Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able ? Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing ? Then he is malevolent.

Is he both willing and able ? Then whence cometh evil ?

Is he neither able nor willing ? Then why call him God ?


Any thoughts ?

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A lovely experience. The great joy to me is that if evidence does appear to reveal god exists a true scientist and philosopher can recognize and acknowledge truth. The hard part is getting rid of all the delusions.

@ Chris Crawford
"Aquinas was not concerned with justifying his faith; his concern lay in a variety of philosophical issues, one of which was the apparent conflict between free will and determinism."
It seems to me the difference between philosophers and scientists is some philosophers think, reason, and aspire to justify what they already know. Who cares about "free will and determinism" if god does not exist? He dealt with the frosting on the cake, not the cake itself.

Scientists observe what is known and include thinking, reasoning and aspiring to know what is true.
Both philosophers and scientists don't know how something came from nothing and some claim "god-did-it". Great philosophers and scientists seek to find flaws in the known and move toward truth as demonstrated by evidence.

Religion fails on so many fronts; wars driven by ideology and greed, power and authority driven by needing to control everything from nature to thinking of "man" as being at an apex of some imagined pyramid, delusions of some hierarchical power ordained by god to have dominion over all that swims, crawls and flies.

"Justice is the only worship.
Love is the only priest.
Ignorance is the only slavery.
Happiness is the only good.
The time to be happy is now,
The place to be happy is here,
The way to be happy is to make others so.
Wisdom is the science of happiness."
~ Robert G. Ingersoll, As quoted in Familiar Quotations (1937) edited by Christopher Morley, p. 603

Joan, you write: He dealt with the frosting on the cake, not the cake itself.

As far as Aquinas was concerned, the existence of the cake was a given. It's a point of view that's different from ours. Being wrong doesn't make you stupid. Aristotle got a bunch of things wrong, but that doesn't diminish his greatness. 

Here's an interesting conjecture for you: you owe to Aquinas (among many others) the intellectual context that permits you to realize that there is no god. If Aquinas hadn't come along, would the West have developed logic and science as far as it did? That's a very tricky question to answer. All in all, my guess is that the West would still have developed logic and science without Aquinas, but it would have taken longer to get as far as we are now. I think that I can say with certainty that we wouldn't be having this conversation if Aquinas had not been born.

Great quote Joan!
Though my favourite Ingersoll quote is still:
"If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal.
If he would follow strictly the teachings of the New, he would be insane."

Which is entirely true from those theists I've trained with and worked with who considered themselves as following in JC's footsteps.
They were all insane.
Two of them are now confirmed schizophrenics.
Which is what we have coined the Moses Condition as he appears to be the first ever recorded sufferer.
So it appears were all the great visionary theistic heroes of the past, including Thomas Aquinas.
So maybe one of those I worked with will start their own version of Christianity.

Aye M8! :-D~

futilethewinds, "I said, then why are do pedophiles in the Catholic Church take advantage of alter boys? He said the alter boys were not true believers."

This statement is absolutely and utterly outrageous!
OK! that kind of statement comes across to us all the time and we have got to give up being shocked and embarrassed and say out loud they are idiots! To be so callous, so dis-compassionate, it tells me something terrible has happened to their brains under the influence of religion.

Have the lives of altar boys been altered by priestly abuse? You bet!

I love thos blokes Joan, I can't get enough of reading their concepts and research.
Just about finished another Ramachandran book "The Tell-Tale Brain" and then likely back to Sapolsky.
Yes, they are extremely different, with different approaches to neurology and life views, yet they all reach similar conclusions about religious belief. Such view of religion is becoming standard now in neurology.

I particularly like Ramachandran's very light, humorous, even comical approach to life and his work which he often makes fun of. He has a very enlightening way of looking at the world and seems to enjoy all aspects of his work, he works on the diagnostic, prod/question and see what squeals, almost freudian approach.
Sacks is a little more self centric with his own neurological issues and developed a lot of his concepts through using himself as a guinea pig for his interest in the chemical side of neurology.
Sapolsky is more concerned primate field work/comparisons with humans and with laboratory work and a very clinical, research approach to neurology.
All different, but when studied together form a very good, well rounded neurological foundation for those studying neurology.

Aye M8! :-D~

Remember those early photos of Sapolsky? 

TED Robert Sapolsky: The uniqueness of humans

Sapolsky Religion Lecture

LOL, Just like a family portrait!

Yes Alan: Though when I was doing my theological, bible study they emphasised the visions of Aquinas as extra proof of his esteem sainthood. Such as the visions of the two angels after having chased the prostitute employed by his brothers to entice him, out of his room with a burning stick/log. He then slept peacefully and had a hallucination of two angels tying a chord around his waste and saying "Behold, we grid thee by the command of God with the girdle of chastity, which henceforth will never be imperiled. What human strength can not obtain, is now bestowed upon thee as a celestial gift". Thus he is reported to be having both visual and auditory hallucinations. Temporal lobe lesions can produce either form of hallucinations, just visual, just auditory or none at all, depending on the location.
Though another possibility was carbon monoxide poisoning from incomplete burning of wood in his family created prison. Though his belief in this vision was taken as completely real and prophetic by him. Another symptom of schizophrenia or some related temporal lobe malfunction.

His other reported vision of god and heaven that he reported later in life was also pushed upon us students as further evidence of his maintained saintliness throughout his life (a chaste life of no sin).
Though many of us students believed he remained chaste for one of two reasons.
1: He was actually homosexual and preferred the company of men.
Most homosexuals we encounter are not misogynistic, yet Aquinas appeared to be or he was just following the norm of his time.
2: He was actually having temporal lobe epileptic seizures which to some sufferers much better than sex.
Thus he was getting something better in his celibacy than women could offer him.
Joan of Arc was evidently by studies into her well documented visions achieving such satisfaction and so shunned man in her epileptic/schizophrenic quest for her god.
Also Aquinas's take on hallucinations showed that he was inclined to harbour belief in selective visions and verbal messages (only the apparently righteous ones) , likely from his own experiences in having assorted episodes.
Whereas, modern neurology knows that all hallucinations have nothing valid in store for the recipient, they are all just brain malfunctions.

Yes, I/we have very good grounds for making assumptions that Aquinas was probably a sufferer of temporal lobe epileptic episodes.
This explains a lot about his attitudes and life.
It's likely that his episodes didn't actually result in fits, as some don't.
Though he likely sought isolation, since if he was experience such issues he would worry that others may consider him insane. This was a big problem with sufferers in the past, and even now.

If we can highlight great people in history as being sufferers, then it is easier for current sufferers to admit to having such episodes.
I have currently one closet schizophrenic (devout Catholic who has visions of angels,Jesus and Mary) that I look after his equipment and since I mentioned his hero Aquinas could have possibly had such a condition some years ago, he now talks about his experiences openly and has sought medical help with it.
Admission is the start of getting help for all psychological disorders.

What about the hypothesis that ascribing mental illness to those you disagree with is an intellectual cop-out?

LOL Chris,

I'm not arguing with Aquinas so I don't need to have any cop-out!

I spent a lot of time researching religious history and trying to understand where Catholicism got most of it's extremely loopy concepts and doctrines from.

Their doctrines are pagan like when compared to other Christianity groups such as protestants.

Possibly because they adopted pagan practices like Isis/Mary worship to appease the existing Isis worshipers in Italy at the time of Constantine and get them on board, so it had to maintain such doctrines.  Aquinas appears to be the source of some of those wacky, weird doctrines and arguments that I had with the church over the years.

Such abstract, delusional thinking that Catholicism practices in their lie based theology (apologetics)  appears to date back to two sources: Saul and Aquinas.

Both reportedly had hallucinations, somewhat similar to those of Moses.

The concept that monotheism is nothing more than hallucination sufferers believing that they are confirming the hallucinations of their predecessors as absolute truth is beginning to appear as valid.

This is a concept I had of religion when I started investigating schizophrenia many years ago, as I have clients with this condition and needed to be able to understand them in order to work with them.

Some of them like my first and oldest client (close friend) have also experienced Moses delusions and indeed had a similar vision to Aquinas.

My posts don't come from off the cuff, arrogant dislike for Aquinas and others in the hallucinatory line of Moses.

It comes from years of study and experience with schizophrenic sufferers.

I myself suffered drug induced schizophrenia in my late teens.

So I also have a little personal experience in that regard.




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