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Dawkins_at_the_Atheist_Bus_Campaign_launch

The feeling of awed wonder that science can give us is one of the highest experiences of which the human psyche is capable. It is a deep aesthetic passion to rank with the finest that music and poetry can deliver. It is truly one of the things that make life worth living and it does so, if anything, more effectively if it convinces us that the time we have for living is quite finite.” – Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder. (Emphasis mine)

The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus echoed the same objections that can be seen in Dawkins’ writings today.  Some things don’t change much.  Epicurus held a nearly identical view of the afterlife or “second life” as Dawkins does now.  He thought that mankind would be better served if each man paid more attention to making this life better rather than wasting time and resources trying to appease non-existent “gods” in the hope of obtaining better crops or greater wealth (self-interest) or of being accepted by such deities in the next life (his real objection).  Epicurus believed that this preoccupation with the afterlife was one of the chief problems that kept mankind from enjoying the life they live in the here and now.

Furthermore, Epicurus suspected that the miserable, mean, harsh and impoverished life most people lived was caused partly by their preoccupation with the afterlife.

Of course, this assertion does not make it so, but it still continues to be a common belief among atheists and continues to see the light of day in the writings of Dawkins.  For example…

Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one.”  ― Richard Dawkins

There is something infantile in the presumption that somebody else has a responsibility to give your life meaning and point… The truly adult view, by contrast, is that our life is as meaningful, as full and as wonderful as we choose to make it.”  ― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

It is clear that his use of words like “vain and presumptuous”, “infantile” and “The truly adult view” are used to convey the impression that his views are intellectually superior to the views held by theists without providing the reasons for his position laid out in cogent argument.  It is typical of the common response one finds on most blogs when an atheist responses to a theistic post.  Their posts are usually peppered with condescension, ad hominem disparity and aspersions of the vilest kinds.  These kinds of responses add nothing to the discussion of the post itself yet their authors often insist that their position is clearly the rational one.  Of course there are the occasional thoughtful exceptions but it is not the norm.

DawkinsOnScience

Dawkins’ polite disparagement when writing about the “second” life gives way to the more common umbrage salted with explicatives when publicly speaking and takes on a much more derogatory tone.  His content at times is not much better than the “God is a genocidal maniac so F*** You” kind of thing the average anti-Christian blogger brings to the table as an intellectual offering.  He simply assumes what he says should be taken at face value, that he is always correct in his historical assertions, and tops it all off with a little vitriol.

Observations: It does not seem to matter to Dawkins that his beliefs are contrary to what is known about the world.

As pointed out in previous posts…

  • It is never observed that matter has incorporeal attributes in the real world.  In other words, matter never demonstrates attributes such as reason, ideas, desire, nor does it make choices, engineer a bridge, fall in love, or appreciate music.  If matter and energy are all there is, matter must cause these things to come into existence.  In short, the effect must be greater than the cause, which is another way of saying I believe in magic rather than science.
  • While it is observed that matter can be used as a carrier of information (via Structure), it is never observed that matter is the source of the information that it may carry.
    • When ever the source of information can be determined, it is always because that structure that carries it has been imposed upon matter from outside of itself.
    • When we can determine its source, it is always because a mind has imposed a structure upon matter to carry information.  Basically an force outside the matter itself has ordered and arranged matter so that information can be embedded.
    • When matter is found to carry information  it is for the purpose of communication.
  • Information is really the lowest level of mind.  As far as is known, such things as desires, perceiving the value of an object such as a nice purse or a fine watch, motives of passion or pleasure, love, loyalty, honor, hatred, bitterness, gratitude, etc., cannot be explained by the presence of information alone.  And information cannot be explained by matter alone.  These are difference categories of phenomena.

Thus, it is always the case, when the source is known, that information is from an external source that is not material in nature.  Dawkins and some atheists are aware of this, so there have been concerted efforts to fabricate explanations for this source from within the material realm itself.  While at the same time they employ every form of non-material faculty of their being (such as ideas, logic, argument, appeal to emotions, etc.) in order to persuade you their opinion is the correct one.  Opinion being another of those non-material incorporeal phenomena that should not exist if reality is as they say.

We could go on about this but, as I said, this subject has been covered HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.

The highest form of meaningful life?

But this is not really the point Dawkins is driving at in the above quotes.  Dawkins is asserting that hoping in a life beyond the grave is a vain one, so one should only live for the here and now, the existential experience.  So what is supposed to give this very temporary life of ours its grand meaning and significance?

According to Dawkins it is the wonder of discovery that science provides.  This “wonder”, this “feeling” of awe that is to be derived from scientific investigation is on par with the elation that one might experience while listening to music, going to the opera, a trip to the art museum, or standing in the presence of a great poet.

This “feeling of awed wonder”, this “deep aesthetic passion” is not a phenomenon of matter.  It is incorporeal in nature.  It has no mass or volume.  One cannot measure its hardness, taste it, or perceive its color.  Even so, the experience that is supposed to provide our meaningful existence is simply feeling a certain way.  It is a gratification of a desire.  It is an attempt to provide or create a certain state of feeling (the awed wonder) and nothing more.

It is also important to remember that these emotional states are to be treasured because we are very temporary in nature or as Dawkins puts it, “the time we have for living is quite finite”.  Dawkins does not prove his point about that because we all know that we live and die, at least, the material aspect of us does.  What he cannot and therefore does not explain is how matter comes to value this state of emotion in the first place, he just assumes that it does because he does.  And since he is nothing more than matter and energy flowing to and fro, temporarily coming together to form himself before moving on, it must have these unobserved magical qualities.

However, Dawkins assumes that the emotional bingeing that he hangs the meaning of life upon is the same for everybody.  He elevates his “feeling of awed wonder” to the top of the charts without any criteria but the satisfaction he gets from his own gratification.  Since that is his best experience possible, it must be the best that can be had by all and that is what the whole of humanity ought to pursue.

The best a D. Phil can offer?

So this is what a Doctor of Philosophy from Oxford comes up with, self-indulgence, emotional gratification, a temporary state of wallowing in a feeling.  Setting aside that he cannot explain why this is so.  He cannot explain how these feelings even exist if the world is nothing but matter and energy.  It seems that his education has simply taught him how to hide his nakedness with clever words used to obfuscate the baseless assumptions he makes about “reality”.

The incorporeal, these “feelings”, are to provide meaning for our material existence.  Yet he declares hope in a second life, where it is said that incorporeal existence continues, is “vain” and “presumptuous”?   This is jaw dropping stupidity at its finest.   What Dawkins ought to do in order to truly maximize his experience is to drop some ecstasy the next time he experiences this “awed wonder”.

Kidding aside, if meaning is found in some emotion and its gratification, why it is assumed, as Dawkins clearly does, that music or science can be universally relied upon to provide its highest most preferred form?  What compels anyone towards this particular emotional state as opposed to any other?  Why not shopping for jewelry for instance?  Or power?  Or Wealth?  Or torture? Or hording?  So what if it harms someone else.  Why would an object composed of mere matter care about that?  So what if one’s desires are or aren’t met.  Get used to disappointment.

Life is pain, Highness.  Anyone who says differently is selling something.”  The man in black, The Princess Bride.

Most people in the world do not have the opportunity that Dawkins takes for granted.  And they find temporary pleasures in other things more available to them.   When people face the end of their temporal existence and they know they must leave this world do they really crave one more experience of “awed wonder” that science can provide?  Or do they wish to be surrounded by those they love?

Hoagie

But this too is mere gratification, a desire to be comforted or the desire to be loved one last time before departing this world is in principle no different than Dawkins desire to want “awed wonder”.  If our incorporeal existence terminates here, as Dawkins wants to believe, it is all vain.  His attempt to find meaning within ourselves is all that he or anyone else can come up with if life ends at death.  It is only temporary distraction from the vanity of life, no better than the pleasure derived from enjoying a good hoagie from Philadelphia.

Self-indulgence and gratification of desire need not take the arbitrary ranked “highest experiences” path that Dawkins suggests.  Dawkins guidance, more often than not, goes unheeded.  He simply provides no real reason for the rest of us to assign scientific awed wonder as the pinnacle of human experience.  Never mind the absurdity of an over-educated elitist attempting to find meaning for his material existence in the metaphysical and non-material attributes of his nature.  The common man may not know how to articulate the contradiction he sees in Dawkins’ own vain attempt to find meaning but he senses this contradiction never the less.

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Category Errors are delicious, I'll have yours.

Category Errors are delicious, I’ll have yours.

From Mr. A.M.

Did you notice that the boy doesn’t answer the question? His own argument is, that god created him and he cannot see god. But so, the clay pony would have to assume that the BOY is god. But instead, you claim that there is another good, that they clay pony just can’t see. And why do you assume that the first god that the boy cannot see is the last one?

For Clarity, I am assuming the phrase “another good” is meant to be “another god”.

First of all Mr. A.M. once again dodges the argument in the article.  The past responses are of the same caliber.  He never actually answers or effectively refutes what is written, preferring to focus in on some unrelated minutia.

Actually in the Cartoon, which Mr. A.M. now attempts to discredit (or perhaps waste my time and resources), is one of those humorous philosophical dilemmas. Dawkins, being a materialist, assumes god, if there was one, would have to be a creature not unlike himself, a material being.  He accepts no possibility of a “god” being anything other than an advanced being, an alien, subject to and a product of the physical world that he himself is.

That is why he assumes “if god exists”, he is going to exist as a material being like any other.  Dawkins and Mr. A.M. have no problem violating cause and effect and peppering their rantings with logical fallacies galore. They do not even recognize it when they do so.  But any talk of God and now they suddenly understand cause and effect at least applied to the world of matter and energy to which there belief in materialism has confirmed them.

In Philosophy the question is often turned around as in “where did matter come from?” or more commonly “Why is there something rather than nothing?”  This is the start.  In the physical world, it remains true that whatever had a beginning had a cause.  Since we know that all things had a beginning there was an adequate cause.

In philosophy and logic as well, there is the infinite regression argument.  This argument, from the physical world, is considered invalid because as you trace thinks back to their previous cause you must sooner or later arrive at the first cause.  The Physical universe is not eternal or at least shows no evidence for that being the case.  Sagan my ponder this in the vain hope of a way out of this dilemma but it looks more and more like the Cosmos had a first cause because the Cosmos had a beginning.

Dawkins “Checkmate” only applies if “god” is caused by some other previous material physical phenomena.  Dawkins is attempting to bring the metaphysical into the materialists world he imagines he lives in.  He cannot adequately explain even why he has any conception of a “god” if indeed he is merely matter as he believes he is.  He cannot even explain cogently why he has a belief in anything at all.

The Universe had to have a first Cause because it had a beginning.  That cause is God.  The world we live in and the unseen world we cannot see, yet accept as readily as our physical one, such as the world of ideas, reason, desires, hopes, dreams, goals, love and hate are two different planes on reality.  This is easily seen unless blinded by materialist bias and anti-religious malice.

God does not have a beginning, so he doesn’t need a cause.  God is not a material being, but describes himself as a Spirit or at least living outside the physical realm where spirits dwell.  That is He is being and He is mind.  Whatever He ultimately is, he is not a mere physical phenomenon that Dawkins and Mr. A.M. conceive of.

Dawkins is attempting to apply physical argument to non-physical phenomena.  Oops, Category error.   Besides, why would Dawkins even be able to conceive of the idea of God or gods if he was what he believes he is; mere matter, batches of chemicals whistled together into complex forms by magic (evolution, time and chance, fairy dust).  He finds himself, like Mr. .A.M., at the end of the day loaded with all the incorporeal attributes of spirit or mind so he can enjoy and interact with the world around him and be free to make his own decisions for good or evil without interference from a God he hates.

There is also the question of “does Mind create matter or does matter create mind?”  We know that our minds create objects in the real world from available material.  We design, plan, make blue prints, build houses, breed dogs and ponies, make tools, design circuits, and utilize language to facilitate communication so we can learn and share ideas.  Matter does none of this.  So how does matter create mind?  Everything we see and do, including publish articles about irrational worldviews, is a product of mind.  Matter is merely its tool.  It is never observed to be the other way around.  That would be irrational.  Yet Dawkins and Mr. A.M. believe this very thing.  It is of no concern to them that it is not the matter they are composed of that believes, it is the “ghost withing the machine”, their spirit, their mind that does.  The very part of reality they reject if they were honestly consistent with their beliefs, which, of course, they cannot be.

For Prof. Dawkins, Mr. A.M., and anyone else who is unfamiliar with the First Cause argument, they can go to  Why Russell was wrong I: The First Cause Argument to get a better overview.

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TheDawkinsDelusion

After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with color, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn’t it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked—as I am surprisingly often—why I bother to get up in the mornings.”  ― Richard Dawkins

A statement such as the one above is loaded with materialistic assumptions about origin and being.  At the same time Dawkins attempts to add meaning to these assumptions by stealing from a non-materialistic, indeed theistic worldview, the presuppositions and assertions needed to give it meaning.  He crosses the two yet never realizing he does so.  And he is very consistent in his INABILITY to see it.

His promoters cheer on his brilliant insights when it is simply bad analysis.  For they suffer from the same logical and philosophical malaise.

First off all, Dawkins is a materialist, an atheist and holds an unshakable belief in evolutionary biology, the greatest of all “scientific” jokes.  Now I do not mean that much of what biology with its observations and documentation are wrong.  No much of it is good science.  But it is forced to make unscientific, even irrational conclusions, because of the worldview it must fit into.  Scientism is not science, nor is evolutionary theory, nor is creationism for that matter.

Scientism: the uncritical application of scientific or quasi-scientific methods to inappropriate fields of study or investigation. – Collins English Dictionary.

“Scientists” who want science to be the final arbitrator of all truth is what scientism is all about.  It places the materialist into the position of high priest on par with the purveyors of all of the lunatic versions of religion.  Being the final arbitrator of all truth gives one tremendous influence and power over the less educated masses.  But at this point going into motives is digressive.

Some of the assumptions.

  • If we are merely matter and energy, why do we open our eyes to behold a “sumptuous planet, sparkling with color, bountiful with life”?  What are the attributes found in matter that recognize these things?  Matter has weight, takes up space, has color, texture, hardness, etc.  This part we get.  But if we are matter flowing here and there, coming together briefly to become us then vanishing and moving on to something else, why do we even care if matter has weight or color?  Why are we cognizant of this fact?  How does something lacking in any mental faculty or observable function organize and sort and quantify and analyze and draw conclusions and suggest plans and design systems to do useful work that servers some other abstract purpose or goal?

These are not observable functions of matter and energy.  They are the frauds of Scientism.  They are the product of a belief about how the world must be because that is the kind of belief that is wanted. 

  • Dawkins must believe that matter begets mind.  For example, the law of non-contradiction must somehow arise from the phenomena of matter and energy.  It is a very popular theme in science fiction to believe that once matter becomes complex enough, it crosses some threshold and becomes self-aware or alive.  The Terminator and Matrix sagas are examples of this.

Dawkins’ statement hides the belief that the effects can exceed the cause.  Because he exchanges an empirical hat for a metaphysical one he never sees the irrationality inherent in this.

  • Dawkins must somehow contrive meaning from meaningless matter.  Here he uses the terms “noble” and “enlightened”.  In other places he uses the term “wonder”.   But these are mental constructs describing emotional states.   These are not materialistic phenomena.  Perceptions and emotions are not found in hydrogen, argon, beryllium or cesium.  The cleaver use of adjectives does not somehow imbue meaning into believing that somehow dirt has magical mental properties.

The category error (or category fallacy as it is sometimes called) is the materialists’ bread and butter.  In an age of state run schools of collectivism propaganda it is too often missed and goes unrecognized.

Just as Augustine confused the moral with the metaphysical and sent the institutional forms of Christianity careening down a theologically erroneous and sometimes destructive path, learned men since the time of Epicurus, and scientists since Darwin’s time have made good science to serve their religion of Scientism and have become the pawns of the collectivist state where they serve has high priests.

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Jesus or Muhammad?

jesus_mohammed

I would like to mention one simple caveat before drawing a comparison between the example of Christ and the example left by Muhammad.  This is NOT a racial comparison but an ideological one.  While it seems that this is hard to grasp for progressive race baiters, most people readily comprehend this.  Let me illustrate this difference.  I have no concerns if a citizen from Germany decided he and his family would like to take part in the “American” experience and migrate to New York.  However if the German citizen was also an avid outspoken member of the Nazi party trying to implement the doctrines and practices of Adolf Hitler, then I would be more than a little concerned.  Nothing is wrong with Germans.  Their ancestry, culture, history is fine.  It is this ideology and the implications of its practice that are of concern.

So it also goes with an Arab.  It doesn’t matter what country or region he and his family are from.  If he and his want to immigrate to America and become part of the fabric of this country, let them come.  However if he is Muslim, then there are other things to consider.  Islam is a political philosophy that includes religion, militarism, law, etc.   It is the implications of practices and implementations of Islam that are of concern.  It is its worldview or ideology when followed by faithfully mimicking the example of its founder that makes it dangerous.  It is not some xenophobic fear that progressives imagine arises from conservative white males.

So what if you were in a dangerous situation, say a dark alley?  This alley has two ways out.  But to get out of the alley you have to pass some shadowy figures at each alley exit.  So you have two choices.  At one exit stand Jesus and his disciples, at the other stands Muhammad and the four rightly-guided Caliphs.  You can expect no help from civil authorities such as police.  Jesus and Muhammad are in complete control of their respective exits and can do what they wish with you without concern.

What you can expect from Muhammad

Muhammad led by example as did Jesus.  Followers of Muhammad’s often refer to him as “the perfect man”.  His example is to be emulated by all true faithful Muslims.   So what was his example?  Although initially there were many competing stories and traditions the common events of his life are well documented by both Islamic and non-Islamic sources.

If you are a non-Muslim

  • If you are a women
    • Rape and sexual slavery is a real possibility.  If you are attractive to Muhammad or one of his followers, you may become a concubine.
    • If you accuse them of rape afterward, you must provide four male Muslim witnesses or you will be accused of adultery.
      • If accused of adultery, you may expect to be stoned if the accusers follow Muhammad’s example.
  • You may be lied to – called Taqiyya meaning religious deception.
    • Muhammad allowed and encouraged his followers to lie to non-Muslims if it furthered the cause of Allah.
    • It is said that this is akin to “Love you with my face but hate you in my heart”.
    • Taqiyya does not apply to all men, but only the non-believer or the Muslim who is not being diligent enough in his following of Muhammad and Allah.  Usually, the extremist decide who it applies to when dealing with moderate “Muslims”.
    • Some of the source matter used in Taqiyya is the Quran itself because of the doctrine of “Naskh” meaning abrogation.  The Quran itself lays out this doctrine in Sura 2:106.  Abrogation simply means that later verses in the Quran cancel and replace (supersede) earlier verses.
      • Because of abrogation, the earlier, more benign verses are used to give non-Muslims a profile of Islam that is false.  The Muslim knows these verses have been abrogated by much more violent ones.
  • You will be considered a Second Class CitizenshipDhimmitude
    • Sharia law is designed to give special privileges to the Muslim that the non-Muslin does not have, thus establishing Islamic hegemony wherever it is implemented.
    • Muhammad states that Muslims are the best of mankind so they merit considerations that others do not.
    • Non-Muslims need to be humiliated and pay a special tax to Muslims called the “Jizya”.
    • The word of a non-Muslin is not as good as a Muslim and is often not allowed as credible testimony.  Male Muslim testimony is twice as good as female Muslim testimony.
  • Do you have children?  They can be bartered, sold and Muhammad’s followers can beat them or have sex with them at their discretion.  They are considered plunder just like your wife and all your possessions.
  • Theft, Plunder and War – this was a common practice among Muhammad and his followers
    • Muhammad raided caravans passing through his territory as a means of sustaining and paying his followers.
    • Muhammad was involved personally in at least 26 raids and four major conflicts.
    • Muhammad did not produce a product or trade his labor for wages.  He relied upon his ability to use his followers to plunder the goods produced by others.
  • Forced conversion or martyrdom and beheading
    • It was routine to behead captives.  Muhammad oversaw many of these instances and approved such.
    • Often people were given three options.
    1. Convert to Islam
    2. Beheading
    3. Become a dhimmi and pay the jizya.  See second class citizen above.  The jizya (economic oppression) will eventually force non-Muslim peoples to lose economic ground and into an ever lower economic class and eventually insignificance and in some cases extinction.  While non-Muslims are economically viable, they are cows to be milked by their Muslim betters.
  • Assassination
    • If you escape the alley you may be visited in the night or be murdered by cunning and deception.  Muhammad approved this on several occasions.

What you can expect from Jesus

The life of Jesus, carried forth at first by oral tradition and then quickly written down starting with 10-15 years after His crucifixion and resurrection by eyewitness testimony is considered by knowledgeable people to be the best documentation that exists in the ancient world.

FYI: This is not about following the institutional Church, of which I have little use for.  Nor is it about following people like Augustine or Calvin, two worse examples of following Christ can hardly be found.  While some individuals may promote men like these to Sainthood it is nearly always based upon their moving writings and not their deeds.  This is about following the example laid out by Christ himself.

If you are a non-Christian

  • Found in adultery
    • Forgiveness.  As demonstrated by the woman caught in adultery.  Jesus said to those who condemned her “whoever is without sin cast the first stone”
    • The one caveat being he also said “go and sin no more”.
  • If you have ever lied – similar in the Old Testament commandment No. 9 – bearing false witness/giving false testimony.
    • Jesus’ condemnation of lying is stated or implied throughout the New Testament in very strong terms.
    • People who lie and reject the offer of pardon that Jesus Himself purchased on their behalf will be accountable for their own criminal and immoral conduct once they die and stand before God.  This embodies the primary warning he issued on various occasions.
    • Jesus appears everywhere in the New Testament to put a premium on honesty and truth and this is owed to all men, not just Christians.
    • Jesus will not lie to you, however.
  • You will not be treated as a Second Class Citizenship
    • No such tradition exists in the teachings or example of Christ.  It is true that until his mission to the Jews was complete, the gentiles would have to wait for the revelation of pardon found in the New Testament.  But that was of historic necessity.
    • However Jesus made many notable exceptions to this and completely removed any distinction after His resurrection.  This was initially implemented in Acts 10.
    • Law based upon the principles found in both Testaments were evidentially based and applied equally to the Jews and Gentiles.  Lying is Lying, eyewitness testimony is eyewitness testimony.  Anybody can claim to be a Christian but the implementation of law applies to everyone.  Evidence for a crime is to determine one’s guilt or innocence regardless of how one’s label.
    • Jesus says clearly to his followers (disciples) that unless you also repent, you will perish.  Jesus makes it very clear that all men have deep moral issues and His prescription for them is the same.
    • Jesus treated all men uniformly, and offered pardon and redemption to all men regardless of background, caste, or status.
  • You will not be raped – it is sin and is condemned equally whether Jew, Christian, Atheist or Hindu.  It is something that the civil authorities use the power of the “sword” as Paul puts it to secure justice and peace by punishing such crime.
    • Jesus did not come to change the civil order nor its institutions directly.  He came to change the moral order and by doing so, the change in the moral order would, over time, effect the institutions as in the case of slavery in Wilberforce’s England.
    • Jesus offers forgiveness upon true repentance.  What the civil authorities do is another matter entirely.
  • Pedophilia and children as plunder – detestable practices, not going to happen.
    • Jesus example was one of denying self, not indulgence in every form of appetite and passion to the point where you become enslaved to them.  This is true for heterosexual fornication, marital unfaithfulness, homosexual promiscuity and child molestation.  Enslavement to sexual passions can and often does lead to the destruction of self-control and the inability for individuals to govern themselves.
  • Theft, Plunder and War – Cannot be found in the example of Jesus.
    • Theft is condemned.  Jesus said to the soldier, be content with your wages, this is, do not use your position of power to exhort monies from those subject to your authority.
    • Jesus encouraged work, thrift, good stewardship and investing.
    • Jesus engaged in no wars.
    • Jesus never was involved in forced conversion or beheading.
      • When this was done by Church institutions or the state under the guise or cover of the Church (like the Spanish Inquisition), it was not because they were following the example of Jesus, they were violating it.
  • Assassination – Jesus did not participate in anything like this.  People who do cannot honestly claim to be following Christ regardless of what is stamped on their belt-buckle or hangs around their neck.

Summary and Wrap Up

The debates around Jesus and Muhammad often center around the institutions that arose from some of their followers.  But this is not the same thing as discussing the examples they themselves left.  Any group of people, religious or atheistic, seem to become infected with corruption when they become the state.  Augustine and Calvin pushed for this and have provided the detractors of Christianity many black eyes because of it.  Charles Finney partially went down this road also with deleterious results as Rothbard points out.   Still some successes were had such as William Wilberforce ending slavery in the British empire.

Yet, the abuses that flow from history show a much worse record for Islam and the worse of all for Atheism.  Whenever the state concerns itself with more than justice (not Marxian social justice which is theft and redistribution) and peace it will careen off the tracks and exceed its legitimate jurisdiction.

Never the less, as to examples, Jesus and Muhammad provide very different choices that can not be overcome by the bogus moral equivocation of political correctness.

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Dawkins fails to understand structure.

Dawkins fails to understand structure.

Think of an experience from your childhood. Something you remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there. After all you really were there at the time, weren’t you? How else could you remember it? But here is the bombshell: you weren’t there. Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place …. Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you. Whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff of which you are made. If that does not make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, read it again until it does, because it is important.”  – Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

The last post on this subject was meant to be a more general discussing noting the differences because the materialist/atheist/evolutionary viewpoint and the ancient dualism of the Greek and Hebrews and theism in general.  It is very easy to see the vast superiority of dualism over monism but rarely is a worldview decided by rationality.

One former reader, a Mr. A.M., asserted I did not understand the concept behind Dawkins “MEME” nor the idea behind the transmission and subsequent combination of information as it undergoes “selective pressures” and as matter flows from place to place (as Dawkins puts it) because the structure of matter is maintained.  Even though I gave valid references for its definitions and noted the good Professors books from which his theorems arise, still the critic missed the overall point of the post.

Now, structure can account for some things such as preserving and transfer existing information from place to place and through time.  For example, ink and paper can be used by an author to transmit a story, a theory, arguments, ideas, describe desires, advice, etc.

Gene

In biological systems, the double helix structure of the chromosomes, contain complex combinations of nucleobases held within a phosphate-deoxyribose spine.  The sequencing of the nucleobases (often represented by the letters C, G, A and T) are the source of the information within the DNA that code for protein synthesis.  It is important to understand that neither the DNA, chromosomes, genes, nor the nucleobases themselves are the information (they are not), but the patterns or sequences of the nucleobases are.  It would be the same thing to confuse the ink or even the shape of the ink (such as letters of the alphabet) as the information, when it is really the ink that is used to form letters that are cobbled together to form patterns that follow rules of syntax and grammar, imposed upon some form of matter, that create a language which is the true source of the information.

Letters are symbols used to represent sounds or objects in the real world.  They are organized by people using rules to construct languages so that communication can be facilitated between individuals who have shared understanding of the grammatical rules of that language.  It requires a sender and a receiver with this shared or common understanding to communicate information, ideas, desires, argument or any other incorporeal non-material mental conception via spoken or written language.

The only evidence we really have is that information requires a physical carrier in order to be conveyed to others who understand the same syntax and grammar, whether spoken or written or carved in stone.  There is no evidence that matter or matter’s structure creates this information (let alone ideas, desires, arguments, values, perceptions or moral standards) regardless whether it undergoes selective pressures to preserve and alter the information it carries or not.   An interesting idea for sure, likely born out of the desperation of the materialist to explain the incorporeal, but it is not science.

All known sources of information require an author which means information is the product of a mind.  Even with this, the author requires readers.  If mechanical (say a machine that can read music and play it back on a computer) it must be designed to do so by some entity that understands the information’s syntax and grammar.  It does not magically happen in the real world we live in; only in Dawkins imaginary world does this occur.  Matter does not comprehend syntax, grammar or ideas.  It does not have properties or attributes that are known to allow for this.  Everything that has been observed, and thus can be called science, is that matter can only carry information if an outside influence forces a structure (code, language) upon it.

In order for incorporeal concepts to be passed on to a receiver of these concepts, the receiver must either learn a language or must be programmed or designed in some fashion to understand the concepts that it will receive.  This goes way beyond mere information.  This includes ideas, perceptions, desires, self-awareness, morality, decisions, judgments, perceiving value, beauty, love of music, appreciation of color and composition, creativity, encouragement, kindness, respect, pride and humility, guilt and shame, virtue and honor, hope, faith, logic, articulate speech, design, and in short, anything that defines humanity.   You can believe that matter must have such abilities and you are welcome to such beliefs but don’t pretend its science.

Materialism and its plunge into the abyss of irrationality hides its nakedness in a wordy world of jargon masquerading as science.  Materialistic bias is not science and in fact violates it.  Yet Dawkins must hold on to this worldview, because the alternative is “unthinkable” (Sir Arthur Keith).   There is no backside of Mt. Improbable to climb in slow small incremental steps.

Materialism commits category errors in ascribing abilities to matter and energy it does not have.  It assumes that the effect is greater than the cause and must do so.  It must believe where there is no evidence to believe and insist that it is an evidenced based rational explanation of things it cannot explain.  It must parade itself as an rational alternative theistic dualism by educational monopolies and ad hominem mockery as intimidation because under its layers of wordy edifices there is nothing but naked irrationality and intellectual vacuity.  Yet it passes for science in a world that is easily fooled by skillfully utilized words.  So once again, God is proved by the impossibility of the opposite and mankind’s accountability to its creator is not assuaged.

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