I have." Yet the atheist lives in a construct that is made up of his assumptions about naturslitic c/e and excluding anyting that challenges it. That is just like Kuhns paradigm shift. The challenges are absorbe[...]

God is Transpersonal: Dialouge


This is an old dialogue i found from 2012. That was a great year for me. It's a dialogue with two good friends whose view points I admire  The  subject is God and personal nature, see th original and the comment sction (20 comets) Here: and Kristen are two of the long time readers of the blog who have contributed comments on and off throughout the years. In this lattest round of disaluge with the two we have piled up a huge aount of text, far too much to use more than just one passage from each. I will focus on one issue, the personal/impersonal nature of God. Dave accuses me of sneaking anthropomorphism in through the back door with the concept of "trans-personal" (God is at least personal but on a higher level) While Kristen just reverses the charge: Dave is sneaking in an impersonal God. He's not sneaking it he's making frontal assault really.Dave said...Yes, analogies can be over-extended, but it still leaves "believers" with the inability to claim that others just don't want to find God, which is Metacrock's basic position. And it also begs the question of how important finding God is to God if God doesn't make such communication readily available to all.I deny that my basic position is that others just don't want to find God. How could I claim that and also claim that God is working in other cultures? My habit is probably colored by my struggles with atheists over the last thirteen years. It's primarily the kind of people I find on CARM that I'm speaking of when I say things about how they don't want God. I do have good valid social scinece behind me to assume that atheists have a negative image of God connected to their own self images. The studies of Leslie Francis is a good start toward suggesting this. There's even more fundamental research on self image and God image done before Leslie.Dave then asserts that if God doesn't make such communication viable, whatever he means by that(?) maybe he doesn't care about it either. My argument based upon the research of William James and of Robert Wuthnow assumes that revelation is primarily at a subliminal level and that there's a continuum of religious experience that can be most subtle at a level barely more overt than a tear drop or a warm fuzzy, all the way up to the kind of visions Isaiah had. This sort of communication is there all the time. Now for some it may be manifested through meditation. We think of meditation as an active thing, something we do. It's really listening. Maybe we just need to learn the language God is using to speak to us individually? Remember the Psalm "be still and know that I am God" (46:10). The first step there is "be still." It's a matter of listening to something that is unfolding in our own consciousness. It's a realization. Not "be still and hear" it's "be still and KNOW."Dave imagines that what I mean by that is if you sit and think about it you have to be a Christian. I think no such thing. I've said before many times that we experience this communion with God at a subliminal level and then to talk about it, since it is beyond words, we must filter it through cultural constructs. That means that the Dalai Lama and Billy Graham are both experiencing the same reality but understand it in two radically different ways. The difference is in culture not in the divine. For a fuller explanation and Biblical evidence see my essay on "Salvation and Other Faiths." Yet, this does not preclude that reality manifesting itself in the flesh as a man from Nazareth. The man form Nazareth modeled divine love for us so we can see it up close and expressed in a human way. At the same time he never said "Join my social club."Dave:Thus it makes much more sense to not think of God as a being with a personality and a personal will, because all the problems people have with God (from theodicy on down) stem from this image. "God wants", "God thinks", "God feels", "God wills". It's just human projection onto [...]

Is belief in God magical thinking?


The bogus atheist social sciences section. This article is a sample of what's there. I have many articles against studies like this: IQ and faith (are Christians stupid and atheists are smart?) and the many, many inflationary claims of atheism on the rise that are constantly cranked out. I've proven that the people behind the IQ studies have avowed racist notions (Nyberg and co). I have spent years answering these kinds of things, the atheists have a vast array of them, all bogus, like the one about Christians are more likely to go to prison. Apologists need to be making use of these. Read them, spread them about. put up links. go to navigation, the stand alone pages top of this page and click on social science.On Huff post there is an article by Matthew Hutson, author of The Seven Laws of Magical Thinking. The article is called "All Paths Lead to Magical Thinking." (Posted: 09/19/2013 8:32 pm).In recent years, psychologists have come to understand religion and paranormal belief as resulting, in most people, from simple errors in reasoning. You believe in God or astrology or a purpose in life because you apply ideas about people -- that they have thoughts and intentions -- to the natural world. Some display this tendency more than others, but it's there in everyone, even atheistic heathens like me. What has not been clarified is exactly how the various cognitive biases interact to produce specific ideas about the supernatural -- until now.He presents a tour de force in the form of a bunch of studies that supposedly prove that religious belief is magical thinking. "In the November 2013 issue of Cognition, Aiyana Willard and Ara Norenzayan of the University of British Columbia report on the relative influence of three cognitive tendencies on three types of supernatural belief, as well as the role of cultural influence." This study supposedly shows that "cognitive biases explain religious belief." several studies show that people who think more intuitively are also more susceptible to magical thinking. One intuition that's been proposed as a foundation for religious thought is Cartesian mind-body dualism, the idea that a mind can exist independently of a body. (See chapter 5 of my book The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking, "The Soul Lives On.") This proposition allows for souls, ghosts, spirits, and gods, all made of disembodied mind-stuff. Explanations for dualism include belief in free will and the mutual inhibition of brain areas responsible for pondering feelings and physics.Of cousre that doesn't say that any of these studies show that religious belief is magical thinking. Instead they present a possibility based upon the notion that more intuitive people are susceptible   to magical thinking. So that says "if you are not careful you  might do some magical thinking." Nor is there a link provided between being more intuitive and religious belief. Although I would not doubt that believers are more intuitive, but the lack of prevision of that link is telling.This brings up a bait and switch that the Aiyana and Norenzayan study is pulling off. They discuss their methodology:We used a path model to assess the extent to which several interacting cognitive tendencies, namely mentalizing, mind body dualism, teleological thinking, and anthropomorphism, as well as cultural exposure to religion, predict belief in God, paranormal beliefs and belief in life’s purpose. Our model, based on two independent samples (N = 492 and N = 920) found that the previously known relationship between mentalizing and belief is mediated by individual differences in dualism, and to a lesser extent by teleological thinking. Anthropomorphism was unrelated to religious belief, but was related to paranormal belief. Cultural exposure to religion (mostly Christianity) was negatively related to anthropomorphism, and was unrelated to any of the other cognitive tendencies. These patterns were robust for both men and[...]

Answering The Philo Argument: Jesus Mythicism


All arguments the Jesus mythers use are arguments from silence. The idea that there is no proof for Jesus' historicity, therefore we can't believe in  it, that is argument from silence (AFS). The opposite is the case, Jesus' historical existence is accepted by historians as a fact, therefore, the myther has the burden to prove he did not exist. History says he did. The mythers have a few arguments that appear on the surface like positive evidence, they assert that they are. It's very important to quash them.One such argument says that a long string of major writers of Jesus' days did not mention him. I am going to look at the way two different mythers use this argument. These guys are not famous but I have seen both used quoted against me in argument a couple of times.The first one is on the atheist echo chamber "read it" by a guy called Jim Jones who I trade insults with regularly on Secular Out Post. He is a typical mocker, and a Dawkamentalkst.[1].The argument presents a long string of writers who don't mention Jesus:The following is a list of writers who lived and wrote during the time, or within a century after the time, that Christ is said to have lived and performed his wonderful works:Josephus, Philo-Judaeus, Seneca, Pliny the Elder, Suetonius, Juvenal, Martial, Persius, Plutarch, Justus of Tiberius, Apollonius, Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, Quintilian, Lucanus, Epictetus, Silius Italicus, Statius, Ptolemy, Hermogones, Valerius Maximus, Arrian, Petronius, Dion Pruseus, Paterculus, Appian, Theon of Smyrna, Phlegon, Pompon Mela, Quintius Curtius, Lucian, Pausanias, Valerius Flaccus, Florus Lucius, Favorinus, Phaedrus, Damis, Aulus Gellius, Columella, Dio Chrysostom, Lysias, Appion of Alexandria.(Ibid)That looks so very impressive. Just a couple of thing before I begin showing how utterly useless this argument is. (1) This argument is clearly  AFS. Not that this is a fallacy per se, but it doesn't prove anything. This is especially so when one can show why the silence is there. We can show why these guys would not mention Jesus even if everything in the NT is true. (2) Atheists assume that if Jesus really worked miracles he would be made world famous, in his own day that is a fallacious assumption. Let's look at the way two mythers use this argument, First, nearly everyone beveled in the possibility of miracles in that day. Not that they would not have been amazed to see one but they were not as skeptical as we are. That does not mean they would automatically assume any claim of a miracle but it does mean with a host of other wonder workers being talked about guys in far away Rome would not take notice of a wonder worker in Palestine.On Tekton apologetic J.P. Holding (our fellow cadrist) discusses why Jesus would not be mentioned by Roman writers. Notice most of the writers on Jone's list are Roman:As far as the historians of the day were concerned, he was just a "blip" on the screen. Jesus was not considered to be historically significant by historians of his time. He did not address the Roman Senate, or write extensive Greek philosophical treatises; He never travelled outside of the regions of Palestine, and was not a member of any known political party. It is only because Christians later made Jesus a "celebrity" that He became known.Sanders, comparing Jesus to Alexander, notes that the latter "so greatly altered the political situation in a large part of the world that the main outline of his public life is very well known indeed. Jesus did not change the social, political and economic circumstances in Palestine (Note: It was left for His followers to do that!) ..the superiority of evidence for Jesus is seen when we ask what he thought." [Sand.HistF, 3]Harris adds that "Roman writers could hardly be expected to have foreseen the subsequent influence of Christianity on the Roman Empire and therefore to have carefully documented" Christian origins. How were they to know that this minor Nazarene p[...]

On Politics, hate and Christianity


I have an old  friend, a relative actually, who is very conservative and consciously right wing politically. She supports Trump and being my relative she is very intelligent, this is an incongruity hard to live with, To make matters worse she is an effective debater for her side.Regardless of how deeply I hate Trump I don't allow myself to love this person any less because she's family and that counts. Now she's written me a long heart-felt letter announcing and explaining her withdrawal from politics. It seems she feels pulled away from God by the furor of the political scene,especially feelings of hatred. She has given me pause to think about the hateful aspects, but I can't accept giving up the political.I am glad she left politics because one less effective apologist for them, but she does make me think: we must avoid hatred, Before going on I will say I believe this for the sake of being right with God; but it is also true that hating does not serve us well politically. We can sit around and hate Trump and get on facebook and talk about how bad he is but that doesn't do jack toward saving democracy.I feel like I should explore my reasons for remaining in the political struggle. Because I wish I could just turn to the insular world of theology and think abut God and answer abstract theological questions  all my life. I do not enjoy  dealing with hateful angry people. Yet when I contemplate doing this I feel like it would be backing down from the very point where the Gospel is in peril.The reason what's happening today in  politics endangers the Gospel is because of what has happened to the angelical church, [1] That can be summed up in the notion, they have sold their birth right for a bowl of soup. They have basically equated belief in Jesus with voting republican.[2] That alchemy was accomplished by making abortion the one "true" issue that supersedes all else. U am not going to discuss that now but I will say that evangelical thinking on that topic is pathetic, [3]If they defend the Bible as badly as they do "right to life" (ati-abortion) then the Gospel is in trouble.The birthright they sold is two fold, (1) democracy, (2) the Gospel or salvation, They sold their birthright as Americans to live in a democracy by  sacralizing the social project of the strong man dictator. Trump's labeling of all criticism as "fake news"is nothing more than  the dictator silencing criticism. The Trump DOJ has moved to silence protesters.[4] The gospel is sold out any time it is equated with temporal power. At that point the gospel becomes not a move of the heart toward God but a pragmatic move of the mind toward safety,security, or power. That is the antithesis of seeking God.Back when the primaries began there was a guy calling himself "Illion" (aka Idion) posting on  dangerous idea blog who came out and said :you are not a Christian if you are not a republican, Now I'm beg accused pf thinking the sane way only in relation to my views. That is clearly not the case. Here's part of that exchange. BTW the guy saying this is not that much out of line because I did   unload on him. 07, 2018 7:19 AM Joe Hinman said...Legion of Logic said...Joe, I can only conclude that you are an anti-conservative bigot, and that rational discussion with someone who has as much hate in his heart as you do is not possible.Metayou are confusing passion with hatred. If this is not the time to climb the barricades and shout when is it? We are facing annihilation and the systematic disemboweling of the whole edifice of progress made since Teddy Roosevelt and you want me to treat it like just business as usual.Conform to the nitrites let the brain washed have their fantasy.I don't hate you. in fact I like you. what I hate is the game I see[...]

Announcement on my message board


I did not own the board it was put up  for me by someone else. The host company sold out and all the old stuff was wiped, apparent;y It's gone,I really hate that I a very upset.

There was a treasure trove of great posts,the only posts I have of my late friend Scott Gross, and connections with people, great discussions with friends debates all gone, I am going to put up a blog to replace it one where more than   me can post.

Republicans Prepare to Gut Social Security


i will be back on Monday with new post about theologyA huge number of elderly people and others depend for their very lives upon social security,  While fact checker says Trump did not say he has a moral obligation to cut Social security. (According to, but they go on to discuss plans to scuttle it by Sam Johnson ranking Republican on ways and means committee).There are several ways it is endangered by the Republican agenda,Fact Sheet by Social Security Administration 2016, nearly 61 million Americans will receive approximately $918 billion in Social Security benefits. Snapshot of a Month: June 2016 Beneficiary Data ο Retired workers 40.7 million $55 billion $1,348 average monthly benefit dependents 3 million $2 billion ο Disabled workers 8.9 million $10.3 billion $1,166 average monthly benefit dependents 1.9 million $0.7 billion ο Survivors 6.1 million $6.8 billion  Social Security is the major source of income for most of the elderly. Nearly nine out of ten individuals age 65 and older receive Social Security benefits. ο Social Security benefits represent about 34% of the income of the elderly. ο Among elderly Social Security beneficiaries, 48% of married couples and 71% of unmarried persons receive 50% or more of their income from Social Security. ο Among elderly Social Security beneficiaries, 21% of married couples and about 43% of unmarried persons rely on Social Security for 90% or more of their income.  Social Security provides more than just retirement benefits.  ο Retired workers and their dependents account for 71% of total benefits paid. ο Disabled workers and their dependents account for 16% of total benefits paid.  About 90 percent of workers age 21-64 in covered employment in 2016 and their families have protection in the event of a long-term disability.  Just over 1 in 4 of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before reaching age 67.  67% of the private sector workforce has no long-term disability insurance. ο Survivors of deceased workers account for about 13% of total benefits paid.  About one in eight of today’s 20-year-olds will die before reaching age 67.  About 96% of persons aged 20-49 who worked in covered employment in 2016 have survivors insurance protection for their young children and the surviving spouse caring for the children.Read MoreSS also gives life insurance and disability 60 million people, or more than one in every six U.S. residents, collected Social Security benefits in June 2016.  While older Americans make up about four in five beneficiaries, another one-fifth of beneficiaries received Disability Insurance (DI) or were young survivors of deceased workers.In addition to Social Security’s retirement benefits, workers earn life insurance and DI protection by making Social Security payroll tax contributions:About 96 percent of people aged 20-49 who worked in jobs covered by Social Security in 2015 have earned life insurance protection through Social Security.For a young worker with average earnings, a spouse, and two children, that’s equivalent to a life insurance policy with a face value of over $600,000, according to Social Security’s actuaries.About 90 percent of people aged 21-64 who worked in covered employment in 2015 are insured through Social Security in case of severe disability.The risk of disability or premature death is greater than many realize.  Some 6 percent of recent entrants to the labor force will die before reaching the full retirement age, and many more will become moreAARP has an excellent fact sheet on  who is dependent upon social security. They make the point that it is funded for[...]

What has Trump Cost us in Lives?


HAPPY NEW YEAR BLOG READERS!!!factually quantifiable harms already accrued as result of Trump's attack on civilization*13 million lose health care due to Tax scam* 13 thousand /year die from air pollution due to roll back of regs on coal fired plants(Trump's war on breathing: Resistance is not Futile)*50,000 lives / year lost due to roll back auto emission stadards(Ibid, see also "Trump  has started the roll back" the Guardian)* Roll backs on regs that protect drinking water for 117 million("Trump wrecks nation's clean water," Resistance...)*cut food and formula for nearly 390,000 participating women, children and infants.()Proposed slashing the WIC program. President Trump’s proposal to slash funding for the WIC program puts basic food security at risk for thousands of families. At an annual food cost of about $513 per person, the $200 million cut could help pay for a year’s worth of food and formula for nearly 390,000 participating women, children and infants. (100 ways 100 days; center for American Progress)* 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis each year.After more than four decades of development, this rule would protect construction and manufacturing workers from inhaling silica, which can lead to lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and kidney disease. It was projected to save more than 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis each year.(Ibid)*Tried to cut his own taxes by millions of dollars while taking health insurance from tens of millions of Americans. Based on President Trump’s leaked 2005 Tax Return Form 1040, repealing the ACA could give Trump a personal tax cut of more than $2 million. At the same time, the House legislation to repeal the ACA would have taken health insurance from 24 million Americans.* ended Amnesty for 800,000 immigrants ("dreamers") who have been in country since childhood will lead to mass deportations (NBC News)* sets precedent for destruction of civil rightsAfter barely eight months in office, President Trump has secured his legacy: If left unchecked, he will undermine civil rights progress in this country more than any president in modern history.This week has shown previews of this dangerous agenda. And not for the reasons you’re thinking.While Trump’s back and forth on whether he would condemn the white supremacist groups behind the deadly tragedy in Charlottesville lent the weight of the United States presidency to a racist worldview, we must also focus on the series of actions that prove those remarks are already being translated into an equally oppressive policy agenda.Since beginning his campaign, Trump has fanned the flames of racism, bigotry, and xenophobia – from calling Mexicans rapists, making a border wall one of his central campaign promises, implementing a Muslim travel ban, and using dog-whistle politics to talk in veiled terms about black communities. (The Hill)* Potential loss of all life on Earthy due to global warming since Trup callsit ahoax and took us outof Paris accords, (see my research on Metacorck's blog)see the full list of the Center for American progress, 100 ways in 100 days Trump has hurt America,* Trump DOJ (Sessions) return ti debeter's prisions,Itps illegal to be poor! ( are debter's prisons. Deters prsions! that;s eighth century! Trump DOJ supports it1 It's acrime to be poor)Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions retracted an Obama-era guidanceto state courts that was meant to end debtors’ prisons, where people who are too poor [...]

Note on Tax Scam


Republican point man talking head on CBS This morning, this morning, saying that we will see very quickly if people get more money in their pay check That's their line. yes you will get some more money maybe as much as 2000$ for the year, That's going to make everyone say it worked,it was good it;s success, Trump is great! But is that really any thing more then selling your birth right for one meal?Like Jacob and Essay in the Bible they expect the Americanv voter to tell their birthright for one bowl of protege then be forever slaves to Trump's fascism For 2000$! While the gulf between rich and poor grows exponentially, The Republicans and other expositors have stated the personal tax rates will go back after a few years, The corporate rates wont, So it;/skusta small rarebit in a sense but it creates the sense that it proves Trump is true.Getting some money back in pay checks us not going to prove that companies are investing labor intensive industry or updating their operations., That is the real test, Without that all all they've done is massively increase the deficit gut social programs and give the rich the greatest rip off of the average person in history,GOP propaganda shows they still rely on trickle down to fix the deficient caused by the tax scam. Trickle down does not work. They will not invest in labor intensive areas, Surveys indicate CEO's already contemplating how to spend the tax money are not planning on investigating in labor,Republicans are liars. they are liars they have no regard for the people.[...]

Tillich and Theological method


Athesits are always talking about how stupid theology is. "I don't have to read the theology because I know it's stupid." I hear various ones (not all but many) say that all the time. I would like them to actually read some theology and tell me why it's stupid. Here is some theology for them to read. They are always saying "what else would you use but scinece?" What that really means is their self selected set of facts form scinece that back their ideology, excluding those that disprove their ideology. My answer to them is "phenomenology." But you have to read this to know how it works.Tillich was born August 20, 1886, in Starzeddel, then a province of Brandenberg, Germany (now part of Poland), family moved to Berlin 1900. His father was a Luthern Pastor. He was ordained as a Luthern Pastor in 1912 and kicked around giving lectures at various universities: Berlin, Dresden and Frankfurt.[1]His liberalism and opposition to the Nazi movement led to his dismissal in 1933. Fortunately, Reinhold Niebuhr, whom he had met in Germany, offered him a position at the Union Theological Seminary in New York. Tillich became a U.S. citizen in 1940, then took up a position at Harvard in 1954, followed by one at the University of Chicago in 1962, where he was to remain until the end of his life.[2]Paul Tillich is the central figure in the current effort; Heidegger is definitely a major influence upon Tillich. Be that as it may the great Theologian did not merely copy off the philosopher’s understanding of being. Tillich was a influenced by Heidegger philosophically, but was also his political enemy. The former was a leftist and a socialist, the latter a right-winger and Nazi. Tillich was coming from the perspective of a larger tradition; Christian theology is not all Aristotelian, there’s a whole Platonic wing that produced centuries of complex and brilliant ferment form which the average communicant is totally cut off. That tradition also has it’s own take on being. Tillich lived in that tradition like a fish lives in water. Perhaps it was Heidegger’s connection with the “life world” that gave him his connection to Nazism through the notion of the folks, the soil, the people and their traditions.[3] It’s easy for us to judge looking back on Nazism as the emblematic evil, while we forget many intelligent people were duped by it. Perhaps it was Tillich’s connection with the medievalists and his love of the Platonic that enabled him to see the valuable connections in Heidegger’s ties to the past. Tillich was not a dusty scholar, however, stuck in the library with no connection to the life of the day. He was a vibrant intellectual of modernity and he constantly tried to bring his medievalism into the present and understand it in a modern light. He used Heidegger to modernize. Nevertheless, in the world of their present, however, Germany of the 1930’s these arid philosophical issues took on a concrescence of life and death. Tillich’s response to the political situation of his day was a proving ground for his theological method, and he responded to the crisis of Germany in the twenties and thirties the same way he responded to modern theology; by relating the human situation in which he lived to the larger picture of faith and the Christian and seeking the psychological points of contact where the human perception of God manifested it in symbolic terms pointing to our ultimate concerns. Tillich contrasts “Kerygmatic” theology with “apologetics.” Kerygma refers to the unchanging truth, and this contrasted with the temporal situation, always in flux.[4] Tillich’s concept of “the situation” includes the cultural context of time and place. Tillich is the embodiment of his own concerns. He more than any other theologian of the twentieth century, personified[...]

my own intro to Tillich


This will be in several parts, an introduction and a couple of explaintory installments then some arguments.Paul Tillich (1866-1965) was one of the most influential Christian theologians of the twentieth century. Tillich spoke to the times. He was painfully aware of the collapse of modernity (the beginning of which he traced from the enlightenment), and tried to formulate a concept of Christian theology for the dawning Postmodern era. In so setting up the dialogue with post modernity he forged the central concept with which this essay will concern itself: God as being itself, or The Ground of Being. Tillich was not the first theologian to think of this idea, nor the last to embrace it, he was probably its most famous supporter. He was born in Strazeddel, Brandenburg (Germany—now part of Poland). His father was a Lutheran minister and the family moved to Berlin in 1900. He studied at three universities, Berlin, Tübingen and Breslau, taking his doctorate in philosophy from the latter in 1911. He was ordained as a Lutheran minister in the following year. He served as Army Chaplin in World War I, after which he spent several years lecturing at several major universities in Germany. In 1933 he came to America to escape the Nazi movement. Reinhold Neibuhr, another major theologian of the century, had met Tillich in Germany and offered him a post at Union Theological Seminary in New York. He also moved to Harvard in 1954 and to University of Chicago in 1962, where he remained until his death.Tillich was a modern thinker, aware of the breaking down of modernity into Post modernity. He was concerned with translating the Gospel into modern terms, and he felt keenly the issues of the mid twentieth century concerning socialism, cold war, existentialism, the growth of science and the shrinking of faith. He was engaged with secular society and the interplay between the Church and the world. This modernist cosmopolitan nature of Tillich’s gave him the reputation and image of a radical, an invocative speculative theologian. He put things in terms of the existentialist concerns of the era; he doesn’t talk about “God,” when he can talk about, “the object of ultimate concern.” He doesn’t talk about “that which nothing greater than can be conceived” when he can talk about “the ground of being,“ or better yet, “being itself.” For this reason it’s easy to overlook Tillich’s Orthodox nature. It’s easy to be carried away with the radical image of a theologian who contributed to the “death of God movement” (although without meaning to) and to assume he is shedding everything of the Christian past. It’s easy to hear him speak of “the God beyond God” and assume that that means he’s an atheist, and then to overlook the fact that Tillich never lost concern for the debates of the Christian Middle Ages. He was always influenced by Augustine, his concern over “ground of being” was a continuation of his Augustinian based neo Platonist assumptions and his concern for the break down of Augustinian synthesis after the onslaught of Thomism. “The key to an understanding of Tillich’s handling of the tradition is his fundamental proposition that every interpretation is a creative union of the interpreter and the interpreted in a third beyond both of them.” He called “questionable” the idea of an impartial reading of “just the facts” yielding a clean unambiguous or unbiased “objective truth.” Tillich was too Hegelian and too Marxist to think that one could, as Carl Braaten puts it “survey the past in cool detachment.”Such was the perspective that Tillich brought to History. He was not interested in history as a string of facts, or merely as an “objective” recitation of “what happened.” He saw history as a interpr[...]

Great lecture on Tillich


Tillich (d1965)I will be back blogging soon. In mean time Hear this great lecture on Tillich by a guy named Manning, It;s real long.[...]

we have only a week to save the internet


Trump' FCC Plans Destruction of Net NeutralityThis is a disaster, It would be bad enough if raising fees to use the net meant I can't read comic books or looking at little You Tube things,No more music,That's my  major connection to the music I love. But the move means much more than curtailment of pleasure surfing,It's the blow to the resistance,Its closing of the only sources of information for countering Trump's lies and it's the only way to fight by spreading the word, Also for me it means no more books. No more blog n o more theological research,We only have until early December to act! CECILIA KANGFCC plans Net Neutrality Repeal in a Vucotry for Telecomes,"NYT(NOV. 21, 2017) reading the main storyShare This PageShareTweetEmailMoreSaveThe Federal Communications Commission released a plan on Tuesday to dismantle landmark regulations that ensure equal access to the internet, clearing the way for internet service companies to charge users more to see certain content and to curb access to some websites. The proposal, made by the F.C.C. chairman, Ajit Pai, is a sweeping repeal of rules put in place by the Obama administration. The rules prohibit high-speed internet service providers, or I.S.P.s, from stopping or slowing down the delivery of websites. They also prevent the companies from charging customers extra fees for high-quality streaming and other services.......The internet companies warned that rolling back the rules could make the telecom companies powerful gatekeepers to information and entertainment. The telecom companies say that the existing rules prevent them from offering customers a wider selection of services at higher and lower price points.[1] [read more]ALYSSA NEWCOMB "THE END IS NEAR FOR OBAMA ERA NEW NEUTRALITY RUELES," NBC NEWS(NOV 21 2017, 4:51 PM ET) from the way you use banking apps to the speed of your Netflix stream could soon be changing, if all goes to plan for the Federal Communications Commission.The FCC's mission — essentially gutting the internet as we know it — would allow service providers to create so-called fast and slow lanes for subscribers.Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, announced on Tuesday a plan to put an end to what he called the federal government's "micromanaging" of the internet. Details of the proposal will be released on Wednesday, three weeks before it will be put to a vote by the FCC on Dec. [read More]SIGN PETITION tell congress YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS 202-224-3121Republican Senators* at (844) 241-1141 Share this on social media put it on your blog,send links, Tell everyone, this is a disaster, This will kil all resistance to Trump, this is nothing less than control of the media,sources[1] CECILIA KANGFCC plans Net Neutrality Repeal in a Vucotry for Telecomes,"NYT(NOV. 21, 2017) reading the main storyShare This PageShareTweetEmailMore[2] ALYSSA NEWCOMB "THE END IS NEAR FOR OBAMA ERA NEW NEUTRALITY RUELES," NBC NEWS(NOV 21 2017, 4:51 PM ET)[...]

Metacrock down


I am sick unable to post. sorry, back soon,pneumonia. was in hospital per weekend, home now still don;t feel lie posting, back soon talk among yourselves,

More about the Course of Human Events


 It;s time to strip away the illusion that there are Republican stateswomen (Susan Collins) and statesmen (McCain) who actually care about people. Look at the overall historical record of their party:Throughout 2017, President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans have continually taken aim at the health, well-being, and independence of Americans with disabilities. From repeated attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and end Medicaid as we know it to budget proposals that slash Social Security disability benefits, disability employment services, Meals on Wheels, and more, the agenda Trump and his colleagues in Congress are on Wheels, and more, the agenda Trump and his colleagues in Congress are pursuing would be nothing short of a disaster for people with disabilities. The latest attack comes in the form of their partisan tax plan, which passed the House on November 16 and is set to be voted on in the Senate as soon as this week.Although they have sold the plan as a Christmas present for the middle class, under the Senate bill, a staggering 87 million* middle- and working-class families would see their taxes rise by 2027. Meanwhile, the top 0.1 percent would receive an average tax cut of $208,060. Furthermore, by repealing the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate, the tax plan would also undermine the individual insurance market, driving up premiums and leaving 13 million more Americans without health insurance by 2025...[Read More][1]Collins and McCain put on a big show, They were the saviors of the common people, They saved health care, With this bilk, whch they voted form they went around back and murdered the very innocent people they got thorough waving. I say snuck around back because voting for the tax scam is a less direct but just as effective way of taking health care away from people, Most voters may not know the connection this is taxes not health care, Also, they can say protections were written into the bill.Make no mistake this travesty of legislation will destroy health care for the common person,The very 13 million Collins claimed to be protecting on  Obama care are going to lose medicare and medicaid, a huge short fall in revenue (1.5 Tillion dollars) means cuts to social programs. AARP has denounced the Tax Scam will resulting in huge cuts to medicare.[2]The republicans give us an indication of hat they do with funding short fals, They ctake life saving services away from helpless people.Robert Reich :Since September, Republicans in Congress have refused to reauthorize funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides coverage for 9 million kids. The cost of the program is roughly $15 billion a year. By contrast, the Trump-Republican tax plan will cost the country $1.5 trillion.This is what we've come to: Trump and Republicans in Congress are willing to deprive children health care to enrich their wealthy donors. Have they absolutely no shame?[3]Rubio admitted that after the Tax scam passes the next target at which the GOP marauders will take aim and seek to destroy are Medicaid and Medicare,[4]The Center forAmerica Progress argues tha the tax scam is a tax on disapbility. it copies this list" (1) Eliminates affordable care act's individual mandate(2) Raises Taxes on people Facing high medical bills(3) Makes research for drugs for rare conditions more expensive(4) Makes Disability accessibility ore expensive for small businesses(5) raises taxes for People with student loans(6) Ends Tax credit that spurs development in small communities(7) Automatic cuts to medicare disability and other such programs (which means I will die)[5]As for this last [...]

emergency call now!!!



We have to beat this Tax scam now today! the Votes today,It was going to pass yesterday and thank God (answer to my prayer) some deficit Hawks started making noise,
The bill will raise the deficit a trillion dollars then hope that it stimulates growth and we out grow, When has outgrowing the deficit ever worked? That's a huge gamble, If it doesn't work it will take down medicaid and other social programs, Riders in back that will destroy Obama care, it also has riders that destroy public lands, This is the most important thing the resistance can do,please stop everything NOW and call, share this with everyone.
Republican Senators* at (844) 241-1141

What is Panentheism? Does it require an impersoanl God?


Panenthism* is the idea that God is both in creation and beyond it (emphasis mine) The Westminster dicitionary of Christian theology defines it thus:panenthism, the doctrine that all is in God. It is distinguished from pantheism which identifies God with the totality or as the unity of the totality, for it holds that God's inclusion of the world does not exhaust the reality of God.Panentheism understands itself as a form of theism, but it criticizes traditional theism for seeing the world as external to God. [1]Charles Hartshorne is one of the most famous panentheists. He juxtaposes the monopolar God of much of the theistic tradition with his from of mulit-polar (di-polar) theism (process theology). God is inclusive of the world God is also changing in his consequent or concrete structure, yet unchanging in his absolute or potential structure, thus "God is in process" and is di polar. [2] "Hartshorne argues that this conforms better than traditional theism or pantheism to the Biblical understanding of the living God who loves and knows, the world, acts within it and shares the joys and sorrows of the creatures."[3] Hartshorne takes the mono-polar view of God as based upon the Greek prejudice agaisnt time and change.[4] Cobbs articles only with Harshorne's view of panentheism but Paul Tillich is also Known as a Panentheist. David H. Nikkel provides an indepth comparision between the views of Hartshorne and those of Tillich on panentheism. Tillich is understood as arguing that God is not a thing in creatin or along side other thing in creation but is the basis of all that is. To that extent God is not a being but is being itself. That means that God is manifest in the beings. God is part of creation but also goes beyond it. That doesn't mean creation is divine it doesn't mean we are Gods or any such nonsense. Hydrogen is part of water but it's not indistinguishable form water.[5] Some charge that this makes Tillich sound pantheistic. It's the pantheistic aspects that sound pantheistic. They are not the same. Tillich gives three caveats about pantheism that must be remembered.There are three negative side affirmations that pertain to pantheism (in terms of Tillichian theology: “Not Universal essence,” “Not found in totality of beings,” “Not Pantheistic.” There are two kinds of pantheism in general, the first kind I will discuss is daubed by Tillich as “not true pantheism” but I can tell you most message board opponents of Christianity calling themselves “pantheistic” will disagree. That is the version that says God is the essence of all things, the abstracted amalgam of everything that is; God the collection of the world as a whole. Weather true pantheism or not, this is not the concept Tillich has of God and he repudiates it specifically. This is what he means by “not universal essence” or “not found in the totality of beings.” When he says “not pantheistic” he means the other kind, because he’s already nixed the first kind, the “other kind” (what he calls “true pantheism”) is sort of a personification or deification of nature. There’s a power of nature, a collection of laws of nature and that collection is revered in the way a god is revered. Though Tillich describes God as “the power of being” he does not mean the power of nature alone. Tillich rejects both forms of pantheism.Smith contrasts Tillich with Moltmann and protrays Molatmann and much more orthodox in terms of Trinity and Chrsitoloogy.Chris Smith's CarrelReadings on religion, Politics, and...Jan 14, 2008[...]

Review of Hermon Philipse's God in the Age of Science (Part 2)


He uses the issue of of explanatory power to justify using Bayes to establish the illusion of technique for deciding the matter.[24]Of course his explanatory power is a scientific explanation but he never bothers to justify it. A scientific explanation would have to be limited to the workings of the physical world and modern theology doesn't claim to answer that. Swinburne finds God probable in the prior[25] (Bayes works by establishing a prior probability as a basis from which to begin calculations). The problem is Swinburne uses simplicity as the criterion to set the prior. Philipse apparently can't dispute it. Thus, he objects to simplicity as the criterion rather than try to argue that God is complex as did Dawkins (see above). He argues against simplicity as criterion on the basis of lack of empirical evidence. He then takes up the issue of final cause. Theists sometimes use final cause as an “ultimate explanation.” “God forms a more natural stopping place [for theists] than, say, the existence of the universe.”[26] The existence of the universe is what is in question so of course that in itself can't prove its origin. He is calling into question the satisfying nature of final cause, apparently assuming that the infinite causal regress (ICR) is not unsatisfying. He asserts that defense of God as explanation can't be “full” and “final” because it doesn't answer the kinds of questions science answers. He couches this in terms of introducing “questionable metaphysical assumptions.”[27] It seems that they are talking at cross purposes because each means something different by “full” and “complete.” For Swinburne this is causal and includes motivations. Philipse contrasts motivations as part of the cause with naturalistic explanations which are about “causal laws of nature.”[28] So Swinburne is talking about “why” and Philipse is talking about how. It may be a matter of taste but it seems that asking after why is a philosophical view and more satisfying in some ways, whereas the scientific explanation has to exclude why as though there is not one and that seems less “full” as an explanation. If there is no why there is none but why should we just assume a priori there is none? If the explanation is only a scientific one then that is what we must do. That's why we should prefer the philosophical and asked “is there a why?” When we find one that should be it.At this point he brings in what he takes to be the ultimate “brute fact” of God's existence as a negation of a complete explanation. In order to pull this off he establishes synchronic and diachronic both as requirements of a “complete” explanation.[29] The former refers to causes immediately temporal effecting the given outcome, while the latter entails causes perpetuated through time before the event. In other words, synchronic, the match burst into flame due to friction caused by the striking board. Diachronic, the match burst into flame due to the factory used to make chemicals, applied these chemicals to the match at a given time, and the store that sold the matches and every other aspect of buying the matches, up though the motion of my hand of running the match along the striking board. So he's saying that because we don't have that sort of knowledge about God then God can't be a full explanation. Then he's going to spend a lot of time picking apart the motivations of God, such as the motivation to create humanity.[30] Because we can't understand God's exact motivations, nor is there a set of diachronic explanations[...]

net neutrality in danger again,it;s Trump again!


Trump' FCC Plans Destruction of Net NeutralityThis is a disaster, It would be bad enough if raising fees to use the net meant I can't read comic books or looking at little You Tube things,No more music,That's my  major connection to the music I love. But the move means much more than curtailment of pleasure surfing,It's the blow to the resistance,Its closing of the only sources of information for countering Trump's lies and it's the only way to fight by spreading the word, Also for me it means no more books. No more blog n o more theological research,We only have until early December to act! CECILIA KANGFCC plans Net Neutrality Repeal in a Vucotry for Telecomes,"NYT(NOV. 21, 2017) reading the main storyShare This PageShareTweetEmailMoreSaveThe Federal Communications Commission released a plan on Tuesday to dismantle landmark regulations that ensure equal access to the internet, clearing the way for internet service companies to charge users more to see certain content and to curb access to some websites. The proposal, made by the F.C.C. chairman, Ajit Pai, is a sweeping repeal of rules put in place by the Obama administration. The rules prohibit high-speed internet service providers, or I.S.P.s, from stopping or slowing down the delivery of websites. They also prevent the companies from charging customers extra fees for high-quality streaming and other services.......The internet companies warned that rolling back the rules could make the telecom companies powerful gatekeepers to information and entertainment. The telecom companies say that the existing rules prevent them from offering customers a wider selection of services at higher and lower price points.[1] [read more]ALYSSA NEWCOMB "The End is Near for Obama Era New Neutrality Rueles," NBC News(NOV 21 2017, 4:51 PM ET) from the way you use banking apps to the speed of your Netflix stream could soon be changing, if all goes to plan for the Federal Communications Commission.The FCC's mission — essentially gutting the internet as we know it — would allow service providers to create so-called fast and slow lanes for subscribers.Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, announced on Tuesday a plan to put an end to what he called the federal government's "micromanaging" of the internet. Details of the proposal will be released on Wednesday, three weeks before it will be put to a vote by the FCC on Dec. [read More]SIGN PETITION tell congress YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS 202-224-3121Republican Senators* at (844) 241-1141 Share this on social media put it on your blog,send links, Tell everyone, this is a disaster, This will kil all resistance to Trump, this is nothing less than control of the media,sources[1] CECILIA KANGFCC plans Net Neutrality Repeal in a Vucotry for Telecomes,"NYT(NOV. 21, 2017) reading the main storyShare This PageShareTweetEmailMore[2] ALYSSA NEWCOMB "THE END IS NEAR FOR OBAMA ERA NEW NEUTRALITY RUELES," NBC NEWS(NOV 21 2017, 4:51 PM ET)[...]

Review of Herman Philipse's: God in the Age of Science. (Part 1 of 2)


About the graphic: obviously the cover of the book. It's a cool cover. Try to enlarge because this is one of the best paintings of a great moment in science. Robert Boyle used the air pump to prove air was good to breath. Put a rat in the chamber and pumped the air out, it died. Therefore, air is good. The thing the guy is pointing to is the dead rat in the glass chamber.The man on left facing us is Boyle, with shawl, The look on his face is priceless it says "O my God I've proved something!" The two little girls look devastated, it was probably their pet rat. What they thought before that when people suffocated I do not know. Boyle and the air pump where the center of my dissertation. It's very important in the history of science, not so much for his discovery but for the protocols of experimentation that he invented around the air pump. Also his conflict over it with Thomas Hobbes. See a book Leviathan and the Air Pump. By Shapen and Shaffer. Philipse makes three major moves indicative of the scientistic ideology. Rather than deal with his entire book I will isolate those points and show how they exhibit the ideology. Those three points are:I. God, as an explanation of the world and any meaning in life, must be derived by scientific methods and must constitute a scientific explanation. Only scientific answers are real proof and can be checked by others, This is reduction of all knowledge to the only valid kind of knowledge: science.:II. He uses that position to leverage the battle on to his own turf, The proofs of God must be scientific proofs, therefore he totally discounts revelation.:III. Having moved the battle to his own turf he argues against Swinburne's use of Bayes so that he can use it as the scientific evidence. Having established that only scientific evidence will do then he's the only one in the debate with scientific evidence.:The way he accomplishes move I is by dispensing with revelation and personal experience. His first chapter argues for the priority of natural theology. [1] The establishment of that point is really based upon the supposed weakness of revelatory knowledge.[2]Essentially he asserts that only natural theology can be checked by others, revelation and personal experience are unreliable and subjective. He constructs four dilemmas for the believer designed to leverage her into fighting the battle on his own turf. The first such dilemma is between what he calls “cognitive and non-cognitive.” By non cognitive he may include experiences, but he's speaking more directly of liberal theology, that tends to be metaphorical vs. a factual account. He says, “according to...cognitive interpretations a believer who says 'God exists' is making a factual claim which is either true or false, whereas according to non-cognitive interpretation such sayings have a very different function. Evaluation of these statements in terms of truth or falsity is inappropriate.[3]His examples of non-cognitive are Wittgenstein and Karen Armstrong. The non-cognitive makes belief immune to criticism but also leaves it cut off from non-believers as unprovable.For the “cognitive believer” there's a second dilemma. Either belief must be backed by evidence or it's not needed.[4] An example of the latter is the work of Alvin Plantinga and his idea of “properly basic beliefs.” In that view belief is rationally warranted though not proven to others. Philipse answers Plantinga, “I shall argue that religious beliefs, and indeed most religious believers, not be called justified or[...]

Christians Wake Up!


I have not read this book.[1] I just saw the author, John Avlon,  on Late Night, with Stephen Colbert. If the guy writes like he talks he should be engaging. The point is Washington saw a coming evil that threatens us today and he warned against it in his fair well speech. That evil in partisanship or tribalism, a greater loyalty to the party than to the nation. Washington never joined a political party he feared that as people gave to their allegiance to parties a demagogic would rise up and claim power the allegiance to a party name. Truth, honor, and ideals would all be superseded by party loyalty. Now I have not read the book so I will depart from the book but that is my premise, I see this happening in the modern age,Roy Moore has been exposed as a child molester, yet the Evangelical Christians of Alabama support him all the more. [2] It wasn't that long ago that just the accusation would take him out of the race. Since they've already accept the principle of men with no principles being men of God, with Trump, why make an exception now? The upporters reiect the allogatiospartly because they are ecgionedinlieralnewssources, Partly because the just refuse to accept them[3]Now we fund that education has no power to communicate truth, That;right we find now education just mean sophisticated excuses,A new study shows that the more education conservatives gain the more omitted they are to denying climate change. Directly contradicting Trump administration propaganda on climate "13 federal agencies an exhaustive scientific report in Friday that says human are the dominate cause of global temperature rise that ha created the warmest period in the history of civilization. [4] This is the Climate Science Special Report [5]Rather than changing republican' minds,however, this knowledge only serves to make them more committed  to denial. [6]But there is little reason to think that yet another scientific report will fundamentally shift attitudes on global warming — either among policymakers or the public at large. Researchers have found again and again that attitudes about climate change are shaped far more profoundly by political ideology or by comfort with proposed solutions to global warmingthan they are by the science itself. The latest climate report, written by scientists in 13 federal agencies as part of a congressionally mandated National Climate Assessment, says little that hasn’t been said in countless reports over the past decade. Its major conclusions are virtually identical to those of a federal assessment published in 2014: Global warming is real, caused by humans and its impacts are being felt across the United States, from increased heat waves to greater flooding risks along the coasts.[7]Wahington 's theory needs tweaking. Party allegiance is declining. [8]People are replacing party with ideology. Core Trump supporters were willing to destroy the party for the spreader of the ideology. But the party faithful have associated the party with God for so long they just support it at all cost even going down with the ship. "Ultimately, since the 1960s, American conservatism has increasingly exhibited the traits of religious fundamentalism. When politics is treated as a type of religion, and then combined with the rituals of worship and scripture in the form of evangelical Christianity, a type of hallucinatory ideology is created. This has become a form of political cultism; [...]

Atheists Hide in the Gaps


This was written in 2010 when I was still posting on CARM, Many of the reference are to CARM posters of the day,I started this thread on CARM. (remember CARM therads are backwards so go to the last page to see the beginning). The atheist responses have been predictable if not furious and angry, but the  funny thing is not a one of them has actually addressed the issue. The concept is simple, there's always a gap in knowledge, there's always a need for a leap of faith. The only question is how wide is the gap, can we narrow it with conventional forms of knowledge (logic, science, reason, yada yada yada)? The punch line is the atheists assume as long as there is a gap there's a reason not to believe. Yet, there is always a gap, so they are hiding in the gap because they not only have o intention of bridging it, but they actually against the attempt.I always use the concept of a diving board for the leap of faith. Its' an amusing metaphor based upon real life childhood experiences of going up the high dive ladder with good intentions and brave heart, and coming back down the high dive ladder having decided that more manly aspect of leaping is not leaping. This always came after a long period of deliberation about the nature of faith and the lack of necessity of leaping, conducted at the end of the high dive board, shivering and shaking from fear with a long line of agitated older kids behind me going "come on and jump!" That's when I became an existentialist, that moment. I decided it was much more important to understand and deal with the angst of being a kid stuck on a high dive than to jump! I use this metaphor to represent my arguments. No argument will eliminate the need to make the leap but perhaps some can get us out there further on so we narrow the gap. Or lower the board.There's always a gap where one must make a leap of faith. You can reduce the gap or it can grow wide, but there is always a gap. Even in what atheists take to be rock solid proved scientific facts there is a gap. If you look in the right place, usually do some epistemology, every source of knowledge and every rock solid fact has a gap where we don't know and we have we must bridge the gap with a leap of faith.We solve most gaps with a make-piece system of accepting what works and moving on. That's part of Heidegger notion of "ready to hand" in the discussion of the nature of being. What that means is bridging the gap with what works and making the leap of faith are so much a part of what we take for granted about life we don't even know we do it.Atheists use the gap as an excuse to shun belief in God. We see this being done now in the thread about certainty. The atheist wont to pretend his world view is based upon "fact" and faith is some stupid thing only fools resort to. When we use answers that work, which fit the common criteria by which we judge reality, the atheist balks and demands absolute proof a standard even scinece doesn't pretend are hiding in the gap. you are using the fact of a gap to pretend that faith is somehow sub standard and that doubt is some kind of answer to truth.The early responses just asserted the all sufficiency of scientific outlook to tell us what's what, really this amounts to gap denial.  From "Big Thinker" (contrasting his name to that of my friend Tiny Thinker, Tiny is one of the most Brilliant people I know, and their names are the inverse of their abilities).Typically, the atheist's position is based on fac[...]

Has Trump Saved the Economy? No!


On CBS this Morning (this morning--Nov. 10,3017) a focus group with Trump supporters revealed that every one of them redirected the propaganda  line that Trump has saved the economy. They really believe that Trump's deregulation and his confidence has created the upturn in the stock market and that created the upsurge in employment, this is manifest bunk, Back in 2012 I read prediction that two million jobs would be added to the economy over the next few years, Jobs are indicative of a growing healthy economy,Let's look at some of those predictions:

See my Resistance blog, Resistance is not futile

Tie breaker: God cannot be a brute fact


This is called Tie-breaker because it moves us past the log jam that results in saying God is uncased and timeless always has been always will be with cause, vs. the atheist argument that this is no better than  just saying the universe happens to be here for no reason. My friend Eric Sotnak, who has a great gift for sarcasm that is not lost on me, set's it up as a matter of brute facts. There is a huge literature on brute facts but I wont go into it because I don't have time and I'm no expert. A brute fact is a thing that exists for no higher purpose, it has no reason for being it just is. [1] Now some will argue that brute facts can have physical causes or not. Since we have no examples of anything in nature that has no cause that just leaves and the universe as a whole. So the comparison between atheism and theism is between  God who has no cause vs a universe that has no reason for being weather it has a physical cause o not Having no reason means it could as easily not be. Sotnak turns this into an argument agaisnt the existence of God, but couches it in terms of God as a brute fact:Traditionally, theists have felt extremely uncomfortable with the idea of a “brute fact” – that something could have just happened without explanation. Instead, they have committed to variations on the Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR).I think the main reason for this is that they know quite well that without PSR, they will have no way to rule out the hypothesis that maybe the universe is just a brute fact (no God required).But I think theists could comfort themselves a bit by shedding their anxiety about this. Imagine a conversation like this between a theist (T) and an atheist (A):A: I think the universe is a brute fact.T: Not I. I think it was made by God.A: But then where did God come from?T: God is an eternal brute fact.A: How does that make you better off than me, then?T: Well, while no logical proof of God’s existence is possible, I have subjective or existential reasons for being a theist. It seems to me that I can feel the presence of God in the laughter of my children, for instance. For me, theism helps me to make sense of the world and comforts me with the hope that death isn’t final.A: But if God is a brute fact, that means he could, logically speaking, have failed to exist.T: Yup. So I feel extra lucky that he does.Since God cannot fail to exist (definition of  necessary),that is an intrinsic part of the definition of God; then to say God is a BF in this sense is to say there is no God. One might believe in a demoted god who is not the God but a sort of very power strange being we don't know about. Zeus or something. This is why we need a tie breaker because there is a supposed tie between God as BF and the Universe as BF. God cam't be abrute fact and still be God in the Christian sense. Yet there is this seeming tie between un-caused God and uncaused universe. We have to do this in such a way that the universe can't be withouut a cause and God who has no cause cannot be a brute fact.To break the tie we just need to distinguish between the two kinds of un-caused nature. The argument is going to turn-on the concept of a BF. The nature of God's un-caused state is not the same as the nature of BF. To be a BF a thing must have no connection to a higher purpose. God can't have a purpose higher than himself but he can have a purpose higher than mere brute facticity. Seman[...]

Divine Simplicity: How Do We Know God is Simple?


In the last couple of posts I refereed to Dawkis as using the wrong concept of simplicity. complexity in arguing that God has to be complex, Our resident loyal opponent, "Skeptical," took exception, Apparently it's insulting atheists to disagree with them. In the pursuance of this discussion "Skepie" asked a question that suggested a dandy topic, "how do we know God is simple?" The reason this is so great as a topic is because it fits right in with my scheme of illustrating the explanatory power of the God concept. Understanding why God why we should think of God as simple is more than just an answer to Dawkins it also illustrates the justification for my rational warrant idea. I don't prove the existence of God I show that belief is rationally warranted.Dawkins is working against what he takes to be the most popular pro God arguments (one of the weakest) the monkey’s-writing-Shakespeare-by-accident argument. He couches it in terms of assembling a a 747 from a scrap yard by means of a hurricane.  The creationist, whose argument is revises, couches his argument in terms of finding some living creature who is too improbable to be assumable by accident. Improbability means complexity. The more complex something is the less likely it is to be assembled by accident. The creationist equates improbability with design. Dawkins points out that it’s not the Darwinians who are trying to get “something for nothing,” so to speak, in assuming that complexity could come about undersigned, but the creationists are seeking the “free lunch,” simply because they don’t recognize that “however statistically improbable the entity you seek to explain by evoking a designer, the designer himself has got to be at least as improbable. God is the ultimate Boeing 747.”[1] Dawkins takes this assumption through the entire book. The view of God that he’s attacking is obviously that of a big man. It may be couched as “big mind” or even “universal mind” but it’s still an entity, a thing, something that has to consciously calculate or deliberate about what it’s doing. Never does he stop to consider that he might have the wrong idea of God. He spends long pages droning on and on about consciousness raising and implying that creationists are stupid and feminists are smarter, never does it occur to him that he just might be dealing with the wrong concept of God.Dawkins uses the wrong concept of simplicity because he is assuming that God would be subject to physical law. Of course that is a laughable notion since God created physical law, he would be no more subject to it than we are to our day dreams. But the concept he's using is something like the universe has an immense abundance of detail in it so God has to have a huge amount of dendrites in his brain to keep up with it, This is something like Skeptical thinks about it, because he says "- Complex brains enable complex thinking. God is simple because God doesn't have a brain."[2] That assumes God is a big man, Just because biological organisms must have a brain to have complex mental states doesn't mean God is in the sane boat. God is not a biological organism, The point is the true concept of God's simplicity defeats this notion but it does so by employing a different concept, God is not simple because he has fewer parts or because he doesn't&nb[...]