Friday, June 29, 2012
are health care costs rising due to "Obama care?" Is the bill a big disaster?
Thursday, June 28, 2012
It's so amusing! I tell atheists "you are in a movement." They react like I've said "you are child molesters." O we are not either no no no not a movement O ononononn! never!
they steadfast everyone every single time recite that party line, it's just the absence of a belief. It doesn't dawn on them:
(1) you are angry because I say it's a movement.
the anger is palpable. Why should it make them angry that I say they have a movement? I say I have a movement. I've been in movements all my life. i was in the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement (2 different wars--two different movements) and many others. I don't care. it doesn't make me angry to say I am in a movement. i don't even are if they say Christianity is a movement. I as in a movement and it had an ideology (communism) I was a commie!
I know what movements look like. I know what ideology looks like. I have trained all my life to spot this. I've been in movements, been a communist, (the paradigm of all movements and father of all ideologies) and I'm a historian of ideas. I was also an atheist. I know a movement when I see one. I also know that' it's not normal for people to become angry when you say they are in a movement. Why would they ? Atheists react as though I've said they are drugs addicts or soemthing.
(2) they all give the same answer
they all answer in exactly the same way. they never very there's no individuality. Its' always "the absence of any god or gods." There's never any individualist variation as though they have all read the same thing and all been told to say this phrase. I know they have probalby been told to say the phrase, but somehow in the way they process the information when they convence themselves to follow this movement they just learn it by wrote like the phrase really matters.
I am still looking fo all this individuality they claim to have. I can't find it. I see them saying the same things and marching in lock step. last week I had a hesitation where atheists would not admit that appeal to popularity was wrong. some of them even warned to say it wasn't wrong unless was in favor of Christianity. One of them argued form popularity saying that I could not right becuase I'm a member of a tiny minority (the minority being people with my exact outlook thus confessing the idea of group membership with the opinion one holds).
Isn't a dead give away, think about it. They actually believe that if you hold single idea differently from the group you are in a different group. Then on what basis can they claim that atheist are all different and that they have individualist opinions? As if that isn't frighting enough, they would not bring themselves to denounce argument from popularity, but then actually tried to say that I had argued that! They tried to attribute their comrade's statement to me! Now is that for confused?
I've demonstrate that its' a movement and only an idiot could fail to see it. I've shown that they have a concerted effort for court cases involving 30 major law suits (which would cost millions, who is paying for it)? They have a vast propaganda machine. They work on the destruction of Christian academic credibility at the expense of academic learning. They have a vast propaganda organziation in the form of several publications, think tanks and a scam pretending to be a convocations of schoalrs who are actually just Jesus mythers with no real academic standing.
Freedom From Religion Foundation:
- Won the first federal lawsuit challenging direct funding by the government of a faith-based agency
- Overturned a state Good Friday holiday
- Won a lawsuit barring direct taxpayer subsidy of religious schools
- Removed Ten Commandments monuments from public lands
- Ended bible instruction in public schools after 51 year practice
- Halted prayer at public institutions
- Stopped direct subsidy to religious schools
- Ended commencement prayers at a Top Ten University after 122 years of practice
- Ended distribution of Gideon bibles in public schools.
- Brought nearly 30 First Amendment lawsuits since 1977, and keeps several Establishment law challenges in the courts at all times.
- Files lawsuits!
- Publishes Freethought Today
- Sponsors annual high school and college atheist based essay competitions with cash awards
- Conducts, annual national conventions, honoring the "Freethinker of the Year" for state/church activism, a "Freethought Heroine" and student activists
- Bestows "The Emperor Has No Clothes" Award to public figures for their criticism of religion
- Promotes freedom from religion with educational products, bumperstickers, music CDs, winter solstice greeting cards and literature
- Publishes useful atheist books
- Provides speakers for events and debates
- Established a freethought book collection at the University of Wisconsin Memorial Library as well as a 2,000-volume office collection
- Prayers Stopped at Public Institutions
- Public Sponsorship of Nativity Pageant Halted
- Crosses Downed from Public Land
- Abuse by Preacher Exposed
- City Sponsorship of Knights of Columbus Signs Ended
- Ethics Probe Called for Preaching Governor
- Proselytizing Crossing Guard Fired
- Post Office/Catholic Entanglement Ended
- De Facto Sports Chaplaincy Stopped
- School Boy Scout Subsidy Stopped
- Bible Proclamation Rescinded
- Illegal Public Help Halted for "Our Lady of the Rockies"
- Creationism Removed from City Zoo
- Discount for Catholics Ended
- Red Rocks Easter Service Subsidy Ended
- Nativity Scene Moved Off Government Land
- Ten Commandments Monuments Moved from Public Property
- Religion Removed at Playground
Monday, June 25, 2012
On CARM more stupid atheist tricks
I think Meta is deliberately trying to be deceptive in including his "or higher power" statement in along with his "belief in some form of deity" statement. He is so desperate to bump up the number of god-believers (33%), that he includes in his stats, those who believe in the spiritual/higher power (18%) ...even though they specifically state that they do not believe in God. Then he tries to weasel around it by saying that he wasn't being deceptive because he did after all, include the words "or higher power" in his statement.Notice he wants to put the percentage of all God believers at 33%, the chart says that is the percentage of Christians. God believers as a whole are 90%. He's referring to an argument I've had with several atheists on carm. It centers around their need to divide and conquer and their further need to bolster their own numbers. Now after including Buddhism, Hinduism, Agnostics and everyone who isn't a Christian as atheists, they are trying divide all Chrsitians from each other so that every individual Christin is a denomination of one. Now according to their backward way of doing things Christianity is only like 1% of the world population and atheism is bigger than any one religoius tradition.
This approach is so clearly mindless. Its' so backward to reality. We can see form the pie chart (data from 2005) Christianity is the biggest religion. atheism is like 4% atheism fits into a category that is 16%, but it says half the people in that category believe in God or Higher power. Of that half half are "I don't know" therefore, actual atheism is half of a half of 16, meaning 4%. The category itself is "no organized religion." So my arugment has been that all togehter all believer in God of any stripe equals 90% of world population.
Atheists can't have this so in order to undermine this figure and distort the issues they come out with the moronic idea that "higher power" can't be equated with God. Yet I show that most of those who use that phrase are thinking of God. We know the phrase came form AA and the people who created were clearly thinking of God.
From Wiki Article
Higher Power is a term coined in the 1930s in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and is used in other twelve-step programs. It is also sometimes referred to as a power greater than ourselves and is frequently abbreviated to HP.They may have taken it form William James:
Sources that may have contributed to the adoption of the term in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), the first twelve-step group, include spirituality, New Thought and the work of William James. James, who wrote "The only cure for dipsomania is religiomania" in The Varieties of Religious Experience, is cited in the 'Spiritual Experience' appendix of Alcoholics Anonymous (also known as the "Big Book").William James was definitely writing about God. Certainly James makes the correlation.
Sociologist Darren Sherkat researched the belief of Americans in a Higher Power. He based his research on data from 8,000 adults polled by the Chicago-based National Opinion Research Center between 1988 and 2000. Among his findings were that 8% stated "I don't believe in a personal god, but I do believe in a higher power of some kind." This is the same figure as found by the 1999 Gallup national poll of Americans. Sherkat also found that 16% of the Jewish people surveyed agreed with the statement about a 'higher power', while 13.2% of liberal Protestants and 10.6% of Episcopalians also agreed with it.This study comes from John Dart, "Ameirca's Belief in God is Highly Nuanced, study says," Christian Century Dec 14 2004. The link in the original article is dead. It was retrieved in 2008 from form form of Way back machine for the Wiki article.
This would be fine for theology. Liberal theologians would have no trouble equating impersonal god with God. The atheist here are using the concept "God" from Christian fundamentalism and acting like that the original concept of God. Atheists can't allow religious people to speak fo thier own beliefs. They only mock and ridicule them and make them look stupid when they can do the bait and switch and put their straw-God argument in place of the real issues. They have a vested interest in seeing the fundamentalists as the only true form of Christianity. They also think it came first becuase that's what they came out of.
A statement about AA belief in an article by an atheist seeking to make a "higher power" for atheists:
a Higher Power for Athiests
and Agnostics by Roger E. Bissell
Jan 23 1989
We were then encouraged to believe that “a Power greater than ourselves” could restore us to sanity. That reliance on our selves or egos and our hedonistic or willful impulses—rather than higher principles—was the main source of the emotional turmoil and chaos in our lives. That focusing on trying to change someone else’s character or behavior—rather than doing what is right for ourselves—was the cause of our continuing feelings of misery and helplessness.
We were further invited to “turn our will and our lives over to the care of God” as we understood Him—to admit “to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs”—to be “entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character”—to “humbly ask Him to remove our shortcomings”—and to seek “through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God” as we understood Him, “praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. (Except for the phrase “persons, places and things,” the above quotes are all from the Twelve Steps of AA.)
This says clearly that "higher power" is just a euphemism for god but it's leaves the issue open ended as to what the means in the mind of the "believer." Thus atheists are assuming that there's no way to tell if that 8% are understanding it as "god" or as an alternative to God. The difference would be that if they are right atheists can say they have 8% of the world population. If they are wrong they get to say they have 4%. Wow! So crucial! Since Bissell was trying to construct a concept of a higher power that would not be God and thus could be embraced by atheists who need AA. The point is pretty clear what they had in mind was God they were trying to avoid chasing anyone out with specific religious views.
In time, however, most of them come to accept the fact that the 12-Step programs, while not religious per se, are very spiritual—and that in order to offer spiritual and emotional recovery for the greatest number, these programs should scrupulously avoid reference to any specific religious point of view.(ibid).
And we might ask, why the phrase “higher power” was substituted for reference to God. We might ask why the reference was to “a” higher power, thus implying there was a choice, rather than one God, one Heavenly Father, one Maker, one Creator of the heavens and the earth. We might also ask why the first letter in each of the words was capitalized so that the phrase read “Higher Power,” implying some A.A. conferred special divinity or special status or special “god.”...One little kicker you might notice at the bottom of that pie chart. It doesn't' say half of the 'nonreligious' believers in a "higher power." I don't actually know what that guy meant by my "higher power statement" I don't remember making one. It's not the pie chart becuase that says "theistic." Half are theistic. Not just into "higher power" but theistic.
If you know your A.A. history, you know that the Steps do not now and never did have the phrase “higher power” in them. You know that the First Edition of the Big Book did not capitalize the first letter in both words. And you know that the Big Book text to this very day only refers to “higher power” twice. Both times, the reference and the context are to God–the same God that the Big Book called “Creator,” “Maker,” “Father,” “Spirit,” and “Father of lights.” All terms that refer to the God of the Bible. All terms that refer to the Big Book’s urging that there is ONE that has all power, that this ONE is God, and an imperative wish that the newcomer “find Him [the same ONE God, ONE Creator, ONE Maker] now!
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Your absurd spelling destroys your credibility.
Spell Check would solve it.
And yet you do nothing.
Because you are DOING IT ON PURPOSE!
You are spreading disinformation to make Christians look as Stupid as you appear.
June 23, 2012 9:24 AM
This is guy is saying that I'm trying to make Christians. Does that imply that he's a Christian? So he's saying that to make Christians look bad. OOooooo. this is a clever psych thing. Not it's a troll seeking attention.
I had two errors. No other underlines except names. I use spell check in ever dumb ass because I have fire fox. In this one that he comments on there were two erorrs, both typos. If he is lame enough to think that my credibility is ruined because I said "nokw" rather than Know, and becasue I said 'gbout' rather than "about." those were the only mistakes, that means his idea of credibility is pretty stupid.
so little mentally challenged child to get some attention do you feel imporatnt now?
Friday, June 22, 2012
Whilst you can study theology at university, it's hardly of any significance as a learning. There is no factual basis in the study of mythical beings. It's like having a university degree in the study of fairies.
Originally Posted by Metacrock
Know, I assume that it's about the study of mythological god(s) because I understand Greek and I know how the word theology is derived from the Greek.
even if it was about that people who study real mythology are very learned and their lives are based upon scholarship and learning. so this just shows your view of the world is anti-intellectual yu don't know what you are talking abut.
You don't need to study mythology for that. There is no god because rational thinking along with every scientific study leaves no room for a god.
I know theology is not factually based.
The hall mark of the atheist ideology is that there only one form of knowledge everything else that doesn't conform to it is old fashion 'Non factional an good.
Because they follow this model the actual pay off of atheism would be to destroy all arts and literature, all philosophy all history all learning that is not science even most social scinece.
Atheists say the most outrageous nonsense about theology without having read any of it. They do this only because the associate theologian with belief in God. (they are so out of the loop modem theology could be atheistic for all they know, and some of it is---they have no idea becuase they are so determiner not to check it out or know anything about it).
Atheist make up trite BS about televangelists by extending what they know of televangelists. assuming theologians are just jumped up televangelists. Since they have the slightest idea it's all the same to them.
If we extend this idea, they want to shut down ideas they don't know becuase of the propaganda value of no opposition then what' going to stop them from shutting down psychology when so much psychological work reinforces the value of religion?
What's going to stop them form shutting down the arts when so much of the arts don't' involve science? What's going to stop them form shutting down literature when study of literature contributes to theologian methods of textual criticism?
any form of knowledge not in their domain they treat as non-knowledge. So there is no reason why they should not shut down art, literature, philosophy, social scineces anything that gives an alternate view point.
one must have an advanced degree to do theology they refuse to learn what it's about but they are content to shut it down never knowing what it says. this in itself is totalitarian and truth regime.
Colleges used to offer degrees in phrenology meta. The fact that people can (and do) waste countless hours of their lives studying a subject and mastering what generations of people have thought up and written about the subject doesn't mean the object of the study actually reflects anything in reality. The study of theology is on par with the study of mythology in my opinion. The gods of today will be categorized on the bookshelves next to Poseidon and Zeus in a few centuries.
One of the indications of a content-free argument is that it can be turned around and pointed the other way very easily. If there is actual unambiguous evidence in the argument, then this cannot be done.they are just backing up my point. They can't value learning unless it produces scinece they can't imagine mythology being valued as knowledge unless it becomes science. they don't nkow anything gbout the world of letters so they are totally unaware of the tremulous learning that goes into the study of mythology. they can only conceive of learning as scientific knowledge.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Originally Posted by Deist
I looked at your site. All I saw was a bunch of names. Are we supposed to check out each name and see what that dolt said? You, as a scholar, can't compile the 200 alleged "proofs" and put them on your blog??? Are you kidding me??What he's calling a list of names is bibliography listing the studies for the arguments I make on religious experience. These are the 200 studies I always talk about that show experiencing God's presence changes our life dramatically in long term positive way. These studies over a 50 year period all show that religious experience is good for you. What he's calling "a bunch of names" also include publication data so the reader can look them up. Of course in five years of talking about them they never have. I can't link to the studies (I've tired) most of them are either not on the net or they are JOSTOR or Pub med you have to pay to see them. The next best thing and all that is required in debate is to provide the citation so they can be looked up.
Here's an example, the first few cites:
Adams, N. (1995). Spirituality, science and therapy. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 16 (4), 201-208.
Alexander, C. (1978). A literature review of the individual differences approach to mystical states of consciousness and a proposed alternative perspective. Unpublished manuscript, Harvard University, Dept. of Psychology and Social Relations, Cambridge, MA.
Alexander, C. (1982). Ego development, personality and behavioral change in inmates practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique or participating in other programs: A cross-sectional and longitudinal study. Doctoral dissertation, Dept. of Psychology and Social Relations, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
Alexander, C., Boyer, R. & Orme-Johnson, D. (1985). Distinguishing between transcendental consciousness and lucidity. Lucidity Letter, 4(2), 68-85.
Alexander, C.N., Chandler, K. & Boyer, R.W. (in press). Experience and understanding of pure consciousness in the Vedic Science of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. In Gackenbach, J.I. & Hunt, H. (Eds.). Higher states of consciousness: Theoretical and experimental perspectives, N.Y.: Plenum. 1990
Alexander, C.N., Davies, J.L., Dixon, C.A., Dillbeck, M.C., Oetzel, R.M., Muehlman, J.M. & Orme-Johnson, D.W. (in press). Higher stages of consciousness beyond formal operations: The Vedic psychology of human development. In C.N. Alexander and E.J. Langer (Eds.), Higher stages of human development: Adult growth beyond formal operations, N.Y.: Oxford University Press.
That's the "bunch of names." ALL I saw was a "bunch of names." of course he just didn't notice it's also publisher, name of publication, date of publication and so on. He's never a bibliography before. this illiterate who has never done a bibliography actually said my scholarship is lacking!
If there was a site were all these studies on the net and could be linked to I would be linked to. Most of them are on Pub med and Jostar and other academic sties that require money to see. I had to get them in hard copy one by one. I did. so I'm not concerned that you have to go to some effort. did I say you have to see every one? why can't you just get one?
in five years not one of you has done that.
before you start ragging on my scholarship be sure you know what that word means. one of the major things it meas is a knowledge of how to look stuff up.
You write volumes on your blog, and yet the link just goes to names of people? You think we're stupid? We're supposed to spend hours and days looking up what each of these people said? YOU are the one making the claims. Put the studies, surveys, questionnaires, etc. on your blog, so we can examine them for ourself. What are you afraid of?
it's all over my old site and on my new one.
do I think you are stupid? Let's see, you don't know what documentation is. you don't know what bibliographies are. you don't understand that the word "scholar" means. you don't know ow work a library you can't figure out that you don't need to look at every one bu a random sample would tell what you want to know.
I'll hold off judgement on if I think you are stupid I'll let the reader decide.
the things I"m saying may seem absurd to your generation but it's the way I grew up dong it. No debate team in America would go into a debate round in high school or college debate on the assumption that they have to have all he material with them in entirety. It's perfectly acceptable to offer just the source so an enterprising debater can look it up.
If I had to spend five years researching these studies and into this body of knowledge, why can't you be bothered to look one up?
That is BS. I know damn well the opposite is true. I've talked to many of the researchers. I have gotten to know the major researcher of most of them, the inverter of the M scale personally. I was a sociology major I studied how to do social science research in college both graduate and undergraduate and I know these are find studies. they are varying in quality but some are very very good.You won't, cause you know darn well that these studies stink, and don't show what you claim.
this says a lot more about the critic's laziness and ideological bias and lack of expertise in social scinece research.
you should be ashamed of your refusal to undersatnd the truth. you do not know what research is about.Meta, you should be ashamed of your obfuscation and diversion.
stop your little pretensions lecture you do not have the erudition to which you pretend.
he goes on
You know better. the people here are too smart for this. This isn't catechism class. The people here regularly run circles around these Christians. You need better stuff than a blog with names of people who have done class papers, or written in some obscure college journal or a religious mag about sending out questionnaires. I'm not even sure if that's what those people did.That's a list of names it's the citations for the studies. Where you look them up.
Some appear to study the occult, lucid dreaming, childhood memories, and who knows what all. Maybe alien abductions. And this is to be taken seriously??? Seriously, Meta...come onnnnn!!!!
(hey reader: do you see this actually proves he didn't read the stuff. He took the other guy's word for it that it was just a bunch of names, either that or he doesn't know what bibliography is either.
Is your point that people who claim a god belief do better in test questions on happiness than non believers? That's a no brainer because they believe they will be happier, and therefore, they are.This is rich. The studies are mostly questionnaires because more social science studies are. Most of these were done psychologists. Its' a complex matter of constructing a good scientific questionarie (yes they can be) then making a good study design in terms of random and representative study, double and all of that. This guy assumes that because they asking them question they don't know if they had an experience or if their lives are better. They are so stupid because they had experiences they can't be trusted to say dah I'm happier now." They can't be trusted to say if their lives, they couldn't know. If they made a black box and imposed the will of a scientist on them and said "we find that be electrical impulses given off form this person are indicative of the impulses given off by happy people" perhaps they would except that, that would be objective and scientific! It would also be BS and scinece fiction. They have been brain washed as atheist to deny personal experience to think of perception as always flawed and never trust worthy.
They can't undersatnd how surveys and questionnaires are scientific and how they can be designed into a good scientific study because they don't know scinece. All they know is the mystique of "objective." Black boxes and flashing lights and mathematics that's science. We can't trust anything anyone says. so if someone says they had an experience and it made their lives better hat's a lie. It never occurs to them to wonder, gee how is it all the people who make up these certain kinds of experiences just happen to make up the same kind of betterment that it brings them? O it's just a coincidense don't even think about it.
Your studies, surveys, whatever you call them prove only that the law of cause and effect, and that you are what you believe you are. Tony Robbins could impart the same message, with the same, or better, results.Whatever you call them (don't confuse me with the facts, they are not even worth bothering to learn the names). He assumes some kind of placebo but no athist has ever answered my answer to that: most of these experiences are first time conversion experiences by people who didn't know about them and weren't looking to have them. 45% are in children the first time they have them.. He doesn't even bother to learn the facts. If he did he would realize his argument isn't worth making. How can it be expectations when they don't expect it? Moreover if it's just "confirmation bias" how is it that experiences that contradict doctrine are common place? That shouldn't be if this is just fulfillment of expectoration they should all agree with pet doctrines.
Atheism is a cult it's a brain washing these people are prevented from thinking objectively and reasonably about scientific facts and data that disprove their cherished ideology.
btw this has been going on for five years on CARM. In that time none of them have bothered to look up a single study. Here's a dialogue I did with an atheist on CARM explaining all about the 200 studies.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Originally Posted by Deist
That link just gives a bunch of names, many of which appear to be involved with lucid dreams and "spirit watching". I thought you had 200 cases in one spot that "proved" people had god experiences?
then notice he also says one study is by someone studies lucid dreaming so therefore they are all bad. The other studies have nothing to do with that one, and there's no reason to think that one is not good just becuase the person who did also studies lucid dreaming.
This is such stupidity it's really the stupidest thing I've ever seen an atheist say.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
I've discussed and focused upon atheist brain washing tactics in the past. Here is one of the most blatant examples of attempting it I've ever seen. A new poster on CARM calling himself "Holmes" (so I of course call him "Sherlocke") is the most blatant example. He began very aggressively saying "you know there's no God, yes you do." When you try to answer the comes back "you know you are deceiving yourself, yes you do." then he began that the tact that Chieftains are lying to themselves and others we don't really bleieve in God. He goes to great lengths to cram everything he sees or encounters into this mold.
Sherlocke's brain washing tactics on forcing people to question that they believe in God.
Holmes post 15
You either do or do not believe that god sees all and knows all and reads your every thought. If you believe it, you are "constantly aware of" his presence. This admission of not constantly being aware of god's presence is an admission that you do not believe he is constantly present. Let's say I want to commit adultery but I believe my wife is in the room. Do I see it as an advantage for her to stand behind a screen so I cannot see her? This would only help if I did NOT believe she was still in the room. You Christians do not believe in god, and you know it.and this:
Whatever "awareness" you hae of god is NOT enough to think he is really watching you. You are capable of ignoring this supposed fact you claim to know. This is not possible. You either know he is watching or you do not. Your actions, and now your words prove you do not know this. The only thing you do different from an atheist is that you claim to know.
post 17: If they are liars, they are liars. I have had people lie to me about having had an experience they did not have. We have to use our common sense in trying to know when people are lying. If someone tells me "I can fly" and I say "OK, jump off a cliff" and they refuse, I know they are lying. If someone says "I believe god will heal our diseases if we ask him" and then they go to the doctor, I know they are lying.
Originally Posted by bierce
Post 17: What makes you think your view of reality is the standard by which we all must judge ourselves and our experiences?
Reality should be our standard. I don't have a view "of" reality, I only view reality. Reality is what is real and it is just as real for you as for me. If god were real you and I and everyone would really believe in him. He is not real and you guys only pretend to believe.
His response to me when I point out that one can't be "on" every minute 24/7. the background here is he argues that since we believe God watches us every minute if we really believed in God we would never do anything wrong. I argue that we can't be focused on that fact all the time, we have to relax. Hyperventilate is exhausting can't be maintained. God doesn't expect that or would go mad.
Originally Posted by HowardHolmes
You have NOT claimed to believe that Obama is aware of your every thought. However, Christians do claim to believe that god is aware of every thought and deed. If they REALLY believed it they would be constantly aware that he is indeed aware of every thought and deed. They would not sin if they really believed god was watching, just like they would not shoplift if they believed the security guard was watching.
"Don't confuse me with the facts. I know I'm right I don't need proof.I don't have to convince Christians they don't believe. They already know that they don't believe.
I do bleieve. you saying I don't is a lie. you are pretending ot know things about people you can't know. you are refusing to listen to what they say about how the feel. you are trying to brain wash people and bully out of their faith. this is brain washing. this how it works.
I'm not claiming god does not exist. I'm claiming you do not believe he exists. If you did, you would act differently than you do.
From the silly to ridiculous.
on a thread asking about the truth behind 9/11 I said this:
Meta:I know guys who think the government did it in order to give grounds for starting the war. they have amassed a huge case with gobs of evidence. the reason that strikes me as urban legend is becuase they said the same thing about FDR and Pearl Harbor.Notice I did not say these guys are Christians and notice I didn't say I agree with them.
Typical of Christian mindset. Firstly, these guy do not have "gobs of evidence." In fact, they have zero evidence. They merely have claims. If they had evidence, they would disclose that evidence and everyone would believe it.He sees the fallacy of Christians in everything. Even when he doesn't know they are atheist he stills sees the fallacy of Christians in what they say. Even when they don't agree with what he's calling "the typical Christian mind set." He's got it on the brain.
Why do I call it brain washing? It is bullying.It's an insistence that he knows our minds better than we do and it's creating self doubt and conflict and implying that 'You can't trust yourself, you need me to interpret reality for you." He set's up conflict and casts doubt upon one's ability to know one's on mind. Thus he seeks to break down the will and force reliance upon his judgement. He's about as subtle as a sledge hammer. He's like a guy trying to do brain surgery with a plat knife rather than a scalpel.
I believe and still believe that religion had a purpose to unite humans, but has not devolved into dividing humans. Religion causes war.
I don't see why people believe anything in the face of so much evidence to the contrary. But now I'm being told that there isn't that much evidence against religion. In fact, there's as much evidence for religion as there is for evolution.
I'm a staunch believer in evolution. It's an amazing and sound scientific theory. And for those who cry, “It's only a theory!” misunderstand that theory means scientific explanation that is widely accepted. Gravity is also “only a theory,” my friends.
The Universe is beautiful and infinite. There are so many things that had to go right for life to evolve as it has, but the Universe is immensely chaotic and unfriendly to life. Plus, life has to have happened elsewhere in the Universe. It's ignorant to believe otherwise.
Consciousness is a chemical reaction, as are thoughts and emotions. That being said, when people say, “God is Love,” I hear, “God is a chemical reaction.” I think that God is in our heads.
consciousness is not a chemical reaction.no evidence anywhere proves that that is a propaganda move based upon the ideology of reductionism. No factual basis it's contradicted by the hard problem, Veto power, and top down causation.
But recently, I've been conflicted. I want to believe in God and Jesus. I want to be a Christian. But I feel that I can't, with my beliefs. I feel it contradicts everything I stand for, and I can't go for that. I feel that science and religion can't mix, and when my life has built it's foundations on science, I can't “sink” to religion. Has anyone else ever felt this way? Please share your experiences. Does anyone have any thoughts to help me through this time in my life?
the fact that all of these unthinking type of atheist (one type) have the impression that scinece somehow contradicts God is merely the result of propaganda and brain washing (socialization).
I'm also going to post this in the Christian side, to see what the believers have to say.The major lesson here is that atheism has gotten as far as it has by catering to ignorance, bigotry and creating a socialization process (brain washing).
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Back up argues that all arguments for Christianity are special pleading. I think he doesn't understand what special pleading is he has it confused with holding a preference or relivant difference.
I quoted he Nizkor article on the meaning of special pleading.
"Special Pleading is a fallacy in which a person applies standards, principles, rules, etc. to others while taking herself (or those she has a special interest in) to be exempt, without providing adequate justification for the exemption. This sort of "reasoning" has the following form:
Person A accepts standard(s) S and applies them to others in circumtance(s) C.
Person A is in circumstance(s) C.
Therefore A is exempt from S."
In that article it says if there is a valid difference bewteen two options then it's not special pleading. So in other words if Jesus really is the son of God then it's not special pleading to say he is. that is what is calls something like "relevant difference."
[B]"It should be noted that the Principle of Relevant Difference does allow people to be treated differently. For example, if one employee was a slacker and the other was a very prodictive worker the boss would be justified in giving only the productive worker a raise. This is because the productive of each is a relevant difference between them. Since it can be reasonable to treat people differently, there will be cases in which some people will be exempt from the usual standards. For example, if it is Bill's turn to cook dinner and Bill is very ill, it would not be a case of Special Pleading if Bill asked to be excused from making dinner (this, of course, assumes that Bill does not accept a standard that requires people to cook dinner regardless of the circumstances). In this case Bill is offering a good reason as to why he should be exempt and, most importantly, it would be a good reason for anyone who was ill and not just Bill. "
I think this principal unseats the very reasoning that Backup uses to make his claim. Thus it disproves his argument a prori.
If he has another reason why arguments for Christianity are special pleading (aside from the mistake that expressing a preference is a fallacy) then he needs to explain it.
in doing so he must also explain what he mans by special pleading. If he doesn't mean by that term something like what is in the paragraph at the top then he had the wrong idea about the fallacy means.
If he does except Idea then he must explain how his argument is still valid light of relevant difference.
Spacemonkey Jumps in and supplies a quote from Backup from another thread that parrots the definition I use: "When a person applies standards, principles, rules, etc. to others while taking himself (or those he has a special interest in) to be exempt, without providing adequate justification for the exemption." The Irony is we had gone well over 50 posts with him refusing to give a definition but tacitly employing the notion that SP means supporting a view as right and others as wrong, particularly Christianity.for those 50+ posts he just said "I know what speical pleading means" and refused to define it.
Another issue was that he simply stated "all Christian arguments arguments for Christianity as true are special pleading." All of them are, blanket statement. Then he challenges Christians to prove it's not the case.So they spend hundreds of posts deamnding that we supply the examples to disrpove the allogation and they never seek to prove it with any exampels of their own. I had chagned that this is violating his obligation as the one advances the argument. He sloughs that off with the refrain that "it's a challenge."
I offer two examples that prove his tacit definition of special pleading.
proof of tacit definition
exhibit A: G2U's example:
Originally Posted by Grace2U View Post
"It is a fact that there is allot of evidence for the Christian God consisting of billions of witness testimony to His existence over 1000's of years, in addition to 1000's of books that testify to the same thing."
This is special pleading because there is witness testimony over books about any number of religions. Christianity is exclusive. You need to plead that your evidence is somehow special.
I can't believe you would be the only one so far to even try.
I really can't believe you would use this same argument that has been pointed out as special pleading to you so many times.
that is not special pleading. it doesn't do anything to introduce a special privilege that would let the argument out of ordinary rules. Yet it does makes sense if we go by the tacit view that SP = claiming that your thing is right.
claiming that there is evidence in experience of God is not special pleading unless you define special pleading thinking your view is right.
a statement by Backup from the challenge thread implying that the same arguments would not be special pleading if used by other groups but would be if it's used to claim a specific one is right.
"It's not special pleading if you accept that it is an argument for a lot of different religions and belief systems systems. But it's not an argument for Christianity either. "
If SP is just about the logic and now about exclusivity (in Backup's mind) then how could it be that the argument is not SP if it's for a lot of groups but is if it's for one group? That implies that what makes it special pleading is exclusivity.
Spacemonkey who I had previous respected for his knowledge of modal logic, and thought to be one of the more intelligent atheists on CARM disappoints me by supporting this garbage.
Backup is perfectly correct. It is special pleading to claim that the existence of witness testimony and books is compelling evidence only for Christianity, while denying that the same evidence for other religions is not. The general rule would be that the mere existence of witnesses and books alone is not compelling evidence for the truth of a religion, and a special exemption to that rule is being made for Christianity.
He is also right that it would not be special pleading if one were to accept that the existence of witnesses and books is compelling evidence for all religions, but that the argument being made would then no longer be specific to Christianity. A specific argument would have to make reference to the actual content of said witness testimony and books to show that a case is being made that is not equally available for the other religions that one rejects.
even if you were right, which you re not you are merely nixing out the strongest evidence against your world view, it wold not be special pleading. special pleading is not just making a weak argument. Assume the arguemnt is weak for the sake of argument, it's not special pleading just because it's a weak argument. I grant that you would have to show the specifics to make it a valid argument. That's not an issue.Not showing them doesn't make it special pleading.
I see you actually have that tacit definition too. Special pleading is saying Christianity is true. I see how it works. That's ludicrous nonsense and you know it!
(if I say) Jesus came down an appeared to me I saw him, he said "I am it." that is not special pleading. Are you actually trying to contend that a person can't have a special revelation without special pleading even if it is really true? that's' ridiculous and you know it is..
Is it special pleading if you say you have the answer to a Math problem and no one else found it?
nothing about that is special pleading. it's clearly and obviously not. you are just doing a bait and switch you are going "O this is a bad argument that doesn't prove it's case so therefore that's special pleading."He is also right that it would not be special pleading if one were to accept that the existence of witnesses and books is compelling evidence for all religions, but that the argument being made would then no longer be specific to Christianity. A specific argument would have to make reference to the actual content of said witness testimony and books to show that a case is being made that is not equally available for the other religions that one rejects.
so you are using that term as an arbitrary catch phrase.
Nothing about that evokes a different rule of logic or excuses the potion form having to maintain logical rules. Nothing about eye witness testimony that makes special allowance for the violation of logical rules. Moreover G2U's original example said nothing about denying evidence of books and witnesses to other traditions.
He claims he answered the tacit definition quotes but he did not. HE said nothing bout it. see post 28 on this thread.
spacemoneky tries to come back and answer A and B by linking them to G2u's example:
Originally Posted by Spacemonkey
The post you just quoted explains EXACTLY why it is special pleading. It directly addresses your A and B.
He doesn't have to. If he denies it to others then he is special pleading, and if he doesn't then his argument is no longer specific to Christianity. So either way, G2U fails.
In fact that little dilemma is easily disproved. It's not true. it is not the case that you have to deny truth of other traditions to affirm that of Christianity. you can still hold out the possibility that others have truth in their books and their experiences but you have to take it on a case by case basis. so then it's up to the other groups to show their turth.
the dilemma and the statement 'either way it falls" is really frank admission that it may not special pleading but it's still false. In other words Christianity just has to be false he doesn't care how it's demonstrated.
that is a lie! you know it's a lie! My 8 level verification thing is most certainly dose this. that is nothing else but a bold faced lie!An actual argument from the specific contents of these books and testimonials could well avoid special pleading in principle, but no-one has made such an argument.
G2U's argument was merely that books and testimonials for Christianity exist, therefore Christianity is true. This is blatant textbook special pleading, because the mere existence of books and testimonials for other religions is not considered good grounds for those other religions. The books and testimony for Christianity is being treated differently without establishing any relevant difference for doing so.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
What is all this stuff really about? It never ceases to amaze me how passionate atheists can be about nothing. I mean by that, atheism is supposed to be nothing more than an absence of belief, right? Yet so many times I see them full of fire and arrogance, blowing their little minds just because someone holds a view they don't like. Why? Consider this tirade by Arizona Atheist on Atheist Watch:
Faith is bullshit. Your claiming it's "complex" does nothing to solve your problem. Theists have no evidence for their beliefs and that's that. All "arguments" are simply "god of the gaps" arguments and nothing more. Due to the tremendous lack of proof/evidence for all theistic claims it's all based on "blind faith." So, yes Loftus is correct. Faith is nonsense.Clearly outraged by belief, but why? The major thinkers in Western culture have been religious, only a tiny handful of great thinkers throughout history have been true atheists, yet to look at such comments (which are a dime a dozen) one would think that belief was the most idiotic thing anyone ever thought of. One of the things that really strikes me as absurd is their insistence that "there's no evidence at all..." This is bound to strike me the wrong way when I have 42 arguments for the existence of God (of course we all know the importance of the number 42). No evidence, except these 42 arguments! Why the histrionics? here I will argue two things: (1) The reason it seems that there is no evidence is because atheists value only the methods that give them the answers they want, they do not accept evdience for God because it has to come from the wrong methods, and they reject the methods becasue they are mining their data. (2) They are angered by the concept that other methods may be valid because would imply that they are only looking at the surface of the issues. Why that should I alarm them so I'm not sure. I think it's a cultural thing, the hate group derives some sense of superiority from deriding the target (according to the standard FBI model).
As I have pointed out numerous times, belief in God is not merely adding a fact to the universe. The question of God is not a question about just the existence of one more thing. It's a question of orientation to being as a whole, especially to one's own individual being. If God exists then all of reality is something other than we think it is. If God is real then I am more than myself I am a creature of God. Atheists and theists live in two different worlds. Thus no amount of empirical data is valid as an answer. So the kinds of answers that would count cannot be sought though scientific evidence alone. The atheist approach is to see this as a limitation or an indication that there is no God. That approach obviously fist what they want to see in the first place. Now many of them wills ay "I was a Christian for 20 years." None of them ever follow that up by saying "I scored real high on the M scale, i had mystical consciousness and union with Christ and Baptism of the Holy Spirit and then I realize it was all false and delusion and made up.The only people who come to this conclusion are those are didn't have it in the first place.
I'm not arguing that they weren't "saved" or they weren't "real Christians." Being a "real Christian" and having Baptism of the Holy Spirit, or "mystical experience" are three different things, they are not three different names for the same thing. Nor am I saying that strong Christians can't give up their faith. Bu strong Christians tend to give up their faith because they fall into sin, they outgrow their milieu and don't go on to higher understanding, or they suffer grave disappointment (such as death of a spouse) and never work through it. No one that I know of ever gave up belief in God just because some intellectual argument was hard to answer, or some body of work intimated that it wasn't true, and here I am speaking of those who had the advanced personal experiences. Those sorts of experiences indicate that it is real. These are such deep confirmations in the heart of hearts that they cannot be easily denied or given up. Of course atheists don't even value this form of knowledge. Deeply fearing the subjective, they just ascribe it to "psychology" and for them that term is as good as saying "lie."
The difference in these two ways of thinking is striking. But the atheists can offer no evidence or arguments to invalidate the phenomenological approach. Faith is an existential response to an phenomenological apprehension. This means that faith is personal individual response, not one formed by education or trained through opponent conditioning; it is a response of the individual although course cultural and learning and even genetics come into it. It is a response to the apprehension of sense data apart from the organizing principles imposed upon sense data by genetics, culture, trainnig, psychological pre disposition. It's a response to the suggestions made by the phenomena themselves as we apprehend them. By "existential" it is fundamental to our existence and within the moment of perception. What exactly is being perceived? That we can't know, but it varies from person to person. Or I should say the vehicle of it varies from person to person. One person may find that a full blown mystical experience is what brings them around, another may be exposed to just one phrase or one image and find that merely a pang of the heart is all that is needed.
Atheists draw such a hard and fast connection between science and the world. One could easily get the impression that the world comes with little labels on rocks and trees that say "naturalistic." If religion was true the labels would say "trees by God." But when I argue my Transcendental Signifier argument they will say that we are just imposing meaning. That's one tier standard response. Human brain sees pattern and imposes meaning upon pattern it's just ink blots. The world is a big ink blot. But they don't apply that to science. They seem to think scinece is just straight forward and literally true and unlimited in its ability to know all of reality that ever be. We derive the kind of certainty from scinece that we do because it's dealing mainly with things that can be observed. These are relatively easy questions. No one thinks a question like "where did the universe come form" is easy. Atheists seem to infer that it is easy and if challenges that sense of certainty they become irate. I often wonder why certainty is so important to them. But have totally obscured the truth of scinece, that it is culturally constructed and not absolute. Their ire is such that when I argued this on CARM once one of them said "you are scum!" Of course they pronounce the basis of knowledge (epistemology) to be 'bull shit" because it's philosophy, but they never try to undersatnd the philosophical basis to their empiricism. They take that as absolute proof beyond question.
Science is a relative cultural construct. It is not absolute knowledge, it is not progress based upon cumulative effects. It works by paradigm shifts, with each shift the whole ground changes. Every time it changes we start over. It is not linear or progressive.
Example: Top down causality in brain mind.
top down means something above the brain is directing causal states in brain function: the mind is not reduced to the brain because its directing the brain. Top down causlity is a scientific fact, it was proven log ago, but because it disproves the reductionist ideology it is ignored as though its not true:
Rosenberg (from journal of conscientiousness studies)
"Take the matter of 'downward causation' to which Harman gives some attention. Why should this be an issue in brain dynamics? As Erich Harth points out in Chapter 44, connections between higher and lower centers of the brain are reciprocal. They go both ways, up and down. The evidence (the scientific evidence) for downward causation was established decades ago by the celebrated Spanish histologist Ramon y Cajal, yet the discussion goes on. Why? The answer seems clear: If brains work like machines, they are easier to understand. The facts be damned!"[Miller quoting Rosenberg, Journal of Consciousness Studies, op. cit.]
e.Consciousness as a basic property of nature.
JCS, 3 (1), 1996, pp.33-35
Naturalism loses its ground.
This is a probabilistic justification argument; It does not seek to directly prove that God exists, but that it is rational to believe in God and that there are good reasons to. In a nut shell the argument says that the concept of materialism has been changing over the years. It has now incorporated so many idea that were once lumped in with magic, supernatural, or generally "unscientific" categories that the old concept of materialism as an objection to God belief and a refutation of religion is now obsolete. Essentially there are 10 areas:
(1) Quantum Theory (no need for cause/effect)
(2) Big bang Cosmology (realm beyond the natural)
(3) Medicine (healing)
(4) Consciousness (invites concept of dualism)
(6) Maslow's Archetypes (universal ideas)
(7) Miracles (empirical evidence)
(8) Near Death Experiences (scientific evidence)
(9) Esp Research (the fact that they do it)
(10) Validity of religious experience (Shrinks no longer assume pathology)
The argument turns on the basic historical fact that atheists have lost the ground upon which they dismissed God from science in the first place. In their book Lindberg and Numbers demonstrate that the moment at which this happened was when La Place said "I have no need of that hypothesis," meaning the idea that God created the universe. What he meant was that God was not needed as an explanation because we now have naturalistic cause and effect, which explains everything. But the atheist has cashed in cause and effect to over come the Big Bang.
Naturalists are now willing to consider ideas like the self caused universe, Hawkings unbounded condition which removes cause completely as a consideration; or based upon quantum theory they are willing to accept the notion that causality is an illusion, that the universe could just pop up out of nothing. With that commitment they lose the ground upon which they first removed God from consideration. Now, perhaps they still do not need God as a causal explanation, but in the Religious a pirori argument, and in the innate religious instinct argument I say that belief was never predicated upon a need for explanation in the first place.
Nevertheless, the fact still remains, the reason for dismissing God was the sufficiency of natural causation as explainable, with that gone there is no longer any grounds for dismissing consideration of God from the universe.I will argue that more than that is going. There is a paradigm shift underway which demonstrates a total change in scientific thinking in many areas and over many disciplines. That change demonstrates that the materialist concept is wrong; there is more to reality than just the material world. There are other aspects to the material world wich are non-deterministic, non-mechanistic, and which call into question the whole presupposition of excluding the supernatural from consideration.
The groundwork for understanding this shift was laid by Thomas S. Kuhn in his theory of paradigm shifts. Kuhn's famous theory was that scientific thought works through paradigm acquisition, and that paradigms change when they can no longer absorb anomalies into the model and must account for them in some other way. This theory entails the idea that science is culturally constructed; our ideas about science are culturally rooted and our understanding of the world in a scientific fashion is rooted in culture. For this reason he thought that science is not linear cumulative progress. "scientific revolutions are here taken to be those non-cumulative developmental episodes replaced in whole or in part by a new one..." (Thomas kuhn The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," (92)
"In section X we shall discover how closely the view of science as cumulative is entangled with a dominate epistemology that takes knowledge to be a construction placed directly upon raw sense data by the mind. And in section XI we shall examine the strong support provided to the same historiographical scheme by the techniques of effective science pedagogy. Nevertheless, despite the immense plausibility of that ideal image, there is increasing reason to wonder whether it can possibly be an image of science. After the pre-paradigm period the assimilation of all new theories and of almost all new sorts of phenomena has demanded the destruction of a prior paradigm and a consequent conflict between competing schools of scientific thought. Cumulative anticipation of unanticipated novelties proves to be an almost nonexistent exception to the rule of scientific development.The man who takes historic fact seriously must suspect that science does not tend toward the ideal that our image of its cumulativeness has suggested. Perhaps it is another sort of enterprise."(Ibid,94)
What all of this means is that science is not written in stone. We do not pile one fact upon another until we get to the truth. We formulate a concept of the world and we hold to it and defend it against changed until there are too many problems with it then we move to another totally different world view. This is what has been going on in science since the French enlightenment. Materialism replaced super-naturalism and Materialists have been defending it against change all this time. Now there are too many problems, they have brought in so many ideas contrary to materialism it is not meaningful anymore; paradigm shift is immanent and has begun in many areas. This is not to say that Kuhn had anything to say about the supernatural, he was a materialist. But his theory shows us that change in the concept of materlaism is on the way.
Kuhn is not alone in these observations, major scientific thinkers have questioned scientific 'pretense of objectivity' throughout the century:
This 'bigger' aspect can also be seen in Rosenberg's 'liberal naturalism' [CS:JCS:3.1.77]:
"The question of scientific objectivity becomes more compelling when one considers that doubts about the reductive paradigm are by no means new. William James (1890), Charles Sherrington (1951), Erwin Schrodinger (1944, 1958), Karl Popper and John Eccles (1977)--among others--have insisted that the reductive view is inadequate to describe reality. This is not a fringe group. They are among the most thoughtful and highly honored philosophers and scientists of the past century. How is it that their deeply held and vividly expressed views have been so widely ignored? Is it not that we need to see the world as better organized than the evidence suggests?
"Appropriately, the most ambitious chapter of this section is the final one by Willis Harman. Is the conceptual framework of science sufficiently broad to encompass the phenomenon of consciousness, he asks, or must it be somehow enlarged to fit the facts of mental reality? Attempting an answer, he considers the degree to which science can claim to be objective and to what extent it is influenced by the culture in which it is immersed. Those who disagree might pause to consider the religious perspective from which modern science has emerged.
"There is reason to suppose that the roots of our bias toward determinism lie deeper in our cultural history than many are accustomed to suppose. Indeed, it is possible that this bias may even predate modern scientific methods. In his analysis of thirteenth-century European philosophy, Henry Adams (1904) archly observed: "Saint Thomas did not allow the Deity the right to contradict himself, which is one of Man's chief pleasures." One wonders to what extent reductive science has merely replaced Thomas's God with the theory of everything."
Science lacks the absolute guarantee that many atheists think it has. The more complex and removed from immediate observation the question is the less certainty it has. This means that it is not a fit vehicle to tell us about god.God is not a scientific question. Science is not prior to philosophy but the other way around. Science evolved out of philosophy, it used to be called 'natural philosophy.' While science does offer a sense of "working" its what it works for that matters. It does not work to give us any understanding of ultimate reality. Thus is it not a fair question to ask why there is no proof of God scientifically? Of cousre not, because God is not a scientific question. The reason God is not science is because God is not empirical. God is not given in sense data. Now atheist may ask why that is, they sometimes ask "why doesn't God make himself better know," that's because God is not a big guy in the sky. The same reason why he's not empirical. Because he's not a "he" the "he is just a metaphor. God si beyond our understanding, the basis of reality. God is prior to even epistemology. That would be like expecting evidence of the eloctro-magnetic spectrum to tell us about the basis of existence itself. Atheist continually treat God as though he is a big man in the sky, although for some this may be because they want to take on the fundies most of all. Such an atheist is John Loftus.
We’ve argued against the concept of faith many times before, but let me try again. I have argued that the Christian faith originated as and is purely human religion completely accountable by humans acting in history without needing anWy divine agency at all. But setting that important discussion aside, faith is a cop out, especially when it comes to the number of things Christians must take on faith in order to believe. Let’s recount some of them.
Here is a typical example of an atheist ragging on faith. That is to say, he is not analyzing the basis of faith at a deep level, but merely dismissing it as some sort of non answer. It will become clear in a moment that the specific reasons he gives are those that view God as an empirical object of knowledge and thus a big man in the sky. I know that Loftus will say this is because he's concerned with the fundies more than with liberals. But true though that may be it still gives a mis-impression to only deal with faith at such a superficial level and never acknowledge that it is a much more complex process than this. Consider his argument about questioning why God created:
No reasonable answer can be given for why a triune God, who was perfect in love neither needing nor wanting anything, created in the first place. Grace and Love are non-answers, especially when we see the actual world that resulted. For Christians to say God wanted human creatures who freely love him is nonsense, for why did he want this at all? If love must be expressed then God needed to express his love and that implies a lack.He speaks of "he" and "want" and so forth as though God is just a big man. This is part of his incredulity over the Trinity because how could a big man in the sky be three big men in the sky and yet just one big man in the sky? He's basically arguing here that god can't be a big man and thus can't want anything. But assumes that he must know what form God could take if he isn't a big man. That means he has to regard God as an object of empirical knowledge, of course it would never apply to anything beyond our understanding. If we regard God as the ground of being these questions are all moot, thus we have to frame them differently. We could begin by not asking "why would a God who has no needs craete in the first place?" That question is unanswerable for the ground of being, since we don't even know if we can speak of "creation" in the same sense. By what can't be answered can't be answered negatively either. We can't rule out the love answer on the premise that God can't love becasue he's the ground of being. Indeed most of the major theologians who speak of God this way (Tillich, McQuarry and Von Balthsar) find a link between being and love in the first place. Of course we can't speak of God "needing" but we could speak of God producing. Or we can speak of being producing the beings. McQuarry speaks of "being lets be." We have to ask a different set of questions to begin with if we conceive of God as the basis of reality rather than an object of knowledge.
Loftus goes on to play the same game in relation to the three in one aspect:
It’s hard enough to conceive of one person who is an eternally uncased God, much less a Godhead composed of three eternally uncased persons. There are some Christians who maintain the Father eternally created the Logos and the Spirit, while others claim that three persons in one Godhead is simply an eternally brute inexplicable fact. Why is that brute fact more reasonable to accept than accepting the brute fact of the laws of the universe, which is all that’s needed to produce the universe? There are social Trinitarians and anti-social Trinitarians. Both sides accuse the other side of abandoning the Chalcedonian creed, either in the direction of tri-theism, or in the direction of Unitarianism.First of all his knowledge of Orthodoxy is slipping here. Either that or he doesn't care to define Christianity by the ruels of the Christian community. No Christian believes that the Logos and the Spirit are created, as that is a violation of the creeds. His appeal to the laws of the universe is not applicable here because it is not a competitor for God's position as transcendental signifier. In fact laws of nature are totally inexplicable and we do not know what they. They no longer carry the same wight they did in the enlightenment. Thus they are a dandy reason to believe in God, because the supposition of a mind an notion of a set of disembodied laws is pretty had to grasp (see the previous article). But the argument he makes is absurd in light of the Ground of Being. we don't have to ask how can a big man in the sky be three big men in the sky and yet one big man in the sky. As ground of being God can easily contain within his divine economy three persona which share the same essence as all three are merely reflections of the one ground of being. McQuarry makes this point himself where defines the Trinity as having to do with the one and many and the notion of being as the ground of diversification of existence (see Principles of Christian Theology).
Atheists storm about the suppossed lack of evidence, yet they put all their marbles on issues such as string theory and mutliverses, matters for which there is no empirical data of any kind. Then they rail against God because there's no empirical data! Belief in God is a realization that comes from understanding about the nature of being, especially one's own being. It is not the result of empirical data, nor can it be. The concept is misguided and that expectation is a waste of time. There two trajectories that inform us of the nature of being such that we might associate it with the sense of the numinous. These are deductive understanding fo transcendental signifiers on the one hand, (matters such as the ontological argument), and then personal experience on the other. Mystical experience, the sense of numinous these are matters of realizing God. They offer a deep seated conviction that can't be refuted by mere circular reasoning or question begging of atheist assertion. On the other hand, deductive arguments demonstrate the logical necessity of thinking about being in religious terms.