Thursday, June 14, 2012

Roman Catholic Church seeks to own ‘catholic’



Yesterday, His Grace was rather amused by this story. Today, he is rather irritated by it.

It is one thing to be geographically territorial about domain names: by all means, let HM Government own ‘.co.uk’, France own ‘.fr’, Zimbabwe own ‘.zw’, and the Vatican City State own ‘.va’. But by granting contested theological and philosophical terms to one single authority ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is inadvertently arbitrating between competing interpretations and conflicting histories in order to determine an official global orthodoxy.

Vatican City has spent $740,000 in applications for control of the top-level extension ‘.catholic’ (and the equivalent in the Cyrillic, Arabic and Chinese alphabets) and will thereby be able to decide who is permitted to use the term. Msgr. Paul Tighe, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, said that controlling the top-level domain ‘will be a way to authenticate the Catholic presence online’. He confirmed that the Vatican plans only to allow ‘institutions and communities that have canonical recognition’ to use the extension, ‘so people online – Catholics and non-Catholics – will know a site is authentically Catholic’.

That’s nice.

But what of those who contest that the Roman Catholic Church is itself authentically catholic?

Significantly, we read that the Vatican does not plan to allow individual bloggers or 'private Catholics' to use ‘.catholic’. Msgr. Tighe explains that ‘use of the domain would be limited to those with a formal canonical recognition: dioceses, parishes and other territorial church jurisdictions; religious orders and other canonically recognized communities; and Catholic institutions such as universities, schools and hospitals’.

So, His Grace will not be permitted use of ‘anglo.catholic’, and (barring some ecumenical miracle) the Church of England will perpetually be denied use of ‘reformed.catholic’ (which heretical oxymoron is likely to be withheld forever).

What would Shi’a Muslims feel if the Sunnis were to apply for and be granted global control of ‘.Islam’, thereby determining forever the orthodox composition of the Ummah? What would Roman Catholics feel if the Orthodox were granted ‘.Church’? Significantly, Msgr. Tighe said that such concerns had been expressed to ICANN, and the corporation has been warned of possible conflicts, ‘particularly involving religious groups that do not have any clear or strong central leadership’. In consideration of their own application, he said: “We decided we were best suited to apply for ‘.catholic’.

So, that’s alright then.

As at 13th June, there has been one request for ‘.christmas’ (doubtless commercial), but no requests for ‘.christian’. Two applicants have asked for ‘.church’, but no one has asked for ‘.orthodox’, ‘.lutheran’ or ‘.anglican’.

And, frankly, His Grace isn’t surprised at $185,000 per application with an ongoing £25,000 per annum. ICANN is still open to applications, so if His Grace manages to raise £115,000 over the next few weeks, he’ll contest the Vatican’s application.

The thing is – let’s be honest – that ‘.catholic’ would be owned exclusively by the Latin Rite Church of the Western Empire. Its own claims to universality are not shared by the Reformation churches or those of the Orthodox East: we are no longer in an age of cultural and religious unity or linguistic and liturgical uniformity under the authority of the Pope in Rome. The application to own ‘.catholic’ simply because ‘we decided we were best suited’ is the claim of medieval Christendom. It is the Roman Catholic Church which calls itself Catholic, and has done so since the Emperor Constantine pushed through the requisite religio-political formulae to establish politician-bishops at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, whose task it was to quell the rise of the Arian Christians and, indeed, to obliterate them. Since most of the history books of the time were written by (Roman) Catholic clergy, and most of the libraries were owned and run by monks, it is unsurprising that 'Catholic' became synonymous with 'catholic', and Western canon law became systematised and widely inculcated by missionaries of the Nicene vision.

Six years ago, Pope Benedict XVI aroused the ire of ‘the whole Islamic world’ when he quoted a 14th-century Byzantine emperor who observed that Mohammed ‘spread by the sword the faith he preached’. Merely for choosing to repeat this undeniable fact of history, the Pope was deemed to be a ‘bigot’. But the Latin Church is no less guilty of spreading its creed through alliances with powerful military patrons in the West. It, too, has been intolerant and certainly persecuted the Arians and other heretics in a manner no less bloody than that meted out by Mohammed. It was the Archbishop of Canterbury who (politely) reminded Pope Benedict XVI on his visit to the UK that ‘Christians have very diverse views about the nature of the vocation that belongs to the See of Rome’.

And Dr Williams spoke of ‘the Church catholic — East and West, global north and global south’. Martin Luther left a legacy – some call it a wound – which fundamentally challenges still the claim of the Latin Rite Church to be the sole authoritative expression of catholic unity. Protestantism confronted the ‘Magisterium’ and established a decentralised Christianity: catholicity is no longer owned exclusively by the one who calls himself the ‘Successor of Saint Peter in the See of Rome’.

Insofar as the Holy Roman Empire of medieval Western Catholicism is past, and the only resonance of the vision of the Emperor Charlemagne subsists in Europe’s latest falling empire, should not the centralising impulse of the See of Rome be challenged once again, and the symbolic bestowal of ‘.catholic’ be subject to a little more scrutiny than “We decided we were best suited to apply for (it)”?

171 Comments:

Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! Why not have a word with our Orthodox brethren and get them to make a counter-claim for the word 'Pope' - that should scupper the blighters...

14 June 2012 at 09:58  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

I think Cranmer's first reaction was the right one - history shows that there have been holy wars over lesser things than internet addresses

Just wait until the Vatican exercises its right to enter the Eurovision Song Contest!

14 June 2012 at 10:03  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr TBNGU,

Funny you mention that. His Grace had the same thought when he read this:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/30/pope-record-release-alma-mater

14 June 2012 at 10:05  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Mr Cranmer
Surely an eminently sensible move to protect Catholic orthodoxy on-line? It means one can be sure of the authenticity of websites. A bit like an electronic Imprimatur, really. I mean there's so much counterfeit Christianity out there.

You're just peeved they thought of it first. Get over it!

Later I'll join the fray about the Catholic Church being bigger than on of its component parts, the Roman Catholic Church. It is one, world wide universal Church ergo - Catholic.

14 June 2012 at 10:08  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

tory boys

I really do hope so!

If they did enter Eurovision they'd do better than the 'Hump'. Or was it the 'Dick'? I'm sure some Gregorian Chant, mixed with some 'rap' would go down a storm! And the costumes would be a riot.

14 June 2012 at 10:11  
Blogger Galant said...

Dodo, I think the point is that the Vatican should have gone for ".romancatholic", ".rcatholic" or some such variation.

Most people outside of theological circles don't know what 'catholic' means nor the difference between 'Catholic' and 'catholic'. I assume that applies to ICANN and thus they see no issue.

One could argue that its their job to find out, understand such things and then work with them, but I think the greater source of frustration for some lies with the RCC who do understand the difference, and yet make attempts to obtain exclusive rights to the term. All in accordance with their theology though, as I understand it.

14 June 2012 at 10:28  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

Has anyone applied for "England" or "English"? Or even "Scotland" for when the cease to be part of the UK?

14 June 2012 at 10:33  
Blogger Uncial Script said...

So, His Grace will not be permitted use of ‘anglo.catholic’, and (barring some ecumenical miracle) the Church of England will perpetually be denied use of ‘reformed.catholic’ (which heretical oxymoron is likely to be withheld forever).

There has been an ecumenical miracle! - it's called the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

14 June 2012 at 10:43  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Galant

That's certainly the 'spin' being placed on it.

The Vatican is the central point for the world wide Catholic Church and the Pope its leader - and not just the Roman Catholic Church. That's my point. And I don't think you can use higher case letters for online addresses.

14 June 2012 at 10:45  
Blogger Benjamin of Wight said...

Typical Latins...

Ben of the Greek Orthodox Catholic Church.

14 June 2012 at 10:57  
Blogger bluedog said...

What of the Nicaean Creed, your Grace.

Will we Anglicans no longer be able to say that we believe in the Holy Catholic Church? Will error code 404 or the blue screen of death appear as if by a miracle should we utter the word 'Catholic'?

14 June 2012 at 11:19  
Blogger Si Hollett said...

If Nicea allowed political appointments of bishops to crush Arians, why is it that all of Constantine's latter meddling with the church was to attack those defending the agreement reached at the council?

Constantine was baptised by his local bishop - who had moved (changing bishoprics wasn't the done thing) to the Constantinople area for a bigger area before Nicea, where he was deposed (by the church, not the emperor) as the chief Arian defender (only two or three people got deposed by the council and the emperor exiled them - hardly obliteration!). Arius was reinstated, with Athanasius (who is almost the only earthly reason why we still hold to Nicean theology, thanks to political moves by the emperor that suppressed it) exiled for upholding the council's decision that Arius, and Arianism were heterodox and refusing to reinstate him.

Nicea gets a lot of flak and some it is valid, but your paragraph makes it look as if Arianism suffered under Constantine's political bishops, when in fact it thrived and the Nicean orthodox, catholic and apostolic faith was suppressed and nearly obliterated. It's not really the Nicene version of Canon Law, but rather the Constantinian version.

14 June 2012 at 11:48  
Blogger Galant said...

Dodo,

Whilst it could be argued that the common, spoken use of 'catholic' almost always refers to 'Catholic', nevertheless the two words are different.

You insist that the RCC is the centre of the 'catholic' church but that's the whole point, there are massive disagreement on the matter. The bottom line is that this issue is a move towards the ruin of the word 'catholic' in common understanding, by limiting its definition to just 'Catholic'. In order to preserve the word, and thus the understanding of the differences that come with it, a more specific term should have been chosen.

Claiming that this is 'spin' might be possible in discussing the motivations of the Vatican but it does not and cannot apply when discussing the simple facts of the matter.

Using only the word 'catholic' robs the word of its actual meaning and reinforces the understanding that it is simply a proper noun.


The RCC is called the RCC because all the names are necessary for a proper understanding of the organisation.

'Roman Church' isn't sufficient because it might refer only to the church located in Rome. 'Roman Catholic' permits us to understand that what is referred to is the full body of members, around the world, who come under the headship of Rome.

Perhaps the issue is best highlighted by looking at alternatives:

Since 'catholic' means universal, how would it be if the RCC sought to obtain that domain - .universal?

Obviously that word has wider usage, so let's limit it and go instead for - .universalchurch. How does that seem?

14 June 2012 at 11:57  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
I can see your reasons for both emotions but I fail to see the need for concern. This is only going to apply to a small internet group who can easily use another extension. I know there is a deeper concern over their claim to the universal use of the word catholic but unless they can somehow claim by extension that 'catholic' is their word in all circumstances, I fail to see the reason to be bothered about it.

14 June 2012 at 12:26  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

The use of the word 'catholic' to mean 'universal' is almost archaic. Rome may be making a theological claim about itself, but Rome's overuse of the term in reference to itself has turned 'catholic' into a denominational identifier. So it's hard for me to get worked up about this. Let Rome have the word. The tighter its claim of ownership, the quicker the word loses any meaning other than 'The church headed by the Pope in Rome.'

Besides. It will be hysterically funny to watch the reaction of liberal Catholics who find they have been denied use of the '.catholic' extension.

carl

14 June 2012 at 12:46  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

We could however amuse ourselves by thinking up more appropriate extensions for Rome. Like:

'.whoreofbabylon'
'.abominationofdesolation'
'.antichrist'

[skitters away]

carl

14 June 2012 at 13:00  
Blogger Albert said...

Dr C,

This is very daft. Firstly, the use of the term "Catholic" for the Catholic Church goes back at least to Ignatius of Antioch in the early First Century.

Secondly, what about the title "the Church of England". That title excludes every other Christian body in England. Also the CofE claims to be "the Catholic Church in England". Now we can unpack all of that, if you like, but there won't be much left of the poor CofE afterwards.

In the end the Catholic Church is simply wishing for clarity online, which is surely good for everyone. If the CofE, for the same reason managed to get a domain .thechurchof england, one would have to feel pretty inadequate about one's own Christian community to get upset about it.

14 June 2012 at 13:25  
Blogger Anglican said...

I understand that when the Churches of East and West split in the 11th century the Western Church became known as the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Church the Orthodox Catholic Church, but the Orthodox later dropped the word Catholic as they did not want to be confused with the Romans. However the Orthodox still maintain that they are the true Universal (i.e. Catholic) Church. All Churches, if they hold Trinitarian beliefs and accept the Creeds and Holy Scripture are part of the Universal Church.

14 June 2012 at 13:47  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

carl skitters away

In what sense are you using this term?

Do you know the modern day understanding of the word "skitters"?

14 June 2012 at 14:39  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

I don't see why we shouldn't claim what's ours, Cranmer. We don't do compromise, we don't trim and tack, we don't stand for abuse of liturgy (well, not since Benedict took over - definitely my favourite Kraut)and we don't apologize for our existence any more, so get over yourself. We're the Roman Catholic Church - and we're back.

14 June 2012 at 14:42  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Galant

Yes, I get all of that. As I said, one cannot use Catholic - uppercase - as an internet address. It has to be catholic - lower case.

There's no dastardly plot here!

Anglican

The Catholic Church is made up of 23 autonomous particular churches, each of which accepts the paramountcy of the Bishop of Rome on matters of doctrine.

These are all communities of Catholic Christians whose forms of worship reflect different historical and cultural influences rather than differences in doctrine.

The Catholic Church is worldwide. The title Roman Catholic is actually inaccurate if used to refer to all the Churches.

I am a Roman Catholic, a member of the Catholic Church.

carl said ...
"Besides. It will be hysterically funny to watch the reaction of liberal Catholics who find they have been denied use of the '.catholic' extension."

Maybe funny to some but to those who wish to follow the doctrines of the Catholic Church and want to avoid confusion, very helpful.

And, the websites will be muli-lingual too and not exclusively in Latin. Progress, what!

14 June 2012 at 14:46  
Blogger Jim McLean said...

I think Your Grace is being rather short-sighted and gullible. The Vatican is rightly concerned that the word "catholic" on an internet site is not used to corrupt, falsify, mislead or conceal.

From the adolescent who would like to attach porn to a ".catholic" site to the fundamentalist who wishes all non catholics to burn in Hell....the Church has a right and a duty to ensure no one uses their name in a domain that would be harmful.

If you asked 1 million people what kind of webpage they would expect to see if it had the word "catholic" as part of it, I am sure that 99% would assume it has "something to do with" the catholic faith, church, pope, etc.

Use your intellectual genius for more pressing matters, Your Grace.

14 June 2012 at 14:46  
Blogger Atlas Shrugged said...

we are no longer in an age of cultural and religious unity or linguistic and liturgical uniformity under the authority of the Pope in Rome.

No, but 'we' are most conclusively under the authority of the Pope in Rome, whether 'we' know it to be so or not. Which is why 'we' are having this problem, as his Holy Father seeks to make his covert position more overt in nature.

We are about to see this reality establish itself with ever more clarity. At some point the Vaticans long standing authority over Islam will be asserted, but I fear not after much bloodshed, most especially in Muslim countries.

The Vatican is sworn to establish His Holy Fathers terrestrial thrown forever, and has ever intention of keeping to its oaths, however long it takes.

14 June 2012 at 15:03  
Blogger Et Expecto said...

Put simply, there is only one Catholic church, and that is the one headed by Pope Benedict XVI.

14 June 2012 at 15:04  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Atlas

I doubt that would obtain clearance for publication on the .catholic site.

Apart from the idea that the Pope is after a Thrown(!) (tell me you're not a school teacher) it does not reflect Catholic doctrine on the Two Swords and the proper division between spiritual and temporal authority in the modern age.

14 June 2012 at 15:16  
Blogger Preacher said...

So the age old struggle for supremacy & domination is still alive & well.
Personally speaking, I don't belong to a Church. I belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. He bought me at Calvary with His blood. I am therefore a part of the body of Christ on Earth, known as the ekklesia (Called out ones).
The rites, customs & traditions in the Church of Rome belong more to the influence of the Greek teachings & philosophies of Plato, Aristotle & Socrates, than to the original Church, established by Jesus whose origins & teaching was obviously Hebraic.
Constantine's desire to rule the World, caused the re-establishment of Central Buildings (Churches & Cathedrals) to replace the gatherings originally held in the homes of believers. (It's harder to control a group if they are scattered & mobile). It's a very simple pattern, still used in the Communist Countries, "Of course you have freedom of religion & belief, as long as you belong to the State Church". But where is the Holy Spirit working? Where is the Church growing?.
In short,it doesn't matter if a group self appoints itself as the one & only true Church. All the cults do the same. It's time to wake up & search for the truth, didn't Jesus say " I am the Way, the Truth & the Life, no one comes to the Father but through Me"?.

14 June 2012 at 15:34  
Blogger Anglican said...

Dodo,
The Orthodox Churches and the Church of England are also part of the Universal (Catholic) Church (perhaps other Churches also), and have every right to call themselves Catholic. You do not have to owe allegiance to the Pope to be called Catholic, however much you, and the Vatican, may wish that were the case.

It may be God's will, in the future, that all truly Catholic Churches will unite to have one centre of doctrine, which may be Rome. Until that day I remain an Anglican Catholic, a member of the Universal Catholic Church.

14 June 2012 at 15:39  
Blogger Jon said...

It's a bit like the Church of England trying to own the term "marriage". Whatever next!!

14 June 2012 at 15:47  
Blogger Albert said...

Preacher,

I don't belong to a Church. I belong to the Lord Jesus Christ.

I'm just wondering which Bible you are reading, when you make such an opposition.

Constantine's desire to rule the World, caused the re-establishment of Central Buildings (Churches & Cathedrals) to replace the gatherings originally held in the homes of believers.

And which History you are reading. The Armenians were not part of Constantine's plan, but they still had church buildings. Besides, there were such buildings before Constantine - admittedly they were few in number, but this was not because the pure early church felt houses were the only place to worship, but because they did not want to be persecuted.

14 June 2012 at 15:53  
Blogger Oswin said...

Preposterous but typical. I'm only surprised they didn't opt for francise rights of:'Christ-R-Us' or 'God-U-Like' ... although Carl's 'whoreofbabylon' has a certain ring, what?

14 June 2012 at 16:51  
Blogger Preacher said...

Hi there Albert.
The point I am making is that being part of the body of Christ is not dependant on rites, customs & man made traditions. There are many who attend Church & follow its customs, believing that they are saved by the same, but have never repented or accepted that they need the salvation that Jesus Christ alone died to provide. He states that many on the day of judgement will be turned away, despite the fact that they followed a religious tradition that appeared to all intents & purposes to offer security.
When a Church, any Church proclaims it alone has the truth it usually means that those that disagree are persecuted to the point of extinction. History proves this.
This is in stark contradiction to the Lords statement that His followers would be known by their love for one another.
It has to be admitted that much of the present trouble came with the adoption of Greek thought & ideas from Plato & others & that includes elaborate temples & places of worship to their deities. With the seperation of people lnto clergy & laiety, whereas scripture teaches that all true believers are 'Kings & Priests.
IMO there is too much discord, hurt & damage caused by the school of I alone have the truth, the rest of you are wrong, join me or perish.
when men think that way, they are no more than the religious men who thought they were doing God a favour by crucifying Jesus.

(Good to see you back).

Blessings. Preacher.

14 June 2012 at 17:18  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Anglican said ...

"The Orthodox Churches and the Church of England are also part of the Universal (Catholic) Church (perhaps other Churches also), and have every right to call themselves Catholic."

Maybe but they dion't, do they? The Church of England has never called itself the Catholic Church of England. Is it Apostolic succession you are suggesting marks out Catholicism? Some would disagree even with this. Is the Anglican Church a united, world wide Church sharing a common doctrine - The Catholic Anglican Church?

14 June 2012 at 17:24  
Blogger David B said...

I am happy to see it publicised that the RCC is spending 740 grand on registrations.

Perhaps it will persuade some cultural and/or dissatisfied Catholics that there are better uses for their money than to give it to the RCC.

David B

14 June 2012 at 17:31  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Ha, fantastic. Atheists should apply for the name .actualreality too, I reckon.

14 June 2012 at 17:32  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Or "social engineers" register as
.manipulatorsandfraudsters.com

14 June 2012 at 17:37  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

David B

Have you any conception of the amount of money spent worldwide on promoting homosexuality?

The Catholic Church has always spent hugh sums on spreading and protecting the Word of God. Imagine how expensive it was scribing those beautiful Biblical manuscripts centuries ago. Or building a worldwide network of Churches and Cathedrals.

Money extremely well spent, I'd say!

14 June 2012 at 17:42  
Blogger Atlas Shrugged said...

Our illustrious Dildo, sorry Dodo, has this to say.

"I mean there's so much counterfeit Christianity out there."

Could not agree more, however many Christians know exactly from where this counterfeiting is emanating. Which of course goes a long way in explaining why a certain religious institution based in Rome, has been slaughtering real Christians all over the world for nearly two thousand years and counting.

The he goes on to state.

Later I'll join the fray about the Catholic Church being bigger than one of its component parts, the Roman Catholic Church. It is one, world wide universal Church ergo - Catholic.

Again I could not agree more. The RCC is far bigger then it may appear to be, and that is already big enough.

Given the perfectly immense, power, wealth, influence, and experience of The RCC in all aspects of our temporal and spiritual existence, are you not disappointed, to say the very least that this world remains infested with disease, poverty, and general economic and social chaos?

Strange, is it not, that the ONLY institution charged with sufficient wealth and power to destroy evil in the world, has not only failed for almost 2 thousand years, but has so much power that it has up to now avoided all responsibility for this total failure?

Of course to conclude that The RCC has failed, assumes that it ever intended to succeed, which IMO it never did, and still does not.

The RCC is like social work, our entire criminally minded injustice system, and government in general. If they succeeded in their supposed task, the people concerned would all be permanently out of a job.

14 June 2012 at 18:17  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Mr Shrugged, you mad thing ! And your evidence is ? Thinks one may have requested this from you before...

14 June 2012 at 18:35  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Atlas said ...

"Strange, is it not, that the ONLY institution charged with sufficient wealth and power to destroy evil in the world, has not only failed for almost 2 thousand years, but has so much power that it has up to now avoided all responsibility for this total failure?"

Er, sorry, but just when and where was the Christian Church given this responsibility to destroy all evil in the world?

Please cite the Biblical passages.

14 June 2012 at 18:52  
Blogger David C Nicoll said...

It is absolutely right that the rights to .catholic are controlled by the Bishop of Rome. As for your objections, Your Grace, might I ask you to visit any Anglican parish in the country and ask where you can find the local catholic Church. You won't be pointed to the CofE. The CofE is is schism, and so is not Catholic.

14 June 2012 at 18:57  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Atheists should apply for the name .actualreality

Of course '.nihilism&despair' would be more accurate.

carl

14 June 2012 at 19:09  
Blogger len said...

I am with you on this one Preacher!.(14 June 2012 15:34)

It is possible to belong to' the Church' but not belong to the Body of Christ.(Jesus himself states this.) Matthew 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Anyone can join' the Church' but you have to be re-born into the Body of Christ.This is a spiritual 'Oneness with Christ' not a following of religious rituals.

14 June 2012 at 19:18  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Just a thought, but for a collective high level domain name for the protestant churches how about ‘.notomarythemotherofgod’

14 June 2012 at 19:28  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "Of course '.nihilism&despair' would be more accurate."

Ha. When I'm fighting the waves surfing, or standing on top of a mountain when the freezing wind is trying to sweep me off, I'm as exhilarated as I reckon I can possibly be. Our world is absolutely astonishing when you open your eyes to it and live for the moment. You simply wish some or all of us were in despair in order to validate your socially-conditioned religious view. Sorry, no can do.

14 June 2012 at 19:32  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Even thinking those thoughts now have made my blood surge! Raaaaaa! :)

14 June 2012 at 19:33  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0.and live for the moment.

Ah yes, a true hedonistic gay !

14 June 2012 at 19:54  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

It's the atheist 'hat' at the moment, Inspector. Keep up.

14 June 2012 at 20:02  
Blogger Orlando Braga said...

The argument is understandable, your Eminence, but the truth is that the Church of England is not catholic; and she apparently is proud of not being it. So, she would not be worried about that new .catholic thing.

The Church of England was once catholic, until a certain king thought he could be entitled to marry eight wives and kill some of them in a sort of 'medieval litigious divorce'. And that was the main reason why the Church of England split from the catholic church.

Words do matter. And we all now understand, in these times of troubles, why it is so important that the catholic church coincides with its own state.

14 June 2012 at 20:03  
Blogger Atlas Shrugged said...

Please cite the Biblical passages.

14 June 2012 18:52

There are none, for surely it was us the people who wrongly believed that The RCC were supposed to be acting against the forces of evil, mainly because they claimed they were when holding out the collection plate.

For I am sure that if the people had know then, what many know today, the RCC and later The Anglican church would have gone bust many full moons ago.

Evil stems from the hierarchy, it is the vast majority of the ordinary people who are the only repository of good in the material world.

They are the docile sheep being periodically fleeced, and their respective hierarchy's are the predatory wolves often feasting on their carcasses.

Our owners see nothing particularly wrong with this arrangement indeed they fine it suits them rather well.

They genuinely believe, with perhaps some justification, that we would still be swinging in the trees if it were not for their 'guidance.'

Of course we can only guess as to what the world would be like if Satan had not infiltrated the minds and bodies of our owners countless thousands of years ago, however IMO we would be living in something very close to what most would believe to be Paradise on Earth.

On this particular subject I give as biblical reference the entire Book of Genesis, and much of the rest of the Old and New Testament.

BTW.

Have you actually read it yet?

I do not claim to be a theologian, indeed I do not even claim to be a Christian, Jew, or Muslim. However you seem to claim to be some kind of practicing Christian, yet seem not to have understood a single verse of scripture.

14 June 2012 at 20:07  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. Iran is rather nice at this time of year you know; you really should. As for himself, the Inspector is looking forward to his time in the English Lakes. That’s where discerning types head for. No ‘fruits of the Empire’ crime there...

14 June 2012 at 20:08  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Atlas

So, in summary, and not to put too fine a point on it, there is absolutely no evidence and that outburst was without foundation and is simply the result of your fertile imagination.

14 June 2012 at 20:13  
Blogger anna anglican said...

Hi Your Grace,

Has anyone noticed how "gay" those vicars are with their pink hats! Perhaps they are sending a secret message to the gay Catholic/catholic community?

14 June 2012 at 21:10  
Blogger anna anglican said...

wow! Just read the other threads. Apparently Dodo's first name is Peter? I really thought he was a John for some reason.

14 June 2012 at 21:14  
Blogger anna anglican said...

Your Grace, how much is the Anglican Church going to have to pay for "anglican"? I mean we can just about scrap together enough money for repairs to the roof of the grade II listed building (after the gypsies took all the lead), let alone pay $748,000 for a name! Blimey is the Church of Rome knee deep in wealth or what?

14 June 2012 at 21:18  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Ah, there you are Anna. It’s high time you found yourself a good man and started knocking those babies out, you know. You Kavanaghs owe it to the world to continue the line...

14 June 2012 at 21:21  
Blogger Albert said...

Preacher,

Thank you for your comment. Rather than pick my way through I would make two points:

1. I think you and I are more kindred spirits than it appears. We've ended up in quite different places, but I think we both have the same fundamental aim so far as grace gives us strength: to be faithful to the revelation of God in Jesus Christ.

2. Do you realise how your position looks very much as if it is shaped by a reaction to Catholicism?

14 June 2012 at 21:23  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Inspector @ 20.08, if you haven't done so already, check out Cartmel just south of the Lake District.

14 June 2012 at 22:19  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Anna
John is a great name - "God is Gracious", indicating the birth of a child was His gift. The Apostle was also the most loved of Jesus' friends and the longest lived.

I was named Peter because, as I've said, my own father was Jewish. It was his statement of intent naming his first born son after the rock of faith upon which Christ established His church. Because of this the name has, in some respects, been a burden. John would have set an easier set of expectations to achieve.

And Cardinals hats are red - representing the blood of Christ.

Were the gypsies Irish Travellers? If so, have a word with the local Catholic Priest before he next hears confession and God may see to it that the lead is returned.

14 June 2012 at 22:23  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Will do, that hound, and delighted to see there is a railway station there. Your man enjoys public transport as he can drink to excess and then some...

14 June 2012 at 22:24  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

The Apostle’s Creed and the Nicean Creed both say “I believe in the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. The application to own the word ‘Catholic’ is therefore not the claim of medieval Christendom but existed from the time of the apostles. With regard to the Arian heresy, it is clear that from 325 when the Nicean Creed was published until about 381, it was in fact Arian bishops in the Church who persecuted orthodox catholics like St. Athanasius. There was a lot of disagreement at that time but your assertion that it was the Arians who were persecuted does not I think give a correct historical picture.

The Catholic Church is one and it is apostolic. Protestantism is not one. In fact its most obvious characteristic is disunity and division. Neither is it apostolic. Only the church to which Christ said “On this rock I will build my church … whatsoever you bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven and whatsoever you loose upon Earth will be loosed in Heaven” can claim to be Catholic. Put those words of Our Lord beside the statement in this blog that “Christians have very diverse views about the nature of the vocation that belongs to the See of Rome” and we see that Protestantism continues to deny the authority Jesus invested in St. Peter. After all what does anglo-catholic or reformed catholic mean except division and an unwillingness to believe Our Lords promise to guide the Church he founded. He said “Father may they all be one”. That can’t happen if every group claims their own authority.

There is a lot wrong with the Catholic Church today but there was a lot wrong with the Jewish Church in the time of the ancient prophets but none of them broke the unity as did Martin Luther and Henry VIII. The whole of the Old Testament is about Almighty God complaining that Jewish Leaders were not following the true faith but he never abandoned them so why does Protestantism claim that Almighty God abandoned his church? Then there was the Samaritans and Sadducees and probably others who wished to re-interpret scripture but even though Jesus criticised the Jewish Leaders as “whitewashed sepulchres” he still told the people to follow their teaching because they occupied the chair of Moses. That was a parable which predicted the Protestant Reformation and should motivate our Protestant friends who believe in the divinity of Christ to listen to his words and come back into the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church which he founded.

14 June 2012 at 22:31  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Atlas said "it is the vast majority of the ordinary people who are the only repository of good in the material world."

Don't you believe in the doctrine of Original Sin or do you think it only applies to Church leaders?

14 June 2012 at 22:38  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Inspector

The Lake District is a wonderful choice for a holiday. I have a suggestion. Consider taking board at one of the excellent local hostelries.

14 June 2012 at 22:50  
Blogger Preacher said...

Albert.
I think you may well be right with number 1, & I can understand that my position could appear to be a reaction to Catholicism. But this is not the case. My one desire is to be rid of the false religious burdens that many branches of the church have invented that breed hate & prejudice to keep the laymen in order through fear & ignorance.

These IMO are a main root cause of the many who reject the gospel. As the actions of many members show no love for each other. Let alone those that remain lost. We need to return to the gospel that sets men free, gives them hope & certainty for eternity. Exhilaration as Danjo said earlier but greater freedom & joy than they ever thought possible.
Not the musty dead rites, or the high amplification shows that so often passes for Christian worship now days.
In many cases we all have to admit that we've been so preoccupied with religion that just like Joseph & Mary we've left Jesus behind & we haven't noticed that He's missing yet. the only way forward is to go back & find Him.

14 June 2012 at 22:57  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Preacher, We are agreed. I count myself among those who need to show more love. I think however, that we have been less preoccupied with religion than worldly pleasure and wealth. It is also true I think that most people do not consider that they have spiritual authority and vast numbers want proper leadership. Because of Original Sin, people need a religious structure guaranteed by Almighty God rather than having to rely on their own opinions which they do not trust because they recognize their weakness. Almighty God gave us this structure and it is called the Catholic Church.

14 June 2012 at 23:18  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Preacher

As I recall the account, Jesus was eventually found in His Father's House, the Temple, teaching the leaders of the Jews the law of Moses.

In my opinion, what has happened within Catholicism is that people no longer understand the meaning behind the great ceremonies and rites of the Church. The answer is not to abandon and/or modernise Church practices further and to dismantle the institution, but to ensure both Priests and laity appreciate the external signs of the inward grace the Church bestows.

Underlying your statement are a series of assumptions that do reflect a reaction against the Catholic Church and its ways.

14 June 2012 at 23:24  
Blogger Atlas Shrugged said...

The Way of Dodo the Dude said...
Atlas

So, in summary, and not to put too fine a point on it, there is absolutely no evidence and that outburst was without foundation and is simply the result of your fertile imagination.

14 June 2012 20:13

Your choice.

I give as evidence virtually the entire Holy Bible, and you consider this to be offering no evidence at all.

Jesus wept.

15 June 2012 at 01:21  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Atlas

You gave no such thing!

Point to any passage in the Bible where it says the Catholic Church is charged with destroying all evil from the world.

15 June 2012 at 01:30  
Blogger Atlas Shrugged said...

Dear Dodo

Can you not read?

I have already stated that there is NO evidence in the bible that the RCC is charged in this matter by the one true GOD. I said it is claimed by The RCC itself. Indeed this is claimed by almost all religions. It is an important source of funding.

The evidence that you cannot trust this claim is in the Bible, you dim wit.

Ok if you cannot be bothered to read the thing, after all it is rather long, contains many words of over one syllable, and does require a Hebraic translation for a proper understanding, therefore try just reading the following bit instead.

Revelation Chapter 17.

You know the bit Roman Catholics are told, indeed ordered to ignore, for highly understandable reasons.

The entire book is based on Babylonian Mysticism, as many theologians are very well aware.

This does not however mean that Jesus Christ did not exist, neither does it mean that he was not what he claimed to be.

It is made apparent by those who quote the words, and report the actions of Jesus Christ that he spoke in direct contradiction to the powers that were then, and still are today.

The entire book was corrupted to varying degrees, to fit as well as possible with the former belief system, which dates back as far as 100,000 years or more. These hierarchical powers shortly became embodied within The RCC itself, as is made perfectly clear from our own high school history books.

What do you not understand?

If the RCC, had ever been a force for good in the world, then after around 1,700 years of virtually running the entire show, the world would be good by now. The fact that it is not now, and has not been at any time leading up to this very day, says much of great importance.

The Mission of Jesus Christ to bring truth to the world 1, The true mission of The Roman Catholic Church to bring division, usury, death, torture, deception and confusion to everything it touches 5, with 2 mins of extra time left in the game.

Jesus did not claim that ancient mysticism was incorrect, he was after all a Jew, and so a true believer in the Old teachings.

He preached against the manifest evil of priest-hoods, princes and potentates, who used the power of their knowledge, and lineage to utterly abuse, misguide and often murder with menaces the common people at will.

You will please note that a God revealed himself to Moses and Abraham, who were already leaders of their people, but not to the common people themselves on mass.

I suggest that the God of The Bible, shortly after the first few verses was not in fact our creator God, but was a high representative of a partly alien race, sometimes known as Satan, on serious maneuvers.

Moses and Abraham were deceived by the same power as Eve.

However please feel free to come to your own conclusion based on the evidence provided within Holy scripture.

15 June 2012 at 03:42  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

Our world is absolutely astonishing when you open your eyes to it and live for the moment

You never have really understood what I mean when I speak of meaningless and despair in your worldview. And yet here you go and illustrate it without even knowing what you are doing.

You are reduced to finding purpose in experience. We all live in that transient ephemeral instant called 'now' which passes as soon as it arrives. You have nothing from which to draw meaning but the transient experience of 'now.' It's by nature both internal to man, and self-centered in its logic. It's pleasure and happiness and self-indulgence transmuted into purpose.

But of course this logic has two devastating flaws.

1. It has no answer for suffering and pain.

2. It has no remedy when the certain expectation of the future is unrequited suffering and pain.

In these things, you can find no meaning. You can only find meaninglessness and despair. You have no answer for the parents whose child simply disappears one day never to return. You have no answer for the woman whose baby is born dead. You can say "Bad luck." You can say "I'm feel bad for you." What you can't say is "There is a purpose in this" because according to your logic of your worldview, there isn't any purpose. It would have to be found externally but you have precluded all externals. There is just the pain and suffering that attends living in that moment, and the certain expectation that the pain and suffering will be carried forward into all future moments.

Ultimately the logic behind your view of purpose depends upon a man being able to "purchase" (and not necessarily with money) that experience. What if he can't? What if he isn't a footloose well-heeled man with disposable income able to go on exotic vacations. What if he is a Russian peasant condemned to live in the moment of a Ukrainian winter after the Communists came and took all the food. What if his expectation for the next few months of moments is to watch his children slowly starve to death. That is when he will encounter meaninglessness and despair. And that is when you will turn away in silence because you have no answer for him. To find meaning in the experience of the moment, you must trust to luck that your moments will never turn dark and your future will never collapse into irredeemable pain.

It is not a coincidence that atheists are closely tied to 'right to die' movements. When men can no longer 'purchase' the experience, and loses the expectation that he will ever regain that purchasing power, then his life becomes meaningless and he turns in despair to suicide. He calls it autonomy, but in truth he has only given evidence of the vacuum at the center of his life.

carl

15 June 2012 at 05:36  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Oh dear, Altas is a clone of Len or Srizals. By that I mean they keep re-iterating the same assumptions with no evidence and accuse others of being indoctrinated. To mention that your evidence is all of the Bible is a cop out. Give us chapter and verse particularly with reference to the claim about Babylonian mysticism. Think about it - Babylonian rituals are I suspect more like the satanic oaths of Freemasonry.

15 June 2012 at 06:28  
Blogger len said...

Many different ideas from the Babylonian religion have come down through the generations. Probably the key doctrine is that of the mother-son relationship. As the Babylonian people were scattered throughout the world, they took with them the idea that Semiramis had miraculously conceived and given birth to Nimrod reincarnated. Thus, all through the world, men began to worship a divine mother and god-child, long before the birth of Christ. The woman appears in different ways, and is called by different names, but she is always the same person. The Chinese called her Shingmoo. The Germans worshipped Hertha. The Scandanavians worshipped Sisa. In India, she was known as Indrani.(8) But the woman was really Semiramis, the queen of Babylon. Even Israel, when it fell into apostasy, worshipped Ashteroth, who was known to the Jews as the "queen of Heaven" as told in Jeremiah 44:17-19. The spread of this doctrine was great at the time of Christ. (lifted from 'Mystery Babylon the Great' Angelfire see site for full article and more revelations!.)

The Babylonian Roots of Catholicism

Shacklefree, do any symbols of the Babylonian religion appear in Catholicism?.
'
I am not going to' spoon feed you on this but here is one clue does the Mother/Son relationship appear in Catholicism?.

15 June 2012 at 07:43  
Blogger len said...

The Roman Catholic Church seeks to own 'Catholic'.
No surprise here!.

The Roman Catholic Church sought to completely control salvation and curses anyone who states that salvation can be found outside of the RCC.

This is a 'control thing'and a means of keeping the 'masses'(no pun intended)in a state of fear and subjugation to the Roman Catholic Church (and it works as long as the inmates are' kept in the dark')

15 June 2012 at 07:53  
Blogger David B said...

@ Carl

Do you really think religion gives an answer to the problem of evil?

I don't, any more then Epicurus did

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

You seem to have a reasoning process along these line.

'Without pie in the sky when you die there is no meaning or purpose.

I don't like to think that there is no meaning or purpose.

Therefore there is pie in the sky when you die'

I think your misconception comes from a mistaken idea of the nature meaning and purpose.

You seem to think that without some absolute meaning and purpose, then there is no meaning or purpose at all.

I think this deeply mistaken, viewing as I do both meaning and purpose as emergent qualities of the universe, which co-evolve, so to speak, with evolved organisms with agency.

It is rather presumptuous of you to say that atheists can find no meaning or purpose in their lives.

We certainly can, even if it is not the sort of absolute that you seem to want.

The difference is that the sort of purpose we have is real, while fobbing off starving peasants with assurances of pie in the sky when they die for their dying children and themselves is a cruel lie.

David B

15 June 2012 at 08:37  
Blogger Preacher said...

Dodo.
Yes, Jesus was in the temple. His Fathers House, about His Fathers Business. The point being,that they had lost Him in the excitement of the religious rites & had to Go Back a long way to find Him.
If religious structure, rites & ceremonies were enough to bring us to God. The Jews of Jesus' time had it in trumps, with more rules & rituals than you can shake a stick at. So why did He come? Because the law was given as a temporary measure of our behaviour, until the coming of the prophesied Messiah who would fulfil the Law by His sacrifice & reveal the age of grace. The Apostle Paul tells all of this in the book of Romans & Hebrews explains it further.
Many things happened on the day of the Lord's crucifixion, one of them was the barrier of the curtain in the temple being rent in two, which opened the way for all believers to approach the mercy seat of God.
In A.D 70 the Temple was destroyed, as it had fulfilled its purpose. Man was set free by the Blood of the Lamb. Good men guided the early believers & for 300+ years the ekklesia grew & thrived, despite persecution. But tares were sown by the enemy & eventually sprung up amongst the wheat. the freedom of the first believers was too heady for some, & men were appointed or appointed themselves & took them back to the 'Egypt' of religious rites, tradition & ceremony that had existed in the temple worship before Jesus' sacrifice. This suited many, as they no longer had to think for themselves (they had professionals to do it for them). So they became institutionalised & lost the power of the Holy Spirit in their lethargy. More rites & Myths were added over the centuries & Hey Presto! much of 21st century Christianity.
I'm sorry if you feel that I am in some way anti Catholic as this is not true. I only endeavour to make men think, whoever & wherever they are & no matter what they do or don't believe.

15 June 2012 at 09:01  
Blogger William said...

David B

Unless the universe itself is sentient, how can meaning and purpose emerge from it? Surely meaning and purpose are exclusively qualities/attributes of sentience?

15 June 2012 at 09:02  
Blogger William said...

David B

If there is no evil then there is no good. If there is no good and evil then there is no free will. If there is no free will then there is no love. If there is no love then there is no God.

15 June 2012 at 10:51  
Blogger Hugh said...

Your Grace,

Whenever I say the Creed I wonder on the distinction between the Holy Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic Church. Pedantic huh!

This attempt to arrogate the word Catholic exclusively to the RCC is consistent with so much modern practice including the move by certain parties to hijack the meaning of marriage from its historical and biological context.

Fight the Good Fight with all thy might your Grace.

15 June 2012 at 11:25  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Inspector,Anna does not need a man per se to have babies . All she needs is a baster filled with semen from a donor and she can have children and marry her girlfriend in the Anglican Church.

15 June 2012 at 11:41  
Blogger Albert said...

Preacher,

My one desire is to be rid of the false religious burdens that many branches of the church have invented that breed hate & prejudice to keep the laymen in order through fear & ignorance.

We can all agree on that, the question is whether we are right in identifying it in others. Probably the things I think of as either being instituted by Christ or as expressing what he has instituted, you regard as man made inventions. Likewise, what you think of as liberating people from such, I regard as human attacks on what Christ has instituted, human attacks which prevent people from believing the gospel by sowing division, hatred and confusion. Above all they undermine the unity that is an expression of Christian love, and which cannot ultimately fail, because it was prayed for by Christ.

Not the musty dead rites

But this is just an expression of your own spiritual/aesthetic. Actually, it is very often the traditional beauty that awakens people's spiritual response and sustains them. And looking at the Bible, who can be surprised? The worship of heaven in the book of Revelation is some kind of liturgy with liturgical elements that you find in traditional Catholicism. Where are these elements in your Christian community?

Similarly, if you look at the CofE, while all around congregations are shrinking, it is the Cathedrals with their beautiful and old liturgies, stretching back in present form for centuries, and in basis well beyond that, that are growing.

So this matter is not at all as clear as your own diagnosis would imply.

15 June 2012 at 11:51  
Blogger David B said...

@ William who said

"Unless the universe itself is sentient, how can meaning and purpose emerge from it? Surely meaning and purpose are exclusively qualities/attributes of sentience?"

I agree that meaning and purpose are exclusively qualities or attributes of sentience.

Sentience I see as an attribute of an evolved and developed nervous system, a dynamic structure. Not something contained in the atoms an molecules that make up the dynamic structure, because when the dynamic structure breaks down, as in death, then sentience ceases.

In short, sentience has evolved, and continues to do so.

And @ William who further said

"If there is no evil then there is no good. If there is no good and evil then there is no free will. If there is no free will then there is no love. If there is no love then there is no God."

Oddly enough falling in love is on of the things I consider less free in the human condition. In my experience it is not something I could ever switch on or off as an act of will.

Good and evil don't exist, I think, when viewed from an ultra reductive stance, but I am not an ultra reductionist.

To my mind good and evil exist as constructs of the sort of mind which can, and indeed I'd suggest must, make value judgements.

Free will? There is a fine book, which I commend to you, called 'Freedom Evolves'.

I defend a compatibilist free will capable of making morally significant choices.

As far as I can see whether or not there is love in the universe says nothing about the existence or otherwise of any god or gods.

Love, again, I see as an emergent phenomenon, resting in dynamic structures rather than in atoms and molecules. There can be, and often is, love in a human being, but not in a corpse.

David B

15 June 2012 at 14:29  
Blogger Pétrus said...

His Grace is clearly unaware that Anglicans are but Catholics in schism from the "One True Church".

We have many returning to the fold such as The Ordinariate. I like to think that were His Grace to still inhabit this world corporeally he would be at the vanguard of this movement.

15 June 2012 at 14:44  
Blogger Albert said...

I'm just wondering, David B if you are a materialist.

15 June 2012 at 16:05  
Blogger David B said...

@ Albert

Insofar as I accept the meaningfulness of such concepts as truth, freedom, love..... then no, I am not a materialist, though my views have something in common with materialism.

I prefer the term 'naturalist'. I would regard myself as a methodological and metaphysical naturalist, both.

To quote Wiki on metaphysical nauralism

"Metaphysical naturalism is a philosophy which maintains that nature encompasses all that exists throughout space and time. Nature (the universe or cosmos) consists only of natural elements, that is, of spatiotemporal physical substance—mass–energy. For example, astronomer Carl Sagan described the cosmos as "all that is or ever was or ever will be."[1] Non-physical or quasi-physical substance, such as information, ideas, values, logic, mathematics, intellect, and other emergent phenomena, either supervene upon the physical or can be reduced to a physical account. The supernatural does not exist, which is to say, only nature is real"

Does that help?

David B

15 June 2012 at 16:44  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "You never have really understood what I mean when I speak of meaningless and despair in your worldview."

Well, I actually hope that's true. You see, it seems to carry some sort of value sub-text with it when you say it.

"You are reduced to finding purpose in experience."

I'd rather think of it as growing up into recognising that experience is everything for us. Otherwise, we'd be saying children are reduced into thinking that Father Christmas doesn't actually exist afterall.

Obviously when they do that some childish sense of magic and comfort goes out of the window but, well, it's better to see things in a more realistic way, I think.

"In these things, you can find no meaning. You can only find meaninglessness and despair."

I'm reminded here of the modern understanding that our ancestors worshipped the sun, or various capricious gods, to make sense of catastrophes or other life-changing events in their world.

I don't mind at all if you essentially reduce your religious beliefs to the role of a comfort blanket but you need to realise that not all of us require a special blankie to be able to sleep at night.

"But of course this logic has two devastating flaws."

Ah, you see this is where it becomes a bit intellectually offensive. There isn't really a logic there and the so-called flaws come from your assumptions and desires.

I've noticed there's usually a sub-text with your positions. For instance, your show about absolute morality seems to boil down to:

The notion of an external morality giver is tidier than relative morality or a more sophisticated hybrid (therefore an external morality-giver is real).

Or, when it boils down to it:

The notion of an external morality giver is tidier than relative morality (therefore the external morality giver in my religion is true).

Here, it's a version of this:

An external giver of meaning is more comforting than people giving their lives local meaning (therefore an external giver of meaning is real).

I have a slightly offbeat analogy which might help for silent readers who have a mathematical bent. All this is quite similar in some respects to Kurt Gödel's first incompleteness theorem when applied to morality and meaning.

That is, colloquially, one needs something outside of a consistent system in order for the system to be complete. But the requirement in that is the consistency.

The human condition appears to have evolved over a long period of time. Moreover, we see consciousness in lots of other species. Internal consistency is not actually a requirement here. Religious people on the whole seem to need it to feel comfortable. People like me do not.

15 June 2012 at 17:16  
Blogger Albert said...

Yes, very helpful, David B.

Nature, being non-sentient, presumably has no intentions. I mean the stuff of which we are made has no intentions, in itself. Do you agree with that?

15 June 2012 at 17:17  
Blogger Anglican said...

Dodo

The Church of England says the Creeds - 'we believe in the holy, catholic apostolic church', and prays for the 'good estate of the Catholic Church. It is Catholic, though reformed (admittedly many have always regarded themselves as protestant; some are sadly unaware of their church's catholic heritage). It has never claimed to be more than a (small) part of the Universal Catholic Church.

15 June 2012 at 17:38  
Blogger Albert said...

Anglican,

It has never claimed to be more than a (small) part of the Universal Catholic Church.

Which other Christian communities are part of the "Universal Catholic Church"?

15 June 2012 at 18:03  
Blogger David B said...

@ Albert

That is indeed my view.

David B

15 June 2012 at 18:07  
Blogger Albert said...

David B,

So, you believe the following:

1. Nature has no intentions.
2. Human beings are purely nature.

Now, prima facie, the conclusion ought to be:

3. Therefore, human beings have no intentions.

And yet, this is a conclusion that you deny (I think). So something isn't right higher up in the reasoning or premises.

Just wondering what you think of that really.

15 June 2012 at 18:27  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Cressida. Inspector,Anna does not need a man per se to have babies . All she needs is a baster filled with semen from a donor and she can have children and marry her girlfriend in the Anglican Church…

If she can marry her girlfriend in a renegade Anglican church, then it’s hardly surprising the RCC, or Mother Church, does not recognize the ministry of any of the Anglican clerics. This ‘anything now goes’ attitude in some of God’s Anglican houses in England is so depressing…

15 June 2012 at 18:51  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Plus - there's a whole new set of theological issues there concerning the proper and God intended means of achieving pregnancy!

15 June 2012 at 18:59  
Blogger William said...

Not to mention depriving the child of a father.

15 June 2012 at 19:09  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. The Inspector remembers problems from the test tube baby days, when it was in the news. Some baby boys were found to have deformed ureters in the penis. It can out at an angle requiring corrective surgery. Of course, this was due to scientists selecting one sperm from the mess before them. It’s not for nothing that the ‘strongest swimmers’ get the prize of the egg. Now, that was an obvious deformity. God knows what else those poor unfortunates who are here today from this technology have wrong with them.

Jury still out as to the true extent of lesbianism. Whenever the Inspector comes across them in the local press, often for benefit fraud, they’ve managed to knock out a couple of kids natures way, no problem. Could be that the tag is yet another the walking wounded like to pin to their tops, for no apparent proper reason. If you lack self discipline, you’ll grab anything that accounts for your moral lacking...

15 June 2012 at 19:11  
Blogger David B said...

Albert, who said

'So, you believe the following:

1. Nature has no intentions.
2. Human beings are purely nature.

Now, prima facie, the conclusion ought to be:

3. Therefore, human beings have no intentions.

And yet, this is a conclusion that you deny (I think). So something isn't right higher up in the reasoning or premises.

Just wondering what you think of that really.'

OK, I maintain that nature as a whole is not sentient, and therefore has no intentions.

However, this does not preclude some natural things becoming sentient, and having intentions.

Back to the relevant part of the wiki quote I provided

'Non-physical or quasi-physical substance, such as information, ideas, values, logic, mathematics, intellect, and other emergent phenomena, either supervene upon the physical or can be reduced to a physical account.'

Sentience and intention fit in there, quite naturally, to my mind.

Let us try another way.

Atoms have no intentions

Intentional beings are made of atoms

Intention is a phenomenon which emerges from particular dynamic structures of atoms.

I wouldn't see 'sentience exists therefore God' or 'Intentions exist therefore God' as strong arguments.

David B

15 June 2012 at 19:34  
Blogger anna anglican said...

But i don't have a girlfriend (sadly!).

I wonder if Dodo's objections also apply to hetrosexuals who can't have children through natural means.

Also the comment about not having a father- so do many hetrosexual families!

15 June 2012 at 19:39  
Blogger anna anglican said...

@inspector, I'm a gay silly! Do keep up!

15 June 2012 at 19:40  
Blogger Albert said...

David,

However, this does not preclude some natural things becoming sentient, and having intentions.

At the level of logic, you are of course, quite correct. But if you think your position can only be shown to be unreasonable if it is shown to involve a contradiction, then I can only assume that you would allow the same for everyone, in which case, any coherent view becomes reasonable.

I'm more interested in this move:

'Non-physical or quasi-physical substance, such as information, ideas, values, logic, mathematics, intellect, and other emergent phenomena, either supervene upon the physical or can be reduced to a physical account.'

What's your evidence? Because at the moment we are left with nature producing something which is quite different from nature per se. Something which has powers that nature cannot have. Something that is, in a sense, able to transcend the very nature from which is it is made and which makes it. I don't say this is contradictory, but it is perhaps superstitious. What's your evidence for it?

15 June 2012 at 19:43  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

David B. Lets start with us. Quite amazing organisms aren’t we. We are either the result of inert matter becoming ert, all by itself or we are a designed creation by something that was always there, is and always will be.

Now, one of those is true and other one is patently fantasy. Either way, it is remarkable we are here at all, don’t you think. A bit early in the day to put all your money on one or the other.

15 June 2012 at 19:46  
Blogger anna anglican said...

@Atlas Shrugged, oh I know, I know!I just called the Vatican, (I didn't realise the about Pope.B ., lives in Pudsey) but it went to voice mail :

"Greetings. Please select one of the following options.

The Working Group for Global Domination (the Vatican, bilderberg group, the council on foreign relations,the messengers of the Sion Priory, the Zionist Elders, uncle tom cobblie)does not exist. Members please press 1.

If you are a European leader seeking a secret bailout, please press 2.

If you are Chinese or Arab leader seeking assistance purchasing another Beverly Hills mansion with cash, please press 3.

If you are a domestic banker seeking another tranch of our $29 trillion in backstop funding, please press 4.


If you are an incumbent POTUS seeking re-election in a recessionary year, please press 5.

If you represent one of our proxy trading desks, please press 6 for your S&P 500 futures purchase instructions. As a reminder, please trade your own account via black pools.


If you are a Middle Eastern tyrant, who wants to brutally masscre your own people, but wants the world to do bugger all about it, please press 7.

If you are the President of Argentina or For bulk purchases of Hopium and/or Delusionol, please press 8."

15 June 2012 at 19:56  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Anna. Not an insurmountable problem (...useful word that one, in the circumstances...). What you need to do is to acclimatise yourself to becoming a mother in the way God intended. Suggest you undress every now and then, and imagine yourself being taken by a man. One with grey black hair, for example. You’ll soon come round to the idea. There you are, something to do at home when you’re bored...

15 June 2012 at 19:59  
Blogger David B said...

@ Albert, who said

'What's your evidence? Because at the moment we are left with nature producing something which is quite different from nature per se. Something which has powers that nature cannot have. Something that is, in a sense, able to transcend the very nature from which is it is made and which makes it. I don't say this is contradictory, but it is perhaps superstitious. What's your evidence for it?'

It seems scientifically very clear now that the universe was once a very hot collection of sub-atomic particles, but as the universe expanded and cooled atoms of hydrogen and helium condensed out, and these atoms are very different from sub-atomic particle.

In time and with the aid of gravity lots of atoms got drawn together to form stars, which are very different from the atoms.

Within the stars fusion led to the appearance of heavier atoms, which are very different from the lighter ones,

Further cooling leads to atoms hoining together to form molecules, like water, of which we are largely made. Water is very different from hydrogen atoms and oxygen atoms.

Further cooling allows for snowflakes forming...

My evidence for nature producing something that is different from nature per se is the ubiquity of such phenomena.

David B

15 June 2012 at 20:17  
Blogger Albert said...

David,

My evidence for nature producing something that is different from nature per se is the ubiquity of such phenomena.

Which was not, of course, what I asked you to do.

I asked for evidence that non-intentional nature could give rise to intentional nature. You have provided no evidence whatsoever, but have at best attempted an analogy, which if anything defeats your own position. For in each of the examples you have given, non-intentional nature has given rise to more non-intentional nature.

You account of intention lacks evidence, does not fit well with the evidence we have, and is, in essence the best one can do from an unprovable metaphysical a priori.

Given these difficulties, your metaphysical assumptions seem unreasonable - especially when judged by the evidentialist standards atheists usually demand of theists.

15 June 2012 at 20:43  
Blogger William said...

Anna Anglican

"Also the comment about not having a father- so do many hetrosexual families!

Some do. Sad isn't it?

15 June 2012 at 20:50  
Blogger anna anglican said...

Inspector, I were to be "taken" by a man, the last person would be yourself- you are afterall old enough to be my father!

And besides which, what do yuo know about the the Lagrangian points of stability?

15 June 2012 at 20:51  
Blogger David B said...

Albert, I took your meaning as asking me to provide evidence for '... nature producing something which is quite different from nature per se.'

I submit that I have demonstrates that.

'You account of intention lacks evidence, does not fit well with the evidence we have, and is, in essence the best one can do from an unprovable metaphysical a priori'

If we look at the multifarious living forms that evolution has produced, do we not observe living things with differing levels of intention, though some might be called proto, or quasi, intention?

I maintain that we do.

David B

15 June 2012 at 21:01  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Anna. And besides which, what do you know about the the Lagrangian points of stability?

Nothing a few drinks before won’t take care of. You’d hardly notice them...

15 June 2012 at 21:35  
Blogger Edward Spalton said...

Your Grace,

Twenty years or so ago, when I was in the Holy Land

"Catholic" meant Orthodox and

"Latin" still meant Roman Catholic.

15 June 2012 at 21:52  
Blogger Albert said...

David,

If we look at the multifarious living forms that evolution has produced, do we not observe living things with differing levels of intention, though some might be called proto, or quasi, intention?

I don't really see how that helps you. We both agree that there are plenty of beings that have intention. I am asking if, on your account of nature, non-intentional nature can create intentional nature. Your answer appears to be "there are lots of things that have evolved that have intention (or at least proto or quasi intention)".

So what?

15 June 2012 at 22:08  
Blogger Albert said...

As a matter of interest, why is it that as soon as I started defending the point William was making, William gave up?

15 June 2012 at 22:09  
Blogger Kraft said...

For the record, two organizations applied for ".church":
Life Covenant Church, Inc. ( http://www.lifechurch.tv/ )and Holly Fileds, LLC. (a shell for "Donuts", a start-up that applied for 300 or so of these gTLD domain names).

So, as there are some Protestant groups who believe the Roman Catholic Church isn't Christian, there may be a possibility that Roman Catholics wouldn't be able to use .church or it would just be a money-making operation by some random company.

15 June 2012 at 22:09  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

Your Grace,

I wonder if anyone has bothered to ask your Sky God on this matter? Perhaps the funds should go to him? (although quite what the creator of the universe would do with USD is beyond this space alien).

15 June 2012 at 22:17  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

@inspector, your attempts to woo or bed Miss Anglican are failing! I am sure that your ally, The Dodo will be able to advise on how to charm this beautiful, but headstrong & gay earth creature!

15 June 2012 at 22:19  
Blogger David B said...

Albert, it is getting a bit late at night for me, which means that my bottle of wine is becoming progressively emptier.

So this will be my last post on the subject tonight.

My answer is that non intentional nature is consistent with intention emerging. And emerging without supernatural agency,

I don't say that it has created it, since you might well come back at me to say that creating something implies intention, which would lead us, I think, down a non-productive semantic discussion.

Now - can you show me evidence for the supernatural?

David B

15 June 2012 at 22:26  
Blogger J. R. P. said...

A few notes from well before the soi-disant 'reformation':

The Catholic Church firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within Her, not only pagans, but also Jews, heretics, and schismatics, cannot become participants in eternal life but will depart 'into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels' (Mt. 25:41), unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock... - the Council of Florence, 1439

Now it is manifest that he who adheres to the teaching of the Church, as to an infallible rule, assents to whatever the Church teaches; otherwise, if, of the things taught by the Church, he holds what he chooses to hold, and rejects what he chooses to reject, he no longer adheres to the teaching of the Church as to an infallible rule, but to his own will... Therefore it is clear that such a heretic with regard to one article has no faith in the other articles, but only a kind of opinion in accordance with his own will" - Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II II, Q.5, A.3, sometime circa 1270.

This was the state of the Church's teaching under which Luther, in the early 16th C, began his Schism.

I fail to see why the term 'Catholic' ought not to belong to the Holy See. They were there first.

It's a bit like someone claiming their chimney-sweeping business, that they lovingly started in the 1990s, ought to have the trademark for '.coke'. Sure, chimney-sweeping was around before Coca-Cola, and their personal interest in 'coke' might be particularly intense, but nobody going to a '.coke' site is expecting to get to you.

Therefore, hard cheese. QED.

15 June 2012 at 22:48  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

Your Grace,

During a little temporal trip back to this century,I had an interesting conversation with a former conservative candidate :

"It is interesting isn't it that the Catholic countries are the ones who need bailouts- ireland, spain, Italy etc. What does this tell you about the economic, social and military might of these puny countries, when it is the Protestant North of Europe which is richer and more successful? Ergo, why would humans want to claim the title "catholic"?!"

Discuss.

15 June 2012 at 22:57  
Blogger David B said...

@ Alpha Draconis

Are not the least religious of the North of Europe richer and more successful?

David B

15 June 2012 at 23:00  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

@David B,

That might have been a good counter argument to my friend, and I must admit I am always confusing human culture and religion. Personally I cannot grasp these pedantic divisions between the various christian sects - afterall don't you all follow the teachings of this Carpenter-King and the Trinity of God, Jesus and Mary?

15 June 2012 at 23:09  
Blogger David B said...

@ Alpha

I don't - I'm one of these gnu atheists.

David

15 June 2012 at 23:15  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

@David B,

It is also true that at the start of my career, I was posted to this and what was considered at the time to be a savage,primitive, backward - how do you say poo hole? - of a planet when our two races first met one another.

I had foolishly attempted to bed one of the Emperor's favourite concubines (well actually two of them) and got caught with- as you would say- my pants down!

As a punishment I was made Minister Plenipotentiary and head of the Legation of the Draconis Empire to the Vatican. The Emperor thought that a decade of working amongst nuns and priests would do me some good. Thankfully, I discovered Rio de Janeiro, which thanks to my rather mad parties became the capital of your planet.

Ah, the joys of mispent youth and sexual exploration!

15 June 2012 at 23:19  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

@David B,

We Draconis have a god for everything and you can create your own god (subject to FSA approval- Faith Services Authority). House hold gods are exempt. For example in honour of this site, my 'family' god is called 'cranmer'.

We are currently deciding whether or not to grant the Vatican an FSA stamp of approval in our territory (70,000 solar systems). The Muslims are also applying (both religions have finally decided that we extra -terrestrials have souls, so need to be 'saved').

Should we?

15 June 2012 at 23:24  
Blogger J. R. P. said...

@Alpha Draconis -

It is interesting isn't it that the Catholic countries are the ones who need bailouts- ireland, spain, Italy etc. What does this tell you about the economic, social and military might of these puny countries, when it is the Protestant North of Europe which is richer and more successful? Ergo, why would humans want to claim the title "catholic"?!"

May I suggest that it's because Mammon takes care of his own?

15 June 2012 at 23:34  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

@RIP

Suggest whatever you like! I have no preference on the matter- if you re-read I was quoting some-one else!

15 June 2012 at 23:38  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Anna asked ...
"I wonder if Dodo's objections also apply to hetrosexuals who can't have children through natural means."

I do have moral objections about IVF and associated techiques. Of course these apply equally to heterosexual couples - even married ones.

(Oh, and you could always "give" yourself to a man or "take " him! I thought your comment about this curiously sexist.)

15 June 2012 at 23:40  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

PS- who is Mammon? Another Sky God?

15 June 2012 at 23:41  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

Ah Dodo enters the fray! This could get interesting.

15 June 2012 at 23:42  
Blogger anna anglican said...

Oh Hi Dodo,

Re the "Sexism" in my post and the bit about "taking", if you read over the posts (at 19.59) you will see it was your partner in crime Inspector who said :

"Suggest you undress every now and then, and imagine yourself being taken by a man. One with grey black hair, for example. You’ll soon come round to the idea. There you are, something to do at home when you’re bored..."


This is of course not at all sexist!!

15 June 2012 at 23:46  
Blogger anna anglican said...

Also the bit about IVF- I know a lot of hetrosexual couples who would tick most of the boxes of the major posters here, who would give almost anything to be parents and have suffered a lot of heart break when it doesn't happen. So what is your issue with it? (in so much as I can understand you bashing us gays, but hetrosexual Christian Prot/Catholic/Orthodox/Jewish couples?).

Isn't IVF a good sign of us using technology in a good way?

15 June 2012 at 23:50  
Blogger anna anglican said...

@ALPHA

Your culture seems to be quite sexist and backward. How on earth did you manage to achieve space flight beyond a solar system. (faster than light travel is of course impossible - against all the laws of physics!). Also if your culture is so non-progressive, how on earth have you managed all of what you claim? It is a bit of a poor effort really; wouldn't aliens who could travel the stars be progressive-social democrats? .

15 June 2012 at 23:53  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Alpha said ...
"I am sure that your ally, The Dodo will be able to advise on how to charm this beautiful, but headstrong & gay earth creature!"

Ummmm ... I do like a challenge.

Interestingly, Anna cited age as the main barrier to a relationship and not sexuality.

First and foremost he must accept her for who she is and not attempt anything untoward - ever.

She is already drawn to his frankness, wit and humour. Beneath this she sees a warm, caring gentleman. Demonstrate these qualities more.

Woman also like to believe they can reform their men. He should and ask for assistance in understanding her point of view and exploring his more feminine side.

She must be wined, dined and treated like a Princess.

He must learn to sing and play a harp and serenade her at midnight.

He should write love sonnets.

15 June 2012 at 23:59  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Anna

Are you serious about the immorality of IVF?

My objections to active homosexuality and IVF share common themes best summed up by Pope Paul VI:
(There is an) "inseparable connection, willed by God, and unable to be broken by man on his own initiative, between the two meanings of the conjugal act: the unitive meaning and the procreative meaning."

I also believe a human being comes into existence at the moment of conception. A human being must be respected-as a person-from the very first instant of his existence as a human being, and his rights as a person must be recogniSed, the first place the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life.

IVF, in my view, violates the rights of the child: it deprives him of his filial relationship with his parental origins and hinder the maturing of his personality. It objectively deprives conjugal fruitfulness of its unity and integrity, it brings about and manifests a rupture between genetic parenthood, gestational parenthood, and responsibility for upbringing.

This threat to the unity and stability of the family is a source of dissension, disorder, and injustice in the whole of social life.

16 June 2012 at 00:11  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

@ Anna Anglican,

Rot. There will never be a socialist Draconis government as long as I live!

Socialism is the apex of tyranny- robbing another mans pocket for the failure of society!

I am certainly not a sexist - in my post earlier I didn't mention the fact that one of the concubines was a male (I was young and naive- a mere 67 years of age!).

Our space ships and star gates,use Fusion energy, a combination of a spoonful of Helium3, a dash of Deuterium and a pinch of anti-matter. Enough to warp the fabric of reality to an event horizon and create stable wormholes (as humans call them).

You see the recepie (and that is exactly what it is) for inter galactic travel is just that- we Draconis have managed to combine a teutonic love of order with an equal amount of latin-Irish flair and passion. It is this tension that upsets many other races- the Vulcans- such as Carl Jacobs- in particular.

16 June 2012 at 00:19  
Blogger William said...

Albert

"As a matter of interest, why is it that as soon as I started defending the point William was making, William gave up?"

I "gave up" because:

1) The original comment was addressed to Carl and I wasn't sure if David B specifically wanted Carl to answer.
2) My original question that you were "defending" was "Unless the universe itself is sentient, how can meaning and purpose emerge from it?" and was in reply to David B's view of "meaning and purpose as emergent qualities of the universe, which co-evolve, so to speak, with evolved organisms with agency.". However, David B did not answer my question and as you came in with clarification on whether he was a materialist or not there didn't seem a point in my asking again.
3) The football started.

I still don't understand how meaning and purpose can be emergent qualities of the universe and his latest explanation "My answer is that non intentional nature is consistent with intention emerging." doesn't help matters.

16 June 2012 at 00:35  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

William: "I still don't understand how meaning and purpose can be emergent qualities of the universe [...]"

Local meaning and purpose come from consciousness, and consciousness appears to have emerged from the beginning of life and the evolution of species.

16 June 2012 at 06:53  
Blogger William said...

Albert

I often wonder if there isn't a kind semantics dislocation when talking about questions of morality, purpose and meaning with evolutionary atheists. For instance I think that morality has some kind of external, universal claim, however David B thinks that good and evil only exist as constructs in the brain which seems to make morals nothing more than opinions. Similarly this idea that meaning and purpose can evolve from a non sentient environment suggests that actually they are no more than mechanical reactions to the environment - so what he calls meaning and purpose, I would probably call feelings and desires.

16 June 2012 at 07:27  
Blogger David B said...

Albert

"I often wonder if there isn't a kind semantics dislocation when talking about questions of morality, purpose and meaning with evolutionary atheists."

And vice versa

" For instance I think that morality has some kind of external, universal claim,..."

An intuition which I think you would have a hard time justifying. Does this supposed universality apply to rocks, bacteria, lions.....?

If not. how is it universal?

"...however David B thinks that good and evil only exist as constructs in the brain..."

I don't think good and evil exist in corpses. I do think it that good and evil exist as constructs in brains, though to me the word 'evil' has no supernatural overtones. Further, they do not exist as constructs in brains in isolation. There is a sense in which morals can be said to evolve, IMV

"... which seems to make morals nothing more than opinions..."

Nothing less than opinions. Actually I think that as people develop they generally learn some moral rules of thumb, which occasionally conflict with each other, and moral people try to find the best compromise when good, useful moral rules of thumb conflict.

Even those who claim absolute morality in general do this, IMV.

There is no more absolute moral injunction I can think if than 'thou shalt not kill', but a great number of Christians found ways to fight in WW2, for instance.


" ...Similarly this idea that meaning and purpose can evolve from a non sentient environment suggests that actually they are no more than mechanical reactions to the environment - so what he calls meaning and purpose, I would probably call feelings and desires."

I do think that there is a kind of semantic dislocation by what we differently mean by meaning and purpose. I don't see any sort of absolute meaning or purpose.

But when I use a corkscrew I generally mean to open a bottle of wine for the purpose of enjoying a glass or so.

David B

16 June 2012 at 08:09  
Blogger Albert said...

David B,

My answer is that non intentional nature is consistent with intention emerging.

The fact that it is logically consistent, does not make it reasonable, nor does it provide evidence that it is true. The evidence that we see around us is logically consistent with the existence of fairies.

Now - can you show me evidence for the supernatural?

Well, the issue here is the context. You naturalists etc. are always trying to impose your views on everyone else (e.g. by seeking to close down faith schools) on the rather amusing grounds that your position is neutral, reasonable and evidence based. I have no desire to convert non-faith schools into faith schools, nor to impose, by law the Christian faith. On the contrary. Thus there is no need to demand of me a justification for my metaphysics.

And yet, despite the claims made for it, and the impositions demanded in its name, when we actually examine naturalism, we find a number of extraordinary claims being made:

1. "The supernatural does not exist, which is to say, only nature is real."

But if we ask for evidence for this (real evidence, not circular assumption), none can be forthcoming, even in principle.

Claim 1. entails to positive existence truth-claim:

2. Nature is able to exist and function without a supernatural cause.

Again, no evidence can be forth coming for this.

3. Intention arises from non-intentional nature.

This is highly counter intuitive, for surely, non-intentional nature can only generate more non-intentional nature. But when I have asked for evidence of this, all you have done is give examples of non-intentional nature giving rise to more forms of non-intentional nature. When pressed for more evidence you have simply said that there seems to be a lot of intentional beings. Which is the same as saying that you can produce no evidence whatsoever, to answer the anomaly that you face.

Now you ask me for evidence for the existence of the supernatural. If I start providing arguments for the existence of God for example, you, having believed in naturalism on no evidence whatsoever, and without having been able to offer a defence of the position in the light of seeming contrary evidence, will suddenly raise the bar of proof so high that you don't have to accept it. The reason you will do this is that you are committed to your naturalism (despite your lack of evidence and the failure to get to grips with the evidence against it).

What possible point would there be in my arguing for God's existence, in this context? My only interest is to say that you are not rationally justified in imposing your naturalism on me, for example by closing faith schools and imposing your naturalism on my children.

16 June 2012 at 10:16  
Blogger Albert said...

David,

An intuition which I think you would have a hard time justifying. Does this supposed universality apply to rocks, bacteria, lions.....? If not. how is it universal?

You've addressed this me, but it is actually a response to William. No matter. Claims about morality necessarily only bind moral agents. Claims of universal morality thus apply to all moral agents, but only to moral agents. "Rocks, bacteria, lions" do not appear to be moral agents. Thus your argument fails.

16 June 2012 at 10:21  
Blogger William said...

DanJ0

Local meaning and purpose come from consciousness

What is the definition of local meaning and purpose?

If meaning and purpose comes from consciousness then why does consciousness ask what is the meaning/purpose of my consciousness? It seems rather circular to me.

Or to put it another way, if meaning and purpose derives from consciousness then consciousness automatically has meaning and purpose simply by virtue of its existence.

16 June 2012 at 12:33  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

William: "What is the definition of local meaning and purpose?"

When you think "my meaning and purpose is to provide for my family as best I can because I love them", well, that's very local meaning and purpose. Just multiple that sort of stuff up, codify some of it to pass on over time, put people into societies so that interaction gets included, etc, and you have local meaning and purpose.

"Or to put it another way, if meaning and purpose derives from consciousness then consciousness automatically has meaning and purpose simply by virtue of its existence."

I think you're trying to think a little too deeply there. Meaning and purpose come from the content of thoughts. Thought seems to be an emergent property of brains. Why are there brains? Well, they seem to be the products of evolution. How did life begin and start to evolve? Well, we don't really know but it's here inside our reality and reality seems to be much older so it seems to have emerged somewhere along the line.

16 June 2012 at 12:43  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Thought for the day...

Brendan Behan once wrote that a pious town in the south of Ireland was so poor, it would be unable to support even one prostitute.

“Oh yes we could !” was the indignant reply from the Catholic town’s elders...

16 June 2012 at 12:56  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

This comment seems to imply that Catholic men are oversexed and rather primitive in their approach to women.Obviously there is an historical reason for this probably reaching as far back as the Crusaders with the cruel invention of the chastity belt.

16 June 2012 at 13:34  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

cressida

You have misunderstood!

The good Inspector was referring to philanthropic support.

16 June 2012 at 13:54  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Er, yes, that’s it Dodo. To encourage them off the game, one needs to provide for them. Let’s say a job in the town laundry, and also secure and comfortable accommodation where a fellow might visit occasionally so as to make enquires as to their ‘welfare’ {AHEM}...

16 June 2012 at 14:07  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

What is that you’re wearing Cressida ? Absolutely beautiful. The gays will want to be married in that now, or something similar...

16 June 2012 at 14:13  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Dodo this Heckle and Jeckle cartoon cavorting that you and the Inspector participate in may ruffle some feathers (pun intended) on this site. I think you both should show some camaraderie towards Albert the convert by steeping him in some good old fashioned Catholic essence mad humour,the drink and the strip( of sane stodge sunk in seriousness)He has fallen off the catholic wagon into Anglican drear.

Thank you for your compliment on my attire Inspector.I deliberately chose this outfit with you in mind.Also I wished to demonstrate to the public at large that not all Christians are wowsers,obsessive humourless scripture quoting automatons and can appreciate and admire the beauty of a well turned leg.

16 June 2012 at 15:15  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Yes, but what does the tattoo say cressida?

16 June 2012 at 15:18  
Blogger Albert said...

Cressida,

I think you both should show some camaraderie towards Albert the convert by steeping him in some good old fashioned Catholic essence mad humour,the drink and the strip( of sane stodge sunk in seriousness)He has fallen off the catholic wagon into Anglican drear.

LOL! I'm reminded of something Newman wrote in his diary:

“Oh how forlorn and dreary has been my course since I have become a Catholic. Here has been the contrast: as a Protestant, I felt my religion dreary but not my life, but as a Catholic, my life dreary and not my religion.”

You do Anglicans a disservice. Anglicans have great laughs - more (and nastier) than do Catholics. Much, much more levity (not a good thing, I think). Nevertheless, as Hilaire Belloc wrote:

Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!

If I don't spend my time arsing around on the internet, it's because I get enough of that in real life. I agree with Newman on dreariness of Anglican religion (presumably why you think Anglicans are dreary), but not with him on the dreariness of Catholic life.

I come on here to argue.

16 June 2012 at 15:39  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Doddles... Have you not heard the story of Scheherezade? Poco a poco amore mio.That's RC lingo meaning take it slowly Babe:)

16 June 2012 at 15:40  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

cressida

Not knowing what this "chastity belt" thingemygig wa, I researched it. Very interesting too.

"According to modern myths the chastity belt was used as an anti-temptation device during the Crusades ... However, there is no credible evidence that chastity belts existed before the 15th century (more than one hundred years after the last Crusade), and their main period of apparent use falls within the Renaissance rather than the Middle Ages.

In any case, Renaissance chastity belts were said to have had padded linings (to prevent large areas of metal from coming into direct prolonged contact with the skin), and these had to be changed fairly frequently, so that such belts were not practical for uninterrupted long-term wear. Uninterrupted long-term wear could have caused genitourinary infection, abrasive wounds, sepsis and eventual death."
(Wiki)

So the rise of the chastity belt appears to have coincided with the rise of Protestantism (give or take a few years). This is understandable as Catholic men and women know how to conduct themselves without such devices!

Seemingly, they are quite popular today amongst those with 'minority' interests.

16 June 2012 at 15:41  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

genitourinary infection, abrasive wounds, sepsis and eventual death.

“And that class, is the end of our gay awareness lesson today. Tomorrow, we will discuss the displacement of the lower intestine as it ports the body, or rectal prolapse as the surgeon will call it.

Yes, I know you’d all like to be out there skipping or kicking a ball around a field than listen to this muck, but blame the Conservative government your parents voted for...”

16 June 2012 at 15:54  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

“Right then class, on the monitor we have an image of two gay men indulging in the act of sodomy. Now, one is told this is excruciatingly painful. In fact, extra emphasis on the ‘roo’ part of that word. Let’s practice it, ‘roooo’. That’s it boys and girls, that’s how it pronounced.

Right, {AHEM}, the Inspector is informed that chap on the left isn’t called ‘big John’ for nothing. The poor bast.., Er, one means the recipient on the right, who has the look of life threatening fear about him - there you are, can you clearly see that - as he desperately bites into that strip of leather between his teeth...”

16 June 2012 at 16:15  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo @ 15:41 : hm, distortion yet again. The (very) ancient history of the 'chastity belt' is a fascinating and wide subject, deserving better than your usual pick & mix blether.

16 June 2012 at 16:27  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Albert Albert...Newman was another Anglican convert.. of course he is going to state something as untrue as that diary entry, possibly guilt ridden about being a turn coat. Anglicans have feelings and loyalty to their heritage as well you know ( well the ones I know do)

As a former Anglican you would be aware that you were raised to think that truth is just one of a long line of possibilities according to the dictates du jour.So you might need to rethink your self image as a fun guy in real life.

I am very au fait with Anglicans because I choose to live with one
rather than a Catholic,Jew,Hindu/whatever.The drear I was referring to were some of the Christian communicants on this site who are not representatives of Christians at large rather than specifically Anglicans.

Unfortunately you fall into that deadly
demographic of limited, uninspirational types whose discourse lacks levity .... a pity,because there may be a great line lurking out there which I could use, even if it's only to throw back at you

A razor sharp intellect need not fear the light touch and the most serious topics are conveyed best in wit and irony.This concept of course will be alien to you just as the essence of Catholicism will forever elude you...

16 June 2012 at 16:39  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Albert Albert...Newman was another Anglican convert.. of course he is going to state something as untrue as that diary entry, possibly guilt ridden about being a turn coat. Anglicans have feelings and loyalty to their heritage as well you know ( well the ones I know do)

As a former Anglican you would be aware that you were raised to think that truth is just one of a long line of possibilities according to the dictates du jour.So you might need to rethink your self image as a fun guy in real life.

I am very au fait with Anglicans because I choose to live with one
rather than a Catholic,Jew,Hindu/whatever.The drear I was referring to were some of the Christian communicants on this site who are not representatives of Christians at large rather than specifically Anglicans.

Unfortunately you fall into that deadly
demographic of limited, uninspirational types whose discourse lacks levity .... a pity,because there may be a great line lurking out there which I could use, even if it's only to throw back at you

A razor sharp intellect need not fear the light touch and the most serious topics are conveyed best in wit and irony.This concept of course will be alien to you just as the essence of Catholicism will forever elude you...

16 June 2012 at 16:39  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Oswin
I wouldn't know really I just Googled the subject. I'd never really given it too much thought. Clearly it is something you have spent time aquiring greater knowledge about. Can't think why really.

Ah, I now I do recollect saying they remain "popular today amongst those with 'minority' interests". Is that it?

cressida
I have heard of Scheherezade and artful she was too. In that outfit how can you possibly talk of poco, poco!

Inspector
A career in education awaits. The government is encouraging older and wiser people to come forward to teach the young. Have you considered this?

16 June 2012 at 18:26  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Right then class, today we shall reflect on the words of Mr Micawber...

Rectum used as God intended – Anal happiness

Rectum used for nefarious ends – Anal misery

16 June 2012 at 18:44  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo, in answer to your question, only if Stonewall make queer studies compulsory, and the government acquiesces. Would then go along to interview as an interested party.

heh heh

16 June 2012 at 20:41  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo @ 18:26 : more duck-vented blether...

17 June 2012 at 02:01  
Blogger William said...

DanJ0

"I think you're trying to think a little too deeply there. Meaning and purpose come from the content of thoughts ..."

Really? Exploring the consequences of your theory that meaning and purpose come from consciousness is thinking too deeply? I'm amased.

I think that you are just repeating your assertion there without offering any evidence, so I'll just repeat the logical consequence of your theory:

To the consciousness that says "What is the meaning/purpose of my consciousness?", DanJ0 replies "You are."

It has a wonderful Buddhist circularity to it, don't you think? Perhaps your next trip should be to the Andes?

17 June 2012 at 12:08  
Blogger Albert said...

And of course, William, it completely ignores the question of how intention arises from non-intentional matter or nature. No evidence is ever supplied to explain how this is even possible, let alone in fact the case. It just must be true, because if not, the naturalistic or materialistic dogma would be shown to be false. As this dogma is believed without evidence, it is perhaps unsurprising that it's supporters will not allow evidence to falsify it.

This is the methodology of contemporary secularism: begin with the conclusion, brush aside any objections without engaging with them, and then proclaim oneself rational, and everyone else, irrational. Then introduce more and more laws compelling people to behave as if you were right all along.

17 June 2012 at 15:50  
Blogger William said...

Albert

Quite.

17 June 2012 at 16:32  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

William: "Really? Exploring the consequences of your theory that meaning and purpose come from consciousness is thinking too deeply? I'm amased."

No, William. I'm simply saying that you're not really following because you're trying be over-grand about it. It's like we're talking about two different things you see. Hope that helps.

17 June 2012 at 16:36  
Blogger William said...

DanJ0

No it doesn't help. In fact it's rather pathetic piffle I'm afraid.

17 June 2012 at 16:54  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

William: "No it doesn't help. In fact it's rather pathetic piffle I'm afraid."

Ah. Well, you're a theist so I expect you prefer overblown explanations to others. But look around. Societies throughout history have created different meaning and purpose for themselves, and we can see evolutionary legacies which strongly suggest a lack of species design. Yet religionists prefer to imagine something rather different, and I suppose we can understand why they might do that in terms of psychology. In fact, I've often wondered whether we could predict a religious inclination based on genetics.

17 June 2012 at 18:40  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Interesting turns of phrases from the reasoned liberal philosopher:

" ...you're trying be over-grand about it"

"... you prefer overblown explanations to other"

" ... religionists prefer to imagine something rather different and I suppose we can understand why they might do that in terms of psychology"

All very reasonable and well argued!

17 June 2012 at 21:22  
Blogger The Judicious Hooker said...

Sadly, the RCC has so debased and tainted one of the ancient titles of the Church of God by its continued connivance with evil (including the toleration of financial corruption, the covering up of systemic and institutionalised child abuse for the sake of organisational survivial, the support of tyrannical regimes, the rejection - until recently - of prophylactic use to combat disease etc) that non-papistical Christians should be glad that the Vatican is taking over that domain name.

I think they call it brand diferentiation. And how important to differentiate oneself from that brand!

The adjective 'catholic' refers to the fulness of the Gospel truth being proclaimed to all people; that faith which has been believed 'quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus'(everywhere, always, and by all). No group of Christians - no matter how numerous or powerful - can own that privilege and responsibility.

And using that criteria you can hit delete on the three 'infallible dogmas' declared since 1870 by the Vatican as they find no support in the New Testament Canon nor in the teaching of the Early Church, ie the Apostolic Church.

A wise Anglican once noted that the opposite of catholic is not protestant but heretic. Make mine a lower-case catholic and an upper-case Christian any day!

18 June 2012 at 13:51  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Hooker said ...

"The adjective 'catholic' refers to the fulness of the Gospel truth being proclaimed to all people; that faith which has been believed 'quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus'(everywhere, always, and by all). No group of Christians - no matter how numerous or powerful - can own that privilege and responsibility."

You think all variants of the Gospel are equally correct, then?
How silly!

The Catholic Church, the universalm world wide church, was established by Christ.

"That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven."


Pretty definitive, I'd say.

18 June 2012 at 21:53  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Oh, and bye the Hooke the Catholic Church is purchasing ights to the website address .catholic.com, not seeking world domination or attempting to impose its authority on you.

18 June 2012 at 23:51  
Blogger Albert said...

How very injudicious of you, Hooker to be proclaiming a somewhat Donatist view of the church.

And how very unAnglican of you to assume that original sin only takes effect in the Catholic Church.

Let us just take the most notorious example: the Catholic Church has covered up child-abuse. Yes some bishops have. To our shame. But do you really think the CofE doesn't have a similar problem? Are you really an Anglican? Have you no experience of the CofE? It really sounds like it.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1566826/C-of-E-child-abuse-was-ignored-for-decades.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-13560976

Considering the whole Anglican communion is something 1/12 of the size of the Catholic Church and that it hardly has any children anyway, I'd say it's got a pretty shocking record in this regard.

None of this in any way gets the Catholic Church off the hook. But for you to be using this as a stick to be beating us with, is unjust, untruthful, hypocritical, and because of the implicit denial of original sin and the implicit donatism, profoundly unAnglican. It also shows a lack of care for Anglican children, who have been clearly placed in harm's way, by the highest authorities, while everyone looked the other way.

19 June 2012 at 10:39  
Blogger Albert said...

Not to mention, of course, General Synod's support for abortion, by which children are killed.

19 June 2012 at 10:40  
Blogger Unknown said...

@browndog:

"Will we Anglicans no longer be able to say that we believe in the Holy Catholic Church?

Will error code 404 or the blue screen of death appear as if by a miracle should we utter the word 'Catholic'?"

## STM that this idea arises with the money-wasting daftness known as the Olympics :)

Apparently the word is, for the duration of that event if not longer, usable only by those therewith involved, so that anyone using the O-word at all during the O-event (apart from the O-people) will be sued for so doing.

Which is more than the Roman Pope has said.

1 July 2012 at 02:19  

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