Friday, April 19, 2019

AronRa Tried to Answer 11 QQ for Atheists

somewhere else : Answering 11 QQ for Christians · Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : AronRa Tried to Answer 11 QQ for Atheists

11 "unanswerable" questions for atheists - answered
AronRa | 5.VI.2018

Q 1 ...
...did not refer mostly to St Paul, but to other martyrs who actually did claim to have both known Jesus before Crucifixion and seen Him risen.

Sts Peter, Andrew, James, according to many also John (though some identify him with the John who survived a martyrdom miraculously, went to Patmos and got into a grave in Ephesus, I think that might be another person than the brother of James), and a few more.

St Lazarus the four days dead who was raised himself before seeing Christ risen before becoming bishop in Samaria, before ending up in either Marseille or Larnaka (both Cyprus and Provence claim him, one of them obviously had a namesake confused with him). Yes, Lazarus existed as a name before he, it seems to be a Greek version of my fourth given name Elitzur, so, more than one 1st C Christian bishop can have been named so.

I mean, for any one claiming to have seen Jesus both before and after Calvary (or on Calvary, as is the case of one very probable John either brother of James or another as previously stated). Add hereto St Longinus (the Centurion). Add the wife of Pontius Pilate. For anyone of these, they can't easily be contingent on St Paul having what could otherwise be a hallucination.

And even St Paul can hardly have hallucinated, if his claimed contact with God enabled him to do miracles, like raising the boy from the dead who had fallen asleep in the window. Miracles recorded in acts by his disciple St Luke.

You are shifting question from "martyrs claiming to have seen Jesus risen" to "early Christian martyrs" in general.

The question was specifically about martyrs claiming to have seen Jesus risen, of these the only one who hadn't seen Him before crucifixion was St Paul.

1:20 "Claims of seeing their gods in person?"

No, I don't think this is the case.

And when it is, like Shiva or Poseidon appearing to Arjuna or Theseus, it could very easily (especially for Poseidon) be Satan.

In other cases, it is about deified men. Romulus and Hercules being two cases in point and Krishna a third.

Buddhists kind of deify a series of men claimed to be one reborn man, Dalai Lama. Claiming to have seen Tenzin Gyatso are normal claims. Even a Buddhist actually attributing some kind of "divine" qualities to him would not be hallucinating for claiming to have met Tenzin Gyatso.

Your dissection of "religions" is not doing the trick.

1:43 Give examples in "comparative religion" of claims clearly parallel to the claim of having seen Christ risen.

Q 2
You are somehow projecting Joel Osteen back to the bishops of 313. One of them, slapping famously Arius for denying divinity of Christ, in 325, had been in prison several years, I think more than one or perhaps two decades prior to 313.

What makes you compare St. Nicolas of Myra to Joel Osteen?

Plus, it didn't answer the question : how did such a very humble beginning acquire such numbers and influence.

It's a bit short on parallels.

Israelites starting with 70 people in Egypt who had lived in Canaan and before that even just one man (albeit with 318 or more servants), Rome starting with very poor village architecture where Romulus and Remus had drawn up a ritual city boundary.

Can you name grassroots qualities of Mohammed or Zoroaster, again .... how grassroots was Kung Fu Tse? How grassroots was Siddharta Gautama? How grassroots was High Cast exclusiveness apparent in Vedic Hinduism?

Somehow it seems, whatever your actual studies in comparative religion, you are comparing basically Appalachian Awakenings' sects.

2:45 "it was soon illegal to be anything else"

No, it was legal to be Jew. It was legal to practise paganism at home (pagan temples were torn down or remade to Churches while paganism was disestablished as state religion), at least if you had never been baptised.

And yes, I mean after Theodosius made heresy illegal and after he made public pagan worship illegal.

2:52 "the political power to murder an infidel in one or two witnesses"

Can you give any examples where you think pagans were falsely accused by Christians for crimes they did not commit?

Constantinian laws were made to discourage them from a violent backlash - as actually did happen a little before Theodosius, in the time of Julian the Apostate. Yes, it was violent. Yes, we do have cases of martyrs from his time. St Bibiana of Rome, December 2, along with her father, were martyred under his misrule.

"Constantine pushing it on everyone militarily"

He wasn't.

He was not persecuting pagans, though he did tear down some pagan temples, notably the Venus temple on Calvary was torn down by orders of his mother St Helen.

He was not persecuting Jews except those who had been persecuting Christians up to 313 (as some had).

He was persecuting Arian heretics, but mildly, and in the time of his sons, it was them persecuting Catholics instead, up to Julian the Apostate.

3:03 "the old hippie socialist religion would have died out as humbly as it began"

The question was about the situation in 313 before Constantine did anything in its direct favour.

5 to 6 million Roman citizens and residents were Christian.

That is not us humbly as back in 33.

You know, hippy socialist religions have a tendency to disappear before perecutions they can't avoid.

Take Anabaptists.

First the mutated from militant revolutionaries (non-hippie socialists) to pacifists between Münzer's execution and Menno's preaching. Second, they survived in the interval because of religious wars between potential persecutors. Third, they got as far away as persecutors as possible.

Christians cannot be shown to have thus mutated, they did not profit during 280 years (much longer than between Münzer and Menno) from Roman Empire being torn in violent religious conflict comparable to Reformation, and Roman Empire where they were 5 to 6 millions is where Diocletian had just made the tenth major persecution against them.

A very different story than how we have Mennonites and Amish in Pennsylvania.

"like all other religions of that time"

Platonism was arguably the dominant religion, coexisting with Roman Paganism of a more Homeric type a bit like Buddhism coexisted with Shintoism and still does in Japan. But a better comparison, Japan before Westernisation.

It didn't die humbly. It dried out, it was reduced to an élite, the élite fled to outside Roman Empire to continue esoteric teaching and some would claim modern esotericism still hankers back to that Platonism.

Roman Paganism didn't die until after Sack of Rome by Odoacar.

Sorry, Alaric.

St Augustine was writing City of God some time after 410 to prove to them (diehard élitist pagans, like St Augustine's father had been) that no, it was not due to neglect of Roman Gods since 313 that Rome was sacked, for instance Trojans had not neglected worshipping their gods. Virgil told us truthfully how they were sacked.

In 313, Christians were half the population in the East, one fifth in the West.

Not in a position to impose persecution of Pagans.

It came later, when Christians had gained more ground.

Now, this may disgust you as it does not disgust me, but whichever, the persecution of Pagans under Constantius II (a kind of Arian, a Semi-Arian) and under the emperors who had listened to St Ambrose really cannot explain how Christianity rose from 500 disciples or perhaps twice as many in 33 prior to Pentecost to 5 to 6 million in 313.

Muslims did not face persecution of a well organised empire, they were the best organised confederation of tribes fighting to make one from Yathrib on.

622 Mohammed having faced persecution in Mecca goes to Yathrib (now Medina) and 627 (five years later) Mohammed puts men to death in pitched battle. 5 years after that, he dies as basically emperor of Arabian Peninsula. This reminds of Calvinism, both Knox and Calvin, but not of Christianity.

Sikhs on their part became local rulers of Punjab early on.

Like Mohammed was trying to give a "golden mean" between Christianity and Judaism (both or which were violently at war in Arabia, while Pagans mostly looked on), so also Sikhism started out as a "golden mean" between Islam and Hinduism.

As the warring factions had large military means, so also the "golden mean" got one very soon by those tired of war.

No such "luck" for Christianity. It was as intolerant of Paganism as Judaism, and while Judaism and Samarians were at "war," religiously speaking, Romans imposed peace on both without Christianity needing to do so.

Hence 280 years without public power and its arms fighting for their even liberty.

Q 3
For your definition of "possible" reality as a whole is not possible.

"miracles are impossible by definition"

By whose definition?

Yes, miracles are impossible to some agents up to and including human ones with whatever technology, but they are not impossible to all agents. Not to God and for some things conveniently classified as miracles not for angels.

["appealing to" God / miracles / magic / supernatural] "doesn't constitute an answer"

Not a scientific principle, but an atheistic prejudice.

Q 4
He was not asking why humans "believe in spirits", but why we are spiritual.

How come you have a language? How come you can understand a language?

How come a rabbit won't ever be able to understand a language?

How come with language you can study mathematics?

How come with language you can study metaphysics (including your own atheistic version claiming miracles are by definition impossible for all agents)?

How come you can study theory of knowledge (including your own circular if not sloppy version in which any explanation has to be shown possible by an explanation already accepted)?

How come we have art?

Q 5
"an awareness of your surroundings established by a network of neurons and association with nerve sensors, some organisms have it only as a couple of senses like tactile sensation or homeostasis, others add a sense of sight or pain withou enough of a neural network to be fully aware or even awake, the more synapses you have, the more aware you are and the more things you can be aware of"

  • 1) To a Theist, biology having some type of awareness is explicable in terms of that biology being created by a Spirit with some kind of soul.

    How do you account for matter being aware of anything?

  • 2) How do you account for sense awareness giving rise to rational awareness of things like implications?

7:25 That you have met Cartesians who aren't Thomist is not an argument against the Thomistic view of things.

And yes, remembering things from some year or not is only a one ways criterium of consciousness back then.

If you remember things from then you were conscious. If you don't, you may still have been conscious, but forgotten everything. Why? The first year there is so much new things to learn. You forget so much of occasions of learning, and while lessons stick to later, you forget occasions of learning them.

This includes some emotional learning while in the uterus. I certainly can't remember hearing my mother rehearsing Latin words while she was awaiting me, but it certainly did predispose me for facility and pleasure in recognising Latin words later on.

7:59 If in infancy you had only had basic mammal intelligence, you could not have learned a language.

Guess what you were doing while an infant? Learning language.

"consciousness came from the development of the brain"

Could only do so if it had some kind of consciousness in the first place.

Where do you put the limit?

Do one celled creatures have awareness, despite having no specialised cells?

Did amino acids have awareness before abiogenesis?

That's called animism, and that is basically what Epicure taught - hence the idea corpses have some remaining awareness, hence the superstition of vampires.

Or do you consider awareness arises after a certain type of complexity is reached? By now, with so many bytes, computers should be aware. They are not. Computers being aware is disproven, if you know two languages and do some computer translations. Computers possibly becoming aware later on or the earlier dream of them becoming aware (still entertained by Elon Musk) is simply counterintuitive.

An abacus can be made more complex, but still not aware of the maths you are doing on it.

8:15 appealing to "when you all know better" and "the real answer" is not arguing, it is asking us to be brainwashed in your particular ideology.

8:34 I might fear going to Hell for becoming an atheist, if I found it anywhere like attractive intellectually.

I find it about as "what's the point?" as flat earthers, especially on the questions of language and consciousness.

There are things I do fear going to hell for, like not praying enough, like not forgiving my enemies, like not being charitable enough to atheists (some of which might think I am picking low hanging fruit if I go for your arguments), but becoming atheist is not actually one of them.

Do you fear becoming a Flat Earther?

Q 6
9:04 No, it is not "believers" it is scientists back when I was little who were giving sense 5 as sth involving all your senses 5 to 10. I am not sure what that would have been in English, if "feel" would have served, but in German, "Gefühl", and in Swedish "känsel" does serve (yes, "Gefühl" can also mean "feeling" in the emotional sense, in Swedish that would be the distinct "känsla").

I feel a smooth surface, I feel dizzy, I feel cold, I feel tired/hungry (if that is proprioception?), I feel aroused, I feel a toothache. All of these classically lumped together as sense 5. By Atheist like by Believer.

At least on the level of normal scientific literacy. Yes, sense 5 would have been subdivided into your senses 5 to 10 by certain specialists in neurology back then.

It is actually probably Atheists who coined the word "sixth sense" where some believers would prefer terms like "a nudge from God" or "inspiration of the guardian angel".

When I was little - I am born in 1968.

A Homeric pagan would have said "Hermes told me". Or "Athena told me".

Q 7
10:54 "in an incomprehensible vast abyss of freezing and boiling poisonous chaos"

There are two ways of counting odds actually.

Flip a coin, the probability of it being either side is supposed to be 50/50. From there you can mathematically calculate the probability of "between five and ten tails" in fifteen flipped coins.

The other way is checking with flipping whether the coin really has a 50/50 probability of heads and tails.

You seem to be referring to the other type, since you involve checking out exoplanets.

However, no known exoplanet has conditions like Earth, and claiming "there could be other conditions for biological life" is no better, in fact a lot worse than claiming there are other conditions for awareness than biology and not meaning computers.

In fact, this ties in with Carrier - how can he exclude a cosmos appearing from nothing from laws of non-contradiction, appears as a consciousness with omnipotence rather than as a spacetime with particles?

Q 8
11:08 "why does humanity cherish humility and honesty"

All of your rebuttal presupposes that you do in fact cherish humility and honesty.

Which takes quite a lot of weight out of your rebuttal.

You are one umpteenth sample of humanity, and this umpteenth sample of humanity does cherish humility and honesty.

At least enough to complain about everyone else including questioner not doing so.

Q 9 (sorry, still on Q 8)
Your atheistic faith actually can't do it very well either, even if somewhat better than the Mormon faith you were being pushed into.

Correct your own misconceptions to improve your understanding.

13:07 "cult leaders say the best way to control people is to strip them of their pride"

Sure, but the best way to want to control others is not having your own pride stripped. Or having a compensation need after it was.

Did scientists telling you of your "confirmation bias" strip you of so much pride you want to be a scientist cult leader?

There certainly are some religious people who you seem to want to strip of the pride of knowing better.

Q 9 (for real).
It is somewhat discouraging to see an Apologist reducing natural law to "empathy".

I already knew you had an answer on this one.

Now, to put "natural law" back in perspective, morality normally means one "should" do a thing.

How can an emergent quality of population be obliging to one of its constituent individuals?

15:07 Here you are reducing the very wide category of religion to one subset of false religion, Protestantism.

As a Catholic, I believe Henry VIII was a believing Catholic and went to Hell for a lot of other sins than unbelief.

Including imposing schism on England and Ireland, including giving heretics (whom he would with some thought have identified as such) the right to despoil monasteries, including giving heretics the right to define Bible text and liturgy (the reason why Irish Catholics finally remembered they were Papist, they were much less interested in Supremacy act than in English liturgy replacing Latin), and of course personal acts of lechery and abuse of power.

"gullibility sole criteria for redemption"

Not gullibility in the face of Muslims, Protestants, Jews, Pagans or Atheists, no.

15:22 A criminal Christian can't get to heaven unless repenting.

Since the OT was still ongoing on Good Friday, both the robbers, by the fact of being Jews, were kind of Christians.

However, it was only the one of them repenting who actually was promised paradise.

15:19 "kind, fair and charitable heathens and infidels"

Oh, but if someone consistently is that, God probably offers them a chance of becoming Catholics.

Heard of St Eustace?

One day on a hunt, he saw a vision of a cross between the antlers of the prey he was hunting. He slowed down and saw Christ talk from that cross.

Thy alms have pleased me.

And then Christ laid out the conditions for Eustathius and his family getting to Heaven.

Q 10
Even a fanatic pro-Trump would consider "the great Trump in the sky" as blasphemy.

Your overall answer was foreseeable.

Oh, by the way, would he ...?

The point is, even if you think Trump is what US needs (I think he's at least slightly better than Obama, but that's not saying much), you would admit he is a man who has flaws - which God by definition has not.

Admiring someone who in fact is admirable is a pure joy - as pure as the admirable qualities are.

Q 11
Your answer to why there is evil is exactly the same principle as Hitler's.

Not in application, not in balance between genetics and upbringing, but in deterministic principle.

  • 1) You don't believe anything is inherently for all centuries and all populations right or wrong, you consider morality emerges with the population.

    Corrollary : in any conflict between individual and population, barring elementary misunderstandings, individual is wrong and population is right.

    You have not taken the extra step of applying this also to minority populations, but you could.

  • 2) Whoever is evil (never general population, see above) is for without his freewill being in cause.

    Corrollary : he has no ill deserts which can be punished, and if small enough leave him a life after punishment. He only has bad dispositions which the general population can require him to change and his only real chance of a life after "repercussions" is changing.

    You may not have taken the extra step of concluding those who resolutely refuse to change should be "eliminated." Either shut up and key thrown away or killed. Oh, unless they leave the country.

In other words, your analysis of evil is a great recipe for becoming cruel. Especially to people you find less typical of the general population than you are yourself.

I will not accuse Trump of being precisely that (ok, there are already incidents like taking away children at the border, but there is a wider problem of CPS taking away children), but there are definitely some pro-Trump people who are that.

There are also some non-pro-life Republicans who are that even more.

Oh, the last quip on Pedophile clergy reminds who is an Atheist clergyman ... Roman Catholicism (as such, not Vatican II version) was identifying homosexuals in clergy and expelling them from publically serving as clergy since 1568, when Pope St. Pius V saw there was a problem.

Do you think pedophile clergy might be born that way?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@mrtadreamer "What type" of "pedophile"?

The word is useless.

Pedophile means attracted to children, and children have two things only in common : being human, not being mature.

But "not mature" is very different between a toddler abused ritually in a lodge and a pre-teen where cuddling went to far.

Also, the word is even used of persons having already reached puberty but being legally "gaol-bait". Usually according to some recent raise in marriage minimal ages. The word child, that is.

Therefore, the word pedophile does not cover one reality, but two or rather three different ones. Let's not forget the kind of homosexuality called pederasty.

I don't think anyone is born a pederast any more than I think anyone is born any other type of sodomite.

I don't think those abusing toddlers are born that way either, I think they are pushed that way by bad lodges or sects.

That by the way is nearly never the case with "pedophile clergy", it is usually either teen romance or at worst pre-teen romance or, even more often, pederasty.

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