Tuesday, 29 May 2007

"It's a lie!"

Q: Why is it wrong to lie?
A: Because in lying either to yourself or to others, you're trying to fake reality -- and reality will always be avenged. Says Ayn Rand on this point:
The essence of a con-man's [or a politician's] lie -- of any such lie, no matter what the details -- is the attempt to gain a value by faking certain facts of reality.

Now can't you grasp the logical consequences of that kind of policy ? Since all facts of reality are interrelated, faking one of them leads the person to fake others; ultimately, he is committed to an all-out war against reality as such. But this is the kind of war no one can win. If life in reality is a man's purpose, how can he expect to achieve it while struggling at the same time to escape and defeat reality?

The con-man's lies are wrong on principle. To state the principle positively: honesty is a long-range requirement of human self-preservation and is, therefore, a moral obligation.
Note that by this reasoning the harm you do in lying is not just to others, as conventionally thought, but also to yourself and to your own grasp of existence. The "obligation" of honesty arises because human survival -- our own individual survival and flourishing -- requires an unswerving reality focus that we undercut by our own dishonesty, however small, and by our own evasions, however trivial.

So if even small lies commit you to an all-out war against reality, what then (Gus van Horn wondered yesterday) about this effort: "a propaganda effort that makes Michael Moore seem like a piker" -- a god damned "Creationist Museum" complete with a special-effects theater "with vibrating seats meant to evoke the flood, and a planetarium paying tribute to God's glory while exploring the nature of galaxies." " [New York Times story here.]

Just what the fuck kind of war against reality does something like this represent? To say nothing of the implications of the post below this one ...


  1. P.C
    When will you be running your thread on the 'space dust to germ'- 'germ to fish- fish to opossum, opossum to ape-ape to man' lies that are in every biology text book ?
    All the lies, The frauds, The discredited ‘evidences’, The artistic license, The state corruption of education, The contradictions of Mendel’s law, the contradictions of physics, etc, etc, etc? Oh this is Science you say! PUKE!

  2. When I hear from your God that he wants me to. ;^0

  3. He gave you a brain P.C. Use that!

  4. Show me Tim Wikiriwhi at 35,000 feet and I'll show you a hypocrite.

    Yes Tim, the very same methods that give you the ability to fly to Sydney in 3 hours for $499+tax are the methods that establish our common descent. Ain't it pretty?

  5. Tim believes the bible literally that everything mention in it is the truth about his imaginary God.

    Tim, how about if you go and jump into the lion cage at the Zoo to confirm that God is real, where you will be saved from being eaten alive. Something like the biblical story about Daniel, when he was thrown into a pit filled with roaring lions.

    I am sure you can do a live television demonstration at the Zoo to prove once and for all that God exist. If God saved Daniel from the lions according to the bible, then why can't be prophet Tim Wikiriwhi. I am sure God will not abandon his prophets.

    Tim, please let me know , when and if you want to prove the existence of God by throwing yourself into the lions at the zoo, so that I can arrange for John Campbell & TV3 to be there to witness the event.

  6. Ah, but there is a response to that Falafulu.

    "Do not test God"

    Which is bizarre, really. I mean why would "God" make himself so hard to find? And why is finding him what counts, as opposed to, say, being nice to other people. Murderers get into heaven, but if you haven't found god you're going south.

    It would be so easy for a god to arrange the world to make the case for his existence undeniable. Bury the 100,000th to 100,100th digits of Pi in the bible. Or permanently levitate a small rock somewhere. Or have miraculous cloud formations occur more often than chance would allow. Or arrange junk DNA in any living species in almost any other way i.e. don't choose the one way out of 10^x (where x is a v v v v v large number) ways of arranging the DNA code in nature that implies common descent.

    If god exists, he must be the arch deceiver.

  7. It is impossible to rationally deny God for by the creation of the world is he clearly seen.
    so says Moses, Solomon, Socrates, Plato, Jesus Christ, St Paul, Augustine, St Thomas, Bacon, Pascal, Newton, Locke, Mendel, Jefferson, Payne, Acton, Spencer, Gandhi, The Dali Lama, My Granddad, Wikiriwhi Etc, etc.
    All you atheists are in for a shock at how stupid you are to believe that Life comes from dead sterile matter esp without intelligent creation!
    Thus God is no deceiver.
    You chose your own darkness.
    Falafulu fisi
    Many Christians chose to face the Lions for their ‘Atheism in NEROs divinity’.
    I ask why you don’t jump in the lion's den since you think life is a meaningless accident of no consequence in the ultimate careless scheme of the godless universe?
    If you really believe you are just space dust imagining yourself to be a special soul, why do you bother even to get out of bed?
    I ask you would you face the lions for your atheism rather than bow to Xerxes?
    I doubt it!
    This is why Christianity is the foundation of resistance to tyranny and your liberty that you take for granted not atheism!

  8. Mat b you need to stop looking for lame imaginary excuses to doubt and start looking for credible reasons to believe!
    Seek and ye shall find!
    God actually came to earth. Walked on water. Died and rose from the dead. was seen of hundreds.
    moved the whole world.
    Is the center of time!
    Left the greatest record of human history. Brought liberty, Civilization, and progress despite the lusts of Man and Satan.
    Gave you Life and a soul and a freewill, created your wonderful body. created all the wonders of beauty including woman, sex, the beach, peaches, watermelon, grapes, etc etc and you still have trouble believing in him????
    You are bitching about not seeing him create the world or not being born in Jerusalem in the year 001. Do not think god has not taken the trouble to reveal himself.
    Your unbelief is simply a shallow product of circumstance and absurd reliance on the power of your eyes. That is all.

  9. Tim

    This is the same conversation we have over and over. I raise specific reasons for not believing in the Christian god. You respond by simply re-asserting he's real and athiests should all just wake up. At least have a courage to respond to a challenge and if you don't know the answer, say it.

    The only substantive thing you say is:

    You are bitching about not seeing him create the world or not being born in Jerusalem in the year 001. Do not think god has not taken the trouble to reveal himself.
    Your unbelief is simply a shallow product of circumstance and absurd reliance on the power of your eyes. That is all.

    No. I accept a man named Jesus once lived. But ultimately his claim to divinity is simply a) he said it, and b) the scriptures say he performed miracles. But these simply cannot be held to be reliable enough to verify his miracles. They were written many years after he died, and they contradict each other in most places. e.g. each of the four gospels records Jesus' last words being different. As an accurate historical record, let alone a reliable test of act in defiance of the laws of nature, the scriptures cannot be held to be reliable.

    I am very happy to continue this conversation, but please realize you simply asserting once again god is great etc. is simply going over old and ultimately unhelpful ground and won't be read.

    Now answer the following questions (or explain what makes these questions not reasonable): if the universe is young, why make it so big as to look old; why put all the simple fossils in the lowest rock layers; why arrange the DNA code the one way that implies common descent. If god is omnipotent, why select the one configuration for the universe that could lead us astray?

  10. Mat B
    This controversy has been going on since Adam left the Garden of Eden.
    Cain invented the first man made religion of works, and murdered his righteous brother who obeyed God out of religious jealousy.
    By rejecting Gods declarations PC is simply continuing the way of Cain. I am playing the part of Abel (who loved God and his brother Cain) .
    Now as for your arguments.
    If you were a plummer afloat on a log in the middle of the ocean, and there happened to drift by an abandoned motor boat of a kind you had never seen . Upon paddling over to it and getting on board you discovered that the motor no longer worked, the toilet did not flush, and the bilge was half full of water, would you assume that these faults were proof the boat was not designed, but must simply be a product of blind physics? Would you suggest that random forces were a better explanation of how it came to exist than a master craftsman?
    If upon further investigation you found the boat was what you considered badly plumbed and then going into the bridge and found rows of buttons that when you pushed them nothing appeared to happen , would you then in your ignorance be happy to declare these things Junk and proof that the boat was the ridiculous product of freak accidents?
    You are doing exactly that in regard to DNA and worse!
    DNA is incontrovertible proof of intelligent design!
    It has been called circuit diagrams, blue prints, etc These things are definitively the products of intelligence.
    And think about your Hands, your eyes, your ears, your tongue, your brain.
    These are technology on a level that makes microchips and robotics look stupid!
    And yet you are willing to say they are the product of space dust collected by gravity?
    Why is this? Simply because you have been dooped into thinking that God is like Santa Claus! You have been deceived! You have been lied too! You are following religious bigots and sinful fools who seek to deny they will face judgment for their actions and blasphemy. And what is the most tragic thing is you can Know God and be saved simply by accepting Christ’s redemptive gift!
    All it will cost you is being ridiculed by the little minded atheists who cant stand it when someone converts to Chrst!

    And regarding the authenticity of the scriptures esp the New Testament, you need to do some home work on that my friend as evidence for the New testament dwarfs all other history to the extent that only complete ignorance can hold to the delusion that it is unreliable. The greatest historians all attest to the fact that we have copies of the New testament that by comparison none of the classical works that are undisputed cam compare e.g the earliest copies of Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Herodotus etc are separated by ages of 1000 years from the people and places of which they are a testament.
    Add to this the unequaled archaeological evidence to their truth, and the internal evidence such as St Paul when he wrote Corinthians was at such an early date that he could say that hundreds of people had seen the resurrected Christ including himself and that many of these people were still alive at the time he wrote this down and thus could bare testimony to the truth of what he wrote about Jesus Christ rising from the Dead.
    There exists mountains of evidence for everyone to see if they will but take their blinders off and actually look at it with an open mind. Think about it.
    If you actually study up on the evidence rather than the criticism of God haters you will not be the first skeptic to see the light! And what a Wonderful sight it is! I know it!
    This is why I spend my time as a witness to the glorious truth of the Bible.

    The reason God leaves room for doubt is so that we may show our trust in him and our love for him and act from faith rather than compulsion.
    Even when we are in heaven and see God face to face there will still be parts of his infinite nature we will never understand, and parts of his judgments that will be outside our finite understanding. Thus you need to grasp the fact that there will always be room for doubt even in heaven.
    This is why faith must be the ground of Mans relationship to God. Even in heaven.

    P.S because this post is so long I will refrain from any more posting here to not PC for a while.

  11. Tim

    I personally don't mind if you keep posting, and I guess PC will let you know if he has a problem with it.

    Your email opens with the old watchmaker argument and it is easily refuted. Boats (and watches) don't reproduce with heredity, and this is the mechanism, combined with selection pressure, that is postulated to allow complex things to develop from simpler things. The watchmaker argument isn't helpful because it ignores by assumption the mechanism it is trying to disprove.

    Just because biological organisms are much more complicated than boats is not proof of design unless you can rule out that complexity emerging from descent with modification. And that's the point: you can't. Indeed, the fossils, which start simple and become more complex in more recent layers, show the emergence of the very complexity you say evolution cannot produce.

    Complexity emerges from the laws of physics and chemistry all over the place, from snow flakes to sand dunes to stars and galaxies. Chaos is the exception to the rule. There is nothing about complexity that makes a designer necessary.

    You assert the perfection of the scriptures, but any number of internal contradictions are plain to see. Are you saying every one of the apparent contradictions listed here are the product of misinterpretation or context? And even if they are, is there not similar room for misinterpretation, and therefore unreliability, of the miracles that are supposed to demonstrate Jesus' divinity? FOr someone not willing to simply assume the answer - like me - it's a hard pill to swallow.

    As far as I know, most scholars believe the bible is allegorical, and not a reliable historical record.

    Again I ask you to answer the following questions (or explain what makes these questions not reasonable): if the universe is young, why make it so big as to look old; why put all the simple fossils in the lowest rock layers; why arrange the DNA code the one way that implies common descent. If god is omnipotent, why select the one configuration for the universe that could lead us astray?

    It isn't just a question of "God leaves room for doubt is so that we may show our trust in him and our love for him and act from faith rather than compulsion" as you put it: the evidence is not just unclear, it positively and coherently points in another direction. Any other arrangement of DNA or fossils would leave the question open. Why choose a configuration that actively leads scientists away from the truth?

    And please: don't simply say scientists are idiots or part of a global conspiracy. They're not. A good deal of them are christians. Some of them are your friends, I imagine.

  12. Mat B.
    Ok I will carry on talking.
    I am very happy to have this conversation with you.
    You begin by saying Dawkins dismisses my argument with his blind watch maker?
    Ah but you are wrong about the bind watch maker!
    A single cell is many times more complex than the boat!
    It would be easier for blind forces to make a boat than a single cell!
    This is why spontaneous generating does not happen ever!
    Nor do boats get built by gravity, wind, magnetism, heat, etc.
    Rocks say rocks, until the wind and rain turns them to sand, and then gravity turns the sand back into a rock etc NEVER EVER into a life form!
    And even if you will not accept this irrefutable truth, my argument still holds good against your notion that DNA as imperfect is proof there is no God.

    The fossil layers don’t go from simple to complex! That is utter nonsense.
    The fossil record is all over the place! In fact you must dig through living single cell organisms just to get down to your great granddads bones!
    We have Mollusks at the very top of Mt Everest!
    That whole idea is absurd.
    Mendel’s law explains why fish stay fish or become extinct they don’t transmutate into new species.

    Snowflakes are not complex but extremely simple in that they are self replications of multi faceted water crystals which are subject to the slightest forces and random circumstances. Now an ice sculpture of the statue of liberty, that is complex.

    The scholars and Christian scientists who claim the bible to be allegorical do so not because the bible is inaccurate but because they have been deceived into thinking the theory of evolution has been established as fact. It is this lie that has undermined their entire perception of the Idea that God made man in his own image and that man fell into sin etc etc.
    ‘The division of labour”…Specialization of expertise has had one very serious draw back and that is it has meant while a man may be a genius in his own field he is apt to blindly trust the experts outside his field. This results often in the corruption of every branch of investigation in a domino effect if one important discipline becomes infected with error and the other disciplines don’t have the philosophical insight or enough general knowledge to detect when they are receiving bad data from other disciplines.
    Such an Idea as the evolution of man is not as Dawkins calls it “The Ultimate acid of Theism”…It is the AIDS of scientific integrity. Indirectly infecting the whole spectrum of scientific inquiry. It is an obscene disease of the mind that even attacks our ethical immune system leaving us without defense of Materialist Socialism where the nest is more important than the ant!
    Yet there remains a good portion of Scientists and Philosophers, and Christians who are not deceived to any degree by Darwin, Dawkins, or Marx, or Clark.
    These hold the consistent view of science and ethics that are founded upon God Almighty
    They will never be victims of the lie that Man is just a fancy ape or that Sin and Evil are merely inconvenient nuisances, that mankind’s clinging existence on earth is no more significant than mould clinging to a rotting orange.

    Thank you for that list of so-called contradictions. I have not been able to address it here.
    I will say that I trust enough in God by experience to take on the challenge of deciphering the riddles that this list involves without fear.
    Let me just state one thing.
    God is God. If he says he wants you to put your pants on backwards you must do it believing that somehow it is a good and important duty. Have faith.
    God is not capricious; he has reasons even if we cannot discern them strait away.
    God is good! He always reveals the divine purpose when the time is right.
    This is the ultimate truth that Satan deceived Adam from trusting God and All hell broke loose when Adam believed Satan’s lies instead of trusting in Gods loving and good character
    I will enjoy reading that list!
    P.S Don’t you how everything including Love and beauty and joy are explained by theology? And how empty Materialism is?

  13. TIM: "Ok I will carry on talking."

    I think you're forgetting your 'one-paragraph rule,' n'est ce pas?

  14. Monty Python Does Intelligent Design [from the Science Notes blog.]:

    Customer: Hello. I wish to complain about this so-called 'scientific theory' what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very establishment.

    Salesman: Oh yes, 'Intelligent Design'. What, uh... what's wrong with it?

    Customer: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. Its vacuous, that's what's wrong with it!

    Salesman: No, no, uh... what we need now is to 'teach the controversy'...

    Customer: Look matey, I know an empty 'argument from incredulity' when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.

    Salesman: No, no, it's not empty: it's just being elaborated. Remarkable theory, 'Intelligent Design', innit, eh? I mean, just look at all these books and articles: millions and millions of words...!

    Customer: The verbiage don't enter into it, my lad. It's stone dead. It's a non-starter. Empirically untestable, it belongs in metaphysics. This 'theory' makes no predictions; has no contribution to make beyond extended polemics; and can't even be honest about who it thinks the 'Designer' was. Bereft of all logical and epistemological credibility, it has no scientific status! If certain right-wing and fundamentalist pressure-groups hadn't hit upon it as a way of opposing decades of uncomfortable scientific and social progress, it'd be pushing up daisies! It's off the table. It's kicked the waste-paper bucket. THIS IS A NON-THEORY!

    Salesman: Well, I'd better replace it then. [takes a quick peek around] Sorry, squire: looks like that's all we've got...

    Customer: I see, I see. I get the picture.

    Salesman: I've got a piece of coal that looks quite a bit like a human tibia, if you squint at it...

    Customer: Pray, is it part of a theory that unifies the paleontological and biological sciences and leads to a powerful understanding of observed homologies and the nested hierarchy of life?

    Salesman: Not really.


  15. Old ground, Tim. Boats don't reproduce. Cells do. Ok?

    I'd just like an answer to these questions (one correction to fix your apparent unwillingness to see the fairly obvious thrust of the question): if the universe is young, why make it so big as to look old; why put all the simple fossils in the oldest rock layers; why arrange the DNA code the one way that implies common descent. If god is omnipotent, why select the one configuration for the universe that could lead us astray?

  16. What ya'll fail to understand is that there is a Meta-God. It is He who created all things and also all the Lesser Gods (including the ones the Christians worship).

    What happens is that all the Lesser Gods compete to assemble as many followers as possible. This they do in a variety of ways- miracles, suspending rationality of followers, promotion of blind faith as a virtue, wars, natural disasters, torture, sex-traps (also known as the miracle of the honey-trap), conversion, inquisition, disease, ignorance, deception, concept of sin, terrorism, racism, politics, emotional blackmail, theft, prophets, looting, arson, collectivism, prejuduce, churches, ministers, healers, drugs and so on. Whatever They can do to win more followers is AOK by Them. OK by Meta-God as well.

    For the Gods there are no rules. They cannot bind each other. Nor can they bind people. The people must choose their preferred Lesser God to follow and believe.

    In the end, the Lesser God with the most followers becomes the new Meta-God. Naturally the only way He can win is to make sure that ALL people are followers, His followers. Of course this is a problem for the present Meta-God. He does not wish to be reduced to a lesser status. So it is in His interests to ensure none of the Lesser Gods can ever assemble all people as followers. Hence He promotes conflicts and strife amongst the followers of the Lesser Gods, lest any one of Them become to powerful.

    Now you know what happened to Satan. He got busted because he was winning. Now who did the busting? Was it Meta-God or a Lesser God? Too hard to know for sure. The battleground has become too obscured to tell. All the Gods have prophets who have varied and embelished the story for too long now. Still you can get the gist of it fairly easily.

    Meanwhile it appears that over the last wee while one of the Lesser Gods hit upon the idea of getting followers to worship the institution of State as a kind of stand-in for a God. That's an interesting ploy, as in the end all the Lesser God need do (if all works as planned) is have a prophet assume the role of Leader. Trouble is that all the Lesser Gods twigged and now there are plenty of different States. There are wars and conflicts and politics a plenty. Still, it'll be interesting to see where all this faith leads.

    I reckon the trouble with all this following and worshipping is that ya'll end up believing instead of knowing. In whose interests is that?

    BTW what if you end up worshipping an evil God? What then?


  17. Matt B
    The Bible does not set an early date for the creation of the planet Earth.
    This is a big subject and this is not the place to discuss that in detail.
    Fortunately we have already covered this ground on the Not PC thread “What the bible says about rape”. Read that thread esp my comment 3/14/ 2007 07:10am
    Here http://pc.blogspot.com/2007/03/what-bible-says-about-rape.html
    It covers both your questions.

  18. Tim,

    I took you as a young earth creationist. I apologise for the confusion (and, presumably, the deep insult). Those guys are crazy.

    Name an appropriate forum and I'll be there. Your view expressed there is simply inconsistent with the evidence. The age of strata is most certainly not established via circular reasoning. And you don't mention DNA in that thread.

  19. Matt B,
    I am going to make my own blog where these arguments can be conducted, though my poor computer and language skills make this difficult. I will let you know when this is set up.
    Let me make two points here.
    1. The Biosphere penetrates down with micro organisms living at least 9km below sea level (Wikipeadia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biosphere ) Thus it is to be expected that fossil micro organisms will be found in the lowest strata where larger life-forms ever existed. This fact alone explains such findings.

    2. If Human DNA was perfect, That would actually be evidence that the bible is wrong as it teaches that man has been genetically corrupted from his original perfect state.
    Thus again the evidence is in favour of the bible, and also shows that even if Genes were perfect, It would still be possible to doubt God, if that is what you choose to do!


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