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Science as a Religion

This essay is drawn from Dr. Logan Gage's new video course, How Science Became a Religion, available at NewPolity.com—and free for a limited time! The first lesson is below:



Christians and non-Christians alike tend to value the language of natural science as the most appropriate and authoritative language to speak within the "public square" of liberal nation states. An argument from theology will get you nowhere; an argument from one's personal experience is moot; but an argument of science stirs us to assent. Nowhere is this more clear than during an election, in which the degree to which a candidate "believes in science" is seen as a crucial marker of his ability to lead the country toward good ends.

This makes sense, because liberalism (often considered Classical Liberalism, which is the reigning modern worldview and not another term for Democrat), is predicated on neutrality. Liberal states have no state churches, official belief systems, philosophies or theologies. Such opinions are the private quirks of individual minds, the truth or falsity of which is irrelevant to a primary "public" knowledge about matters of law, policy, public interest, and the like. This public knowledge is neutral, in the sense that it is objective, applying to everyone, and if one is going to make headway in a liberal state, one must check one's private, opinionated language at the door.  

The language of science fits well into this schema, because it has, likewise, taken up what appears to be a neutral, objective, dispassionate stance of determining the cold, hard facts. The person who speaks from the perspective of science is able to speak apart from any merely private opinion, club, faction or denomination of belief. He speaks as a qualified expert, a position which indicates his disinterested removal from the moods and paradigms of the moment, and his unique ability to access the objective, unvarnished truth.  

But is this really how the scientific community operates? In 1962, Thomas Kuhn wrote his ground-breaking book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, in which he argues that scientific consensus is not neutral and disinterested, but emerges out of paradigms held by factions and in-groups devoted to their own survival. It is, hands down, the single most influential work of philosophy of science in the last century.  It’s core message, however, has not filtered down to popular culture, because questioning the disinterested status of science is, peripherally, to question the disinterested neutrality of liberal nation states. The rest of the essay proceeds from his insights.

Science Textbooks

Think about the textbooks from which we all learn about science and how they form our minds. The image of science they present is as glossed over as a tourist brochure.1 Textbooks tend to praise the achievements of great lone scientists and downplay science as a communal, cultural enterprise.  Perhaps most perniciously, because of their aim of getting novices up to speed so that they can understand (and even practice in) today’s scientific landscape, they select episodes in the history of science and arrange them in a seamless narrative all leading to…us, scientific modernity.  Inevitably, it makes science look like a straight line of progress, only opposed by the forces of superstition.

If you look at the actual revolutions of thought in the history of science this isn’t what you’ll see.  Science is done by real human beings.  Its history is a history of fights between groups of scientists not only over particular facts but over method and what counts as science at all.  There is a historical and sociological aspect to science that is essential to seeing what this modern project really is.

The history of science is more than the history of ideas; it is also a history of real people, with all their flaws and foibles. There is more to science than facts simply presenting themselves to great minds. It is a history of genius and innovation, sure. But it is also a history of cliques defending theories despite counter-evidence, scientists hitting dead-end after dead-end. But these never make it into the textbooks, both because it would undermine the progressive, liberal narrative that is meant to attract new scientists to the discipline, and also because stories of dead ends don’t help students learn current scientific theories. Any history that includes successes but never failures is bound to look linear and progressive.2  Yet the effect is painting a picture of science that is pure science fiction.

Normal vs. Revolutionary Science

Most science is not revolutionary. That is, it doesn’t set out to answer groundbreaking questions but to slightly extend our knowledge in some very limited domain.  Normal science doesn’t question its foundations but, rather, works within a paradigm or large set of settled assumptions about its subject matter.3  Now, paradigms can sound very negative, because their job is to be settled and dogmatic, to force us to view nature in preconceived categories and rigidly indoctrinate students. However, the advantage of paradigms is that the scientist doesn’t have to constantly justify her basic outlook but can treat some things as settled and dive deeper into nature on those assumptions.  Kuhn likens it to a settled judicial decision.4  In this way, real but limited progress is made.

But there are also periods of science where there is a sense of unease and dissatisfaction with the reigning paradigm - particularly the baroque Ptolemaic model of the solar system.  In these revolutionary periods, fundamental assumptions are challenged. 

Importantly, this is not a dispassionate process by which the evidence is obvious to all and the best theory automatically wins out. New paradigms are created not by seasoned veterans of the field but by the young or those new to the field who haven’t had their minds ossified by years of thinking in the old paradigm.5 Instead of convincing the old guard, advocates of the new paradigm simply attract more young scientists to their research program (e.g., they attract more graduate students with an exciting new way of thinking).

And the minute the new paradigm wins out, say, the Copernican model, its rivals are ridiculed as “non-scientific.”  The old guard is shunned, their work ignored.6  The revolution does not take place because the old guard become convinced by overwhelming evidence, see the light, and recant. (That is to say, the scientists do not actually behave scientifically, disinterestedly following the evidence wherever it leads.)  Rather, the revolution happens when they die off.  The historical record challenges the positivist narrative of science as uniquely rational and automatically progressive.  Science isn’t populated by Spock-like, neutral, open-minded observers following the evidence wherever it leads.  It is populated by actual humans.

There is a chaotic and competitive pre-paradigm period where the field has no consensus and competing theories jockey for dominance; then a breakthrough that establishes a new paradigm; followed by a long period of normal science; until anomalies with that paradigm build up; a crisis occurs; and we get the next revolutionary event, the new paradigm, and a period of normal science again. 

No paradigm can solve all problems.  In fact, if it did, there would be no normal science to do.  So new paradigms have unsolved problems for which they issue promissory notes; it is only a matter of time, it insists, until the problems are solved.  These puzzles may or may not fester and come to be seen as problems.  Whether puzzles become problems and create a “crisis” has much to do with the particular psychological and sociological facts about the research community.  As Thomas Kuhn says, “every problem that normal science sees as a puzzle can be seen, from another viewpoint, as a counterinstance and thus as a source of crisis.”7

In cases as diverse as the Copernican revolution in astronomy, Lavoisier’s oxygen theory of combustion in chemistry, and the emergence of Einsteinian relativity theory in physics, puzzles had to seem like problems—like a crisis—before radically new thinking could emerge.  And what feels like a crisis is highly dependent on the particular personalities involved.8  For instance, some astronomers began to see Ptolemaic epicycles (circles upon circles) as clunky and aesthetically displeasing while others did not.  There were also social factors like the need for a new calendar, the growing dislike of medieval Aristotelianism, and the rise of Renaissance Platonism. 

New theories are responses to a felt crisis, a personal and social phenomenon—perhaps caused by the evidence but certainly not necessitated by it.  Aristarchus, for instance, anticipated Copernicus by almost two millennia.  But the social setting was not ready for the new theory.  Leading thinkers felt no dissatisfaction with the Ptolemaic model.  This evidences against the simple positivist view of science as a slow ratcheting up of observations leading to the formation of obviously true theories to account for the data.  The right scientific theory does not emerge automatically.

Paradigms: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Scientists prize being objective and rigorous; but they’re people, not robots. People are those that explore and all people have a particular paradigm with which they explore nature. Paradigms can distort our vision, but they also make vision possible by organizing a sea of chaotic data into a pattern. None of us are free from having one because all of us need one. Without one, we would be impersonal actors without the ability to relate and to love.

The late 20th Century saw an increasing recognition that the modern scientific view of facts and theories was too simple.  From the Scientific Revolution to the Logical Positivists it was claimed that rational scientists must be presuppositionless machines who go around collecting pure facts until theories emerge pristine from the data. In other words, scientists could be dispassionate observers of nature. We all sympathize with this view, since we want our theories to be responsive to facts rather than our hopes and wishes. 

But philosophers began to notice that we don’t just see the world but that we see under a description.  We don’t just see, but we see as.9  If you’ve seen a Magic Eye drawing and then suddenly your mind recognizes a pattern and you see the unified image of a car in what had previously appeared as a bunch of colors, then you’ve noticed this yourself.  Or perhaps you’ve had this experience with one of the famous Gestalt images like the drawing that is simultaneously a young lady and an old lady, or Wittgenstein’s duck-rabbit.  You tend to see the image one way at first, but then with effort you can see the image the other way.  But once you lock on to the second image, it becomes difficult to see the original one.  Your shift in perspective, it is important to notice, is not simply caused by new evidence or data.  It has to do with how the existing data is imagined, conceptualized, or interpreted.

Rather than thinking our prior beliefs and expectations “pollute” our pure experiences, we should thank God that they do.  We’d be stuck in a world of sensations rather than objects if we couldn’t bring concepts to bear in our visual processing.  We don’t infer all our theories from sensations.  Aristotle and Aquinas recognized this long ago.  They didn’t build their epistemology on animal sensations but on our ability to perceive natures and thereby populate our minds with ordinary concepts like humans, apples, and cats.

Still, paradigms do restrict our vision.  They limit our focus.  But this is not all bad, even claiming that it is “essential to the development of science.”10  Paradigms give us a kind of mental stability:  they are fixed points of reference.  It is a fully rational thing not to give up your old point of view for a new one at every turn.  If everything was up for grabs at all times, we’d never make any headway.  Paradigms allow scientists to stop arguing about fundamental issues and start solving puzzles from within the paradigm.  The paradigm tells them what questions are significant enough to explore and how to go about answering them (i.e., via paradigmatic experiments).  Half of the work is already done for the scientist by the paradigm.

Consensus

It is often  argued that science is, unlike religion and philosophy, characterized by consensus and wide-spread agreement.  Therefore, it uniquely promises to make progress and solve problems.  However, with the notion of paradigms, I hope we can see that modern science is characterized by consensus because scientists are taught the same paradigm in graduate school and the community enforces a rather rigid orthodoxy.  Vocal questioners of the paradigm, no matter how credentialed, have trouble publishing in mainstream journals and presses, are unlikely to receive tenure, and are effectively excommunicated by being labeled science deniers or pseudo-scientists. 

I saw this happen with a friend who holds two excellent Ph.D.s and held a joint appointment between the NIH and the Smithsonian.  When it became suspected that he harbored scientific doubts about the power of the neo-Darwinian selection-mutation mechanism and might even be open to an intelligent design explanation for features of the living world, he was harassed by his colleagues who even hid his specimens so that he could not continue his research.  This is highly ironic in light of the positivist narrative of medieval orthodoxy enforced by the Inquisition. 

Science and Metaphysics

At any rate, paradigms are larger than just a certain explanation for how this or that natural thing functions.  The paradigm sets rules about which scientific laws hold, which methods are truly scientific, and even contains the “quasi-metaphysical commitments that the historical study [of science] so regularly displays.”11  Consider  the corpuscular theory of matter, which supposed all matter to be composed of minute particles.  This was not just pure “science.” This was a metaphysical commitment that thinkers like Hobbes, Descartes and Newton called “scientific” and which served to guide their research and the solutions they deemed acceptable.  They went about looking for laws specifying corpuscular motion and corpuscular interaction; those were the only explanations deemed properly scientific.  Or think of Einstein’s development of four-dimensionalism, where space and time are part of a single manifold. Surely this is both a scientific and metaphysical theory.12

So when Catholic intellectuals make a hard and fast (and, frankly, positivist) distinction between what is science and what is metaphysics, I hope you can understand why people like me get uneasy.  It isn’t because we think there is no difference in general.  Metaphysicians don’t normally put things in test tubes.  But there is far more overlap than the rigid distinction recognizes.13  The reason is that scientists are trying, just like philosophers, to tell us what reality is really like.  As Einstein understood, “every true theorist is a kind of tamed metaphysicist, no matter how pure a ‘positivist’ he may fancy himself.”14

Notes:

  1. Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2012), p. 1. 
  2. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, p. 138.  Rewriting the textbooks after each revolution only hides the failures.  Cf., pp. 136-137.
  3. Kuhn’s use of “paradigm” is complicated.  He uses it at first to mean an paradigmatic practice or experiment (p. 11) but soon extends the word to mean a general outlook or worldview.  Margaret Masterman, “Nature of a Paradigm,” in Imre Lakatos and Alan Musgrave, eds., Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1966), pp. 59-90, famously found 21 distinct uses of ‘paradigm’ in Kuhn’s work.
  4. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, p. 23.
  5. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, p. 90.
  6. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, p. 19.
  7. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, p. 80.
  8. A crisis is “a period of pronounced professional insecurity…generated by the persistent failure of the puzzles of normal science to come out as they should.  Failure of existing rules is the prelude to a search for new ones.”  Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, p. 68.
  9. Norwood Russell Hanson, Perception and Discovery: An Introduction to Scientific Inquiry (Freeman, Cooper, and Co., 1969), ch. 6.
  10. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, p. 24-25.
  11. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, p. 41.
  12. Cf. Stephen Mumford, Laws in Nature (New York: Routledge, 2004), p. 8.
  13. Leading proponents of Darwinian theory claim that human beings gradually came about as the result of a purely natural and non-intelligent process of random mutation and natural selection.  If that claim has any meaning at all, then it entails that it is not the case that, say, human beings were directly created by God.  So some scientific theories do either confirm or disconfirm theistic hypotheses.  See Stephen C. Dilley, “Philosophical Naturalism and Methodological Naturalism: Strange Bedfellows?” Philosophia Christi vol. 12, no. 1 (2010), pp. 128.
  14. Quoted in Tilman Sauer, “Einstein’s Unified Field Theory Program,” in Michel Janssen and Christoph Lehner, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Einstein (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014), p. 303.
Dr. Logan Paul Gage

Written by

Logan Paul Gage is the Chair of the Philosophy Department at Francsican University of Steubenville. Dr. Gage received his B.A. in history, philosophy, and American studies from Whitworth College (2004) and his M.A. (2011) and Ph.D. (2014) in philosophy from Baylor University. His dissertation, written under the supervision of Trent Dougherty, was a defense of the phenomenal conception of evidence and conservative principles in epistemology. It won Baylor University’s 2014-2015 Outstanding Dissertation Award (Humanities Division). His philosophical specialties (and the majority of his publications) are in epistemology and philosophy of religion. But he also has broad interests in ethics, metaphysics, history of philosophy, philosophy of science, and the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. When not engaged in philosophy, he can be found cooking with his wife (an attorney in a former life), wrestling with his five handsome sons, and pulling out his hair while watching the Seattle Sounders.

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  • Jim the Scott

    Science as we understand the term today solely is the pursuit of quantitative knowledge. Trying to use it for anything other then that is a category mistake and or the incoherent error of Positivism/Scientism. Philosophy and Metaphysics are used for the pursuit of qualitative knowledge.

    The inability of many philosophical illiterate scientists to make this distinction reminds me of the Young Earth Creationist who pleads the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics makes evolution impossible because it somehow shows disorder is natural to systems and spontaneous natural order is impossible without a supernatural Supreme Order Giver.

    What total BS! Barbara Streisand! Says I a Classic Theist & tentative evolutionist.

    The 2nd Law is a law of physics that tells us in closed systems disorder happens. Earth is not a closed system we have this big ball of Fusion 93 million miles from us providing energy to our system for the next 600 million years till it becomes too hot. But the Young Earth Creationist wag like his Positivist Atheist brother in equal stupidity confuses Metaphysics and philosophy with science and physics and makes a hash of it.

    The YEC is treating a law of physics like a metaphysical principle to back his Paley Mechanistic metaphysical view of the world he shares with his Positivist Atheist brother. The Essentialists and more philosophically sophisticated Atheists laugh at both of them and steal their lunch money. This is a category mistake. Like the Positivist Atheist boobs who think Aquinas' first way has something to do with Aristotle's false Greek physics vs a metaphysical description of real change contra Parmenides argument change is not real.

    But as the pagans say against Stupidity even the gods themselves contend in vain. Except they never met a YEC or a Positivist so they got off easy.

    • David Nickol

      This is all a little deep for me, but it seems you have written your own take on what science is rather than commenting on the OP. You say, "Science as we understand the term today solely is the pursuit of quantitative knowledge." On the other hand, Gage says,

      So when Catholic intellectuals make a hard and fast (and, frankly, positivist) distinction between what is science and what is metaphysics, I hope you can understand why people like me get uneasy. It isn’t because we think there is no difference in general. Metaphysicians don’t normally put things in test tubes. But there is far more overlap than the rigid distinction recognizes.

      As an aside, there are many scientists who don't put things in test tubes—theoretical physicists, for example.

      In any case, you and Gage do not seem to me to see eye to eye.

      I don't get the title—Science as a Religion.

      FWIW, I believe it is true that most scientists have no interest at all in the philosophy of science.

      • Jim the Scott

        Maybe & maybe not BUT who are these Catholic intellectuals and what are examples their "positivist" distinction between science and metaphysics because without an example I can't tell if I agree or disagree with him? Also he has to explain the nature of their "overlap". Because I submit to actually do science one has to presuppose methodological essentialism in order to accept their observed changes as real. If change is not real then in principle yer science proves nothing.

        Saying four dimensionalism is metaphysical isn't completely true. Rather a four dimensional static block universe is(don't even get me started on Hawkings' concept of imaginary time) given Einstein's fondness for seeing it as a vindication of Parmenides much to the just chagrin of Popper. OTOH an expanding block universe is consistent with real change thus is consistent with the act/potency distinction & makes Aristotelians and most scholastics warm and fuzzy inside. OTOH classically philosophy and metaphysics are seen as sciences and the science that gives us quantitative knowledge is called natural philosophy or practical philosophy by the ancients. Equivocations abound & you know how I truly hate those.

        >I don't get the title—Science as a Religion.

        Could be the dogmatic views of some scientists such as the example he gave of a friend who doubted Darwinism explained it all and sought to take a look as so called Intelligent Design and he was harassed by his colleagues who even hid his specimens so that he could not continue his research.

        That is ironic since most classic theists and thomists have little use for intelligent design (though Oderberg and others think certain leaps in evolution might not in principle be explained entirely in naturalistic terms including the origin of life. Thought traditionally scholastics in the very very old days accepted Spontaneous Generation as a natural process that produced life from lifeless matter by an unknown natural mechanism till Pascal overthrew SG. But I would note there is no metaphysical difference between SG and abiogenesis. Oderberg is open to philosophy justifying major leaps in evolution naturalistically Dr B could explain it better than I).

        OTOH Gage knocks positivism so I might assume we more likely agree that disagree. Another irony I do technically believe ID is a legitimate science in the modern sense (wither a successful one I have no opinion)based on the arguments of Atheist philosopher of science Bradley Monton.

        But I still don't fancy ID. I treat it like my old college girlfriend who was my first love and I remember her fondly but my wife is the love of my life. Like scholasticism and Thomism.

      • WCB-2

        We can either study the Universe and draw any metaphysics from how that Universe works, or erect a metaphysical system and try to force fit claims about the nature of the Universe into that metaphysical Procrustean bed. Science as a whole ignores bad metaphysics, much to the dismay of those who are proponents of bad metaphysical systems.
        Metaphysics never discovered anything worth knowing about nature.
        Galileo had to throw the rotten physics of his day out wholesale and start from scratch based solely on observable testing of basic physics to put physics on a sound basis. Empiricism, not metaphysics is how one does science.

        What really started physics as we know it was not metaphysical games by armchair thinkers, but optics. Creation of the telescope and then the microscope opened up entire worlds to those who had them and used them. They found out things they could not find in the Bible, Aristotle, theological claims, Greek philosophers, and theological metaphysical pretensions.

        That is why science is rather skeptical of the pretension of religious metaphysicians. Proven lack of results with metaphysicians who lacked basic information needed to for a competent metaphysical system that did anything useful.

        One good microscope is far more useful than 1000 thick tomes by metaphysicians.

        • Ben Champagne

          "We can either study the Universe and draw any metaphysics from how that Universe works" Please tell me how one studies the universe without using a single metaphysical presupposition. I'll wait...

          • WCB-2

            Science adopts a few ideas we could call metaphysical. Realism, there is a universe out there that really exists. We assume physics basically in the same all throughout the universe, because that works and seems to be what we observe. Emergent behavior of physical systems. Methodological naturalism. Because that works very well. A few pragmatic assumptions that work, and thus are accepted to be true. But that is held provisionally and if evidence ever was presented that demonstrated these assumptions are not true, science would adjust it's assumption to fit the facts. So far, it has had to do so, for the observable Universe. Some basic ideas have in fact been challenges to age old assumptions. Quantum physics has it's own little rules. Classical physics is a good approximation for much of the universe until we have to do physics at the quantum level.

            Science is intensely pragmatic and parsimonious as to underlying assumptions we can label as metaphysics. Strato, who was third after Aristotle to run the Lyceum, most famously said that the Universe contains all it needs to explain itself. In opposition to metaphysical schools like Stoics et al. Strato was a naturalist. Abandoning a lot of metaphysical baggage. And that has been science's program ever since. Fripperies like Aristotle's Prime Mover and attached metaphysics has long been abandoned.

            No need to take notice of anything metaphysical that is not useful or needed.

          • Jim the Scott

            Noticed WCB-2 just contradicted himself in his long verbose piece of overly verbal diarrhea? He wants to put science before metaphysics then he admits Science presupposes realism which is a metaphysical view which comes before science.

            He just wrote to me above "Science is about qualitative knowledge." when everybody and his uncle knows it is about the quantitative.

            He does not know what he is talking about.

          • WCB-2

            Science adopts working theories. Realism is just that. A working theory about the nature of the Universe. Calling it a mere mataphysical principle misses the point.

            This is why a lot of working scientists hold metaphysics in low regard. Science does notl ay out a metaphysical theory and then uses that as a basis for doing science. Science adopts working, pragmatic assumptions, that the metaphysical types do not understand them for what they are.

          • Jim the Scott

            No realism is a metaphysical view historically advocated by Plato and Aristotle. In contrast to anti-realism which was championed by Heraclides and Parmenides.

            It is not a scientific theory it is a philosophical modeling, As an Atheist philosopher once said.

            There is no such thing as philosophy-free science; there is only science whose philosophical baggage is taken on board without examination. —Daniel Dennett, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, 1995

            That is you, You have positivism on the brain and not in a good way.

          • Ben Champagne

            So please show me how science is done without any reliance whatsoever on the metaphysically necessary principle 'things are things'. I look forward to being educated by you.

          • Jim the Scott

            ;-)

    • WCB-2

      Balderdash. Science is about qualitative knowledge. Science is about finding out how nature works. That is all.

      • Jim the Scott

        No that is philosophy. It is like saying Biology is about the study of the fundamental particles that make up larger units of matter and the laws of motion. No that is physics.

        Basically you have no ability to make a single intelligent argument, Fallacies of equivocation are not arguments. They are mere word salads. You quoted Luther? You still think we are Protestant Fundamentalists not Catholics?

        Nobody here will take you seriously.

        • WCB-2

          How many here no longer take you seriously? Should we ask for a show of hands?

          I don't take you seriously at all.

          • Jim the Scott

            Quite a few take me seriously. All the people who matter here. STP and sometimes Nickol (when I dina piss him off). Dr. B...Brandon the blog master. Rob and Mark sometimes Luke or Ben.(forgive me if I forget anybody)

            So who are you? Just some guy who doesn't know philosophy or classic Theism from a hole in the head and is just trying to recycle his anti-fundamentalist polemics and making a hash of it.

            You could do better. So why don't you?

          • Ben Champagne

            If memory serves I have had several disagreements with Jim the Scott, mostly on doctrinal Catholic grounds and their philosophical and logical soundness. That said, I am taking him a lot more seriously than I am taking anything you have uttered thus far.

      • Tom More

        Just popped in and I must say as is pretty obvious to almost anyone I would hope who even knows what metaphyics is... The Science before Science" as physicist philosopher Dr Anthony Rizzi properly labels it, but it seems you have no idea what the word metaphysics even means and its necessarily foundational role in human reasoning. I get pragmatism and blind materialism and planting your nose on the physical task ahead , and isn't it wonderful when someone discovers ice cream and a better golf ball..... but the entire paradigm of existence itself. .. the answer to the question why.. even how is it that the universe is intelligible and has lead to the formation of conscious free willed creatures who can argue about metaphysics.... is just a radically uninteresting and unimportant aside to the golf ball maker. But not knowing final cause or the only coherent analysis of change is simply to be radically unintelligent. Rather like a blinkered horse.

  • David Nickol

    Nowhere is this more clear than during an election, in which the degree to which a candidate "believes in science" is seen as a crucial marker of his ability to lead the country toward good ends.

    I don't want to start a political discussion—really and truly. But is this a swipe at Democrats and Biden who believe (quite understandably) that Trump is belittling and ignoring science during this pandemic?

    • Jim the Scott

      Please don't then. Politics is toxic and a whorehouse even if I do believe the democrats don't give two s-words about science.

      BTW how is it a swipe against either candidate? It is true. It is just you believe Trump is ignoring the science and I believe the Dems and Biden are and we will never agree. Heck there are Never Trump Catholics I don't agree with on this(Steve Greydanus or Mark Shea) and pro Trump Atheists I do agree with((Dave Ruben my boi).

      So lets keep the dirty dirty politics out of the discussion? Because I come here to escape it. (note this is merely a request not a command, Do what you will).

      Cheers

      • WCB-2

        Science denial by the GOP is obvious and dangerous. It is interesting to see that Scientific American that has never endorsed a presidential candidate in it's 154 year history now has endorsed Biden

        81 Nobel laureates have now endorsed Biden, because of the GOP's science denial and scientific incompetence.
        ...
        The letter – signed by 81 laureates who received their Nobel prizes
        between 1975 and 2019 – focuses on Biden’s attitude to science. “At no time in our nation’s history has there been a greater need for our
        leaders to appreciate the value of science in formulating public
        policy,” the letter states. “During his long record of public service,
        Joe Biden has consistently demonstrated his willingness to listen to
        experts, his understanding of the value of international collaboration
        in research, and his respect for the contribution that immigrants make to the intellectual life of our country.”

        • Jim the Scott

          I don't care and cannot be made too.

          What part of "I will not debate politics" do ye not understand? This is a forum for religion not politics. Take this crap over to Breitbart or Townhall. I am not interesting. Especially with a person who still hasn't figured out we are Catholics here not Protestants or Fundamentalists.

          David Nickol I respect and I won't debate him on politics, Why would I debate it with a know nothing?

          • WCB-2

            If you do not care that the GOP is filled with congressmen who have all the scientific knowledge of a semi-literate twelve year old Afghani goat herd boy, your opinion is not worth caring about. In this age of climate change, pandemics and other issues science bears on, we need people as presidents, and senators and Congressmen that understand science. not total ignorami like Trump. Windmills cause cancer, global warming is a Chinese hoax, and other deep ignorance that puts this nation in danger. You haven't a clue. Neither does Trump.

          • Jim the Scott

            Quote"StrangeNotions.com is the central place of dialogue between Catholics and atheists. It's built around three things: reason, faith, and dialogue. You'll find articles, videos, and rich comment box discussion concerning life's Big Questions".

            Yer citation.

            Nothing about politics. Dave Ruben is an Atheist and a Trump supporter. Mark Shea is a Catholic and a millitant opponent of Trump.

            Arguing politics here is off topic. Discuss God or philosophy or clear off..

          • WCB-2

            This is a thread about science. Bad science, ignorance of science, hostility to science by GOP congressmen and a president is indeed on topic. and probably far more important than much of what is discussed on Strange Notions.

            The name of this thread was "Science as a religion". Who are you to tell us what we can and cannot post about as regards science, or even anti-science from an ignorant Bible waving president?

            Do understand this and understand it well, if indeed science hostility from the GOP screws us good, and 30 -50 years from now we are in serious trouble because we did not act early on, religion, including Catholicism, which played a big role in supporting anti-science Republicans whose obstructionism wrecked us are going to be held in hatred and contempt.

            Understand that! If you think the RCC is having a hard time living down the Galileo affair, ecological collapse due to wilful ignorance of religious believers is not going to be forgiven.

            Perhaps, Dr Bonnette may want to start a few threads on that subject. What is the role of the RCC, religion, metaphysics and theology in regards to the serious ecological crisis that may eventually inflict itself on us all. What if these religious ideas do not work to prevent disaster, or worse yet feed it? What will happen to religion if worse comes to worse and large parts of the globe become uninhabitable?

            We may see people hunting down theologians with what few dogs remain if theology fails us. If you think the rising abandonment of religion is fierce now, let religion screw up royal on Global Warming.

          • Jim the Scott

            Wow what part of no politics do ye not understand? What part of I don't wish to discuss politics here do ye not understand? If I wanted to discuss politics I would go to another forum and cheer on Dave Ruben vs Mark Shea,

            >This is a thread about science. Bad science, ignorance of science,

            This excludes you since you think Science is the search for qualitative knowledge not the quantitative, You just reversed the definitions arbitrarily.

            You cannot even get the dates right on Galileo and ignore the fact the Church relented on Copernicus centuries before Galileo and they where guided purely by the science,

          • WCB-2

            This is important. If we fail and ecological disaster strikes, religion will take a big hit if it keepps supporting hostility to science. Ignoring that is in and of itself, politics. When did you become the person who decides what we can post about?

            It is just this head in the sand nonsense that will destroy religion if worst comes to pass and religion has not put up a mighty fight early on to avoid long term ecological disaster.

            You do not want to think about it? Fine. Other might disagree. Especially those religious people here who realize, I am correct about this. Religion will take a massive hit if it does not take a stand now.

            Is that what YOU want? Because if religion, theology and metaphysicians do not take a stand, nobody will take you seriously once we achieve the coming disaster.

            The name of this thread is :Science as a Religion. If religion screws this up, science will become a religion to many. Replacing the failed religions that sat there chewing their cud as we careened to ecological disaster.

          • Jim the Scott

            I don't care about yer end times scenario. Go share it with the people who believe in The Rapture is any day now.

            I don't care to discuss politics.

            Bugger off about the poliics.

          • WCB-2

            It is not an ignorant "end times scenario" This is what we get from religious kooks. The rapture is near and Jesus is coming back! Hallelujah and send me money! nothing like a stupid straw man from you.

            Maybe, other do want to discuss what will happen if we screw up and 50years from now we have ecological collapse where large part of the a globe are no longer habitable or can support large scale agriculture.

            And the failure of religion to fight all of this tooth and nail will become an issue. Christianity is already dying slowly in much of Europe. This may pretty much end it. Christians will be a very small number of people regarded as dangerous kooks.

            Theology will die out. "You were wrong about not bothering to battle climate change, why should we think you are right about anything else now?"

            Metaphysics? What good did metaphysics do 50 years ago? How many angels can dance on a metaphysician's head while we slide into an ecological disaster?

            If you do not want to discuss all of this, then don't. Again, maybe others will want to look at the sobering possible disaster all of this will have on religion, theology and metaphysics if nothing is done and worst comes to past.

            Maybe even some of this site's atheists might want to post their take on all of this.

          • Jim the Scott

            Yeh I am still waiting for the Ice Age they promised in the 1970's. Yer end times scenario is no better than the Rapture and at best serves as the basis of some silly movies wither THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW or LEFT BEHIND.

            Fundamentalism wither it comes from Atheists or dispensationalist Protestant Christians does not please me.

            There are no articles on this site advocating or denying climate change theories. At best there is one and only one article on the general Catholic teaching regarding how we need to take care of the environment(which I am all for).
            This nonsense is off topic.
            No politics.

            >If you do not want to discuss all of this, then don't.

            Then why do you keep bringing it up with me? Talk to somebody who gives two shhhh....shoots about it. I don't care and cannot be made too care.

            Why is that nor clear to you?

          • WCB-2

            Wikipedia
            Laudato si'

            Central Italian for 'Praise Be to You!'
            Encyclical letter of Pope FrancisDate24 May 2015SubjectOn care for our common home

            Laudato si' (English: Praise Be to You!) is the second encyclical of Pope Francis. The encyclical has the subtitle "on care for our common home".[1] In it, the pope critiques consumerism and irresponsible development, laments environmental degradation and global warming, and calls all people of the world to take "swift and unified global action."[2]

            The encyclical, dated 24 May 2015, was officially published at noon on 18 June 2015, accompanied by a news conference.[2] The Vatican released the document in Italian, German, English, Spanish, French, Polish, Portuguese and Arabic, alongside the original Latin.[3]

            So, you think you are a Catholic? You know nothing about climate change, you don't care, and you think you know everything.

            Pope Francis has listened to the experts and is trying to inform you, yes, that is YOU, about the danger of climate change. Will you take time to download Laudato Si and actually read it with carefully?

            If you cannot trust an official encyclical from the Pope, the authoritative Magisterium of the RCC, why should any Catholic trust you? much less anybody else?

            Then you might want to look at the various follow up speeches Pope Francis had made on the issue of climate change. Think you can handle it?

            Maybe Dr. Bonnette can devote a thread to this instead of some more unimportant metaphysical subject the by comparison may not be as important.

            http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html

            Take up and read! Take up and read!

          • Jim the Scott

            Yes that is all very lovely but....

            But there are no article here on this blog about Global Warming so it is off topic and Pope Francis explicitly says in Laudato si that climate change is a matter of science not a matter of faith and that science isn't always certain. Catholics are not required to give religious assent to wither or not Climate change is true or not.

            Read it yerself. So I am under no doctrinal obligation to believe in Global Warming as taught by Pope Francis himself in Laudato Si which I as per Vatican One grant assent.

            It is obvious to all you didn't read it.

            Also Pope says in Laudato Si QUOTE"It cannot be maintained that empirical science provides a complete explanation of life, the interplay of all creatures and the whole of reality."

            He isn't a fan of Positivism either. Wow you are bad at this.

          • WCB-2

            No bull dooky from you!

            http://w2.vatican.va/conten...
            Take up and read! Take up and read!

            Because science cannot predict what the climate will be exactly in 50 years does not mean you can just ignore it all. we are in serious trouble if swift action is not taken NOW!

            The Pope is warning you, yes YOU, action must be taken now. Your empty polemics, sophistry, and word games are not the mark of a true Catholic. No writhing, twisting and wriggling.

            This encyclical means something.

          • Jim the Scott

            But you didn't read it. That is obvious. Pope Francis nowhere says Climate Change is now a doctrine that I must assent too.

            Here is another quote from Laudato Si'.

            188. There are certain environmental issues where it is not easy to achieve a broad consensus. Here I would state once more that the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or to replace politics. But I am concerned to encourage an honest and open debate so that particular interests or ideologies will not prejudice the common good."END QUOTE

            The Pope agree with me here. Not you. He is not binding me to believe in Climate Change. I can accept the general moral principles of this letter without believing in Climate change.

            Wow! Epic fail on yer part son. Pope Francis rooks you!

          • WCB-2

            From Laudato Si

            25. Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day. Its worst impact will probably be felt by developing countries
            in coming decades. Many of the poor live in areas particularly affected by phenomena related to warming, and their means of subsistence are largely dependent on natural reserves and ecosystemic services such as agriculture, fishing and forestry. They have no other financial activities or resources which can enable them to adapt to climate change
            or to face natural disasters, and their access to social services and protection is very limited. For example, changes in climate, to which animals and plants cannot adapt, lead them to migrate; this in turn affects the livelihood of the poor, who are then forced to leave their homes, with great uncertainty for their future and that of their children. There has been a tragic rise in the number of migrants seeking to flee from the growing poverty caused by environmental degradation. They are not recognized by international conventions as refugees; they bear the loss of the lives they have left behind, without enjoying any legal protection whatsoever. Sadly, there is widespread indifference to
            such suffering, which is even now taking place throughout our world. Our lack of response to these tragedies involving our brothers and sisters points to the loss of that sense of responsibility for our fellow men and women upon which all civil society is founded.
            ---

            You did not really read this, did you?

          • Jim the Scott

            Except I read the important parts.

            "88. There are certain environmental issues where it is not easy to achieve a broad consensus. Here I would state once more that the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or to replace politics. But I am concerned to encourage an honest and open debate so that particular interests or ideologies will not prejudice the common good."END QUOTE

            Plus

            ""It cannot be maintained that empirical science provides a complete explanation of life, the interplay of all creatures and the whole of reality."END QUOTE

            Yer fundamentalist tendency to proof text without a context remains a further argument on how you are not fit to discuss this topic.

            Now yer posts are just sad.

          • WCB-2

            Let me slap you again

            So what they all need is an “ecological conversion”, whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them. Living our vocation t be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience. "

            You really don't want this to mean what it means do you?
            Quibbling, sophistry, weasel word games, and unwilling to read this and take it to heart.

          • Jim the Scott

            I can do all that without believing climate change is a real thing. I have no problem with the moral teachings of this Letter. I am no dissident. My loyalty is absolute but I know a lawful order from a suggestion. I was actually in the military.

            >Quibbling, sophistry, weasel word games, and unwilling to read this and take it to heart.

            Again that is my line. I read this long ago and you just now going threw it trying to use yer fundamentalist proof texting.

          • Ben Champagne

            "Quibbling, sophistry, weasel word games, and unwilling to read this and take it to heart." Yes, you are quite good at this.

          • Tom More

            Informed Catholics embrace the Aristotelian and Thomistic premise of final cause. The end or purpose of things. Why everything is relational in the cosmos, how the Big Bang.. the discovery of Father Georges Lemaitre a Catholic priest and the seminal experiments of catholic brother August Mendel (Mendel's Law) in genetics all point to a necessary final cause... BEING itself which we all participate in and which provides the foundation in reason for true and informed concern for our planet. It is mindless materialism that can only reduce to hysteria even why , via natural law, the basic moral precepts in God's universe seep through even to the naive materialist.

          • Philip Rand

            Tom More

            A truly informed Catholic would realise that Aristotle wrote a Platonic work near the end of his life, that has been lost.

            By the way, Mendel fudged his experimental results...

            A Thomist is a Naive Realist... both direct and in-direct in the same manner and at the same time...

          • Tom More

            You seem to have it in your head that Catholics are opposed to climate science or refuse to accept climate change. Both are wrong. You are the other fundamentalist group of naive materialists in a universe of mindless matter in meaningless motion, the intellectual counterpart of the other blind religious fundamentalists. Rather entertaining.

          • WCB-2

            before we go any futher, Laudato Si is an encyclical.

            We shall now let Pope Pius XII explain to yopu the importance of what and encyclical is.

            ...

            Pope Pius XII held that papal encyclicals, even when they are not of ordinary magisterium, can nonetheless be sufficiently authoritative to end theological debate on a particular question:

            It is not to be thought that what is set down in Encyclical letters does not demand assent in itself, because in this the popes do not exercise the supreme power of their magisterium. For these matters are taught by the ordinary magisterium, regarding which the following is pertinent: "He who heareth you, heareth Me." (Luke 10:16); and usually what is set forth and inculcated in Encyclical Letters, already pertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their acts, after due consideration, express an opinion on a hitherto controversial matter, it is clear to all that this matter, according to the mind and will of the same Pontiffs, cannot any longer be considered a question of free discussion among theologians.[1]

            No more mealy mouthed quibbling from you.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Pope Pius XII held that papal encyclicals, even when they are not of ordinary magisterium, can nonetheless be sufficiently authoritative to end theological debate on a particular question:

            That is true but Pope Francis said Climate Change was a scientific question not a theological one. He said the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or to replace politics. Ergo I must assent to that. The scientific question of climate change is not a theological issue ergo I don't have to give it assent. Once more you are really bad at this.

            >It is not to be thought that what is set down in Encyclical letters does not demand assent in itself, because in this the popes do not exercise the supreme power of their magisterium.

            Of course but all of this applies to theology. Pope Francis said Climate Change was a scientific issue. Opps!

            Notice the rest of yer proof text " cannot any longer be considered a question of free discussion among theologians." How is climate change a theological issue? Where does Pope Francis say it is? Where does Pope Pius XII say it?

            Nowhere you pulled in out of yer bum.

            >No more mealy mouthed quibbling from you.

            I won't lie. Watching you make one comically bad argument after another is beyond entertaining,

            Pope Francis said Climate Change was a scientific issue which the Church does not presume to rule on not a theological issue.

            Opps!

          • WCB-2

            It is very much a theological question. Your ignorance and lazines are showing again.

            217. “The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast”.[152]
            For this reason, the ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion. It must be said that some committed and prayerful Christians, with the excuse of realism and pragmatism, tend to ridicule expressions of concern for the environment. Others are passive; they
            choose not to change their habits and thus become inconsistent. So what they all need is an “ecological conversion”, whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship
            with the world around them. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.

            Here are your marching orders.

          • Jim the Scott

            >It is very much a theological question.

            Yet that is not what Francis said he said it was scientific. Ah well then. You cannot special plead yer way out of this.

            > Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.

            But I can do that without believing in climate change. Sorry but you don't even understand the rules of this army and you are trying to fool someone with the knowledge of a JAG officer on military law.

          • WCB-2

            More for you.
            Laudato Si

            53. These situations have caused sister earth, along with all the abandoned of our world, to cry out, pleading that we take another course. Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years. Yet we are called to be instruments of God our Father, so that our planet might be what he desired when he created it and correspond with his plan for peace, beauty and fullness.
            The problem is that we still lack the culture needed to confront this crisis. We lack leadership capable of striking out on new paths and meeting the needs of the present with concern for all and without prejudice towards coming generations. The establishment of a legal framework which can set clear boundaries and ensure the protection of
            ecosystems has become indispensable; otherwise, the new power structures based on the techno-economic paradigm may overwhelm not only our politics but also freedom and justice.

            54. It is remarkable how weak international political responses have been. The failure of global summits on the environment make it plain that our politics are subject to technology and finance. There are too many special interests, and economic interests easily end up trumping
            the common good and manipulating information so that their own plans will not be affected. The Aparecida Document urges that “the interests of economic groups which irrationally demolish sources of life should not prevail in dealing with natural resources”.[32] The alliance between the economy and technology ends up sidelining anything unrelated to its immediate interests. Consequently the most one can expect is superficial rhetoric, sporadic acts of philanthropy and perfunctory expressions of concern for the environment, whereas any genuine attempt by groups within society to introduce change is viewed as a nuisance based on romantic illusions or an obstacle to be circumvented.

            Take up and read! Take up and read!

          • Jim the Scott

            So what?

            "88. There are certain environmental issues where it is not easy to achieve a broad consensus. Here I would state once more that the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or to replace politics. But I am concerned to encourage an honest and open debate so that particular interests or ideologies will not prejudice the common good."END QUOTE

            Plus

            ""It cannot be maintained that empirical science provides a complete explanation of life, the interplay of all creatures and the whole of reality."END QUOTE

            So here we are yer pretending climate change is a theological issue and Pope Francis himself denies it explicitly and says it is a scientific issue alone. Pius XII's teaching does not apply to Laudato Si except where Laudato Si teaches something on faith and moral. Which you did not address or bring up and I would never deny.

            Now yer just being silly.

          • WCB-2

            186. The Rio Declaration of 1992 states that “where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a pretext for postponing cost-effective measures”[132] which prevent environmental degradation. This precautionary principle
            makes it possible to protect those who are most vulnerable and whose ability to defend their interests and to assemble incontrovertible evidence is limited. If objective information suggests that serious and irreversible damage may result, a project should be halted or modified, even in the absence of indisputable proof. Here the burden of proof is effectively reversed, since in such cases objective and conclusive
            demonstrations will have to be brought forward to demonstrate that the proposed activity will not cause serious harm to the environment or to those who inhabit it.

            Pope Francis seems to think this is how we do things. We follow the Rio Convention. We do not use the "lack of full science certainty to postpone action".. You really did not read this encyclical with care or understanding. I know you cannot have read it because it is too long for you to have done so, you started posting almost immediately, spraying your quibbling around. Again, this is an encyclical, and as I posted here, Pope Pious XII tells us encyclicals are authoritative. You don't get to apply personal interpretation as a self identified Catholic the whiffle it all away with sophistry because you don't like the message from the Pope.

          • Ben Champagne

            lol... after reading through these exchanges, it appears that you have been educated yet again, yet persist in ignorance. How expected.

          • WCB-2

            Laudato Si
            Pope Francis.

            You are not educated it seems. Am I, the atheist here the only one on this forum that knows about this and has actually read it? It seems so. m Pope Francis spoke out forcefully, but its seems many Catholics still sit on their butts and make little effort to fight for the change to help halt our slide into catastrophe.

            I slid into this all battling fundevangicals on the issue, and ran across the encyclical of Pope Francis on the issue. He spoke and you all obviously did not hear the call. And it seems, cannot be shaken out of your intellectual sloth.

            All I can get out of you two is name calling, diversion and empty sophistry. This not demonstrating intellectual competence or being a good example for any Catholic coming here for a exemplar to follow.

            Laudato Si. Read it and don't post on this subject until then.

          • Ben Champagne

            Not a Catholic chief. But it was immediately apparent that you couldn't read your own quotations for proper context as it was blatantly apparent. Sorry you are so confused.

          • WCB-2

            You know nothing about this. Not a Catholic? Maybe Jimbo can convert you.

          • Ben Champagne

            Maybe he could. Far more likely that than I could be convinced by anything you have offered thus far.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Pope Francis seems to think this is how we do things.

            So what? The Pope said climate change is a scientific question not a theological one. I quoted the text that showed that and he explicitly said "he Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or to replace politics".
            Yer trying to make him settle scientific questions and replace politics. He said that cannot be done. All yer proof texting means nothing in light of that reality which you are desperately trying to ignore and hope I won't notice.

            The thing is I do notice. Bulgarian Pin up and all that.

            >We follow the Rio Convention. We do not use the "lack of full science certainty to postpone action"..

            No he merely gives the Rio Convention's advice which he promotes there is nothing in that text mandating that course of action or binding it on Catholics since it doesn't refer to theology or moral teaching.

            >You really did not read this encyclical with care or understanding. I know you cannot have read it because it is too long for you to have done so, you started posting almost immediately, spraying your quibbling around.

            I read it a while ago which is why I remembered where Pope Francis mentioned climate change is a scientific issue not a theological one. You, let us be honest, just now looked at it and not knowing Catholic tradition you are making it up as you go along.

            It is neither impressive nor convincing. Yer not fooling anyone son,

            >Again, this is an encyclical, and as I posted here, Pope Pious XII tells us encyclicals are authoritative. You don't get to apply personal interpretation as a self identified Catholic the whiffle it all away with sophistry because you don't like the message from the Pope.

            Yer equivocations are most entertaining,, You correctly said the theological teachings are authoritative even if not infallible. Which is true but you have not pointed to any theological teachings only scientific opinions which Pope Francis clearly and unambiguously says the Church does not presume to rule on.

            Stop pretending you understand Catholic Theology. Yer not fooling people who have studied it for decades. You don't even qualify as an amateur.

          • WCB-2

            That is not what Francis says.
            Action is a moral and theological duty. Again it is obviopus you never bothered to really read this with any sort of attention or intellectual engagement.
            You are a blowhard and not at all the good Catholic you think you are. Download it and read it. Slow and careful and with your full attention on that task.
            Maybe all you other Catholics on this site might want to also.

          • Jim the Scott

            >That is not what Francis says.

            That is my line. I quoted him in context within the framework of Church teaching and dogma of which I have decades of knowledge.

            You are pulling yer own ideas out of yer arse. Like yer repeated appeals to Trent to try to imply the Church mandated a fundamentalist interpretation of Genesis. It is pure comedy with you. You really can fake this son. Ya can't.

            >Action is a moral and theological duty.

            Yes but when to act and how is a matter of prudent judgement. Which is what politics is in Catholic teaching. If my prudent judgement leads me to doubt climate change then I need not act as if it is true and Pope Francis clearly said the Church does not presume to pronounce on scientific matters. So I can take this Encyclical as interesting advice but not as a theological argument because there is no theology here. Only science.

            Nice try but epic fail as per usual.

            >Again it is obviopus you never bothered to really read this with any sort of attention or intellectual engagement.

            I love how you project yer own faults on to others. It is most entertaining.

            >You are a blowhard

            Correction I am a right bastard.

            >and not at all the good Catholic

            We agree I am a sinner. Guilty as charged.

            >you think you are. Download it and read it. Slow and careful and with your full attention on that task.
            Maybe all you other Catholics on this site might want to also.

            I already did and yer nebulous arguments are not there. Why don't you go back to pretending Trent mandates a fundamentalist interpretation of Genesis? That was even more silly and entertaining,

          • WCB-2

            That is what he said. You have no knowledge of any of this.

            217. “The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast”.[152]
            For this reason, the ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion. It must be said that some committed and prayerful Christians, with the excuse of realism and pragmatism, tend to ridicule expressions of concern for the environment. Others are passive; they
            choose not to change their habits and thus become inconsistent. So what they all need is an “ecological conversion”, whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship
            with the world around them. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience

          • Ben Champagne

            Still nothing that actually refutes anything Jim has said. Waiting to be converted to Atheism by you... but not really expecting much.

          • WCB-2

            Well, yes, repeatedly. He simply does not WANT to believe the duty the Pope has lain on him here. You seem to lack ability to read and understand also.

          • Ben Champagne

            not in evidence. Try again. See the thing is, I have no knowledge of the encyclical. I haven't read it, nor really know anything about it's contents. So I can only gauge the arguments here by the merits of them, not on any outside context. And you're doing very poorly. Maybe the evidence is there, but so far, everything you have offered points to Jim's conclusion, not yours.

          • Jim the Scott

            WCB-2 whole silly tactic here is to pretend Pope Francis doesn't explicitly reject the idea the Church can presume to pronounce on science. Which he says so in this very letter. Since The Church cannot pronounce on it I don't have to treat it as a theological proposal which being that it is a science one that alone in principle means I don't have to regard it that way wither given infallibly or not that requires my submission. It doesn't. Last I checked the CDF doesn't require Catholic confess Climate Change thought it is perfectly reasonable to tell us it is immoral to needlessly damage it. I am onboard for that 100%.

            I have been studying Theology for about 30 years. WCB-2 started last night and it shows.

            Why this lazy sad person can't just drop the YEC polemics and go read a book on philosophy and come back in 6 months having learned how to formulate philosophical defeaters is a mystery to me? The definition of insanity is doing the same foolish thing over and over hoping this time you have a better result, That is this person in a nut shell,

          • Jim the Scott

            So what? Those are the opinions of the climate change crowd which are scientific not theological. I don't have to believe them anymore than I have to believe Pope Paul III on the movement of the Earth which turned out to be "wrong".

            They don't require my religious assent as Pope Francis explicitly said. So I don't offer it.

            Stop bedding it is so undignified.

          • WCB-2

            Again, since you refuse to beleive Pope Francis any mor than you believe the present head prophet of the Mormon church.

            So what they all need is an “ecological conversion”, whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience

          • Jim the Scott

            I do believe Pope Francis you OTOH are sitting here pretending Pope Francis didn't say Climate change was merely scientific and not theological and he said the church doesn't presume to pronounce on such things.

            You wish to pretend those words are not there and interpret everything in his letter sans them. I am not impressed by such special pleading nor convinced.

            You suck at Catholic theology son. That is obvious. Ya cana fake it laddie.

          • Chris Morris

            I think the Fauci/Rand Paul exchange today shows just how important this is and the consequences of trying to ignore it.

          • WCB-2

            Yes. Fauci is hanging on in theor to try to keep the loonies from taking over all together. I suspect that someday he will quit, or be fired and will do another tell all book of how this disaster came about. The CDC has now been politicized and has lost all credibility. I caught a bit yesterday of Trump's campaign speech. He is claiming the New Green Deal is a plot by left wing radicals and Biden to destroy America's energy industries. Lurid lies and a lot of them. The crowd, none of them wearing masks ate it up and cheered wildly. and of course a lot of this can be heard on Faux News and Faux radio. Climate change is wildly exaggerated by left wing radical scientists. we have a sick nation of morons.

          • Chris Morris

            Yes, it seems to have got to the point almost of parody, now, where anything sensible and reasonable is denounced as a "left-wing plot".
            It always puzzles me that apologists like these here claim that "science is a religion", that it was the product of Christians like Newton and Descartes, and that it is also a conspiracy to destroy Christianity, meanwhile happily depending on computers and internet to get their message across.

          • WCB-2

            Somebody in this house hold (Not Me!) hate Watches Faux Nooz and Faux radio. The bizarre rantings I hear from Lush Limpbrain, Mark Levine, Tucker Carlson et al are often just shocking. America is fed this anti-intellctualism 7/24. In Houston, all we can find on AM radio as far as politics is screaming far right garbage. Toxic Christianity, anti-intellectualism, red baiting and conspiracy theorists. A bad mix.

          • Chris Morris

            I have to say, watching it from this side of the Atlantic is a bit like reading a Stephen King horror novel. It's not quite as bad in the UK but there seems to be a few people here who would like it to be.

          • WCB-2

            It is beginning here to seem more like an H.P. Lovecraft novel. Ia! Ia! Cthuluhu F'tagn! I kind of expect at any time now Trump will grow tentacles.

          • Chris Morris

            What a thought! The atavistic horror from which no woman would be safe!

          • Tom More

            Such historical and intellectual illiteracy. Gheesh!

          • Tom More

            He seems not even to be aware that modern science began in Catholic Europe precisely because the church viewed creation as a work of Intelligence and hence intelligible, with Bishop Roger Grosseteste being the first to articulate the scientific method. And Aristotle is the "father of western science". WCB-2 seems to be in some kind of blind inchoate fury here, perhaps because he lives in the US? Where most "Christianity" he runs across is fideistic protestantism. So he probably thinks that's really what Christianity in its full sense is too. Typical.

          • Jim the Scott

            Well said.

          • VicqRuiz

            Science as a Religion

            Modern-day environmentalism certainly has all the hallmarks of a parody of Christianity, including doctrines of original sin, confession, and penance, not to mention an eschatology. Hoo-boy, does it ever have an eschatology.

            The only thing missing is a bonfire of the vanities, but I expect St. Greta of the Sailboat to encourage all her acolytes to hurl their air conditioners and barbecue grills onto the trash heap any day now.

            And BTW I'm no Christian. I used to call myself an atheist until that term became so strongly associated with materialist determinism and authoritarian socialism, two positions I desire to have nothing to do with.

  • WCB-2

    Baloney. Science is no religion. It is a proven method of discovering how the world works. The rhetorical excesses of religious theists claiming science is a religion are spewing nonsense. Science is the only viable way of understanding the Universe. Science has given us much knowledge of the physical Universe. We cannot get that with religion, theology, mysticism, occultism or metaphysics. Science works, that is why people do science.

    • Ye Olde Statistician

      Mary Midgley was an agnostic, but
      Science As Salvation: A Modern Myth and Its Meaning. Routledge, 1992
      makes some points. It's useful to make the distinction between the great abstraction Science and the actual behavior of fanboys of Science.

      Science has given us much knowledge of the physical Universe.

      Much knowledge of its quantitative aspects only. Why would you expect any of those other categories you listed to do this? You may as well expect a baseball team to score field goals.

      "But we do not read in the Gospel that the Lord said: ‘I am sending you the Paraclete to teach you about the course of the sun and the moon. After all, he wanted to make Christians, not astronomers. But it is enough for human purposes that people know about these matters as much as they have learned in school.”
      Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Contra Felicem Manichaeum, I.10

  • BTS

    ...he argues that scientific consensus is not neutral and disinterested, but emerges out of paradigms held by factions and in-groups devoted to their own survival.

    Science is conducted by humans with a range of emotions and egos. Yes, there are factions. So what. And eventually the scientists who are wrong have to admit it. That is one main difference. Science admits when it is wrong. By definition, it must. Religion does no such thing.

    • WCB-2

      Factions, we can show you factions! Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Jehovah's Witnesses, Sunnis, Shiites, Hindu, Mormons, and 1001 Christian sects. Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists, 7th Day Adventists and more. All claiming to have the one and only true religion, the only true revelations, the only true interpretation of said revelation.

    • Ben Champagne

      Nope. "Science admits when it is wrong" Anthropomorphizing 'Science' does nothing here, just rhetoric, no substance.

      And as James Tour has said, (paraphrasing) the scientists who are wrong don't admit it, they just die eventually.

      Science offers no rubric in itself to justify it's truth, however hard you want to believe otherwise.

      • BTS

        You can play with words all you want, Ben. My point is that science eventually separates the bad explanations from the good ones. Perhaps there is often not a press conference where a scientist in a white lab coat pronounces, "I...Was...Wrong" but eventually other scientists demonstrate the error in thinking and the original proponent of the error recants, goes silent, or dies. What's the big deal? The point is that the bad idea goes away, or, at least should go away. (Anyone want to drink some bleach?)

        If you look at string theory, as an example of where a big idea may be wrong, a major proponent, Brian Green, is very candid that he may be wrong and that the theory has fallen on hard times. He's totally cool with that line of thinking. He's open to error correction.

        • Ye Olde Statistician

          science eventually separates the bad explanations from the good ones.

          Recte: science eventually separates the bad explanations of the quantitative aspects of material bodies from the good ones [where "good" may be defined as...]

          • BTS

            Science can explore qualitative aspects, too. What are material bodies? As opposed to what? Serious question, not being snarky.

          • Jim the Scott

            No this a very good question if I may jump in before Mike, Science can't really directly measure the subjective or qualitative knowledge, Science can't directly experiment on my perception of the Color red for example only indirectly. But you can do experiments on individuals to learn their subject reaction or measure how their neurons behave. As my behavioral psychology teacher taught me. The single person experiment is powerful though obviously limited. Like doing a stroop test. Where you would look at words whose letters are a specific color and you must tell the testor the correct color. You would see the word RED typed in green letters and many times you would say red instead of green.

            You can explore people reactions and you can survey people on their feelings and thoughts about religion and that is valid quantitative data. But you still cannot penetrate quantiatively their qualitative experience. You cannot observe it directly.

            That IMHO is the best overlap you can have. But no matter how you slice it. Science is still the search for quantitative knowledge, Even when you test the subjective experience of indivials.

            Cheers

            PS good question more of this less of the trolls and their nonsense.

        • Ben Champagne

          Didn't get to respond, but, I will just let you answer Ye Olde Statistician, because (as he is usually capable of doing, and doing better than I) he took the words right out of my mouth...

      • WCB-2

        Science is this short hand way of referring to the body of living, working scientists is obviously what I mean here. It has been this way ever since William Whewell created the term science as we know modern science, and the word scientists, those who investigate the natural world.

        Science works when it comes to discovering how the natural world operates. Nothing else does. Not religion, metaphysics, theology, mysticism, or occultism.

        • Jim the Scott

          No science as it is understood today is about the pursuit of quantitative knowledge of the natural world. In the classic era a Science was any body of knowledge which included philosophy or theology and metaphysics. What we call science today back them would have been called natural philosophy or practical philosophy.

          The modern term & use is more conventional in this specific case.

          >Science works when it comes to discovering how the natural world operates.

          No science can only give us quantitative knowledge of the natural world nothing more. Yer still channeling positivism as this is an argument(i.e. science works) for positivism.

          It is not a valid argument. For example metal detectors "Work" in their ability to detect watches but they can't be used to find bare gem stones. You can't say bare Gem stones don't exist just because metal detectors can't find them and you cannot plead the success of metal detectors in finding watches as an excuse to deny gems exist. You have to learn to excavate for gems by other means.

          In a like manner you cannot answer philosophical questions with science.

          Category mistakes.

        • Ben Champagne

          Science hardly means 'investigating the natural world' today. Modern science has all sorts of tangents that have nothing to do with the natural world. So fail there... Beyond that, it was not obvious, because I know of no such body. No formal distinction can be made.

          Thinking works when it comes to discovering how the natural world operates. Insert any non-sequitur phrase and pretend it means something it doesn't in place of science and you come to the same result, you are speaking nonsense.

          • BTS

            Modern science has all sorts of tangents that have nothing to do with the natural world.

            Such as?

            Thinking works when it comes to discovering how the natural world operates.

            "Thinking" certainly gets the ball rolling. But, as Brian Blaize says on his blog, our intuitions don't always track reality. So we need more than just "thinking."

          • Ben Champagne

            Many aspects of sociology, psychology, and many other 'scientific' fields don't fall into the conception most people have of 'science'. This is a quibbling distinction anyway, as the lines are necessarily arbitrary as to what qualifies in any generalization, generalizations being what they are, and when monolithic, such become dangerous things.

            To be clear, anyone can goalpost shift here to distinguish what is 'good science' or 'valid science'. On a formal note, 'bad science' gets published all the time, in every field. You could take the comment two ways. In the first, you could see 'nothing to do with the natural world' as meaning, simply, inaccurate, and don't reflect actual reality. In the second, you could take it to mean that they don't actually reference objectivity, but rather political or social whim with desired outputs, and my reference was more toward the latter. This isn't a new phenomenon. Modern science has been pushing an agenda since at least the gay mafia got a hold of distorting scientific papers to infer meaning they did not, but it has progressed further than that now and the actual publications are actively (even if unwittingly) supporting 'bad science' in a formal capacity of publication.

            On thinking, you miss the point. It was more along the lines of what I wrote directly above and a continuation of such rather than a separate thought on the power of 'thinking'. Replace with feeling, seeing, arbitrating, most any -ing, because the word itself is the irrelevant part, just as the arbitrary concept of 'science' is exactly that, an amorphous substitute for correctness used by some. Note that others here are equating science to empiricism, correctly, at least in the sense of creating an unambiguous distinction. Empiricism itself doesn't lend itself to any version of truth by necessity outside itself however.

        • Mark

          >Science works when it comes to discovering how the natural world
          operates. Nothing else does. Not religion, metaphysics, theology,
          mysticism, or occultism.

          Fallacy of division

  • BTS

    Regarding textbooks...the author says:

    they select episodes in the history of science and arrange them in a seamless narrative all leading to…us, scientific modernity.

    I am not familiar with this from my reading of textbooks in the 80's, 90's and a little beyond that. If so, it is a fault of the textbook authors. The problem then is with textbook publishers, for crying out loud. Not science. Yes, there are bad textbooks. No kidding.
    I seem to remember the biology class textbook laying out a pretty good history of the fits and starts of evolution, from the refutation of LeMarcke's aquired traits theory to Darwin and beyond.

    • WCB-2

      I was taking some geology courses when plate tectonics had proven itself and became the preferred explanation of geological features. My geology professor had to have a lecture telling us how the old theory of isostacy was no longer accepted. Those sections in our text books that talked about isostacy were incorrect and to be ignored. It was having a front row seat at how science progressed and better ideas displaced older idea that had been
      proven inadequate.

      The talk about how old ideas were dropped by the deaths of older scientists is malarkey, a myth, one of those things "everybody knows" that is simply for the most part, not true.

      Another example was Fred Hoyle who derisively coined the phrase "Big Bang" to label the expanding Universe model introduce by Hubble. Hoyle went on to create the steady state model. Which quickly became obvious was not correct and by mainstream astronomers and cosmologists, was dropped. A few cosmologists tried to patch up the steady state model, but Big Bang swept the field because the facts supported it.

      We did not need a big die off of elderly scientists to make Big Bang the leading theory of it;s day.

      It still is, but with the addition of Alan Guth's Inflation theory added to Big Bang, which was demonstrated to be true by experiment, observation of WMAP and other satellites that demonstrated it's factual manner. Once again, we did not need a mass die off of older physicists for Guth's inflationary model to prevail.

      Mythology about science and stick in the mud elder scientists wed to older and false ideas is common enough but silly. and tiresome.

      • Mark

        The Lemaitre theory of an expanding universe (which was later coined Big Bang) was confirmed by Hubble's cosmological observations. Hoyles aversion to the expanding universe theory had everything to do with Lemairtre being Catholic and the expanding universe theory as having a beginning was pseudoscience resembling cosmological arguments for a creator. It was his atheist paradigm that fueled his fervor for steady-state universe. It seems you're counter-example is proving the authors point.

        • WCB-2

          It is hard to say what Hoyle thought for sure. Hoyle turned into a real kook as time went on.

          Hubble started his rise to scientific fame by finding a few distant galaxies that uniformly were moving away from us. he search for more examples and found more. Statistically, it seemed not to be a fluke. The Universe seemed to be expanding. He published and others followed up and found more galaxies, confirming Hubble's observations.

          Lemaitre was not the only early cosmological theorist. H.P. Robertson predicted an expanding Universe. And if I remember correctly it was a woman astronomer whose name I forget who alerted Hubble to the odd goings on of a few galaxies she had observed. In the history of science, women often get the short end of the stick

          • Mark

            >It is hard to say what Hoyle thought for sure.

            https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-32254-9_4

          • WCB-2

            Nice, but this summary does not say Hoyle was reacting specifically to Lemaitre. Further more a steady state model was old, it was proposed first by Einstein in 1913, who later abandoned that idea. I have no idea if that influenced hoyle or not. Hubble determined Einsteins steady state Universe would have been unstable and thus unlikely. and Hubble developed his model with tow other cosmologists, Goldi and Bond.

            Wikipedia
            In the 13th century, Siger of Brabant authored the thesis The Eternity of the World, which argued that there was no first man, and no first specimen of any particular: the physical universe is thus without any first beginning, and therefore eternal. Siger's views were condemned by the pope in 1277.

            Giordanao Bruno
            The universe is then one, infinite, immobile.... It is not capable of comprehension and therefore is endless and limitless, and to that extent infinite and indeterminable, and consequently immobile.

          • Mark

            From the full length article:

            "Further association of the steady-state theory with atheism occurs in Hoyle’s book Frontiers of Astronomy. The theory contrasts with the big bang which requires the acceptance of starting conditions ‘which we are obliged to accept as conditions arbitrarily imposed for no reasons that we understand’. He writes:

            This procedure is quite characteristic of the outlook of primitive peoples, who in attempting to explain the local behaviour of the physical world are obliged in their ignorance of the laws of physics to have recourse to arbitrary starting conditions. These are given credence by postulating the existence of gods, gods of the sea . . ., gods of the mountains, gods of the forests, . . ., and so forth.

            "
            Hoyle Frontiers of Astronomy 1955 p351

            Hoyle's understanding of religion is intensely naive. His understanding of Lemaitre' presuppositions is unambiguously and grossly ignorant.

          • WCB-2

            In the end, Hoyle was wrong. The Universe is expanding, was once a small point, and Hoyle was wrong. Then came Alan Guth, and we didn't need God to explaining anything anyway.

          • Mark

            In the end Hoyle died holding on to his misunderstandings of both Lemaitre's philosophy and theories. Guth did nothing of the sort if you are suggesting pre-Bang of BVG models allow for an infinite past. In fact in Guth 1999 Analysis of Expanding Pre-Big-Bang Models he concludes:

            "In my own opinion, it looks like eternally inflating models necessarily have a beginning...As hard as physicists have worked to try to construct an alternative, so far all the models that we construct have a beginning; they are eternal into the future, but not into the past."

            You are quite confused if you think modern cosmology widely accepts there is no T=0.

          • WCB-2

            Guth believes in a multiiverse, infinite in size and age. On the PBS series "Closer To Truth", Lawrence Kuhn has interviewed Guth several times. In one interview, Kuhn put Guth on the spot to tell what his estimate of how much of a probability that there was a multi-verse. Guth stated, yes, it put him on the spot, but after a pause stated in his estimation, the evidence for a MU was 70% . I'll take Alan Guth at his word here as to what he believes and the state of cosmology today as regards the existence of a multiiverse.

          • Mark

            MU, according to Guth, does nothing undermine T=0 so your assertion Guth allows us to explain away or rescue atheism from an infinite past regression is simply wishful thinking.

          • Mark

            You're going to have a eference the Guth question and quote to review if you want me to consider this a renig of his of position.

          • Philip Rand

            WCB-2

            I'll take Alan Guth at his word

            That just proves that you are a mug...

            The multiverse of infinite size and age follows directly from the concept of "cosmic inflation". Without cosmic inflation and using the age of the universe of 14 billion years... the size of our universe presently would be no bigger than the full stop at the end of this sentence.

            The reason this multiverse theory was created was because of the BIG anomaly in the cosmic inflation theory, i.e. no mechanism to explain how it can be turned off.

            The evidence used for an MU is universal boundary curvature... however, the problem with this is that this evidence points more to a single expanding universe model rather than a multiverse.

    • Ben Champagne

      Arbitrary distinction. You should find out who those publishing agencies hire to write those textbooks!

      • WCB-2

        You seem to not be aware of the recent backlash against the text book companies by major Universities, as to low quality of some text books, expense of said books, and the way the text book companies force students to but expensive add ons that add no value to these text books. and stunts like unnecessary upgrades to text books that try to make old but useful textbooks obsolete.

        Google for revolt against text book companies for more. There are no agencies. it is a matter of there beinga few companies that dominate the trade and how that restricts available choice of text books. Some colleges are exploring writing their own and distributing them as PDFs et al.

        There is also a revolt brewing against rapacious journal publishers.
        You should study this a bit before making cocksure pronouncements about any of this.

        • Ben Champagne

          LOL! You are certainly astounding... Having a jaunt into an intellectual forum, coming from Rationality Rules youtube channel are we?

          What does backlash have to do with the fact that most textbooks about science are written and proofed by scientists...

          • Jim the Scott

            I believe Dunning–Kruger effect applies to WCB-2. He claims science is the pursuit of qualitative knowledge when it clearly investigates the quantitative. It is like saying Biology is about the movement of the planets.

            He is out there I am afraid.

          • WCB-2

            No. News story from science news sites following the revolt against the text book publishers and a system that has allowed them to monopolize college and school textbooks.
            Obviously, you are utterly innocent of any real knowledge about this problem and preliminary attempts to dump the rapacious text book companies.

            https://edsource.org/2019/low-cost-free-textbooks-for-california-college-students/616831

            ...
            But universities across California, especially in the 23-campus California State University system, have become more transparent about textbooks and more proactive in assigning free, digital or low-cost books to students. And some institutions, such as the University of California at Davis, are working to revolutionize the textbook market
            and make it more affordable for all students.

            Over the last few years, there have been many stories about deal with rapacious, text book publishers, incredibly expensive and needlessly so textbooks. You obviously are gloriously ignorant of any of this. And don't seem to be in the market for clues. many schools and colleges are starting to find ways to move away from textbook companies and their lock on the text book industry.

            You are obviously not a professor or teacher who has to worry about students who have little money being expected to but $200.00 text books.

          • Ben Champagne

            Your political tangent is noted. And irrelevant to the topic. Once again, you have drifted aimlessly from making an actual point on the post and instead are rambling about things inconsequential to it.

          • Jim the Scott

            Amen!

          • WCB-2

            Do you want Texas scool children to be taught creations crap in a science class because out SBOE is run by creationist idiots?

            REALLY!?

          • Jim the Scott

            No I don't & I plainly said that(some sad people cana take yes for an answer). Wow yer reading comprehension skills are completely without.

          • Ben Champagne

            It's as if he expects you to defend things you don't actually agree with...

          • Jim the Scott

            That is all he has been doing. He is yer typical Gnu. I wish Skeptical Thinking Power would come back. I await with bated breath for Dave Nickol's next question about....anything...I mean it is a joy to answer an informed and challenging non-believer. It is beautiful. It really is......

          • WCB-2

            I thought you were amening Ben Champagnes rant.

          • Jim the Scott

            I am so what? Where does Ben advocate for YEC creationism? He is a self professed Jeffersonian theist. Why would he be a fundamentalist then? Of course I asked him directly what he believed and he told me and we are square.

            Yer just making straw men and you think doing that is a good argument for Atheism? Son if Atheism turned out to be right then you merely made a lucky guess. It is self evident you dina reason yerself there. You don't know how.

          • Ben Champagne

            Did he honestly think I was advocating for YEC? His comedy stylings are on point at least.

          • Jim the Scott

            Yes he did do that. He is quite the mad lad and nor the fun kind Count Dankula features on his toob channel.

          • WCB-2

            Preventing creationists from cramming creationist laden textbooks down the throats of Texas school children? You bet!
            science classes are for science, not brain dead creationist crap that claims evolution did not happen.

          • Ben Champagne

            And once again noted, but irrelevant, but I am sure you don't take to task against the same nonsense being taught in schools if it agrees with your sensibilities... amirite?

          • WCB-2

            Obviously, you are ignorant about the entire school text book scandals and want to remain that way. Google is your friend. many colleges are beginning to rebel against the antics and games of the greedy text book publishers and are looking for ways to break away from them.

            Google colleges fight text book monopolies and read some good articles on all of this. Until then, you are utterly ignorant and embaress yourself with each post.

            https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/pajze9/people-are-finally-fighting-back-against-the-college-textbook-industrys-scam

            ...
            Cucinella is now a regional manager at Virginia Pirate Corporation, which owns textbook brokers that sell used books to students at a handful of colleges in his area. The company is also the plaintiff in a federal lawsuit filed earlier this year that gets at the core of what critics have long described as a brazenly predatory model pitting young people across the country against colleges in bed with a handful of monopolistic publisher
            ...

            Gouge, gouge gouge. Grift those college students for all these publishers are worth.

          • Ben Champagne

            Nope, I am not, but by necessity, those narratives are derived from scientists, which was your attempt at an original point and was irrelevant. The exorbitant fees imposed by colleges extend far further than textbooks. But that has nothing to do with the topic here.

    • WCB-2

      Writing science book is hard when politics enters into it. Texas as long had a statewide textbook selection system. Thus text book publishers had to cater to Texas and their text books were thus adopted by other states, because that is what was available. Texas some decades ago, thanks to the benighted voters of Texas become a state where our State Board Of Education was dominsted by right wingers and creationists. We have since had to fight them tooth and nail almost every year to fight selection of bad science text books that do not mention evolution, or clumsy history books poorly written from a right winged perspective. The publisher often shamelessly offer the SBOE what they want. Lately the publishers have had to scale back on this. A bad text book created for Texas will not fly in California or Massachusetts. So they have the Texas version to go for the SBOE but since outcry often halts bad choices, they are having a hard time even for that. Poor shameless text book publishers!

      I am down here in Texas and we have been having to fight this now for decades. It is a real clown show thanks to creationism and far right culture war crap.

  • WCB-2

    "And the minute the new paradigm wins out, say, the Copernican model,
    its rivals are ridiculed as “non-scientific.” The old guard is shunned,
    their work ignored. "

    "There is talk of a new astrologer who wants to
    prove that the earth moves and goes around instead of the
    sky, the sun, the moon, just as if somebody were moving in a
    carriage or ship might hold that he was sitting still and at
    rest while the earth and the trees walked and moved. But that
    is how things are nowadays: when a man wishes to be clever he
    must needs invent something special, and the way he does it
    must needs be the best! The fool wants to turn the whole art
    of astronomy upside-down. However, as Holy Scripture tells
    us, so did Joshua bid the sun to stand still and not the
    earth."
    Martin Luther - Table Talk

    • Jim the Scott

      We are Catholics here buddy. Why do we care what the arch heretic Luther says? Here is a quarter buy a clue.

      St Robert Bellarmine who judged Galileo said "I say that if there were a true demonstration that the sun is at the center of the world and the earth in the third heaven, and that the sun does not circle the earth but the earth circles the sun, then one would have to proceed with great care in explaining the Scriptures that appear contrary, and say rather that we do not understand them than that what is demonstrated is false. But I will not believe that there is such a demonstration, until it is shown me."

      So basically he held the Augustinian principle that if the science proves something seemingly contrary to a particular interpretation of Holy Writ the interpretation must yield not the science.

      It wasn't until the 19th century when science conclusively proved the Earth moved around the sun thanks in part to the scientific discoveries of Fulcrum a Catholic.

      • David Nickol

        We are Catholics here buddy.

        Who is "we"?

        • Jim the Scott

          Funny. But to respond seriously because not everybody gets the joke.

          It is a Catholic Blog that advocates Catholic positions. Its champions are Catholics. It loyal opposition are not. Thought there is an intermediate with some of the resident Protestants and or the odd Eastern Orthodox fellows who might show up & make common cause with the Catholics on Theism.

          I certainly didn't mean to claim everybody here is Catholic. But the Gnu Atheist missionaries who show up here trying to convert us are not targeting you so I can say "We are Catholics" and it implies I exclude you.

          • WCB-2

            What is StrangeNotions.com?

            StrangeNotions.com is the central place of dialogue between Catholics and atheists. It's built around three things: reason, faith, and dialogue. You'll find articles, videos, and rich comment box discussion concerning life's Big Questions

          • Jim the Scott

            So why do you quote Luther? We are Catholics here and not Protestant fundamentalists. Either except we are Catholics and act accordingly or go find a blog where it is a place of dialog between Fundamentalist Protestant Christians and Atheists.

            We are Catholics here, Not Protestant fundamentalists?

            Ya still don't get that?

          • WCB-2

            As usual, I am an atheist. Here to correct your many errors and foolish nonsense. You are a catholic, but to assume all here are is just plain ignorant.

          • Jim the Scott

            You made many errors and you cannot even acknowledge any of them? Nickol calls me on a mistake. I own it. I a way bit back called Skeptical Thinking Power on a mistake. He owned it.

            You keep churning out blather some of which is off topic and at this point I think you are just plain mad,

            ANSWERS IN GENESIS is over there son, Have at them.

          • WCB-2

            Answers in Genesis? Creationist clap trap and pseudoscience? Moron pseudoscience? This is just soooooo ignorant!

          • Jim the Scott

            Yes it is which is why we reject it but it is IMHO intellectually more yer speed.

            As you have shown any theism more sophisticated is beyond you. So have at them. I'll be rooting for ya. I really mean that.

          • WCB-2

            I post that because it is funny, and Luther was an ignoramous. He was wedded to taking the Bible as the word of God, but God wasn't telling the true facts about planet Earth. Not exactly the sort of true revelation we would expect from a wise and noble God who knows all true facts and never lies.

          • Jim the Scott

            Nice save but I already scored a goal.

            Luther's views don't mean anything to Catholics. Why would you cite Luther as an authority to Catholics? It is like citing Calvin to a bunch of Methodists?

            Luther's understanding of the Bible was wrong and we reject it. Why do you keep pretending we accept it?

            Yer wee mad. You are unsuited to discuss anything here.

          • WCB-2

            Do you think this wins you anything except reputation as a foolish troll? Luther was funny, but didn't have ability to attack somebody like Galileo. The RCC did, and turned out to be wrong and foolish.

          • Jim the Scott

            I am a foolish troll? Son I am anything but foolish. Alias we can't say that for everybody.

            Yer the guy who tried to make an argument against predestination & free will citing Calvin's false view? Son the fundies you hang out with in Texas have dulled yer brain. Yer better suited to argue with them.

          • WCB-2

            A joke?. Don't quit your day job.

          • Jim the Scott

            Yep not everybody gets a joke. Here U'R.

      • WCB-2

        Catholics bitched this all with silencing Galileo. And not just Galileo. Decartes was shocked at the silencing of Galileo. In a letter to a friend, he noted it was now not safe to do science, that would cause trouble with the Catholic church, and he admitted it meant he could not publish anything that would get the RCC up in arms and thus shelved some of his scientific works he had been composing. And he most assuredly not the only one who did so. You Catholics set back science decades with Galileo. The doctrine of a geocentric Earth was not abolished in Spain until 1840. And the Inquisition forbade Galileo to publish any more books, including his physics experiments. Swift move Catholics. We did not see that sort of ignorant fanaticism in Protestant nations. Despite Luther's ignorance.

        Descartes - Letter to Mersennes 1633
        But I have to say that I inquired in Leiden andAmsterdam whether Galileo’s World System was available, for I thought I’d heard that it was published in Italy last year. I was told that it had indeed been published but that all the copies had immediately been burnt at Rome, and that Galileo had been convicted and fined. I was so astonished at this that I almost decided to burn all my papers or at least to let no-one see them. For I couldn’t imagine that he—an Italian and, as I understand, in the good graces of the Pope—could have been made a criminal for any reason except than that he tried, as he no doubt did, to establish that the earth moves. I know that some Cardinals had already censured this view, but I thought I’d heard it said that it was nevertheless being taught publicly even in Rome. I must admit that if the view is false then so are the foundations of my philosophy, for it clearly follows from them; and it’s so closely interwoven in every part of my treatise that I couldn’t remove it without damaging the whole work. But I utterly didn’t want to publish a discourse in which a single word would be disapproved of by the Church; so I preferred to suppress it rather than to publish it in a mutilated form.

        • Jim the Scott

          You are confused. In 1824 a priest was granted permission to teach Helocentracism as true by the Holy Office in Rome. I don't know where you get the 1840 date?

          Nobody has ever banned scientific investigation. Robert Bellarmine said if it is ever proved the Earth moves then Holy Writ must be reinterpreted. Nobody ever banned trying to prove it or disprove it. What was banned was teaching as true it till the proof came.
          Galileo was banned but they lifted the ban on Copernicus way before Galileo.

          It would take science hundreds of years to progress to the point where science could prove the Earth moved. One of its champions was Fulgrum.

          • WCB-2

            Note I said "IN SPAIN" As for Rome, some foolish churchman started to attack a physics teacher in that dared to teach Copernicus's theory. Francis De Sales, one of the most immanent RCC theologians of his day had to intervene. Geocentrism was by that day, dead. To cling to outdated and disproven geocentrism would have been a deep embarrassment for the RCC that was already having to live down the Galileo affair and a lot of scorn for its actions, could not afford this again, De Sales prevailed, common sense over small minded old fashioned religious fanaticism. The last hurrah for ethnocentrism from the RCC in Italy came to an end. It took a few more years for the Spanish RCC to get a clue.

            You knoweth NOt.

          • Jim the Scott

            Rome is the final authority not Spain and they changed it in 1824 not 1840.

            Sorry but it took till the very late 18th century & early 19th century for science to conclusively prove the Earth moved, It wasn't obvious and you are confusing Copernicus vs Galileo. Not long after Galileo's death the Church lifted the ban on Copernicus (not the G-man) who put forth his view as a theory not a fact. You where allowed to teach Copernicus as a theory and that was reasonable till science conclusively proves (thanks to a Catholic) the Earth moved.

            Yer lack of education here astounds me.

          • WCB-2

            I note you have nothing to say about Descarte's carefully worded letter to Mersennes. The Inquisition's attack of Galileo had long arms. Silencing Descartes and almost assuredly, many others.

          • Jim the Scott

            I reject Descartes mechanistic metaphysics vs the correct essentialist metaphysics. I care no more for him than Luther.

            He was a bombastic idiot.

            Classic Theist Catholics and Scholastic here. Hello?

          • WCB-2

            Who cares what you reject? The fact is, Descartes had to drop considering publishing his book, because of the ignorant nonsense of the inquisition that turned out in the end, to be wrong. Galileo knew full well the facts were there even if the RCC disgreed. And knew full well the cat was out of the bag for good. people all over Europe were building telescopes and exploring the heavens. The facts would be rediscovered again and again. The RCC stupidly claimed the observations to be seen in Galileo's telescope were illusions, abberations, faults of the telescope. Galileo knew otherwise.

            Descartes failed to establish how soul and matter could interact, or even a soul could be demonstrated to exist. The principle of methodological naturalism was established. and this is still how science is done to this very day. Soul. prime mover, whatever woo woo you want to propose means nothing to working scientists.

            So who care what you think? Science marches on, everything else just lays there.

          • Jim the Scott

            Who cares? I don't see him as an authority anymore than I see Luther as one. Why do you keep citing them? I don't care about Descartes' asinine complaints about the Inquisition.

            Galileo merely guessed mostly correctly(& he got a lot wrong). He didn't provide even ONE convincing scientific argument for the movement of the Earth. We have to wait centuries for Fulcrum and his Pendulum to crack that nut. Unless you want to say like Galileo the tides where the result of the Earth moving(like buckets of water sloshing on a wagen). There is not one modern astronomer would would defend that.

            One of yer mental weaknesses it seems is you don't get bad or faulty arguments for ultimately true premises. Galileo made them in spades and if there is no God so have you.

            At best the G man's observations bring Ptolemy into question but Tycho Brahe version of Geocentrically was un-effected. The Church allowed for Brahe view.

          • Ye Olde Statistician

            If Galileo knew the facts were there, why did he not display them?

            The coda to the story can be found here, by scrolling down to 1687:
            https://tofspot.blogspot.com/2013/10/9-great-ptolemaic-smackdown-from.html

          • Jim the Scott

            @wcb2:disqus

            Meet Mike Flynn. Who has a professional knowledge of Science and Mathematics who is also a writer of Hard Science fiction novels. Hard Scifi is science fiction that is rigorous in its presentation of science.

            You WCB-2 no doubt think Star Wars is scientifically accurate.

            Mike also has Krasnikov Tubes in his spiral arm series. Anybody who has Krasnikov Tubes in their hard scifi epic by definition is better than you WCB-2.

            I spoke of watching YEC's with a 5th grader's knowledge of biology(that is yer anolog WCB) debate grad students in geneic on evolution,

            This is one of those cases. This should be fun.

          • Ben Champagne

            "You WCB-2 no doubt think Star Wars is scientifically accurate." Made me actually LOL. Well done.

          • WCB-2

            Brain dead ad hominem at about a 5th grade level. Neither of you are as smart or witty as you think.

          • Jim the Scott

            Actually we are as smart and witty as we think. You OTOH....well Brandon wouldn't want me to be cruel so I will say nothing.

          • Ben Champagne

            I actually find Catholic doctrinal history incredibly fascinating, even though I am not particularly well versed and don't agree as I am not a Catholic, but it was blatantly obvious in his first attempt to support himself that his referenced quote was only speaking on theological concerns, and then he just kept digging himself deeper...

          • Jim the Scott

            BTW if I may ask what are you? What box do ye put yerself in if any?

          • Ben Champagne

            Hard to say at this point honestly. I guess if a box is required it would be 'nondenominational' but that is incredibly unsatisfying. I am fairly orthodox on a lot of views, agree with the more logically bounded side of Catholicism in many regards and was raised Catholic until first communion when my parents left for a baptist church, which left me also incredibly unsatisfied with that version of Christianity. I guess my best characterization would be Theistic Jeffersonian. I take very little as certain with regard to historical narrative within the Church, but I have far fewer doubts than Jefferson did on Christ's divinity. I have no personal experience to speak on regarding my faith, and it is derived solely from my intellectual pursuit at this point, and have little personal desire for the communal aspects of church, but understand such desires and see the benefits. So it mostly leaves me in a place where I pursue God on the intellectual front, but not opposed to any experiences that would provide a more substantive confirmation personally, but honestly don't expect such to be forthcoming as it seems to be an excess at this point in time at least.

          • Jim the Scott

            I thank you for yer candor. It is good to put all our cards on the table. It contributes to fruitful dialog.

            I salute you sir.

          • Jim the Scott

            Anyway yeh WCB-2 is just phoning it in at this point.

          • Ben Champagne

            Funny is funny. Sorry you aren't funny, even when done at a fifth grade level. True is also true. something to think on :)

          • WCB-2

            Galileo knew the facts. He observed Venus that displayed phases like the moon that demonstrated with good hard evidence that it was orbiting the sun. He was told that was an illusion due to aberrations of his telescope. His telescope demonstrated the old theological claim that the moon was perfect to not be perfect. His telescope showed mountains and craters. he was told the moon was surrounded by a perfect crystalline sphere and that what he saw was not a true state of the moon.

            He noted in one of his letters he offered to set up his telescope and let the learned doctors of the church see for themselves. Many refused to do so.

            These clowns were buffoons.

  • Jim the Scott

    In the modern understanding science is exclusively the pursuit of quantitative knowledge and philosophy seeks the qualitative. While the two are clearly related and not radically or absolutely distinct one is not the other in the categorical sense.

    Of course it is the providence of philosophy to tell us how Science and Philosophy are related.

    Just saying.......

    • WCB-2

      Most working scientists care little about philosophy or metaphysics. A biologist, a botanist, a geologist,a paleontologist can all do superb science without a care in the world about what the philosopher and metphysicians think about anything at all.

      • Jim the Scott

        So what? Metal detectors all do a superb job finding watches and they can't find bare gem stones. That doesn't mean the art of excavating gems is invalid because Metal detectors work so well finding watches & cannot find gems.

        Science can only give us part of the picture not the whole picture, Without philosophy that is like saying a football game is nothing more than X's and O's on a blackboard. It is a wee bit more.

        Yer positivism is showing sonny.

        • WCB-2

          Philosophy is dead weight. Metaphysics, finding of bad reasons to make bad claims about things metaphysicians don't seem to know much about for the most part.

          In all the science classes I ever had, I never one had a course that started out with the professor stating "First we must start with Aristotle". The few mentions of early Greek thinks started with mentions of Thales, and Democritus. Their naturalism.

          Chemistry noted that Chemistry started with the alchemists, whose equipment was adopted by the early chemists. Not Aristotle or Aquinas.

          • Jim the Scott

            So you are a positivist in spite of yer false previous denials you where one? :D

            Well I will be kind (for me) and not attribute that to dishonesty when pointing to obvious ignorance will due.

            Being anti-philosophy is itself a philosophical view, A very irrational and incoherent view.

            As Dennett the Atheist philosopher said "There is no such thing as philosophy-free science; there is only science whose philosophical baggage is taken on board without examination."

            >In all the science classes I ever had, I never one had a course that started out with the professor stating "First we must start with Aristotle".

            Which is about as meaningful as saying no astronomy class I took started with Freud.

            Wow you really don't get category mistakes.

          • WCB-2

            Oh noes! Jim the Scott called me a Positivist! I faint!
            No, I do facts, and that seems to be a problem for you. There are lots of working scientists who notoriously have little patience with philosophy or it's idiot sister, metaphysics. They just merrily do science and don't care about philosophical woo woo.

          • Jim the Scott

            Which is positivism which rejects the validity of philosophy as a species of valid knowledge for science alone. Of course the problem with that view is it is a philosophical one not a scientific one. You can't prove it with science ergo is it worthless by it's own standards.

            Smart Atheist philosophers reject positivism like rational Theist reject fundamentalism and ANSWERS IN GENESIS.

            You have nothing to contribute here.

            Like I said yer like the wee man who makes a pass at another man and protests he is nor gay. He pretty much is being gay. I don't know or care if yer gay but you are a positivist.

          • Ye Olde Statistician

            IOW, you don't see the need for philosophy because revered teachers and the traditions you were taught never brought it up. They talked about motions without ever defining motion, about living things without ever defining life. By appealing to Thales without mentioning Aristotle, who as it happens is our only source for what Thales said, or that atoms as we conceive them today are more like Aristotle/s minima than like Democritus' atomoi

            I am irresistably reminded of the auto mechanic who saw no use for thermodynamics simply because in his daily work he had no need for it.

          • WCB-2

            In historical geology, the professor started the class by debunking Genesis. The Earth is no the center of the universe and is not 6,000 years old Noah's ark did not happen. animals were not created over six day period, but evolved over billions of years.
            There was no need to bring in Aristotle, Aquinas, or Plato. having read Aristotle's De Caeli, I can see why Aristotle was truly ignorant about everything. He was actually, a crackpot. Astronomy would rather mention the Babylonians and ancient Egyptians as the beginnings of true astronomy. Geometry starts with degrees, adopted from the Babylonians. Ptolemy was right out.

            Plato and Aristotle, despite pretension claims from the likes of Ed Feser, get very little mention in modern college science courses. They have nothing to add to it all.

  • Jim the Scott

    Where would low brow Gnu Atheists be without the fallacy of equivocation? I once butted heads with a fellow over at Feser's blog over the First Way and Essential series.

    I gave the classic example of the impossibility of a caboose being pulled by in infinite number of un-powered box cars. At some point you need to terminate that essential series with a locomotive.

    Well the fellow answered me by postulating little motors on each box car pulling the caboose as a solution to not having an essential series terminate and allowing it to be infinite.

    I almost busted a blood vessel pointing out "Dude if you do that you functionally turn the unpowered boxcars into practical locomotives. They are not un-powered anymore. You didn't solve it at all". You can have a caboose pulled by infinite locomotives.

    Gnus who do this are like as Feser once said and I paraphrase from memory, Persons who claim they can make white paint by mixing blue and yellow paint and all they wind up doing is renaming the color green "white".

    Anyway I thank God for rational philosophical Atheists. The Gnus can go play with the fundies where they belong.

  • BTS

    It is most unfortunate the acerbic turn this discussion has taken. I was under the impression that modern Catholic thinking have nothing to fear from science. It is a toolset to separate bad explanations from good. It can tell philosophy when to go back to the drawing board and start over. Why is that so bad? Don't we want good explanations. Geez. I'm mystified by the rancor from certain folks? I am wondering if we are perhaps not dealing here with modern thought?

    • Jim the Scott

      U'R partially correct in what you have heard. We Catholics don't have anything to fear from science but reactionary Gnu Atheist types often spend their time arguing science with anti-Science Young Earth Creationist types and fundamentalist & Theistic Personalist types. They have developed some good arguments and insights and defeaters for their world view. But being lazy Neds the lot of them for some mad reason believe all Theists fall into that category. It is impossible for me not to roll my eyes watching some Gnu nutter sit there and with a straight face try to convince me Genesis must be taken Hyper literally when I can point to Church Fathers like Augustine or ancient Jewish writers like Philo who didn't take it literally. They, mad lads that they are, have to put on the hat of YEC religious apologist and try to convert me to YEC befofe they can turn around and unleash their arsenal of contra YEC & contra Fundie Bible polemics. It is beyond tedious. I mean if you are a religious skeptic and or Atheist or Agnostic and the YEC's cannot convert you with their spectacular "arguments" what change does a low brow uneducated Gnu Atheist have? That merits my contempt and I submit the contempt of any intellectually honest Atheist who values reason.

      > It can tell philosophy when to go back to the drawing board and start over.

      This bit of positivism you wrote here is just plain wrong.. This is completely wrong even if there are no gods. Philosophical modeling precedes science. Even the scientific method presupposes certain philosophical presuppositions you must assume before hand and can only doubt if you formulate reasonable & coherent philosophical defeater arguments.

      How do you prove or disprove realism using science? You might as well claim you can prove or disprove biological natural selection using a LHC. You might as well claim you can observe the Andromeda Galaxy under a microscope or the world was literally created in 6 literal 24 hour days.

      In which case you are what Atheist philosopher David Stove called an irrationalist.

      Cheers.

      PS If you are an Atheist who wants to make the skeptical case toward Classic Theism then you MUST learn philosophy otherwise in principle you can never make an intelligent argument against anymore it than the YEC with a 5th grader's knowledge of Biology can make a dent against Evolution.

      Those are just the breaks.

      • David Nickol

        The OP has nothing to do with classical theism.

        • Jim the Scott

          Nor does it have anything to do with politics or Galileo or Pope Francis on Climate yet you are strangely silent on that?

          I think you need to police yer own buddy? I won't listen to you if yer gonna be one sided.

          It is not that I don't respect yer arguments or insights. I do but double standards put me off.

          Peace be with you Sir Nickol.

          • David Nickol

            I think you need to police yer own buddy? I won't listen to you if yer gonna be one sided.

            As someone who straddles the fence, I don't have a side here. I am not an atheist. As far as I am concerned—as an agnostic—everybody is misguided except other agnostics.

          • Jim the Scott

            Well I suppose that is fair in the sense one should not lump Agnostic non-believers in with Atheists by my own public standards. Just as one should not lump Classic Theists in with Theistic Personalists. Or Fundies with the Theistic Evolutionists etc......

            But OTOH singling me out makes me feel you are picking on me. I would be warmer to it if you spread the luv.;-)

            It has happened to me before. On another forum populated by Reactionary so called "Traditionalist Catholics" the locals could spout venom at
            the Holy Father so vile one would think you where on a Chick Comics forum or one run by the Westburro Baptist Church instead of a "Catholic".

            Naturally I bit back against these people especially when they made bad arguments contrary to the same tradition. There was one pearl clutching Trad woman who would accuse me of acting "un Christ like" but she never did that with her Trad friends. The double standard was mildly annoying.

            So forgive me sir for being triggered myself.

            Cheer sir.

    • David Nickol

      It is most unfortunate the acerbic turn this discussion has taken.

      Amen. And what is just as unfortunate is that the discussion has barely touched on the OP. SN might just as well have said, "Our new topic is science versus religion. Go at it!"

      SN is often not a forum for dialog, as it advertises itself. It sometimes seems like angry Catholics with chips on their shoulders daring anyone to knock them off.

      • Jim the Scott

        >SN is often not a forum for dialog, as it advertises itself. It sometimes seems like angry Catholics with chips on their shoulders daring anyone to knock them off.

        Except Dave for some mad reason it seems to me you are only put off by the "angry" Catholics and never the angry Gnu Atheists with chips on their shoulders? Why is that I wonder?

        Thoughts?

        • David Nickol

          Thoughts?

          You have declared, "We are Catholics here." I am not a Catholic. You and Dr. Bonnette are basically the de facto moderators for SN, which invites atheists and other non-Catholics here for dialogue.

          It seems to me that the ones who invite people in for dialogue are the ones who should try to maintain dialogue. The very fact that you use the term Gnu Atheists, signals your contempt for a significant percentage or the potential atheist contributors to the forum. You have also made clear your contempt for Protestants, Young Earth Creationists, Fundamentalists, and theistic personalists—all of them believers in God and potential allies, this being a blog about the existence of God. But only classical theists need apply.

          The only "dialogue" that is countenanced here is high-minded discussion of classical theism, for or against. All others viewpoints are met with hostility.

          But it's your forum. Do with it what you please. In the past it was my inclination to criticize Catholicism when I had issues with it, but defend it when it was attacked. But the "defenders of the faith" here often react so disproportionately here, I see no reason to add my voice. Also, I rarely feel I have anything to learn from angry atheists, so I ignore them. That is the main reason I don't answer them. I only criticize people whom I think are worth having discussions with.

          • Jim the Scott

            >You have declared, "We are Catholics here." I am not a Catholic.

            Sir don't be disingenuous over a base tribalism it doesn't suit you. When I said to an Atheist who is trying to proselytize me to his non-belief and anti-Theistic view "We are Catholic here" how could you rationally conclude I was including you(or Ben or Luke)? Has WBC-2 or Michael & that lot been trying to argue yer silly theistic beliefs are wrong Sir Nickol? Not that I noticed? So given yer normal rational insight I naturally took it as a joke. So you are saying you where serious? Why bring this up now?

            Sir Nickol you can do better sir and have which is so disappointing. But we disappoint each other which balances out.

            >You and Dr. Bonnette are basically the de facto moderators for SN, which invites atheists and other non-Catholics here for dialogue.

            First Brandon is the Moderator not I nor Dr. B. You can E-mail him if you have concerns. Also if I seem fierce (thought I have held back on the personal attacks) toward the Gnu crowd I am beneficent toward the philosophical Atheists and others with common sense.

            >It seems to me that the ones who invite people in for dialogue are the ones who should try to maintain dialogue. The very fact that you use the term Gnu Atheists, signals your contempt for a significant percentage or the potential atheist contributors to the forum.

            It is perfectly just to label irrational Atheists with that moniker just as it is just to label Christians who mandate the Earth is only 6000 years old with the moniker fundamentalist. You will note if you dig, the Atheist poster Skeptical Thinking Power used the term Gnu to refer to anti-intellectual Atheists. He has also stated quite correctly Classic Theism needs to be answered with Philosophy not science and he is somewhat negative toward Scientism. Well done on him.

            >You have also made clear your contempt for Protestants, Young Earth Creationists, Fundamentalists, and theistic personalists—all of them believers in God and potential allies, this being a blog about the existence of God. But only classical theists need apply.

            You are mistaken sir. I have no such contempt for those persons as persons. Rather I have contempt for the false beliefs listed above. That "contempt" is similar to one Professor Dawkins has toward the un-Scientific arguments of Creationists contra Evolution and is rooted in the way they irrationally disfigure the biological sciences with their willful ignorance. I am also not fond of Gnu Atheists who put me in that company in spite of my content corrections. You can reject Theism or fail to confess it if you prefer and I have no beef. But intellectually you have a duty to address the specific Theism in the correct specific way. If you do not I will call it out. If I make a mistake or reason badly I expect the same. If you remember sir you did that recently to me and I corrected myself in bold.

            >The only "dialogue" that is countenanced here is high-minded discussion of classical theism, for or against. All others viewpoints are met with hostility.

            Well it is a Catholic Blog the last time I checked and therefore it is rational the Blog champions the Truth of the Catholic view above all other views. It is as the Gnu WCB-2 correctly noted a dialog between Catholics and Atheists. Not Methodist or Fundamentalist Baptists and Atheists but Catholics. I am well within my rights to act as if that view is the default view here by believers and that is the view the Atheists are responsible in offering criticism. I have as much as it is possible refrained from personal attacks but I will attack bad arguments and if I believe the person lacks the skills to do it I will point it out. I never say to WCB-2 & his ilk just because he CLEARLY lacks the skills to argue properly against Catholicism that means Catholicism is True and Atheism is false. Of course with many Gnus the favor is never returned.

            >But it's your forum. Do with it what you please. In the past it was my inclination to criticize Catholicism when I had issues with it, but defend it when it was attacked.

            But you good sir make a good faith argument to try to criticize what Catholicism teaches. I have a right to call out those who fall short yer high standard and waste time bashing straw men. It is not uncharitable or wrong or against my understanding of the rules. Thought it may serve to humiliate persons who insist on making themselves look foolish. Note Ben Champagne is an ex-Catholic non-denominational type and he doesn't seem to think the Gnus are arguing correctly.

            >But the "defenders of the faith" here often react so disproportionately here, I see no reason to add my voice.

            I understand yer feelings sir but in my judgement it is proportionate to the attack. If anything I have pulled my punches. Bad arguments must be destroyed for the good of Atheists and Catholics everywhere. Only the good and strong arguments should survive.

            >Also, I rarely feel I have anything to learn from angry atheists, so I ignore them. That is the main reason I don't answer them. I only criticize people whom I think are worth having discussions with.

            But the problem is they aren't challenging what you believe with amazingly bad arguments but they are doing that to The Faith I confess and love ergo it is my duty to respond. Bad arguments are more harmful then challenging ones IMHO. As all propaganda is destructive to truth.

            Dave I don't agree with yer semi-passive style and you don't agree with my aggressive one. We have to agree to disagree.

            But if I am specifically unjust toward an individual in a specific instant I expect nay demand you call me out. Like when I went over board with Randal's OP I withdrew my accusation and wrote it in bold for all to see.

            I won't hold my breath waiting for the Gnus to do the same.

            Anyway I disagree with you Dave but I do respect you. If I haven't said that lately let me correct the record.

            Peace be with you sir and please continue to challenge my beliefs. I do so enjoy it when my brain has to break a sweat.

            Cheers.

    • Rob Abney

      >It can tell philosophy when to go back to the drawing board and start over.<
      I wonder if you would mind providing an example of when this has occurred?

      • BTS

        Rob, Some thoughts. Thanks for the question, I really had to plumb my brain and then also do a little googling. There's a really good website with 200 philosophical conversation starters. I'm using a broad definition of philosophy, I suppose. I pulled some of the good ones and added commentary on some:

        The ones with * come from
        https://conversationstartersworld.com/philosophical-questions/

        -Geocentrism (this was just as much a 'philosophy/religious belief' as it was a science)

        -Any beliefs associated with young earth creationism

        -Assertions that one race is "better" than another (I'm thinking Imperialism here, think British empire, white man's burden, etc.) Research has largely shown race to be a social construct.

        *Why are humans so confident in beliefs that can’t be proven? (sociology/psychology)

        *What is the best way to attain happiness? (science can collect LOTS of data on what doesn't work; here science helps philosophy out significantly, especially when measuring the 'happiness' of large groups.

        *Is happiness just chemicals flowing through your brain or something more?

        * Which of your beliefs are justified and which ones aren’t? (A good one for all of us.)

        *What do you think existed before the universe was created? (Science can keep pushing the frontier back further. Maybe it cannot fully answer this question, but it can scrape away the wrong answers).

        *Is there inherent order in nature or is it all chaos and chance?

        *What is consciousness?

        *How conscious do you think animals are? (recent research on crows, dolphins, octopus)

        *At what point is overthrowing a government ethical, considering all the violence a revolution usually entails? (Data to be collected on deaths, mortality, etc. would inform this)

        Edit: Here's a really good one: Should we defund the police?
        I'm with David here. I do not want to discuss politics, just posting this as a good question.
        https://www.intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/unresolved-american-policing?utm_source=IQ2US.org+Members+List&utm_campaign=1ed3b468a5-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_01_06_05_00_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1f61467fc0-1ed3b468a5-305887389&mc_cid=1ed3b468a5&mc_eid=37219163b3

        • Rob Abney

          Sorry but you overwhelmed me with your dozen examples. But I don’t see where any of them support your initial assertion of science telling philosophy to go back to the drawing board. Maybe you could explain one of your examples.
          You definitely lost me with your defund the police question, how is that scientifically or philosophically pertinent?

          • David Nickol

            You definitely lost me with your defund the police question, how is that scientifically or philosophically pertinent?

            I once read a fascinating article that contended most disagreements about the law were the result of two views—the law as keeper of the peace and the law as teacher of virtue. I am not quite sure how those who want to defund the police would be classified according to those two viewpoints, but philosophy certainly enters into the picture when discussing what the law (and law enforcement) ought to do. I bet the Thomists here have quite a bit to say about what the purpose of civil law is. Didn't Aquinas famously argue that civil law should tolerate prostitution since suppressing it would result in greater evils?

          • Rob Abney

            I agree that having law enforcement is a philosophical issue but I cannot see how science can study the issue much less send philosophy back to the drawing board as was suggested.
            I think Thomas's discussion on prostitution was how civil law should be enforced not whether we should have a law at all.

          • WCB-2

            It is called, sociology. For example, studying why some cops do the cop stupid stunts they do. Studying the racial biases many police exhibit. And so on.

            And there is quite a body of sociology that does look into these problems. and how to deal with them.

            Science has MUCH to say about such issues. Try googling "sociology of bad policing" for more info. What is theology doing to understand and change these bad police problems?

          • Rob Abney

            First you need to support what constitutes “bad”police problems. I don’t think you can, sociologists can’t, and SCIENCE can’t either. All theology is doing is informing people’s consciences so they can live virtuous lives so that less policing is needed.

          • WCB-2

            When you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. What defunding the police means is that the police sometimes cause more problems than they solve. Especially when it comes to things like dealing with the mentally ill, where maybe there is a need for specialized people to deal with some things, rather than letting police who have a certain mindset might not be the best solution. There are real problems with police in some jurisdictions, due to poor training, bad policies, lack of good leadership, and sometimes a bad police sub-culture that grows over years to give us rancorous relations with police and the local citizens. This needs changing. For example, traffic enforcement needs to be separated from policing to end the problem,s of police over reaction and escalation that are becoming highly objectionable to many. This is hard to really get a grip on since we are now entering a new era where the old ways are not working but there is not yet a really good model that has been proven to work to implement off the shelf. A lot of people have run out of patience with what we have today.

          • BTS

            Rob, apologies for too much info. I did enjoy that page quite a lot. I am going to try some of those questions with my teenagers at home. Anything to get them to chat.

            David gave a good answer on the "defund the police" question. Philosophically, the movement is asking what is the role of law enforcement in the modern age? or To what extent should police officers play the role of mental health counselors? Or What is the correct balance in modern policing between the extremes of a militarized police force vs. a milquetoast police force? What role has policing played as an agent of white privilege to keep black Americans locked into inner city ghettos?

            These I claim are philosophical questions. I can see a philosophy professor using my police examples above as a rejoinder to a student who questions the purpose of his/her philosophy class. You know those kids who ask "When am I ever going to use this in the real world?"

            And I would hope that any intelligent discussion of the questions above would include a LOT of data, ie, scientific data (sociology, psychology, urban engineering, etc.)

            To answer the last question I posed, about ghettos, you'd have to study data about the American history of red lining blacks into less desirable areas of American big cities. I think a conclusion in such a discussion would be guided by the data. So those who think blacks are just lazy and unmotivated (bad philosophical ideas) would have to confront the data and perhaps be sent back to the drawing board.

          • Rob Abney

            I agree that those will be good discussion topics with your teenagers, I hope you can influence them more than pop culture does.
            It seems as though you consider gathering data to be “science”, but I would say it is only valid science if you have control of all variables so that you can manipulate one variable to see how it affects the outcome, and then ideally compare that to a control group with the exact same variables.

          • BTS

            It seems as though you consider gathering data to be “science”, but I would say it is only valid science if you have control of all variables so that you can manipulate one variable to see how it affects the outcome, and then ideally compare that to a control group with the exact same variables.

            Yes, in a philosophical debate over the big questions I mentioned, once should consult properly conducted studies, of course. Studies that have appropriately controlled variables are the most valuable.

            only valid science if you have control of all variables

            In psychology and sociology, this is not always possible, of course. One finds it difficult in educational psychology, for example, to control for maturation. For example, if you are testing a new accelerated reading program, did a student improve her reading because of the specified program? Or did she improve merely by getter older? That is why multiple studies all confirming the results are better than one.

            And, of course, scientific papers have error bars.
            The error bars on COVID-19 mask studies are large now, but will shrink over time, for example.

          • Rob Abney

            We have different definitions of science then, I prefer this one from https://www.latimes.com/opinion/la-xpm-2012-jul-13-la-ol-blowback-pscyhology-science-20120713-story.html
            >the five basic requirements for a field to be considered scientifically rigorous: clearly defined terminology, quantifiability, highly controlled experimental conditions, reproducibility and, finally, predictability and testability.

          • BTS

            I have not yet given a definition of science yet; wasn't thinking we'd have to do that. I was assuming a shared definition. Which fields of study are you then dismissing? Looks like psychology.

            I'm open to criticisms of psychology. It won't even bother me to hear you dismiss it as a science. I think that is a reasonable debate topic and I don't have much of an opinion. Certainly, the type of psychology practiced by Bill Murray in the opening scenes of GhostBusters would not qualify as science. :)

            But I do not thank that dismissing psychology weakens my argument that science can send philosophy back to the drawing board. Taking my argument about the ghettos, you'd need to study a lot of data and read the body of work on urban planning, sociological data, medical studies (on how blacks breathe dirtier air than whites). Civil engineering (applied science) would also inform the discussion. I don't see how this is controversial. Are you dismissing the fields of
            a) sociology
            b) statistics/data science
            c) applied science (engineering)
            d) biology
            ?

            I think a good amount of rancor directed at science is more about how scientific results get interpreted and twisted than it is at the actual body of work being done.

          • Rob Abney

            >I think a good amount of rancor directed at science is more about how scientific results get interpreted and twisted than it is at the actual body of work being done.<
            You are correct, the real issue is how scientific and pseudo-scientific results are used. The real issue is whether the correct philosophical position is known in the first place. Why is there an overwhelming concern about how some people live when that same group has the highest rate of abortion in the US. The foundational philosophical position should always be the right to be born. You may then say but who wants a baby to be born into poor sociological conditions. So here I’ll ask how does science address this foundational issue at all?

          • BTS

            Why is there an overwhelming concern about how some people live when that same group has the highest rate of abortion in the US.

            1) This is off-topic and reads like patently racist language. I shouldn't have to explain why. Watch this if you need some hints.
            https://youtu.be/O4ciwjHVHYg
            2) I'm not doing an abortion debate.
            3) In any case, to stay ON topic, I'll steer your abortion tangent back on topic: "Highest abortion rate" must have been derived from data. Scientific data. Sociology. And, in fact, most pro-life people claim to have science on their side, right? All those ultra-clear ultrasound photos? I would think you'd hold that up as a clear-cut case of science telling a particular line of thinking (philosophy) to head back to the drawing table.

            Do you only like science when it agrees with you?

          • Rob Abney

            If you accuse me of racism then you need to be more specific about your accusations. Or maybe you’re just trying to virtue signal. I don’t have time to watch videos to get hints, say what you mean.
            Ultrasound is not science, it is technology, it simply allows observation.
            Rate of abortion is just data, it’s not science.
            As we’ve both indicated, you need to be clear about what you mean by science, and your accusations.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            Anyone who knows any philosophy knows that it is a bit of a challenge to explain precisely how one goes from the "is" to the "ought," that is, how one goes from knowing how things exist to showing that this has ethical or normative implications, which tell us how to live.

            But if you think that is a challenge, just try explaining how the mere nature of a purely physical universe can give rise to ethical judgments and mandates!

            The only way anyone can do that is by making some amazingly naive philosophical assumptions he does not even realize he is making!

            Thus the problem: Abortion ends human life in the womb. Now is there any right or wrong to this act? And if so, where do you find the basis for such a judgment? In biology? In gynecology? In sociology? In psychology?

            Please explain. But make sure you don't say anything philosophical or religious in nature, such as doing ethics or moral theology.

          • David Nickol

            It is interesting to note that when it is brought up that some major religious authorities long ago made a moral distinction between early abortion (before quickening) and later abortion (after quickening), the standard response is that modern embryology eliminated the distinction.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            I am not sure which religious authorities you have in mind and I am not sure also about who made the distinction between before and after quickening in order to make a moral determination.

            But, I do know that St. Thomas Aquinas at least provisionally followed the then current science, based on Aristotle, that the first month of gestation the animating power was a vegetative soul, the second month had an animal soul, and that the human spiritual soul was infused into the fetus only in the third month of gestation.

            This theory of "successive animation" was based on the principle that the form (soul) fit the matter (body) and that the body underwent visible changes proportioned to the level of activity proper to requiring those animating powers according to the month of development.

            This theory posed no great moral ambiguity or problem, since, if the soul at a given stage was not human, still the entire process was ordered to the production of a human being. Thus, any act that impeded the finality of gestation was a direct attack what was ordered to becoming a human being, and thus, was mortally sinful.

            Today, many people, ignorant of the actual requirements of sound morality, don't blink an eye at committing contraceptive acts.

            Still, at the same time, today, our science clearly shows that specifically human life is present from the time of conception, and so, any acts deliberately and directly intended to terminate that life constitute a form of homicide, which merits severe moral condemnation.

          • WCB-2

            Evolution. Long ago, we had single cell organisms. Which evolved to multicelled organisms, That evolved simple brains. Brains are good places to attach eyes, ears and sensorium, and brains developed memories, ability to do things like find their way around environments, find food, avoid predators. along the way, as brains developed, to give structure to behaviors, animals started to evolve emotions.

            Bigger brains evolved ability to think and reason along with emotions. Likewise we have emotions when good things happen to us.

            animals have emotions and often morals. A rat that knows if a button is pushed he can get food but also an unpleasant electric shock, will refuse to push a button to get food if that causes a rat in the cage next to it to get a shock. Monkeys like wise will go hungry rather than administer a shock to the monkey in the next cage. There is rather a lot of these sorts of things known to animal behaviorists.

            Of course there are limits to this. Wolves have their ethics among their tribe, a wounded wolf will get fed. But that does not extend to deer.

            But evolution explains this all rather neatly. Moral animal behavior is rather well studied, but all to many people argue about source of morals and ethics knowing next to nothing about the evolutionary roots of it all.

            Where mankind fails is our ability to 'reason' abstractly, to create bad political ideologies, bad cultures, sub-cultures, and bad religions. "Too bad we have to kill all the Jews, but it is necessary for Germany to survive". "Too bad we have to send many to the Gulags, but they are counter revolutionaries and enemies of the people".
            Shouting "Allah Akbar!" just before detonating a suicide vest in a crowded bazzar. Religioius wars, heresy hunts and auto de fes. Gangs and mafias. Racism.

            But we start with evolution.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            "...animals have emotions and often morals."

            And just how did you empirically verify that statement?

            " Monkeys like wise will go hungry rather than administer a shock to the monkey in the next cage. "

            And how does that prove that it is based on moral sentiment rather than some sort of anticipated uncomfortable emotion associated with seeing another animal exhibit the same reaction the monkey has when it itself is shocked?

            "Moral animal behavior is rather well studied, ..."

            By whom? Positivist behaviorists can only observe behavior, with no knowledge of what the animal actually experiences or why it does it.

            Animal psychologists are as prone to the fallacy of anthropomorphism as anyone else. I often catch them making the elementary mistake of assuming that if they were the animal exhibiting some specified behavior, such and such would be their motivation -- and therefore it must also be the animal's motivation. We just cannot resist the temptation of putting ourselves in the animal's place, and then thinking what we would be thinking -- and then assuming the animal is doing the same thing.

            You "start with evolution" and you finish with evolution. But every judgment you make is based on the positivist assumption that only empirical sciences can tell you anything true about reality, and yet, that assumption itself cannot be empirically verified.

            Of course, I know nothing about evolution. (sarc) I just wrote the book, Origin of the Human Species. Have you read it? Perhaps, my article on recent ape-language studies would be easier for you to access. It might just illuminate for you a bit this intriguing topic about which there is so much ignorance and confusion.
            https://drbonnette.com/ape-language-studies/

          • WCB-2

            Animals have emotions. Any farm boy can tell you that. Or any owner of a cat, dog, or parrot. Moral sentiment? If rat or monkey will go hungry rather than shock the animal in the cage next to it, that pretty much clenches that argument.

            Many years of animal behavior have been studied by lots of scientists. If you are just going to blow that all off with a wave of a rhetorical hand, then you are not going to be right about much.

            Evolution happens. You throw out the word "positivist" as a weak argument do not bother to understand anything. Evolution gives us emotions. There are lots of cases from naturalists demonstrating that. For example, a chimpanzee mother whose infant has died and who is obviously heart broken and grieving and keeps her dead infant with her for days on end. Airily waving away the many, many observations of animal behavior by writing "anthropomorphism" is not a good argument.

            No, I have no read your book, but have been reading about evolution for many decades

            How do I know you are not just a zombie with no real emotions or life if I cannot examine your mental life directly? You can raise skepticism to ridiculous heights to justify anything.

            Evolution is based on real evidence. It is one of the most robust and proven theories ever created by science.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            No wonder you don't know anything about these matters. You clearly did not even bother to read the article I just linked you to about ape-language studies, since you replied to my post in just a few minutes. You know you might at least try reading something written from both a scientific and philosophical perspective. And you cannot really comment on what I just said, since you clearly never even looked at my article!

            "Animals have emotions. Any farm boy can tell you that. Or any owner of a cat, dog, or parrot."

            This betrays your total ignorance of the subject at hand. Just where did I deny animals have emotions? It comes as a shock to some people to discover that animals have emotions, but not to any of the classical philosophers. If you knew anything but positivism, you would know that philosophers know that animals have emotions.

            There is little point in my wasting my time with someone who is so narrow in his intellectual perspective that he won't even look at evidence to the contrary when someone gives him a link to an article that might enlighten him -- and he won't even look at it.

          • Jim the Scott

            > Just where did I deny animals have emotions?

            Don't feel bad.. He lied and claimed I "didn't like" Pope Francis' LAUDATO SI’ Encyclical. He is shameless.

            Also he equates animals doing good for other animals with "being moral". No wonder it has been like pulling teeth with him and his weird claims the "god" he doesn't believe exists is really a "moral agent" even after we repeatedly tell him "No He isn't."

            You and I Doc B know being moral is a rational intellective process. Only rational and intellectual beings can be "moral". Only they can rationally choose to act on obligation. One can do good to someone or something one has no obligations toward in which case said good is gratuitous and supererrogacious.

            God is Perfectly Morally Good only in so far as He never fails His obligations toward Himself. He has none for us.

            All this is above WCB-2' head & he lacks the stones to admit it.

            Hey that Tarra lady who is an Idealist. I don't have a clue how one might argue against Idealism so I shut up about it. But yer not gonna see me recycle contra materialist arguments and throw them at her pretending being an Idealist and or a Materialist is the same thing.

            I know better. To bad WCB-2 refuses to learn. It is on him.

          • WCB-2

            "God is Perfectly Morally Good only in so far as He never fails His obligations toward Himself. He has none for us."

            God's own revelation, the Bible, explicitly tells us God is merciful, compassionate, fair, and just. If God has no obligations to us, because reasons, god is none of these.

            Aquinas, again!, tells us god grants us theological virtues. If God grants Jane lots of virtues and not John, he gets few if any, God is not fair, nor just.

            Again, having morals, setting rules to ground our actions on, is accepting rules that rule our actions. if God has no virtues, not rules god sets to influence his actions, God has no morals. God is amoral. and obviously not Good, merciful, compassionate, fair nor just.

            If we claim that God is just as God's supposed revelation tells us, God is in fact obligated to give all men and women the maximum theological virtues.

            Your theology has blinded you to simple logic, taking your Bible's claims to their logical conclusion.

          • Jim the Scott

            Catholics reject the Protestant belief that the Bible is clear since it is self evident the Bible is not clear (for example as cite by you yerself Genesis contains two different creation naratives in Chapters One and Two) so any argument that has the words "the Bible explicitly tell us" is automatically wrong. Sorry Catholic interpretations and Catholic and Scholastic definitions of terms alone are to be used. No other interpretation or contra definitions will be accepted. You must be this tall to ride the merry go round etc.....thanks for playing.

          • WCB-2

            The Catholic NAB Bible is very clear indeed, for the most part.

            Now, as you keep telling everybody here, personal interpretation of the Bible is forbidden in the RCC. and that incluces your personal interpretation that when verse X says A, it does not mean A. Special pleading run amok.

            If there is no official manuscript on the RCC website to tell us what each and every verse means according to the RCC than by your "no personal interpretations" (an idea drawn from the council of Trent), no verse of the Bible means anything at all except a very few verses mentioned as authoritative. Such as the CoT claim the serpent in the garden was Satan. Which is false and not true, and calls all interpretations of the RCC into serious doubt.

            Now, where is that document explaining in detail how each and every verse of the Bible is to be officially interpreted?

            If there is none, you have no right to interpret anything for anybody.

          • Jim the Scott

            Now you have conceded the debate to me. It is beautiful.

            >The Catholic NAB Bible is very clear indeed, for the most part.
            Yes its notes and commentary of the NAB does NOT favor fundamentalism. Read it yerself. So what is yer point?

            >Now, as you keep telling everybody here, personal interpretation of the Bible is forbidden in the RCC.

            This means only the Catholic Church can give the final authoritative interpretation that is binding on the faithful & not the individual.
            If She says the Bible means X and you say Not X well She has the controlling vote. Nor you lassie. If I say X & you say Y there is no reason to prefer yer interpretation over mine unless the Church says so.

            Which favors me since yer the one trying to impose yer own "definitive authoritative interpretation" here & well you have no authority. Yer not Pope Francis. I can interpret the old Soviet Constitution based on what it says for being "for religious liberty" but the Soviets didn't understand the text of their Constitution to mean it in the fashion of western post enlightenment philosophy but according to their philosophy of dialectic materialism. In that case the Politburo has the controlling vote over what it means. Not I.

            I am reading the Bible according to Catholic Tradition. Yer making it up oot of yer bum WCB-2. Doubt me? Who do you really think the Pope would side with here? You or me?

            > and that incluces your personal interpretation that when verse X says A, it does not mean A. Special pleading run amok.

            At best that means my interpretation is no more or less true than yers except for yours to be binding you need the backing of the Church Authority. Yeh good luck with that.

            The NAB commentaries are not the wee Scholfield ref Bible. We still are not fundamentalists.

            >If there is no official manuscript on the RCC website to tell us what each and every verse means according to the RCC than by your "no personal interpretations" (an idea drawn from the council of Trent), no verse of the Bible means anything at all except a very few verses mentioned as authoritative.

            Yes that is the point! (He finally gets it!). Minor correction there are at least Seven verses which have a definitive interpretation.

            For the rest at best there is the "sense of the faithful" and there are the general opinions of all the Bishops in Union with the Pope but until the Church issues a definitive interpretation there is no reason why I should hold an YEC views of Genesis or Old Earth View or the Theistic Evolutionist view Catholics may hold. I have liberty to hold any of them.

            I hate to break it to you but the Church does allow a diversity of opinions on doctrinal matters She hasn't settled. I am a Banezian Thomist on free will and divine sovereignty. The Pope is a Jesuit and they are traditionally Molinists. Emeritus Pope Benedict is an Augustinian. There you have it. Three different theories on Free Will and Divine Grace and Sovereignty.
            But any Catholic can pick one of them or none of them (& pick one of the two remaining theories I haven't mentioned).

            > Such as the CoT claim the serpent in the garden was Satan.

            No that would be definitive since Satan either possessed a literal snake or they had a vision of Satan as a Snake or the story is an allegory of Satan who literally in any senario tempted Adam and Eve etc. That Satan was involved is beyond dispute.

            >Now, where is that document explaining in detail how each and every verse of the Bible is to be officially interpreted?

            There is none. That is not how you use the Bible and that is not how the Development of Doctrine works. It is funny yer fundamentalist mentality demands a perfect written text (& there is none. Not even the Bible God's Word) & I demand a tradition and living Church. If you make such a compendium you would still need a Church and Tradition to interpret it.

            Language by nature is not clear.

            You still have a way to go but at least this is a break thru.

            >If there is none, you have no right to interpret anything for anybody.

            And you have even less of a right to tell Catholics how they should believe in their own religion that you reject & you have no business making up yer own no Catholic believes of any opinion.. Of course I would never tell a Catholic who belongs to the Kolbe Center or Father Brian Harrison just because their interpretations are more fundamentalist they can't hold those opinions. As long as they view them as opinions and not binding dogma. Same with my opinions. The Church has the final vote.

            We have a few compendiums of defined dogma (Ott or Denzinger etc) and as Augustine said in essentials unity and non essentials liberty and in all things charity.

            So I thank you for conceding the argument to me. Let us see how long that lasts?

          • WCB-2

            Review of your book from Amazon

            "As for the scientific validity of Bonnette's arguments, it is much undermined by his endorsement of Vedic scientists Michael Cremo and Richard L. Thompson, whose books try to rewrite the whole field of paleoanthropology by using allegedly suppressed evidence and various paranormal techniques such as past-life regression. (Readers curious to learn more about Bonnette's attitude towards Cremo's books can read his own five-star reviews of two of them on this very site".

            Past life regressions? Shades of L. Ron Hubbard and his E-meter!

            See Amazon - "Have You Lived This Life Before?" - L. Ron Hubbard.

            ...

            "GlennR. Morton (author of the very stimulating *Foundation, Flood and Fall* and *Adam, Apes and Anthropology*) wrote that «Bonnette's anthropological knowledge is positively paleolithic, the average age of his anthropological references being 1980 with only three references to

            the literature of the 1990s. Indeed, the average age of the scientific reference is 1978. Because of this, the book abounds with falsified claims."

            I'll pass on reading your book. I could not find any reviews of your book outside of theological sites, no reviews from scientific journals et al.

            ...

            And yet, with Adam appeared the first earthly creature capable of the tragedy of sin. Through a single rebellious act, mankind plunged foreve into the struggle between moral good and evil: the domain of ethics becomes central to God’s created world. Foundational to Christian belief is the literal reality of Adam and Eve, and of Original Sin.

            Even if Adam and Eve were not a myth, there was no rebel;lian. Not having eaten of the Tree Of Knowledge Of Good And Evil, they would have no concept of wrong or right and thus could not "rebel". They had no more knowledge that obeying God was necessary than a kitten understands "stay off the kitchen table!"

          • Jim the Scott

            @dennisbonnette:disqus

            WCB-2 you really stepped in here! I would go hide my head in shame right now if I was you. EPIC FAIL

            You wrote:
            >"GlennR. Morton (author of the very stimulating *Foundation, Flood and Fall* and *Adam, Apes and Anthropology*) wrote that «Bonnette's anthropological knowledge is positively paleolithic,

            So you don't realize Glenn R, Morton is a Young Earth Creationist? Did you even look him up? So you are dismissing Dr. B's book because an English teacher who reviewed it cited a Young Earth Creationist who didn't care for it? So you refuse to read Dr. B but you will uncritically trust the analysis of an English Teacher who cites a Young Earth Creationist "scientist"?

            Also the English Teacher whose negative review you cite doesn't like the book because Dr. B favorably reviewed a work on Evolution penned by Hindus sympathetic persons whose work has over 300+ reviews about 65% give it 5 stars?

            But the real comedy is you uncritically relied on the claims of a Young Earth Creation "Scientist"? So Young Earth Creationists are now legitimate scientists to you?

            Do you feel ashamed WCB-2? Because you should feel the shame.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            "I'll pass on reading your book. I could not find any reviews of your book outside of theological sites, no reviews from scientific journals et al."

            As I said, you are a dogmatic positivist.

            Glenn Morton was a Young Earth Creationist who went from thinking science could do nothing right to later thinking it could do no wrong. You cite his comments on one chapter of my book primarily, but miss the fact that, even with his skeptical perspective, he admitted that my chapter on ape-language studies scored a home run. Read his entire review.

            Any book will get various reviews. His critique is the exception, not the rule. Take a look at these:
            https://drbonnette.com/itest/ and
            https://drbonnette.com/review-of-metaphysics/

            Of Adam and Eve, you write: " They had no more knowledge that obeying God was necessary than a kitten understands "stay off the kitchen table!""

            I don't like to dance with private interpretation of Scripture, but you raise the issue here. Gen 3:3 "God hath commanded us that we should not eat [of the tree] ... lest perhaps we die." They had free will. The serpent tempted them by saying that, if they ate, they would be as Gods: knowing good and evil. Gen 3:5

            But one can read that "knowing good and evil" as a broader power of knowledge, something divine, as it were. Yet, they had intelligence. They knew it was forbidden. They freely ate. So, one could argue that this specifid first sin let to a broader knowledge of virtue and vice. Your interpretation is just that: your interpretation.

            As to your absurd claim that animals have ethics or morality, this would presuppose they have free will, which is not something found in the deterministic world of atoms and scientific laws. Not only animals, but we, too, can have no ethics without free will, since otherwise everything we would do we would be determined to do. You don't praise or blame those who cannot do otherwise.

            So, you can have your scientific materialism, if you wish. But morality and ethics are without meaning unless we are free to violate our own consciences freely. Evolution does not give rise to morality unless you redefine morals to mean simply the habits of non-free animals.

            That is why Democritus, the Father of your materialism, was a complete determinist. No free will. No responsibility. No morals or ethics. Your monkeys are not saints.

          • Jim the Scott

            So basically Doc WCB-2 bases his opinions on the 2 star reviews on amazon of yer book by unknown posters whose qualifications are an unknown quantity and NOT on
            any professional reviewers?

            Also he is looking at yer 2nd edition and not yer revised 3rd edition. This guy is beyond incompetent.

            "Using lucid, easily accessible language, it is among the best scholarly analyses and introductions of this topic written to date." -- Peter A. Redpath, Full Professor of Philosophy, St. John's University, New York

          • Jim the Scott

            I don't know doc? WCB-2 still thinks the Council of Trent teaches there are 66 books in the Bible instead of 73. He won't own his mistakes.

            I wouldn't be surprised if he tries to make some painful equivocal argument that animals have "morals" because they can do good things for other animals and even humans (like helper animals or rescue dogs). I don't think he understands what having "morals" or being a moral agent means (other then his own made up nebulous definition).

            Anyway I am taking bets that is how he will proceed if he responds.

          • WCB-2

            Morals often are the rules we set for ourselves that limit our actions for our own virtue and our sense of obligation to others to act morally.

            What your amoral God that is not a moral agent is, is a God without internal limits to behavior. God is thus utterly amoral. But is described as Good, perfectly good, the source of all goodness in the Universe.

            You understand nothing about any of this. God cannot literally be amoral and good, merciful, compassionate, fair and just.

          • Jim the Scott

            So now you want to discuss a Classic View of God who is not a moral agent rather than waste time begging me to believe in a moral agent "god" you pulled oot of yer arse? Now you want to discuss my God?

            Yeh clear off! You have exhausted my good graces and without an apology I don't see fit to treat you as a person of good will but merely differing opinion.

            I might relent if you can guess what mistake I made in posting to you? Better hurry before a more comptant Atheist figures it out.

          • Jim the Scott

            I don't know doc? WCB-2 still thinks the Council of Trent teaches there are 66 books in the Bible instead of 73. He won't own his mistakes.

            I wouldn't be surprised if he tries to make some painful equivocal argument that animals have "morals" because they can do good things for other animals and even humans (like helper animals or rescue dogs). I don't think he understands what having "morals" or being a moral agent means (other then his own made up nebulous definition).

            Anyway I am taking bets that is how he will proceed if he responds.

          • Jim the Scott

            Called it!
            WCB-2 said:

            "Moral sentiment? If rat or monkey will go hungry rather than shock the animal in the cage next to it, that pretty much clenches that argument."

            Yep! CALLED IT!

            WCB-2 equates animals doing good for other animals with "moral sentiment".

            No wonder He thinks God has to be a "moral agent". He has no idea what it means to be a "moral agent"?

            **Smug Mode**

            Cheers Doc.

          • WCB-2

            Let's play the quibble game! Quibble! Quibble! Quibble! A rat that knows that getting food will shock it's fellow rat in the cage next to it, will go hungry rather than shock it's neighboring rat! But we will deal with this evidence of moral and ethical sense by boldly denying what it obviously is! Quibble! Quibble! Quibble! To you it is all a word game, isn't it?

            But God owes us no moral obligations and is not a moral agent. Seems to me that rat has more morals than the God of Classical Theism.

          • Jim the Scott

            Laddie if yer not going to actually make an accurate, informed, credible and rational case against any particular form of Theism than why bother? Why are you even here? To defend Atheism? At that you are failing and I feel sorry for all the rational thoughtful Atheists and skeptics here who get tarred by yer substandard performance. Are you here just to look silly? Mission accomplished. Are you a closet Baptist pretending to be an Atheist in a stealth mission to make the lot of them look bad?

            Anyway yer crapy performance is not gonna convince anybody. If anything you are giving people the impression Atheists have nothing to say to Classic Theists and if it wasn't for posters like Skeptical Thinking Power and Nickol and other I might be tempted to believe that.

            Jog on scrub.

          • David Nickol

            Why is there an overwhelming concern about how some people live when that same group has the highest rate of abortion in the US.

            "Overwhelming concern"???

            You mean why do we care that black people are often unfairly targeted by police (and subject to myriad forms of discrimination) when they have a higher abortion rate than white people?

          • Rob Abney

            Yes, why does the concern about living conditions overwhelm the concern about killing unborn babies. Both represent evil acts but based on the fundamental necessity to be born, abortion is the far greater evil. It’s also the greater evil based upon the number of aborted babies. And perhaps worst of all it is a greater evil because so many people are invested in minimizing the true nature of the act.

          • David Nickol

            You aren't suggesting (are you?) that white people should tamp down their concern about equal treatment for racial minorities until the abortion rate for racial minorities falls to that of whites? It sounds as if you are saying white people are overly concerned about racial equality and not just too little concerned about abortion, as if racial and ethnic minorities with high abortion rates don't deserve equality until they stop having too many abortions.

            One problem with your concern is that a majority of Americans (and, currently, the law) support the right to legal abortion whereas hopefully a majority also supports an end to racial discrimination (for perhaps the first time since the founding of the United States), so now is the time for some action.

            I hope you have considered that the higher abortion rate among blacks and Hispanics is largely a consequence of the "living conditions" we are now increasingly concerned about, just as the "living conditions" of blacks and Hispanics put both of those groups at higher risk for catching and dying from Covid-19.

          • Rob Abney

            >You aren't suggesting (are you?) that white people should tamp down their concern about equal treatment for racial minorities until the abortion rate for racial minorities falls to that of whites< Thanks for your question. I am not suggesting that at all. I am suggesting the very Catholic approach of both/and not either/or.
            I won’t agree that this country is ready for action against discrimination until all discrimination is addressed, especially including the most vulnerable.
            I don’t think you can support your accusation that poor living conditions cause more abortions.
            As far as COVID-19 affects on minorities, maybe you can point to scientific studies that demonstrate that but you have simply referred to raw statistics so far. Have you also considered the affect of the presence of underlying conditions?

          • David Nickol

            There are two main reasons why one might suspect your position is racist.

            First, instead of suggesting too little is being done to deal with the problems of high abortion rates among minorities, you seem to suggest that too much is being done in the name of securing equal rights.

            Second, you are justifying continuing discrimination against a whole group based on the behavior of only some members of that group. You are lumping all blacks and hispanics together as people who procure too many abortions, whereas in reality the majority of blacks and hispanics never get abortions at all.

            I won’t agree that this country is ready for action against discrimination until all discrimination is addressed, especially including the most vulnerable.

            This is a bizarre position. You seem to imply that no work to achieve any worthy goal should move forward until work (and successful work) is moving forward on every worthy goal—as defined by you. So perhaps you believe that the fight against the birth control mandate in the ACA should have been deferred and the legal resources used to fight abortion.

            I don’t think you can support your accusation that poor living conditions cause more abortions.

            Of course I can. The same as I can prove that poor living conditions put minorities at a higher risk of Covid-19. But that would be off topic, and it would be a pointless debate to have with you anyway.

            The topic of the OP is science and religion, and so far after all the back-and-forth, hardly anybody has addressed the content of the OP and its accompanying video.

          • Rob Abney

            >There are two main reasons why one might suspect your position is racist< Don’t be dishonest, you know that there is but one reason that you suspect my position is racist, it’s because that is your go-to response to a pro-life Catholic that can be used to minimize the atrocity of abortion.
            So to defend, I never said too little is being done, I said the concern of one issue overwhelms the more fundamental issue.
            My position is not bizarre, it’s based on addressing the more fundamental issue at least equally to addressing other related issues. And, the birth control mandate is closely related.
            No, you cannot prove poor living conditions precede abortion you can only maybe provide correlation. And we will be on-topic because you will then be asserting science as the arbiter of truth rather than simply a means of measurement.

          • BTS

            No, you cannot prove poor living conditions precede abortion you can only maybe provide correlation.

            Yes, you can. It is obvious to anyone who is not being willfully ignorant. You seem to be arguing there is something intrinsically morally deficient about black Americans. I cannot read your opinion any other way. Is the cause of higher abortion rates something intrinsic to black Americans or is it circumstances of their living conditions? You have to choose.

            For my part, I'd say the higher rates are because of a problem that started in 1619 and is still with us. Slavery, reconstruction, Jim crow, lack of property and generational wealth accumulation, poor schools, poor living conditions, red-lining, white privilege, segregation, civil rights era, overly punitive drug laws, inequitable policing, on and on and on. It is obvious but you don't want to see it.

          • Rob Abney

            For one who claims to be skeptically questioning his previous way of thinking you don't seem to be too curious about the causes you prefer to employ, in this case race-baiting.
            Have you heard that the "authors" of the 1619 project have walked back their assertion that you are parroting here?

            But I agree with David Nickol that you have not read, or not understood the OP. Science is about proving causation, so anyone who says that something is "obvious to anyone" is promoting his own preferred view rather than any proven view.

            Maybe more abortions occur in lower socioeconomic areas because that is where the abortions mills are. Maybe the abortion mills are there because the abortionists wanted to eliminate the "unfit" (that's not my term, it's the language of PP founders).
            You say that you don't want to discuss abortion but you keep doing it, instead let's discuss science more directly because you are using an overly broad definition.

          • BTS

            But I agree with David Nickol that you have not read, or not understood the OP.

            David made no such claim.
            I'm out.

          • Rob Abney

            That was the implication though.
            See ya.

          • David Nickol

            A discussion of race and abortion is completely off-topic in a thread on religion and science—science in this case being the enterprise to be examined by the philosophy of science. I understand you have strong feelings about abortion, and I suggest if you want a thread on abortion and race, you write an OP on that subject and submit it to SN for publication. If you manage to handle the subject with the sensitivity required for it to appear here (in the judgment of Brandon Vogt or his representatives), I'll be glad to discuss it.

          • Rob Abney

            Here's a suggestion for you in return, if myself and another commenter are discussing a subject and race and abortion are used to make points about the OP, then you should kindly stay out of the conversation since you only entered in to defend your abortion activist position.

          • David Nickol

            discussing a subject and race and abortion are used to make points about the OP

            What point were you making about the OP?

            I still don't want to discuss abortion with you, but I would like to point out that the reason white women have a lower abortion rate than black or Hispanic women is that white women use more effective and generally more expensive methods of contraception, and consequently they have fewer unwanted pregnancies. So while you disapprove of the high abortion rate among black women, you also disapprove of contraception, which is the only practical way to bring down the abortion rate.

          • Rob Abney

            >I still don't want to discuss abortion with you, but<
            Yes, I realize that you prefer to preach to me rather than engaging in dialogue, makes it easier for you to promote abortion as anything other than the evil it is.

            Fact Sheet: Greater Access to Contraception Does Not Reduce Abortions
            https://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/contraception/fact-sheets/upload/Contraception-fact-sheet.pdf

            Have you read the OP: Can you support your claim that white women use more expensive and effective contraception and consequently have less abortions, because it seems like it's a belief based on faith in your own wishful paradigm rather than any sort of scientific demonstration.

          • David Nickol

            I am bowing out of this discussion, and I earnestly hope you will drop the subject, for your own sake and the sake of SN. However, if you do decide to continue, I will be interested to see how you explain—without appearing racist—why black women are five times more likely than white women to procure abortions.

          • Rob Abney

            I’ll accept the bow.
            It seems that you agree that procuring abortions at a higher rate is unacceptable, although I would expect you to have no objection to abortion no matter how many are procured. That is an indication that at some level you abhor the evil of abortion although it makes no sense to me that 5 are worse than 1.
            You can weaponize racism but my position all along was a disparity in concern for living conditions vs. abortion, with no regard on my part for anyone’s race.
            My overall point, BTS has a very broad definition of science and that definition can only be useful to support his personal paradigm

    • Mark

      It's really too bad this conversation wasn't more civil because this statement is worth having a discussion about:

      It can tell philosophy when to go back to the drawing board and start over. Why is that so bad?

      I think I can sort of agree with that statement under certain situations. I don't think philosophy "starts over", but it is certain philosophy is forced to draw clearer distinctions as our understanding of the human intellect is better understood. Having said that gray science is used to muddy the philosophical waters for political motivation much much more commonly. Sending philosophy back to the drawing board doesn't usually mean that you begin with a different set of first principles because science and morality assumes certain first principles. Take your example of consciousness. A materialist has no good explanation with their philosophical commitments to explain it and the question very much remains can science ever explain it, or as you put it, will science cause them to go "back to the drawing board"? I'm very skeptical my consciousness is nothing more than an elaborate pattern of synapses geared toward procreation and self preservation. But if it is, I see no reason to claim it should have any intrinsic value to others. Rob's point about abortion was very much in this line of thinking, where he and I both would say one needs to put their philosophical first commitments on the table to know where to start and to know what science can offer to improve philosophy and theology. Mostly what I see is the tool of science being used improperly, which is very much in line with the OP of this article. I also see science being misused to wag the dog. If your point is something such as can science change how we theologically view moral culpability for the good (insight into the Good) I'm in agreement. If it is can science change how we view philosophical first principles I'm in disagreement.

      • BTS

        It's really too bad this conversation wasn't more civil

        I accept no blame for that. I am always civil. Please post a quote from me that you find uncivil and I will edit it if I agree.

        gray science

        Please define.

        Take your example of consciousness. A materialist has no good explanation with their philosophical commitments to explain it

        First, I'm not a materialist. Second, many seekers who are non-religious are not materialists. Third, what is wrong with the answer of "We don't know yet?" You seem to be on a quest to pound materialists into ash. Well, very few people are pure materialists, and event the ones who are probably have wavering opinions on various days. Many, like me, take the position that we just don't know. Many days I loathe not knowing the answers, but I don't want to pretend I do when I don't. To me, my gut tells me that fooling myself to please others is distasteful. Maybe god is doing that (putting that thought into my head) maybe evolution. I don't know.

        I think there's an equivocation fallacy here where you're thinking the presuppositions of scientists and philosophers are equally open to criticism. Yes, everyone has presuppositions. Scientists I would argue have fewer, maybe only one: "the world is intelligible and we can study it to find regularities." It strikes me a good place to start. I'm not sure why you would force people to go beyond that presupposition into "there's a god" and " "everything was created" etc. if they are not comfortable with that.

        If it turns out the world is not intelligible, the rules of physics are different everywhere, or the rules of physics change routinely, or maybe god is playing with us, teasing us, then yes, science is fruitless.

        Mostly what I see is the tool of science being used improperly,

        Examples, please? And not all related to natural law sexual and gender issues, please. My point here is that if you are willing to play the long game, these issues work out. We don't believe in geocentrism any more. Or that the universe is a steady state. I guess if you think science is being used improperly, work politically to stop that phenomenon.

        If your point is something such as can science change how we theologically view moral culpability for the good (insight into the Good) I'm in agreement

        That is too narrow. Generally, my point is you should be open to changing your philosophical commitments if science shows you the world works differently than you thought.

        I often muse that life is a bit like waking up from a coma in a strange place, with no short term memory, and not knowing what is going on. Where does one start putting the pieces together? Should you just assume things or should you go start exploring the building you woke up in?

        On a humorous note (seems there's a death of sense of humor at this site), even the principle of non-contradiction may be up for grabs if time travel proves possible.

        • Mark

          Rob was called willfully ignorant and racist for whatever rhetorical reasons. Either way, I really have no place to preach on the subject as I accuse people of wearing tin foil hats and standing too close to the microwave.

          >Please define

          Gray sciences are areas of science that are so highly complex, they create very little actionable knowledge because causality is exceptionally complex and highly interactive and nearly impossible to create control or data that is compressible. It requires analytical epistemology/methodology to cope with the nature of the data. It therefore yields less black and white conclusions and thus the name gray. Sociology would be the easy example.

          >First, I'm not a materialist

          I never said you were.

          >Second, many seekers who are non-religious are non-materialist.

          "Seekers" assumes a consciousness. I'm working on a more fundamental level.

          >Third, what is wrong with "I don't know yet"

          It is an intellectually impoverished and void statement when your epistemology precludes the ability to ever know. Then it is simply an escape plan to avoid philosophy or admit brute fact.

          >Science has fewer, maybe one.

          No offense, this tells me you don't understand the philosophy of science and are oblivious to the presuppositions scientist make. Which gets to the teeth of argument (or lack thereof) when you say science can cause philosophy to go back to the drawing board.

          >Examples please?

          There has been 33 retracted Covid-19 studies in the last 6 months. How many of those were used as click-bait headlines by "journalist"?

          >That is too narrow.

          I used it as a specific example. I'm open to others.

          >.Generally, my point is you should be open to changing your philosophical commitments if science shows you the world works differently than you thought.

          Science assumes my own philosophical fundamental commitments. If we're talking non-fundamental, put the cards on the table. Science isn't going to show me the Bible is errant. Science isn't going to show me killing is licit. Science isn't going to show me the PNC is not always true. If the PNC is not true, science is an illusory because science assumes the PNC.

          • BTS

            Rob was called willfully ignorant and racist for whatever rhetorical reasons.

            Not for rhetorical reasons, but for good reasons.

            Moving on...

            I wrote: Third, what is wrong with "I don't know yet"
            Then you responded:

            It is an intellectually impoverished and void statement when your epistemology precludes the ability to ever know. Then it is simply an escape plan to avoid philosophy or admit brute fact.

            You twisted my words handily... I NEVER said my epistemology precludes the ability to ever know. Please stop doing that. I said there's nothing wrong with saying I don't know the answer to X question. It is the intelligent thing to say.

            No offense, this tells me you don't understand the philosophy of science and are oblivious to the presuppositions scientist make. Which gets to the teeth of argument (or lack thereof) when you say science can cause philosophy to go back to the drawing board.

            What exactly don't I understand? I'm a reasonably educated American with two college degrees. I read books. One does not need a PhD in philosophy to discuss these things. Our intuitions don't always track reality, that's why science is helpful.

            There has been 33 retracted Covid-19 studies in the last 6 months. How many of those were used as click-bait headlines by "journalist"?

            Perhaps we should not expect the scientists to understand COVID entirely yet. How could they? As I said, play the long game. That will all even out. We'll eventually know as much about COVID as we do about the flu. You have identified a problem with journalism, not science.

            Science isn't going to show me the Bible is errant.

            Yes it can. It can demonstrate, for example, to all rational people willing to thoughtfully consider the evidence, there was no actual Exodus from Egypt. Now, if you are going to argue that god wanted or allowed this egregious historical error or scriptural mistake, or that I "just don't understand the Hebrew Scriptures," I really don't want to play that game.

            Science isn't going to show me the PNC is not always true. If the PNC is not true, science is an illusory because science assumes the PNC.

            I mentioned time travel as amusing aside. I don't really care or have an opinion on the PNC.

          • Mark

            > You twisted my words handily....

            It was not my intention to twist your words. "Your" was meant rhetorically as in anyone who has a epistemology that precludes the ability to have a knowledge of X when in reality they are claiming Y doesn't exist (yet) to avoid X being a brute fact or acknowledge X is outside of their epistemology. Please accept the apology, and the point still stands. Your point that there is nothing wrong (in science) with saying a knowledge of something doesn't exist yet is correct of scientific knowledge.

            > Our intuitions don't always track reality, that's why science is helpful.

            Sure, but only for the quantifiable knowledge of the material world. There is a whole bunch of other knowledge science is simply not the purvey of where our intuitions will never be rescued by science almighty.

            > to all rational people willing to thoughtfully consider the evidence, there was no actual Exodus from Egypt.

            And I don't wish to play this game either because I'm not thoughtful or irrational by your standard. Maybe I'm even willfully ignorant. I am smart enough to not make conclusions from an argument from ignorance. Maybe science hasn't found evidence of the Exodus yet. Maybe science is looking for the wrong evidence because scientist read ancient religious texts like they are a courtroom dictation from God.

          • BTS

            Sure, but only for the quantifiable knowledge of the material world. There is a whole bunch of other knowledge science is simply not the purvey of where our intuitions will never be rescued by science almighty.

            This is the heart of our disagreement. I'm not really sure there is a whole bunch of other knowledge that science is simply "not the purvey of." I'm not convinced. And that doesn't make me a vile materialist. I say it makes one a thoughtful seeker. I'm open to being convinced but it has not happened yet.

            Maybe science hasn't found evidence of the Exodus yet. Maybe science is looking for the wrong evidence because scientist read ancient religious texts like they are a courtroom dictation from God.

            I don't think this is fair assessment. Dedicated, passionate and very religious Israeli archeologists have for years searched for evidence of the Exodus in the deserts and Sinai peninsula and have found nothing. I think your answer with its somewhat flippant air makes light of the very serious efforts they have put forth. These are folks who have everything to lose by not finding the evidence; nonetheless they are being honest about it, and, as such, some are reassessing their religious beliefs. I find that admirable.

            I do not believe in a god who would fool us or expect us to believe things that are not rational. Remember Exodus is a part of the OT that should be read like history, for the most part. There's nothing metaphorical about thousands of people actually supposedly walking through the desert from point A to point B. So, yes there should be some evidence. But it isn't there. It should at least make you scratch your head and think.

          • Mark

            "I'm not really sure there a whole bunch of other knowledge that science is simply "not the purvey of." I'm not convinced."

            How do you know the scientific experiments of Josef Mengele were illicit? I'll give you hint: it isn't a scientific question. If you think it is you're confused. But I'm open to scientific evidence but excuse me if I don't hold my breath. If you agree it isn't, then it seems admittedly you're convinced you can know such moral knowledge.

            "I do not believe in a god who would fool us or expect us to believe things that are not rational."
            Neither do I, or are you putting words in my mouth? I don't believe you understand what Scriptural inerrancy means to a Catholic and you're Catholic. If it did you'd realize it doesn't matter if there were 600 clans or a million people that followed Moses out of Egypt. It doesn't matter if there was an actual event as depicted in Exodus. It doesn't matter if you're a minimalist or a conservative historian making an argument for or against a particular piece of historical scientific evidence. I shouldn't have to explain that to a Catholic.

          • BTS

            How do you know the scientific experiments of Josef Mengele were illicit?

            Moral intuitions...could be that god put them there, yes. Could also be evolution.

            Neither do I, or are you putting words in my mouth?

            No.

            If you think it is you're confused. But I'm open to scientific evidence but excuse me if I don't hold my breath.

            Could you tone it down a bit? I'm not your enemy.

            If it did you'd realize it doesn't matter if there were 600 clans or a million people that followed Moses out of Egypt.

            I don't believe you understand what Scriptural inerrancy means to a Catholic and you're Catholic.

            Catholic elitism. Where do you expect the typical Catholic learns this stuff?
            I learned it by reading books, all on my own. After college, after the Incarnate Word nuns in grade school, After the Jesuit High School, after the University of Notre Dame. I am steeped in Catholic traditions. I live in Greater Cleveland. My friends are almost all Catholic. Out of 100 I could probably name 1 would knows anything at all about inerrancy.

            How do you know that Scripture is inerrant? Other than the fact that some Church fathers said so? Seriously, read about Tertullian. He was a total jerk! As far from Jesus as one could possibly be. But I am supposed to believe that Jesus (who is my brother and loves me and holds me in the palm of his hand?) wanted jerks like Origen and Tertullian and Constantine and Eusebius and Jerome to carry his mantle? I get uneasy and queasy thinking about that. Read what Tertullian said about his enemies. It is gross and disgusting. I know exactly what Catholics believe about inerrancy and I think they are wrong. I hang around a lot of retired nuns, brothers, and liberal Catholics who agree with me. My conscience is clear. If I die tomorrow I'll give the same opinion to god himself. If he is who I think (hope?) he is, he'll laugh and invite me to coffee and gently explain things. If I'm wrong, then I'm wrong. But I doubt it.

            I shouldn't have to explain that to a Catholic.

            I would wager 95% of Catholics have no idea what you are talking about! (That's why I subject myself to these websites. :) The ones I know are too busy with fish fries, CYO basketball, golf outings, and silent auctions for the local elite catholic schools formed from parish schools face with the choice of Merge or Die.

            It doesn't matter if you're a minimalist or a conservative historian making an argument for or against a particular piece of historical scientific evidence.

            It does indeed matter. The entire story of salvation history as taught to me by priests, nuns, and theologians hinges on things like Adam and Moses being real people. Yes, it does matter. If they are wrong, if a few blocks get pulled out, the whole thing crumbles. That is what I am grappling with and realizing.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            If you have a lot of "liberal Catholics" agreeing with you, I would not trust your understanding of Catholicism.

            If you attended the U. of Notre Dame after I did my grad school there in the 1960's, I would not assume that everything I learned reflected authentic Catholic teaching.

            It is easy to say you know all about Catholicism. But it is also easy to be misinformed.

            And just on the possibility that you might be misinformed, were I you, I would be a bit cautious about giving my opinion to God.

            When you meet him, I suspect you will be doing the listening.

          • David Nickol

            When you meet him, I suspect you will be doing the listening.

            I would be most happy to listen now, as I suspect BTS would, but who really speaks the truth about God? "Liberals" may be misinformed, but "conservatives" seem to me to disagree with the last three popes on issues like capital punishment. If you can't trust the pope and the Catechism (and the USCCB's NABrev2e), who speaks for Catholicism?

            Whatever the OP says about Galileo, Pope John Paul II said frankly that the theologians of Galileo's day had misinterpreted the Bible. The "conservatives" back then were wrong! Are they infallible today?

          • Dennis Bonnette

            "I would be most happy to listen now, as I suspect BTS would, but who really speaks the truth about God?"

            When we meet God, he will speak for himself.

            "... "conservatives" seem to me to disagree with the last three popes on issues like capital punishment. "

            The Church has never said that capital punishment is essentially evil. It could hardly do so, since it taught it was licit down through history. Even right after where the Bible lists the Ten Commandments, including "thou shalt not kill," the very next section lists several offenses for which the penalty is death. So, what recent popes have said is that CP is no longer needed in today's world -- as a matter of prudential judgment. And Pope Francis has universalized that prudential judgment for all cases, it appears.

            Whatever "conservatives" may think, that is the situation.

            " Pope John Paul II said frankly that the theologians of Galileo's day had misinterpreted the Bible. The "conservatives" back then were wrong! Are they infallible today?"

            Theologians are not the Magisterium. As such, they are not infallible and can certainly misread the Bible. Yes, they were wrong back then. So what? It is the Magisterium of the Church that can, in some instances, issue dogmatic teachings that are irreformable, not the theologians. And, I don't think the Magisterium has issued more than a few dogmatic interpretations of Scripture.

            Off hand, only one comes to mind -- and that is because I researched it for my book, "Origin of the Human Species -- Third Edition, (Sapientia, 2014), 218, where I refer to the Council of Trent's dogmatic definitions on Original Sin in which it makes clear that Adam was but a single human being, not a group of men. (Denzinger, 1512.)

          • David Nickol

            So, what recent popes have said is that CP is no longer needed in today's world -- as a matter of prudential judgment.

            That is not how I understand it. The revision is as follows:

            2267 Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.

            Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.

            Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person” (Francis, Discourse, Oct. 11, 2017), and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.

            You said

            Even right after where the Bible lists the Ten Commandments, including "thou shalt not kill," the very next section lists several offenses for which the penalty is death.

            Apologies for what follows : -) We are not Protestants here! We don't believe in sola scriptura or the perspicuity of scripture! Only the Catholic Church can tell us what the Bible means. She has not used the Old Testament (for example, Leviticus) as a guide for what offenses merit the death penalty. Seriously, if the Catholic Church took many of the prohibitions and penalties in the Old Testament as binding, Catholicism would be frightful. I believe, by the way, that many of the penalties in the OT were not enforced even in OT times.

            And, I don't think the Magisterium has issued more than a few dogmatic interpretations of Scripture.

            According to something I read by Jimmy Akin, he was able to come up with only seven biblical passages the meanings of which were infallibly declared.

            But you make it sound as if Catholics were bound only by infallible teachings of the Church. That is far from true. I read an interesting book titled By What Authority? by Richard Gaillardetz. Here is some information from that book which I am lifting from an older post of mine about the "hierarchy of truth" which gives the level of truth (in bold) and the required response from the believer (in italics):

            Dogma - Assent of Faith [The believer makes an act of faith, trusting that this teaching is revealed by God.]

            Definitive Doctrine - Firm Acceptance [The believer "accepts and holds" these teachings to be true.]

            Authoritative Doctrine - A Religious Docility of Will and Intellect [The believer strives to assimilate a teaching of the Church into their religious stance, while recognizing the remote possibility of church error.]

            Provisional Applications of Church Doctrine, Church Discipline and Prudential Admonitions - Conscientious Obedience [The believer obeys (the spirit of) any church law or disciplinary action which does not lead to sin, even when questioning the ultimate value or wisdom of the law or action.]

            Even if the Church's position on the death ppenalty is only a "prudential admonition," it is still to be accepted as noted in the excerpt above.

          • Jim the Scott

            @dennisbonnette:disqus

            Well I will say this in praise of you David. You do yer homework and you make a good faith effort to understand. That is very refreshing. You have no idea my friend how it is appreciated. But if I may butt in with my two sense.

            >Even if the Church's position on the death ppenalty is only a "prudential admonition," it is still to be accepted as noted in the excerpt above.

            Except here is the problem. Pope Francis' CDF said the above teachings on CP which you cite from the CCC is in line with the previous Magisterium of the Church. The previous Magisterium as taught by Pope Benedict XVI (who I should point out is against CP and has called for its world wide abolition). said "Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia…"END QUOTE

            So I am allowed to disagree with Pope Francis on CP (but not on abortion or euthanasia according to Pope Benedict XVI) and I note Pope Francis hasn't abrogated Pope Benedict's teaching here so I can assume it is still in effect.

            A principled but loyal critic of Pope Francis might suggest his change of CCC was a blunder & renders the teaching on CP here ambiguous?
            I would agree BUT so what? Ambiguity is not error merely an inconvenience. Whatever Pope Francis leaves ambiguous a future John Paul III or Benedict XVII or John XXIV or Francis II etc can clarify.

            >Provisional Applications of Church Doctrine, Church Discipline and Prudential Admonitions - Conscientious Obedience [The believer obeys (the spirit of) any church law or disciplinary action which does not lead to sin, even when questioning the ultimate value or wisdom of the law or action.]

            This would apply to CP as a Prudential Admonition but I don't see how it is Church Law or Church discipline? For example via Church Law and Discipline I have no business being ordained a Bishop as a married man (even thought as a Baptized male I would be valid matter for the Sacrament and any such Episcopal Consecration would be a valid Sacrament. But the moment I accept such an ordination I and the idiot Bishop who consecrated me would be excommunicated. Nobody is going to excommunicate me (via what B16 taught) if I am still for the Death Penalty?

          • Dennis Bonnette

            As usual, you do your homework very well --- even if I might disagree with a couple of your findings.

            "the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes."

            As I understand it, this is a new teaching that directly abandons the old teaching of Aristotle and St. Thomas that the serious criminal behaved worse than the beast and thereby lost the legitimacy of exercising his right to life.

            This new teaching by Pope Francis appears to end that argument. Still, the other major line of argument justifying CP was that of double effect. Just as one has a right to self defense, which is an application of double effect, so too, the state may defend itself by totally removing from its company a nasty criminal.

            You will notice that the Pope did NOT use the term "intrinsically evil" in rejecting CP. He used the term, "inadmissible." This was a carefully chosen word, since he could hardly deny that the Church herself approved of CP in many instances down through history!

            So, what he appears to be doing is judging that, in light of modern penal reform, CP is no longer prudential to apply. Moreover, this prudential judgment appears to be made universal for all by calling the act now "inadmissible."

            An act which the Church herself approved of for centuries obviously cannot suddenly become "intrinsically evil."

            As to the texts of the OT, I defer to real scripture scholars, but I still think the listing of death penalties immediately after the Commandment not to kill carries weight.

            Moreover, even the translation of "Thou shalt not kill" is not universal, since I believe the Oxford edition carries the more precise wording, "Thou shalt not do murder." For, not all killing is forbidden, nor is it murder -- as in the case of self defense or just acts of war.

            As for the various levels of obedience required by the Church to her teaching, you are quite right and I already knew of the various levels of adherence to teaching that are demanded.

            That is specifically why I used the phrase "dogmatic interpretations," since there are but few of these as Jimmy Akin points out.

            Lesser force of teachings may indeed apply to other passages of Scripture regarding their proper interpretation.

            Ludwig Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma lists even more degrees of teaching authority than you do there, with corresponding differing levels of adherence required.

          • WCB-2

            God could grant all men the maximum theological virtues, as per Aquinas. Or put his laws in our inner most parts as per the prophets. Or chose an initial state of creation that gave us all true beliefs in God. God had a choice when he created man. To create man God had to design man, including Man's moral nature. God had three choices.

            A. Create man with a bad moral nature.
            B. Create man with an indifferent moral nature.
            C. Create man with a good moral nature.

            We didn't get C. God could speak to us now and fails to. This does not seem to be a Universe with a God we will ever have to worry about explaining himself to us after death.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            If you knew Aquinas, you would realize that what you say is incorrect.

            According to St. Thomas, virtue is a good habit. A moral virtue is a good moral habit. But habits are formed through repeated actions of a good or bad type. So, we are not born with either moral virtue or moral vice. These are moral habits that we acquire through repeating good or bad actions through life. They are not able to be "given" at birth. One may have a natural disposition to be gentle and kind. But that has no moral value until we consent to such actions and make them grow in intensity and frequency by such choices.

            And God does not just "give" us a moral nature. By creating intellectual animals (man), God creates persons with an intellectual appetite or will. How we use it determines what kinds of good or bad moral habits, virtues or vices, that we form as we live.

            God created man so designed human nature that we necessarily form good or bad character by repetitively good or bad choices. It is good that he made us as intellectual beings, and as such, it necessarily follows that we would have freedom that would enable us to make morally good or bad choices. Thereby, we can freely live a good life that prepares us for our last end in Heaven.

            "God could speak to us now and fails to."

            Nonsense. God speaks to us through our conscience formed from a right understanding of our nature and which acts conform to it. He has also spoken to us through divine revelation. You just are not listening.

            "This does not seem to be a Universe with a God we will ever have to worry about explaining himself to us after death."

            After death, it will not be God who has to do the explaining.

            It will be me and you.

          • WCB-2

            According to Aquinas, God grants mankind the theological virtues.

            Aquinas -Summa Theologica
            Question 62 - The Theological Virtues
            Pars Prima Secunda Part 1

            And these principles are called theological virtues, not only because
            (a) they have God as their object, but also because
            (b) they are infused in us by God alone and because
            (c) these virtues are made known (tradunt ur) to us only through divine revelation, in Sacred Scripture.

            I do know Aquinas. Now if we get our theological virtues "infused in us by God alone", why does not God grant all mankind maximum theological virtues. See also Aquinus on beatitudes.

            Now let us discuss original sin. First, there is no original sin in Genesis. That is an idea that was a bad idea from Paul. But then, why would God not eliminate original sin on day one? Removing an evil that would cripple our theological virtues?

            Where does OS come from? Did God create it? Or did it just pop into existence somehow surprising God? How is it transmitted? Does God ladle out original sin to each new soul? Or does it just sort of infect each new soul from it's parents/? why does God allow it in any case.

            Does Aquinas have anything useful to say about original sin in light of his doctrine of theological virtues?

          • Dennis Bonnette

            You write: "I do know Aquinas. "

            If you do know Aquinas, the first thing you would know is that he is a theologian. He uses philosophy in doing his theology. But he is primarily a theologian.

            Just reading some of the primary texts of St. Thomas does not make you a Thomistic philosopher. As was wisely observed, the only way you really get to know any philosophical school is to study under the practitioners of that tradition. Effectively, that is why I went to graduate school at the U. of Notre Dame.

            What I told you above was correct. I was describing the natural virtues, which are known with unaided reason.

            Now you want to shift to the theological virtues which presuppose divine grace and are whose object is God.
            All that presupposes the truth of Catholic divine revelation. I thought you wanted to discuss what can be known about man in light of unaided reason or pure philosophy. So, suddenly you are a Catholic?

            If you now assume the truth of the Catholic faith, then how God gives grace to men must be understood in terms of the Church he founded and the Sacraments he gave to her priests. This is a very different ball game, which I did not even pretend to address above. Suffice it to say, to whom God chooses to give a supernatural gift such as sanctifying grace is up to him alone, since it is something superadded to human nature, and thus, something which he has absolutely no obligation at all to give to us.

            Frankly, if you now want to shift the topic to original sin, about which you evidently know absolutely nothing, then I suggest you read my book, Origin of the Human Species, which deals with such matters.

            It amazes me how many people think they could work out how to create man and supervise his destiny better than God himself. It must be great to be omniscient, even though you are not God.

          • WCB-2

            I have been familiar with Aquinas for many years now.

            Yes, Aquinas is a theologian. He was also a philosopher, who tried to reconcile philosophy with religion. His Summa contains many references to Aristotle.

            My problem with God and The Problem Of Evil goes way back, years. This is just another way of looking deeper into the problem.

            My criticism stands. "(b) they are infused in us by God alone"

            This "God is not a moral agent" proposition does not work. God's failure to act is an act. If God could grant us all maximum theological virtues, and fails, his failure to act is an act. If God could banish original sin on the first day and did not, God acts by not acting. But we do not have to rely on Aquinas and his theological theories for strong atheist arguments. I just did that because JtS insisted only on considering Catholic theology in these arguments. and brushing off good atheist arguments with some nasty ad hominems. I am "ignorant and illiterate" et al.

            If God is omniscient and creates all, the world he creates is hard determined, and God creates all including, all acts of moral evil.

            These are easy to understand atheist arguments. But my main goal in these arguments was to gut, scale and fillet the "God is not a moral agent" nonsense.

            I have actually read Brian Davies' book, "The Reality Of God and The Problem Of Evil". So I am nit exactly failing to give theology a hearing here. Davies is no more correct in his assessment of "God is not a moral agent" than Aquinas, or Your buddy JtS. Remember, Davies is a Roman Catholic.

            Over the last two years I have seen this argument pop up, and have been thinking about it and trying to deal with it. I am now convinced it was indeed a bad argument. That it did violence to theological claims God is merciful, just, compassionate and fair as per the divine revelation, the Bible.

            That hordes of theologians have not seemed to catch on to that simple idea also tells me a lot about the state of theology. That Aquinas didn't realize his idea that God is not a moral agent (as per Davies) also tells me a lot about Aquinas. Aquinas is not infallible.

            You did not seem here to deal with my arguments. Does an infinite God who could act and does not for the good act by refusing to act?

            Creation of all and God's omniscience are a big problem also. Aquinas here does not realize a God that creates all and is omniscient (God's knowledge Q 14) is a problem for explaining the existence of moral evil.

            Question 3. God is simple. One of the oldest dogmas of Christianity dating back to Iraeneus and Clement of
            Alexandia. If so, God creates all the logic and metaphysical necessities of the world. and can have any state of affairs God wants. Simplicity of God then becomes an argument that creates problems for the concept of God.

            There is more, lots more.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            "My problem with God and The Problem Of Evil goes way back, years."

            Here are two of my SN articles dealing with this problem:

            https://strangenotions.com/hell-and-gods-goodness/ and

            https://strangenotions.com/how-to-approach-the-problem-of-evil/

            As I point out in that second article, if you insist on approaching the question of evil from the wrong end, you will never resolve it satisfactorily.

            You seem hung up on the "God is not a moral agent" issue. Frankly, I have never even used it myself, since I in demonstrating that God is the needed First Cause of all finite being, we know that all good things come from God.

            Since nothing can give what it does not have, God must be good. As you should know, the divine simplicity requires that any property God has must be his very being. Thus God is pure goodness.

            Hence, anything God creates must be good since it comes from his pure goodness.

            Now you have a problem, since you think God should have done this or that, which you, if you were God, think you would have done. But you are not God.

            God can cause good things, such as creatures with free will, which may permit them to do bad things. It is licit to allow someone to do something bad, provided you don't make them do it, and some greater good may ensue.

            Unless you know that what God permitted in making free creatures does not result in some greater good, you have no rational grounds for accusing him of being evil. Unless, of course, you know more than God does.

            And so, you have problems with God not infusing theological virtues, which are a pure gift above the very nature of man. And you don't see why God did not prevent original sin or banish its effects "on the first day."

            But in these and all other cases of God creating a world in which things can go wrong or not be as perfect as you think they should be, you are playing God yourself in thinking that you know his plans and could do better if only God had listened to you before he did these things.

            Your unsolvable problem is that you can only make your case if you can prove that no greater good comes from God's plan for the world and his creatures. I don't have to give all the details of his plans and why they produce a greater good in order to show that your entire atheistic skepticism presupposes that you know more about God's plans than he does.

            That is why, when you start with a proper natural theology, which first demonstrates God's existence and infinite goodness, you know from the get go that there can never be a problem of evil that cannot be solved -- unless you can prove that God directly causes positive evil in the world. Unless the power of freedom is itself evil, you are stuck -- since freedom can explain a lot of bad things without tracing them directly to God's will.

            But, if you know so much Thomism, you must know that creating spiritual creatures, who are persons, necessarily entails giving them intellects and free wills. And if a will is truly free, it can be misused.

            Now, you complain about why God allows us to actually misuse our free will. But that comes back to what I said above. Now you are thinking your know more than God about his plans and how he permits evil that even greater good comes from it than would otherwise be possible.

            It seems to me that both St. Augustine and St. Thomas give pretty much this same argument. See Summa Theologiae, I, q. 2, a. 3, ad. 1.

            And, did I say a single word about God not being a moral agent?

          • Jim the Scott

            He doesn't know Aquinas. He thinks the Council of Trent teaches there are 66 books in the Bible. He is either being a troll and faking ignorance for its own sake to be a pain in the arse or he really is this ignorant in which he should at least have enough common sense to not comment on what he does not understand.

            Also his so called "God's failure to act is an act." nonsense implies God is obligated to do some sort of specific good for us and the whole point of God not being a moral agent is God is not obligated to do any specific good for us.. God is not obligated to give an equal distribution of theological virtues or any to his creature. God could allow a baby to be born and die shortly after baptism and give the wee bairn no virtues before taking him/her to Heaven. He is either trolling or he really can't comprehend non-starter objections and or begging the question.

            It is like if he was arguing with a Pantheist and let us say for the sake of argument came up with a brilliant defeater argument for divine creation (yeh given his lack of skill that is quite a stretch to imagine but just go with it) and keep hurling it at the Pantheist and the poor Pantheist keeps trying to explain to to him in vain he dina believes God is a creator but as we see with WCB-2 that is in one ear oot the other. He is either deliberately being a troll ignoring this to provoke anger (maybe to get somebody banned?) or he is that dull. Like the bisexual comedian actress Sandra Bernheart on a Saturday night it can go either way.

            Anyway Doc if I am not mistaken what you have argued here seems to resemble what is called "the Theistic Skepticism" view? It is the view God allows specific evils for some greater good that we are not privy to and in principle we cannot know what that good happens to be given we don't have a God's Eye view of all creation.

            The Atheist philosopher Rowe has some success arguing against this view with his Evidentialist Argument from Evil.
            Thought the jury is still out wither or not he ultimately succeeds.

            Father Brian Davies for the sake of argument treats Rowe Argument as successful but his "God is not a moral agent argument" (which is just an observation that was in fact the universal view of God prior to the Enlightenment) renders the whole question moot as the good that comes from God permitting evil in that scheme can be not some greater unknowable metaphysical mysterious reason beyond human comprehension but something simple like a final causality. A lion eats a wee girl and the good that comes from it is the lion has a meal so it may thrive because God doesn't owe it to the little girl or lamb or whatever not to be eaten as God did not have to make the material world in the first place because there is no such thing as the best of all possible worlds. There is no such world so good God is obligated to make it and none so bad God as long as it partakes of being God should refrain from making it.

            Now does this mean God can do what he likes to us? No His nature prevents Him from creating a world where evil itself is the final cause. All evil in any world he makes is tentative and temporary. Which is why God can tell the Israelites to kill the Canaanites even the woman and children but they can't be commanded to slowly torture them to death or rape and sodomize them to death.

            I would have gladly explained all this to WCB-2 but I don't think he cares to listen. He just wants to waste time arguing against a "god" nobody here believes in. Silly lad.

            He is really silly.

            Cheers boss.

          • Rob Abney

            It seems to me that you are looking for someone to give/tell you the truth of God, while at the same time you feel pretty self assured in your own assessment of reality. You’re even holding out for God to “gently explain things”.
            I suggest that what you need will not come from others or from yourself, both are filled with errors, but what you need will come from God Himself. He only asks that you know Him, not that you know about him and especially not that you know everything.
            It’s most like a man meeting his wife, he suddenly knows her even if he knows nothing about her. And many men know their wife by having faith that she exists before they even meet her, when he does meet her his faith is affirmed. He will then learn about her but only after he first knows her.

            Education, books, and friends cannot replace that one instance when you know God, it almost always happens during some form of prayer and fasting.

          • WCB-2

            Jeremiah 31:33-34
            33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saiththe Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
            34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

            See also:
            Ezekiel 36:26-8, Isaiah 59:20-21, Jeremiah 24:6-7, Jeremiah 31:33-34, Ezekiel 11:19, 1 Samuel 10:9, 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

            This is exactly what God repeatedly promises to do in the prophets. With the Great Commission, god could have put his laws into the hearts of all man. Paul tells us god predestines all, selects the elect and non-election from the beginning of time. God the Great Potter choose who will be "vessels of wrath" and who will be "vessels of mercy"

          • Rob Abney

            What part doesn't make sense to you?

          • Jim the Scott

            It doesn't make sense to him yet he and Michael have been crowing that the Bible is clear and clearly teaches God is a moral agent or that the Bible is plain to understand.....

            Mad lads.

          • WCB-2

            Some people believe God called them. To be Christioans. Hare Krishnas, members of Isis, some religious cult leader of the other.

            The verses I quote demonstrate that God has supposedly promised to give his believers the laws of God written into their hearts.

            But with the Great Commission, God does not do that. So we have squabbling religions all claiming to be the One True Religion.

          • WCB-2

            Mainly, the entirety of Paul's theology. And failure of God to puts his laws in our hearts as promised in the prophets. God's omniscience in conjunction with his omnibenevolence and creation of all. For starters.

          • Rob Abney

            Sorry, I certainly can’t help your understanding of all that in a combox. You’ll need to spend a lot of time with someone who wants to teach all of that to you. Try RCIA at a local Catholic Church.

          • Philip Rand

            WCB-2

            Very interesting comment WCB-2, very interesting indeed... it explains your ethical need to accept the multiverse...

          • Mark

            Moral intuitions

            So glad you didn't fall into the trap I left you of "I don't know, yet". I was going to pounce on that :)

            Science, according to skeptics, helps us overcome our inherently flawed and unreliable intuitions. If I may play skeptic's advocate here, there is no justification to believe your intuitions. First, there is no normative premise or necessary condition for this epistemic belief of your intuition. It is unjustifiably locally applied to morality. Your intuition cannot be independently calibrated or verified. Your intuitions lack explanatory necessity. Therefore your skepticism is arbitrarily selective and your intuitions are inherently unreliable and thus your epistemology seems rather irrational how you apply it. You appeal to science because you are skeptic of your intuition and you appeal to intuition because science lacks the ability ascertain certain knowledge. The way out of this is to accept an objective moral authority or become a moral nihilist or pretend this isn't an epistemic problem.

            "But I am supposed to believe that Jesus wanted jerks like Origen and Tertullian and Constantine and Eusebius and Jerome to carry his mantle?"

            You forgot jerks like you and I and all the other baptized Catholic here and throughout her 2k year history that entered into ordinary priesthood. So yes. But I do take exception to the two heretics you mentioned. Also Eusebius was sympathetic to Origen's heresy as well. Had he been given the choice he may have joined the h club. Constantine became Catholic on his deathbed, so you must have some insight into his very short Catholic jerkiness. Not sure why Jerome is a jerk, other than like all of us, by default. Either way, yes, Jesus left his authority up to complete jerks and I've played the part well. But he also promised a Paraclete to guide our intuition and science lacks the ability to help you know it.

            "The entire story of salvation history as taught to me by priests, nuns, and theologians hinges on things like Adam and Moses being real people. Yes, it does matter. If they are wrong, if a few blocks get pulled out, the whole thing crumbles." No, the entire story hinges on the Cornerstone the builders rejected. Either He is what She professes or none of any of this matters. Nobody is asking you to jettison you ability to reason nor scientific skepticism nor intuition. I'm just asking you to explain the epistemology coherently and morality presented to me roadblock my love of science couldn't explain. I had to make tough decisions on what is real and I couldn't pay the price skepticism demanded.

          • BTS

            Therefore your skepticism is arbitrarily selective and your intuitions are inherently unreliable and thus your epistemology seems rather irrational how you apply it.

            Your approach in this latest response is that I essentially need to distrust my own intuition and instead trust someone else's. (Church leaders). How is that any better? You are straw-manning the entire enterprise.

            What set of tools would you propose, then? What toolset is it you suggest we use? Science is just a subset of reason. It's not perfect but what else is there? I ask again, if I wake from a coma in a strange room, should I [only] sit there and think about my predicament or should I start poking and prodding at the doors and windows? That's what life is, we wake up and try to figure things out. We need to poke and prod.

            The way out of this is to accept an objective moral authority

            False dichotomy. Many, many options exist, including creating a moral system we can all live with. Oh wait, that is what we already Do do.
            1) How did this become a discussion of whether or not objective morality exists?
            2) I have not claimed anything at all about science and morality.

            You appeal to science because you are skeptic of your intuition and you appeal to intuition because science lacks the ability ascertain certain knowledge.

            Not quite. I said science can inform and sometimes provide useful information to refute philosophical positions. I took no position or made no argument about morality yet. Different can of worms.

            But he also promised a Paraclete to guide our intuition and science lacks the ability to help you know it.

            By what tried and true process to do I find the holy spirit and ascertain what are true messages, what messages are deceivers, what are non-messages or synaptic misfires, i.e., Texas sharpshooter fallacies (finding patterns where there are none) ?

            Constantine became Catholic on his deathbed, so you must have some insight into his very short Catholic jerkiness.

            Constantine used Catholicism to bring order to the empire and he used the empire to bring order to the church. And a hierarchical imperial setup of Church authority. Constantine believed in "gods" out of convenience and utility. I don't believe Jesus wanted, predicted, or shepherded any of that.

            I'm just asking you to explain the epistemology coherently and morality presented to me roadblock my love of science couldn't explain.

            Please reword. Can't make out your point here.

            Nobody is asking you to jettison you ability to reason nor scientific skepticism nor intuition.

            The way I see it, yes, absolutely, you are asking me to check my brain at the door, to assume that any time I see a conflict between faith and science to assume faith is correct. You are asking me to just ignore all that cognitive dissonance.

            I think one of the essential differences between you and me is that you believe in Church authority without questioning it and I don't. I need to come to believe in Church authority on my own terms and I'm not there yet. Probably not ever.

            Are the any Church teachings at all that you disagree with? If not, we have nothing to talk about. You can just post a link to the catechism and we're pretty much done.

          • Mark

            "Your approach in this latest response is that I essentially need to distrust my own intuition and instead trust someone else's." Trusting the moral teachings of the a human that can resurrect himself and calls himself God is a different level of intuition than yours, so yes. You're straw-manning God's position.

            "False dichotomy.Many, many options exist, including creating a moral system we can all live with. Oh wait, that is what we already Do do." Actually it's not. You're referencing a subjective moral system and I'm not. What you're advocating here is moral relativism which is irrational and not objective, but we can all live with it yes because it is meaningless. Or you're referencing some other objective moralism like utilitarianism which is arbitrary because it carries no authority. Unless you invented something new that fits the bill of objective moral system grounded in a reasoned universal authority. I'm all ears.

            "How did this become a discussion of whether or not objective morality exists?"

            Mark:There is a whole bunch of other knowledge science is simply not the purvey of where our intuitions will never be rescued by science almighty.

            BTS:This is the heart of our disagreement. I'm not really sure there is a whole bunch of other knowledge that science is simply "not the purvey of." I'm not convinced.

            Mark: How do you know the scientific experiments of Josef Mengele were illicit?

            BTS: "Moral intuition." (God or evolution)

            Here you claim not only moral knowledge exists but you can arrive at knowing it through intuition. Whatever that means it's certainly not objective and it's not scientific, although you appealed to evolution. (Which, unless you have quantitative data for such claim is only an appeal to ignorance and at odds with primitive cultures we discovered)

            Which I find it peculiar because you also claimed:

            "I have not claimed anything at all about science and morality."

            Your claim of moral knowledge follows from subjective intuition seems to me special pleading because of this claim:

            "Generally, my point is you should be open to changing your philosophical commitments if science shows you the world works differently than you thought." That claim is the one I took as a you being skeptic of intuition. So I'm trying to understand how your epistemology deems science is superior to intuition on one hand and inferior (or possibly silent?) when it comes to intuition on the other hand. You've called it a different can of worms. I agree. I agree to the point where it is not the purvey of science which was my point I was trying to make to begin with: science should stay in it's lane because science does not help us understand qualitative knowledge. Thinking science can give us qualitative knowledge is scientism. Thinking science only has one presupposition is absurd. Not caring about the PNC when you appeal to science is absurd.

            "I think one of the essential differences between you and me is that you believe in Church authority without questioning it and I don't." I don't agree. I question the crap out of many prudential decisions. The dogma I have difficulty swallowing I lay at my saviors feet. I no longer question if she is superior to me in moral truths because I was/am a failure and I the only way can ascertain how I've changed my ways and remain virtuous is by admitting the grace she promised is working within me and the people who have forgiven me.

          • BTS

            Trusting the moral teachings of the a human that can resurrect himself

            Going from 'moral intuitions exist' to 'moral intuitions came from god' is a huge leap. We'd have to start with the believability of the resurrection and I have major problems with the evidence. That's a topic for another day. I think Kreeft's articles on the Resurrection on this site are awful. But I need to stay on topic. (er...maybe)

            I don't have the same problems with subjective morality that you do. I've thought about this a lot and it seems to me that even if objective morality exists (open for debate) we have a very difficult or impossible task to access it. Who cares if objective morality exists if you cannot get the Muslims, Mormons or Nones to agree to it? It is hard enough getting Americans to agree that we should not elect a president who grabs women by the genitals. Objective morality may exist or may not. That may be irrelevant, unfortunately. I'm more concerned with what we can get people to agree to in practice. If its so obviously objective then how come people don't agree? You think only your version is objective. Why are there saintly, devoted Catholics who wholeheartedly disagree that homosexuality is a sin?

            So I'm trying to understand how your epistemology deems science is superior to intuition

            Not quite. Science is like a set of guardrails for intuition.

            because science does not help us understand qualitative knowledge.

            Yes it can.

            I no longer question if she is superior to me in moral truths because I was/am a failure

            I have enough voices in my head telling me I'm a failure. I don't need the Church's voice adding to the cacophany.
            Please name one dogma you sincerely disagree with. Name one thing where you think the Church is dead wrong. I'm very curious to know.

            I'm going to give you the last word because I think we are on a treadmill going nowhere, rehashing all the same stuff.

          • WCB-2

            Faith Vs Fact - Why Science And Religion Are Incompatible
            Jerry Coyne 2015

            I learned about the nature of science the hard way. After an undergraduate education in biology at a small southern college, I was determined to get a Ph.D. in evolutionary genetics at the best laboratory in that field. At the time, that was the laboratory of Richard Lewontin at Harvard’s Museum
            of Comparative Zoology, for Lewontin was widely seen as the world’s best evolutionary geneticist. But soon after I arrived and began working on evolution in fruit flies, I thought I’d made a terrible mistake. Shy and reserved, I felt as if I’d been hurled into a pit of unrelenting negativity. In research seminars, the audience seemed determined to dismantle the credibility of the speaker. Sometimes they wouldn’t even
            wait until the question period after the talk, but would rudely shout out critical questions and comments during the talk itself. When I thought I had a good idea and tentatively described it to my fellow graduate students, it was picked apart like a flounder on a plate. And when we all discussed science around the big rectangular table in our commons room, the atmosphere was heated and contentious. Every piece of work, published or otherwise, was scrutinized for problems problems that were almost always found. This made me worry that whatever science I managed to produce could never make the grade. I even thought about leaving graduate school. Eventually, fearful of being criticized, I simply kept my mouth shut and listened. That went on for two years. But in the end, that listening was my education in science, for I learned that the pervasive
            doubt and criticality weren’t intended as personal attacks, but were actually the essential ingredients in science, used as a form of quality control to uncover the researcher’s misconceptions and mistakes. Like Michelangelo’s sculpturing, which he saw as eliminating marble to reveal the statue within, the critical scrutiny of scientific ideas and
            experiments is designed, by eliminating error, to find the core of truth in an idea. Once I’d learned this, and developed a skin thick enough to engage in the inevitable to-and-fro, I began to enjoy science. For if you can tolerate the criticality and doubt—and they’re not for everyone — the process of science yields a joy that no other job confers: the chance to
            be the first person to find out something new about the universe.

          • BTS

            Thanks, I read one of Coyne's books on evolution and enjoyed it very much.

          • WCB-2

            In a very real sense, this is what I am doing here. Putting forth the best arguments I can and challenging weak points in theism. This is about as "scientific" as theology will ever get close to. This is where science starts as Jerry Coyne tells us in his quote above.

            As a result, eventually, science drops bad theories and reaches a general consensus as to what the evidence shows.

            This approach is known to some as analytical theology.

          • David Nickol

            It doesn't matter if there was an actual event as depicted in Exodus.

            It doesn't???

          • David Nickol

            In John 5:45-47, Jesus not only speaks of Moses, but he seems to affirm that Moses wrote the Torah:

            45 Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father: the one who will accuse you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope.
            46 For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me.
            47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

            If there was no Exodus, then it is very difficult to claim there was a Moses, isn't it?

          • Mark

            I'll clarify what I think was clearly implied:

            "It doesn't matter if there was an actual event as (was literally) depicted in Exodus."

            The exodus event as told in Exodus need not be a literal historical parting of the red sea with a million people following Moses to the promised land. Salvation history is still perfectly intact if only several thousand Hebrews slaves left Egypt following Moses and they walked into the desert through a swampy shallow a few Egyptian soldiers couldn't trespass. God still would be guiding salvation history and the cornerstone would still come out of the tradition of the Hebrew people and Abraham's God.

            Also where in John's verse does Jesus say Moses wrote the entirety of the Torah and it should be believed unquestionably to be God's literal historical narrative of history. It doesn't. That's a long leap from "he wrote about me". So that's a non-sequitur. The only difficult claim is the implied truth that your interpretation of Jesus words carries any authority on salvation history. You'll need to walk on water or show me where He gave you Divine authority to interpreting his words for Catholics Dave. It's strange you press on subject matter like this because I know you know the Catholic response you're going to get.

          • David Nickol

            I'll clarify what I think was clearly implied:

            "It doesn't matter if there was an actual event as (was literally) depicted in Exodus."

            That's some "clarification." Your initial statement prompted me to ask, "If there was no Exodus, then it is very difficult to claim there was a Moses, isn't it?" You didn't answer that question.

            Salvation history is still perfectly intact if only several thousand Hebrews slaves left Egypt following Moses and they walked into the desert through a swampy shallow a few Egyptian soldiers couldn't trespass.

            What evidence is there that this scaled-down version of the Exodus actually happened? (That is a rhetorical question. I am not willing to argue the archaeological evidence here.) There is real doubt among reasonable scholars that there was no Exodus and no Moses. I am just asking the question, "What if they are right?"

            Also where in John's verse does Jesus say Moses wrote the entirety of the Torah . . . .

            My question was what we make of Jesus's references too Moses if there was no Moses?

            You'll need to walk on water or show me where He gave you Divine authority to interpreting his words for Catholics Dave.

            How would you characterize this remark of yours? Where have I ever claimed, or implied, or hinted that I had divine authority to interpret scripture??? All I have done so far in this brief interchange is ask questions. Apparently that is an offense of some sort.

            It's strange you press on subject matter like this because I know you know the Catholic response you're going to get.

            To the best of my knowledge, there is no single "Catholic answer" to any question about the historicity of the Exodus or the existence of Moses. Most results I have found from googling so far argue the archaeological evidence and do not speculate about the possibility that Moses never existed.

          • Jim the Scott

            Brevity is the soul of wit...with that in mind.

            My reading I don't think Mark said there was no Moses or no exodus?

            It could be interpreted that way (sans his clarification). But it doesn't have to be.

          • David Nickol

            It's not clear to me that it is worth further discussion. However, the question I raised was what if the story of the Exodus never happened at all, and Moses never existed? It's my understanding that serious Jewish scholars entertain the possibility. Is the Exodus "necessary" to Catholic dogma and doctrine in the same way many here insist there is literal truth in the story of Adam and Eve—that is, that the human race had to have begun with two and only two "first parents"?

          • Jim the Scott

            I would say "Yes" there was an Exodus. It seems based on ordinary theological norms it would be required & given science tells us of ancient floods in the Black Sea area I would include Noah but I don't entertain a global flood and as Early as the late 18th and 19th centuries the Vatican intelligencia thought the same thing. Are there some stories in the Bible that can be pious fiction? It has been suggested Tobit and maybe Job are just extended parables.

            That is all I know off the top of my head.

            Maybe this too...

            Adam & Eve being literal in some fashion is listed as an infallible dogma by Ott. God created the First Man(Defide).

          • Johannes Hui

            Hi David,

            What would your recommendation be to how Christians (is inclusive of all three main groups - Orthodox, Roman Catholics and Protestants) approach the bible, metaphysics/philosophy and church teachings?

            eg one recommendation may come in this manner: the documents in the Christian bible should be analysed critically like any other ancient documents without giving these documents any superior or inferior status, the ontological question of why there is something rather than nothing should be thought through deeply, church teachings should be tested critically, etc

          • David Nickol

            What would be your recommendation on how Christians (ie inclusive of those in the three main groups - Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholics and Protestants) should approach the bible, metaphysics/philosophy and church teachings in their honest and courageous search for truth?

            Forgive this late response. It's going to take some time for me to come up with an answer. To complicate matters, I think Jews should be included when it comes to approaches to the "Old Testament." It seems bizarre to me to claim Jews were supposed to wait until the establishment of the Catholic Church to have someone to authoritatively interpret Hebrew Scripture—especially when Christianity invalidated so much of it.

          • Johannes Hui

            Take your time David. Thanks for putting in the time and effort to think through it. :)

          • Ficino

            Johannes, you may want to disambiguate "should". That modal auxiliary can do different kinds of work.

          • Johannes Hui

            Johannes, you may want to disambiguate "should". That modal auxiliary can do different kinds of work.

            @DavidNickol:disqus

            My “should” is to be interpreted within the context of the goal to seek the truth about ultimate reality.

          • Jim the Scott

            Let me second what Mark says. We can believe Moses authored the Torah in whatever its early form was and we can believe maybe 20,000 people followed him out of the country.

            Given the language conventions does 600,000 mean literally 600 thousand (eleph) men or 600 military units(eleph)? I haven't even included the theory the census numbers are astronomical calculations given as a sort of code & not literal census numbers or the text may have been revised based on a later census taking. Then there is the Gimetria of 603,550 (+1 since you need the add the reader of the Torah to the number)......

            There is no reason to deny an Exodus just because you don't hold a fundamentalist view of it.

          • WCB-2

            Numbers gives exact numbers of men from each tribe. See Numbers 1.

            Numbers 1:46 Even all they that were numbered were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty.

            600K double that for old men and boys. Double that for women and girls 2 1/2 millions. The Bible is faux history. They supposedly camped out at Kedesh Barnea for 38 years.

            Several archaeological investigations of that area have found nothing at all from this supposed campsite which would have been the biggest city in the world if we take Numbers seriously.

          • Jim the Scott

            You poor sad person. It wasn't written in English. The word "Elef" in Hebrew can mean "Thousand" it can also mean "Chieftain" or "Military Unit". So 600,000 can be translated 600 military units which means an average of 5 to 10 men per unit so that real number is anywhere between 3000 to 6000.

            This is assuming the Astronomy calculation theory doesn't apply which is even more fun. So really there is no reason to believe 2 million people where involved in the Exodus especially considering Egypt at its height in ancient times never had more than 3 million people.

            These has been know for centuries. I looked it up in my commentary. Too bad. So sad.

            BTW do you wish to cite more Young Earth Creationist "Scientists" or make more claims Trent teaches the Bible has 66 books instead of 73?

            Now go away.

          • WCB-2

            Balderdash. A good number of expert archaeologist well versed in ancient Hebrew have debunked that sad little apologist dodge.

            Numbers 1:43
            43 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Naphtali, were fifty and three thousand and four hundred.
            etc.

            Does that sound like it means military unit or thousands?

            Maybe you, Jim the Scott, world famous ancient Hebrew scholar can go straighten out those ignorant Near East archeologists. William Dever, Amahai Mazar, Nadav Na'aman, Israel Finkelstein, and no and on. Who am I going to trust? Them or some random guy on the internet?

          • Jim the Scott

            Not even one has done this. Also it is not the only explanation. There is still the idea the texts where revised over the centuries and the 2 million number would represent the population of Israel in the 9th centuries and the idea they are Astronomical calculations has a lot of force as well.

            >Maybe you, Jim the Scott, world famous ancient Hebrew scholar can go straighten out those ignorant Near East archeologists. William Dever, Amahai Mazar, Nadav Na'aman, Israel Finkelstein..

            Why do I have too? Christian Archeologist Kenneth Kitchen agrees with their data and so do I. I really believe there is no evidence 2 million people made a mass migration between 1500 and 1200 BC. But I don't believe there where 2 million people in the Exodus especially in light of the other explainations which have NOT been debunked. How do you prove the numbers where not revised at a later date? How do you prove they are not astronomical calculations and thus symbolic numbers? Even if you take elef to mean "thousand"?

            You can't. Oh well then. Thanks for playing.

          • WCB-2

            Christian archeologist? Oh, I see your problem.

            Apologism doesn't cut it.

            Nobody believes 2 1/2 million people left Egypt. But no really expert archeologist believes that Numbers means anything than other what it plainly does in fact mean.

            The Bible tells u vast numbers of Israelites were in Egypt. The Bible tells us the Egyptians were worried that the israelites would soon out number them

            Exodus 1
            8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.
            9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:
            10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.

            15 And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah:

            Yes, two midwives for Israelites who were as numerous as the largest nation in the world at that time! Two! The busiest and most over worked midwives in all of history!

            When you start playing quibble games, and pretending the Bible does not mean what every expert knows it means, you then have to start playing the same games with all the silly nonsense of Exodus - Numbers et al.

            Do you not think Near East archaeologists don't read the Bible and catch these ridiculous tall tales and understand them for what they really are?

          • Philip Rand

            WCB-2

            Starting from the first sentence of the Leningrad Codex and counting each subsequent sentence; one finds that the 5704 sentence reads:

            That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.

            Interestingly, the Jewish calendar year 5704 is 1948.

          • Jim the Scott

            What "expert" proves definitively the numbers are meant to be taken literally? There is not a single one. How would you even prove that in principle?

            If anything the experts say the opposite. Here are two.

            A DEFENSE OF THE HYPERBOLIC INTERPRETATION OF LARGE NUMBERS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT DAVID M. FOUTS*
            https://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/40/40-3/40-3-pp377-387_JETS.pdf

            THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN THE EXODUS FROM EGYPT: DECODING MATHEMATICALLY THE VERY LARGE NUMBERS IN NUMBERS I AND XXVI1
            by COLIN J. HUMPHREYS Cambridge

            https://www.godawa.com/chronicles_of_the_nephilim/Articles_By_Others/Humphreys%20-%20Number%20of%20People%20in%20the%20Exodus.pdf

            Submitted fer yer approval two radically different opinions(I like the first one BTW better). Either is plausible. Also the second is from a Professor at Cambridge. So a professor from Cambridge is not an expert. In addition to being a caught out liar WCB-2 you have proven to everybody here you are not educated. Did you even finish secondary school laddie?

            Begging us to hold to a Fundamentalist view of the Bible & confess perspicuity isn't gonna fly laddie. There are no fundies here except for you. But I suppose you can yet again dig up another Young Earth Creation scientist like you did before to "answer" these gentlemen. I am sure that would be very credible. Sorry i am kidding it wouldn't.

            Lastly because the Bible is NOT CLEAR and we Catholics presuppose that it is not clear it doesn't cause us to blink if "Elef" means thousand in one place and clan or military unit in another. Even within the same narrative as the Torah. By definition the Bible is obscure and needs a Tradition (2 Thes 2:15) and Church (1 Tim 3:15) to interpret it for us. WCB'2 yer interpretation means nothing. Only seven verses have been definitively interpreted by the Holy Church. The rest are up for grabs.

            I said it before and I literally meant it. It is futile for Atheists to argue the Bible with Catholics. Go pick on the Lutheran where this sort of nonsense will work. It is a non-starter here.

          • WCB-2

            Your Bible, not mine. Written by God himself. Council of Trent. Not my claim, it is your church's.

            Two! Two midwives to handle all those Israelites the Egyptians worried were out numbering them. Two! Sure we can trust the Bible.

          • Jim the Scott

            Yer interpretation of my Bible. Not our interpretation = non-starter. That God is the ultimate author of Holy Writ doesn't factor into it. We don't believe God can in principle create an absolutely clear text as that is intrinsically impossible given the nature of language.

            > Sure we can trust the Bible.

            But can we trust yer interpretation? Clearly not. Yer not the Pope.

            >Two! Two midwives to handle all those Israelites the Egyptians worried were out numbering them. Two! Sure we can trust the Bible.

            That would work just as well with 20,000 as it would with 2 million.

            Exodus 1:15–21

            So did they "multiply and grow" to 20000 to 50000 strong or 2 million? It can go either way? Also it doesn't settle the meaning of the word Elef. Then there is the David Flouts paper where the whole thing is moot.

          • WCB-2

            Two midwives, two! Two! And yet again, Exodus tells us the Egyptians were worried that the Israelites were breeding so fast that they out numbered the Egyptians! So that is hard to square with pretending that the vast figures of Numbers can be ignored. If instead of 2 1/2 million Israelites the Bible meant 20,000 makes Exodus 1:8-10 ridiculous. Exodus and Numbers are silly books.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Two midwives, two! Two!

            The text literally says(since that is yer thing) "Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah,". This doesn't mean there where only two midwives for the whole kingdom. It just refers to the two he spoke too likely who where in charge of many or all of them. That seems obvious and one need not confess any gods to know that.

            >"Exodus tells us the Egyptians were worried that the Israelites were breeding so fast that they out numbered the Egyptians!"

            So what? How do you get 2 million from that? At best this is the literary motif called "the Semitic Exaggeration" where it is custom in the Near East to overstate a case for dramatic effect. Or do we believe Jesus literally wants us to practice self mutilation of we have bad thoughts(Matt 5:29)? That would be a problem since both Judaism and Christianity forbid it.

            >So that is hard to square with pretending that the vast figures of Numbers can be ignored.

            Seriously? You have two women at best giving anecdotal information to the King. Do you really imagine these women did a complete survey with focus groups and call backs before they said this to the King?

            The text just says " And the people multiplied and grew very strong. " It doesn't tell us how many and event then given the language conventions how do we know if they will use Elef to mean Thousand or Military Unit?

            We don't. Thanks for playing.

          • WCB-2

            NAB Genesis 1:15

            The king of Egypt told the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was called Shiphrah and the other Puah,

            Sorry, but no matter how you twist the words of Genesis 1, there were only two midwives for the Israelites. You do not get to hand us your personal interpretation and tells us the very easy to understand words of Genesis 1 means something than what they actually say. Key words here are "one of whom" and "the other".

            The Bible often exaggerates! No! Tell us it ain't so! yes, it does. And sometimes just out and out lies. such as the exact numbers given to us in Numbers. Or for that matter, the entire Exodus tall tale from the captivity in Egypt to the bloody genocides of Joshua. The two contradictory tall tales of Genesis 1 and Genesis 2.

            I have several books by various apologists who try to explain this all away and they are a laugh riot. Maybe you can write another such book explaining all of this away to add to the pile?

          • Jim the Scott

            Oh WCB-2! Arguing with you is like playing a video game in godmode. Mowing down yer foe is easier than falling in love. You never manage to say anything that is even remotely learned or challenging? Yer no David Nickol or Ficino sir. That is for sure. How do you do that consistently?
            I still think this is a troll because nobody could be this clueless unless it was on purpose. I think yer making god awful bad arguments on purpose to make me loose my temper or something? Well it won't work I am too amused.

            > Sorry, but no matter how you twist the words of Genesis 1, there were only two midwives for the Israelites.

            Rather there are only two whose names are mentioned and addressed by Pharaoh. That seems obvious if we take a plain reading of the text. Yer argument by special pleading here not withstanding.

            > You do not get to hand us your personal interpretation and tells us the very easy to understand words of Genesis 1 means something than what they actually say.

            Well then why do you get to hand me your personal interpretation by yer own standards? Which clearly is not formulated by one of the four interpretive schemes that Ficino mentions (note Ficino is an ex-Catholic religious skeptic and a scholar of Aristotle's texts. He is a better informed non-believer then you mi' laddio but you are not a high bar to jump over in the first place I am afraid). So it is worthless.

            Sorry but yer opinion here is just that till the Church tells me otherwise and good luck waiting for that train to arrive at the station.

            >Key words here are "one of whom" and "the other".

            Actually it says:

            וַיֹּאמֶר מֶלֶךְ מִצְרַיִם, לַמְיַלְּדֹת הָעִבְרִיֹּת, אֲשֶׁר שֵׁם הָאַחַת שִׁפְרָה, וְשֵׁם הַשֵּׁנִית פּוּעָה.

            When you do some actual word studies and Grammar studies using original languages instead of reading nonsense into yer English KJV after consulting Chick Comics then get back to me .

            >The Bible often exaggerates! No!

            Yes in fact that is a recognized cultural genre. The "Semitic Exaggeration" as my professor called it. "If thy right eye offends thee pluck it out". etc
            So the book of Psalms speak of God enfolding us in his wings So you think that is literal? God is not Subsisting Being Itself but Cosmic Mega Chicken according to you? This is getting old WTC-2 and just plain sad.

            >And sometimes just out and out lies. such as the exact numbers given to us in Numbers.

            It is not a lie. It is just you misreading the Hebrew.

            >I have several books by various apologists who try to explain this all away and they are a laugh riot

            Yes Young Earth Creationism sucks! Tell me about it. Why you think I would be moved by this is the real laugh riot. What part of "We are Catholics here nor Baptists" do ye still nor get wee laddie?

            >Maybe you can write another such book explaining all of this away to add to the pile?

            If I did it would be above yer heid. Geez you think animals and inanimate objects can be "morally good" because they can do good? Yeh that is not true.

            On yer way laddie. The grown ups are talking and till you learn to make credible intelligent arguments yer sad attempts to make me a fundamentalist are simply that, sad.

            I am far too sophisticated for that. Live with it.

          • Rob Abney

            >Rob was called willfully ignorant and racist for whatever rhetorical reasons.

            Not for rhetorical reasons, but for good reasons.<

            Your righteousness is unbecoming for someone who claims to be “always civil”. I’m tempted to call you a hypocrite but I don’t like name-calling. I’m sure your either a relativist or a nominalist, since you make up your own definitions, for science and for civility.

          • David Nickol

            I’m tempted to call you a hypocrite but I don’t like name-calling.

            LOL! Such admirable restraint!

          • David Nickol

            There are two main reasons why one might suspect your position is racist.

          • Jim the Scott

            I hate when that happens.

            Cheers.

      • David Nickol

        Mostly what I see is the tool of science being used improperly, which is very much in line with the OP of this article. I also see science being misused to wag the dog.

        There has been 33 retracted Covid-19 studies in the last 6 months. How many of those were used as click-bait headlines by "journalist"?

        "Mostly what I see"??? What are your sources for news coverage of Covid-19?

        Could you attempt to answer your own question? That is, How many of those were used as click-bait headlines by "journalist"? Why is "journalists" in scare quotes? Do you see some hidden agenda in either scientific work on Covid-19 or news coverage of the same??

        • Mark

          That's a lot of questions Dave!

          >What are your sources for news coverage of Covid-19? Medscape. Read it daily. It is a reliable source for the most up to date information. Articles are commented on by credentialed professionals who use their real names and real credentials. Here I'm just a philosopher hack wannabe.

          >Could you attempt to answer your own question? How many? Scare quotes?.
          I can't count that high. Frankly I never pay attention to mainsteam media sources when it comes to health information except when I'm asked personally about a particular article or more commonly when I see them come across my social media feeds. I would say this would happen now every time I find the desire to waste my life away on FB. Sometimes I've already read the actual article, sometimes I've read an article from medscape contributor or a similar medical professional site. Journalism in the form of click-bait motivated articles that are reposted from your FB friends is how the majority of Americans get their news on Covid. Tell me I'm wrong. Every day I get asked in person, "Did you see that article about blah blah blah?" Yeah, the scientific article doesn't claim the conclusions the click-bait article pseudo-claims nearly all the time because the data is raw and incomplete or with known sampling bias or lack of quality P value etc. In the scientific article the authors always point out these problems with the study. Scientist are trying to get whatever info out they can to stimulate additional refined study. They are well aware the qualities of the studies are often lower than the journal's editorial boards typical standard. However a global pandemic requires us to lower the bar for the sake of advancement of knowledge faster. It may be "junkier" than what is customary, but that is for the good.

          >Hidden Agenda?

          Not from scientists. Yes from low-brow journalism.

          • BTS

            We can agree that social media is unhealthy and destructive, for the most part. I quit almost all of it. I spend maybe 5 mins a day on instagram to look at family and local city pics. That's about it. The effect on democracy, too, has been atrocious.

        • WCB-2

          There has actually been lots of bad covid click bait science available. Fox News, President Trump, BreitBart et al.

    • WCB-2

      For some here, that is all you will get. Don't expect much better.

  • BTS

    In "The Central Question of our time: The [increasing] tension between our two heritages," Richard Feynman frames this question appropriately and accurately.

    https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/05/11/richard-feynman-science-religion/

    He concludes, appropriately, like a scientist rather than a dogmatist — by framing the right questions rather than asserting the right answers:

    I don’t know the answer to this central problem — the problem of maintaining the real value of religion, as a source of strength and of courage to most [people], while, at the same time, not requiring an absolute faith in the metaphysical aspects.
    Western civilization, it seems to me, stands by two great heritages. One is the scientific spirit of adventure–the adventure into the unknown, an unknown which must be recognized as being unknown in order to be explored; the demand that the unanswerable mysteries of the universe remain unanswered; the attitude that all is uncertain; to summarize it — the humility of the intellect. The other great heritage is Christian ethics — the basis of action on love, the brotherhood of all men, the value of the individual — the humility of the spirit.

    These two heritages are logically, thoroughly consistent. But logic is not all; one needs one’s heart to follow an idea. If people are going back to religion, what are they going back to? Is the modern church a place to give comfort to a man who doubts God — more, one who disbelieves in God? Is the modern church a place to give comfort and encouragement to the value of such doubts? So far, have we not drawn strength and comfort to maintain the one or the other of these consistent heritages in a way which attacks the values of the other? Is this unavoidable? How can we draw inspiration to support these two pillars of Western civilization so that they may stand together in full vigor, mutually unafraid? Is this not the central problem of our time?

    • Jim the Scott

      These are interesting sentiments but God's existence can be known by natural reason via philosophical argument. There are many good philosophical arguments for Classic Theism's God there are no good arguments for Atheism and arguments for Theistic Personalism's Inteligent Design so called "god" are very questionable.

      If Feynman thinks God is a scientific question and not a purely philosophical one I am not interested in his doubts over a "god" neither of us believes in.

      That would just be plain boring.

      Cheers friend.

    • Mark

      I'm completely disinterested in sentiments such as this:

      not requiring an absolute faith in the metaphysical aspects.

      The metaphysical presuppositions of science require an absolute faith in the principle of uniformity of nature, the principle of substance, and the principle of causality. It's just that most scientists don't know they are dogmatic about these principles because one can go about doing science without ever having to admit to having philosophical metaphysical presuppositions. Why is it considered to be irrational or nonintellectual to admit dogmatic presuppositions. Knowledge acquisition doesn't start in a vacuum. It's absolutely absurd to pretend scientists are not dogmatist. I think it is because Science never gives dogmatic answers to the questions scientist seek. They are so in love with this mindset they thumb their noses at other dogmatist.

      • David Nickol

        Do you think that, if doing good science requires holding certain assumptions identified by philosophers as metaphysical, somehow metaphysics (or philosophy) is superior to science?

        Are you using dogmatist in a pejorative sense? I won't start quoting dictionary definitions, but based on most of them, to be called a dogmatist is definitely not a compliment.

        They are so in love with this mindset they thumb their noses at other dogmatist.

        Is this an indictment of all scientists? It sounds like it. What about Stephen M. Barr, author of Modern Physics and Ancient Faith?

        • Mark

          >Do you think that, if doing good science requires holding certain assumptions identified by philosophers as metaphysical, somehow metaphysics (or philosophy) is to science?

          Not entirely sure what is meant by this question. Science is only done by making these philosophical metaphysical commitments first. Scientists are doing philosophy whether or not they want to admit they are. Science starts with these commitments regardless of a scientists ability to identify them. Good science only comes from these commitments. Science is a dogmatic commitment to these metaphysical principles

          Dogmatism: the tendency to lay down principles as incontrovertibly true, without consideration of evidence or the opinions of others.

          Do you know any scientist that don't consider any of the principles I listed as incontrovertibly true? Do you know any scientists that engage with anti-realism philosophies? They are not scientific conclusions, they are metaphysical principles. I'm un-apologetically a dogmatic when it comes to realism. If it is pejorative, I'm self-deprecating.

          >Is this an indictment of all scientists?
          David in full disclosure I edited my previous comment to "Some" prior to your comment. No I don't think all scientist are this way. Please don't view this as a sleight of hand. You would be correct in your criticism if I felt as such.

          • David Nickol

            Scientists are doing philosophy whether or not they want to admit they are.

            If I thought philosophy or metaphysics was a complete waste of time (as it happens, I don't), it would not impress me as a scientist to be told I make metaphysical assumptions. Why should the fact that you claim I make metaphysical assumptions validate anything you think or say about metaphysics?

            Suppose I am a Scientologist and I can identify some stances you take as consistent with Scientology. Do I get anywhere by claiming you practice Scientology without knowing it?

          • Mark

            >Why should the fact that you claim I make metaphysical assumptions validate anything you think or say about metaphysics?

            It is irrational to claim philosophy or metaphysics is a complete waste of time and claim science is the only path to knowledge. If rationality is not a requisite to knowledge none of it matters.

            I cannot imagine you a Scientologist. Maybe a better parallel is how Catholics scientist and atheist scientist are dogmatic to philosophical realism but not to materialism. I don't see the dichotomy. It is a more or less restrictive set of first principles.

  • David Nickol

    Gage relies heavily on Kuhn in the OP (check out the footnotes). For sure The Structure of Scientific Revolutions was a groundbreaking book in 1962, but that was over a half century ago. Is Kuhn still all that relevant?

    • Chris Morris

      As with any books in this area, it was just one point from one voice in a long and continuing conversation, albeit a very influential one. Kuhn carried on modifying his view throughout his career, particularly in working on the problem of the methodological incommensurability that seemed to be implicit in Scientific Revolutions.

      So it certainly should at least be referenced in an article such as this but it should also be recognised that the conversation has moved on considerably since it was published.

    • WCB-2

      “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and
      making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually
      die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

      Max Planck, Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers

      One can always make a case by cherry picking bad examples and ignoring how often new discoveries sweep the scientific world and do not need funerals to advance. what matters is experiments that cannot be ignored and equipment that allows experimentation. The invention of the cyclotron and cloud chamber is a good example of what causes rapid change.

  • David Nickol

    In the video (watch starting about minute 12) Gage makes a claim that if two talking heads on cable news are debating some moral issue, and one is in clerical garb while the other wears a scientist's white lab coat, the latter will always win the debate. Now, I find it difficult to remember ever seeing such a debate, and I watch a lot of cable news. But granting that such debates do take place, is Gage right? I don't think so. I think he downplays or underestimates the power of religion in the US today. Are Evangelical Christians without power and influence? What about Black preachers starting with MLK right up until today?

    • Mark

      It fairly well known white coat labs are an effective psychological tool to promote authority even when none is owed. Milgram proved 60 years ago humans give white coat labs wearers an unappropriated level of authority to the point they are perfectly willing to do unethical choices based upon that authority. I doubt whatever claim Gage is making gets beyond this social conditioned human failing.

      • David Nickol

        Whatever claim or intention Gage is making doesn't go beyond this well known social conditioned human failing.

        In order for a Milgram-style experiment to be done to validate Gage's claim, there would have to be someone in clerical garb present to urge the participants not to obey the authority figure in the white lab coat. If you watched the Gage video, he claimed that with two "talking heads" on cable television debating a moral issue, the one in the white lab coat would always win hands down over the one in clerical garb. I stick by my original comment. For the Milgram experiments, participants were specifically told they were taking part in a scientific experiment, so of course the individuals in lab coats were set up as authority figures. This is far different from a scientist and a clergyman (or woman) appearing as talking heads debating a moral issue.

        • Mark

          Prior to this thought experiment he discussed how science/scientist have become a sort of "neutral" figure in discussions on authority of matters. He gave the examples of a Pope or cleric who uses religious language to give an authoritative moral teaching on a political topic versus the Nat Academy of Sciences weighing in. He rightly suggested using the authoritative language of science people tend to see scientist as neutral and objective vs bias "like those religious" institutions. My point is that there is no scenario that a person wearing a lab coat weighing in on a moral question is making a scientific moral opinion. That's not the purvey of science. All that is being tested is the bias of the audience. The audience will choose the white coat because it is has "white coat" syndrome. In fact the the audience would do immoral actions against another humans because they give so much authority to the white coat it somehow in their minds either insulates them from moral culpability or they have an inability due to bias to see a scientist as being malevolent. This is exactly what Milgram showed and has been scientifically verified by subsequent experiments including one where the participants plead for mercy and claims to have a heart condition. The whole point of the scientific experiment was to see if ordinary Americans would obey orders to do an knowingly illicit moral action. I suspect the bias is that the white coat wears cannot be malevolent, which is a moral/ethical bias which is that Dr. Gage is suggesting the (assumed hypothetical) audience would have. Americans have a general ability to separate the authority on moral and scientific matters.

          • David Nickol

            He gave the examples of a Pope or cleric who uses religious language to give an authoritative moral teaching on a political topic versus the Nat Academy of Sciences weighing in.

            His comments were purely hypothetical. Are there any actual examples?

            My point is that there is no scenario that a person wearing a lab coat weighing in on a moral question is making a scientific moral opinion.

            i agree that there is no such thing as a "scientific moral opinion." There are public policy opinions, however, that need to be informed by scientific knowledge. For instance, I would have no objection to a scientist presenting the evidence that wearing masks during the current pandemic helps diminish the spread of the disease and is therefore a moral obligation.

            It seems to me that moral arguments from the pope or the hierarchy largely fall on deaf ears not because of the source but rather because Catholics tend to go with their own political ideology on matters of public policy rather than follow the Church. How many supporters of capital punishment have become opponents by following Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis?

          • Mark

            It seems to me that moral arguments from the pope or the hierarchy largely fall on deaf ears not because of the source but rather because Catholics tend to go with their own political ideology on matters of public policy rather than follow the Church.

            Pretty much. I also think the growing trend of philosophical hyper-individualism contra societal well-being contributes. I know when I was fallen away I simply was never taught the natural theology reasoning process and the consequences of moral relativism. I very much viewed her as out of touch with modernism and increasingly irrelevant because so. (I edited the last sentence of our dialogue as I see this morning I had mistype.)

          • WCB-2

            Real thinking men and women do not take everything any scientists takes solely on faith. White coat or not. Science has its fair share of fools and idiots. Racists like William Shockley. Scientist who became out right kooks like Fred Hoyle. Dr. Andrew Wakefield whose idiot paper, since with drawn, started the anti-vaccine - autism nonsense. Scientists with few morals in the pay of big industry trying to cast doubts on the smoking - cancer link and climate change.

            Charlatans, kooks, bad science, and more. And theology has it's own collection of kooks, charlatans, and wrong headed fools with phds.

  • VicqRuiz

    What things of importance are known about God by theologians today that were not known in the fifteenth century?

  • David Nickol

    Dr. Logan Paul Gage is bemoaning the alleged fact that everybody listens to scientist and nobody listens to religious people. Meanwhile, it looks like the sixth Catholic is about to be added to the Supreme Court.

    • Mark

      One might have to conclude Catholics Universities have a unequaled intellectual tradition of promoting objective justice and sound moral reasoning.

      • WCB-2

        But the RCC still can't get to grips with their pedophile priest problem.

        And Jim the Scott does not like Pope Francis' Laudato Si encyclical. neither does Ed Feser. Sound moral reasoning indeed.

        • Jim the Scott

          @EamusCatuli0771108:disqus

          >And Jim the Scott does not like Pope Francis' Laudato Si encyclical.

          I never said that. I don't believe that.

          Can you directly quote me saying that? No you can't.

          You sir are a pathological liar. Either that or this is further proof you have no ability to read the English language..

          • WCB-2

            You certainly did not seem to like it when I raised it as an issue.

            You seemed rather dismissive of it all. If that was not your intent, you could have made it more clear as to your position.

            Starting on the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si, Pope Francis has announced a program to set up local programs world wide to push for policies that fight climate change. Pope Francis has not settled for just an Encyclical. Only if pressure from below is brought to bear, will the climate science denying politicians be forced out of office, or forced to act.

            I wish the RCC and Pope Francis great success in this effort.

          • Jim the Scott

            You lied shamelessly WCB-2 and I caught you. If I didn't like it I would have said so. Lacking an explicit statement on my part it was clearly presumptuous, dishonest and disingenuous for you to claim I didn't like Laudato Si.

            >You seemed rather dismissive of it all.

            I merely doubt man made climate change which as I cited from the words of that very Encyclical I am allowed to believe. I clearly stated I hold to all the moral and theological teaching without exception taught in the encyclical.

            You spent yer time ignoring Pope Francis' own words and making up yer own Catholic doctrines which is yer sole method of arguing. That is just mental.

            Do you want to continue to claim the Council of Trent says there are 66 books in the Bible? You haven't gotten a single Catholic doctrine correct. Not one. Pretending we are all Fundamentalist Baptists and Theistic Personalists is not a rational form of polemics. It is merely arguing a straw man.

            > If that was not your intent, you could have made it more clear as to your position.

            No sir if that was my intent I would have clearly stated it. You OTOH had no right to attribute to me a view I don't hold too especially since I clearly said I accept all the moral and theological teaching in the Encyclical.

            If you said "Jim the Scott doesn't agree with Pope Francis on climate change" I wouldn't have said boo because that would be true and according to Pope Francis I am allowed that opinion.

            But for some mad reason you think making stuff up is a form of rational honest argument? It is not. Now you are either doing this to be a troll or you actually believe this is an intelligent way to argue.

            The later If true would prove you lack the basic ability to manage yerself in everyday life. I hope then there is someone to take care of you then so you don't hurt yerself.

          • WCB-2

            "I merely doubt man made climate change which as I cited from the words of that very Encyclical."
            Do you get your "scientific knowledge" from theologians or eminent scientists who have been studying climate change for decades now?

            It is obvious Pope Francis listens to these scientists. Might I suggest you do the same? Change is happening and it is largely man made. It is dangerous. This is the scientific consensus. Out here in right wingnut bozoland, a lot of ignorant people don't follow the science and think, like Donald Trump, it is all a "Chinese hoax". "Windmills cause cancer."

            https://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus-intermediate.htm

            Pope Francis is doing the right thing for the right reasons.

          • Jim the Scott

            Laddie you lied about my view of the Holy Father's encyclical and you where caught red handed. It is plain to everybody Atheist and Theist alike you are not here for honest discussion. So why don't you cite another Young Earth Creationist scientist as an authority why don't you?

          • WCB-2

            No. Since you were so argumentative about it all, you did not seem to be receptive to Laudato Si. Blame your own over excited nonsense aimed at me for my not clearly understanding what you though buried in your wall of text screeds.

            Slow down and be more thoughtful if you do not want to be misunderstood.

          • Jim the Scott

            You lied and I caught you for all too see. You attributed to me a view I did not express & you ignored the text of very Encyclical you tried to use to make another straw man. Even Ben the Ex Catholic turned "Jeffersonian Christian" called you on it. You lied. Do you think anybody here trusts you make a good faith argument? They don't laddie. Even the high brow Atheists here are tactfully ignoring you. Yer an amusement at best till you cross a line and Brandon bans you. Then Michael Murrphy (if he is still aboot)and Co can do their passive aggressive dance on how unfair this blog is to Atheists. That should be most entertaining.

          • WCB-2

            No lie. Again, you are rather unclear in your tiresome wall of text babblings. Sit down and stop being a drama queen.

          • Jim the Scott

            If I was unclear you had a moral duty to ask me to state my view rather than making one up out of yer bum and attribute it to me. You lied son rather shamelessly. Nobody here trusts you.

          • WCB-2

            Stop being a drama queen. No lies, just you did not make yourself clear. Learn from that.

          • Jim the Scott

            You lied shamelessly. You have been caughfor all to see.

        • Mark

          Not sure your point. Technically its pedastry, not paedophilia. Pedastry denotes an abnormal sexual relationship with an adolescent child, paedophilia is a sexual inclination toward prepubescent children. No Catholic denies pedastry exists in the RCC. It also exists in medicine and public education. No Catholic claims all ordained Catholics are above sin. I'm guessing you don't spend your time obsessing about about the victims of public education, which has less of a grasp on their sexual deviants. Also you need to show me atheistic objective philosophical proofs of sexual morality so I can understand how you ground sexual ethics.

          • David Nickol

            I'm guessing you don't spend your time obsessing about about the victims of public education, which has less of a grasp on their sexual deviants.

            For the most part, I object to throwing in remarks about the sexual abuse crisis to try to discredit the Catholic Church or the Catholic religion. However, I would just like to point out one thing about what you said.

            There are over 13 thousand school districts in the United States alone. Whatever problems with sexual issues arise in a particular school district reflect on that school district alone. However, owing to the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church, the misbehavior of any Catholic priest reflects on his bishop and the pope to whom that bishop is answerable. Failure to uphold standards in a public school reflects on local school officials. But misbehavior of priests reflects on the whole Catholic hierarchy. The pope and other high-level Catholic officials in effect have a sign on their desks that says, "The buck stops here."

          • Jim the Scott

            Except David the Sex abuse problem in the Public Schools is by any objective standard way worst than in the Catholic Church.

            http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2004_01_06/2004_04_05_Dougherty_SexAbuse.htm

            You wrote:
            >Whatever problems with sexual issues arise in a particular school district reflect on that school district alone. However, owing to the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church, the misbehavior of any Catholic priest reflects on his bishop and the pope

            Sorry but it is not just a few isolated school systems it is a nation wide problem according the the Dept of Education.
            https://edsource.org/2014/schools-failing-to-protect-students-from-sexual-abuse-by-school-personnel-federal-report-says/57023

            QUOTE"A report prepared for the U.S. Department of Education in 2004 stated that nearly 9.6 percent of students are victims of sexual abuse by school
            personnel2—such as teachers, principals, coaches, and school bus drivers—sometime during their school career."

            That is about one in ten students. According to the report cited and linked in the article above that data comes from "Shakeshaft, C, Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of the Literature, U.S.Department of Education, 2004. The estimate provided in the report is the most recent
            information available on the prevalence of such abuse and misconduct and is based on secondary analysis of data collected for the American Association of University Women in Fall 2000 from a sample of 8th through 11th grade students in 80,000 schools and focused on experiences that occurred in school.

            Yeh that is pretty bad and worst than us. The fact they are decentralized & there is no Pope of the Public Schools hasn't changed the fact there has been a toxic culture in the public school establishment nation wide. It appears based on the numbers to be worst than the Church.

            The smart view would be to accept this is a society wide problem rather than get defensive and political and scoring points.....

            The lunatic governor of Cali is reducing the criminal penalty for the sex abuse of children. That is not good.

            Also it was WCB-2 who brought up sex abuse out of left field as a cheap shot (right after he openly and shamelessly lied about my views on Pope Francis and Laudato Si.

            What is with this over the top response & defending the low hanging fruit?

          • Mark

            I don't buy the argument here Dave. The Department of Education and Governor in any particular state has the ability to close the loop holes that allows these predators to move from one district to another within or from/to another state to stay ahead of accusations. It seems a dodgy to say, the state pays my district to pay my salary but they have no say in my employability. Yeah they do if they wanted to. Departments of Ed's can hold district to employment standards which could include background checks and termination of employment inquiry. And the state licensing board could do more as well. I assure you they are both powerless if they pick a fight with the teacher's union. It is easier to fire these predators for being late for work than fondling children; there is no excuse for that.

          • David Nickol

            Why don't you just acknowledge the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church? It is really not relevant to the discussion what happens in the public schools. I believe the 20th diocese in the United States filed for bankruptcy. The Church didn't handle the problem well. I fail to see how it is supposed to make the Catholic Church look better no matter how bad you claim public education is.

          • Mark

            I did acknowledge it and pointed to a double standard. You fail to see the big picture the double standard points out. "Barely legal" / "teen" used to be the residual yearly top searched category in the largest adult website. Now they are so engrained into the content they are assumed for SEO with the secondary search term. Lolicon, a subset of henatai uses toddler and pedophile cartoon images and is legal content. Why don't you acknowledge the problems faced by the RCC are indicative of a cultural shift in the sexual ethics and systemic degredation of a moral compass? Trial attorneys target deep pockets of the RCC and BSA. The move by the RCC in the US diocese has been to localize the assets as to insulate them from class action lawsuits like your local school districts enjoy. It's less of a problem in the RCC than society as a whole, a truthful perception at odds with most Americans perspective, which you also fail to acknowledge. I take particular umbrage in your assertion I didn't acknowledge some clergy participated the sin of pedastry. You fail to acknowledge the systemic cultural problems of the sexual revolution which the RCC has often been the single voice of moral opposition. She is not only fervently fighting a battle against sexual immortality but also the more difficult war against moral indifference.

          • BTS

            You fail to acknowledge the systemic cultural problems of the sexual revolution which the RCC has often been the single voice of moral opposition.

            Do you have any data to support the assertion that human sexual acts of an objectionable nature are more frequent now than, say, 100 years ago? How would you define "objectionable?" How is/was the data measured? Self reporting? How could we even get genuinely honest data?

            I don't have data, but I suspect the numbers would be about equal. But "back then" we "just didn't talk about those things." Predators, as my mother-in-law tells us, were just those creepy men who lived in your family boarding house right under your mother's nose; They were called "handsy" and as a young girl she said you just lived with it.

            Clearly I understand the plural of anecdote is not data; that is why I'd be interested in the actual numbers. I'm not sure if that data exists. What I don't to see/discuss are things like "the divorce rate is higher." Doesn't tell us much other than that women are no longer trapped in bad marriages to the extent they used to be.

            Count me among those who do not think the sexual revolution was in itself a bad thing. You could not pay me enough money to live in 1950 with a "Leave it to Beaver" marriage. Yuck.

            I do agree that the glamorization in America of S3x (avoiding disqus filter) on tv and in music is a problem and it not healthy for children.

            Having watched the first two seasons recently of the "The Crown" with my wife, it is apparent that living in a world of sexual repression does no one any good either.

          • Mark

            Sorry BTS, I refuse to have a conversation about sexual morality with someone who confesses no problem with morality being described subjective. No offense. You haven't shown me how I should take your moral intuition as anything other than your subjective opinion. I'm not here to argue the merits of your subjective opinions on oughts. Morality is either objectively grounded or it subjective nonsense. Throw cats off a bridge if it makes you happy; rationally I lack the ability to prove to you it is immoral.

            Do you have any data to support the assertion that human sexual acts of an objectionable nature are more frequent now than, say, 100 years ago?

            This is you mixing moral philosophy with science. I can see you lack the ability to separate them. This is an absurd question as sexual acts cannot be defined as either objectionable or non-objectionable by a moral relativist. It's not a quantitative question if you cannot qualitatively separate data points. But you insist science can do so. We're truly at an impasse.

          • BTS

            Not raising the white flag, but leaving the discussion because your back-handed ad hominems are just not worth my time. I asked really good questions. Pretty soon it will be just you, Dennis, Rob and JtS. Sounds like a really fun party.

          • Jim the Scott

            Would it kill you people to learn some philosophy rather then trying to recycle yer lame anti-ID polemics?

            We lack belief in "Scientific gods" around here. Learn some philosophical defeaters and you might make our brains break a sweat.

            Skeptical Thinking Power (for example)does it? What is wrong with the rest of you lot?

            Positivism is lame even if there are no gods.

          • David Nickol

            Would it kill you people to learn some philosophy . . . .

            @dennisbonnette:disqus

            Why don't you and Dr. Bonnette recommend two or three good, hopefully short, hopefully inexpensive, readily available books?

          • Dennis Bonnette

            Not quite sure what our topic is here, but if you are looking for the best summary of Thomistic philosophy in a single volume, it is, in my humble opinion, Bro. Benignus Gerrity's Nature, Knowledge, and God, which is available for $23 paperback online right now. Believe it or not, only ONE copy left!
            https://www.worldofbooks.com/en-us/books/brother-benignus/nature-knowledge-and-god/9781432535537?msclkid=99b3962965941ff33d3dc95470e0bebd&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=S - PLA - US - Shopping - Ziffit US Stock&utm_term=4574999167396442&utm_content=All Ziffit US Stock Products#CIN000226751

            The next cheapest ones I see on Amazon are $40 a copy!

            It is real philosophy, not just popularization. But I know you are capable of reading it intelligently. It summarizes the parts of Thomistic philosophy taken from the leading 20th century Thomists: Lagrange, Gilson, Maritain and others. The only sciences omitted are the practical ones: ethics and political philosophy.

            I consider it good enough that it is the standard reference work I usually first consult on any question.

          • WCB-2

            Alfred Freddoso's site give a good translation of Aquina's Summa Theologica for those who want their Aquinas straight from the horse's mouth.

            https://www3.nd.edu/~afreddos/summa-translation/TOC.htm

            MIT's The Internet Classics Archives is a good source of material.

            For example Aristotle's De Anima.
            http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/soul.html

            Internet archive is another source.

            For example, Aquinas, Commentary On Aristotle's De Anima
            https://archive.org/stream/CommentaryOfSt.ThomasAquinasOnAristotlesTreatiseOnTheSoul.Tanslated/kocourek_djvu.txt

          • Jim the Scott

            Awesome suggestion. BTW I upvoted this post is it registering? Because at my end I am not seeing my upvotes?

            My list (as far as I can tell each book is under $40 but there is always the Public Library & some of the kindle versions allow rental. I can't speak for libraries across the country but some, thought not open to the public for general browsing, have a means to reserve books online so you can order them and pick them up at a local branch for borrowing. At least that is how some of the Libraries in NYC are operating. Contact yer local library for more information.)

            The Last Superstition By Edward Feser

            THE REALITY OF GOD AND THE PROBLEM OF EVIL by Brian Davies.

            Five Proofs of the Existence of God Paperback – August 18, 2017
            by Edward Feser

            Thomas Aquinas on God and Evil Paperback – August 24, 2011
            by Brian Davies

          • WCB-2

            I give you defeaters for the proposition that God is not a moral agent. The argument to get God off the hook for existence of moral evil.

            This is simply applying common sense to theological propositions. Of taking these claims to their logical conclusions.

            You are in no position to lecturing anybody to "learn some philosophy". The very best philosophy is that philosophy that debunks bad philosophy.

          • Jim the Scott

            No you just asserted ad hoc without reason what you call "god" was a "moral agent" because it could do good(which is not correct). You also claimed because animals could do good that made them moral agents(not correct either). I don't know what you think a "moral agent" is but that is not the scholastic definition(i.e. something that does or can do good) so that makes it a non-starter. You have this irrational tendency to argue based on yer own ad hoc made up definitions instead of the actual terms of art used by yer opponent which is not common sense it is merely constructing a straw man and rendering any argument you have a non-starter. Yer basically a mad lad.. You have actually not made a single coherent philosophical argument here. No mean feat. Even Michael on occasion got something right. You OTOH have a perfect 0.0 average. Astounding!

          • WCB-2

            Something that can do good you say? But then fails to? That is an act. a moral act. There is no escaping this. God is a moral agent if God acts and is a moral agent if God chooses not to act and use his omnipotent powers for good.

            I might as well put you on ignore. You are incapable of logical thinking and will never grasp this fact.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Something that can do good you say? But then fails to? That is an act. a moral act.

            So my car is "moral" because it can drive me somewhere(which is good)? Or a plane on autopilot is "moral" for the same reason? Sorry but nobody here not even I would guess most of the Atheists would define "morality" that way. It is just too weird. Thus according to this odd"definition" all good acts are moral acts. Thus the term "moral" becomes trivial.

            So a man who compliments a plain woman's looks to make her feel better about herself so she will give him sexual favors is "moral" since he did her good and he is not selfish phony and self serving letch. Sorry but merely doing good doesn't make yer actions "moral". God's good actions are not moral actions they are gratuitous and acts of supererogation. They are still good but they don't flow from obligations outside and above God compelling His action like real morals do with us.

            If you don't understand this then there is no point in you posting anything else. You have nothing interesting to say about our God and yer lame critique of a "god" nobody here believes in is wasting everybody's time.

            >I might as well put you on ignore. You are incapable of logical thinking and will never grasp this fact.

            I think I could get most if not all of the Classic Theists here to do the same to you for the same reason.

            Yer without excuse. Skeptical Thinking Power, Ficino, David Nickol and others are far more informed than you, far more challenging by an order of magnitude and quite frankly more than proved their good will even if we fiercely disagree with them.

            Good day to you sir. I said good day.

          • Mark

            I used to find objective moral truth to be offensive too:) I had to step outside the sty for a long while until my olfactory neurons were able sense I had been wallowing in shite. Nothing I said was untrue. If I said something untrue call me out. You say the were really good questions, but they were absolutely meaningless. You admitted you had no problem with subjective moralism. That is the same as moral relativism. It is purely your subjective opinion what is good and what is bad. Almighty science cannot tell you how to categorize that qualitative data regardless of your insistence it can. First you need to convince me your subjective opinion should be the ground for a moral good. You can't do that because we are talking objective science and your subjective opinions on qualitative data is quite meaningless. If that bothers you good; it should. In the same way you cannot philosophically prove to me your subjective opinion carries rational power if I throw cats off a bridge if I feel it is a subjective moral good by my own subjective moral definitions. Sorry. I hate cats. I'm a dog guy. If a cat could fetch a duck I might like them. They can't and so they are subjectively bad.

            There are non-theistic objective moral systems. You've never hinted at them. They always lack binding or grounding authority, but are at least somewhat rational and objective. As is moral nihilism. Learn the philosophy (the love of truth) or wallow. I'm not asking for fogiveness for not going to allow you to pretend you arrive at truth when your presuppositions or premises disallow it. That's not an ad hominem BTS. If you are a moral relativist, the questions you asked were not really good because I know they are not objectively grounded in natural theology and science.

          • David Nickol

            Something a co-worker/friend said to me decades ago stuck in my mind. He said, "You know why Charles Manson is so scary? Because there are no grounds on which you could appeal to him."

          • Mark

            That is true of the criminally insane. IMO schizophrenia and paranoid delusional disorder patients are not culpable for their moral playbooks. Mentally healthy moral relativist are however.

          • WCB-2

            According to 'an ear-witness', he (Winston Churchill) was having trouble with some of his admirals at a
            strategy meeting. One of them accused him of having impugned the traditions of the Royal Navy, provoking the reply: 'And what are they? They are rum, sodomy and the lash'.

          • WCB-2

            "It is easier to fire these predators for being late for work than fondling children;"

            Ohhhhhh! Bull doo doo!

          • WCB-2

            The "victims" of public education are because of bad policies by bad politicians. In the US, most politicians are theists and often wear their theism on their sleeves. I am down here in Texas. Across the South, the right wingers shriek about "Taxes! taxes!" and their right winger politicians short change public schools resulting in the southern states have low standards and many failed students. Because "Taxes! Taxes!"

            I have had family and friends who have been teachers and involved in teaching at public schools and have heard far too many horror tales as to why public education sucks. The callous games and just don't care attitudes of the public, and political incompetence.

          • Mark

            If your point is that the education system has failed you I can't disagree.

          • WCB-2

            I went to a Catholic school.

          • Jim the Scott

            @EamusCatuli0771108:disqus

            Nobody believes you. Yer ignorance of Catholic doctrine is worst than graduates of Catholic School. No small feat.

            Plus what was with favorably citing Young Earth Creationist Genn Gordon criticism of Dr. B's book? You consider YEC's to be legitimate scientists? Are we arguing with an Atheist or a fundamentalist Baptist who for some mad reason hates God?

            Because that is just weird.

          • WCB-2

            Theological virtues. Aquinas. Why does not God grant all men and women maximum theological virtues?

            By failing to act in this way, God acts and is in fact a moral agent which Aquinas is said to have claimed (Brian Davies foir example.

            I do understand Catholic theology a lot better than you want to think. It is contradictory, incoherent and doesn't make any sense in the final logical conclusion. YECs are not scientists at all.

          • Jim the Scott

            >I do understand Catholic theology a lot better than you want to think..

            Laddie you claimed Trent taught there where 66 books in the Bible instead of 73. Even most Baptists I know in fact know this.

            The person who you cited (the English teacher Amazon reviewer) cited someone who wrote Young Earth Creationist works.

            BTW I just talked to Dr. B. He said Morton did give a favorable review of his chapter on animal studies. Which is was the subject of Dr. B's post to you.

            You have said nothing intelligent here and you have destroyed yer credibility. Why don't you cite some UFO book authors who are critical of Dr. B's work. I am sure that will go over well.

          • Jim the Scott

            Let us face it WCB-2 I have forgotten more Catholic theology then you have ever learned in yer life. While I don't have a PhD in scholastics I have a good command of the philosophy and concepts to get a lot of upvotes from persons here who do have PhD's in philosophy and scholastic thought. I understand the material and you clearly don't.4

            You mi Ladd are without. None of yer arguments are intelligent even if there are no gods. Repeating them won't make them intelligent. A Young Earth Creationist can crow "Show me an Animal that gives birth to humans" or "The 2nd Law of Thermo Dynamics renders Evolution impossible" or some such foolish erroneous nonsense. But it doesn't make his lame ignorant arguments true. Same with you I am afraid.

          • WCB-2

            You cannot deal with my simple, easy to understand debunking of the old "God is not a moral agent" dodge or much of anything else. All that theology you have forgotten is not an argument.

            If Aquinas is right about God granting us theological virtues, or not in some cases, that demonstrates God is not as claimed, merciful, compassionate, fair and just, explicit claims from the bible about the nature of God. God is a moral agent even if God refuses to act.

            There are Islamic theologians who have forgotten more Islamic theology than you or i have ever known. and Mormon theologians who have forgotten more Mormon theology than you or i have ever known. Do either of us believe in Mormonism or Islam?

            Polemics and rhetoric are not arguments.
            My simple arguments stand on their own merits.

          • Jim the Scott

            Laddie you think well behaved animals are "moral" so basically you have lost the plot. Why don't you continue to claim Trent taught there where 66 book in Holy Writ instead of the correct number 73 and cite another Young Earth Creationist "scientist"? There is a good fellow......

          • BTS

            Cheap shot. You may not agree with WCB-2, but clearly he/she has been very well educated.

    • WCB-2

      https://americanmind.org/essays/scientism-americas-state-religion/
      "Scientism: America's New State Religion"

      Ed Feser is playing the same shrill tune.

      "First: science as an institution, and liberalism as its house
      philosophy, have taken over the role that the Church and its theology
      played in medieval society."

      Nobody pays attention to those theologians and philosopher steep in medieval metaphysics. And that makes him so very angry. And they are liberal too! (Clutches pearls).

      • Philip Rand

        WCB-2

        It would appear WCB-2 that you are a self-confessed non-real-thinking-man!!!!

        I'll take Alan Guth at his word. [quote WCB-2]

        Real thinking men and women do not take everything any scientists takes solely on faith. [quote WCB-2]

        So, you admit that your are lost-in-the-woods!

        Cachinnate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • WCB-2

          Lawrence Kuhn's "Stand To Reason" has interviewed many cosmologists on these subjects, not just Guth, not all they are sure that we have the answers yet. I find Guth reasonable and he has a very good track record. But had you really known what "Stands To Reason" is about, you would know that there are wide varieties of opinions on modern cosmology, to think about.

          You knoweth not. Kuhn also has interviewed a wide range of theologians, philosopher, and atheists on the subject of God's existence and other issues. "Stands To Reason" is not all about science only.

          • Philip Rand

            WCB-2

            "Stand To Reason"

            The word "stand" is a cliche/meme used in religious programmes ("Here, I stand" is Luther's catch phrase); interesting that the external environment impinges on your will.... very interesting.

          • WCB-2

            I screwed up here. It is Lawrence Kuhn's "Closer To Truth" series. Late night posting brain fart. Stand to Reason is a Christian apologist site.

            Sorry if I got sloppy here and didn't check myself before I hit send.

          • Philip Rand

            WCB-2

            That is even better!

            It is quantified evidence of pre-destination.

            The external environment forces your inability to reason, for example, you state:

            I find Guth reasonable

            That is a "perception" nothing to do with "reason"... which is why you state:

            I'll take Alan Guth at his word.

            Not checking for errors is a mark of a "religion".

            By the way... you haven't even addressed the initial contradiction that demonstrated that you are not a real thinking man... all you have done is to provide more evidence that you are NOT a real thinking man...

          • WCB-2

            Alan Guth has a great track record. His theories of inflation have long been confirmed by satellite data from WMAP and other systems. He has been hailed as the cosmologist that put cosmology on an empirical basis.

            Sorry if that is not to your liking. His opinion matters, and he is knowledgeable and reasonable.

            Sorry if you don't agree,

          • Philip Rand

            WCB-2

            I don't agree with Guth's cosmic inflation theory because scientifically cosmic inflation is pseudo-science and has no explanatory power whatsoever.

            There is no experimental confirmation of cosmic inflation. The Planck result was a CONFIRMED ANOMALY due to interstellar dust.

            Cosmic inflation is a dead theory... no matter how you make things up based on the faith you have in Guth...

            Again, you are simply proving you are treating science as a religion....

          • WCB-2

            You are so wrong it hurts to contemplate just how wrong you are. Inflation is now settled science.

          • Philip Rand

            WCB-2

            Cosmic inflation is a faith opinion; it has no experimental confirmation whatsoever.

          • WCB-2
          • Philip Rand

            WCB-2

            Invariance is the issue.

            The reason there exists so many "inflation" models is because it is well known that the 3-D Klein-Gordon equation psi solution does not necessarily have a constant normalisation integral. This is the anomaly in the standard theory; hence cosmic inflation is the ad hoc fix.

            What is interesting however, is that when an observer is added to the Klein-Gordon equation measurement, the theory becomes 4-dimensional.

            The benefit of the 4-dimensional approach is that it overcomes the problem of a variable 3-dimensional normalisation integral that occurs in the standard theory as described in your article requiring no fix to the equations.

            It also means, that the creation of the universe required an observer.

    • Dennis Bonnette

      I have noted for some years the large number of Catholics and even Jews on the Supreme Court. Not many Protestants.

      But no one cares for the simple reason that the religion one claims to hold seems to have little to do with actual ethical positions he takes.

      Just because they have the adjective, "Catholic," in front of their names has not been predictive of their stances on such major ethical issues as abortion and same-sex marriage.

      I once counted the number of Catholic United States Senators. At the time, there happened to be twenty-five of them. Yet, despite their religion's clear opposition to abortion, twenty of them (80%) were "pro-choice."

      And, of course, we also have the "very Catholic" Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden. They hypocritically tout their Catholicism, while in political actions they deliberately oppose central moral tenets their religion teaches.

      So, it isn't that "nobody listens to religious people." Rather, it is that they listen to people and have figured out that their religious titles do not mean much anymore.

      • David Nickol

        The Catholics on the Supreme Court—along with Amy Coney Barrett—were selected precisely because of their conservative views. (Sonia Sotomayor is not a conservative, but nevertheless she was more conservative than the person she replaced.) If Barrett is confirmed, that is a big victory for pro-lifers. That is partly why I was amazed at the negative comments here that racial equality was getting too much attention and abortion too little.

        Just because they have the adjective, "Catholic," in front of their names has not been predictive of their stances on such major ethical issues as abortion and same-sex marriage.

        I am sure you will disagree, but I can't see any reason why a Catholic judge or legislator couldn't tolerate legal abortion and gay marriage. This is a pluralistic democracy, not a Catholic theocracy.

        • Johannes Hui

          I can't see any reason why a Catholic judge or legislator couldn't tolerate legal abortion and gay marriage. This is a pluralistic democracy, not a Catholic theocracy.

          A judge/legislator/xxxxxxx ought to be able to do his work professionally by executing his tasks in accordance

        • Dennis Bonnette

          Well, I did not really address what positions these justices should take.

          It was you who mentioned that they are about to add the sixth Catholic justice to the Court -- as if that told us something about how they would handle cases.

          My point is that it doesn't.

          It gets complex, but I think a Catholic judge can be pro-life and pro-traditional marriage without in any way letting his religion dictate his actions.

          This is because, if you are convinced that the natural order of what is right and good happens to comport with the revealed order on these same matters, your judgment can honestly be dictated by right reason alone -- and still be in agreement with what the Church teaches.

          Remember, the Catholic Church insists on the harmony of faith and reason. So we should expect that there are good secular reasons to protect human life at all stages as well as traditional marriage between one man and one woman.

          Those Catholics who act otherwise do not fail in their duty as judges and legislators, but they are inconsistent with their own proclaimed religious beliefs -- and, one could well argue, also out of tune with reality.

          Judicially, I think there are a lot of good judges and lawyers who would insist that Roe was very badly reasoned and should never have been decided as it was -- for purely non-religious reasons.

  • BTS

    Importantly, this is not a dispassionate process by which the evidence is obvious to all and the best theory automatically wins out. New paradigms are created not by seasoned veterans of the field but by the young or those new to the field who haven’t had their minds ossified by years of thinking in the old paradigm.5 Instead of convincing the old guard, advocates of the new paradigm simply attract more young scientists to their research program (e.g., they attract more graduate students with an exciting new way of thinking).

    And the minute the new paradigm wins out, say, the Copernican model, its rivals are ridiculed as “non-scientific.” The old guard is shunned, their work ignored.6 The revolution does not take place because the old guard become convinced by overwhelming evidence, see the light, and recant. (That is to say, the scientists do not actually behave scientifically, disinterestedly following the evidence wherever it leads.) Rather, the revolution happens when they die off. The historical record challenges the positivist narrative of science as uniquely rational and automatically progressive. Science isn’t populated by Spock-like, neutral, open-minded observers following the evidence wherever it leads. It is populated by actual humans.

    Let's assume the above is all accurate (I don't think it is, but let's assume). The end-result of all of that human contention^^ is typically the correct theory, the right direction, the truth about reality. Progress in learning. Aligning our knowledge with what is really true whether we like it or not. Of course human egos get in the way. There's a reason scientists have an inside joke that "his [her] ego was bigger than a paleoanthropologist's!" But if it all shakes out in the end, what is the complaint? We moved forward, we learned, we got it right. A big ego can only bolster a bad theory for so long.

    It sounds like the author's primary complaint is that the process is messy.

  • BTS

    But there is far more overlap than the rigid distinction recognizes.13 The reason is that scientists are trying, just like philosophers, to tell us what reality is really like.

    How does the metaphysician know when he/she is correct? The scientist has an easier path to this determination, I think.

  • Skeptic_Thinking_Power

    I am in complete agreement with Aristotle and Aquinas that Metaphysics comes before Epistemology. Personally, I don't understand why so much time is wasted on this topic. Scientism is incoherent and self-refuting. If God exists, then he is the cause of physical reality in that he is the ground of all being whose essence and existence are not distinct. That which is the cause of physical reality cannot itself be a physical reality on pain of the absurdity of self-causation.

    Hence, if God exists, then God is not a physical reality. (Of course, on Classical Theism God is unlimited and pure actuality as well, whereas physical realities are by their nature limited and admixtures of act and potency, further supporting the claim that if God exists, then God is not a physical reality.) Scientific instruments are inherently limited only to the detection of physical realities. Hence, scientific instruments cannot detect God if God exists.

    So, for an atheist to demand purely scientific evidence for God's existence is not only a category error (since it assumes a non-physical reality is a physical reality, or it assumes the absurd claim that scientific instruments can detect non-physical realities), but it is also blatantly begging since to demand purely scientific evidence would already be to presuppose that God is physical and thus to presuppose that God, as defined above, doesn't exist. Hence, it's both a category error and question-begging. It's honestly pathetic and I don't get why Catholics waste their time engaging with it.

    • BCE

      I can't speak for "why Catholics waste their time..." but I have, least some teen happens upon SN or is confronted and thinks silence supports Scientism.

    • Mark

      We Catholics need more skeptics like you to parse out their irrationality. My teenage children get most of their information not from books nor public education to my dismay; but from videos that are guided by billion dollar algorithms to promote additional similar videos that are never held to any version of journalistic integrity and rational discourse.

    • Does God have some kind of detectable manifestation in reality? If so what is that detectable manifestation? If not, then it would seem that God is indistinguishable from that which does not exist.

    • Jim the Scott

      Thank you. Well said sir.

    • VicqRuiz

      So, for an atheist to demand purely scientific evidence for God's existence is not only a category error

      Yes, it certainly is.

      But when theists claim that a non-physical reality extends itself into the realm of physical reality, and in particular does so in such a way that violates the laws of nature as presently understood, is it an error to demand scientific evidence for that?

      I'm no biological determinist, and I am willing to concede the existence of non-physical reality and of free will. But when someone claims that a non-physical reality shielded him from being killed in a plane crash, or that a non-physical reality caused the sun to move randomly about in the sky a century ago, I am going to ask for some physical world evidence.

      • Tara

        "non-physical reality extends itself into the realm of physical reality

        This is the mind-body interaction problem.

        Consider a dream Vic.

        I believed I was on a beach sipping margarita's last night while I sleeping. The beach and the dream were a creation of mind, they were not independent from it.

        "Idealism as a form of metaphysical monism holds that consciousness, not matter, is the ground of all being. It is monist because it holds that there is only one type of thing in the universe and idealist because it holds that one thing to be consciousness."

        Meanwhile. Very odd timing that Trump now has Covid, am I being a 'conspiracy theory nutjob' to think this might be a ploy on Duck's part? Does it work for him if he breezes past it ? The Tough guy beats the virus....ha ha.

        Love and Light
        Tara

        • VicqRuiz

          I look at it this way.

          I know that my wife loves me. And since I am not a biological determinist, I hold that her love is a non-material thing. There is no blood test that can be performed to show her "love levels", no brain scan that can determine who her beloved is.

          But how is her love made known to me? Entirely through things that can be experienced in the (waking) material world. Words and actions.

          If she had never said or done a loving thing, I would be justified in calling her love imaginary. And it's much the same for God. He may exist, but he's never made a move, so to speak.

          Yes, you are being a conspiracy theory nutjob. But if Adam and John float the same theory on Sunday's show, I'll owe you a virtual dinner.

          • Tara

            refresh..I'm queen of bad typos

          • Mark

            If the material world is unnecessary then the necessary creator being that created my being allows me to experience His love in the material world via a purely gratuitous gift of simply knowing.

            Or maybe I'm imprisoned in a suffering-filled cycle called Samsara :)

          • VicqRuiz

            Yes, I am familiar with that theory.

        • am I being a 'conspiracy theory nutjob' to think this might be a ploy on Duck's part?

          The man has been well established as a pathological liar who will do anything to garner attention. I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that this is a ploy. I think it's probably unlikely, but certainly far from impossible.

          • Tara

            He's a narcissist, and he's not literally sick at this point.
            A positive test only limits his public appearances which I would find counter intuitive to his usual tactic.

            UNLESS?

            It's wall to wall Trump Zoom interviews splashed across mainstream and www . That could be a motive.
            Only fun speculation on my part. ha ha

            Love and Light
            Tara

          • Ficino

            Some people have speculated that it's a way to get out of the remaining debates, on the surmise that Trump is too lazy to prepare for them and that if the moderator can turn off his mic, he won't be able to overwhelm by bluster.

          • Tara

            That's another possibility.
            Trump used the 'pit bull' method last debate. He was trying REALLY hard to get Biden to stumble in his confidence and start 'stuttering', or better yet to lose his train of thought (dementia). Overall that tactic failed. So if the next Debate won't let him be that aggressive, Biden would win.

            So another thing to put in the 'conspiracy theory' pile.
            ha ha ha.

            Love and Light
            Tara

          • WCB-2

            Nah. He just has covid. Trump has taken plenty of foolish chances, and his rallies and other actions show most people around him don't wear masks and maintain social distancing. This was almost inevitable. he has been playing the macho man with his many denunciations of mask wearers and refusal to wear one in public. Walking up to karma and kicking her rump was not a good idea.

          • The President tweets this morning that he's feeling well, and I read from some right wing Christian nutters that they are thanking God for healing the President, and that their prayers are working. They completely ignore the absolute world class medical treatments he's getting and instead focus on their prayers. They have such a myopic worldview.

            If God is somehow protecting the President why didn't he protect him from getting this virus in the first place? I shake my head at these people.

          • WCB-2

            Cue Monty Python's The Silly Vicar. St. Loonies.

      • Jim the Scott

        >But when theists claim that a non-physical reality extends itself into the realm of physical reality, and in particular does so in such a way that violates the laws of nature as presently understood, is it an error to demand scientific evidence for that?

        Yer still thinking of what you call "god" in purely materialistic terms.
        Thus these statements are meaningless and incoherent.

        >I'm no biological determinist, and I am willing to concede the existence of non-physical reality and of free will.

        You just contradicted yerself. How does yer non-physical "free will" extend itself into the realm of physical reality? Well?

        Of course this is the wrong question as it presupposes the errors of Descartes. You really should learn about hylomorphism and you should learn about philosophy vs empirical science. You really can't science this out. You can't.

        >I am going to ask for some physical world evidence.

        That is you are the mad archeologist who still insists he can dig up a Higgs Boson in fossil bed and the sane physicist just shakes his head?

        Dude start with a copy of Feser's THE LAST SUPERSTITION and move on from there.

        • Tara

          "How does yer non-physical "free will" extend itself into the realm of physical reality? Well?"

          Sorry...polite is my forte.
          So I'll tell you how.

          The only worldview that makes sense is Idealism.

          "Idealism as a form of metaphysical monism holds that consciousness, not matter, is the ground of all being. It is monist because it holds that there is only one type of thing in the universe and idealist because it holds that one thing to be consciousness."

          Consciousness is the only truth.
          It is the Bottom Turtle...the First Cause....The Prime Mover.

          Gods and Matter are belief structures that emerge from that truth.

          Love and Light
          Tara

          • Jim the Scott

            Idealism doesn't make much sense to me because my senses are telling me something is outside of me and my intellect tells me it is real not only in my mind. It seems absurd to believe otherwise......

            >Consciousness is the only truth.
            It is the Bottom Turtle...the First Cause....The Prime Mover.
            Gods and Matter are belief structures that emerge from that truth.
            Love and Light
            Tara

            If you say so but I haven't studied any philosophical defeaters for Idealism. So I cannot offer a rejoinder. But you are in a better position vs the reductionist materialist.

          • Tara

            "because my senses are telling me something is outside of me

            Which is precisely the same case when you are dreaming.
            The 'time, space and matter' that you are experiencing while dreaming is not outside of mind, it is a construct of mind. Including all the seemingly conscious people you interact with in that same dream.

            Somehow we've come to think that isn't the case will awake?
            I'm a Pandeist/ Subjective Idealist/ Metaphysical Solopsist of sorts....

            Metaphysical solipsism is a variety of solipsism. Based on a philosophy of subjective idealism, metaphysical solipsists maintain that the self is the only existing reality and that all other realities, including the external world and other persons, are representations of that self, and have no independent existence.

            And because we are all perspective within the mind of 'god' ( I prefer the word Consciousness) I should love others as myself, because they literally are myself. Which applies equally to you.

            Love and Light
            Tara

          • Jim the Scott

            >I'm a Pandeist/ Subjective Idealist/ Metaphysical Solopsist of sorts....

            I am gratified you know enough philosophy & terminology to spell out yer position. It beats the other guy I argue with around here who insisted he wasn't a positivist & also kept insisting Science is the sole means to know truth. Yeh sure pal....

            It reminded me of Protestants I've talked too who deny they are Protestant "I am just a Christian" and yet tell me I should confess "Faith Alone" and believe by Scripture alone? (Eye roll)

            So thanks for being upfront. Cheers.

          • WCB-2

            A person who does not know what a positivist really is and insists on throwing that term around ignorantly is some one who can be ignored.

          • Jim the Scott

            But it is clear you don't know what a Positivist is and for some mad reason as I recall you claimed the council of Trent taught the Bible has 66 books where it is common knowledge Trent teaches the Bible has 73. Dozens and dozens of mistakes and you don't even have the stones to own even one of them. That makes you mentally weak.

            Basically it is self evident to everybody here you don't know anything and that makes all yer arguments meaningless.

          • WCB-2

            Does not the CoT tell us that God was the author of the Bible?

            Then we have the problem of two different tall tales of the creation in Genesis. Tales of Noah's flood, known now top be false. Tall tales about talking donkeys, talking snakes and thousands of contradictions small and large.

            The point is, anything that poorly written, loaded with so much utter nonsense cannot be a true revelation from God.

            Obviously, the Bible is not, as per CoT a true and trustworthy revelation straight from God to us. why should any one take you seriously if you cannot bring yourself to examine this obvious problem and admit it is a problem?

          • Philip Rand

            WCB-2

            You table:

            The point is, anything that poorly written, loaded with so much utter nonsense cannot be a true revelation from God.

            Interestingly, the Bible can be proved to satisfy Craig's Theorem; thus the Bible can be considered a formal system. This is one of the many aspects of the Bible message system that authenticates it source.

          • Chris Morris

            It seems to me that Craig's "logic" and your assertion depend on the circular reasoning that the Bible is, in fact, a coherent system rather than a random collection of various forms of literature.

          • WCB-2

            By that reasoning, you can also pretend that the Quran is true, Book of Mormon is true, the Vedas, the Dharmpada or any other book you choose. How about the Book of the Flying Spaghetti Monster? The formal system of modern Near East archaeology is a better system to consider.

          • Jim the Scott

            Yer just repeating yerself buddy. Now you have circled back to special pleading the Bible is perspicuous. The Bible isn't absolutely clear which is why it needs a tradition and Church guided by the Holy Spirit to definitively interpret it. I don't care about yer interpretation of it. I only care about my Church's interpretation of it.

            By nature the written word wither authored by God or man has a degree of ambiguity to it because language is complex and needs clarification by nature. God can no more author an absolutely clear Bible than He could make 2+2=5. It is intrinsically impossible.

            That is not how divine omnipotence works buddy.

            BTW what does God causing the sacred writers to freely write what He wants them to write and only what He wants them to write have to do with anything?

            >Then we have the problem of two different tall tales of the creation in Genesis.

            No that is only a problem if you are a Baptist heretic who believes in Luthers' s false perspicuity doctrine. We are Catholic here buddy not Baptists. How is that simple concept beyond yer comprehension? Other Atheists and religious skeptics here get that(Greene, Ficino, STP and Nickol etc). So what is thy malfunction?

            God in principle cannot make an absolutely clear written text anymore then He can make 2+2=5 and God is not obligated to give us any text or even a relatively clear one. Finally Catholics don't believe the Bible is an absolutely clear text so any objection to the bible framed as "The Bible is not absolutely clear or should be clear" is a non-starter objection to us.

            Which for some mad reason is yer sole means of argument?

            >The point is, anything that poorly written, loaded with so much utter nonsense cannot be a true revelation from God.

            Says who? God by definition as understood in the Classical Sense cannot do what is intrinsically impossible. You might respond "Well cannot God do anything?" to which I would reply "What is intrinsically impossible doesn't describe anything(absolute clear Bible, Rock so heavy etc...2+2=5) rather it describes nothing and adds new meaning to the phrase "there is Nothing God cannot do!"

            At this point yer whole objection is as I said in the beginning. You are in effect crying "NO FAIR! YER NOT A FUNDAMENTALIST PROTESTANT".

            To which I reply "Duh! Cry me a river buddy!".

            >why should any one take you seriously if you cannot bring yourself to examine this obvious problem and admit it is a problem?

            I am not asking anybody to believe in the existence of God because of the Bible. I am not a fundamentalist for the ten thousandth time. I am making an appeal to philosophy to know God exists before we even look at the Bible. You are either too scared or too intellectually incompetent to fight on that ground. Which is it?

            So you like yer buddy Michael have chosen the mad lad route of making really God awful arguments from special pleading that if God exists He must be an anthropomorphic Theistic Personalist Moral Agent "deity" and hoping you can convince the Atheist in me to confess that "god" so you can turn around and employ yer arsenal of contra fundie polemics.

            Dude the god you are bagging on I don't believe exists (nor do I believe it is the Biblical God)in the first place so why are you wasting my time arguing against a "god" neither of us believes in? Well? Do you have the courage to answer me? Because from now on I will respond to any and all of yer posts with this question til you answer.

            Yer wee mad.

          • WCB-2

            And you are repeating yourself by not demonstrating you understand the problem here. The Bible cannot be a true revelation from God. all the bad contradictions, bad theology of Paul's ridiculous tall tales and more mean the Bible is no more true than the Book of Mormon. we have the problem of many Near Eastern archaeologists who tell us the entire Exodus tall tale is faux history, it never happened. No 400 years enslaved in Egypt. No exodus of 1 1/2 million Jews from Egypt. No bloody massacres, murders and genocide in Canaan. No Moses on the mount with God.

            If there is a God, that God then did not command murder, massacres and genocide. The Bible then is a slander on a God that might exist.

          • Jim the Scott

            You said this before and repeating what I say at this point proves ya basically have no argument.

            Dude the god you are bagging on I don't believe exists (nor do I believe it is the Biblical God)in the first place so why are you wasting my time arguing against a "god" neither of us believes in? Well?

            Why should I accept yer interpretation of the Bible? The Bible is not clear.

            Well?

          • WCB-2

            I state the facts and you simply refuse to understand them. I can give you facts but not understanding.

            It is your Bible, not mine. In 1944 the Pope announced a project to create the best Bible translations possible. Today we have the New American Bible, the official Catholic translation created for American English speakers. available from the Vatican website. Update regularly to polish this translation for all, the most official Catholic Bible for us American English speakers.

            The usual arm chair apolgists that tell us that we must read verse X to mean anything other than what it obviously does in fact say, is nonsense. The official NAB does not give us an official Vatican approved commentary telling us how verse X must be interpreted that tells us X verse says this or that but does not mean that at all.

            Thus this is a straight forward translation that can be used, and your personal interpretation doesn't matter when the official Vatican approved NAB is before us.

            Your apologist redefinition are your own forbidden personal interpretations. Until the Vatican gives us an official interpretation of what this all means, your opinions are not authoritative, meaningful and most certainly not reliable.

            The NAB speaketh. Any good atheist can thus safely rely on the NAB and it's plain, obvious and easy to understand claims.

          • Jim the Scott

            Why are you arguing against a "god" neither of us believes exists? That is like telling a bunch of Muslims to abandon Islam because of alleged mistakes you found in the Book of Mormon. Why would you do that? Why should Muslims disbelieve their religion because of "mistakes" you found in a book they don't believe in? Well why should I abandon Catholicism just because you find "mistakes" in a non-Catholic & non Classic theist concept of "god" I don't hold too and don't believe exists nor is the "Biblical" God?

            >It is your Bible, not mine.

            True but you are not giving my Church's understand of either the Bible or the nature of God so why should I abandon belief in the Catholic and Classic Theistic concept of God just because you find problems with yer own personal view of "god" and Bible I reject? Sorry but that is just wacko even if no gods exist. That is irrational and so far all you have done here is attempt Young Earth Creationist Christian Apologetics trying to convince me to become a fundamentalist Baptist.

            You haven't been making the case for Atheism at all nor have you even started to give any credible criticism to my beliefs concerning God.

            Yeh whole argument to this point is "Boo hoo! No Fair! Yer not a Fundamentalist".

            Do you realty think this is an intelligent way to argue for Atheism or are you just having a troll? Because either yer being a jerk on purpose or you really are this clueless.

            Which is it?

            >Your apologist redefinition are your own forbidden personal interpretations. Until the Vatican gives us an official interpretation of what this all means, your opinions are not authoritative, meaningful and most certainly not reliable.

            Where has the Vatican ever taught this? Well? If it hasn't then this argument is a meaningless non-starter.

            You can't argue against my religion by making up yer own and calling it my religion.

            You must criticize the "god" I believe in not the one you wish I would believe in.

          • WCB-2

            You are stuck with the Bible and the God thereof. all the claims of God being good, perfectly good, fair, just, merciful, and compassionate where god of the Bible is not any of these.

            Then we have the fancy theologians tap dancing to create quibbles and bad concepts to make that all go away God is not personal, the bible does not mean what it obviously does mean. God is not a moral agent.

            Paul's idiot theology. God predestines all, and God the great Potter decides who will be "vessels of wrath" and who will be "vessels of mercy". A God who hardens the hearts of the Jews to not believe in Jesus. But that God is good1 perfectly good! All goodness in the world is derived from that good God.

            Why does God then choose arbitrarily to make some elect and others not elect? Why did not God banish original sin from the world on day one? A perfectly good God who allows Satan to run wild?

            It is your Bible, and your God in that Bible, not mine. and what we end up with is bad theology, bad special pleading to make it all go away.

            And this sort of problem with the Bible and the God of the Bible goes on and on and on like this.

          • Jim the Scott

            Nowhere in that stream of consciousness & blather is there anything that even remotly resembles a coherent and informed argument against Classic Theism or Catholic belief or even a Catholic understanding of the Bible. Anybody who reads it will be made less intelligent from reading it. I award you no points and may the Theistic Personalist "god" I don't believe in have mercy on yer mortal soul.

            Laddie this is just a lame boilerplate screed against some nebulous thing you label "Bible Christianity". It has nothing to do with anything any Catholic and Classic Theist here believes about the Bible or God. Why do you think that is an intelligent way to make an argument even if there are no gods?

            >the bible does not mean what it obviously does mean....

            So you ad hoc assume the Protestant doctrine the Bible is clear and judge Catholicism wanting by the standards of a doctrine She rejects that you don't even believe in yerself(you brought up in the past the two distinct creation stories in Genesis 1 &2)? Yeh that is just mental even if there are no gods.

            >It is your Bible, and your God in that Bible, not mine.

            Then why make up yer own "god" from reading my Bible yer way instead of the Catholic way and what does pointing out what you find wanting with that "god" have to do with my God?

            Nothing actually so as I said all yer arguments are non-starters.

            >and what we end up with is bad theology, bad special pleading to make it all go away.

            I agree you have been doing that shamelessly...

          • WCB-2

            Lets us put you ignorant silliness about Positivism to bed now, for good. Briefly logical positivism was the claim that metaphysics was all nonsense and was to be abandoned because of that. But isn't that a metaphysical claim? Yes. So that was the end of logical positivism as a metaphysical program.

            Now that we all know what this is about, you can stop that nonsense, it makes you look very ignorant. What replaced LP was analytical philosophy. Which became the philosophical flavor of UK and America. Dooming Hegelian idealism in UK and America also.

            Any metaphysical claim that can be analyzed careful and shown to be doubtful is fair game for AP, but such a critique must be done on a case by case situation.

            A.J. Ayer was a founding father of the analytical philosophy tradition.

          • Jim the Scott

            Yes that is logical positivism but I accused you of positivism. :D

            Yer inferior reading comprehension skills strike again.....:D ROTFLOL.
            Either that or you googled the wrong thing....

            Logical positivism came after positivism which is why it sometimes was called neopositivism. Like its positivist forerunner it never overcame the problem of incoherence by being false by its own standards.

            Positivism is another term for scientism which is the view that all real knowledge is scientific knowledge—that there is no rational, objective form of inquiry that is not a branch of science. That concept is at best trivially true if you include philosophy and metaphysics as sciences or incoherent if you don't since it is not a species of empirical scientific knowledge so it is not real knowledge by its own standards.

            You have been demanding scientific evidence for the existence of God. You even cited Flew's parable of the invisible gardener. So what are you doing now? Pretending all this while you have been making philosophical arguments? You haven't made even one. You even at one point made the absurd claim science is the search for qualitative knowledge not quantitative. Yeh that is the opposite of true.

            You have made no philosophical arguments not even one from analytical philosophy. You can't fake it here son. Ya really can't.

            >Now that we all know what this is about, you can stop that nonsense, it makes you look very ignorant.

            Says the wee laddie who claimed the Council of Trent taught there where 66 books in the Bible not 73.

            >What replaced LP was analytical philosophy.

            Maybe but you haven't made any arguments from analytical philosophy.

            In fact let us be honest. If you really knew any analytic philosophy you would have made some kind of argument by now? But ya haven't have ya? You have made mad arguments from special pleading and fallacies of equivocation all over the place. A train reck that has been most entertaining. Thank you. I am actually amused.

            >Any metaphysical claim that can be analyzed careful and shown to be doubtful is fair game for AP, but such a critique must be done on a case by case situation.
            A.J. Ayer was a founding father of the analytical philosophy tradition.

            Gee did ya goo gle that all by yerself wee boy?

            Of course in yer next post you will deny you mentioned Analytic Philosophy and be back to shouting SCIENCE!

            (Good heavens Miss Sakamoto - you're beautiful!)

          • Philip Rand

            WCB-2

            You are not aware of it, but Ayer near the end of his life had a near death experience; net result believing in God.

          • Johannes Hui

            @WCB2:disqus
            It appears that Ayer did not believe in God despite the near death experience. In 1988, a year before his death, Ayer at first wrote an article mentioning that experience “slightly weakened my conviction that my genuine death ... will be the end of me, though I continue to hope that it will be." However, a few days later he said "what I should have said is that my experiences have weakened, not my belief that there is no life after death, but my inflexible attitude towards that belief".

          • Philip Rand

            Johannes Hui

            Dig more into it Johannes, i.e. what Ayer said to his friends about it...

          • Johannes Hui

            If you have the web sources on what Ayer said to his friends, pl consider providing the web links here. Then readers here can read them.

            Meanwhile, when we do an online search on Ayer’s near death experiences, various online sources show us what Ayer wrote publicly. He wrote that his near death experience has not changed his atheism, and he explained why, and also how he interpreted the experience and its implications.

          • Philip Rand

            Johannes Hui

            Interesting "form" of slander... you are tempting me...

          • WCB-2

            In the beginning was the misteak.
            - Book of Erors 1:1

        • VicqRuiz

          you should learn about philosophy vs empirical science

          My view of philosophy versus empirical science tends toward the idea of separate magisteria.
          Empirical science can tell us nothing about beauty, love and courage. Philosophy can tell us nothing about gravity, bioluminescence or the life cycle of stars.

          start with a copy of Feser's THE LAST SUPERSTITION

          Read it, three or four years ago. If I were a hard-boiled atheist of the materialist-determinist stripe, I'd have been highly offended by the low-grade snark in that work by someone held out as a sophisticated philosopher. But since I'm an agnostic-slash-deist who rejects high-school determinism, I didn't let the snark get to me.

          • Jim the Scott

            Then my advise is to focus on metaphysics. Philosophy of Nature is a wee bit more than beauty, love and courage.

            The separate Magisteria is the right track in the sense you study things according to their category. You don't dig up Higgs Bosons. You don't use a LHD to prove or disprove natural selection and you don't use physics to answer metaphysical questions or vice versa.

            I approve.

            >Read it, three or four years ago.

            A re-read is in order and might I recommend his two latests on Metaphysics and Aristotle and Science. Also if yer feeling up to it Brian Davies on the Problem of Evil will disabuse of the notion of a Moral Agent "god" who needs a good theodicy to get him off the hook.

            > If I were a hard-boiled atheist of the materialist-determinist stripe, I'd have been highly offended by the low-grade snark in that work by someone held out as a sophisticated philosopher. But since I'm an agnostic-slash-deist who rejects high-school determinism, I didn't let the snark get to me.

            One cannot argue aesthetics. You like what you like. I like skinny girls in my youth in my maturity I need a curvy woman. Of course I love the snark.

            >agnostic-slash-deist

            Getting you to an Aristotelian Deist would be a good move IMHO since that would make you a Classic Theist.

            Cheers buddy.

          • VicqRuiz

            I'm not totally uncomfortable with classic theism, until two things happen:

            (1) the word "mystery" starts to pop up
            (2) the classical theist god starts playing with the laws of nature, just enough to start controversy, never enough to be truly demonstrative.

          • Jim the Scott

            If God is not ultimately mystery then F*** him. What is the point in "worshipping" something that is in essence like you only more Uber?

            A mystery as it pertains to Classic Theism is something we can't know even in principle. If the mystery is unreasonable or incoherent like claiming God could somehow mysteriously cause 2+2=5 then it isn't a mystery it is merely a plea for irrationalism. But I would say God being the first cause of you having free will and or God causing yer choices to be free are not inconsistent given the mystery of free will.

            So I don't find that a reason to be uncomfortable. If anything I think the opposite is true there.

            Also yer treating "Law of Nature" as if they where somehow existing Platonic entities that actually cause the world to act in the way it acts. Errors you inherit from Hume no doubt? In short wrong. Laws of Natures are nothing more than the observed regularities we seen in things with particular essences. In Nature God is at the beginning of the essential causal chain of Being what we properly call the first cause which in principle could have been going on forever. Classic Cosmological Arguments (which the exception of the Kalam which Thomists are at best Agnostic toward other then Oderberg) presuppose a past eternal universe. If God wishes to actualize a potency directly (send fire from Heaven to consume a sacrifice) that is classified as a supernatural act. A Miracle proper is God actualizing an essence to do something that is not a natural property of the thing. Like causing a bush to burn without it being consumed or walking on water in our atmosphere pressure.
            Such things cannot be detected directly by science. At best science if it could examine it would fail to find a natural explanation but given the nature of science it would not in principle mean there wasn't one.

            This doesn't make me uncomfortable but we can have reasonable belief in something even if we don't have absolute levels of proof.

          • VicqRuiz

            BTW Jim, how would you respond to my top-level comment here made last week -

            What things of importance are known about God by theologians today that were not known in the fifteenth century?

          • Jim the Scott

            Yes I remember that question and if you pardon my snarky bluntness. I would call it a vague and nebulous question unworthy of my attention which is why I didn't answer it(sorry I am a bastard just go with it).

            I would also say it contains a hint of the scientism mentality since we do know more scientifically today than we did in the fifteenth century but so what? Is the implication science is "better"than philosophy because it learns more about the functions of the internal mechanism of the natural world via empirical investigation than philosophy? Again so what? That is like saying a particular baseball player is better than a particular football player since the Baseball player has a "higher" batting average than the football player.

            OTOH there is progress in philosophy. One comes up with better arguments and or new arguments based on old ones and one comes up with defeaters to other arguments.

            In which case you can consult a professional historian on the history of philosophy to check its progress but you would need to get specific on what progress there exists and in what field or subject matter.

            Especially in philosophy of religion. I would say we do know more today than Aquinas.

            This all having been said I will now amend my earlier snark and say yer question was still way way way better than anything Micheal or that other fellow with the mouse logo whose three letter mocker ending with a 2 I am too lazy to look up has ever posted thus far. But that is not a high bar to jump.

            So from the bottom of my heart I thank you for that.

            Cheers sir. I salute you and believe me when I say that is no snark.

          • WCB-2

            The claim God is not a moral agent and owes us no moral obligations is bunk. "you see, God is good, perfectly good, and all goodness in this Universe comes from God". "But then why is there moral evil?" "Satan! Original sin!" "But why does not this perfectly good God, the source of the very concept of good not eliminate original sin by fiat and banish Satan from
            Earth?" "For God, good does not mean what it means to say a man is good". "But the Bible tells us god has certain sub-goodnesses, God is fair, just, merciful and compassionate and more. That means good is not something mere humans cannot understand when applied to God."
            "Uhmmmm, God is not a moral agent, God owes us no moral obligations." Smirk! Smirk!

            Then God is not as self described in his revelation, fair, just, merciful, compassionate his judgments are not not righteous.

            What Aquinas, Duns Scotus and others gave us here is pure special pleading that soon collapses under it's own self contradictions.

            And if God creates all, and is essentially omniscient, he has to choose an initial state of creation from which the Universe will unfold in a strictly determinate fashion, We get no free will and thus all moral evil is God's creation and fault.

            Special plead that away.

          • Jim the Scott

            I am an Atheist toward any "god" who is a moral agent and so is any other theologically well educated Catholic and scholastic. God is only called "Morally Good" in the context of Him always without fail fulfilling the duties He has to himself. Nothing more.

            So yer tactic here is to argue based on yer personal interpretation of Holy Writ sans Our Catholic one that God is a moral agent unequivocally compared to a virtuous rational creature. This is you in effect putting on the hat of a religious apologist who has to convince me of the existence of a "god" neither of us believes in before you can turn around and refute the existence of that god we both disbelieve in the first place?

            Yeh good luck with that. That is just mental.

            >Then God is not as self described in his revelation,

            In principle I reject all yer interpretations of Holy Writ and substitute Catholic ones. So in principle you can make no argument I would accept.

            Let me know how that works out for you wee mad lad.

            >And if God creates all, and is essentially omniscient, he has to choose an initial state of creation from which the Universe will unfold in a strictly determinate fashion,

            But I reject determinism in favor of consurrentism so this is a non-starter objection.

            Son yer just repeating the same absurd crap. There is nothing new here you haven't already said I haven't already crushed..

            >Special plead that away.

            Accusing me of yer clear errors isn't convincing either. But thanks for playing. Yer a low cow version of Michael here laddie. Which is no mean feat.

          • WCB-2

            Theological Virtues

            "The medieval Catholic philosopher Thomas Aquinas explained that these virtues are called theological virtues "because they have God for their object, both in so far as by them we are properly directed to Him, and because they are infused into our souls by God alone, as also, finally, because we come to know of them only by Divine revelation in the Sacred Scriptures""

            So, if God gives Tom lots of good theological virtues, and Tome not many theological virtues, and Harry almost no theological virtues, is God then as claimed in the Bible fair, just, merciful and compassionate? No. And here, Aquinas, following the oh so holy Aristotle gives us a theological contradiction.

            God cannot be fair, just, compassionate and merciful, and yet, owe us no moral obligations and can not be claimed a moral agent. any theologian or metaphysician who cannot think carefully about such things and get the right answer does not know what they are talking about and can be safely ignored for that.

            Aquinas, Pars Secundus - Part 1 Q 62

            Hence, principles by which he might be so ordered toward supernatural beatitude have to be divinely added to a man—
            in just the way in which he is ordered by his natural principles toward his connatural end (though not without God’s help). And these principles are called theological virtues, not only
            because (a) they have God as their obj
            ect, but al so because (b) they are infused in us by God alone and because (c) these virtues are made known (tradunt ur) to us only through divine revelation, in Sacred Scripture.

            It does not work. Aquinas didn't notice, and neither did Brian Davies or others that follow Aquinas blindly.

          • Jim the Scott

            You are definitely a low rent Michael. Yer lack of understanding exceeds his. How is that even possible? Wow!

            Let me spell it out for ya. I don't believe in a Moral Agent God and I will not believe in any interpretation of the bible you give me or argument for the existence of a Moral Agent God. I am an Atheist toward that sort of "god". Away with ye ya wee "god" botherer.

            >Theological Virtues

            Yeh (Classic/Real/Catholic-Jewish)God gives us virtues including the virtue to love and desire Him to various degrees. So what? That doesn't logically follow God has virtues the way we have virtues. God gives us legs and arms and a stomach to eat it doesn't logically follow that He being pure spirit has any of that.

            >So, if God gives Tom lots of good theological virtues, and Tome not many theological virtues, and Harry almost no theological virtues, is God then as claimed in the Bible fair, just, merciful and compassionate?

            What does that matter? God is not a moral agent etc so he doesn't owe us anything. God gives all persons sufficient grace to be saved including those with few theological virtues. So going to Heaven for them is a real possibility. I don't think there is anybody with no theological virtues otherwise how could they even have mere sufficient grace? Yer bad at this.

            Yer quoting texts you dina understand and you are hoping to the gods ye dina believe in I won't notice. Well yer gods have abandoned ye. I do notice and remain unimpressed.

            >God cannot be fair, just, compassionate and merciful, and yet, owe us no moral obligations and can not be claimed a moral agent

            God isn't fair as He is not a moral agent rather He is just. His Justice consists of distributive justice not obligatory justice. Learn the difference. God's mercy and compassion consists of Him creating us & on occasion doing good things for us when He didn't have to and giving us sufficient grace which was gratuitous. All of God's good acts toward us are gratuitous not obligatory.
            That is He didn't have to do them. You hang out with Baptist fundamentalist in Texas? They never taught you about Grace Alone? That is a doctrine they and us Catholic share. Grace is not grace if it is owed. St Paul says that.

            No such "god" who is a moral agent like a virtuous rational creature is a moral agent exists and yer definitions mean nothing to us only our definitions count as they reflect our actual beliefs. Making up yer own and attributing them to us is just plain mad. You must refute the God I actually believe in not the one you wish I believed in.

            >Aquinas, Pars Secundus - Part 1 Q 62

            That is a lovely quote and it is self evident you don't understand a word Aquinas has written.:D I do but I have studied the subject. Yer just copy/pasting hoping nobody notices. Sorry laddie I notice. Bulgarian Pin up and all that.

            Awe wee lamb.

            >It does not work. Aquinas didn't notice, and neither did Brian Davies or others that follow Aquinas blindly.

            Is that an "argument"? It doesn't even rise to the level of epic fail. Cosmic Fail maybe.....

            Classic Theistic God can be "just/`fair'" and "compassionate" according to the Scholastic Definitions of divine justice and "fairness" and divine compassionand not be a moral agent unequivocally compared to the way a virtuous rational creature.

            But yer personal definitions of what constitutes "divine justice" and "compassion" mean nothing to us.

            Yer a wee mad lad and nor in the fun way my son.

          • WCB-2

            And nobody really cares what you think. Aristotle-Aquinas et al down to Brian Davies have not thought this all out and understood anything. You are not even trying at all. If God grants mankind man's theological virtues, and does not give all mankind the best theological virtues possible, God is not as proclaimed Biblically, just, fair, merciful and compassionate.

            God is not good. You do not get to redefine words to make the problem of evil disappear. If God is said to be not a moral agent, owing us no moral obligations, God's supposed revelation he is indeed merciful, compassionate, fair, just etc is just so much empty words. If you think careless claiming God is not a moral agent means anything, you are just so, every, very wrong and obviously so.

            Again, if God creates everything and is essentially omniscient, then whatever starting initial state of creation God choose creates a perfectly determinate universe. Including all acts of moral evil. God is not good, merciful, compassionate, just and fair.

            God's knowing the future, and even predestining everything is biblical, revelation, and you are stuck with that.

            Does loudly reiterating that YOU do not believe God is a moral agent really make your religion sound reasonable? And yes, God is not personal and God is impassible, without emotion, except for the emotions God has that get relabelled as not emotions.

            And God is incomprehensible "My ways are not your ways".

            We start with the claim that the Bible is a revelation from God and the problems start. Then the fancy theological jigs start and we end up with what?

            As Anthony Flew put it, "The brave hypothesis that died the death of a thousand qualifications.". We end up with no recognizable God, but a mere pile of special pleadings, dodges, and ignoring 101 problems with the entire God proposition.

          • Jim the Scott

            >And nobody really cares what you think.

            Yet I am getting the upvotes? Anyway yer reduced to stealing my shtick and that is never a good sign. God is not obligated to give us anything. That is the point. He is not a moral agent. He has no obligations to us.

            >God is not good.

            God is not morally good in the unequivocal way a virtuous rational creature is morally good. There I fixed it for ya. No need to thank me. It was my pleasure.

            God is ontologically and metaphysically Good. God is the cause of the good in created things. Which He gives as He wills gratuitously & not obligatory.

            Yer just repeating yerself and that is not convincing.

            >God's knowing the future, and even predestining everything is biblical, revelation, and you are stuck with that.

            Do you even know the distinctions between the various theories of Predestination? Did you even read Garrigou-Lagrange seminal work on the matter? I did and it was awesome. Son you don't know Garrigou-Lagrange from the arch heretic Calvin from a hole in yer bum.

            Stop trying to fake it.

            >Does loudly reiterating that YOU do not believe God is a moral agent really make your religion sound reasonable?

            No, rather you begging me to believe in a moral agent God & making arguments that are too lame for ANSWERS IN GENESIS to be caught dead using because you don't have a clue how to credibly & intelligently polemic Classic theism makes you look like a wee mad man.
            If I lose my faith tomorrow my opinion on this will not change.

            >We start with the claim that the Bible is a revelation from God and the problems start.

            Who is "We"?

            We are Catholics here not Baptists. Why is that simple concept so hard for ye to understand?

            We start with reason. "Reason must precede faith. We must have reason to believe and motivation for belief"
            Aquinas.

            I need to know God exists and what sort of God exists before I even look at the Bible. So yer knackered.

            >As Anthony Flew put it, "The brave hypothesis that died the death of a thousand qualifications.".

            The fellow who became an Aristotelian classic Theist after reading The Rediscovery of Wisdom: From Here to Antiquity in Quest of Sophia by classic theist David Conway? He was a smart fellow. Especially at the end.

            Anyway proof texting him out of context isn't impressive. Also "hypothesis" is a scientific term or a mathematical one. Not a philosophical one as far as I can tell. A philosopher has a Thesis or a proposition.

            Yer positivism is showing again laddie. Cover yer shame.

          • WCB-2

            Classic Theistic God can be "just/`fair'" and "compassionate" according to the Scholastic Definitions of divine justice and "fairness" and divine compassionand not be a moral agent unequivocally compared to the way a virtuous rational creature.

            Abraham Lincoln:
            " If I called a dog's tail a leg, how legs does a dog have?"
            Witness:
            "Five."
            Abraham Lincoln:
            Four. "Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one."

            I don't play the theologian's redefinition game.

          • Jim the Scott

            Son yer the one shamelessly playing the redefinition game.

            Lincoln's argument falls apart if we recognize tails and legs are both limbs and say dogs have five limbs based on that.

            Saying something is Good and not defining how it is good or what we mean by good or using a definition of good not being used by somebody else without proper qualification is the fallacy of equivocation. Which is what you are doing in spades.

            If i say "I heard yer dog bark last night" and you response "That is silly my dog is not covered with a thick wooden skin" that is a fallacy of equivocation.

            So you are rationally obligated to deal with the scholastic definitions of divine justice and divine compassion and leave yer equivocal ones out because I believe God is Just and Compassionate according to the scholastic definitions and not just or compassionate by yer equivocal ones. Deal with my actual beliefs not the beliefs you wish I held but don't.

            Thus by ye own standards calling a Classic Theistic God a Theistic Personalist God doesn't make it one.

          • Jim the Scott

            additionally:

            The terms "Legs" and "tails" are specific terms. Extremities and limbs are general terms and require qualification.

            Since when is the term "good" a specific term? It is clearly a general one and requires qualification. So saying God is Good is meaningless unless you are specific. God is ontologically good and metaphysically good but God is not morally good in the sense a human being is morally good.

            So again if anybody is playing the "redefinition game" it is clearly you laddie.

            Calling a Classic Theistic God a Theistic Personalist "god" doesn't make it one. Ah well then.

          • WCB-2

            We are not talking about arms, legs et al. we are discussing a God that could act but does not. A God supposedly supremely good in all ways. Whose action cost him no effort and has no cost.

            To not act is to act. If God does not act correctly, evil results.
            This entire God is not a moral agent fails because God's inaction is action that allows unnecessary evil

            The old evil does not exist it is merely a privation apologism fails here too.unnecessary evil. if it is a privation only (which I do not accept) it is a privation caused by God's failure to act.

            Bad theology that is nothing more than sophistry isn't convincing.

          • Jim the Scott

            Yeh at this point yer responses have just become more lame and more crazy. How is that even possible? You are objectively making "Michael" and "God Hates Faith" look coherent and informed by contrast. Wow!

            >We are not talking about arms, legs et al. we are discussing a God

            Then why did you cite Lincoln "Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one." in yer previous post? Yer citation sir nor mine. Well?

            At this point I am starting to think you are not only are you not reading my responses you aren't reading yer own. That is quite silly. Son take my advice. Don't post when yer high........just saying.

            >A God supposedly supremely good..

            Which only means he is ontologically and metaphysically good etc...
            God is not a moral agent etc etc....Now you are just being boring repeating nonsense I already answered.

            Dude the "god" you are bagging on I don't believe exists (nor do I believe it is the Biblical God)in the first place so why are you wasting my time arguing against a "god" neither of us believes in? Well?

            Why should I accept yer interpretation of the Bible? The Bible is not clear and as a Catholic I don't believe it was meant to be clear save for the Church. Now what?

            Well?

            The rest of what you wrote is gibberish at this point.

            >This entire God is not a moral agent fails because God's inaction is action that allows unnecessary evil.

            Yeh....really son I mean it. It is a mistake to post when yer high. You need to get some munches. Put on some Itunes and chill till you come down. Trust me I've been to college as a youth I still remember somethings.

            Because what you wrote above couldn't possibly be written by someone sober.

            > The old evil does not exist it is merely a privation apologism fails here too.unnecessary evil. if it is a privation only (which I do not accept) it is a privation caused by God's failure to act.

            Another question for ya my son. Two actually. What are you smoking and where can I score some? It must be some primo shhhhhhh.....stuff. ;-)

            >Bad theology that is nothing more than sophistry isn't convincing.

            I agree which is why I don't confess yer bad fundamentalist theology. I am a Catholic not a fundie.

            Wee mad lad.

          • WCB-2

            Again, if God can act, and does not, God acts by not acting.

            If as Aquinas tells you, theological virtues are granted by God, who doesn't God grant everybody the maximum theological virtues?

            God is not a moral agent is a dead theory. Not if God is supposedly essentially good, the very source of goodness.

            You simply are not capable of grasping this stark little truth.
            You ad hominem attacks don't make the facts go away

          • Jim the Scott

            Sorry laddie but Calling a Classic Theistic God a Theistic Personalist One doesn't make it one.

            >Again, if God can act, and does not, God acts by not acting.

            Gibberish.

            >If as Aquinas tells you, theological virtues are granted by God, who doesn't God grant everybody the maximum theological virtues?

            "..who doesn't God grant everybody the maximum theological virtues...."?

            What the heck is that? Is that English? Wow! I thought my grammar was bad.........

            >God is not a moral agent is a dead theory. Not if God is supposedly essentially good, the very source of goodness.

            God is not a moral agent etc etc is Catholic Doctrine. I am still not interested in yer criticisms of a "god" neither of us believe exists. Why are you dead set on convincing me this "god" exists? If a convincing argument could be made for this "god" you would be an Ex-Atheist turned Baptist by now.

            Yer vague & nebulous concept of "goodness" is meaningless to me.

            God is not a good bike rider lad just because He is omnipotent as that given His Nature would be incoherent. God is not morally good the way a virtuous rational creature is morally good. God has no obligations to His creatures. No such "god" exists & no Catholic here confesses that "god".

            God is not a moral agent so God is not obligated to give anybody any theological virtues. Especially since the Quote you cribbed way back from Aquinas (which you obviously didn't understand) clearly said Theological virtues where a product of divine grace. If they are grace then by definition they are not earned or owed as St Paul said.
            We can add "We are not Pelagian heretics here we are Catholics" to the list of yer spectacular ignorance of Catholic theology and the Bible.

            Geez laddie. Claiming Trent says the Bible has 66 books. Framing Predestination in Calvinist terms. Confusing Concurrentism with Determinism. Openly lying about my views on Pope Francis' Encyclical.
            Now attributing Pelagianism too Catholicism.

            You for some reason have this mad desire to criticize a "god" I and no Catholic here believes in and yer pretending that we do is just pathetic at this point. It is just plain delusional.

            >You simply are not capable of grasping this stark little truth.

            Rather if there really is no God. It is clear...you just guessed correctly at random. You didn't reason yerself there. You don't have the brain power.

            >You ad hominem attacks don't make the facts go away...

            What facts? Trent teaches the Bible has 66 books like you claimed?

            Laddie you and facts don't inhabit the same reality.

            Again Calling a Classic Theistic God a Theistic Personalist One doesn't make it one.

          • WCB-2

            I am not calling God a theistic personalist. I am calling God a moral agent who acts by not acting though that God could.

            Telling us God is not a person is nonsense. True the theoretical god is nota person as a man of flesh and blood is. man is very limited, God has no limits if we listen to people like you. But God has will, intelligence and a mind, according to theology. A person in other words.

            Classical theism is self contradictory, loaded with meaningless word games and collapses under it's own weight

            Again, if God is essentially omniscience, and creates the world, then from any initial state of creation the Universe will unfold in a hard deterministic manner. All moral evil is then God's fault, because we can have no free will.

            It doesn't matter if you claim God is a personalist God or not, a mystery, an apophatic God or a magic fairy. God gets the blame for all that happens, including moral evil in the Universe he chose to create.

            This then is another line of reasoning that tells us God is a moral agent for making the choice of creating a Universe and choosing any given initial state of creation.

            The claims God then is good, perfectly good, the very definition of good, the source of all goodness in this universe, a base dogma of your theology falls.

            If you are incapable of accepting these obvious truths, so be it. I suspect any atheists lurking here will agree, all of this is a good reason to reject theism, theological metaphysics and a belief in the existence of God.

            Classical theology is dead, and empty sophistry and name calling cannot save it.

          • Jim the Scott other

            Wow you are really clueless. Michael has nothing on you my son.

            >I am not calling God a theistic personalist. I am calling God a moral agent who acts by not acting though that God could.

            Wesel words sir. The "god" you are kvetching about entirely resembles a Theistic Personalist "god" which I don't believe exists and in no way resembles the Classic Theist God I do believe exists thus all yer objections are non-starters.

            Why are you arguing against a "god" neither of us believes exists? That is like telling a bunch of Muslims to abandon Islam because of alleged mistakes you found in the Book of Mormon. Why would you do that? Why should Muslims disbelieve their religion because of "mistakes" you found in a book they don't believe in? Well why should I abandon Catholicism just because you find "mistakes" in a non-Catholic concept of "god" I don't hold too and don't believe exists nor is the "Biblical" God? That is just plain mental and you are what Atheist Philosopher Dave Stove would call an irrationalist. If no gods exists yer arguments here are just plain nonsense. Do you really not see that? Or is this just a troll?

            >Classical theism is self contradictory, loaded with meaningless word games and collapses under it's own weight..

            Rather you have not shown even the slightest familiarity of what Classic Theism teaches to even begin to make a case against it. All yer objections without exception only apply to a Theistic Personalist view of "god" (& not the Classic) and the Theistic Personalist "god" does not exist. It

            You have yet to make even one challenging criticism of God in the Classic sense. All you have done is waste people's time kvetching about a "god" nobody here believes exists based on yer comically ignorant misunderstandings of Catholic and Scholastic theology.
            Not to mention yer non-Catholic personal interpretation of Holy Writ which is an automatic non-starter.

            >Again, if God is essentially omniscience, and creates the world, then from any initial state of creation the Universe will unfold in a hard deterministic manner.

            You haven't proven that and if God is omniscient in the Classical sense the universe can unfold in a concurrentist fashion. Of course we both know you don't know Concurrentism from determinism from a whole in yer 'ed.

            So WCB-2 an honest question for you. Why do you think it is a good idea to argue against a "god" nobody here believes exist? Well?

            Laddie you must make a case against the God I believe in not the "god" you wish I believed in.

          • Jim the Scott

            Wow you are really clueless. Michael has nothing on you my son.

            >I am not calling God a theistic personalist. I am calling God a moral agent who acts by not acting though that God could.

            Wesel words sir. The "god" you are kvetching about entirely resembles a Theistic Personalist "god" which I don't believe exists and in no way resembles the Classic Theist God I do believe exists thus all yer objections are non-starters.

            Why are you arguing against a "god" neither of us believes exists? That is like telling a bunch of Muslims to abandon Islam because of alleged mistakes you found in the Book of Mormon. Why would you do that? Why should Muslims disbelieve their religion because of "mistakes" you found in a book they don't believe in? Well why should I abandon Catholicism just because you find "mistakes" in a non-Catholic & non-classical theistic concept of "god" I don't hold too and don't believe exists nor is the "Biblical" God? Isn't that just plain silly?

            That is just plain mental and you are what Atheist Philosopher Dave Stove would call an irrationalist. If no gods exists yer arguments here are just plain nonsense. Do you really not see that? Or is this just a troll?

            >Classical theism is self contradictory, loaded with meaningless word games and collapses under it's own weight..

            Rather you have not shown even the slightest familiarity of what Classic Theism teaches to even begin to make a case against it. All yer objections without exception only apply to a Theistic Personalist view of "god" (& not the Classic) and the Theistic Personalist "god" does not exist.

            You have yet to make even one challenging criticism of God in the Classic sense. All you have done is waste people's time kvetching about a "god" nobody here believes exists based on yer comically ignorant misunderstandings of Catholic and Scholastic theology.

            Not to mention yer non-Catholic personal interpretation of Holy Writ which is an automatic non-starter.

            >Again, if God is essentially omniscience, and creates the world, then from any initial state of creation the Universe will unfold in a hard deterministic manner.

            You haven't proven that and if God is omniscient in the Classical sense the universe can unfold in a concurrentist fashion. Of course we both know you don't know Concurrentism from determinism from a wole in yer 'ed.

            So WCB-2 an honest question for you. Why do you think it is a good idea to argue against a "god" nobody here believes exist? Well?

            Laddie you must make a case against the God I believe in not the "god" you wish I believed in.

          • Jim the Scott

            additionally:

            >I am calling God a moral agent who acts by not acting though that God could.

            Yes you are making up yer own "god" that I don't believe exists in the first place. Why should I care about yer made up imaginary friend?

            Yer an Atheist so as far as you know there are no gods? So how can you know something that doesn't exist is or is not a moral agent?

            Also how can you ad hoc insist somebody who doesn't believe in a moral agent "god" treat their God as a moral agent? That is like telling Muslims Islam is "wrong" because of some alledged problems in the Book of Mormon. They tell you they don't believe the Book of Mormon is Holy Scripture and you response "I am calling Islam a religion that accept the Book of Mormon as scripture". How is that a rational argument even if there are no gods? Sorry that is just plain mental.

            Also what does "acting" or "not acting" have to do with having moral obligations to others (i.e. the classic theistic definition of a moral agent) or not?

            An animal might attack me or it might not? How does that make it a moral agent? It doesn't by definition as animals are amoral given their nature. Well as Davies and other Thomists have show God given His Nature is "in a sense amoral" & His goodness is solely confined to him being ontologically good and metaphysically good. God in the classic sense cannot coherently be said to be a moral agent.

            How does ad hoc redefining the nature of the God I believe in suppose to convince anybody? It just makes you look totally mental.

          • WCB-2

            The terms "Legs" and "tails" are specific terms. Extremities and limbs are general terms and require qualification.

            So you need an explanation as to what is a tail and what is a leg, and why a tail is not a leg?

            Well, Art is Art, isn't it? Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more
            like prunes than rhubarb does. Now you tell me what you know.
            - Groucho Marx

          • Jim the Scott

            No son I need a definition of "good" and "moral" because they are not specific terms and you are giving us yer own personal nebulous definition and we have our own established scholastic definitions which alone applies here.

            Calling a leg an arm doesn't make it one and calling a Classic Theist non-moral agent Divinity a Theistic Personalist Moral Agent "divinity" doesn't make it one. But after we pointed this out you pretended it wasn't you who cited Lincoln first. So basically you are without...….

          • WCB-2

            "What does that matter? God is not a moral agent etc so he doesn't owe us
            anything. God gives all persons sufficient grace to be saved including
            those with few theological virtues. So going to Heaven for them is a
            real possibility. I don't think there is anybody with no theological
            virtues otherwise how could they even have mere sufficient grace? Yer
            bad at this."

            It matters. If God is said to be good, perfectly good, the source of all goodness in the universe, to not do good means evil exists because God fails to act. If God is truly omnipotent, it costs god nothing and does not cause God any great effort.

            Now, how to account for a perfectly good God not actualizing his perfect goodness/ God is not a moral agent? No. If God does not act as a moral agent, god is responsible for all the vil that follows god's failure to act. and that is an act. Not an act of good. And by choosing not to act, God becomes a moral agent. A failed one.

            You cannot dodge the issue with empty slogans.

            Again, plain and simple. If God could act for the good, and refuses to do so, God acts as a moral agent and not a good moral agent.

          • Jim the Scott

            >It matters.

            Not to me or any other Catholic scholastic. It is not my "god" ergo it is not my problem. Go bug the Theistic Personalists with this one. They believe in a moral agent "god". Plantinga's "god" isn't technically mine in terms of specifics.

            > If God is said to be good, perfectly good,

            What kind of good? Morally Good and in what sense? Ontologically Good? Metaphysically Good? Also are you using the classic Platonic and Aristotelian definition of good or some nebulous modern popular definition I don't hold too? Because a Dog has five limbs. Six extremities if you wish to include the head. Lincoln was a good lawyer but a terrible philosopher it seems. But he was a better President obviously.

            Then you have to define evil and do we use the classic definition of metaphysical privation or some nebulous definition I also don't accept?

            Fallacies of equivocation will not impress me son.

            >You cannot dodge the issue with empty slogans.

            That is you I am afraid. My cards are on the table but for some reason yer braking out the chess set and simultaneously claiming you are beating me in checkers? Yer a wee mad lad my son.

            >Again, plain and simple. If God could act for the good, and refuses to do so, God acts as a moral agent and not a good moral agent.

            A moral agent has obligations to someone or something. God's only obligations are to himself so he is not obligated to stop any evil he in fact could stop. If he does stop it then that is a gratuitous act on his part since all of God's good acts are by nature gratuitous not obligatory.

            Wrong God son. Yer Moral Agent Theistic Personalist Plantinga "god" can feck off with ye. I don't believe in it and no Catholic here does.

            You cannot argue by redefining my religion. Our definitions are the only ones that count to us. You cannot prove us wrong in principle by redefining our religion.

      • WCB-2

        Christian theology relies on the Bible. We now know the Bible is wrong about many things. The earth is not 6.000 years old. there was no Noah's flood, no Tower of Babel. The two different creation tales of Genesis 1 and 2 cannot be reconciled. Genesis 1 - 3 are full of nonsense science knows is wrong. And on and on.

        If there was a God who gave us revelations we could rely on, these mythological nonsense claims would not be found in such a revelation.
        The Bible is not a revelation from God. Ranting and raving about scientism is empty polemics. And going back to Aristotle's physics and metaphysics is something no working scientist really cares about. Aristotle was wrong about so much, it is all useless. He did the best he could but lacked the tools to really be right about anything except by accident.

        When it comes to natural science, theology, metaphysics, occultism, mysticism have all given us nothing. Except giving science lots of errors to correct or reject.

        In medicine, the ancient Greeks gave us the empiricists, who opposed the dogmatists with their cockeyed systems based on nothing provable. It took 1500 years for the empiricists to prove themselves right as to underlying common sense, 'metaphysics' if you will.

        One good telescope is worth 1,000 thick metaphysical tomes.

      • God Hates Faith

        You forget that whenever their invisible friend interacts with the physical reality, it does so in ways that can't be falsified ; )

        • VicqRuiz

          Hey, all he's gotta do is to put a fossil jackrabbit in the stomach of a fossil velociraptor. I'm waiting.

  • God Hates Faith

    Not sure what is the point of this OP. Science is unsettled, therefore have faith in unfalsifiable axioms and my invisible friend?

    • Mark

      It's a head scratcher how you embarrassingly lose arguments because you don't understand a posteriori reasoning and necessary being and you return every few weeks with your pet rock and god-killing penguin.

      • God Hates Faith

        Its embarrassing that you repeat your same assumptions, but when I demonstrate that your assumptions aren't evidence, you pretend they are.

  • God Hates Faith

    When has religion ever corrected science?

    • Mark

      1) t=zero That one really butt hurt the sons of Enlightenment.
      2) Whenever scientist make ethical/moral claims disguised as science.

      • God Hates Faith

        Huh?

      • WCB-2

        Who says scientists are prohibited from making ethical claims based on scientific finding? Oh, theologians and metaphysicians, I see.

        • Jim the Scott

          Except the Scientists would be using Ethics not science which is Mark's point. Opps! For example the science tells me using this drug cures baldness but causes cancer therefore ethically we shouldn't use it and embrace our inner Yuel Brinner.

          You really are bad at this.

          • WCB-2

            So if eminent scientists warn us that ignoring climate change is not moral or wise, while right winged politicians don't care about climate change or are even climate change denialists, that is somehow not connected to science/ That scientists cannot have moral standards?

            I think you are not thinking about this very carefully. Here in the US, many of those GOP science denialist politicians claim to be Christians, and lots of US Christians vote for them.

            We have an anti-science anti-intellectual problem here in America. Does that fact bother you? It bothers lots of young Americans who are leaving religion because of that sort of moral blindness and rank anti-intellectualism.
            Lots of Nones left organized religion because of churches swing to right winged politics.

          • Mark

            Can we stop with the Democrat political stump speeches? If people leave organized religion rank anti-intellectualism and moral blindness they are not going to find intellectualism and morality in either the Democratic or Repubican parties. Nobody gives a crud about your political tribe. I'll flag any post that contains right-wing bozoland or left-wing communist rhetoric. It's not why I'm here.

          • WCB-2

            This is not about Democratic stump speeches. It is about the sober assessment of many knowledgeable climate scientists. We have problems and must not fail to act. You want to divorce theology and religion from science? And are we to sit here chewing our cud while the world slides toward disaster? Election day is just a month away.

          • Jim the Scott

            @EamusCatuli0771108:disqus

            Still lying WCB-2? In addition to that whopper you said misrepresenting my views on the Holy Father's climate Encyclical you once cited these words from this very blog to me in the past.

            "StrangeNotions.com is the central place of dialogue between Catholics and atheists. It's built around three things: reason, faith, and dialogue. You'll find articles, videos, and rich comment box discussion concerning life's Big Questions."

            Nothing here about politics or climate change other than one essay on how we need to be kind to the environment in general(which I agree with). Dave Ruben the "married" to a man gay atheist born of a Jewish woman might agree with me on Donald Trump. But Mark Shea and Steven D. Greydanus both Catholics can't stand Trump. Nuff said.

            Politics is a matter of prudent judgement not faith or morals. Give it a rest & stop forcing political discussions on others against their will. It is rude.

          • Mark

            Then shut-up with the political agenda. We're not here to defend political ideologies you perceive all religious have.

          • WCB-2

            Sorry. This site is about atheists and Catholic dialogue. If labelling a moral issue like climate change an "ideology" is all you understand about this, then you are wrong. It is about hard scientific evidence and the moral imperative to act.

            With 26 days until election day, now is the time to have this discussion. Religion likes to claim to be the arbiter of ethics and morals. Pope Francis has in this case, acted on this moral issue based on science.

            That makes it on topic in a Catholic oriented site. You all have a moral obligation to get authoritative information about the seriousness of climate change and act on it.

            If you do not like it, complain to Pope Francis.

          • Mark

            "Lots of Nones left organized religion because of churches swing to right winged politics." That statement has everything to do with political ideology and nothing to do with Catholicism. Catholics are both right and left wing; Socialist democrats and conservative capitalist. No Catholic has left the faith because the Catholic faith is right winged and anti-intellectual because it is neither right winged nor anti-intellectual. That is a non-sequitur.

          • WCB-2

            yes, it has a lot to do with ideology. Lots of churches have pastors that spew an unending stream of right winged politics. and that is repelling lots of young people out of organized religion.

            https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/08/08/why-americas-nones-dont-identify-with-a-religion/

            "The second-most-common reason is opposition to the positions taken by churches on social and political issues, cited by 49% of respondents (the survey asked about each of the six options separately)."

            36% of younger millenials are unaffiliated with any religion.

          • David Nickol

            Why do you appear so angry so much of the time???

            I think the discussion of global warming is on topic. As I noted before, the author of the OP claimed that if "talking heads" on a cable show were debating, one in a lab coat would always beat one in clerical garb hands down. But there are significant differences among religious and ethnic groups on attitudes toward global warming when the scientific community overwhelmingly asserts global warming (because of human activity) is definitely occurring and is extremely serious. Note the following (somewhat dated) poll results:

            Views about climate change vary by religious affiliation and level of religious observance. Hispanic Catholics (77%), like Hispanics overall (70%), are particularly likely to say the Earth is warming due to human activity. Most of the religiously unaffiliated (64%) and 56% of black Protestants say climate change is mostly due to human activity.

            By comparison, fewer white mainline Protestants (41%) view climate change as primarily due to human activity. White evangelical Protestants are least likely to hold this view; 28% among this group say the Earth is warming primarily due to human activity, 33% say the Earth’s warming is mostly due to natural patterns, and 37% say there is no solid evidence that climate change is occurring.

            Political affiliation is an even stronger predictor of attitudes regarding climate change:

            The share of Americans who say global climate change is a major threat to the well-being of the United States has grown from 44% in 2009 to 60% this year. But the rise in concern has largely come from Democrats. Opinions among Republicans on this issue remain largely unchanged.

            About nine-in-ten Democrats (88%, including independents who lean to the party) now consider climate change a major threat to the nation, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted March 3-29. That’s up 27 percentage points from a 2009 survey. Concern about climate change has increased among both liberal Democrats and moderate or conservative Democrats (rising 20 and 27 points, respectively).

            By contrast, the 6 percentage point increase among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents since 2009 is not statistically significant. In the new survey, about three-in-ten Republicans (31%) consider climate change a major threat, while 45% say it is a minor threat and 24% say it is not a threat to the nation.

            It does not even really matter for the sake of this discussion whether the scientists or the doubters are right. The author of the OP is overstating his case (to put it kindly) when he complains that science always wins over religion.

            Again, who is right and who is wrong is almost a secondary question for this discussion. If science has become our new religion, why do other factors so strongly influence who believes the overwhelming majority of scientists on global warming?

            Note: The last thing I want to do here is debate the scientific evidence for and against global warming and its causes.

          • Jim the Scott

            @Mark

            How is it a topic here? WCB-2 is just trolling & Mark is right to tell him to clear off sucking up the oxygen with nonsense. He has nothing intelligent relevant to the topics at hand and if you can find one thing regarding Classic Theism I would love to hear it from someone intelligent and competent like yerself. If you decline I wouldn't hold it against ya.

            This place is a dialog between Atheists and Theists. There are many Atheists who are climate skeptics. I note VicqRuiz is a self professed religious skeptic as strong as you and I note he seems to lean somewhat "right" toward Orange Man politically and he is critical of the "Climate Religion"?

            OTOH you and the Holy Father would find nothing but agreement on Climate Change & you and Mark Shea would get on like a house on fire in yer lovefest for yer mutual dislike of the Orange One. That is all just lovely.

            . Me not so much but I can point to the Holy Father's own teaching where he says Climate Change is a matter of science and the Church does not presume to rule on such matters. So I dina have to agree with him.

            Pope Francis can root for Argentina to win a soccer match and Emeritus Pope Benedict and root for Germany and I hope against hope Scotland for once kicks both their butts(thought it is not gonna happen).

            It is off topic and it has nothing to do with Atheism and Classic Theism.

          • David Nickol

            It is off topic and it has nothing to do with Atheism and Classic Theism.

            The comments section accompanying an OP has been—in my understanding—a place for comments relating to the OP. There is nothing in the OP about atheism and classical theism. It begins: "Christians and non-Christians alike tend to value the language of natural science as the most appropriate and authoritative language to speak within the 'public square' of liberal nation states." The fact that there are rather significant differences (statistically) between various religious and ethnic groups on a purely scientific issue would seem to me to indicate that religion, ethnicity, ideology, political affiliation, and so on can potentially influence one's view of science as much as science can influence religion, ethnicity, ideology, and political affiliation. Nobody is arguing that every white Evangelical or every Republican is a "climate change skeptic." But the correlations are statistically significant.

            Even if a post or series of posts is off topic, there are better ways of dealing with that than telling the poster to "shut up."

          • Jim the Scott

            >There is nothing in the OP about atheism and classical theism.

            But that is a the greater meta subject of this blog so that is always in the back round. Politics is not the subject of this blog and climate change is not & Atheists and Theists are on both sides of that issue. Politics and climate change are also not the subject of the OP. Why the double standard?

            Additionally when you tell somebody that yer not interested in arguing politics & climate change and they still wish to force it on you just to be a jerk about it then I think telling them to shut up about it is valid.

            >Even if a post or series of posts is off topic, there are better ways of dealing with that than telling the poster to "shut up."

            That is a valid opinion, perhaps a good one but IMHO it is not the only one. Especially when you are dealing with individuals who are forcing their opinions on others. Also yer not reading the others posts. There are quite a few consensual discussions on this blog about politics and Climate change and some Trump bashing. None of which I care about because I am not involved. It is not being forced on me and the Catholic Church isn't being attacked. So why should I give a flying f....fig? ;-)

            I am not nor can anybody here accuse me of saying this topic is off limits and not to be discussed by anybody. Contrary to the erroneous but I am sure good faith opinions of some. ;-) I am not the moderator and neither is Dr. B. But I have an absolute right to shut down any conversation directed toward myself personally I don't wish to have on any topic and I have right to react against it if my wishes are not honored. Also so do you good sir.. So I have a right to tell WCB-2 to get lost over climate change and so does Mark.

            If you tell me you don't want to talk about something because it is off topic I would respect it and I would deserve it if I tried to force on you a discussion you did not want.

            Ask my college girlfriends. I always believed no means no.

            >Nobody is arguing that every white Evangelical or every Republican is a "climate change skeptic." But the correlations are statistically significant.

            There are three types of lies. Lies, damn lies and statistics. Joke! Deadpan mode!(Red Dwarf reference). ;-)

            Statistically there is more sex abuse in public schools & secular education than by Catholic priests. Is that significant? No it is not IMHO (yer free to disagree) it is just talking points. We have enough of that it is the silly season.

            Cheers. My respects to you always.

          • Mark

            Lets be crystal clear, In 2019 5% of Americans deny climate change according to the YouGov-Cambridge Globalism Project. An additional 8% could be put into the "don't know if humans created it". Climate change (according to the article you posted links this article) is the number one Democratic talking point:

            https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/zahrahirji/climate-change-election-primaries-democrat-2020

            WCB wants to make political points. Nearly all scientist all agree climate change is real. Nearly all scientist all agree humans contribute some amount. Nearly all scientist would also deny climate change is solely due to human contribution. Therefore scientist would attribute some amount of human contribution (depending on the models). What is abundantly clear to me is that nearly all politicians called "climate change denialists" are in the category of "climate change is real and humans contribute some amount". Thus "climate change denialist" is a political term rather than an actual rational description describing the politician's view. Politicians who are dubbed "deniers of climate change" are really politicians who make a prudential judgement that prioritize other political concerns (such as the economic growth) above the potential economic negative impact of green initiatives. They are not deniers of the science, rather deniers of an imminent global environomental disaster which absolutely does not have scientific consensus. Not surprisingly, they use the same fear tactics of an economic collapse to thwart off green initiatives. Either way, WCB lacks the dialogue skills to have a rational political dialogue and you seem to lack the ability to see somebody clearly is making a political election stump speach.

            Lastly, I appreciate your concern for my emotional health. You probably should have shown the same concern for WCB last week when he posted the following during a previous political rant reply to JtS:

            No lies at all. You simply did not bother to express yourself clearly on that point. But a problem remains. You have clearly stated you are skeptical of climate change. You can choose to not believe it and refuse to step aside from SN long enough to find out why many, many scientists do believe it based on hard, scientific evidence.

            Sit down, shut up and go do your home work.

            .

          • David Nickol

            Below are excerpts from the first article (cherry-picked, of course) from your source that came up on my search engine:

            US is hotbed of climate change denial, major global survey finds

            Exclusive: Out of 23 big countries, only Saudi Arabia and Indonesia had higher proportion of doubters

            The US is a hotbed of climate science denial when compared with other countries, with international polling finding a significant number of Americans do not believe human-driven climate change is occurring.

            A total of 13% of Americans polled in a 23-country survey conducted by the YouGov-Cambridge Globalism Project agreed with the statement that the climate is changing “but human activity is not responsible at all”. A further 5% said the climate was not changing.

            Only Saudi Arabia (16%) and Indonesia (18%) had a higher proportion of people doubtful of manmade climate change.

            Americans were also more likely than any other western country polled to say they did not know whether the climate was changing or people were responsible – a total of 13% said this.

            But despite these views, the great majority of US citizens do accept the science of climate change, with nearly four in 10 saying human activity was at least partly responsible, potentially with other factors, and a further third taking the stronger view that human activity is the dominant cause. . . .

            Americans also appear unusually prone to climate-related conspiracy theories, the YouGov data suggests. A total of 17% of those polled agreed that “the idea of manmade global warming is a hoax that was invented to deceive people”.

            Belief in this conspiracy theory, which was previously invoked by Donald Trump, who falsely claimed climate change was made up by China, increases with age and also conservative political ideology. A total of 52% of Americans who described themselves as “very rightwing” to YouGov insisted global warming was a hoax.

          • David Nickol

            Lastly, I appreciate your concern for my emotional health.

            I am not any more or less concerned about your emotional health than I am about any other commenter's here. I am just curious to know why you so often seem angry. I suspect I sometimes seem angry when I am not. Maybe you are never angry at all. Maybe you just naturally have a "bite your head off" writing style.

            If so many people are concerned about global warming, I don't see why it is nefarious for Democrats to stress it as an issue.

            Either way, WCB lacks the dialogue skills to have a rational political dialogue and you seem to lack the ability to see somebody clearly is making a political election stump speach.

            What makes you think I read WCB's messages? Do I comment on them? Do I upvote them? All I have argued is that the discussion of of how religion or political affiliation affects people's acceptance or rejection of climate science is relevant to this thread, since the author claims that people believe everything scientists say. Clearly they do not.

          • David Nickol

            Politicians who are dubbed "deniers of climate change" are really politicians who make a prudential judgement that prioritize other political concerns (such as the economic growth of the political capital sources of their campaign contributors) above the potential economic negative impact of green initiatives. [Boldface added]

            Talk about "sleight of hand"! Your use of the term prudential judgment from Catholic moral theology implies that all politicians (you did't say many or some) dubbed "deniers of climate change" have in fact made a virtuous, moral determination, even if the intent behind the decision is to cater to donors rather than constituents, or rather than to do the right thing for the country or the world.

            I do not mean to imply that every decision not to support "green" political proposals is somehow craven or serving or even wrong or misguided. But to claim every "climate change denier" (or even most of them) arrived at his or her political position by making a "prudential" judgment is not credible. Perhaps you meant something like "pragmatic" instead of "prudential."

          • Mark

            But to claim every "climate change denier" (or even most of them)
            arrived at his or her political position by making a "prudential"
            judgment is not credible.

            Usually Dave you're pretty good at asking for clarification rather than putting words in other people's mouth. We're talking about the political tactic of left wing calling right wing politicians "climate change deniers". I'm unaware of any right wing politician that claims climate change is in the category of "non-existent". They may claim the climate changes are not human induced or the climate changes occurring due to natural climatic cycles, but they don't deny the climate changes. Using an alternate meanings of plain English to define into existence rhetorically irrational point of view is politics and has no place in a rational dialogue. This has been my point all along so congrats on getting likes by the blatant political rah rahs that lack the ability to understand moral/ethical is a qualitative knowledge outside the purvey of science. You're in bad company doubling down on meaningless political rhetoric.

            Those right wing politicians that use their intellectual judgement to not engage in green initiatives because there is no scientific consensus that shows a human-induced climate change catastrophe is imminent and preventable by political action are indeed using rational judgement (using prudence). Prudence need not have a Catholic theological meaning, so rather than assuming, just ask. And having brought it up, from a Christian perspective rhetorically attacking someone using the term "climate denier" is a cunning lie. In ethics, prudential judgement means to weigh the circumstances to determine a correct course of action. Generally, it means you can have two people weight the circumstances differently and come to two different ethical conclusions. BTW donors and constituents are not mutually exclusive. You can have the last word; I've had my fill of politricks.

          • Jim the Scott

            I am with ya buddy.

          • Jim the Scott

            I don't care to discuss politics here. I don't care if you believe in climate change and I am skeptical about it. I care that the Pope believes it because he clearly said I don't have too. You lied shamelessly about my views on the Pope's Encyclical & you where caught red handed & proved to everybody here you are not a person of good will nor are you moral.

          • WCB-2

            No lies at all. You simply did not bother to express yourself clearly on that point. But a problem remains. You have clearly stated you are skeptical of climate change. You can choose to not believe it and refuse to step aside from SN long enough to find out why many, many scientists do believe it based on hard, scientific evidence.

            Sit down, shut up and go do your home work.

            While we are playing games here...

            https://www.rawstory.com/2020/10/leaked-docs-from-inside-omnicidal-exxonmobil-reveal-plan-to-increase-climate-emissions/

            New reporting Monday based on leaked internal documents reveals ExxonMobil has been planning to notably increase annual carbon dioxide emissions—a revelation that did not shock climate campaigners but still elicited fresh condemnation.

            “To no one’s surprise, Exxon is continuing to drive catastrophic climate change by putting profits before people and our planet,” the advocacy group Food & Water Watch declared in response to the exclusive reporting by Bloomberg Green.

          • Jim the Scott

            You clearly lied about my views on Pope Francis' Encyclical, shamelessly & I caught you red handed. At best you read yer own ideas into my words (as you read yer own made up concepts into out terminology) and straw man them. Which is a dishonest form of argument ergo still lying. Laddie you lied so yer like the wee ladd who cried wolf. If you told the truth right now I would doubt it. So you have nothing to say to me on Climate Change. Why should I listen to a known liar?.

          • WCB-2

            Troll much?

          • Jim the Scott

            Look whose talking.

          • WCB-2

            What you posted:

            "I do believe Pope Francis you OTOH are sitting here pretending Pope Francis didn't say Climate change was merely scientific and not theological and he said the church doesn't presume to pronounce on such things.

            You wish to pretend those words are not there and
            interpret everything in his letter sans them. I am not impressed by such special pleading nor convinced."

            How can anybody mistake what you post for other than support for Pope Francis's call for action now? If you want to clear this all up for the peanut gallery here, go ahead.

          • Jim the Scott

            You lied laddie. You said I didn't like Pope Francis' encyclical and I said no such thing.

            >How can anybody mistake what you post for other than support for Pope Francis's call for action now?

            Rather how can you lie like a devil and claim that means "I don't like the Encyclical"? You lied sir and I caught you. Stop dodging it is pathetic and further shows yer dishonesty.

            >If you want to clear this all up for the peanut gallery here, go ahead.

            You said "I didn't like the Encyclical". I never said that and nothing I wrote can rationally be interpreted to mean that.

            >Pope Francis's call for action now..

            That is a matter of prudence not faith or morals. It is obvious to anybody who has studied moral theology. It is not a matter of church discipline so I don't have to answer this "call". I have no such obligation from the Pope. At best I must respect it and treat it with respect. Which I do and misguided right wing "Catholics" who condemn the Pope (rather then politely disagree as is their right according to Pope Francis) can kiss my Rosary beads.

          • WCB-2

            Any atheists who reads your words I posted and there reads you braying about me lying is going to give you a good and well deserved horse laugh. yeah, you don't have to care about Pope Francis demand for action because 'reasons'.

          • Jim the Scott

            You lied laddie and I caught you. You said to Mark that I didn't like Pope Francis' letter and I never said that and you know it.

            >Any atheists who reads your words...

            So yer saying Atheists act according to tribe and not according to reason and evidence? Because I can point to yer statement to Mark which is a lie and our earlier discussion on Pope Francis' Encyclical and see nowhere did I claim not to like it.. You lied laddie and I caught you.

            >you don't have to care about Pope Francis demand for action because 'reasons'.

            Reasons given by Pope Francis who literally said the Church doesn't rule on science nor replace politics and science itself doesn't describe all reality. Words written by Pope Francis which you ignored. Words that give me permission not to believe in or act as if Climate Change is real. Given the norms of Catholic teaching I merely have to be respectful toward this prudent opinion of the Pope. It is not a matter of faith or morals but a matter of prudent judgement. Mark told you that and others but you insist on making up yer own personal Catholicism.

          • Jim the Scott

            BTW why do you think you can make me an Atheist by trying to convince me yer fundamentalist view of the Bible is the dogma of the Catholic faith(when it is not)?

            Don't you know in principle I can deny the existence of God according to any theology and I would still not agree with yer interpretation? It seems to me it is very possible the author of Genesis could have not meant it to be literal even if there are no gods. How do you prove positively that is not true and if you can't why are you wasting everybody's time using Young Earth Creationist apologetics to "convert me" to Fundamentalist Baptist faith because yer too lazy to meet me and my Catholic religion on our own ground?

            Isn't that just mad? I believe it is and I learned this from an Atheist. Why was that Atheist wrong WCB-2. Well?

  • Jim the Scott

    BTW to all the Gnu Atheists here and those Atheists who are very rationally competent(you each know who you are). I made one factual mistake in my responses to WCB-2 nonsense. Can anybody guess what it was? (My money is on Nickol to figure it out but I wouldn't count out Ficino).. The prize you get to prove me wrong and I will admit it. Why shouldn't I? There is no shame in making a mistake.

    Anyway I await a response.

    • Jim the Scott

      Contest is over since last Night Dr. B cited the mistake.

  • Jim the Scott

    Gnu Atheism is an intellectual failure even if there are no gods. It is a one note fundamentalist form of non-belief & twice as tedious as its theistic counter part.

    It insists Ad Hoc Holy Writ is absolutely clear championing the doctrine of Luther while denying the existence of the god of Luther. Yet it insists this doctrine is to be imposed on non-Lutheran versions of Christianity via special pleading?
    It further insists the literal interpretation of Holy Writ is the only true interpretation contrary to the historic Traditions of Judaism, Orthodox Christianity and Catholic Christianity. It preaches Scientism/Positivism that Science is the only valid form of knowledge ignoring what many Atheist philosophers have pointed out that Positivism is itself not a scientific position ergo not valid by its own standards. It ignores philosophy across the board or subordinates it to science or conflates with science.

    It even dismisses Atheist Philosophy. Such is the nature of its irrationality its adherents might as well just profess the world was made in 6 literal days and be done with it.

    The "god" it rejects is an overly anthropomorphic entity that only became popular in certain theistic circles post enlightenment. It is too busy "refuting" the "Invisible Man in White Robe in Sky" to deal with any substantive form of philosophical theism. It doesn't know the Ground of All Being or Subsistent Being Itself or Beyond Being or Unconditional Reality Itself or the concepts of Being or Essence from a hole in the head.

    It wastes time coming up with "scientific" arguments against a version of Theism that denies God is a scientific question and can't formulate any philosophical defeaters that would be needed to actually take out said God.

    Now none of this means God or gods exist. None of this is a vindication of any form of Theism and it is clear there are non Gnu Versions of Atheism that might be formidable toward Classic or Philosophical Theism.

    It is just I am tired of what seems to me to be the majority of Atheists who post here leaning toward the Gnu side. What is the point of them? Fundamentalist Christians don't show up here so what sort of crap is attracting these flies?

    Anybody got any ideas?