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John Morales
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Heliotropic, I see you blithely indulge in the etymological fallacy; the term 'prejudice' is polysemous and you do not address the primary sense(s). Tsk. (Vapid argument is vapid) So why don't you go back to playing with your dollies and let the adults handle things? JafafaHots is like unto a little girl, eh? (Revealing choice of vilification)
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Hm. I composed a longish response, but just before posting I changed my mind. Good luck with your blog, cl; I find I lack motivation to continue posting here.
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"So often in life, we get no less than what we give. That's exactly why I've been enjoying watching Gideon go off at SI's. It's karmic retribution at its finest."
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You did claim that it is a fact that according to scientific arguments, the universe has not always existed; now you cannot adduce evidence for this putative fact? It was the basis for your claim, which you have yet to sustain.
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We're just "conflating". No, we're not. We're really best buddies. Here's another smiley-face to prove that I'm not a disingenuous lying asshole. Emoticons prove nothing of the sort, and your attempt at jocularity is as heavy-handed as your attempt at vilification. Nite-nite, best buddy! Good night, self-professed Christian.
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I find John's reluctance to clearly state his position(s) equally frustrating. Ask, and I will state my position. E.g.: Then, are you a metaphysical supernaturalist? If not, what are you? Phrase your beliefs positively so they can be criticized instead of hiding behind the "I don't need to justify my lack of belief" nonsense.I believe that metaphysical naturalism provides a sufficient ontological basis to account for the reality I perceive and that it is empirically justifiable but not epistemically so. I believe that belief in a supernatural component to reality is otiose and subjectively but not empirically justifiable. Both beliefs are, of course, subject to revision. -- [1] That you find religion "funny" can't get any more tautological, and [2] what does your opinion of religion have to do with Pratt's statement about vacuum fluctuation? I repeat, De gustibus non est disputandum: what any given person finds funny is idiosyncratic and needs no justification. You put forward a woomeister whose opinions are counter to science as an authority, and I find that amusing.
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Hey, I'm not the one lying my ass off, here, Moron-ales! I give you credit for practicing what you espouse: "After all, all you need is enough time and even the most rediculous hairbrained bullshit looks plausible." In passing, I note that, as a school-child, those with wit would attempt to insult me by calling me "Moral-less". You might consider this if you seek variety — it's far more euphonious. Just a friendly suggestion. :)
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Why do you conflate atheism with evolutionary biology? What is this obsession you have with Richard Dawkins? He's an atheist, and a scientist. So what? Ever heard of Francis Collins? He's a theist, and a scientist. So what? Are you unaware that theistic evolution is the norm amongst Christians?
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I guess I should be ashamed of myself, eh, Moron-ales? Well, yes, if you have a functional conscience and possess scruples. The evidence indicates otherwise.
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You're not the one asking the questions, Moron-ales. Well, I'm not the only one asking questions, but (quite evidently) I have indeed asked questions. :)
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Where's your proof in science that the THEORY of Evolution is fact? You are confused by polysemy. You might find this post informative. Are you, in fact, just a pseudo-intellectual with a thesaurus in one hand and your knob in the other? Actually, I have a facility for language and an extensive lexicon, hence I have little need for recourse to a thesaurus. I am amused that you think I consider myself an intellectual, pseudo or otherwise. I don't.
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And, Theosophy isn't Christianity, dimwit. I did not say it was. Atheism is religion, too. So you think baldness is a hair-style? :)
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Science is only useful if the philosophy underpinning it is sound. I draw your attention to the progress science has made since the scientific method was adopted, marking the transition from natural philosophy. Apparently, its philosophical underpinning is sound, if one judges matters pragmatically. It's nice to have the internet with which to interact, is it not? ;) Your question is wrong-headed as it assumes that time (as we know it) existed before the universe began to exist. All that is necessary for my argument is that the universe has a beginning, which you seem to believe it does by your reference to an "initial state." It is my understanding that the Big Bang occurred at a finite time in the past (NASA link if you really need it). You seem confused. You are the one who wrote "The fact that [...] the universe has not always existed.", wherein the assumption that "that time (as we know it) existed before the universe began to exist" is embedded. That is why I asked "Do you have a (scientific) citation that there was a time that the universe did not exist?". Consider the semantics of "the universe has not always existed".
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Your (metaphorical) frothing-at-the-mouth, spittle-laden, invective-rich projective opinion is noted.
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I think this guy was hoping for a miracle. Shame he relied on faith, not on medicine. RIP. "He read his Bible daily, he spent his full focus on God," said Webb.
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Because it's religious: Theosophy. De gustibus non est disputandum.
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You were implying it. No, I wasn't, but I do give you credit for admitting I did not assert it, as you first contended.
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cl, Why do you find it funny that I referred to Pratt? Mainly, because I find theosophy risible.
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What is your basis for accepting the premises as true? Basically, because we observe that contingent facts have causes or explanations. Fair enough. I note, however, that 'causes' and 'explanations' are not synonymous in this context. The former refers to an event of which the fact is an effect, whilst the latter refers to the process whereby the cause leads to the effect. The fact that, according to both philosophical and scientific arguments, the universe has not always existed. Factual claims about nature are addressed by science, not by philosophy. Do you have a (scientific) citation that there was a time that the universe did not exist? Science can trace the universe back to an initial state, but no further. Work continues on this (cf. How Did the Universe Start?).
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By "nothing" I refer to an absolute absence of any "thing" (MEST or otherwise). Then, definitionally, there's no such thing in the universe. That's vague, John; why? Take a look at the page I linked to.
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A cosmological argument with true premises and valid logic proves a First Cause (it's a deductive argument). What is your basis for accepting the premises as true? Because the universe is a contingent thing. What is your basis for this contention? By that logic it is equally explanatory, but simpler, to presuppose that I "just am" sitting at my desk. Not very explanatory, is it? :) It's why I keep my presuppositions to the minimum (and some are needed, else the only option is solipsism). Once again, I state the entirety of my metaphysical assumptions: (1) there is an external reality; and (2) I only have access to it via my senses.
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YOUR assertion that absolute NOTHING could provide SOMETHING is far more ludicrous than the other scenario. I've made no such assertion.
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Otherwise, I don't detect any logical difficulty with the way I've set it forth above. Do you? Yeah, I do. It presupposes God. If you're gonna presuppose, why not just presuppose that the universe "just is", rather than it had to be created by something other which "just is"? It's equally explanatory, but simpler.
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Ex nihilo stipulates that he [God] did not use pre-existing material to form the universe, not that there was nothing and then there was something. IOW, some putative uncreated being supposedly created the universe from nothing; but Gideon said that this is "simply a contradiction in terms". You don't see the problem with this? :) (I note some theologies claim creation was not ex nihilo, but ex materia or even ex deo — however, when I was taught by Catholics the claim was definitely ex nihilo).
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