Saturday, November 5, 2016
The End of Atheism
Maurizio – Omnologos Where no subject is left unturned About The Christian Roots of the Enlightenment with 3 comments As then-Cardinal Ratzinger once said, “The affirmation [about] the Christian roots of Europe […] relates, first of all, to an historical fact that no one can seriously deny“. And obviously not just of Europe, but of pretty much everything European, including of course all that has been born from European minds. Including, that is, the Enlightenment. Why can’t anybody seriously deny that? Because philosophical movements cannot appear out of thin air. Of course, Locke, Hume, Voltaire, Rousseau and the others could not use Shinto or Zoroastrian ways of thinking, but Christian ones, because they were educated by, were thinking like and had to always confront themselves with Christian culture(s). There are six sections dedicated to The Soul in Voltair’s Philosophical Dictionary. None to the Buddhist concept of Nirvana. QED. Check the answers to my series of blogs on Atheism. All too often, all too tellingly people nominally “without-a-god” reply with a frame of mind that actually implies a personal, omnipotent God. That is, the Christian God. ===== One thing I don’t understand is why something as obvious as the above should be controversial. Or perhaps I do understand: simply, the people that will shout the most against Christianity are bound to be the ones that despite claiming Atheism are actually Christian through and through, and they hate themselves for that. Little hope to have a serious discussion with them. But what does the above mean? Have we discovered the Last Stand for the Children of the Enlightenment? Should they be forced to honestly admit their roots are Christian? I’m afraid not: because if Europe has Christian roots, those are not the only roots (Jewish and Islamic roots should be added of course, and that’s mentioning only the religious side…). And if everybody should accept that the Enlightenment has (also) Christian roots, then everybody should accept that Christianity has (also) Pagan roots. An enormous amount of time has been dedicated by people in the Church(es) to reconcile Jesus’ thoughts with Greek Philosophy, from the Gospel of St John onwards. Just as for the Enlightenment, the “new message” of Christianity had to be communicated by people to people. The only way to do that was and is by using contemporary imagery, ways of thinking, categories of thought and historical philosophical arguments. Many of these were (“Pagan”) Greek at the time of Jesus, and so in our part of the world Christianity had to be built from Pagan Greek roots. QED once again… The End of Atheism with 9 comments From Scientific American, quoted in full on the Integral Options Cafe: A mathematical theory places limits on how much a physical entity can know about the past, present or future… David H. Wolpert, a physics-trained computer scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center, has chimed in with his version of a knowledge limit. Because of it, he concludes, the universe lies beyond the grasp of any intellect, no matter how powerful, that could exist within the universe. Specifically, during the past two years, he has been refining a proof that no matter what laws of physics govern a universe, there are inevitably facts about the universe that its inhabitants cannot learn by experiment or predict with a computation… As Scott Aaronson, a computer scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, puts it: “That your predictions about the universe are fundamentally constrained by you yourself being part of the universe you’re predicting, always seemed pretty obvious to me…” What is therefore the point to atheism? Even if there is nothing else but the physical universe, there is no way for any part of it to “learn it all by experiment” or “predict with a computation“. In other words, the physical universe is the only thing that can fully know the physical universe. How far is that from the definition of Divinity? And what does that leave to the atheist? Absurdities like believing in the non-existence of the physical universe? If Wolpert is right, there is no logic left in atheism. And Dawkins’ “Ultimate 747” proof of the non-existence of God appears quaint: the Divinity cannot be any part of the physical universe. ====== One of course can and will always be able to reasonably state agnosticism. But post-Wolpert agnosticism becomes simply the belief that the Divinity cannot be communicated with or experienced as such). There is one thing we can be certain of, in any case: that there’s more out there than a collection of physical entities. Comment: by "The Gay Atheist" Sounds like you don’t understand what an Atheist or and Agnostic is. And Atheist doesn’t have to prove the non-existance of a god. An Atheist can simply believe that there is no god. While I certainly can’t prove there is no god… I wholeheartedly believe that this is true. An Agnostic is someone that admits that they don’t have a clue and that humans will probably never have a clue on this subject. So they just go about their lives without worrying about the question. You believe there is a god… but have no proof… why is it so hard to understand that others believe that there is no god… but also have no proof? Just because humans can never prove the non-existence of a supreme being, that exists beyond the physical universe, does not make it a fact that such a thing exists. That’s the one thing about the faithful that is beyond comprehension. They can’t prove anything yet believe it exists… and yet they can’t understand that other people take the same non-data and see a different answer. Exactly why (and how) would such “it-from-bit” Universe care about human ethics, which is the real crux of the debate between atheists and theists? Enzo Michelangeli 2009/Mar/06 at 03:57:19 Reply Enzo, The universe doesn’t care. WE do care. That’s good enough for me. morsec0de 2009/Mar/06 at 15:37:50 Reply The universe may care. It is just that society hasn’t defined if it does (perhaps yet, but that still means it hasn’t). Nathaniel 2009/Mar/10 at 16:41:26 Reply I fail to see how acknowledging the limits of the mind equals embracing theism. My personal motivation as a scientist is that the set “what I know” is always outclassed with “what I don’t know” — encouragement to never stop inquiring, not to start worshipping the unknowable. Goedel’s Incompleteness Theorem illustrated, essentially, that math can never be completed. That doesn’t mean that we should stop doing math and start praying to what we’ll never know. You’re also certainly smart enough to know the folly of trying to prove a negative. The positive existential declaration bears the burden of proof. It’s up to you to make a falsifiable claim about the existence of God and then defend that claim. (The deistic view of God isn’t falsifiable, but the Christian (interventionist) view is, for instance.) The Gay Atheist, above, covers this well enough. https://omnologos.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/the-end-of-atheism/#comments I found this thread interesting. Does the Universe "care" about us? Does it matter if we have a belief in God? I gained a lot of inspiration on the spiritual path from the teachings of Louise Hay, who cured her own cancer. She did it by using the approach of her church, Religious Science, and going beyond it to get psychotherapy and take care of herself in other ways including good nutrition. She then developed her own psychotherapeutic system of affirmations for self-care and self-love. The 12 Step Groups have a saying, "God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves." The implication of that kind of belief indicates a perception of a Higher Power in conjunction with our own necessary efforts. It envisions, however, a Higher Power process that is not hostile to our own well-being. Christian Science is a denomination in which the founder demonstrated a new approach and vocabulary to identify God and a person's relation to God in a way attributed to Jesus's teachings and his followers. The founder, Mary Baker Eddy, is reported to have accomplished amazing acts of healing. Practitioners following her method have also achieved amazing feats of healing. Carl Simonton ( and his then wife Stephanie) made interesting observations about psychosomatic healing in their book Getting Well Again, and subsequent books as Carl Simonton's Clinic has worked with support groups, an emotional well-being, and visualizations. Christian interventionism probably can be falsified, but so can the inevitability of psychosomatic stress and cynicism in an unresponsive Universe. Thus, so can the notion of a Holy Spirit be unfalsifiable. However, the fact is that the Scientific Method has to be contextualized. It is part of the PHilosophy of Science. In this case, we are dealing with the social science of Anthropology. Except that there is plenty of Biological Anthropological information about the issue of human religious behavior. Like sports games and music concerts, religious ritual serves an important function to reinforce values and relieve emotional tensions including values of the meaning of life and the value of the created world around us.