Thursday, August 04, 2005

Here we go again...

It's things like this that actually made me a little sad to see Pope John Paul II die... I think Catholicism is ridiculous, and religion in general stupid... but within those bounds, he was a progressive and intelligent man. With him gone, I unfortunately see the Roman Catholic Church regressing in dangerous ways. :-(

For instance, take this article by the Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, entitled "Finding Design in Nature".

As further food for thought on this general topic, I have a few additional pieces; the first from Wikidpedia's article on Creationism:

Plea to reject nonsense

In his work The Literal Meaning of Genesis (De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim), Saint Augustine (354-430), embarrassed by Christians who would not accept this implication of the Doctrine of Creation, wrote against them. This translation is by J. H. Taylor in Ancient Christian Writers, Newman Press, 1982, volume 41.

"Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, [..] and this knowledge he holds as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason?" [1 Timothy 1.7]

I'll add in the actual verse from from New Revised Standard portion of my bible for 1 Timothy chapter 1 verse 7, which Augustine references: ... desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are sying or the things about which they make assertions.

Another point here to consider, which deals a hefty blow to both Augustines views on the proofs for God's existance and of Intelligent Design etc... is the other side of the double edged blade of Irreducible Complexity, which while originally attempted as a validation for belief in god and creation and a rejection of evolution, in the ends up being turned against the very point it was meant to bolster when you consider that if you try to avoid Irreducible Complexity by introducing a God, ala Deus Ex Machina, you are actually introducing Irreducible Complexity into a system which was only previously highly complex. If you introduce a God, then who created that God? It is no more a relevant solution than evolution, and unfortunately, because it is not based on scientific inquiry and facts such as Evolutionary Theory is, it is inherently less credible to begin with.

Again, Wikipedia sums it up in a nutshell: The "chicken or the egg" argument states that if the Universe had to be created by God because it must have a creator, then God, in turn would have had to be created by some other God, and so on.


Also, after noticing the Technorati Tags on Chris' blog, I think I'm going to try them out. I've been looking at ways of getting my blog some more exposure lately, like the TTLB Ecosystem etc... and this one seems interesting. So here goes:

/ / / / / /


Anonymous said...

Well buddy, you know who this is so let's get to it.

First, I don't know much about the Catholic church to comment on any of that. I just know that Pope John Paul II was a well respected man who had impacted a lot of events in history.

Second, you believe there isn't a God. I believe there is. Just as you say God is a figment of my imagination and I can't show him to you. I say God is real, prove to me he isn't. I don't see how you can't see he is real for that I see His creations everyday. This is where we really stalemate in our arguments. Just like all the other philosophers in history, neither of the sides will "win" through arguing. I can only show God through my deliverances in my life. If you don't believe through that I can't help you nor will I try to force you to.

Yes, I do believe in free speech. I also believe in respect, and respect for ones believe. This is where you and I have conflict. Sometimes, I am guilty of "throwing it in your face" (I did it probably twice out of your million [exagerration]. Just FYI). I just ask that you respect the following unless it deals with needless (yeah i know) killing, rape, and all those other extremely things :

Ethnicity (you know what I mean)
Freedom of Choice

and of course my Authority (sort of kidding, but not really).

I can't force you to. But I felt this was needed because you asked me what I thought. So here it is. Thanks. =)

Oh and excuse spelling and grammar.

JStressman said...

Well, I'm not sure what you're getting at with the Ethnicity thing actually...

But that aside, I've tried to explain to you before about the actual psychology behind what you see as "deliverances". You ascribe things in your life to god because you seek to justify your belief system, just like every other major religion on earth, no matter how drastically they actually differ from yours. It's a matter of psychology, not of any veracity of your beliefs.

Even this post should have shed a little light on that... you seeing God in creations around you is ignorant and short sighted for the very reasons I explained in the post. The world doesn't require a creator, and if it does, then the creator himself would require a creator ad infinitum by the same logic.

So unless you want to admit that you're illogical, irrational, ignorant and willingly denying the facts, information and reality and have no desire to change that, then you're not remotely as correct as I am, and not terribly worthy of my respect until you learn to actually research and consider alternate viewpoints which obviously have more factual merit than your own. :-(

Also, I generally overlook your spelling and grammar... Jesus.. it's like I corrected you 1 time and now everyone freaks out about it. I do it by habit to all of my friends and they do it to me... it's considered a courteous game we play to help each other hone our spelling skills. And as for grammar, it's not like I have the best grammar myself. My sentence structure is horrible, and I have a primitive understanding at best of anything beyond nouns and verbs.

I think if I could ask you to do anything, it would be to take a step back and actually consider the points I'm making. Actually ask for a better explanation of the psychology behind confirmation bias... actually look into how cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias might be affecting your judgement... look into things like different religions and belief systems and see why the people believe what they do. Look into things like cold reading and prestidigitation... into how human memory works. I have posted links to several of these things... including a quite in-depth post on human memory etc. (This post actually touched on most of those topics, and is the one I believe I'm referring to, if you'd like to actually read it now.)

It's not that I don't see where you're coming from. I was there once. It's that I know better now, and it's hard for me to patiently try to explain all the things to you that I've learned since when you stubbornly refuse to actually look at or consider the information because it's contrary to what you want to believe is true. (and that is covered by the aforementioned topics I mentioned)

I'll admit that I'm still learning about things... I will be for my entire life, and only wish that my life was longer so that I could continue to do so for as long as possible. But it doesn't necessarily invalidate what I have learned... and the more I learn, the more solid of an understanding I gain about the world around me.

Do you honestly believe that I'm ignorant? Or do you just like to insult me because you feel that I'm insulting you and you're lashing back at me out of a sense of self-defense?... because I can quite readily say that I've done the same (and I'm sure I still do). It's human nature.

JStressman said...

Well, hopefully I would have figured it out sooner or later either way. It's one of the tabs on Technorati, so if you're poking around on there, you'd run across it soon enough.


As for the pretty girl thing... I don't know... I'd feel kind of cheap and dirty doing that. ;)

Although I could always post some pics of Natalie Portman under the pretenses of a discussion on attractiveness etc. I'm sure I could find a good excuse. ;-)