S.E. Cupp: It’s a myth that conservatism is hostile to atheism

posted at 8:41 pm on July 30, 2014 by Allahpundit

Well, sort of yes and sort of no. She’s right that most conservatives welcome atheist fellow travelers. I remember telling a friend before HA launched that I’d be writing for a righty website and him telling me that I should hide my nonbelief, but I didn’t and it’s never been a problem. The most static I catch for it is when I’ve written something extra RINO-y and a commenter grumbles that we shouldn’t expect any better from the godless. Even that’s rare; the smoking gun of RINOism that’s most often cited by my righty critics is support for gay marriage, not atheism. So yeah, certainly this is no bar to entry into the commentariat. In fact, more conservative atheists seem to be writing about their dual identities. See, e.g., Robert Tracinski in April at the Federalist making “an atheist’s case for religious liberty” or Charles Cooke back in February arguing that godlessness and conservatism aren’t incompatible after all.

I think Cupp’s right too that righty atheists on average respect religion more than their liberal counterparts do. That’s probably mainly a function of exposure: If you’re a conservative of whatever demographic and whatever educational level and you associate mostly with other conservatives, chances are you’re going to run into and end up being friends with some devoutly religious people. I’m not so sure that’s true on the left. If you’re a highly educated, reasonably well-to-do liberal — coincidentally, the same niche that most of the left’s commentariat comes from — devoutly religious friends may be hard to come by. (Call it epistemic closure.) Just as polls on gay marriage show support for SSM rising steeply among people who have at least one acquaintance who’s come out of the closet, I suspect that knowing religious people whom you respect inevitably softens your view on the value of religion.

But look: Certainly there’s some wariness about atheism within conservatism. Go look at one of those polls in which a variety of supposedly undesirable traits in a would-be president are listed and people are asked to name which ones would make you less likely to vote for him/her. Atheism is always at or near the top of the list. That’s not the fault of conservatism alone; plenty of religious Democrats look askance at atheists too, and if you doubt that, ask yourself how many Democrats in Congress have been willing to cop to nonbelief while in office. Offhand the only one I can think of is Pete Stark, who was later ousted in a primary. Barney Frank copped to being an atheist only after he retired, which is telling — it was safer for him politically to admit to being gay than to doubting God’s existence. If you polled Republicans and Democrats today and asked them whether they’d be positive, negative, or neutral about having a president who identifies as atheist, I guarantee that both sides would tilt negative and feel reasonably confident (considering that there are more liberal atheists than conservative ones) that conservatives would tilt more negative than liberals would. See Cooke’s piece linked above for an insight as to why. The most common complaint from religious people about atheists in my experience is that we lack a moral foundation; they can always resort to the Good Book for guidance, but what does the atheist resort to? “The Selfish Gene”? Logically, that concern will be more common among religious people than it will among the less religious, so go figure that conservatives, a more religious group, might show that concern more strongly. I wouldn’t call that “hostility” to atheism as much as, let’s say, skepticism of it, but it’s there. And yes, it’s there among plenty of Democrats too.


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DarkCurrent,

Your whole premise is incoherent.

See these reponses:

“A common response from Christian philosophers, such as Norman Geisler or Richard Swinburne is that the paradox assumes a wrong definition of omnipotence. Omnipotence, they say, does not mean that God can do anything at all but, rather, that he can do anything that’s possible according to his nature. The distinction is important. God cannot perform logical absurdities; he cannot, for instance, make 1+1=3. Likewise, God cannot make a being greater than himself because he is, by definition, the greatest possible being. God is limited in his actions to his nature. The Bible supports this, they assert, in passages such as Hebrews 6:18 which says it is “impossible for God to lie.” This raises the question, similar to the Euthyphro Dilemma, of where this law of logic, which God is bound to obey, comes from. According to these theologians, this law is not a law above God that he assents to but, rather, logic is an eternal part of God’s nature, like his omniscience or omnibenevolence. God obeys the laws of logic because God is eternally logical in the same way that God does not perform evil actions because God is eternally good. So, God, by nature logical and unable to violate the laws of logic, cannot make a boulder so heavy he cannot lift it because that would violate the law of non contradiction by creating an immovable object and an unstoppable force.”

“Thomas Aquinas asserts that the paradox arises from a misunderstanding of omnipotence. He maintains that inherent contradictions and logical impossibilities do not fall under the omnipotence of God.”

Hope this helps.

Mike Rathbone on July 30, 2014 at 10:28 PM

As an atheist/agnostic/whatever the hell it is I am, I don’t really understand why people find this confusing. Of course I believe evil exists. How could I not? I see it everyday. What surprises me (and, quite frankly, scares me a little) is that people who believe in a Creator think that they themselves would not recognize evil if they did not believe in a Creator.

Mullaney on July 30, 2014 at 10:23 PM

Maybe we have two definitions of evil. I consider evil a supernatural force. It more than just a person being bad or wrong. Hitler just wasn’t a bad and immoral man……he was pure evil. So how can you not believe in the supernatural but believe in evil? I don’t get that.

terryannonline on July 30, 2014 at 10:32 PM

Gideon7 on July 30, 2014 at 10:28 PM

Or, I can continue in my belief that God is limitless, which you seem to share.

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 10:34 PM

It is striking to me that the two most revered conservative intellectuals are both atheists George Will and Charles Krauthammer.
Both of them recognize and respect profoundly the significance of religion not only to individuals but to society.
The respect for these two men is important evidence for the contention of the lack of conservative hostility to atheism.
It is not atheism itself that most conservatives find objectionable but hostility towards religion and the constitutional rights of religious people such as is manifest in the militant atheism of Richard Dawkins and his ilk.
Incandescent on July 30, 2014 at 10:18 PM
Krauthammer called atheism against all rational…not a ringing endorsement there.

sorrowen on July 30, 2014 at 10:36 PM

Omnipotence, they say, does not mean that God can do anything at all but, rather, that he can do anything that’s possible according to his nature.

I guess I’m omnipotent then. I can do anything possible according to my nature.

The distinction is important. God cannot perform logical absurdities; he cannot, for instance, make 1+1=3.

Odd. That would suggest there is a higher reality that constrains God, wouldn’t it? Where did it come from?

Hope this helps.

Mike Rathbone on July 30, 2014 at 10:28 PM

Not really

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:37 PM

Atheist mathematicians (like Goedel)

Gideon7 on July 30, 2014 at 10:28 PM

Gödel was a theist.

non-nonpartisan on July 30, 2014 at 10:37 PM

Newton was also a theist….

sorrowen on July 30, 2014 at 10:39 PM

Let me say, and you can research my site for the proof if you want, but I have said for a very long time that Mormons are not Christians. And I endorsed a Mormon for Congress. Homosexuality is an abomination, but I respect people like JetBoy, Tammy Bruce, aphrael (an honest Liberal homosexual found at Patterico), Jeff (a Leftist Jewish-American who supports homosexuality on his site Opinions Nobody Asked For). Jesus has explicit words for the end results of atheism, and my biggest concern for the likes of Allahpundit is the squishiness RINOism (politically speaking).

I never knew SE Cupp was an atheist, but now I know, my opinion of her is unchanged. I hadn’t known RWM was atheist, but that knowledge doesn’t change my opinion of her.

I’m one of those intolerant Creationist, Young-Earth, strict-Bible Translating, Christian Conservatives. And I don’t have a problem with atheists, homosexuals, other religions within Conservatism.

John Hitchcock on July 30, 2014 at 10:39 PM

Clarification: I don’t mean ‘God is not limited’ in the sense of doing absolutely anything (like can He make 1+1=3 or ‘can God create a rock so heavy he cannot lift it’ sense). I mean in the more traditional omniscient/omnipotent Thomas Aquinas sense, like what Mike Rathbone is describing as a rational entity. Sorry for any confusion.

Gideon7 on July 30, 2014 at 10:41 PM

Atheists are stupid. And, Allah, you are the stupidest one.

I’m a Post-Modernist. :)

WhatSlushfund on July 30, 2014 at 10:41 PM

I don’t understand how someone can believe evil exists and not believe in a Creator.

terryannonline on July 30, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Objectivists base good and evil, and develop a philosophy of ethics, on this reasoning: that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; that which negates, opposes, or destroys it is the evil.

It’s no more complicated than that …

ShainS on July 30, 2014 at 10:42 PM

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:37 PM

Mike Rathbone wrote;

The distinction is important. God cannot perform logical absurdities; he cannot, for instance, make 1+1=3.

You answered:

Odd. That would suggest there is a higher reality that constrains God, wouldn’t it? Where did it come from?

I don’t think that’s what Mike meant to convey. How about this; God created a world with rules and order; a world in which 1+1 cannot =3. In this world, changing a fundamental element (like the underpinnings of mathematics) would fundamentally disrupt the world. So, in that sense (that it would be destructive,) God “cannot” do certain things.

Still doesn’t suggest that God is limited, or disprove the idea that he is beyond our comprehension.

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 10:47 PM

You will note that the right side of the political spectrum does, indeed, have its own belligerent anti-theists. DarkCurrent above is a perfect example of this.

John Hitchcock on July 30, 2014 at 10:51 PM

I don’t think that’s what Mike meant to convey. How about this; God created a world with rules and order; a world in which 1+1 cannot =3. In this world, changing a fundamental element (like the underpinnings of mathematics) would fundamentally disrupt the world. So, in that sense (that it would be destructive,) God “cannot” do certain things.

Still doesn’t suggest that God is limited, or disprove the idea that he is beyond our comprehension.

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 10:47 PM

Are you suggesting that if God changed the rules things could get out of His control?

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:51 PM

Objectivists base good and evil, and develop a philosophy of ethics, on this reasoning: that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; that which negates, opposes, or destroys it is the evil.

It’s no more complicated than that …

ShainS on July 30, 2014 at 10:42 PM

Okay, but help me out, here. Who sets the boundaries? (Serious question, not intended as snark.) If leaving my wife to take up with the neighbor woman feels pleasurable, does that make it good?

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 10:52 PM

It’s like mixing up intolerance for blonde hair with intolerance for people with blonde hair.

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Ooh, there’s that party of sciency thing again. DarkCurrent must have discovered Teh Magical Ghey Gene.

Nutstuyu on July 30, 2014 at 10:53 PM

Conjecture: the universe just is as it is because that’s how it is and exists because it’s not impossible.

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:53 PM

You will note that the right side of the political spectrum does, indeed, have its own belligerent anti-theists. DarkCurrent above is a perfect example of this.

John Hitchcock on July 30, 2014 at 10:51 PM

What evidence has led you to believe that DC might be on the “right”?

non-nonpartisan on July 30, 2014 at 10:54 PM

Omnipotence, they say, does not mean that God can do anything at all but, rather, that he can do anything that’s possible according to his nature.

Mike Rathbone on July 30, 2014 at 10:28 PM

.
I guess I’m omnipotent then. I can do anything possible according to my nature.

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:37 PM

.
God … can’t … CONTRADICT … Himself.

Do you, or do you not believe in “absolutes”?
.

The distinction is important. God cannot perform logical absurdities; he cannot, for instance, make 1+1=3.

Mike Rathbone on July 30, 2014 at 10:28 PM

.
Odd. That would suggest there is a higher reality that constrains God, wouldn’t it? Where did it come from?

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:37 PM

.
Nope.
.

Hope this helps.

Mike Rathbone on July 30, 2014 at 10:28 PM

.
Not really

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:37 PM

.
Well, shucks … I guess you can’t help everyone, Mike’.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 10:55 PM

Ooh, there’s that party of sciency thing again. DarkCurrent must have discovered Teh Magical Ghey Gene.

Nutstuyu on July 30, 2014 at 10:53 PM

I vote Republican comrade.

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:56 PM

Conjecture: the universe just is as it is because that’s how it is and exists because it’s not impossible.

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:53 PM

Or:

The universe is because God willed it.

My conjecture is as non-disprovable as yours.

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 10:57 PM

What the hell you yakkin’ abt now?

Judge_Dredd on July 30, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Don’t you have a rat to feed?

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:11 PM

Are you trying to get Judge_Dredd to feed you?

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 10:57 PM

God … can’t … CONTRADICT … Himself.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 10:55 PM

So, tell me about this new covenant thing

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:57 PM

Conjecture: the universe just is as it is because that’s how it is and exists because it’s not impossible.

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:53 PM

.
The genetic code (exponential bits of genetic information) is impossible … without an intelligent designer.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 10:58 PM

The universe is because God willed it.

My conjecture is as non-disprovable as yours.

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 10:57 PM

Interesting. Where was God when He willed it?

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:58 PM

Are you suggesting that if God changed the rules things could get out of His control?

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:51 PM

All your simpleton questions were trumped by massrighty saying that his God is beyond your comprehension. All your questions are limited by your comprehension. He’s got you.

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 10:59 PM

Are you trying to get Judge_Dredd to feed you?

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 10:57 PM

I feed him

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:59 PM

All your simpleton questions were trumped by massrighty saying that his God is beyond your comprehension. All your questions are limited by your comprehension. He’s got you.

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 10:59 PM

That’s the limit of your intellect?

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:01 PM

Interesting. Where was God when He willed it?

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:58 PM

He was.

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 11:01 PM

What evidence has led you to believe that DC might be on the “right”?

non-nonpartisan on July 30, 2014 at 10:54 PM

Noting that my statement “right side of the political spectrum” allows for an entire half of the spectrum, “on the ‘right’” may suggest more than my statement provided.

For a word-picture, Uncle Alfred stands profile on the center line of the road. His body is more to one side of the road than the other.

John Hitchcock on July 30, 2014 at 11:01 PM

Okay, but help me out, here. Who sets the boundaries? (Serious question, not intended as snark.) If leaving my wife to take up with the neighbor woman feels pleasurable, does that make it good?

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 10:52 PM

Good question — and a common critique is that rational self-interest leads to hedonism.

An Objectivist answer starts with this: what primarily makes man different from other animals?

Answer: his ability to think conceptually — to observe and understand the long-term consequences of his actions.

So, to answer your question: if everybody behaved like that, would it be generally beneficial or harmful to the individuals involved (including factors like children, family, friends, et. al.) and society as a whole (not to mention the many negative ramifications of failing to live up to a promise made/oath taken)?

Using reason, most rational individuals would conclude that such behavior is detrimental and thus bad behavior.

Does that make sense?

ShainS on July 30, 2014 at 11:02 PM

The genetic code (exponential bits of genetic information) is impossible … without an intelligent designer.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 10:58 PM

Do complex things require a designer?

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:02 PM

That’s the limit of your intellect?

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:01 PM

No, defining the constraints of your intellect didn’t require much intellect at all.

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 11:03 PM

He was.

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 11:01 PM

Was where?

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:03 PM

No, defining the constraints of your intellect didn’t require much intellect at all.

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 11:03 PM

Apparently not ;)

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Was where?

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:03 PM

Wow, what an incredibly good example of a troll. You aren’t even trying to have a genuine discussion about this. I hope everyone stops feeding you.

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 11:05 PM

I lay out the philosophical argument why God is literally beyond our comprehension here, an AMG fanfic story that I wrote in order to explain these concepts for laypeople. (Kinda like Abbott’s Flatland.) It’s rather technical – it dives deep into Information Theory – and you might need a computer science / math background to follow it. I tried to dumb it down as best I could.

Gideon7 on July 30, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Apparently not ;)

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:05 PM

And yet it was accurate.

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 11:06 PM

Noting that my statement “right side of the political spectrum” allows for an entire half of the spectrum, “on the ‘right’” may suggest more than my statement provided.

I certainly didn’t think so when I said it.

For a word-picture, Uncle Alfred stands profile on the center line of the road. His body is more to one side of the road than the other.

John Hitchcock on July 30, 2014 at 11:01 PM

This doesn’t help answer what I asked. I’ll ask again: what evidence has led you to believe that DC might be on “the right side of the political spectrum”

non-nonpartisan on July 30, 2014 at 11:06 PM

I tried to dumb it down as best I could.

Gideon7 on July 30, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Expect to get trolled by Dark Current asking you stupid questions.

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 11:06 PM

How about this; God created a world with rules and order; a world in which 1+1 cannot =3. In this world, changing a fundamental element (like the underpinnings of mathematics) would fundamentally disrupt the world. So, in that sense (that it would be destructive,) God “cannot” do certain things.

Still doesn’t suggest that God is limited, or disprove the idea that he is beyond our comprehension.

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 10:47 PM

According to scripture, God has “fundamentally disrupted the world” more than once.

An omnipotent God can do anything…even those things we can’t conceive God doing. Can God make 1+1=3 ? He sure can. God is not constrained by the laws of physics or mathematics as we know them. God created the laws of physics when He created time and space.

When anyone says “God can’t _______” it puts limits on His powers. It’s one thing to say “God wouldn’t _____” and another to say “God couldn’t _____”. If there’s something God could not do, than He could not be omnipotent. God would cease to be seen as all powerful.

God can do anything.

JetBoy on July 30, 2014 at 11:07 PM

Does that make sense?

ShainS on July 30, 2014 at 11:02 PM

Yes, it does, and thanks for the explanation.
I’ve read some of your other posts, and you seem to be here for the conversation, as I am, so I knew you’d give me a straight-up answer that would make me smarter.

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 11:07 PM

its own belligerent anti-theists. DarkCurrent above is a perfect example of this.

John Hitchcock on July 30, 2014 at 10:51 PM

LOL, he definitely seems belligerent. Maybe he’s trying to prove Cupp right.

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 11:10 PM

God … can’t … CONTRADICT … Himself.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 10:55 PM

.
So, tell me about this new covenant thing

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:57 PM

.
You’re looking for an explanation as to how the New and the Old Covenants don’t “contradict” each other (I’m guessing). It’s in the fact that Jesus’ shedding His own blood in sacrifice, FULFILLED the Old Covenant.

Because of His shedding of His own “pure as the wind driven snow” blood, we now have a better “blood covenant.”
.
If that’s not the question that you meant, then try again.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 11:10 PM

Wow, what an incredibly good example of a troll. You aren’t even trying to have a genuine discussion about this. I hope everyone stops feeding you.

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 11:05 PM

It was an honest question.

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:10 PM

non non, I have seen enough of DC’s other commenting to suggest he’s right leaning, but when it gets to something of any religious matter, he becomes belligerently anti-theist, and moreso anti-Christian. In other areas, he does have right-leaning tendencies. In Christian matters, he’s a boorish troll of the 9th degree.

John Hitchcock on July 30, 2014 at 11:10 PM

The genetic code (exponential bits of genetic information) is impossible … without an intelligent designer.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 10:58 PM

.
Do complex things require a designer?

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:02 PM

.
Not all complexities are equally complex.
.
The genetic code requires an intelligent designer.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 11:13 PM

God can do anything.

JetBoy on July 30, 2014 at 11:07 PM

OK, but I was suggesting that God would not, willy-nilly, change something as fundamental as the laws of physics.

Miracles (temporary suspension of those laws) don’t count. Jesus walked on water, but that didn’t immediately make it possible for all of us to walk on water.

The point I tried to make; Can do, and will do are not the same thing. I still don’t limit God, when I suggest that he might not wish to do something that would change the rules he set in place.

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 11:15 PM

non non, I have seen enough of DC’s other commenting to suggest he’s right leaning, but when it gets to something of any religious matter, he becomes belligerently anti-theist, and moreso anti-Christian. In other areas, he does have right-leaning tendencies. In Christian matters, he’s a boorish troll of the 9th degree.

John Hitchcock on July 30, 2014 at 11:10 PM

I asked for evidence that he’s “right leaning.” You gave me nothing specific.

I’ll tell you I have seen nothing from him that indicates he leans to the right politically. And I’ll add that the trolling you mentioned suggests the opposite about him.

non-nonpartisan on July 30, 2014 at 11:16 PM

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 11:07 PM

Thanks. I always enjoy your comments, massrighty.

ShainS on July 30, 2014 at 11:17 PM

he becomes belligerently anti-theist, and moreso anti-Christian….he’s a boorish troll of the 9th degree.

John Hitchcock on July 30, 2014 at 11:10 PM

So, others have already noticed this. He probably should have avoided this thread since he’s showing much more hostility to religious believers than they are showing to him. It’s strange that he thinks he’s clever.

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 11:17 PM

LOL, he definitely seems belligerent. Maybe he’s trying to prove Cupp right.

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 11:10 PM

I don’t think I’m belligerent (I may be biased).

I’m truly interested in the truth. I don’t believe in a supreme God. I don’t fully reject the idea either.

I’m exploring.

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:17 PM

Sure there are things God cannot do. He cannot be Evil. He cannot be unjust, or commit sin. If He did so, He would cease to be God.

God is just as bound by law as we are.

A moment’s thought shows this to be true. Why was Jesus necessary? He paid the price for our sins, right? Why did God send Jesus instead of just removing the penalty? Because not even God could remove the concept of justice. There is law, and punishments for violating that law (else it’s not a law, just a suggestion). Thus, Jesus came to suffer the penalty for us; not because the penalty was waived.

Incidentally, here is where Islam differs: they have no concept of redemption and redeemer.

Vanceone on July 30, 2014 at 11:17 PM

The genetic code requires an intelligent designer.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 11:13 PM

Doesn’t an intelligent designer capable of creating a genetic code require an even more intelligent designer?

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:20 PM

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 10:47 PM

.
According to scripture, God has “fundamentally disrupted the world” more than once.

An omnipotent God can do anything…even those things we can’t conceive God doing. Can God make 1+1=3 ? He sure can. God is not constrained by the laws of physics or mathematics as we know them. God created the laws of physics when He created time and space.

When anyone says “God can’t _______” it puts limits on His powers. It’s one thing to say “God wouldn’t _____” and another to say “God couldn’t _____”. If there’s something God could not do, than He could not be omnipotent. God would cease to be seen as all powerful.

God can do anything.

JetBoy on July 30, 2014 at 11:07 PM

.
Nope … repeating :
.

God … can’t … CONTRADICT … Himself.

Do you, or do you not believe in “absolutes”?

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 10:55 PM

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 11:20 PM

Sorry, non non. I don’t have the skills of a rogerb. I’ve been here a few years, albeit with sporadic commenting, and have seen him to the right on different issues. I cannot provide links or quotes, or even what he’s to the right (or left) on.

Not trying to be snarky at all, but you’ll believe me or not believe me as is your option. I just cannot provide evidence of my statement in this regard.

John Hitchcock on July 30, 2014 at 11:20 PM

listens2glen: Not all complexities are equally complex.

That is actually a profound statement (and it’s very true).

So, we can construct or imagine a system of such complexities? And if so, how complex is that system? And can we create a system of those? And..

Gideon7 on July 30, 2014 at 11:20 PM

I’m truly interested in the truth.

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:17 PM

No, you’re not. You think far too highly of yourself to believe that you can learn anything from any religious commenters. Also, your smart-azz questions were not in-line with someone that is interested in the truth.

I’m exploring trolling.

Fixed.

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 11:21 PM

John Hitchcock on July 30, 2014 at 11:10 PM

I think that’s a good assessment.

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:22 PM

The genetic code requires an intelligent designer.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 11:13 PM

.
Doesn’t an intelligent designer capable of creating a genetic code require an even more intelligent designer?

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:20 PM

.
On what logic, or grounds-basis are you asking that ?
.
BTW … the answer’s “no”.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 11:23 PM

No, you’re not. You think far too highly of yourself to believe that you can learn anything from any religious commenters. Also, your smart-azz questions were not in-line with someone that is interested in the truth.

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 11:21 PM

I’m sorry if I offended you. I like to ask questions. Always have.

I’m curious.

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:25 PM

Sorry, non non. I don’t have the skills of a rogerb. I’ve been here a few years, albeit with sporadic commenting, and have seen him to the right on different issues. I cannot provide links or quotes, or even what he’s to the right (or left) on.

Not trying to be snarky at all, but you’ll believe me or not believe me as is your option. I just cannot provide evidence of my statement in this regard.

John Hitchcock on July 30, 2014 at 11:20 PM

I am not taking you as snarky, so we are good that way.

I am trying to emphasize that the trolling you noticed is not typical behavior for people who lean right. In this case, I consider it a glaring tell.

non-nonpartisan on July 30, 2014 at 11:27 PM

Maybe we have two definitions of evil. I consider evil a supernatural force. It more than just a person being bad or wrong. Hitler just wasn’t a bad and immoral man……he was pure evil. So how can you not believe in the supernatural but believe in evil? I don’t get that.

terryannonline on July 30, 2014 at 10:32 PM

I guess I don’t consider evil to be supernatural. I think people possess a variety of characteristics, both positive and negative. Under certain circumstances/stress, we all may be capable of evil. However, some of us don’t need those stresses to do evil things. Some of us are just bad people from the start. So, was Hitler more than just a bad or immoral person, a man of pure evil? I don’t know. Perhaps I just see him as a rather extreme outlier on the normal distribution of human characteristics. He was bound to exist as a matter of probability (and while he as indeed evil, I’m not sure he was uniquely evil in the sense that I would Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Che Guevara, etc. in the much the same category of evil. Some of them were even more successful at it). So, I guess evil to me is simply possession of a variety of negative human characteristics in their most extreme form.

Also, I don’t think most people who do evil things think they are doing evil things. Hitler didn’t wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and say to himself, “I’m one G–damn evil human being!” (as far as I know). I suspect he thought he was doing good. In fact, much evil is conducted by those who believe they were doing good, doing the right thing.

Mullaney on July 30, 2014 at 11:27 PM

Not all complexities are equally complex.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 11:13 PM

.
That is actually a profound statement (and it’s very true).

So, we can construct or imagine a system of such complexities? And if so, how complex is that system? And can we create a system of those? And..

Gideon7 on July 30, 2014 at 11:20 PM

.
I uttered a “profundity” ?

Someone check the thermometer in hell.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 11:28 PM

I like to ask questions…

I’m curious.

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:25 PM

You’re not asking curious questions. You’re asking troll questions. Whatev’s. Have you silly fun tonight. I don’t care. I just don’t think you should be lying to the comment board about your intentions.

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 11:29 PM

On what logic, or grounds-basis are you asking that ?
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BTW … the answer’s “no”.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 11:23 PM

You seemed to be saying that complex things require a designer.

Isn’t a God capable of creating a universe a complex thing?

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:29 PM

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 11:21 PM

.
I’m sorry if I offended you. I like to ask questions. Always have.

I’m curious.

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:25 PM

.
Well, us Christians are ultra-hyper-sensitive to having God’s existence questioned … so don’t let it happen again.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 11:31 PM

when it gets to something of any religious matter, he becomes belligerently anti-theist, and moreso anti-Christian…he’s a boorish troll of the 9th degree.

John Hitchcock on July 30, 2014 at 11:10 PM

I think that’s a good assessment.

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:22 PM

So, you admit this, yet you want people to believe that you’re sincere? Why are you wasting your own time? Is your silly, transparent game that much fun for you?

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 11:32 PM

You’re not asking curious questions. You’re asking troll questions. Whatev’s. Have you silly fun tonight. I don’t care. I just don’t think you should be lying to the comment board about your intentions.

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 11:29 PM

I’m asking questions that make you uncomfortable.

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:34 PM

Well, us Christians are ultra-hyper-sensitive to having God’s existence questioned … so don’t let it happen again.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 11:31 PM

I will of course ;)

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:35 PM

Maybe we have two definitions of evil. I consider evil a supernatural force. It more than just a person being bad or wrong. Hitler just wasn’t a bad and immoral man……he was pure evil. So how can you not believe in the supernatural but believe in evil? I don’t get that.

terryannonline on July 30, 2014 at 10:32 PM

ColtsFan waves at terry.

I think …in my humble opinion, that “I consider Evil to be a SUPRA-Natural force.”

SUPRA – in that it is or represents an entity that is different than the realm of the physical or nature.

SUPER – Natural = often comes across as another way of implying “God-like” or Deity.

And Terry, you are correct on the existence of Objective, Moral Facts .

ColtsFan on July 30, 2014 at 11:35 PM

I’m asking questions that make you uncomfortable.

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:34 PM

You’re even more of a simpleton than I originally thought. Your simpleton questions don’t have the power to make me uncomfortable.

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 11:38 PM

Objectivists base good and evil, and develop a philosophy of ethics, on this reasoning: that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; that which negates, opposes, or destroys it is the evil.

It’s no more complicated than that …

ShainS on July 30, 2014 at 10:42 PM

I too have read Ayn Rand, and I respect her scholarly work on Objectivism.

My problem with Objectivism: is largely Epistemological.

How and where does she find rational justification for her first principles, her foundational principles.

Other people, a lot more smarter than me, have commented on the problems associated with Objectivism..

Even theologians of a right-wing bent have written essays noting the Benefits and Problems of Objectivism.

ColtsFan on July 30, 2014 at 11:44 PM

DC, I’d play with you, but I’m tired and need to go to bed.

I’ll just throw out a quickie for you for ponder overnight. It goes like this:

According to quantum mechanics, every physical act requires an observer for it to ‘happen’. That is, the act of observation collapses the probability wave function and travels backwards in time to make the event ‘happen’. (Google ‘Einstein spooky action at a distance’.) Basically, QM theory states that until something is observed it literally did not happen. The act of observation causes the event to snap into existence, even going backward in time to do so.

Now, you know you exist. You are self-aware. Descartes said, “I think, there am I.” But that is not enough. Existence requires something more than that. Otherwise your existence is not actualized in the QM sense. It is not real. To exist you must first be observed.

Ok then, so who or what is this entity that must, by necessity, be observing you? Watching you? Causing you to come into existence? (Don’t answer ‘myself’. Self-observation within the QM system doesn’t count. The observer must be outside.)

I carefully develop the full philosophical argument in my Haruhi Suzumiya fanfic here.

Goodnight!

Gideon7 on July 30, 2014 at 11:45 PM

Funny when someone starts questioning religious beliefs how that turns in to the person being belligerent and “anti-theist” and a troll. Sounds like you are just insecure in your own belief to me.

kastor on July 30, 2014 at 11:45 PM

Yeah, anti-theist trolls have no idea how to make me uncomfortable. They’re more of a waste of time than Trotskyites.

John Hitchcock on July 30, 2014 at 11:46 PM

Here is another commentator noting the Pros and Cons of Objectivism.

For me, these articles all point out that Objectivism is not a slam dunk.

ColtsFan on July 30, 2014 at 11:46 PM

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 11:23 PM

.
You seemed to be saying that complex things require a designer.

Isn’t a God capable of creating a universe a complex thing?

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:29 PM

.
Now THAT’S a “profound” question.

The only answer I can give you (and I can’t promise that it’s going to satisfy you) is that God is a spirit being, and His existence is in the spirit realm, which is a whole different ‘dimension’ from this physical realm, which we contact with our five physical senses.
There are three things that the Bible states as being what God is (in no particular order) :
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God IS Life, God IS Light, and God IS Love.

God IS all three of those things, in the strongest, most absolute sense.

So, how complex is that ?

The answer coming from me … ‘I don’t know’.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 11:46 PM

You’re even more of a simpleton than I originally thought. Your simpleton questions don’t have the power to make me uncomfortable.

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 11:38 PM

Clearly something is making you uncomfortable.

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:48 PM

There you go, kastor. I say nothing bad about SE Cupp or RWM, both atheists. I do speak out about the anti-theist DarkCurrent. You conveniently overlook the distinction, because the distinction would destroy your dishonest blather.

John Hitchcock on July 30, 2014 at 11:50 PM

This has been an interesting conversation, but I’ve got to go to bed … catch-up with y’all later.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 11:50 PM

Gideon – so are you saying you’re a deist? A poly-deist?

I realize our limited human intellect cannot understand the concept “something from nothing.” A deist or theist are ok with the concept because they use god(s) to fill in that gap. But if something can’t come from nothing, who or what created “god z” & “god y” & “god x” etc. Infinite regress issue there.

kastor on July 30, 2014 at 11:51 PM

DarkCurrent is playing a game seen on Big Daddy: I win. That’s all he’s doing, so his declaration that the guppy is scaring the shark is true because he said so. That is all.

John Hitchcock on July 30, 2014 at 11:52 PM

Who said God was complex? I mean other than Richard Dawkins and other members of the Cult of GNU. Actually, for faithful Catholics, God is absolutely simple. He has no parts, physical or metaphysical. For more, see here:

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/09/classical-theism.html

Also, Dark Current, there are many things God cannot do. He cannot sin because to sin is to commit evil which is a privation. Since God is pure actuality, he does not lack anything/ See here:

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/10/laws-evil-god-challenge.html

Mike Rathbone on July 30, 2014 at 11:53 PM

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 11:46 PM

Thank you for your thoughtful response.

Your conclusion seems reasonable ;)

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:53 PM

I wasn’t speaking directly to you john but based on your reaction it sounds like my comment was accurate.

kastor on July 30, 2014 at 11:54 PM

Oh, here comes the passive-aggressive thing from kastor. He wasn’t speaking to me (therefore how dare I respond). And my noting his determined dismissal of context and content proves his point that there is no context or content. Yeah, a tower of logic, that kastor.

John Hitchcock on July 30, 2014 at 11:57 PM

There you go, kastor. I say nothing bad about SE Cupp or RWM, both atheists. I do speak out about the anti-theist DarkCurrent. You conveniently overlook the distinction, because the distinction would destroy your dishonest blather.

John Hitchcock on July 30, 2014 at 11:50 PM

I’m not strictly an anti-theist. I’m a buddhist, so an agnostic.

Still I eat meat and ask questions about God.

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:59 PM

Not all complexities are equally complex.
.
The genetic code requires an intelligent designer.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 11:13 PM

What is considered to be the act of a supreme being has changed over time, and in all likelihood will continue to do so in the future. A heavy rain, a meteor shower, a disease or cure of a disease, an infestation of insects…these are all things that our ancestors have considered miracles or proof of God or gods.

As man’s understanding grows and his knowledge expands, his view of God changes as well.

I believe wholeheartedly that it is an error to judge what is or is not possible in an eternity of possibilities based upon a view which can only include the minuscule slice of time that is today.

cat on July 31, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Yep john. I sound just like a theist now! How do you like it?

kastor on July 31, 2014 at 12:05 AM

Kastor, you’re so cute when you’re flailing away like that. Maybe some day, you’ll actually try a bit of integrity. Then again, maybe you’ll continue as you are. As my high school Algebra teacher was wont to say, it won’t make my hamburger taste any different.

John Hitchcock on July 31, 2014 at 12:09 AM

Also, Dark Current, there are many things God cannot do. He cannot sin because to sin is to commit evil which is a privation. Since God is pure actuality, he does not lack anything/ See here:

Mike Rathbone on July 30, 2014 at 11:53 PM

God can’t sin but can create things that do?

DarkCurrent on July 31, 2014 at 12:30 AM

Clearly something is making you uncomfortable.

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 11:48 PM

Your trolling.

DarkCurrent is playing a game seen on Big Daddy: I win.

John Hitchcock on July 30, 2014 at 11:52 PM

LOL! You characterized that perfectly.

corkie on July 31, 2014 at 2:31 AM

that turns in to the person being belligerent and “anti-theist” and a troll.

kastor on July 30, 2014 at 11:45 PM

DC wrote that this was a good assessment. Take it up with him.

corkie on July 31, 2014 at 2:36 AM

Your trolling.

corkie on July 31, 2014 at 2:31 AM

You seem uncomfortable around different opinions.

DarkCurrent on July 31, 2014 at 3:08 AM

You seem uncomfortable around different opinions.

DarkCurrent on July 31, 2014 at 3:08 AM

He’d fit in well with the Chinese government. :)

Good Solid B-Plus on July 31, 2014 at 4:39 AM

How come Husserl,Kant,Heidegger and Hegel(That’s not chuck)haven’t been mentioned?

celtic warrior on July 31, 2014 at 5:00 AM

He’d fit in well with the Chinese government. :)

Good Solid B-Plus on July 31, 2014 at 4:39 AM

touché

DarkCurrent on July 31, 2014 at 5:02 AM

“I’d go so far as to say conservatism is far more intellectually honest and respectful of atheism than liberalism has been.”

Why should atheism be any different than anything else? I’d go so far as to say conservatives are far more intellectual honest and respectful of just about anything than liberals.

rhombus on July 31, 2014 at 6:02 AM

I’d go so far as to say conservatism is far more intellectually honest and respectful of atheism than liberalism has been

But only liberalism will give many atheists what they (not so secretly) want: the eradication of religion and its adherents.

I’m an atheist, but I can tell you that many of my fellow atheists are actually anti-theists and fall into this camp. And that’s why they must be defeated.

Stoic Patriot on July 31, 2014 at 6:16 AM

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