Gordon Osmond

Gordon Osmond
Location
Sao Paulo, Brasil
Birthday
November 09
Company
those with whom I choose to keep
Bio
Retired lawyer, playwright, Author of So You Think You Know English: A Guide to English for Those Who Think They Don't Need One. ISBN: 978-1-61546-414-2 and Wet Firecrackers http://www.publishamerica.net/product3892Slipping on Stardust was released on 1/11/13. Check it out at http://i-m.co/GordonOsmond/SlippingonStardust Osmond's latest novel, Turner's Point, is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others.

MY RECENT POSTS

Gordon Osmond's Links

New list
No links in this category.
MY LINKS
FEBRUARY 11, 2013 12:19PM

The Pope Resigns!

Rate: 3 Flag

The Pope Is Retiring—And Therefore?

 

It seems that those of us who are interested in what’s going on in what we laughingly refer to as the “Real World” will have to hold our water until news of the Pope’s retirement thoroughly soaks through.

 

Don’t get me wrong. News of Obama’s retirement would have me glued to the TV 24/7 between episodes of dancing in the streets. But the Pope’s? Really.

 

But, I hear, he’s the spiritual leader of millions. I would hope not millions of thinking people. And where is he leading them? Do they not have the basic intelligence to lead a moral and productive life without papal prodding? If not, not to worry: there will be another Pope along ere long. Just watch for the smoke.

 

I did enjoy the footage of the Pope meeting Queen Elizabeth. The sound was in Portuguese, but my translation went something like, “Liz, my hat may be as ridiculous as yours, but it IS higher.”

 

I suppose that this furor will eventually pass so that we can get back to the facts that reveal, via Benghazi, et al., that our treasured country is currently in the hands of egomaniacal, negligent, and ultimately highly dangerous amateurs.

Author tags:

politics, obama, pope

Your tags:

TIP:

Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:

Comments

Type your comment below:
@Gary Fandango:

A lot of younger people are looking at Gods and religion objectively, using their minds, and deciding that there are no Gods.

If they were "using their minds"...they would realize that "deciding there are no Gods" is not substantially different from "deciding there are Gods."

If they were using their minds, they would realize they do not know what the REALITY is...and that gods may or may not play a part.
Frank

With all due respect, in other words, DUCK!, you couldn't be more wrong.

To grant intellectual parity to the statements that there is or is not a god is equivalent to saying, "Well, there may be green gremlins in this room, but then again, there may not be." Under ancient rules of logic (and law for that matter), the proponent of a positive has the burden of proof to establish it; it's not the burden of the skeptic awaiting proof. You should know better, and I have the feeling you do.
Very well said, GF. Rated. Oh, wait. I can't do that, can I?
With all due respect back at you, Gordon…YOU could not be more wrong.

To grant intellectual parity to the statements that there is or is not a god is equivalent to saying, "Well, there may be green gremlins in this room, but then again, there may not be."

Well, I do not even agree with that…but in any case, that is not comparable to what I actually said.

I said: If they were "using their minds"...they would realize that "deciding there are no Gods" is not substantially different from "deciding there are Gods."

And that IS correct. The people who have “decided” there are Gods” are doing nothing more than guessing (unless there actually is a God and the God has revealed itself unambiguously to that person)…just as the people who have “decided” there are no gods MUST be doing nothing more than guessing. If there is are no gods…NO CHANCE of any revelation.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with granting intellectual parity to the statements as I presented them.



Under ancient rules of logic (and law for that matter), the proponent of a positive has the burden of proof to establish it…

I agree. But that does not impact on this issue as you suggest.

Anyone who “has decided there is a God” and as a result asserts, “There is a God” does indeed bear the burden of proof of that assertion.

But…anyone who “has decided there are no gods” and as a result asserts, “There are no gods” bears the same burden of proof of that assertion. “There are no gods” …is a positive assertion..there is a burden of proof to be borne…and that burden is rightly borne by the person making that assertion.

…. it's not the burden of the skeptic awaiting proof. You should know better, and I have the feeling you do.

You do not usually sell me short like this, Gordon. It is disappointing. But I have explained myself and I’ll be interested to see how you deal with it.

I’ll be waiting respectfully, of course.
Gary...you are wrong on that.

Read my reply to Gordon...and respond to it if you want.
Gary...you are wrong on that.

Read my reply to Gordon...and respond to it if you want.
Gordon...sorry I did not cut off the bold after your quote. You can see where your quote ends.

This forum has got to develop a way to view a post before you post. The site is run like it was developed in the 1950's.
“There are no gods” …is a positive assertion..

I fear, Frank, that you're not giving sufficient respect to the word, "no."

Your clarification is, I fear again, digging your hole a bit deeper.
Pope resigns to Benghazi"gate" more quickly than a Ferrari can go zero to sixty. That's pretty nifty shifting, Gordo, but a clumsy segue.

The Pope taking early retirement is big news.

Benghazi-wank was a campaign season attempt to make something stick, but it didn't work. In a year, Benghazi"gate" will be doing a "remember who I am?" credit card ad. Maybe it can do a duet with the ex-pope.

This post needs a better title. If you're combining Holy See and Wholly Nonsense the title should be: Gordon's Papal Bull.
“There are no gods” …is a positive assertion..

I fear, Frank, that you're not giving sufficient respect to the word, "no."

Your clarification is, I fear again, digging your hole a bit deeper.


You know better than that…or you should.

And if you are anywhere near the logician I think you are…you realize that “There are no gods” MOST DEFINITELY is a positive assertion.

The word “no” does not impact on whether or not the statement is a positive assertion.
One thing I like about these discussions is that it helps me to develop and crystalize thoughts about athesim. The question that you brought up, Frank, is a basic one that requires a deeper explanation with more details and examples. I'm working on it. I plan to create a website with a lot of text and images that describe where religion came from, why it persists, and makes the case for atheism. The content will probably start out with about 50 pages and grow from there.

For now, we carry on -- me, the atheist, and you, my agnostic friend.


Thank you, Gary. Only small correction I might make is that I have seen that using labels can be distracting, so rather than using "agnostic" these days, I simply describe myself as a non-theist. (I also am a non-atheist, but that is another story)

Let me be real clear that I agree with you about where current religions seem to have come from. The mythological aspects are as transparent as glass; the reason for wanting them to be so…obvious as a Vietnamese hooker.

But humans getting something wrong…is not a reason to say something else is correct.

All atheistic arguments I have ever heard are variations on two themes:

The theists cannot produce a god for inspection.

There is no reason for a god to explain existence.

I agree with both those themes…and NEITHER is evidence that gods do not exist.

Consider this question for your new site:

Are there any horse-like animals living on any planet circling the nearest three stars to Sol?

Well…I cannot produce a horse-like animal from any of those planets…and I can think of no reason why there has to be a horse-like animal on any of those planets…

…so the correct conclusion that has to be drawn is: There are no horse-like animals existing on any planet circling the three stars nearest to Sol.

OR…

…so the correct conclusion that has to be drawn is: Beats the shit out of me is there are any such animals living on those planets. If we ever develop a way to discover if such animals exist there…we can find out.

Which would you choose as the more logical, Gary?
No? Yes? There is/There isn't. Oh. as our former SofS would say, what difference does it make? The liberal left has done a great job at making language meaningless. I'm sorry, Frank, to see you've joined the effort.
Gordon, are you telling me that if a person says, “There are no coins in that drawer”…the person is NOT making a positive statement—making a positive assertion?

C’mon. A positive statement can be made using the word “no” or the word “not”…which is the reason so-called weak-atheists avoid asserting there are no gods. They understand that an assertion is an assertion…whether the words “no” or “not” are contained in them.

“There are no gods” absolutely is a positive assertion, whether you want to acknowledge it or not.

Gary, you are correct:

There is no PROOF for any Gods.

That is a positive assertion about whether or not there is any proof for the existence of any gods. And I agree that there is no proof of any gods.

There is no EVIDENCE of any Gods.

That is a positive assertion about whether or not there is any evidence of any gods. I don’t necessarily agree with this one…but I do agree that there is no unambiguous evidence of any gods. I have no idea of what would be evidence of a god…so I cannot be sure there is none. If you can be sure…then I will take your word for it.

There is no REASON to believe that any Gods exist.

That is a positive assertion that there is no reason to believe any gods exist. I agree.

There also is no proof that gods have to be excluded from possible explanations for existence. There is no proof there are no gods.

There is no unambiguous evidence that there are no gods.

There is no REASON to “believe” gods cannot exist.

We are back to square one.

If anyone asserts there is a God…the burden of proof for that assertion accrues to the person making the assertion.

If anyone asserts there are no gods (that gods cannot exist)…the burden of proof for that assertion accrues to the person making the assertion.

Best that neither assertion be made…because neither has any unambiguous evidence to substantiate it.


Good thread, Gordon. Your best yet.
If we were determining the odds of the existence of a particular type of animal, it would be based on science. Matter and energy exist and the laws of physics exist. Various types of life exist. We can make theories about what types of life exists elsewhere in the universe.

But by definition Gods are supposedly outside the bounds of matter, energy and physics. And we saw how they have been created and modified by people through the centuries. Considering all of those things makes reasonable people a *wee* bit skeptical!


We are not discussing the difficulty of obtaining evidence for or against these things. We are talking about specific assertions about them.

If you are going to assert “gods do not exist”…you are making a claim about the nature of REALITY, Gary…just as asserting “there is a God” is making a claim about the nature of REALITY.

Neither should be made.
I appreciated this, Gordon.

While I didn't frequently see eye-to-eye with my ex-father-in-law, a retired hardcore Lutheran pastor, he was right on the money about the media frenzy surrounding the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Ratzinger to replace him. "Suddenly, everybody's talking about the Pope all the time," he'd say, "as if the whole world was Catholic. It's as if the Reformation never took place!" That's certainly how it looked then, and that's how it will look again come March.
When there is zero evidence that something exists and zero reason to believe it exists, then I'm going to assert that it does not exist. That's the nature of reality.
When there is zero evidence that something exists and zero reason to believe it exists, then I'm going to assert that it does not exist. That's the nature of reality.

When I recognize that I have a very, very limited knowledge of the Ultimate Reality of existence...I simply say, "I do not know"...and sit and wonder why some people think it reasonable and intelligent to suppose there are gods...or that gods are impossible.

I guess that is the difference between us, Gary. One of us is actually using our mind to come to a rational decision...the other is just pretending to be doing so. And the rational decision is that we do not know.
Out of respect for both of you, Gary and Frank, I was prepared to step aside and let this thread achieve the exalted status that Frank so generously bestowed upon it.

But, Frank, you can't be serious. Reality exists, A is A, to coin a chapter heading in a book you should study harder. It's not a matter of conjecture, whim, or opinion. And reality is perceived through the senses, which, in turn, inform the mind.

The positive statement that there is a coin in the drawer requires proof--proof that can readily be provided by the visual perception that it is, in fact, there.

The negative statement that there is NO coin in the drawer (by the way, if you consider this a positive statement, I think we'd all like to hear from you an example of a negative one) awaits, but does not require proof to the contrary unless of course as a matter of faith you believe that every drawer in the universe must have a coin in it.

The atheist simply says that unless and until proof is forthcoming (and we both agree that it will never be), the existence of god or a god, if you prefer, will await the appearance of a coin in an empty drawer.
Gordon…thank you for that response.

I disagree with what you say here. I hope we can discuss the disagreement strictly for its value as an intellectual exercise…rather than “I am right and you are wrong.” I hope Gary joins in.

All assertions are, in effect, positive assertions.

The assertion “There is a coin in that drawer”…is a positive assertion about what is in the drawer, to wit “a coin.”

The assertion “There is no coin in that drawer”…is a positive assertion about what is not in that drawer, to wit “a coin.”

Both incur the burden of evidence or proof…which in the case of a coin and a drawer can easily be provided by simply opening the drawer and inventorying the contents.

Let’s go back to the god thingy.

“There is a GOD” is a positive assertion about the REALITY. It is saying that a GOD is involved in the REALITY.

“There are no GODS” is a positive assertion about the REALITY also. In effect, it is saying, “there is no possibility that gods exist.” (The only way one can logically assert there are no gods is to assert there is no possibility that gods exist. There is no way to examine all places in the universe at the same time to arrive at the conclusion otherwise.)

Let’s take a look at what you suggested in your last paragraph.

“The atheist simply says that unless and until proof is forthcoming (and we both agree that it will never be), the existence of god or a god, if you prefer, will await the appearance of a coin in an empty drawer.”

Your parenthetical is incorrect. I do not agree with that…and I do not know how you can claim to know that IF THERE IS A GOD…that GOD cannot communicate its beingness to humans in an unambiguous way. I think it unlikely that (IF there is a GOD) the GOD will do so (it certainly hasn’t done so to date)…but I most assuredly have never asserted it will never happen (a positive assertion despite the use of the word “never”)…nor will I in the future.

That simply is one of the things I do not know.

If you are saying (as you infer above) that you are waiting for proof before committing to an acceptance that a god exists….I have no problem.

But asserting “There are no gods”…is not doing that at all. Asserting “there are no gods…is a positive assertion about the nature of REALITY…and as such, incurs the obligation of providing substantiation.

(Same as: “I will not accept that there is a coin in that drawer unless there is proof that there actually is a coin in that drawer”…is logical and fine. But…”there is no coin in that drawer” is a positive assertion that there is no coin in the drawer…and if challenged, creates a burden of proof for the person making the assertion.)
Frank

I believe I've figured out why we don't, and will never, agree about this. It's your statement about the "nature" of reality. Reality exists, objectively; it has no debatable nature except perhaps within the rancid ranks of collectivist "think" tanks.

Even in the not-always-holy ranks of the court system, burdens of proof on a particular issue are allocated, not shared. It simply is not true that on the issue of the existence or non-existence of spooky things like god and green gremlins, proponents and opponents bear equal responsibility for proof. Have you not ever heard that one can't prove a negative?

By the way, I'm still waiting for your example of a negative statement. You seem to have written them off.
Have you not ever heard that one can't prove a negative?

Of course one can prove a negative, Gordon. Anyone who has suggested to you that a negative cannot be proved...is playing games with you.

Make the assertion that there is no live elephant in your desk drawer...

...and then open the drawer.

Of course, if you make the assertion more universal…like, there are no gods…well, that could be a challenge. That is why assertions of that sort ought not to be made.

By the way, I'm still waiting for your example of a negative statement. You seem to have written them off.

I entered my office one morning not too long ago after a particularly raucous night of libation and debauchery…and the young woman working the receptionist’s desk said, “Holy Christ, you look like shit!”

That was a negative statement.
By the way, Gordon…just so you do not misunderstand me in that last post.

The assertion is a positive assertion about a negative. The negative is what I am saying can be proved (insofar as anything can be proved)…not that the assertion is negative.

But it really does not matter if we differ on this point…because an assertion is an assertion, whether one considers it a positive assertion or a negative assertion.

I suggest that any assertion bears a burden of substantiation by the person making the assertion.
Look, I am not standing next to ANY of you guys in a thunderstorm.

Let me remind you all that Christians, and many other types of theists, admit that no objective proof can be offered for the existence of their god(s). Instead, they substitute a tenet of their belief, often called "faith". The Bible, Hebrew 11:1, defines faith as " . . . the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."

On Judgment Day all of you can admit to me that you were wrong. Until then, indulge in your secular and temporal debate about the existence of God all you want.
Nevertheless, rated for the real point of this post.
Thanks, UC, for righting the ship back on course.
So now we find out if "being back on course" is as interesting as the diversion route was.