Recently in response to my post Religion and Violence, I got a very lengthy comment from lukewilson27. As I do not approve of my blog being hijacked by massive essays from anyone out there on the interwebs, I cut it short after the first paragraph and provided an explanation that said I have copied the comment into a document and will read when I have more time, and that it would be best if he posted his own lengthy posts on his own blog. This was (sadly predictably) followed by an additional comment from this person suggesting that my own intellectual capacity and level of education must just be too low to comprehend the information that he had so generously provided. I can’t resist the temptation to respond. So in this blog post I will post the edited comment in its entirety along with my responses.

Salvation is an internal struggle…a personal thing and each of one of us have to work out our own…without passing judgement on others…it is not fighting to resist the world like so many think. You cannot take one part of the bible and use it for arguments…it is a developing story of God, His creation and the fall of man and his redemption. You can’t take a person who professes they are a Christ follower, then look at their sins and use it as some kind of argument. Is any of us without sin? imperfections? faults? God did everything he could to save us…pride comes…then the fall….every time…and we still want to be gods for some reason, yet we die and have no idea where we go? Does this not concern you? Is this all life is? Birth then death, constant struggle and loss? If I only believe in that which I can only see, touch, taste, smell, feel…I am automatically limited…I have no way of achieving anything outside of my limitations. Look at us…look at the human race on a global scale…we are all sick! Every last one of us, not one of us knows anything really…do you read philosophy? Metaphysics?

As this is mainly just a big block of religious claims and such, I’m not even sure where to begin. First of all, your personal idea of what salvation means is quite irrelevant to me. Just sticking to Christianity, there are tens of thousands of different denominations and sects of that define salvation and the proper means to salvation a bit differently. I know some people who profess to be Christians (or Christ followers? Same to me) are hypocrites, and do not represent their religion as well as others. The losses and struggles of this life, as well as the joys and triumphs, fit perfectly into a scientific and evolutionary view of the world and require no supernatural explanation at all. I am perfectly aware of the faults and fallacies of human beings, but I do not accept your religious assumption that the imperfection of humanity points to the truth of Christian doctrine. Have you ever read anything outside your religious bubble about evolution, science, and how the mind works?

Aristotle’s Metaphysics was divided into three parts, which are now regarded as the proper branches of traditional Western metaphysics:
The study of being and existence; includes the definition and classification of entities, physical or mental, the nature of their properties, and the nature of change.
Natural Theology
The study of a God or Gods; involves many topics, including among others the nature of religion and the world, existence of the divine, questions about Creation, and the numerous religious or spiritual issues that concern humankind in general.
You especially need to read this closely, the logic part…then we can debate…because I have not seen you use good logic yet, it is built on a shaky foundation. Please present a logical argument and case.
Universal science
The study of first principles, such as the law of non-contradiction (logic), which Aristotle believed were the foundation of all other inquiries.
The classical “Three Laws of Thought” are the three fundamental linguistic principles without which there could be no intelligible communication. Their formal expression is generally attributed to Aristotle, and they were foundational in later scholastic logic. The Law of Identity is the most fundamental of the three, the Law of Non-contradiction and Law of Excluded Middle being merely corollaries.
The law of identity states: “that every thing is the same with itself and different from another”: A is A and not ~A.
In logic, the Law of Non-contradiction … states, in the words of Aristotle, that:
“one cannot say of something that it is and that it is not in the same respect and at the same time”.
Aristotle wrote of the Law of Excluded Middle:
“But on the other hand there cannot be an intermediate between contradictions, but of one subject we must either affirm or deny any one predicate. This is clear, in the first place, if we define what the true and the false are. To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true; so that he who says of anything that it is, or that it is not, will say either what is true or what is false; …”

Thanks, I guess, for the basic primer in Aristotle’s logic. I actually know these things already from basic undergraduate classes I have taken in philosophy and logic. You claim that I have not used good logic in my posts, so I would surely be interested in your specific examples of where I been guilty of logical fallacies. I know I am not perfect, so perhaps if you could break down this case I am making into its logical components and show me where I went wrong, I could correct my error. If not, I’ll assume your accusation has no basis in reality.

Do you truly know the origins of knowledge and truth? Or are you simply bound by your reason and intellect and a few monkeys who came up with a theory? Are you educated? I studied at a very prestigious university and I think you have a very limited and very infant idea of what it means to be spiritual. Religion is shit. Christ was a teacher, he was the ultimate example of love and laying down his selfishness for others…he never encouraged anyone to do anything bad or evil, he loved everyone, and he was the personification of good. I can go all day and all night…you have nothing that can disprove anything. Once you realize that, you will become humble and realize that not everybody is going to be like you…why attack Christianity? It teaches people to love another? God hated sin in the Old Testament…but gave His own son in the New Testament…what more do you want from Christianity? People that kill, hurt, and destroy in the name of Jesus are not representing Him. They are MISREPRESENTING Him, it’s a shame too…but what can we do? What can we do with the evil in the world? You think atheism is going to cure us? I think that is absurd, becasue it has absolutely no foundation whatsoever except that which we currently know…it does not answer any questions unless it is some twisted view of human experience as a prison of our own minds and bodies… You need to read my friend and educate yourself on human history and look at where we are headed as a civilization….history repeats…and it keeps repeating…open your eyes and stop roaming in the darkness of uncertainty…He is real…He lives in each one of us.

Words, words, words and more words. I see a load of religious claims and assumptions here, but nothing actually based in the logic primer you produced before. Sure, I do not know the “origins of logic and truth” but such knowledge is not necessary for basic critical thinking. And we don’t have to have perfect knowledge before we can have reasonably good verifiable knowledge  of lot and lots of things. I also don’t care what “prestigious university” you studied at as if this automatically qualifies you as an authority is anything whatsoever.

If you’re totally honest with me and yourself, can you say you never talk to God? When you’re alone? You’re just trapped in your own mind?

Quite honestly, I don’t. I quite enjoy the privacy of my own mind. I would resent the accusation that I really do believe in and long for God deep down in my soul if I didn’t also realize that this assumption is apparently part and parcel to your view of the world. Wouldn’t it blow your mind to know that I really, truly, and honestly don’t believe in your God? And that I do no suffer no negative psychological consequences from my disbelief?

God is speaking to each one of us, in subtle ways, in big ways, in many different ways…but we are too prideful to listen. Where did we come from? What is life? Is there a battle going on between good and evil? Of course there is…turn your TV on….I promise you we can’t fix it and we will destroy ourselves….because hate dominates…yet I as Christ follower accepts everyone with open arms…so tell me…where do I fit in in all this? Do you accept me for my beliefs? Do you respect me? I respect you and your beliefs, but I have my beliefs…every time I have challenged you to answer any of my questions you attack religion (I’m not religious, I am a philosopher with a very open mind for discussion)….but don’t answer any of my questions. I’ll say again religion is crap…and Jesus hated it too! Our beliefs are simple: a PERSONAL relationship with God that teaches love and acceptance of all….what is wrong with that? Don’t let all these idiots that misrepresent Christianity ruin it….because it really does answer a lot of questions on a philosophical level. You don’t seem to grasp philosophy and the question of where knowledge comes from….there are many schools of thought, yet none of them answer any of the questions…they only uncover questions that still remain….so, would you like to hear my case and argument on the philosophical answers that I have come to on my journey? Or do you only respect some asshole with a PhD. I have a Master’s Degree, is that good enough for you? I also read a lot, more than most do….everything…not just the Bible. My IQ is much higher than most, 139 last time I tested….some PhD student that published research is dime a dozen….I would own him in an intellectual discussion. The logic and basis of the arguments assume that Christians who do evil deeds must get their evil from the Bible….and that is hilarious and funny to a Christian who knows it is a story meant to be read in its entirety…not picked and chosen from. Then drafting the BIG PICTURE of it all is what most have a hard time with….because they pick and choose….and do crazy things like claim they have encountered some other way to answer the problem of life, death, sin, evil, pride, greed, lust for power and control…form their own religion or church…you name it. Church of Christ, Church of God, Catholic, bla…bla…bla…every last one of them put their own spin on a historically accurate text that has survived the ages. Still printing strong today…and atheist tend to hate us…yet we love you….it makes no sense. Most Christians are self loathing, selfish, judgmental, prideful, arrogant….yet none of these qualities are taught as a path to enlightenment in the New Testament. Strange huh? ever think that these people are just wrong as an individual and it has nothing to do with Jesus?

This is just more preaching and religious claims and assumptions, and little of worth to me. Lots and lots of words, very little rational content for me to actually engage with. I do not care what your IQ number is. (I took an online IQ test the other day that said my IQ is 140. I don’t put much stock in the number, but I was curious.) I also read a lot, lead a book club, and have experienced numerous Christian churches and teachings. I don’t accept your assertion that you are not religious, only that you have rejected the label “religious.” Religious means different things to different people, but I have heard way too many Christians claim that what they believe is not religion, what they believe is truth! What they believe transcends religion, and all these other people just got it wrong. I just shrug my shoulders and say whatever. I could not care less what you believe since beliefs are just opinions and everyone has them. I am much more interested in what you do and what you can demonstrate that you know.

Could we ever be friends? Would you ever except me? Or would you like to see us eradicated? Or better yet…would you like me to disown my spirituality and conform to your way of thinking? It would be really awesome if you actually answer my questions this time so we can have a real debate.

Possibly we could be friends if I actually knew you in real life, but I find your discussion online to be much more condescending than I would tolerate in any real-life friendship. I think if you came to my way of thinking you would be quite surprised that my mindset is nothing like you have assumed it to be. You really think I would have you “eradicated”? Seriously? Have you actually read anything I have written? And don’t forget–I am not the one who came to you to browbeat you out of your beliefs. You came to me.

In the context of academic degrees, the term “philosophy” does not refer solely to the field of philosophy, but is used in a broader sense in accordance with its original Greek meaning, which is “love of wisdom”. In most of Europe, all fields other than theology, law and medicine were traditionally known as philosophy, and in Germany the basic faculty of (liberal) arts was known as the faculty of philosophy. The doctorate of philosophy as it exists today thus originated as a doctorate in the liberal arts at the Humboldt University of Berlin, becoming common in large parts of the world in the 20th century.[1] In many countries, the doctorate of philosophy is still awarded only in philosophy, i.e. liberal arts.
Please understand, I am simply a a person who seeks wisdom or enlightenment a scholar, a thinker, a student of philosophy, a person whose philosophical perspective makes meeting trouble with equanimity easier and an expounder of a theory in a particular area of experience…My expertise is in spirituality and life and the meaning of our existence. Expand your mind, free your mind from it’s very prison that we create in our senseless notion of who and what we are…we are much more than we have observed, thus it is intuition that guides us down the paths we cannot understand.
: quick and ready insight
a : immediate apprehension or cognition
b : knowledge or conviction gained by intuition
c : the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference (powerful huh?) ever heard of Noam Chomsky? The study of our own language and communication: linguistics, answers a lot too…YouTube him….
See yourself to the exit.
We can’t afford to watch you resort to this
Even hope hides in the shadows!!!!
Nothing is real.
Color is black, is white, is color blind.
Tucking away what’s true, what’s tangible.
You’re crashing faster,
And there won’t be pieces to piece back together this time.
Can’t you see you’re ringing? You’re ringing out.
This is dissonance. This is dissonance.
It’s in the quiet of this place
That all things come to life.
All that is real is blurred by your notion of reality.
Nothing is real.
Color is black, is white, is color blind.
Tucking away what’s true, what’s tangible.
You skeptic, you. You believe in unbelief.
You skeptic, you. Now you’re the hypocrite.
You can’t hide from this.
One of my favorite songs…great lyrics…thought provoking…and very open minded. It addresses rationality and intuition.
Please read the following:
Have a blessed day and I pray that God opens your eyes to so much more than this horrible world full of hate, sickness and death….it is merely a fleeting glimpse of eternity, a time in our existence where we must choose our path.
Two paths:
1. To myself
2. To enlightenment, aka God

So you are a philosopher. Good for you! So you advise that I expand my mind and I respond back yes! I am always striving to learn new things about the world and new ways of thinking. And I extend the very same advice back to you. I hope I have not been too harsh in my criticism, but if you can dole it out I’m sure you can take it as well.