Friday, December 8, 2017

Answering "Lemon Lee" on Aquinas

"I always asked it expecting there to be an answer."

Lee Lemon or Atheist Lee on how she was asking questions about God and the Bible back when she was a Christian (other video).

I still do.

But, what is more, I had exactly the same attitude when asking questions about Big Bang or Evolution or Mind from Matter or Origin of Language in an Evolutionary perspective.

I don't do that any more. The reason I don't do that is that, back when I started believing in the Bible, I was getting to brickwalls when it came to these things often labelled "science".

Now, we'll see Lemon Lee doing some similar things when she is answering the five ways of St Thomas.

Video here commented on
Atheist Lee, "What about the proofs of Aquinas?"
Lee Lemon | added 11th Dec. 2012

0:36 These five are proofs of God.

While each ends with a (partial) definition of God corresponding to what he has just proved, Aquinas definitely does set up to prove God here.

Citing St Thomas
I answer that, The existence of God can be proved in five ways.

The first and more manifest way is the argument from motion. It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion; whereas a thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality. But nothing can be reduced from potentiality to actuality, except by something in a state of actuality. Thus that which is actually hot, as fire, makes wood, which is potentially hot, to be actually hot, and thereby moves and changes it. Now it is not possible that the same thing should be at once in actuality and potentiality in the same respect, but only in different respects. For what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot; but it is simultaneously potentially cold. It is therefore impossible that in the same respect and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved, i.e. that it should move itself. Therefore, whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another. If that by which it is put in motion be itself put in motion, then this also must needs be put in motion by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and, consequently, no other mover; seeing that subsequent movers move only inasmuch as they are put in motion by the first mover; as the staff moves only because it is put in motion by the hand. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.

The second way is from the nature of the efficient cause. In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible. Now in efficient causes it is not possible to go on to infinity, because in all efficient causes following in order, the first is the cause of the intermediate cause, and the intermediate is the cause of the ultimate cause, whether the intermediate cause be several, or only one. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect. Therefore, if there be no first cause among efficient causes, there will be no ultimate, nor any intermediate cause. But if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect, nor any intermediate efficient causes; all of which is plainly false. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.

The third way is taken from possibility and necessity, and runs thus. We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, since they are found to be generated, and to corrupt, and consequently, they are possible to be and not to be. But it is impossible for these always to exist, for that which is possible not to be at some time is not. Therefore, if everything is possible not to be, then at one time there could have been nothing in existence. Now if this were true, even now there would be nothing in existence, because that which does not exist only begins to exist by something already existing. Therefore, if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus even now nothing would be in existence — which is absurd. Therefore, not all beings are merely possible, but there must exist something the existence of which is necessary. But every necessary thing either has its necessity caused by another, or not. Now it is impossible to go on to infinity in necessary things which have their necessity caused by another, as has been already proved in regard to efficient causes. Therefore we cannot but postulate the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity, and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity. This all men speak of as God.

The fourth way is taken from the gradation to be found in things. Among beings there are some more and some less good, true, noble and the like. But "more" and "less" are predicated of different things, according as they resemble in their different ways something which is the maximum, as a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest; so that there is something which is truest, something best, something noblest and, consequently, something which is uttermost being; for those things that are greatest in truth are greatest in being, as it is written in Metaph. ii. Now the maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus; as fire, which is the maximum heat, is the cause of all hot things. Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God.

The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things which lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that not fortuitously, but designedly, do they achieve their end. Now whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is shot to its mark by the archer. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God.

Summa Theologica, Part I, Q 2, A3

1:02 Unknown to Aquinas, things can interact?

When Aquinas proves the unmoved mover, he is beginning with lots of panoramas of the interaction.

OK, a pen falls to the ground alone. But how many other things can a pen do alone?

How many directions are involved in falling to the ground? As I count, one.

A flame of fire can move in exactly one opposite direction, up.

If things as simple as being made of heavy or light matter were just moving themselves in those directions, and this from all eternity (while St Thomas doesn't actually use the Kalam of "beginning", he is of course aware that only without a beginning could a universe function in any way without God, so he concentrates in how even then the universe needs a God to function), well, there would be no movements left, since all which could soar up would have soared up and all which could fall down would have fallen down.

1:43 Things can "just happen"? Without a cause?

If I drop a pen, it is usually accidentally. My fingers let go because I am tired and the pen, left to itself, drops to the ground.

But how come the pen was above the ground? I had caused it to be higher by holding it.

How come I did not consistently so hold it? I was tired.

How come I was tired? Something had kept me from getting to sleep early enough or waking up late enough. A lot of that happens when you are homeless. But I would not say it "just" happens.

If I lie inside the first porch of a house, but outside the inner one, there is a lock preventing me from getting higher in the stair case. If I lie there, at a certain early hour, someone is going to take out the garbage bins for communal emptying. Now, this s not bothering a lot of other persons, but this is because they are further in, further from the noise. That was the night to yesterday. And the security agent this morning had been sent on purpose to wake me up. It was 6:16 when I got out.

1:45 half lives are not self caused, they are caused - or so they suppose - by instability in the nucleides set up.

And this is because stability in the setup needs to follow certain rules. Like Carbon 12 or Nitrogen 14, stable isotopes, at least until exposed to radioactivity, have 6 protons and 6 neutrons in Carbon 12, 7 protons and 7 neutrons in Nitrogen 14. Now Carbon 14 has 6 protons and 8 neutrons.

Hence, there is an instability and a half life.

And while Carbon 14 having 6 protons and 8 neutrons, this causing the half life, there is some cause why 6 protons and 6 neutrons or 7 protons and 7 neutrons is a "better idea." Stability wise.

1:58 The explosion of a grain silo is definitely caused.

It is caused by heat and growth of germing seeds.

2:05 And next question is, what causes certain conditions to promote ignition?

2:21 - 2:27

A bit wrong.

If EVERYTHING had the possibility of not existing, sooner or later over eternity, the non-existence of everything would coincide. But once that happens (and it would have happened an eternal number of times except for the following), whatever had existed before that could never more be brought back to existence, since only sth existing can cause the existence of a thing which can non-exist.

Therefore SOMETHING needs to be necessarily (and therefore eternally) existing. Creation is not even as yet considered. Even God being personal is only considered in some way in proof 4 and 5 - and in following questions.

St Thomas concludes this proof with "and this everyone calls God" but of course in the time of Epicure, one Epicure was identifying "atoms" (not identic to things like C12, N14 or C14, obviusly) as this.

2:32 "creator" is not even in the proof.

St Thomas had his reasons for not bringing in Epicure's atomism, like being unused to it and its being less intellectually satisfying than hylomorphism and Euclidean matter.

A non-identity of Euclidean matter with the eternally necessary is fairly obvious : it can be divided and it can be composed and is therefore a contingently existing thing.

2:50 "the idea that something has to be created" - is not involved in third way.

The idea that many observable things don't exist before coming into existence and many observable things cease to exist when destroyed (like a tree not existing before planted and not existing any longer when burned down) is very much involved. But it is also an everyday observation.

3:10 While Aquinas may not have had YOUR idea of what exists in empty space, he certainly did not consider it empty.

Also, the "nothing" he was talking of in case of an eternity of non-necessary only extants is a conclusion from that premiss, not an observation.

He most definitely did not think that there was a place or time when and where one would literally find nothing. So, that is not involved in his argument.

3:18 facepalm

  • "people at the time" is not involved in St Thomas' argument and their limitations don't refute it - you need to refute it on its terms, not on its presumed indebtedness to a limitation he had because of living when he did;
  • "contingent being creating" is so misunderstanding what the word contingent means - and the processes imagined for planets coming into being are contingent ones, not eternally necessary ones
  • "creating" is not at all involved in the argument : from the fact St Thomas is a Theist and a Creationist, you are reading into his argument that he must have had creation in mind, when he is in fact not stating it there.

3:27 "we now know" - no, we don't, and most times you hear that phrase, it is false. The proposed process had never in fact been observed, in this case.

"how a planet can come into existence without the help from any intelligent being"

Was "intelligent" a mis-subtitling for "contingent" or was "intelligent" what you said?

Intelligence of the necessary being is not a consideration entering as yet into third way as such.

And contingency of what brings planets into being is not really denied by the sources you are using.

3:54 "even perfection is an idea which we don't see in reality"

Sure we do, you and I are more perfect than the substitling automaton, since we understand language, which is a perfection.

4:05 St Thomas was stating from observed difference in degree of perfection that there is a being which is MOST perfect. I don't see how you have put that in doubt just by not getting what it means.

4:12 Perfection is subjective?

Well, I don't know of any subject to whom not understanding language is more perfect or as perfect as understanding it. Except of course, some subjects, if you can call them that, not understanding language and not understanding the difference.

The fact that subjects exist is an argument for St Thomas degree of perfections, not against it.

5:00 Recall some sense data.

Earth is still. Sun is moving about it each day, creating day and night.

You CAN prove that stars outside planets must be VERY far away, and even so, their angular speed is above that of the sun, they circle Earth in 23 hours 55 minutes. Considering the distance, that is at an enormous speed. (I have calculated that their local speed is, if one light day away, superior to the speed of light). Even at that enormous speed, they don't collide and don't burst or explode.

You are dealing with as perfect a machinery as you can get (this admiration was one of the reasons why, as a byproduct, regarding nature as a machine became popular). It is working day and night, year after year (and Sun changing the angle slightly along Zodiac plane is involved in seasons), producing the ideal conditions for biological life on Earth. It all happened by chance?

Hmmm ... next time you watch the Bolshoi ballet, how about considering the coordination of all the dancers also happened by chance?

Linguistics on Quora

Is it possible for someone to read and write in one language and speak and listen in another?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
I speak two langs, Latin and Germanic. In a few dialects.
Answered just now
If he reads and writes at all and is not deaf, it is even necessary.

If to me written Swedish and spoken Swedish are the “same language” this is because I have an acquired synaesthesia between the two languages.

It is partly but only partly an acquired synaesthesia for “this letter” and “this sound”. Some letters are pronounced differently due to context specific to Swedish and some sounds are also spelled differently in contexts specific to Swedish.

For instance, the letter G is pronounced as in Great Goose usually before consonants, and before certain vowels (A, O, U, Å), but it is pronounced like Y in Yarn before other vowels (E, I, Y, Ö, Ä). After such a vowel or after R or L, G may also be pronounced like Y in Yarn.

It is only the written language which has a same letter in both cases.

Gatans goda glada gummors gåta in the spoken language has one sound for each G.

Ger giftiga gymnastiker att göra med gästernas högda elghornsskedar in the spoken language has another sound for each G.

Similarily, this other sound can in the written language be spelled J instead of G only for one of the words (höjda is a more modern spelling of högda), while other words need it to be spelled J : just i Jultidens jobbiga jägtande jagande julklappsjagt.

Note that one of the J is where the normal rules would imply the spelling G for jägtande, except here the spelling rule is overridden by etymology.

I have here omitted other spellings of the J sound (several) and other pronunciation (only one more) of G (NG, GN, NK - two groups beginning with same sound after that sound spelled alone with both letters spelling it in the groups).

Since each speaker who is also a reader and writer has acquired one synaesthesia, he may obviously also acquire another one.

Two languages are often considered two dialects of same language, when each of the two spoken ones can coexist in synaesthesia with same written one. On the other hand one spoken language can coexists with two spellings, like American rhotic dialects of English are fairly similar or same North and South of Canadian border, but a certain pronounced word will be spelled “labor” on one side of the border and “labour” on the other side. And if elsewhere it is pronounced very differently, it is mostly not about how second vowel sound is pronounced, but how the letter R is, or isn’t.

The spelling of English - roughly fairly constant since 1350 - has coexisted with more than one spoken language. You just give the same text to a man from Ozark area and a man from Delhi, and you will see British spelling is coexisting with different English spoken languages - and therefore the British spelling, coexisting with either is identic to neither. Some more of it have been there since Chaucer.

And, in Ozark area, you let some other man used to the spelling bee write the text down after its pronunciation, and you will see the Ozark language is capable of coexisting with both British and American spelling. Therefore it is identic to neither and could theoretically coexist with even other spelling systems (and actually does so in Li’l Abner by Al Capp).

In other words, if someone was thinking of my considerations about French and Latin, with someone speaking in French and writing in Latin around 800 AD, actually there is not much of a problem. It is just that the relation between writing and speech would be as complex as in Swedish or English, not as simple as in Classical Latin.

Or, if someone was thinking of my writing “19th C” Swedish and speaking “21st C” Swedish, it’s like the Canadian border : a division in spelling that has no real bearing on how words are pronounced. 1906 was not a “development” in spelling, it was an administrative reform in it.

How do you find the origins of words?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
I speak two langs, Latin and Germanic. In a few dialects.
Answered 7h ago
Tolkien wanted to know the origin of the word “wasp”.

He believed in the IE proto-language theory. This means, if “wasp” is common to sufficient IE branches, it is derived from the proto-language. If it is not derived from it, it should show up in only one branch or if in more, in a neighbourly one.

If you believe that, you start studying what words meaning wasp, perhaps also bee and similar, but reminding of wasp in looks, look like in other branches.

Wasp and German Wespe are obviously the same branch. In Latin you have vespa, which could actually be the origin of German Wespe (but would be difficult to reconcile with a vocalism of wasp). French guêpe and Italian vespa will get you no further, since both derived from Latin vespa.

In Lithuanian you seem to have vabzdys and vapsvas (reconstructed from genitive plural vapsvų, before looking at dictionary). Sorry, vapsva. As to vabzdys, it seems to mean insect, in general.

In Polish you get osa - which could mean that it is derived from the word which in Lithuanian gets vapsva. PIE P would not be preserved at and of a syllable. PIE W could vanish between an S and a vowel. And short PIE A or O, while A in Germanic and Baltic, are O in Slavonic. An original PIE W would perhaps disappear before O, or by dissimilation with following w, before it disappeared.

An original WOPSWA would in Lithuanian be vapsva and in Polish either **wosa or - as shown osa. It would explain the English form waps.

An original WEPSWA could somewhere be remade by metathesis as WESPA and explain Latin vespa. Therefore also German Wespe.

And according to PIE theory, short O and E were sometimes interchangeable, so, one could get a word which was both WOPSWA and WEPSWA.

So, what Tolkien probably did put in the entry for that dictionary word was :

wasp, from waps by contamination with vespa, from IE *wopswa alt. *wepswa, confer Lith vapsva and Polish osa (or he might have used Church Slavonic or Russian or sth).

I say “probably”, because I have not actually read this entry.

Now, if one does not believe IE unity derives from one proto-language, one can still believe the word has one proto-form, and very possibly that one bandied around between early forms of above mentioned languages.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

On Francisco J. Ayala

... on Knowledge of Hagiographers · ... on Nature of Catholic Authority · On Francisco J. Ayala

***** 15. Evolution vs. Creationism: Biblical Literalism *****
Qualitative Research Channel

Only part of the section with Francisco J. Ayala:

Chapter 2 of Genesis does not show God creating dry land or sun, moon and stars after Adam was created.

It also does not show any days passing between Adam's and Eve's creation, it is compatible with both being created on day 6, as per the resumé in chapter 1.

The "difficulty" for literalism is [19] And the Lord God having formed out of the ground all the beasts of the earth, and all the fowls of the air, brought them to Adam to see what he would call them: for whatsoever Adam called any living creature the same is its name. [20] And Adam called all the beasts by their names, and all the fowls of the air, and all the cattle of the field: but for Adam there was not found a helper like himself.

Here the solution proposed by translater is that we are talking about animals formed before Adam. Kent Hovind has another solution, God made extra examples of all kinds so Adam could watch Him create and verify He was the creator.

Who is this guy? He considers that in Genesis 2 not just animals but plants (in general, as opposed to just one garden of them with trees poofing up for Adam's edification in it) and even stars - not even mentioned in chapter 2! were created after Adam. That would indeed involve a contradiction with chapter 1, which fortunately is not there.

Checking by scrolling back the video: Francisco Ayala, Ph.D., Donald Bre Professor of Biological Sciences, Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, U.C. Irvine, 2001 National Medal of Science Laureate

Oh, at least no US university gave him any credits for his skills in Biblical exegesis ... good ...

"[hundreds and hundreds of] inconsistencies and incompatibilities"

Probably Francisco Ayala checked an Atheist's Annotated Bible or sth.

Each of the "inconsistencies" self destructs when checked against the actual words of the Bible.

Two things scientists are often very poor on: Bible and Medieval History.

3:57 - 3:59
"[the writers of the Bible could not speak of atoms or natural selection] or even of the earth going around the Sun, because there not what people thought was the case at the time in"

Francisco Ayala, I do not quite get what you are trying to convey.

Back when I was a Lutheran (fortunately no more!) I was against women "priests". Some guys argued that Jesus could only name male apostles, because the priesthood back then was reserved for men ... well, in Israel it was, since Aaron and before (if you read Genesis), but that was a thing God had arranged more than 1000 years before. In the Pagan world, there were lots of cults with female priestesses. Isis, Aphrodite, and a few more, there were female priestesses back then. A N D Jesus still chose male only Apostles.

What they were thinking was, back then people had not progressed beyond a certain misogyny, and so Jesus adapted to it, and now we have progressed beyond it, Christianity no longer needs to adapt to a misogyny no longer reflecting our culture.

Of course this is blasphemous, it implies God when living among us like Man was inadequate (at least without the help of very recent interpreters pushing "empathy" for what Christ must really have meant very far) to "bear witness for truth".

You seem to have a very similar and very evil idea that scientific progress is a one way story and that while God was believing atoms, natural selection and heliocentrism, He not just ignored atoms, but contradicted Natural Selection and Heliocentrism just to adapt to the people He was molding like pottery clay through the 40 years of Desert Journey. Ah, He can make them circumcise, He can make them abhor porc meat, which Egyptians did not abhor, He can ... and yet if He had also given them Heliocentrism, it would have been too much for them.

While there were no instruments with which to "measure parallax" back then, the knowledge of Heliocentrism could have been a supernatural one, one acquired by trust in God, as knowledge of Hittites has so long been for Christians, up to about a century ago.

So much for the idea God could not have revealed it.

As to the writers, they were not autonomous intellectuals to whom God revealed nothing, but some of them were prophets.

Now, atoms may or may not be true (the globes you find in electronic microscopy and where you have a big and two smaller ones for water molecules are not correctly named atoms, only conventually so : if they were really a-tomoi, indivisible, there would be no isotopes and no radioactivity : whether carbon 14 decays to carbon 12 or to nitrogen 14 which is its origin - I have heard both - both its origin and its decay contradict there being no parts in carbon 14 which can go away or be added).

Atoms are at least not contradicted by the Bible.

But for Natural Selection, you even have a contrary statement in the Bible, twice at least:

Matth 10:[29] Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father.

Same thing said in Luke, but here is an older mention:

Ps 103:[21] The young lions roaring after their prey, and seeking their meat from God.

In other words, decision of what animals survive is not "natural selection", but an apparent "chance selection" which is really a "providence of God" selection.

Similarily, Heliocentrism is also contradicted twice, or more:

Ps 103:[5] Who hast founded the earth upon its own bases: it shall not be moved for ever and ever.

And even earlier than that:

Joshua 10:[12] Then Josue spoke to the Lord, in the day that he delivered the Amorrhite in the sight of the children of Israel, and he said before them: Move not, O sun, toward Gabaon, nor thou, O moon, toward the valley of Ajalon. [13] And the sun and the moon stood still, till the people revenged themselves of their enemies. Is not this written in the book of the just? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down the space of one day.

As said, this was after God had been giving Israel extra lessons for free in the Desert, and you pretend God could not have revealed Heliocentrism to them, so Joshua could have told Earth not to turn for a while? Are we supposed to conclude that God did not know He was going to make the miracle? Or that He didn't care about which words he used, what created entity he adressed after praying?

No, it is rather the idea of Francisco Ayala which is blashemous. Not Biblical literalism!

I just
found out a few things about Francisco J. Ayala:

"Francisco José Ayala Pereda (born March 12, 1934) is a Spanish-American evolutionary biologist and philosopher at the University of California, Irvine.[2] He is a former Dominican priest,[3][4] ordained in 1960,[5] but left the priesthood that same year. After graduating from the University of Salamanca, he moved to the United States in 1961 to study for a PhD at Columbia University. There, he studied for his doctorate under Theodosius Dobzhansky, graduating in 1964.[6] He became a US citizen in 1971."

First identity of this post, keeping it:postID=7883265666845594547 - perhaps fits Francisco J. Ayala?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Alex Pismenny on Democracy and Freedom, Quora

Can you be free in a non-democratic nation?

Alex Pismenny
Interested in social theory
Answered Nov 17
Absolutely you can. “Democratic” means, certain people get to vote and to be elected to certain offices. That is the only privilege that you don’t get in a non-democratic country.

You still should have all the fundamental rights:

  • The right of self-defense
  • The right to voice opinions other than direct incitements to violence or divulging secrets of others
  • The right to buy and sell property between willing seller and willing and able buyer
  • The right to contract for labor between willing laborer and willing and able able employer
  • The freedom of conscience

Note that what I listed above are true freedoms: they require nothing from others in a coercive way in order for me to enjoy them.

The right to vote and be elected is not such fundamental right. It is a privilege that the society as a whole may or may not give its citizens. The privilege is always subject to complex restrictions, for example, so that a majority may not abuse the minority because the majority has the votes.

At the same time, many democratic societies restrict or abolish certain fundamental rights.

There is no direct connection between democracy and freedom.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
7h ago
“ many democratic societies restrict or abolish certain fundamental rights.”

Just take a look at Sweden and Norway ….

May I copy your excellent answer to my blog?

Alex Pismenny
3h ago
Please, I’ll be honored.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Heliocentrism (quora)

What were you taught in school & later found to be untrue? I.e. I was taught that Christopher Columbus discovered America, but my son was taught it was the Native Americans.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Self Employed at Writer and Composer
Answered Mon
That the Earth circles the Sun. OK, one day in school I suspected it, and asked for the physics’ teacher’s proof.

His was, there is a good coordination between planetary masses and orbits as predicted Newtonian way.

However, planetary masses are deduced by the orbits according to the theories of Newtonian physics. I don’t know how many are independently known, for instance by flybys, and if these have really taken place.

Also, supposing the flybys have taken place and proven planetary masses, there are options for Newtonian physics being true (as far as vectorial components for planets are concerned) while Earth is still the centre. Sungenis and his associate in Croatia are giving one of them. Luka Popov, I think his name is.

But while at school, I still accepted the explanation as proof.

by I Jesse Raffield and by II David Hansel

Jesse Raffield
Did you ever figure out which orbits which?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
I consider Sun orbits Earth each day, Zodiac each year.

Jesse Raffield
Mon · 3 upvotes
It doesn't bother you that probes on Mars have literally observed the Earth going around the Sun?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
11h ago
You get a camera (film, not stills), a chopper and go circle about a tower. From the chopper you can “literally observe” the tower turning around itself, which in reality it of course does not, standing still on the ground.

You get the idea?

Or you thought I considered Mars as concentric around Earth? No, I am Tychonian. Sun concentric around Earth (outside Moon, inside stars) but other planets concentric around Sun. The relative movements “in solar system” are the same.

Jesse Raffield
11h ago · 1 upvote
So your reason for believing this is just a case of special pleading? What arbitrary rules your world must work by.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
11h ago
I don’t know how “special pleading” applies to world views.

It applies to arguments.

The world can work by arbitrary rules, if there are arbiters, like angels, or an arbiter, like God.

Jesse Raffield
10h ago · 1 upvote
Its special pleading in the fact that for no particular reason you claim that the Earth somehow doesn't follow the laws of physics like every other planet.

I see that you're quite religious from your answers and questions, is that why you reject obviously true facts?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
5h ago
The laws of physics would only “dictate” the course of a globe (Earth, Sun or planet) if nothing else is.

If you occasionally move a pen or a keyboard, you have some experience in things that move without physical laws being the prime cause and directive force of the movement - since your will is.

No law of physics is forcing you to type an A if you want to type a B.

Our real difference is whether persons who can move things according to their will come only human sized or come in spiritual mights of infinity (God) or whatever individual globe one is moving (angels).

“why you reject obviously true facts?”

I don’t reject any obviously true fact, since what is “obviously true” to an atheist is not objectively speaking “obviously true”.

David Hansel
20h ago · 1 upvote
Please tell me this is a troll answer…

Hans-Georg Lundahl
6h ago
Prepared for a shock?

You have had 14 hours to digest it, take a look at my dialogue with Jesse Raffield.

David Hansel
2h ago
You’re right, it is a shock to see that someone can so poorly misunderstand the world and how to construct an argument.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
9m ago
As to “how to construct an argument” I am indeed not impressed by some here.

But you might be referring to someone else than I am referring to?

God and Galaxies (quora)

How does knowing that there are countless galaxies with countless stars and planets make the God of the Bible seem unlikely to exist?

Answer requested
by Nathan Solis

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Studied religions as curious parallels and contrasts to Xtian faith since 9, 10?
Answered just now

“How does knowing that there are countless galaxies with countless stars and planets make the God of the Bible seem unlikely to exist?”*

  • we don’t know that; specifically, “galaxies other than our own” could easily be an erroneous conclusion in Heliocentrism;
  • even if we knew that, it wouldn’t make the God of the Bible the least less likely to exist, He would just be the creator of so many more galaxies if they exist, and of so many less ones, if they don’t exist, but being infinite, among other things in power, one or other is no problem to Him.

* It is often useful on quora to state what one is answering, since the question can be changed and your answer still remain.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Is Narcissism a Sin? (Quora)

What is God's punishment for narcissists?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Studied religions as curious parallels and contrasts to Xtian faith since 9, 10?
Answered just now
Who says “narcissists” or “homosexuals” or “cleptomaniacs” or any psychological label constitute a group of sinners?

Sodomy is a sin, but homosexuality is not always expressed in this sin, and does not always merit the punishments for it.

A cleptomaniac who is not stealing anything or whose stealing only amounts to venial sins or is systematically payed back when the excitement of pilfering undetected has been satisfied is not punished for mortal sins of theft.

And you can make a similar case about narcissism. Psychological labels are not very important. Acts are.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

How was Atheism Created, Ter, on Quora

How was atheism created?

[another one of the answers]

Toby Wilson
Ex-theist, an atheist.
Answered Thu
How was atheism created?

A word was needed to describe a person who lacks belief in gods, so an “a” was tacked onto the word “theism”, a word that describes the belief in at least one god, but which can apply to people who believe in multiple gods.

Generally speaking, when an “a” is put at the beginning of a word, like symmetry, in the English language, it indicates an absence of something.

So, putting an “a” on the beginning of “symmetry” produces “asymmetry”, the absence of symmetry.

This is what so many theists want to avoid understanding, because they cannot conceive of a person who has no belief in something they cherish so dearly, namely gods.

My belief was shattered when I realised that the evidence for the gods I accepted, would work just as well in favour of the ones I rejected, as well as fairies, bogarts and Smurfs.

Like it or not, some people do not accept the god claim, atheism was not created, only the word that describes the lack of belief in gods was created, and as far as we can tell with the evidence to hand, namely nothing at all, gods were invented too.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
"My belief was shattered when I realised that the evidence for the gods I accepted, would work just as well in favour of the ones I rejected"

Sure you should have rejected their even human existence?

"as well as fairies, bogarts and Smurfs."

Smurfs is overdoing it. Peyó was known to make works of fiction for purposes of entertainment.

I would not reject phenomenal existence of fairies, whatever would be their theological assessment.

Toby Wilson
“Sure you should have rejected their even human existence?”

I’m not sure what that sentence means, it makes no grammatical sense whatsoever.

I don’t reject the fact that people believe in gods, and that they have believed in numerous gods for a long time.

I do however reject their beliefs for one very simple reason, they lack any corroborating evidence.

If you want to accept that fairies might exist, have at it, but you’re going to have to demonstrate that they’re more real than Smurfs, Peyo might have been writing a documentary about real Smurfs he discovered, you can’t prove that he wasn’t.

If you’re going to accept fairies and ghosts and gods, you’re going to need evidence of any of them before you’ll convince a sceptic.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
"I’m not sure what that sentence means, it makes no grammatical sense whatsoever."

It does.

I reject the divinity of Hercules and Romulus and Krishna and Odin, but I do not reject their human existence.

Odin was a man who fraudulently posed as a god, the other three men who were at least passively taken for gods, and in Krishna's case, if Bhagavadgita is historical about his pep talk to Arjuna, he too used fraudulent means to be taken for a god.

"I don’t reject the fact that people believe in gods, and that they have believed in numerous gods for a long time."

No one does, I think.

"I do however reject their beliefs for one very simple reason, they lack any corroborating evidence."

I would say, giving Arjuna an extatic experience with perhaps hypnotic enhancement is inadequate proof of Krishna being a god.

However, driving Arjuna's chariot is adequate evidence for Krishna having lived as a man.

"If you want to accept that fairies might exist, have at it, but you’re going to have to demonstrate that they’re more real than Smurfs, Peyo might have been writing a documentary about real Smurfs he discovered, you can’t prove that he wasn’t."

Peyó was presenting this to the world as entertainment. Stories about fairies, like the white lady of Rosental ...


... seem to have more reality to them.

"If you’re going to accept fairies and ghosts and gods, you’re going to need evidence of any of them before you’ll convince a sceptic."

People transmit stories that do not seem to be invented for entertainment. Not sure if it convinces a sceptic, but it does convince most normal men.

Last Month This Blog ...

was the one blog of mine most read in France.

Of all my blogs, I had about 115-116 visitors from France each day, and 70.6 of them on this one - despite its being in English.

I wonder why./HGL

Other curiosity : exactly ten views have been made for exactly three of the four posts from yesterday. For the first one, eleven.

If they are all viewed independently, how come they show so similar stats?

Perhaps they are viewed by some kind of "club" who decide what to view and to view it together?/HGL, next day.

PS Those 10 or 30 or 11 or 41 views are not the only ones from yesterday to today:

France 91
United States 40
Ukraine 16
Spain 5
Greece 4
Brazil 2
China 1
United Kingdom 1
Netherlands 1
Poland 1

Of course, it could be ten people or 11 people having subscribed to my blog. What it cannot be, is, "no body cares what I write"./HGL

Editors and Correctness (Quora)

What does an editor really look out for, to be corrected* in a book or an article?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Writing? I've been doing that for some time.
Answered 1h ago
I would consider it depends on the editor.

One thing is of course spelling, and as I spell British (with some creativity), I could be rejected by an US American editor who thinks everything is to be spelled in US American spelling reform.

Some editors would consider deviation from main stream positions to be a huge nono, other ones would even appreciate a very provocative deviation from main stream positions, as soon as they know - it shows - the author had done some “homework”.

Some editors would be joining Big Academia in banning wikipedia as a reference, others would not be doing so.

It would depend very much on the editor in any free country, where editors are not required to follow a government given policy.

* I had read "to be correct". Not "to be corrected".

Origin of Latin : Disputed (Quora)

If the origin of most languages is Latin, what is the origin of Latin?

Answer requested
by Guy Frémont

Hans-Georg Lundahl
I speak two langs, Latin and Germanic. In a few dialects.
Answered 51m ago
“If the origin of most languages is Latin, what is the origin of Latin?”

If the origin of all Romance languages (and these being a majority of the Big Ten, I think? - but a clear minority of all 6000 languages!) is Latin, well, the origin of Latin as such is unknown.

It is unknown in the sense of undocumented.

600 BC you find a fibula with very archaic Latin, unless the fibula is a forgery.

“Manios med fhefhaked.”

In Classic Latin, it is Manius me fecit. Those arguing the fibula is a forgery argue on linguistic grounds, it would instead have been “Manios med fheked”. This is to Latin, what 1st C. Proto-Nordic (“ek hlewagastiz holtingaz horna tawido”) is to Medieval Old Norse. But it counts as very old Latin.

Before the “Manios med fhefhaked/fheked” type of language, which is hard to understand if you only know Classical Latin, and which is a reason why “Carmen Saliare” in Classical times was no longer understood, there is no firm documented knowledge.

In Antiquity, one thought Latin was a branch of the Aeolic dialect of Greek. Partly because of similarities (Latin is more similar on comparative items to Aeolic than to Attic, for instance), partly for expedience, so Romans would not count as Barbarians (an expedience earlier shown to Macedonian).

Last two centuries, the majority opinion has been, Latin and Greek both descend from an earlier language, spoken thousands of years before the “Manios med fhefhaked” or “Manios med fheked” type of Latin. It is called proto-Indo-European. It has been variously constructed, and has been called the “fastest changing language of the 1860’s” or “of the 1870’s”.

Schleicher’s famous fable has been given in each of them, I think. The earliest version was very close to Sanskrit. The latest version, by a Finnish University doctor, is very close to Hittite. Between them, there has been a version which owed most of itself to “what would the proto-form leading to Homeric Greek and to Lithuanian look like?” It is not yet dead.

Yet another option is, diverse branches of Indo-European were not really descended from a same language, but from their earlier forms being more distinct, and from a Sprachbund leading to emerging similarities - a phenomenon seen in the Balkan area. That is my own version.

Since then, Mycenean Greek has been found. Since it still has a Q-series of consonants, it is less far from Latin than Classic Greek is. The Classic idea is not totally to be excluded.

For my own part, I think earliest IE languages functioning as such were spoken around Aegean, across Balkan to the West and to Syrian border and Crete and Cyprus in the East, and the Sprachbund emerging between them would have been very influenced by Hittite. Sanskrit would have come from a language on Crete, if a certain French linguist is correct about Linear A, and so would Avestic Persian have. Celtic would have come by a later Sprachbund - perhaps also involving Italic (Latin with relatives) which would owe something to Hittite and very early Greek.

That Celtic started out as a Sprachbund, rather than a simple monophyletic development from PIE has been suggested by the more mainstream scholar Barry Cunliffe. As far as I know, he has not tried to apply same idea to IE language community. Trubetskoy, the founder of Balkan linguistics, has.

Is Eternal Universe Possible? No. (Quora)

Is creationism really different from big bang assumption? Why our mind needs a "beginning"?

Answer requested
by Michele De Solda

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Thomist after starting with CSLewis
Answered 23h ago
Epicure and Aristotle believed in an eternal universe.

There are two major problems with this approach.

  • Human history does not reach back to a past eternity. Epicure suggested periodic disasters (he would have loved the story of Noah’s Ark … or for certain reasons not) which wipe out human achievements and this would include the predisaster history, forcing us to begin all over again. I take a less bleak view on mankind’s capacity on recording a disaster and what went on before it and handing it down to future generations - even if Genesis 2 - 7 is fairly sketchy as historiography goes (I think Mahabharata gives more detail on the Cainite side).

  • Some processes have been discovered to go on in one direction. A process like the water cycle is no problem for Aristotle (who had somewhat incorrect views on water cycle, partly due to his sources for geography not being as reliable as he) or for Epicure, but Helium being produced from Hydrogen + Hydrogen and this never reversing, well, this is a problem for a steady state eternal universe.

Michele De Solda
23h ago
Thanks Hans, a couple of cool reference. I have to check the helium one and I had sooner or later study seriously Aristotle’s metaphysics. What you mean with “steady universe”? Infinite in time, no beginning and no end?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
Exact, infinite in time, no beginning, no end, and no major diversification between its qualities, only minor vaccillations, mostly on a local level (like the world wide disasters or culture wide disasters would be).

Friday, December 1, 2017

Answers to Brother Karaviro on Taking the Bible Literally

This one, however, does belong to this blog. I commented under a youtube along it, and one of the comments sparked a short debate (if it lengthens, I'll be happy to update, perhaps even to make a new post). Here:

Taking the Bible literally is disrespecting Christianity
Brother Karaviro | added 10th Dec. 2014

You should not thank God for living in a country where the Bible is not taken literally.

It should be.

What exact Scriptural text is not fundamental for your faith?

The one you have not read.

The Church is fundamental, and it has pronounced Scriptures, all 73 books, as true.

This means, whatever part of it I read, whatever part of it I even don't understand, I still must accept it is true. Once I read it, it becomes part of the ecclesiastic fundament of faith, as per Trent.

While the Scriptures can lead YOU to encounter God, they do so on condition you believe as the Church does.

Their literal meaning is how OTHERS, way before you, did in fact encounter God, like Adam and Eve in perfect harmony, and then, after the forbidden fruit, in disharmony, meeting Hid anger.

No, the foundation of faith is not personal experience, of each believer, the foundation is and remains the teaching of the Church, which includes the Bible, and which tells you how to differentiate good from bad in personal experiences.

Suppose you had gone into a hypnotic state and personally experienced a "previous life" - would you accept you are reincarnated because of that? No.

I might not care as much about "spirituality" as about faith, about orthodoxy.

No, spirituality is not a requirement for religion. Some things which normally should help you to have one, like praying the rosary or fasting or at least abstaining on fridays, are requirements or recommendations of religion, but "be spiritual" is not, per se.

Look here, God is certainly more than human, but not, unlike the Stoics, less than fully human.

Jealous is a bad description from some viewpoints, not from others, if it had been, it would not have been there.

Zen masters are not as such very spiritual. Not in the right way : they are not orthodox.

Different kind of language, well, sentences are short, probably so the chapters could, one after another be learned by heart and transmitted from Adam, or from Seth or Cain, or Lamech or Noah to Moses who wrote them down, until we get to an environment in which chapters could be written. And writings preserved.

But that the story is "larger than life" does not mean it is not literally true.

Several stories we know are real life, whether World War II or Kon Tiki, are "larger than life".

I would rather you consider me blind than God consider me a heretic.

"Historical critical" is unhistorical, since antitraditional.

Pretending Genesis is a novel is as unhistorical as pretending Silmarillion is a documentary.

Hans Georg Lundahl
No, some possibilities of language do not apply to the Bible.

Silmarillion is a novel. How do we know? Because Tolkien wrote it as a novel.

Genesis is a documentary, and we know that because Moses wrote it as documentary.

We know the intention of Tolkien (as well as his authorship) from tradition, we also know the intention of Moses (as well as authorship) from tradition.

Brother Karaviro
No Genesis is not writen by Moses, you are a kid right? With all respect, I hope you will visit some classes in Theology at a State University. What possibliities of language do not apply to the Bible? :)

Hans Georg Lundahl
"No Genesis is not writen by Moses,"

Pope St Pius X's Bible commission condemned this one. In 1905 even the version saying Moses inerrantly collected stories that were not inerrant in themselves.

On another occasion, the ideas "Pentateuch is not at least substantially by Moses" (in Genesis he is arguably a collector of earlier material, and last chapter of Deuteronomy was written by Joshua after his death).

But for this one, I am not sure what year, and the other idea was "Psalms are not by King David, even if it mentions 'a Psalm by David'."

"you are a kid right?"

I have a blog called

New blog on the kid

But apart from that, I am 49.

"With all respect, I hope you will visit some classes in Theology at a State University."

I did, along with ma, at age 13, she took me out of school one day.

I heard a professor, otherwise apparently sane, defend the Bibel-Babel idiocy by Delitzsch or some other Prussian.

"What possibliities of language do not apply to the Bible?"

Those that are contrary to known fact. For instance, being originally written in English is a possibility of language, it applies for instance to Lord of the Rings or Silmarillion, but not to one single book of the Bible.

Being a novel is also a possibility of language which does not apply very much in the Bible.

The Prodigal Son (in German that would be "der verschwänderische Sohn", but it is usually "der verlorene Sohn") can well be a novel.

Because Jesus used it to make a point, like novelists often do (Momo makes a certain point about men always looking at the wristwatch, as Michael Ende intended it to do, and the Prodigal Son also brings home a point about God's love).

But being a novel is not a possibility which applies to Genesis. One could imagine a parellel universe in which Silmarillion and Lord of the Rings were old books dating from the events and in which Genesis was a novel by Tolkien.

But in our universe, Lord of the Rings and Silmarillion are novels by Tolkien, and Genesis is an old book, dating back (in its parts) to the events. Ergo, in our universe, the possibility of being a novel does not apply to Genesis.

Brother Karaviro
Sorry for the wrong assumption on your age, chap.

First of all, english isnt my mother language, so sorry for upcoming inconvenients.

Going once with your ma, is not thinking through a biblical class on a State University.

The word inerrant is obsolete, because language itself can not carry absolute truth, especially not divine truth.

The translation errors that occur, are of corse applicable on the Bible. The word is dead, through the spirit it gets alive.

Genesis is not just a novel, those literature concepts are not applicable to old writings. It is cultural heritage from a specific time and region, with a monotheistic culture. Everywhere the divine is shining through, so also in some bad stories from the Pentateuch.

Your derivation about novels and reality is very weak and makes not much sense.

Listen, you are disrespecting Christianity and betraying Jesus and God if you take the Bible literally.

Hans Georg Lundahl
"Going once with your ma, is not thinking through a biblical class on a State University."

Nope, but she did and she shared my view on Bibel-Babel thesis.

"The word inerrant is obsolete, because language itself can not carry absolute truth, especially not divine truth."

That is false.

"The translation errors that occur, are of corse applicable on the Bible. The word is dead, through the spirit it gets alive."

A translation error or copyist error is of course a possible exception from inerrancy.

I know, as a Latinist (at a State university, though without any final exams, just intermediate ones), fairly much about translations. It is for instance NOT possible that a translation error somewhere in Genesis changed the genre from novel writing to history.

"Genesis is not just a novel, those literature concepts are not applicable to old writings."

As far as I know the meaning of the word novelist (and as an aspiring novelist I know fairly much of it) the word "novel" is unspecific enough to be applicable to any prose narrative that is fiction. For instance, the one definitional obstacle to calling the Prodigal Son a novel is, it is not long enough. It therefore is a micro-novel - supposing Our Lord just made it up, rather than take an example He, as Omniscient God, knew from everyday life somewhere on Earth. Or even perhaps an example from a live story known to the people back there. But a novel (or micro-novel) is a fair guess.

"It is cultural heritage"

Culturally inherited narratives come in two main branches : fiction (i e novels) and history. There is of course also docufiction : this means a documentary would be either too short or too disclosing of vulnerable people, and therefore a fictional fleshing out of detail is preferred over a fully factual one, while story as such is factual.

Genesis stories are simply too short to be docufictions, there is not enough fleshing out. Everything which involves discretion (like saying [5] And God seeing that the wickedness of men was great on the earth, and that all the thought of their heart was bent upon evil at all times, rather than recite the whole Mahabharata) or being content with bare genealogies where many of the biographies are lost, that is too short for docufiction.

So, we have the two major branches of culturally inherited narrative : novels, or Märchen, and history, or Sagen. Genesis is either "eine Sage" like Richard Lionheart at Dürnstein (I think it was, if I did not remember wrong what place in Nether Austria) or it is "ein Märchen" like Hänsel und Gretel.

For the choice, we can depend on what those transmitting it have said : it is history.

"from a specific time and region, with a monotheistic culture."

Every historic narrative is from a specific time and region, and has a specific culture. Trojan war is narrated by Homer at a time when Hittites were forgot or one was trying to forget them. He was perhaps even the ideal poet for the transmission, because he was blind and could not see the obvious difference in Hittite hieroglyphs when visiting certain places. Therefore not ask who made that, therefore very honestly never hear about Hittites.

A Communist narrative about Stalingrad is also this, it is for instance formulated in an atheistic culture. And a very anti-German one too. The same Commies who celebrate the "heroic resistance at Teruel" are also considering the "heroic resitance at Stalingrad" as folly - even if getting out of the way at Teruel was easier for the reds and capitulation was more likely to result in spared life in captivity.

"Everywhere the divine is shining through, so also in some bad stories from the Pentateuch."

Everywhere in any false religion some truth or some divine is shining through in some way. This does not make them true religions, therefore giving this to the Bible is not being a Christian.

"Your derivation about novels and reality is very weak and makes not much sense."

I hope my answer has made it clearer.

"Listen, you are disrespecting Christianity and betraying Jesus and God if you take the Bible literally."

No, I am not "listening" to you as to a Guru, and I do not believe what you are saying. Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself took Genesis literally, in Mark 10:6, for instance.

Brother Karaviro
"The word inerrant is obsolete, because language itself can not carry absolute truth, especially not divine truth."

That is true. [In other words, he contradicts my "that is false"]

Thank you for your distinguished insights, we are totally not on the same page :).

With "listen" i didn't wante to implicate some status of mine, we are writing to each other on the same eye height hopefully.

I hope at least we can be on the same page for the following:
I wish us, you and me, in the name of Jesus, Gods blessing, and may his healing lifeforce shine through us and heal us and our surroundings. At the end what counts is the love we live towards our Sisters and Brothers and not how good we write words.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
In some ways yes, but when it comes to writing about this subject, writing well or ill does matter for the welfare of brothers and sisters.

Time for a Good Old Mark Shea Rant!

Mark Shea occasionally is very coherent and clear and all, he occasionally is spot on, but today is not that day ...

By the way, as to coherent, I feel a need for coffee, this post should have been on my main blog .... OK, back after coffee. Two things. The posts of Mark Shea are from yesterday's date, I seriously have no idea (as yet) what he is signing for December 1st. And, second thing, if one of his posts was bad, at the intro, the one I am ranting about, another one in fact is spot on, at least in a spot. Let's take a good paragraph first, shall we?

That is what Christianists are now reduced to fighting for: class warfare by the rich against the poor. But then, Christianism is about nothing other than the idols of money, pleasure, power, and honor (and blood and soil in their Alt Right manifestations).

Spot on. Except that in same essay, Mark Shea also called Roy Moore a child molester, which on a sane Catholic view he is not. Age of consent may be 16 in Alabama as of present, I hope it was lower before. I am sure Clinton was into raising it in the 1990's - at least marital age in South Carolina was raised from 12 (as it was when a Swedish girl mag ran a story in 1995) to 16 (as it was when I checked if it was possible to marry - at US Embassy in Paris - a then 16 year old very pretty girl from South Carolina).

Btw, pursuing power is a thing Christianists are doing among other things by calling the behaviour of Moore child molestation. If Corfmann's story is true, act one of the tragedy is, she was not in a position to marry a gentleman before meeting Mr Moore. Act two is meeting him, in circumstances inappropriately close to babysitting. Only act three (with two scenes) gets saucy. Act four is Corfmann (with mother) not forgiving him and therefore not marrying him (a moral tragedy for him, if not for her) and act five is his becoming adulterer. Moore's "wife" was a divorced mother, I don't think he ever denied Kisor was a "divorced mother" in 1985. Hope Leigh Corfmann has lived a better life than he, since then! That includes, obviously, hope she did not make the story up. I could, alas, relate to someone denying it, if true.

And now for a more questionable series of quotes:

During World War II, Hermann Goering had some project he needed done and he procured some Jewish prisoners to do it. Somebody asked why he was using the unclean hands of Jews for the work instead of using German labor. Goering’s reply: “I decide who is a Jew.”

My grandfather had a right to Aliya. He refrained after a visit to the Holy Land. Perhaps because the hot climate was not good for grannie's heart. Perhaps because of Palestinians having lost land in the process. Perhaps because he realised that to Zionism, Herod is a national hero.

Anyway, one of the people he met was a family who had been friends with Goering. Grandma, up to her death, would impersonate their impersonation of Goering. The words were exactly "hier bestimme ich wer Jude ist" - "here it is I who decide who is a Jew".

Why would that family like to impersonate their friend Goering saying those words? Well, because they saved their lives. He banked his fist on the table and said them to an underling who was going to arrest the family whom, as then not arrested, was living in Holy Land and enjoying the company of my grandparents.

Goering's daughter liked to mention that, in the "Entnazifizierungsprozess" by German authorities, her mother could benefit from a lawyer who could get in witnesses saying, for instance, that she had helped this or that or sundry family in the theatre business. Who would otherwise have been arrrested for being Jewish. She got away with a few months. Hermann, however, had another type of trial, where friendly witnesses were not invited and he could expect a harsher trial.

My analysis of why Goering needed the Jews was, he was doing (or trying) a Schindler move. Here is, however, Mark Shea's:

He literally arrogated to himself the claim that he could dictate the nature of reality itself.

Actually, being Jewish, unlike being for instance "between 186 and 187 cm", is not a univocal thing. In Germany, then, "Jewish" had an administrative meaning, to which not each and every Jewish connection would be applicable. For instance, Hitler was himself entitled only to Kleines Goj-Ausweiß (as Jews like to jokingly call it), nevertheless, no one would for administrative purposes have considered him a Jew.

In Austria, the administrative purpose of designation Jew, under Austrofascism, had been simply to remove the person from positions in administration. Not to place them in any camps, not to deprive them of private property, just to get them out of administration. They made - in a not too big administration - some 620 sth case by case exceptions. I e, people who were Jewish, but not so in the eyes of the administration (or whose Jewishness was no obstacle to their being in the administration). Dollfuß too, probably, might have had trouble to get honestly a Großes Goj-Ausweiß - I knew a greatgranddaughter of his, who voted Tsipi Livni in her latest election I knew of in the non-Austrian other citizenship. I suppose this is part of why Hitler considered him a traitor and decorated his murderer : he was anti-Jewish only on a Nixon level, like after the weasels, but not after the squirrels. He did not believe in any Jewish gene that the society would be better off without, in future evolutions of it. He did believe, and so do I, in some Jews being dishonest in business to Gojim.

So, claiming to decide who was Jewish was, in context, simply to claim being an administrator of higher rank than the administrators he was talking to.

As to the tone, well, I have met that tone with a Marxist (probably) editor of a magazine for the homeless, in Berlin - motz, it was. I had, as a homeless, been staying two nights or three in the homeless shelter tied to the magazine and its salesmen.

On Sunday morning, I wanted to go to the Church of FSSPX, St Peter's near Breitenbachplatz. I was not sure they had any evening Mass on Sunday evening, I rather think they did not (only two priests, and two Masses Sunday morning). The editor, who was fairly certainly not Fascist, who was fairly certainly Marxist, told me I couldn't go, since "hier bin ICH Gott". It literally means "here it's I who am God". I did not hit him on the face, but I left, never came back, never sold another motz.

Now, unlike Jew, God actually is NOT merely sth which the administration can define. God actually IS involved in the nature of reality itself. That probable Marxist really was arrogating to himself the claim to dictate the nature of reality itself.

Much the same thing was on display with Stalin in the 30s during the execution of the Five Year Plans. Stalin’s agricultural reforms dictated to the universe that the weather had to behave according to his godlike will. Accordingly, he actually had meteorologists shot for “counter-revolutionary weather forecasting.”

Unlike Dollfuß, even unlike Hitler, Stalin does not count as Fascist. He does count as Marxist. But perhaps Mark Shea finds "Fascist" a fluent description (as I suppose Goering did with "Jew"), or perhaps he is here arrogating to himself the right to dictate the very nature of reality?

And, of course, at the end of the war, we see Hitler moving around non-existent armies and commanding dead and deserted troops

Can you document it, Shea? I started reading Hitler and His generals - an English higher officer had interviewed a Wehrmacht officer. I did not get to WW-II. I don't know what the book says about this subject.

If it is true, obviously I'd put it down to generals "managing" him - not daring to tell him the truth. There was bad blood between them on both sides.

I just saw on quora someone defend Hitler's decision to order his soldiers to fight to the last in Stalingrad (a decision very much less appreciated than the similar one from Red side in the Teruel battle) and that on two grounds : Commies were not giving quarter, other armies needed to draw back and keeping Red Army busy at Stalingrad gave the other armies a chance which 6th German had anyway no longer. Sounds like he had some sound sense of strategy and military honour, even if he had done better to remain a painter.

and Goebbels using horoscopes and hocus pocus as the basis of lies to will unbelieving Germans into the unreality that victory was just around the corner.

As it happens, Goebbels was a few things other than just Fascist. For one thing, both Alessandro and Benito were Fascists. Benito as an unbeliever, like their dad, Alessandro as a faithful Catholic (who arguably wouldn't touch a horoscope), like their mum. Similarily, both Dollfuß and Hitler were Fascists - Dollfuß in deference to Quadragesimo Anno (a deference which Pope Pius XI did not call hypocritical) and profiting from the thaw weather between Mussolini and Pius XI to be friends with the former (as he was sickly, he needed the Italian baths he was invited to, as well as finding it practical to have Mussolini at the Brenner Pass to avoid an Anschluß). In other words, "Fascist" is not a description which narrows down to all and everything Goebbels did.

It may interest you, of the 20-30's Fascisms I know, of the ones which became ruling ideologies in any state, National Socialism was the one which engaged in occultistic research. Franco and Salazar, Dollfuß and Schuschnigg, Horthy and as far as I know Szalaszy, AND Corneliu Codreanu were all free from this.

Marxism, on the other hand - guess which country you can study parapsychology at state sponsored Universities? As far as I know, you could under Brezhnev, and you can under Putin. You certainly could, as I found, under Khrushchev - supposing this is not incorrect:

Also, you can do it in some English speaking countries:

Two universities in the United States currently have academic parapsychology laboratories. The Division of Perceptual Studies, a unit at the University of Virginia's Department of Psychiatric Medicine, studies the possibility of survival of consciousness after bodily death, near-death experiences, and out-of-body experiences.[67] Gary Schwartz at the University of Arizona's Veritas Laboratory conducted laboratory investigations of mediums, criticized by scientific skeptics. Several private institutions, including the Institute of Noetic Sciences, conduct and promote parapsychological research.[66]


As of 2007, parapsychology research is represented in some 30 different countries[68] and a number of universities worldwide continue academic parapsychology programs. Among these are the Koestler Parapsychology Unit at the University of Edinburgh;[69] the Parapsychology Research Group at Liverpool Hope University (this closed in April 2011);[70][71] the SOPHIA Project at the University of Arizona;[72] the Consciousness and Transpersonal Psychology Research Unit of Liverpool John Moores University;[73] the Center for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Processes at the University of Northampton;[74] and the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London.[75]

Presumably, neither US nor UK count as Fascist doctatorships.

So, yes Goebbels was an occultist, and that would involve not just "magical thinking" (whatever that means in psychologic gobbledygook) but outright heresies or at least sins against the faith (see Summa Theologica, II-II, Q 92). He was also married to a secularised Jewess, who endorsed her own father being put into a camp, where he died, when he was impoverished, and the end of the Goebbels family rings so Masada to me. Masada - perhaps another reason why gramp was not doing Aliya. While an Evolution believing Agnostic, he had traditional Swedish sensibilities, not National Socialist or Zionist ones, on such things.

But why would Goebbels being an occultist in any way stamp decent Catholic (or Orthodox) fascists as occultists?* Why would defending Spain against the Reds, why would defending Portugal against the Lodge be in any way shape or form an occultistic project?

Reds were a menace in Spain, 1934 one was not just "reading it in cards", one was reading it in news - until elected President Gil Robles sent Franco to Asturias** In 36, it was there again, while Azaña was not technically a Red, he was certainly not very apt for putting to justice the Reds who assassinated Calvo Sotelo or "executed" José Antonio Primo de Rivera***

Freemasons were a menace in Portugal. Read the story of the Fatima seers, and see how they were treated in 1917, not in an overtly Marxist dictatorship, but in a supposedly free country.

Salazar was not dreaming like Cayce, when he saw Freemasons as a menace to Portugal. (If there is anything slightly occult, he may have had too Rosicrucian an idea of the Middle Ages, as an idealistic time when egoism was not running anything except the hearts of the most vile, but I think in 19th C when he was born, this was so widely disseminated outside Rosicrucians, this cannot stamp him as one of theirs.) Franco in his turn was not asking Gypsy women about Crystal balls, when it came to Commies being a menace. Salazar and Franco certainly count as being quite as Fascist as Goebbels, and they count as being way more Catholic too.

The essence of fascistic thinking is the belief that we, not God, create reality by the Power of the Word. It is a kind of blasphemous magical thinking that believes black can be made white and turned again as the Dear Leader dictates. Such blasphemy exacts a terrible price if it is not repented.

I do very much not see how this is fascistic as such. I also thought the adjective in English was equal to the noun, Fascist. And as a proper name, referring to Fasci di Combattimento, 1919, capitalised. Perhaps you are thinking of Giovanni Gentile.

The self-styled "philosopher of Fascism", he was influential in providing an intellectual foundation for Italian Fascist thought, and ghostwrote part of The Doctrine of Fascism (1932) with Benito Mussolini.

Grazie for "selfstyled"! I am sure Dollfuß largely preferred a certain Jesuit father, namely Ignaz Seipel, and his "Wirtschaftsethische Lehre der Kirchenväter" (meaning economical-ethic doctrine of the Church Fathers, not sure if there is an English title or translation) over any work by Gentile. I am sure Franco preferred what he had learned at military school in Salamanca (including when he stopped hazing° while running it) over anything anyone could read in Gentile. And Salazar probably preferred both Seminar (like Stalin he was an ex-Seminarist, unlike him not an ex-Christian) and university courses in political economy (he started out as minister of finance) over anything he could have read in Gentile. I even suspect neither of them ever opened a page of Gentile.

And anonymous wikipedians gratify my sense of English by referring to "Fascist thought" not "fascistic" one.

Not unrelatedly, our Dear Leader, having lied for years about Birther crap, finally renounced that lie a year ago (and lyingly took credit for dispelling the lie that he had fostered).

But yesterday, in a feat of reverse magical thinking, he chose to revive the stupid lie that Obama is not an American citizen. ... The People of the Lie who now constitute the backbone of the Party of Trump will eat it all up. They don’t care that its all lies. They only care that it tells them what their itching ears want to hear.

Oh, the diatribe against Fascism was just a captatio benevolentiae before a diatribe really against Trump and "Trumpkins" (not quite same meaning as DLF in Prince Caspian, perhaps). What a surprise ... I am actually not catching him red handed in double standards, if he calls Trump a liar, he called Obama a murderer back in 2014.

Since - also from december 2014 - he is a Tolkien fan, I suggest Mark Shea reread that letter about the Spanish War which Tolkien wrote after he and C. S. L. had had very different attitudes to Roy Campbell ...

OK, let's make attributions. All quotes from wiki were from articles linked to just below quote, first quote from Mark is from People of the Lie, Part Deux and the rest are from Magical Fascistic Thinking, that's it. Even while needing another cup of coffee, I'll sign, and just under it link to the blog I would normally have posted this article on, that one being my main blog and containing several rants°° in response to Mark Shea.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
Day after St Andrew

* Please, Serbs, when I say "decent Catholic Fascists", I am not referring to Ustashi! Also, Stepinac was not an Ustashi and did not promote the killings at Jasenovac, I know he told Nikolai Velimirovic - the Orthodox Jacobus de Voragine for those who don't know, his newer Legenda Aurea being called Prologue from Ohrid - he should leave, but he could have been trying to save Nicolai's life, you know! And it seems Dachau was safer for Nikolai Velimirovic than Jasenovac would have been.

** And please note, in the war of 36-39, Franco was never involved in so bloody a thing to civilians as part of what he had done in Asturias had been!

*** A man not quite unlike Codreanu. A man whom now even some Red historians think could have saved Spain a war and made a decent deal, if he had lived.

° Le temps de Franco, by a non-Fascist, indeed Leftist writer, termed it "bizutage", in US that seems to be "hazing", in UK "initiation ceremonies".

°° Here is the label "de marco shea" on my main blog, that being:

New blog on the kid
(a k a nov9 blogg9, hence url:

Thursday, November 30, 2017

How Was Atheism Created, bis (Quora)

Same Q
How was atheism created?

Other answer
with my comment.

Scott Berry
Former believer
Answered 22h ago
How was atheism created?

Let me tell you what happened to Dave yesterday: he came into his kitchen and a frying pan was floating three inches off the top of the counter. When he went to grab it, it disappeared.

What did you think of that? Did you say “Wow, that must have a supernatural explanation!”? Or did you say “You know, I don’t believe it”?

If you’re in the second group, then congratulations: you now know how atheism was created, as far as it’s a response to a theistic claim. Someone came up with a story about things, and someone else didn’t believe it.

(It’s fair to include it not being a response to a theistic claim, too. We could have a word for “someone who doesn’t think that pans float above countertops and then disappear,” and that word probably applies to even people who haven’t explicitly been told a story like this. If that’s how we’re treating it, then atheism precedes theism by quite a bit.)

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
Let me tell you what happened to Dave yesterday: he came into his kitchen and a frying pan was floating three inches off the top of the counter. When he went to grab it, it disappeared. What did you think of that? Did you say “Wow, that must have a supernatural explanation!”? Or did you say “You know, I don’t believe it”?

When it comes to your story, with Dave yesterday, I don't believe it. I think you made it up. If it had been true, you would have been very cynical to use it just the day after the way you do. I find it likelier you made it up to make a point.

When it comes to a similar story of what happened in a monastery (no disappearing things, just flying ones!), and what ceased to go on twice even before the exorcist came, just because Sor Eusebia Palomino prayed three Ave Maria, yes, I do believe it. I find it less likely the nuns surviving her made that up to make a point.

Especially as her prophecies of who was going to be martyred by the Reds in Spanish War of 36–39 and who was not going to be martyred were precise. Especially as one blind painter painted a perfect portrait. Or there was some other miracle about her portrait:

Blessed Eusebia Palomino Yenes

Guess I am not an atheist, after all.

Scott Berry
3m ago
Believers have the normal ability to reject other religions’ miracle claims, thinking that they should have the sort of evidence that you would normally require for these sorts of claims. Then when it comes to their own religion, they abandon that ability.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
I disagree with “ability” being used as if rejection were the only good use of it.

I accept more than one miraculous claim from other religions - at least if miracle is taken in the large sense.

In other words, your taking the normal stance of a religious believer as rejecting all miraculous claims outside his own religion, that is simply a Protestant bias.

It comes by and large from the Protestant rejection of Catholic miracles. Catholics need have no similar rejection of all Pentecostal miracles. And not even of all Hindoo miracles, some could be diabolic, and in some cases the true God prefers a miracle of his to be misattributed over Hindoos abandoning the concept of praying for miracles.

As for evidence, I think Catholic miraculous claims are among the most investigated and best evidenced events there are these days. There is more evidence for Sor Eusebia’s exorcisms by praying than for many other events in Spanish War (like claims of Franco’s involvment underhand in Badajoz massacre).

Scott Berry
8m ago
>I disagree with “ability” being used as if rejection were the only good use of it.

It’s not. It’s evaluation of what is likely, based on our experiences and the evidence at hand.

And yes, this leads to a rejection of a bunch of things: homeopathy, vampires, horoscopes, and other religions’ stories.

In your case, you’re for some reason exempting the Catholic Church’s claims of things that they say happened. The kind of claim you’re buying into isn’t warranted by the evidence you’ve given (if, in fact, you want to call it evidence at all).

>And not even of all Hindoo miracles, some could be diabolic, and in some cases the true God prefers a miracle of his to be misattributed over Hindoos abandoning the concept of praying for miracles.

Sorry, but you’ve gone and amused me. You’re showing that your attitude is worse than “Those miracles totally don’t count.” You’re off in “Those miracles are real — and from the devil!”-land.

Below was copied before this happened, but then it seems deleted:

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
"It’s not. It’s evaluation of what is likely, based on our experiences and the evidence at hand."

There are tons of things I have no personal experience of, and accept due to the evidence at hand about the story. I have fortunately not died in pulmonar plague, I believe that happens.

"And yes, this leads to a rejection of a bunch of things: homeopathy, vampires, horoscopes, and other religions’ stories."

Homeopathic doses and horoscopes I reject for other reasons. Vampires I reject because a Pope in the 18th C seems to have decided in the negative (while some Orthodox in the same region would have decided in the affirmative).

"Other religions' stories" is a very broad subject and for some aspects, of course I have to reject it.

I cannot believe God sent Gabriel to Mohammed, and I cannot believe Zeus is the father of Hercules.

I can however believe a demon impersonated "Jibreel", like I can believe another one impersonated "Moroni" and even "the Trinity" to Joseph Smith, like I can believe the ghost of a Sibyl in a seance conducted by Odin (claiming before Swedes to be a god and even the mmost important one in certain aspects) was also impersonated by a demon.

The rejecting part is not based on "evaluation of what is likely based on my experience", but on the fact it conflicts with my religion.

Precisely like your rejection of miracles all over is most probably based on them conflicting with your religion. Western Atheism, a non-Christian branch of Protestantism.

"In your case, you’re for some reason exempting the Catholic Church’s claims of things that they say happened."

I am not.

"The kind of claim you’re buying into isn’t warranted by the evidence you’ve given (if, in fact, you want to call it evidence at all)."

That is your debunking the kind of evidence we have for MOST historic claims at all, just because they are against your religion of non-miracularity.

You think the monastery made it up? Well, they would have had to make up a lot of things in order to make it through the kind of process miraculous claims about claimed saints are getting in the Catholic Church, and even in its recent second-hand pseudo-Avatar, the Vatican Two Sect (Beatification was conducted by Antipope Wojtyla).

"You’re off in “Those miracles are real — and from the devil!”-land."

For the kind of miracles that would clinch Hindooism as true, definitely yes, like the recent one of spoons of milk offered before mouths of idols, in traditonal sacrifices, the milk was sucked up, all over the world, around same time.

How was Atheism Created (Quora)

How was atheism created?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Studied religions as curious parallels and contrasts to Xtian faith since 9, 10?
Answered just now
Several of the answers given already concentrate on atheism being natural.

However it may be with that, atheism as a societal phenomenon is not in historic continuity from immemorial, neither in Occident, nor anywhere else.

Even Chinese and Ceylonese Atheisms, i e Mencian Confucianism and Theravada Buddhism, point back to an even older tradition of Theistic Confucianism (at worst Deistic) and Hindoo or similar Polytheism.

Natural or not, history doesn’t show it natural.

So, how was atheism created as a societal phenomenon? I will here not deal with Mencian, Theravada, or Epicurean Atheism, but with Western Atheism.

Significant ingredients are:

  • England after English Revolutionary wars (like Catholics and Puritans supporting different régimes)
  • Hobbes as having an atheistic view of human rights : they only exist as byproducts of agreements, including his favourite one, absolute monarchy (he was pro-Stuart, while, fortunately, not all Jacobites are pro-Hobbes)
  • Protestantism challenging most of the religious and supernatural claims of Catholicism, perhaps not the most important ones, but the most numerous and most recent ones. “St Peter gave a lame man his use of legs back, as per [Acts Of Apostles 3:6]” - Protestants agree. Except perhaps on prefixing Peter with the word saint. - “St Francis cured a leper” - Protestants (historically, not as per 20th C Anglicanism, but back when Atheism was created) disagree “no, there are no real divine miracles since the death of the apostles” (see quote from Calvin’s commentary on Mark 16:17 below)
  • Influence from esoteric societies, which, trying to give divine honours to the esoteric masters as such had an interest in downplaying the real divine, in the case of Campanella in Renaissance Italy a knowledge of Atheistic currents like Epicureans and Democritus, in the case of Rosocrucians, starting in Germany, a similar fatigue with Thirty Years War (to this day, complaining about reigious wars in Abrahamic religions is a staple of Atheistic argument)
  • Possibly some influence from Sikhism, which tried to bridge the gap between Hindoos and Muslims, not directly, but via Enlightenment
  • Freemasons dispensing with all religion except “the natural one on which all men of honour agree” (Freemasonry in its English original was definitely NOT directly atheistic, unlike some now extant derivatives in Latin countries, the “Grand Orient” type) - unlike previous, this is certain, but like it, it is not directly, but via Enlightenment
  • Commonsense blasé-ness with some esoteric claims
  • Standing against these based on Scientific Method as per Francis Bacon of Verulam
  • Some rehabilitation of Democritean atomism
  • English apologetics against this NOT having the aid from recent miracles (see below for why Protestants reject Catholic miracles).

As I have said, Protestants reject miracles later than, say, Apostles, or possibly a bit longer. It has a basis in Calvin’s Bible commentary, which I will now quote.

Quoting Calvin’s pseudo-exegesis on Mark 16:17:
Verse 17

17And these signs shall follow them that shall believe. As the Lord, while he still lived with men in the world, had ratified the faith of his gospel by miracles, so now he extends the same power to the future, lest the disciples should imagine that it could not be separated from his bodily presence. For it was of very great importance that this divine power of Christ should continue to be exerted amongst believers, that it might be certainly known that he was risen from, the dead, and that thus his doctrine might remain unimpaired, and that his name might be immortal. When he says that believers will receive this gift, we must not understand this as applying to every one of them; for we know that gifts were distributed variously, so that the power of working miracles was possessed by only a few persons. But as that which was bestowed on a few was common to the whole Church, and as the miracles performed by one individual served for the confirmation of all, Christ properly uses the word believers in an indefinite sense. The meaning, therefore, is, that believers will be ministers of the same power which had formerly excited admiration in Christ, that during his absence the sealing of the gospel may be more fully ascertained, as he promises

that they will do the same things, and greater,
(John 14:12.)

To testify the glory and the divinity of Christ, it was enough that a few of the believers should be endued with this power.

Though Christ does not expressly state whether he intends this gift to be temporary, or to remain perpetually in his Church, yet it is more probable that miracles were promised only for a time, in order to give luster to the gospel, while it was new and in a state of obscurity. It is possible, no doubt, that the world may have been deprived of this honor through the guilt of its own ingratitude; but I think that the true design for which miracles were appointed was, that nothing which was necessary for proving the doctrine of the gospel should be wanting at its commencement. And certainly we see that the use of them ceased not long afterwards, or, at least, that instances of them were so rare as to entitle us to conclude that they would not be equally common in all ages.

Yet those who came after them, that they might not allow it to be supposed that they were entirely destitute of miracles, were led by foolish avarice or ambition to forge for themselves miracles which had no reality. Thus was the door opened for the impostures of Satan, not only that delusions might be substituted for truth, but that, under the pretense of miracles, the simple might be led aside from the true faith. And certainly it was proper that men of eager curiosity, who, not satisfied with lawful proof, were every day asking new miracles, should be carried away by such impostures. This is the reason why Christ, in another passage, foretold that the reign of Antichrist would be full of lying signs, (Matthew 24:24;) and Paul makes a similar declaration, (2 Thessalonians 2:9.)

That our faith may be duly confirmed by miracles, let our minds be kept within that moderation which I have mentioned. Hence, also, it follows that it is a silly calumny which is advanced by those who object against our doctrine, that it wants the aid of miracles; as if it were not the same doctrine which Christ long ago has abundantly sealed. But on this subject I use greater brevity, because I have already treated it more fully in many passages.

Mark 16 Commentary - John Calvin's Commentaries on the Bible