Just me being curious again


Over at Mel’s place he attracts a lot of questions and debate.

Questions that tend to be tangential … conversations that can be difficult to follow as bits and pieces are added and taken away.  There is a grouping of bloggers who fall loosely under the cloak of deconverts, atheists, anti-religion, used to be (some) faith label but not so much (if at all) now …

As with any grouping no one label does the job (at least in my opinion).  And this grouping calls Mel an apologist. And they want answers.  And Mel likes writing (as we all do) a blog of his interests – and the interests of these groupings can seem quite fractious.  I have great respect for all participants – the timespend is amazing as the word count rises!  And as I popped in and out of this conversation I bumped into a chap called John.  John gets frustrated with Mel and explained some of that.  And in pottering around the words and names I landed on one of John’s posts.

“The Greatest Religious Question Never Answered”, written by John Zande: The Superstitious Naked Ape.

John’s question is: “Why did the Creator create?  For what purpose was this artificial world intended?”

His context is this: “According to the Christian philosopher, Yhwh is an aseitic being, meaning fully contained and existing in and of itself. Nothing is, or can be, outside God. God is all, and all is God. Pantheism and aseity are inseparable, and because they are inseparable, there can be no spill-over. An aseitic being has neither the capacity to grow, nor the means to leak and spread out into something new, for that would contradict the very definition of aseity.”

I was lost … I had to go googling …

Aseitic “existence originating from and having no source other than itself.”
Pantheism“Pantheism is the belief that the universe (or nature as the totality of everything) is identical with divinity, or that everything composes an all-encompassing, immanent God.”

And when I have to go googling, I know I am chasing something worthwhile (or chasing my own tail for no good reason).  In this case I am not sure.

But what a great question!

Seems to me the answer is just another unknown – so is straight into belief and mindset and worldview.  Which seems perfectly logical to me.  And if I add “beneficent” and “free will” and “love” then could even be close to my worldview (on a foggy day).

And I can never prove that there is (or is not) an answer.  Which I think doesn’t make me any specific faith (or non-faith) type – which also fits my current worldview.

But my worldview does bristle a little.

I wonder why we need to try and convince each other that we should have the answers.  I wonder why we feel compelled to find these “answers” that defend the undefendable.  I wonder why we so love to win or lose, be right or wrong, have truth or lie waving like flags over our camp (and all that stuff).

So my answer (without much time spent analysing anything very much – of which I am quite proud) is currently this, and unlikely to change very much …

I have no idea at all.

Except for this …

As my worldview includes trying to live in the moment as much as I can, I am glad to be part of something I find wondrous and exciting and full of hope and love.

Thanks John and Mel!

What about you, you lucky reader?

🙂

.

Advertisements

34 thoughts on “Just me being curious again

  1. I wonder why we need to try and convince each other that we should have the answers.

    In context, though, the theist claims this world was created consciously, deliberately. There is no evidence of this, of course, but if we’re to accept that claim (which is fine) then shouldn’t we also expect the same theist to know why the world was created? What is the purpose of creation?

    In the broader context of why that post was dedicated to Mel, it’s because Mel went on post after post after post claiming science could not answer the “Why” question, claiming religion could, but when pressed, he could not answer the question without falling into a ghastly pit of self-contradiction. Therefore, not answering it all.

    I like your answer though. It’s honest, and that’s commendable.

    Like

    • John, I have seen Mel spend huge chunks of time answering question after question. I am not sure quite what it achieves, but seems to being hours of fun to you both! 🙂

      What I value is this freedom of thinking. Something “religion” (or any faith) seems to prefer not to “free”. But as any club (religious or secular) seems to require conformity to a greater/lessee degree, it seems to me it is a human trait rather than specific to one grouping or another. And I find that curious. Seems to me that is yet another thing we all have in common!

      Like

  2. @paul

    This question:

    ‘For what purpose was this artificial world intended?’

    ……….shows a level of brazen ignorance and assumed intellect that I will not bother engaging, only to say hi to you, and the fella who pretends to underzande what godless humans cannot……

    ………..aww nevermind.

    Like

    • Hi ColorStorm, and a big hi to you as well.

      Oddly – and in the context of the conversation leading to the asking (which was of “a designer and a created world”) the question seems in the right ballpark to me.

      I do find “I don’t know” (from all sides) to be the rarest commodity in a lot of debates like this. And the Christian bible and religious infrastructure does make a lot of claims – and the anti-theist community has an equal number and fires them right back.

      I am not sure – but I think I want to start a trend – to bring back an affectionate “We don’t know all the answers – so let’s all get on together.” 🙂

      Like

      • Of course we do not have ALL the answers, but my point is the pretended KNOWING of this alleged ‘artificial world………………..’

        ………….is arrogance to the nines.

        Blood does not create itself. Trees do not create themselves. Leather does not create itself. If man had his way, he would have evolved wings. No. There is no ARTIFICIAL design, and apart from God, there is no truth.

        Do I know this? Of course. All men know this. It is simply a matter of suppression. The conscience is the one thing that separates man from beast, and in this, ARTIFICIALITY is rejected, and godlessness is demolished in three seconds flat.

        And as far as not having ALL the answers, we have enough to last a lifetime and them some. What men knew two thousand years ago crushes us in our so-called day of enlightenment.

        Study the craftsmanship of Solomon’s temple alone; Bob Vila the master carpenter would be jealous. Artificial? Yeah ok, in the land of Loony tunes maybe.

        Don’t you find godlessness revolting to the senses though?

        Like

        • 🙂 I sense why the “storm” of your WP name works.

          I have learned that arrogance and belief can be the same thing. I have also found each of us with the diversity to (together) solve lots of “stuff”. It seems that same difference (diversity) is also (together) our weak point. But not many like to think of certainty in belief as arrogance.

          Like

          • Many people make the mistake paul of confusing arrogance with confidence.

            It is purely the arrogance of godlessness to think that man accidentally does not have wings, whales cannot build a birds nest, and eagles cannot play chess.

            God owns all trademarks and patents to the earth and everything in it, as well as THIS juicy truth for you to consider.

            Why are not there TWO moons for the earth???????????

            Hmmmmm, that’s a tough one. Pure confidence here. Godlessness can only guess.

            Like

  3. Thanks for your link, Paul.

    First, to set the record straight, I’ve never claimed to be a formal apologist, so JohnZ’s ad hom attack, saying I’m the “worst one” (on his post) means nothing at all. So what? Perhaps I am. I never claimed to be one. I’m simply bringing up subjects that are apologetic in nature. That’s why I use quotes and include videos from people who are formal apologists.

    Second, if It’s thought that I didn’t answer the question for “why God creates” then I can only make one of two conclusions: one, they totally ignored my answer; two, they’re not able to understand my answer. Most of my blog deals with the “why” of God so it’s beyond me why anyone would continually repeat such a clearly false accusation. One can disagree with my view, but it’s completely dishonest to say I didn’t answer the question.

    As an example, in my last post I quoted a worldview that I agree with that gives my answer to “why” God creates.

    “The stunning truth is that this Triune God, in amazing and lavish love, determined to open the circle and share the Trinitarian life with others. This is the one, eternal and abiding reason for the creation of the world and of human life. There is no other God, no other will of God, no second plan, no hidden agenda for human beings. Before the creation of the world, the Father, Son and Spirit set their love upon us and planned to bring us to share and know and experience the Trinitarian life itself. (from C. Baxter Kruger, PhD, “The Trinitarian Vision Summary“, 2012)”

    This is what is befuddling (or revealing true intent). I couldn’t be any clearer on answering the question about why I believe God creates, which brings me to the only two conclusions I can make when people keep saying such inane things.

    Like

    • This is what is befuddling (or revealing true intent). I couldn’t be any clearer on answering the question about why I believe God creates

      And as I carefully, patiently pointed out to you, your copy and pasted ‘answer’ is wrong. Dead wrong. Why are you, therefore, repeating somehting you know is wrong?

      Aquinas was wrong, and Kruger was wrong. An aseitic being cannot ‘open a circle.’ You seem to KNOW this as you have repeatedly stated that this world (filled with disease and decay and death and suffering… a world that has a beginning, a middle, and an end) is artificial. You, Mel, have stated this world is an artificial contrivance wholly and entirely separate from the Creator…. so by your own apologetics, your copy and pasted answer is wrong.

      So, the question remains unanswered: Why did an aseitic being create an artificial world, especially when there was no obvious reason or need to? An aseitic being, after all, wants for nothing, and needs for nothing. So, what was its motivation?

      What is the purpose of this artificial construct?

      Why is there something rather than nothing?

      Liked by 1 person

        • After you finally presented an answer, I’ve only ever said that answer (a copy and pasted answer, mind you) was wrong.

          Your aseitic statement and panetheism’s notion of emanations are self-contradicting. Indeed, considering the reality of this world, you’re trying to present two hopelessly antagonistic ideas as somehow complimentary, and hoping (praying) no one sees through it.

          I’m sorry, but a first year philosophy student can see through it, Mel.

          Your copy and pasted answer is thoroughly, irredeemably wrong. And the crazy thing is, you KNOW it’s wrong. You’ve virtually said exactly that when you made these statements:

          “God is NOT the universe!”

          “He exists outside the universe”

          “I believe the “world” is a construct.”

          And it’s not me disagreeing with you… It’s you disagreeing with yourself, as the above statements demonstrate, which begs the question: why are you trotting out something you KNOW is not only disastrously (theologically/philosophically/logically) wrong, but something you KNOW contradicts your own apparent statements of ‘fact’?

          So, the question has not been answered… and you know it hasn’t.

          Why did an aseitic being create an artificial world?

          Like

    • Paul hits the nail on the head here with the use of the phrase:
      ”I don’t know.”
      It is, in context, probably the single most honest phrase there is.

      Yet you, and all theists, claim knowledge: knowledge of a creator and all the other things tied in with Christianity.

      Worse, is your belief about what happens to those after death who do not believe in your god or your religion.

      That is arrogance beyond belief, and because of this belief you feel compelled to instill this doctrine into children rather than allowing them to discover on their own as adults.
      And this is little more than child abuse.

      The ”stunning truth” you allude to, Mel is as Paul pointed out …You Don’t Know.

      Like

    • Only Jesus is Truth,
      ” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.—-but not even this is contextual, therefor it is a pretext. John 14.6 ASB

      We love to engage in speculation and strongly held beliefs yet we do not know with certainty anything we state about God. The word Trinity is not in the Bible and so many other of our dogmas are human contrivances.

      To speak of God in all truth we can only say with conviction that “God” and nothing more.

      Folk may think as they wish about random universes and, ask any questions they desire about the unwholesome godly mess.

      Like

      • There is no evidence that the biblical character, the god-man, Lake Tiberius Pedestrian, Jesus the Nazarene is anything but a narrative construct.

        The bible is rife with historical, geographical, biological and geological error. It contains interpolation, fraud, fantasy and outright lies. It sanctions , incest, slavery, misogyny and genocide to name but a few heinous things.
        As any sort of life guide(sic) it is completely untrustworthy.

        Like

        • Hi Ark, in your view who was this book written for and why?

          Reason I ask is that it that you grab both sides (create a straw man to tear down a straw man): The bible isn’t true it is a narrative construct … AND … The bible is rife with error .

          (so must be “kind of factual” if that statement is even relevant).

          And as this all about belief, even those who believe the bible is true cannot prove it is true – otherwise it wouldn’t be belief at all.

          Like

          • who was this book written for and why?

            For? Certain ancient bronze age people.

            Why? I am not a historian. You would have to ask one to ensure you get a more accurate answer.
            I can tell you that the bible is a work of geopolitical historical fiction.

            To extrapolate this thought. I know it is a work of fiction, as do you if you’re being honest, but people such as Mel for example, approach it as a guide for life that contains large swathes of verifiable fact, and where it has any bearing on his idiotic worldview; heaven and hell, virgin births, miracles for example and especially dead people coming back to life.

            Others regard it as the literal word of Yahweh.

            That people regard it as truth is no skin pf my nose. That many of these people wish to inveigle such garbage into secular society and indoctrinate kids with this garbage I take exception to,
            And, of course, we have the major spin off, Islam, a more charming religion one is unlikely to find, right?

            If one doesn’t speak up against this crap, then please don’t complain when the midden hits the windmill, Paul.

            Think I’ll go and watch a bit of cricket.

            Like

        • Josephus tells us there was a Christ, though in relationship to the greater world picture his life was insignificant and his death mundane. Who in old England was aware that the saviour of the world was born and died for them. Or Aborigines in Australia for whom the Dreaming was their pathway to totemic Spirits and an organised Spiritual world. Our christianity of our so called christian selves has all but destroyed a way of life that is 50,000 years old.

          The bible was never intended to be anything more than a via Salvation, not a historical , geographical, Scientific manual to guide our lives along the pathways of the world. It is a work of literature demonstrating several different written forms. Poetry, drama, Aphorisms,History ( valid, contrived )Parables, similes,metaphors, psychological constructs, myths, legends- there is a list a mile long contained in these messages from the gods.

          Not as guide to life – the Quran is more like that, but the journey of a people from Polytheism to Monotheism and what seems like a loophole just in case.

          Like

          • The Testimonium Flavianum is a fraud, a Christian interpolation. There may be a valid core to it, but certainly the claim that Josephus actually mentioned a Christ is simply a load of hogwash.

            If the bible is a ”via Salvation” perhaps you could explain exactly what one requires Salvation from, and exactly how this is achieved?
            Thanks.
            Afterwards, maybe you could set about educating all the other 30,000 or so Christian sects/cults about the bible who likely disagree on so many levels.

            Like

            • Wow fetch me a bucket of water.
              You think but do not know 100% that “‘The Testimonium Flavianum is a fraud, a Christian interpolation”

              There are a trillion things I may believe but cannot prove that is why we call them beliefs. Leaps in the dark.
              Do hogs wash?
              While doing my Theology degree( the saying that the bible is only meant to be a road to salvation rather than any other kind of Book.) was the preface to attempting to understand scripture as it is recorded by human beings.
              The doctrine of inerrancy of Scripture is a convoluted one especially if one is a Catholic without any understanding of the human input into a Biblos, as mediated through the Spirit. Therefore we began with the concept of Library bibliothèque within which sits the Biblical Library, Biblos.
              We examined the various genre of literature and the situations wherein they were used.
              As catechists it placed the Narrative of Jonah and the Whale into its context as a Play, dramatising a myth and teased out its implications for the meaning of to cry against Nineveh . An illustration of obedience to God in spite of the known outcome that nulls the obedience.
              Do we obey God blindly?

              The concept of Salvation from’ from sin and death; depends from the statements in Scripture that God visits the sins of the fathers on the 4th and 5th generations – otherwise known as Ancestral sin and which also descends from the transgressions in the Garden of Eden – a mythical place in the East. ( apparently babies are born with the stain of original sin – Baptism.Christ came to die for our sins, because we cannot save ourselves.

              Christ was the perfect Lamb offered to expiate sin, a vicarious atonement – since
              I repeat myself -we cannot save ourselves. The concept of a Savior Messiah was set into the scenario of Jewish Salvation History – ergo the Perfect Lamb without spot or blemish which was the only type of Lamb allowable for sacrifice during Passover. Abraham’s ram when he went to sacrifice his one and only son, the Lamb and Goat for Yom Kippur. Christ was the substitute for these imperfect sacrifices which replaced these repeated sacrifices with the Permanent one of Christ being sacrificed in atonement(day of) for the sins of the world. Of his becoming food for us ( Passover, Last Supper)

              Returning to biblical interpretation each sect have their own, many denominations share the same concepts – arriving at them in different ways. From the Literal understandings of the Fundamentalists to the contextual ones which say that it is not oK to dash the infant’s head against a stone.

              Psalm 137
              8 Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,
              happy is the one who repays you
              according to what you have done to us.
              9 Happy is the one who seizes your infants
              and dashes them against the rocks.
              NATURALLY they will disagree that’s christianity

              Like

            • You think but do not know 100% that “‘The Testimonium Flavianum is a fraud, a Christian interpolation”

              Find the very best Biblical scholar who claims that is anything but fraud.
              Try Geza Vermes, or NT Wright or if you want to go right out the park Richard Carrier.
              Only christian fundamentalists say it is genuine.
              And these are in the main the same half wits who also believe the gospels were written by the names tagged on to them. Josephus was a Jew. For him to consider the biblical Character Jesus the Nazarene the Christ is as ridiculous as stating the moon is made of cheese.

              Yes, I am fully aware of the symbolism, thanks.

              I asked what we need salvation from. from and exactly how is this achieved?

              Are you by chance referring to Original Sin, perhaps?

              You have discussed substitutionary atonement I think, it’s called. Exactly how does a brutal human blood-sacrifice sort out the problem of salvation?

              Liked by 1 person

            • It’s after midnight here and won’t be eating cheese tonight, speak later when you don’t sound so much like a I don’t know what. Good morning 6th January 00:16

              Like

            • Hi Ark,
              ‘I asked what we need salvation from. from and exactly how is this achieved?’

              Again i am trapped within my belief systems sinceIi cannot attempt to argue Scripture and Theology with 100% knowledge

              The most honest reply is that I do not know. I do know that debating two strongly held ‘Belief systems’ against the other is fruitless. Anyone who can prove that their position is Knowledge rather than belief would be a marvel.( And belief would become scotch mist)

              Yet we still come against the object of belief. If anyone on either side of the argument has absolute knowledge of the Truth or not – will I believe them? Not without putting them to the test to prove their knowledge and then I still do not know that this person is Right.

              My Standing ground is the Scriptures because my upbringing and discoveries have drawn me to believe. Yours is something else, yet you still rely on belief not Knowledge – as do I.

              There have been times when i have lost my faith or had not yet decided and in those times there were other paradigms providing evidence either to believe or which cast doubt on what was grounding me.

              You will say that there is nothing from which to be saved and from where I stand though I really don’t know, I still believe there is, but do not know so.

              It may no longer be our sins since we do deal with a Book not written for us but for those living in a variety of eras all of which measured their fears against the adjacent communities, enemies.

              We think, according to our indoctrination/ education that human being are bad and need something to make them good.

              You cannot disagree that there is both good and bad an a myriad of in betweens, however what is your solution. What is your knowledge to indicate that what we believe you know is phantasy?

              Like

            • ‘I asked what we need salvation from, and exactly how is this achieved?’
              Again i am trapped within my belief systems since I cannot attempt to argue Scripture and Theology with 100% knowledge
              The most honest reply is that I do not know.

              Fair enough. But note this. Any claim you make about salvation and sin etc is simply fallacious. That this crap is indoctrinated into kids is nothing but child abuse and until you acknowledge this, and continue to go along with it then you are, even if only in a small way, complicit in the perpetuation of this abuse.
              What is your knowledge to indicate that what we believe you know is phantasy?
              Because what you believe is based on the bible, and we know the bible is little more than geopolitical historical fiction which can be demonstrated.

              My Standing ground is the Scriptures because my upbringing and discoveries have drawn me to believe. Yours is something else, yet you still rely on belief not Knowledge – as do I.

              My core beliefs are based on verifiable evidence. Where these is no confirmation, such as the origin of life, I am quite happy with ‘’I don’t know’’ .
              Your core beliefs where they pertain to your Christian worldview which include such nonsense as Heaven and Hell are all based on fallacious superstitious Bronze Age silliness that in all likelihood had to be indoctrinated in the first place, or were adopted as an adult, usually because, of some emotional, guilt-driven upheaval as is so often the case.

              You cannot disagree that there is both good and bad an a myriad of in betweens, however what is your solution.

              Active education, which will eventually lead to the complete debunking of all supercilious, supernatural religious garbage and associated nonsense until we have a society based on secular humanist values.

              Like

  4. ARK ADDED AS A NEW COMMENT FOR A REPLY UPSTREAM …

    In reply to Br Francis-Clare.

    ‘I asked what we need salvation from, and exactly how is this achieved?’
    Again i am trapped within my belief systems since I cannot attempt to argue Scripture and Theology with 100% knowledge
    The most honest reply is that I do not know.

    Fair enough. But note this. Any claim you make about salvation and sin etc is simply fallacious. That this crap is indoctrinated into kids is nothing but child abuse and until you acknowledge this, and continue to go along with it then you are, even if only in a small way, complicit in the perpetuation of this abuse.
    What is your knowledge to indicate that what we believe you know is phantasy?
    Because what you believe is based on the bible, and we know the bible is little more than geopolitical historical fiction which can be demonstrated.

    My Standing ground is the Scriptures because my upbringing and discoveries have drawn me to believe. Yours is something else, yet you still rely on belief not Knowledge – as do I.

    My core beliefs are based on verifiable evidence. Where these is no confirmation, such as the origin of life, I am quite happy with ‘’I don’t know’’ .
    Your core beliefs where they pertain to your Christian worldview which include such nonsense as Heaven and Hell are all based on fallacious superstitious Bronze Age silliness that in all likelihood had to be indoctrinated in the first place, or were adopted as an adult, usually because, of some emotional, guilt-driven upheaval as is so often the case.

    You cannot disagree that there is both good and bad an a myriad of in betweens, however what is your solution.

    Active education, which will eventually lead to the complete debunking of all supercilious, supernatural religious garbage and associated nonsense until we have a society based on secular humanist values.

    Like

    • Br Francis Claire said: O.K I’ll accept that, there is no point in rebuttal. Ark – this is the most rational I have found you. I hope we continue to annoy each other .

      I hope we continue to annoy each other

      While I will not be making such a quest my Mission in Life, I will most certainly expect that, from now on you will be metaphorically looking over your shoulder every time you flex your theological fingers at the keyboard.

      Pee Ess. Thank you, Paul for fixing up the comment. Appreciate it. And if you go into Settings you can upgrade the comment stream to avoid the narrowing effect.

      Like

  5. I refer to this post often. John has me thinking in terms of technical simplicity. Intriguing and thought provoking questions. And your answerI don’t know is better than endless conjecture of an apologist that doesn’t know either.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.