The unfolding tragedy in the horn of Africa


The ghastly events unfolding in a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya unfortunately did not come as a complete surprise to me. Ever since I completed reading Jeremy Scahill’s book Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield (2013), where he traces to evolution of the global war on terror, I felt that it was only a matter of time before some atrocity occurred either in that country or Ethiopia or both.

Scahill spends a considerable time in the book on Somalia and Yemen, both countries in which the central government has little or no control over vast swathes of the country and where the US is engaged in covert wars in which it shifts allegiances from one group to another for tactical reasons, and where militant Islamic groups and tribal factions battle one another and the US. The net result is that both are failed states where anarchy and chaos rule, just the kinds of conditions that the radical Islamic groups and their spinoffs (al Shabab in Somalia and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen) thrive. This has been going on for years off the front pages in the US.

horn of africaWhat has that got to do with Kenya? A look at the map should suffice. This country has a long and porous border and the various warring factions in Somalia use that country as a haven and staging ground. As soon as the Kenyan government became part of an African peacekeeping force that was involved within Somalia, you knew that Kenyans would be targeted for retaliation. Ethiopia, which also has troops in Somalia and which invaded the country a few years ago as a proxy force for the US, is also likely to be hit.

Groups like al Qaeda thrive in failed states where law and order break down and ordinary people become prey to thugs and criminals. Because these militant groups have the military muscle to suppress the criminal elements and can provide a kind of quasi-security in the areas they control, people are willing to tolerate them, despite their harsh Islamic rules and summary punishments.

What is also worrisome is that large regions of Pakistan also risk becoming failed regions where the central government is losing control and the ghastly bombing of a Christian church in which 81 people died is another example. A Taliban-affiliated group claimed responsibility, saying that it was in retaliation for US drone attacks and that they would continue to target non-Muslims and foreigners.

Comments

  1. Cornelius says

    Are you an atheist?

    If so, do you deny that there is something therefore some agent in charge of the universe?

    I must commend you for allowing comments in your blog, for there are bloggers who do not allow comments in their blog, or suppress comments which do not agree with them.

    Others claim that they allow comments only it must be by email, which is a kind of not allow comments in their blogs.

    I hope we can exchange thoughts in public on who is in charge if anyone of the universe.

    Cornelius

  2. Cornelius says

    Well, you — I did not notice it earlier — subject comments to your moderation, i.e., screening.

    Perhaps it is better you adopt this method, if a comment is blatantly useless or even hateful, then just return it to the sender with a request to write something useful and absolutely non-hateful.

    But, please don’t subject comments to your screening and thus to your suppression.

    Cornelius

  3. Cornelius says

    “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

    Well, I am waiting to see whether my comments will come out or not at all.

    Cornelius

  4. Splicer says

    The U.S. and these Muslim Extremist groups are in a bizarre symbiotic relationship and are nearly mirrors of each other. Both use the other as a bogeyman for their own purposes. As a cynic, I don’t see anything that happens in that region as anything but the actions of gangsters dressed in jihadi costumes. They talk pretty about revenge, retaliation and getting invaders out of their countries, but in the end they covet power for the same reason all humans do.

  5. Mano Singham says

    First time commenters have to get approval as a spam control device but subsequent comments are not screened.

  6. Mano Singham says

    I am an atheist and there is no agent in charge of the universe, which is just as well since otherwise he/she/it is doing a terrible job.

  7. Reginald Selkirk says

    Bear up; I suspect you are about to find out why Cornelius has been banned from other blogs.

  8. 2up2down2furious says

    In addition to being an obvious tu quoque, it also isn’t totally true. While the humanitarian crisis in Syria is very acute, Somalia is probably the biggest humanitarian disaster on earth right now. The ongoing wars among Somalian factions, the US, and US allies have potentially killed 500,000 people in past few decades, and the recent famines (exacerbated by lack of a central government to oversee irrigation and agriculture, by invasions, and by the US attempting to restrict aid to areas with an Al Shabaab presence) of the past couple years have killed more than a quarter million.

  9. steve oberski says

    It’s not that I deny that anyone is “in charge” of the universe, it’s just that such a patently puerile notion never occurred to me in the first place.

    It’s those folk who project their fear of the dark and death into the public marketplace of ideas that posit an invisible sky daddy who strangely enough always seems to have the same biases and prejudices as those who grovel before these malignant deities.

    Do you deny that some agent is in charge of that big booming sound you hear each time there is a flash of light in the sky ?

    Do you cower in fear and huddle around the camp fire when ever you hear a strange sound in the night ?

  10. says

    The US military created “AFRICOM”- a separate command structure for dealing with military ventures in Africa. That means AFRICOM will be lobbying for missions and importance, you just betcha.

  11. says

    Well, if they don’t shoot anyone with all those expensive guns, all that money spent on buying them and training people to use them will have been wasted! Why do you want government to waste your money, Marcus?

    et c., et c..

    /snark

  12. Jockaira says

     A BLOG is the exclusive intellectual property of the blogger. Demanding the blogger to accede to any or all demands for content inclusion amounts to restriction of expression.

    This would be the same as being required to include comments from others in your novels, scientific papers, essays, letters to the editor, even to personal notes sent to friends. Just plain silly!

    Cornelius, if you want editorial control over a blog, then start your own.

  13. colnago80 says

    I don’t know if Prof. Singham has given the heave ho to any commenter as yet but Ed Brayton has given the heave ho to a few, including Robert O’Brien, Colin Brendemuehl, Larry Fafarman, and Don Williams.

  14. Cornelius says

    Thanks Mano for accepting my comments to come out in your blog.

    Now, let us engage in the exchange of thoughts about whether there is any agent at all in charge of the universe.

    I say yes, you say no, or you don’t know?

    Which is it, no or you don’t know.

    Wait, I will read again your replies.

    Here is the one that is intended to answer to my question:

    “Mano Singham
    September 23, 2013 at 1:11 pm (UTC -4) Link to this comment

    I am an atheist and there is no agent in charge of the universe, which is just as well since otherwise he/she/it is doing a terrible job.”

    You say there is no agent in charge, because if there were he would be doing a terrible job.

    Is that an opinion or a conclusion; either way you must have an intrinsic reason for saying that, but the way you put it, the reason is because you see that the universe is terribly being in charge of, so you conclude that there should be none which is the preferable opinion.

    Now, let us we two talk about what it is to be in charge of the universe.

    First, I will submit that to be charge of the universe you have got to be first under a burden as to be in charge; to be brief, the one in charge is either given the job by someone else or he is himself the creator of the universe, wherefore he is in charge, for otherwise he is if he does not take charge of what he creates, he is being irresponsible.

    Anyway, let us focus our attention on what it is to be charge of the universe.

    That is one point that should be specific and can be understood by us humans, for we humans are also in charge of things that are existing and operating.

    For example, you are in charge of this blog because you are the owner, and creator to some extent, namely, you use the materials already present to organize them into a blog where you can publish your thoughts, etc., etc. etc.

    Now, let us go into the one in charge of the universe, did he use extant materials and give them a form and then impart activity to them: which is now the universe as you and I observe the universe to be?

    I like to invite you to think for the present, with me, why you say that the universe is terribly being in charge of by the agent whomever, but shall we call him God?

    Okay, not to go far and wide when we know already that we are dealing with God, more in particular as we are in the Western World which is Christendom, we are talking about God Who is in concept the creator of heaven and earth, or of everything, namely, of the universe, which to science is the totality of what scientists are investigating, and to myself and I presume all people who know God to exist as the creator of everything that has a beginning, namely, everything that is not God Himself, the universe for me as a theist and also people like myself, the universe is the totality of existence including God Himself and all things that are not God.

    So, let you bring forth one example of how God is doing a terribly bad job in being in charge of the universe.

    Just this last point, from you, that God is doing a terribly bad job in taking charge or being and acting as the agent in charge of the universe.

    Give an example of His doing a terribly bad job.

    No need to go into other things for the present, we want to be sharply well-defined in our subject matter for the present, namely, give one example of how God is doing a terribly bad job as the agent in charge of the universe.

    You will ask me to give one example to the contrary that God is doing an excellently good job being in charge of the universe.

    Okay, here it is, but don’t take it as an instance of flippancy from my part: God is doing an excellently good job being in charge of the universe, for example, your nose is not falling off anytime and anywhere, and your nose and you are parts of the universe, so God is doing an excellent job because even though you to all appearances are just a most minutest part of the vast universe, He takes such excellent charge of you so that anytime and anywhere your nose is not falling off, and you can proceed to continue with all your affairs anytime and anywhere without any worry about your nose falling off.

    That is my example of how excellent a job God is doing in being the agent in charge of the universe.

    Now, you give an example of how God is doing a terribly bad job.

    No need to bring in other matters, just as I have done already with my one instance of God doing an excellent job of being in charge of the universe, you give one example to show to the contrary, against my example.

    I have the pleasure to commend you that you are not screening and thus suppressing people like myself, but you only want to ensure that folks who do take to contribute comments must undergo a first test to give evidence that they are into sincere and useful exchange of relevant thinking to your blog.

    But we can continue you and me to monitor how we two and others who participate in the present subject, God or no God in charge of the universe, are into sincere and useful exchange of thoughts in a civil manner.

    I really enjoy exchanging thoughts with thinking folks, so I will be closely following this exchange between you and me.

    Cornelius

  15. Mano Singham says

    I do not reject gods because they are doing a terrible job (I thought it would be obvious that I was just being facetious when I said that), I reject them because the entire concept seems silly and arguing about whether gods exist seems as pointless as arguing about whether Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy or the Flying Spaghetti Monster exist.

    While I occasionally take an interest in evaluating good and bad arguments on this question, the basic question is silly. It is like (say) Sherlock Holmes. I can appreciate arguments as to the nature of his personality and his qualities as a detective based on the stories while at the same time being not at all interested in arguing over whether he exists or not.

    So while you are welcome to comment here, I am afraid that you will have to find someone else to engage with you on this particular topic of the existence of gods.

  16. mnb0 says

    @Cornelius:

    “You say there is no agent in charge, because if there were he would be doing a terrible job.”
    Actually MS didn’t write that. He wrote that it’s a good thing there is no agent in charge because etc. That’s not the same.
    First sign of another useless debate with a believer: you can’t read comprehensively.

    “did he use extant materials and give them a form and then impart activity to them: …”
    Second sign: you ask a question based on an assumption MS just rejected.

    “why you say that the universe is terribly being in charge of by the agent whomever …”
    Second sign repeated. Only the first part is approximately relevant. If you want to know why MS thinks that “since otherwise he/she/it is doing a terrible job” you should should simply reread this post on Somalia/Kenia and eventually get some information about what is happening in Syria.

    “your nose is not falling off anytime”
    I pity you for needing a god preventing your nose falling off. For me it’s sufficient that cohesion and adhesion are strong enough to withstand gravity.

  17. Cornelius says

    Well. you say the question of God exists or not is silly.

    If I may, suppose you tell me why you think it is silly.

    Precisely there are humans who think about the question and have come to the conclusion that there is God the creator of everything with a beginning.

    And they are not silly people, unless – and forgive me — you regard people who have come to the conclusion that God exists to be silly people.

    I came to your blog when I was looking for web writings on the drama of religion.

    From my reading of your writings here, and it has not been much, I have the thought that you are a thinking person and you do not dismiss other people’s thinking because you regard their thoughts or their questions to be silly.

    Now, you don’t think (yes, think, if you do think), that you want or care to exchange thoughts with me on who is in charge of the universe but you already state though you are not really serious about it, that there is no agent because the agent if there be one is doing a terribly bad job.

    Well, if you have opted to not think about this question, there is nothing I can do about it; and you suggest I look for someone else to talk with me.

    Forgive me, I would suggest that you put a notice in your blog at the top of each page, that you personally will not exchange thoughts with people who care to exchange thoughts with you about God as the agent in charge of the universe.

    Then I would not take the chance to contribute my comments in your blog.

    Forgive me for I know that I am in your tolerance for this is your blog and as one commenter here says it, you need not trouble yourself with folks like me who even commend you about your being open to comments from people like myself.

    The fact is that you DO give the impression that you do care to exchange thought about everything, and the agent in charge of the universe is one such in the category of everything that is of interest to humans.

    Let me just look up what you say about yourself.

    “ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    I am a theoretical physicist and currently Director of UCITE (University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education) at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. I am the author of three books: God vs. Darwin: The War Between Evolution and Creationism in the Classroom (2009), The Achievement Gap in US Education: Canaries in the Mine (2005), and Quest for Truth: Scientific Progress and Religious Beliefs (2000). You can email me at mano.singham”‘at”‘case.edu.

    FREETHOUGHT BLOGS

    A Million Gods [etc.]”

    If the question about God is silly, you do seem, and again forgive me, to put a lot of time and effort into a lot of materials connected with God: so you are into a lot of silly matters.

    I read about what you shared with readers here in your blog, that your kids today use cellphones, but when they were in lower schools you did not supply them with cellphones because you thought and perhaps still think they do not need cellphones, and you are not in the mindset of giving things to your kids when you don’t think they need them.

    I guess you yourself do not — or now do also use a cellphone.

    That is one instance when I think that you are a thinking person.

    So, suppose we continue with my invitation to you to present one example why you hold that the agent in charge of the universe is doing a terribly bad job.

    I am apprehensive that at this point you will already close your blog to my comments, that has happened time and again with bloggers like you, thinkers who do not allow other thinkers to exchange thoughts with them, but foreclose themselves from having to deal with them.

    That is what I have already seen time and again with atheists, they do not want to think outside their own self-enclosed sphere of thoughts.

    Cornelius

  18. Cornelius says

    To mnbO:

    It is good that you are interested.

    So, suppose you give me one example where if there is an agent in charge he is doing a terribly bad job.

    If there is no agent in charge how do you explain that your nose is not anytime and anywhere falling off without any notice whatever from you, it is that bad I would imagine if there is no agent in charge of the universe where your nose and my nose and ourselves are just even the most minutest parts of the universe.

    To Mano:
    Thanks, Mano, you have not yet foreclosed this blog from my comments.

    I hope to stay longer here even as long as your blog is operating, i.e., with you as the founder, owner, and operator, well, agent in charge.

    Let us all see what is going to happen between you folks and myself, in the matter of agency in charge of the universe.

    My desire is that you be thinking folks and we be together into the exchange of thoughts on God as the agent in charge of the universe, all in a civil manner.

    You tell me whenever I am not into civil speech, and I will apologize and take back my whatever words you observe to be uncivil.

    But, please do not dismiss ideas with the charge that they are silly — unless you give sound reasons why they are silly.

    Cornelius

  19. Cornelius says

    To mnbO:

    You say:

    “”your nose is not falling off anytime”
    I pity you for needing a god preventing your nose falling off. For me it’s sufficient that cohesion and adhesion are strong enough to withstand gravity.”

    Thanks for your pity, but that is neither here nor there.

    Suppose you tell me who is in charge of the ”cohesion and adhesion [that] are strong enough to withstand gravity,” so that your nose and my nose do not just fall off anytime and anywhere.

    And also tell readers here where does gravity come from, as also the cohesion and adhesion that hold our noses to our face instead of falling off anytime and anywhere without us even noticing it.

    Cornelius

  20. bad Jim says

    That’s just the way things are. There is gravity, electromagnetism, the strong force and the weak force.

    Assuming a god in charge of it all doesn’t make the picture clearer. In fact it complicates it by adding the question of where that god came from. Whatever answer you give to that could as easily be applied to the aforementioned forces.

    We don’t have final answers to anything, but that’s okay; the answers we have are practical and dependable. We take the approach of Socrates: the problem isn’t the things you don’t know, but the things you do know that ain’t so.

  21. Jockaira says

    Cornelius is just another theodicist who wants to stake out HIS territory for HIS debate that will show HIS superior intellect and the rightness of HIS fairy tales. Of course he will do this by wearing us down with walls of text and never-ending demands to answer silly trivial questions, and admonitions that if we don’t respond then all his points are proven.

    Anyone who falls into his traps has no one but himself to blame. Cornelius himself cannot assume responsibility for anything more than could be assumed by a two-year old upon discovering that he can monopolize the occasion by making more noise than anyone else.

    Strident Stupidity is its own best punishment.

  22. Cornelius says

    Well, the request from me is that Mano present an example of how terribly the universe is being in charge of by God.

    And I am asking this also from folks here who are atheists like Mano.

    So, are you going to answer the question or insist on evading it.

    Cornelius

  23. Cornelius says

    Here is the answer of Mano to my message in #7 above:

    “Mano Singham
    September 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm (UTC -4)

    I do not reject gods because they are doing a terrible job (I thought it would be obvious that I was just being facetious when I said that), I reject them because the entire concept seems silly and arguing about whether gods exist seems as pointless as arguing about whether Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy or the Flying Spaghetti Monster exist.

    While I occasionally take an interest in evaluating good and bad arguments on this question, the basic question is silly. It is like (say) Sherlock Holmes. I can appreciate arguments as to the nature of his personality and his qualities as a detective based on the stories while at the same time being not at all interested in arguing over whether he exists or not.

    So while you are welcome to comment here, I am afraid that you will have to find someone else to engage with you on this particular topic of the existence of gods.”

    So, he does not really state that God is doing a terribly bad job as the agent in charge of the universe, he is just acting facetious when he says that.

    What is it for a person to act facetious?

    Here, from Google Chrome instant one click dictionary:

    “fa·ce·tious
    Treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humor; flippant
    More » ”

    Well, I guess I have to take all that message of Mano as completely an example from Mano that he is acting facetiously; as indeed the whole message is all facetious if a reader cares to make any sense of it.

    So, he is not interested in exchange of thoughts with me on the in charge agency of the universe, even though he describes himself as a serious thinker, and concerned about God’s existence or more correctly non-existence.:

    “ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    I am a theoretical physicist and currently Director of UCITE (University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education) at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. I am the author of three books: God vs. Darwin: The War Between Evolution and Creationism in the Classroom (2009), The Achievement Gap in US Education: Canaries in the Mine (2005), and Quest for Truth: Scientific Progress and Religious Beliefs (2000). You can email me at mano.singham”‘at”‘case.edu.
    FREETHOUGHT BLOGS
    A Million Gods [etc.]”

    Dear Mano, do you notice that as an atheist you do tend to act facetious when someone like myself invites you to exchange thoughts with me on the agency in charge of the universe.

    And do you notice that atheists do not really reason out things, but they evade the issue at hand, and instead resort to using derogatory adjectives on the party seeking to exchange thoughts with them, like using the adjective silly, and putting the concept of God in the same category as “Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.”

    Don’t you all atheists notice or you do not even see it obvious from your part, that you do not reason, but you act facetious when you are invited to face the question of God’s existence or non-existence.

    Anyway, are you going to give one example why God is doing a terribly bad job as the agent in charge of the universe.

    I address this request to the rest of you atheists here, Mano has chosen to not engage in serious exchange of thoughts with me, because he prefers to act facetious.

    My desire here is just to exchange thoughts with you atheists, but if you prefer like Mano to act facetious, then there is nothing I can do to bring you around to act serious and reason out things with me.

    Okay, just give me one example why God is doing a terribly bad job in acting as the agent in charge of the universe.

    I must admit that my comments are not directly into the topic of Mano in his present concern about the killing in Nairobi, still I think it is a relevant occasion for going into the issue of how God is doing as agent in charge of the universe.

    Cornelius

    PS Thanks, Mano, withal you are really aside from acting facetious serious so far with allowing folks like me to contribute comments in your blog.

  24. eidolon says

    Cornelius…
    Have you anything at all to say about the frickin’ topic of this post anyway? Did you just come here to derail and see your words on the magic screen? Please go to PZ’s Thunderdome or Lounge and you can write about whatever you want.

    As for the post – I have to agree with Splicer @3. Behind all the talk about their people, oppression, yada, yada, yada – there is a thug and his cronies looking for power and all that goes with it. These people are literally no different than the leader of any gang in a major city – well, better weapons maybe. The US is cynically using these hoods with no regard to what the effects are on the general population. Collateral damage, I guess.

  25. says

    Weapons-grade thread derail.

    Mano, if I might suggest – if you want to debate this guy (which might be fun to watch) why not hatch a separate thread for it?

  26. Jeffrey Johnson says

    Okay, just give me one example why God is doing a terribly bad job in acting as the agent in charge of the universe.

    Cancer, hunger, poverty, war, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, threat of meteor strikes, AIDS, herpes, tapeworms and other parasites, and the fact that eventually the sun will incinerate the earth. These are facts one would not expect of a competent and loving God. They are what one would expect of an indifferent unfolding of natural laws and forces.

  27. Jeffrey Johnson says

    I think this description is true, but not complete. Yes it is always true that agents or actors in any theater, story, war, conflict, or whatever try to use their enemy’s “wrong-doing” to further their own cause. And yes, self-interest is a root cause of action and behavior. This is elemental in conflict of all kinds everywhere.

    But human actions are not the product of any single motive. They are the result of a complex fabric of interwoven motives, some contradictory and some mutually reinforcing. Often people aren’t even consciously aware of some of their motives, so it is just as likely that people who really want power and control only ever think of that consciously in their own minds in terms of wanting a world where every person and every action is blessed by the loving grace of Allah, or wanting a world that provides every man, woman, and child freedom and opportunity to achieve economic prosperity and independence, self-respect, and dignity. People in a conflict don’t necessarily see how similar their underlying motives are, nor are their underlying motives a homogeneous field of pure self-interest. It’s more like self-interest is a parasitical hitchhiker on very elaborate systems of culture and language that the host views as unqualified good, and considers their cause to be noble, and that personal reward will only be an earned peripheral consequence of their hard work for what they see as good. Self-interest is kind of whispering in the ear to guide actions while justifying itself in terms that one feels one need not be publicly ashamed of. This is all part of the nature of humans and human tragedy.

  28. Cornelius says

    “13.1 Jeffrey Johnson

    September 24, 2013 at 9:12 am (UTC -4) Link to this comment

    From Cornelius: Okay, just give me one example why God is doing a terribly bad job in acting as the agent in charge of the universe.

    From Jeffrey: Cancer, hunger, poverty, war, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, threat of meteor strikes, AIDS, herpes, tapeworms and other parasites, and the fact that eventually the sun will incinerate the earth. These are facts one would not expect of a competent and loving God. They are what one would expect of an indifferent unfolding of natural laws and forces.”

    That is a lot of examples; but do you see that it is an assumption from your part that just because you don’t welcome all of them and each one of them, and there are still many many many of them, they are instances of God doing a terribly bad job — withal it is all in your own estimation.

    This may sound like an escape valve, but it is the fact, and I just want to bring it out explicitly to atheists that is why I am asking you for an example of God doing a terribly bad job in running the universe, namely, what atheists always bring up as instances of bad job on the part of God in the universe which He also has created and is operating, they always forget to mention if they are at all aware of it, that they do not know except a most minimally small part of the universe.

    My point is this, you do not want to dwell on the fact that there are so much more examples of God doing an excellent job to the nth degree being in charge of the universe, for example, the nose in our face is not falling off anytime and anywhere, than all your examples of your dis-satisfactions with events in the universe which you do not welcome.

    But then atheists always remind theists that they should not be arrogant as they make themselves the center of the world, or as deserving any attention from God if He does exist.

    Now, isn’t that exactly what you atheists are into, arrogance, that God should run every event to your liking, as He operates the whole universe which you have only a very minutest acquaintance of — but the nose in our face, dear fellow humans though we be different, you being atheists and I a theist, it is clearly an example of God doing an excellent job.

    Of course one day we will die, that is is another example from atheists that God is doing a terribly bad job in operating i.e. being in charge of the universe, well how about you direct your thinking to the idea that it is all part of God’s programming for all living things, that they die and get replaced by succeeding living things — and one more fact more sure than otherwise, all life will end, it is all in His programming for the universe at large.

    Have I said anything that is uncivil?

    But do you get what is my point?

    Dear fellow humans here, even though we are different like folks who are endowed with a fair complexion while others with a darker complexion, for you professing yourselves to be atheists and I a theist, we all still have a mind to think.

    And my desire here is to exchange thoughts with you, but please do thinking instead of to my observation engaging in facetious-ness.

    Let us all think together and get to the facts and the truths in things — by thinking instead of putting forth a blinder to our mind via an attitude of facetious-ness.

    Cornelius

  29. Jeffrey Johnson says

    This may sound like an escape valve

    Yep.

    for example, the nose in our face is not falling off anytime

    This doesn’t require the hypothesis of a God to explain it. It is also what one would expect of indifferent unfolding natural laws, as we observe them.

    that it is an assumption from your part that just because you don’t welcome all of them and each one of them,

    It is not an assumption, it is fundamental to the conception of a theistic God that he loves us and cares about us. By the definition of how humans conceive a theistic God, these are bad things we don’t like, and he wouldn’t do that to us.

    You aren’t working with a theistic concept of God. You have to retreat to something far more abstract for your points to make any sense. Now you are working with some mysterious creative force or energy beyond our conception, beyond the big bang, that does not have the characteristics of a theistic God that has a personal relationship with humans.

    If your God does not have the welfare of humans in mind, i.e. does not want us to suffer harms, pain, and misery, just as any loving parent feels toward their children, what properties and qualities does your conception of God actually possess?

  30. Cornelius says

    Well, about the derail, I must leave that to Mano.

    Now, about God not caring for you atheists, there are plenty of examples of God caring for all humans including atheists; but you don’t mention them at all, instead you concentrate on events which you do not welcome, though you do not know the whole scheme of the universe as created and operated by God.

    It is more rational to see God being in charge and doing a good job, by just considering that you atheists are living and living I presume comfortably as to be able to participate in this exchange of thoughts here in Mano’s blog, than that God is doing a terribly bad job.

    Go and enumerate all the things that you insist are indications of God doing a bad job, and one instance of the fact that you are breathing properly now and even tomorrow and until God has taken you from life, that one fact dissipates totally all your enumeration of dis-satisfaction events.

    Okay, you don’t accept God in the concept of creator and operator of the universe.

    What is your alternative?

    Cornelius

  31. MNb says

    @Cornelius: “If there is no agent in charge how do you explain that your nose is not anytime and anywhere falling off without any notice whatever from you, it is that bad I would imagine if there is no agent in charge of the universe where your nose and my nose and ourselves are just even the most minutest parts of the universe.”
    Sorry, I have no idea what your talking about. I already told you why my nose is not falling off – it will fall off (because of some disease for instance) as soon as gravity beats cohesion and adhesion.

    “Let us all see what is going to happen”
    Sign three: refusal of MS’ answer. He already told you he won’t debate you. It’s difficult for a faithist like you to respect that, isn’t it?

    “But, please do not dismiss ideas with the charge that they are silly — unless you give sound reasons why they are silly.”
    Sign three repeated. You’re whining. MS already gave an answer: no.

    ”cohesion and adhesion [that] are strong enough to withstand gravity,”
    Prove that cohesion, adhesion and gravity need someone like an intelligent agent in charge. Are you an adherent of

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/evangelical-scientists-refute-gravity-with-new-int,1778/

    by any chance?

    “the request from me is that Mano present an example of how terribly the universe is being in charge of by God.”
    That request was already fulfilled with this very article. Have you read it already? You haven’t commented yet. I hardly can wait.

    “as indeed the whole message is all facetious if a reader cares to make any sense of it”
    Again showing your inability to read comprehensively. I cared to make any sense of it and indeed his whole message was not facetious. I already explained you above, to which you haven’t reacted, which is sign four: you’re dishonest.

    “So, he is not interested in exchange of thoughts with me on the in charge agency of the universe, even though he describes himself as a serious thinker,”
    So all serious thinkers should be interested in exchange of thoughts with you? And I thought christianity was about being humble. You are suffering from superbia. Go repent, if you take your own belief system seriously.

    “And do you notice that atheists do not really reason out things”
    No. I noticed you don’t though. So here we have sign five: the tu quo que. Blame your opponent of what your guilty of yourself. Now I happen to remember that Jesus said something about a beam and a splinter. That’s also lost on you. Once again you fail your own belief. Tssk.

    “God in the same category as “Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.”
    Please explain why he isn’t – just because you like your god so much?

    “are you going to give one example why God is doing a terribly bad job as the agent in charge of the universe.”
    So you still haven’t read MS’ article and you still haven’t noticed what’s happening in Syria and you still haven’t addressed it.

    “just give me one example why God is doing a terribly bad job”
    You can request that as often as you like – the fact remains you can find two examples on this very page: the thing in Nairobi and the events in Syria of the last two years.

    “I must admit that my comments are not directly into the topic of Mano in his present concern about the killing in Nairobi,”
    MS is right – you are silly. And you wrote yourself you would accept that if I gave the reason why. So let me spell it out for you: the killing in Nairobi is just one example of an eventual god doing a terribly bad job.

    “the fact that there are so much more examples of God doing an excellent job to the nth degree being in charge of the universe”
    Have you counted them all?
    How do examples of an eventual god doing an excellent job justify the examples of him doing a terribly bad job? Should the victims in Nairobi and Syria thank god for not letting your nose falling off?

    “the nose in our face is clearly an example of God doing an excellent job.”
    Sign six that a fruitful and meaningful debate with you is impossible. I already explained why this example sucks.

    “we will die, that is is another example from atheists that God is doing a terribly bad job in operating ”
    Sign seven: the strawman. Actually it is not an example I would use as I don’t mind being dead – I have been in that state for more than 13 billion years and didn’t experience the slightest inconvenience from it (thanks, Mark Twain).

    “how about you direct your thinking to the idea that it is all part of God’s programming for all living things”
    I have forgotten if it’s sign one or two – this is based again on an assumption we atheists reject, so it’s irrelevant. That seems to hard to grasp for you and that in itself is sign eight.

    “Have I said anything that is uncivil?”
    No, but why do you need my affirmation?

    “But do you get what is my point?”
    Yes and it is deeply flawed.

    “please do thinking instead of to my observation engaging in facetious-ness.”
    As soon as you bring up serious arguments and react on our counterarguments. Until now you hardly do.

    “Let us all think together”
    Excellent. Will you set the good example? Until now you haven’t – I refer to the nine signs.

    “by thinking instead of putting forth a blinder to our mind”
    Again – will you set the good example? Or don’t you need to? Then you’re suffering from superbia again.

    “there are plenty of examples of God caring for all humans ”
    Oops – once again you fail to address the atheist point. Or do you think the killing in Nairobi and the horrible events in Syria and Somalia are also examples of your god caring for the humans living there? Or perhaps those people are not human?

    “It is more rational to see God being in charge and doing a good job”
    Sign ten – repeating a statement nauseum doesn’t make it correct.

    “that one fact dissipates totally all your enumeration of dis-satisfaction events.”
    Ah, now we are getting somewhere. So the people in Somalia and Syria, the relatives of the victims in Nairobi etc. etc. should forget their suffering and instead be grateful that your nose doesn’t fall off and that you keep on breathing indeed.
    Now that’s what I call christian justice. Thanks, but no thanks. Not for me.

    “What is your alternative?”
    Sign eleven: lack of empathy. If you would have used your brain for a split second you would have thought of the answer yourself: no god.

  32. MNb says

    @Jockaira: “Cornelius is just another theodicist who wants to stake out HIS territory for HIS debate that will show HIS superior intellect and the rightness of HIS fairy tales”
    I realize that – he is far from the first. I have also learned that by denying such guys his territory, his debate and his fairy tales can lead to some very funny (MS would say: silly) comments. I have a twisted, you might even say nasty sense of humour.

    “Strident Stupidity is its own best punishment.”
    Exactly. And I think it’s great fun to provoke strident stupidity. Cornelius is already well on his way. I’m at sign eleven; interested to make a bet that I will make it to 100?

  33. Cornelius says

    From MNB:

    ““[ From Cornelius] What is your alternative?”
    Sign eleven: lack of empathy. If you would have used your brain for a split second you would have thought of the answer yourself: no god.”

    Do you notice, MNB, you have not stated your alternative if there is no God in concept as creator and operator of the universe?

    Please think on what is your alternative if there is no God Who in concept is the creator and operator of the universe.

    Your answer, “no god,” is not an alternative, you are playing semantics of the obstructive kind.

    You should answer as a lot of atheists do, stating that (a) nothing is the agent that is the origin of everything, or it is (b) randomness, or it is the (c) universe itself.

    But I commend you that you are connecting with me to talk about God as the agent of the creation and operation of the universe, which universe includes your nose and of course your whole living body.

    If nothing else exists except you as a living entity, then it is the whole universe, namely, you; so as an intelligent entity you are aware that you have a beginning. or you are aware that you don’t have a beginning?

    Let me see if you will continue to dialog with me.

    If you don’t and there is no one else to exchange thoughts with me, then it is obvious that atheists here starting with the owner of this blog refuse to dialog at all with me, as a theist on the subject of God as the agent of creation and operation of the universe.

    But you love to talk against God every occasion on which you feel that you have the chance to bash God, like calling God as similar to a flying spaghetti monster, etc.

    That is the trend started as far as I know by Bertrand Russell, even though he was a gentleman but when it comes to God he opted to not be a gentleman: but took up the role of a wrong semanticist, hiding under the camouflage of God being a concept not worth thinking about because He is no different from a celestial teapot, which is an option to do non-thinking: for he knew all along that no one ever credits the existence and operation of the universe to a teapot, but all theists know that God in concept is the creator and operator of the universe.

    That is what atheists’ arguments against God consist in essentially, comparing God to something ridiculous and then evading all attempts at serious thinking about God in concept as the creator and operator of the universe.

    Mano writes against God but when he is invited to exchange thoughts with me, he resorts to the same wrong semanticism, calling God insulting ridiculous names: for when if he does not accept the concept of God as creator and operator of the universe, he need not resort to ridicules, he could just be a gentleman and state that he does not accept the concept of God as the creator and operator of the universe, and then states also that such a God can be substituted with nothing as some atheist cosmologists are doing which is also again wrong semantics, or that randomness is the origin for everything which is also wrong semantics, or it is the universe itself; this last one is acceptable, that is no wrong semantics that consists essentially with throwing insults and ridicules on God, but identifying universe with God is not any wrong semantics.

    Now, Mano, if you be a sincere thinker, let us talk about the universe being identified with God in concept as the creator and operator of the universe, of which you are a part of even though the most in all appearance or to your estimation the most minutest component of the universe.

    No need to comment on my statements one by one, the ones you care to comment on, just let us now proceed to exchange thoughts on the universe as God.

    So, concentrate, we two, on the dialog that the universe is God, so there is no need for me to postulate God as the creator and operator of the universe: because the universe itself is the creator and operator of the universe, i.e., of itself, of which universe you and I are components of.

    Now, I must commend Mano, for although he writes against God but will not engage with me to exchange thoughts about God, he is a gentleman blogger for not barring me from his blog which he describes as follows:

    MANO SINGHAM
    Thoughts on atheism,
    religion, science, politics,
    books, and other fun stuff.

    To Mano, please consider exchanging thoughts with me on God instead of just writing against God, but eschewing from actual exchange of thoughts with me, or I assume with other atheists who do take up your writing against God as to invite you to exchange thoughts with them.

    Dear Mano, exchanging thoughts with me on God should be a fun stuff, meaning an enjoyable and intellectually challenging activity: do not just write against God and eschew exchanging thoughts with me who am inviting you and still inviting you to come forth and not only write but actually exchange thoughts with theists like myself.

    To MNB, please omit commenting on particular statements from me you choose to put comments on, just answer:

    1. What is your alternative to God Which you do not accept, in concept creator and operator of the universe?

    or

    2. What do you think about the universe as God?

    For myself it is a fun stuff to attempt to exchange thoughts with atheists on God, but it is also more often than not disappointing from their part, because they always choose to dodge the issue, and ultimately if not immediately after engaging in all manners of dodging the issue and sly insults on God and theists, will take up with hateful words against me.

    Dear Mano, everyday that I can and do post my thoughts in your blog, I salute you as a gentleman for allowing me to do so: though I wished you had taken the option as per your profession of engaging in exchange of thoughts with anyone and everyone interested to talk with you, you should really undertake my invitation to talk with you on the subject of God on which subject you do undertake to write about as to criticize adversely.

    Cornelius

  34. Jeffrey Johnson says

    Gee, you ignored my question. Why?

    Here it is again:

    If your God does not have the welfare of humans in mind, i.e. does not want us to suffer harms, pain, and misery, just as any loving parent feels toward their children, what properties and qualities does your conception of God actually possess?

  35. Cornelius says

    From Jeffrey:

    “Jeffrey Johnson
    September 27, 2013 at 5:35 pm (UTC -4)

    Gee, you ignored my question. Why?

    Here it is again:

    If your God does not have the welfare of humans in mind, i.e. does not want us to suffer harms, pain, and misery, just as any loving parent feels toward their children, what properties and qualities does your conception of God actually possess?”

    ————————-

    You see, there is what we know from our human experience about the chain of command.

    In science practically all scientists ignore this concept of a chain of command, that is why they cannot come to a theory of everything.

    Now with God there is a chain of command where God is at the top and everything else that is not God is doing God’s command.

    In the chain of command there are several levels as we humans also ourselves from experience have realized that we must observe, if we have to make an organization work as to achieve its purposes.

    That is what I call the horizontal lines of command; the vertical line of command is from the top to the bottom of the chain.

    Then, if I may, there are also the kinds of command, not everyone exercising an office or performing an act of duty or function is into the same kind of command.

    God can and does do all the kinds of command in the universe since He is the creator and operator of the universe.

    Now He has organized all operations into several kinds based on the force of inexorability and/or on flexibility, from the part of a component in the universe implementing the command or what I might call function.

    Let us talk now about the inexorability* and flexibility of functions in the universe, but keep in mind that God is at the top and He can and does perform all and any kind of functions: on any levels of functions and at any height of ranking in the chain of command.

    In term of inexorability, there is the physical order, that is where physics and chemistry come in.

    Next is the biological order where all living things find themselves in, there is inexorability but also flexibility: if you choose to shoot yourself in the head, the physics and chemistry of explosives will kill you, but when you choose to eat pork and beef instead of fish and vegetables that is a free choice, and it has repercussions on your years of healthy life.

    Lastly there is the order of morality which is based on free will, as in our case as humans we can and do choose to live this way or that way: for example, as an atheist or as a theist, to have children or not to have children.

    When humans suffer from the catastrophes of physical and chemical nature, that is from the order of physics and chemistry.

    When we suffer from accidents that is also in most instances from physics and chemistry.

    When we suffer from the unhealthy diet and lifestyle or acts we choose to engage in, then that is of the biological and also of the free will orders.

    When we suffer from the ills inflicted upon us by fellow humans, then that is in the order of morality; similarly but contrariwise, when we enjoy the goodness of fellow humans, that is also in the order of morality.

    So, to your objection that God is not after our welfare, you have to consider which order you are dealing in.

    Now, I like you to do genuine thinking, and tell me why scientists cannot come to a theory of everything; but I tell you it is because they do not want to face the fact that there is a chain of command or what I might call a hierarchy of functions with God at the top, in the universe which He has created and is operating.

    I said that God can and does do everything in the chain of command or hierarchy of functions in the universe, I mean ultimately, from what we know to be command responsibility and control; but He does also do anything in physics, chemistry, biology, morality, etc. whatever, when He works a miracle.

    What about diseases afflicting mankind, like gastroenteritis and tuberculosis and cancer and other sicknesses from bacteria and virus, that is in the order of biology insofar as bacteria and virus are concerned, though they exist and operate at the expense of humans and also other living things; for other health problems, blame them on man’s ignorance in regard to healthy living and mental soundness.

    Thanks, Jeffrey for your question; and I invite you to do genuine and honest thinking when you have questions on God’s goodness and care for mankind.

    That is the way to exchange thoughts between atheists and theists, not by on the part of atheistrs, dodging and resorting to ridicules on God and insults to theists.

    I like to invite you to exchange thoughts with me why ultimately without the concept of God as creator and operator of the universe, scientists cannot ever come to any theory of everything that really covers everything.

    And, have you come to know of any scientists who write about the chain of command or the hierarchy of functions in the universe; and if you have, then why have they not come to a theory of everything in ultimate terms?

    Cornelius

    *[ Google “inexorability” ]

    Inexorable – Merriam-Webster Online
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inexorable‎
    in•ex•o•ra•ble. adjective i-ˈneks-rə-bəl, -ˈnek-sə-, -ˈneg-zə-rə-\. : not able to be stopped or changed. Full Definition of INEXORABLE. : not to be persuaded, …

    Inexorability – definition of Inexorability by the Free Online Dictionary …
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Inexorability‎
    in•ex•o•ra•ble ( n- k s r- -b l). adj. Not capable of being persuaded by entreaty; relentless: an inexorable opponent; a feeling of inexorable doom. See Synonyms at …

  36. Cornelius says

    Dear Mano:

    I wish you will come forth and exchange thoughts with me.

    But you have opted to keep away, that is all within your right of course, as owner and operator of this blog.

    This morning although I feel that at any time you will keep me out of your blog, I am still able to access it and NOT see my last message no longer present and with it also all my previous messages or comments deleted.

    Thanks for your indulgence!

    The question is whether there is an intelligent being in charge of the universe that is not dependent at all on any other more in charge of things in the universe.

    From my reasoning on facts and truths and evidence, there is none aside from what I conceive as the last ultimate and nor more further one, namely, what theists in the Western World call God, in concept as the one and only creator and operator of the universe, of all things that are not God Himself.

    Please pardon me, but your option to not exchange thoughts with me is or can be taken to be a concession from your part that you accept though in attitude not happy but in reasoning that is the fact, namely, you concede that God is the sole absolutely independent creator and operator of the universe, of everything that is not God Himself.

    Why do you just the same nurture that attitude of being facetious calling God a silly concept and all thinking about God to be silly, including of course humans who do think and reason to the existence of God?

    Is it because since you are now into science or in particular particle physics, it is the common attitude of many people into science to adopt this kind of an attitude which is not according to reasoning on truths, facts, and evidence, but it is the popular trend among scientists, or people who claim to be scientists, and it can cost you your job if you should insist on your non-partisan observation that humans can and do know that God exists.

    Anyway, that is what I observe about you, from the fact that on the one hand you do write against God but on the other you don’t come forth to exchange thoughts with me, albeit you hurl the stigma on God and all theists that they are all silly, that is an attitude from your part, it is not reasoning.

    Well, I hope that you continue to allow me to stay here to contribute my comments in your blog on things which you talk about, which is also predominantly against the existence of God.

    I don’t see anyone among your fellow atheists contributing a reaction to my last comment here, so I will just now for today stop at this point, and check back tomorrow to see whether your in effect followers contribute any reaction to my last comment here, on why God does not do everything that is to the welfare of humans as humans like atheists want to challenge God to do so, in order that God will come forth — like you do not — and gainsay atheists who do challenge God to come forth.

    For myself, the fact simple fact that our nose is not falling off anytime and anywhere uncertainly but always a worry if that be the situation, that is evidence already most conspicuous to reasoning people who do think on truths, facts, and evidence, that God is really in charge of everything in the universe as its creator and operator.

    Allow me to sincerely commend you for allowing me and I presume others like myself a theist to contribute comments in your blog, although my comments be contrary to your attitude and the attitude of your followers, namely, you prefer to call God, theists, and all thinking about God to be silly, or you just prefer to be ‘facetious’ in regard to them.

    Your keeping your blog open to me is really most rare among bloggers who are vocal atheists, the worst among them will as soon as they notice my direction, delete all my comments and slam the door to my presence.

    In addition to after having used all kinds of hateful foul language on me.

    Dear fellow but atheist commenters here, if you do not anymore react to my comments here, or bring up what you think I am choosing to not react to your comments, then I will pick out those statements from you which are repeated time and again among atheists to be to your attitude, that they are un-answerable objections or questions against the existence of God, like this one: If God created everything, then who or what created God?

    Later, tomorrow morning again.

    Cornelius

  37. Jeffrey Johnson says

    Now with God there is a chain of command where God is at the top and everything else that is not God is doing God’s command.

    This assertion is given with no evidence to pursuade anyone that it is true. The rest of your discussion is predicated on this asserted but unmotivated premise. So your entire discussion is mere fictionalization unless you put this premise on some kind of solid foundation. I think this premise is bogus, but for the sake of argument only, I’ll assume it to be true.

    When you say “chain of command” I assume you mean a hierarchy, not a linear chain. And this hierarchy must be in layers or levels. If God’s command starts at the top and propagates down this tree of God’s will, then each level is responding to a command from the above level, and so on until ultimately the cause of every command originates with God, even though God doesn’t directly issue every command; he only directly issues the first step in each causal chain. If this isn’t what you believe, then you might need to reconsider this system you’ve invented. Perhaps you don’t really want a chain of command if you want to believe that God can directly command anyone or anything, in violation of the chain or hierarchy concept.

    You have drawn an artificial boundary between physics, chemistry, and biology. If you actually probe inside any biological organism, including human beings, you find that the birth, growth, action, death, sensation, thought, blood circulation, heartbeat, breath, immune system, bones, organs, nerves, etc. are all based on physical and chemical processes. So you can’t draw a dividing line between that which is biological and chemistry and physics.

    If everything is at God’s command, then the attraction of evey electron to every proton is commanded, and the binding of every molecule is commanded, and the structure and protein production of every cell is commanded, the action every organism takes as the sum of every cell’s action is commanded, including it’s decisions of what to eat or not to eat. So the laws commanded by God determine every cancer, every parasitic infestation, and so on up to every tornado, earthquake, meteor strike, or other natural event. If God had the power to directly command any event, then he would have the power to stop any of these disasters, and he chooses not to, despite the innocence and youth of any victims.This includes the innocence of the roughly 50% of fertalized embryos that spontaneously abort through no fault or action of the mother, other than the way God commanded her body to behave naturally.

    You can either say your God has command over nature, in which case he callously ignores pain, misery, suffering, and death, and he is the most prolific abortionist ever, keeping in mind most of these are not caused by any decisions or choices of humans, or you can say God doesn’t have direct command over every event and every particle, but that events transpire as a result of a long complex chain of causes and effects that originated with God’s initial command of the physics of our universe. In which case you have Deism, with no interventions or miracles. I don’t see how you can have your cake and eat it too here. Either there are miracles, in which case they are rare and, by far, less common than the numerous unjust sufferings of children and other innocents that escape God’s notice or capacity or are part of his cruel intentions, or else there are no miracles, and nature unfolds according to physical rules that are indifferent to human suffering.

    But you haven’t even really answered my original question, which was to ask what properties and qualities does your God actually possess? You have outlined some kind of cosmology of how you think God commands things to happen, but you haven’t actually assigned any properties or qualities to your God himself directly. What does he think, what does he want, what are his intentions, and specifically what is his purpose and plan? How do you know he exists? How is it you can pursuade yourself or anyone else that you haven’t started with the unfounded assumption that God exists, and then worked from there to find a way to interpret everything you observe as justifying that original assumption?

    The only thing that would actually be persuasive to people who can think logically is to start with what we observe in the most basic terms, such as physics and chemistry, and take the open minded position that you don’t know the causes of them. Then work from there to show that things could only possibly be the way they are if there were a God, and that no other valid explanation for what we observe could possibly be true. If you can’t do that, then you really have no firm basis for your belief in God. It is no more solid than asserting that everything we observe is based on the action of tiny insects smaller than quarks that are consciously guiding every event, just as a hive of bees or a nest of ants is a society with group behaviors driven by the collective action of tiny individuals.

  38. Cornelius says

    QUOTE
    7.3.

    Marcus Ranum
    September 24, 2013 at 9:04 am (UTC -4)

    Weapons-grade thread derail.

    Mano, if I might suggest – if you want to debate this guy (which might be fun to watch) why not hatch a separate thread for it?
    UNQUOTE

    ——————————-

    Thanks, Marcus, for your reaction, though I have not attended to it earlier.

    Is that all right with Mano, that instead I hatch a thread here, considering that I am already imposing on his patience in putting comments which he does not care to react to: because it just occurs to him that now talking about God or no God is silly for him; although he writes about it to apparently argue against His existence.

    To the present, Mano has not taken to start a thread to exchange thoughts with me on God, not existing, against me, God existing.

    So, what about you, Marcus, I invite you to exchange thoughts with me on God not existing but from my part God existing, you can sure come to some good fun stuff, as Mano tells readers here that he is into other fun stuff(s), in addition to:

    “Thoughts on atheism,
    religion, science, politics,
    books, and other fun stuff.”

    Okay, I invite you to go into some fun stuff with me, in exchanging thoughts on this some sort of argument against God existing as creator of everything, repeated time and again by atheists:

    “If God created everything, who or what created God?”

    Do you endorse this kind of some argument at all?

    Wait, I will look up the poster who brought up this sort of some argument as though it is the most formidable argument against the existence of God as creator of everything.

    QUOTE
    9.1.

    bad Jim
    September 24, 2013 at 1:55 am (UTC -4)

    That’s just the way things are. There is gravity, electromagnetism, the strong force and the weak force.

    Assuming a god in charge of it all doesn’t make the picture clearer. In fact it complicates it by adding the question of where that god came from. Whatever answer you give to that could as easily be applied to the aforementioned forces.

    We don’t have final answers to anything, but that’s okay; the answers we have are practical and dependable. We take the approach of Socrates: the problem isn’t the things you don’t know, but the things you do know that ain’t so.
    UNQUOTE

    Addressing Jim, suppose you take up with telling me why you in the first instance in effect grant that God exists as creator of everything, then in the second instance brings up a to you a consequential question, who or what created God.

    As you grant that God created everything, then the consequential question you must ask if you do want to go further, is how does God do it, namely, how does God create everything.

    And I will tell you, let us go together to science or consult scientists how the universe comes about.

    But you instead ask as a consequential question (wrongly), consequential to your granting that God is the creator of everything, who or what created God.

    Your consequential question is founded upon your concept of God as just one in a series of Gods, which is not the concept of God with theists, for with theists: God is not subject to any creation by another God and on and on and on, which is even then a wrong way of thinking aside from misrepresenting the concept of God from the part of theists, who do know God to exist, by reasoning on truths and facts and evidence.

    Okay, so Jim and Marcus, let us we three if you care to engage in some genuine fun stuff but truly intellectual exercise by us together, exchange thoughts on what is wrong with this some sort of argument from atheists: “If God created everything, who or what created God.”

    From my part, I already said that it is a wrong argument altogether, not even an argument at all: because firstly it is a dodge on the concept of God, namely, misconception of God as a God in need of another God and another God and another God, on and on and on; and secondly, the consequential question to ask on your granting that God created everything, should be “How does God create everything?”

    On the truly consequential question on how God creates everything, then we three can take to science or truly non-partisan scientists to inform us on their ideas as to the origin or beginning of the universe.

    To Mano, thanks for your blog and your indulgence, allowing me to contribute comments here.

    Please, it is time for you to present another post, one that is more in the line of atheism, religion, many gods, creationism, Darwinism, etc., so that you can pertinently engage in thoughts with me, and not feel that you are into silliness.

    Cornelius

  39. Jeffrey Johnson says

    firstly it is a dodge on the concept of God, namely, misconception of God as a God in need of another God and another God and another God, on and on and on

    The dodge here is on your part Cornelius. It is perfectly reasonable to ask how God could be a first cause, a prime mover, a cause without a cause. I it perfectly reasonable to ask “from whence came God?”. This question is as legitimate as asking the second question, which is “assuming God exists, how did he create everything?” So this first question is quite on target, but you sidestep it with a mere definitional trick, which is the assertion that God is the first cause, and thus is not in need of creation. But defining away a problem, a huge problem in your whole view of things is not sufficient. It is a weakness in your entire approach.

    On the second question, how does God create everything, you have absolutely no answers. Your view of God is a formless void with no detail, a mere place holder for an unknown mystery. Your view of God has no explanatory power whatsoever. It tells us absolutely nothing about how the Universe was created. Every bit of information we have on the subject comes from scientific inquiry, and not one bit of that information suggests the existence of an intentional being who first set everything in motion by his will. By pretending to have an answer, you shut down inquiry, which is effectively putting your head in the sand and ignoring what the evidence says because it doesn’t confirm your prejudices.

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